Thursday, December 29, 2016

Patent Medicine, Kraken Oil, Directories, Maps

Oh, whistle, in Scarabae, and I'll come to you...

This is my attempt to describe a setting through its material culture, which is probably foolish since I'm not an archaeologist or anthropologist. 

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Patent medicines and tonics (1)
Patent medicines of varying efficacy are sold throughout Scarabae to treat a multitude of complaints. Since the most effective treatments are financially out of reach for the underclass, they must make do with bootleg medicines distributed by criminal organizations.





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A kraken-headed cane (2)
The oil extracted from the great krakens is the lifeblood of Scarabae's industry. The lamps which light the city's streets are fueled by pressurized kraken oil, many factories are powered by the oil, and the hunting and processing of krakens is itself a venture of massive economic importance.






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A city directory (3)
For those wishing to experience Scarabae's demimonde, directories such as the one pictured above are for sale at the stand of every newsagent. These slim volumes can direct you to a number of brothels, opium dens, and other establishments of illicit pleasure.






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A city map (4)
This map represents only a small fraction of Scarabae's urban sprawl. It is also likely to be grossly inaccurate.











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(1) - Inspired by Dishonored.
(2) - Also inspired by Dishonored.
(3) - Inspired by nineteenth-century city directories, which I am obsessed with.
(4) - Added purely to turn-off anyone who demands accurate maps of the setting. They just don't exist.