The Major Locales of the Crimson Sea

Holy Vesturia - Seat of the Holy Covenant

Of all places sacred to men, none shall be held as high as Grand Vesturia, the Birth-Place of the Great Blood-Covenant forged between men and the Gods-to-Be. Its tall spires scrape the very skies, its statuary raise profligate hands to receive blessings from above, its people offer their all to the Grand Church of Blood-Communion.

And all are lead in Worship by his Most Holiness, Pontif Sanguinius the First and Only, forever and ever, Amen; who forged the Promise on which all who live on the Shores of the Crimson Sea do dwell. And blessed too be his Crimson Ministers who tend to the herds of the High Shepard of men.

During the day, Vesturia is a quiet bustle as humans tend to themselves and their daily tasks, underneath the watchful eyes of the Crimson ministers, who are jealous of their flock as a husband is jealous of his wife. In the darkened manors and homes of the Gods-to-Be, the Crusaders of the Covenant play at high society in grand symposiums and soirees. At night, men huddle in their homes, and try to shut out the sounds of the bloody violence, the screams of demons, and the Victory Hymns and exultations of the Crusaders. 

The Church of the Holy Covenant rules all in Holy Vesturia, as it should be, for only through his Most Holiness can men ever hope to escape the horrors of the Night.

Sight-Seeing in the Red-Walled City of the Holy Covenant:
- The Mighty Cathedral of the Glories of the Blood-Pact - Where his Most Holiness, the First and Only (forever and ever, Amen) Pontif forged the Covenant with men, and the First of the Red Ministers joined him in holy brotherhood. Its tall, white-stone walls stand out against the dull greys and blacks of the Cities, an endless reminder of the Dominion of the Church.
- The Conflagration of the Apostate - Once a glorious estate of much wealth and the home of a noble lineage, the current occupant (who has lived there for over two centuries now) performed an unforgivable sin in the eyes of the Church: he poisoned himself. It was such a sin, Pontif Sanguinius himself came down from the Cathedral of Glories wreathed in wrath and power, and laid down upon the Noble and his house a terrible curse. Now it stands forever, as does its owner, only they are wreathed in an eternal flame, ever burning in parts, ever smouldering in places, always blossoming with smoke, forever and ever, until such a time as his sins have been scoured away in cleansing fire.
- Wolf-Pyre Plaza - A great square at the bottom of the steps leading up to the Cathedral of Glories, its centre is blackened and charred, for it is where the Beasts and Demons of the Night are burned as the morning sun is only just daring to rise, to the furious jeers and cheers of the Crusaders still high on the Night's Hunt-Lust.

The Bone-Metropolis of Demise

Built by those who would escape the Tyranny of the Church, Demise was constructed in the one place the Church would never find them, in the titanic, skeletal remains of the so-called "arch-demon". Though now the Covenant are well aware of the dissidents, they can no longer easily crush them, thus they bide their time and plot the downfall of the Corpse-City.

The skull of the Demon has been fashioned into a kind of Anti-Cathedral, the eyes and nostrils filled in with stained-glass, and the teeth hollowed out into the pipes of a Great Organ, played only when the Red Ministers of the Communion that are captured face their now traditional execution; a stake through the heart and decapitation. 

The City proper is built in the hollow of the Rib-Cage, the tall off-white towers rising in their arcs above the homes and buildings, fashioned into Watch-Towers. The Left Leg and the Right Arm have been fashioned into the Western and Eastern Wharfs respectively, as the Right Leg has long been lost to the Waves of the Living Sea. The Shoulder Blades, flanking the Anti-Cathedral, now form the home of the Ivory School, and the Noble Houses of the City Founders. The Pelvis is the foundation of the grand Fortress of the City, and stands as their great Fastness against the Churches Crusaders. The City has now spread beyond the confines of the almighty bones now, and only continues to grow from those that escape Vesturia, and the growth of hope and rebellion against Pontif Sangunius.

Their true strength, though they do not know it, lies in the Ivory School, who practice the lost and ancient art of Bone-Carving. They have created and discovered many tools that are particularly effective against the Gods-to-Be, and when the Church finally makes their move against Demise, they will find it a much more stalwart foe that any guessed it to be.

The Leviathan Yards

Huge, Pallid, and Ever-Squirming and Writhing, beasts like beached whales mount the shore leaking foul fluids into the furious sea, and birth the Flesh-Hulks that can sail the Living Sea.

The Harbour-Masters of the Leviathan Yards are some of the most feared (and rich) individuals of the Crimson Sea, second perhaps even to The First and Only (forever and ever Amen) Pontif of the Church of the Communion. Certainly they are second in influence, as they sell the Living Ships that alone are capable of surviving the Attentions of the Crimson Sea for any length of time without cracking open like a nut. They charge exorbitant prices, which are duly paid for now.

They are something like a cross between Spiders and Lobsters, standing up like a crooked old man, most of their limbs tucked away like a mental-patient while the main arms constantly scribble in their record books, their multi-facet eyes dancing this way and that and their mouths full of articulated teeth chitter quietly even as they speak to you. They are thin and long, unlike their worker-soldier brethren, who are much like them, only shorter and fatter, like crabs in the way the Harbour Masters are like Lobsters. Their thick, almost lacquered armour plates have been know to turn aside even the heaviest sword blows, though their underbellies have proven to be relatively soft.

This isn't to say that they aren't also feared in battle. Most every power on the Crimson Sea has tried once or more to take the Leviathan Yards for themselves. All have failed, the Nerve-Arresters and Claws of the Worker-Soldiers proving devastatingly effective even against the terrible power of the Crimson Crusaders. Mercifully, they have neither the numbers nor the inclination for conquest, as far as is known and hoped.

The Supra-Human Republics

The last (and most recently founded) of the Mighty Powers of the Crimson Sea, the Supra-Human Republics are feared by just about everyone. Of course, the Red Church of Vesturia is the most powerful and feared of the cities of the Living Sea, but the Supra-Human republics have proven themselves their equal in terms of the fear they spread, in the way they deal with prisoners, in their ever-changing and unpredictable power struggles, and in the doom they represent for Man-Kind.

They are the pinnacle of Human Evolution, as they tell everyone, beyond the Gods-to-Be of the traitor-state, beyond the Homunculi of the Alchemists, beyond the Star-Priests, beyond the Elves, beyond all and any! Their biology is as perfect as can ever be attained, neither age nor sickness nor exposure will ever slay one of their number, and their unimpeachable flesh is left behind by the Crusaders of the Church, evidence of their superiority!

In one aspect they still seem human though, they squabble endlessly and constantly. The Republics are fractitious in the extreme, and new havens are constantly being born left and right, and coups are levied against the new most treacherous and decadent of the Doges, only to be replaced by a Doge twice as corrupt and reprobate again. Trade continues to thrive in the turmoil though, and thus the Apex of Men supports many of their lesser kind in orbiting towns.

Of course, there is much war made between the Republics and Vesturia, the one enemy the Doges can actually ally as a group against for any amount of time. Such wars are often short-lived, as the Crimson Crusaders must always return to The City of Red Walls before the fall of night, and the Doges can never actually organise any kind of co-ordinated assault against the Holy City, their fragile alliances born of mutual hatred of the Red Ministers finally being overtaken by the storm of their petty squabbles. It is doubtful the Republics could ever actually overcome Vesturia; their numbers are too few, but the Church is determined to exterminate them, which betrays more than the ever-teethy smiles of the Ministers could.

Within the Republics themselves, the Supra-Humans dwell in endless luxury and fathomless melodrama, constantly seeking deeper and deeper depravities to explore and thrills to chase. Around them, "lesser-men" toil to sustain them, even as the Supra-Humans bully them to work harder and harder.

Of the origins of the Supra-Humans, they will not speak. Many rumours have been circulated (many certainly started by the Supra-Humans themselves), perhaps they are the final result of an Alchemist's life-time research into the creation of perfect Homunculi, or maybe they are renegade Ministers of the Church who have overcome their needs and vulnerabilities. It is even possible that they are lying, and sustain themselves purely on magic. No-one can tell for now, and if the secret is anywhere, it is in the dread-hearts of the Palaces of the Doges of the Supra-Human Republics.

No comments:

Post a Comment

Recent Stuff

Cafe Prost and the Little Red Notebook

The Jackalope is here, and requires a SACRIFICE. Anne requested the following gift: The Coffee House - Cafe Prost! It is well known i...

This the gud stuph right hear