The Second Triforce Cycle
The Jewel of Hyrule
Hyrule Town is built on the shores of Lake Hylia; half of it is built on the lake itself, supported by Zora-constructed pillars that are separated by canals. On its eastern edge is a large forest, and the city itself is mostly built on plain.
The small trading post slowly grew over the years, supported by the easy accessibility of the port and centrality to southern Hyrule. When it became a semi-official neutral ground for treaty discussions, the city’s fate as the world’s largest became set.
The town’s northern half favors taller stone buildings, while the southern half is mostly one-story wood constructions. The southern half is gridlike, with canals wide enough for two passing canoes and space for “pedestrians”. Narrow walkways allow one-way passage without using boats or swimming. The northern half is more random, as buildings were built around one another to form a less well-organized plan. High Avenue and Oca Lane are wide enough to accommodate several passing wagons, and are expertly paved. Most other streets are barely wide enough to carry a horse and a passing line of pedestrians, and are roughly paved.
As the center of international negotiations and a thriving trade center, Hyrule Town is constantly active. It also lies under an implicit neutrality compact. Though it lacks formal defenses, Hyrule Town’s northern half offers plenty of roosts and vantage points to stage a defense from.
The citizens are constant gossipers, but the town carries a tense atmosphere. Though once on the border between the Zora and Hylian kingdoms, the city is now a stone’s throw from a Forest-Dweller’s district, the Zoras’ hunting grounds, the remains of Hylia, and now the border of the Gerudo Territories. Never built for defense, the town is open to attack from any quarter were peace to break down.
Nevertheless, it is a vibrant area, full of life and activity. It is said that if you can’t buy it in Hyrule Town, it can’t be bought at all.
Demographics and People
The town’s population is mostly Hylian, although that suggests greater homogeneity than actually exists. The northern part of the town is considered upscale; the eastern section, especially, where buildings have seen significant Goron craftsmanship. Here one can find mansions and townhouses, compared to the one- and two-room huts in the south, or the dormitory-type tenements in the west.
Rich merchants and men of letters are a minority among the Hylians; most inhabitants are day laborers, petty craftsmen, or entertainers eking out their existences. However, the rich members of the town are those of the most public face, and are well-known within the city.
Most Goron in Hyrule Town are transient, traders or craftsmen plying their craft. The prevalence of water makes the town a worrying location, and Goron tend to be insular, anyway. These merchants and craftsmen nevertheless give the impression that the Goron are a polite, cultured race. Shops specializing in Goron goods may be run by Goron expatriates, but even Goron merchants may simply contract with a local shop.
The Kokiri and Deku do not have a strong presence among the inhabitants of Hyrule Town. Their wood and leather crafts, however, are incredibly common, as a woodland nation lies directly to the city’s east. In fact, the woodlands are considered in many people’s minds to be a part of Hyrule Town, and the recent addition of a woodland representative to the Hyrule Town Council reinforces this belief. Merchants and performers make up the bulk of Kokiri and Deku that live in Hyrule Town, as their rangers, hunters, and craftsmen have obvious preference for the woods. Bowyers and tanners do make frequent trips into town, but few stay there. The Kokiri and Deku that do stay tend to live in wooden buildings, often in the southern half of town. A few have taken on Hylian preferences, living in larger stone buildings.
The Zora keep mostly to the southern half of the town; individual Zora own parcels of land directly underneath other buildings. Unlike other inhabitants, the Zora are expected to retain primary allegiance to the Zora nation, making them far more obvious as almost-occupiers than integrated citizens of Hyrule Town.
The Gerudo have a small, but growing presence in Gerudo Town. The expansion of the Gerudo Territories led to splits in politics between factions of the Gerudo, and the city has become home to a number of these exiles. Few people care enough to understand the intra-Gerudo conflict, aware only that Gerudo have been migrating to the city for the past twenty years or so. The western edge of the city has become something of a “Little Canyon”, a district of Gerudo, built in the Gerudo style – high stone towers, defensive constructions, and wide-open park areas for weapon combat. The Gerudo are tolerated mostly because of the fact that they have created a defensive structure on the western edge of the city, where most citizens believe an attack will come at some point.
The most common profession among the Gerudo is day laborer. Some of the most skilled horse trainers are Gerudo, but those willing to pay for horse training prefer the services of the respected Lon Lon Clan. Though the style of Gerudo weapons earns disdain, those willing to put up with ridicule can find high-quality weaponsmiths among the Gerudo district. Many assume that even working Gerudo act as thieves on the side, and blame the rise in crime in recent years on the Gerudo.
Landmarks and Districts
The southeastern portion of the city consists of many of the businesses and shops in Hyrule Town. This includes many of the townhouses of said merchants, and many of the more upscale inns at the northwest edge of the quarter. Many of the service industries – lawyers, scribes, and the like, live in the Artisan’s Square, however. This is mostly because the Merchants’ Guild holds significant control over the Merchants’ Quarter and the Merchants’ Quarter representative seat. The Merchants’ Quarter is probably the safest and friendliest district in Hyrule Town, because policing is done by the Merchants’ Guild, which tries to keep from offending customers.
By ancient Hylian law, the Zora have rightful possession of all space below the water. As such, all docks and wharfs, or in fact any building built over water, require a lease from the Zora who own the water below. In Hyrule Town, that owner is the Jabu Agian Kingdom. The Zora’s Dominion therefore lies directly underneath the Wharf district, and contains many buildings of a varied nature. The Zora’s Dominion, however, creates one of the oddest geopolitical situations in history. Technically, the jurisdiction of the Hyrule Town police force ends at the boundary of the Zora’s kingdom. Thus, one can always escape punishment from the Hyrule Town authorities by fleeing underwater. Of course, for some crimes, the Jabu Agian’s punishments are far worse than what the Hyrule Town authorities could imagine.
No one with any long-term plans would want to purchase a building with two landlords – one capable of undermining the foundation of your building. But trade and commerce require there to be docks, ships, and warehouses. The Wharf is a delicate balance between temporary housing, warehouses, the docks, and a host of businesses and buildings that have no difficulty with uncertain leases. While many expect Little Canyon to be a high-crime area, it is the Wharf that suffers the most from criminal activity. The Wharf representative is often drawn from the candidates of the Merchants’ Quarter, due the temporary nature of most residents.
Consisting of the northernmost portion of Hyrule Town, Uptown is full of mansions and townhouses, many built by old Hylian families. The Uptown Representative is often the chairman of the Council, and as such, Uptown is well-policed, but unfriendly to anyone who doesn’t appear to belong.
Workman’s Keep, the “Little Canyon”
The westernmost part of the city, Workman’s Keep (more recently called Little Canyon) has many temporary structures, wide-open lots, and a looser rule of law than elsewhere in the city. Over the past five years, the population of Gerudo in Workman’s Keep has grown significantly, giving it a reputation as a sort of high-risk red light district, as well.
Though once the home of craftsmen, Artisan’s Square, the central part of the city, now holds many of the city’s day laborers and service workers, including commercial sorcerers. Many ordinary Hylians have little desire to live amongst Gerudo, service workers have made a bid to gain political power in the Artisan’s Square, and the sorcerers have suffered a loss of face amongst the rich that once were their primary sponsors.
The eastern boundary of the city opens out into the Great Forests, the hundreds of small political entities of the Kokiri and Deku. Lodges, lookouts and watchtowers form the edge of the forest, and the interaction between the Forest People and Hyrule Town has become constant enough that two years ago a Forest District representative was added to the Council. By common consensus, the first mile of forest has been subjected to Hyrule Town law, but magistrates and other officers are drawn from the inhabitants of the area.
Politics and Leadership
Hyrule Town is run by an administrative council – the Hyrule Town Council. It is made up of seven elected representatives, one from each of the city’s major districts. One of these is then elected chairman who administrates town law enforcement, tax collection, and other executive duties. New representatives are re-elected every three years, except for the Merchant’s Quarter representative, who is the president of the merchants’ guild, elected annually.
Current Council Members
Merchants’ Quarter – Krak Fall, Deku
Zora’s Dominion – Muto, Zora
The Wharf – Tyngaru, Hylian
Uptown – Kori Dezel, Hylian
Little Canyon – Morsus Twinrova
Artisan’s Square – Abeil, Hylian
Forest District – Fewma, Kokiri