Themes: Modern Tech; Science Fantasy - Mild Powers
City Manager: Elleren Pendecast
Blairville, formerly Blaurg the City of Wonder, is located in the north. It is nestled between two mountain ranges, with Blaurg mountain to its east, and the border to the Wastelands further north. Blairville is population dense, with neatly organized major streets which branch off into innumerable, convoluted streets, roads, and byways, some of which can lead a traveler to destinations unknown.
Plant life flourishes in all of the cities of united Lagrimosa, but is unchecked in the city of wonder. Flora is often incorporated into the architecture, with massive, still living trees serving as anything ranging from a house to a guildhall. Animals can often be seen roaming crowded streets in harmony with the citizens.
Most of the population actively practices the arcane arts. Magitech and industrial steam or combustion technology has a minimal presence in Blairville, and most supernatural practices favor traditional and ritualistic forms of magic. It's citizens take an artistic approach to their magical development in a fashion that differs wildly from Hell's Gate (often called the 'fraternal twin' of Blairville). empirical approach to integrate magic and make it available to the masses rather than to the learned.
There are few laws in Blairville, making the already arduous task of gathering accurate demographic information all the more challenging. It is estimated that there are 6 million people of diverse racial backgrounds living in the city, and 4 million in outlying villas and villages.
Agents of the Prometheus Initiative get together to plan the organization's direction, anticipated future projects, and the appointment of a new head to a new division inside of the company. Little is known about the Prometheus Initiative, but that may all change very soon.
Blairville is a semi-even surface built onto steep hills and jagged rock. Looking north, one is treated to a view of steep mountains and low desert. Looking south reveals the Coconino Marsh, whose borders have been enlarged by recent flooding.
Lax city planning has ushered in multiple ‘downtowns’ and redundant goods and service sectors. This means the city acts more like a combination of multiple, smaller cities. Walking a tightening spiral through Blairville is like sampling a dozen different parts of the world. In all of these areas, Wizard Towers rise high above any other building, their height a culturally enforced symbol. The skyline is broken up even further by the jutting mass of the enigmatic Tower, which reaches up to the clouds.
Many small tribes (including Banjari and Mahrjan) have set up a semi-permanent residency around Blairville's walls, serving as culinary, cultural, and trade hotspot for all incoming roads. Buildings are commonly made out of the abundant stone quarries around the city, as well as glass crafted from the desert sands for stylized architecture.
A direct challenge to Blairville's core libertarian values, Safeguard has been met with avid and violent opposition. It was first introduced by ex-manager Katamus as one of his final acts in office before disappearing off the face of Valucre altogether. Safeguard requires federal certification for the practice of magic, which many magicians take as an infringement on their basic rights and an insult to the families whose practice of magic precedes even the establishment of Blairville as a city. This has resulted in violent conflicts between guilds that are for Safeguards, guild that are against it, and Constabulary officers who have to prosecute both sides for their use of lethal magic.
Speculations about the 'true purpose' of Safeguard abound, ranging from its basic claims to provide security to all citizens, to a means for the government to catalog citizens with the ability and means of powerful magic, to even the conspiracy that aliens from outer space are trying to corral threats to their control and keep them out of the way. Recent events saw Blairville's primary Safeguard node attacked with an information virus which flooded the system with irrelevant information and corrupted records, so that shadows of doubt would be cast on any information.
This has resulted in an unprecedented rise of magical criminal activity.
Blairville is a victim of cold snaps during the winter, subjecting it to sudden and unexplained cold movements and blizzards. Summer is heralded by boiling heat but a near constant wind from the mountains keeps the city pleasantly warm that time of year, though narrow streets funnel wind to a strong enough point that there is a threat of children being picked up and flung down alleyways.
As a result of the Wastelands turning into frozen tundra after its loci lost the fight against the Shawnee loci, ambient temperature in Blairville has dropped by 12 degrees. This makes for more pleasant summers, but equally more dangerous winters, and Blairville has to dedicate a portion of its collective magical energy to maintaining proper life cycles for the flora they use for industrial purposes.
Flora and Fauna
Of all the megacities in Lagrimosa, Blairville has the most unchecked growth of plant and animal life. The city’s aura and crossing Ley Lines create a breeding ground of mystical animals and plants. Due to the radical changes in climate, Blairville magicians have had to dedicate more time and resources to maintaining both mundane and magical flora for industrial and arcane uses.
Brazen deer with blue fur graze the grass growing in cobbled roads as people pass it by. Swift-growing oak trees sprout up between homes and give some residents instant access to burnable wood (and sometimes end up nothing more than a nuisance for families when it turns out they are sentient, like to talk, and mustn't be killed). Fish and octopus vie for control of the river crossing through the city.
All animals and plants live in symbiosis with the sapient races, and are not considered tamed or domesticated. There are a few domesticated breeds but even labor animals are treated as having individual, legal rights. Outside of the city limits this attitude is more relaxed.
Dragon Tongue: Dragon tongue is a bright, velvety red with a bulbous center with various, interwoven, flowering nodes filled with regenerative fluids. This flower is one of the top choices for most healing products. A fully bloomed specimen ranges between 15-30 centimeters.
Blairville’s culture is a diverse melting pot of diverse races and ethnicities with a judicious eye towards syncretism. This means that the ‘bad’ of a culture will be rejected (forced marriage, ritual (genital) mutilation, etc) and the ‘good’ of a culture will remain (limited social hierarchies, food, etc). Although culture varies so wildly from one district of the city to another, there are still concentrations of specific races and ethnicities in locations ('ghettoes') whose insular nature leads to moral distancing.
That said, for most of the city discriminatory acts such as racism and ageism are almost unheard of.
Blairville has a population of approximately 6.3 million as of 26 AO. Blairville's demographic is highly diverse, with no concrete majority of Human, Oiche Duende, Banjari, Goblin or Wellfolk. Small population of Molocks (Mole-people) present as indigenous. Numerous other unique entities are also present but in small numbers outside of the scope of census data.
Since most people are trained in some form of magic, many in Blairville continue learning their entire lives. As the saying goes, 'everyone and their dog is capable of magic', and Blairville's culture is one that encourages a wedding between safety and fanaticism. Self-defense and honorable, duels are a common occurrence in the streets of Blairville, and are looked upon favorably in civil courts. Previously these duels were rarely lethal but since the introduction, and then lapse, of Safeguard, magical manslaughter and homicide are on the rise.
Companies, institutions and locations
- Book|Ends (contact Kittyvoncupcake): Down in Blairville's Western District, wedged between a winery and a fish market, lies a book shop. If one were to pass through the green door, one would find themselves immersed in a collection of oddities, leather bound texts purporting the arcane, and face to face with a rather bored looking elf. For merchandise that held interest beyond mere curiosities, or a special request to uncover such an item, one only needs to ask.
- Swap Market, The: The Original Bazar of Blaurg (sic), and a grand location for magical trinkets and bizarre curios. It is here that many a hedgewizard and thief ply their trade.
- Inn de Clairmont: An ornate, three-story caravansary. The Inn de Clairmont serves as a waypoint on Terran's northern road. A common home for passing travelers, it boasts a stable, a smithy for small repairs, and an attached shop for purchasing essential wares. It's perfect for relaxing, re-equipping and getting what you need before moving on. The hanging gardens fringing the building and surrounding the inner courtyard, which is often used for venues, is also a tourist attraction.
- Pavilion of The Sun, Moon, and Seasons, The: Festival and parades are a part of Blairville culture, and the The Pavilion is the center of that culture. During the day it forms the center of the town, but when parties are about few can hardly comprehend the wondrous, exciting chaos that it plays host to.
- Rookhelm Tavern Hall: A finer place to feast and rest your feet cannot be found for miles from the Rookhelm Tavern Hall. Somewhat a more legitimate establishment than most towns offer by way of tavern, the Rookhelm is often times used as a meeting place for businessmen, merchants, visiting dignitaries and the Constabulary.
- The Purple Axe Tavern and Inn: A purple axe cutting the moon into a crescent is burned into a wooden sign and onto the large double doors leading into the tavern. This is a generic tavern and inn. Players are free to come up with their own as well.
- "The Tower" (contact supernal): Originally a 5 story keep made up of ashen stone and rough walls four blocks wide on all sides, the Tower was commandeered by Julius Aldoid during the mad days of his regency and expanded another 10 stories. Since its abandonment by Artifacture Unlimited, the Tower was retained by the federal government and used at different times for different functions (the lower levels rented out for living space or for research centers) but then left in quiet disrepair. The Tower has since then continued to grow for reasons Unknown, and its peak now reaches 100 stories.
- Tower Quarter: Arguably the most well-known, and inarguably the largest, Mage District in Lagrimosa. Numerous spires jut from the low-lying shop fronts, and many mage clubs are hidden in the twists of houses and along the gaps in the cobble. Here the professional wizard makes their services available to the public, sometimes with prices too steep or unique for the common adventurer.
- Unterholm, The: Blairville’s subterranean furnaces, the crucibles and kilns that form the backbone of Blairville’s ore refinery business. Much of the lower caste in Blairville society filter their way down into these depths, finding honest if physically demanding labor. It is rumored that some born within the deeper recesses of the Unterholm are cursed never to see the surface.
- Walls of Blaurg (sic), The: The only magi-tech marvel of Blairville, the Walls are a massive, semi-sentient artifact, tasked with forbidding entry save by those who pass through its main gates. An exceptionally rare few know about the Wall's mechanics and origins.
Local government and economy
Blairville is a free-market, unregulated economy where all of the very minor taxes go toward a powerful and swift civil justice system that prefers to exile law-breakers or institute magical safeguards on individual persons. All criminals are entered into the Golden Coalition’s Safeguard database (recently corrupted).
The only locally gathered tax is a property tax. Constabulary officers go door to door, especially among wealthy districts, asking for obligatory 'donations' during certain months of the year. Federal taxes are collected in the same manner, most of the money going towards maintenance of inter-city infrastructure, and the Empire Military Guard. Citizens are much more indignant about these latter taxes.
Since this system is easily corruptible, there are both incentives in place for lower-ranked officers to turn in higher-ranked officers, and a strict documenting protocol for every donation, but it does not make the problem entirely disappear. These records are freely available, and sometimes even used as a badge of honor among officers and citizens that make extensive donations.
The low taxes offer an alluring opportunity for national corporations, but because taxes per city are handled by the city, Blairville has not become a tax haven, explaining its continued skew towards crowdsourced mystical arts and the lack of a heavy corporate sector. The city is also difficult to live in if one is not accustomed to it, so national corporations tend to avoid it, though Blairville has an affluent trade market.
Every megacity in Empire is a regency, meaning that the local authority has the power to enact laws that apply to the city with authority equal to that of the federal government, with the exception of government owned operations and services. In Blairville, these are usually staffed and operated by private interests, such as merchants or charities. Because of this, most federal influence is limited to the presence of a Peacekeeper but otherwise it is difficult to implement the mandated federal laws, so they are often skirted or ignored.
- 16,000 Constabulary Officers: Local police, Constabulary Officers are known for their non-violent crime fighting methods but are not above cracking heads. Armed with handguns, lanterns, enchanted tower shields, and heavy, metal-braced clubs.They are almost always somewhat capable magic users.
- 17,000 Empire Military Guard: Empire military personnel with varying degrees of training and experience.
Blairville lacks formal colleges and mandatory public schooling, instead embracing principles of open access to information and non-traditional forms of education. The most common form of education is for many of Blairville's numerous libraries to run daycares, ranging from still nursing babies to children as old as 12, with the librarians themselves acting more as facilitators, rather than sources, of knowledge.
For those pursuing higher educations, artisans and wizard towers accept apprentices and train them in their desired vocation. Didacts and career wizards are well respected, with knowledge of arcana a highly sought after commodity.
- Roads and Highways: Mostly cobble and leveled dirt. A number of streets and byways are filled with grass and populated by trees.
- Lightning Rail: Offline.
- Warp Gate: Offline.
- Riverways: Few people use the river running through town to travel, a few row boats and skiffs navigating between the larger, less common merchant boats. Most trade is done by rail, not by boat. The exception is the sale and trade of small wares and trinkets by Blairville's banjari and roaming merchant community.
- Cab (mounted horse, etc): Solabernite powered vehicles are limited to hover or flying machines because of the narrow streets and requirement for lateral movement. Domesticated animals like horses or large goats shared by multiple users are common personal vehicles.
- Nagara Tui-Huo: Powerful warlock specializing in hexes, summoning, and enchantment.
- Sylvester Von Rosenberg: Captain of Industry. CEO of Rosenberg Innovations with a focus in magitech.
- Edward Brown: 5-star General, Imperial Advisoer / Hand to the king, and PeaceKeeper handle. Edward claims his home in Blairville but given his many critical duties is rarely seen residing here. Alongside Eustace Monroe and Odin Haze, Edward was a pioneer of the magi-tech revolution shortly after the Crusades.
- A dollar for your sword: Donovan is a professor of adventure working out of the Gaian Academy and running a learning clinic for intermediate adventurers. The pay is good (5000 USD) and sounds challenging but straightforward. Will and Luke are shrunk, sent into the client's plumbing, and encounter such wonders and perils as spiders, flash floods, betrayal and mushroom kings.
- Croissant for a prudent rodent: Addison and Ash assists the Rat King in acquiring the materials he needs to become a man-sized bipedal one day. While searching for the items, they bump into a street gang and hastily make their escape via the rooftops. The two are paid for their efforts, though the experiment isn’t viewed by either of them.
- Curse of the spire: Addison and Tex McCannon help the Blairville constabulary to explore the sewers in the aftermath of the spire. They discover hostile plantlife living within it, killing the specimen and reporting their findings to the police station.
- Devising a Pantheon - Hera: In this thread, Issac and Karilius discuss with each other the organization's (Prometheus Initiative) direction and plans for future projects, as well as the appointment of Issac as head of the Hera division.
- Safe riots and kidnapping: Several parties come together to search for a banjari artificer named Bruga. Agony and Lunara extract some information regarding Bruga in Unterholm while Isidor and Rhys use a tracking spell to retrace Bruga’s last steps. The group assault a warehouse owned by a local gang, where they find Bruga, who asks of the group to locate a material component (gargoyle lungs) from the Unterholm. The component is claimed through a crucial battle, Bruga completes another amplifier under duress, and members of both the Red Envoy and the Crimson Ledger are decimated.
- Safeguard, Or: How I learned to love the calm: A peaceful rally turns violent. Protesters are arrested and taken in for questioning. On the way they are attacked by other prisoners with tentacles bursting from their mouths, and are freed by the unexpected actions of radicals. Ethen, Lorsan, and Tori join a cell in attempting to take down Safeguard in Blairville. Results are mixed. The Safeguard Act is temporarily neutralized. The face of Lagrimosa is changed.
- Where the bloody hell?: Galen and Aku were asked to investigate the disappearance of a local shopkeeper, Osiris Noworthy. In their preparations they met and befriended [putting it mildly] a lonely lizard woman simply known as Kirin. The actual task seemed to be a cake walk, as there was no resistance in rescuing the Feline Shopkeeper. But something is wrong . . .
- Bloody rumors and requisitions: A red mist of unknown origin plagues Blairville, inducing irrational anger in the afflicted. Galen and Aku arrive in the city at the height of a fog induced panic and are soon called on by the local PeaceKeeper to investigate the source of the attack. The pair use unconventional methods and gather enough information from the homeless of the city, along with further investigation, to pin the crime on a mysterious red haired woman.
- A demon and her box: A demon and a witch pair up and destroy a major cache of Blairville's database of information crystals used for the Safeguard Act.
- Into the silver dream: A large party of adventurers gathers at the Raven's Chalice as a mist of forgetfulness and a malevolent spire suddenly appear in Blairville. Though the party takes many losses, they are eventually able to destroy the Spire, ending its evil control over the vulnerable citizens of the city. The mist dissipates on its own some time later. This is part of a larger event which effected many cities in Lagrimosa concurrently.
- Twilight Zone: Empire military team investigates fourth level of the Blairville Tower, finds that it is the perpetually-haunted zone of spook. Proceeds to egress with news that everyone should probably just skip this floor and go straight to five if they can.
- Will you reach your breaking point: Two opportunistic prisoners find themselves trapped in a cell in the Unterholm and shed a large amount of blood in escaping their hold.
- Merchant's Secret: A demon was partially summoned in the heart of Blairville following an attack by mutated trolls, but was banished by group of wanted fugitives who then disappeared after saving the city from sure destruction.
- Damn Rats: Adventurers join up and complete a wizard's quest to clear out the rats in his tower. This group fights giant rats and are joined by more as they travel through the tower's underground. Eventually they find the leader and convince him to work together with the wizard of the tower, which ends the rat problem.
- Swap Market - Dragon's Egg: Three individuals helped an old mobster's wife steal a dragon's egg, and caused a serious ruckus in the Swap Market which resulted in their ownership of the egg.
- The Sacking of a City: A legion of demons and creatures, headed by a warlord, arise from the marshland and march on Blaurg. The city is on high alert, having been struck with sorrow once too often, and rallies to defend itself. As quickly as they came, the army vanishes; the purpose for their feint remains unknown.
- Unlike Tower One: Events of the past that explain why Artifacture Tower was empty and the reason behind the 'disappearance' of Julius Aldoid and 'The League of Mages'.
- Artifacture Tower - Chapter One: Months after Julius Aldoid's disappearance from Valucre, Soren, a time-traveling Mage and his companion, Lunarius Maji, arrive in the emptied Artifacture Tower. Finding the fourteen-story keep empty of both life and activity, Soren and Lunarius claim the tower as their own. Taking Julius Aldoid's study and laboratory, Soren escorts Lunarius to a guest room before bidding her a good evening.
- Julius Aldoid and his employees and personnel vanish mysteriously and abruptly, leaving behind an empty tower.
- Blade Sweeping: Blaurg has been razed in a bold, daring move by the Arcantians of Altus Arcantium, located in Genesaris, in a decisive victory for the Arcantians in the Empire (Gaia) vs Genesaris (Altus Arcantium) war. Blaurg has suffered the most damage of any single town in the history of Odin Haze's reign up to this point.
The City of Blaurg's charter was signed in the Second Great Unification during a period known as The Times of Many. King Oros, ruler of an ancient kingdom predating Terrenus, had commissioned cartographer Erebus Langley to survey his land and make a map of it. The Langley Expedition is one of the great early stories in the nation's history and it was Langley himself who first discovered and recorded the supernatural effects of Terrenus's forests.
In the ancient past custom was king and decided things without question, and so Blaurg was named by Thaddeus Inigo, Langley's second in command, who announced that 'the name of this newly discovered and magic-rich land shall be:" and fell off the podium shortly after.
Through most of its history, Blaurg has been a city outside of Terran culture. Wedged between hills fringing the Wastelands and the Coconino Marsh, Blaurg was often thought to be a backwater city and their trade was limited to Langley's Keep and Patia. Wet winters that gave way to monsoons and dry summers that gave way to drought gave the early settlers a rough time of claiming their stake.
Mages, banjari, and aberrant races have historically shown favor to Biazo, as its melting pot nature made Blaurg a home to many outcasts. Early mayors offered a welcome haven for many nomadic merchants and offered a welcome haven to many of the banjari families seeking refuge from Langley's Keep. Much of the market place and the trade sector is still run by the ancestors of the banjari who first settled the town.
Blaurg's outsider nature quickly attracted many mages and representatives of the arcane world, due to its ready access to materials mundane and illicit. The city also quickly became well-known for its artisan spirit, and the local booming sector of craftsmanship resulted in Blaurg's growing fame and financial stability.
True wealth did not come to the region until three major crops started to show up in national circulation. Blaurg's high elevation made it ideal for harvesting tea, the diverse climate fostered the growth of a variety of spices that could be easily harvested year round, and the numerous sediments making up its topsoil and crust make dye manufacture a staple industry in Blaurg's economic growth.
With these crops Blaurg gained and continues to hold command of its own destiny. Independence and aloofness, more out of internal interests than external apathy, have been prevalent themes through much of its history. Strong walls, rich merchants and a vast mage population has made Blaurg a city that can stand its own.
It is only in the last ten years that Blaurg has once again entered into the national stage, its involvement encouraged by Odin Haze and the great respect he earned for himself and for the national government he represented by way of his selfless restoration efforts. It is notable as well that in the last thirty years before flying the Terran banner, Blaurg was untouched by crime syndicates, malevolent warlocks and Hidden Devils. Blaurg was a humble town, small compared to other cities but charming in that regard. Only recently has it returned to its proud heritage of artisanship and, though bustling, it is not yet the arcanopolis it once was.
Knock the Bottom out of the Sky
During a clear March day, Blaurg was attacked by Arcantian forces. A single, massive airship called the Blade Sweeper—named because it's covered in blades—fell from the sky and razed a portion of the city around a major Gaian Temple in the northern metropolitan area. Civil engineering damage reports indicate that a defense satellite and the the largest local library were also destroyed despite none being in the path of the crashed airship and intelligence reports indicate that these locations were specific targets of Arcantian forces.
It is difficult for historians to agree on a specific death-toll. Altus Arcantium reports suggest hundreds of thousands dead, while Terran estimates suggest a conservative number just shy of one thousand. Some theorists suggest that the disparity between the two reports is a result of propaganda, though it is unclear which side is engaging in the lie, and the destruction of census records in the targeted library make it hard to agree on a base number as well. Refugee camps spread out along the region and numerous subterranean developments sprang up within the foundations of the town.
A Vision for the Future
Some suggest that Blaurg may be entering a second golden age. Pressure from international relations, more deeply felt in the notably individual Blaurg than in other cities of the federation, attributes to a great strain felt by the people.
Currently the city resembles much of the Post-Crusades Blaurg – a place filled with magical secrets, exotic people, and a thirst for wonder paralleled only by Hell's Gate's thirst for knowledge.
Edited by supernal