|By Hiroakira Fengxian||Part of thecontinuity.|
Fǔ Bài Dū Shì
Western Earth Kingdom
Fire Nation Colony
One of the oldest and largest of the Fire Nation's colonies in the Earth Kingdom, it is a gritty metropolis of scum and villainy, complete with corrupt colonial force and government, multiple types of organized crime, and a thriving black market. Since its acquisition early in the War, the Fire Nation has built Fubai Dushi into one of the largest and most economically powerful cities on the continent, rivaled only by the Earth Kingdom Cities of Omashu and Ba Sing Se.
Before the War, Fubai Dushi was a small river port town known as Idumo. Due to its strategic placement, the Fire Nation annexed it early on in the war. Not long after establishing a Naval and Army Base, a number of rich coal and metal deposits were discovered in the area by prospectors from Fengxian Industries, and the Fire Nation realised that they were sitting atop a veritable gold mine of resources needed for the War. Within a few decades a huge thriving city sprang up around the sleepy little town, turning it into the leading economic power in the region and leading to it being called "The Ba Sing Se of the West". A number of industries sprang up in the city to support the war effort, from its massive shipyards and trading port to the coal and ore mines, to the numerous smelting plants and factories. The Fire Nation Military used the city as a springboard to stab at the heart of the Earth Kingdom, and numerous businesses, both legal and not-so-legal, opened to cater to the flow of soldiers. The biggest investors in the colony were the Fengxian Duchy, who built many of the factories and owned the leases to the majority of the mines. The profits from the factories soon made the Fengxian Clan the most wealthy noble family in the Fire Nation, and firmly established Fengxian Heavy Industries as the most powerful manufacturing company in the country.
This economic prosperity slowly began to decline around 60 A.S.C., when a number of seedy organizations began to spring up in the city's underworld. During the 70's A.S.C., as more Earth Kingdom cities were conquered and put to war use and Fubai Dushi's mines began to run low, the city fell further and further from grace. Politicians and officials became increasingly corrupt as the crime syndicates began to gain greater influence and power. By 99 A.S.C. the city was a rotting shadow of its former glory, as many of the factories and mines have closed down or relocated to more prospering colonies. Despite the heavy presence of the Colonial Force and the Fire Nation Military, crime and vise runs rampant thanks to corruption, and most officers are more willing to turn a blind eye than deal with the trouble. Much of Fubai Dushi is dirty and grimy, and there is always a foul smell and grey skies thanks to heavy industrial pollution and much-reduced public services. A point of irony is that the gang-controlled Black Market is far more stable and more reliable than the official markets, and one can buy just about anything if they have enough cash and know where to look.
The city, like all Fire Nation Colonies, is overseen by an appointed Governor. The city's government has been described as little more than a den of thieves and psychopaths, and seems to be epitomized by its current Governor,. The city has basically become a kleptocracy, and much of the city's recent economic downturns are a result of city officials lining their pockets with kickbacks, slush funds, tax evasions, embezzlement scams, and bribes.
Layout and Description
Fubai Dushi is located along a major river in the central western Earth Kingdom province of Xirong, north of Omashu and east of a similarly-dangerous Merchant Pier. The city is situated along the north shore of the main river with a tributary river bordering the west. To the north are the mountains where the mines are located, and to the east lay an expanse of farmland, forest and wilderness.
Fubai Dushi is divided into twelve districts, and is crisscrossed by an extensive system of canals. Most of Fubai Dushi's buildings follow Fire Nation design, with the notable exception of Old Town in district 11, which are still noticeably of Earth Kingdom style.
Much of the western edge of the city is built on what used to be former swampland, which was drained following the Fire Nation's construction of a large dam on the tributary north and west of the city. As a result, the city slopes down toward the west.
The side effect of the Dam's construction was the formation of a huge reservoir on the plateau of the 8th District, which feeds Fubai Dushi's aqueducts and immense canal works.
The bridges and canals of Fubai Dushi are considered a man-made wonder, with numerous waterways criss-crossing all parts of the city, and featuring a complex systems of locks not too dissimilar to that of the Norther Water Tribe. These canals are spanned by countless elaborate bridges, essential since the canals would otherwise isolate entire sections of the city. Initially built to transport the raw ore from the mines to the plants, factories and shipyards, they are now heavily used by commercial and civilian traffic.
A more recent addition to the city is a railroad, which starts in stations in the 8th and 9th Districts and proceeds due east, so as to supply fresh troops, supplies, and newly-manufactured war machines to the frontline in record time. It is this recent innovation that has led to an acceleration in Fire Nation victories in the past two decades, as the Fire Nation can now put more men, machines and supplies into the field much more quickly than the Earth Kingdom can. However, for the past five years the trains have been shipping much of their iron parts to a base near Ba Sing Se under orders of the War Minister, for some secret construction project.
The atmosphere of Fubai Dushi is often chocked with smog, especially around the factory district and the naval shipyards, and the skies are almost perpetually grey. At night, the streets are filled with fog caused by the coal dust, giving criminals plenty of cover to go about their sinister business.
Each district of Fubai Dushi is a small city unto itself, and each is patrolled by one of the Colonial Force Squads.
The center of the Fire Nation's provincial government, located on the northwestern corner of Fubai Dushi. Being built on reclaimed marshland, it is in one of the lowest elevations of the city. Notable locations include City Hall, the Courthouse, the Waterworks building, the 1st Division Headquarters, and the Agni Kai Arena. Far cleaner and safer than most of the rest of the city, the politicians, nobles, and upper class citizens live here. There is also an academy and numerous opera and playhouses around this section. Bleeders Island, which houses the Governor's Palace and the Grand Marina, also fall under this district.
Known as The Docks, this neighborhood features an enormous waterfront. It is the principle port for commercial shipping for the city, and all manner of ships are constantly arriving or departing from the extensive network of docks. Situated on a rocky hill nearby (once an island in the former marshland) are hundreds of warehouses and yards, where less-than-savory individuals lurk. Beyond that is a large lower-class neighborhood. At the intersection of the two main rivers is a large lighthouse to guide the ships at night.
Located near the northern center of the city, it is the location of the city's smelting and metalworking plants. Nicknamed "Iron Town".
The Business District. Many of the major businesses and freelance trading and shipping companies have their offices located here, being located so close to the docks. Jiaotou Enterprises, one of the larger weapons contractors for the Fire Nation (and the only real rival to Fengxian Heavy Industries), has their offices here, although it's rumored that the company is merely a front for the Jiaotou Family's "supposed" criminal empire.
Known as "The Market" by locals, the 5th district is the bustling heart of the city, packed with shop stalls selling just about anything, centered around a huge, multi-level forum building. Many of the stores are fronts for local gangs and the Black Market, which pay generously to keep Squad 5 from taking much of an interest. The huge crowds make it all too easy for pickpockets to ply their trade here. Includes a small middle-class neighborhood and most of the Fairgrounds. A large Fire Sage Temple is located on a steep hill, with a huge statue of the late Fire Lord Sozin looking out over the western half of the city, and is supposedly designed to be facing the Fire Nation Capital across the Mo Ce Sea. However, due to years of air pollution, the stone statue has eroded to the point where it is next to impossible to discern any of the statue's facial features.
The Park. Mostly an urban middle-class neighborhood, part of the city's park and festival grounds lie within its borders, hence the name.
The Factory District, nicknamed "The Smog Forest" due to the amount of smoke that rises from the chimneys. The Factories used to pump out countless weapons, tanks and ship parts for the War in their heyday, but many have since closed down leaving many former workers to seek jobs elsewhere.
Located on an arid series of plateaus and cliffs between the north edge of the city and the mines, this lawless boomtown is where the miners (both freelance and slave) live and work. Resembling a Wild West town, there are numerous taverns, saloons, dives, and gambling houses. Life is rough and dangerous, with violent fistfights and random Agni Kai breaking out frequently.
The Foreign Quarter. Known colorfully as "The Pit", partly because a good portion it is built into an old quarry, and partly because it's a hellhole. This is the rough side of an already rough city, a decrepit slum oozing with some of the city's shadiest characters, and one can (and often does) get away with murder easily here. Gangs rule the neighborhoods, and packs of ophan thieves roam the streets, looking for an easy mark. This area is also the most ethnically diverse, with a variety of people from the far corners of the world taking up residence., , and Squad 9 call this place home despite the dangers and, as many squad members are locals, even thrive. The young Captain Fengxian is infamous for the violent fights he gets into, which can and often do get out of hand and result in large amounts of property damage, which sometimes spills into the neighboring districts. Ironically, it is the criminal Gokudo syndicate who often keeps order here, as Hiro and Squad 9 are often off on some suicide mission. Incidentally, Hiro's recklessness has inspired many shop owners to stand up to thieves and criminals, but this is probably because said store owners are more willing to deal with the problem themselves at this point than risk Fengxian getting involved, which would almost certainly result in a demolished storefront.
The Red Light District. Location of most of the biggest the gambling halls, narcotics dens, and brothels. Most of the city's "Goddesses of Mercy" call this place home, having set up shop decades ago to cater to the soldiers, factory workers, and miners in the city.
Old Town. Much of this area is the original fishing town of Idumo that the Fire Nation annexed and subsequently renamed, and much of the architecture remains Earth Kingdom as a result of the Fire Nation focusing on expanding other areas of the city. This area is still pretty much a poor ghetto. The people here are mostly from the same ethnic group as the people of Kyoshi Island. Diyu Prison is located here as well, right across the street from the11th Colonial Force Division's HQ.
The local Fire Navy's base and the city's famous shipyards are located in the 12th district. The small island district is built more like a fortress than a section of the city, populated almost entirely by military personnel. Land access to the 12th District is via three huge and heavily guarded drawbridges. Even tougher than the soldiers living here are the officers of the 12th Division Squad, a crack team of individuals that also comprise Fubai Dushi's Riot Force.
- The written characters for Fubai Dushi, 腐敗都市, roughly translate as "Corruption in the City", or "Urban Decay" in Chinese.
- The city was inspired by several real-life cities, such as London during the Industrial Revolution, Chicago, Detroit, and New Orleans.
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