My response to Throne of Salt's question challenge
The short version for those not in the know, get 7 classes, answer 10 questions out of the 122, make a setting out of it.
- Adept - a student of the hand and foot's potential
- Iconoclast - a temple wrecker, heretic, destroyer of beliefs*
- Scrap Courtesan - a beauty with a patchwork body*
- Zouave - a weary soldier whose been at this too long
- Scrivener - a clerk devoted to the gods of bureaucracy*
- Theotokos - a professional god birther
- Foreign Barbarian - a stranger to these lands
* made 'em up on the spot, to be written out soon...
1. Is a bar tab used to hire on cannon fodder or sailors?
Pretty much every bar and pub in the lower spires has a running deal with the army to put debtors into uniforms in exchange for a kickback. The nicer bartenders will give you a headstart when the military police come to pick you up.
2. Are <scholars> a religious order?
The Scriveners do all the paperwork in the city. They are incredibly devout. An error is a sin. They have no internal hierarchy and spend most of their free time debating one another over the finer points of filing and scripture. They follow the (conflicting) teachings of some thousand gods of bureaucracy.
3. Is military service compulsory?
No, but the army does its damndest to snatch people off the streets, put a rifle in their hands, and send them off fighting in foreign parts.
4. What cosmetics or prosthetics are used to hide marks of aging, scarring, or amputation?
Arcanely animated porcelain is used to make prosthetics and masks. In recently years its use has grown increasingly pervasive to the point some will remove entire limbs with but a minor blemish, in order to replace them with 'perfect' porcelain ones.
5. What is the recreational drug abuse your cultures has organized meetings around?
At all levels of society Bluk is smoked, often communally, but also in individual cigarettes. A small leafy herb, similar in appearance to mint, and usually grown in window boxes or large rooftop plantations. If dried and smoked it creates a cathartic state which dulls the body but sharpens sight, hearing, and smell. Bluk is often cut with other harsher drugs.
6. How are soldiers usually paid?
Weekly wages and Bluk rations. When a soldiers time is up their severance package usually consists of the clothes on their back and the gun in their hand. This has of course, created a large community of disenfranchised veterans. The elites have so far handled this by employing them salvaging, treasure hunting, and pest controlling in the lower spires. Veterans often partner with iconoclast in burning down temples. Dissent is growing.
7. What foods are associated with major festivals? What slaughter animals do poor families raise?
Pork and dumplings. Oodles of fried tubers. Most poorer families raise pigeon flocks. In fact several extremely plump and delicious breeds have been created. Pigeon racing and shows are popular.
8. What illegal bloodsports do elites favor?
Making bets on which slum spire collapses is not technically illegal, however planting explosives to ensure you win is. Rumors abound about even less scrupulous nobles who force courtesans with specially modified porcelain prosthetics to fight to the death.
9. What technology is eroding traditional society or being acclimated to it?
The introduction of porcelain prosthetics has created a culture of bodily replacement in the middle class. Not everyone handles it well. Rumor abounds of strange experimentations with the technology creating horrid beasts that now stalk the lowest spires.
10. What area is considered seditious?
The lower spires and stacks, especially anywhere where veterans and iconoclasts call home. The dockside spires in particular are seen as hives political dissension. It's no coincidence that this is where many from overseas make their home.
Im imagining a great big imperialistic city, a vertical city, all spires and stacks and bridges. The elites of course, live up on top with their shining towers and magnificent views. The city is constantly waging colonial wars in far off places, its docks bustle with the fruits of empire, and it's ironclads steam in out of harbor. The players would all be the people in the bottom of this world. The people who have served and been cast aside by those above.
I really like this setting, Im definitely going to expand on it in the future.