Caille is the largest city on Gallente Prime, and one of the many cultural and economic centers of the wider Federation. Situated on the river Stomeve in the heart of the Garoun continent, the city dates back to before the rise of the Rouvenor dynasty, since expanding to encompass nearby towns and villages into its wider conglomeration. It is perhaps most famously known as the home of the University of Caille, and the Crystal Boulevard, a shopping district that is built over a hardened military bunker. As a hub of Luminaire culture alongside cities such as Hueromont, it is famous across New Eden for its extravagancy and flamboyancy.
Age of the Ancients
Caille is one of the earliest recorded settlements on Gallente Prime, starting out as nothing but a fishing settlement on the Stomeve river. For many centuries, Caille (historically Cylle) did not develop beyond a few hundred people, content to live in oblivion from the wider world. However, during the Iron Age, it became a strategic target for the various kingdoms that sought control of the Stomeve river, which ran from coast-to-coast along the continent. Caille eventually grew into a large town under the rule of various vassal leaders, exchanging hands between various empires on a frequent basis. Its stone walls did not always prove adequate in fending off invaders, and Caille was often pillaged and ransacked.
Eventually, the people of Caille had enough. In AD 21656, under the leadership of a young Doule dos Rouvenor, a new independent kingdom was declared. As an immediate threat to the other nations, a war raged on multiple fronts. Thanks to King Rouvenor's tactical genius, he was able to fight back the invaders and expand the borders of his new kingdom, swaying the local populace to their cause with his charisma. Not two years later, Rouvenor declared the creation of the first Garoun Empire, the territory of which encompassed the entire continent.
Garoun Empire and Industrial Age
As the centrally-located capital of the new empire, Caille received an influx of peoples and cultural ideas from across the continent. Although the Garoun Empire was a continental power on a maritime world, its status as the greatest empire on Gallente Prime meant that it became the center of civilization at the time. Under the socially and technologically progressive rule of Doule dos Rouvenor III, Caille was a hub of philosophical and ethical thought, with slavery gradually becoming eradicated during this era. The war with the seven armies of Morthane had little consequence on Caille, allowing it to flourish.
When the Garoun Empire collapsed under its own weight in AD 21837, Caille became the first industrialized city on Gallente Prime. Its city limits began expanding outwards, incorporating other towns and settlements into its greater metropolitan area. While pollution became a problem, the development of ecological technologies during post-industrialization mitigated many of the long-term consequences of this. Caille's location meant it was undisturbed by the information era wars, and would be one of the leading cities in the eventual globalization of Gallente Prime, even as a much smaller nation-state than it once was.
When the Gallente Federation was founded in AD 23121, Caille was selected to be the capital of the new colonial alliance. This was unsurprising to many critics of the Federation's founding, noting the dominance of the Gallente in interstellar affairs at the time. Governmental buildings were constructed, including a presidential palace that is sometimes still used to this day, and Caille soon experienced all the benefits of being the center of an interstellar empire.
Under the Ultra-Nationalist during the beginning of the Gallente-Caldari War, Caille was ruled with an iron fist. The U-Nat secret police had a strong presence in the city, and it is generally regarded as a very dark period in Caille's history. During this time, the Ultra-Nationalists drew up plans to construct an heavily fortified bunker for the Federal government beneath the city, to protect the military and political command in the event of something that Caldari admiral Yakiya Tovil-Toba ended up doing, crashing his carrier into the city of Hueromont and killing two million people.
Though the bunker was never constructed under the Ultra-Nationalists, the Federation government that followed after the Hueromont Incident decided to go through with the plans. Instead of constructing the bunker beneath the city itself, it was built under the green belt next to Caille's financial district. The space above the bunker was then rented to businesses and corporations, constructing the modern day Crystal Boulevard. The Boulevard acts as a shield for the bunker, twenty meters deep of pure synthetic diamond, followed by eighty meters worth of latticed, crystal-carbonate nanofiber armor.
When the Federation capital was moved from Luminaire to Villore, the bunker was handed over by the Federal government to the Gallente Prime military, and it is now the heart of the world's planetary defense network, rumored to have expanded tenfold since its original construction, and subject to many conspiracy theories. Despite Caille no longer being the capital city of the Federation, it continues to enjoy its status as one of the cultural and economic hearts of the wider nation.
Geography & Environment
Caille is located roughly in the center of the Garoun continent, built on both sides of the Stomeve river. The surrounding terrain is mostly grasslands and rolling hills, making the city relatively flat, though it is not far from the marsh and alpine regions of Garoun. Caille experiences a continental climate, with four distinct seasons. The summer months are hot and humid, while the winters are cold, snowy and windy. Rising sea levels, though quite minimal on Gallente Prime overall, did not have much effect on the Stomeve river. This unremarkable and inoffensive climate allowed Caille to continue to hold onto its status for hundreds of years, not being victim to any natural disasters that may have stifled its development.
The farmlands outside of Caille's city limits are home to many different villages and small towns, while there are some forests that inhabit the city's green belt, home to a variety of different domestic animal species. The natural environment did not suffer much permanent damage during Caille's industrialization, as the local expertise for ecological preservation went a long way to maintaining an equilibrium with the surroundings.
Cityscape & Infrastructure
Caille is a low-rise city that is located around and along the Stomeve river. Encompassing many different historical towns and districts, there is no universal architectural style to the city, and it would take many visits to explore Caille in its entirety. The oldest parts of the city are located centrally, with the districts gradually becoming more recent the further out one goes, with contemporary suburbs located past the green belt that encircles the inner and medial parts of the city, although incorporated towns and villages in these areas retain their historical architecture. The original campus of the University of Caille, founded towards the end of the Rouvenor era, is located on the outskirts of the city, nestled in a forested area, with some sub-campuses located within Caille itself.
Central Caille is marked by the white stone walls that date back thousands of years. Though these walls have decayed to almost nothing in some places, they are nonetheless preserved by the city authorities as a boundary to the center of town. Located within these boundaries is the City of the Ancients, an historical site that encompasses the oldest buildings and pathways of the city, built using white marble. The architecture is somewhat eccentric compared to the rest of Caille, comprised of sharp triangular and circular constructions, along with white brick roadways. In the heart of the City of the Ancients is the Sanctuary of the Seventh Goddess, the city's largest and main cathedral, famous for its multicolored crystal windows and gemstone mosaics. Its spire is the highest point in Caille outside the Crystal Boulevard and financial district, and can be seen from most places in the city. The equally ancient Palace of the Ensîks (Kings) straddles the edge of the City of the Ancients and the rest of central Caille, accessible from either side. It is the extravagant residence of the current royal family, dating back to Doule dos Rouvenor II.
The rest of central Caille is, for the most part, composed of industrial era terraced blocks ranging from four to ten storeys high, with distinct mansard roofing. The shades and colorations of these buildings vary greatly. There are also some sidestreets with half-timber buildings, which often host various public houses. The roads are mostly cobblestone, although busier thoroughfares have been replaced with asphalt and/or concrete. The Houses of the High Parliament is also located in this part of the city. The financial district, known as L'Neiro, is located by the river, made up of early modern skyscrapers of glass, steel and concrete, being one of the few high-rise areas in the city. The Crystal Boulevard, perhaps the most well-known district in Caille, sits in between L'Neiro and the green belt. Everything in the Boulevard, from the roads to the lamp posts, is made from materials that seek to emulate a crystalline appearance, including glass or synthetically grown diamond. The Boulevard has a set of its own crystalline skyscrapers of typical Gallente design, though no buildings exceed the height of the Sanctuary's main spire. The power requirements for both L'Neiro and the Boulevard are provided by their own solar receivers, while the rest of the city's power is provided for by a hydroelectric dam upriver, in the alpine mountain regions nearby.
The city has an extensive public transport system, with a bus network and an underground metro that covers most of the metropolitan area. Railways, constructed during industrialization, remain particularly important, snaking outwards across the Garoun continent and connecting up with other towns and cities. Doule dos Rouvenor Spaceport provides links to other areas of Gallente Prime, and offers flights to mooring stations in orbit.
Caille is the capital of the (Ensînate) Kingdom of Central Garoun, a legacy nation and sub-planetary member of the Gallente Federation. It is also the host of Gallente Prime's planetary assembly. As the brief capital of the Federation, Central Garoun lost authority over the city, forced to move its administrative capital elsewhere. It was returned to the nation when Villore became the new Federal capital, however. Central Garoun is a constitutional monarchy, though actual power is exclusively held by the High Parliament, with the royal family mostly around for the purposes of ceremony, tradition and culture.
When the Garoun Empire collapsed centuries ago, there was a brief civil war between a democratist and royalist faction. The former wished to overthrow the monarchy and replace it with a democratic system under universal suffrage, while the royalists sought to retain their traditional system, citing the need for a strong leader in the face of a rapidly realigning continent. A compromise was reached, establishing a democratic legislature alongside a weaker monarchy. Over the next few generations, the High Parliament grew in power, reducing the monarchy to having nothing but a ceremonial role.
Unlike Hueromont, Caille did not apply for independent megalopolis status on the Federal level, which would have granted it increased freedoms and recognition nationally. Instead, how it is accounted for in the administrative system appears overly complex and unnecessarily convoluted to outsiders. It juggles the status of being the capital of its own pre-Federation legacy state, the de facto political center of Gallente Prime, and a cultural hub of the wider Federation (which unofficially grants it more power and influence than it otherwise would have). To the locals, Caille continuing to be apart of its legacy nation-state is important in respecting the history of the city, the legacy of the Rouvenor dynasty, and its participating role in the development of modern Gallente culture.
Caille is one of the two global cities of Gallente Prime, alongside Hueromont. It is an economic powerhouse, primarily around the finance, service and tourist industries, and is one of the most visited cities in New Eden. Restaurants, nightclubs, theaters, opera houses and other such venues rack in millions of ISK per year, while most New Eden megacorporations have a presence in the city. The tourist and service sectors are centered around the City of the Ancients and the Crystal Boulevard, while L'Neiro is the heart of the financial sector. Previously, the City of the Ancients took in the most tourist revenue long before the Crystal Boulevard was conceived of. The former was not very commercialized, and was highly regulated by the city authority, with local businesses adopting a period aesthetic to fit in with the surroundings. The Boulevard, however, remains mostly unregulated, with new owners moving in and out in an endlessly cyclical fashion. Most of these businesses, with the exception of venues such as nightclubs, are subsidiaries of interstellar megacorporations. The L'Neiro district is shared between these megacorporations and older companies that date back before the Federation. The Bank of Luminaire, for example, has its original headquarters at L'Neiro. As a result, the district has a strong sway in financial affairs, both on Gallente Prime and beyond.
Though not as primary a leader in fashion as the Coriault Couture Collective or Mannar Textile Institute International, Caille has its own ranges and designs, varying from casual to eccentric. Widely-used Caillean leather (and its synthetic variants) is produced and sold all over the cluster, with cheap imitations being found as far as Dam-Torsad on Amarr Prime. Entertainment, along with literature and poetry, is another strong sector of Caille, with period holodramas set in old areas of the city being quite common. Fine jewelery using gemstones is also a major export of Caille.
Demographics & Culture
Caille is extremely cosmopolitan, incorporating peoples and cultures from all four corners of New Eden. This melting pot manifests itself in many different ways. For example, fashion follows the contemporary style while fusing in elements of other cultures, and the cuisine is constantly evolving, as ingredients are imported from across the cluster. Demographically speaking, the population of Caille is extremely interracial. The local Gallente are mixed between the different ethnicities of the homeworld, who have in turn mixed with immigrants from off-world, including both Federation and non-Federation races. Caille has its own language dialect as a result of this.
The presence of the University of Caille had and still has a great influence on academic thought that is exported out of the city, going a long way to shape classical and modern Gallente thought. Student activism has an incredibly strong sway on grassroots politics, which is amplified by the University's interstellar presence across the Federation. Moreover, the melting pot nature of the University, which is attended by students from all empires, has influenced Caille in being extremely welcoming to immigrants and other outsiders. However, Caille is one of the most expensive cities in New Eden to live in, and is often the final goal for some aspiring migrants to the Federation.
Though Caille is disproportionately prosperous, it is not without its downsides. Behind the facade of glamor and success, a very amoral underworld permeates Caillean society, particularly in the city's high culture. Fashion houses have often been implicated in acquiring their models from human traffickers, or purchased illegally from slavers. It remains a chronic problem, yet does nothing to dent Caille's reputation within the general purview, which some say makes the matter even more sinister. Similarly, crime families that date back many generations have a strong sway in economic activity. While it is not to a level that has any effect on the ordinary citizen, there have been many cases over the years of institutional corruption because of it, along with a series of high-profile murders, kidnappings and extortions. These darker sides of Caille have never really made much of an issue for the city or people, but it is enough for more discerning individuals of New Eden to be turned off the city completely.