In the beginning, the city had a high thick wall of stone that rose to the great sky. Its gates were beautiful with ornate, calligraphic signs. When times of wealth came, the princes, princesses, merchants, and even a few priests and lawyers, proposed the destruction of the wall. The main argument was that it might look threatening and exclusive. It would be an impediment to trade, diplomacy, and prestige. Nobody should fear the city, they reasoned. Through various machinations, legitimate and illegitimate devices, they managed to convince the citizens to tear down the wall and recycle the stones. The work was difficult and dangerous. Collapsing segments of the ramparts destroyed many houses, killing all within, and some districts even became divided by partitions of fallen rubble. There were riots. Eventually, all of the debris was cleared, the riots were quelled, and the outer wall vanished from history without a trace. Within a generation, the city itself was almost deserted. There were several reasons for this. First, travelers, bankers and traders were afraid to stay in a city without walls, and so commerce dwindled. Secondly, the destruction of the wall had destabilized the very foundations of the city. Many houses sank or caved in. Lastly, there was the weathering, which the wall had formerly slowed. The city did not fall to invaders, as some had thought. Without walls, it just crumbled and faded into dust, like a boneless dead fish in a dried out land.