|Tech Level: III||Population: 3,000|
|Population Breakdown: 71% PSH, 16% AH, 5% MA, 8% SP|
|Military: Local police force of approximately 400. Secret police force of unknown number.|
Cold Water is a very orderly city. The streets are clean as well as the buildings. This is due mainly to the mandates of the city's leader, Governor Karr. He governs the city with an iron fist. He is not an unjust man, but believes that order must be imposed. To achieve this end, Cold Water has a large police force, and a hidden underground force which reports directly to Karr.
One of the reasons Governor Karr has been able to build such a force is that he is the founder of the current city of Cold Water and one of the richest men in the city. The term "current city" is used since the original town of Cold Water was built several miles north of the current location. This town was founded 63 years ago on the shore of Cold Lake and hoped to prosper off the abundant fish found in the lake. Unfortunately, the founders of the town had not anticipated the Rambling Woods. Three years after its founding, the town was almost totally destroyed by the migrating forest. The settlers lost hope and left for safer lands. Then, 25 years later, a young half-breed serf (product of rape) named Karr stumbled upon an Ancient factory while attempting to escape from a band of Knights of Genetic Purity. Karr not only managed to escape, but find a resource which would allow him to become a powerful man - the factory. The factory was a cereal manufacturing plant which had survived the Cataclysm intact. Karr learned all he could about the manufacturing process of the factory from dusty records and, with the help of some investors and examiners, managed to get a power generator installed at the site. With power and a few workers Karr hired and trained, the factory soon began producing cereal once again. The cereal was a unique treat for the inhabitants of Gamma Terra and Karr's business quickly grew. Soon, a town had grown up around the factory, and since the factory was located near Cold Lake, the town's industry branched out to include fishing. Although there was some talk of naming the town "Kellogg" after the factory, the name of the original town near the lake was taken instead. This town grew into the current city.
Karr believes that he is the best ruler for Cold Water but understands that the citizens need to have (or at least, seem to have) some influence in their government. Therefore, once every ten years, elections for governor are held in Cold Water. For the past three elections (in fact, the only elections since Cold Water was founded), Karr has "won." Of course, Karr made certain that he could not lose: his people ran the election, his secret police found information about his opponents to be used against them, and his secret police threatened opponents when no information could be found.
Karr realizes that he is getting old and may only be able to govern (and rig elections) for the next ten to twenty years. He therefore is attempting to groom his oldest son, Gram, for the position. Gram is currently a member of the police force and may or may not have the skills to meet his father's hopes; only time will tell.
The major threat to the city is the infrequent incursions of the Rambling Woods. Fortunately, the woods rarely cause any real damage since the citizens have learned to build large bonfires to ward it off and to protect themselves behind Cold Water's thick, stone walls.
Any nonviolent cryptic alliance is allowed in Cold Water. Of course, this excludes such hate groups as the Iron Society, the Knights of Genetic Purity, the Ranks of the Fit, and the Zoopremists.
|Tech Level: III||Population: 5,500|
|Population Breakdown: 48% PSH, 35% AH, 11% MA, 6% SP|
|Military: Militia of approximately 350. Local police force of approximately 300.|
This city is built upon the ruins of an Ancient town. In the center of the city is located a large fountain (non-functioning), from which the city derived its name. Fount is governed by both a city council of 5 members (3 year terms) and a mayor (5 year term). The current mayor of Fount is Mayor Noah Way, a pure strain human in his early 40's.
Although, many manufactured goods are made in Fount, and there are many farms in the surrounding territory, the main source of income for Fount is the toll it collects from merchants transporting their goods through the city. The toll is normally 6-8% of the current market value of the transported goods. This toll is used to pay for the city's militia which in turn, is used to patrol the road to Ascension in an attempt to keep it clear of danger. For additional fees, the merchants can purchase the protection of a militia patrol to travel with them and/or purchase insurance for their goods. In the case of the insurance, at least one militia member travels with the merchant to insure that no intentional "accidents" happen. The city does not prevent merchants from circumventing the city; however, bandits lurk on the outskirts of Fount for just such opportunities. The bandits do not normally attack merchants on the road since they know that the Fount militia would hunt them down, but the bandits do know that the militia does not patrol the areas outside of the city and away from the Ascension road or protect those who do not pay for their protection. Of course, the Fount merchants are not forced to pay the city toll, and many have become rich simply being the "middle man" for others' goods.
|Tech Level: III||Population: 6,700|
|Population Breakdown: 63% PSH, 25% AH, 10% MA, 2% SP|
|Military: Local police force of approximately 400.|
Hahl is a large port city and the main distributor of the various cereals from Cold Water. From Hahl, the Cold Water cereal can be shipped via the Faremen to any location along Lake Mitchgloom or transported by merchant caravan to the land-locked areas. The city's industries are not limited to the Cold Water cereal and also include ship building, fishing, and some agriculture. The city is governed by Mayor Clack, a mutated humanoid beetle. The mayor of Hahl is elected to a 3 year term with a limit of 5 terms, and Clack has served one and a half years of his second term. The city is open to all cryptic alliances, but the Restorationists and the Healers have the most influence. The city also has an mutual-aid alliance with Ascension.
|Tech Level: III||Population: 350|
|Population Breakdown: 0% PSH, 0% AH, 100% sleeths, 0% other MA types, 0% SP|
This village is built upon the remains of a town of the Ancients and is inhabited entirely by sleeths. The town is governed by an elected official called a dean. The current dean is Sha-zee. Visitors are welcome in Iso, although few ever arrive due to the village's protective barrier of plants discussed below.
The original name of the town was lost to time, so the sleeths named their village after an Ancient term referring to quality which they found in some crumbling documents. One of the reasons for the settlement of the ruins was an Ancient library in the center of town. Even with the deterioration of the documents found within, the library held a wealth of information.
Twenty years ago, the sleeths used information gleaned from these documents to build a hydroelectric generator on the Mussy Gran River. Unfortunately, the sleeths did not have the best tools or the practice to create a perfectly reliable generator. Therefore, the inhabitants of the village only use the generator at night to power the lights of inhabited buildings. To protect the generator, the sleeths have erected an electric fence around the generator building and keep a small contingent of technicians on duty who are trained to use the village's few Ancient weapons.
To protect themselves from the possibility of serf raids from Gran Rads, the sleeths have cultivated razorgrass in the areas surrounding the town. Only they know the safe paths through the dangerous plants. There is one exception; a clearly defined path leads to the village from the shore of Lake Mitchgloom. This path is used for infrequent trade with the Faremen. Additionally, in order to avoid accidents, the sleeths have posted warning signs at the outer border of the razorgrass.
|Tech Level: III||Population: 800|
|Population Breakdown: 73% PSH, 16% AH, 10% MA, 1% SP|
|Military: Local police force of approximately 25.|
Kayzoo has some fishing and agriculture resources, but is primarily known for its trained hoppers. The hoppers raised in Kayzoo are supposedly the fastest in the Lake Mitchgloom area, and the least skittish. A prize buck can bring as much as 250 domars, while a doe can bring double to triple that amount. The town is governed by a body of the largest ranch owners, although these men usually follow the lead of Jim Rodes, the owner of the largest hopper ranch and descendent of the original founder of Kayzoo. Once a year, Kayzoo holds a hopper rodeo in which the local ranch hands demonstrate their riding skills for prize money and renown.
All cryptic alliances are allowed in Kayzoo, but none have any real power or influence. They seem to hold little appeal to the ranch hands or other locals.
|Tech Level: III||Population: 1,400|
|Population Breakdown: 68% PSH, 22% AH, 7% MA, 3% SP|
|Military: Militia of approximately 200. Local police force of approximately 70.|
Laskha's economy is based upon agriculture and trade with Bestie, the Faremen base. The surrounding countryside is very fertile and excellent farmland. The city is governed by a mayor who is elected for 5 year terms. The current mayor is Jaybee Hayz, a pure strain human in his sixties who has held the office for 10 years. The city only has an active militia of 100 men, but an additional 100 men may be called upon in times of emergency (such as an attack by serfs from Gran Rads). Not many cryptic alliances concern themselves with Laskha, but the Radioactivists and the Restorationists do have a presence there. Of course, the Restorationists are the only alliance with an "open" presence.
The Radioactivists have a holy site located on a nearby island in Lake Mitchgloom. They pay the Faremen a hefty sum to insure travel to and from the island and that no others are transported to the island (at least, not by the Faremen). The island is only a mile wide and surrounded by steep hills, creating a natural basin in the center. Within this basin is located the holy site - an ancient installation from which a high level of radiation leaks out through a crack in one of the installation's walls. During the early morning and evening, the island's basin is filled with a radioactive fog which the Radioactivists enter during their rituals. A few Radioactivists have attempted to enter the installation through the wall's breach, but the radiation is so intense that none have succeeded. The alliance maintains the island's only dock where they keep a small contingent of guards to protect their shrine.
The Restorationists maintain a small base on the outskirts of the north side of the city. They use this facility as a forward base to study artifacts and information retrieved from Gran Rads. They have heard rumors of the Radioactivists' island shrine and would like to study the site, but are hampered by the radiation, the Faremen's inability to provide transport, and the fear of starting a "holy war" with the Radioactivists.
|Tech Level: III||Population: 3,700|
|Population Breakdown: 30% PSH, 53% AH, 13% MA, 4% SP|
|Military: Militia of approximately 700. Local police force of approximately 200.|
This city is governed by a city council with six members. Although pure strain humans are not particularly persecuted in Odess, they are not allowed membership in the council. This is possibly due to the proximity of Bastion and the influence of the Knights of Genetic Purity in that area. Although most pure strain human citizens are known and trusted, visiting humans are looked upon with suspicion until they prove themselves.
The citizens of Odess have heard the rumors that their city has been targeted by Garik Blackhand, the king of Bastion, for "cleansing." This has caused a small amount of hysteria, and although a few citizens have left for the protection of the cities to the south, the majority are determined to defend their city. Such determination has created an opening which the Peace Brigade has exploited. The city is surrounded by a large stone wall mounted with cannons for protection. In addition, the citizens of Odess recently completed a large 10 meter moat around the city with only two bridges allowing access to the city. The moat is fed by G'hun Creek and is filled with an aquatic type of winislean; the citizens have placed warning signs all around the edge of the moat to avoid "accidents" and have a metal gate filtering the entrance to the moat to insure that the vicious plants cannot escape. The Peace Brigade has also convinced the city council to pass an ordinance that all buildings in Odess cannot exceed two stories in height and must include at least one underground level to act as a safety bunker and food storage in case of a siege.
The Peace Brigade is not the only cryptic alliance whose influence has grown due to the threat from Bastion. Both the Iron Society and the Ranks of the Fit have recently gained a foothold in Odess. Their standing has almost reached the same level of respect as cryptic alliances which have been in Odess much longer: the Brotherhood of Thought, the Healers, and the Restorationists.
Currently, the city council is attempting to hire adventurous explorers to penetrate the depths of Gran Rads for a weapon with which to fight any force from Bastion.
|Tech Level: III||Population: 850|
|Population Breakdown: 82% PSH, 11% AH, 6% MA, 1% SP|
|Military: Local police force of approximately 25.|
River Bend is governed by a town council of 3 members who are elected to 5 year terms. The major industry of the town is the fishing, both in Lake Algan and Dawg Creek. In particular, the town is heavily dependent on the terleen, who spawn every spring only a mile from the town in Dawg Creek. Few cryptic alliances take notice of River Bend; however, the Restorationists have kept a small group in the town for the past two years in an attempt to discover the location of an Ancient site supposedly located nearby.
|Tech Level: III||Population: 5,500|
|Population Breakdown: 96% PSH, 0% AH, 4% MA, 0% SP|
|Military: Militia of approximately 1,000. Navy of 10 warships and 1,500 sailors. Local police force of approximately 400.|
Wind Lee is a prosperous port city aligned with the Knights of Genetic Purity in Bastion. The city was originally politically separate from Bastion, but was captured 75 years ago. Although the public reason given for the capture was that altered humans were treated too well in Wind Lee, in reality, altered humans were treated as a lower cast of humans and most were used for physical labor only. The Bastion rulers simply wanted the city for its role as a trade center. After its capture, all altered humans were slaughtered, and most mutated animals left for Bort Yuron. The city is currently ruled by Prince Fangol Blackhand, Garik Blackhand's brother. Like Bastion, the only cryptic alliance allowed to work openly within the city besides the Purists is the Healers.
The city is an important resource for Bastion. Fish are found abundantly in the Bell River, wildlife abounds, and Wind Lee trading ships travel from Kapac all the way to Nowok. Although most cities are reluctant to trade with the Purists, the many goods of the city cannot be ignored. In fact, located along the Bell River are found a rare type of beaver whose coats are highly prized.
The city is protected by a militia and a small navy. Additionally, the city is surrounded by a large stone wall mounted with cannons. There are rumors that the Purists are currently experimenting with a warship powered by a steam engine to add to their navy.
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