Ba Sing Se is the titanic Capital of the Earth Kingdom; a City-State unto its own, ruled by Earth King Kuei. It encompasses almost all of the North-Eastern portion of the Earth Kingdom. The saying "All roads lead to Ba Sing Se" is not just a clever adage. This megalopolis is the biggest city of the Avatar world, and all major roads do eventually lead there. Its impressive fortified walls earned it the name, which means "great impenetrable city." Estimates put the wall at 600 feet thick, and the city 600 miles in diameter. The walls are made of solid stone- only openable by a large team of Earth Benders, which brings about the city's title of the "Impenetrable City".
- The city of Ba Sing Se knew about the war. It was denied, but they knew. The city was in war-- even with itself. But the city of Ba Sing Se overcame it, and our people will flourish once again.
- - His Royal Highness, Earth King Kuei
The Palace at Ba Sing SeEditThe Palace in Ba Sing Se is the dead center of the city, and arguably, the heart of it as well. Any and all politics come forwards to be met in the center, and King Kuei rules his nation from this spot. It is arguably large enough of a complex to truly be its own city, and while no longer entirely sealed off to the rest of the City and Kingdom, is still not open for casual visitors due to extremely tight security. The Palace complex has its own water reserves and supply of food- should it have ever come down to it, it's entirely possible to seal off the Palace from the rest of the city during a seige. Only persons either invited, or part of the staff or Royalty of Ba Sing Se are allowed within the Palace of Ba Sing Se. Almost all of King Kuei's life has been spent within the high walls of Ba Sing Se's Palace, and as such, it is maintained to the highest standards in all the land. The Nation's wealth is on display here, and it has only prospered and pulled together after the war- due in part to Ba Sing Se's resources being largely unaffected, and its economy being all but closed off from the rest of the world during the war.
There are only three locations of important note within the palace at the moment. The first, and most important is Kuei's Royal Throne room, carved out of fine, dark stone, and decorated in greens and finely wired golds that run through the stones. Behind his throne seat is a large carving made in homage to the first earth benders- the Badgermoles. This room serves as Kuei's meeting place for all dignitaries and those seeking to speak with him in a formal setting. Palace protocol is always followed within the throne room, and formalities are always kept during any time within this room due to its iconic importance. The room itself is quite imposingly beautiful, and it has an air of ancientness about it.
The second is the Palace libraries, which serves as a center for both casual reading for the King and palace residents, and as a special collections archive for the Earth Kingdom. Any available early writings in the Earth Kingdom not lost with Wan Shi Tong's desert library might be found here, along with a complete history of the Ba Sing Se Royal Lineage and various written historys of the city, as well as maps of the endless streets both above (and this fact is all but forgotten) below it as well.
The third and final location of note within the palace is the roof-top gardens; though its importance is only worth noting for its sheer beauty and exotic flower collections that grow upon a spot where the whole city in on the visible horizon.
The Upper RingEditThe Upper Ring of Ba Sing Se is Ba Sing Se's wealthiest circle, open to Military leaders, Politcal Officals, and anyone rich enough to live there that has applied or been born into the ring. The most important people of the city live here, protected by the watchful eye of the Royal Guard forces. The city's monorail has several stops within each quadrant of this ring, hitting all the major districts within the Upper Ring of the city. Citizens of other rings are only allowed within the Upper Ring of the City with permission by the government officials in charge of Visitation & Migration within the city- although generally, most merchants who are selling within the Upper Ring can afford to also hold residences there, so extended visits within the Upper Ring are rare. Most of the styles in the Upper Ring in terms of residences reflect the sheer amount of wealth within these walls, and it is quite common to see real gold, instead of painted substitutes on jewelery or buildings.
There are several expansive and well-maintained parks within the Upper Ring, as well as wealthy marketing districts that deal in exotic and luxury goods for the local customers. The truly savvy merchant, however, would be more inclined to hold the majority of their business in the Middle Ring for the sake of a broader customer base and lower taxes. The Upper Ring also contains a few libraries, mostly of varying literature for noble perusing rather than important texts or documents which are either kept in the Royal Libraries, or the archives of the National Library at Ba Sing Se University. The ring also has several buildings that entertain the hands of the wealthy, such as large spas and bath houses that are superior in quality to almost all others in the city. (It is worth it to keep in mind that the wealthier districts in the Middle Ring often have similar or surprisingly better facilities over all.)
The Upper Ring is home to The Capital District in Ba Sing Se, which is adjacent to the Palace Complex. The Capital District is entirely finely wrought (and bended) white stone and marble; done in a finely curved architecture style. This district contains the State Treasury and the National Treasury (which remain seperate from the Royal Treasuries) as two large buildings that are kept under constant guard. In addition, the Capital District of Ba Sing Se holds all the major governmental offices, such as the City & Royal Guard headquarters, the Military Headquarters, and the now expanded Senate & Advisory committees, which meet with Kuei frequently to suggest bills and advice on various situations within the nation. It's central importance to the city keeps it bustling with people constantly, and it is perhaps the most visited area on non-working days in the city, as an abundance of school children visit in hopes of seeing the inner workings of the giant city they live in.
The Middle RingEditWhile the Upper Ring of Ba Sing Se is full of wealth and status, and the Lower Ring full of ex-refugees and culture, it is clear that the Middle Ring is the true place to be within Ba Sing Se. Home to the largest Merchant's District of Ba Sing Se, as well as the Financial Districts (The Cities Banks) more money passes through the Middle Ring than any of the other rings combined. Of course, not all of the money changing hands is clean, but it passes through nonetheless. The Middle Ring is also home to the largest Red Light District in Ba Sing Se, known colloquially as "Na Sing Se" or, The Penetrable City and the City's giant college- Ba Sing Se University, or BSSU.
While most will never make it to the glimmering stones of the Upper Ring of Ba Sing Se, the Middle Ring is the much more attainable dream of upward mobility that allows it to be the most free, and most diverse of the three rings. The status of those that live within its walls is quite varied- many who could live within the Upper Ring choose instead to live within the Middle Ring for business opportunity, or cultural opportunities for their Children or themselves.
Ba Sing Se UniversityEdit
Ba Sing Se is the largest college of the city of Ba Sing Se, and the best in the Earth Kingdom for almost every area of study. It offers the widest range of studies and professors in any school in the Earth Kingdom, and has one major open only to Royalty- called "Royal Governance and International History, Politics, and Economy." Incidentally, King Kuei has earned this degree for himself, as most highly respected men and women in Ba Sing Se carry higher degrees. The King is no different, although he was allowed a little more time to turn in assignments.
This aside, it's probably fair to say the largest concentration of scholars in the world exist here, both within the dorms, and at Ba Sing Se U's National Library, which contains thousands of tomes in several different wings of a rather large library building.
- The greatest university in the world, at least according to its enrollment materials, the BSSU campus is a major landmark in the Middle Ring of Ba Sing Se. It stands as a major achievement of engineering, architecture, and science, especially in its famed Kim Astrology Tower and the two-acre Mung-Yi Research Koi Pond.
The Lower RingEditThe Lower Ring of Ba Sing Se gets quite a bad rep- but of course, it's not without warrant. While The Upper Ring is home to high-scale embezzlement crimes more than anything else, and the Middle Ring spawns a lucrative (but mostly blood free) black market, prostitution sector, and common petty crimes, the Lower Ring of Ba Sing Se is just simply a place where you ought to watch your step. There are decent neighborhoods of friendly, but working class ex-refugees and the poorer citizens of Ba Sing Se, but the bad sections of the Lower Ring are truly the most seedy places in above-ground Ba Sing Se. While Crime rates in the Upper Ring are fairly low (especially violent ones) and The Middle Ring has a fairly large (and differing depending on quadrant and section of the ring) crime scene, the Lower Ring tops both by a wide margin. As such, the commanding Officer of the City Guard has often worked their way up from being in charge of the Lower Ring beats.
The Lower Ring of Ba Sing Se is home to ex-refugees, new transplants waiting to be approved for residency in other rings, artisans, labourers, craftsmen, and farmers. People staying within the Lower Ring may only move freely within the Lower Ring and the Agrarian Ring. All travel to the other Rings must be approved with a statement of purpose, especially during the time of Plague.
Underground Ba Sing SeEditThe Ba Sing Se Undergound is the remnants of the Ancient City of Ba Sing Se.
There are two sorts of people who exist in Ba Sing Se- the sort who never wonder in their lives about the ground beneath them, and those that know an entire shadow world - a mock Ba Sing Se of sorts- exists right under their very feet. Of the later, there are those who value their lives, and those who adhere to the rules of killing to survive in the City's underworld.
The Underground of Ba Sing Se is actually the beginning roots of the city, and as such, has its own sewer system, a cadre of abandoned streets and buildings, as well as several strategic hidden portals into the Lower Ring, allowing for escapes that allow the city's biggest criminals to be slippier than smoke. If it's illegal in Ba Sing Se, it can be found here- potent drugs, poisons, a variety of weaponry and torture equipment, stolen jewels, and other valuables. Every once in awhile, the rare claim of an Airbending artifact being available underground is made, but in all the cases so far, the items have been fakes.
No matter, though, if the items bought are real or fake. All that matters is that with supplies equalling the city's above ground, and endless space without law enforcement, the Underground is a ruthless mistress. Those who aren't careful are killed faster than those who are, and stepping over a fresh body isn't unusual in the more populated tunnel streets. Due to its relative seclusion and prime positioning, the Jade Shark has set up another Head Quarters within Ba Sing Se, using the largest Portal down below to their personal advantage. (As it turns out, the biggest portal below exists in the basement of Drak's bar.) The slave trade exists here as well, and its hidden nature makes it a lucrative business.
Other Locations Edit
Various Locations within Ba Sing Se that are also note worthy.
The Agrarian RingEdit
The outermost ring where farming takes place. This ring also serves as the buffer zone between the outerwalls of Ba Sing Se and the inner wall that protects the city.
The Ba Sing Se ZooEdit
Located in the Agragarian Ring, this is the city's large Zoo, created with the help of the Avatar.
The Jasmine DragonEdit
Iroh's tea shop.
The Government of Ba Sing SeEdit
The city is ruled by a specific government, starting with Kuei, and his senate council, and the military is maintained by the war council. The structure is as follows-
King Kuei is an Absolute Monarch. All laws, orders of business, Military Actions, and other movements made in the Earth Kingdom must ultimately go past him.
The Imperial Army of Ba Sing Se [Council of Five]Edit
The Council of Five is the highest authority in the Earth Kingdom military, and oversees the country's entire military. The council is headed by General How, the commanding officer of the military. Among the council members is General Sung [Head of the Terra Team], who defends Ba Sing Se's Outer Wall from attack. The other three generals are unnamed.
Council of Five Head General How, General of the Terra Team Sung, General of the Navy, and Two Generals of the Land Army. This team occasionally grows to six when the General of the Imperial Guard [police system] joins them.
The Terra Team
The elite cadre of Earth Benders protecting the walls of Ba Sing Se.
The Senate's Council of Eleven
Designed to outnumber the council of the military in order to protect the civilian's interests over the military, there are Eleven head-council members in the civilian senate. This is the senate that proposes new laws, and advises the King on the going-ons of his city.
Secretary of the Lower Ring - The Secretary of the Lower Ring is in charge of acting in favor of the affairs of the denizens of the Lower Ring. This Secretary oversees the whole of the Lower Ring's expenditures and advancements. Any Lower Ring specifc issues are directed towards this secretary. Because this ring is considered to be the least desirable and most ungrateful of Ba Sing Se, this Secretary must be all the more excellent at negotiating in favor of their Ring.
Secretary of the Middle Ring - The Secretary of the Middle Ring is in charge of acting in favor of the affairs of the denizens of the Middle Ring. This Secretary oversees the whole of the Middle Ring's expenditures and advancements. Any Middle Ring specifc issues are directed towards this secretary
Secretary of the Upper Ring - The Secretary of the Upper Ring is in charge of acting in favor of the affairs of the denizens of the Upper Ring outside of the Palace. This Secretary oversees the whole of the Upper Ring's expenditures and advancements. Any Upper Ring specifc issues are directed towards this secretary.
Secretary of Health & Science - Due to the recent upspringing of the Scarlet Plague, this Secretary is working over time in order to take control of the emergency state Ba Sing Se is in. In normal times, this secretary focuses more on the scientifc advancements taking place at Ba Sing Se University, and the health and wellness of the city's inhabitants.
Secretary of Education - The secretary of Education puts forth the general standards for the Earth Kingdom's schooling, and is in charge of advocating for finances for both the schools and universities within Ba Sing Se. All educational issues are directed to this advisor.
Secretary of Commerce & Agriculture - The Secretary of Commerce and agriculture updates Kuei with economic and trade infortmation in order for Ba Sing Se to invest throughout the Earth Kingdoms. She also has access to the Royal Treasuries, as well as the State Treasury (which are different, unlike the Fire Nation)
Secretary of Housing - The Secretary of Housing is in charge of the growing need for well built, and liveable structures within the city and the Earth Kingdom, as well as access to necessities (plumbing, food, etc).
General of the Imperial Guard & Sec. of Law - The only non-civilian secretary, this person is in charge of the Imperial and City Guard as well as the laws of the land. They work closely with the Masked Senate for high court cases (ie: treason, breaking of international law)
Secretary of State & Intelligence - The Secretary of State & Intelligence is the head Diplomat of the Earth Kingdom, and constantly feeds Kuei with international news and politics. He runs National Security briefings, and is the second in line until Kuei is married.
Secretary of the North Earth Kingdom - This secretary is in charge of advocating for the interests of the Northern Earth Kingdom, and its peoples within Ba Sing Se. Any Northern Earth Kingdom specifc issues are directed towards this secretary.
Secretary of the South Earth Kingdom - This secretary is in charge of advocating for the interests of the Southern Earth Kingdom, and its peoples within Ba Sing Se. Any Southern Earth Kingdom specifc issues are directed towards this secretary.
The Senate's Masked Lords 
This is the masked legislature of Ba Sing Se, they are selected by the King himself and propose and submit laws, as well as act as the Supreme Court of the City-State. They are run by the unmasked Lord Secretariat, and work in conjunction with the Senate's Council of Eleven. There are 21 seats total.
The other half of the senate is comprised of local representatives who cover different quadrants and sectors of each ring. This number varies widely in terms of population of an area, and the number of sectors or districts in need of representation. They meet in the Congress building in the Capital District of the Upper Ring to decide which sectors need more attention, and which laws need to be put forth to Kuei for approval. Unfortunately, the House tends to talk his Royal Majesty's ear off, as that happens to be their biggest power. When the King is unavailable (as he often is) district House members often rally 'round the senate Secretary of whatever Ring their district is in.
No longer occupied by Long Feng, this is the head advisor to Kuei.