Thursday, January 24, 2013

"The Forever Dance" & First Foray Into Nein

Pink Flower Cultists
"If it's the Forever Dance you seek, I recommend speaking to the Pink Flower Cultists that do their 'recruiting' on these streets. Rumor has it a few of their recent members lost their minds after finding 'it.' Their leader, a Hassan former-mercenary goes by the name 'Peace Be Unto You.' Yep, that's his name. Those Cultists all change their names after joining -- something about how the Pink Flower reveals their True Name to them. I think they're just high out of their minds on Opium paste, but what do I know, I just work here." -Rachel "Rach", Waitress at the Red Room in Nein

Nein (pronounced NAY-ihn) will be the initial setting for my upcoming playtest for Sophia's Children current rules iteration. In this post I want to provide a bit of background as both a writing exercise for myself, but also some setting information for persons who have expressed or will express interest in playing!

Painting of the Messiah symbolically "Trampling War and Writing The Law." Hangs in the City Hall Proper in Nein.
Nein is the east-most city in the Mother Empire, sitting in the middle of the continent and near the Barrier Mountains that separate the western portion of Nod -- the continent upon which the Mother Empire and its surrounding countries lay -- from the eastern portion, where the Wastes of Asad and the Silent Kingdoms are. Nein is built against the southern wall of one of the many Ancient Cities that were sealed at the end of the Great War 2000 years ago. The Ancient Cities provide a strategic position for the city as the walls surrounding this particular one are nigh-impregnable and reach 100s of feet into the air, allowing the city to bifurcate any invasions from the northerly direction. The Ancient Cities also have functional plumbing systems that Engineers have, long ago, figured out how to interface into to provide running water for the entirety of Nein, in addition to irrigating the farmland on its outskirts.

Nein is separated into several Districts and sprawls across an expanse of several square miles, not including the Ancient City -- effectively an artificial mountain -- on its northern border. There are two Farming Districts, one to the West and another to the South. Also, on these outer portions of the cities are roads leading West and East. The Eastern Road leads around the Ancient City, eventually splitting to the north and to the east -- heading to The Wall a long wall of similar construction to the Ancient Cities, that -- according to explorers -- fully bifurcates the Barrier Mountains north-to-south. The Western Road eventually splits into several main through ways towards other cities and, to the north, one of the two so-call "Free States." Small collections of residences are located along the roads, which are often combined tavern-residences, the people who live there also make a living off of the travelers that come by and come in for rest, food, drink and provisions.

Farther in, are the Crafting District to the west, Workers Residential District on the southern end, Poor Workers Residential District on the eastern end, and two Slums on the eastern and southern portions of the City. Closer to the center and northern portions of the city are the Merchants District, Merchant Class Residential District, City Hall and finally the Baron Wards -- "Barons" only-in-name as their ruling power was transferred long ago by the Messiah to a governmental system located in City Hall.

Throughout the Districts are small and large Guard Posts where Guardsmen, Inspectors and attendant Deputy Sheriffs and Sheriffs look out for crime (or look the other way, depending. . .). Several Military Garrisons are located in the City as well (which may be called to arms in cases of overwhelming inner strife, but usually only respond to external threats). Churches of the Messianic faith are located throughout the City as well. Within the Merchants' District is a Free Market, where -- for a fee -- anyone can set up shop. Those who cannot afford to rent a shop within the District proper often resort to the Free Market -- which is also a good spot to check for traveling merchants and caravans.

All told, here are the Districts in summary:

1. The Western Road
2, The Eastern Road
3. West Farmland
4. South Farmland
5. Crafters' District
6. Workers' Ward
7. Poor Workers' Ward
8. Eastern Slums
9. Southerly Slums
10. Merchants' District / Free Market
11. Merchants' Residential Ward
12. City Hall / City's Heart
13. Baron's Ward

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