The city of Ayjistram is the center of the alchemical world, and a leading light in many other disciplines. With countless academies, universities, and workshops, as well as a library as large as an entire Western town, Ayjistram has long been at the forefront of philosophical advancement. Similarly, Ayjistram is home to many of the engineering and architectural wonders of the world, what with its towering aqueducts stretching for leagues at a time, and its unparalleled vertical gardens covering the majority of the inner city. Indeed, the philosophies of the natural world have been harnessed for all manner of wondrous achievements—including martial endeavors. The gunpowder produced by the alchemists of Ayjistram is generally considered to be the best in all the lands, being made up of uniform grains and providing nearly ten times the explosive power by weight than powder from any other source (a somewhat self-limiting commodity, as only specially crafted flintlocks and cannon can make use of the powder without simply exploding). The most obvious disasters of the Harrowing have fallen relatively lightly on Ayjistram, shortages and privation being the result of calamities elsewhere rather than immediate issues. The glaring exception to this good fortune are the plagues which have decimated the various districts in the area, with many outlying settlements reduced to little more than ghost towns, and some killed off entirely. And, even more unusually, where plagues in other nations could be traced to outlying villages or other impoverished areas, in Ayjistram the plagues very noticeably began in the Royal Court. While any number of diseases took hold, the most prominent by all accounts were Sporetongue and Bloodwhip Fever. During the early days of the Harrowing, servants to the powerful recounted lurid tales of plague victims lurching about the palace, babbling to themselves and leaving trails of noxious fluids in their wake.

From the nobility the diseases spread to the leadership of the military, and from there to the populace in general. The losses crippled the Empire’s political infrastructure, and while most of the organizations of the city have endured, they are mere shadows of the illustrious institutions they once were.

The people of Ayjistram tend to dress pragmatically and in keeping with the traditions of their station—academics and scholars wear long robes, usually black, while alchemists and artisans often favor long coats. Regardless of station, autumnal colors such as saffron, rusty orange, and deep red are widespread, and many wear sashes around their middles as both fashion accessory and practical back support.