Cairo is a city in Egypt.
NOTE: As part of the September 2020 Operations Update, Rusty Quill addressed criticism of their portrayal of Cairo in RQG and apologised for the lack of research surrounding its depiction. If you are interested in creating content set during this arc, please be aware that this is not a historically accurate or culturally sensitive portrayal of Cairo. (If you are interested in doing research, check this resource library out.)
The full text of the specific section reads:
- "There are some storylines and characterisations within our content that are racially and/or culturally insensitive, some of which propagate harmful stereotypes. We acknowledge that these exist and apologise for their unintended appearance in our work. These have included: Depictions of Egypt and Egyptian culture in Rusty Quill Gaming which should have been more fully researched and depicted in a more nuanced manner."
- ―Operations Update
Cairo is being tormented by sandstorms; over the past couple of months, they've been dealing with more and more. Due to the sandstorms, the streets have build-ups of sand. The main strip is very similar to Las Vegas. There are a lot of casinos, bars, hotels, leisure buildings, etc.; it is incredibly tourist-oriented, with a number of pyramid-themed buildings. Most of the buildings are occupied from people sheltering from the storms and boarded up to protect them. In the distance, you can see actual pyramids. Many of the buildings around the strip have gargoyles along the roofs - sphinx's.
The residential areas of Cairo are more rich; the streets are long and curvy, and the names are even more so (some street names are above 10 words). The homes are large and sprawling.
Temple of Aphrodite
The Temple of Aphrodite is clean and very hospital-like. There are a number of consulting rooms and a large room for mass healings. The inside of the temple is completely pink, with a long corridor that ends in a foyer. The foyer has a desk in it and a huge mural of Aphrodite stepping out of a clam. Down the hall is a canteen. Upstairs, there is a dormitory area for visitors and clerics/paladins to sleep. There's one room in the hospital that is for the extremely rare/contagious cases.
The Tahan residence is huge, more of an estate than a house or a manor. Lookwise, it's been compared to the Alhambra in Spain. The house has been built to accommodate a full-sized human rather than a halfling, and there is a guest house that will be more sized for larger creatures. There are gardens on different levels of the house. Guards at the house have so much plumage so as to be inefficient. The gate on the outside is elaborate, with a small guard house next to it. Through the gate, there is a long path up to the house surrounded by gardens. The gardens are incredibly tasteful with perfectly cut rows. They're covered in sand from the storm. The front door is large and ornate, boasting gold and mithril inlays. It's a solid door as well, and would provide strategic defense in case of a riot or uprising.
Inside the house, there is a lot of black drapery hanging around. The interior is much more minimalist than the outside. There are multiple floors to the house; on the second floor there is a small lounge for receiving guests (and serving them food and drinks without a proper sit-down) and a family drawing room. There is also a smoking room on this level. The guest houses all have rooms with en suite bathrooms attached to them. Hamid's room is just as he left it when he left to go to university. There are some of his old toys sitting around the room, and some old posters on the wall.
The graveyard is peaceful. It's on a rise overlooking the river, surrounded by a field of flowers. Tombstones are interspersed throughout the flowers. Stretching out across the field are a few trees.
The bar is a complete dive, and it's clear that it's not a popular tourist location. It's one of the only old buildings left along the strip. It looks almost like an inn, and the original stonework is still there. The sign above the pub has completely worn away. The clientele ranges from employees who work on the strip to well-dressed people who are clearly "slumming it" for a night. There are a lot of low ceilings and nooks and crannies. The pub itself has a few different bars inside it. Basically each area of the pub has a different bar and bartender for the nearby clientele.
The Cairo branch of the Tahan banks is completely built around a retrofitted pyramid. The original stonework of the pyramid is completely there, but the interior has been modernized with glass and steel. The building is huge, with offices stretching out on the upper floors - this branch has more security than the other branches. There are private VIP rooms off of the main atrium of the base; they are effectively sealed boxes that cannot be opened with magic.
The entrance to the vaults is beyond all the offices, through a magical set of double doors. A wizard is needed to open the door, which opens into a steel cube with four crystals on each corner and four torches on each wall. They are unlit, and there is a basin of oil in the middle. Through the next door is an identical cube; again, a caster is needed to open the doors into the vaults. The doors open into what looks like an empty cavern, with a narrow stone pathway that leads sharply downward. The scale of the place itself is weird, looking much too big for the space they have. In the distance, magical/buzzing noises can be heard. The path leads to a stone plinth, with two paths leading off into the distance. One of the paths leads to another platform, with three paths leading off. Down the correct path, there is another stone platform, this time with five paths leading off and three statues. The first seems to be of a fighter, the second of a caster, and the third of someone laying prone. On this level, the bank has placed Beholders. The correct path from this platform levels out, leading down into a stone base. Along the base is a curved wall that curls up, almost like a dome, covered in keyholes, and can rotate.
There is a mechanism on the main stone base that carries them to a different area of the vaults. The entire cavern shakes violently for a while, and then the sides of the cavern begin to shrink in on them until its as wide as the platform. It starts to spin, moving quickly, and then stops hard for a moment of stillness. The walls suddenly explode outward, expanding to become huge again as the air normalizes.
Heart of Aphrodite vault
It is a darkened room with a pedestal in the middle; there is a pink glow coming from the pedestal and it sits in a pillar of light. On the pedestal sits the Heart of Aphrodite, a rose-gold clam with a huge ruby in the middle. The doors automatically close when someone leaves, although it still needs to be locked.
His office is a mundane size, and is located in the bank vaults. It's an incredibly messy room, with filing cabinets everywhere and stacks of paper around the room. One of the filing cabinets is filled with information regarding tracking materials. There is a basic metal desk in the back of the room with three draws down one side. The first two drawers have hand traps, and the third drawer has a magical trap - explosive runes. The first drawer has two lockboxes with gold, silver, and diamonds inside them. Inside the second drawer is travel documents and papers for Nikola Tesla. The third drawer contains a manila folder with plans to what may be a kill switch/way to mess up the simulacrum.
One of the tomb entrances is through a VIP room at the Tahan family bank. There is an illusion across the wall, with a small hole completely covered by the illusion. It opens into a dimly-lit corridor covered in hieroglyphics with a path stretching out in both directions. It is supernaturally dark in the tomb. Along the path, there is a poison dart trap, followed by a large pit trap with spikes at the bottom.
The building that Apophis resides in is a massive, sprawling pyramid shape structure that makes the Great Pyramid of Giza look tiny, and it’s clear that it’s magically reinforced to keep it from falling down or collapsing in on itself. At the top of the structure is a gleam, which appears golden in the heat haze and is covered in art. The building itself is mostly covered in stone renditions of a massive dragon, which drapes along the shape of the entire place.
There are smaller buildings out front that are much more humanoid scale, and they are set up to look almost like a town hall. All of this stands out to other Meritocratic offices in that rather than having big security fences and other such things people have come to expect from them, all of these buildings are more self-contained.
The entrance hall is nothing if not grand, with massive, gilded wicket doors that have smaller entry doors built in. They’re similar in design to the Tahans’ doors, but much larger, and rather than gems, there’s more metals inlaid and a distinct draconic based motif.
Inside the room, there is a lot of wasted space. The hall stretches off in all directions, and large pillars are placed for structural support. Upon the walls, there are magical mosaics depicting images of Apophis. They move, but it’s clear that the magic is strictly aesthetic, nothing more.
Through a set of double doors at the far end of the entrance hall is the waiting room. It is simple in design and much smaller than the entrance hall. The room itself is of a humanoid style with a set of cushioned couches in the corners. It’s magically lit and is very obviously not a room meant to house a dragon.
Realm of Apophis
Inside what is known as the Realm of Apophis is nothing if not unsettling due to the vast empty space and dim lighting. Whereas the entrance hall is intentionally meant to look grand, this room is phenomenally massive—definitely a place to house a colossal dragon. This room is nothing like anything one might see elsewhere as there is too much empty space.
Almost couched against the entrance is a normal human-sized desk, looking quite discomforting in the vast emptiness. To the left of it stands a bunch of racks for the holding of weapons, and opposite those are even more racks for holding armor and other such items. There are freestanding racks, as well, holding ceremonious gowns for visitors to wear if they wish to.
Heading down the middle of the hall, there are support pillars throughout, each spaced further than is structurally sound and clearly held by magic. It is impossible to tell how far this hall goes as the further in one goes, the lower the lights are until there is simply a gleam off in the distance.