The city surrounds the castle with a safe distance of about a ten minute walk between those troublesome residents and the proper townsfolk. The inner area has many cobbled streets while outer areas have predominantly dirt roads. The widest street, which fits two small carriages walking side by side and is finely cobbled, leads from the castle past the Steward's office and through the main gate.
And just as the castle is beautiful and sprawling, so is the city, with no less than one hundred thousand citizens. Though untraceable to any particular era, the castle seems to have been inspired by an idealized medieval Europe ethos, fairy-tale and romantic.
The native people of Paradisa are aware that their world is conscious. They are, however, not aware of how dark this consciousness is.
Their memories are strange; they don’t seem to make lasting memories or form lasting friendships with residents, even if their relationships with each other are normal. They also do not personally remember castle-induced or resident-induced events; when asked, they will refer to them as if they’re historical events, not things that happened months, weeks, or even days ago. An alien invasion recently rebuffed by the residents might be told as if a story from myth, even if it happened just a day before, regardless of what residents may exist.
They are also aware that the residents don’t belong in Paradisa; residents are honored guests of Paradisa, understandably naive to Paradisa's nature. They try to rationalize the residents’ behaviour, even if it is destructive towards the city and its people. As such, they are also disinterested in debate or arguments over the castle –– the residents are visitors to their lands, and as such are expected to be polite and respect the local culture.
"What's my favourite part of the city? I like the statue of the Princess, I think. According to legend, the manor behind her statue is where she is said to have lived, though it was a stable at the time. She didn't sleep in a regular bed or nothin', she slept on a bed of clean hay next to her unicorn. I wish I could have a unicorn."
Closest to the castle, and farthest from the walls where trouble might come from, is the Steward's office in a solid stone building. He is never seen though the townsfolk never seem to mind. Should any resident ask after him, he will have only left the place five minutes ago to attend to a matter or other; his many assistants are constantly whisking him away, to the point where one could almost wonder whether he exists or not. But wherever he is and whatever he is attending to, the City Royale runs like clockwork and there is seldom a disturbance or dispute over its governance.
Alas, this city has not even seen the start of the industrial revolution, let alone the conveniences of the twenty-first century. Most households and businesses rely on their fire pits and hearths for both cooking and warmth, and water is lifted in buckets from the local wells. As such, production is quite slow –– goods are produced by artisans and craftspeople, and oil paint is a very new invention. Silk and spinning wheels are also new.
As a result, residents visiting the city may find it difficult to navigate, and likely much harder to live in. Life in the city is expensive and jobs elusive, and even a straw mattress is a luxury one might have to work hard for. Plumbing? Forget it.
Fanning out from the Steward's office is the merchant district filled with cramped shops selling all kinds of goods. They are organized by streets; one road for threads and fabrics, another for ironworks and yet another for foodstuffs. Most of the buildings have stone walls, especially the Merchant's Guild, with wealthier households gathered about the district.
For residents determined to live in the city, a job is necessary in order to rent a room and feed oneself. Fortunately, there is work available. Unfortunately, it may not be terribly glamorous. There's always work available in the fields, tending to animals and tilling the land, as well as harvesting the crops. Couriers and stable-tenders are always in demand, as are assistants to stonemasons, blacksmiths, millers and carpenters, though apprentices are only rarely taken. Many of these pay largely in goods that can be sold rather than in cash.
If none of that catches one's fancy, perhaps one could beg one of the older residents for a job. There are only a few resident-owned shops surviving from more prosperous times, and perhaps they will be a little more accommodating in the wages department.
The church is the tallest building in town, with bells that ring hourly to help the people keep time (and to be used to warn them of danger should the occasion arise). The stained glass windows are the pride of the city, though the church doesn't seem to lend itself to any particular religion. Instead, it seems to appreciate the glory of Paradisa itself, the beauty of the community and city and an inward-looking appreciation for everything Paradisa is capable of and allows.
"Do we have any books about the Castle? No, no, love, I don't know about any books or nothin' about Paradisa. What could a book tell you that the heart doesn't already know? A book would just be the words of people, and we see no need to fuss about that when Paradisa is all around us. Of course, you're welcome to join us for the service."
To the East of the merchant district is where most of the goods were made, a more modest area by far. There are shoemakers, tailors, carpenters, bakers and many more craftsmen honing their skills at their humble homes. Many of the streets are gravel and dirt while the buildings are mostly wooden. There is a street in this district where brothels and less-than-savory taverns abound.
The houses closest to the walls are the most humble yet, populated by farmers, leathermakers and blacksmiths. The smell is nothing to brag about. Only the houses nearest to the main road would have stone walls, and those tend to be inns and taverns catering to travelers.
"You want to know about the people, eh? What we're all about? Well, the peasants live under a just and generous Steward, courtesy Cair Paradisa. Crops never fail, there is always an abundance of food and drink, and there is enough labour that no man or woman should fall into vagrancy –– they share in the work of the fields, in the caring for the village green and the construction of the city stonework, and in the services of fair Paradisa. They enjoy many holidays to relieve the monotony of the daily round of labor, and all are satisfied with their lot in life."
THE KNIGHT ORDER OF PARADISA
The people in the City Royale are an almost unnervingly peaceful lot –– they go about their days and participate in their communities in harmony, broken only by the occasional petty fist fight over gambling or sport, and perhaps a spot of drunkenness here or there. As such the city requires very little policing, but it is tended to nonetheless by the Knight Order. These armored knights patrol the city on horseback, conduct minor drills on the castle walls, and oversee that everything runs smoothly. Should a resident break the peace, they are quite unafraid to attend to "business," as rare as it may be amongst the city people.
"It's quiet work, guarding the city, but I prefer it. Some folks say we should pursue other work, rather than patrolling day in and day out even when there hasn't been a moment of unrest in generations, but where would we be if we let go of tradition? We should enjoy peace and Paradisa's generosity."
Stretching away from the city walls are farmlands dotted with humble houses, mostly with thatched roofs and dirt floors. There are no paved roads outside and one can walk for miles and miles before finding company.
"So this resident of the Castle comes to me and he asks, where do you sell your milk? In the market, of course, I say. Well, alright, then, he says. Where do you get your lumber? From the forests, of course! He seemed very confused, as if perhaps we were speaking different languages, and then he tried again: Do you have mines, then, for your metals? This seemed an awfully odd question to me, so I told him our metals come from the blacksmiths. But where do the ores come from? he says. Ores? I don't know much about that, I say, but I do know that you're asking a lot of questions! People like that, people who ask questions like that, they seem awful unappreciative."