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The world of Maroon is a world bathed in red, both in the plants that cover the land, and in the blood of the descendents of humanity, pioneers of the stars, who made their way here and made their home here--not altogether by choice. The tools they brought with them are long since useless, but those settlers from far away have spread their roots into the soil of this new world. Though their path has been one of strife, they have begun to flourish...
The Cincture is divided into three parts. The Old City of Vindulan itself, a town built up on the shore of a bay where lies the the rotting hull of the ancient ship, still holds many thousands, most in a position of power in the settlement. Its shining, keramika-painted buildings overlook the wharf, and the Spire rises above the clouds, towering over the deep-water harbor and the bay it rests in. Farms dot the surrounding plain to the south, interspersed with banks of still-untamed forest, and these support the hungry needs of the thriving metropolitan center. The farthest edges of the settlement, some two hundred fifty miles from the city, rise sharply in the west to form a ridge overlooking the Shadow Hills. At this juncture are the still-standing remains of a wall made by artifice unimaginable to any living being today: three hundred feet of uncut, perfectly smooth stone, with dull inclusions of the same metal that rises out of the bay in the east. Seven garrisons which guard seven rough-hewn gates are dispersed evenly along the wall, which is thick enough to accommodate an entire company of men marching in formation atop its height. Ancient, stone-paved roads run in a straight line to the city from each garrison, the more easily to transport Beacon guardsmen to and from their duty on the wall. The westernmost gate acts also as a port of entrance for the rivers which fork just beyond, carrying goods to and from the freeholds that lie along its banks in the forest perilous beyond. The wall is the dividing line between civilization and, in the words of some, hell.
North of the river running into the city, the situation is less orderly. Roads are unpaved, and often tend to overgrowth if not trafficked frequently enough. But it is here, in hell, that some chose to make their home (and some were forced on pain of execution), and these seeds have taken root and flourished also. Here the forest spreads as far as the eye can see, all the way to the distant mountains a thousand kilometers to the west. The forest is alive, but full of death--the plants themselves seek prey, some from stationary roots, others as mobile as a tiger, in as many varieties as might be found in the animal kingdom. Among these hostile woods lurk animals, too, of all kinds. Insects tend toward the gigantic, and mammals and avians have their places, but the predominant life form is reptilian in nature. Scaled creatures abound, and evince the same diversity and adaptation one might find in any other order of life.
Particularly worth noting are the savage lizardfolk that migrate seasonally. The wooden palisades that protect the freeholds in the forest are only somewhat proof against these monstrous, intelligent reptiles, but it has been some years since the last attack occurred. The Beacon affords the freeholds closer to the wall some measure of protection, by sending small contingents of Beacon guardsmen to advise and assist, but of late strife has arisen between Vindulan and these settlements--the freeholders charge that the Beacon is arrogating control of their towns, and the Beacon contend that their presence is necessary in the face of the wilds that surround. With the Beacon comes a modicum of peace, but its strictures are observed, too, and the laws that prescribe the behavior of wizards and other individuals of magical ability within the Cincture are enforced vigorously amidst the Beacon's presence.
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- Freeholds on Maroon
- The Old City
- Social roles with respect to classes
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