The Cities of Ooranye

 

Introduction - the 25 disc-on-stem cities - the cities of Oirr - the freightshuttle exits and the "other Syoom" - mountain settlements - plains settlements

 

We believe that the majority of Uranian humans live in cities.  This is no doubt due to the dangerous planetary environment which encourages city life for reasons of mutual defence.  However, millions of Uranians do live in isolated settlements.

The great cities - the ones which naturally come to mind when we think of the stories that come from that world - are the mighty disc-on-stem structures which date from the early part of the Phosphorus Era.  Their like could not be built today; they were constructed using power looted from Chelth , another dimension, in a brief window of opportunity before the extradimensional tap was turned off by the indignant beings at the other end. 

These cities' basic structure is of ultimate metal (iedleis) , immune to the ravages of time.  There are 25 disc-on-stem cities altogether.  The list is as follows: 

Ao, Grard, Hoog, Ierax, Innb, Invun, Jaax, Jador, Juxxt, Linnt, Lysyon, Narar, Nemyurur, Nuvium, Oso, Pjourth, Skyyon, Toolv, Tva, Vlamanor, Vyanth, Xydur, Yaz, Yoad, Yoon.

Each of them presents a stupendous sight to the wayfarer who approaches them across the plain.  "A huge tray piled high with lights and held aloft by a stem" - the tray being a circle miles in width and the concave curved stem fifty yards high - the entire structure is perpetually coruscating with brilliance and movement as streams of skimmers rise and fall, entering and exiting via the three air-streams or ayashou spaced at 120 degrees round the rim.  This is the basic description; there are minor variations (Skyyon, for instance, is unique in having two discs, a larger, lower one and an upper, smaller).

The cities of Oirr, the region close to the ancient "Sun-Egg" and to the Great Wall, are even older than the disc-on-stems, and were built by means which could be reproduced today, though it would take many eras to create structures which could vie with them.  These cities - Arn, Vus, Soolm and the first and greatest of them, Contahl - look like semi-ovoid lattices standing up on end.  Their height exceeds all other cities except Skyyon.

In the Starward hemisphere, in the depths of Fyaym, stand cities which grew around the now-defunct "freightshuttle exits" or matter-transmitter destinations, which date from the Phosphorus Era when the wealth and power of Syoom led its people to suppose that they might come near to mastering both hemispheres of the giant planet.  These cities - Deev, Karth, Koar, Nusun, Olhoav and Poleva - were designed piecemeal as they grew, and lack the unified structure of the disc-on-stems or the more ancient cities of Oirr.  The freightshuttle exits have managed to hang on to existence in isolation, visited very occasionally when one of the Syoomean cities decides to undertake the enormous expense of a temporary reactivation of the matter-transmission network. 

Likewise lurking deep in Fyaym, but without even the tenuous contact with Syoom which the freightshuttle exits enjoy, lies the "Other Syoom", long undiscovered, and ruled by the two cities, Yalar and Nii.

Finally, near the Starward ("South") pole lies the fabled city of Allv.

Other settlements exist - both on the plains and in the mountains and forests of Ooranye - but they cannot be called cities.  Yet two other cities on the planet do exist.  One is the newest of all the cities of Ooranye, though still ancient by Earth standards: Yr, "city of mists", which is mobile, and usually camouflaged so as to be invisible.  The other is Vlonn, the Rubble City, whose government allows access at most times yet will not let it be included on any map, and can, at need, manipulate space so as to prevent it being found.

Many of the settlements in the Mountains of Flame consist of areas honeycombed with inhabited caves and caverns; others are villages lying openly in the valleys between the huge peaks.

 

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