Slow progress is still progress

I have been pottering away on my game and while progress has been slow, it is still progress. I have been working on expanding the background / setting details while I ponder the mechanical side of things. Today, I thought I would share a little bit of what I have done.

Trade & Economy

At the heart of all industry in the City are the great oil and gas works that run the looms, engines, machines and weed presses, supply the City with paraffin, kerosene and naphtha, feed the lamps and heat the boilers of the mighty towers. The smelters and factories of the Iron Lords churn out machine parts, construction materials and weapons. The polycycle plants process, reconstitute and repurpose the City’s waste, supplying water, raw materials and food to the masses. All machinery is on an industrial scale, over engineered statements of power and longevity like the buildings that house them. Millions work in these factories, continuous shifts keeping the machines running night and day to supply the ever needy City.

The City dwellers have been industrious in finding alternatives to wood. Shell, steel, bone, leather and glass are used instead. Ossilwrights craft musical instruments, utensils, smoking pipes, buttons and weapons from bone. Glass makers create doors, windows, spectacles, glassware and containers. Tin smiths make a good trade in everyday items. Each of these industries operates on a small, local scale, meeting the specific needs of individual aristocratic families and their subjects.

The Gillymen hunt the sea for slimfish, shelled bloaters and the mighty kraken. They harvest the kelp forests, using the weed as a source of food, fibre and fuel. Their shell jewellery is highly prized in certain circles and their woven nets, baskets and ropes are the finest in the city.

House Guards and Beat Walkers arm themselves with yellow powder pistols, while the Firemen keep the City cleansed with naphtha sprays, furnace carts and more esoteric armaments. The typical street runner goes about their business with a concealed bone shiv or razor thin longblade.

The scarcity of materials in the City has meant that produce is highly refined, lovingly crafted and immaculately worked. Precision is paramount in every endeavour and the caliper men are in great demand in all industries. Steel is worked until it is paper thin but hard as stone; shells polished until translucent; leather cut to drape like silk; everything measured twice and records kept meticulously.

Trade in the towers and precincts of the Iron Lords is done in fashionable halls, backroom deals or across the counters of reputable merchant men. Promisory notes and embossed tin tags are common forms of exchange, though written contracts, favours or information are not uncommon either.  On the streets trade is conducted through barter of goods, services and secrets, though almost everything is valued in terms of the towermen’s tin tags.

And now for more feedback from you! One of the “races” that inhabit the City are actually citizens that volunteer to be possessed by bark spirits. The possession traps the spirit, thus preventing it from roaming free and threatening the City. I imagine that there is some internal struggles, and the spirit is passed on from one specially chosen individual to another. My question? What do we call these “people”. I  think it should be some play on a word, in the same way that Games Workshop’s Warhammer 40,000 uses a lot of words that sound almost familiar. Some words that mean “container” or relate to the idea of identity are: vessel, hollow, urn, chalice, cannikin, trap, facade, veneer, guise, mien, mask, carriage. I have tossed around “miensters” and “hollowmen” but they just don’t have the edge I am after. What do you think?

Comments (0)

  1. Rob Lang November 14, 2011 at 4:59 am

    How about “Barkoast”; evolved from Bark Host via Barkhost and then spelt phonetically? Not sure if that sounds right in your accent, try saying it like a Michael Caine cockney.

    In trade and industry, I’d expect to see something on Tax or how the government interacts with business. Are there Tax collectors? Are the collectors straight, to be feared; or bent, to be bribed?

  2. Peter Blake November 14, 2011 at 5:07 pm

    How about “the Conflicted”, “Heartwoods”, or “the Galled”?

  3. Steve November 16, 2011 at 6:11 am

    How about merging paroxsym (explosion synonym) and symbiot, for something like paroxsymbiot.

    The point being that the host is close to explosion, a mortal frame can only hold for so long, while being allied to them during that time.

  4. Nathan Russell November 17, 2011 at 10:31 pm

    Great suggestions guys. I am currently leaning toward “Thornborne”. I am not sure whether I should go with “born” or “borne”, though.

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