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The city of Baghdad is often said to be one of the oldest settlements in the Southlands. Founded by Caliph al-Mansur, many tales of the settlement predate the written word. The great city has been attributed to many peoples and empires during its history.
Texts state the city was designed as a circle about 2 km in diameter, leading it to be known as the "Round City". The original design shows a ring of residential and commercial structures along the inside of the city walls, but the final construction added another ring, inside the first. In the centre of the city lay the Sultan's palace, as well as headquarters for guards. The circular design of the city was a direct reflection of early Persian Sasanian urban design, suggesting that the Persians controlled the area around the time of Baghdad’s development. Much of the original Persian design is still evident but street has been built over street, house over house leading Baghdad to become a mosaic of architecture. Whilst the Persians are accredited for developing the settlement they are not believed to have created it.
Baghdad stands as a monument to its own success, its structures have weathered the sands of time slowly amassing more and more wealth and knowledge. The House of Wisdom was an established by the Sultan Al–Aminzier, dedicated to the translation of Greek, Middle Persian and Syriac works, Baghdad became a hub of learning. The work that went on here laid the steppingstones for the unification of what is modern Arabia.
Baghdad's early meteoric growth slowed due to conflict within the Sultanate. These troubles were increased by an influx of Ottoman raiding parties. Nevertheless, the city remained one of the cultural and commercial hubs of the Persian world until it was sacked by the Ottoman under Hulagu Khan. The Ottoman massacred most of the city's inhabitants, including the Caliph Al-Musta'sim, and destroyed large sections of the city. The canals and dykes forming the city's irrigation system were also destroyed. The sacking of Baghdad put an end to the Persian Caliphate, a blow from which the Persian Empire never fully recovered. The Persians moved south east away from Ottoman influence and left a wreaked Baghdad to ruin. Under the Ottoman, Baghdad fell into a period of decline, partially as a result of the enmity between its rulers and Persia.
When the Arabian tribes moved north absorbing tribes into themselves they came across Baghdad. The Ottoman had left little defending the city, and the Arabians took it over in a decisive siege. Greatly angered by the insulting loss of his city the Khan, Mahmud II, lead a campaign to take back Baghdad. The three months it took the Khan to raise an army proved ample time for the Arabians to fortify Baghdad. An 8 year war was eventually won by the Arabians, who survived due to the Ottoman running out of supplies so far from their borders. The Khan subsequently lost face and the Ottoman Empire fell into civil war. The Arabians however had proved themselves to their contemporaries; they had stood against the massive power of the Ottoman Empire and won. This act of defiance effectively lead to the creation of the Arabian nation.
In recent years, Baghdad has fallen upon hard times. In 1105 the Conclave destroyed much of the city, using vast ritual powers to rain down fire and destruction upon the town. Many inhabitants were killed, and many ancient buildings lost forever. The Caliph of Arabia was killed in this cowardly attack. With aid from the Tarantula faction, the city was quickly rebuilt, but it is a shadow of it's former glory.
As time passes, Baghdad will grow once more into a strong and prosperous city. A new Caliph has taken over the reins of power, and is beginning to make his influence felt once more across the Southlands.