Other notable areas in the Hanging Gardens Freehold include…
The Docks. Partially within a cavernous cave (where wondrous indestructible vines and flowers of silicon and metal grow up the walls – and across the entryway should the Gardener wish to seal it off) and partially outdoors, the Docks are a bustling center of commerce. Llewellyn’s Treasury-Mint-Store is hardly the only place of business; stores, warehouses, and wandering street-vendors all do a brisk business. The “Fishermen” here are, in fact, Wyld Questers – bringing in a steady stream of rarities and bizarre wonders. The few actual Traders are engaging in a far riskier business – seeking out actual destinations in alien worlds and doing some actual trading there.
Raksha are GOOD at Wyld-Questing; they roll one interval more often than a creation-born (daily in the Middlemarches), require only two successful rolls (just like a mortal using drugs), and obviously don’t have to worry about mutations – although it seems fair to make similar rolls of (Essence + Will + Wyld Questing Specialities – usually about 15 dice in total for a Commoner Wyld “Fisherman”) at difficulty two to avoid some Sinbad-style encounters along the way.
A commoner “Fishermans” actual wyld-questing roll is generally Perception 6 (5 + Glorious Hero Form +1 Int/Per) + 7 Occult (Favored) +3 (Wyld Questing Specialty) + 2 (Mutation Speciality) + 4d (Wyld Compass or similar one-dot treasure) +1d (ritual) = 23d against a difficulty of 0 (for Information) or (Background Level) (for resources, artifacts, and other wonders). This is not at all hard; a Raksha “Fisherman” has a better than 50% chance to pull a rating-5 item out of the Wyld every two days. I’m presuming that it’s harder than than just for sanity’s sake, but the twenty to thirty Fisherman about the docks ensure that there are plenty of gossamer (questing for it is, after all, only at a difficulty equivalent to the level of the Gossamer background you want to emulate) and minor wonders available at the docks.
Here too is the Shipyard (Unreal Shipwrights Method), and – in the back of the dock-cavern, associated with the Stronghold – are the workshops where weapons and other items (Crafter’s Arsenal and/or Gossamer Forging Art) are made. Above that is a flat area of stone and verdant turf where various forms of aircraft – the most common form of ship used by actual traders – may land or dock.
High above the docks, in airy chambers reminiscent of the workshops of Leonardo Da Vinci, miniature worlds are forged (Principle Of Worlds). The workshops where virtues and graces are forged, fashioned into artifacts, and where grace magics are reforged, are higher yet, located just below the Cathedral Of The Winds.
Small shops throughout the city house specialists in other areas, master craftsmen who take the simple items produced in their shops via Ordinary Object Conjuration and Essence Forging Art and make of them something extraordinary. Stylish Outfitters cater to Raksha and Mortals who wish to have their properties or (in the case of mortals) themselves transformed with exotic mutations (Shape Forged Servant, Subversion and Transformation Artifice, and Morphogenic Mastery).
New Raksha (Ecstatic Reproduction Style) occasionally rise at scattered locations around the city, almost always from waterfalls and pools where the essence-laden wyld waters of the great Font coalesce.
The city includes many other areas of course – the “Holodeck Gaming Arcades”, the “Red Light District”, the Theaters (Gilbert and Sullivan is a favorite, as are Sci-Fi movies), the dreaded Nazgul Legal And Accounting Services (all associates guaranteed ravished so as to be entirely without compassion), the Baker of Forever (who turns delicious ideas into tangible meals), the Field Of Kites, the Slave-Market, the fabulous Orchards (not to mention the many fruit and nut bearing trees shading the streets), the Dueling-Arena, the Zoo (with it’s various fantastic or believed-to-be-extinct creatures), the Processional Way with it’s lines of statues, the Bicycle Paths, and the Guard-Stations (thanks to the overall awareness of the Freehold, little passes unnoticed. Whether or not anyone cares is quite another matter). There is a notable lack of Hospitals and only a few physicians (although there are rather more veterinarians). After all, the Manse’s healing aura handles almost any difficulty along those lines.
“I’m sorry Mrs. Debtor. It’s very unfortunate about your tragic losses and we’re eager to help you get out of debt. But don’t worry – we’ve already sold you husband and son into slavery, and have put a lien on both your souls. You should be able to work off the debts in a mere two hundred and fifty years.” -The Witch-King of Lawyers.
There are several Incumbered Waypoints in the Hanging Gardens. Some of the more notable include…
- The Fountain of Desire has been aspected as the ultimate romantic spot… Couples just keep ending up there, whereupon they usually stare soulfully into each others eyes for lengthy periods, enjoy romantic meals, and entertainments, and waste hours, days, or even a week or two before they finally move off. Fortunately, the effect can be resisted or spotted in advance as usual. It’s only a problem if you happen to have a pressing appointment in that time anyway.
- Similarly, Heroes-R-Us is a seedy complex down a back alley, its glory long faded – although it’s diamond-studded armored teacher retains his enthusiasm for earth-mastery, fortification, and eccentric heroism. Heroes-R-Us once specialized in training heroes, champions, and adventurers across the land. Now, they occasionally take in a wander whose path somehow runs across their door. Qualified visitors will often find themselves involved in some eccentric course – ranging from Combat Golf to Military Strategy. They also occasionally lend out minor Onieromancies full of all the mutations useful for a particular mission.
- The Oracle Lodge spins a tale of Vision Questing and answers to subtle questions, involving those who visit it in a Wyld Quest in search of information, a quest which is somewhat shortened by the peyote, LSD, and other hallucinogens (and, for traditionalists, fumes from deep within the earth’s crust) which it makes freely available to those who seek. Fortunately, unlike a traditional Wyld Quest, since this takes place entirely inside a Freehold, participants need not worry about mutations.
The City Treasures are quite another thing. Thanks to Leon’s incredibly powerful graces and near-Ishvara status the Hanging Gardens – a city founded on his power – should have built-in Grace Magics of awesome power. Sadly, I have no idea of what might be appropriate for grace magics of levels nine or ten. Ergo, they’ll mostly be using simple modifiers such as – to start with the Onieromancies – “Cluster; This artifact is indestructible, unaffected by countermagic, and may be unattuned at will, but otherwise is treated as a cluster of lesser artifacts with a total value of (Rating – 1)”. That makes things a lot less complicated.
Ergo we have eight one-Dot City Onieromancies, Inward-Facing unless otherwise noted. These include…
- On Joyful Tides: Imposition of Law; Residents automatically succeed at Athletics/Sexual, Linguistics/Communicating Clearly (despite language barriers), and Perform/Musicals checks.
- The Essence Of Civilization: Imposition of Law. Residents automatically succeed at Craft/Air, Craft/Fire, and Craft/Water checks. (And yes, we are using Craft as a general skill and individual crafts as specialities).
- The Rite Of The Masons: Imposition of Law. Residents automatically succeed at Craft/Earth, Craft/Wood, and Computer/Programming checks.
- The Scholars Tome: Imposition of Law. Residants automatically succeed at Lore/History, Occult/ Thaumaturgy, and Investigation/Research checks.
- The Handy Haversack: Ordinary Object Conjuration: (Note that describing the details of what you want counts as a descriptive stunt to get it. Thus if you want that to be a Delicious Chocolate Cream Pie, or a Delicious Ham-and-Cheese Pie just say so). Allows the production of a Delicious Pie, a Goblet of Wine (or other beverage), a Doctor’s Bag, a Pillow, Good Clothing, a High-End Smartphone, some Contraceptives, a Crystal/Gem, or a coil of Rope/Twine.
- The Crafter’s Drum: Ordinary Object Conjuration: As above, describing the details of what you want counts as a descriptive stunt to get it – thus you can specify what kind of bar stock and so on. The Crafter’s Drum lets you produce: Metal Barstock, A Toolkit, Wood (boards, dowels, and logs), Coal (optionally burning), a Blade, a Camping Kit, Shaped Rock (hey, bricks and such are handy) plus Elemental Transformation (Fire): Provides 8 Mutation Points: Impervious to Normal Fire and Cold (2), Enlightened Essence (4), Night Eyes (1), and Fur (1) (a package which makes it MUCH easier to work with hot and cold materials and protects against minor injuries).
- The Music Of The Spheres: Assumption of Dreams and Passion (Inspiration and Enthusiasm). Outward-Facing Effects; Elegant Muse Attitude/+3d when engaged in peaceful, constructive, pursuits), Elegant Muse Attitude / +3d when serving, defending, or enhancing the Hanging Gardens or it’s residents, and Elegant Muse Attitude/+3d when engaged in peaceful multitasking or otherwise rushing work (yes, this means they can work twice as fast since they’ll take no penalties for a two-action flurry).
- The Flower Of Contentment: Four instances of Veiling The God’s Eyes, focused inward to produce four thaumaturgies that affect the entire Freehold. This includes a Telekinetic Cleaning effect that keeps the place neat, clean, and straightened up, a Barrier Ward that keeps kids from stumbling into anything dangerous unless they REALLY work at it, another Telekinetic Effect (“Roof of Dreams”) that performs minor structural repairs if the Creation-born happen to damage something so that it can’t just be shaped back, and a Transmutation effect that turns any notable quantity of explosive material (conventional or not) in the possession of non-residents into sand.
Veiling the God’s Eyes:
As updated to comply with the current errata.
- Cost: 3M, 2 G; Mins: Heart 2, Essence 3; Type: Simple
- Keywords: Glamour (2), Mutation (4), Shaped-Only, Combo-OK
- Duration: One Action/Special
- Prerequisite Charms: Unassailable Tower of Glamour
Waking: The Little Gods of Creation are almost as vulnerable to the illusions of the Raksha as any mortal – and deceiving them can be as effective. The user may throw out a veil of glamour and deceive the little gods within a radius of (Essence x 50 feet) into immediately enacting some thaumaturgic effect without requiring any special resources. While the Raksha must still achieve the requisite number of successes to produce the effect desired with a (Man + Occ) check, he or she need not know the thaumaturgical ritual involved; it is, after all, the business of the gods to know it. The results are normal thaumaturgy, and so are not subject to Glamour Resistance, although they are subject to essence roll-offs if they’re affecting a resisting target directly.
Dreaming: The user may spend 1G to send messages to any and all desired recipients – and the message may be different for each known recipient or simply be a general broadcast to various groups – within twenty waypoints.
- Onieromantic Effects: As an Onieromancy the thaumaturgical effect must be chosen in advance – but it is entirely free and still requires no components. The actual roll is still required, but successes need not be spent on making it quick.
- Abjuration Effects: As an Abjuration, the user may choose a specific art or science and use it without need for components, will, or mote expenditure. The actual roll is still required, but successes need not be spent on making it quick.
Which, once again, makes it usable in grace magic.