I have been spending some time coming up with a new region of Aeroth that is a bit different from the endless deserts and badlands that typify much of the land following The Death. The City stands as a meeting neutral for all the races of Aeroth, be they good, evil or unaligned. It also gives me the opportunity to indulge my obsession with Orientalist art and skirmish gaming!
Not all of Aeroth has been consumed by the Death. Standing in the middle of the ruination lies The City. Once it had another name but in the eons since its founding, it has become known simply as The City. A sprawling metropolis that sprouts up into the clouds and deep down under the earth it is inhabited by countless thousands of people from every race and culture imaginable. Here Humans rub shoulders with Elven nobles and Dwarven clansmen exchange insults with Orcish mercenaries in a seething chaos that often erupts into violence.
A View of the lower levels of The City
The City itself is built in seven levels. The First and top level, shrouded in cloud is home to the magnificent palaces and parklands of the god king, an enigmatic being of unimaginable power who resides over the mortal sprawl down below. This level is utterly off limits to all but those chosen of the god kings and any transgressor who manages to get near it are destroyed by the powerful defences, both magical and mundane that defend this paradise.
The Court of the God King
The Second level is the home to the great noble families. Here great fortified manors, churches, temples and all manner of grand buildings stand as testament to the power and wealth of The Cities nobility. Each of the houses has a large standing army as well as a great number of agents and spies working for them in the lower levels and each intrigues and plots against its neighbours and rivals in an unending dance of assassination and vendetta as the houses strive to reach the level of the God King and be found worthy of being given the charter to claim new lands for their immortal ruler.
The Idol Rich
The Third level is the home to the temples of The City. Here devotees from a thousand religions meet to worship all manner of deities, devils and charlatans. Unsurprisingly the greatest temples are those of the god kings but there are temples dedicated to every imaginable cult under the sun. The devotees themselves are often whipped into a religious frenzy against each other and many skirmishes are fought against unbelievers from nearby temples. Ruling over and controlling this chaos is the temple of the god kings. With thousands of fanatically loyal templars the cardinal of the god king wields the power to put down all but the most serious of religious zealotry by force of arms if necessary.
The Fourth level is a vast and dizzying mix of wide streets, twisting alleys, merchants houses, tenements, artisans workshops and taverns. Here the buildings are of a more uniform appearance and are relatively safe and law abiding. Law is enforced here, either by the power of the god kings troops or the armed retinues of the nobility, many of whom have vast business interests based here.
One of the Fourth Levels many markets
The Fifth level is approximately at ground level and is a warren of shanties, industrial areas and quite often ruined. The rule of law doesn't extend this far and much of it is either prowled by gangs or groups of the noble houses troops. It is at this level that much of the action takes place as gangs jockey for position, lowly guilds seek to garner noble contracts and the noble houses themselves act through their proxies, seeking to undermine their competitors while strengthening their own positions.
The Ruins of the outer fifth level
The Sixth level is buried underground and is a maze of interconnected basements, passageways, covered pits and the assorted detritus of The Cities populous. This far down, the inhabitants are savage and often mutated by exposure to magical runoff and industrial sludge. Gang warfare is incessant and brutal but wealth and power can still be found in these stinking depths. in the mines that dot the region and amongst the great piles of scrap that litter this level, treasures can be unearthed of great power and some of the more daring noble families will fund expeditions into the depths in search of just such booty.
The Seventh and final level lies deep beneath the earth and is home to the worst of the worst and the most piteous of the inhabitants of The City. This far from the sun, evil men and women rule petty kingdoms of savages and fight amongst themselves or the many vile creatures that thrive in the dark and dank places. It is from this level that rumours spread of the demon king, the polar opposite of the ruler of The City, a terrible being who hungers for power, carnage and chaos and who sends his own dark messengers up through the levels to sow discord and mayhem.
Hopefully I will be able to get some warbands put together soon to game out some skirmishes based in the urban sprawl of The City soon!
All the best!