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The Water’s Will, Pahala is broken into two distinct areas: the city-proper is built on a series of elevated, stationary, ocean-front platforms that weave bridges in and out of each other over the water-- also known as New Pahala-- and the swamped mainland city ruins long since decimated by the sea, Old Pahala.
Old Pahala was established over 100 years ago by competitors to and immigrants from Caravella in an effort to build a port city that could rival Veria's oldest. It developed well over time, despite learning quickly that the land they'd chosen did not fair the best against storms and floods. Despite minor setbacks along the way, the people prevailed and the city grew to something sprawling and booming with business.
Then, roughly 40 years ago, the city was hit by the largest hurricane the region had ever seen. The somewhat unstable land beneath began to cave in under the weight of the floods, creating a bowl effect that retained the water long after the weather cleared. Having seen the true power of nature and faced with such an overwhelming task to repair the city only to know this could happen again, the people of Pahala opted instead to rebuild in a different way.
Little by little, they created a massive network of reinforced platforms high above the water, made to easily withstand the harshest waves and drain even the most torrential downpours with ease. Some will claim this makes Pahala the true masters of the sea, while others say it is more that they accepted the sea's decision and acted according to her will, but one way or another the city has a very unique relationship with the water.
Population & Culture
In New Pahala, there is a strong generational and familial community of engineers, construction workers, boat makers and fishermen among other crafts and trades. Boat craftsman are especially well known for expertise in their craft of strong and powerful ships to transverse the tides.
The city still holds up its oceanic exploring roots and has a functional oceanography station. A small museum filled to the brim with history and information exists right next door. Numerous scientists focusing in on submarine exploration and ocean life research make their homes in Pahala.
Requiring a lot of imports for things like food (aside from seafood) and building materials, Pahala at times must bend to the will of the rest of Veria somewhat more than other cities, but the people never lose their sense of pride as a populace that can survive and adapt.
There is minor tension caused by thieves and looters that go into the Old city from time to time though this is often handled by the people themselves. There is a lot of disagreement about the nature of scavenging in Old Pahala, and for every person who insists it is disrespectful on par with graverobbing, there seems to be another who calls it "treasure hunting" and advertises to "thrill seekers". The prior call the latter money-grubbing and heartless, while the latter insist it's better to make some use of the ruins and that bringing in tourists will help the current population. There is also a pretty sharp divide based on age, with those old enough to remember the old city much more averse to the idea of scavenging than those who grew up never knowing it as anything but what it is now.
Whichever is more wrong or right, the tradition continues, and it is true that many inns make a good portion of their revenue from people come to explore Old Pahala. There are even folks who make a living as guides or by offering transportation to treasure hunters.
Built upon ever expanding platforms, New Pahala has numerous bridges connecting all of the major and minor platforms. Inner platforms are older and have older looking buildings due to the erosion of the exterior. Outer platforms and extended platforms have buildings that look a bit newer but still suffer from this effect. Outer buildings are more likely to have small sculpture and architectural aesthetic than inner ones.
With limited space in any direction, buildings are tall and built to last against the harsh storm surge. Heavy business districts tend to have buildings that are broad as well as tall, often with many different businesses sharing one building and walkways connecting nearby buildings for added traffic relief and structural support. Everything in New Pahala is sturdy above most anything else.
Two to three story houses are more common than single stories, and townhouses or apartments are far more common than that. "Yard" space tends to be fairly limited to non-existent and may or may not include thin layers of dirt with actual grass or astroturf. There are some more traditional houses with more sizable yards for the moderately to very wealthy scattered amongst the expanded platforms, and a few of the residential neighborhoods lie somewhere in-between.
Inns, hotels, and shops of varying sizes and consistencies exist here. While you’re bound to find dozens of recreational and commercial fishing places, there’s a few local craftsmen of different trades to suit your needs for other things as well. Restaurants sport a “on the water” aesthetic and tend to be known for their aquatic cuisine. It is common enough to find small businesses interspersed all over the city, as well, leading to "small town community" feelings especially on the small to medium platforms.
While plantlife is rarer and more limited in Pahala than most places, there are public spaces with deep enough dirt set up to support some trees and shrubs, both in small areas in public squares and in a very few scattered parks. Hanging plants are kept by citizens often enough, and various forms of ivy and other climbing plants are a fairly common sight that help add a touch of greenery.
Points of Interest
The Pahala Oceanography Station is one of the world's best, and the associated Pahala Museum of Oceanography brings in a fair amount of tourists in its own right.
Privateer Tower serves as a meeting ground for one to hire guides and transportation through Old Pahala.
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