Cities of Tirenia - Medilano
Medilano, the Beautiful
History: Medilano is located in the fertile plains of the north-western Eridano Valley. It serves as the main trade route for goods travelling across the northern mountains. As a result, it is an extremely prosperous city, and was historically seen as a rival for the great city of Auromia itself.
From the beginning, the silver dragons who live near Medilano have been its protectors. They were curious about the humans, and kept a watchful eye on them. This is also why there is such a high proportion of silver dragonborn in the city.
Medilano was absorbed into the Auromian Empire after a brief war - the gold dragons thinking that the long-term benefits of unity would outweigh the short-term suffering, while the silver dragons believed that the ends could not justify the violent means. The silver dragons soon sued for peace, wishing an end to the destructive conflict. Mezziano entered the Empire on favourable terms, and those silver dragons that were willing (and later, other dragons as well) became a second tier of nobility after the gold dragon god-emperors. They were required to leave Medilano, however, to prevent any future uprising from using them as a figurehead.
The silver dragons did not return to Medilano until recently, when they became aware of the city’s conquest by white dragons. A brood of silver dragons descended upon the city and drove the white dragons out; they settled in the western mountains. The silver dragons then assumed control of the city, to protect its people from any further draconic incursions. With a population of 180,000, Medilano is one of the largest cities in Tirenia.
Government: Medilano is ruled by a silver dragon oligarchy. The reigning dragon is the Principessa. She rules with the aid of the Silver Court, the other dragons. She has bestowed titles upon the other silver dragons, who serve as her councilors and courtiers. Each dragon has many assistants, attendants and hangers-on, many of whom are silver dragon-souled related to the dragon themselves. Each silver dragon has a rank and a position, although many are sinecures. It is a point of some contention in the city that the silver dragons have not given any political representation to humans.
Economy: The land around Medilano is extremely fertile, and the city is able to export food to the other city states. Inside the city, Medilano has many skilled craftsmen. Medilano metalwork, particularly its armour and weaponry, is of a very high quality and prized throughout Tirenia. The city is also the second largest centre of the lucrative wool trade after Fiumenze. The city has guilds, but they are not as prominent or widespread as they are in other cities in Tirenia
Religion: Medilano is staunchly salvationist, and accepts the authority of the High Ordinarch. The main church in Medilano is the Cattedrale di San Firmo, a notable early priest who was martyred in Staglia. Despite this, there is some support among the city’s revolutionaries for the more secular church espoused by Staglia.
Geography: Medilano’s layout is inspired by mathematical ideals of harmony. The city walls are perfectly circular, with a seven pointed star set within them. Each of the seven districts corresponds to one of the Seven Virtues, and is serviced by a small network of canals. The canals also help to bring water throughout the city, which are used to irrigate Medilano’s many public gardens. Achieving this formation is the result of years of rebuilding and beautification, which were not always appreciated by its citizens, especially when they found themselves displaced by them.
Culture: Medilano considers itself the most sophisticated city in the world, and is a trendsetter in culture. Its courtiers are trend-setters when it comes to fashion, and have the most impressive and innovative court entertainment: for example, the ‘balletto,’ which is a themed narrative banquet with elaborately choreographed dances telling an ongoing story, or the ‘musica lirica,’ a pageant combining poetry, music and dance to focus on the grand emotions of the characters involved. Medilano is home of the prestigious Conservatorio di Musica di San Marco, and courts across Tirenia compete to have a Conservatorio bard perform for them. Medilano is also the home of ‘amore cortese’, a highly formulaic set of rules governing the correct way to conduct a love affair.
Esoterica: Medilano is close to the barrier to Purgatorio. In other cities, this would mean fairy influence, but due to the politics of the Other Side, there is no fairy palace near to the other side. This means the city is more likely to have souls of the dead from the other side spill across during liminal moments.
Politics: Medilano is one of the most active members of the Tirenian League, through which it is allied with Fiumenze and Aterni. It needs to be, for Staglia is constantly threatening it from the west. The city is suspicious of Selenizia to the east as well, for the red dragons have been growing their influence inland as well - should they decide to expand their empire into Tirenia, then Medilano would be threatened from both fronts.
Future Developments: Staglia’s army has drawn closer and closer to Medilano. The Beautiful City uses the threat of action by the Tirenian League as a deterrent, but does not know if the League would actually come to its support if an invasion was actually launched. The silver dragons can afford to hire enough mercenaries that they could repel the bronze dragons until aid came, or could make the cost of a Staglian victory too great to be worth paying. Should anything happen to disrupt this balance - Vanzenian aggression, or a new outbreak of orcs - the silver dragons would be in dire straits indeed.
There is also considerable unrest inside the city. A growing network of working-class humanists are agitating for social change: a human voice in the Silver Court. It is possible that these workers could betray the city to foreigners, if they thought that their goals would be met that way. Otherwise, if the silver dragons were to appease them, it could be a way to save fair Medilano.
Image: 'Mediolanum.' From the Nuremberg Chronicles by Hartmann Schedel, c. 1493.