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Amaroq
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PostSubject: Negav - Underground   Fri Nov 27, 2015 12:34 pm

This article is kind of still work in progress. I have spent like 9 hours straight now on writing it, and am most likely going to continue and expand on it even further, though I would like to recieve some opinions and input, particularly about the question whether i am going into the right direction, or if things seem a little too extreme here or there.
Also, it probably contains more writing errors than usual due to me writing it all in one go (even though the planning phase was way longer)

Please keep in mind, that in my vision, the negavian underground is supposed to get more dangerous the deeper you go, and offers enough potential to write entire adventures without ever leaving the boundaries of the town.

I hope you enjoy, and feel inspired to add to the article. Personally I kinda feel like its still too short to cover everything, but then again, i felt like I really had to stop at... 10 pages of content... <.< angel
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Amaroq
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PostSubject: Re: Negav - Underground   Fri Nov 27, 2015 12:34 pm

Layer Overview:

Higher Tier---------------\
Middle Tier---------------|-----The Surface
Lower Tier---------------/
----------------------------------------------------
Upper commons----------\
Underground Network---|----- The Hive
The sewers----------------/

Lower Commons--------\
The Mines-----------------|----- The Depths
Rock Bottom-------------/



Negav Underground


The city of Negav undoubtedly is the largest and most impressive structure built by mankind that managed to persist through time. Being famous and well known across most of the lands, even among giant predators, it's to no surprise that huamoids from all over the world are drawn to this place, to and beyond its limits of capacity. This lead to the building of an entire city in its shadow, or more precisely, underneath. Slowly but certainly, the city of Negav is expanding underneath the grounds it rests on, like a plant taking root.
Negav's underground sector is huge and not only covers most of the horizontal expanse of the city, but also spans over several vertical layers. Most sections are bundled similar to an anthive and there are large areas where only long tunnels lead to another sector in order to keep the rest of the surface city on stable grounds. While technically there are specified areas where people are allowed to excavate more room, those regulations are often not entirely obeyed and in fact, the deeper one goes, the more chaotic the tunnels, rooms and structures seem to become, as less and less maps for orientation are available, but also less people actually care about any orders from above.
According to official statistics, the underground populations size is about three quarters of that living within Negav's lower tier, however, this is only taking those into account, that are legal citizens of the city, and most commonly refers to inhabitants of the upper commons. The dark number of citizen, both legal and illegal, is probably two to three times larger, making the underground a very significant area of the cities living space. It's not entirely impossible that nearly as many citizen live underground as in all the surface districts combined, and that's why underground folk often calls the surface area of Negav merely the tip of the iceberg.
The underground is know to harbour the poorest of the poor, however, this is not entirely true. The population is extremely diverse, and ranges from everyday people, who live and work above ground in the lower or even middle tier, to people who have lost everything but their lives, seeking refugee in places nobody else would want to live. To some, the underground is a hive of scum and villainy that's best to sealed off from the world entirely, to others a fascinating place full of different cultures and people, and one could spend their entire lives in the hive, and yet not see everything it has to offer.
However, there's a reason why those who can afford it, try to move above ground. Moving there is often considered to be a loss of social standing and status, merely for the reputation of the area. Crime rates are exorbitantly high, and even in the upper commons, those who do not look out for their posessions or watch their backs, regularly find themselves robbed or worse. Mercy and Morality are luxuries in a world that has little to spare, and more often than not, the cities law is barely worth the paper it is printed on. As a geneneral guideline, whoever is faced to make a living in the underground, will try to stay as close to the surface as possible. Because the deeper one goes, the less likely they are to ever make it back to the surface again as danger levels increase significantly with sinking depth levels.

Negav's underground is separated into different layers, which each serve very specific purposes to those who live there, and the ones above. The layers, even though not as precisely separated in reality as they are presented here, can roughly be divided into two main levels: The hive, and the depths.
Their main difference is that the hive is recognized as an official part of Negav. It is relatively well kept intact, connected to Negav's multiple networks of water, power supply and sewage, mostly for those networks are actually located here.
The Depths on the other hand are an inofficial part of Negav, mostly expanses of abandoned or forgotten caverns and shafts, its existance relatively unknown among the ignorant part of the surface population. To live here is a harsh and brutal existance, and many, who were born here, are likely to never see the light of day...

Surface Connections
The Upper commons are the highest layer of the hive, and connect to many different staircases leading to the surface, which end in various locations of both the lower and middle tier of Negav, the latter being gated by heavy iron gates and guards, allowing to seal the entrances in case of emergencies. However, the connections between the lower tier and the upper commons are for the most part open, and rarely guarded, mostly for the convenience of travel, and to give the citizen a relative feeling of freedom, as there is always a way up that apparently cannot be closed off - serving an important role to prevent panics and keeping the underground population peaceful. It is worth noting, that there are no known connections between the upper commons and the high district, as official building regulations did prevent the underground area to spread underneath the area for stability reasons, even though rumors of secret passageways to and from important places such as the high palace persist.



Upper Commons

Negavians, who can't or don't want to rent a place in the poor district of Negav often move to the upper commons. The place feels very much like a giant metro, combining underground houses with subterran streets, plaza's and shops. Many areas actually look more fancy and pleasant than the above poor district, with most walls, the ceilling and floor made of takrit stone, though some more valuable materials are known to be used. Some "houses" are just a few feet below the surface street, and even have windows that lead to small shafts in the ground, allowing a small amount of sunlight to shine into their rooms. However, most of the light is artifical, and an immense amount of magic torches and lamps are scattered throughout the streets and homes. Some areas are comparatively spaceous, allowing for impressively shaped arches that hold the city above fancy looking hallways, and houses that actually have a need for a roof inside the most cavernous areas.
Most areas however are simple tunnels and housing districts, made with efficiency in mind. A regular home usually consists of three to four rooms, usually including a kitchen and bathroom with running water supply. For economic reasons, smaller aqueducts are used to allocate water between the households, using gravity rather than pumps to get the fluids into their homes. Since a new home can easily be connected by carving another branch into the side of an aqueduct, water supply is usually a much lesser issue than getting rid of the used liquids. For that reason, there are many public wasteholes around, which allow for easy disposal of dirty water and other wastes, which are directly led into the sewage system, provided ones own home does not have the luxury of drainage systems.

The upper commons house normal people, who usually are just as good citizen as anyone from above the surface. They go to work, eat and live above ground, are registered members that might even pay taxes to the city if their income is high enough, and may pursue honest and well paid jobs above or below ground. Families may live together in one single home, and get along well with their neighbours within their streets, which they euphemistically refer their tunnels as. A collection of streets, that is separated from another section of the underground thus is called a block, and most blocks are close knit communities among themselves.

Being relatively poorly secured, the citizen help each other against the growing crime, and thus, each block usually forms a group that helps each other. If you attack or rob one citizen and get noticed, it is very likely that you have a whole bunch of people after you relatively quickly, and most actually carry weapons on them to defend their block if necessary. Sometimes, those blocks may even percieve outsiders or the cities forces of orders as threats, which often leads to the creation of gangs, rather than civil defense groups. Those gangs usually have their own best interest in mind, though there are others who actually work towards a better life in the underground in general. Some gangs are so adamant about their self defense, that their blocks resemble military complexes, that can be extremely well defended, given how few entry points they have. Other blocks take advantage of the fact that not every block has access to the surface or one of the main corridors, causing them to demand tolls from everyone who wishes to pass through. From there it is just a small step towards organized crime, and many block gangs quickly seek to control, and partake in everything that is going on in their area of influence, up to the point of taking over other blocks. In a way, it is a invisible war about alliances and control, and many skevols are being made through having the manpower or strategic locations they need to put pressure on other citizen.

Be they the upper commons blessing or curse, the block gangs are somewhat necessary for survival. Some tunnels are very dangerous to trespass on one's own, as abductions do happen every few days. When a person disappears, their family will usually soon find a letter, demanding a ransom for the captives' release. In other cases they find them wounded and naked somwhere in a dim lit tunnel, robbed to their last piece of clothing, but at least alive. And that is, if they are lucky. Some people disappear and are never seen again, usually taken down into the depths below, where they suffer a much worse fate, being forced to work, get killed right away, or sold as slaves to those who can afford a couple of skevols.

Notable locations:
Sapphire Plaza

Sapphire Plaza is a comparatively large cavern underneath Negav's middle tier, relatively close to the cities center. It is an impressively spaceous area that spans over a total of three floors and is filled with a small landscape, complete with grass, trees and a small lake, the latter being the places' namegiver. The area is so wide that globes of magic light underneath the ceilling resemble suns or stars, and the chirping of real birds can be heard throughout the plaza. What is most interesting about the Plaza is its ceilling however, which has been painted blue, to give the imagination of being under an open sky. A finely crafted walkway leads to the upper common's administrative tract, where most legal business is taken care of, while a variety of tunnels leads to many other sections of the upper commons.

Maple Bazar

The Maple Bazar is an array of three streets, which fan out from a spaceous crossection, right underneath the lower tier's northern quarter. The distinctive shape of this array was the namegiver for this area, as streets house several buildings that are carved into the stone, sporting shops and storage rooms for all kinds of simple everyday-life wares. Food and clothes can be obtained for a relatively cheap price, as do lower quality magic artifacts commonly needed in a household. Prices vary, but are usually roughly around the same as their lower Tier surface equivalents, though one is able to get a steal just as often as one may get ripped off, if they don't compare the prices. Even though the place is well lit by bright daylight torches and guarded throughout day and night, shoplifting and pickpocketing are such common crimes, that the local police guards rarely even attempt to pursue the culprit. Even if one had been recognized by the victim, it would be nearly impossible to catch the thief before they merged with the masses, or left the place undetected. Many stores, for that reason, hire private bodyguards, who usually bear well visible gang tattoos in order to make very clear that comitting a crime in this estate would not be the smartest thing to do.

The sunken District

Below Motamo river, there was once a district of the upper commons that thrived with life. It was one of the richest areas underground, with well crafted architecture and even a roof made of glass that was supposed to endure millennia that allowed the citizen to look through the ceilling into the river above them. A mysterious earthshake however caused the ceilling to breach, and the district got flooded with water. Many people drowned when the section was quickly cut off and sealed from the rest of the city, saving the other districts at the cost of hundreds of lifes. Few managed to survive by swimming up to the surface after the initial torrent of water subsided, waiting in side airbubbles of their homes until it was safe to swim. Today, the place is inhabitated by amphibian species and mermaids and -men who found shelter in those sunken homes.



The Underground Network

While the high district most certainly can be considered Negav's heart of the city, the underground network truly are its arteries. The same staircases leading down towards the upper commons, usually lead even further underground, though are usually sealed by thick, magically protected doors. Those doors lead to the Underground Network, a very large network of mainentenance tunnels and pipes. The Network houses all the water supply pipes, as well as artificial magical leylines, which are spread throughout the entire city like a spider's net. The Network layer is comparatively thin, most tunnels are barely large enough to allow halflings or ducking men to pass through. Wards and other magical and nonmagical security measurements are installed to hinder anyone from tampering with the supply lines that are so important to the cities survival and civil peace, even though intrusions and sabotage are a an everyday phenomenon. Particularly noteworthy are inofficial additions to the supply network, such as makeshift power generators that distribute electric power to some households within the underground districts. Those are a rare occurence though, and often removed by mainentenance workers, unless of course a bribe was made.
However, due to the incredibly tight network, a region very rarely actually suffers from a total "blackout", as usually there are enough other water- and power lines leading to the affected areas anyways. Usually, security breaches happen when someone taps the supply lines, most commonly to sell the stolen ressource later in the lower regions of the underground or any other section that is cut off from the system. Sometimes, entire gangs are foolish enough to try and blackmail a district by cutting off their water supply, but those that try, often find out that while the negavian police force might not be the most effective organization to prevent crime, but certainly won't take a joke about the very lifeline of the city being attacked. The punishment for such acts reach from execution of involved gang members to exilement of their families, are particularly harsh and set to prevent anyone else from ever attempting to take the city - or even parts of it - hostage.

Notable Locations:
The Neera Heights

The Undergrounds Network is a place that is not meant to be inhabitated. While there are some scattered strayers living in a forgotten room every here or there, circumventing the security measurements via the use of improvised tunnels, most of the tunnels are rarely used, unless there is a major problem. This led to the layer to become quite interesting for tiny folk, to whom the narrow tunnels are no problem, and the lonelyness a welcome feeling of security. It is here that one can find the "Neera Heights", which is not really a specific location, but more of a loose network of villages and mouse-holes all across the section. Many are arranged around and below the Sapphire plaza, but others can be found as far away as underneath the motamo river and beyond, having hidden access tunnels that lead all the way to the plains immediately before the jungle terrain.



The Sewers

The Sewers are in a way part of Negav's underground network, and located slightly below. However, access to them is far easier and more common, as workers have to clean the sewers on a regular basis. The sewers can be accessed from various shafts within the city of negav, with only the ones in the higher tier being sealed with magic and extraordinary means of other kinds. They form the lowest layer of the Hive-section of Negav, being well cartographed and regularly accessed for cleaning and mainentenance duties.

Once down there, one is bound to find themselves in large, round tunnels, which usually are large enough to have a walkway on both sides of the canal in its center. Tubes made of low quality Takrit connect the different canals with each other, arranged in a sophisticated network that leads all the wastes towards the southeastern cliff beyond Negavs city walls, that expelles the used water into Motamo river - largely unfiltered.
The main canals are lit by sick looking, green everglow stones that are immersed into the ceilling, allowing to barely see something within the main shafts. The light level is really low, but the stones are relatively cheap and glow for several centuries, meaning that they have to be replaced relatively rarely. Other areas are left completely in the darkness though, and many people - and other creatures - live and lurk in the shadows. The stench is near unbearable to a surface dweller's nose, as air filtration is nearly nonexistant and the canals are filled with the waste and feces of countless different species. The damp, humid air clings to ones body like a wet towel, and seeps deeply into cloth and skin, making the sewers a very undesireable place to end up in. Nonetheless, those who have nothing but their body and the clothes they wear, may find themselves being forced to live here - a forgotten life among vermin and fungi. Various cults and gangs use the sewers as their hideout or refugee, as do criminals and debtors alike who prefer to not be found, yet want a way back to the surface if they need to run.
Interestingly, the sewers are also home to whole colonies of (partially toxic) oozes and various slimoid species, who are seemingly unaffected by the Isolon eyes effect. Theories vary between their lack of inner organs and regular nerves leaving no target for the isolon eye to actually trigger, others believe that since slimes appear to consume and process anything they absorb, to them there is no such concept as food. Regardless, they are very dangerous to a human being and one is advised to stay away from them as far as possible. However, this is a difficuilt task as most oozes happen to look very similar to the water around, and any small puddle could turn out to be an ooze. Slimoids are even more dangerous, as they lurk in corners, on the ceilling or inside small tubes, waiting for anything edible to pass by. Others actively hunt within the canals and tunnels. Luminescent slimoids do provide their own light source, to seek and find prey, and its best to run away, once you see a strange glow in the distance, sliding soundlessly around the corner of your view.



Lower commons

The lower commons are part of the depths way below Negav or the felaryan surface. Unlike the upper commons and other regions of the hive, the lower commons are a largely unorganized set of randomly dug tunnels, shafts and trenches, that span in various patterns below the city. There are only few accessways and even less are actually signposted and many signposts that can be found in the tunnels have been set up, leading into wrong directions, or even traps and ambushes. Hidden messages and secret languages only known to some can be found everywhere when one knows where to look, leading to the real destinations, but as a surface dweller, without a guide you are likely to get lost down here.
Most areas are simply carved out of dark grey or brown stone, with little effort put into corridors or homes. Usually, as long as at least one person fits through, it is considered good enough, leaving little room for comfort or safety. Another issue is the unorganized burrowing of new corridors. Unlike the hive, the lower commons don't follow any plan or architecture, especially on the outer and lower levels. Static or efficiency are a foreign concept to those who desperately search for the smallest crevice to cram their home into, causing tunnels to breach into each other, overlapping homes and completely useless tunnel sections that lead to nowhere. Cave-ins are a serious problem, and at times, entire sections are cut off from the rest of the city, causing many people to get crushed under tons of rubble, or simply starving to death in their stony crypts.
The upper regions are only slightly better to live in, with few tunnels actually leading straight into one direction. Ventilation is done mostly with the use of magical air conditioners, as is the lighting, which is very inconsistent. Some tunnels are well lit, with torches lighting up the entire length, others have clearly been raided for supplies, leaving empty sockets and those who wish to traverse them, better have some sort of light with them, lest they are doomed to get lost in the endless dark maze.

It is hard to imagine, but the place is thriving with life despite the harsh conditions. The poorest of the poor live down here, those who were even unable to afford to rent a space in the upper commons. It is the place where one finds those that have no chance in other place, the Illiterate, the disabled, the mutated. It is a life devoid of reason to hope, many people spend their lifes ignorant to the fact there even exists a life above the surface, and to whom sunlight is only an attraction of the pit in the best case, or nothing but a hopelessly romantical myth in the worst.
Down here, a home costs nothing but the muscle it takes you to either carve your own into the rock, or claim someone elses as your own. In the most extreme cases, people are willing to kill for little more than a corner with a flea infested rug serving as a nightrest. In others, messing with the wrong guy will quickly get you killed, as anyone who can, will organize themselves in a group that is able to protect itself.
The law and rules of the city aren't worth a skevol in this twisted maze of stone, and what little amount of heavily armed guards patrols this area is either in constant fear of being ambushed, causing a nervous guard to be nearly as dangerous as rogues, and the slightest suspicion that you are a threat might get you killed quicker than you can clear up the misunderstanding. Other guards are known (but not proven) to take bribes for looking the other way. or are involved in other shady business activities themselves. Corruption and a distinct lack of mercy turned the lower commons into some sort of underground city jungle, where the quickest, wittiest and strongest survive and there is no price for such a thing as being second place.

People either are in some way organized in a gang, or they are free farm, ready to be robbed by anyone with more cruelty or simply higher manpower. Those who refuse to follow the violent path often have no choice but to seek protection from a local gang, forced to pay what little they have in exchange. Money is scarce and valuable, and even a single skevol down here is worth a fortune. More often than not, the people from the lower commons however trade with goods, such as cigarettes, jewelry, both real and fake, or even as simple wares such as clothes and food. Water is filthy and used, many public accesspoints offer little more than sewer water that got magically cleansed from pollution, though it can do little to weaken the disgusting taste. Some people make a living simply by climbing to the surface, to bring fresh water down into the depths and trade it to the locals. Real jobs are few and far inbetween, often controlled by and distributed among the currently most influential gangs. Others have little choice but to move up and try to steal from the upper commons population. Abduction of people to press out a ransom is a lucrative source of income, and many people get lost this way. This is also the seed for many gang wars, as the block gangs from above might raid the lower commons to get back their hostages. Even those unrelated to those crimes often get into the crossfire, as nobody truly trusts one another, unless they belong to the same gang or family and people rather shoot and ask questions later than to find a dagger being struck into their backs.
If that isn't enough, the effect of the Isolon eye is weakened by the thick layers of ground above, causing the appearance of nonhuman predatory species, as well as a very active community of tiny eating folk, that lives out their desires without fear of retribution by the magic protection the small people were meant to be given by the eye. But human sized people need to be aware of maneating creatures such as dridders and human sized Nagas, that appear to live a normal life, but are known to sometimes be involved in the disappearance of a person, often followed after seeing them with bloated bellies or abdomens. To top it off, some religious cults are rumored to be involved in demon summoning and there have been confirmed sights of succubi and other hellish creatures throughout the years.
Another inhuman threat are worm attacks, tremor causing giant worms that usually live in the mines below, but rarely invade the tunnels by accident, though no less deadly on their way. Usually, the beast will be too confused or hungry to leave on their own, and it often takes a joined effort and several sacrifices to take them down.

Not everything is as dark as it seems though. Some gangs actually manage to run flourishing communities, which may act cruel and ruthless towards outsiders, but almost function like a family on the inside, forming a bulwark against the outer threats. Some try to make a better place out of the lower commons and make it a place worth living in. Those are the areas where actual stores can settle in, and the negavian gouvernment secretly supports.
The High council is aware of the gang problems, especially within the lower districts, but is reluctant to do much about it. Most of the council has already given up the lower regions, assuming that the benefits of pacifying the area and keeping it safe is nowhere nearly as great as the costs and loss of soldiers theyd have to spend to achieve it. others declare that the people below are technically not even citizens of the city and thus, not their problem. Generally, the high council tries to stay out of the lower commons business, and the gangs decided it is best to stay at a low profile, and keeping it that way.
Some, however, actually do business with some of the major gangs, playing one group against another, or hire them for shady deals, in exchange for slight redirections of patrol routes, or exchanging a guard here or there for a more cooperative and lenient one. There are rumors that Lord Trebiz managed to gain the trust and goodwill of all of the major gangs, and could have them serve as his private army to overthrow the negavian gouvernment and set himself as the leader, though no proof has been seen yet, and people generally call it unlikely that one man could gather a bunch of quarrelling barbarians behind him who are too busy with themselves to even care about negavian nobility. Less malevolent tongues assume that Lord Trebiz actually is the reason for Negav's relative peace, manipulating the gangs to keep them busy with each other, and thus, actually keeping the city as safe as it can get in that regard. Whichever reason it is, Lord Trebiz is currently the only one to really know.

Notable Places:
The Lower Market

The Lower Market is located in the upper region of the lower commons, very close to the connection tunnels that lead towards the surface. It stands as a sort of shady reflection of the bustling Grand Market District or the Maple Bazar and is set in a long wide tunnel, the edges crammed with stalls selling whatever wares are possible and lit by many blue and purple magic lights. The walls are pierced by countless shops and back caves selling varied, and often illegal, goods. The Lower Market is also known as having some of the best prices on Felarya for those who know where to look. The most famous shop is the Selodonna Antique Store. Owned by an elderly neko, this place looks like a junk shop on first glance, housing lots of wares that were discarded or used. However, those who know what they are looking for will find lots of the old stuff has amazing powers and comes from very ancient times. Overall, while the Lower Market may not have the... quality... of the above ground shops, it has a lot of charm and character. Smart shoppers looking for a deal tend to peruse it at regular intervals.

The "Meat Grinder"

The Meat Grinder, or "Rage Cage" is a wide and open arena deep underneath the city. Built into the stone it loosely resembles an amphitheater, with a circular arena, and many stonebenches above it, for the people to cherish the fights in the pit.
Underneath the benches there are cages and corridors, leading the fighters into the arena, even though wild animals and predators are sometimes presented as well.
Everything is secured with thick, rusty steel bars, even the arena itself is sealed off inside a cage, giving the arena its nickname.
Due to the Isolon eyes effect being weakened through all the layers of stone, as well as the use of magic dampening fields that are supposed to further diminish the eyes power, the predators are only slightly affected by the eyes constant pain inducing effect, but enough to drive them into a frenzy. Kept in a state of hunger and aggression, even formerly nice predators are driven to become wild monsters, only seeking to fill their empty stomachs, before they are pitted against their opponents, who more often than not turn out to be people who never fought in an arena before. Many fighters "chosen" for the fights have been captured by slavers, to make a quick buck, others try to pay off a debt by winning in occasional tournaments. Unlike the arenas in upper negav however, this is a real bloodsport, and the people cherish the principle of "two go in, one comes out".
The fights dont end until one of the fighters is either dead, or got eaten whole and alive, and aside from the entertainment value, it offers gangs and private people alike the opportunity to settle disputes, or gain respect, which can be a real lifesaver as it prevents others from seeing you as easy prey. A fight in the arena is actually a common ritual and joining requirement in some gangs, forcing one to kill and survive to proove their worth to the community.

The "A New Chance"

"A New Chance" is a Slave market large cavernous system near the southern end of the lower commons. As the name suggests, slaves of all kinds can be bought here, for a low price. Despite looking like a shady business, technically it is all legal, because legal contracts are written and signed with valid (though not necessarily voluntary) signatures of the relevant people in question, even though down here, nobody really asks for paperwork.
Most slaves are citizen who lost everything and yet still owed someone money, thus being sold to pay off the last debts they have. Others have been abducted and are being enslaved and sold against their will, those usually scoring a much lower price as they have yet to be subdued into submission. On rare occasions, someone may offer themselves for sale, seeking the protection of both the market and their future owner because their life is on the line, especially after messing with the wrong people. Those who live here, already have little to loose, and when it comes down to it, down in the underground, the average price for freedom is 80 skevols.

The "Tiny Goodies"

Right next to the slave market, there is a smaller bazar called the Tiny Goodies. As the name suggests, it is an illegal market for tinies. It is run by a large, well known and feared neko mafia, named the bloodhand claws. Neeras, Tomthumbs and other little critters can be found and aquired for a relatively cheap margin, without any paperwork or contract. Payment is done in cash only, as the trading of tinies, unlike the official slave business, is nothing you can brush off as being legal in some way or the other. However, the local city guards insist that the place does not exist and the door to the market is sealed shut, even when it stands wide open and it is likely due to fear of... ending up inside.
There are rumors that the market has connections to fairies that are supposed to live even deeper inside the mines, and some tinies inside the jars are actually people who got in the way of the organisation. There are very apparent hints that this may be true, as some people are absolutely certain that some of the recently added tinies look exactly like some of those slaves from the adjacent "A New Chance" who didn't manage to gain any buyers interest...

The Pit

The Pit is a very deep chasm underneath the city. It is easily a few hundred feet deep, with houses being built along its walls. The Pit is located very close to the center of the underground city deep beneath the high district, and thus serves as a connection point between several sectors of the lower commons, as well as leading towards both the mines and deeper underground, causing this to be a highly contested point for all groups and organisations that strive for power. It is said that the group that controls the pit, controls the lower commons and everything underneath.
The lowest parts of the pit are so deep, the isolon eye is unable to reach them, causing even rumors of human sized predators such as Nagas to have set up their lairs, and even more gruesome rumors of creatures lurking at its bottom.
But it is not entirely a place of evil and violence. In the center of the pit, on a huge platform there is a large shrine to Oth, the Sun God. It's a white building with a series of golden mirrors on the top. In an act of charity, this temple magically radiates stored sunlight during the day in an attempt to light up the pit. The priests also give donations of food and blankets to the needy, usually along with free scriptures of Oth in an attempt to pacify this most dangerous of melting pots within the city.
Thus, the Pit serves as a beacon within the darkness, both in the literal and spiritual sense. It is the place those cling to that have little else to loose other than their sanity, and it offers hope to those who can't be helped anymore. The Shrine gains many followers, and while many just come for the goods, to trade them further around the very next corner, the cultists are happy for every soul they managed to save from the darkness, if only for a day.
The pit is constantly dug deeper to make room, as many people want to settle in this crossroad location, thinking that the presence of the shrine grants them protection. On multiple occasions the Negavian government has tried to stop development of the pit, worried that the expansion of the cavern could destabilize the buildings above it even further. Others worry that something very bad and hungry might be dug up if the Pit is dug too deep. Already, the Pit has the highest rate of unsolved disappearances in the city. Most assume this is just regular murders or people leaving without telling anyone. Others claim that something nasty has already been awakened and when the temple of Oth turns off the light for the night, it comes out to feed on those who won't be missed...

New Chargate Prison

New Chargate is the main prison of the city. Besides smaller holding prisons operated by various governmental groups, most prisoners will end up here, below Felarya. The prison is known as "New" Chargate as the original prison was taken down. This was simply due to the fact that, as Negav expanded, there was less room for buildings, and people thought it ridiculous that the valuable above-ground property be spent on something as unpleasant as a prison. Thus the prison was demolished and relocated underground. To prevent it from taking up too much space underground and becoming too close to other areas, the prison was built vertically - many estimate that the deepest point in the Negav underground is the lowest areas of New Chargate, and thus, on the same layer as Rock Bottom. The prison is essentially a giant open shaft that stretches down into the darkness. The sides are lined with the cells and walkways for the guards and wardens. It is a dark, damp and dismal place. Typically, the only people ending here are criminal that are too dangerous to be left in liberty as blinded ones, and too important to be simply expelled from the city. The lower the level of the prisoner, the more dangerous they are. The very lowest levels also have powerful magical wards on them - this is where rogue and criminal mages are kept. Rumors tell of fallen Magiocrats being held there. Perhaps due to the inmates, or pure magical residue, this lowest area is assumed by all the guards to be haunted. In fact, there is the occasional strange disappearance down here, which is often linked and compared to the rumors about the happenings that occured once Rock bottom was discovered. But whatever the cause, the magical wards keep whatever it is securely below.



The Takrit Mines

The Mines are located deep underneath the ground, several hundred feet below the surface. Even though more organized than the lower commons, as the tunnels are usually horizontal and straight, it is easy to get lost merely in the large expanse of the area. Maps are rare and incomplete, and distances are a pain to calculate due to the lack of lighting or major signs one can use to orientate themselves. The tunnels are empty, surrounded by Takrit stone, which is the leftover of the large excavations of stone and metal from way back when Negav was still in construction. Metal ores have been dug out and removed, creating bizarre structures that break up the regular network of tunnels, and a large amount of water has created rivers and lakes, filled with creatures that somehow managed to get all the way down here from Motamo river or the sewers. The Isolon eyes influence is dwindling away in such depths, and in fact one is likely to encounter predators who hunt in the darkness - most likely ones that escaped the Meat Grinder, or unwanted pets (or pet eggs) that got flushed down the toilet by their owners, as part of the mines are connected to the sewers. Other creatures might have gotten in through tunnels that lead to other places of Felarya, as the mines are not entirely closed off, but some shafts are actually leading through extremely long and unchartered cave systems, leading to the belief that somewhere must be a way up to the surface.
Another issue are gigantic worms that dig tunnels through the grounds, though usually prefer to use the wide open shafts and tunnels as easy means for travelling, building entire nests inside the mines. Their eyeless bodies react to vibration and sound alone, mindlessly swallowing anyone they encounter whole, to process them completely along with dirt and rocks within their efficient digestive system.
It is hard to imagine that in this hellhole of darkness and emptiness, there are still very few negavians living down here. Most stay close to the shafts closest to the surface, having improvised homes that are basically mineshafts into which they built wooden or cloth walls and doors, creating artificial rooms. It is an unsafe life full of deprivation, as not even water or food can be found naturally down here without taking huge risks. Getting down to the flooded caves is a nearly suicidal task with all the creatures roaming around, but getting up into the lower commons isnt entirely safe either, as those that live here are outcasts even among outcasts, hiding where nobody else would want to go.
But even here, people and creatures manage to adapt.
Even in the loneliest tunnels, one may stumble across some beings, unidentifiable as either beasts or maybe former citizen. They have lost their eyesight, but gained much more, their senses sharp as razorblades, their reflexes quick enough to prey and feast on anything edible. Many of those who end up here never find the exit again. Most die, simply starving or giving up, others get killed and eaten by those struggling for survival, people who commit murder and cannibalism just to keep on going, mumbling to themselves in madness, still believing they will someday find a way back to the surface, or believing they have to protect what's theirs against any intruder. Screams of lunacy and pain echo through the tunnels, attracting those who share their fate of being lost deep within Felaryas soil, an invitation to the deadly dance of the forgotten, a chance to feast, and survive another day.



Rock Bottom:

Rock bottom is the name of the deepest point of Negav's underground. Not much is known about this place, other than shortly after the cave system was dug out, the entrance got sealed off almost immediately. The following days, the mine got struck by a whole chain of disasters, leading to the disappearance of entire shifts of miners. After having lost about a third of their workers, and having most other miners quit their job in fear of suffering the same fate, all mining operations were cancelled and the Negavian Takrit mine was closed down.
It is rumored that by today, powerful magic barriers have been erected and are being maintained by the high magician council themselves, and an entire military batallion is permanently stationed at the entrance, to prevent anyone or anything to venture down into Rock Bottom - or from coming up. When the mine got closed, the negavian officials were publically asked about the happenings inside the Takrit mines, but were unable - or unwilling to give any comment on that matter.


Last edited by Amaroq on Sun Dec 20, 2015 12:05 pm; edited 1 time in total
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PostSubject: Re: Negav - Underground   Fri Nov 27, 2015 2:57 pm

To say that I am impressed by the amount of detail you put into this would be a crushing understatement. I can only imagine how many times you had to rewrite each paragraph. I should definitely ask for your help to embellish the new main article for Negav, since there are a lot of paragraphs I find barren, even if they're supposed to only be summaries. One nitpick I would like to bring up was that, with the way I rewrote the article, the Underground is essentially what became of the old underground tunnels, but that's easy to work around, you can can simply say it expanded and that the original tunnels are now mostly The Hive.

Another small detail that Karbo once brought up years ago which I brought up again is that Negav doesn't really use a power plant or electric cables to supply themselves with electricity, they use a combination of Actinite and Mazhir Gems to work as makeshift rechargeable batteries, which would make the whole grand scale blackout of '49 implausible. That is unless most of the power lines are used by Underground residents, who have a much harder time coming across Actinite and Mazhir Gems, and so mostly use non-magical means to get what little electricity they can get. That's actually a detail I think would be great to expand upon: that while the surface of Negav is rich in magic and magitech, most of the sources of magic in the Underground are things they either found or salvaged, and so instead adapted to rely much less on magic to survive, which would make the Underground feel like it's a completely different settlement altogether with only the bare minimum tying it with Negav itself.

Although, speaking of the Hive and the Depth, I'm rather torn on the Underground being this deep. It's probably because the way you can layer paragraphs in forumotion, but it makes the Lower Market and The Pit seem far deeper underground than I think they actually are, like way past 50 meters below the surface, which makes me wonder how people can even survive so deep underground. It's most egregious with the mines, which paint a picture of a place so hellish, it seems implausible to me that there would be any sign of human life down there. You'd think every soul there would either be already dead, or have moved to The Pit, which is a paradise by comparison and already a great breeding ground for criminals. That said, the slave market I think was a great idea, and totally not just because it's conveniently going to help me with a recent chapter whenever I go back to polishing it a little.

Also, I approve of the Maple Bazaar being named such because it looks like a giant maple leaf. We need more Canada in Felarya, that is a scientifically proven fact.
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PostSubject: Re: Negav - Underground   Sat Nov 28, 2015 3:33 am

A few favourite locations:
-The Sunken District: Merfolk in Negav! Well, not actually in, but still remotely connected to Negav. I wonder if any Negavian interests in trade or study with aquatic residents here.
-Neera Heights: Just pip my curiosity whether it is Neera-infected or not. Sound like a nightmare to housewives XD
-Tarkit Mines: Since it has water body inside the mines, maybe there will be some sort of hellish aquatic ecosystem down there. Since its residents are used to the dark, I wonder if they're blinded or not, since if blinded, they won't be affected by light. If they're aren't, shining a lantern at them maybe a good way to stun them.
-Rock Bottom: I know what they dug up there! A giant butt of a sleeping Earth Elemental, hence the name 'Rock Bottom' : P
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PostSubject: Re: Negav - Underground   Sat Nov 28, 2015 10:43 am

Oh very impressive job here !

You put a ton of details in that description and really managed to paint an interesting area, full of particularities and unique traits Smile

Honestly I have very little to say in term of remarks. I would perhaps hint at a bit less population living underground than you did and maybe reduce a bit the sapphire Plaza in size ? I'm also not entirely convinced by having that artificial sky as in my head it's a bit like if a very wide screen had been turned on and showing the sky.. I don't know there is something I have a bit of trouble visualizing with this part ^^;
And lastly the bit about the power grid, as Shady mentioned.
But besides that I think it's a very solid description with many great ideas and a very sound addition to Negav and its development. Great job ! Smile
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PostSubject: Re: Negav - Underground   Sun Nov 29, 2015 12:09 pm

The only remark I have, and one I tend to make a lot because people seem to forget, is that the underground of Felarya is categorized as hazardous. Other examples of hazardous places are Deeper Felarya or the Evernight Forest. Just so you get an idea. Building big things underground is supposed to come with lots and lots of trouble from creatures underneath, a good amount of which should be largely unaffected by the Eye due to their small size.

I'd suggest that, while the threat level would still be as you thought, bigger the deeper you go, you punctualize that the increasing danger in the lower levels comes from the creatures there, instead of criminals and such, and that down there people tend to organize themselves into militias of sorts in order to survive and keep a minimum amount of security from the shadowy creeps.

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PostSubject: Re: Negav - Underground   Thu Dec 03, 2015 5:18 am

Ok, so to summarize it:
Rewrite the power supply network and make it more underground focused rather thn the entire city.

Change the encounters in the lower areas to be less humanoid and more predatory / Beastly

Reduce underground population overall

Change Sapphire plazas size and roof

Increase danger level more significantly depending on depth level


I will rewrite the entry regarding those matters during the weekend then. :3
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PostSubject: Re: Negav - Underground   Fri Dec 04, 2015 5:11 am

This seems like an excellent wrap-up of the city. I imagined it like this.
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PostSubject: Re: Negav - Underground   Sun Dec 13, 2015 2:08 am

I have re-looked at the whole idea and I think there is really not a lot of things that need to be changed besides what has been mentioned ( outside of purely formal sentence tweaking ). So please do you agree with the disclaimer ? Smile
Again really great job here, it's going to develop the area a ton !
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PostSubject: Re: Negav - Underground   Sun Dec 20, 2015 12:05 pm

I hereby agree to the disclaimer and the usage of my article in the wiki.


Also, thank you very much for all the kind words. Ive been going through a lot lately, so I beg your pardon for my long absense. The nice words help me a lot.

Changelog:
I reduced underground population
I changed the sapphire plaza
I removed most of the electricity stuff, and the blackout event.
I added more sentences referring to danger level rising with depth level
I increased the amount of nonhuman threats in the lower commons and beyond
I added some descriptions about possible dangers
I lowered the amount of people within the mines.
I fixed some spelling errors.
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PostSubject: Re: Negav - Underground   Thu Feb 25, 2016 5:02 pm



The WIP of a picture I'm doing to illustrate the entry on the wiki ^^ It's going to be colored later and with more details.
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PostSubject: Re: Negav - Underground   Thu Feb 25, 2016 5:28 pm

Hmmm, it looks good, but I would recommend making it look more cramped, and, depending on "where" the picture is taken, with more makeshift materials to make it look more like a really poor region. Dirt, storage crates, maybe different pieces tacked against the walls to make them look like someone tried to repair some damage with what little they had. Maybe surfaces that are clearly wet, or even buckets to catch some rivulet of water?Right now, this looks very much like the surface levels, i could even imagine some rays of sunlight shining down further back through some rusted gully covers. Just my recommendations, do as you like, of course. :3
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PostSubject: Re: Negav - Underground   Fri Mar 11, 2016 10:19 am

Oh yeah I plan to have more characters around in the final picture. Here it's really more of a pre-version to show the basic composition. Thank you for your suggestions, they are interesting ^^
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PostSubject: Re: Negav - Underground   Fri Mar 11, 2016 1:36 pm

Karbo wrote:


The WIP of a picture I'm doing to illustrate the entry on the wiki ^^ It's going to be colored later and with more details.

Wow! That's pretty awesome and a rarely seen view of Negav's bowels. Reminds me of old Star Wars essentials art it does. Hmm I need to read up about the lower depths of Felarya myself soon since i have a few characters who regularly dwell down there.
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