View Full Version : [Nation] Odora, City on the Smoking Mountain

2006-08-10, 05:37 PM
Backstory: This nation was created for use with an Urban Arcana-like setting, with modern technology and magic intermingling for centuries before the PCs show up. Odora was meant to be this isolated, massively xenophobic nation that never progressed out of the Industrial Revolution. I haven't gotten to use it yet, but maybe one of you can make it better and use it yourself. Note that this is very incomplete, and I didn't write down all the ideas I had. Be aware the structure of this post is fairly disjointed, but I've done my best to arrange things in a more or less logical manner.

Materials used include Fantasy Flight Games' Sorcery & Steam and a little of d20 Past.

Area: Odora claims all land visible with the naked eye from the tower at the top of the capital city, audited every three months. Obviously, this varies with atmospheric conditions and is often the source of conflicts with neighboring nations. My notes say their circle of declared control is 431 miles in diameter. I no longer know how I got that figure.

Terrain: My notes have Odora sitting smack dab in the middle of a bunch of plains. It might be better to relocate it into the mountains, given its dependence on mining. Anyway, the main feature of Odora is the mountain Odora, a magically-stabilized dormant volcano with a lake in the crater. The mountain is 4 miles across, roughly 5000 feet high at the peak. The capital city (In fact, the only city I had planned), Odora (The inhabitants are not really prided on their imagination), completely covers the flanks of the mountain. Two small watercourses run down the mountain from the lake.

Natural Resources: Unknown. Assumed to be nearing exhaustion.

Population: 35% elf, 32% human, 23% gnome, 10% other. No exact population for the nation available, but the city of Odora is either a large city or metropolis, leaning toward metropolis, and the rest of the nation is sparsely populated. As implied by the demographics, humans and elves are the "ruling class", with gnomes being something like 1.5th-class citizens, and everything else 2nd-class. A half-orc or dwarf, for instance, might be able to rise high enough to own his own business, but most are menial laborers, and a lot of the humans, elves, and gnomes are too.

Politics, Internal: Odora is headed by two people, the High General and Grand Inquisitor, who handle military and religious duties, respectively. They are in turn backed up by the Odoran Council, 12 people who at least theoretically represent the will of the people. These councilors are almost all male, and almost all elves or humans. These councilmembers include:
Councilman of Gears: In charge of clockwork and machinery in general. This position is usually a gnome, who is usually the only non-human or non-elf on council.
Councilman of Night: Covers lamplighters, waste disposal, sewers, and other such tasks.
Councilman of Agriculture.
Councilman of the Arcane.
Councilman of Feasts and Celebrations.
Councilman of Roads and Travel: Odora's internal infrastructure is at saturation, this office is in danager of being phased out.
Councilman of the Word: Covers newspapers, announcements, et cetera. If used straight, a plot point demands this councilmember be an elf.

Politics, External: Due to Odora's very vague border declarations, hardly a year goes by when they are not involved in border skirmishes with neighbouring nations. Their military might is formidable, but they do not actively invade except in defense of their currently-claimed border. Admittedly, this is hard to rationalize, as 300 years of nearly constant raids on surrounding borders would result in something besides just 300 years of raids and skirmishes. I basically wanted an excuse to give them a strong military unit clad in steamcraft armor.

Imports: None officially.

Exports: None officially. Black-market goods do enter and leave, mostly imports of gunpowder and explosives, exports of clockwork and alchemy. One theory is the government actually sponsors some of the black-market imports to help stave off resource exhaustion. Tight border controls make it hard but not impossible to get in and out of the country.

Religion: Unknown.

History/Plot Development: Odora conducted trade normally up until 300 years ago. At that point, the current Councliman of the Word attained his posiition and began using his control of information to enforce xenophobia. By the time the PCs arrive, most creatures with shorter lives than elves will have forgotten a time without xenophobia, and the Councilman himself is nearing death by old age. He did the whole thing as an experiment. He is willing to halt the experiment and begin trade again if the PCs are willing to talk to him after learning his reasons, but if they kill him, the next Councilman of the Word would more than likely also begin working to remove the xenophobia, albeit more slowly than the present Councilman. In the original campaign I had planned, the PCs entered with multiple objectives, but one of them at least was opening trade.

Infrastructure: The entirety of Mount Odora is covered in buildings and streets. The interior is honeycombed with sewers and catacombs, not necessarily in differing areas. Due to the heat of the volcano, the lake in the crater is near boiling, and the steam and geothermal power is used to power the city, as well as pumping hot water to homes and certain common areas. Electric lights are rare and expensive, but small firedamp pipes come up from the sewers into houses and larger ones form streetlamps. Tailings from sewer excavations and mining are used to form Roman-style roads throughout the nation. The city itself is divided into 3 tiers and four quadrants. All I have in my notes is that the northern quadrant is the industrial/slum district and has one of the watercourses (Heavily polluted). I also have the different tier-quadrants named for animals, apparently. North base is Snail, North mid is Beetle. I think I had the idea of birds for the noble quadrant, but can't be sure.

Technology: Odora is at the Industrial Revolution level, with automation beginning to take hold, steam power, and various other such technologies. Odoran clockwork is very advanced for what it is, and may be one of the reasons the PCs are sent into the country. A good portion of development resources are allocated to military development, and steamcraft armor is issued to elite soldiers. Officers typically carry sparking swords and percussion cap revolvers.

I think that's about all I have. I'd appreciate thoughts, fine-tuning, add-ons, what have you. I'm horrible at working out realistic details, since I tend to just throw things together that seem to be neat and kind of work together.