By Christopher Robin Negelein
The Falls. The Twin Falls both come from somewhere above and they create two sister rivers flowing in opposite directions. Once the Twins canal was dug, though, the river became a the default byway on the north entrance of the Reaches.
On the West Twin River, you often here and smell the bustling community before you see it. Some, mostly connected to the miracles and the Art,* also say you can feel it. As you cross the canal to the East Twin, the terraced city stands proudly against the Reaches with the dock gates open and welcoming.
Even though West River is a danger due to roamers, it does stop entreprises like Maularc’s transport and their fleet plying trade and passengers to the distant stilt-town settlements, which on the average, are larger than their northern counterparts.
The craft are a clever combination of spine rock grit, spells and a shallow draft to make them roamer resistant, perhaps just enough to get the boat to a safe shore for the escape of the crew and passengers but not so much the cargo.
The city limits. Across from the bustling town is sparse farmland with a rubble dam of a flood barrier with an elevated wharf for a ferry to cross over into the city’s only ground entrance, the South Gate. Originally named Kai’s Falls, to be replaced in the year after with the name of Captain’s Lookout and then Fort Magdag. That name lasted just two years before Her Majesty's duly appointed Governor named it Queen Pointe. With her blessing, the name stuck.
The city proper. Inside Queen Ponite’s dock gates, the noise rises to a din with the echoes off the spine stone walls and the cobblestones as crews and laborers load and offload ships.
From there, everything is an upward walk both physically and socially. Even though the gates are always open to allow traffic between levels, they are maintained and in constant working order. The upper levels have no compunctions in cutting the lower levels off in case of roamers, riots, rebellion or red plague. Many of the gate streets are cleverly designed to catch the winds and us them to funnel the smells of smithy smoke, cooking hearths and saleable fish back to the level below - along with any rain water as well.
The next civic project is to bring even tons of earth and trees to create parks for the public (and wine cellars for the upper class.) Just because it’s almost impossible to cut into the Reaches, doesn’t stop her majesty's citizens from building on Reach rock using local timber and imported stone.The terraced levels used to grow in a sprawl across the mountain side until recently.
Like the continent and the Queendom, all the people of the continent are in Queen’s Pointe, but fortune has favored the savvy and the lucky bringing new opportunities and chances to everyone. One never knows who they will meet as a merchant or a stone boat captain.
Most of the first terrace is filled with warehouses and river trade businesses, most émigré will spend their first night on the second terrace, near the gate. If the dinning tables of such places could talk, they could fill a library with the deals and promises made between sips of tea or quaffs of hardier stuff.
[I really couldn’t find a spot to squeeze this information, but it just screams RPG party]
A branch of Her Majesty's Magisters Order has a small office here. The order’s main focus is to ensure the safety of her citizens and the queendom’s property. Such a broad mandate means these arcane talents investigate various leads to all sorts of trouble like fugitives, murder mysteries and prison transport. Many of them bring a cadre of experts in other fields such as martial, divine or espionage.
*[This is part of my planting seeds for the RPG versions of Shattered Reaches. If there needs to be a rules tweak or two to make the setting fit, then the special magic of the land, i.e., rule mods, take effect when PC enter the land.]
Game Designer Notes:
So the purpose of the two towns was to offer GMs the iconic locations of a “Gold Rush” town and a bustling Wild West city like San Francisco or New Orleans a hundred years earlier. (I’m discovering some interesting inspiration from when the “West” was much closer to the Mississippi and the Appalachians.)
So with the sudden invention of the Magisters Order for the Queendom, I need to put together a similar RPG-style organization for New Chances, like the Texas Rangers.
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