Other cities: Wintercliff

So, due to an overindulgence in his vice, one of our PCs has been ‘lost’ - swept away to Wintercliff in the company of actors and other disreputables. He’ll come back eventually. Probably.

But this has set me thinking about the city itself, as it’s likely to be relevant. I’m trying to balance an overall “Akorosi” feel with local differences, and I reckon my starting point is:

  • Wintercliff is more insular and less cosmopolitan. It doesn’t have the Skov population or the leviathan hunting connection that Doskvol has.

  • It’s a proper mountain city, vertically spread across several levels. Which means gondolas to the nice (highest) part of town, and probably adds complications for the lightning barriers.

  • Parks are likely to be smaller and may be tiered or sloping.

  • Canals aren’t such a feature. There may be one or two leading from the docks, but they don’t span the city and probably rely on locks to adjust water levels.

  • A fair bit of the city is built into the mountains themselves. Old stone buildings that aren’t easily modernised or expanded. Which probably means electroplasmic power for them is localised or non-existent.

  • Tunnels are no fun without tombs. There are some very old - pre-Cataclysm - remnants here. The genuine ones are heretical, illegal, valuable and dangerous. Always a great combination. And there’s a trade in fake artifacts, of course…

  • Spirit Wardens and Inspectors are much the same as Doskvol, but the city guard’s not identical to the Bluecoats. Corrupt? Yes. But it’s less street-level corruption and more open loyalty to the noble houses.

  • …and I think there’s a faintly slavic style to some of those noble houses. Old money, yes, but power and honour aren’t interchangeable with money. It’s hard for any new houses to be acknowledged, however much coin they gather. Dig too deep into the old ones and you’ll find that a couple of them have demons hiding in plain sight, too.

  • If Doskvol is a naval city, Wintercliff favours rhe army. Much more of a military presence on the streets here, with senior officers entangled with the nobles and playing some dangerous political games.

  • Very little overlap in criminal factions with Doskvol. But some familiar niches, and plenty of scope for enterprising scoundrels.

  • There’s mining outside the city limits, much of it done by prisoners. I like the idea of temporary (only marginally “portable”) lightning barriers set up around mining camps. The kind that fail at exactly the wrong moment, or have barrels of processed fuel that are both very valuable and very flammable…

Thoughts?

7 Likes

There’s a lot that is enjoyable about this.

  • I love the idea of the gondola rides up or down the mountain slopes - potentially outside the lightning barriers - opening up the potential for an offshoot of railjacks serving as guards for these rides.

  • The imagery for Wintercliff is striking. The tiered parks and cities make me wish there was sunlight to actually see this more clearly.

  • The leftover tombs and catacombs opens up a lot of different play options.

I would encourage you to develop this further.

3 Likes

My compliments. This Nails the Blades method of giving just enough detail to get you started, but leaves plenty to the imagination. I am not skilled enough to add to it, but I can applaud!

2 Likes