From Dragon Eye Atlas
|Faith of Ikoyo
The Free City of Lali Abla is a trading and crafting city in central to southern Vericum, located right on the Imperial High Road and near the Koneredos river. While the city is seen by most as the capital of the Esusavia province, the actual seat of the government is in Torussa Castle across the river.
Originally a trading post, Lali Abla has grown into a well-sized city over the past centuries. In fact, it has outgrown its city walls three times, and this history is visible everywhere.
Lali Abla is a free city, meaning it is ruled not by the lord of Esusavia, but by its own council, which is made up of the eight most influential representatives of the craftsmen and traders guilds. It also means the city collects and manages its own taxes and that any serf who lives within its walls for a year and a day becomes a free citizen.
The inner city, inside the first wall, is dense and crowded, dominated by ancient houses, often having had another or two more storeys added over the years. The original trading post and market place have long since been removed to make space for more houses, and all the government buildings and the guild hall are here, as well as many of the most respected (and expensive) shops. Around a thousand people live in the inner city, mostly shop owners and a few nobles and officials.
The second wall was built at a considerable distance from the first, to allow for the city to grow. It was finished in 231 BV, when Lali Abla had grown to 4000 inhabitants. The city zone between the two walls is considerably less dense than the inner city and is called The Ring due to a wide road circling once around it halfway between the two walls - the ring road. About 5000 people live in this area, mostly craftsmen, traders, workers and such. Most of the craftsmen shops that Lali Abla is famous for are located in The Ring.
About 80 years after the construction of the second wall, Lali Abla had reached its capacity and was once again sprawling outside its wall, where brothels, cheap pubs and dirty industry such as butchers, tanners, coalers and others found homes and less conflictable neighbours. The region was quickly called just Outside as in "I live outside the wall". It retained that name even though in 79 BV a third wall was finished. The region between the 2nd and 3rd wall now houses almost 6000 people and has room for two or three thousand more. It is much less dense than the inner city, and still less than The Ring, with gardens and even a few small fields and pastures. It is also much cheaper and less respectable, and anyone who makes it tries to move into one of the other regions. Crime is much higher here than in the two inner zones, among other things because much of the settlements and roads were not planned but are leftovers from the sprawl that had already grown much by the time the wall was finally built.
The river port of Lali Abla is the only part of the city that is still not located within the city walls, as it is too far away - about 2.5 km from the city center. It became an official part of the city by official decree in 12 AV. Originally a small river village by the name of Matova, Port Abla has served as the harbor of Lali Abla for about two hundred years.