Høyrød Kryss (Norwegian)
Clockwise from top: Port Scarlett, The Crimson Cross
Monument, Blood Forest, St Scarlett's
Location of Kryss in St Scarlett
Kryss Metropolitan Area:
Kryss Metropolitan Area:
Kryss (officially Høyrød Kryss, Norwegian), is the capital of St Scarlett’s Kryss region and is often considered the religious capital of the island nation. Located on the West Coast of St Scarlett, this city is surrounded by a thick forest known as the Blood Forest (Blodskog).
With a population of just over 200,000 it is the country’s third largest city behind Rubin and Redbrook and holds major significance as the burial city of the nation’s patron saint, who founded and carried out most of her activities in the city during her life on the island. Saint Scarlett’s Cathedral is a popular tourist destination for the city and is also a well known pilgrimage site for Catholic women from all across the world.
Due to it’s history with the patron saint, the city has a heavy cultural focus on women and is known for its heavy use of the Norwegian language, similar to other western regions in the nation.
Kryss is governed by the Red Mayor and the Crimson Council and is also home to the Council of Kryss, which governs the greater region of Kryss.
The city is named for the crimson cross necklace Scarlett Espendottir wore around her neck in life, surviving today as a relic kept safe within Saint Scarlett’s Cathedral. Its official Norwegian name ‘Høyrød Kryss’ translates literally to crimson cross in Skarlagen Norwegian, though it should be noted that the standard Norwegian would be Høyrød Kors.
Due to the difficult pronunciation for English speakers, the word ‘Høyrød’ was dropped from the official English name with the city instead sharing its name with the region it is contained within, Kryss. There have been proposals to change its English name to Crimson Kryss/Cross or Hyrud Kryss but due to the prominence of Norwegian in the city none of these have been successful and Kryss has remained the preferred English name.
Until about the mid 1800s the city was sometimes known as Blodrød Kryss, with Blodrød (literally blood red) being another word for Crimson, however this name was never popular and fell out of use completely over time.
It is likely that some small town or village existed in the area before Espendottir’s arrival, however the settlement that would eventually grown into the city of Kryss was founded by the patron saint around 1666. Legends state that she had been present on the islands from around 1662, performing various acts of kindness and generosity all across the land, but founded the city as a hospice and base of operations after Norwegian authorities began appearing in major towns in an attempt to counter her efforts.
With many flocking here to hear Scarlett speak and to receive her help it quickly grew into a village and then a town, with its residents dubbing it Høyrød Kryss or Blodrød Kryss in honour of Scarlett’s famous amulet and her nursing practices.
Legends also state that the famous Blood Forest that surrounds the city sprung forth from the spilled blood of one of Scarlett’s patients. In reality it is likely the forest was planted by the citizens in order to create a barrier around the city and to make it harder to spot from afar.
After Scarlett was killed her body was buried in the town and construction began on a church that would eventually become the Saint Scarlett Cathedral, this is also where her necklace, and the city’s namesake, was placed and remains to this day. Her grave is the nation’s most holy site and is guarded 24/7.
A few decades after her death a monument was placed in the town centre in her honour, this is the Crimson across Memorial and it remains in its place to this day.
Throughout the rest of Skarlagen history the city remained largely uninvolved, allowing its population to flourish despite events occurring elsewhere in the nation. During the war of independence, which occurred mainly in the East, many Skarlagens migrated to Kryss for sanctuary, which saw its population significantly boosted. It’s also a popular destination for Norwegian migrants due to its prominent use of the Norwegian language.
Kryss has an area of about 169 square miles and is located on the west coast of St Scarlett. Most of the city is away from the ocean but Kryss does have a port, Port Scarlett on its outer edge.
Being on the western coast, exposed to the harsh Atlantic elements, Kryss lies atop high cliffs around 30 metres high and isn't known for its beaches . On the sides that don't face the sea is the Blood Forest, with tree cover so thick barely any sunlight reaches the interior. The forest consists mostly of tall fir trees and is filled with nocturnal wildlife. It is one of the best places to see the Skarlagen Arctic Fox.
The harsh ocean winds give the city a very low average temperature all year round and snow is a common sight for the majority of the year.
Kryss has five districts, these are Scarlett District containing most of the cliffside areas, Hellig District where the Saint Scarlett Cathedral is located, Port District containing the city's ports and fishing communities, Residential District near the outer edge where the majority of home owning residents live and Central District containing the financial hub and administrative areas. Districts are responsible for a wide variety of public services, which include land-use planning, environmental planning, public housing, management and maintenance of local roads, and social security.
All five districts are administrated by the Red Mayor and the Crimson Council from Kryss City Hall which is located in the Central District.
Kryss also contains the majority of the Kryss region's government which, thanks to devolution, handles issues such as education and taxation in the westernmost region. All divisions of the national police force are controlled from Rubin, but the division that operates within the city limits is known as Scarlett's Angels and is known for angel wings logo, displayed prominently on every officer's back behind the word 'Police'.
The city is known as a Women's Party stronghold and tends to hold more conservative views reflecting those of the more authoritarian governments of St Scarlett's past. However, it is reigned in by the national government and is not an unsafe location for men to visit in any regard, it has also become subject to many new progressive laws imposed upon it by Rubin.
Country of Origin
Kryss is the third most populous city in St Scarlett. With it's population standing around the 206,000 mark. While this population is not too impressive by global standards it has come a long way since the city's founding in the 1600s. The region saw a large population boom thanks to Saint Scarlett's presence and this grew throughout her years in the country and immediately after. It's thought the population was around 50,000 by the start of the 19th century.
The city grew further as the nation faced issues from Norway in the East, with many citizens fleeing west and reached 150,000 by the 1980s. Since relations with the mainland cooled many Norwegians, Swedes and Danes made their way to the city. The city has also seen an influx of Brits and Laverians, especially since strong relations were formed with those nations. Thanks to the Laver-Scarlett Treaty the Laverian population continues to grow rapidly.
Like the rest of the nation the vast majority of Kryssers were born in St Scarlett, around 89% in this city's case, or to Skarlagen parents. There are no official statistics on ethnic groups but it is assumed a large majority of Kryssers are white due to the nations they originate from and a lack of imperial activity in St Scarlett's past. Like with Rubin, people of African and Asian descent are not unheard of however, many of whom made their way to St Scarlett from the UK and USA.
As the religious centre of St Scarlett the vast majority of people living in Kryss are Roman Catholic, with the number estimated to be around 85-90% of the city's residents. The remainder follow a mix of religions such as Judaism, Islam, Hinduism, other forms of Christianity and many follow no religion at all. The only purpose built religious buildings in the city are churches, with the most prominent being the Cathedral of Saint Scarlett, with other religions finding home in smaller buildings or personal households.
While Kryss is often overshadowed by tourist hotspots like Rubin and Snowby, many Catholic pilgrims flock to Kryss in the warmer months, mostly women, in order to see the Crimson Cross of St Scarlett and to visit her grave. Gatherings are often seen at the Crimson Cross Memorial and flowers are left by the many visitors this monument sees. Most pilgrims and other visitors do not settle, but it is not unheard of.
In recent years, Kryss has ranked high in international surveys for its tourism industry, offering attractions for not just religious people but for everyone. Its snow covered streets make it one of the most photographed locations in Northern Europe and the Blood Forest is perfect for those interested in natural wonders. The city also boasts a prominent night life despite its more conservative nature, with many clubs and bars open 24/7.
Kryss's financial district is located in the centre of the city. The city's economy is based largely on timber and fishing, thanks to the natural resources at the city's edges.
Statistics for 2020 show that a small majority of the 140,000 workers in Rubin are employed in the service sector, especially transport and communications, trade, and finance, while around 12,000 work in the fishing and timber industries. The public sector workforce is around 60,000, including education and healthcare.
While no major companies have their headquarters in the city, many have minor operations. Vixen Inc has a long history of operating from the city and its main Headquarters were located here until Vixen Hus was completed in Rubin. In addition, city authorities have encouraged the development of business clusters in several innovative sectors, which include information technology, biotechnology, pharmaceuticals, clean technology and smart city solutions.
Like the rest of the nation, Kryss has some of the highest gross wages in the world. This along with relatively low taxes has made St Scarlett an attractive location for both domestic and foreign labour. It is however also among the most expensive cities in Europe.
Tourism also plays an important role in Kryss' economy, attracting visitors due to the city's aesthetic beauty, natural wonders, religious significance, and locally sourced restaurants serving Skarlagen delicacies. Hotel capacity in the city is growing steadily. From 2018 it has been experiencing a large growth in international bed nights (total number of nights spent by tourists).
In 2018, it is estimated that city break tourism contributed to 1 billion vixes in turnover. 120,000 cruise passengers visited Port Scarlett in 2019.
The city's appearance today is shaped by the key role it has played as a religious centre for centuries, with Scarlett Espendottir symbology spread widely across the city. Kryss has a multitude of areas, each with its own distinctive character. Other features of Kryss include the abundance of natural features and the busy streets of the shop filled Central District.
The city's style has evolved over the centuries but remains mostly untouched by modern features such as glass-faced high-rises, with most buildings built in classical Scandinavian and Germanic styles. Church spires dominate the skyline, with each carrying its own distinct character.
Prominent buildings from the nation's older years include the 17th century Saint Scarlett Cathedral built in a gothic style, the 20th modernised factories and fisheries and the fancy Scarlett Theatre which dates back to the 19th century.
Kryss prides itself on its natural outskirts, and due to their links to the legend of Saint Scarlett herself, has made extensive efforts to preserve it and to carefully plan the collection of timber. The city also has strict rules on where the city limits can lie, with lots of planning permission required for those seeking to extend them out further into the forest.
The city's major landmarks include the aforementioned Cathedral of Saint Scarlett, Port Scarlett and Scarlett Theatre as well as the Blood Forest, Tomb of Scarlett Espendottir and Crimson Cross Monument.
As the religious capital of St Scarlett, the city has a heavy focus on Christianity and the patron saint, Scarlett Espendottir. This can be seen immediately in its numerous churches but also in the names of streets, shops, monuments, restaurants and more, with many displaying Espendottir's name to some regards.
The city's animal is the bat, as this was a known symbol of Saint Scarlett. An image of a bat in front of a dagger, another symbol of the saint, is also commonly seen around the city. As the patron saint of doctors, most hospitals make heavy usage of Espendottir symbology.
The city has many entertainment venues such as cinemas, libraries and museums, but its most famous venue is the Scarlett Theatre, a grand theatre decked out in red and gold decor. While it does not hold as much significance as the Erin Redwood Theatre in Erinwood, it is the main hub for live entertainment on the Skarlagen mainland, with many travelling miles to see a show here rather than in Greater Rubin.
The city's various clubs and bars provide a lively nightlife for those who prefer a more exciting experience. One of the most famous is Celeste's, a club famous for its neon blue appearance, a major contrast to the prominence of red in the majority of the city.
The city also has a well established culture of cuisine with many high class restaurants serving up Skarlagen delicacies to all who are willing to try them.
The city features a well respected university, the Espendottir University of Kryss (EUK), where current matriarch Kari Erland herself once studied. This university draws in a few foreign students and helps to boost the youth culture in the city.
Kryss's transportation is largely undeveloped, as its smaller size makes major transportation unnecessary. The city is connected to others via train-lines and motorways but there is no metro system within the city itself and roads are lacking.
Scarlett Espendottir International Airport, opened in 1972, is St Scarlett's third largest airport, located about 20 miles outside the city itself. It is connected to the city centre by a bus service.
While the city's road network is not incredibly well developed it does service its purpose, allowing commuters to move about the city in order to get to work or the shops. The car is the third most popular form of transport within the city, beat out by bicycles and foot traffic. The city also has somewhat significant cruise ship traffic, handling around 60 cruise ships in 2018.
Like with other Skarlagen cities, Kryss is incredibly bicycle friendly, with bicycles almost outnumbering its inhabitants. In 2019 some 20% of all working or studying city-dwellers cycled to work, school, or university. With half a million km covered every working day by Kryss' cyclists (including both residents and commuters), and 75% of Kryssers cycling throughout the year. The city's bicycle paths are extensive and well used, boasting cycle lanes not shared with cars or pedestrians, and sometimes have their own signal systems – giving the cyclists a lead of a couple of seconds to accelerate.
Rubin is twinned with the following cities:
New York City, United States
Reykjavik, Laver Island
The Vatican, Vatican City