Cities, Villages, Ruins, & Wilderness
The world can be divided into four different types of environments, each functioning differently and coming in thousands of unique combinations. It is these four types of areas that will make up the setting of your adventures.
Bringing Magic to Ennaeth
No place in Ennaeth should ever be truly ordinary. When designing locations, try combining two or more aspects in ways that you would not ordinarily think to combine them. Ask yourself questions about how these forces work together.
How do Ice and Magma co-exist? What is the result of that?
What happens when a location that was previously touched by Growth is overtaken by Sky? How do the people living there cope? Can they make this work, or do they need to abandon the city and move on?
Another method of creating fantastical locations is to play with size and shape. Consider flowers nearing 12 feet wide, fruits that are square or triangular, or perhaps precariously stacked towers of rocks that should be tumbling to the ground, but are not.
The rules that govern landscapes on earth do not apply here. Don’t be afraid to bend them. If it fits the setting, ignore gravity, defy logic, make things unusually bright and colorful. If your environment could exist in the average earth biome, it is probably not extreme enough.
The magical arts have allowed cities to exist with the size and standard of living that modern cities have. Because the landscapes are constantly changing and cities are perpetually being abandoned and moved, most cities are pre-planned with the full array of technology available. This means that they are laid out in clear ways with very solid systems of infrastructure.
When constructing a city, consider how it fits into its environment. Even if a city is constructed with outside materials, the aspects influencing it will eventually change the stone paths and buildings to suit their liking. This means that each city needs to be designed with its aspects kept clearly in mind.
Cities connect to villages and each other through a monorail system, allowing mass and long-distance transportation to be relatively simple. People do not often spend their entire lives in one spot, often choosing to rent homes rather than buy them so that they can be on the move whenever needed.
With the exception of the capital cities, which are governed by the King or Queen, each city is governed by a Duke or Duchess, who is appointed by the royal family. The world of Ennaeth is made of strict monarchies, although each government does have two councils. The Council of Nobles is made up of all the Dukes and Duchesses, while the Council of Commoners is made up of representatives elected by each city.
Since cities have more people, more magical artists, and generally better leadership and infrastructure, they tend to have access to much greater technology. Magic windows are more common here, and it is much more unlikely to find anything powered by hand.
Small communities with no central leadership exist on the outskirts to provide food and resources to the cities. These villages are often made up of farmlands, mines, logging camps, and other such industries. The people living in villages are often more old-fashioned and uneducated, choosing to save the few magical items that they have for the most important tasks. Despite this, a huge proportion of people live in the villages because they perform a necessary role in providing cities with the resources they require. Villages also have the tendency to be more dangerous because they are living much closer to the wildlife.
All villages are accessible by monorail, which is vital for their survival. If villages become cut off, they are no longer able to sell their resources to the cities or buy much needed external resources. For this reason, villages are much more quickly abandoned. If anything goes even slightly downhill, people would rather move and rebuild than try to deal with the problem. It’s much easier to re-locate a small village than it is to move a city with thousands of people.
When a village or city becomes uninhabitable, and the last living residents pack up to move to their new homes, the place that is left behind is a hollow shell of what it once was. Reclaimed by the wilderness, the infrastructure begins to crumble and sink into the landscape around it, eventually becoming as if it never was.
But it won’t ever be the same. Magical items still linger in these areas, and this magic is fed upon by the creatures, making them stronger, more powerful, and more dangerous than ever before. Although the wilderness is an incredibly dangerous place, ruins can sometimes be more so. If a ruin is long-enough gone and the monorail no longer passes through the area, it can become home to some of the most fascinating, long-lost artifacts.
Because of the rate at which cities and villages have been abandoned throughout all of history by people, treasure hunting has become a valid profession. Entire kingdoms have migrated across the planet throughout time, slowly moving as the environment around them does, leaving some long-forgotten ruins abandoned deep in the woods where no one would be like to find them… at least until the explorer arrives, weapons in hand and covered in armor, ready to seek out the artifacts that have laid uncovered for thousands of years.
When you live in a world that is constantly changing, you soon find that it is impossible to have explored it. What may have once been familiar territory, may be completely unknown and unrecognizable just twenty years later. Cartographers are never at rest, explorers are always relevant, and those visiting home after a long trip away may find that it is not the same as when they left.
The wilderness is a dangerous place. The beasts in the woods are not kind, and most who become lost in unknown territories never return. It is in these wilderness areas that the aspects hold their greatest secrets, hidden away in natural temples and watched over by powerful guardians. Not all magic items were made by people. Sometimes runic circuitry can be built by the creatures of the woods, and creatures with these abilities are always to be feared.