Make Your Own New Crobuzon

From this thread on S.G.

So, to make your own N.C.:

1) Take your three favorite human-ish monsters out of the Monster Manual and they are minority citizens in the city. Detail how they get along, how being in the city has culturally changed them and what niches they fill in the city. How do the powers that rule the city keep them down?

2) Take three really bizarre fucking monsters and figure out how they exist in the nooks and crannies of the city and how the powers that rule the city keep these beasts from doing unacceptable amounts of damage?

3) Um…play?

So, I’ll do one.

1) 3 monsters: Githyanki, Minotaur and …something not quite so martial…maybe…sprites.

Githyanki: These Githyanki are refugees, AWOL soldiers from countless planar wars and whole military companies who were cut off from communication with the Liche Queen’s grace. Some still worship her and pray for her to make contact (or even take this plane ever in a barrage of silver swords and red dragon fire) and others in an attempt to rebel against their upbringing and actually have adopted their own approximation of Githzarai meditation techniques.

The Githyanki are forbidden from carrying any weapons larger than a knife, due to a paranoia that their Liche-Queen will one day contact them and they will rise up and attempt to take the city by force. Due to this, many carry silver knives on their hips, in memory of the silver swords of their past.

Minotaur: The minotaur have built many of the winding alleys of the city, leading it to be almost unmappable and very difficult to navigate. This pleases the minotaur aesthetic, as they not only lived in labyrinths in their home country but their religion worships the winding roads that life leads you on. The city’s powers are slowly starting to elevate minotaurs into civic posts, especially as more and more Githyanki refugees are moving into Minotaur neighborhoods. The minotaur are being cast in the role as the city’s valiant defenders against the vile foreigners.

Sprites: As the city has overcome their groves, the sprites have adapted. They treat building roofs and water containers as their groves now and refuse to live indoors. Their inability to live indoors causes the city’s elders to treat them as illegal immigrants from the land of Faery. Many rich folk even use hawks to hunt sprites as they are seen as sub-human and not fully sentient.

2) Illithid: The city’s elders have a deal with a cabal of Illithid in the sewers, discreetly sending down those in poverty, orphans or homeless who they assume none would miss to feed their brain-hunger. In return, the cabal keep to the sewer deeps and send word of rebellious thoughts from above.

Otyugh: These beasts are use to consume garbage, tamed by those who collect trash and utilized by the underworld to devour bodies.

Dragon: There is a dragon sleeping in the Boiling Bay, and has slept there since the city’s founding. Every season, treasures are put into the bay and allowed to sink to the bottom so that the dragon’s hoard will be great, giving it sweet dreams and deep sleep.

If someone could make their own N.C. using the above method, that’d be keen.

56 thoughts on “Make Your Own New Crobuzon

  1. Awesome. Thank you for this suggestion.

    In re: the SG thread, the Adamant hate in there is very disturbing. I had an idea about wading in there and mentioning, per a chat I had with GMS at GenCon, that Mieville specifically asked GMS to do a completely new system for the game, inspired in large part by FATE.

    But then I decided it was a much better idea to go outside and eat my lunch under a shady tree, and upon my return, I discovered the idea was gone. 🙂

  2. Re: Lunch over posting

    Oh no, not me. He was just chatting it about at GenCon when he was passing out promo cards for it.

    In re: RPGs, I do and have done some editing here and there, but I’m not disciplined or inspired enough to do actual original work. 🙂

  3. We sorta did this with Shadow of Giants, the 4E game I’ve been running, though more broadly: nearly every humanoid race has some kind of presence in Citadel, because it’s the last city left on earth. The big bads that are living there all the same are the giants, who built the place and rule it (or ruled, until recently), and there are a number of native earth elementals that are either causing trouble (the Galeb Duhr) or integrating fine to an urban setting (gargoyles). Then there’s the matter of the sleeping god that Citadel has been built atop like a crown…

  4. Yeah. Hell, the Amber Fudge game that gave birth to Fate had a massively character-donated setting material component to it, and that was back in 2000 or so, and I’ve been trying variations on that method ever since.

    Anyway: Killer method here, too. Ideally I’d want each player to own one of the “common” races, to sex it up.

  5. I decided to try it. I like your effort better, but since you asked people to try it, I figured maybe you’d like to see it.

    Part 1.

    1. Sahuagin – When humans first came to this place to build their city, they knew that the harbor they wished to exploit was not safe. To much debris was brought here by tides, to many dangerous creatures might explore the depths. It had to be made safe. While not easy, the human founders of the city managed to convince a group of the shark-people to migrate and form a colony beneath the waves. In exchange for keeping the waterways clear, they were given near complete control of the docks. While no one really like the Sahuagin, most recognize they are vital to keeping the trade flowing in and out of the city. At the same time, worries are beginning to crop up that perhaps the Sahuagin are beginning to generate numbers that equal the disproportionate amount of power they have developed. After all, performing a census beneath the waves is not an easy proposition. And if there are more down there than anyone on the surface wants, how long before more is demanded to meet their needs?

    2. Griffons – The city was to be built here because it was a perfect spot to create a powerful port city – a useful harbor, should certain undesirable qualities be eliminated, and large cliffs to shelter the city from invaders and the elements. The Griffons that held the roosts in the cliffs were not mere animals, however, and they did not react well to the attempts to eliminate them. They did, however, respond to diplomacy. It took time, given the Griffons don’t actually speak, but they have become trade partners in the city as well. The human majority manages it all, the Sahuagin keep the harbor clear, and the Griffons serve as protection for the overland caravans. The Griffons and their keen eyes keep watch on approaching Caravans for many, many miles on the plains below the mountainous coast and at the clarion call of the Griffon watchers, scores of Griffons descend like a force of nature on any who threaten trade. In exchange, the humans have helped eliminate many of the Griffons competitors throughout the mountain range, and the Griffons, especially the eldest of them, grow fat on easy food, both hunted and supplied.

    3. Satyrs – perhaps not part of the original city plan, but also perhaps inevitable, trade cities build up a red light district. Before anyone knew what has happening, the brothels and drug houses had been taken over by a remarkably social group of Satyrs. Together, they run much of the businesses that cater to the baser natures of the sailors, tradesmen, and soldiers that move through the city, its ever transient population providing an ever replenishing supply of coin. Of course, if the Satyrs partake of the pleasures they also provide, who cares. No one. It turns out no one cares who’s rutting in the next room as long as they are getting theirs.

    • Part 2.

      1. Ghouls – this city is not built on the idea that they can fool around, at all. And property is expensive. So no graveyards are built, nor any prisons. The functions of both are handled by a small colony of ghouls. Kept trapped – not really tamed, but contained – and heavily monitored because lord help them the day containment is breached – the dead are fed to the ghouls, which works as a very efficient recycling method. And when a stiffer punishment than expulsion and banishment is warranted, if a live body finds its way in to the ghoul pits, well, who would know, as long as everyone turns the other way?

      2. Displacer Beasts – These things have overrun the undercity. No one knows what fool brought them here, or if they were native to the area and no one noticed. The saving grace is that, in this urban environment, they do seem to grow a bit smaller, but no matter how many teams of exterminators are sent in to the sewers, the scourge of these things doesn’t seem to end. And many exterminators never make it back to the streets, either. For now, however, for the most part, only things that go in to the sewers are fodder for the beasts; they don’t come out. For now.

      3. Shambling Mound – It is a trade city, not a warrior city. And still, everyone carries a knife. Signs actually encourage you to carry a knife, though dueling and fighting are discouraged. Because in every trade city, the danger that something was brought to your city by mistake, and finds it can thrive, is present. In this city, that danger is shambling mounds. The city has plenty of plant life, grown and cultivated by those who like such things. And it is in the gardens, and parks, and such that shambling mounds wait until some unwary person walks in to the wrong place at the wrong time, and then they strike. A knife might not keep you alive, but having one to cut away the tendrils wrapping around your feet might make the difference. Still, sometimes all that’s found left of somebody is the knife, the only evidence anything has happened.

  6. If someone could make their own N.C. using the above method, that’d be keen.

    Major races: azers, gnolls, sahuagin

    Minor monstrous races: black pudding, eye tyrants, ravids.

    1) Azers emigrated to the city fairly recently – within living memory of the oldest azers, though of course azers are longer-lived than most other folk of the city. The land they came to was cold and dark, compared to the burning fields of their Elemental Chaos homeland, but also wider and more open. They sought, and obtained, permission to build for themselves a large enclave on the edge of the city (on solid ground, rather than in the fens), in exchange for tribute (or taxes) paid to the city government. The city had been a place of commerce and art, with little industry; it was the azers who built the foundries and began smelting the ore that came down from the hills directly, rather than loading it onto barges and sending it off along the coast. They are still taxed more heavily than the other peoples, and wield significantly less political power than their economic clout would suggest. Every streetcorner in the azer ghetto has a brazier that gives off heat and light all hours of the day or night; non-azer in the ghetto are few and far between, even as visitors.

    2) The city is in many ways a gnollish city; rather than a human one. Though humans are a plurality of the population (according to the official census, just barely edging out the gnolls), and though humans certainly tend towards greater wealth and power, a visitor strolling down one of the many broad muddy thoroughfares that criss-cross the city center would see two gnolls for every human. Gnolls built and settled the city originally, according to legend, and imported the first human settlers as slaves millennia ago. Whether the myths of Hessl, who smashed her chains and those of fifty gnollish guards before her execution, or the myths of Fook, Hessl’s mate who led the first successful slave uprising, human supremacists are in the city known as Hessl-Fooks, or simply fookers. Gnolls today are carved up into several dozen moieties, which combine elements of tribes, familes, gangs, and political parties, which squabble with one another and tend to cancel out gnollish attempts at seizing political power.

    3) Much of the city is built over water, with deep timbers supporting human or gnollish habitation and workspace. Some, however, is built in the brackish fens themselves; these are the sahuagin neighborhoods. Cunning to a fault, the sahuagin of the city long ago realized that surface-dwellers could work metal and perform other tasks sahuagin physiognomy makes difficult, and that the seafloor near the city offered a broad vista for aquatic farming for kelps, pearls, and the mulchy green stuff that the poorest of the city-dwellers eat in lieu of meat. Thanks to the sahuagin antipirate efforts and naval capabilities, the city has become a significant trading power.

  7. Re: If someone could make their own N.C. using the above method, that’d be keen.

    4) There is, some say, only one black pudding in the world. Any “other” black puddings encountered by explorers are merely extrusions of this singular pudding, which slides psuedopods transdimensionally and cannot be contained. Whether there are more puddings than the great one is perhaps an academic question, as none can doubt that in a well-guarded shaft near the center of the sahuagin neighborhood, under a hundred feet of brackish water, is the largest black pudding in the world. If tourists could dive so deep, they would come from all across the continent to marvel at the pudding-god, which burbles and accepts the tons of refuse which rain down upon it from the pickers and garbage-gnolls in their long flat boats. The pudding slowly consumes the sea, transporting its mass elsewhere; this has the effect of creating a slight but detectable current towards the pudding-shaft, everywhere in the aquatic regions of the city. Whether the whole ocean will someday be sucked dry is the subject of some scholarly debate.

    The pudding is also key to the city’s defense; according to history, in the past century, a great orcish war-host threatened to besiege the city, only to be turned aside either by a small army of puddings hauled out of the main mass by its sahuagin tenders, or else by psuedopods extruded by the pudding onto the battlefield at the tenders’ behest (it amounts to the same thing). The mass of the pudding is thus a state secret, but popular rumor places it well above Colossal size.

    5) A pod of seven eye tyrants settled in the city some time ago, using their charming-persons powers to ingratiate themselves among the city’s elite. Now they are the de facto rulers of the city, or, at least, they would be if they spent more time ruling the city and less time infighting. Each of the seven eye tyrants remembers decades of slights and insults by the other six; they dedicate their energies hiring cut-outs and agents to foil the plans of their six rivals. The Seven Circles are an open secret among the upper-classes of the city; some of the wealthiest and most powerful of the sahuagin and azers (immune to the direct charming-persons powers of the tyrants, though not to indirect pressures) like to think they manipulate the eye tyrants, rather than the other way around. The truth is doubtless somewhere in between.

    6) Ravids just want to be left alone, man, aren’t the sahuagin and the azers and the gnolls in the streets and the undersea giant monster death pudding and the beholder mafia enough for you?

  8. Scalehaven: City of the Snake God

    Scalehaven is nestled in the thick jungles of the geologically active northern coast. The air is thick with the fumes of rotting vegetation and volcanic gasses, and the city itself remains heated even through the colder months due to the many hot springs its architecture has been built around. Mammalian races are certainly residents of Scalehaven, but they are not the strongest presence there. Most of the denizens are of a decidedly colder blood. It’s a mix of humans, halflings, lizardfolk, and dragonkin in the main. The presence of geological power also belies the presence of arcane power, making Scalehaven a place of several magical disasters.

    The Yuan-Ti: Scalehaven is rife with conspiracies, and near the heart of every conspiracy, you’ll find a yuan-ti. Few in number, they have turned from tyrants into torturers and shadowed advisors. They breed slowly, and as such their community is fiercely devoted to the preservation of all its individuals, at any cost. The communal preservation motive plays at a counterpoint to the personal behaviors of their kind — each yuan-ti has its own agenda, its own machinations. Infighting in the community is all about establishing dominance without killing — after all, a yuan-ti’s hated enemy might also be his allied mate. Other races of the city respect the yuan-ti in private, but hate them to their faces. The yuan-ti are pretty much fine with that.

    Salamanders: Taking refuge in the molten lava flows beneath the city, the salamanders make burning pacts with the warlocks of many races above on behalf of their volcanic gods. Perpetual outsiders, they nevertheless provide much of power brokering among the arcane set of Scalehaven.

    Kobolds: The kobolds are regarded as simpletons from the deep jungle. Weirdly tribal, never able to mass any sort of large organized effort (or so it seems — truth be told this is due to some direct manipulation by the powers that be), they always seem to end up playing second fiddle — economically and politically — to the larger reptilian races of Scalehaven. That said, they’re *everywhere* in the city, to the point that the smallest copper coin of the realm is called a ‘kobold’.

    Bizarre monsters:

    Flameskulls: A necromantic ritual at a mass grave combined with the volcanic forces in the area to give rise to an unsually high number of flameskulls, estimated between the high dozens and low hundreds in number. But with their master long since slain, the population has lost focus and become scattered through the city. Keeping to their undead habits, they only come out at night, floating through the streets and setting things ablaze (luckily, much of Scalehaven has been built to be fireproof). Many regard them as Scalehaven’s version of vermin.

    Gibbering Beasts: A soft spot in reality exists in the depths of the kobold slums. Strange things happen there, and often strange items and substances are essentially mined from there by the koboldkin and sold on the black market. Occasionally, though, horrifying other-things emerge into our plane from those beyond, whispering the cacophany of madness. It seems however that they cannot spend much time outside of the ‘soft zone’, as the firmness of this reality is too difficult for them to sustain themselves.

    The Bay Hydra: A hydra lives in the bay. It has grown fat off sacrifice — once a brutal necessity, tossing prisoners and debtors into the bay to feed it (and keep the shipping lanes clear) has now become something of a nervous habit, and is done far in excess of the hydra’s need for food. Fat doesn’t mean soft, though, and those who have occasionally tried to eliminate it have ended up as volunteer sacrifices of their own.

  9. Re: China, J.C. J.C., this is China Mieville

    For some reason I have a hard time enjoying Mieville’s characters. I LOVE his world building so I trudge along with his characters like a single old man on a European tour with annoying high school children, suffering in silence, but loving what he sees.

    His settings are second to none.

  10. Yeah, the sheer amount of shit being thrown at my company for the crime of, um… well, to be truthful, I’m not sure, exactly — really, really upsets me.

    Apparently, I’m going to ruin their Special Unicorn Land of Indie Self-Esteem by producing some “crap d20 derivative” or something — and even my press release is “aesthetically offensive.”


    People lamenting that China “didn’t consider other options”, etc.

    Wow. Way to give us a chance, assholes. I’ve given ZERO statements publicly on the design, or the direction we’re taking, but the Indie Kewl Kids Kabal have already decided that it’s crap, and should be bitched about.


  11. Let’s take ‘er easy.

    There’s two dudes who comments about your company and his comments are ignored so the conversation can go in more fruitful directions.

    C’mon now, Kewl Kids Kabal? Two dudes being negative in a thread on the internet.

    • Re: Let’s take ‘er easy.

      Perhaps easier to take that way if

      a) You’re not the target

      b) You haven’t been ostracized/criticized/jumped on in the past by the same community.

      • Re: Let’s take ‘er easy.

        I know. This time around, though, given how close this project is to a dream for me, it’s particularly hurtful.

        I’ve been putting up with this kind of fan-entitlement internet asshatery for literally *decades* now. Sometimes, it just gets to be too much.

        I’ll go away now. For the record: I *love* what you’re doing with this “make your own” concept — you totally get what I’m aiming for with our forthcoming Mieville game.

      • Re: Let’s take ‘er easy.

        I’m not asking you to go away, man. I hear ya. I have been maligned in all kindsa ways and I know that even though it shouldn’t hurt or upset ya, it does.

        I know what it is like to have someone blog about you in public and have that little vein in my forehead pop out in anger. I totally hear ya, really, really I do.

        Thanks for the kind words on the “make your own” stuff and good luck with the project.

  12. Re: Let’s take ‘er easy.

    Sure. All the same, neither of us represent all of publishers when we talk, either. So it might not be emotionally easy to say “this is a loudest asshole problem”, but intellectually, that’s where it’s at.

  13. Re: Let’s take ‘er easy.

    I’m not asking you to go away, man. I hear ya. I have been maligned in all kindsa ways and I know that even though it shouldn’t hurt or upset ya, it does.

    I know what it is like to have someone blog about you in public and have that little vein in my forehead pop out in anger. I totally hear ya, really, really I do.

    Thanks for the kind words on the “make your own” stuff and good luck with the project.

  14. Bastion (part 1)

    Minority races: Valpurgeist (Ravenloft), Gnolls, Iron Golems
    Bizarre creatures: Gelatinous Cubes, Umber Hulks, Beholders

    Bastion: The Last Fortress.

    Everyone gets one life, and one life only. This is the promise of the Fortress Queens. Live it well, for the Great War needs you after. Ever after. Because the demons outside will never stop coming. And so, neither can you.

    An enchantment on the last bastion of civilization keeps everyone safe.. but the specifics of what the sorcery does? Only the fact that after dying, everyone rises up and marches for the great gates.. the black doors that only swing outwards.

    Those generational refugees within? Now there’s a story…

    Valpurgeist – The mountain was built fast, it had to be. There was only one punishment for crime: death. But the fledgling enchantment held these damned souls, who now roam, seeking salvation. They do anything, promise anything, carry any message, spy for any secret — just, please, find a way to let them pass on. Often, seeking salvation, they will swarm the Cubes, looking to meet the divinity within.. only to be bought or driven off by the faithful, of course.

    Gnolls – Long denied the forests, the hills, the Outside, they have become urban predators on the Inside. Carcass or living being, it matters not. Adapting to the urban squalor, they have become masters of shadow, and refined their pack tactics to deadly lethality. The only warning wayfarers have in the fortress streets? A single yip, and then death. What they cannot eat, they gather.. and many things long lost are truly in secret caches of Gnoll knowing.

    Iron Golems – All along, the founders knew the work would never be complete. More walls, more towers, more more more. The demons would dig, scratch, break, tear down. And only these sorcerers could be trusted to upkeep and build.. but time was short. Now, their souls ensconced in immortal fighting-ready bodies, they maintain the inner cities and defenses. Only they did not foresee that they would be blind to changes. These golems now move amidst the populace, unable to see new generations, unable to speak the new language, seeing only the walls, the demons, the cracks, and the project. Ever building, they occasionally crush squatters tenements or shanty towns near the outer defenses. They are the storms of the underground world — mindless and menacing. Except that of late, they seem to recognize a person or two in a crowd. And worse? They’ve tried to speak to them…

    • Re: Bastion (part 2)

      Gelatinous Cubes – Millenia after the fall of the world, the people have lost their gods. They lied, they were weak, they abandoned us. In the curving erratic streets of the fortress, the Cubes — once implemented for trash control — have become unto gods. Perfect, able to consume anything, asking nothing, with perfect angles and dimensions.. these orderly and simple beings have come to represent the ideal for the masses trapped within the fortress. They are venerated, they are migrant graveyards, they are wandering temples. Chanters will follow them, announcing their presence, giving the penitent time to prepare (and the heretics time to wander away). Their only enemies are the ghosts of the damned, who understanding their native divinity, seek them for absolution. But their touch is toxic to the Cubes, and here the faithful must protect them.

      Umber Hulks — Originally incorporated into the mix to excavate the mountain tunnels, they remain. Once hunted to near extinction, now they are carefully farmed. Because the demons Outside have gotten in before, and they learned our city streets. That must never happen again. And so, the Umber Hulks forever change the fortress. Carving new streets, collapsing standing buildings, all in the name of safety. Should there be spies, or breaches, the demons will be lost. And vulnerable. Sadly, this is a change from the original plan, and far too often the works of the Iron Golems and the works of the Umber Hulks are in conflict — one restoring, one changing. A single city block can be in total chaos for years before these creatures move on to new parts of the city..

      Beholders — Too few! Only the Beholders know the city! Only the Beholders police against crime, and Gnolls! Only the Beholders watch everywhere for the breaks in the great wall. But someone has been sacrificing them in alabaster temples. Their human servitors, the Lower Eyes, are being trained by these things. To detect, to listen, to investigate. Because if the murderer doesn’t get them, eventually, age will.

      Ehh, some of this I like, some needs polish.

  15. Awesome.

    Opening MM pages at random, I get…
    <>Devils:<> The city’s on a weak point in the fabric of reality, making it easy to summon things from beyond. Devil-summoning is common and quite acceptable; the city has comprehensive pacts with a number of infernal powers. Diabolic magic powers industry, and you can sell your soul in the open market.

    <>Shifters:<> Once, they dwelt in the forest. Now, the forests are gone, fed into the diabolic furnaces, and the shifters are an underclass, used as cheap thugs and labourers. Gangs of young shifters roam the alleyways, hunting their prey in packs. Lycanthropy, long thought extinct, has flared up again. It can be transmitted by sexual contact as well as by bite, and is spreading among the shifters at an alarming rate.

    <>Sahaguin:<> The city is built on the coast. Huge rusting iron piers run out into the water. The Sahaguin control the harbour. They protect the city from attack by sea, and have their scaly fingers in every deal made on the docks.

    <>Homunculi:<> Powered by diabolic magic, this little golems are everywhere in the city. The city council uses Iron Cobras as spies; they coil around every drainpipe and lamppost.
    <>Fowlspawn:<> Once-human, now corrupted by the proximity of the Hellish planes.
    <>Sorrowspawn:<> According to the sages, these entities gather where great battles once took place. Why, then, do the shadowravens flock to the rooftops of the city? Do the sorrowspawn sense some <>impending<> slaughter?

  16. Her Majesty

    Major races: Azers, Gargoyles, Drider

    Minor monstrous races: Gibbering Mouther, Purple Worm, Hag

    In the first age, airships traveled through the heavens, from plane to plane, carrying entire civilizations on their mighty decks. Those days are gone, the worlds are divided and the airships are no more. All have gone but one, know only as “Her Majesty”, this behemoth swam into our world and crash landed into a great volcano. The vessel flew with such force that it was buried halfway into the rock, the bow buried in stone like a splinter under skin, while the aft hangs suspended in the air with a majestic view of the entire world. Those who sailed the ship are gone now, but new races discovered it, flocked to the marvel and eventually called it their home.

    Minor Races

    Azer. The volcano had several inhabitants when Her Majesty crashed, the least of which were a slave race of Azer, commanded by a cruel fire giant. As the bow sprit burst through rock into the caverns within the mountain Her Majesty pierced the bowels of the great giant, freeing the Azer from his control. They now worship the vessel as a deity and seek to repair it. As much of the bow is buried in molten lava, the Azer are the only who can access these parts of the ship. Unwilling to leave until their mission is complete, the cities inhabitants usually leave the Azer alone, with every assurance that he fire dwarves will never succeed in their task.

    Gargoyle. All that is left of the original inhabitants, the gargoyles were possibly servants of the race that sailed this ship. The citizens don’t know and they aren’t telling. The gargoyles seem to have little interest in the day to day affairs of Her Majesty’s residents but have more than once warned the citizens when ground rumbles below, indicating an imminent attack (see below). Many have also taken positions as border guards to the city. They are obviously concerned about who is let into Her Majesty, or possibly who comes out.

    Drider. Many of the top levels of Her Majesty have vast portholes allowing sunlight in, however the bottom levels must have been lit by the same technology that drove the ship, and like the rest of that technology, it has failed. The result is a cavernous hull, pitch black and uninviting. Drider, outcasts already have take up residence in this dark cavern. Very much like hope and yet far from the reaches of the hateful Drow. The Drider have been permitted to stay on Her Majesty, so long as they keep to the lower levels and act as the cities jailors, ensuring that very few in the city wish to be caught committing crimes.

    Monstrous Races

    Gibbering Mouther. Many priests of Gond and other gods who would seek to understand this technology have come to Her Majesty. Many have prayed for understanding and failed. A few however, whose determination was greater than their sense, would not relinquish their studies. These dedicated souls were rewarded with the supreme gift of knowledge. A gift that made them utterly mad and transformed over time into Gibbering Mouthers, always spouting madness. The residents, however believed these mad prophets may have some alien knowledge they could learn, if only the gibbering could be deciphered. The monsters are held captive in a great hall, which was presumably the bridge of the ship, where they babble nonsense perpetually. Dedicated souls used to travel down to try and make sense of the madness, but few of those ever returned with anything but a new breed of madness of their own.

    Purple Worm. Within the great ship lies a beast that burrowed into her hull and sated herself on the flesh of its original inhabitants. Now she rests, but twice so far, she has woken, burrowed further through the ship and ravaged all in her path. The Gargoyles, with their tremor sense can tell when she is about to stir, and where she will appear next. Every year a great hunt is called to find the beast and destroy her.

  17. Re: Her Majesty

    Hag. It is said that when the volcano was breached, so was the connection to the feywild and several creatures crossed over. Few found Her Majesty to their liking, but one creature reveled in the stench of death that filled the decks and brought her daughters with her. Tolerated by the residents of Her Majesty a coven of Hags live in the border between our world and the Feywild, offering to charter those waters, but always at a price.

  18. Re: Hierarchy

    Devils are mostly kept in check by the various contracts and pacts, but they’ve got a lot of influence. You’d be surprised to learn who’s already sold their soul.

    The Shifters are scum, the lowest of the low. The city council wouldn’t give a damn about them, if it wasn’t for the nightmare scenario of lycanthropy jumping species and infecting humans again.

    And the Sahaguin are a power unto themselves. They’ve only got limited reach into the city proper, but they run the docks and completely control the harbour. So far, they’ve been satisfied with a cut of the revenue from trade, which they use to decorate their weird underwater temples of force-grown coral and gold. Recently, though, they’ve started grooming human agents of theirs for the council elections, suggesting they’re about to make a play for more influence in the city.

  19. Recurring themes

    1) One and only one of the races is aquatic (sahuagin represent!)

    2) One of the monsters is a single and singluar powerful example of its species.

  20. Re: Recurring themes

    I was thinking of using merfolk instead of Sahuagin but I don’t actually have current books and couldn’t remember if merfolk were still in game.

  21. Re: Recurring themes

    Yeah, I know, I just locked myself in to a D&D loop for this for some reason. Call me crazy. 🙂

    Also, as I read about them, the Sauhaugin sounded pretty cool. Shark people are cooler than half-fish people.

  22. Pingback: Making my own New Crobuzon « Sea of Stars RPG Design Journal

  23. Pingback: “New” New Crobuzon: The City That Thieves – Zer0 Means You’re Dead

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