The Goblin City

I decided to do City23 this year, to create a city that I’ll someday build a game around. As much as I love D&D, fantasy and dungeons, I felt like doing something a bit different.

I’ve started the work of piecing together an urban fantasy city populated mostly by goblins (because I love goblins) and each day I flesh out some aspect of it. I brainstormed for a couple weeks, so I had ideas for where it’s headed, but already I’ve found surprises.

I decided on a few constraints for myself that will be evident as I post things. I have ideas for how I will use the final city.

I began using Dungeon Year Design Journal on paper but I’ve found it easier to compose as text so far. Each day I post what I create on my Mastodon account at https://seizemeans.com/@apollo/tagged/city23 .

This page will be updated periodically with each of my daily additions organized.



Cell Tower

Any newcomer arriving at the ‘port of the goblin city will be greeted by the sight of the Cell Tower before reaching the city gate. Built in a Martello style, it nevertheless has automatic doors opening into a large inner space lined with shelves that can be climbed with ladders or mobile lifts. Here is where phones of various types (see the Table of Phones) and SIM cards can be obtained.

The host Lari-Ny is usually present to help folks match up with their perfect phone or get the correct SIM for one they already love.

Lari-Ny

Lari-Ny greets visitors to Cell Tower with a big smile and an even bigger floppy-brimmed black hat from behind a circular desk. This goblin will leap into action and ask what the visitor needs, seeking to carefully suss out a perfect phone for each person that enters. If all the visitor needs is to be connected to the cell network, they will make sure to get the right SIM and settings in place.

Lari dresses in black jeans, a black and red t-shirt and a black jean jacket and always carries a large tablet for looking up and sharing information.

Table of Phones

  1. All-Rounder – a typical phone that performs well for most tasks
  2. Slider – a phone with a slide out keyboard
  3. Lens – a photography-first phone for photographers
  4. Modular – a modular phone that can have parts swapped to adapt to the situation
  5. Wrist – a smartwatch with voice and tactile interactivity
  6. Book – a foldable with an e-ink display for reading
  7. Deck – a phone the shape and size of a Tarot deck and with divination features
  8. Scanner – a phone with every imaginable sensor
  9. Dice – a phone made to facilitate the playing of various games
  10. Touch – a phone with a primarily tactile interface
  11. Theatre – a phone with speaker and projector features
  12. Focus – a phone made to channel the magical energies of a magic user

City Gate

It once had a defensive purpose, but the gate to the goblin city now is open wide day and night.

The sprawling stone walls to each side of the gate are covered with vibrant murals, and it’s not uncommon to see muralists at work creating new pieces. A persuasive visitor might get a patch of the wall to decorate as they wish, but plans and collaborations are typically behind the painting and repainting of the walls.

A group of guides and facilitators are waiting to help any visitors with mobility, navigational or informational needs.

Beyond the gate is a large open area, The Commons.

The Commons

The Commons is a large open area beyond the goblin city gate that acts as a hub for accessing transportation and the streets that will take visitors to other parts of the city. Signs are in place to direct travelers to their destinations. It’s also a gathering spot for buskers who attract crowds with performances of many kinds. City guides can be found at prominent guide poles and are willing to take newcomers across the city.

Table of Goblin City Guides

  1. Oisba – She is a goblin with an extraordinarily large umbrella she uses to either shelter visitors or point out landmarks. She specializes in finding clothing and personal aesthetics services.
  2. Wreehi – She always carries an elaborate photography kit and is the guide with the best advice for sightseeing.
  3. Et – Et is known to be able to find the best food in the city, and they’ll go to great lengths to ensure visitors are having the time of their lives.
  4. Brix – He’s the guide to know to seek out the best parts of the entertainment district and he’ll often be found chatting with buskers for new leads.
  5. Stribs – Stribs knows the history of the city and can talk from sunrise to sunset about every major event and the people who shaped the city. He can guide visitors to lesser-known sites with stories that will thrill.
  6. Dort – Dort will often be seen performing parkour and she’s the expert in how to get around the city in unusual ways. Shortcuts, hidden paths and hazardous methods are all at her disposal.
  7. Krosb – He’s unassuming and always in plain clothes, but Krosb’s ability to blend in with the crowd allows him to learn from the residents of the city about the most mundane things. From office supplies to server racks, he knows how to get the pieces that make things happen. He’ll get guests where they need to be to conduct any business.
  8. Zags – Books are Zags’ specialty and he knows the city’s libraries like the back of his hand, even the smallest library box.
  9. Freliosi – Freliosi knows more people in the city than just about anyone else. Her gregarious nature means she’s always bouncing between conversations and catching up on the lives of the people of the city. She can be counted on to know how to find anyone and might have an idea about what they had for breakfast.
  10. Ruk – The minotaur Ruk has been a sports star across multiple sports in the city, most recently as a professional wrestler. In his retirement, he guides visitors to activities and sporting events, while regaling them with stories from his career.
  11. Cit – Cit is a polyglot and specializes in interpreting for visitors who are not fluent in the common language. Their use of sign language is especially well-regarded and their ongoing sign language video series is used in local schools and shared frequently online.
  12. Suku – Suku dresses in eye-catching outfits and can’t be missed when she is in The Commons. She knows the arts scenes in the city and has a mural tour that receives rave reviews.

Table of Daytime Buskers

  1. Hacry – She’s a contortionist, acrobat and walker of a giant wheel, but she’s also known to bring the crowd to laughing tears with her banter.
  2. Rin – He’s a living statue and his giant frame looms over The Commons when he’s present. Photo ops and ridiculous poses are his signature draw.
  3. Jind and Rani – This drumming birdfolk duo can command a crowd like no one else. Their rhythms animate the space and seem to be part of the life of The Commons.
  4. Girk – Dwarves aren’t known for their love of heights but Girk’s stilt work is fearless.
  5. Lis – Lis’ hoop performances are larger than life, wowing crowds with their dexterity and flamboyant displays of misdirection.
  6. The Masked Trio – Three performers carry more mystery than any others in The Commons. Always masked, never speaking and continuously dancing around with outstretched hats, they still are able to communicate intricate stories of high drama.
  7. Rillnearia – A wizard of elven heritage, Rillnearia is renouned for her illusion magic that entertains audiences in The Commons.
  8. The Trenchcoat – Three halflings in a trenchcoat put on an uncanny performance. Their 6 arms manipulate the trenchcoat in surprising ways and their playful pickpocket work startles passersby before their goodnatured jokes lighten the mood.
  9. Psst – A turtlefolk gymnast of great renoun, Psst is gifted at many forms of dance in addition to her gymnastic feats.
  10. Isdepe – Juggling stunning numbers of objects evokes cheers from this centaur’s transfixed crowds, and her light hoofwork makes it all the more impressive.
  11. Gnort – Gnort’s singing is virtuosic, moving and marks this Kobold as a true wonder of the city.
  12. Eun – Taking on the form of visitors to The Commons and sometimes merging groups’ features allows Eun to evoke laughter throughout the space, and their changeling abilities make it all seem effortless.

Table of Nighttime Buskers

  1. Morlis – This firebreating, fire-obsessed goblin sorceror stuns his audiences with elemental mastery. What might be more surprising is that he’s also the safest of performers.
  2. Slip – This slimeperson dazzles with bioluminescence and her acrobatic displays always receive cheers.
  3. Yexis Tosslespark – Yexis is a gnome tinkerer who is obsessed with showy electrical performances. His Theremin playing paired with experimental lighting has a cult following.
  4. Jam – This catfolk comedic magician keeps audiences in stitches. What Jam pulls from their hat always surprises.
  5. Click Click – This automaton provides divination services from a wide range of disciplines and is known to attract couples and plucules for a traditional goblin card spread to predict compatibility in relationships.
  6. Zama – Zama performs elaborate rituals involving costumes that allow her to portray deities.
  7. Saty – Bawdy humour is Saty’s calling card. They lean in to satyr stereotypes and subvert them to challenge audiences and poke fun at prudishness.
  8. Iss – Iss’ traditional snakefolk dancing draws large crowds and leaves them transfixed.
  9. Honx and Swyz – This goblin duo juggle an increasingly hazardous assortment of objects and draw huge cheers from crowds when they’re inevitably successful.
  10. Captain Capy – Captain Capy is harefolk clown that takes on the mannerisms of a pirate and acts out high seas adventures full of pratfalls and physical comedy.
  11. The Five Puppets – This group of giant puppets stroll into The Commons carrying lamps and act out historical dramas with exagerated performances.
  12. Big Dewdin – This opera singer with the lungs and body of a giant produces vocals that have to be experienced to be believed.

Commons Station

On the westernmost reach of The Commons is a train station with 9 lines connecting from it. It is the terminus of each of those lines. A raised platform allows access to board the trains. Food establishments at the ground level provide packaged meals for travelers. A small bus station allows for connections to nearby neighborhoods. A large city model allows for orienting and understanding routes.

Table of Commons Station Food Establishments

  1. Dondan’s Dumpling Domain – Dumplings of dozens of kinds can be found at this stand, whether fried, boiled or steamed.
  2. Dragon Spice Bowls – This restaurant serves up heaping bowls that are famous for being spicy and delicious. The connoisseurs of heat in the kitchen here have gathered uncommon peppers and pride themselves on unique pairings.
  3. Goblins Eat Greens – This stand leans into leafy greens, as its name suggests, and makes delicious salads as a speciality.
  4. Polymorph Pies – Savoury pies or sweet pies, hand pies or piping hot lattice pies, countless varieties of pies can be found here, with the selection changing daily.
  5. Radiant Ramen – Broths, sauces, noodles, oils, and other ingredients here are of only the highest quality and a wide range of tastes are catered to with these soups. A calamansi ramen is a favourite among students who frequent this stand.
  6. Dissonant Delights – Hearty, rich, and indulgent foods can be found at this atmospheric restaurant, always with an unusual twist. Takeout is always bustling, and there is a clamour about as orders are taken.
  7. Summoned Pizza – Pizzas are constantly being pulled from the ovens here, and slices are generous.
  8. Smite Hunger! – Hungry travellers can’t go wrong with the loaded plates here. The gravy prepared by the chef is known citywide.
  9. The Owl & Bear – Pub fare here is loved by locals and the all day breakfast is raved about.
  10. Clockwork Box – Constructs run this restaurant and provide perfectly square paper boxes holding meals. Patrons can select ingredients and the crowd of construct chefs will stir fry to their specifications.
  11. Fey Drinks – Smoothies, fresh juices and surprisingly nourishing beverages are served here. Magic is generously infused in many drinks here.
  12. Elven Bread – Famous for being nutritionally dense and fit for keeping a traveller full for uncanny periods of time, the loaves served here are favoured for long train journeys.

The City Bikes

Across The Goblin City bicycles are readily available to borrow from bike racks. The city bikes are built in a factory to the north of the city and their signature purple frames and yellow saddles make them unmistakable. The bikes are standard with front and rear baskets, bottle cages, dynamo powered lights, and bells.

The bikes come in sizes suited to the diverse population of the city and are easily adjusted. Kiosks across the city provide helmets and other personal safety materials. Bike trailers for children are also commonly provided at the racks, especially ones at train stops.

Arlas’ Coconut Ice Cream Stand

Located a short distance southwest of The Commons Station, Arlas’ Coconut Ice Cream Stand is a hidden local favourite. Each day Arlas makes and serves his own recipes for coconut ice creams to lines of customers waiting for their favourite treat. The proximity to the station makes it a common spot for a wide range of people to visit once word of mouth reaches them about the flavours.

Arlas

Arlas is an unassuming goblin when he walks down streets, looking like the many others who make their way to work each morning. As he starts mixing together flavours and ingredients beneath the glass in his stand, though, his dexterity and love for his work shines. Arlas constantly sings while pouring, stirring and serving his ice cream, making the wait in line an experience alongside the eventual cold treat.

Table of Flavours at Arlas’ Coconut Ice Cream Stand

  1. Purple Wyrm (ube)
  2. Green Dragon (matcha)
  3. Lion’s Roar (mango and orange)
  4. White Dragon (vanilla)
  5. Chimera (chili, dark chocolate, strawberry)
  6. Black Dragon (licorice)
  7. Bear’s Roar (chocolate and coffee)
  8. Red Dragon (cherry, raspberry)
  9. Scorpion (lemon, lime, rock candy)
  10. Blue Dragon (blueberry and microalga)
  11. Pheonix (orange, tea, caramel)
  12. Gold Dragon (maple syrup)

The Workshops

North of The Commons Station is a district of the city where workshops of craftspeople and small factories have been built. Larger industries are kept further from residential areas, but the workplaces here abide by strictly enforced noise, light and effluent restrictions. Closeness to the station means that most workers commute to the area, but some homes are attached to or adjacent to the workshops.

There are many architectural styles employed in this area, with care taken to reduce environmental impact and optimize energy use.

Deliveries are common during mornings and in evenings there are pickups of goods to be distributed. Midday visits by food stalls make The Workshops a special draw for anyone who appreciates street foods.

Midway

To the east of The Commons is a garish Midway, with the sounds and lights of rides and the bustle of games of chance, skill, strength and magic. This area stretches along the outer wall of the city and magical paint has been used to create a glowing backdrop from murals along the wall.

Table of Midway Rides

  1. Golden Dragoncoaster – A magical blending of a dragon and rollercoaster looms over the Midway and offers thrills to riders. The roar of the dragon and the screams of riders alternate as the loudest sounds around.
  2. Giant Snail Paths – Children and anyone looking for a languid experience will find a perfect match riding giant snails through a wooded area lit by glowing magic motes.
  3. Behold! An Aberrant Thing – Riders climb into an appendage and are flung wildly but safely around by this mechanical wonder.
  4. Tossed Rocks – Large boulder-shaped vessels use magic and gyroscopic motion to keep riders safe as giants toss them through juggling patterns.
  5. The Fairy Wheel – The gondolas of this towering Ferris Wheel are each enchanted with unique magics that create astounding, altered sights across the city.
  6. Carousel of Wonders – Enchantments give riders an uncannily realistic experience of being atop rare and wonderous creatures.
  7. Lantern Swirl – Riders step inside huge ornate lanterns and are shuffled through a circle as the lanterns turn slowly. The ghostly lights are mirrored by spirits that materialize and shock.
  8. Mushroom Bounding – Giant mushrooms with extraordinary bounce allow for fun leaps and acrobatics. Large inflatable orbs are available to be entered for increased accessibility and safety.
  9. Tunnels of Delights – A series of tunnels can be explored and wonders encountered, with many bioluminescent and magically glowing creatures lighting the way.
  10. Living Tree Swings – Swings hung from awakened trees are moved gently around by their hosts and riders are offered a serene experience.
  11. Lightning Wheel – A lightning elemental powers this fast-spinning and bright-glowing ride where participants experience thrilling top-like motion.
  12. Crystal Maze – Oversized magically grown crystals, warped mirrors, glass lenses, optical illusions and enchantments make this maze disorienting, challenging and perfect for quick photos.

Table of Midway Games

  1. Stage Magic – Participants step onto a stage and use a set of three wands to play a game of predicting the choice of an opponent, with showy magical effects for each combination. A host for the house collects bets.
  2. Smoke Ring Toss – Magical smoke rings are produced by a pipe and players try to aim at posts. Winners can collect prizes of lightly enchanted goods.
  3. Sword and Stone – A game of problem solving, players work to release a sword from a stone by manipulation of a series of mechanisms which have a unique configuration each play. A music box plays increasingly frantic music as time progresses to the end of play.
  4. Strong Bell – This classic test of strength features a bell that creates a thunder-like sound.
  5. The Fairy Course – Players attempt to cross an obstacle course while playfully hindered by a group of fairies.
  6. Shatterable Glass – Participants try to produce a tone with instruments or their voices to shatter a magical pane of glass.
  7. Dragon Rolling Contest – Participants climb upon the back of a young dragon and attempt to stay on by leaping as it turns. Prizes are available based on increasingly impressive times.
  8. Doppelgangers Hall – A group of changelings immitate players, who are challenged to convince an audience they are the original contestant.
  9. Celestial Riddles – A trio of angelic creatures constrained under truthtelling magic challenge players with riddles.
  10. Wyrm Whack – A game of hitting wyrm automatons is played for prizes.
  11. Dangerous Dice – Dice games are played with enchanted dice that have unexpected effects that complicate typical odds, sometimes in players’ favour.
  12. Polymorphed Races – Participants are magically transformed into strange creatures and race through a track.

The Old Port Waterfront

East of the Midway is a well-preserved waterfront area from the city’s peak of seafaring industries. Wooden wharves, boat sheds, shipbuilding structures, restaurants, museums and art displays cover the length of this waterfront.

Too small for most contemporary commercial vessels, the waterfront is still frequented by replica ships. An annual race and festival are held at the waterfront.

Waterfolk frequent this quieter part of the city and some conduct tours of the waters around the city. Conflict over waste dumping was resolved decades ago but reparations continue, including volunteer patrols to protect endangered areas and funding of efforts to minimize erosion and other impacts of worsening weather.

Waves Tattoo Shop

Tucked away in an alley in The Old Port Waterfront is a small tattoo shop that has been providing services for decades. The artist Verx currently runs the shop and is considered one of the best tattoo artists in the city. His ornamental and minimalist works are his best regarded pieces and the biggest draws for the shop. Three other artists regularly work in the shop, allowing for many styles to be provided.

Verx

Verx has a love of nautical aesthetics, and is always wearing a grey sailor cap and a t-shirt with a nautical design. A lighthouse tattoo is prominent on his left forearm.
Verx usually inks thick lines and favours minimalistic designs. He will be more enthusiastic about a design if a nautical element is incorporated.

Eafza

Eafza commutes to the tattoo shop from a farm outside the city and her overalls and boots reflect her pastoral roots. She’ll often wear exaggeratedly rustic accessories and is fond of sporting a straw hat inside. Her messy, curly hair often gets in the way if she’s not wearing the hat. Sleeves of flower tattoos cover her arms.

Her tattoo work usually has fine lines and watercolour styles. She is fond of scenes from nature and rural life, and has memorized countless plants she can draw from memory.

Vyc

The centaur Vyc has a big presence even if his physical size is ignored. His upper body is covered in geometric tattoos and he wears a brightly coloured blanket on his equine back. When he’s in the tattoo shop, he warmly greets patrons when they enter.
Vyc specializes in geometric and traditional centaur designs. He also uses experimental and magical inks, including glowing, animated, warming and strengthening inks.

Ash-Ann

The elven tattoo artist Ash-Ann is always wearing black dresses and their exacting makeup work is eye-catching. Their tattoo portfolio is heavy on pop culture and comics-inspired works, and their skill imitating line styles is well regarded. Ash-Ann is also a comics creator and in down time will be spotted working on comics.

The Central Library

North of The Commons and stretching in a wide arc across its northern edge is the pride of the goblin city, The Central Library. The neo-Futurist architecture of this building resembles two gigantic snail shells and is covered in an astounding number of windows. Eight arched entrances open out of a large courtyard that blends into The Commons with a stunning garden.

Politics, culture and nearly every aspect of life in the goblin city have the core idea of libraries at their heart: that everyone should have access to what they need and desire without obstacles and with the assistance of people trained to facilitate that access. Because of this foundational belief, The Central Library was built to be both a symbol and an engine of the practice of expanding what a library can offer.

Inside the library are halls and rooms built to facilitate specific activities and general access to knowledge.

The Library Garden

The Library Garden has large flower beds, topiaries of mythical beasts, a succulent area, and fruit-bearing trees in a small orchard. In the centre of the garden is a gigantic oak tree circled by benches shaped out of living trees. A dryad cares for trees in the garden and is assisted by gardeners.

A greenhouse is obscured by a rhododendron hedge and a seed, bulb and cutting library is accessible through a tunnel that connects the main complex. Fairies live in elevated structures high in the oak and can often be seen participating in work around the garden.

Azolla

Azolla is the dryad of the Library Garden. She has been a protector of the oak since before the founding of the city and has been involved in shaping city policies. Her tree was a rallying point for issues tied to social ecology.

Azolla has humanoid features and is covered in oak leaves that change colour with the seasons or for special occasions, such as the Founders’ Festival, when she has both red and green leaves simultaneously to match the city’s official colours.

Table of Central Library Features

  1. Magic Hall – Magic books, spell components and a magic maker space are housed in a dedicated hall, where magic users are available to guide patrons.
  2. Computer Lab – Desktop computers, printers, scanners and other computing tools are available in the spacious computer lab.
  3. Recording Studios and Instrument Library – Six recording studios are available to library patrons and production experts are on hand to assist. A wide selection of instruments are available to be used on site and a subset can be borrowed.
  4. Books – A large portion of the library is dedicated to physical books, with 5 floors each offering a portion of the collection. Each floor is accessible by elevators and stairs.
  5. Makerspace and Tinkerer’s Room – 3d printers can be found alongside cogs and gears in this space that caters to a diverse range of making needs.
  6. Auditorium – A large performance space is available for performances and rehearsals.
  7. Lecture Hall – A modest lecture hall is available for instruction of groups and smaller performances.
  8. Pods – 50 multipurpose isolated pods are available for study, meditation, reading and other quiet activities.
  9. Cafes – Eight cafes are located within the library and offer drinks and meals for library visitors. Each has specialties and particular views of either the library interior or the city from an elevated vantage.
  10. Growing Library – An agricultural hall hosts growing plants, with multiple growing methods, and an area where cuttings, seedlings, seeds and other material for producing plants can be obtained. Horticultural scientists and fairies can be seen travelling by tunnel to and from the garden outside.
  11. Living Knowledge Rooms – A collection of rooms host people who have volunteered to share knowledge in direct sessions. Topics for discussion vary, as do communication methods. A special room to facilitate telepathy is often waitlisted.
  12. Children’s Exploration Space – A large area is dedicated to activities for children. Books, toys, maker spaces, instruments, play areas and other activities are offered along with seating spots for parents.

The Habitats

North of the Central Library is the most densely populated section of the city. Twelve distinct neighbourhoods, known collectively as The Habitats, are prominent in this area and each has notable architectural and cultural features.

Smaller neighbourhoods exist between the larger ones, and can blend aspects of the more extensively planned neighbourhoods. Within The Habitats there are primarily mixed-use developments, but some pockets are exclusively residential.

The Habitat Line

The Habitat Line connects from The Commons Station to a loop through the twelve large neighborhoods of The Habitats, with a stop in each before returning to the station. This line travels only on raised tracks, allowing for reliable service and renowned views of the extraordinary architecture it passes. One remarkable section of track passes through a gigantic tree that has been magically altered to allow passage.

The Paths of Rest & Motion

Paths that accommodate pedestrians, cyclists and other active transportation connect the neighbourhoods of The Habitats. These paths serve as a cemetery, with walls to either side holding cremated remains.

Goblins of this city traditionally hold cremation ceremonies before interring remains in stone boxes, and the walls along the paths were designed to accommodate the standard boxes, which are often decorated as memorials.

Solar lanterns line the paths to light them at night and benches are spaced throughout. Playgrounds, skate parks, small parks and other recreational spaces often line the paths.

The Library of Treasured Reads

On The Paths of Rest & Motion, and along the edge of The Towers District is an old stone tower that has been converted into a special memorial to compliment the walls along the paths. Each person interred in the cemetery walls can have a favourite book designated to the library, which will ensure a copy is available to borrow.

The Treehome Neighbourhood

North of the Central Library is a forest of uncannily large trees. These oaks have been shaped by magic to hold homes and other spaces. Living bridges connect trees and woodshaped ramps allow for access to the ground. Magical lifting vines are used to accommodate people and goods that are unable to use the ramps.

Elven immigrants founded the neighbourhood, but now it is one of the most diverse in the city. Artists of many disciplines are known to work in the canopy of the Treehome, where lighting is cherished.

Mushrooms are grown in great quantities in this area, and an autumn festival is held each year to celebrate a harvest.

Earthworks

North of Treehome is a large hill filled with earth bermed homes. These homes often don’t resemble traditional goblin homes except that they are built into the earth. This neighborhood has some very old homes, dug into the hill centuries ago, but even those have typical conveniences like electricity, fiber optic internet, civic water supply, and sewer connections.

Homes in the Earthworks are often passed down through generations and in this neighborhood there are plenty of storytellers who are itching to share family histories from porches.

Historical markers and statues of legendary goblins can be spotted along the hillside, usually accessible by the road that corkscrews up the hill. At the top of the hill is a monument to the city’s founder, featuring a golden statue of that winged goblin, Sukaar.

The Cubes

East of both Treehome and Earthworks are The Cubes, an exceptionally dense complex of cubic dwellings. Arranged to allow natural light for most home cubes, the structure has been compared to a pixelated mountain.

Cubes are usually single family dwellings, but internal halls allow for easy access to other cubes, so extended families often cluster a few cubes together to live closely. Communal kitchens, gaming areas, gyms, small libraries, daycares, and pools can be found in inner cubes. Dwelling cubes have balconies that often hold potted gardens.

The Towers District

West of Treehome and Earthworks is The Towers District, a dense area of skyscrapers of a disorienting range of architectural styles.

Originally developed by magic users making increasingly elaborate and lofty wizard’s towers, the district grew more and more crowded as technologies for constructing tall buildings improved. Many skyscrapers are topped with traditional stone and mortar towers favoured by the oldest wizards.

The current tallest tower is the home of the goblin wizard Procs, who always wears a robe of black and silver. His tower reflects his personal style, with a black surface decorated with silver accents.

Each tower in this district is home to at least one magic user, and communities are formed around particular magical interests within each tower.

The Brutalist Bouquet

The Brutalist Bouquet stretches across the northern edges of Earthworks, The Cubes, and The Towers District. The large concrete buildings that form the neighbourhood were once unadorned and formed a monochrome landscape of bewildering geometric shapes.

A movement was made to reinvigorate the impressive structures through widespread flower gardens, including massive vertical displays. Now the contrast of the flowers and concrete have attracted a thriving community.

Notable goblin gardener Eagdirx helped to lead the movement to bring colour to the neighbourhood and remains a leading elder voice in shaping new gardening projects. Her close ties to activists throughout the city make her one of the most influential people in the city.

The Bubbles

Northwest of The Brutalist Bouquet is an area of the city with homes made from unpoppable magical bubbles. The bubbles vary in size and appear much like soap bubbles but can have altered opacity by magical command. Magic users can quickly add or subtract bubbles to structures, so the neighbourhood has become attractive to newcomers looking for their first home in the city and visitors seeking temporary lodging.

Floating bubbles are frequently used for transportation and are known for their safety and comfort. Pilots with magical proficiency are employed for complicated routes but most bubbles for transportation have automated routes and routines.

Passing through any bubble can be allowed by mental commands of people attuned with the bubble and attunement is regulated by residents of home bubbles. Public spaces typically are enclosed in bubbles with universal access.

The Underground

North of The Brutalist Bouquet appears to be a large nature park with a lake and forested expanses. Those who know where to look will find entrances to an underground neighborhood. The Underground is home to many people who prefer lower light exposure, and it’s not uncommon to find dwarves, gnomes, goblins and antfolk working, playing and living together.

The Underground initially was developed as a mine in the distant past but has now been made into a comfortable and safe place to live. Access to the water and sewer systems of the surrounding city makes it a hub for workers on those systems.

The Featherfall Lake and the forest above are actively used for recreation by many in the city. Boat races are popular events that happen frequently.

The Quiet Neighbourhood

East of The Underground is The Quiet Neighbourhood, a community where a social pact is in place to limit loud noises, visual stimuli, other sensory disruptions, and disruptive magical and psychic activity throughout the day. Founded as an enclave for telepaths and empaths to have a refuge in the crowded city, it welcomes others who have sensory needs.

Soundproofing, gentle lighting, clutter-free spaces and ample seating are typical of homes in this part of the city.

The train stop for The Quiet Neighbourhood is approached by a raised track at a reduced speed in order to limit noise from transportation.

The Roost Cliffs

North of The Underground is a high cliff with tall, narrow structures built into it. Many flying people have made the cliffs home, with birdfolk, fairies and magic users most often found in this vertical community. Care has been taken to include elevators to allow access to people who can’t fly.

Elaborate vertical flower gardens can be seen on many homes and a festival that includes a garden competition is held each Summer.

Visitors to the cliffs are often attracted to balloon rides that allow visitors to experience the views of most residents.

The Comic Nest

Fittingly located at the base of The Roost Cliffs, The Comic Nest is the best known comic shop in the city. The staff puts in particular efforts to stock comics from around the world, and are often working to track down uncommon issues. The shop does have comics from big publishers, but self published and small press comics get promotional priority. Staff members can offer advice for choosing among the comics.

The Winter Plateau

Above The Roost Cliffs is a plateau that is kept in perpetual magic winter. Homes are built to be cozy for folks who are not well suited to exposure to the cold, but many residents of the plateau prefer the cold weather and make homes that take advantage of ice and snow.

Winter sports and activities can be practiced on the plateau year-round, and ski hills, skating rinks and snowshoe trails are popular spaces.

That Hill

Tucked away on a street crowded with houses on The Winter Plateau is a hill that locals just call That Hill. It is a favourite spot for sledding and is daily filled with children using every imaginable sled or alternative to slide down. The magical winter keeps a steady blanket of snow on the hill.

The Old Town Neighbourhood

Wrapping around the eastern, northern, and western edges of the plateau, The Old Town Neighbourhood is filled with preserved buildings and those designed to fit with the aesthetics of buildings that were built centuries ago. Renovations for accessibility have been done for most buildings.

The goblin history in this neighbourhood goes back beyond recorded history, and some families have lived in the same homes for generations. Some now-playful family rivalries play out in games held in Old Town Square, the central gathering point.

The Ambulatory Neighbourhood

North of The Old Town Neighbourhood is a section of the city made for homes that can move around under their own power. Huts with legs, animated tree homes, mecha, and countless magically movable homes shuffle around the lots of this neighborhood, making it a difficult to navigate place. Homes are given set numbers but the constantly rearranged streets are a surprise for mail carriers and visitors alike.

The Growing Streets

North of The Old Port Waterfront is a section of the city dedicated to vertical greenhouses, community gardens, hydroponic growing systems and other urban growing operations. Running along a rocky section of coast, this land receives ample morning sun and is supplied with water by the river Slow Snake.

Many of the foods grown here are dispersed throughout the city but surpluses are common. A train line passes through this section and leads to agricultural productions outside the city, allowing for access to supply chains for export and incoming supplies. Hubs exist here that facilitate workers traveling from and to the city depending on seasonal work.

The Goblin City University

North of The Growing Streets is the city’s university. The campus is compact, with clusters of brick buildings designated to each of the 12 faculties. A small residence houses mostly international students while other students live off campus. A modest sports field and stadium are at the edge of the campus.

The Mall

North of The Workshops is a huge complex that houses shops, entertainment venues, recreation facilities, dining locations, and public services in a multi-story building. Connected residences flank The Mall’s main building and schools and public services are also built close.

The Mall is a popular social destination and is full of activity day and night. A central courtyard provides a garden with ample seating. Outside a Ferris wheel allows views of the surrounding city. A train station built into the northern reach of The Mall allows for easy access from the rest of the city.

City Hall

North of The Mall is the centre of the civic government, the large town hall building built with a Brutalist aesthetic. Offices for representatives can be found around the outer ring of the building but a large central forum is the place where public participation in government takes place. The forum includes seating for 1,000 representatives and for 10,000 citizens to take part in important and mundane decision-making.

Governance of the city is done primarily with revocable representative government; citizens can at any time move their confidence from one representative to another and for specific areas of expertise, vote strength can shift significantly. Citizens have the ability to shift their confidence through phones, at public access locations, or with consoles within the forum.

The Entertainment Hub

North of City Hall is a section of the city with concentrated entertainment venues. Theatres, auditoriums, concert venues, stadiums and galleries can all be found in this section of the city. Some residential buildings are located here but relaxed sound, light and magic restrictions make it appeal to a narrow population.

The Gardens

North of The Entertainment Hub is a large collection of display gardens. Rare flora, elaborate fountains, a renowned carousel, floral displays, topiaries, night magic displays and a café known for great coffee are draws for the gardens. Greenhouses, a small university office and an exchange program with the Central Library are located at the edge of the gardens.

The Hospital

North of The University is the city’s hospital. The large complex has six entrances and guides are available to direct patients and visitors where they need to go. Magical and mundane methods are employed at the hospital in concert. Emergency transportation to the hospital includes magically-enhanced transportation and ground-based and airborne ambulances.

A train stop at one entrance provides access for non-emergency visits and for employees arriving for work.

Ziob’s Martial Arts Complex

East of The Hospital is a large campus that houses 20 buildings used for martial arts training. With a history stretching back more than a century, Ziob’s Martial Arts Complex is run by a council of leaders from many martial arts traditions, including traditional goblin martial arts and those from other cultures.
The founding of the complex by a goblin martial artist who promoted cooperation between disciplines was an important event in the history of the city as a whole, as it led to an end of significant conflicts which once disrupted life in the city.
Potential students can find teachers available to discuss which tradition would be a good fit for them and initiate enrollment in training in a central square.

Roaming Vendors

Honif’s Mobile Cotton Candy

The goblin Honif drives a bicycle-based cotton candy machine to neighbourhoods, attractions and events across the city. She is known to infuse her cotton candy with surprising flavours and to use a wide range of colours. Her cotton candy is a decadent treat that draws crowds wherever she sets up her shop.

Honif

Honif dresses in pastel colours that mimic her cotton candy creations. A typical outfit includes a long dress, light scarves, a small hat, and running shoes. She is almost always found with her cotton candy machine, which she will often repaint with new designs. In quiet moments she will be spotted reading on her tablet.

Table of Honif’s Mobile Cotton Candy Flavours

  1. Lychee
  2. Maple
  3. Vanilla
  4. Lime
  5. Blueberry
  6. Strawberry
  7. Mango
  8. Pistachio
  9. Chili
  10. Chocolate
  11. Lemon
  12. Birch Beer

Avin the Games Seller

The orc Avin travels the city with a large pack filled with small card and board games, ready to demonstrate and distribute games. His passion for games is contagious and he cycles through his selection to match events and seasons. He will direct to game shops with recommendations for larger games. Avin’s bright red cloak with a large embroidered die make him immediately recognizable.

Wandering People

Coppercorn

Coppercorn is a goblin artist known for her murals. She can be found traveling the city either seeking out walls she can gain permission to paint on or accepting invitations to paint. She will often fixate on people she meets just before painting and will ask if they’ll be the subject of her next mural.
Coppercorn has messy brown hair and invariably wears baggy, paint splattered clothing.
Coppercorn is often spotted walking about with her best friend Freliosi, and likewise knows a large number of people across the city. She has contagious positivity and will be spotted at events, celebrations or lending a hand in times of trouble.
Coppercorn carries prints and books with photos of her murals in a large bag that also holds her painting supplies.

Organizations

The Runners Collective

Groups of runners can be spotted on streets and pathways around the city. A locally developed app is used by members of the collective to provide running companionship and to facilitate services to the city by runners. Runners can opt in to return library books, deliver messages or packages, check on conditions in parts of the city, or spread fliers, among other tasks. Weekly meetups at The Commons lead to group runs through the city.

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