Hashat, beautiful and prosperous, is the capital city of Esharia. Founded before the First Monarch, it is a coastal city built into Esharia’s peninsula with Yalcar Palace sitting atop where all can see her splendour. Down one side of the coast you will find the famed markets and on the other, the Esharian naval base. The port sits squarely in the middle. Intricate marble houses are also built into the coastline, each one more and more impressive as they get closer to Yalcar Palace.
— An excerpt from “Hashat: The Painted City”
Despite not being as old or revered as the great houses, the House of Farnese has thrived in Hashat for many centuries. They may have lacked in military strength or honour compared to the other houses at the start but they more than made up for it in the one way they knew how: money. Profiting off the back of past conflicts combined with a few good investments here and there, today house Farnese run the largest bank in the Esharian empire. There are few houses that don't bank with them. In a place like Hashat where money talks, the Farnese family have the ability to make or break people as they see fit.
Those fortunate enough to reside in Hashat live a life of luxury and elegance. If you happen to arrive by ship it is said that you can see the coastline glitter from the amount of finery on display. By day the city is bustling with merchants, scholars, artists and entrepreneurs but it is at night Hashat truly becomes alive. Nearly every estate plays host to all manner of soirees and masquerade balls, many of which are simply to die for. Some literally, or at least so they say.
One thing is even more important than money to the people of the capital: art. Hashat is home to some of the finest artists and architects in all of the empire. It is these exalted individuals that are to thank for the grandeur of every building of importance. Those who show enough skill and dedication to their craft are rewarded well. Noble houses regularly sponsor budding talent and frequently offer patronage. Just behind the the visible coastline sits Fontaine Square, home to Hashat University, Farnese Bank and a host of galleries and theatres.
However, capital life is a little different for those lacking in funds and means. While some from a more modest back ground are able to live in university dormitories or make a small but tidy profit on market day, the majority of Hashat’s citizens are forced to live in extreme poverty. Many people are forced to live in the poorer districts out of site or below ground, largely hidden from the world, for every area in the city has strict rules on who is allowed to go where. As a result Hashat has become a playground for nobility.
Hashat contains the largest hub for trading in all of Esharia. Here you can find anything from the finest silks and jewels to master crafted potions and trinkets - if you have the correct licence to trade of course. Whether it’s a diamond or a sack of flour, punishment can be severe for those who operate without up to date documents. To even enter certain areas there are rules and protocol to follow. If you can navigate the web of bureaucracy spun by the houses there can be a lot of profit to be made. However if it isn’t to your satisfaction, there are rumours of another market down below.
Should one scratch beneath the surface there is practically a whole other world underground, woven into the very foundations of the city. Referred to as simply, “The Caves”, this underground haven operates differently to the rest of Hashat and makes up its own rules. No one knows when exactly when the Caves were discovered, but in the past they were primarily used by pirates and smugglers, as the many of the entrances are comprised of small coves. Today, criminals and the poor alike inhabit the vast space below Hashat. Even nobles are rumoured to frequent certain parts once in a while to dabble in illicit alchemy and gambling. If you are struggling to find what you need on the surface, maybe someone down there can help you, although depending on who you ask, it will cost you.
The patriarch of house Farnese and head of the Farnese Bank. Despite rumours of retirement he is determined to keep running everything himself until one of his children prove themselves capable. This is something that may take awhile.
Eldest son of the Farnese family. He is shadowing his father for the day he takes over but they are clashing over ideals. His philanthropic endeavours are both celebrated and ridiculed among the populace.
Wife of Darius. Very much a fashion figurehead and socialite, Magdalena frequently attends and hosts the finest parties and soirees Hashat has to offer. She is usually seen with a pet fennec fox.
There are rumours of leadership below the city, but the identities remain a mystery.