Shear Anarchy / San Dorado [Worldbuilding Exercise]

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Re: Shear Anarchy / San Dorado [Worldbuilding Exercise]

Post by speaker-to-trolls » Tue Apr 25, 2017 6:08 pm

How unlucky and frequent would you imagine the unlucky years being? A tunguska event every twenty, thirty or fifty years, coming down on random locations with little that could be done to prevent or avoid it would make for a hell of a wildcard.
"Little monuments may be completed by their first architects, but great ones; true ones leave their copestones to posterity. God keep me from completing anything."

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Siege
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Re: Shear Anarchy / San Dorado [Worldbuilding Exercise]

Post by Siege » Mon May 08, 2017 6:33 pm

A few initial notes on the Old Custom of Teyrnon-Canhastyr.

In the beginning there was only the ocean: cold, dark and pitiless. Its ruler was Mawr Modron, goddess of the endless deep.

Mawr Modron coupled with the sea serpent Cirein-cròin three times, birthing three gods: Benfydd, god of skies and mist, storms and wind; Cyhfeal, chief of giants, god of mountains, ice and impossible tasks; Crian Ceirt, god of time, insight and ether.

Cirein-cròin and Cyhfeal rebel against Mawr Modron but are ultimately defeated. Cyhfeal hews Crian Ceirt in two. Benfydd is so enraged by his brother's betrayal that he beheads Cyhfeal and puts his head on a spike in the ocean, thus forming the island Caighseal. Benfydd then defeats Cirein-cròin by dragging the serpent out of the sea and onto the newformed land; once it was out of the water it was powerless and could be killed. Benfydd cuts open the serpent and from its body emerges a third generation of gods: Marrhionn, goddess of sorcery, terror, fate, wounds in battle; Afallach, god of the below-sea; Turennis, the antlered god of death.

Crian Ceirt survives as the Cleaved God who is neither male nor female: the god of doors and tresholds, noon and midnight, shorelines, new moons, thin places, birthdays and virgins.
"Nick Fury. Old-school cold warrior. The original black ops hardcase. Long before I stepped off a C-130 at Da Nang, Fury and his team had set fire to half of Asia." - Frank Castle

I breakfast upon Armadas such as thine!

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Re: Shear Anarchy / San Dorado [Worldbuilding Exercise]

Post by Siege » Wed Sep 20, 2017 3:11 pm

Carrier Pigeon Faster Than Broadband Internet

In South Africa, a carrier pigeon carrying a 4GB memory stick proved to be faster than the ADSL service from the country's biggest web firm. Something something reality and fiction. In San Dorado, access to utilities and telecom is just as unevenly distributed as capital. Downtown it's - naturally - all fancy flatscreens and superfast broadband for high-speed trading. In East people are still on dial-up and bakelite telephone sets. And in the Sprawl people depend on carrier pigeons and improv networks in flawed electrical wiring. Something inbetween a telegraph and an impromptu Internet, maintained by self-trained savant McGuyvers.
"Nick Fury. Old-school cold warrior. The original black ops hardcase. Long before I stepped off a C-130 at Da Nang, Fury and his team had set fire to half of Asia." - Frank Castle

I breakfast upon Armadas such as thine!

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Re: Shear Anarchy / San Dorado [Worldbuilding Exercise]

Post by Shroom Man 777 » Sun Sep 24, 2017 12:43 pm

Had a similar idea for SOTS, but with synthetic avianoids or even bioclockwork ones to prevent nano-bio spore-hacks or whatever.

I wonder if in San Doradoverse, these birds could be trained to loiter in certain areas or go from point to point and not only bring USBs, but like crypto-net emitters or whatever, especially by less savory elements. Or have birds or dogs or whatever carry emissions-sniffing devices, especially birds that can perch on the higher levels of skyscrapers where the corporations do their sensitive stuff high above any potential threats or eavesdroppers... and then when SinTek or whatever realizes that pigeons are carrying ELINT gear, they'll hire falconers and deck their buildings in spikes like those anti-pigeon Orthodox Churches with spiked crosses.
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Re: Shear Anarchy / San Dorado [Worldbuilding Exercise]

Post by Siege » Wed Dec 20, 2017 12:04 am

Menasha

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At the heart of San Dorado’s southern sprawl lies the Menasha ghetto district. It stretches from the Blackwall Basin and the river Slate in the east to the Skelton Sink in the west. It’s estimated that nearly a sixth of San Dorado’s populace lives in the poverty and deprivation of Menasha.

In 810 the Nazhindri order of Sivas Manugh established a temple sanctuary here, on the ancient Samharm road between Seyon and Shan Dzovar. Around the religious enclave a settlement sprang up that was independent of San Dorado until the early 16th century. By that time San Dorado had filled the islands of Lake Ventura and Menasha had become an unofficial suburb. Located south of Kittim’s Habeck Gate and beyond official controls (such as they were) it attracted the less fragrant activities of the city such as tanneries, slaughterhouses, shipwreckers, ship chandlering and rope making.

Population shifts from rural areas to San Dorado from the 17th century to the mid-19th century resulted in great numbers of more or less destitute people taking up residence amidst the industries and mercantile interests that had attracted them. Problems of poverty, crime and overcrowding have persisted ever since.

Blackwall Basin The Blackwall Basin is the second-largest natural lake in San Dorado, after Lake Ventura. It is named after the fort established on its northern shore in the 15th century. The basin has three notable areas: the eastern Upper Basin where the Slate runs through; the Shalem Miles islands area; and Dead Dog's Hole, the northern pan of the basin where, due to a fluke of subsurface currents, bodies drowned on the Slate or in the basin tend to wash up.

All Hallows on the Pits Established in the 9th century by the order of Sivas Manugh, All Hallows on the Pits is the largest and most important Nazhindri temple in San Dorado. It was destroyed and rebuilt several times in its history. The most significant reconstruction took place in the 17th century after the storm known as Tyche’s Clarion collapsed large parts of the complex in 1674. It sits on a hilltop overlooking Blackwall Basin.

The temple complex is triangular in the historic Akkan style, representing the Nazhindri belief in cyclic time and the three essences of life. The tower and part of the attached monastery were demolished in 1862 so that Ropery Way could be widened to accommodate increasing traffic. A new tower was built on the east, facing After The Hallows and in the direction of the Marrowbones. Its steeple is built over an arched gateway, which forms the current entrance to the Nazhindri monastery. This is frequently where unwanted children are abandoned. All Hallows On The Pits is also the largest orphanage in the Sprawl.

Old Menasha The oldest settled area in the greater Menasha district, Old Menasha is the borough that arose around the original Nazhindri temple. While it lost its independence to City Hall centuries ago, Old Menasha remains predominantly Nazhindri to this day. While it too has known far better days it is still perceptibly cleaner and better maintained that the sprawl around it. Old Menasha encompasses several public parks and gardens, the largest of which - Sargis Grove - is the third largest in the entire city, after Slade Green and Grange Park, and includes the only remaining pear orchard in Menasha.

The city walls of Old Menasha ran along the Vassar Terrace neighborhood. Remnants of the walls are still standing, incorporated as outer walls of older tenement buildings. An unknown part of the hill on which the old settlement stands is part of the old Nazhindri necropolis, which rumor says is itself built on top of an even older and deeper set of tombs.

Hale House Founded in 1147 as Sarhayl House of Pity by the Sibilant of All Hallows on the Pits, Hale House is the oldest still existing hospital in San Dorado. It has specialized in the care for the insane for at least six centuries. Hale House has moved several times in its existence, oftentimes because it burned down, sometimes because it was stormed by fearful mobs. It was operated by the Nazhindri until 1492, when the Great Council of San Dorado’s patrician families took control.

The Councillors used the hospital first and foremost as means of profiting at the expense of the poor and mentally ill, but also as a handy means of disposing of rivals by locking them in the madhouse. In addition, every frightful treatment in the history of mental illness, from solitary confinement to bleeding and blistering, electroshocks and lobotomies was practiced at Hale House at some point. As a consequence, the sanatorium has accrued a grisly reputation and the nickname 'Hell House', both of which it retains to this day. Currently Hale House stands in Marshgate on the eastern bank of Blackwater Basin, looking out at the permanent fires of the Shalem Miles.

Shalem Miles A group of artificially expanded islands off the eastern coast of the Blackwall Basin. Settled by fishers in medieval times, today the Shalem Miles are a critical energy infrastructure hub. Ninety percent of the liquid fuel and chemical products exported to the southern markets flows through the Shalem Miles, which also houses everything from generating plants and pipelines to pumping stations and the Goodnight Point nuclear power and reprocessing plant.

Skelton Sink Formerly a small dale to the west of Menasha described as an open valley of exceptional beauty, now an extremely polluted artificial lake at the heart of the sprawl. In the late 18th century a canal was dug from Blackwall Basin to what would become the Sink in order to generate cheap hydropower for mills at Marshgate. But the Skelton Sink has no natural outlet and the hardpan soil beneath the sink proved largely impervious to water, leaving evaporation as the only way to deplete the lake. As a result, the Sink filled up with increasingly foul water.

Today the Skelton Sink is a foul seasonal lake full of pollutants and detritus at the heart of the Sprawl. In the summer most of the water evaporates, leaving a toxic cesspool morass behind, only to fill up again when the monsoon rains come and flood lowlying neighborhoods with a foul poison tide. The immediate surroundings of the Sink are some of the absolute worst places in the sprawl to live: Short Bluffs, Murk, Hollow and the Marrowbones. Sewage runs from these ghettos into the Sink, further exacerbating the situation.

Marshgate A swampy area directly south from historical Old Menasha, Marshgate became a significant river port when Menasha was incorporated into San Dorado in the 16th century. Although Abrisham, Shevirat and South Fork remained the most important city harbors, Marshgate became an important site for shipbuilders and accompanying trades such as rope and sailmakers, as well as other less savory industries the patricians would rather not have foul up their own neighborhoods. Paper mills, gunpowder mills, iron-slitting and brass mills, breweries and cotton mills were founded next to hundreds of smaller workshops making products ranging from clay pipes to clockworks. Marshgate was home to extensive docks and wharves where cargo was swapped between shallow draught river boats, and crews from all over Astrafica mingled in taverns and brothels here.

In the late 19th century with the rapid spread of industrialization many of the historic trades that made Marshgate prosperous either folded or moved to newly established industrial estates in the northern city wards, leaving Marshgate a hollow shell of its former self. Today the main draw to Marshgate is Blackhook Harbor, a notoriously seedy triangle of warehouses, docks, bordellos, bars and flophouses where smugglers from Tamdoult and the Grace mingle with PMCs on leave from the Miles. Coming from the south however Marshgate remains San Dorado’s first outpost on the Slate and as a result it is fairly well off by sprawl terms - which isn’t saying all that much.

Gunner’s Cut is an inlet south of Marshgate, named after the foundry for casting brass cannons that stood here in the 18th century. Part of the foundry blew up in 1855, resulting in a fire that burned down the entire southern part of Short Bluffs.

Triseraf Overpass The main elevated highway in Menasha cuts south-west from Habeck Gate on Kittim all the way through the Sprawl into the Catkins and the Grace beyond. It is a recent development, built only in the ‘70’s. Its construction displaced thousands as areas of the sprawl were flattened and bulldozed to make way for the twelve lane highway. Like all highways in San Dorado the Overpass is a toll road and access is tightly controlled. The Triseraf runs high above the surrounding slums and effectively divides Menasha into separate areas. To its west lie comparatively well off areas: Old Menasha and Marshgate to its south. To the east the urban blight of the sprawl begins in earnest, with first the bombed out craters of Short Bluffs, and the shanty towns of the Marrowbones beyond.

But the Overpass moves more than just traffic: underneath it run several major pipelines that connect east ward to the Shalem Miles. Although the Overpass is patrolled by paramilitary security, desperate sprawl-dwellers try to tap these pipelines for gasoline. Crude oil theft, pipeline sabotage and illegal refining contaminates land with oil and cancer-causing compounds, and occasionally lights entire areas of the sprawl and the Overpass on fire.

Short Bluffs In the 19th century San Dorado’s population ballooned as poor immigrants flooded in from the south, drawn by the promise of work in the city’s burgeoning industries. Those with some money or skills settled in the eastern wards close to the new factories; those without were relegated to the cheapest lodgings in the southern slums, packed close in decrepit housing along warrens of small dark streets. Intensive overcrowding soon spilled blindly out of Marshgate into a honeycomb of slums perforated by courts and blind alleys: Short Bluffs, on the edge of the Skelton Sink.

Known as a wretched slum rife with disease, child mortality, prostitution and violent crime as early as the 1850s, Short Bluffs has been the focal point of extreme brutal upheaval several times. A decade ago the anarchist Serapis Sevenray published his pamphlet ‘Atop the Altar of Greed’ in Short Bluffs. The subsequent violent uprising was the worst in the recent history of San Dorado, engulfing the sprawl and the lower east side, requiring a majority of forces from three major military contractors to put down, killing thousands of slum dwellers in the process and reducing much of Short Bluffs to bombed out craters. Sevenray himself was believed killed when the Rat's Castle burned down, but his body was never identified.

The Prayer Parlor Hiram-Rocca House, better known as the Prayer Parlor, is a poverty house built in the 1880s in the three bridges area on the border of Menasha, Marshgate and Short Bluffs. Now in the direct shadow of the Triseraf Overpass, this large and striking terra cotta brick building offers food, shelter, and basic education education to the poor, provided by virtue of charity on part of wealthy donors. Although denounced by many of San Dorado’s rich elite as insincere, a number of such establishments continue to operate in the sprawl. The Prayer Parlor is by far the largest in Menasha.

Behind its imposing walls the Prayer Parlor contains a homeless shelter, a theater, a health center, a soup kitchen and several lecture halls. Like most poverty houses it is bankrolled by by rich philanthropists. Unfortunately in recent times one of the largest donors to the Prayer Parlor has been Jackie Sabbadin, otherwise known as Diamond Jackie or Jackie the Saint. As a concession the P-Square Partnership, one of the many gangs sworn to San Dorado’s boss of bosses, now also operates - more or less discreetly - out of the Prayer Parlor.

Blackwall Keep A squat historic fort on the southern tip of the cape splitting the Slate from Dead Dog’s Hole, built in the 15th century to control access to Lake Ventura. Blackwall Keep derives its name from the ebony basalt stone in which it is clad; it has a twin in marble-clad Whitewall Keep on the northern tip of the Graves, which controlled access to Lake Ventura from the sea.

Blackwall was intermittently used as a fortification between the 15th and 19th centuries, typically in times of heightened tensions between the patricians of the Council and the Counts of the Grace. When it wasn’t used as a bulwark it was sometimes a prison and a dungeon; indeed to this day the phrase ‘taken to Blackwall’ is a colloquialism for punishment in San Dorado. But Blackwall Keep has also historically served as a mint, treasury, botanical garden, mayor’s office and stellar observatory. Today Blackwall is property of Helix Highpoint, who have built a helicopter deck on one of the fortress’ five heavy bastion towers. What exactly Helix is using the old fort for is strictly confidential, but may have to do with rival Coldstream Delta’s activities on the Miles just across the water.

Breaker Downs Just beyond of Gunner’s Cut on the southern shore of the Blackwall Basin are the Breaker Downs, an area that was used for ship breaking from the sixteenth century till today. Early on wooden-hulled ships were simply sunk or sailed on to the beach to rot away; later their timber was sometimes reused by the Marshgate wharves. Today, worn out steel canal barges and riverboats are run aground here at the end of their final journey, to be cut apart by shears, torches and a handful of cranes.

The work at Breaker Downs is rough, physically demanding and dangerous. The shipbreaking also takes its toll on the environment: the water at Breaker Downs runs coral red from metal corrosion, and the beach is equally ruddy from flakes and chips of rust. Debris floats on top of the water, where dozens of deteriorating ships wait their turn to be run onto the shore. The shipbreakers for the most part employ immigrants from the sprawl who will work under dangerous conditions for minimal compensation. Anything worth salvaging from the breakers is, ironically, loaded onto ships and ferried to the Helix smelters and SANDEX yards in north ward; everything considered waste is left to pile up on the beaches.
"Nick Fury. Old-school cold warrior. The original black ops hardcase. Long before I stepped off a C-130 at Da Nang, Fury and his team had set fire to half of Asia." - Frank Castle

I breakfast upon Armadas such as thine!

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