In a world that changes practically decade by decade, the city of Haven is the one constant. Nobody is sure how old the city is, only that it consistently appears throughout historical records which stretch back some twelve thousand years. Even in these earliest records, the city is spoken of as having been old.
Obviously, in that span of time, the city itself has changed a great deal, but there are two landmarks that define Haven beyond any other: the Sun Gate, the city’s eastern entrance, and the Fortress in the city’s heart. Haven possesses a number of districts that are older than most kingdoms, but these two iconic structures are instantly recognizable across the known world.
Since the earliest known times, Haven has been ruled by the Council of Elders, seven mysterious figures who have never publicly revealed their identities. While some people complain about the oligarchic nature of rule in Haven, the truth is that most people live comfortable and secure lives thanks to the Council’s vigilance and protection. The voice of public opinion is heard as well, through the representative body known simply as the Assembly. Any man or woman of the city can stand for election to the Assembly as long as they meet two guidelines: they must have lived permanently in the city for the last three years, and they must be in good standing with the Justice of the Peace. While the Assembly’s authority is not absolute, and may be overruled by the Council, in most matters they provide the city with a set of laws and ordinances that ensures fairness and justice to any citizen.
The population of Haven is exceptionally high, but the city is exceptionally large. It occupies the entirety of the Lorab’i Peninsula as well as each of its surrounding islands and the area extending north to the River Myras; in all, the physical footprint of the city covers nearly 5.6 million square miles, supporting a population estimated at approximately 72 million. This translates to a population density for the greater Haven area at about 12.8 people per square mile, though it is a misleading average.
There are twenty-three areas in Haven that have been permanently forbidden from development by the Council of Elders. Each area is an oasis of sorts, preserving the original nature of the peninsula from the development of the city. Additionally, there are several defense installations that are similarly barred from civilian development. While the government of Haven acknowledges the existence of these installation, it refuses to divulge the nature of the activities that take place.