Hey there! I've been gone longer than I've wanted, but now I'm back with a brand new city (I've even got all the entries planned out, so that's gonna be a few solid entries).
I lost my Santa Linna files over the summer and that crushed my motivation; however, while I am definitely working on another tropical island (Japanese, probably?) here's something I don't get to do very often - Euro cities!
But first, here's where we've been so far in this City Journal - we're getting a pretty solid overview of the state of Cathnoquey as a whole!
It seems we've been pretty much to all four corners of the state of Cathnoquey. One sneaky scaling retcon later, we're going back to Perwyn Island. If you want to visit the northern Perwyn city of Westport, click here. Today we're going to go to the southern reaches of the island, to the state capital of Dragon's Landing!
Dragon's Landing is one of the oldest towns in Cathnoquey. Before it became its own state, Cathnoquey was split in two colonies : the Dunmer colony of Perwyn, fresh from Morrowind and the Imperial colony of Humberland. A joint independance war, a federation and a civil war later, Dragon's Landing still survives as one of the hubs of Dunmeri colonial life and Cathnoquey pioneer spirit.
Dragon's Landing is built on the southernmost island on Perwyn, and is home to about 104'000 people, the vast majority in the city proper.
As the capital, Dragon's Landing is the island's economic powerhouse. The Synod Light Tower, built by Dunmeri mages in the middle of the Haymarket, serves as one of the symbols of the city and its status as one of the big town of Cathnoquey.
This area also serves as the main business district, and naturally, it is the hub of the city's three key bus lines that criss-cross the town. The State Capitol can also be seen to the bottom right of the picture - it is currently led by the conservative admistration of Dunmer businessman Durena Hlaalu.
The bus network is highly used - and it keeps the narrow streets of the old town mostly free from traffic.
To the north of town is the Central Station. It's a stately building, built in the waning years of the Fourth Era - at the time the Perwyn Railway was not the only railroad in Perwyn, and many other lines converged towards Dragon's Landing. The bus station and the southern end of the A9 road can also be seen. As with many similar cities, the railway station is on the periphery of the business core.
This is why the bus station is located there. Many buses come and go, some of them to far-flung towns in Perwyn, others to shuttle busy commuters to and from the city centre.
Here's a roundabout at the north entrance of Dragon's Landing, with the city's light rail system running down the middle. Of course the Landing has its own metro system, but it's not necessarily adequate, as we'll see in later entries.
The difference in elevation between the A9 approach and the central station, and the city itself is staggering, but to a driver coming from Westport, it also affords a premium view of the central core.
But let's talk about the A9 freeway a little. We've already been there, back in Westport, where it's a non-separated 2x2 road. However, in the vicinity of Dragon's Landing, it's a full-fledged motorway (well, for the most part), boasting serious infrastructure and traffic. This is the junction with roads A92 and A45, which connect to the west coast of Perwyn as well as the north areas of the Landing.
The A9 is effectively the backbone of road transport for the entirety of Perwyn Island. A little closer to town, Taverley's residential tower blocks overlook the roadway, still awaiting long-due refurbishment.
Bird's eye view of the housing blocks in Taverley. One can also see Taverley Station here - there will naturally be an entry dedicated to public transit (or two)
The A9 isn't all motorway. Here at the entrance of Dragon's Landing, traffic lights regulate the flow of cars crossing the roadway at grade. It's not an ideal situation, but there's little money in the coffers and no administration has wanted to tackle the immense challenge of providing an alternative while a proper junction is built.
In a town so tightly packed and where several buildings are heritage sites, though, it's pretty understandable that a lot of similar projects become highly complicated if not downright infeasible.
Taking of heritage sites, here is, fittingly, City Hall, where important decisions get made about the future of the city. For instance, where to put the Mayors mansion? Other cities have theirs, why not ours?
Why not the Dragon's Castle? This beautiful Akaviri structure is built on top of the highest mountain dead in the middle of Dragon's Landing island. As the story goes, the temple predated the arrival of the first Dunmeri settlers. Legends tell of a Redguard woman from Hammerfell who, after forty days and forty nights, shouted the dragon to death alongside her Akaviri companions. The resulting crash is said to have created the lake, and given the city its eventual name.
A less fanciful explanation for the city's name might simply be that Imperial-affiliated house Hlaalu, whose symbol at the time was a dragon, first landed on the shores of Perwyn...hence the name.
Dragon's Landing is, as one might expect, an important harbour in Cathnoquey. Though Westport Harbour is also important, the Landing handles a lot of cargo either at its airport or its deep water harbour. A canal separates the residential area of Birstall from the industrial area, sparing the residents the noise of harbour activity - and, as this picture shows, probably avoiding a possible disaster from spreading from one area to the next.
Another residential tower block, in Birstall, with a broken truck and a supermarket at the foot of the tenement building. Dragon's Landing relies little on high-density buildings, though, vastly preferring long rows of narrow houses sprawling across town. At such, the tenements tend to be inhabited by the lowest classes, immigrants, industrial workers - but many people believe that these estates generate precarity as much as they help fix it, and many such towers across town have already been demolished.
The entire town certainly isn't low-density, though. On its outskirts, one can find Velothi Dale - a ward specifically created to accomodate medium-density offices in a town where demand for retail and office space outgrew what was provided in its historic town centre. Velothi Dale is one of several "New Towns" sponsored by the Cathnoquey federal government, much like the Taverley and Birstall estates seen above, meant to remedy a shortage of housing and retail space - but being retail space, it's probably not going to be demolished any time soon.
Indeed not all "new towns" are meant to be impoverished. These residential towers are actually pretty well valued, near the stadium and a light rail station, and feature state of the art keycards, soundproofing, and even their own shops.
However, the majority of the town consists of these rows of houses, such as here in Elsfield. The residential choices and general urban planning of people across Cathnoquey remain indicative of the sharp divide between the Dunmeri settlers, who came earlier and had to make do with limited terrain, and later Imperial settlers who took over most of the empty island for themselves and followed a philosophy of modernity and what came to be known as the federal doctrine of "a castle for every man".
General architecture choices and the layout of the town is another sharp contrast to the neatly laid out grid pattern seen in Humberland and Kingscote cities such as Glenvale or Amesbury - the Landing truly was built over time, and its organic street pattern reflects that.
It's not that there are no key arteries though - Market Road, for instance, is one of the few large avenues in the city. Pretty bumpy ride, though.
Here's another divide : here at the Haymarket, we can see the Cathedral of Arkay, the Aedric god of death. However, unlike in the mainland provinces, the Nerevarine is also worshipped at Aedric cathedrals. This is because of the Nerevarine's status as the saviour of Morrowind back in the third era, and his eventual travels to Akavir, stopping on the then-virgin island of Cathnoquey along the way. In fact, outlawing of Nerevarine worship in the late fourth era was one of the direct triggers of the Cathnoquey Civil War, which ended in a bitter stalemate.
A more peculiar sight in Dragon's Landing is the presence of Akaviri shrines, such as the Perwyn Grand Shrine. Very unique indeed, as very few places in Cathnoquey have Akaviri shrines (Amesbury comes to mind); however, there is a strong community of Akaviri expats who live in Dragon's Landing, and their faith happens to blend neatly with Aedric beliefs.
Anyway! I'm droning on, and there will be many more entries to cover different aspects of Dragon's Landing. So to conclude, here's an overview of East Town, with its twisted warren of winding roadways.
Thanks for reading, and I hope this wasn't too rusty an entry as I dive back into Cities Skylines (and am battling a headache writing this)... See you soon <3