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 Thorns, Land of Winter

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Join date : 2010-08-10

PostSubject: Thorns, Land of Winter   Wed Mar 06, 2013 8:55 pm


During its height, Thorns was one of the greater cities in all of Creation. Thorns flowed with sophistication and cultural achievements. It was a center of great craftsmanship and competition for excellence. That legacy is now gone and Thorns sits under the dark shadow that is the Deathlord Mask of Winters and his armies of the dead. The remaining living citizenry lives in fear of their very lives, but they are a proud people and may not welcome the intervention of outsiders in freeing them from the yoke of oppression. The city now sits atop bone-white cliffs, a wreck of hollowed out ruins and monolithic structures. The citizens are slaves to the dead and are waiting for the last vestiges of life to die out.

The city that once rivaled Lookshy's prestige and Nexus's might survives to this day as a dark and dead version of what it once was. The shadowland that now covers the city surrounded it in only a matter of days and the living that still populate the city either succumb to the call of the dictator or pray for a hero to remember their city and save it.

The area around Thorns was changed by the Mask of Winters as he took over the area. Black water crashes against bone-white cliffs and the hills and pasturelands of the surrounding area are covered in silvery-gray grass and roads lined with gnarled trees that support nooses. And to the South of the city lies the Juggernaut, a towering mountain of rotted flesh. The shadowlands is even slowly beginning to swallow the villages, at least the ones not being used as farmland for the mortal servants of Thorns

Districts of Thorns
The Shroudvaunt District
The Shroudvaunt District is the center of the city, the heart of what was a once-thriving Thorns. Monolithic statues of the Mask of Winters dominate every major street plaza and the district remains quiet. It is the seat of government, reserved for visiting dignitaries and the living and dead citizens that serve the Mask of Winters. Although the Shroudvaunt District is exceeding pleasing to the senses, it is more of a tourist trap, a place where guests can be impressed by the Mask of Winters' benevolence and sophistication.

The Twilight Amphitheater
This impressive structure sits less than a mile from the Palace of the Autocrat, a depression in the ground. It is covered by a dome of black glass and black-iron latticework that shades the audience from any rain or wind. The Twilight Amphitheater offers only the finest of entertainments, usually state-sponsored pageants of a vast scale or operas written by the dead in the service of the Deathlord. The Mask of Winters uses the Twilight Amphitheater as another apparatus in his vast propaganda machine, attempting to use it to impress dignitaries with the beauty of the city and the culture that the city still retains.

Aspir Haven
The port of Thorns is the economic nerve center, given most of the goods that travel to the city arrive from coastal traders. Most of the district, however, is consumed by a vast military-industrial complex while the mercantile streets lie to the north of the hums of machines. These mercantile streets include an entertainment street that caters to the needs of Guildsmen and merchants; the Mask of Winters takes good care of visitors to his city, especially Guildsmen.

The rest of Thorns, unlike the Shroudvaunt District and Aspir Haven, is in a slow state of decay. Legacy, sometimes called the "Old City", comprises the rest of Thorns not included in the first two districts. It is a place where mortals just try to survive while their master mines the place for misery and allows his minions to indulge their passions.

The Undercity
Beneath the streets of Thorns lies the undercity, a series of catacombs and sewers changed by the Labyrinth. Now it is a place for people to hide, to make tiny villages and live life beyond the Mask's gaze, given his forces rarely venture down there. The Undercity is not a safe place to live, however, as they must contend with pools of Essence radiation, strange lurking monsters and patches of unstable tunnels more akin to the Labyrinth than to familiar reality, always shifting and changing their path. Should one find need to travel down there, it might be best to acquire a guide.

The Seven-Tiered Sanctuary
Those who seek to escape the constant tribulation of Thorns of who desire unattainable goods often search out the storied Sancutary hidden deep within the the Undercity. Spider-gauze curtain drift lazily on half-felt breezes, ghosting around the patron who enters this den of iniquity. Within, half-melted candles paint a heavy pall of drug-smoke a shade of yellow, eith the dubtle laughter and sighs of contented debauches float in the air (-1 to all Perception checks and players may make a [Stamina + Resistance] roll, difficulty 1, to resist). At the center of the Sancturary, past baroque, wrought-iron railings that prevent a stumbling drug-addict from tumbling to his doom, one can peer into an open pit that reveals each of the five layers of the Sanctuary. Each tier is dedicated to one of the Five Immaculate Antitheses, and each caters to a different immoral indulgence, such as prostitution, gambling, or recreational chemicals. Rough-looking thugs of various size and armament guard the place with bemused, brutal demeanors and allow no Immaculate priest to enter.

The government is ruled by humans hoping to gain position to become deathknights. It is called the court of the puppet king.
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