Campaign of the Month: September 2014
Population (metropolitan area): 24.9 million
The easternmost of three regional capitals, Sophia is the planetary capital and largest city on the planet Illiyun. It is spread across the northernmost reaches of the Andakha River Basin at the edges of the Predator Gorges. With a population of over 24 million and as the site of both the planet’s largest spaceport and the Governor’s Compound, Sophia is the center of commerce and travel for the planet, and perhaps the entire Delta Pavonis system, or even the Commonwealth. With Earth and its many ancient cities lost to the Central Collective, there are many who call Sophia the cultural capital of humanity.
Sophia began as a minor waystation between Liyan and the Predator Gorges and Kotal Mountains, intended for resupplying and refueling. Located at the headwaters of the Andakha River, it hosted purification facilities which played an important role in the stabilization of the hydrosphere during early terraforming efforts.
Thanks to its relatively small population of isolationist Sekan and its inland location shielded from storms by the Kotal Mountains, it was perfect for constructing an ever-expanding spaceport to facilitate larger interstellar traffic volume. Sophia gained further status when the Commonwealth built the Governor’s Compound, but the city remains to this day largely owned by corporate interests. Large swathes of the city are legally private property administered by corporate security and emergency services, and many citizens spend most of their lives more concerned with the internal policies and activities of their employers than their sovereign government.
Since the War of Ascension displaced many Terrans, the city has seen a large influx of immigrants.
Deltans are the single most populous culture in Sophia, though no people can claim a true majority. Behind them, there are large communities of Terrans, particularly Corporatists, as well as a variety of Hellion gangs, and a powerful and insular set of Terran Loyalists (who often style themselves as a “reconstruction movement”).
Sophia is large enough that there are at least a few representatives of most other colonial cultures, and even a few AI hybrids (largely living among the corporate elite).
Sophia is split into a number of districts, each with a distinct heritage and atmosphere.
Damasque (Old Town)
Main Article: Damasque
Though the smallest district in terms of land area, Damasque is one of the oldest parts of the city as well as being centrally located at the core of Sophia. Damasque is home to the original communities of Deltan and Sekan colonists, and is home to unique architecture and a variety of cultural attractions. Damasque is located below the Rise and south of the Andakha River.
Main Article: Cataracts
The Cataracts district began as land set aside for the water processing and purification facilities at the headwaters of the Andakha, and gradually grew into a largely industrial area with an abundance of factories and storage facilities. Located north of the Andakha River, it eventually split into the Upper Cataracts located above the Rise, which experienced a gentrification and became dominated by research parks and corporate campuses, and the Lower Cataracts below the Rise, which came to host a large number of Terran refugees and became the main grounds of the Hellion gangs.
Main Article: Cloister
Located on the south edge of the city below the Rise, the Cloister first developed a unique character as it came to host sizable communities of both Neo-Sufis and Apostolic Christians and a large number of religious structures. Its older areas became some of the most densely populated areas, while its southern outskirts grew ever more suburban in nature, with a large number of upper-class villas and expensive high-rise hab-blocks.
Main Article: Nysa
At the western end of the city, on either side of the Andakha River, Nysa sprouted up around the growing spaceport. Filled with constant movement and itinerant visitors, it became known for its bustling markets, variety of hotels and entertainment, and organized criminal underworld. Nysa is the gateway between Sophia and both the interstellar community and the rest of the planet.
Main Article: Capitale
Capitale was a largely undeveloped area above the Rise on the eastern end of the city, until the Federal Commonwealth began construction of the Governor’s Compound and subsidized corporate development in the area. Today it is covered in rows of pristine glass and ferrocrete, humming with power and wealth. Nestled in the hills at its easternmost extents are the walled compounds of some of the city’s wealthiest and most influential personalities.
While not technically part of the city, there are smaller, less densely populated communities clustered around the edges of Sophia.
Located northeast of Sophia, Montant borders Capitale and the Upper Cataracts. It is a relatively affluent community and hosts the private estates of many corporate executives and government officials, nestled among the foothills that give way to the Predator Gorges.
Located along the southeastern edge of the city, Novato is home to many expatriate colonial families from the Protectorate, Council, and Enclave.
Khet began as a meeting point for local Sekan travellers not far from the water processing facilities that Sophia sprouted around. It is the oldest community in the area next to the old town Damasque district.