It was founded during the Age of Invasions, and by the time of the Second War of the Power, the city had a population of 40.000 drows, and the civilization was composed in total of some 230.000 inhabitants.
City Formation (350 - 680 a.a.H) Edit
The cavern where the city of Ched'Ipango will be settled was discovered by Erehel drow explorers at the 350 a.a.h, and as the prospectors discovered the rich iron and coal deposits and having a tunnel that served as access to the surface, they decided to settle in the region.
While it's unknown when the first permanent drow settlements were founded between the 360 and the 390 a.a.H, both as a mine and as a waypoint camp for slavers raiding the surface, raiding wollumis communities, who later were either sold in other southern drow colonies or to the mine, being originally the slave trade of wollumis savage elves the primary trade of the outpost:
However, the attacks of drow slavers and the migration of Kanov on the surface will make the Wollumis populations migrate away from the range of the drow slavers, and the later foundation of Kanov cities -as Cargass at the 400 a.a.H- in the surface above, better organized to face the threat of drow slavers, will mean a decay of the surface slave trade and of the settlement, which was primarly a couple of families of Erehel drow that owned the mine and the cavern, Negeél drow warriors and overseers of slaves and the wollumis slave workers.
Without the slave trade, the outpost turned mostly to mining as its main economic activity, slowly developing into a town.
The political waves of the independence war of Ched'Nasan from Erehel-Sinu at the 400-479 a.a.H -and later, of Negeémiliel at the 480 a.a.H- meant that Erehel-Sinu power in southern Kazrrad vanished, and many Erehel colonists, escaping from the wars and the exactions against Erehel, will migrate -along with their properties and slaves- to the relative security of the cavern: with this new influx of immigrants, the small town will become a proper city.
Foundation of Ched'Ipango (680 - 1000 a.a.H) Edit
As Negeémiliel tried to extend their influence over southern Kazrrad -which materialized with the foundation of Ched'Hihrin at the 666-, the local Erehel elites of the southern cities -who still recognized legally Erehel-Sinu as their legitimate ruler will began to claim the independence of their cities to face the Negeémi aspirations.
Following this wave of independence, the Erehel ruling elite of the city will proclaim the foundation and independence of Ched'Ipango as a city state at the 680 a.a.H.
During this period, would develop the Ipangi society and religion, such as the establishment of the caste system as a form of legitimation of the societal differentiation -while the ethnic lines had become blurred, the old Erehel oligarchy became the priest caste, the Negeél warriors and overseers the warrior caste and the slaves and free workers -which had an important element of Wollumis ancestors- the worker class.
Rule of the Priestesses and warrior priestesses
Warring States (1000 - 1700 a.a.H) Edit
Warriors become a more prevalent caste in society
Sia'Peiran Hegemony Edit
Conflict with the Sunner -> weakening of Ched'Ipango
Weakened Ched'Ipango -> increase of Sia'Peiran influence
Sia'Peiran-Ched Ipango wars -> Ched'Ipango defeat, city loses territory and influence to Sia'Peiran
City becomes a vassal of Sia'Peiran.
During this period, with the military decay of Sia'Peiran and the influx of foreign religions, among the worker class the merchants became increasingly powerful, but lacking political power -reason why they will often scheme with Sia'Peiran-
The City Edit
Ched'Ipango is situated some two miles beneath the surface in a single large cave. Built around a central temple complex that was carved from a single massive stalagmite mound, the city sprawls into the massive cave. The city itself is divided into several districts. Each district is distinct and serves a specific caste or function.
General Geography Edit
The cave is a single massive affair that is punctuated by many massive stalagmites and stalactites, though many of these are solely used as temples or shrines as they are all solid granite and difficult to turn into much else. The central stalagmite mound was carved into a single massive temple complex that housed the many gods of the city. In the southern most reaches of the cave is a massive hole in the ground often simply called the "pit" but is nominally referred to as "Gohvor's Maw."
Gohvor's Maw is actually a long dead magma tube and reservoir. The magma is long since gone, though there are still geologically active features like hot springs. The Maw has been cleverly converted into the city dump and waste disposal location as it is seemingly bottomless. However, it is not really bottomless, but at the bottom, some four miles down, is an active magma vent. The magma nominally destroys or absorbs any refuse dropped into it.
The Western Wall of the cave is the only known surface link, featuring a long tunnel running some fifty miles up into the Blazakhov Mountains. This is the city's only real link to surface goods like grains and wood, and as such both are rare commodities. The only real redeeming quality of this surface passage is that it is a single long tube that has no real side tunnels or major hazards. Otherwise, it is rarely used to make infrequent trade with the surface.
The North Eastern Gate is the real trade routes out of the city, featuring many branching tunnels going off to places like Sia'Peiran or Negeémiliel. This choke point access has let the city repel multiple sieges by the Sunner drow or Sia'Peiran.
City Districts Edit
The city is divided into a number of districts.
The Temple Edit
The Temple refers to the central temple complex. This is the main location where the Priests and Priestesses live. It is also the location of the Oracle in the central temple of the complex.
Eastern Korvir District Edit
The East Korvir District is named for one of the chief gods of the city, and covers the eastern section of the city from the cave wall to the Temple. This district houses the elite warriors and their families. These are the families most likely to make up the temple guards.
Diamond District Edit
The Diamond District is in the South Eastern side of the cave. This district features a major diamond mine extending into the south eastern wall. Nominally controlled by the Merchant Caste, most of the populace here are Labor Caste who work the mine.
Sulfur District Edit
The Sulfur District butts up against Gohvor's Maw and is the slums of the city. This district is home to the casteless. Poorly maintained, the district is often a variety of odors, including a sulfurous stink emanating from the Maw itself. There is a small Labor Caste presence here working a small sulfur mine.
Sorell's Workings Edit
Sorell's Workings is along the south western section of the city. It is the primary industrial district with smiths and other workings. The city's primary iron and coal mines are in this district as well. As a result, Ched'Ipango has some of the best quality steel among the Southern Drows.
The Western Gate Edit
The Western Gate is the main location for the main industrial marketplace of the city. Most industrial needs are sold in this region to the various industries in Sorell's Workings. There is a high Labor Caste population here.
The Dolans Edit
The Dolans is the primary district to find the common members of the Warrior Caste. It is also the residence of the less affluent members of the Merchant Caste as well.
The Blessings of Glorn Edit
The Blessings of Gorn is the furthest north of the northern districts and is the primary market zone of the city. There are no homes in this district as it is wall to wall shops and stalls.
Glorn's Chosen Edit
Glorn's Chosen is the wealthy and affluent Merchant Caste neighborhood. This is the southern most of the northern districts.
Foreign Quarter Edit
The Foreign Quarter of the city is the northern most north eastern district and houses all manner of inns, taverns and apartments for visiting foreign merchants and dignitaries.
Silk District Edit
Silk District is the location of the local red light district. Here are found brothels and tattoo parlors frequented by the upper class members of Ched'Ipango society and the foreigners. That isn't to say there aren't brothels in other sections of the city, they are just officially supposed to be in this one district, or are usually "unofficial" or illegal cases.
Ched'Ipango is a society built on a rigid caste system. While it had its origins in the foundation of Ched'Ipango, it was transformed by various ruling elites during the different periods.
The collapse of the Erehel-Sinu hegemony in southern Kazrrad saw the rise of powerful drow who associated themselves with queens, priestess and ascetics, affirming the regal and martial form of the caste ideal, and it also reshaped many apparently casteless social groups into differentiated caste communities.
From this, would emerge three distintive castes: the Priests, the Warriors and the Workers, which had as well a divine meaning for the Ipangi, as in their religion gods were represented in trinities.
During the Warring States, as Ched'Ipango clashed for the hegemony in southern Kazrrad with Ched'Hihrin, they furthered this development, making rigid caste organisation a central mechanism of administration over the cities and settlements under their sphere of influence, with the Ipangi segregating drows by caste, granting administrative jobs and senior appointments only to the upper castes.
After the Warring States, as the power of Ched'Ipango diminished and there was an increasing social unrest, the broad Worker caste will be subdivided into the Merchants and laborers.
Unlike most other drow cities, there are no "drow houses" within the society. Each caste has its own version of nobility, with the exception of the laborers, casteless, and slaves, as there is little to no movement between castes. Once a drow is assigned their caste they are there for life. The castes are detailed as follows:
The priesthood of the city reside in the central "Temple City" of the cavern. Unlike most drow societies, prolonged contact with the Sunner drow has created an equity between the male and female genders. This has resulted in the presence of both Priests and Priestesses of the Gods. Priests are responsible for administering much of the city and the religions within.
Only priests are allowed to wear the color blue as indigo dye is rare to the point of almost unheard of.
The Oracle Edit
The priests normally see to all religious aspects and disputes within the city, but the Oracle's main job is to oversee the caste system by announcing the gods' will as to the caste of each child born within the city. However, while nominally the Oracle rolls elaborately carved bones with religious runes on them to decide the caste of a particular child, the Oracle could be bribed to "fudge" the roll in a particular direction to favor the desires of the family. In the early years of the city, this was never the case, but as the city grew, and the economy with it, the corruption did set in. Every Oracle is chosen by their predecessor and as such, both genders have been oracles. This has led to multiple accusations within the priesthood of favoritism and weak Oracles.
The Warrior caste is only second to the Priests. The warriors are all life long soldiers who serve as both a standing military force, and a mercenary force for those that can afford them. As with other castes, both genders are represented and there are the nobility and the commoner class of warriors within the caste. The Warrior caste also provides the internal security force for both the temple and city proper. If any other citizen besides a priest shows any kind of disrespect to a warrior, even by accident, the punishments can be severe, and range from simple beatings in the streets to a full ceremony trial and execution depending on the severity of the insult. It is inherently illegal to raise a hand against a member, any member, of the Warrior caste unless you are either a warrior or a priest. As a result, the caste is nominally policed by the priests, but normally handle their own internal affairs.
Warriors are the only caste allowed to carry actual weapons within the city, outside the foreigner's quarter, and wear them as badges of their status.
The broad original caste of workers refered to any drow who had to work to produce its sustenance, and who was to produce food and other commodities for the warriors and the workers. However, as Ched'Ipango grew and became a more complex society, there will begin internal divisions of the workers caste:
Originally the Merchants' and Laborers' Castes were one caste called the Workers' Caste, but over time the two split apart as the societal divisions became more pronounced.
The Merchants Caste is the most fluid of the castes as it isn't bound so much by tradition or nobility, so much as by the fluid nature of an economy. As such, one day a house could be at the peak of the caste, and the next it is replaced by another through deals made and lost. As this fluidity has spawned fierce rivalries, there has been an increasing need to mediate and thus a sub caste within the Merchant Caste was created. These Mediators are rare and few, and all of them trade on a reputation for fairness and impartiality.
The Merchants normally handle all aspects of trade and finance within Ched'Ipango. As such, they are the most heavily influenced by outside forces, like the Sunner or the Sia'Piran. There has been a distinct rise of white ink tattoos in the merchant class and has become a way of telling a merchant apart from the other castes, aside from generally finer clothes and such displays of wealth.
The Laborers' Caste is the most expansive caste in the system, aside from the casteless. These are miners, blacksmiths, and other professions that are regarded as below the Merchant Caste's station. This is the only caste without any recognized nobility within it. No laborer caste member is rich, but they are never wanting for food. All laborers are distinguished by the plain clothes they wear, often without any adornments.
The Casteless is the catchall caste for anyone who doesn't belong in another caste. This has three segments, Slaves, Casteless proper, and Foreigners.
Casteless Proper Edit
These are the individuals who have shamed their families, or committed crimes in some way to the point of having their castes stripped. Most commonly thieves and beggars, they are also considered by the other castes as unclean and are often spit upon or otherwise abused by their betters. To be relegated to this status is considered a severe to capital punishment.
Slaves are commonly seen in the wealthy portions of the city, generally upkeeping their master's homes or running menial errands. Every slave is marked by their welded on iron collars. For a slave to hide this is a severe crime. Slaves are treated on par with the slaves of other drow cities like Negeémiliel and Sia'Peiran. Generally well fed, and treated well, there are exceptions to every rule. Unlike other cities however, in Ched'Ipango slaves can be used as prostitutes, though this is most commonly found serving religious purposes in the temple proper.
The Foreigners are usually restricted to the Foreigners' quarter near the main gate off the markets district of the city. These are everyone not from Ched'Ipango itself, or any of its outlying holdings. There are all manner of drow cities represented, mostly from the Sia'Peiran Empire. However, you can find Kalhari and Negeémiliel interests represented here as well as other non-drow underworld races.