Wednesday, August 1, 2018

A City of Confluence

Umberwell is an unthinkably large metropolis of tall spires and underground warrens that has spread like a virus of modernity across five neighboring islands—Enclave, Eelton, Cirqus, Gristle, and Styg—as well as to a number of smaller satellite isles, domed undersea settlements, and exclusive skyward islets hovering above the clouds. Umberwell is the most populated city-state in the known world, and it is unique in that it welcomes the most disreputable and cast-off vagabonds to become its citizenry; a remarkably varied array of people call the city home.

To walk down the streets of Umberwell is to encounter a rich palimpsest of aromas; the scent of curries, saveloys, vinegar-soaked chips, spicy tacos, falafel, oysters and peas, kebabs, strong-brewed coffees and teas, and roasted chestnuts all compete for attention. The spicy frites prepared by franchises of Touchberry’s Hot Pies are renowned throughout the city.

The world beyond Umberwell has been at war for over generations. The War of Blue Orchids, fought between the Ducal Reich and the Pale Baronies, has evolved into a global conflict. The Coronal Empire and the Strexa Marches are allied with the Ducal Reich, while Pale Baronies are supported by the Malishnikov Combine and Republic of United Citadels. The rest of the world is caught in the middle, but Umberwell remains neutral and has become a sanctuary for refuges forced to flee the carnage of war. Most believe it is only a matter of time until Umberwell is drawn into the fight.