holographica: (arimoi)
like a break in unreality ([personal profile] holographica) wrote in [community profile] arimoi2017-02-05 09:43 am
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The Lay of the Land

The action in Arimoi takes place in Eludalsia, a country with one long coastline and several islands on a sea to the north and enclosed on all other sides by land. The climate is Mediterranean, and the terrain is largely hilly scrubland.

The general aesthetic of the setting is "fantasy JRPG, several hundred years later". Technology level is early-2000s, with a liberal application of magitech in place of real-world inventions.

The locations listed here are mod-established and meant to provide a base to jump off of and some flavor to establish the "feel" of each area and city. You're free to invent and use additional locations that make sense in the setting.

A freely-editable Gdoc >> here << exists for players to add any setting details they've come up with (or their characters have created) for public reference, to inspire each other and make RP easier. In the same vein, we also have a >> map << which you can put markers on to indicate where things are located. Use the map and doc wisely - put long descriptions on the doc, keep comments on the map short, and aim for clarity and easy reference.


->
NATURAL FEATURES AND REGIONS

Sea of Aleni - A large sea to the north of Eludalsia.
Alenian Islands - All the islands in the Sea of Aleni which are politically part of Eludalsia. Most are semi-autonomous territories.

Pearl Rock Bay - Named for Pearl Rock, a small island at the mouth of the bay where an ancient lighthouse stands.

Tempest Bay
- Sports old coastal towns from before Eludalsia's unification, when Caiver governments maintained eastern ports.
Jess Highlands - A stretch of mountains and hills that meanders along the southern edge of the country and protrudes northwards a little. Often called "the Jess". Known as the most rural region of Eludalsia, and has not historically been where large-scale agriculture happens, so the people who live in the Jess do so in small, tightly-knit towns that have a high degree of self-sufficiency.
Mount Beassai - The highest point in Eludalsia, situated in the Jess. A cultural icon referenced in literature since the dawn of history, and therefore is littered with constructions and artifacts left by people who wanted to be Important. The mountain is pocked with caves, a fact that is well exploited by mythology, and more recently by the odd ascetic wanting to commune with ancestral gods in peace and quiet. Beass Notch is a nearby town, fairly populated for the area and home to many businesses that serve surrounding rural villages.
Roucaia - A heavily forested region in the country's east, historically known for having larger, more dramatic wildlife than the west. "Caiver" is the adjective describing people, culture, and objects from this area.
Caiverus River - The easternmost of two major rivers. It originates in the highlands, but historically, the Caiverus is considered to "begin" at Roucaia Falls, where the river descends from the mountains into the wooded lowlands.

Neloi Flats - A wedge-shaped central region that was once sparsely populated, but through which more towns have popped up ever since the highway's construction.

Westermiln - The western portion of the country, made up of several historical provinces, of which the most dominant are those along the river. As a result, "Dalsian" is used to refer to things originating in western Eludalsia as a whole, though inhabitants of the far-west agricultural provinces don't always appreciate that.
Dalse River - The westernmost of two major rivers. It doesn't fall dramatically from the mountains like the Caiverus, but cuts down through the lush Dalsian River Valley

The Twin Lakes - Lakes Isimiln and Aramiln, which are cultural icons on par with Mount Beassai.
Magical hotspots - Unusual natural features are often places where magic is abundant and magical materials have historically been gathered, refined, and worked. These can be found scattered all over the country; things like springs, rock towers, unusually large trees, weird caves, etc are indicators. In some places, human-built monuments have replaced whatever natural feature was there, and towns have sprung up around them.


->
TOWNS AND CITIES
Arcrion - The largest city in Eludalsia, located on the shores of Pearl Rock Bay. Naturally, its size is due to it being a port and the modern economic hub of the country. Trends - technological, cultural, artistic - tend to make their way here and balloon up before they really start to diffuse across the country. It has a population of about 1.5 million, with another million spread out across the city's suburbs. Arcrion can be assumed to have a massive variety of amenities and businesses as could be found in real-world cities.
Arc-line - The city's subway and commuter rail system, which is heavily used and perpetually undergoing maintenance. The bigger stations in the city proper have spawned underground malls and markets around themselves, the interiors of which range from glitzy and futuristic to murky and mysterious. Central Crossing is the heart of the city's public transportation and has both underground and aboveground commercial areas that are well-maintained and very popular, while the Spindle Street station, which was declared inactive by Arc-line some twenty years ago and hasn't seen a train in that time, is notorious for its abandoned tunnels and the barely-legal dealings that are said to go on there.

Solstice Gardens - The "Gardens", actually a moderately-forested slab of land the size of NYC's Central Park, are owned by (and back up to, like an enormous backyard) the Greater Arcrion Temple of Jena. They're half public park where Arcrion residents take walks and hold events, and half nature preserve or zoo where the Temple and its child and affiliate organizations study natural science, meditate on the natural order of things, and rear the animals used on special occasions in ritual sacrifices. The Gardens feature wooded areas, meadows, a lake, and several small ponds and creeks. Once the initial shock of monsters appearing in the world passes, the Gardens offer opportunities for monsters - dodge the alarm of passers-by to get some peace and quiet in a natural setting, or allow the Temple to keep and study you in exchange for food, shelter, and security.

North Shore - The coastline of Pearl Rock Bay north of the city is rocky and inconvenient for the kind of suburban development that spreads out to the west and south. Instead, it's home to several facilities that support the city, including the North Shore Power Plant. Being important to the the city's daily function, these facilities are generally heavily protected both physically and magically, but the industrial character of the land and the lack of residential development make the surrounding area feel secluded and empty. Both the Pearl Rock and Alenian sides of this peninsula feature tidal caverns.

Towers - Arcrion was the home of the first skyscrapers in Eludalsia, and many feature large, decorative spires that boost the building's official height but don't contain any extra floors. The scaffolding inside is home to birds and rats, and potentially home to stealthy monsters. Griswil Tower was the tallest for a decade, but no longer - now it's just a curiosity of architecture.

Stargazer Bridge - The iconic bridge that crosses the river Dalse to link the northern and southern parts of the city.

 Districts - Very generally speaking, the southeast area of the city along the coast is known as the richest and glitziest, and the northwestern area is considered lower-class. The city administration is located just south of the river cutting through Arcrion. More or less the entire coastline is commercially active. The island portion of the city and the coast just northwest of it are where port stuff happens.

Twinsgrace - Located further inland, south and to the west of Arcrion, near but not quite on the shores of either of the Twin Lakes. A very modern city, where technological advancements tend to be implemented deliberately and after thorough planning, once Arcrion has shown how they work out in practice. Population is somewhere around 650 thousand in the city proper.
Dragon's Rest - A historical and arts district in the western part of the city that encompasses an ancient, pre-Ronassian town, said to have been ruled by a dragon. That dragon was purportedly buried under the district's main street, though no excavation has ever been done to confirm the legend.

Canals - Not long after Twinsgrace became Eludalsia's capital, a series of canals were dug and fed by Lake Aramiln. The intent was to imitate the water features of Haven so that floating markets and other traditions could be ported to the new capital, establishing a kind of legitimacy-by-inheritance. Their flow and cleanliness is maintained by magic, and they host boat races, floating markets/restaurants/etc, and a small amount of intra-city traffic.

Rawley Plaza - A park, market square, and general public space a few blocks away from the central government buildings. Flat and mostly paved, but features some grassy and garden areas, and is usually populated by small business stalls, temporary stages, and various civic events. The centerpiece and signature landmark of the plaza is a large fountain in the shape of a swan. Several museums border the plaza.

Districts - Very generally speaking, the western part of the city is considered older and calmer, the northeast is where government buildings and high rents live, and the south of the city is a mixture of lower-class neighborhoods and a college-town-like area around Twinsgrace University.

Haven - An ancient city on the Caiverus that once was both capital and port, but demoted from both positions as technology marched on and the royal lineage lost its grip on the country once known as Ronassia and now known as Eludalsia. Population 200-thousand-ish.
Stillmarket - Though the Caiverus itself is a significant river with a fierce current, its canalizations where it passes through Haven feed a system of tamed waterways in the northeast of the city. The floating markets here were a traditional place for goods destined for the sea to take their first step off of dry land, before being sent down the river proper. The Stillmarket doesn't serve that function now that Arcrion is the country's major port, but it's a beloved feature of Haven to this day.

City Gates - Haven is a walled city. Though the walls serve no function anymore, the three large gates permitting entrance to and exit from the city are one of its most recognizable symbols.

Haven Castle - The home of the ancient Ronassian kings, queens, and sundry rulers over the years, situated in the south of the city. As an important historical site, it's well protected, and it is still inhabited by the house of Ronas, which holds no national political power but some authority over portions of Haven. A stone formation on its grounds is a magical hotspot, said to be a monument erected by the god Ronas to establish a calendar for his descendants' use. The district around it is littered with other old, historically valuable buildings.

Districts - Portions of the north and east of the city are restricted to pedestrian and very small vehicle traffic, due to the street layout not leaving enough room for cars. The western part of the city is the most modern-looking; much of Haven is technologically modern but very obviously built on top of old foundations.


-> TRAVEL AND COMMUNICATION
Roads - Highways link the three cities listed above, and a robust system of numbered roads pulls the rest of the country together around them. Each side of that central triangle is about 100 miles (or 160 km) and takes about 2 hours to drive (and much more to walk, of course). Driving in most cities and towns requires a license, though by the time monster changes set in, fitting into one of the small, magic-powered cars that are popular in Eludalsia will probably be tricky anyways. In less urban areas, licenses are easier to acquire and rarely checked for small vehicles.

Public transportation - The bus system is robust, trains run between the larger cities, and Arcrion and Twinsgrace have local subway systems. (Twinsgrace's subway is an even mixture of aboveground and underground lines, and its stations are much less of an institution than those in Arcrion.) Oversized or especially frightening monsters will be refused ticket sales, though.

Long-distance travel - Both boats and light airships are used to travel out of the country. If you need to deter your character from traveling somewhere remote, monsters might have significant trouble getting a ticket out due to their monsteryness, or due to not having much in the way of legal identity. I recommend not letting your character leave Eludalsia unless you have a plan for their return, since it'll be hard to make RP happen there and not here. (If you do have a plan, feel free to use remote areas of any kind for hiatuses.)

Telecommunications - Phones are magic-based and have been around for a long time, as has the concept of video calls. Radio and television proper - many people picking up on a single broadcast - came after one-to-one video communication, and work more or less like they do IRL, but with some magic components involved. Something like the Internet exists, but it's heavily top-down (websites are mainly thought of as a way for government and businesses to disseminate information, while things like forums are very niche and social media is a few years away from catching on).

"Network"? - There is none, in the traditional journal RP sense. Characters can definitely try to cook up some kind of communications channel between monsters, by phone or email or magic object or arranged in-person meetings or whatever else works out best, but there's no setting-supported automatic access or anything.


-> DISTANT PLACES
Bukarakdi - A country in the arid lands to the south, which has played a huge role in Eludalsian history. Bukar explorers and traders brought significant technological advancements north with them hundreds of years ago, transforming Eludalsia in the wake of a famine and political crisis. Bukar religion and culture hitched a ride too, mixing with Caiver and Dalsian traditions to produce the country as it sees itself today.

Other foreign states - You're free to make them up if you need to reference one. Eludalsia does a lot of trade by sea. No countries are direct expies of real-world places or cultures, but you can base places on real places in terms of geology/ecology/what plants and animals are from what kind of place.


-> FLORA AND FAUNA
Eludalsia has a Mediterranean biome; looking up real-world examples will give examples of the kinds of wild and domesticated plants that grow there, and the range of small animals.

Dolphins, seals, and small whales live in the Alenian Sea. The largest land predators are bears, wolves, and cougars, all of which live mainly in the mountains and sparsely in the dense forests of Roucaia. Large herbivores of note are deer, boar (which can rival bears in size), wild goats, and a kind of small wild cow. Sheep, goats, and cows are common livestock. The seashore is home to a number of waterbirds including pelicans, predatory birds range from small hawks to very large vultures and eagles, and there's a gigantic diversity of songbirds etc. Snakes, lizards, etc etc if you're worried just look up places with Mediterranean biomes and if it's there you're good.

In addition to regular animals and plants, there is some wildlife in and around Eludalsia that has magical qualities and does weird things like glow supernaturally or smolder with an internal fire. None have abilities nearly as involved as monsters do, and those abilities are generally passive properties instead of magical things the organism can deliberately do.