Merchurdon is diverse and mysterious Victorian city with a very interesting history, and many areas (some secret and some well known), not all of which are listed here.
Central Merchurdon is the original part of the city, dating back from when it used to be just a small town/settlement centuries ago. Some of the buildings here are very old, others however are relatively new, showing how the city has changed and developed through the ages.
Town Centre (and the immediate surrounding area)Edit
Here are where most of the businesses are kept, often home to the middle and upper classes (and merchants and small-time businesses too, on the outer edge of the Town Centre). Houses and buildings here are often well secured and reinforced with magic and enchantments to protect them – but with criminals having access to magic as well, no building is truly secure from common thieves – except perhaps Imperium HQ…
The buildings are usually more respectable here, but with the high crime rate and Imperium take-over, some have fallen into disrepair. Alleyways wind their way in-between some of the buildings…shady, dark places that you wouldn’t want to walk down late at night…
- Imperium Headquarters
- Old City Hall
Little more than a ruin now, this old building was one of those destroyed soon after the Imperium announced themselves and took over.
- Police Department HQ
- Merchurdon Park
One of many parks that used to exist in the city…but rapidly one by one, green spaces have been disappearing, being built over or destroyed. Merchurdon Park, the biggest park in the city, still stands…barely. No longer is it well looked after, and like many things in the city it has been ruined. Parts of it are no more than a wasteland in the middle of the city, although many of the trees still stand, surprisingly.
- Marketplace & Merchurdon Square
- High streets and shops
- The Empty Church [and Graveyard]
There are various places of worship scattered about Merchurdon, but this cold church at the city centre has been silent for a while now. In fact it seems no one, not even those who are in no way superstitious, will go within ten feet of the place. Not even to knock it down or destroy it. It is unknown why. A few people have actually entered the building, and reported nothing. And yet…there is something about the place, as if it’s trying to keep people out. Surprisingly, the great graveyard beside it is less disturbing, but then again, there is always something unsettling about graveyards. Body snatchers are common here.
These parts of the city are used to house the poor, the sick and the deprived. The rich rarely venture into these parts of town. At least, not more than they need to…some may go down there to get to the Darkling District, or if they don’t mind mingling with the lower class. Brothels, work houses and orphanages are abundant in these sections of the city, and there are more alleyways, hidden nooks and alcoves and secret passages than you can shake a stick at. Basically anything unwanted or unpleasant gets shoved in here – buildings, creatures and people alike. Ancient stone walls stand beside ramshackle makeshift buildings – this is one of the older parts of the city which has fallen into complete disrepair. However, considering the rise in criminal activity, other parts of the city have started to take on similar characteristics…to say that only the slums are ‘not nice’ would be a misunderstanding…
- Darkling District
Like the name suggests, this is one of the less reputable and darker areas of town. A part of the city’s slums where you can find much of the more unsavoury aspects of city life. Black market/Illegal items, Brothels, Opium dens (and various ‘elixirs’), and various forms of gambling and entertainment (although it must be noted, more refined or respectful entertainment can be found in many places all over the city, not necessary in here). Gangs, prostitutes and drug dealers often operate in this area…and the occasional rapist, monster or serial killer, if you’re not careful… Dark and chilling stories haunt this part of town. The sort of thing ghost and horror stories are made out of. Black magic is often at work here, however, so is the potential for great profits, entertainment, and who knows? You may discover something of great value to your cause here…
As diverse and seperated as the slums and the financial district are from one another by class and appearance, they are well and truly bonded. Perhaps in more ways than one, if some were to search; The physical connection is all too clear. Slightly short bridges connect between both districts, running onto a region of businesses and homes formed into a ring that resides floating atop a large lake that had once seperated the two distinct portions of the city. Somewhat as an artistic expression of how people classify themselves by location, each bridge is constructed in distinct manners. The one coming from the slums is made from bronze- and copper-based materials, with wood and cables used in places to make it look old -- more broken than it truly is. The bridge to the upperclass region is a marvelling monument of marble and pristine design, marred by murals and emblazoned with sangelic statues situated upon high posts on both sides of the bridge. The angels link hand-in-hand, forming a makeshift archway at the center of the bridge. The Ring is mostly refered to as the home of the 'middle class' and its like. But specific businesses and attractions set it as a hotspot for citizens from both ends of the class system.
- Cherry Grove
This sweet little brothel is located in the southeast portion of The Ring, one of the closest structures to the slums. An establishment that sells to clientele of all sorts, it's hardly a dirty location to visit. But they do little to hide their purpose; the business is run almost exclusively by the women who work within its red walls. These ladies of the night are easily defensive of their own and are quick to dish out punishment for any transgressions. But most come from the slums directly, so they are rather understanding of the hardships of the poorer citizenry, often offering discounts or 'special offers' just for the lower class. Only one male has been seen as member of the operating staff, but rumor is abundant that it's the brothel's owner coming in at times to check up on the business. Most think the Cherry Grove is just the one structure, however. In truth, there are a couple of other brothels in the slums and in The Ring -- some more secret than others -- that are merely secondary businesses for the Cherry Girls.
- Ring of Rosary
As upper class as any form of erotic entertainment can get. This club, of sorts, houses many cabaret shows and puts on various acts each day, most of which convey sexuality in some form or another. But the biggest -- or most publicized -- aspect is that they devote an entire day os shows entirely to women of the hetero persuasion. Women enter and may enjoy drinks or meals for free while they watch the masculine performers strut their stuff and show off their practiced acting skills. Most offers for purchasing time with the actors are openly refused, but mingling and getting to know the performers personally is welcomed. A backstage portion of each show -- typically lasting twenty minutes as it helps to move attention elsewhere while the stage props are rearranged -- is widely popular as some rumors speculate that the actors are only up for 'private performances' after a relationship has been established. Aside from the main attraction of the shows, the club offers quite the exquisite variety of meals to their patrons. But as to be expected for being the closest business to the financial district, these meals are as rich in price as they are in taste. The owner of the club is well reputed to perform some nights in the female-oriented shows, and is quite often the leading actor. Rumors abound that he may actually own the Cherry Grove, as well.
- Chain and Bound
A quiet little shop... Well, it's as much little as it is a shop, when it floats within the central body of water at the center of The Ring. The base is made from the hulls of several boats, with the actual shop being located in the central with a broad boardwalk running all around the sides. Favored for the telescopes and the view the watery establishment affords itself, though mainly because most don't like to openly talk about visiting a shop that sells various items for use in sexual activities. The shop has two floors and offers quite the variety, and the fact that they're out of stock at times shows that more people enjoy the debauchery than most expect. But oddly enough, none can attest to just who some of the more frequent patrons are. Some say that everyone who enters the shop just looks like the same boring person as the last. But it's hardly believed that so many people living in even this city could look exactly the same. The shop is owned by the same person that runs the Ring of Rosary club.
Financial (Upper District)Edit
If ever there was a place for the wealthy to display their wealth, it is here. Grand establishments, gated upper class communities and big businesses are found in this area. Like all areas of the city, however, it has been tainted by increased crime rates and ruined buildings. Businesses both big and small have suffered as a result of Imperium rule, and some have completely collapsed – both metaphorically and physically. However there is no doubt that this is still by far the most refined and rich areas of town.
Located to the east of the City. Expect to find warehouses, workhouses, factories, quarries, wharfs, and manufacturers here. The air pollution is at its worst in this part of the city – a perpetual fog hangs in the air from all the toxins, smoke and steam that is released from the factories and steam engines. Residential streets with terraced housing also occupy this area, great industrial structures looming over them. Alleyways are found here, but although they are by no means nice, they tend to be better structured and organised than the chaotic maze of passages found in the slums. Railway tracks often run through this part of the city, transporting goods, cargo and raw materials…and occasionally something of real value. Train robbers, gangs and bandits operate in this area. Merchurdon’s main train station is also located here, and is heavily monitored by the Imperium, watching who goes in and out of the city.
Notable Bodies of Water Found In MerchurdonEdit
The River & HarbourEdit
A river runs through the south of the city, and like the trains, trade and goods are often shipped in and out of Merchurdon via this river. There is a reasonable large harbour for ships and boats to dock at, and this again, is watched closely by the Imperium.
A large lake that had once seperated the two distinct portions of the city slums, and the Financial district. (See above at 'The Ring' for more info).
There is a network of small winding canals and waterways that leads through Merchurdon, providing small boats with access from the river, right into the heart of the city. These waterways also help power small mills/factories in the city that rely on water and kinetic energy to generate power.
An underground maze of tunnels and pipes, spanning the entire city. Hardly the most sanitary place in Merchurdon, you wouldn’t want to be stuck down there for too long – and not just because of the smell. The Sewers are a perfect hiding place, but be warned – it’s very easy to get lost down there. Some people who have entered have never come back out…they say that ghosts of people who got lost down there still wander the tunnels, looking for a way out that they can never hope to find. Some say there are tunnels down there that don't show up on any map or blueprint – secret passages and hiding places...who knows where they lead to or why they were built? But Merchurdon’s sewers also hide many other dark things…if you decide to travel down there, perhaps it would be wise not to linger there for too long…