|Founded||21 Hollow 1165|
The city holds a number of engineering marvels and a level of construction that is unrivaled on the surface and beneath. Every five years, the government goes through a period of turmoil. This comes about from a contest among the families as they jockey for supremacy. The next ruling family of the city is determined by a engineering contest with the one that produces the most beneficial public works being selected to rule for the next five years. The turmoil comes from the contestants actively wrecking other's works and doing whatever they can to make sure they come out on top. It is not uncommon to have a period of internecine conflict after these successions. They ensue over who in the family will be the voice of the nation, and take the title Azimuthal Potentate. The familial conflict often comes from adopted family members, usually those brought in for a particular expertise in engineering and solely for the purpose of winning the contest and taking the government. Sometimes, like in the case of the Azimuthal Potentate Goulnax, the leader is retired by his own full blooded kindred.
The contests and their conflicts have left their mark on the city and a great area around it. There are great dams, aqueducts, railroad depots, bridges, parks, play areas, monoliths, and impressive structures across the city and beyond. Many of these places are along the roads leading to the city, which after a time become the lair of some beast or bandit group. These structures in the outlying areas beyond the city's walls are of such engineering grandeur that some feel like their entering a city of the gods.
Shiz-Abscis is perched on the cliffs overlooking the river Tasour. At the bottom of the cliffs is the lower city which contrary to what you might think, is the wealthy area. The city trades with the three other deep gnome city-states of the region and with other peoples. Besides internal conflict, Shiz-Abscis has never waged war against the living. They waged a long conflict against the undead under Goulnax, resulting in the fall of Izurâg and his final laying to rest. This conflict also brought an end to the Goulnax Svocius's family line and their too-frequent internal squabbles.