Tuesday, May 23, 2023

Ruined City Living

Hubert Robert
On a fundamental level, the City must be populated. Even after being massively depopulated by an ugly five-way civil war, even after the Shivering of many transitional boulevards, even after the radiation leaks, all sorts of creatures crawl in the empty shell of Empire and call it home.

And so there are places where the cyclopean architecture of the City is overgrown with scaffolding, like crawling ivy; where people bathe and wash clothes and herd goats around vast flooded arcades; where laundry dries on the many outstretched arms of a hundred-meter obsidian statue--because it gets so hot in the afternoon, y'see, it barely takes a half hour.

Here, in the long shadow of history, people live their little lives.

Smells like a domain game to me.

All this quoted text stolen near-verbatim from TBD and its wretched spawn

The District’s Level is a rough estimate of the sentient population:
    Level 1: ~1000 People
    Level 2: ~2000 People
The Level of a District limits the total number of each type of holding it can have.

These Districts are marked with ‘Holdings’ - In summary…
    Law holdings represent your stake in violence.
    Trade holdings represent your stake in food, currency, and other desirable resources.
    Temple holdings represent your stake in faithful congregations and civil life.
Esoteric holdings represent your stake in numinous, weird, fucked up, dangerous or otherwise odd things.

The districts are non-exhaustive: small tribes exist throughout the City.

The City is also very vertical: some districts are in the "canopy", some are miles below with little light or clean water.

Pilgrim's Vista - The root of the Pilgrim Tree--the closest thing the City has to a monotheistic God--growing up the side of a colossal monastic icon. The only place in Cath Celdaenn where you won't find a ghost, Skeleton, or Carmine (at least, not at first). Further populated by faeries, and wealthy pilgrims from beyond the City, for whom hundreds of palatial manors are available for rent.
- Level 3: Law 3 (Seelie Army), Trade 2 (Indulgences), Temple 2 (Pilgrim Tree Worship)
- The ruler of this district holds the title Honored Guest.

1. Nadir - A colossal stepwell. Twenty-seven marble colossi of varying sizes are submerged to the chest; dotted across their shoulders are driftwood shacks. Far below, trained cormorants and ambitious youths pick at the trove of ancient coinage between their toes.
- Level 1: Trade 1 (Sunken Treasure!), Temple 1 (The Old Kings)
- The ruler of this district holds the title Lead Diver.

2. Ygrun - Half a day's climb from the urban canopy, a near-lightless district populated primarily by skeletons. A many-armed, segmented pillar stands in the center of town, which skeletons dance around at odd hours, like a maypole.
- Level 1: Trade 1 (Salt Mines), Temple 1 (Lich Worship)
- The ruler of this district holds the title Clattering.

3. Fordest - All the city's waters converge at this point, driving the deep churning mechanism of the dam. Thus far, it has powered nothing; the dam's inner workings are guarded by real high level shit. Instead, the folk sift thru the rest of the city's wastewater for scraps.
- Level 1: Law 1 (Local Toughs), Esoteric 1 (The Dam)
- The ruler of this district holds the title Bastioneer.

4. Caldera - A riverside town, just upwind of a vast chasm which emits poisonous steam. A former supply depot; a brutal, vertical campaign was fought against Hell itself on the chasm walls. Scavenging from the warzone is not uncommon.
- Level 1: Law 1 (Old Vanguard), Trade 1 (Anti-Demon Surplus)
- The ruler of this district holds the title High General.

5. Gorluk - Carved cairns and massive black roots mark the road to the Town of Kind Heretics. Many bear dragon-marks--oversized fangs, painful horns and scales--of which they are terribly ashamed. The last bastion of whale worship.
- Level 1: Temple 1 (Whale Worship), Esoteric 1 (Egg-like Cairns)
- The ruler of this district holds the title Matriline.

6. Red-Gutters - The entire port is dragon-marked, and proud of it. They specialize in sea serpent meat, which they fold into hefty pierogis. Far from shore is the Palace of Sails, a castle on a cruise ship, keeling over at 15 degrees like a woody mountain range. It's surrounded by rings of sunken ships, which appear to bow towards it.
- Level 1: Law 1 (Pirate Thugs), Trade 1 (Serpent Hangars)
- The ruler of this district holds the title Head Butcher.

map of the moscow metro

7. Turnplate - A deep-City trade hub connected a vast and comprehensive tunnel network, much of which is Shivered or collapsed. Market roads are lined with steel and patrolled by the Order of the Quiet City, luddites who enforce local sumptuary/arming laws and confiscate wares they deem "irresponsibly loud."
- Level 1: Law 1 (Quiet Patrol), Trade 1 (Turnplate Exchange)
- The ruler of this district holds the title Controller.

8. Mursi - A steaming marsh at the foot of the city, where the Burymen live alongside their ancestral ghosts in an ever-present, spectral fog. They throw the finest ceramics in the world, including the ceramic suits of the Jarmen, and are tasked with carrying ghosts up onto the City's highest promenades.
- Level 1: Trade 1 (Master Ceramicists), Temple 1 (Last Psychopomps)
- The ruler of this district holds the title Stag.

9. Samrod - A town built around a field of menacing black spikes of ogretite--black, porous metal which regenerates gradually when cut. Tides of radiation surround The Black Site, a sinister complex within the ogretite field, ebbing and flowing with the seasons. The locals keep their distance.
- Level 1: Trade 1 (Ogretite Spikes), Esoteric 1 (The Black Site)
- The ruler of this district holds the title Foreman.

10. Hiddiq - This district once belonged to the giants, and is, more than most places, hostile to human-sized inhabitants. Terrace farms sprawl over vast stairwells. The locals are superstitious, opinionated, and have serious issues with authority; purple newsletters arrive on their doorsteps every week.
- Level 2: Trade 2 (Terrace Farms)
- The ruler of this district holds the title Baron.

11. Degnollum - An outpost town for Gnomen academy brats before they rappel down into the Howling Stacks for spoils. It's the kind of district where hastily constructed wizard towers are available for rent, and bar fights spill over into wizard duels at the drop of a pointy hat.
- Level 1: Law 1 (Wizard Militia), Esoteric 1 (Terrible Tomes)
- The ruler of this district holds the title Towering.

12. The Line - An immense fortress which bisects the city on its North-South axis (a small section of a greater construction, which does the same unto the world). The toll is extracted by many disparate tribes who dwell within the Line, constantly infighting and stirring up drama.
- Level 2: Law 2 (The Linear Armies)
- The ruler of this district holds the title Toll-Lord.

Patrick Janicke

13. Promenade - The highest district in the City, choked with empty manors and opulent palaces. The Vermin Houses, debased descendants of the original citizenry, languish inside, imagining what it might have been like to rule. The locals cling to half-remembered traditions with terrible fervor.
- Level 1: Law 1 (Knights of the Peacock), Temple 1 (The Manifold Temple)
- The ruler of this district holds the title Ceremonist.

14. Ilusard - The Ilmari who were left behind returned here to build The-Town-That-Grieves. They live alongside and under the Ush River, navigating the landscape's gravitational fuckery with a lot of pitons and rope. Borders the Pope's Road--an extremely Shivered space which traverses the whole city in just under half a day.
- Level 1: Law 1 (Anomaly Rangers), Temple 1 (Cult of the Moon)
- The ruler of this district holds the title Mirrored Lord.

15. Breon - A dense district hanging in the roots of a great tree; sometimes, rarely, whole neighborhoods slip and tumble into the abyss below. Fungids are harvested in vast quantities for jerky and mushroom booze, as well as for psychedelics to enable ritual trancing. An oracular order dwells here, training to sleep for longer and longer periods to receive more and more accurate omens.
- Level 1: Trade 1 (Fungid Ranges), Temple 1 (Dreaming Monks)
- The ruler of this district holds the title Grandee.

16. Knockalong - A truly lightless, profundal district, buried in layers and layers of City. An artificial sun hangs overhead, although it only ever flickers on briefly. The people are outcasts--many are Carmines, even--living in abandoned, candlelit palaces, raising blind pigs in darkened salons; what the pigs eat, no one will say.
- Level 1: Law 1 (Blindfighter Militia), Esoteric 1 (What The Pigs Eat)
- The ruler of this district holds the title Profunder.

17. Junerise - A storied district, one of the oldest of the new era, undergoing recent changes; the population is split between old, wine-making fogeys and young, gun-toting blood, who struggle to get along. The fogeys have longstanding relationships with every other district and at least one of the Ogres. The young'uns have guns.
- Level 1: Law 1 (Guns-n'-Swords), Trade 1 (Hanging Vineyards)
- The ruler of this district holds the title Big Shot.

18. Wolead - Nature's abundance chokes this district; saplings stretch from every rooftop, clear water runs thru every street. A ringed temple in the center houses a hundred or so Holiers, nature gods once dragged to the City in chains, now served by a rotating cast of priests who are trained to propitiate ten or twelve gods apiece.
- Level 2: Trade 1 (Overgrown Orchards), Temple 1 (The House of Those Who Served)
- The ruler of this district holds the title Holy Steward.

19. Oneir - A chilly district, the locals ranging from deathly dour to quietly crazed. Most wear fully-covering veils, lined with lead to keep the nightmares at bay. A vast, horizontal tomb-structure, warm to the touch, dominates the local geography; atop it are hundreds of "natural" hot springs.
- Level 1: Trade 1 (Lead-Lined Textiles), Esoteric 1 (Tomb-Top Hot Springs)
- The ruler of this district holds the title Insomnoler.

20. Erd - A crater-town constructed around a dense silver cube, 11.9m on each side, impaled point-down in the earth; it is currently ensconced in a three-sided stone tower. Erd is a profoundly-haunted-yet-unavoidable stop along the Road of Erudition, which connects Celdaenn proper to the districts of ancient Gnosc.
- Level 1: Law 1 (The Toll-Guard), Esoteric 1 (The Cube)
- The ruler of this district holds the title Keeper.

21. Velow Sainte - Home to the Tower of Salt and its many sister-towers, which overlook inlets to the freshwater sea beneath the City. They control naval passage by dint of three masterworks of artillery, each a valuable artefact in its own right. Roughly a third of the district is made up of skeletons.
- Level 1: Law 1 (Seaside Watchtowers), Trade 1 (Ghoulish Fisheries)
- The ruler of this district holds the title Sentinel.

22. Ancilla - A Nemean outpost town, or really a string of towns, funded by pirate nobility outside the City. A series of lenses and mirrors filters sunlight down to illuminate these understory streets, all of which lead to the Observatory. The structure is sized for giants; the locals use it to stage gladitorial combats.
- Level 1: Trade 1 (Pirate Sponsors), Esoteric 1 (Second Giant Observatory)
- The ruler of this district holds the title Observer.

23. Uroda - Surrounded by forests where the trees writhe like snakes and poisonous gas caverns, a dirty spittoon of a town. Only the brother rivers, two minor gods of significant strength, keep this town alive; they also hate each others' guts. Here, they synthesize recreational drugs, deadly poisons, and the occasional tincture that straddles both categories.
- Level 1: Trade 1 (Dark Pharmaceutics), Esoteric 1 (Caves of Deep Venom)
- The ruler of this district holds the title Typhon.


  1. This rocks, by the way. I'd pick Velow Sainte!

    All of these are wonderful, but in a game I'd have to choose either Fordest or Promenade, depending on how altruistic I wanted to be.

  3. This hints at a very interesting world! I'd choose Gorluk, Hiddiq, or Oneir. Too many great options.