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 The Cities

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Posts : 46
Join date : 2011-10-11
Age : 31
Location : Behind you

PostSubject: The Cities   Tue Nov 01, 2011 1:53 am

During the chaos that the Hellgates brought, travelling became extremely dangerous. The underground rail systems provided some safety, but as more and more demons and other foul Hellbeasts began to take over the cities, many closed their gates. As the south of the country was eradicated, most cities began to close their stations, preventing any safe access to those from other districts. Whilst this began to cause conflicts over supplies, labour and other essentials, it helped to prevent the Hellspawn left behind when the Hellgates closed from being able to contaminate everywhere completely.

As such, a definite divide has been formed between the major cities of the north. They open their gates approximately once a month in order to trade and let people travel, but for the rest of the time there is very little contact between the districts. Each has found its own speciality, the thing that it excels in, and they use their select abilities as trading tools with the other cities. People are allowed to visit the cities outside the one they reside and work in, but they have to be back home before the gates close. Failure to do so can result in harsh punishments.

When the south burned like a field of fire two years ago, many of the survivors fled north in search of shelter and safety. Each was assessed and assigned to a city where whatever skills they possessed would be of most use. Families and friends were split up, but at least they were away from the flames… mostly.

Six months ago two other cities joined the grouping, one from Scotland and one from Wales. Cardiff and Edinburgh brought new skills and techniques into the trade lines and offered more space and facilities for the refugees.

So… Which city have you found yourself in?

Live long and prosper

Once the largest city in the north of England, Manchester was hit hard by the Hellgates. It’s population dropped by a quarter overnight during one particularly cataclysmic demon surge three years ago, and many thousands more were injured. The Manchester hospitals struggled to cope, and in the aftermath of the chaos they decided to dedicate their city to medicine and medical research. Taking on the best healers in the country and throwing all their resources into making their hospital the best it could possibly be, Manchester now prides itself on being the healthiest city in the UK. Instances of disease and infection are lower here than anywhere else and injuries are treated much easier and with much better results. It does come at a price, however…

Attached to the hospital is a major research facility. In this facility they are constantly searching for new cures and treatments for the diseases plaguing the living as well as looking for biological ways to deal with the demonic menaces. When a person dies in Manchester their body is taken on the same day to the research facility to be tested on, no exceptions. If someone takes ill with an unusual sickness, they too are sent to the research labs. Many who enter this building as a ‘patient’ never leave. It is a building feared by most, and with apparent good reason, but it does get results.

A large number of the cities residents work in the hospital or attached research facility, but other labours also thrive here. There are many builders and skilled craftsmen, as well as a booming underground trade network. It is a city full of healers and whores, architects and black market traders, all going about their business under the shadow of the hospital.

Better the devil you know

If the refugees from the south fear being assigned to one city more so than any other, that city is Liverpool. The city on the Mersey shore has never been hit especially hard by Hellgate openings, and that could perhaps be why the rulers of the city have such an interest in demonspawn. Just outside the city centre on the banks of the river Mersey, there is a research facility of staggering size. Set up not long after the first UK Hellgate opening, the research centre studies demons and their kind up close and personal. They hire a number of ‘hunters’, skilled soldiers whose job it is to hunt down demons, capture them and bring them back to the centre for study.

There are occasional accidents of course, sometimes a demon will manage to escape, but the hunters are usually able to track them down before they can cause too much chaos. However, the number of missing persons has been slowly increasing in Liverpool over the past few years and no one as yet has been able to provide a solid explanation for the disappearances. People go missing from their beds or off the streets, never to be seen again.

Liverpool is home to the brightest of scientific researchers, those able to study the Hellspawn housed in the research facility and discover more about them. It is also home to the largest sex industry in the UK and has a thriving black market. Its clinic is the most advanced outside of Manchester, and those who cannot afford the costs of being treated in the healing capital often risk the journey to Liverpool in search of a cure for their ills.

We will fight, or we will fall

‘Subtle’ has never been a word that could easily be applied to Birmingham, and that rings truer now than it ever has done before. The Bull Ring research centre was created in order to craft weapons capable of destroying demons and their ilk, and hopefully to one day find a way of destroying the Hellgates themselves. They have no real interest in alchemy or magic, they just seem to take a thrill in making weapons that cause the most amount of damage possible to hellspawn, whether this be with new gun designs or water canons of monumental size.

The fighters and guards trained in the Bull Ring are the most well equipped and able in the country, if not the world. They are always in high demand and sometimes they are used as trading pieces when the city leaders are bartering for supplies from another city. At age thirteen all boys are taken for basic training, which lasts two years. Those that show aptitude are taken on for further training to become fighters or guards. Few live to see their twentieth birthday. Males and females who show good mental ability are brought into the Bull Ring as researchers or technicians.

Outside the Bull Ring life in Birmingham is fairly quiet. It has a busy port of trading and a large goods market that is active most days and the residents not taken into the Bull Ring can live in the knowledge that they are safer than most in other cities thanks to their advanced guards.

The land is ours. We will keep it ours

Carlisle is the most rural of the cities in the grouping, and it is immensely proud of that fact. Disease and contagion spread like wildfire in the overcrowded underground cities, but in the countryside they find it harder to take hold on the population. Sure being overground could create more of an issue with Hellspawn attacks, but very few of them travel so far out from the main cities anyway. Carlisle is home to a vast number of sprawling farms and supplies most of the food for the grouped cities, but not all is as idyllic as it seems on the surface.

The people who run Carlisle believe that the most important thing is to keep the human population going, and that nothing is more important than producing food supplies and procreating. Those who live to see their eighteenth birthday are immediately paired up with someone of the opposite sex and are expected to have at least one child every two years. Homosexuality is strictly outlawed. Punishment for any crime is always having to work the fields (Hellspawn are more able to attack on the farmland than they are in the town). The other cities also send a lot of their criminals to Carlisle to serve sentences tending the crops of the farmland.

To the law abiding citizens Carlisle can be a haven, as long as they can cope with the breeding arrangements and almost medieval style of living. The clinic is the most basic in the grouping and offers mainly herbal remedies, but its isolation makes demon attacks rare and open air living is much more pleasant than the underground that most other people are forced to endure.

To protect and serve

Cardiff in Wales is one of the two cities that joined the grouping six months ago. Located on the banks of the sea, Cardiff believes that the best defence is a superb defence. Tired of spending so long seeing people being killed in their thousands, Cardiff set itself up to find ways to provide effective defence from Hellspawn not just for the city, but for the individuals. They have been able to produce shields that are coated in water and ice, as well as fire-resistant building materials and a wide variety of other lines of defence.

Bayside Defences does keep a few Hellspawn in their possession for testing on and they have a few highly trained guards that patrol the centre, a gift from Birmingham after the centre supplied them with advanced armour for their elite guards. Cardiff’s connections with the other cities in the grouping are loose ones, and they tend to prefer to keep their barriers up as much as possible in order to reduce the risk of wandering demons or spies passing into their city. If it was possible for a city to be paranoid, Cardiff certainly would be.

The defence development centre keeps a large number of the cities residents in work, but there is plenty of opportunity for others to find work here. The city has only recently joined the grouping and so many traders are setting up new supply routes, and fishermen are able to farm the sea safe away from the demons that cannot enter the water. There is also a small but steady sex trade in the city and the clinic is always looking for new help.

Do you believe in magic?

Scotland has always been described as a truly magical country, and Edinburgh even more so than the other cities. Home of the Sighthill Tower, Edinburgh is the centre of magical learning in the UK. The Tower takes on all those with magical abilities and helps train them, perfecting their skills through practice and dedicated learning. The graduates from Sighthill are highly in demand throughout the rest of the country, and most easily find work in their field of expertise. They make very valuable trading tools for the city.

Life in Sighthill can be hard, with long hours of training and often cruel and unusual techniques used to draw out the maximum potential from the students. They are kept safe and looked after while they are in the confines of the tower though, so they do not have to worry about where the next meal is coming from or just what monsters are hiding in the shadows of their bedrooms… well, not very often anyway.

The residents of Edinburgh are safe in the knowledge that they have a band of magic casters watching over them, but that does come with its own drawbacks. When the students are learning many of the spells are unpredictable, and sometimes chaos does accidentally rain down on the city. Then of course there is the risk of unsavoury magic types using Sighthill to perfect their dark skills. The rest of the time life is fairly mild, not many stray demons are found in Scotland due to the mostly unpleasant weather and so many people spend longer periods of time above ground than they do in the other cities. Trading routes are being set up with the other cities in the grouping, and life outside Sighthill is a lot calmer and smoother than it is in many of the other cities.

Where are your Gods now?

Located on the other side of every Hellgate, there is Hell. The stories were wrong. Hell is not made up of barren wastelands and burning pits of fire as far as they eye can see. The air is hotter than any oven and the ground often licked with flames, but it is actually lush and filled with a staggering variety of lifeforms, many of which are peaceful and harmless. This is the birth home of all demons and other Hellspawn, and the place where they all start out their lives. Many never leave their fiery home, and fewer still chose to stay on the material plane of Earth. It is far too cold and damp for their liking.

The Circle Palace is the centre of Hellish activity, a vast place within which the mightiest of the demon lords reside. Many demons are kept as slaves here, and it is the place where captured humans are often brought to feed the lords that rule over hell. Other demon castes can visit and some make homes in the lesser rooms of the vast palace, but the lords are finicky and prone to devouring lesser demons as snacks. The Domes make up the homes for most of the intelligent demons.

There is much about the land on the burning side of the Gates that not even the demons themselves know. None are aware of the monstrous creatures that lurk beneath the surface of the Red Ocean or of the beings that claim the frozen tundra as their own haven.
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