Mahrielle is the capital city of the Merkind and royal family. Most of the Merkind maintain a home in Mahrielle and spend at least part of the year there. In addition to the Merkind, many other types of aquatic creatures, supernatural and otherwise, are welcome within the city limits
Mahrielle was located off the coast of Solhara in the impossibly deep and treacherous waters at the heart of the Ningyo No Wan (or the Gulf of the Mermaids). The Gulf was named by the Tianshi, the people of the Eastern provinces of Solhara. and is shared by the kingdoms of Xehacora and Solhara.
Mahrielle is located at such a depth that it could not be reached by free-diving. The waters around the city are warmed by hydrothermal vents and since they are at a depth too far for sunlight to penetrate, the city is lit by carefully cultivated colonies of biolumescent corals and algae. The city is also located at a sufficient depth to keep the Merkind within it from being heavily effected by lunar tides or storms on the surface of the sea above.
Mahrielle used to be located in the exact center of Ningyo No Wan, a place where the waters of the Maritanis were said to be so treacherous that even the Pirates avoided sailing directly over the Merkind capital. This may be due in no small part to the patrols of guards kept near the surface of the sea to deter such intrusions with their magic.
After the Maritanis fell to the Blight, Lyrielle the Coming Tide gave her life to create the Sea of Lyrielle. This inland sea is located adjacent to the Ga'leahan capital of Caerleon. It's location was chosen because of a negotiated truce between the Merkind and the people of Ga'leah orchestrated by King Triton of the Merkind and Queen Gwenhwyfar Pendragon of the High Court of Ga'leah. As part of her final act, Lyrielle magically relocated the city of Mahrielle to the Sea of Lyrielle where she hoped the Merkind and some of her beloved Sea Creatures would be safe from the Ocean Blight.
When Lyrielle the Coming Tide first created the Merkind, she was so enamored with the first of them that she took the first Merman as her lover. Though their union was short lived and eventually she sent him back to the Merkind with orders to never attempt to contact her again, she held no animosity for Aegaeon or her chosen people. In attempt to prevent the Merkind from looking upon him unkindly after being forced from her bed and her palace, Lyrielle created for Aegaeon a palace of his own so that he might live comfortably and all of the Merkind would know that he still held her favor. It was around this palace that Mahrielle was built.
The first generation of Merkind, who later became the upper class Telesto, built their homes in close proximity to the palace. As Lyrielle continued to create Merkind and provided a second generation of newly minted creatures, the Telesto suggested setting aside the land surrounding their homes (what would one day be called 'The Swells') to create a marketplace which they called simply 'The Aquifer'. It was beyond the Aquifer that the second generation of Merkind, or the middle class Thestians, built their homes in a sector that would later be called 'Water's Deep' because of it's location within a valley on the sea floor. All subsequent generations of Merkind created by Lyrielle and not bred biologically, the lowest class 'Krill' were made to live on the furthest outskirts of the city in what would come to be called merely 'The Trenches' because of their location and the somewhat dimmer sources of biolumescence located there.
Mahrielle has continued to expand throughout the years, though castes continue to live only within their own sectors of the city. Other Aquatic creatures, both natural and supernatural also chose to live close to the Merkind Metropolis and many of such creatures can be found in the neighboring suburb of Reeftown.
As Mahrielle grew, many of the Krill (low class) and Thestian (middle class) Merkind began to deeply resent the Telesto (upper class) and even the monarchy that supported their strict caste system. These individuals soon gathered under the banner of the Antiroyalist movement and swore to dispel the monarchy one day. Though most of their activity is done in secret and anonymously, since the arrival of the Blight, many of the Antiroyalists have become much bolder and willing to support the cause with public displays and not simply behind closed doors.
After the coming of the Blight and the Walking Starvation, Mahrielle’s population exploded with Merkind and other creatures who were not native to the metropolis seeking refuge within Mahrielle to take advantage of the magical barrier erected by King Triton with the help of the magical trident handed down the royal lineage as a sign of their goddes-given right to rule. Initially, the infection had been founded in isolated instances in the outer reaches of the sea where King Triton and the Merkind were struggling to staunch its spread. However, a supernatural whale, called simply Monstro, had been infected with the Walking Starvation and was often seen patrolling the outer reaches of the barrier in search of prey.
The Merkind held out for some time against the Blight before it began a full onslaught on the Oceans that the Merkind were helpless to combat. While above ground many land dwellers gathered to celebrate the Living Flame's Festival of Fire, below the waves the merkind of the Maritanis had gathered in Mahrielle to celebrate the spawning of the coral reefs. The attack began with destruction of the magical barrier and a pod of hungry Blighted Whales as well as a seemingly organized 'net' of Blighted Jellyfish meant to keep the Merkind ensared within the city. When the Blighted Jellyfish appeared to abandon their post providing only a small corridor of escape, some frightened Merkind fled in the hopes of reaching safety. Many of these Merkind have not been seen since. The Merkind that remained within Mahrielle were magically transported upon the death of Lyrielle the Coming Tide to the newly created Sea of Lyrielle where their city and their lives would begin anew.
Now, the city is in turmoil. With the King and heir to his throne, the Princess Attina, both missing and presumed dead in the fighting for the city, the next in line for the royal throne of the Merkind is the Princess Alana whose reputation as a staunch critic of the monarchy and supporter of the anti-royalists has much of the upper class opposing her succession and instead favoring her more traditional sister, the Princess Andrina as the new queen of the Merkind. Revolution seems imminent.
The Swells Edit
The Swells is the neighborhood of Mahrielle in which all of the homes of the upper class Telesto can be found. The Swells is located closest to the Palace and buffered from the rest of Mahrielle by the commercial district, the Aquifer. Although there are many opulent homes in The Swells, because of the Merkind laws of succession, is not entirely uncommon for extended families to share a single mansion. Even the smallest manor in The Swells is large enough to accommodate at least a dozen full grown Merkind.
The Swells is separated from the Aquifer by a palisade wall. Although it was left unguarded for generations, after the founding of the Antiroyalist movement, guards were hired by the Telesto and paid to patrol the wall continuously to prevent Antiroyalist demonstrations and prevent any vandalism to the homes within the Swells.
Locations of Note Edit
- The Palace - the largest structure in Mahrielle, the Palace is considered part of the Swells though it preceded the community by quite some time. The cultural and legislative hub of Mahrielle, this is also the home of the royal family and employs many Thestians and Krill. (Though, most of the Krill are employed only as cleaning or maintenance staff).
The Aquifer Edit
Mahrielle boasts a vast and diverse commercial district called simply, the Aquifer, in which goods and services are exchanged for pearls (Merkind currency). The Aquifer is divided into many different sectors in which different goods and services are sorted. This set-up allows for intense and healthy competition among the Thestian artisans and tradespeople. While some Krill do attempt to do business here, they are often relegated to the furthest reaches of each sector and are often overlooked by all but the Krill who shop within the Aquifer.
Water's Deep Edit
Water's Deep is the middle class, or Thestian, neighborhood of Mahrielle. It is the largest of all of the areas that compose the Merkind capital with the widest arrange of homes ranging from modest dwellings to spacious and opulent houses that pale only in comparison to The Swells. There is no wall around Water's Deep nor are their guards patrolling the town. However, some families have employed guards to protect themselves from the Antiroyalist if they are known for being vocal supporters of the Monarchy. Unlike The Swells, it is less common for extended families to dwell together within Water's Deep.
The Trenches Edit
The lowest caste of the Merkind, the Krill, all dwell within the Trenches. The Trenches are located the furthest from the Palace and the Aquifer. The homes within the Trenches are modest at best and in many cases derelict. There is a wide variety of multiple-family housing within the Trenches as well as homes for abandoned youth. There is very little lawful presence in the Trenches. Though the monarchy may interfere from time to time, the Trenches and the Krill within the Trenches tend to police themselves with some assistance from the priests and priestess of the Coming Tide.
Located on the outskirts of Mahrielle, Reeftown is home to the natural and supernatural aquatic creatures that wish to dwell close to the hub of the Merkind civilization. It is a very diverse community composed of all types of creatures with all types of dwellings. Because these creatures are not Merkind, they are not forced to adhere to the caste systems of the Merkind and are afforded much more freedom and opportunity.