We begin in the wood stitched city of Spirithil, known by those who live there as the “the Great Roost.” For most of you, it is the only home you’ve ever known. For all of you, it’s the greatest city you have ever witnessed, a mass of Topsiders huddled together in unknown thousands, scraping out their lives flying high over the Abyss. You’ve heard tale of other floating cities, massive hunks of rock and earth born aloft by enormous colonies of Wyrd Shards. Spirithil is not like those other places that you hear in the tales though, because Spirithil is a living city.
If the stories of the old timers are to be believed, the Great Roost began with hundreds of ships and boats coming together in a great fleet. Every plank, every dock, every thatched wooden hut that could be tied, nailed, or hammered together into an ever twisting warren of walkways, rope bridges, and open cargo nets. Desperate to escape the Reckoning, those early pioneers grabbed every Wyrd Shard they could and embedded them in the foundations of the burgeoning city, lifting that early version high out of the waters and the encroaching Mysts. Through it all, they wove living trees, thousands of twisting and gnarled roots, trunks, and branches intertwining with the ever expanding slums.
That was thirty years ago, thirty years of Topsiders snagging every patch of dirt and floating plank that the Wyrd Myst has born aloft. In those three decades the city has expanded to enormous proportions, twisting wooden slums giving way to stitched together barges and walkways bearing impromptu fields and orchards around the edges. From a great distance it might appear as one solid mass, but those who live there know better. The Roost was not built with any central planning in mind, no method to the madness. Walkways and paths can quickly give way to gaping chasms stopped only by cargo nets, or in some cases by nothing at all. Rows of lean-twos breaking apart into half rotten coliseums, gutted galleys, and decrepit barns. The stench of manure and rot fills the air, as such things are the lifeblood of fields that might otherwise grow fallow, and those who venture to the undercroft find the bottoms of almost every hull and foundation riddled with mushrooms.
Through idle gossip and chatter, you know that the city currently floats high over what used to be the Northlands of Ark’Tammor. In truth, the words have no meaning to those such as you. You’re Topsiders, you’ve lived your entire lives up in the clouds, your elders doing there best to never look over the edge. Below you is just the Abyss, with hints of unknown oceans and seas being the only thing that occasionally breaks the misty monotony.
You’ve each scrapped out a life, of sorts, within the Roost. It’s not an easy place to get by, especially if you’re trying to keep your hands clean. So for the most part, none of you have. Such a life leads to a lot of highs, and a lot of lows. Fortune has favored none of you recently, and so as the sun sinks into the Abyss you each find yourselves along the docks of the Captain’s Quarter, following a rumor of work.
Specifically, it’s led you to an inn called the Styx Oarsman, a two story affair just on the very edge of the docks. The first floor is a squat and square building, a single door on the rightmost side leading inside. Next to that door, still on the outside, is a staircase leading up to the second floor, a mastless Cog with a thatched roof that holds the inn’s sleeping quarters. Floating next to the Oarsman, tied up to the dock, is the real reason reason you’re there. It’s a Deep Runner ship, and while you don’t know its name, the rumors that its crew are looking to replenish their ranks is what brought you to the Oarsman. You don’t know shit about Deep Running, except that it’s paid work and a chance to get off the Roost for a little bit, and that’s what you need right now.
- The Aleph's Quarter - The closest thing to a seat of power.
- The Un'Kai District - The walled off enclave of the Necromancers of the Un'Kai
- Merchant's Row - The seat of the Tribald Alliance, and all the best shops and inns.
- The Scavenger's Barrens - Truly the edge of the world.
- The Grey Markets - Where all the flotsam and jetsam ends up.
- The Roost - The slums where most Topsiders dwell.
- The Captain's Quarter - The docks and inns which serve the Deeprunner crews.
- The Rot Farm - Where most of the food comes from.
- The Temple District - Home of the infinite churches of the Godbound.
- The Undercity. The warrens and tunnels within.
- The Aleph - The closest thing the Roost has to a government.
- The Godbound - The polytheistic remnants of the world's faiths.
- Gurvaljin Ir - A thieves' guild that operates out of the Captain's Quarter.
- The Hovivner - A clan of secretive gnomes who operates within the Undercity.
- The Reclaimers - Dreamers seeking to rebuild society.
- The Shaduun - The Oracles who predict when the Abyss will reveal the Deep.
- The Tribald Alliance - An alliance of merchant houses.
- The Un'kai - Secretive necromancer elves.