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[Lore] Saddlelon


Bellosh

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Saddlelon - Knowledge is its Treasure

 

No doubt exists of Saddlelon’s position as one of the world’s great cities, and a cradle of ancient civilization. Being the oldest and most populated metropolis in Saddle Arabia, Saddlelon displays much of the country’s rich history and culture front and center. Hence, it’s apt to say that if the Sultan’s seat of government in Manephis is Saddle Arabia’s hard-thinking brain, then Saddlelon would surely be the beating heart pumping vibrancy into horse society.

 

It was only natural that Saddlelon achieved greatness thanks to a dominant position on the lower banks of the Shatt al-Iblis. With the river flowing right through the middle of it, the city provides convenient access to the seas lying to Saddle Arabia’s east and south. Groves of palm trees straddle the river shores to the immediate east and west outside of Saddlelon’s outer fortifications; a series of two decorative brick walls surrounded by a moat filled by the Shatt al-Iblis.

 

The city itself is densely packed with untold scores of buildings, interspaced with wide squares and vibrant parks. Equine architects devoted great care in erecting every aspect of Saddlelon; they arranged the streets in orderly grids and lavished attention to aesthetic design on all structures both grandiose and humble. Commercial markets line the major thoroughfares while residential districts are built around, or even within, Saddlelon’s numerous and massive libraries. The metropolis’s citizens take great pride in maintaining the network of archives that many scholars deem to be the largest body of knowledge in the known world, as well as being directly responsible for first cultivating the meritocratic principles upon which Saddle Arabia is built upon.

 

All the local libraries act as satellite institutions of the Palaces of Thought: the four terraced ziggurats (two on each side of the Shatt al-Iblis) towering over the rest of Saddlelon’s skyline. These massive ziggurats house Saddle Arabia’s premier academic institutions, where spacious lecture halls, bustling workshops, and state-of-the-art laboratories are set aside for every conceivable skilled trade and academic discipline imaginable. All four ziggurats are connected to one another by a ring of open-air trotways. While marvels of engineering in of themselves, it is the beautiful arrays of flowers and other greenery lining these linking trotways that earn their reputation as the world-renowned Hanging Gardens of Saddlelon.

 

Knowledge is not the only treasure that can be found here. As the primary metaphorical bridge between the realm's urban centers and its vast arid interior, Saddlelon is the city most exposed to cultural influences from the Great Desert’s nomadic tribes. Caravans from the west canter in and out of Saddlelon daily to conduct trade, making it a respectable commercial hub in its own right. But some of these nomadic horses choose to settle down in the city, and through them comes a diversity of tribal fashion, food, music, literature, and poetry not seen anywhere else in Saddle Arabian. And as it turns out, tourists rather enjoy the convenience of experiencing everything that the country offers without taking a long trek into the world’s biggest desert to do so.

~Beyond Equestria: A Traveler's Guide to Mysteries and Wonders of Maretonia, Saddle Arabia and More

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