Like a weather-beaten rock that withstands the unending flows of a stream, the small yet ancient city of Dai rises up on a high point of the Ordos Plateau overlooking the expansive Great Wall where the rushing waters of the northern Huang He meet the southern border of the Eurasian steppes. The watch-towers of the once formidable Zhao capital offers a splendid view of the surrounding area. A collection of traditional plank water-wheels can be spotted which irrigate the elevated fields, as well as the operations of the fishermen and traders departing downriver in small boats to trade their goods deeper into the continent. The people themselves sport a colourful assortment of attire – Xiongnu, Jie, Xianbei, Di, and Qiang - which the various clans use to differentiate themselves from each other. A wide assortment of smithies exists as well, producing the exotic weapons these people were known for since the days of Qin Shi Huang. Market stalls draw trade and commerce between nomads and the Central Plains, famously supplying furs, jade, and thoroughbred horses through Daoma Pass. In the bustling wide streets of the various neighbourhoods one can also notice a plethora of recruitment posters extolling prideful heritage of history of the region and its riches. These proclamations are part of an extensive propaganda campaign constantly being used by the newly established Princess, Lin Siniang, to fill the backbone forces of Han footmen with auxiliary cavalry and archer units.
The main administrative centre is not a particularly large structure, having only one floor of stone and wood construction, though it is definitely imposing in its decor. Two bronze lions stand vigilant watch over all who brave its steps, a prominent symbol of strength and nobility. Salmon pink standards fly above a series of checkpoints and waiting areas where each are manned by armoured halberd sentries in matching turbans and long fighting robes. All must be passed before one seeking an audience can enter the central chambers of the Princess herself. The standing rule that all must abide by is that no one may bring a weapon directly into her presence, and such visitors are respectfully disarmed before finally proceeding into the great hall. Seated upon a simple, yet elegant bronze chair inlaid with traces of other rare metals such as silver and gold, the charismatic yet stern new ruler of Dai rests atop a wide dias. A special corps of six all-female, long Dao wielding bodyguards keep watch here, forming a protective ring around Lin Siniang that one must pass through and stand at the centre of to speak. This measure ensures all guests conduct themselves with proper respect - lest they discover Lin's more violent tendencies firsthand.
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