Helion is a flying city based loosely on Constantinople and populated by the Orredin. It is the capital and last remaining city of the Helian Empire. Helion is the Great City of the Helion Elves (Orredin), so named for them. Or, possibly they were named for it. It isn't clear.
The city itself is clearly artificial. It stands on a perfectly chiseled plateau close to a hundred feet above the sea, upon which sits the mighty and eternal city of the elves. Much of it physically floats above the plateau itself, due to the enormous amount of magic funneled into the place, which is essentially the "heart" of the magical leylines that flow through the world. Though it's tremendous, the Orredin have always been very nervous about the magical consumption of the city. If it ever outstrips certain boundaries, there is a very real risk of Helion plunging into the sea and all of them dying... Something they'd rather avoid.
In the lowest reaches below the city live only slaves, in a district known to locals as the Dark. It is probably the single worst place to actually live in Vosca. Even Dace has certain things recommending it, but the place is a literal mountain of shit and detritus with a constant low-level rain of more pouring down on it.
This area does have a purpose, however, and the slaves who live there do as well. The logistics of keeping the population of Helion itself supplied with water and food require a massive amount of manpower. Huge systems of pipes, water-holding platforms and pumps allow massive teams of slaves to move the water high up enough that magically-powered systems topside can draw it the rest of the way. Food isn't generally grown on Helion itself (anymore) and so must be shipped in and transported up to a high enough place that be moved onto the island by similar means as the water.
The island itself is also the de-facto port of the floating city, since boats can't exactly get up there, so there's a lot of trade, and free men do live there, eking a living off of the trade industry. It isn't a very popular location, but traders who want access to Orredin goods and Orredin gold have no other choice but to stop there.
The Orredin themselves, of course, don't go there. The Orredin have delicate constitutions by their very nature, hence their extremely sophisticated sanitation and public health systems. If one ever actually deigned to set foot in The Dark for more than a day or two, he'd probably die. The Upper Market is where the Orredin deal with outsiders, though of course they don't let just any peddler in.
That said, there's a lot more going on there than anyone is willing to admit. They say that the massive pile of garbage and detritus formed by piling on top of Old Helion, the sunken remnants of the old Orredinian situation.
Over time, some enterprising people have tried tunneling down through the garbage to try and gain access to parts of the underwater city, to see what's up. Or rather, down. These adventurers don't often return, but those who do occasionally bring back pieces of the old world that fetch such a pretty penny that they never need to set foot in the dark again... In both senses of the word.
The Helians enjoy watching people fight just as much as the Ruvians do, but they're a lot more honest about it.
The Orredin just like watching people kill each other, and they live on a flying island. They don't even bother making excuses, they just hold huge fights. Of course, because these are the Orredin we're talking about, it's not enough to just have some guys get into a sandpit and duke it out. Excess is the name of the game.
Orredinian fights are often held in huge open-topped and bottomed arenas. The sky above and below provides the backdrop for fights held on catwalks, platforms suspended by thin cables of Orichalcum, and even mechanical platforms with various traps, pullaways, and devices.
In some cases, the gladiators will have devices to prevent them from falling to their deaths. Other times, not.
The Purple Guard are the highest ranking human mercenaries in the Helian Empire. All members of The Program, the elaborate Orredinian eugenics program, are first proven in the Purple Guard. These men are paid ludicrous sums of money for their service, and are judged on their courage, loyalty, skill at arms, and ability to stand out. Most use their pay (or even go into debt) having exquisite armors, uniforms, and spectacular garments made for them, to stand apart from the crowd to their Orredin masters, in the hopes of being promoted into The Program to the life of splendour, comfort, and women (or men) that await them. Unique fighting styles are also encouraged, and the Purple Guard, unique among the Imperial Guards of most states in Vosca, have no single weapon with which they fight. Everything from glaives, halberds and war-forks to bladed metal fans, cases of rapiers, dopplehander flammenschwerts and pistols can be found there. There is no more bizarre, distinctive, and terrifyingly talented unit to be found anywhere on Vosca.