Okay, Day 2 is only half done, but I just finished a bit of work and thought I would post it up for you to see. It is the description of the gillymen, one of the denizens of the Perpetual City.
Unpredictable like the seas that bore them.
The gillymen’s ancestors long ago dragged themselves from the ocean’s depths to claim a home on the ragged reefs that scar the great harbour. There the sea-people warred with each other for the bounty of the sea and the debris of the City but soon learnt to live with the cycles of the seasons and the rhythms of the world.
Confident, brave, and enduring, the gillymen are a hardy people that have little time for deceit and lies. They are level headed, straight talking and honest, but hardly stoic. Their difficult lives on the coral islands has taught the gillymen to live life to the fullest, take chances when they present themselves, and enjoy a bounty when it is presents itself.
The gillymen are soulless, beings of flesh alone, and therefore immune to many of the threats embodied by the Great Betrayer. Thus, they are less superstitious than most inhabitants of the City, more pragmatic. They see life as cyclical and know that lean times follow bounty, which follows lean times. They see no need to struggle against the status quo – what goes around, comes around.
Their acute senses and close family communities mean there is little reason for deception, so the gillymen work to develop open, sincere relationships. This does not mean they will not lie when the occasion calls for it, but it is not their first instinct. Other races often mistake the gillymen honesty as rudeness, but they are only extending the courtesy they expect from others.
Gillymen are the most unusual looking denizens of the city. Standing up to five feet tall, they have a humanoid body and a long fish-like head, with large bulbous eyes that sit almost on the side of their face. They are hairless and covered in fine silvery scales, and their long boney fingers and toes have the vestiges of webbing. They have rows of sharp teeth that are equally good at tearing meat and shredding the tough seaweed that the gillymen subsist on.
Despite their distinct piscean appearance, most gillymen also have features that indicate a relationship with a particular family, tribe or sub species. These features include long spiny facial whiskers, fins like mohawks, boney spurs on elbows, hips or knees, and colourful fins where a human’s ears would be. Some have bulging “fish lips”, while others have uniquely patterned scales.
Gillymen typically dress in leathers made from fish skins and clothing knitted from highly refined kelp. There clothing is simple, but often decorated with polished shells, beads and carefully shaped coral. Some gillymen, particularly those that live within the city proper, have taken to wearing kelp wigs in a mockery of their more hirsute neighbours.
Most gillymen live on the hundreds of small coral islands in the vast harbour. Each island is home to a large extended family who all participate in the family business, whether that be fishing, kelp farming, weaving, jewellery making or similar pursuits. Each of the islands is mostly self sufficient and they supplement their needs by trading with each other and selling their produce to the City.
The gillymen that live in the City tend to reside together in overcrowded neighbourhoods close to the docks, river or storm drains. Many continue their traditional family trades, though an equal number work as traders and “middlemen” conducting business between the island dwellers and city folk.
A few bold gillymen make a life for themselves beyond the close family ties and obligations that hold their culture together. They make excellent Beat Walkers, praised for their fairness and keen eye for the truth, traits that also make them well suited as advisors to towermen.
Gillymen names consist of a short personal name and one or more surnames that indicate their relationships with families, tribes or groups.
Male names: Arri, Belly, Blenny, Danio, Dori, Fin, Gar, Gil, Goby, Gup, Hal, Loach, Lop, Manny, Minn, Pick, Pike, Sal, Shad, Sprat, Tunny, Tup, Wiff,
Female names: Arria, Dana, Doria, Fin, Finna, Gara, Gilla, Guppa, Hala, Luga, Mako, Minna, Roe, Rohu, Sala, Silago, Shada, Tuppa
Surnames: Brooder, Flagtail, Hamlet, Killifish, Lamprey, Longfin, Minnow, Mullet, Pickerel, Remora, Roundhead, Sole, Splitfin, Whalefish, Whitetip, Yellowtail
Glom: They are outsiders in the only world they have ever known. I understand why they fight but they should beware of the seeds they sow.
Human: For every good one there is a bad one.
Ragdoll: They smell funny.
Thornborn: Too many of them seek to upset the balance. They are not to be trusted.
Troll: They have given up the struggle but are not content with the life they have accepted. I wish they could be happy.
And here is this evenings effort. This has been slow going as I have struggled to “get into the groove”, but I am doing better now. While there does not appear to be much “game crunch” here at the moment, this fluff is essential to creating a proper image of the City. I have a basic outline of the rules / action resolution, and there is an extra paragraph of info for each of these entries that I am not including, that does have the specific “character creation” instructions for each race.
Together we stand, united they fall!
The diminutive glom were bread in the pits of the towers to be the perfect working class. The tough, relentless labourers were used and abused for hundreds of years before the revolution. Now they fight for their place within the City proper, clawing their way from indentured servitude to a powerful working class.
Dweller, leatherback, squat.
The glom are resourceful, persistent and self-reliant. They have been at the bottom of the pecking order for so long they understand that nobody is going to help them but themselves. Bred for obedience and ruled by routine, they are fiercely loyal to whatever organisation, family or ideal they align themselves with. They can be excellent organisers and methodical planners, having spent hundreds of years patiently plotting their escape from servitude.
The “free” glom, who have joined the revolution and unionised workforce are often vocally political. They are prepared to fight for their right to fair pay and better conditions. The conservative glom, who choose to remain in service to their households are equally protective of their choice, though they tend to try to go about their business quietly and avoid open conflict, with other glom, or anyone else.
Three to four feet tall with strong, wiry frames and overly large heads, the glom have uncharitably been compared with punch-and-judy sideshow puppets. They typically have exaggerated features, such as large ears, high cheekbones, long, pointed or bulbous noses, and large round eyes. Their leathery skin is usually an earthy grey or ruddy tan colour, though some glom have much darker skin tones. Their hair is coarse and dark, and most wear it short under caps or bonnets, though an increasing number of free glom have taken to wearing it long and wild, often sticking madly from beneath oversized bowlers or top hats.
Glom favour practical clothing that does not get in the way of their work, with the anonymity of darker colours preferred. It has become a common understanding in some parts of the city to cross the street or walk the other way if you see a gang of glom wearing bright caps or gaudy vests, as they are undoubtedly rabble-rousers looking to make a scene.
The glom are quite literally a product of the metropolis, carefully bred over hundreds of years from stock that no longer plays a part in the City’s daily life. They have no creation myth, only horror stories of slavery and mistreatment at the hands of the Iron Lords and their task masters. This has lead to a strong belief that they must be their own agents of change. This culminated in the Glom Revolution of 1081, when they won the right of Employment.
Gutter Born, Street Chattel, Censussian
After the Glom Revolution most glom threw off the shackles of their indentured life and took to the streets as free people, with little more than the clothes on their back and hope in their heart. It was a harsh reality that met them, and the boarding houses are overflowing with the desperate unemployed. Places on the work gangs are highly sought after and the Glom Union deals harshly with employers and workers who try to get around their authority.
Only the Union Committee Members and their badged enforcers have any modicum of privilege, often amassing some wealth and not insubstantial power over the glom populace and the factory masters that must deal with them.
The glom that became free in name only and remained in service to their masters live a relatively safe life in the dormitories of wealthy households. There they are a part of the custodial family of servants, maids and retainers, though they remain little more than slaves.
Glom often find themselves forced into illicit activities to survive, engaging in smuggling, burglary and even extortion – sometimes under the auspices of the Union. Their small stature and ubiquitous nature make excellent second-story men, spies and infiltrators. Many have taken up the mantle of street ruffian or agent provocateur, though a noble few seek to look out for their own kind as Beat Walkers, or vigilantes.
Glom are traditionally named by their owners, and in recent times it has been the fashion to name glom servants after mundane objects, such as Mirror, Sofa or Nightstand. While most free glom have kept their names, many have chosen to prefix their name with “Mister” or “Madame”, resulting in names such as Mister Kettle or Madame Spoon. In the neighbourhoods where this is common, it is considered a mark of disrespect to not use a glom’s full name in public.
A few radicals have taken to using prefixes that celebrate their newfound freedom, such as “Free”, “Sky”, “Open” and “Opportunity”. Sometimes this results in awkward or strange names, such as Prospect Bowler or Fortuity Coat. At other times a glom has been clever or lucky enough to end up with an inspiring name such as Open Book or Liberty Lantern.
Free born glom are likely to be given human names, though some parents are choosing to simply give them “freedom names” such as Opportunity or Chance.
Example names: Book, Brick, Closet, Cobblestone, Corset, Fork, Fretwork, Girdle, Ladle, Lamp, Map, Marble, Napkin, Needle, Pillow, Pylon, Quill, Settee, Spoon, Table, Teacup, Umbrella, Wrench
Freedom names: Chance, Contingency, Dawn, Direction, Equality, Fortuity, Free, Happy, Leeway, Liberty, Light, Lucky, Open, Opportunity, Outlook, Permission, Prospect, Readiness, Right, Sky
Gillymen: They have true freedom, living apart from the towers and the men. Free on the open sea. How do we get that?
Human: They just want us in chains again. Trust them at your own peril.
Ragdoll: They have had their free lives, let the husks pick up our slack.
Thornborn: They watch us like a predator watches prey. Keep your distance.
Troll: They do not have the will to claim what could so easily be theirs. They are weak, despite their size.