A view of Kostenbad's skyline at night.
|Etymology: Kosten water|
Location of Kostenbad within Barradiwa.
|First settled in||350 CE|
|Founded by||Adzamasiin colonists|
|• City||2,240 km2 (860 sq mi)|
|• Urban||410 km2 (160 sq mi)|
|• Metro||1,830 km2 (710 sq mi)|
|• Density||1,900/km2 (5,000/sq mi)|
Kostenbad (Ekuostian: Koṣṭeṇbād [kʌʂʈeɳbɔd]; Dzimraic: Kestim [çəsθim]) is capital of the Grand Duchy of Dzimur and the second-largest city in Barradiwa. It is located in the eastern portion of Barradiwa, on the shore of Lake Kosten (from which it takes its name).
The area on which Kostenbad sits was first settled around 12,000 years ago, although the area was inhabited by humans for much longer. The town was often flooded by Lake Kosten during the wet season, leading to the settlement being abandoned for several years at a time before being re-settled. This changed around 350 CE when colonists from the Adzamasi Empire built the town up and implemented its water displacement technology to make the flooding less of a constant threat.
The settlement then became a valuable hub city for Adzamasiin traders and merchants due to its central location between Mehyaran, the more populous regions of Ebo Nganagam, and the Kudzati hinterlands. More and more people would settle and make residence in the city as well, and due to the influx of ideas and culture coming from three directions, these people developed their own unique identity; they would go on to become what are now the Dzimrani people.
As the Adzamasi Empire faded over the years, the city remained a powerful hub of trade, with the Dzimrani establishing their own hierarchy and economy. Dzimrani merchants would keep trade between Mehyaran and other surrounding regions alive, and the city as a result only grew in importance and wealth. As its influence expanded and its population grew, settlers were dispersed to expand the reach of the Dzimrani people, which formed the basis for the Kingdom of Dzimur in later centuries.
However, in the 12th century, right around 1190, the city was caught by surprise as it was besieged by one Ástlem Yobátmás and conquered in mere weeks...
The Grand Ekuostian Empire was an empire built upon the ideals of Orthodox Iovism, and its Yomtasud ("First Emperor") Ástlem made swift gains in regions surrounding Ekuostia, suppressing heathen faiths and expanding Ekuostian influence to the best of his ability; Kostenbad was thus sought specifically by him as an alleged "paradise of heathen faith". Kostenbad and its surrounding region was one of the first territories annexed by the Yomtasud. Although the Dzimrani people were treated relatively fairly, as Ástlem well knew their strength, people of Kostenbad did not much enjoy Ekuost's rule.
Kostenbad was one of the last regions to secede from the Ekuostian Empire, having done so in 1466 via a bloody rebellion, but its secession hit the empire the hardest, as it had lost what could have been known as its "second core" (Palace City being its first]], leaving the empire in tatters, vulnerable enough to lose Palace City to the Neviran Empire in 1490.
With Kostenbad's independence from the Ekuostian Empire came the beginning of a new imperial state—the Kingdom of Dzimur.
Kingdom of Dzimur
The Kingdom of Dzimur was an empire ruled from Kostenbad by the Dzimrani people. At its greatest extent, Kostenbad's influence reached most of what is now called Barradiwa, but also extending well into Ebo Nganagam and Tabiqa. Kostenbad only managed to conquer up to Meradbus in Barradiwa, putting it just before reaching the Second Ekuostian Empire which was centred in Rydkes at the time.