INSIDE THE WALLS CYCLE
Having got out of the deep dungeon, returned from the dragon hunt, or completed an important order of the king, the heroes need rest. Uncomfortable sleeping bag in a hastily set up camp only adds bruises in the night; food taken for the journey loses its taste on the third day, and you can’t feel your feet from the continuous walking. But it’s not so in the city. A warm bed, tasty hot meals, and long days of spending gold in the shops of local craftsmen. Though even here there are problems, of which the heroes may become a part.
SKY CITY ADVENTURE
How many miracles can an ordinary citizen of an ordinary kingdom see? Even in a world with magic, there are not so many of them. Especially taking into account the fact this citizen was born here and got used to it from early childhood. But there is a way to touch the beautiful, provided, of course, the one has enough money. A city hovering over the whole world; a mysterious island of entertainments close to the gods. It is difficult to get there, which makes its visitors special and shows their status. There is no place for dirty commoners and fish-smelling dock workers there. This place is for the best ones.
But how long will it last?
Sky City is rich. The fates of different people are interlaced here. There are many mysteries to solve, providing GM with multiple opportunities for creating the adventure that fits the campaign or create a new one. Is it a noir story with the oppressed ones versus the extremely powerful and corrupt others? Is it a bank robbery? Or fighting against criminal world, unveiling a mysterious Seekers Society and its terrible plans?
It’s up to you to decide.
HEROES’ MISSION IN THE SKY CITY
|1||Searches for a missing informant lead the heroes to a hovering city.|
|2||One of the kings is ready to offer a lavish payment to the heroes for confirmation of horrible rumors about the backstage life of the rich city.|
|3||The villain, who pursues the heroes, is going to discuss further plans in the city.|
|4||The rumors of injustice and oppression of innocents lead the heroes to the city of entertainment.|
|5||The mysterious organization called Seekers Society, which owns the city, has the information or the object the heroes need.|
|6||Huge fortunes and unique things imported into the city. A robbery will be committed there soon.|
|7||A chain of mysterious deaths leads the heroes to the vicious city. Its secrets will be revealed to the public soon.|
|8||Powerful artifacts that hold the city above the ground can benefit elsewhere. The heroes are ready to deliver them.|
The city hovering in the clouds, often visible from many corners of the world, awaits visitors with any whims and tastes. But is the city so wonderful behind the scenes?
Expensive entertainment. Even an hour spent in the city can turn a wealthy nobleman into a poor man – so good the local entertainment, the shops with fashionable clothes, and the traders of fine, rare goods are. The opposite is true as well – unique goods sold only here can not only emphasize, but also raise the status of a poor citizen and turn him into a wealthy nobleman. Even though it is only an image, the journey to the city and the possession of unique things will open new doors and acquaintances, because not everyone can become a guest of the city.
Way up. There are only two ways to get to the city officially. A wealthy citizen can pay the amount of money that is substantial for him and huge for everyone else, by making a contribution to the floating miracle. In this case, he and his family will be allowed to stay in the city for a while. The other option is to be invited by the Seekers Society. This mysterious circle of people owns Sky City and attracts more and more money and influence on their side.
Inner life. Sky City is wonderful and beautiful on the outside, but this beauty has its price that guests do not think about. Huge resources, including human ones, are spent to support the city. Hundreds of workers work to provide the city with everything it needs under terrible conditions on the ground. Many artisans, masters, artists, and actors have to work in the city day and night, filling it with goods and services and not getting the desired recognition. There are terrible rumors about the illegal trade, including creatures trade; anything is done here to attract people with power and money.
GLOBAL EVENTS IN THE CITY
|1||A member of the Seekers Society wants more power, trying to overthrow the current leader under the guise of a possible workers’ rebellion.|
|2||Another organization is interested in the secrets of Sky City and can pay well for their disclosure.|
|3||One of the respected Sharp Blades warriors organizes a rebellion, trying to take over the city.|
|4||A merchant offended by the society arranges an attack on the Sky City, secretly transporting the troops in the merchant ships.|
|5||A group of enthusiasts wants to rob a bank on the upper level of the city.|
|6||The city hosts major negotiations between several disputed territories. But not all of the participants go to the negotiations for peaceful purposes – for some of them, it is a good opportunity to put old enemies out of the way.|
A secret society, belonging to which is not a secret and causes respect and even fear in certain social circles. The goals of the society are vague, but one thing is clear – the Seekers aspire to get as much influence and authority as possible, transforming the noble people into hostages using intrigues and behind-the-scenes games.
MISSION OF THE SEEKERS
|1||The Seekers collect the parts of a magic item independently and by purchasing them for gold and special services.|
|2||The Seekers look for an opportunity to seize a large territory, the owner of which refuses to cooperate with them. Its seizure will allow them to fully control the policy of the major part of this world.|
|3||The Seekers are interested in an ancient artifact with unknown power. Using their connections, they are looking for ways to solve its mystery and get its power.|
|4||The plan of the Seekers is just a shadow play in conflicts between kingdoms and territories. Gaining power and getting rich, day after day, they get more and more control over the world’s destiny.|
|5||The Seekers are a group of people who know the terrible secret about the future of the world. They have seen its fate and do everything not to make it come true, even if it requires tough and tyrannical decisions.|
|6||The goal of the Seekers is to weaken the world in order to destroy it by the supreme evil forces that do not have enough control over it. By chaining together the main forces, the evil will open the gates to the other world and bring its troops, easily conquering one land after another.|
SKY CITY ARRANGEMENT
Flying city is a unique and protected territory with its own laws and regulations. Under the mask of a grand city, there is a web of interests and connections that can change the balance in the world forever.
ISLAND OF SPEARS
Such a rich city needs protection. Wealthy guests can have their own dirty plans about the city and other guests, not to mention control of the servants and possible conflicts with dissatisfied visitors.
Behind the spears. Sharp Blades, an organization owned by the Seekers Society, is made up of the most reliable and trusted warriors. Strong and trained, brought up in restraint and discipline from a young age, these defenders will execute any order without a question.
Warriors of the organization grow up in special hard-to-reach places, deprived of direct contact with the outer world. Raised without fear of death, after reaching a certain age best of them are sent to honorable places such as the Sky City to guard especially dangerous guests and ensure safety at secret meetings and auctions. A distinctive feature of any warrior of the organization is a spear – the simplest, but at the same time reliable military weapon which is dangerous in the hands of a rebel and fatal in the hands of a warrior.
We all know there are no perfect people, especially if it makes your story better. Who knows, maybe a new player in your group comes from this organization and has escaped from it as a teenager?
Maintenance of order. Mercenaries from the Sharp Blades are too valuable a resource to be wasted for daily patrolling the streets and supervision over the servants. For these purposes, the Seekers Society hires other military structures that are not under their control.
During major events in the Sky City, such structures may lack their guards. In such cases, they are looking for strong volunteers in the streets of big cities. This recruitment may be a chance for the heroes to get into the city.
Guards’ barracks. All guards live on an Island of Spears. No one can get there for no reason. By special order, only guests interested in military support are allowed to be there. The Island of Spears is divided into two parts – on the one part, there are the Sharp Blades warriors, and on the opposite – the other guards.
Who knows how many insults and humiliations the invincible warriors with spears can endure from the regular guards and what this can lead to.
ISLAND OF DUELS
A good fight is interesting not only for ordinary people. Kings and barons enjoy the show as much as others do, patronizing their fighters in the arena.
Cruel entertainment. The battles are arranged regularly, and the fighters often represent their lands, their kingdom, or their organization. Some territorial disputes were resolved here, not on the battlefields.
Unequal battle. On special days, special «guests» are invited to the arena. These are terrible monsters from all over the world on the one side and infamous criminals and murderers on the other. The forces are not equal in favor of the last ones, but if they can pass a severe trial and entertain the audience – who knows, maybe their old crimes will be forgiven in some kingdoms.
Are the heroes in your group infamous for their misdeeds and ready to show it by putting on a show? Then this can be a way of getting into the city for them.
This corner of the Sky City is created for thrill-seekers or collectors of unusual creatures. The barriers powered by the magical force of the crystal protects the guests from danger outside the paths.
Rare monsters. For the amusement of the visitors, a variety of monsters in their habitat, caught or bought from different corners of the world below, are presented here.
Shadow trade. Special guests have the opportunity to get a mystical monster at their disposal. In parts or in whole, they may be of special interest to collectors, fans of scientific experiments, or just rich visitors who want to show off a new piece of clothing or interior to guests of their kind.
Can the heroes catch a rare monster? Then they can count on negotiations about its delivery to the Sky City and receiving both a solid reward and temporary access to the city for their own needs.
The main island of the Sky City is a multi-level structure with an elevator in the center, connecting all levels except the lowest one.
LEVEL OF SERVANTS
This is the lowest level of the island. Those who should not be seen by the guests of the island live and work here. Quiet and swift workers do everything from unloading the arriving goods to their delivery to the shops on the Central level. Everything is strictly watched by the guards, and even one mistake is enough to make the worker never appear in the city again.
Is there a lack of workers because of the upcoming big event in the Sky City? A group of the heroes may be hired as diligent workers and get access to the floating city.
LEVEL OF TRADE
This is the central and largest part of the island. Here you can find various goods and services, including those that are illegal in many lands. There are also many places of different levels, where the guests can relax in the elegant rooms.
Wide choice. If a nobleman wants to show the status of their dynasty, numerous shops of artisans and merchants will satisfy this need. Rare jewelry, clothing made of unique animals, special magical items, and many other things are waiting for their new owners.
Special services. Secret auctions and trades are held during the reception of special guests. Everything has its price – from the innermost secrets of the famous kings and rare artifacts to the trade of living creatures. The buyers’ identities are often concealed at such meetings. After the purchase, the buyers are given special protection for the safe delivery of the goods to their homes.
Games of Kings. For the guests of the island, gambling games are organized and attended by important persons of this world. The stakes are limitless – from a chest with gold coins to the right to own land.
Heroes have something to sell? Or can they come up with a story about a famous knights who want to become even stronger with the help of magic items sold here? Then this is the way of getting into the city for them.
|1||In the streets of the Central Island, the heroes hear a conversation between two merchants about getting to a secret auction.|
|2||A group of guards tries to search as discreetly as possible for an escaped rare animal, which should be bought by a famous collector.|
|3||On the lower level of the Central Island, Sharp Blades warriors and guards aggressively search every worker’s house. A chest with rare magical item disappeared after the crash of one of the transport ships. Most likely, it was stolen by the workers.|
|4||On the Island of Spears, the guards aim to increase their value and regularly sabotage the Sharp Blades, disrupting their transport, setting their armories on fire, and preventing them from carrying out their missions in time.|
|5||Unexpectedly, a special guest who is the enemy of the heroes arrives on the island. He appears at the most inappropriate time, complicating the heroes’ life and confusing their plans in the city.|
|6||One of the guests of Sky City suddenly gets sick right on the street. The heroes can benefit from the attention attracted to him, but if they decide to help him, risking to reveal their concealment, the guest will generously reward them with information, valuable items, or gold.|
The highest level of the island is available only to invited guests. The destinies of nations and the future rulers are determined here.
Bank of Seekers. The Seekers Society owns a large bank, the debtors of which include famous knights and kings. The Seekers use such debts for their own purposes, forcing their victims to conclude the necessary agreements and execute special requests.
Palace of the Seekers. A luxurious upper-level venue awaits the most welcome guests for holding negotiations, the conclusion of alliances, and declaration of wars. The Seekers invite their guests here to exchange information, rumors, secrets of the outside world.
Crystal repository. Here, under the strict protection of the Sharp Blades, an ancient crystal of great power that keeps the city in the sky is stored. The door to the vault can only be opened by the Seeker. Being deprived of the crystal’s power, the city will fly down slowly and inevitably, until it breaks on the ground.
MOVEMENT OF THE CITY
Sky City does not fly by itself – special crystals are used to keep the city afloat and even change the direction of its movement. Guests and workers of the city have no access to them, only the Seekers with their personal guards.
Flight plan. The city flies over large and well-known territories, attracting the attention of locals. At night, it descends below the clouds, demonstrating the beauty of the world to its guests.
It is acceptable that in your world, the city regularly descends to the ground, in the wide waters – so it is easy to get into it and allowing it «recharge» the crystal’s power.
Magical crystals. The magical forces trapped in the cold crystal give the city the power to float over the sky. The largest and strongest of them is at the upper level of the Central Island. Well protected, this crystal gives constant power to other crystals concealed in the depths of the other islands. Also, some Sharp Blades guards and warriors have access to special fragments that trigger the city’s transport vessels. Such fragments are not infinite and require regular recharging from the Central Crystal.
The crystals are not as strong as they may seem, which is why they are strictly protected. The fragments can be destroyed without consequences. Without the crystal, the islands will begin losing their magical power, slowly floating down until they fall to the ground. The loss of the Central Crystal will entail the downfall of the entire city.
Passenger transport. In certain places, the city drops below the height of the clouds and hangs heavily over the ground to receive cargo and new guests. Equipped with fragments, transport ships slowly descend and ascend to the docks of the islands, escorted by guards and mercenaries.
The Island of Spears is the main distribution center for the city’s defenders. From here, the Sharp Blades guards and mercenaries set out for missions and patrols. In case of suspicious activity or incidents, reserve, heavily armed groups of soldiers equipped with additional ships are involved. Transport doesn’t fly without a need – the charge of the crystal’s fragment won’t last long and it’s not easy to charge it or get a new one quickly.