Sunday, 31 January 2021

Glasgow as Endon, Endon as Glasgow

 


“The great thing about Glasgow is, if there’s a nuclear attack, it’ll look exactly the same afterwards.” – The Big Yin, Billy Connolly

SkerplesMagical Industrial Revolution is one of those books that makes my neurons do a little dance. Endon’s good, and I love the idea of a campaign set there.

Endon is London, of course. 

I like London, sure, in a sort of… far-away sense. My everyday life does not really ever arc towards me entering that unholy glass blister on the face of the earth.

In fairness, due to The Extenuating Circumstances, my life doesn’t really arc towards me going… anywhere, at the moment. But before the pestilence, I went quite often to Glasgow.

How, I thought, do I make Glasgow into a setting for MIR?

I have an observation first. It’s a bunch of faux-poetic pish, so feel free to skip the first section, if you can’t be arsed.



The Observation  


There’s the tree that never grew,
There’s the bird that never flew,
There’s the fish that never swam,
There’s the bell that never rang. 
Our Honest-tae-God actual city motto.

Glasgow is two cities standing in the same strath, neither of which are fully real. They overlap.

One is what I mentally refer to as Glesga, or, more quietly, St. Mungo. This is the name of our patron saint, and you should never speak of saints in Glesga.

60s Glesga, Colourised

A twisted carcass of a city, grey sky, black buildings and orange sodium street-lights. Glass buildings and half-arsed sky-scrapers do a poor job of disguising that which lies beneath – the titan corpse of industry, sold away by Thatcher (Ding, Dong, the Witch is Dead), and turned into a haunted ecological disaster zone of sectarianism and razor gangs.

This is the Glasgow of my childhood years, the Glasgow of Saturday nights at Sauchiehall Street, the Glasgow of the East End and Old Firm violence.

Auld Clydebank and the Yards

The other is what I think of as The Dear Green Place, or perhaps Green Hollow. This is what ‘Glaschu’ means in Gaelic. The more common, contemptuous term for it is ‘BBC Glasgow’.

Mod'rn Skyline

This Glasgow is the phoenix from the ashes, the rising, diverse city of shiny newness and progressive policy. We’ve been claiming to be this city since about 2001, but in my experience, I only started seeing it around 2018.

Here’s the city of the art school, Glasgow Uni, the Lighthouse art gallery, Buchanan street and the West End.

Glasgow University

Neither of these places had an industrial revolution. They had an industrial collapse, for sure, but they’re built over old, dead Industrial Glasgow, like wallpaper over cracked plaster.

Both of these cities are a way of looking at the loss of this first, primordial Glasgow, which went from pointless backwater to industrial giant – from the profits of slavery and empire.


Industry and Empire

Empire is elided in Magical Industrial Revolution. To keep things system and setting agnostic, Endon is allowed to be self-contained. Mention is made of foreign wars, but Endon exists as a city-state, absent of the baggage of a… Longland, I guess, if we’re sticking with syllable swapping.  

I’m honestly unsure how to address it. Empire is what allowed the Industrial Revolution to take off. The Industrial Revolution is what created Glasgow. My city is inextricable from the British Empire, one of the worst examples of widespread, heartless, industrialised oppression in history. 

I feel like it would be dishonest to have a version of Glasgow which hides our complicity. This isn’t something I feel equipped to address in this blog-post, but if I do run MIR, I’m going to have to. 


St. Enoch, the Second City

Maybe, Endon also exists in St. Enoch’s world. I feel like it might, and maybe should – the Endoners chuckling gently at this backwater fishing stop which considers itself a city.

The important part about St. Enoch is that it wasn’t here a century ago.

Or, it was, but it was a provincial burgh-toun, a river-crossing, a nowhere between somewheres. Such a sudden appearance calls to mind the sprouting of a fungus.

St. Enoch is grey and red, northern granite and local sandstone. It is not a city where marble would survive – it projects too much sophistication for bitter Enochites.

Enochites from up and down the rigid social ladder view the world as keeping them down, grinding away at their dreams and attempting to consign them to irrelevance – even though the richest Enochites do this exact thing every day to others, without a hint of cognitive dissonance.

Enochites in general think bankers are a waste of time, lawyers are probably from hell, and politicians should be shot.

They’re warm, gregarious and honest alone and in small groups, and pretty much the archetypal frothing mob in larger numbers.

Enochites have, in all honesty, a deserved reputation for violent behaviour. They’re always looking for an opportunity to ‘take the pish’ and have a laugh.

Enochites have opinions. Every single one of an Enochite’s opinions is linked to a larger, older, social divide, which is why they seem to eager to murder one-another over their opinions on sports. The primary divide is that between the Reformist and Universal Church religious denominations, which has scarred the city’s history.


Locations  

Roll 1d12 for a major landmark, and 1d20+6 for a location in the city.

1. River Scoury

◊ - Broad and shallow. Splits into a wide, sandy delta west of St. Enoch, full of small island-villages.

◊◊ - The river’s dredged and filthy. The delta’s dried, and replaced by tracts of farmland and industrial pockets. 

◊◊◊ - River has an impossible stink. Covered now constantly in an oily sheen, filled with floating corpses and mechanical wreckage, shoved aside by passing ships. Bloated undead haul themselves up, every so often.

 

The Humane Society, well-respected group of folk who spend their days rescuing people from the river, retrieving those beyond rescue, and offering ferry rides otherwise.

Claire Hendry, who owns a dredging boat. Regularly dredges up silt and rare junk dumped at the river-bottom. Wields a sword from ancient times with confidence, if no formal training.

 

2. Squinty Bridge

◊ - A new iron bridge, running at an angle over the Scoury. Subject of constant mockery from the locals due to being ‘built wrong’.

◊◊ - Bridge now crowned with a high metal arch, along which are strung magical lights. Squintiness now a point of pride, rather than mockery.

◊◊◊ - Bridge’s angle gets ever sharper. Seems to get longer while still going the same distance. Iron’s already rusting – why?

 

John MacAdam, sighing engineer explaining, ‘No, it isn’t squinty.’, to little effect. Heavy smoker.

Rosie Nicolson, smiling tour-guide. Will take you to all the interesting parts of St. Enoch, free of charge. Enthusiastic Radical.

 

3. Bascule Bridge

◊ - A pair of hauf-built moorings. 1d12 Kids and 1d12 Hooligans hang around the rusted construction, which has stalled, as usual.

◊◊ - The bridge has taken shape. It can lift and open with the assistance of two straining plants powered by magic batteries. The terrific roar of the two halves rising into the sky often halts all conversation nearby. Already derided as old-fashioned.

◊◊◊ - Each half of the bridge is permanently lifted, transformed into the bracket for a short range, highly unstable portal. People gather around to hear it fizz in wet weather.

 

Bella Ritchie is a rude young urchin who tends to stand on the girders that hold up the southern side of the bridge, busking with a flute. Some passers-by call her a musical savant, though none give her more than a thruppenny bit. 

Travis Fleming, a member of the city Polis, a blustering buffoon who’s appointed himself to ‘guarding the bridge’ - against what, nobody knows. Often goes on long rants to small crowds about the ‘Good Old Days’, etc. Should be watched carefully, despite his incompetence.

 

4. Auld Stane Bridge

◊ - Medieval sandstone bridge built over the old ford. Festooned with Enoch’s coats of arms and statues of past kings.

◊◊ - Pretty much abandoned – it’s only saved demolition because it’s upriver of all the weirs and shipyards that cross the new Scoury.

◊◊◊ - Revived in a new capacity as a marketplace and location for the organising of Radical protests. All the coats of arms have been defaced, the statues toppled, and a levitating Polis watch-tower looms above the river to the east, spotlights sweeping the bridge.

 

Michael Morton, costermonger who sells rolls with square slices and tattie scones. Beloved hero of lower class Enochites. Always has good patter, always up for a laugh. Gives excellent advice.

Mrs. Ellen Muir, who runs the Green Butterfly tearoom near the bridge’s northern side. She’s a talented eavesdropper who goes to church every Sunday. Reformist, before you ask!

 

5. City Chambers

◊ - Huge granite edifice at the head of Royal Square. An obelisk marked with the coat of arms stands in front. Royal Square is a large public gathering place, often host to fetes and events.

◊◊ - The edifice is more dramatic. Glamoured lights gleam brightly into the night as armies of clerks run in and out. Protests outside are common and often Radical. The fetes are gone.

◊◊◊ - Wreckage of barricades. Constant Polis presence on the steps, all the windows have bars to stop Radicals from putting rocks through them. Sweeping lights with divination magic inbuilt observe the square. Lord Provost delivers firebrand speeches from a balcony enclosed in an abjurer’s field that crackles in the rain.

 

Lord Provost Billy Murdoch, a thick-necked, red-faced bastard of a man. Indeterminate amount of weans, and a determinate amount of morals – zero.

Lady Harriet Ramsay, devout campaigner for the poor and destitute of the city. This doesn’t stop her from being condescending and honestly sadistic. Lots of friends inside her social class, and none outside it.

 

6. The Necropolis

◊ - Low hill in the middle of toun. Festooned with the solemn graves of the polite and respectable dead. Gated and watched by staff.

◊◊ - Lower class burials common on the lower half of the hills. Rumours of Radical necromancers digging around in the graves of the rich are unconfirmed.

◊◊◊ - Open revolt from the obviously present Radical necromancers, and their army of finely clad skeletons. Most nights the Polis are up on the hill with the city’s wizards, getting ambushed by skeletons with chibs.

 

Sean McGill, cackling old gravedigger with a terrible problem for alcohol. Susceptible to bribes from everyone.

Alexander Avraham, asthmatic middle-class poet and nervous daydreamer. Half-committed radical with curious ideas about necromancy.



7. Hull Yards

◊ - Three yards, Taskill’s, Athol’s and Incorporated. Slipways and drydocks crowd by the bank. Here Enoch’s daughters, the ships, are assembled. Adapting swimmingly to new ideas like iron-hulled ships and riveting. Wages are low, hours are high.

◊◊ - Gigantic warehouses crowd together. Work happens round the clock, and the wages are still shite. The workforce is a hotbed of Radical sentiment and workplace injury is ubiquitous.

◊◊◊ - Levitated drydocks loom above the yards. The constant rattle of massive ships launched into the Scoury is said to deafen those few who live nearby. Radical sentiments are at a peak, and strikes are regular and devastating.

 

Ivor Torquil, much pitied widower with a hangdog expression. Works as the very apathetic night watchman at Taskill’s Yard.

Rhys Lawson, leader of the union at Incorporated Yard. A titan of a man, six and a half-feet crowned with an incongruously small waxed moustache. Gives dramatic speeches about the importance of decorum on strike – ‘there will be no vandalism, there will be no bevvying!’ Thinks the Radicals take it too far, on the whole.

 


8. Burnett Street

◊ - The largest street in St. Enoch, the High Street. Pavilion Theatre at one end, giant Polis station at the other. Baroque and austere.

◊◊ - Coffee shops, tearooms and bookstores appear. The street begins to fill with buskers and take on a livelier air. Polis station becomes better staffed; Pavilion theatre steps often play host to protests.

◊◊◊ -  Burnett Street has now replaced Royal Square as the primary space for toun-wide public gathering and large-scale community presence. Buskers are omnipresent, department stores have opened, and it’s always mobbed.

 

Paul Hood, legendary busker and one of the first in Enoch. Giant beard that goes down to his waist. Three different instruments. Terrible singer, ironically.

Ciara Allan, bookstore owner and aspiring author. She loves gigantic, hyper dramatic fantasy sagas. Approx. a decade away from inventing D&D.

 


9. Pavilion Theatre

◊ - Large, popular, well-funded theatre. Exclusively used for long, torturous operas and old plays that have become elite by sheer dint of time. Everyone present is well-dressed and polite.

◊◊ - Door’s been opened to more experimental theatre. New class of playwrights watching, and the working class have begun to make headway.

◊◊◊ - Operas are gone. The old plays still run, but the timeslots of the operas are now taken up by raucous and popular pantos for the working class. Concession stands sell little toys for the weans that fire off bright illusions, audience participation is encourages. Programs are displayed on huge illusions floating by the stage, and gaudy pyrotechnics are the order of the day.

 

Blake Barr, stuffy old director and playwright. Only ever puts on plays where he’s the main character and gets extremely long monologues. Also addicted to certain drugs from Foreign Parts.

Bethany Boyle, newest playwright in toun. Comes from a working-class background. Writes plays about ‘controversial’ topics like women and the poor. Alternately beloved and despised.

 

10. National Ground

◊ - A grassy field used for all the big fitba’ matches. Standing terraces and lukewarm beer. Constant streams of sectarian chants between Universal and Reformist aligned teams. The two big ones are red-shirted Northern and white-shirted Local-Enoch. Being a referee here requires hazard pay.

◊◊ - Standing terraces increased in size. Chants turn bloodier and meaner. Northern supporters engage in running battles with Local-Enoch lads. Magic mouth spells shout out scores and blare cheesy entrance tunes for the teams.

◊◊◊ - Giant stone stadium with rows of seats, after a fatal crush at a match caused the abolition of standing terraces. Polis sit in the stadium with fans, watching like heavily armed hawks. Poorly understood magic adjudicates disputes, saving referees from grim fates at the cost of anyone understanding what’s going on.

 

Molly Kincaid, a woman with an impressive shouting voice who’s the primary announcer. Sole person in the entire world respected by both halves of the sectarian divide.

Micky Dunlop, a highly paranoid referee notable for his uncanny skill at dodging flung projectiles and surviving attempted knifings.

 

11. St. Enoch’s Abbey

◊ - Largest of the city’s Universal churches. Often graffitied, fervently filled on holy days. Large green out the front is home to many amateur fitba’ matches.

◊◊ - Quieter, but somehow even less tolerant. Roof leaks more than ever and fights often break out on the steps. The green is mostly mud.

◊◊◊ - Site of constant sectarian violence by wizards and hooligans alike, aligned one way or the other. A death zone on match night. Increasing magical sink causing terrifying things to manifest inside the Abbey. The green’s a crater.

 

Abbot Lynch, a sleepy octogenarian who’s not entirely present. Gives long, rambled speeches about peace and respect while also being xenophobic, sectarian and honestly rather rude.

Sister Wilson, a fiery, zealous nun, who actually runs the abbey. Liable to appear at the pulpit with a literal broadsword should you cause trouble.

 

12. Flesher’s Green

◊ - Vast stretch of swampy land, broken up by green patches of grass, purchased by the Guild of Fleshers for the city in the past. Used to dry linens, as an area for fishing, a place to send the weans to keep them occupied.

◊◊ - The green is purchased from the city, by the city, drained, made shiny and presentable. Visiting circuses come through Tollgate, set up huge stalls in summer and disappear like ghosts in winter. The rest of the time, huge spreads of communal washing lines radiate from the Washhouse on the green’s edge like a spider’ web.

◊◊◊ - Wild lions stalk the green’s interior. City funding has once again collapsed, and the green’s becoming overgrown – though it will never again be a swamp, since the Scoury’s been dredged. The washing lines disappear with the advent of home washing.

 

Auld Don Gunn, supposed prophet, who stands on a granite balustrade by the entrance and screams prophecies of doom for St. Enoch. 2-in-6 chance he’s completely, utterly right.

Flora Roberts, the Knight of the Green. A distinctly mad young woman of upper-class background, charging around on her horse, in full plate, with a lance. A popular target of derision from the upper and middle classes, but a kind of heroine figure for the destitute poor. She takes her oaths of charity as a knight quite seriously.

 


13. Old Royal University

◊ - Huge sandstone building in the middle of Espergrove Park. Student body are liberal and politically engaged. Faculty are old, stuffy and casually classist.

◊◊ - Women, foreigners and poor Enochites are now showing up lecture halls and seminar rooms. Student unions are becoming increasingly radical, the old faculty are increasingly disappearing.

◊◊◊ - Booming arcane voice ensorcelled into the clocktower announces the time to all of West Enoch. Student body is staggeringly diverse. Half the new professors are Radicals, and the students are joining in on the open revolts.

 

Stuart Kerr, the one and only working-class professor at Old Royal. Wants to leave and found his own college dedicated to magical studies. Was sponsored into tenure by a previous Lord Provost, despises this. Looks roughly like a brick in academic robes.

Hazel Byrne, the first woman to be a student at Old Royal. Well-read philosopher and orator of great eloquence. Confidently asserts that she plans to be chancellor of the University in 20 or 30 years.

 

14. The Big Steamie

◊ - Shared public washhouse for the laundry of the poor and working class. Long, low shed, full of washtubs, washboards and wafting clouds of steam. Undeniable social centre and place of gathering.

◊◊ - New magical methods of cleaning, automated washing drums and the like emphasise social aspect over the aspect of doing the laundry. Discussions often turn political.

◊◊◊ - Abandoned with the advent of home washing. The whole shed’s now alternately a haunt for the homeless and a playground for the weans. Scheduled to be knocked down and replaced with one of those nice new bowling greens they have in Endon.

 

Agnes Gibb, undisputed queen of the Steamie. Usually stands and holds court with a huge gaggle of admirers. Everyone knows Aunty Agnes. Carries mints in her pocket to give to anyone’s wean that passes by, just out of niceness. Makes broad, sweeping statements about the world and expects all listeners to agree.

Ainslie McCabe lives on the roof of the Steamie. They wear a large ragged coat and a variety of mismatched clothes. They feed the pigeons up there and look out across old Enoch. They lead a hard life, but one that they find fulfilling in sort of wide, unexplainable, spiritual sense. Hear all the chat and gossip that goes on below.

 

15. Cow Hill

◊ - Tenements and grinding poverty. Agitators hand out pamphlets on street corners. There’s a pub every three streets. Universal Church neighbourhood.

◊◊ - Reconstruction. Old buildings being torn down as social movements take root. Hope is in the air, as is Radicalism. Many folk move out as the old toun vanishes.

◊◊◊ - Square block high-rises punch the night sky. Living conditions are even worse than before, but at least they’ve got plumbing now. 

 

Senga Gillespie, hard working mother of eight. She’s the primary Radical agitator in the area. A wizard of considerable skill, and a self-taught one, no less. Would be a famed polymath under different circumstance.

Noor MacLean, street corner Radical agitator who writes for small, angry newspapers and sends anonymous death threats to the Lord Provost and other members of the Upper Class.

 

16. Hardie’s Works

◊ - Small time chemical works on a canal, surrounded by a dirty halo of densely packed slums. Coughing kids and sickly workers. Hardie himself keeps his distance.

◊◊ - The houses are gone, replaced by a length of derelict ground. Company boys with vicious dugs and lead pipes hang around outside the new wall. The perilously thin chimneys puke new kinds of smoke every day. Hardie’s rarely seen outside his house.

◊◊◊ - The derelict ground is overrun by chemical spill, a soda waste, an acid lake in the middle of toun. The factory’s waste gushes into the canal, and if the wind’s wrong, you can smell it all the way in the nice part of toun. Hardie’s dead. Something he breathed in at the works, say the company boys.

 

Findlay Shepherd, hardest worker at the works. Rattling wheeze like you wouldn’t believe, covered in chemical burns. Unquenchable spirit of optimism despite it.

Annie Clark, the leader of the company boys. She’s respected for being vicious in totality. Dressed sharply in tweed, little flecks of blood on her brogues. Knife collector.

 

17. Riverbend Mill

◊ - Small-time industry of new-fangled mechanical looms. Large, old building, all creaky wood and dust.

◊◊ - Increasingly soulless mills increasingly dehumanise their workforce. Work hours go up as conditions worsen. Building gets reinforced. Light’s drained from the interior as lockable metal shutters seal the windows.

◊◊◊ - Dark, satanic mills in full-force. Gigantic metal looms are regularly anointed with blood, and overseers employ vicious enchantments to stamp out Radical sentiment in the workforce. Reversed sleep spells force involuntary overtime and plague workers with nightmares.

 

Duncan Craig, the mill foreman. No eviller man stalks St. Enoch. Overworks his vulnerable employees with sadistic glee. Stalks around with a lantern after hours, and beats his dog. No family, thankfully. 

Saoirse Callahan, a loom worker with an ethereal singing voice. Big dreams of escaping this place, and moving to Endon to start a career as an opera singer.

 


18. Shannon Hill

◊ - Plain green hill north of toun, used for hikes and picnics. Contains the old, dirt paved High Road, where the Uplanders drive their cattle down to Flesher’s Green.

◊◊ - New developments in order to relieve crowding in central Enoch. Houses are assigned by the city council with no consideration for origin. The district is increasingly divided into sharp little pockets of Universal and Reformist sympathies, and violence is increasingly common. The High Road becomes paved.

◊◊◊ - New breeds of gangs have formed, with representatives either side of the faith divide. All of them are penniless youths, but all wear very sharp suits of tweed or twill, and all carry straight razors that are even sharper. The High Road is diverted away to a new way north, and Shannon Hill is bypassed.

 

Euan Lamb, a young man, lives alone in a small cottage high on Shannon Hill. Wants to be an actor down in the theatre. Interested in the new town forming down below his cottage.

Cora Cassidy, a naturalist interested in the species of rare wildflowers and ground birds found nowhere else but Shannon Hill. Very distracted, aloof way of speaking. Never makes eye-contact, but can speak eloquently for hours on birds.

 

19. The Whisky Bond

◊ - Huge storage warehouse full of the water of life. Musty smells and the long years’ wait for guid whiskey.

◊◊ - The bond’s increasingly used as a general-purpose storage warehouse. All kinds of junk, magical or otherwise, is taken in by the bond’s owners and stored with little categorisation. Workers get lost in the maze, doors are blocked by high crates and paths through the mess get ever more labyrinthine.

◊◊◊ - A terrible explosion has just occurred. The bond’s levelled, and the air around is hazy with magical debris. Shimmering echoes of fire in the shape of the unfortunate victims whisper and whistle through the streets at night, and strange magical maladies begin to affect the district.

 

Archer Cairns, an old whisky brewer who’s stored all of his stock in the bond. He hangs about the place, siphoning out of the casks when the porters aren’t looking and drunkenly conversing with management.

Ayesha Sweeny, sarcastic, extremely funny clerk in the bond. The only person trying to keep even a vague track of what’s happening inside the warehouse. Constantly on the verge of quitting.

 

20. The Temple of Health

◊ - Newly opened semi-public hospital. Better than conveying yourself to the church and praying for recovery, though not by much. Practical, sensible nurses and air-headed doctors with big ideas.

◊◊ - Renamed to the Royal Enoch Hospital, among some embarrassment. New wards open up and innovative new treatments are developed. Most of them work.

◊◊◊ - Massive mega-hospital incorporates the old with the new. Wards are constantly full of the victims of industrial accents and magical contamination. Buzzing glamoured lights means the hospital can operate round the clock – it needs to.

 

Dr. A. Graham. Came here from Endon some ten years ago, to make a fortune. Derided, accurately, as a quack. Treatments such as burying folk up to their necks in silt and whipping patients with silk sheets are the order of the day.

Matilda Currie, the head nurse. A kind woman, with a big heart. Prone to bursting into tears at the slightest provocation. Makes sure to sit with the patients who have nobody else in their final hours.

 

21. Espergrove Park

◊ - Hilly, gated green for the rich and the nice. Equestrian statues of warrior heroes and large, stagnant duck ponds. Park is lazily patrolled by the Polis. Large segment of the park is devoted to a huge golf-course for the well-off.

◊◊ - Humid, spell-heated greenhouse showcases exotic plants. Increasingly extravagant waterworks attempt to outcompete one-another. Golfing tournaments increasingly valuable and exclusive.

◊◊◊- Now dominated by a glittering People’s Palace of shiny glass and public magic. Folk get lost in the greenhouses, and new flower varieties appear daily. If you launch your golf ball into the rough, don’t expect to get it back.

 

Rebecca McKenzie, a painter who sits at the highest point of the park and paints water colours of the view over Enoch. A big dreamer.

Tom Babcock, well-off mill owner that lives in Gryphon Circus and comes here to golf pretty much every day. Stunningly disconnected from the realities of working-class life.

 


22. Scourbank

◊ - Working-class area, strung out along the Scoury’s shore. Proudly struggling. Reformist neighbourhood. Houses are one-room single-ends, violence and predictable urban misery cluster in the closes.

◊◊ - Warehouses go up, as do Universal churches and statues of philanthropists. New docks, small theatres and many new pubs spring up.

◊◊◊ - Those who the Enochites would refer to as Foreigners have arrived en masse, already being exploited by the upper-class – but welcomed, at least begrudgingly, by their Enochite neighbours. The warehouses have become almost military affairs, guarded round the clock by a combination of well-paid locals and wizards from across the river.

 

Marcus Higgins, big tough bastard. Very tall, loud and confrontational. Walks up and asks you for a shilling.

Mary Cowan, local procurer. Constant scowl. Very judgemental. Extremely strong perfumes.

 

23. Muckle Toll

◊ - The poorest part of St. Enoch. The slum to end all slums. No drains, no shitters – dogs and pigs run wild in the streets. Must be seen to be believed. Hotspot of misery and disease. Reformist, in a desperate way.

◊◊ - Things get worse, somehow. Magical contaminants in the drinking water. All manner of sin hiding in the broken lofts and garrets. Even the churches stay away. Home to the nasty, mean gangs of sectarian legbreakers with no prospects in life.

◊◊◊ - Nearly abandoned. A poisoned ruin. Scheduled to be knocked down and replaced. Nothing even worth looting in this damned place.

 

Fraser Gallagher, sickly, one legged veteran with a hacking cough. He’s given up on life, because life’s given up on him. Melancholy and poetic.

Daisy Gilmour, miserable teenager with few prospects in life. Spends her time haranguing people and performing impromptu comedy skits. Talented impressionist, doesn’t think the skill’s worth much.

 

24. Mollendina

◊ - Small village at the northern end of toun. Aligned to the Universal Church. The primary stop in and out of Enoch to the north, towards the High Road that leads to the Uplands. As such, much of the population are Uplanders.

◊◊  - Mollendina is eaten by the city. The roads and buildings catch up and subsume it. The district gets denser and more labyrinthine, and the High Road becomes fenced and paved.

◊◊◊ - The High Road is replaced with a levitating flyover bridge that bypasses Mollendina entirely – the inns, shops and business collapse in the area, and poverty becomes rampant. Bitter locals congregate under the flyover, away from the rain – the ‘Uplander’s Umbrella’ - to hold court on the St. Enoch that’s abandoned them.


Greer Hart, widely grinning cattle drover with grass in their hair. Amazed by the sights and sounds of St. Enoch, even if it is all a bit much. They’re expecting to head back north within the month.  

Fletcher Rennie, Uplander highwayman and exile that cannot go back north. Many people are looking for him. Extremely vigilant and extremely dangerous.

 

25. Quin’s Road Jail

◊ - A huge, ancient prison, where conditions are so miserable ironic songs are sung in the pubs about it. A-Block is for Reformists, C-Block is for Universal Church folk, and, in-between, B-Block is for what’s termed ‘Ordinary Decent Criminals’, without sectarian motivation. Small, draconian courthouse and large, ominous police station are annexes. Large public gallows out front.

◊◊ - Public Gallows is moved inside. Each block is rebuilt as a separate building, with a massive central yard, watched over at all times by a central panopticon tower. Guards are now armed with spells.

◊◊◊ - Fences are charged with lightning spells. Scrying sensors stalk the corridors. Illusions are cast on all prisoners to make them unrecognisable to fellow inmates when outside their cells. Campaigns begin to lessen the inhumane conditions, to little effect.

 

Jasper Gray, the King of Quin’s. A gang leader who runs his extensive criminal empire from a well-appointed cell in Quin’s Road’s C-Block. An army veteran who did not return to a land fit for heroes.

Dour Dougal Donnelly, the prison warden. A face like a sad block of granite, and a heart like a lump of coal. Immune to sob stories. Only smiles at executions.

 

26. Gryphon Circus

◊ - The nice district. Lies on the other side of Espergrove Park, out to the west. They’re rich enough that their religious faction has no effect on their social lives. All broad boulevards, tree-lined lanes and honey-coloured sandstone.

◊◊ - The district begins to open up to commercialisation. Formerly quiet streets increasingly busy. Student clubs and well-off faculty flats expand into the neighbourhood. Churches quiet down.

◊◊◊ - The locality’s become gauche. All the really rich locals now live on estates upriver of St. Enoch. Gryphon Circus, meanwhile, has become a heart of overpriced nightlife and a residence toun for the growing student body at Old Royal. Largest church in the area’s now a bar.

 

Lord Smythe, a horrible smug old bastard of man. Was in the army, and served with great distinction, he’s quick to remind you. Never saw a fight in his puff, always directing from the back. Notorious for high casualty rates among his regiments. Always walks around with a shooting-stick.

Lady Burnett, nosy busybody who knows so many aristocratic secrets she doesn’t get invited to parties anymore. Learns all the secrets anyway. Plays polo.

 


I’ve come up with a few Innovations with which to level St. Enoch, but they’ll be a Part 2, should I get around to it.

7 comments:

  1. Holy shit this is awesome. I love MIR, and seeing another city that also went through a radical transformation get adapted for the system is rad. Can't wait to see what the Innovations will be

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  2. Your writing is absolutely phenomenal, both in quality and quantity. I'd never seen this sort of 3-stage location formatting for a setting before, and now I'm certain I need to pick up a copy of MIR.

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    1. Thanks for the kind words! I can definitely recommend MIR!

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  3. I also really like the three stage locations details, will have ro remember that when working on future projects.

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  4. "Empire is what allowed the Industrial Revolution to take off. The Industrial Revolution is what created Glasgow. My city is inextricable from the British Empire, one of the worst examples of widespread, heartless, industrialised oppression in history."

    This was definitely a topic I grappled with during development.

    The main concern, and what lead me away from explicit imperial references, was doing justice to the other side of the equation. Fleshing out Endon was enough of a challenge; could I devote time / pages / art to the rest of a setting, the flags on a map? Introducing an explicit Endon:Them divide, and making it a core part of Endon's engine, calls for making Them just as interesting as Endon; not easy to do in this book without doubling the page count. A brief and sketchy Them would (I think) be worse than not including Them at all.

    By defining the world outside Endon, I'd also need to provide tools to explore that world. It would also make the book harder to use; it's difficult enough to drop a city onto a map, let alone a city, colonies, counter-colonies, and all the associated (and necessary) information to run them.

    In the end, I decided to make MIR more focused and more portable, while trying to leave sufficient space (as you've done) to attach extra hooks.

    If it's not possible for an industrial revolution to function without imperialism, it might be possible for a /magical/ industrial revolution to function without imperialism. Might be.

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    1. Good points! And certainly understandable in terms of making sure that Endon's actually usable and the book isn't a solid brick, haha!

      It's certainly an interesting space/set of ideas to explore.

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