Marcuria is the the vibrant, affluent capital of Ayrede, the Unified Country, on the southern coast of the Northlands, halfway between Tyren and Corasan. Marcuria is a sprawling, great city, large and old enough that even its own citizens sometimes have problems giving directions to strangers.
The Longest JourneyEdit
A good description is given in Travels in the Northlands.
Marcuria has an ancient history, spanning 20 000 years (its history thus preceding the creation of the Balance by at least 7 800 years, given that Travels in the Northlands was written some time during Lord Ygvan Dellan's acting as Chief Council). After a rapid rise, its initially expansionist behaviour caused it to be struck down by the surrounding countries. A slow rebuild and a more defensive attitude followed, with Marcuria making its way toward becoming the great port and cultural capital it is today. Its size and location on the coast makes it an important port, and many people of different races travel though and sometimes spend time in the city. Merchants, traders, adventurers and pilgrims from all four continents travel there.
Until about five centuries ago, there was river running through Marcuria and into the ocean. However, it disappeared and the reasons for this have never been uncovered. It is spanned by the Rose Bridge, just off Ayrede Avenue.
Marcuria provides some protection for the nearby villages and farmlands, but it is not leading an expansionist policy as it did in its early years. It is surrounded by a huge wall and its enormous harbour can keep the city safe from siege.
Marcuria boasts the impressive Temple of the Balance, with a huge marketplace in the temple courtyard. Huge galleons throng the harbour that brings the city its wealth, and visitors often end up at the famous Journeyman Inn. On the outskirts to the west is Brian Westhouse's bungalow, while to the east is the Sentinel Enclave, a safehouse for artefacts and the famous Sentinel Library. North of Marcuria is the dense Riverwood.
At the time of Dreamfall, ten years since April's arrival, Marcuria has changed dramatically. The city suffered under the occupation of the Tyren, but was liberated by the technology-using Azadi, who have brought wealth and peace, though they are now planning to make Marcuria their foothold in the Northlands. The Temple of the Balance has been demolished and the huge Azadi Tower raised in its place, with the Azadi army camp filling the courtyard until the completion of the Barracks. Market stalls now cluster around the city gates, though for more exotic materials, buyers need to visit the Magic Ghetto. The Journeyman Inn is still open, though the upper floor is being used as a hideout for April Ryan's Rebels, and the harbour remains even though many of the piers have now gone. Brian Westhouse left his home to the Tyren during their invasion, and went travelling (though he does return during Dreamfall). We learn of several new street names too, including Crab Bend and Burrow Crook.
There have been more unsettling changes: the changes in Marcuria's economic fortunes mean that, like Venice, there are now more homeless people like Blind Bob and Crazy Clara sheltering in the streets, though some have benefited from the Azadi presence, and grown rich. Friar's Keep has been effectively taken over by the Azadi to house their political prisoners before they are shipped off to Sadir. There are also large steam-powered machines installed on many of the buildings, courtesy of the Azadi; April says she doesn't know what purpose they serve, but that she thinks it's the first stage of Arcadia ending up just like Stark. Azadi Cloudships also fill Marcuria's skies: according to Brian Westhouse some of them serve as a postal service, although the city apparently hasn't graduated to letter boxes just yet. There are some Banda in the Ghetto, and a woman in the city mentions having lived in the farmlands near 'the woods', so Riverwood has presumably survived.
In the The Longest Journey, Fiona joked that one of the things she and Mickey had in common was their love of classic English country inns "with suggestive names like 'The Lazy Cock'." Several of the pubs and taverns in Marcuria actually now have names like this (including 'The Salty Seaman' and 'The Cock and Puss'.)
We also discover that there are enormous caves beneath Marcuria, filled with ruins and ancient machinery, which are home to Grubbers wandering the Catacombs. Therefore, it seems this area has been settled before, if not by humans. April's discoveries beneath Marcuria hint that the city may have many secrets left to uncover.
Dreamfall Chapters Edit
As the Azadi occupation enters its eleventh year, the implementation of their strategy continues apace, transforming Marcuria in fundamental ways.
The marginalization and deportation of magicals continues, with non-humans who do not carry the proper permits relegated to Magic Ghetto and prohibited from using magic or alchemy. Arrests and deportations are not uncommon, with the victims being deported to Ge'en “re-ducation camps” before allegedly being relocated to new homelands. The increasing oppression culminates with an Azadi raid on Old Town, which results in the arrest of all but a few magicals and the shuttering of the community.
While not every human in Marcuria supports the Azadi occupation, the general atmosphere among them has become increasingly complacent. Human supremacy groups like The National Front for Faith and Family have found ever-stronger support, and views which were once expressed only in secret are now considered acceptable. Anti-magical sentiment grows so normalized that by Reapmoon’s Eve, things like the staged extrajudicial execution of Crow are treated as entertainment.
The Azadi have continued to alter the urban landscape of Marcuria, introducing new technologies such as electric lighting and a pneumatic tube network that serves as the basis for their calculating engine. Their most important construction, the Tower, nears completion, and is set to be finished on schedule by Reapmoon’s Eve, and its inauguration is set to form part of the traditional celebrations.
Despite the Azadi raids on Swamp City and the Journeyman Inn, and the death of April Ryan, the rebellion continues to have a presence in Marcuria, obtaining intelligence and sabotaging the Azadi armed forces when possible. Nevertheless, despite forming an alliance with the black market merchant known as The Mole, and blowing up a shipment of gunpowder, theirs is a losing battle. It is not until the remaining rebels join forces with a splinter group of Azadi led by General Hami that the tide turns, and the rebels are able to retake Marcuria from the occupying faction.
|Establishments:||Journeyman Inn | Temple of the Balance | Azadi Tower | Friar's Keep | Sentinel Enclave|
|Locations:||Ayrede Avenue | Burrow Crook | Crab Bend | Hangman's Span | Harbour | Magic Ghetto | Shady Quay | Tower Square | Underground Caverns | West Gate | South Gate | South Gate Market|