Hashan displays a tenacity to survive any hardship, its policies marked by supreme self-interest. It famously touted itself as a haven of political and cultural independence, where diverse characters of Sapience could live in harmony and community without fear of prejudice, oppression, or bigotry and where citizens were free to pursue their own interests without outside interference. For centuries, Hashan was home to Achaea's first Serpent organisation, the Cult of the Serpent Lords, as well as defunct Spirit Walkers and the disestablished Sect of the Black Lotus.
688 saw the stirring of an ancient and unknown nexus of energy beneath the Crown of the Ithmia. Surging from deep below, it tore the city from its roots, lifting its foundations to mysteriously float above the scarred woodlands. The wide gash in the earth resulting from the displaced structure was named the Sunderlands.
The leaders of the city soon agreed that it was their responsibility to both understand and harness this power, closing its great Houses so that all resources could combine and be put toward this unified goal. To mark this revival in civic purpose, Hashan redubbed itself the Court of Shadows. In a post-Renaissance world, the Somatikos and Krymenian Academy now safeguard and advance the city-state's new aims.
Laws and Policies
The Court has been known for Achaea's first complex legal system, having surpassed both ancient Ashtan and Shallam in governmental politics. The Seneschal Elentari originally wrote the comprehensive city charter. The policies of Hashan are recorded in a single, albeit large, text called the Great Canon of Hashan which can be found in a bookshelf in the newsroom.
Under Elentari's leadership in Hashan's early years, her constitution was widely regarded by the intelligentsia as "the finest document of its kind yet written". It was Hashan that began the trend of formally binding guilds to cities, a trend that was later followed and formalised by each city. Hashan was also lauded by Sarapis as the best organized of the city-states.
Government and Political History
City Leaders - Seneschals
The Crossroads is Hashan's very centre, the most common place for gathering and a useful reference point. It is also home of Gred, the Hashan humgii. Founder's Monument north of the crossroads features statues as well of the city's mortal founders. The Dome of the Triad stands tall as a tribute to the divine Triad of the Night which used to patron Hashan in its early years, and the old Coliseum may be visited where gladiators used to spar. East of the Dome is Hashan's mysterious crumbling temple where dangerous spectres once roamed free. The Disc of the Nocturne was once housed here, but was taken by Tavarius and was later used to cause the time period known as the Eternal Night.
Aside from the various guards that roam the Court of Shadows, there are a few notable citizens worth mentioning:
Most of Hashan's facilities are located near the government buildings and the city's central Crossroads. The Postal Office of Hashan, the People's Bank of Hashan, and the Crown's citizen-only stables are found off these crossroads. The Literary Archives of Hashan house the newsroom in the Seneschal's Complex. The slaughterhouse and fishing shed are visited off Cibus road, and Hashan's blacksmith Modron opens his blacksmith's shop for the use of all citizens and visitors. Zaertum, the locksmith, offers a key-copying service. Hashan's city arena, the Stadia Coronae (Crown Stadium), is located in the southeastern portion of the city.
Hashan provides three main shopping "areas" which harbour a large variety of goods and supplies. The Bazaar is Hashan's primary market located in the northern half of the city, holding the Crown's commodity shop and unique letter-making services. Running the entire width of Hashan is Serpentis Boulevard with shops that line both sides of the street, the location of one of Achaea's three major candle shops for sealing letters with a Coat of Arms. The third shopping area is Hashan's Central Plaza, which can be found in the Old Quarter near the southwest corner of the city.
Dining and Recreation
Hashan is proud to be the first brewers of Sapience's more unique drinks, provided in the Eventide Alehouse off of western Serpentis Boulevard. Home of the original absinthe and serving Sapience's harder liquors that Berford brews, the Alehouse also sports a new restaurant that serves an eclectic variety of food. Harris, a local publican, spends all his time here probably to watch Indira dance with her snake. Should bourbon, cognac, apricot brandy, or Hashan's own special Darkbrew not tickle anyone's fancy, other non-alcoholic drinks are served as well. Also serving alcohol is the Dragon's Tail Bar as old as the city itself.
Local entertainment is provided by the House of Delights brothel off Epitine Circle, gambling tables run by Moneo and Kes in the Dragon's Tail Bar, and the Menagerie creature museum visited west of Hashan's Academy. South of the Menagerie is the Park of Hashan which features lush, contemplative surroundings and a placid duck pond. Further entertainment can be sought by visiting a few of Hashan's special landmarks as well. (See below.)
Of the famous faces that hail from Hashan, four are remembered most: Liirup, Hashan's notable rat-eating madwoman, retired Seneschal Elentari Lokelinde-Danial who ascended to Godhood through the collective will of the Pantheon to become Ourania, Goddess of the Moon, Damaris, the Learned who teaches in Hashan's multi-roomed Academy as one of the world's most brilliant minds, and Aringar Claros, the first person to reach the 99th level of experience and become a Greater Dragon.