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The Roaming City

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The Roaming CityCopyright © 1999 by Rasgon

Character:Keep going, lad! Only the dead stand still!

Ruler:The ruler of the Roaming City calls himself His Roaming Highness the Gypsy King. He's a bariaur given to great embellishments, and he officially greets all guests.

Behind the Throne:The city is guided by a caste of hooded sages who claim to be able to predict the movements of the herds upon which the city makes its livelihood. Whether this is truth or screed, the natives swear by them.

Description:The Roaming City is strange indeed for those who haven't heard of it before. It's built on the back of a vast herd of cattle, forever wandering the Bytopian grasslands. These cattle are as big as iron-scaled gorgons, each supporting a building on its back, connected by flexible bridges. The cattle move at a tremendous speed, faster than any horse, so the city sees a lot of different terrain.

Just getting to the city is hard. If you can fly, that's your best bet. Landing is no trick, since the city is so vast, but it's hard to choose your exact destination unless you can keep up with the cattle. Be careful not to land on any of the natives. They don't take kindly to that. When the herd slows down to graze, you might be able to convince someone to lower a ramp down. They're usually eager for visitors to trade with and bring stories. The natives themselves almost never leave, and stories tell of legendary heroes who fell off as infants and were raised by wild animals before eventually finding their way home.

Militia:The sharp horns of the enormous Roaming cattle are deterrent enough to any invasion. Plain-clothes officers armed with billyclubs and small dirks, handle domestic crime.

Services:Occasionally, for great quantities of jink, some bashers will be able to convince the Sages to let them buy a young Roaming calf from them. Such a calf has a lot of meat and milk to give, and it makes a good mount. This is rare, though, since the inhabitants of the city depend on this meat and milk for their own survival.

Milking a moving Roaming Cow is a difficult process, involving a complicated system of gears, pulleys, harnesses, and buckets. Slaughtering one is somewhat easier: the butcher spots an older cow or bull no longer able to keep up with the herd. After evacuating anyone whom might be living on it, a massive harpoon is mounted on a nearby animal and fired into the straggler's brain. The creature is reeled in, and dissected on a plank with special troughs to prevent the blood from scaring the animals beneath it. In return for their milk and meet, the Roaming Cattle are watered daily from cisterns that collect rainwater on their backs.

Current Chant:Something terrible has happened. A chunk of Bytopia has fallen into the Outlands, corrupted by a group of insistent traders. Where the realm was is an enormous chasm opening in what was previously a flat and fertile plain. The herd is heading directly toward the chasm and looks like it may go over within the next few weeks. The Sages see only a few options: Flee the city. Unacceptable, no one will do it. Bring back the chunk of the Outlands to fill in the hole. This seems to be the best solution, though the Roamers aren't sure how to go about it. Build a bridge over the chasm. The Roamers are good at building bridges, but don't know where to get enough material at such short notice. Divert the herd's path. This has never been done before, but it might be possible if only someone could find some really big dogs.

 

 

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Joined: 2013-12-15
Re: The Roaming City

These cattle are as big as iron-scaled gorgons, each supporting a building on its back, connected by flexible bridges.

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