The City of Lives
The plains on which the City rests, which butt up against the Mountains of Mourning.
Let’s begin with the most important piece of support for the City: the agricultural community that is the Julian Plains. This is where the City gets its food and trade goods, the support of the massive entity that is the City.
Archetype: The small farming communities beset by bandits and marauding monsters is a staple of the fantasy genre, and this is where the Julian Plains fit in. A place for PCs to call home, a safe place but also a place of constant adventure. Tristram, the Shire, West Harbor — these are the inspirations for the locales of the Julian Plains.
Real-Life Inspiration: The Julian Plains are, in my mind, based heavily on the rolling hills of the Palouse (eastern Washington state), where I grew up. You may know the image — it was the default desktop background image for Windows XP. Wheat and barley cover low hills, with the occasional sheep, horse, or cattle ranch dotting the landscape. The populace is made up of simple farmers, uninterested in higher education, complex art, or politics.
Theme: Both practically and thematically, the Julian Plains are the support structure for the City. The City relies on grain and meat from the Plains in order to survive. The Plains provide the City with necessities both directly and indirectly, as the City trades the Plains’ goods to other Realms. The Julian Plains also rely on the City — for protection and government, [more here]. Like every infrastructure, literal and metaphorical, the Plains are solid, dependable, and unremarkable. They have no need for fancy art or complicated magic — but without the Plains, the City would be unable to have these things.
Twist: The seemingly idyllic Plains have got to hide a secret — but what kind? Perhaps an underground revolution is slowly coming to boil as some of the Rural peasants wonder what they really get out of their association with the City, and want to gain their independence. Revolutionaries have always turned their farming implements into weapons of war — and since the farmers on the Plains use magic to control animals and plants directly… well, I’m scared.
Description: A small homestead outside of Bavingdon, constantly attacked by bandits.
Theme: Stability threatened by chaotic forces
Aspect: Peaceful Plantation Beset By Bandits
Face: Plenton Wells — Desperate and Paranoid Cowboy Protecting His Property
Description: A dam blocking off a small tributary of the River Actetas. It creates Brintall Lake.
Threat: Local Crasher raiders are targeting the dam for destruction, threatening the nearby farms.
Aspect: You’ll Need More Than a Finger to Plug This Dike
Face(s): Brakk — Kipman Raider Itching To Cause Some Chaos
Orton — Rural community Leader With His Head in the Sand
Description: A small mill that provides grain to the local community.
Threat: The owner smuggles herbal drugs to the City
Aspect: Simple Beauty Hides A Filthy Underside
Face: Dowen — Miller With a Terrible Secret