Monday, 4 November 2013

The Cyclopean City at Night (now includes table!)

Plump nobles rush to leave their late afternoon blubber feasts before the sun sets. They are torn between the prospect of further gluttony at the cost of the City's dark streets gobbling them up in the night hours. A final vomit is followed by a gulp of wine to steel themselves. The Sun is low. Gathering their retinue, sandals slap on ancient stone and breath heaves from pink cheeks. A delivery of arms is blocking the route, a howl of rage and fear. A new way is chosen, the buildings do not look familiar. Streets are panickedly picked at random.The stomach churns with the realization it has become dark.

The City is not lit at night. When the Sun dips below the Eastern wall the streets become a morass of unnavigable passages. Windows are shuttered and no one in their right mind would answer a knock at the door or heed shouted words in the street. It is the Lord's of the City eternal shame the disgusting state of affairs in the evening. The looping labyrinth streets, so charming in daylight hours become a source of terror in the dark. The City streets, barely comprehensible in day hours, swallow people whole at nighttime.

Doubly terrifying for the be-sickened and wayward nobles, queasy from hours of devourment, is the emergence of the Shadow People. Those people, downtrodden and ignored during the day, become the Kings and Queens of the City streets in the darkened hours. Giggling and shrieking the Shadow People taunt groaning lost nobles. Clutching their stomachs, nobles demand armed guards murder the cackling Shadows. At best the Shadows disperse, at worse the Shadows enjoy the rich pâté of a lost noble's stomach. 

Finding a major artery in the City brings no solace. A dull grey procession fills it to the brim. Wagons, carts, horses, hovering disks, elephants and innumerable merchant traders march in darkness along major streets. By decree goods may only be transported and delivered at night. They offer no help or direction, surly in their nocturnal worktime. Gold clawed slave traders happily pounce on dazed lost nobles, eager to sell them in southern lands.  

You are lost in the Dark Hours of the City(d12);

1) A dead-ended alley way houses a bubbling fountain built into a black wall. A cackling group of Shadow People, perched atop the wall, taunt passerby's to drink from the fountain.

2) A calming garden, abandoned in the dark hours. Shadow People stalk its edges, unwillingly to enter.

3) The doors to a bathhouse have been left unlocked. Inside Shadow People are perverting it's sanctity hoping to upset the next days patrons. 

4) There is light coming from a Sewer entrance. A green fire is burning there. It is temptingly easy to enter the sewer and find the source of green fire.

5) A drunken noble and his armed guard. The noble is vomiting into a gutter. He and his guards will jump at anything that emerges from the shadows.

6) A monstrously obese Shadow Person sits astraddle a low and crumbling wall. Mushrooms grow from his curved shoulders. Smaller, lithe Shadow People dance around him. He demands a toll of blubberflesh.

7) A swarm of bats covers the air above the narrow street, blocking out even the pale moonlight. A child sized Shadow Person sits crosslegged beneath the swarm.

8) The narrow streets have formed a wind tunnel. Shadow People are gleefully throwing refuse into it, watching it be sucked away down the tunnel. They are anxious to see what would happen if a person was thrown into the wind tunnel.

9) A hill of refuse and excrement blocks the narrow street, the smell will choke passerby's. Dozens of Shadow People sit calmly atop it. At the very top of the heap is a shining, glinting object. It is a well known symbol of a prevalent religious order.

10) Shadow People have broken into a bell tower. They are manically ringing the bell, awaking citizens for blocks around. Citizens peer from cracks bewtween their shutters and beg for the noise to stop.

11) An elderly Shadow Person has ripped up the streets stones in a few feet radius and is digging a hole in the earth beneath. He claims to be a scholar who has finally found the buried location of something he refers to as the "Holy Holy". His hands are bleeding and he will beg passerby's to help continue his dig.

12) A merchant is riding a top an elephant covered in hundreds of hanging mirrors. The mirrors range from ornate and bejeweled hand mirrors, to large circular slabs of mirror. Hundreds of shadow people follow behind the be-mirrored elephant, seemingly entranced. The elephant moves through the street with ghostly grace.