Thursday, 3 May 2018

Set a course for the City

Cities, or plot hooks, or hometowns for NPCs, or... anything, really. I'm using these in Troika!, a game with a vast multiverse, so they're geared up to be on different worlds. With a bit of fiddling though I think most of them fit into generic fantasy settings with a big enough map!

As ever, it's a case of rolling 2d6, one for each digit, and consulting the table below! Hope these are useful.

11... Lasthork, a settlement founded on the frozen river Iborr. Lasthork was the site of the desperate unification of the savage Hork people and their foes the Phanac. Some centuries later and it is a frozen and bitter land, unified only in name. The Hork workers murmur of rebellion, while the Phanac draw up plans to send a fleet of ice-craft downstream to their lost lands.
12... Tremula, the shimmering city-state ruled by the brutal theocracy of the Djinn-eaters. Tremula is surround on all sides by dense forests of the tinkling, singing ghost-trees, calcified structures that stand between 4 and twenty metres. The city itself has an unearthly quiet, its citizens warm but reserved. Visitors are directed shyly to the state cathedrals, where they are questioned about the outside world in return for room and board.
13... Valeswatch, an old fortification turned capitol. When the plague-horde swept from the northern mountains some years ago, the villagers fled to Valeswatch, a keep on the hillside. All else in their province was laid waste, leaving the survivors to rebuild from their new home outward. Valeswatch is a town of hardy folk, who welcome new hands and have a refreshingly forward-facing attitude. 
14... Carce, the city in chains. Carce was annexed by the Empire of Augurs long, long ago. The Empire sent dissidents there alongside murderers and criminals, and walled off the peninsula it sat on when the prisoners rioted and overturned what was left of the local government. Now it is an anarchic and violent place, often called the Land's Great Shame.
15... Llanfaranfal, or Church-in-the-Deep-Valley, is a city clinging to the sides of a fissure in the rolling plains around. Llanfaranfal has a booming trade in mining, with endless tunnels sprawling from it on both sides of the many-bridged chasm. There are whispers in the tunnels of tremors, rumours of violent shakes which could dislodge the settlement.
16... Dioresque, a riverside city reputed far and wide for its decadent art and flawless architecture. It finds itself, however, in the grips of sickness that visits nightly, leaving pale and desiccated victims in its wake.
21... Alvamoor, the Sleepwalkers' City. By day, this city of long, squat buildings is a dreary, if prosperous town. Its wealth is gathered from the vast Cloud-fields to the west, making it a famous hub of commerce. By night, it is a weird and ghostly place while some seventy per cent of its inhabitants wander the streets like restless apparitions, pale and quiet.
22... The Englade, a woodland commune swollen to extreme size. It's largest trees are sky-scraping towers, with houses carved and grown from their trunks. The Englade is a peaceable place, but is governed by a complex social code that forbids any being from harming another. Mealtimes can be a dangerous affair for the unwary visitor.
23... Farrenpit, once a prosperous mining town and now a dangerous city ruled by the various thieves guilds that sprang from the remains of miners' unions when the mines finally ran out of coal. The people of Farrenpit are stoic and uncompromising, and visitors are not always welcome in the sprawling streets.
24... Columnaea, the celestial city. Blessed by the sun gods, Columnaea sits amidst bounty in the largest oasis in the Desert of Varrin. It is widely known for its beautiful, luxurious lifestyle. Less publicised are its people's hateful attitudes to all citizens born at night. Infanticide and a brutal caste system are common to see.
25... Emberhall, the county seat of the Jarl Freddernung. More myth than man, Freddernung has built Emberhall from a minor outpost into a bastion of the Fforden culture. Now that he sickens, the city is torn between which of his thirty six sons should succeed him. Good-natured street brawls are not uncommon.
26... Vander's Gate, a vast sea-port sitting on the Straits of Vain. Vander's Gate is the launching ground for Vain's impressive navy, as well as home to the original palace of the Vainish royalty. The paved and pristine port gives way to rolling farmland further inland. New visitors to the city find it a suspicious and unwelcoming place, but on repeat visits the Gaters are a friendly people.
31... Drakesweir, a hauntingly beautiful city on the coasts of a lake. Mostly unoccupied, Drakesweir is home to only a few hundred souls who live in the whirling spires and domed halls of the once great city. There are many preserved buildings to explore, but looters should beware the silent and deadly seaguard that stalk all visitors.
32... Farth, the windswept city of the Warda Plateau. Farth is isolated, leaving it a small and shrivelled place. Suspicious whispers of the catacombs beneath suggest there is a ruined city lying beneath Farth, still populated by the remains of its inhabitants.
33... Kah-Re-Lah, the sunken city off the coast of Balmorn. Only spoken of in legend, Kah is now a strange palace populated by the descendants of survivors of the cataclysm that sank it. These humans have embraced the ethereal sea-folk that helped them adjust their city to life beneath the waves, and survive through a combination of sea-folk aid and magic of their own.
34... Pharras, the living ruin, home to the oldest civilisation on the Sphere of Evveren. It is a city of vast monuments and labyrinthine streets, every building standing on older still stones. The people are strangely weary, as though the weight of history rests on them themselves.
35... Bendai, the floating city and only inhabited settlement of the Lost Islands. Trading hub for the merchant fleets of the continent, Bendai is a glorious mashup of cannibalised ships and towering platforms. Its people live up to their reputations as pirates and scoundrels, many eschewing the continent for the freedoms of the sea.
36... Carrenbury, cathedral city and rustic dream. Home to romantic poets and ruddy faced farmers alike, Carrenbury is a popular destination for the nations gentry come hunting season. But something dark stirs along the banks of the river, great muddy fish that crawl on land and swallow men whole...
41... Shenton, a tormented city famed for its storms and foul climate. The people are grim and hardy, but friendly in their own way. Superstition abounds, however, and witchhunts are a near yearly occurance targetting any the townsfolk see as a bearer of ill fortune.
42... Avenchester, an industrialised city reaping the benefits of the modern lifestyle. It is smog-choked but cheerful, if one doesnt mention or regard the growing slums and strange tales of men made from smoke...
43... Tentavia, the Library City. So known for its scholars and universities that it was made exempt from the national draft some years ago. Tentavians have a cruel and rude streak, and an often deeply misplaced pride in their home. One can, however, learn of almost anything in Tentavia.
44... Orzoghage, the city lost to limbo. Remembered in myth as a bastion of enlightenment, Orzoghage has become a xenophobic and slavishly dogmatic city. Its inhabitants and cold and withdrawn and its rulers are zealous autocrats. 
45... Endenton, largest of the Downs Settlements that dot the edges of the vast Marrowald forest. Vast social upheavals have left the future of the Downs Settlements uncertain, but Endenton thrives even as merchants caravans are intercepted and farmers revolt- whatever it is that stalks the fringes of the forests is watching over Endenton well.
46... Barrior, the mountain city of the Precursor-Men. With its ancient stone streets leading up to the monolithic True City above, alleged site of the first human civilisation, Barrior is something like a monastery to history grown out of control. The fringes of Barrior jostle with merchants and travellers, but the further to the True City one travels the greater the stillness and respectfulness in the air. 
51... Vyhem, the city-in-the-mountain, built in ages past by men and dwarves. Once the seat of power for a militaristic kingdom, Vyhem has seen a recent surge in intellectual and inventive powers. Now the city is torn between the old traditionalists and the looming shade of modernity.
52... Rivenhall, the great metropolis that stretches over seven rivers as they converge. Rivenhall's military might drove back a great dark army decades ago, and now its people recline in a sense of quiet jubilation.
53... Pansierre, the towering capitol of the Glittering Coast, home to the Pale Knights. In Pansierre, and the Coast as a whole, magic is outlawed. The Pale Knights hunt and kill magicians of all ilk in the name of reality's stability. Pansierre is also known for its fragrant spices and seafood, and the jubilant culture of dance that the settlers from the Southern Archipelago brought with them.
54... Pon-Precia, central hub of the great flat Sphere of Precia. The fashion in Pon is surreal and ever-changing, based on a religious edict that determines the current material meaning of good. This week, "good" may be not speaking aloud, or perhaps its wearing as many colours as one may at once. Society is fickle and shallow, and the people secretly miserable as a result.
55... Amdenford, city of shacks. Erected by refugees from the Balantine Conflicts, no one expected the shack city to last for more than a year, due in part to its shoddy construction and in part to the volatile mix of transient inhabitants. The shack city is neither peaceful nor luxurious, but its been there for the better part of a century now and the inhabitants have become curiously proud of it.
56... Callass, the cliff markets. Between the steep cliffs of the shattered archipelago, thick rope bridges suspend bird-cage houses. In the caves set into the sheer faces of rock, shopfronts and churches have been hewn from the stone. Larger ships dock just beyond the weird, high walled canals, sending small craft in to parley and trade.
61... Irifice, the city of spires. Stretches so high that it passes between the worlds themselves, making it less one city and more a set of instances of one city, connected by myriad doorways hidden around the oldest towers.
62... Fomalia, Steppes Edge. A city of cruel and barbaric people, made hard by the barren steppes. Fomalia's principle worship is the current Dragon, their chief warlord and leader. Strangers are treated well if they are too formidable a threat to kill and rob, otherwise they are... well, killed and robbed.
63... Endrington, city for the privileged. With the dissolution of crown rule two decades ago, Endrington formed its own senate of the wealthy and influential. Now laughably corrupt, the city is the destination for the rich and immoral, where any perverse tastes can be exercised. The gothic buildings darken in shade, and the parlor rooms and halls are dens of debauchery. 

64... Caraccia, the sun-soaked city of vice. Known largely for its fine wine and the inhabitants penchant for elaborate duels. The city is large, but spread out in the extreme- with landscaped parks and vast vineyards, many mistake the whole for a scattering of smaller towns. 
65... Taronn, last palace of the Valkyrie. Taronn is an incredible domed city overlooking the dark salt-flats on one side and the lush, jungled valleys between mountains on the other. Centuries ago Taronn was established by rogue Valkyries fleeing from a higher plane, and it has settled through those years into a strict but fair matriarchy. Men are welcome in the city, but may not own property- it is said that the original settlers were cast out by a churlish male ruler, and will never allow such a situation to arise again.
66... Saah, Lost Celestial City. Hidden in a mountainous region, Saah is spoken of in religious tracts all over the continent, but widely considered myth. The streets are paved with carved tablets, and the buildings hung with charms and symbols against evil. No spell can scry into or out of the city: no magics can teleport inhabitants away. Saah is ruled by a council of the wisest philosophers through the lands surrounding, an ever growing senate of knowledge, since no inhabitant of Saah ages. Any who find their way to Saah can claim citizenship.

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