Bara ti'Emla

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Bara ti'Emla
Skyline of the Siqabara CBD
Skyline of the Siqabara CBD
Coat of arms of Bara ti'Emla
City of a Thousand Spires, The Wall of Emla
Founded472 BC
 • PrinceEzrím III Kaliot
 • MayorTemba Sokath
 • Urban
5,849,366 (4th)
 • Metro
Time zoneUTC−1 (TCT)
Area code022

Bara ti'Emla (Ahéri, meaning "fortress of Emla"), often known simply as Bara, is a major city in northern Trellin. It is the capital and most populous city in the province of Emla and the fourth most populous city in Trellin, with a population of 5,849,366 and a metropolitan population of seven and a half million. Standing atop the Cliffs of Mlíka, which rise over 150 metres (490 ft) above the Sea of Jajich, it is considered one of the most beautiful cities in Trellin, and its many towers and church steeples have earned it the nickname "City of a Thousand Spires".

The city was founded as the northernmost fortress of the Hyseran Empire, on the north bank of the Lasara river where it plunges over the granite cliffs into the sea below. From its founding to the fall of the Hyser, Bara ti'Emla remained an unconquered bastion of the north, becoming the heart of the independent Duchy of Emla from 811 until it joined the Trellinese Empire in 1532. During both the War of the Velaran Succession (1769–71) and the Trellinese Civil War (1892–99), Bara ti'Emla was firmly a Royalist stronghold, and its prince launched his own expeditions in the prosecution of the war.

Today Bara ti'Emla is a major economic centre and a hub of IT and pharmaceutical manufacture. It is an important transport link on the country's high speed rail and motorway networks and is served by two airports. A historic city with a rich cultural scene, it is one of the leading tourist destinations in Trellin for both domestic and international visitors. In 2015 it hosted a major Astyrian peace negotiation between the ATO and EATA.


The Bara Massacre, conducted by Arimatheans during the Fourth Arimathean-Emlan War

The city was originally founded as a frontier town of the Hyseran Empire guarding over the coast road from the north. It was at first known simply as Bara, Ahéri for 'fortress', despite lacking any significant defensive walls. The site's strategic value derived from its acropolis, which is only accessible from the south approach, as well as the unassailable granite cliff to the northwest and the river bend to the south and east. Because Bara controlled the last bridge over the Lasara river, it rapidly came to be a major trade focus in the north of the empire.

Immediately prior to the fall of Hysera in 811, Emla seceded from the empire. It remained amiable to the Kingdom of Trellin but came into conflict with Arimathea to the east, fighting wars over the cities of Dargai and Kzint. In 1312, Bara ti'Emla was invaded by Arimathean forces who perpetrated the Bara Massacre, killing hundreds of people inside the city.

Following the marriage of Duchess Moruza to King Tor'qim the Builder, Emla was brought under the Sidereal Crown as a province of Trellin. The provincial capital especially enjoyed Tor'qim's extensive patronage: he built over a dozen Catholic churches and a lavish Thaerine temple in the city and established new schools and courts.


The northwest coast of Emla is distinguished by sheer granite cliffs, which reach their greatest height around the city of Bara ti'Emla, climbing to 162 m (531 ft) above the Sea of Jajich. Old Bara was built on an acropolis a short distance north of where the Lasara plunges 150 m (490 ft) into the sea.


Bara ti'Emla's economy is largely based on the production of pharmaceutical and IT products, for which it is the largest centre in Trellin. As well as hosting a number of Astyrian companies, the headquarters of several major domestic pharmaceutical companies are located in the city. The central business district is in the Siqabara district, which is located outside the traditional cultural centre of the acropolis.

Marine freight for Bara ti'Emla arrives at the port of Santbara, 50 km (31 mi) to the northeast, where the cliffs break, and is transferred for carriage by rail.

Tourism, both domestic and international, is a significant part of the Barikot economy. The city centre receives over three million tourists annually. Some of the main attractions by visitor count include the Cliffs of Mlíka and the historic centre of Old Bara on the acropolis.


Bara enjoys substantial administrative and legislative freedoms under the Constitution of Emla. The city's government, which resembles city governments in Hysera, consists of a legislature and executive branch. The City Council is the legislature and has one hundred and twenty seats, its members elected in three-seat constituencies of between forty- and sixty-thousand citizens as drawn up under the most recent census. The Mayor of Bara is traditionally selected by the Duke of Emla from among the City Councillors. The executive is headed by the Prince of Bara ti'Emla and consists of a forty-one-seat Chamber, the members of which are drawn from the city's traditional Guilds and Colleges.

The nature of the guilds has evolved over time. Historically, they were associations of merchants and craftsmen grouped by profession; the modern guilds are generally comprised of businesses instead and are notoriously exclusive. Admission to a guild is subject to approval by a majority of existing guild members, although the Emlan courts can require the guilds to admit an applicant if the refusal was unjust or unreasonable. The City Council has the power to establish a new guild, subject to a two-thirds majority approval by the Chamber; similarly, the Chamber can order a guild to dissolve, needing only the assent of two thirds of the City Council. The Chamber colleges comprise all 'collegiate institutions' (a subset of universities and colleges) in Bara ti'Emla recognised by the provincial government. Each college appoints two members to the Chamber; the apportionment of seats among the guilds depends on the number and relative size of guilds and the remaining seats.



Bara ti'Emla is widely hailed as one of the cultural capitals of northern Trellin, famous for its religious and secular architecture and its museums and galleries. From the sixteenth century, the acropolis of Bara has been richly endowed with cultural edifices built under royal sponsorship or by the competing nobility of the province.

Bara is the main operatic centre in Trellin (opera being more popular in Hysera than in Trellin), with a long tradition of prestigious operatic performance in the city. The main venue for opera is Empress Ryarna Theatre, a late nineteenth-century opera house erected under the sponsorship of the Empire of Exponent; the building was seized by the provincial government in 1913, shortly after Trellin entered isolation, and is now a public institution.