Gran Syre map view
|Contributors||Cree_dance Anna_28 Rufas reaverofdarknes1 aggrievedCanine bawestman Jibletz|
|Boat link?||Yes (Mushiana route)|
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Gran Syre is a large city south-east of the server mainland built by Draglide12 in an eclectic style mixing a blend of various ancient middle eastern architectural styles. It is envisioned as a lush oasis city, nestled on the shores of mountain lakes in a large expanse of desert and savannah.
Testificate Era, Unknown - BFS 240 apx.
Gran Syre is one of the oldest and largest cities in the lands of Syrus, a cluster of large islands or small continents to the south-east of the Freedonian mainland. Gran Syre was originally settled at an unknown date several thousand years ago by Testificates during the height of the Testificate Empire. Originally it was one of many such trading colonies established by the Empire for the purposes of gathering rare and exotic materials from distant locales and delivering them back to the Capital at Avalon for the enrichment of the Imperial aristocracy. Like almost all of the old Testificate cities, it was linked to the Capital, and the other colonies, via the empire's nether trading network. Although no evidence of this exists to this day, contemporary sources describe the nether as having been a verdant and hospitable environment, ideal for the large tithe caravans the Testificates used to move supplies.
Gran Syre existed as such a trading colony for several decades before the discovery was made there that would change the trajectory of the city, and the world, forever. Though the exact date is unknown, at some point approximately eighty years after the colony's founding, records indicate that a contingent of elite scholars from the University of Avalon were dispatched to Gran Syre to investigate reports of strange magical disturbances occurring in the area. Though these records seem to be lost to time, what remains suggests that unusual happenings were somewhat regular since the colony's founding, but had been considered not to be of serious interest to the empire's academic elites. This seems to have changed following an unknown, but apparently much more severe incident that took place there, though the details of this event too, are lost. What is known is that the investigation into this incident led to the imperial discovery of the Sourceblocks, and the beginning of the Testificate Empire's manipulation of Source magics.
Unfortunately most records of these times, particularly those of an academic nature, were destroyed, likely deliberately, following the Empire's fall in BFS 237. All that can be gathered is that for several years or decades the Testificates experimented in Gran Syre with the manipulation of the fundamental laws of reality, via the Sourceblocks. The exact nature of these experiments cannot be known, but their effects can still be seen in the unusual geologic, hydrological, and climactic conditions that remain evident in the city to this day. It seems that though some expansion of the city did occur in this period, the volatility of the experiments being conducted discouraged settlement by all but those who had an academic necessity to live in the area.
Tragically, the Empire's many new revelations in the fields of metaphysical philosophy and magic coincided with a period of escalating tensions between the empire and the Pigmen natives of the nether. Though no written account of the conflict remains, it seems a minor but long running conflict between the nethereal natives and the Testificates began to escalate at this time, according to some sources, caused by the resentment of the Pigmen over the exploitation of the nether's natural dimensional anomalies for the enrichment of the Testificate peoples, with little or no reciprocation from the empire towards the Pigmen. On the backfoot in the conflict, presumably on the verge of being overwhelmed by their enemy, the Empire used the Sourceblocks to somehow turn the rich and verdant nether into the fiery abyss it is today. It is unknown if the Empire sundered its nether portals after this attack, to prevent retaliation by the surviving elements of Pigmen society, or if the sunderings took place beforehand to protect geographically isolated imperial colonies from attack. Whatever the case, the destruction of the nether, and the collapse of the nether trading network destroyed the Testificate Empire, with only a handful of cities such as Avalon and Gran Syre surviving to carry on their memory.
Gran Syre was founded in late 2014 by Draglide12. It is a city built in the desert, founded between two mountain ranges and a collection of oases (lakes). It is built in Mesopotamian style primarily with some less ancient (Abbasid Dynasty Reign) inspired Islamic style buildings. The city was originally to be called "New Halitol" however, Draglide12 was reading one of his own typos and thought "Syre" was kind of a cool name, and decided it should be the name of his new city. "Gran" was added to add a sense of grandeur and significance to the city.
As of its founding Gran Syre is located on the edge of the map, and is father from spawn than any other city. Treetopia, another "build" of Draglide's is located nearby. The city's first "building" was Draglide12's house, built into a mountain overlooking a lake. Soon this followed by a red hilltop pavilion, which Draglide built with help from Rufas. An early visit from Anna, one of Draglide's first friends on the server resulted in one of the first Anna trees being built on another mountain overlooking the city's central lake.
Originally Draglide was hoping to lure old minecraft friends into joining the server and building the city with him. After this did not pan out however, Draglide took on additional construction as a solo-project. As the city has been continuously added to and expanded the theoretical scope of the project has increased significantly. While originally planned to only contain a few score buildings built around the city's central lake it has since bled out to the surrounding biomes. Since the outline of the city wall was built it has been removed and significantly expanded twice. Draglide continues to pursue the project largely alone, only accepting occasional aid conditionally and from trusted members of the server community in order to maintain the quality and theme of the city, donations of materials are always welcome however. As the scope of the city has expanded it has moved far beyond its original conception as a tribute to ancient Sumerian architecture, adding a variety of newer Middle Eastern and Eastern styles, notably Egyptian, Byzantine, Ottoman, and Indo-Saracenic, with occasional inspiration drawn from Chinese and Khmer architecture.
The first part of the city built was the skeleton of the Grand Bazaar, followed by the Old Fishing District, canonically the site of the original Testificate settlement in the area. The fishing district is the area on the hillside below the Anna tree, and is identifiable by its small, simple houses, and the large Sumerian style pavilion in the center which houses the old sundered nether portal. Shortly after this district was built the great Sumerian bridge and the old ziggurat were built, which was the original site of the city's nexus link.
From here the terraced gardens adjacent to the Ziggurat, linking it to the skeleton of the Grand Bazaar, and the first attempt at a Blue Gate.
Next was Draglide's XP grinder, which was demolished due to inefficiency and replaced with the city's signature Sumerian "Skyscraper" which roughly marks the city's downtown. The downtown area was leveled and joined to the fishing village, and soon after construction followed on Freedonia's first mosque.
To add an air of grandeur to the city Draglide began planning the construction of a large palace on the largely unused coast of the city's largest lake. The original structure planned was quite small and unimpressive in comparison to the structure as it stands today, and was intended to become Draglide's new home and chest room, but this became unnecessary due to large expansions and renovations of his initial cliffside house. As a result the structure was exapnded to nearly five times its original plans and made symmetrical (the original version was not symmetrical).
As the palace was under construction work began in earnest around the Reservoir and Temple Districts, which would house the new nexus link, as Draglide wanted to give the route from the nexus into the city proper to have time to wind and impress the visitor a bit before revealing the city's largest and most impressive structures. Since then the road network has seen significant expansion as new districts have been planned and construction begun, making it necessary to make more direct access to new parts of the city, such as the Arena and the Cafe Press district.
After the completion of the Palace of the Syres progress was for a time slow and largely on smaller builds and detail work, until Draglide began planning and constructing The Arena of Syrus. Work on the arena (still in progress as of this writing) is expected to take nearly a year once completed, with help from some other parties, primarily WaffleNomster, Eclypto18, The_Jackal_249, and Anna_28.
Most recently the Cafe Press district has begun, with its first section completed in November 2020, shortly after the rebuild of the Blue Gate and the beginning of the finishing touches on the Arena, and the construction of the Bell Tower of Eglise Saint Photini.
Official Mood Settings
Gran Syre is build to be appreciated best with Conquest texture pack (or any version of Dokucraft): http://conquest.ravand.org/ ANY shader, at dusk, while listening to: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nOHEuhJf7nA
Referenced Concept Arts
General City Reference Artworks: https://imgur.com/gallery/RiYengf
Reservoir District: https://imgur.com/gallery/l7k1Mb3
Temple District: https://imgur.com/gallery/jKpuYtG
Grand Bazaar: https://imgur.com/gallery/FAm3fiq