Map showing Elten in Sanmra.
|• Total||100 km2 (40 sq mi)|
|• Density||6,800/km2 (18,000/sq mi)|
|Time zone||EBT (SCT-2)|
Elten was founded about 1200 years ago.
Elten is located along the southern coast of Sanmra, at the mouth of the Dera River. The city proper covers approximately 100 km² (40 mi²). The river flows through the northeastern part of the city, with the majority of the population living south and west of the river area.
Elten is laid out in three rings. Historically, the separation between the three sections was more strict, with regulations regarding what social classes, occupations, or families could live in each ring. In the modern age, the borders are much more porous; the only physical distinction now between the three rings are actually just major roads that circle the city. While there is still some social stratification, it is a socially enforced distinction, not a legal one.
The outer ring of Elten began as the commercial/industrial district, and some housing for those workers. Over the years, the outer ring has expanded greatly with many residential neighborhoods. Once home only to the poor and blue collar workers, now many well-off but new families live here as well. Properties here tend to be more spaced-out and with more living space than in the middle ring, as they are newer.
While traditional Sanmra architecture is stone, some new commercial and industrial buildings in the outer ring were constructed with steel. Many of the new homes are stick-built, although frequently with brick or stone cladding for the look of things. Despite the modern construction methods, there are still strict regulations on building heights, so there are no true "skyscrapers".
Close to the middle ring, the roads are the usual cobweb of narrow, crooked alleys built long before the advent of the motor vehicle, but farther out, there are many planned areas where the roads are wide, straight, and follow a grid pattern. This is the only part of the city where cats and trucks can easily travel through most parts of the ring.
The middle ring has always been the most densely populated part of the city, and it remains so in the modern era. Historically, it was primarily residential, as well as the location of most schools and religious centers. Today, several schools and religious centers can be found in both the inner and outer rings, but the bulk remain in the middle ring. Large-scale industry and commerce remain outside, in the outer ring.
In the middle ring, the majority of buildings are fairly old or at least built on old foundations, mostly built with stone or brick. There is virtually no steel construction (although some can be found in the outer ring) and very little plain wood. Most buildings are perhaps 5 stories tall.
The buildings are built very close together, often linked together in row house/townhouse style. As a result, most streets are narrow and winding, long since abandoning any plan that originally laid them out. Aside from a few major roads, there are many parts of the middle ring that are difficult to reach by car or truck. Motorcycles, bicycles, and walking are much more common methods of transportation--and transportation is not simply at ground level. In many areas, there are walkways from rooftop to rooftop as well.
The inner or central ring is the heart of the city, both physically and emotionally. Since Elten's founding, it has been the seat of government and the home of the most powerful and oldest families. Even today, commercial and industrial building is entirely disallowed, and the construction of new buildings (or even extensive modifications to old ones) is strictly regulated. Despite this, most prominent families maintain at least a nominal residence or office here, as a sign of their stake in the government. The majority of members of the Voters also live here, even if their family does not have a house.
The inner ring is by far the most sparsely populated ring, with a relatively small permanent population, but during significant political events (such as the eating contest of a new sarda), its population can double, triple, or go even higher. It is also home to the most elaborate and oldest architecture in the city; the Aliseta ni Sadilan (the capitol building) is over 1000 years old.
- Aliseta ni Sadilan (Meetingplace of Government) - the capitol building where the nuoda (Voters; the legislature) meet
- Saka'an - the sarda's "palace" and official residence
- Elten University - the most prominent university in Sanmra, specializing in political science and law
- Letakan ni Kaorn, Letakan ni Losa, etc. - the Elten residences of many prominent families. Most of the oldest have a portion of their grounds open to the public; visitors should contact the Bureau of Tourism or the family's public relations representative for more information.
- Atonpada ni Sarda (Royal House of the Dead) - the mausoleum housing the remains of most sarda. By tradition, their skulls are entombed here, while their hearts are entombed in their family mausoleums. Of particular interest is the famous mural commemorating Tirina and the memorial wall dedicated to Lıniıl.
- Usaralın ni Fotir Sotaopa ni Elten (Elten Library of Law) - contains the largest collection of law books and legal resources in Sanmra, along with a non-law collection; both are open to the public. Many historical documents are also housed here on permanent display.
Elten is home to Elten University, the oldest and most prestigious universities in Sanmra. It offers a variety of degrees, but is primarily known for its political science and law programs. Among its alumni include many politicians and several sarda. Most international students in Sanmra attend Elten University, but there are few of them even then.
The primary schools and public libraries in the city and surrounding area are administered by the Elten City Education Committee. The Elten Library of Law, located near the Aliseta ni Sadilan, contains the largest collection of law books and legal resources in Sanmra along with a substantial non-law collection, and while the law collection is not open for borrowing, both collections are available for public perusal.
Elten International Airport (Emroili ni Elten ıku Adıfas) is located just outside the city limits. As the largest and busiest airport in Sanmra, it offers both international and domestic flights, and is the entry point for the majority of visitors to Sanmra.
The city lies at the mouth of the Dera River (Nama Dera) where it empties into the Bay of Storms (Alni ni Pedyan). The Elten City Docks (Denereke ni Akoima ni Elten, commonly called simply Denereke, "The Docks") are located here, and are the busiest seaport in Sanmra. The majority of imports and exports pass through this port. While Orsili is more popular for tourists, the Denereke still also does a brisk business in cruises along southern coast of Alpa. A small number of visitors also arrive by boat here, primarily from Astalva and the nations on the nearby western coast of Miraria (Frithey, Thythiscaland, etc.)
Elten is ruled by an elected council, which in turn elects a mayor from their number. The council consists of ten councilmembers. At any time, two of these positions must be filled by sitting civil judges, and another must be filled by a human acting as advocate for the human population of the city. The other seven positions are open to any Elten resident, dalar or human alike, providing they are an adult Sanmra citizen of good character. The councilmembers are elected at-large, meaning they do not represent any particular neighborhood or district, but rather the city as a whole.
The nuoda of Elten have honorary positions on the council. While they cannot vote or introduce topics in council meetings, they are frequently consulted on various matters and sometimes act as liaisons between Elten and other cities.
The Elten City Council meets in the Elten City Hall, which is located in the Middle Ring. The position of the building is a deliberate move to separate the governing of the city from the governing of the nation as a whole, which the Inner Ring is characterized by.