Tarana, a grand duchy in its own right, is the capital of the Resurgent Dream. While Tarana is a city of a million and a large commercial center, the skyline of the commerical district is distinctly low in height compared to the major cities of other nations or even to other large cities in the Resurgent Dream. This is because of a cultural taboo on any building standing taller than the central tower of the Royal Palace. Because great skyscrapers are not common, Tarana takes up a much larger land area than comparable cities. The length of time required for commuting into and out of Tarana or for moving from one part of the city to the other is a subject of common complaint. This problem is mitigated somewhat by the city's excellent subway and bus system.
Tarana is a city built in concentric circles. The outer area of the city is a low-income residential area. Moving inward, the city sports residential housing for wealthier and wealthier residents until a point roughly a mile from the beginning of serious commercial development.Most Taranans consider this the ideal spot, close enough to the downtown area to easily travel there but far enough away for peace and quiet. After this point, the cost and quality of housing declines towards the center of town, ending in the lower-middle-income housing that stands on the interior border of the residential zone. Scattered throughout the whole residential part of the city are the local branches of city government: schools, police stations, fire stations, and other institutions which operate on the neighborhood level. Commercial pockets are spread throughout the residential part of the city, ranging from upscale shops to unsightly strip malls. Restaurants of all price ranges, churches, and the offices of private medical practicioners are all located in generally residential areas.
The commercial area of the city consists largely of officer buildings and many of the largest corporations based in the Resurgent Dream have their headquarters here. Most Taranans work in this area and all large-scale commercial enterprise is located here. This area includes Vincenzo Lacau National Airport, a large central park, and the Tarana Stock Exchange. A cultural district houses some of the best restaurants in the country, an opera, numerous musuems of history, art, and science alike, and most of the hotels in the area. A red light district contains the seedier sort of bars and strip clubs. While drug-dealing and prostitution are against Danaan law, the police have all but given up on fighting non-violent crimes in the red light district. More respectable clubs and bars, ranging from college taverns to extremely exclusive clubs for gentlemen and nobles, are also scattered throughout the commercial district. Elessembosse Avenue is known to house the most fashionable shops anywhere in the islands. Embassy Row is in an isolated corner of this district, near the Old City.
The Old City of Tarana or the Marble City is truly a wonder to behold. It consists of a truly gigantic, single piece of marble, likely of supernatural origin. Out of this one piece, over five centuries, has been carved a shining white city in intricate detail. Here is the great Royal Palace and the towering seats of the government ministries. Here is the National Chapel and the residences of many ranking nobles. The Old City stands as a monument to magic and wonder, to architecture both grand in scale and fine in detail, and to the Majesty of the Crown seated here.
- 1 History
- 2 Geography and climate
- 3 People and culture
- 4 Economy
- 5 Infrastructure
- 6 Transportation
- 7 Sister cities
The ancient city of Tarana was carved from a truly gigantic single outcropping of marble, possibly the oldest in the world. High Queen Corrina ni Gwydion initiated this project at the very beginning of her reign. However, the work took three centuries to complete. Three hundred years into her reign, Corrina took up residence in the Marble City of Tarana. She was soon followed by the Great Temple of Dana (now the National Chapel), the Parliament, the Government Ministry, the Military High Command, the Royal Treasury (now the Royal Musuem), the Royal Library, the Uasal Court, and by many of her nobles and courtiers.
Because it was the seat of government, people were drawn to Tarana, setting up their permanent residences and businesses. A larger city grew up outside the Old City and, in time, modernized. Because Tarana was populated by a diverse group of people drawn from all over the High Kingdom, it has no definable majority religion or ethnicity and correspondingly no established church. The people of Tarana conduct nearly all public affairs in English.
Tarana was declared a separate grand duchy on 8 November 1990, by High Queen Agwene ni Gwydion.
Geography and climate
Tarana, formerly considered a part of the Grand Duchy of Shieldcrest, is bordered by Shieldcrest to the south, Holista to the northwest, and Bilbtoria to the northeast. Tarana is considered to lie within the Yelverton Mountain Range, which runs along the northern border of Shieldcrest and separates that grand duchy from Holista and Bilbtoria. However, Tarana exists in a wide pass and the city itself is not built on significantly mountainous terrain.
The physical geography of Tarana itself is very similar to the physical geography of Shieldcrest. Tarana has three water falls coming down from the west, all along the Cadafael River: Cynan Falls, Dafydd Falls, and Einion Falls. The city also contains three artificial lakes serving as part of the water system: Lake Charles, Lake Cooper, and Lake Cox.
The highest point in Tarana is 426 feet above sea level in the Marble City. The lowest point is one foot, starting at the bottom of Einion Falls.
Tarana's weather is generally temperate with mild variations between summer and winter. Snow is relatively rare in the winter. On average, Tarana gets only two or three inches a year. The highest recorded temperature was 37.9°C on 24 December 1998 and the lowest was -26.9°C on 17 July 1993.
People and culture
The Grad Duchy of Tarana contains roughtly one million people in 510,000 households. The racial make-up of the grand duchy is 47% black, 21% white, 12% Elven, 11% Asian, 7% aboriginal, and 2% other. The religious make-up of Tarana is 73% Methodist, 12% Baptist, 5% Arraran, 5% Jewish, 2% Catholic, 2% Eastern Orthodox, 1% other.
Housing in Tarana tends to be both affordable and decent, although the size of the city makes transportation a problem for many housing units. Tarana has a larger government housing budget than any other city in the Resurgent Dream and 17,000 of the cities inhabitants currently live in some form of publically subsidized housing.
Landmarks and musuems
Tarana is the home of many national landmarks and musuems. The most obvious of these is the Marble City, both as a landmark in and of itself and for the landmark stature of nearly all of its individual buildings. It is from the Marble City that the duties of state and government are largely performed by the nation's highest officials.
The Danaan Musuem is also located in Tarana. The musuem is not a single building but a collection of smaller musuems, including the Danaan Musuem of Art, the Danaan Natural History Musuem, the Danaan Cybernetic Musuem, and the Vincenzo Lacau Aerospace Musuem.
The Royal Library also houses millions of books and documents covering every period of Danaan history, as well as extensive information on foreign powers. This collection includes, among other things, the original manuscripts of all ten of the Agwenian Edicts.
The Tarana Times is the oldest and most read daily newspaper in Tarana and is widely considered the newspaper of record in the Resurgent Dream. The daily Tarana Post and the weekly Tarana Weekly also have large readerships in the grand duchy. Tarana is also served by many special interest newspapers. The gay community is served by the Tarana Review. The ethnically Welsh population is served by Un Cymdeithas while German-speakers tend to prefer Wöchentlich Standard. The Elven community tends to read Foroma. Tarana also has a number of neighborhood papers, such as the North Tarana Weekly and the Central City Standard. Among these is also included the Parliamentary Times, the premier government insiders paper in the city.
Tarana is served by a number of local stations. However, as all Danaan national stations are cable-based, none of them are affiliates of networks as one would be likely to find in many other nations. Public Access is provided by the Public Television Corporation of Tarana. At least one local channel is devoted to religion, especially, but not exclusively, Methodism.
Several cable networks have their headquarters in Tarana including the National Cable Network which covers public affairs. Among the other Tarana-based networks, the most prominent are the Diversity Entertainment Network and the Science Channel. All major Danaan news networks maintain a strong presence in Tarana, as though a fair number of foreign or international networks.
There are also several major radio stations serving the Grand Duchy of Tarana, including a wide variety of music, news, and other programming. Rock stations include TWYN 94.4 FM (classical rock), TARS 95.1 FM (soft rock), TINT 96.7 FM (heavy metal), and TROD 97.4 FM (alternative rock). The city is home to one hip-hop station, TUCT 98.1 FM, and one rhythm and blues station, TION 99.0 FM. Gospel music is played on TTOC 104.0 FM and folk music finds a home on TATA 105.4 FM.
Public News and Commentary(PNC) also has an affiliate station in Tarana, TLOG 85.2 FM. PNC is also headquartered in the city, as is Dana's Voice, the government's international radio broadcasting service.
There are a number of prominent venues for the performing arts in Tarana. The Tarana Opera, National Ballet and Tarana Orchestra are all located here. Thespians perform a wide range of plays at Lewis Theatre, as well as any number of smaller venues. Musicals are often performed at Little Musical Theatre and the Warner House.
- Tarana Titans, National Rugby League
- Tarana Patriots, Danaan Soccer Conference
- Tarana Warriors, General Cricket Conference
- Tarana Chargers, National Water Polo League
- Tarana Fianna, Danaan Hurling Union
- Tarana Amazons, National Women's Rugby League
In addition to the above-mentioned professional sports teams, Tarana plays host to a number of athletic competitions, including the National Tennis Tournament and the Tarana Open golf tournament. Amateur teams can be found which play almost every sport imaginable and Tarana's many colleges and universities participate competitively in collegiate athletics.
The economy of Tarana is largely built around the presence of the Royal Government. The presence of the Court, Parliament, and the various Government Ministries employs a host of workers and gives support to a wide array of law firms, government contractors, polling agencies, lobbying agencies, caterers, and administrative assistance agencies. Domestic and foreign tourists also give rise to a booming industry in hotels, soveneirs, tours, and other services catering primarily to tourists.
The economy of Tarana almost never goes into recession, regardless of the state of the overall national economy, because the government always keeps working. In fact, as the need for government services to the needy increases, it often leads to a local boom in Tarana when the rest of the economy is having trouble.
Major companies in the area include:
The head of local government in Tarana is the mayor (currently Dysanta Basilia). She is charged with managing all the functions of both a Principality and a Municipal government. These responsibilities are stretched further because Tarana is the capital. The Tarana government spends more funds on security for marches and demonstrations, including both political protests and civic parades, than any other city in the Resurgent Dream. For some civic parades, Tarana also spends a significant amount on clean-up. These extra expenditures are made more burdensome because a great deal of Tarana's most valuable properties are nationally owned and thus immune to local taxation.
The powers of the mayor of Tarana are subordinate to the powers the Royal Government has over the city. The High King of the Resurgent Dream is also the Grand Duke of Tarana and all legislative power in Tarana rests in the hands of Parliament. This has led to a great deal of frustration among some Taranans who believe their Grand Duchy should have its own leaders and institutions just like every other Danaan principality.
Representation in national government
The Grand Duchy of Tarana is under the direct legislative authority of Parliament and its grand duke is the High King. In this sense, citizens of the grand duchy do not have the same direct control over their own affairs as citizens of the other principalities. However, the people of Tarana are not unrepresented in Parliament.
The people of Tarana elect one representative to Parliament and another is appointed by the Grand Duke on the advice of the Mayor of Tarana. This scheme of representation is identical to that enjoyed by other Danaan principalities of comparable size and creates a situation where the people of Tarana are actually overrepresented in Parliament given the extremely small percentage of the total Danaan population living in Tarana.
The public school system is operated by the Tarana Public Schools (TPS) and consists of 903 schools and learning centers, including 309 elementary schools, 100 middle schools, 34high schools, 9 education centers, and 20 special schools.
Other schools in the city include the Hilario Cabrini Academy, St. Monica's Cathedral School, Prichard Academy, Price Academy for Young Ladies, Richard Allen Seminary, St. David's School, Royal Academy, and High King Dafydd Academy.
Colleges and universities
Tarana is also home to a number of colleges, universities, and other institutions of higher learning. The best known of these is the University of Civic Duty (UCD), one of the Resurgent Dreams two premier universities. The alumni of UCD include former Prime Minister Lady Juliet ni Gwydion, former Prime Minister Viscountess Kairis, Shadow Minister for Foreign Affairs Rhodri Llewellyn, current Prime Minister Adair Scott and current Minister for Justice Beatrice Wake.
Abethell University, also located in Tarana, has one of the best science and math programs in the Resurgent Dream. Most of the nation's top scientists spent some time at Abethell. Professors at the university are still actively engaged in first rate scientific research.
Annwyl Theological College is unique in being a higher level institute of theological instruction not affiliated with any specific church or doctrine. The college bills itself as a place dedicated to open-minded discussion of the deepest theological issues, rather than simple instruction in doctrine. Although the faculty consists of Catholic, Eastern Orthodox, Oriental Orthodox, and Protestant theologians, as well as a few non-Christian scholars, it has nonetheless been accused of being basicly Protestant in orientation.
Tarana is served by four major airports. Vincenzo Lacau National Airport is the closest one to the center of Tarana. However, because of noise and security concerns, travel from this airport is fairly limited. Nonetheless, Lacau is the most convenient airport for prominent Danaans who don't need to travel often or far. Bagedemagus-Tarana International Talfryn Mabe Airport (BTI) is the largest Tarana airport in terms of total number of passengers served. BTI is known for its many low-cost carriers, such as Air Atlantic and its many foreign carriers. At BTI, flights are available to a number of foreign countries, including Knootoss, Excalbia, Pantocratoria, Lavenrunz, Tartarus, Marlund, Adoki, and Menelmacar. National Union Airport and Royal Airport are the other two major airports in the Tarana area. Both are large airports but they deal almost exclusively with domestic flights. Nonetheless, both airports have regular flights to every principality in the Resurgent Dream.
Three major interprincipality highways go through Tarana. IP-9, which runs from the northern to the southern coasts of Dana, connects Tarana to Wintermore in the north and to Shieldcrest in the south. IP-52 connects to Tarana from Shieldcrest in the northwest and then to Shieldcrest again to the southeast. IP-43 connects Tarana to Wintermore in the northwest and to Wintermore again in the southeast.
Grand Ducal Freeways
Commuters rely heavily on five large freeways to get around Tarana. GD-3 splits off from IP-9 takes drivers out into the western suburbs of the city. GD-5 splits off from IP-52 and provides access to the southern commercial areas. GD-8 splits off of IP-43 and provides access to the downtown area. GD-58 cuts straight through Tarana from north to south and provides crosstown access. GD-59 provides a route from the eastern end of town to the western and vice versa, bypassing the high traffic downtown area.
The streets of Tarana have two overlapping patterns, a central grid and a series of six concentric circles moving outwards from the center of the city. Major streets in Tarana include Elessembosse Avenue, Shieldcrest Avenue, and North Street.
The Tarana area is serviced by the Grand Ducal Public Transportation System, a public-private partnership. The system includes an underground train system, an intracity light rail system, and a bus system. Intercity trains are provided by Danaan Railways and intercity buses by Island Bus Company.