In the heart of the al-Rashid System sits the oldest settled planet in the Serene Republic of Elyra and its historical and cultural home: Damascus II. Established originally as the first colony between a coalition of the United Arab Republic, Turkey, and Iran, Damascus II is an old planet and has a history that is rich and reflective of the Elyran Republic as a whole, with many monuments and museums to show for it. Despite no longer holding the position of being Elyra’s capital world, Damascus II still remains relevant to this day due to its abundance of universities, some of the finest in the Orion spur, and its rich arable soil supported by its temperate climate providing food for the Republic. It is the second-most populated planet in the Republic of Elyra, following behind Persepolis.
Damascus II was discovered in the year 2106 by a team of combined astronomers from a collection of Middle Eastern nations that make up the modern-day United Arab Republic. Shortly after its discovery, it was given the name of Al-Rashid III, and quickly identified as a prime candidate for colonization, showing all the traits needed to support a financially viable, self-sustaining colony. Liquid water, a breathable atmosphere, and near-Earth levels of gravity: it was all there on this planet which not only meant that it was suitable for life, but that little, if any terraforming would be needed to ensure any future colony could thrive there. The nations launching this expedition had high hopes that, due to its naturally hospitable environment, this planet could prove to be another Tau Ceti as a fast, economic powerhouse. The colonization effort was launched from Earth in 2153 and consisted of a single, massive city-ship named Damascus headed by a figure that would become pivotal in Damascene culture, Captain Aslan Değirmenci. Soon after landing, Değirmenci organised his settlers into creating a small but successful outpost centred around the first city on the planet, Erum. The colonists who primarily originated from the modern-day Levant, Anatolia, Mesopotamia, and Western Persia, thrived from the onset of the colony, making use of the planet’s fertile soils and rich marine life to feed themselves and even export food back to the inner colonies of the Sol Alliance. After nearly twenty years of prosperity, the colonists of Al-Rashid III petitioned to rename the planet to Değirmenci after the captain that led their expedition and oversaw the colony, but the Captain refused, instead suggesting that the colony be named after the ship that had brought the original colonists to symbolise the effort they had all put in to creating what they had. Obliging the captain, the Solarian authorities formally changed the name of the Planet to Damascus II in 2159.
The dreams of the original colonists that Damascus II would become another Biesel were slowly dashed as colonization efforts went on. While Damascus II was a very promising colony, it lacked the nearly unilateral support from the United Nations that Tau Ceti had. It quickly found itself in the area of being an average economy economically, with steady, slow growth, but total self-sufficiency that could support more and more colonists as they arrived. What became Damascus II’s primary role in the Solarian colonization effort, though, was one of administration. As the clock ticked onwards and more colonies were settled by the nations of the Middle East and North Africa in the area south of the Valley Hale region, Damascus II increasingly found itself the centre of coordination and even government for these colonies. After all, Damascus II was stable, established, growing, and could provide any struggling colonies in the region with food to prevent starvation and allow for other planets to get on their feet. Lacking the raw materials that some other colonies provided however, this temperate world began to invest not only in the land it had, but in its people as well. Colonies in the region were growing fast, yet an increasingly large number of them were unable to provide a proper higher education for their younger citizens due to a lack of resources or academic framework. Because of this need, the city of Erum with grant money from its home nations on Earth, established two institutions of higher education on the planet in 2179: Captain Aslan Değirmenci Polytechnic Institute, (CPI) a school intended to teach hard sciences and vocational trades, and the Harun Al-Rashid University of Economics and Humanities, (HRU) a school that was geared toward teaching the administrative, business, and cultural sides to a society. Both of these universities served their intended roles well with each getting consecutively more enrollments not only from the regional colonies around Damascus II, but also from the planet itself. These initiatives established a strong tradition of intellectualism and scholarly thought on Damascus II that would make it one of the intellectual capitals of the Orion Spur both then and in the present day.
In 2188, Captain Değirmenci died at the ripe age of 96, and the entire planet mourned his loss. They pledged to continue to do right in his memory and by his ideals of education, development, and helping the local colonies around Damascus II for the greater good of not just the colony, but of humanity as a whole. It is for this reason that all future overseers of the planet would take “Damascene Captain” as their official title over the more traditional “Governor,” a tradition that lasts to the present. In this era immediately after the Captain’s death, the planet experienced a population boom in which more cities were established along the coasts of Damascus II’s central ring, and numerous smaller towns were established throughout the planet’s interior in order to cultivate the vast untouched Damascene lands. The planetary government enacted subsidies to aid these new settlers, paying for their expeditions into the interior of the planet’s continents to establish communities and farms that would then send their profits back to the central cities of the planet. This further filled the countryside with apple and olive orchards, vineyards, and farms of the native khuruf seed, wheat, and barley, something that in Elyra is now synonymous with Damascus II. This new initiative would also gradually lead to a new dynamic in Damascene society, one that differed on the basis of geographic location between cities and the countryside and would go on to shape Damascene politics for centuries. This new trend of expeditions into the interiors of the planet only made Damascus grow as an exporter of food and as an economy in the South Valley Hale region, exporting not only just to locals now and occasionally back to Earth, but to other planets in the present day Republic of Biesel. It was in this time of population boom and economic growth that the cultural and artistic scene in Damascus II flourished most, with many poets and painters making their magnum opuses and cinema directors often making modern renditions of classic Arab, Turkish, and Persian stories in the planet’s beautiful countryside. This explosion of culture founded the modern perception of the Damascene identity, one that was traditional and deeply connected to its cultural roots on Earth, more so than any other future Elyran colony would ever be, but one that also was intent on creating something entirely new for itself on those traditional foundations and believed itself exceptional and fundamentally different from every other colony established at the time. Since the creation of Elyran Standard, many of Damascus II’s finest and most notable cultural works have been translated to the language or remade with it in mind in the modern era.
Going into the 2230’s and 2240’s stronger than ever, Damascus II would begin to now see a relative slowdown, though still had absolute growth, in both economics but also in population as a new colony was established in the region that soon became the destination for corporations and citizens alike: Persepolis. The newly terraformed fledgling economy of Persepolis would soon become the economic center of the Solarian colonization effort in the South Valley Hale region due to its abundance of rare metals and materials in its crust. While this rise indeed took the spotlight away from Damascus II some, it also gave Damascus II a great opportunity to feed and educate the massive amount of colonists now flocking to Persepolis’s mines and factories. Most importantly, however, is that even as Persepolis was on the rise, Damascus II quickly expanded its administrative duties more, overseeing the development of this rising new colony while also being the primary mediator for funding and coordinator of exports back to the Solarian core worlds, even becoming the capital of the new colonial administration of the Elyran Coalition in 2229. A strong cooperative dynamic developed between Damascus II and Persepolis, one that has stood the test of time and has been described often as a “Father-Child Relationship” by Elyran historians. The two planets continued to cooperate for the next decades, with each profiting off of the other and seeing each other as close partners in a journey to provide for themselves and for all of humanity in what ways they could. Damascene culture continued to advance; massive expansions of curriculum were taught in Damascus II’s most premier universities, expanding to accommodate for the rising numbers of Persepolian students and Damascenes wanting to contribute to helping the other colony.
When the Second Great Depression struck the Sol Alliance in 2260, Damascus II saw a complete collapse in its exports aside from to the local colonies around the planet and to Persepolis, something that would be key going into the future. As money around the alliance dried up, Damascus II’s educational institutions saw a dearth in funding and nearly shuttered their doors numerous times. The economic scare also meant that the Damascene countryside stopped being developed as subsidies for new settlers were cut off and old subsidies for crop production were lessened to a point that many farmers feared that they wouldn’t adequately be protected from crop failure. This caused a run on Damascene banks and saw a collapse of the financial scene on Damascus II, the onset of an economic malaise that lasted from the 2260’s to almost the 2300’s, concentrated mostly in the cities. During this time, Damascus II’s economy contracted greatly with only farming remaining a stable industry on the planet; eventually, even the farmers became stretched thin once the Interstellar War started as more and more Solarian money went to the war effort and not to its colonies. Tensions came to a head on August 4th, 2301, when a large protest consisting of students of CPI and HRU led by their professors occurred in front of the Captain’s Palace in Erum. The demonstration turned violent, and Solarian soldiers shot into the crowd killing 403 people and then arresting hundreds more. This event has gone down in Elyran history as "The 403 Challenges," with each death being seen as a reason challenge to Solarian colonial rule. Some organisers of the protest escaped to the countryside and to the city of Shiraz 242, where over the next weeks, they stirred up enough discontent among the population there for them to take up arms and march into Erum demanding that the current Captain resign. When this failed, there was more violence, but this time the rebels had the support of some colonial troops based in the Shiraz 242 Garrison to back them up. Within a few days, they deposed the ruling captain and formed an interim council. Seeing the writing on the wall for the ongoing war in the frontier and being tired of nearly an entire generation’s length of economic stagnation, Damascus II unilaterally declared independence from the Solarian Alliance on August 19th, 2301. Appealing to their neighbours to further gather strength, the Damascene council sent a transmission to a colonial, Persepolis-born General in charge of the Persepolian garrison, General Abd Al-Hamid, and pleaded with him to join their movement and become their leader. After giving some thought to the proposition, General Al-Hamid agreed and mobilized his troops to help any other colonies in the Elyran Coalition seize Solarian military assets. Due to the Solarian military’s exhaustion from the interstellar war, this was a relatively bloodless affair and mostly entailed small skirmishes while Elyran forces captured surrendering Solarian troops in their bases. Soon after, on January 1st, 2302, General Abd Al-Hamid proclaimed the Serene Republic of Elyra on Damascus II in front of the Captain’s Palace where the movement first had begun.
Damascus II has enjoyed a strong status in the Republic of Elyra since the nation’s independence. It was Elyra’s first formal capital from the years of 2302 to 2374, however due to Persepolis’s growing status as an economic superplanet, a nation-wide referendum was held to move the capital and passed handily. Despite this though, Damascus II continues to have a strong presence in Elyran politics due to its important position as the breadbasket and university of the Republic. The Elyran Ministry of Agriculture maintains its offices on the planet, being the only government ministry to not be centred on Persepolis. Culturally, Damascus II has shined the most of any Elyran planet, creating the foundations for what would become modern Elryan culture, the Elyran National identity, and the cradle of the Elyran Republic itself. During the Lii’dra incursion, Damascus II provided relief to Busra in the form of duty-free food exports and sizable donations from its universities, and a surge in citizens volunteering for the Elyran military.
Geography & Environment
The planet of Damascus II has something that made it very appealing as a colonization target: naturally-occurring water. While this indeed was its original allure, once there, a second boon of exceptionally rich black volcanic soil was discovered there that made it the agricultural hub of Elyra that it is today. The terrain of the planet lacks the vast flat plains of other food-producing planets like Vysoka and is instead more often than not filled with rolling hills with flatter meadows interspersed in between them, leading eventually into foothills and small, snow-capped mountain ranges closer to the interior of the continents. Naturally, as more distance is travelled from the equator, the temperature becomes colder and colder, but the majority of the livable areas on the planet possess a mild climate with the coastal areas having cool, rainy winters, with warm, drier summers. The interior of the three continents of Damascus II typically have cold, snowy winters with hot, moderately rainy summers. Courtesy of its mountain ranges, Damascus II has numerous lakes and rivers scattered across its surface.
The native fauna of Damascus II consists primarily of aquatic life, a rich ecosystem of various fish-like, cephalopod-esque animals and creatures akin to cetaceans living in its oceans, the great, carnivorous, black whale being one of them. On land, the story is somewhat different, with most creatures being small in size. Near the more humid coastal areas, the red rock crab, a crustacean seeming to be almost a meter long in size, often lives in colonies upwards of five-hundred, eating shore scraps and foraging from the various plants along the shoreline. More inland, small mammalian, burrowing creatures, rabbit- or mole-like in anatomy, can be found. The premier land predator, and official animal, of Damascus is the red-beaked stark crane, a two-meter tall carnivorous bird with a sharp, long, curved beak that while capable of flight, can run up to 65 kilometers (40 miles) per hour in chasing down its prey. It is prized for its plumage of white feathers tipped with scarlet red, and the crane was nearly hunted to extinction in the 2340’s.
Damascus II’s native flora is mostly shrubs, grasses, and short trees, often noted for their hardy characteristics and dark, green and black leaves. One of the primary grains of Damascus II is the sour khuruf seed, so-called because it was originally used as feed for sheep on the planet. Since the colony’s first establishment, this black grain has become a staple food in Damascene cuisine, seeing use in breads, pastas, and cereals.
As implied by the planet’s history, Damascus II’s primary economic focuses are agriculture and the services industry in the form of their massive, historic universities, HRU and CPI being the two premier ones, taking on millions of students. The agricultural sector on Damascus II is the largest in all of Elyra, and its exports in both raw and processed foods compose an overwhelming majority of all food consumed in the Serene Republic. Many of its luxury food items come from the planet as well, such as expensive cheeses, cuts of meat, and wines. Similarly, Damascus II has one of the most robust higher education systems in the Orion Spur, and since the majority of its universities are owned by the planetary government, all profits typically go into the budget for the Damascene government to spend as they see fit, typically on continuing to improve infrastructure and on construction projects. Originally beginning as a seed seller, the oldest corporation in Elyra, Yazmani Holdings began on Damascus II and still has its headquarters in the planet’s largest city, Erum. Aside from these two primary sectors, Damascus II also boasts small manufacturing and chemical industries along with a business presence, with many Elyran companies having regional branches in Erum or Zezura. The city of Urkesh is also economically important as a sizable number of companies in the Elyran film and entertainment industries have their headquarters there, even though many have moved or are moving to Persepolis. Damascus II is also the seat of Elyra’s Ministry of Agriculture and sees a fair number of government contracts and other commerce that the government brings in as a result. Erum, being the oldest and arguably most cultured city in Elyra, is also a prime destination for tourists, both Elyran and foreign, to visit for its historical sites and art galleries.
Damascus II maintains a system of two legislative bodies. They are the Planetary Diet, consisting of 400 delegates from all over the planet’s various administrative divisions, and the Officers Assembly a council of 21 members that hold important positions in Damascene society similar to the original executive assembly. The Officers’ Assembly consists of the Damascus’s highest ranking officers, established immediately after Damascus II’s initial colonization. The Officer’s Assembly is a group of figures occupying set positions in Damascene society, mostly agricultural, military, religious, and academic leaders, including the chancellors of CPI and HRU. The Assembly serves as a limiting body that cannot propose new legislation, but instead can approve, reject, block, or suggest changes to legislation proposed by the Planetary Diet. The Officer's Assembly also is the deciding authority in the event of a tied vote in the Diet. The Diet on the whole is split between two primary parties aligned on urban-rural lines, with the Industrial Progress Party representing the urban population of the planet and the Damascene Revolutionary Party representing the other. Both of these parties have connections to the national-level parties the Republican Revolutionary Society and the League of United Republicans, respectively, though neither Damascene party is solidly aligned with either national party. There is also a small, minor third party that often wins a few seats in the Diet across rural and urban lines: the religiously oriented Scriptural Democracy Party, which has strong ties to the national-level Muslim Democratic Conference. Nationally, Damascus II has been a steadfast stronghold for the Republican Revolutionary Society, voting in a majority for them in every national election since 2372. The Muslim Democratic Conference often holds a far-off secondary position in the electorate for the planet.
The Office of the Damascene Captain is the highest authority on Damascus II, and is a figure that historically served as an allegory for a Sol-appointed colonial governor, but since independence has been a figure elected to 6 year terms by the Planetary Diet. The Damascene Captain’s duties include presiding over the Officer’s Assembly as its 21st officer, overseeing all government functions on Damascus II, making executive decisions in the planet’s government, and keeping the peace and order on the planet by being the commander-in-chief of the planet’s police and customs enforcement force, the Captain’s Constabulary Brigade. Politically, the Captain is not allowed to be an official member of any party on Damascus II. The Damascene Captain is culturally seen as the protector of the Elyran Revolution on Damascus II, and often performs many ceremonial duties both on Damascus II and other planets in relation to the revolution. The planet’s current Captain is a retired general of the Elyran Armed Forces and former professor of Interstellar Security at HRU, Hafez-Ali Esmaeili.
Culture & Society
Damascene culture is unique, even by Elyran standards for how traditional it is in comparison to the rest of Elyra. Damascus II, while by most measures a very modern and up-to-date world, has a much stronger connection to its cultural, Old-Earth roots than any other planet in Elyra. It is a society that is more outwardly religious than almost any other Elyran planet, This traditionalism manifests itself in the planet’s architecture with styles often reminiscent of traditional architecture found in Middle East and Northern Africa being commonplace on Damascus II. In materials as well, Damascus II remains traditional as many of its cities and countryside homes are built with stone bricks, clay plaster, wood, and steel, eschewing the Arab-Futurist styles using plasteel, glass, and anti-gravity technology typically associated with wider Elyran architecture.
Damascus II is somewhat divided, not just politically but culturally as well, on an urban-rural line that broadly encompasses many differences that separate the Damascene people into two varied subcultures. Damascus II didn’t see the great scale of populations shifting to the cities that other human-inhabited worlds did due to farming and agriculture’s long standing importance in the planet’s economy.
Some larger cities are sometimes exceptions to this rule of identifying more with the rural culture of the planet. Urban-dwelling Damascenes are typically less religious, and more likely to be involved with the services industry of the planet than their more agriculture focused rural counterparts. Economically, however, Damascenes as a whole are mostly on par with one another, since rates of poverty and wealth are uniform across both subcultures. This divide manifests itself most politically, as both sides often clash in the diet on matters where planetary funding should be spent. Despite these differences, both urban and rural demographics of the planet are unified in the belief that they are Damascene and Elyran, and they will also work together on many different issues in the name of this unity. Damascus II has seen great success in keeping its people unified through both promotion of the “Damascene Spirit” in its population and through its exceptionally robust public education system that ensures education levels are standard across the planet, regardless of geographic area.
Damascene cuisine is very similar to the rest of Elyra as it is the primary producer of food in the republic. Food served on Damascus II typically involves a wide variety of seafood, something absent in the planet’s exports due to seafood’s tendency to spoil while in transit. Fried squid or fish served with a sauce made from lemon, apple, and khuruf seed is quite common on the planet. Additionally, Damascus II has developed one of the finest and most luxurious wine industries in the Orion Spur over its multiple centuries of existence. This pedigree often makes Damascene wine a sought after commodity that has fetched millions of credits per bottle in the past for older vintages. Regardless of this commodity of planetary pride, wine and other alcoholic beverages cannot be purchased at ordinary stores and can only be bought at special liquor shops or hotels.
In dress, Damascenes are also more traditional than the rest of their Elyran contemporaries, rejecting the trends of vibrantly-hued hard-light clothing seen on Persepolis in favour of more classic styles and materials. Damascene urban fashion consists primarily of fine suits in rich, dark colours for men, and vibrantly bright blouses, skirts, and dresses for women. Rural fashion consists more of tunics on both men and women, often with woven designs inspired from Damascus II’s colonizing cultures along with other pieces of clothing indicative of the agricultural sector, such as overalls and wide-brimmed hats. In Elryan culture, overalls are often depicted as a stereotypically rural Damascene piece of clothing. Something that is a signature of Damascene fashion across both the rural and urban population is the wearing of the fez on men or hijab on women, though some Damascenes choose to forgo these pieces of headwear. Cybernetic augmentations are uncommon among the population of Damascus II, yet they are not unheard of. Augmentations and prosthetics are almost always used as ways to compensate for injuries, but they are occasionally used as integrated, wearable artistic canvases for New Beirut designers to create lavish, intricate designs upon.
One of the most distinctive parts of the cultural identity present on Damascus II is something colloquially referred to as the Damascene Spirit a sort of pervasive cultural mindset present on the planet. This ethos is arguably the backbone of not just Damascene culture, but Elyran culture as well. It is based on the ideas of tradition being the foundation of modern progress, egalitarianism, and exceptionalism. Damascus II to the Damascenes, and by extension the entire Republic of Elyra, is something special, unique, and, to some interpretations, better than everywhere else in the Orion Spur. The ideal also posits this is not an excuse to belittle and oppress others, but is instead the basis by which the Damascene people should build a society that helps others through the spreading of knowledge, giving of charity, maintenance of order and societal norms, and progression of ethics throughout Elyran society, all while remaining respectful of the traditions that allowed that society to prosper. This ethos has become part of the greater Elyran identity, though it is most literally interpreted on Damascus II, and is the result of the planet’s storied history of often being the one to assist growing colonies either through provisions of food or education and being the birthplace of the Elryan Revolution. Something more material in which this can be observed is a special reverence across Damascene society for Captain Aslan Değirmenci, the first Damascene Captain and a man typically used as a personification of the Damascene Spirit. Even centuries after his death, his portrait can be seen on buildings, in restaurants, in schools, places of government, and in the homes of Damascenes themselves, often displayed next to the picture of General Abd Al-Hamid.
While noble and charitable in its concept, the“Damascene Spirit has also manifested itself in less noble ways, such as an paternalistic attitude among Damascene politicians that sometimes treats other planets in the Republic as naive or childish or an apprehension to interact with the greater Orion Spur, due to Elyra’s exceptional status in their mindset. Damascus II has also historically been one of the largest proponents in Elyra for isolationist economic and social measures along with expansions to the Elyran Military, something that representatives from more liberal planets in Elyra like Medina have often criticized as being unnecessarily cautious and detrimentally biased to the status quo. Some in Elyra argue that the mindset of helpful progress should include all of the Spur and not just Elyra, while others maintain the Republic comes first and foremost and must be preserved against outside influences in whatever shapes they may take; Damascus II consistently resides in the latter camp. This argument though remains not only a cultural and political question on Damascus II, but in the Republic of Elyra in its entirety, and has grown to be talked about more than ever before with the recent collapse of much of the Solarian Alliance.
Erum - The planetary capital, Erum was the first city established on Damascus II and also holds the status of the oldest city in the Republic of Elyra. It is the most populated city on Damascus II and along with the neighbouring Zezura composes the largest metropolitan area on Damascus II and largest conurbation in Elyra not on Persepolis. It has numerous historical sites dotted across its cityscape. The primary campuses of Captain Aslan Değirmenci Polytechnic Institute and the Harun Al-Rashid University of Economics and Humanities are located in Erum, along with the Captain’s Palace, Legislative Hall, Damascene Art Gallery, the Elyran National Library, and the Damascus, the original colony ship that settled Damascus II that now functions as the Damascene History Museum. It is still customary for the Damascene Captain to be sworn in on the bridge of the now immobile museum-of-a-ship. The city is also known throughout Elyra for its exquisite examples of Old Earth-influenced architecture, with some buildings being over 310 years old. The tallest building on Damascus II, the green-glassed, 124-floor tall Yazmani Holdings Headquarters, is located in Erum.
Every year on August 19th, the anniversary of Damascus II’s formal independence, many Erumites solemnly gather in front of the Captain’s Palace during the day to pay their respects to those who died in the planet’s revolution. At night however, citizens mass in the same place to witness and participate in a humorous reenactment of Damascene colonial soldiers and civilians “fighting back” the Solarian planetary garrison with things like produce, wine bottles, farming implements, dead fish & squid, and stale bread. After this reenactment, a jubilant, celebratory, week-long festival is held across Erum perhaps ironically called “the Triumph,” during which alcohol sales within city limits are unregulated. Because of its history and established traditions of intellectualism, patriotism, and artistry, Erum markets itself as the “cultural capital of the cultural capital of Elyra.”
Zezura - Zezura began as a suburb of Erum but grew to be a city in its own right, becoming Damascus II’s primary port to the outside world. Its close proximity to Erum leads it to have many things in common with the larger city, yet it remains distinctive for its port and the crowd that port brings, making Zezura the city on Damascus II with the most foreign residents (most of whom are Non-Citizen Person workers). People from all over the Republic of Elyra, and to a much lesser extent, the Orion Spur, can be found here. The largest mosque in Elyra, Bayt Al-Malaika, is also located here. It is also home to Damascus II's Zezuran Bazaar, a colossal open-air mall that carries luxury goods from all over Damascus II and the Republic of Elyra as a whole. Nearly everything that the planet produces can be found there, from foods, state of the art farming equipment, or the many different products of Damascus II’s many artists.
Shiraz 242 - Shiraz 242, named after the quadrant of land the city was founded upon, is the largest settlement on Damascus II not located near a coastal area, and despite being a large city in its own right, it is often seen as a hub of Damascus II’s rural culture. The city is surrounded by lush countryside filled with farms and orchards and has the honour of hosting the head offices of the Elyran Ministry of Agriculture. Shiraz 242 is also the city in which the Elryan Revolution is claimed to have started, being the city where the Erumite professors fled and inspired the rural people of Damascus II to march on Erum. The largest obelisk in Elyran Space, simply called “the Revolutionary Spike,” is in the center of the city’s central square with the names of those who died in the Damascene Revolution commemorating this string of events. The city also possesses a manufacturing industry focused around creating agricultural equipment and heavy machinery.
New Beirut - A city located in the beautiful coastal scenery of Damascus II’s equator, New Beirut, sometimes referred to as simply “NB,” originally began as a small fishing town that exploded in population during the 2210’s when it became the center of the Damascene film industry, eventually settling to the current, relatively smaller population has today. Many directors came to the city to film in its scenic locales for their movies, the tropical climate of the city welcoming any and all who moved to the fledgling locality. Even though its status as an Elyran entertainment hub has declined over the years as the industry has shifted away from Damascus II and towards Persepolis, New Beirut remains the city where some Elyran film studios, holovision conglomerates, and the QQ division of Osman Electric Industries maintain their corporate offices. Recently, New Beirut has focused on selling itself as the tech capital of Damascus II, hoping to promote investment from around the Republic of Elyra into its technology sector. The city has also in recent years become a popular tourist destination for the inhabitants of Damascus II, away from the great crowds of Erum and Zezura, and is the heart of Damascus II’s underground art and music scene.
Bogazkale - Beginning originally as a fort for the Solarian colonial garrison in the interior of the planet’s largest continent, Bogazkale functions today as a large “rural” city where the Elyran Armed Forces maintain its largest presence on Damascus II. The city’s economy mostly revolves around producing food with a secondary focus: a chemical industry primarily geared towards creating fertilizers and other soil-enriching products. Cooperation and research sharing with Aemaqi firms is not unheard of. The city has a scientific institute, the Damascene Laboratory of Agricultural Research, that often cooperates with the Elyran National Institute of Phoron Sciences to develop uses for phoron in fertilizers and other agricultural applications. It is the fifth largest city on Damascus II.