The Era of Foul Darkness
The City of Churn
The starting locale currently shaping in my head is the city of Churn, a city of likely 20,000 souls both Man and other, named for the great maelstrom of violet that sometimes churns in the skies above the city. Much of the city stretches across broken plains, low buildings of two to three stories crafted of deadwood and stone. At the heart of it is the Basilica of Falling Miasma, a tall cathedral that reaches into the namesake churn, with an oily pitch that flows down its sides and eerie purple flames that light its ramparts. This is the home of the Foul Lady known as the Queen of the Eternal Masque. Her Bishops of Grotesqueries serve her will, mostly focused upon keeping the serfs of the town in line and working out in the vast fields of painfruit that grow beyond the city proper. Other important locales are the Forum of Disquisition (which acts like a city hall of sorts), the University of Metamorphisis (Which serves to act as a labratory for exalting the human form into that of the Foul), and the Foundaries of Cursed Steel (which provides weapons and armor for the Churn Hordes).
Churn can best be described as a city in transition. Tall towers seem to rise and fall over its skyline as the various minor and major Foul Lords desires seem to be in a constant state of flux. For the most part, the Queen of the Eternal Masque seems unconcerned with anything beyond the harvesting of painfruit and the overall protection of reasonable levels of human population in the city. An indvidiual that enters or leaves does not draw her attention, but a mass immigration or exodus will certainly summon forth the Bishops of Grotesqueries out to investigate.
Among the lower castes of citizens, the technological level is typically pretty low. Brackish, barely running water and perhaps electrical light is a luxury. The upper class and the various institutes of Churn on the other hand tend to have greater access to various form of magical and industrial means. The Foundaries of Cursed Steel produce souless automatons to support the hopless serfs and webs stretch across buildings from other dark architects of the city of Churn.
Airship and monsterous flying beasts typically find themselves landing in the Iron Spires to the north of the city, just between where the urban sprawl ends and the painfruit farms begin. For the most part, these landing spires are well beyond all but the worst of Churn storms that occur. It is very rare when a flying means of transportation is allowed to approach the Basilica.
The southeast, generally downwind of the city in the best of times, is the heart of the industrial complexes of Churn. Foul brimstone smoke clogs the air in this region and fall out over the Ill River to the west. On days when the wind shifts back towards the city, many will stay inside or venture forth with resperators and other means of protection from the vile waste product of Churn's production.
]Churn is the breadbasket of the Middle Barrens, the lands between the Eastern and Western Empires. A loose collection of independent city states, Churn remains one of the only large major centers in the region. A strategic target, many of the warlords of the Foul Hordes have tried to take the city, only to discover that the Queen of the Eternal Masque is not ready to surrender her holdings to the Greater Lords.
Beyond its grand collection of Golem Armors and War Monstrocities, it is the harvesting of painfruit that brings it prosperity and allows for the Foul Lady to make alliances with the smaller city states. Painfruit is easy to grow in these broken lands, and small portions will fully nourish a human… with only one side effect. Eating it causes great pain to the one consuming it. Yet, it is filling nourishment, and that is more than can be said for other regions in the Fouled World.