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[IC] New Crobuzon & the World Beyond
Quote:New Crobuzon: (Metropolis): Conventional; AL: ??; 7,000,000 Gold Shekels Limit; Assets: 2,450,000,000 Gold Shekels; Population: 3,510,000; Mixed: 73% Human, 27% Other.
* Information will be added as it becomes available.

Agloval watches as the last of you crawl up the ladder.  You observe the smoking mechanical snake which Agloval explains is a Train.  There are five main tracks that are all connected at the center at a place called Perdido Street Station.  The crafts that travel along cables that were held aloft by large poles and the occasional guard tower are called Skyrails.  And finally, the balloons floating high above the city were called Airships.  

You all suddenly become aware of the ever present small horde of Badgers that scamper through the streets and waddle through special flaps in the store-fronts and doors of the many shops.  From where you stand you can see the shop signs illustrate what they may be selling inside.  You see a faded picture of a book on one sign, a copper colored hammer and pipe on another and a weighing scale painted on another.  You note that many of the Badgers seem most attracted to the shop with the faded book. 

[OoC: Post in this thread only when the party knows what they are doing with Unreth's corpse.]
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Betimi ascends the ladder into the street and to her companions at least it is visible that her demeanor and posture instantly changes. 

No longer the confident, aloof being she is below ground, she reminds those observing of a cat, worried that its tail might get stepped on. She instinctively moves close to the walls of the street, under any overhang or shelter she can. It is as if she is afraid of the sky itself.

To a stranger it might seem she is just trying to avoid teh center of the street, perhaps to stay out of traffic, but those observing her closely will see the glances skyward, and see how she lingers wherever there is an overhang, as if afraid to abandon it.

"Let us move quickly, we do not want to delay and let our profits rot with that body."
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"There is nothing to be concerned about, miss," Agloval says to Betimi.  "This part of New Crobuzon is safer than most.  We're in the Brock Marsh District.  It's a triangular slice of the Old City's low ground that's wedged between the Canker and the Tar; it's location near Strack Island makes it important enough to rat a militia tower that anchors a short Skyrail over to the Island.  The Brock Marsh is also called the Scientist's Quarter.  Some of it's denizens are physicists, chimerists, biophilsophers and teratologists, chymists, necrochymists, mathematicians, karcists and metallurgist, and Vodyanoi Shamans.  If it's an obscure branch of an even more obscure form of knowledge, Brock Marsh is the place to find its practitioners.  There are all kinds of establishments that do business here too that include libraries, book binders, herbalist, renting libraries, makers of glassware and copper tubing, scale and balance makers and other artisans who cater to the scientific trade.  There are also Inns and Pubs like the Dying Child that happens to be a favorite of the scientific class.  It's located on the Umber Promenade.  I don't think the Dying Child will be very busy this time of the day."
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"Brock... Canker... Tar... Strack..." the spearman repeats silently, in a feeble attempt to memorise all this information. He glances towards the shop with the scales sign, thinking,
Guess it's a coin exchange, and we might be fooled easily if we know nothing about local currency... Who knows, maybe silver is more precious than gold here, for whatever reason.

He asks Agloval,
"Can you please tell us a few words about the currency used here? Like, where I came from we have copper buttons, silver shmerduks, golden lions, and platinum eagles, exchanging ten to one in this order."
Next, he asks,
"Can you tell the commpn price for some simple things, like a loaf of bread, a hunk of cheese, a longsword, or a scroll containing a low level spell?"
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"I'm sorry," Agloval replies.  "I should have said the Brock Marsh District is wedged between the River Canker and the River Tar.  They merge together not too far from here to become the River Gross Tar.  And Strack Island is where Parliament resides to decide the fate of New Corbuzon and beyond.  I heard there's a special meeting with the council member from Hell tonight.  But I, like most people, try to stay out of local politics.  Bad things happen to people who rock the boat too much.  So keep your noses clean and you won't end up in a Punishment Factory to be transformed into one of the Remade.  There's not much hope for you if that happens unless you get lucky and you escape captivity and a life of servitude to join a band of fReemades outside the city."

When asked about the currency he says, "Well I don't know what form the currency takes on you're world but the most common currency here are Brass Sheckles." [Equal to gp]  We also use a few other types of coins like the Copper Mark, the Silver Stiver, and the Guinea.  You really should speak to someone at the currency exchange.  You may be from a different world but sicne New Crobuzon is the greatest city in the world, it deals with currency from all over the planet!"

As you talk you all see the people of New Crobuzon.  Most are human, but you do spot several humanoids who look similar to your guide.  Ever so often you spot strange, small, gargoyle like creatures with grinning, scarlet, idiot faces, swoop down on a crowd of people and let loose an enormous fart then laughing manically while flying away as the crowd scatters.  Agloval shakes his head and says, "Those are Wyrmen.  They are typically messengers and couriers.  Some even think they are familiars but if they are no one has found proof.  They are a stupid but genial race, happy to serve, happy to fart, as you've just witnessed, and happy to frown and laugh as the mood takes them."  

"So are their any more questions," Agloval says, obviously happy to help. 

[OoC: Since you are doing some world hopping, I'm not going to make a big deal of converting the standard currency into the currency in this world.  It would suck if you needed to keep track of every different kind of currency of every place you visit.  When you do visit the currency exchange I will explain more about how you will pay for things.]
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"Lead on, sir Agloval"

Betimi seems eager to get out of the street and under the cover of a roof as quickly as she can.
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Selina notices Betimi's obvious discomfort as well and makes her way over to her. Leaning over slightly she whispers "I know. I don't like it here either. Better we just get back to where we were before."
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"How could people live here, it's bad enough to be so exposed beneath an open sky, as you light-dwellers usually are, but to then suspend strange carriages overhead, and flying things constantly overhead? It is a life in constant peril."
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Gilley just seems to have a boyish wonder at this new environment. The badgers, especially, make him smile. He's used to animals, as well as having things over him (trees), so the flying machines don't bother him.
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Agloval leads your group through the narrow twisting streets of the Scientific Quarter, the oldest part of the the ancient city.  There were pedestrians milling about the streets.  Most were human and a few were the frog-like humanoids.  But some among them were strange, large, green humanoids with spikes growing from their skin that reminded you of a cactus and Large birds wearing breeches and loose shawls placed in a way that didn't hinder their wings.  There were rickshaws that were mostly led by strange bird-like dinosaurs but you do spot one with a sad looking man attached, whose body from the waist down were a pair of large wheels and protruding from his belly was a glass lens that emitted a bright light.  But most shocking was when you spotted a shapely woman silently beckoning you closer for some obvious carnal pleasures.  Her head was covered by a delicate silk cloth that she gingerly lifts for you to see a full living Scarab attached to her shoulders.  The scarab's legs curl and stretch toward you seductively.

[Image: 96bed75d03dec6e0fe921a789f565995.jpg]

While you walk you see bakeries and laundries and guildhalls, all the sundry services any community needed. There were pubs and shops and even a militia tower; a small stubby one at the apex of Brock Marsh where the River Canker and the River Tar converged.  The poster plastered on the crumbling walls advertised of dancehalls, warned of the some coming doom and demanded allegiance to the some strangely named political parties.  

Badgers scamper past with lists in their teeth, their pear-shaped bodies disappearing into special flaps in shop doorways.  Above the thick glass storefronts were attic rooms that seemed to teeter precariously over the street from decades of neglect.  Strange vapors wafted over the roofs.  

The converging rivers on either side ran sluggishly, and the water steamed here and there as its currents mixed nameless chymicals into potent compounds.  The slop from failed experiments, from factories and laboratories and alchymists' dens, mixed randomly into bastard elixirs.

Finally you turn down a quiet stretch of the river's edge onto the decaying flagstones and tenacious weeds of the Umber Promenade.  Across the River Canker, the Ribs [Which are literally the ribs of some long dead colossal beast] jutted over the roofs like a clutch of vast tusks curling hundreds of feet into the air.  The river sped up a little as it bore south.  Half a mile away you see ancient stone towers that rose from the very edges of an island planted in the middle where the rivers converged.

The clouds were dissipating, leaving behind a washed-out sky.  In front of you you see the week-choked forecourt of, The Dying Child.  The ancient tables in the outside yard were colorful with fungus.  It looked like no one had sat in one of them for years or maybe decades.
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A gaming group started in late 2005 when several members (from all over the world) came together on a long-running forum website called Plothook.net (formally known as Highmoon.net). Several games transformed from a by-the-book format to highly modified versions that became new hybrid systems with completely custom rules and abilities. Ten years later, these faithful players wanted to secure their work and their stories, becoming the basis of these forums.