Friday 2 May 2014

3 cities skeletal yet fleshy

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Drowning Lions;
located at the edge of a cold tundra-ish desert , a port town, battered by storms , salt spray and dust
Landmarks: Spherical urchin like central palace, concentrically ringed and walled. Impressive and dangerous zoo and bonsai confir arboretum about the only nice things here and they are contained in things looking like a deep sea prison
Architecture; hunkered down, like soviet bunkers or monuments ,flared at the base, occasionally spiked or whimsically gargoyled
Emphasis this in descriptions; stoicism, distrust, dourness. Constant restrictions and rationings, despite not currently at war with anyone. Always assumes the worst in a matter of fact way

peoples; wearing absurd amount of  layers from the cold and dust storms, complain fatalistic about the weather
food: watery stews, dried absurdly tough meats, and wormy potatos

in charge; ring barons and baroness, each with a increasingly large shoulder panther, like half python half panther, which sleeps, acting as scarf and hat. Vote on decisions, with a monkey acting as tie breaker.
enforcing; each ring around the city has different bureaucracy and guard force. Guards badly trained volunteers armed with blunderbusses packed with rock salt, lorded over by impressively hatted heavy infantry ("bristlers") wielding 2 handed swords who work as mercenaries in various lands
special opportunities; hiring the "bristlers" mercenary or robbing their manors, one of the few displays of wealth here. The zoo is always looking for more dangerous specimens. It is rumoured that the entire city was a built as a seal on some kind of portal or vault and it any wealth it has goes towards maintaining the underground fortification.

Suun Gleez
 A city build out of bamboo scaffolding and jury rigged structures completely obscuring the castle it was originally built around. Castle occupied by ghost powered insane warmachines, city founded by exiled servants still loyal to the now dead ruling family.
Landmarks; It's a three dimensional maze with a haunted castle in the middle

Architecture; bamboo and fabric and silks, glazed with fire resistant bug secretions. Fabric lines "tunnels" that act as through-fares
Emphasis this in descriptions: you have to keep climbing everywhere, there is no planning , noise, fabric partitions as walls mean the "inside/outside" thing is not really a thing here. Large pet beetles, moths and birds everywhere. A weird sense of temporariness yet stratification
peoples; Excitable, act like fabric blocks all sound. Brightly dressed, given to big schemes with little planning, always making things out of rope or repairing things. Unconventional thinkers and prone to giving nicknames
foods: roast caterpillars, aerophytes, spicy mushrooms. Spit roast lizards. Bad luck to eat birds or eggs.
in charge; Everyone effected by an issue will have an opinion on it and agency of that opinion. Consensus minus one to make any decision. Anarchy. Everyone talking about everything all the time to make any decisions what so ever is part of the noise and possibly informs the impulsive mentality to plan as little as possible as to avoid talking about it.

in forcing; see above. Everyone will fight you from all directions with lassos , bolas and attack birds.
special opportunities; Everyone talks up how great it is going to be once they get the castle back and will encourage you to go and clear it, but then get really uncomfortable and embarrassed if anyone brings anything back from there and quietly encourage you to take it away and not mention it again.


People mined their way to what they thought was hell and then made business opportunities. Half prison half town living off the prison.  Other cities sell them their convicts , and if they are bad enough they are sold into the pit to the alien troglodytes who dwell past there, where they are made into war golems for some kind of subterranean war. Each layer is occupied by increasingly worse people. Like 1984 but with more upward mobility and therapy speak.

Landmarks: a huge gaping hole in the middle of the town. Grim watch towers everywhere with listening cones.

Architecture: Mostly carved into the side of the pit. Stone brick grim buildings everywhere. Horizontal efficient, tend to build up. Occasionally beauty in elaborate stone scrimshaw carving and murals
Emphasis this in descriptions: It's a prison where the inmates guard the inmates in order to not be inmates one day. Utilitarian. Stressed yet hopeful.
peoples: everyone has some kind of personality disorder and has to live with a bunch of other people with personality disorders but is trying their best to manage to be a better person, as not to get demoted a tier and forced to live with even worse people. A lot of self-improvement philosophy and lingo  combined with prison slang.
in-charge: Each tier has a warden with
enforcing: Dangerously reasonable armed forces (called "intervenors")   with big pitbull like rats with almost supernaturally sense of smell. 
special opportunities: entrance to subterranean realms, concentration of criminal knowledge, still a mining town and turns up strange artifacts or dangerous invested tunnels.


  1. Google images on this
    brings up some good ones for the Drowning Lions city. I remember thinking to myself when I first ran across those images that they'd make great city maps.