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About this City Journal

Welcome to Ridchester, a fictional settlement set in the general geographical and historical background of London, UK. Be part of the epic tale of Ridchester as it grows from a small Celtic...

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190 AD: Emperor Commodus dies without issue, triggering a succession crisis. Septimus Albinus, Commodus' nephew and governor of Benevia, amasses his legions to fight for the throne. Before he sails for the Continent, Albinus builds a defensive wall around Riddium and establishes a fort on the site of the old Celtic hill fort to defend his capital city. For a while, the building of the wall and the fort spurs economic activity in Riddium. However, it was not to last.

Riddium, 200 AD
205 AD: Albinus is defeated after a battle in southern Gaul against rival claimant Clodius Severus, who becomes emperor himself. Severus reasserts imperial authority over Benevia, and he decides to split the province into two and limit the number of legions posted here to reduce the power of individual governors.


Map of Benevia, 210 AD

Severus' decision has a negative impact on Riddium, even though it remains the provincial capital of Bevenia Superior. The reduced number of troops is concentrated on defending the north from the Scallis, and less money is spent on Riddium. The city enters a period of slow decline.
200 AD – 290 AD: The political and economic situation across the empire worsens. Barbarians are now pouring into the empire, while the internal political situation is as messy as ever. Inflation is also beginning to run rampant, damaging the empire's economy. In Riddium, a new threat arrives from the east: Wessan pirates are increasingly raiding the countryside around Riddium, and harassing the trade between Benevia and the continent.
290 AD – 300 AD: With the empire crumbling from the insides, it was a matter of time before a second rebellion occurred in Benevia. The two governors of Benevia agree to declare independence from Rome, but they squabble between themselves over who should become emperor, and the rebellion is put down. Emperor Diocletian divides the empire into four, and further divides Benevia further into four provinces. Diocletian also orders the decommissioning of Riddium's fort and demolishes the grandest public buildings.


Riddium, 300 AD



Map of Benevia, 300 AD
300 AD – 410 AD: With administration and trade now dispersed across the province, and as increasing attacks by the Wessans take their toll, Riddium shrinks to a small settlement clustered around the bridge. In 410 AD, the last of the Roman troops on Benevia are recalled to the Continent to fight the barbarians. With no effective government and unable to resist the strong and frequent Wessan invasions, residents of Riddium begin to move out en masse. Within a generation, the town is completely abandoned.


Riddium, 400 AD


Riddium, 450 AD
Walls: jbbry232, Serjean, roulback
Barracks: Adm Lee J.E. Braden
Ruins: mrbisonm, guinea, Habibi_Joe, delija21

50 AD
: With south east Bainart pacified, the Romans plan to build a capital city to administer the new province, which they call Benevia, after the Latin word benevolentia, or "good will", to commemorate Emperor Claudius's pardon of the village of Rhyd.
The Romans recognise the strategic importance of the Rhyd area: it is where the Ffrwythlon is narrow enough to be bridged, yet still deep enough for ocean-going ships to reach. It also commands a central position in the Ridchester Plain. They call the river Fruses, a corruption of the river's Celtic name, and begin to build a city here, calling it Riddium (after Rhyd).

The laying of roads and the public forum begins at Riddium, 50 AD
60 AD: Riddium is developing on the north bank of River Fruses. An extensive road network connects the town with the rest of the province. The town is attracting merchants and immigrants from all over the Empire to trade, work and live here.

Riddium, 60 AD
70 AD: The first bridge is built across the Fruses at Riddium, concentrating local and Continental trade in the city.
Pons Riddii, the first bridge across the Fruses
Swelled by the increase in trade, Riddium continues to expand. A basilica is built on the north side of the forum to handle the growing government business of Benevia, and a theatre now serves the increasingly cultured population of Riddium.

Riddium, 80 AD
120 AD: The Roman Empire grows to its largest extent. Years of peace and good governance spurs economic development across the Empire.
The Roman Empire at its height, 120 AD

Map of Benevia, 120 AD, showing the main towns and the road network

Riddium reaches the height of its prosperity. The town is adorned with impressive buildings, including an obelisk imported from Egypt, the other corner of the Roman Empire.

Riddium at its height, 120 AD

Riddium and environs (including Rhyd), 120 AD
The fertile Ridchester Plain supports many farms and luxurious villas.

A villa in the outskirts of Riddium
However, the Pax Romana that is bringing Riddium its prosperity does not last long. Internal political instability and external incursions by barbarians on the Continent begin to threaten the empire, especially far-flung provinces such as Benevia...
Terrain: Pegasus, c.p., cycledog
Pier: arthurovitz
Market: Sam
Buildings: psycholu, mickebear, jeronij, ripptide, giorgos69, falcon5018, agart, among many others! Please inform me if I have left you out. I will add your name here as soon as I can.


43 AD: The competition of land in south east Bainart come to a head. After a longstanding dispute with the Ferii, a rival tribe, the Tabearts, launches a surprise attack and sets fire to the fields around Rhyd.


The burning of Rhyd's field

That triggers all-out war between the Ferii and the Tabearts. The Tabearts appeal to Rome, their allies, for help. Under this pretext, the Roman emperor Claudius sends four legions to conquer Bainart. They land on the south coast. The Celts' hastily patched up resistance crumbles against the might of the Romans, who rapidly push up the countryside towards Ridchester Plain.
The final stand by the Ferii and their allies is made at Rhyd, and after a drawn out and bloody siege, Aedan's fort is taken by the Romans and razed to the ground. Although the Ferii are defeated, their fierceness in battle awes Claudius. He decides to spare the lives of the villagers of Rhyd as a sign of good will (and encouraging other Celts to surrender instead of fight).

The battle of Ridchester Plain


The destruction of Aedan's fort
After Aedan's fort is conquered, the rest of Ridchester Plain and south east Bainart is quickly subdued by the Romans.

The extent of the Roman conquest of Bainart, 50 AD


Illustration: http://warandgame.files.wordpress.com/2008/09/celtic-warriors-2.jpg



800 BC: A tribe of Celts, the Ferii (Latin for 'fierce'), arrive from the Continent. Led by their leader Cadeyrn, they build a small village on the banks of a small brook that leads out to the main river. At low tide, the brook can be forded on foot, so they call the settlement Rhyd (pronounced "reed"), which means 'ford'.


The village of Rhyd, 800 BC

500 BC: The Ferii grow crops, such as wheat and barley, and rear cattle for a living. The harvests are good, and they name the river ffrwythlon afon, which means "fertile river". The river also brings trade from across the region, even from the Continent. Eventually, what started as a few huts becomes a large village and an important trading post.


Rhyd, 500 BC

300 BC: The strategic location of Rhyd means that it is constantly attacked by other tribes. The chieftain, Aedan, builds a hill fort on the mouth of the brook south of the village to control and protect the region.


Aerial view of Rhyd and Aedan's fort, 250 BC

Meanwhile, hundreds of miles away in the south, a mighty power begins a steady northward expansion into the Continent: Rome.

52 BC: Roman general Julius Caesar decisively defeats the Graulic Celts in at the Battle of Amnesia. The Romans conquer Graul, and many Graulic Celts emigrate to south east Bainart.


Vercingetorix, chieftain of the Graulish Celts, surrenders to Caesar.

50 BC - 40 AD: As the population in south east Bainart increases dramatically, resources such as land become scarce. Eventually the refugees clash with the native population, upsetting the political stability across southern Bainart.

Meanwhile, the Roman appetite for expansion hasn't been satisfied. As the Celts on Bainart squabble among themselves, the Romans eye the rich and fertile Bainart…


Roman Republic, 1 AD


Walls: jeronij

Painting: Vercingetorix throws down his arms at the feet of Julius Caesar, by Lionel Noel Royer, in 1899

Cattle: boon1234



Read this first!

Ridchester's story starts some time in the 7th century BC, so some (indeed, most) architectural styles and technology will not accurately reflect the period of time in the story. Replacements and the wonderful BATs created by others will be used to compensate. Still, you will have to use your imagination as you read the story. I will try to be as accurate as possible in other factors impacting on Ridchester's growth.
This is my first City Journal (and indeed, the first SimCity 4 region that I am going to seriously plan and play, inspired by you peeps here!). Please provide comments and criticisms as I go along. Thanks and enjoy!
Ridchester is located on the banks of the River Fruce, at the southeastern corner of Bainart. It is approximately 25 miles inland from the Bainish Sea.


Location of Ridchester in Bainart


Aerial view of Ridchester Plain


2,000 BC: The Ridchester Plain area are settled by Stone Age tribes, who build a stone circle at the bend of the river in the east. But by the time the Iron Age arrives, the tribes have disappeared into history, leaving only the stone circle to prove that they had ever lived here.


The stone circle

The region remained uninhabited for several centuries, before migrants from the Continent began to cross the Wessan Channel to settle here.

Game map: MallowTheCloud

Stone circle: official landmark download


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