OUT OF CHARACTER INFORMATION
- Intent: To continue my crusade to flesh out Quarzite's lore by giving it a capital city that substantially fleshes out the lore available about the planet and it's populace; to create a locale suitable for RP on said planet as none really exist; to also provide a city for my character to originate from.
- Image Credit: ArtStation (Recoloured by myself)
- Canon: N/A
- Links: Quarzite, Kage, Belugan, Sekiei Deer, Crystallized Lotus
- City Name: Karoshi
- Classification: Metropolis
- Location: Quarzite
- Affiliation: Whilst the Galactic Alliance holds the hex containing Quarzite, the planet and by extension it's capital is fairly autonomous when it comes to local governance. Though it does have a Senator for representation and it respects and abides by Alliance law above all else, Karoshi is primarily affiliated with the Kage people and those who lead them personally.
- Demographics: Primarily, Karoshi's population is made up of Kage, who originally built the city. A smaller section of the population is the Belugans, though not as many live in the city both due to racial tensions and due to the fact Belugans are meant to reside underwater. Even smaller than the Belugans is Humans and other alien races, barely making up 2% of the population. Many outsiders simply don't emigrate to Quarzite due to the difficulties of adjusting to a strictly underground life.
- Wealth: Medium -- The Kage, unlike others, flourished and even thrived during the 400-year darkness. Being cut off from galactic life wasn't uncommon for them, though it did stunt things like trade and the economy, which is why Karoshi is relatively underdeveloped when it comes to the population's wealth. Some have more than others, some have less than others, but overall the city is relatively middle-class.
- Stability: Karoshi is ruled by an elected circle of Elders, with their authority having been respected since time immemorial both as actual and spiritual leaders of the Kage people. This results in complete stability so long as you follow their law, and this was never clearer than during the 400-year darkness when everyone pulled together to survive. In the past, tensions boiled over when the Belugans managed to seize control of the planet--and, by extension, it's capital city --during the chaos of the Clone Wars, but following the rise of the first Empire the Kage managed to wrest back control but ever since, tensions between the two native species have been very high. Even still, the Kage trust in their Elders to lead them, and even the Belugans respect their wisdom.
- Description: Karoshi is a unique city, constructed much more like a quarry transformed into one. Buildings were dug directly into the walls, and great gateway tunnels lead to stairs, turbolifts, and other 'neighbourhoods' in Karoshi, which is how one navigates. Neighbourhoods are what the large cylindrical caverns containing the majority of buildings and their residents are called, and all feature a large cluster of Quarzite crystals that simulates daylight. They are artificially influenced by Kage technology and keyed to Quarzite's day/night cycle, brightening when the sun is out and dimmed when it is not.
POINTS OF INTEREST
- The Western Skyhook: Connecting Karoshi to the atmosphere of the planet is 'The Western Skyhook', the biggest connecting Quarzite to the outside world. If it's not clear by the name, it's located in the western hemisphere of Quarzite. The Western Skyhook is not only used as a traditional Skyhook but is also used as a command hub for every other one present in Quarzite's orbit. This particular Skyhook is fairly infamous for the outbreak of Gulag plague aboard that occurred from infected merchants that led to the skyhook being shut down and disabled for the entirety of the 400-year darkness, unintentionally also deactivating every other Skyhook it was connected to. As it was both the largest port available to Quarzite natives and a hub of communication, shutting it down effectively cut off the entire planet from the galaxy as a whole. It and the network of other Skyhooks were only re-activated in the last 70 or so years, with some of the older Kage still able to remember the times when they were unable to reach the sky. Now, much like before, it is a bustling hub of activity for commerce and tourism, and everyone who wishes to visit Karoshi must take the skyhook's turbolift down. The trip takes 10 minutes at the most, and there are multiple lift tubes due to the high volume of people the skyhook sees, including one large enough to accommodate cargo.
- Urushibara Temple: Through one of the oldest passages of the massive caves making up Karoshi, is an ancient site dedicated to worship of ancient deities that barely survived time. Urushibara Temple has stood for an estimated two thousand years, tended to by a long lineage of monks and protected by a cabal of Kage Warriors, elite soldiers who are akin to traditional knights or samurai who rose during the Clone Wars to liberate their people. Following the end of conflict they would settle into the roles of protectors. Urushibara is where the Warriors are garrisoned and is where they train, and the temple is also famous for having Sekiei deer who wander across the grounds freely as gentle visitors. Whilst many of the Kage religious beliefs have been lost, especially during the 400-year darkness, it's thought that the Kage worshipped an old goddess at Urushibara who was the one who had turned the planet's surface to a barren wasteland in a fit of celestial rage. Offerings were and still are made to appease her in the hopes one day the surface may be healed by her divine providence.
- Taiyo: The Taiyo neighbourhood is the largest within the cluster of caves making up Karoshi, home to the majority of the city's population as a result. Densely populated, the homes carved into the rock are small but quaint and can sustain a family of 4 at most. Taiyo is one of two neighbourhoods to have a subtram station for quick access, and it would take 6 hours to walk the circumference of the cavern, emphasizing the size.
- Tsuki: Second largest of the Karoshi neighbourhoods, Tsuki is a commercial cavern home to cargo, merchants and the bigger, more central subtram station where many of the trains run from. Tsuki is the destination of many visitors to Quarzite, as it's also where the Western Skyhook's turbolift connects with Karoshi's cave system. The subtram that starts at Tsuki runs across the planet.
- Hoshi: Third largest, Hoshi is an administrative neighbourhood home to the Elders and their families, and the buildings where they conduct their rule. The elected Senator of Quarzite resides here, alongside any other state-financed service or function. Political guests stay here too.
Karoshi was one of the first settlements constructed by the Kage. It began in Hoshi, expanding to Tsuki and Taiyo when it became necessary to accommodate the growing population. Structures weren't necessary to build except for religious purposes as workers simply could excavate rooms out of the stone, allowing for rapid expansion of the city into various caverns. They connecting them with hand-carved tunnels, to facilitate travel, and eventually, droids would be able to take over the excavation with surgical precision. With Skyhooks essential to the settlement of Quarzite, Tsuki became a popular hub of travel within Karoshi and led to the city's huge expansion. Foreign contractors saw an opportunity and were able to make tidy fortunes constructing homes for the locals, excavating and industrializing the city and the surrounding area. Prior to the beginning of the Clone Wars, Karoshi was a hub of activity. Trade flowed easily and freely and the Kage prospered.
But it's the nature of the galaxy to change. Quarzite was home to not one dominant species, but two. Belugans, aquatic natives of the planet's various underground springs, rose up. In collaboration with the Separatists and under the guidance of a brutal dictator, the Belugan people proceeded to subjugate the Kage, kill their leaders, capture their cities, and plunge the planet into chaos.
Karoshi fell in a matter of days, constructed for living and not for defending. And with no formal military of their own, any attempts at resistance were pitiful and pointless. With the Kage's capital seized, the people were scattered. Some submitted to Belugan rule, others left the planet entirely, a few fleeing to cities still holding out against attack. Some, however, rebelled. Karoshi's Urushibara Temple would be the site of resistance, with the Kage Warriors being founded by the children of the now-dead Elders with the ultimate goal of evicting the occupying forces from Kage land. Throughout the course of the Clone Wars they would be successful in this endeavor, eventually pushing back the Belugans with Republic support. Karoshi was recaptured at a pivotal battle of the same time, kickstarted by the Kage Warriors assassinating the tactical genius behind the Belugan war effort and crippling the enemy. At last back in Kage hands after years of exile, citizens returned to their homes, the Warriors put down their swords, and many would go on to form the new circle of Elders as they had earned the admiration of their people. The Belugans were forced back to their aquatic cities in disgrace, with relations never being the same, particularly with those who moved back to the city following de-escalation.
Throughout the rule of the first Empire and beyond Quarzite & Karoshi remained relatively untouched, thankfully. It was simply too hard for an outside force to invade Quarzite due to the bottleneck of Skyhooks needed to transport troops and supplies, seen as a waste of resources by Imperial command. Resources that could be spent elsewhere. This meant that the planet and it's government were allowed to operate and rebuild relatively peacefully, though many Kage Warriors would fight against the first Empire as rebels. Urushibara Temple would once again find use as a base of operations for the Warriors.
Karoshi would like this for hundreds of years following, guiding Quarzite into an age of prosperity. The Gulag plague was the beginning of the end. The Western Skyhook, linked directly to Karoshi, was ravaged by an outbreak of the virus and, in order to ensure that the capital remained uncontaminated, some either exceptionally clever or stupid soul aboard the Skyhook deactivated the entire station and every other Skyhook with no warning, sending all turbolifts to the surface and preventing them from being sent back up. Activation could not be done from the ground, with the terminal planetside only meant to be a receiving bay. Attempts to convince someone to activate the Western Skyhook failed due to the galaxy-wide collapse and breakdown of communication.
Surprisingly, this did not keep the Kage down, and Karoshi survived exceptionally well throughout the Darkness. The Elders led both the city and her people through the dark times, each new generation of leaders beginning to remember less and less of the wider galaxy, soon only surviving off of tales and stories of the beyond. The Kage Warriors became almost enshrined in myth as they were reformed once again at Karoshi's Urushibara Temple at the beginning of the Darkness to serve as a militia to keep the peace, doing so for the entire duration of 400 long years. A fateful day in 778 ABY would see explorers reactivate the Western Skyhook by accident when investigating it as a foreign space station, inadvertently reintroducing the Kage people back to the galactic limelight, but also starting Karoshi's revival into a bustling hub of trade. The city became very popular shortly after it's rediscovery, with tourism booming as curious travelers visited the planet and her capital.
The city has remained this way ever since, pockets still recovering from the 400 years of isolation whilst others eagerly embrace the interconnectivity once again granted to them. Karoshi thrives, as she always has.