the most powerful state in the Scavenger Lands and the nerve center of the Confederation of Rivers’ military power. Coming from a rigorous military society primarily descended from the Seventh Legion, Lookshy’s armies are the most loyal, disciplined and capable forces in the region. In addition to raw might and impressive numbers, Lookshy also possesses more potent First Age weaponry than any armed force in Creation.
HISTORY OF THE SEVENTH LEGION Edit
The Seventh Legion was originally called the Seventh Legion of the Dragon-Blooded Shogunate (Reinforced) and was the Shogunate’s primary security force south of the Yanaze and east of Great Forks. This force became fragmented during the Contagion as desperate battles raged against the Fair Folk. Some talons wandered for months without news.
Many puzzled and weary taizei led their charges in circles, while others frenziedly laid waste to all in their path, seeking an end to the raksha, with no heed to the lives and nations destroyed in the process.
Chumyo Nefvarin Gilshalos reunited much of the Seventh Legion at Deheleshen. The legionnaires found the great city razed and blighted by the raksha, with few survivors huddled in the ruins. Though the greatest of the Deheleshen structures, the Teocalla of Tu Yu, the Deheleshen Lighthouse and the Palace of the Maximum Fallahshu still stood, the city appeared as if it had been abandoned for 1,000 years. Once-great walls now crumbled at a touch, and ancient, fortified towers lay toppled in the streets. Soon after, the Seventh Legion met the raksha force known as the Villanua Potenci in battle at Deheleshen. Led by the raksha general No-Lion, the Villanua Potenci was an infamous brigade of Fair folk soldiers who burned villages, slaughtered peasants and fathered half-fae children along the Yanaze.
Though weary, the Seventh Legion drove the Villanua Potenci into retreat. Nefvarin and 30,000 men pursued the enemy for many skirmish-fi lled days until the raksha were finally thrown back by the Realm’s defenses.
The Seventh Legion had nowhere to go once the conflict ended. Homes throughout the East had been ravaged, families slaughtered and the Shogunate crushed. Most who had not been killed by the invaders years before succumbed to the last vestiges of the Contagion. Some took their lives in despair. Scarred survivors who could not understand a world without constant violence and grief went off in search of new enemies. Those who were weary of strife remained, intending to build a better world out of the ruins.
Twenty years later, the new city of Lookshy stood among the remains of Deheleshen. Even in those early days, Lookshy was already an important outpost for military action and for trade. Ideally located as it was on the coast of the Inland Sea, it stood at the head of most of the region’s trade routes.
In another dozen years, the Seventh Legion dominated the countryside, providing safety for traders, travelers and settlers.
As word spread, thousands journeyed to Lookshy to enjoy protection from a world now unfamiliar and dangerous.
WOULD-BE CONQUERORS Edit
As chumyo, Nefvarin commanded the rebuilding effort. Many of Deheleshen’s survivors, eager to see their city great again, welcomed Nefvarin and the Seventh Legion.
But there are always those who believe they are wiser or stronger and therefore more fi t to rule. Dozens of local warlords claimed sovereignty over the promontory in the years that followed. Most were easily defeated or otherwise persuaded to end their suits. Others proved more obstinate.
Very few are remembered by history. Perhaps in reaction to the emergence of the Scarlet Empress on the Blessed Isle, one obscure shozei, Fallaha Gherin, conspired to have Nefvarin assassinated and himself named Shogun. This brief episode lasted only nine days and would have been unworthy of note if Fallaha had not claimed true descent from the Shogun and had evidence to support his claim. While historians now argue several minor points concerning the lineage of the Shogunate, none can say for certain whether Fallaha’s documents were authentic, as they were lost in the swirl of arrests and executions. Fallaha’s family, who publicly denounced him as a liar, relocated to a neighboring community and obscurity as the incident was largely forgotten.
THE REALM ENTERS THE SCAVENGER LANDS Edit
Soon after the wars with the Fair Folk, engaging but unreliable tales spread to Lookshy of a powerful Empress who activated the Old Realm defenses and repelled the raksha threat, a ruler now solidifying her rule on the Blessed Island.
Some claimed she was either a god or a demon. Others touted her beauty and might. While it was clear to Lookshy folk that someone had ended the invasion, few cared to speculate further. While travelers might arrive with news of the heroes found on the Blessed Isle and their magnifi cent ruler, Lookshy now had its own heroes and legends. The deeds of foreigners were of little interest.
In time, the Scarlet Empress addressed Nefvarin with an offi cial writ, in which she claimed sovereignty over the legions of the old Shogunate and demanded that the Seventh Legion fall into line with the rest. Nefvarin refused to support her claim, citing doubts about the legitimacy of her rule. These communiqués were civil in tone, but firm, while the Empress’s letters used vague insinuations, but no particular threat.
In Realm Year 45, dozens of emissaries from the Scarlet Empress arrived in Lookshy, demanding oaths of fealty to the Empress. Nefvarin and his offi cers did not fl atter them or hide their contempt for the “soft worms in serpents’ dress,” as he wrote of the ambassadors in his reply to the Empress.
Over the next few years, Nefvarin received a number of progressively imperious communications from the Blessed Isle. Nefvarin replied to none of them.
As other city-states and civilizations gave their allegiance to the Scarlet Empress, Lookshy developed a reputation for being a place of haughty folk who thought themselves better than their neighbors. During that time, a famous epic, The Garrulous Citizen, was published in Nexus, about an obnoxious leader who constantly invoked the superiority of his homeland and its people. This extended allegory gained popularity with the help of the Realm’s propaganda ministers, who relished the opportunity to turn Lookshy’s neighbors against them.
Another work, a political pamphlet called, The Twilight of the East, spoke of the Scavenger Lands as poor and ruined, blaming such conditions on Lookshy’s refusal to bow to the Scarlet Empress, whom the work labeled “the most worthy and gentle potentate in all the ages of man.” These works fomented anti-Lookshyan sentiment throughout the region and are still read to this day.
CONSTRUCTION AND DISCOVERIES IN A CITY OF WONDERS Edit
The prevailing attitude of Lookshy’s citizens was that they would rather die than give up to the Empress what they had worked so hard to achieve—for now Lookshy was truly a wonder. In less than half a century, Lookshy was transformed from ruination to marvel. While smaller than the modern-day city, Lookshy was already the greatest city in the Scavenger Lands, boasting a hearthstone-powered First Age light rail system, unrivaled roads, three prestigious military academies and, most signifi cantly, a satisfi ed and active citizenry.
The Palace of the Maximum Fallahshu was renovated in RY 48. The Lookshy Manse was the result, a massive fortress in the heart of Lookshy that met with fanfare from Lookshy’s citizens and shocked amazement from foreigners. It is even said that Tien Yu herself took notice of the sublime design and personally rewarded the sorcerer-engineer responsible on the stairs of the manse. Accounts of this reward vary from a passionate kiss to torrid oral sex on the manse stair (though in the present conservative era, legend favors the former).
The next great public work, a very faithful reconstruction of the Teocalla of Tu Yu, was accomplished in RY 55. The grand pyramidal structure used many of the original 30-ton granite blocks and furnishings left intact following Deheleshen’s fall. The new temple retained the original shape but included a domed chamber at the pyramid’s apex to be used as a ceremonial center and celestial meeting chamber. Tu Yu approved of this function and returned to the city those superintendents that had been removed during the Contagion.
In RY 62, the Lower City fortress known as the Port Citadel was completed. The building’s design rivaled the Lookshy Manse in function, if not in beauty. Upon its completion, the citizens of Lookshy boasted that Lookshy was nigh on impregnable from land or sea.
INTERNAL STRUGGLE Edit
Certain factions in the city thought Lookshy should align with the Empress. While most had little influence, a few posed significant problems for the fledgling state. Puso Varkei, a popular statesman during the first century, used rhetoric, accusations and lies to convince thousands of Lookshy’s destitute to fight for the Empress during the first Realm invasion. Unfortunately for Puso, the uprising quickly became an unruly mob more interested in pillaging than noble goals. When the mob was contained, Puso was whipped and demoted for his unpatriotic intentions. He spent the remainder of his life in disgrace.
Where Puso failed to target the proper audience, Weng Saxoshin, a noted military commander and Realm spy, built his power base among his own men. He gradually realigned the faith and loyalties of his troops over a period of 10 years, and by RY 65, they were secretly loyal to the Scarlet Empress.
Some living in the outlying community of Scareng, where Weng’s men were stationed, also found themselves part of Weng’s cabal and helped plan to upset Lookshy’s defenses long enough for the Fourth Imperial Legion to force its way into the city. The scheme might have worked, if Weng himself had not spilled the secret to an acquaintance. While the details of this confession are not known, the results are.
Weng was hanged, and his soldiers were scattered when the news of their treachery broke. Many were tried for treason and drowned in the Inland Sea.
THE REALM INVASIONS Edit
In the year 57, the Realm dispatched the Fourth Imperial Legion to the Scavenger Lands in a campaign to persuade holdout regimes to submit to the Empress’s yoke. While the Fourth Imperial Legion avoided Lookshy and the Seventh Legion in the early days of the campaign (due to negotiations deliberately prolonged by both parties), Lookshy still managed to play an important role in the defense of its neighbors.
The Seventh Legion rallied local tribes and provided arms, training and detachments of offi cers and infantrymen to neighboring states, which managed, in a few cases, to hold the Fourth Imperial Legion at bay for years.
In RY 69, the Fourth Imperial Legion ended its assault on the Scavenger Lands, retreating to the safety of conquered cities and leaving the few free states in relative peace. These wars caused ruinous damage throughout Lookshy’s hinterland and the wider region. Entire communities suffered, and many daimyos approached Lookshy for aid. Lookshy welcomed these daimyos as clients, subjecting their lands and people to Lookshyan rule in return for the Seventh Legion’s protection.
Six years later, the Realm disgorged four legions to the Scavenger Lands, one of which confronted Lookshy directly.
Thanks to the Seventh Legion’s foresight, though, Lookshy was ready. The city had spent years strengthening relations and communication with neighboring states, and it used this network to devise land and naval defenses. While these operations were sometimes seen as unfairly lucrative for Lookshy, most partners in such contracts had little issue with the results, as their communities saw the fruits of Lookshy’s efforts in the form of safe trade routes and shipping lanes.
War did come home for Lookshy, however. After several unsuccessful attempts at a promontory invasion, the Fourth Imperial Legion broke through the Lookshy Wall and burned the hinterland beyond, slaying thousands and destroying everything in its path. By the time the Fourth Legion reached Lookshy, however (having wasted days burning and pillaging), the city was locked up tight, siege-response plans in development for decades were enacted, and the city was transformed into a self-suffi cient fortress. Far from starved, Lookshy’s population held their city for over a year and repelled the attackers. The Fourth Legion’s siege engines were no match for Lookshy’s highly organized defenses and anti-siege devices.
As the Realm’s invasion forces suffered defeat after defeat, the Seventh Legion smuggled a soulbreaker orb into the surrounding imperial camp. This device destroyed the souls of more than three quarters of the enemy’s numbers and left the rest battered, confused and in retreat. These survivors were cut down as chaos ensued on the fi eld of battle. Intent on ending the threat once and for all, the Seventh Legion extended its victory by marching to Great Forks, where it met and destroyed the remainder of the Fourth Imperial Legion.
Soon after this defeat, the Realm withdrew from the region but continued to molest merchant vessels along the coast. While some nations responded to this aggression by issuing letters of marque, Nefvarin ordered the formation of a navy and the production of new naval craft, to protect the shipping lanes from “the Empress’s marauders.”
The Realm’s fi nal, and largest, assault on the Scavenger lands began in the year 88 and lasted for less than a year.
Lookshy itself was once again besieged, and fighting spread throughout the promontory and beyond. By this time, the Seventh Legion had redoubts placed in key strategic points across the Scavenger Lands. This network managed to isolate the Realm’s forces, disrupt their communications and prevent the easy installation of reinforcements. Despite Lookshy’s preparedness, however, this final assault was also the bloodiest.
Thousands perished as the Realm unleashed potent sorcery and the fury of its greatest First Age weapons on the land and its people. Their efforts weren’t enough, as the Empress finally recalled her armies in the wake of defeat after defeat, but the toll was high for Lookshy and its surroundings. Dozens of formerly free cities came to Lookshy for aid and protection and agreed to become its clients.
THE LEAGUE OF MANY RIVERS Edit
Lookshy threw in with the various free-city states to form the League of Many Rivers in RY 95 to foster good relations with its trading partners and to better provide for the defense of the region. Knowing that Lookshy stood at the probable doorstep of any further Realm invasion and that the fate of the region likely depended on Lookshy’s fate, Nefvarin sanctioned the various treaties and agreements fully committing Lookshy to the League.
THE CLIENT WARS Edit
In RY 111, ambassadors from the client states of Mugadesh, Helz, Lugwaal, Starshalla and Werendut, and many citizens of these places and others, flocked to Lookshy to complain of the many abuses wreaked upon them. “We fought for independence from the Scarlet Empress with you,” their petition read. “We spilled enemy blood by your side and fought with as much valor and courage as you. And yet you forever despise us, as a father treats with an unforeseen stepson.” The complaint hinged upon the General Staff’s refusal of even helotry rights to the client states and the steep taxes levied on them. When the General Staff refused to consider the matter, pointing to signed and ratified contracts, the client states launched a problematic, though unexpected attack.
The client states were, of course, no match for the Seventh Legion. While the conflict lasted, the General Staff referred to it not as a war, but as an unfortunate political misunderstanding. The foe—poorly armed farmers and other ill-trained, desperate men—did not warrant the application of potent weaponry or entire field forces. Rather than crush the rebellion, the General Staff dispatched small units, hoping for a politically quiet campaign and for as little damage and as few casualties as possible. In spite of their inadequacies, the client states carried on for seven weeks and managed to expel a number of garrisons (most of whom had been ordered to refrain from entering combat with the clients) from their lands before ultimately surrendering.
Following the laying down of arms, the General Staff, many members of which had been moved by the clients’ valor, held hearings on how to proceed with such unhappy foreign subjects. They decided that those who would voluntarily relocate to Lookshy and free whatever slaves they possessed would be granted helotry and all the rights and responsibilities accompanying such an honor. As a result, Lookshy’s population grew eightfold over the next year, necessitating the construction of several new districts and hinterland communities. For those who wished freedom, they could have it, but Lookshy would not remove its garrisons.
Lookshy ceased taxation on the client states as well. These concessions halted the rebellion, and even though fighting continued sporadically for another several months, the Client Wars came to an end.
Never again would Lookshy engage in any form of imperialism. The mere suggestion of taking a state as a client, through war or otherwise, is even today looked upon as unthinkable and obscene.
CIVIL WARS Edit
With the Realm no longer perceived as a threat, the River Province states had time to reflect on regional politics and their relative wealth and power. What many leaders of the age realized was that Lookshy, savior that it was, controlled the destiny of the region through military might and commercial brilliance. Great Forks, Nexus, Sijan, the Marukan Alliance—all the significant powers of the Scavenger Lands—made their dissatisfaction known at League conferences and in secret conferences held among themselves. Perhaps they were encouraged by the General Staff’s even handedness with the client states a decade before, for they brought forth a list of requests—worded as demands—guaranteeing Lookshy’s continued services to the River Provinces, only at drastically reduced expenses. Lookshy’s ambassadors howled with laughter and accused their neighbors of being ingrates and cravens before the entire conference, infuriating not only the complainants, but the League entire. Many nations that would normally have sided with Lookshy took issue with such arrogance and remained neutral. Others joined with Lookshy’s critics.
Over the next dozen years, skirmishes and brief wars erupted throughout the region. These conflicts were almost always restrained exercises, as no nation wished all-out war with Lookshy. Lookshy, for its part, preferred to keep its forces spread throughout the Scavenger Lands to better defend it, rather than to consolidate it for the sake of an internecine war.
The battles with Lookshy were curious and unprecedented and ill fated, for Lookshy was in the peculiar position of having largely trained and armed the enemies it now faced. While the defi ant nations attempted to develop their own tactics, their entire military structure had been built according to the Seventh Legion model, allowing the Seventh Legion to almost effortlessly predict its enemies’ next move.
This series of conflicts came to a zenith over a minor water rights dispute that drew in nearly the entirety of the River Province. Many of these nations finally committed to all-or-nothing war with Lookshy, calling up all reserve forces, and putting every last resource and weapon at their disposal on the battlefield. Even with such drive, the depletion of treasuries and thousands of lives lost, Lookshy put down the enemy forces, but at a terrible cost. The Sandy River region was devastated by the aftermath—fallout energies from First Age weaponry burned and scarred the countryside and poisoned the waters, entire peoples were extinguished, and the bitter truth was finally made painfully apparent.
Lookshy was master, whether anyone liked it or not. While some believed it for the best, others would never forgive it for how their neighbors, their cousins, were so unceremoniously swept from Creation.
FURTHER INVASIONS Edit
Three foreign invasions commenced on the heels of the previous century’s civil wars. The first, from the reliably hostile Realm, came just a few years after the fighting ended, in 301. The Seventh Legion’s swift response to the attack earned back some of the faith it had lost in recent years. In fact, the near-instantaneous defeat of the Imperial legions by the relatively spent and haggard Seventh Legion, a force that had not stopped fighting for decades, seemed more like an afterthought. The defeat, just south of Sijan, earned Lookshy a princely sum from the ransom of significant personages, which Lookshy used exclusively for the fortification and renovation of its four remaining foreign redoubts, constructing not merely stronger walls and armaments, but barracks enough to house troops native to their respective regions. As a final display of good faith, the redoubts flew the flags of their host countries, maintaining that nation’s laws as well as Lookshy’s. Lookshy still holds this offi cial policy, though Lookshy’s laws are considered primary.
Later, in 364, the Arczeckh tribes invaded the League’s southern reaches. While the horde never menaced Lookshy directly, the Seventh Legion was on hand to assist assailed nations. It did so most notably toward the end of the conflict at the site of Nechara, where Taimyo White and the Fourth Field Force clashed with the Arczeckh chieftain Mokuu and his army. While the horde fought savagely, the barbarians were no match for White’s terrible sorcery, as he called eyes of blood-red fi re to gaze down upon the enemy, dripping flames from the sky, incinerating them where they stood. Mokuu himself was reduced to snowy ash, and even White himself eventually died from the aftereffects of the occult flames.
In 547, the Fair Folk invaded the Scavenger Lands once more, invoking terror throughout the region, but in Lookshy most acutely. For the average citizen, Lookshy stood a very real chance of being destroyed, and many considered Lookshy’s people and culture in danger of being lost to history.
Rumors spread that the Villanua Potenci had returned with No-Lion, now an all-powerful fae ghost, at its head. Every ship that appeared on the horizon was a raksha war galley to their minds. Many helots hid in their homes for months.
This rather unusual behavior belied the fact that the Seventh Legion had faced the raksha many times over the centuries.
But this instance seemed different. As time progressed, news came of nations laid waste, great armies cut down, ancient spirit kings devoured.
While the Seventh Legion played its part for the region, its field forces could not be everywhere at once, and there were still those who would not welcome them into their lands. As the war ended, a new military alliance was proposed, and the Confederation of Rivers was born.
TURNING POINT Edit
The middle of the sixth century marks the first major turning point in Lookshy’s history. Lookshy’s first 550 years are notable for demonstrating its vitality and power. Born out of the ashes of a fallen city-state, Lookshy’s citizens carved out a civilization remarkable for its mastery of military tactics, individualistic philosophy and noble character. While this period is largely a history of war, the period following the second raksha invasion marks the beginning of more subtle developments in government, public works, economics and politics. While many other nations’ recent history is noteworthy for infighting and a general inability to unite for a common cause, Lookshy’s leaders tended to look past trivial divisive matters and concentrate on the importance of a singular vision guiding the nation’s progress.
With many other nations in the Scavenger Lands, Lookshy become a signatory to the Confederation of Rivers in RY 557. While many of the signatories viewed the Confederation as a political shield or means to legally make war on other nations, the General Staff took (and continues to take) it very seriously. The General Staff was tired of being at odds with every nation in the League and was adamant that this new confederation should last.
In 559, a plan was put into action to construct many public buildings in every district and hinterland community, including baths, courts of justice, civicals, monuments and parks.
In 577, Gens Amilar commissioned the construction of a paved civic square in the hinterland community of Wasuvi.
This miniature complex of buildings housed state-of-the-art bath facilities, a civical with finely apportioned offices and in-house court of justice, and a recreational area with gardens and sports grounds. Two months later, Gens Karal, another prominent family, commissioned a new military bastion, training grounds and command center to be constructed in Javasavi, another community in Lookshy’s hinterland.
The family criticized Gens Amilar for wasting money and resources on such a frivolous display.
Hence began the tradition of hinterland sponsorship, a combination of civic goodwill and inter-Gentes one-upmanship that has managed to transform Lookshy’s outlying farming, fishing and craft communities from dens of poverty to palettes of largesse. Soon after the Gentes got caught up in the practice, other wealthy families made their own, at first modest, endowments.
RECENT EVENTS Edit
The Seventh Legion was instrumental in putting down Thorns’ army during its recent Realm-assisted invasion of the western Confederation states. While the conflict continued for two years and Lookshy was briefly besieged, the Seventh Legion was methodical and exacting in its defeat of many Dragon-Blooded-led field forces. The most trying battle, the battle of Mishaka, in which Thorns was finally defeated, involved a coalition of many nations accompanied by the Seventh Legion’s First and Third Field Forces. The battle is modern legend, and is still spoken of with excitement almost 15 years later.
The rumors of the Empress’s disappearance and the news of the Mask of Winters’ invasion of Thorns have once again awakened Lookshyans to the possibilities of political instability and war. While Lookshy has always had enemies and its people have never been strangers to war, a dire electricity prevails in the city, as if everyone knows they are sitting on the cusp of a new Age.
PEOPLE OF LOOKSHY Edit
The warriors of Lookshy believe in a brand of freedom that comes from honor, integrity, honesty and valor. They have little time and few words for foreigners who do not share their outlook, and they commonly treat such folk with open disdain. Lookshyans are a proud, energetic people, as famous for their patriotism as for their mastery of military strategy. They also value self-control, limiting their leisure and keeping to personal dietary, exercise and training regimens.
In addition, Lookshyans are a politically active community, with very few eschewing civic duties.
Lookshy exists to support the Seventh Legion, which itself exists to ensure the security of the city and the whole of the Confederation. All residents of the city accept and embrace this ideal. Over the centuries, it has become the very meaning of their lives.
LOOKSHYAN OUTLOOK Edit
The people of Lookshy hold a philosophical credo that is as self-serving as it is objectively unjust, while at the same time preening themselves as the guardians of justice in the Scavenger Lands. Boiled down, this credo states that only Lookshyans, who have earned their just laws through trials and fierce determination, deserve to live according to them.
As such, not all men are worthy of justice. Such a doctrine is puzzling, especially when it is not unusual to hear a typical Lookshyan utter in the same breath that tyranny is evil and should be eradicated when possible.
Lookshy’s philosophical outlook is a creation of the General Staff’s propaganda machine, at once legitimizing its rule and glorifying its achievements—a feature hardly unique. In Lookshy, however, the propaganda is not merely believed, followed and repeated by its lower class residents.
Rather, it is a weapon, a tool, a warning to other nations that Lookshy really is united. Instead of being used by Lookshy’s elite as a blunt instrument to dominate its own populace, the propagandistic outlook unique to Lookshy is more like a flaming sword wielded by all.
Most daily activities in Lookshy center around either an individual’s profession or her family, with not much time to spare. Factor in rest and meals, and it seems like Lookshyans live rather joyless, robotic lives. It is true that they spend much less time participating in leisure activities for their own sake, but they do find time for social gatherings, games and other more personal hobbies.
Reading out loud from popular books is a favorite way to relax for soldiers in barracks, as is playing The Boneyard, a dice game relying as much on guts and creative challenges as on luck. Helot card guilds meet monthly, wherein members spend an evening catching up on gossip, meeting old friends and sampling the newest imported drink over various games of strategy, skill and daring, which are preferred over games relying on pure luck. Games with a military theme, and exotic games imported from the South, are especially popular.
Many Lookshyans of all ranks and classes learn to lay a musical instrument. Most of them play brass instruments, the most popular being the zithyramb, a long, thin, sevenvalved trumpet. A few others play the quirethin, a rather complicated baritone apparatus with a brass mouthpiece and 14 thick sinews that the player plucks to create rhythm.
Lookshyans have a reputation for being very studious musicians who find it easier than most to technically master their instruments, but who also play with very little emotion or feeling. Many enjoy singing—military songs are learned from childhood—but few are talented. Nonetheless, evenings often include the sounds of residents tunelessly (and loudly) caroling their way home.
Lookshyans appreciate good food. That said, they do not often encounter it at home. Foreign spices have become popular as a measure to make the local fare more exciting, but most agree that nothing compares with sensoulaisa from a real Chiaroscuran kitchen. Standard meals at home usually feature Marukan beef and cheeses, locally produced breads and vegetables and mostly imported beverages such as wines, teas and trebolash, a syrupy brew enjoyed by children and the elderly. Most meals are prepared according to foreign recipes and heavily spiced with Chiaroscuran hot peppers, powdered green mustard and mastixa seeds (touted as the most painfully hot substance to come out of the West). New dishes are dreamt up daily, as rare ingredients aren’t always available; this suits most Lookshyans, who will usually try anything on their trencher.
Residents typically like to dress in blue- or red-dyed robes when not uniformed, with little variation in style between the wealthy and the poor, though wealthier persons favor imported silks and sateen over the locally produced cotton.
Members of the General Staff wear blue robes with one shoulder uncovered. Furs are generally avoided. In winter, thick, woven military jackets are the fashion. Many wear swords as a part of their daily fl air. Whiskers are not in fashion, though moustaches and beards are common in retired men. The typical Lookshyan wears little jewelry, except the occasional fi nger ring made of local materials. A common mantra, even among the very rich, goes, “We have little use for beads or their makers here. Bring me a sharp sword, and I will show you the greatest of gems.”
VIRTUE AND VICE Edit
While Lookshyans pride themselves on their discipline, they are not averse to revelry and carousal during personal time. It is no vice, they believe, to indulge in casual drink or drug use that does not interfere with their duties and those of others. On the other hand, it is considered unpardonable to, say, appear for duty drunk or under the influence of powerful drugs. Those doing so inevitably face lectures, extra duties, courts martial or other, less orthodox penalties.
Dragon-Blooded citizens are more likely than mortals to indulge excessively, but due to their well-known passions, they are permitted the occasional lapse, especially while young. Those caught succumbing to one vice or another in a manner dangerous to self or others, however, usually face court martial proceedings and are duly punished. Those found irredeemable find themselves unceremoniously dismissed from service or even executed.
Lookshyans consider their families to be sacred aspects of their lives. In general, this means loyalty to family elders and the provision of aid and support to the family’s youths, though competition with contemporaries is acceptable. With the exception of certain Dragon-Blooded societies, Lookshyans do not stress reproduction as a good for its own sake.
It is a civic good but not one that is forced upon residents.
As a result, same-sex marriages are not forbidden and carry with them no social stigma.
There is very little class warfare in Lookshy. Poverty is a condition, but it is not a mind-set and certainly not a vice. To confess oneself as poor is no great shame, for there are many great families and time-honored heroes who either came from or fell into poverty. It is much worse to be marked as dishonorable, a coward or a liar.
RESIDENTIAL RANKS Edit
Three distinct rankings separate folk in Lookshy. The first is based on civil status: Every person in Lookshy is either a citizen, a helot, an indentured servant or a metic.
The second distinction is based on a family’s wealth and fame. These two rankings are in no way correlated—there are wealthy or widely famed helots just as there are poor or obscure citizens. The third is based on military service. While all residents (citizens, helots and indentured servants) are de facto members of the Seventh Legion, on-duty soldiers are accorded special consideration.
Soldiers: Nearly all of Lookshy’s inhabitants report for active military duty during their lifetimes (only the infi rm and the mad are exempted). During this period of civil service, they are accorded the highest honors and treated with due deference by the rest of Lookshy society.
Citizens: All citizens are free in all respects but one: They may be called upon to serve at any time, whether in defense on the city or in one of the Seventh Legion’s numerous military campaigns, spy missions, recon runs, et cetera.
Once their military obligations are fulfilled, which is variable but usually consists of three tours of duty, they are free even to leave Lookshy and seek their fortunes elsewhere. Few do so, however, as most take pride in their city and hold dear their citizenship. Only citizens, of which there are a little over 10,000, may aspire to public office, speak at council or enter into contracts with indentured servants. Those citizens who choose to leave Lookshy may always return but must do so as helots (though they may petition the General Staff for restoration of their citizenship).
Wealthy citizens are expected to patronize one of the hinterland communities, which usually takes the name of the patron family. There are no set guidelines on what form this support should take. Some of the wealthiest families shower their patron villages with luxuries and civil improvements, all in their own honor, while others provide little more than their name, and the corresponding communities live mean lives of poverty.
Poor citizens are expected to keep up appearances as well as they are able. Families fallen on hard times tend to cling to their civil rights and responsibilities—participation at council, service to sponsored communities—as well as they can, as it is frequently all they have left with which to distinguish themselves.
As a group, citizens tend to be suspicious of novelty or any suggestion that Lookshyan society is outmoded, archaic, obscure or otherwise due for a change. They generally trust the system that has worked well for centuries. The laws in Lookshy are practically static, therefore, as few citizens see a need for reform.
The state provides for elderly citizens if their families cannot. Those who require care are granted a modest stipend and accommodations in one of the residence districts.
It is considered uncouth for citizens to have, or at least to show, a distaste for helots. Even the rude and unsophisticated helots living in the hinterland do not receive much disregard.
Instead, it is considered a sign of good grace to treat helots in an almost patronizing fashion, though without irony.
Helots: Numbering over 100,000, helots are the backbone of Lookshy society, making up Lookshy’s serf class and the bulk of its infantry. Over the centuries, helots have contributed the most to political stability during peacetime and remain enthusiastically committed to Lookshy’s interests in time of war. Helots do most of the actual work in Lookshy, from papermaking to carpentry, food production to road maintenance.
Despite their contributions, helots do not enjoy the same rights and freedoms as citizens. Although they may attend council, they cannot speak there. They may, however, join trade organizations and elect a member to speak on their behalf. They cannot own land but are free to own any other personal property they can afford.
Helots are paid for their work according to the value of their labor, not their social status, with many earning as much as citizens (and sometimes more). As such, some helots have managed to accumulate considerable wealth. The possession of wealth, however, does not bring with it the opportunity to move into more desirable accommodations.
The Seventh Legion provides standardized housing for all helots, regardless of means.
Like citizens, helots are provided for in their old age.
Although the retirement stipend is modest, it is sufficient for the needs of the average helot. (For some it is a windfall.)
Retired helots often join reserve legions that offer support to soldiers should the city ever fall under attack. These legions have not entered combat in centuries, however.
While they don’t enjoy all the benefits of citizenship, helots generally do not think of themselves as second-class citizens. After all, when Lookshy goes to war, citizens and helots stand side by side as soldiers. Helots consider the differences between citizens and themselves as more economic and familial, rather than political. They tend to see citizens as deserving of the rights given them, whether through valor on the battlefield or descent from a great family. They believe this, partly, because they each have the opportunity to elevate their station, as helots can be promoted to full citizenship status with the endorsement of the General Staff. Indeed, once per year, the General Staff selects a number of worthy helots to promote to citizenship. The criterion for selecting worthies is not set, nor is the number of helots to elect. Some years pass with few, or even no, helots being granted the honor, while in other years, dozens are elevated. Most helots chosen for promotion have proven themselves in battle or possess some famous quality, such as genius, civic loyalty, artistic ability or, in the case of wealthy helots, philanthropy.
While they do not hate the citizens as a class, the helots of Lookshy have little patience and no respect for even the highest-ranking citizen who gains his wealth or position dishonorably. When the helots discover such improprieties, blood flows in the streets.
Helots cannot independently leave the promontory without travel papers, which the General Staff grants only with good reason. Many helots travel extensively as soldiers and, with few exceptions, are pleased to spend their off-duty days on the promontory.
Metics: Traders, ambassadors, foreign merchants and students at the various salons and military academies are considered metics. They are usually under observation and treated with guarded suspicion. Only through honorable action can metics gain Lookshy’s trust. In general, metics are tolerated, and even treated graciously at times, but never seen as friends without the evidence of action.
Though they have fewer rights than even the helots, metics have a definite legal status. Their names are on file, and their comings and goings are closely recorded. While they may live in Lookshy, they cannot journey beyond the Fourth Ring or the Lower City without a transit pass. They pay a higher tax rate than citizens and helots, but they may demand the same protections. They may own property, but not real estate (though they can rent). They may enter into contracts, but disputes are almost always arbitrated in favor of Lookshy’s native residents. Metics may even marry into Lookshyan families, though any resulting children are still considered metics.
Indentured Servants: Those who find themselves in economic misfortune, or those found guilty of a serious crime, may be forced to sign themselves into service to a citizen in exchange for room, board, a modest stipend and forgiveness of debts.
Indentured service contracts must be notarized by the Adjutant General. They are of variable length but cannot exceed five years. At the conclusion of the contract, the servant regains his former social status. While the contract is in force, however, an indentured servant relinquishes most rights. While they pay no taxes, indentured servants cannot appear at council or even work legally outside of their contract, nor can they enter into any other business contract.
Indentured servants cannot be assaulted or otherwise abused by their heritors. Like other residents, indentured servants can be called to active duty to defend Lookshy, with no prejudice as to where they are stationed or the duties with which they are trusted.
DRAGON-BLOODED CITIZENS Edit
Lookshy is the largest enclave of Dragon-Blooded outside the Realm—nearly one in every 100 residents is of Terrestrial blood.
The Dragon-Blooded of Lookshy are always considered to be on active military duty, even if they technically are not. Therefore, they stand at the highest echelon of society throughout their lives. Beyond the honors accorded soldiers, however, they receive no special benefit with respect to the law or tradition. Their natural advantages are considered benefit enough—and they are expected to outperform those not similarly gifted.
Lookshy accepts Dragon-Blooded refugees from all over Creation, including the Realm. It does not do so blindly, however, carefully screening each applicant. Refugees typically begin their careers in the foreign service and remain under close observation for years or until their commanders are certain of their loyalty and good character. Those deemed unfit are politely asked to leave. Those who are accepted gain citizenship rights and are permitted to live in Lookshy, to marry into other Dragon-Blooded families and to pursue a profession (though military careers are always encouraged).
Many of the Dragon-Bloods in Lookshy are the result of very deliberate breeding programs. Dragon-Blooded marriage societies arrange marriages between historically compatible types. These societies publicly promote the good breeding and fertility of Terrestrials for the good of the state and are praised for their civic-mindedness in assuring the long life of the city. In practice, they tend to be hard-line manipulators obsessed with strengthening bloodlines. Of the highest value to these societies is a mating that produces the most number of children who Exalt—and Exalt well. Most Terrestrial families, and all of the Gentes, are affiliated with one or more of these fraternities. As such, most Dragon-Blooded do not marry for love, though they are expected to remain monogamous (so as not to disturb any ongoing eugenic programs).
THE GENTES OF THE SEVENTH LEGION Edit
The typical Lookshyan is proud of his nation and its reputation. It is a pride that extends to a healthy self-esteem in many aspects of Lookshy natives’ lives, regardless of social station or wealth. Belonging to an important family is also considered important in Lookshy society, not because of all of the nepotistic possibilities in being aligned by blood with the likes of the powerful, but because it augments their pride.
Being a member of a great house in the greatest city is, for many, an honor beyond all others. To malign one of these houses is to invite retribution, though the vengeful act will usually involve more political strategy than swordplay, unless the initial insult was violent as well.
The five major Gentes of Lookshy are the most powerful families in the city. They are each built around major Terrestrial bloodlines, venerable family histories, traditions of martial prowess and collections of First Age technology. Tracking genealogy is a favorite pastime for the Gentes, and most have accurate accounts of their family history dating back to the Contagion. Some families claim descent from First Age heroes or spirits, but most of these claims have no basis in fact.
The Gentes’ children have a few advantages over others, in that members of their family, and all of their friends, are always looking out for them and their interests. This also means that such children are expected to comport themselves in a way that shows their Gens in the most honorable light.
Children who bring dishonor to the Gens in any way are usually dealt with harshly.
Gens Amilar (Air): The youngest of the Gentes, this house is based on the bloodline of Taimyo Vondy Beulen.
Like Gens Karal, the Amilar family made the bulk of its fortune early in Lookshy’s history, dealing in rare books and manuscripts. As such, Gens Amilar has the most extensive private library in the city and operates many public ones as well. The family’s hinterland community, Wasuvi, enjoys a fine collection housed in a stately hall. Gens Amilar produces more teachers and lay artisans than any other family. Most of Gens Amilar’s scions are Interventionists, though the younger generation tends to be Purists.
Gens Karal (Fire): The Karal family traces its bloodline from the first Camp Liaison Officer, Karal Shan Zu, and takes great pride in its military heritage, with many military leaders among them. Traditionally, its scions are always the first to suggest marshalling troops for war, so long as it is a good cause and serves Lookshy’s interests. This Gens has a respectable fortune, earned and invested long ago. Karals tend to be frugal with their resources, but have provided well for their sponsored hinterland community, Javasavi.
Few merchant princes or sorcerer-engineers belong to this family by blood, though a few have married into it. These individuals are usually treated with caution, however—even those who have been in the family for decades—and they are never given any kind of access to the family purse strings.
Politically, the Gens Karal are Mercenaries, with Interventionist leanings.
Gens Maheka (Earth): Founded in Realm Year 323 by a well-placed combat engineer, this family has acquired great wealth through its controlling interest in many of Lookshy’s foundries and weapons manufactories. Known to be scrupulously honest and upright, the family is also the most loyal to the Shogunate Bureaucracy and the biggest martinets with regard to the Legion’s mandates and the Immaculate faith.
Gens Maheka is considered the model family, and even the Yushoto look to it for proper modes of behavior at times.
The Mahekas’ hinterland community, Langtang, is modestly apportioned but by no means lacking in comforts. Politically, they are nearly all Mercenaries.
Gens Teresu (Water): The Teresu family traces its lineage back to Admiral Teresu Mitaki, Chumyo Nefvarin’s fleet admiral. Since that time, the Gens has preserved its influence over naval matters and has developed a minor but thriving sea trade reaching as far as the Western Islands. This family produces many naval leaders in both navies and, consequently, has a signifi cant infl uence in the state’s naval matters. The Teresus’ hinterland community, Patna, is a place of splendor sitting along the banks of the Yanaze, containing many First Age ruins and state of the art naval training facilities. Politically, the family is split between Isolationists and Mercenaries.
Gens Yushoto (Wood): This family’s origins include many celebrated heroes who fought during the Contagion, but the individual revered for bringing such great individuals together was Yushoto Baraka, the Seventh Legion’s chief sorcerer-engineer. Gens Yushoto is involved in many aspects of Lookshy society and does not seek to pressure its children into any particular career. Politically, the Yushotos have no allegiance to any particular faction. The Gens Yushoto hinterland community, Birat Bazaz, is well taken of, but it does not contain any extravagant structures. The Yushoto family is quite egalitarian, however, and its members generally shun extravagance, seeing themselves as little different from the helots. They have even unofficially adopted several helots from Fansari (who’s sponsor Gens has fallen into obscurity) to whom they have taken a particular liking.
The Yushoto family is also somewhat aloof from the other Gentes, preferring to keep its drama to itself. Other Gentes, especially minor ones, tend to see the Yushotos as proud for the wrong reasons.
MINOR GENTES Edit
While the major Gentes are the strong pillars of Lookshy society, the minor Gentes ebb and fl ow according to the wiles of fate. Many remain important for centuries, while others attain no lasting signifi cance. At any given time, a dozen or so families have favor, wealth, influence and popularity enough to make their mark. These minor Gentes are built from the same bedrock as the major Gentes, though Terrestrial breeding is more or less a concern, depending on the Gens. Some minor Gentes, like the once-prominent Nefvarin, model themselves on the great Gentes. Others are more concerned with political influence or wealth. Mortal Gentes, of course, have no interest in Terrestrial breeding, but they have their own ideas on the production of a fine pedigree. Their notions are often derived from the breeding philosophies of the major Gentes, though.
Lookshy’s government is dominated by the Seventh Legion’s General Staff, a six-person assembly of mortal and Dragon-Blooded military officers. Most are like-minded on defense but have different non-military interests.
Lookshy’s government is non-expansionist, though not quite isolationist. They are exclusionists, favoring a tightly controlled and defended city-state that welcomes outsiders under strictly maintained conditions, with definite boundaries in place between those who belong and those who do not.
COUNCIL OF THE GENERAL STAFF Edit
The General Staff presides over the Council, which meets weekly or as needed in emergency cases. Citizens and helots are welcome to attend, though only citizens and certain elected helots may speak. Each Council is divided into two phases, the politic and the public. Most matters discussed in the politic phase concern military personnel matters and dry, policy-related minutia, though, occasionally, war proposals, moral orations and patriotic odes awaken the slumbering helots and invite prideful cheers. This phase is rigidly scheduled according to topics, with a member of the General Staff giving a short primer on the topic before it is discussed.
The Council is also the place where public opinion can be given voice: Complaints, suggestions, endorsements and castigations can all be heard here on a fairly regular basis during the public phase of the proceedings. Those who wish to speak during this phase must first present their case to a legator (a functionary of the General Staff) before the proceedings. Speakers have three minutes to speak, though anyone permitted to speak may move to permit an extension if the topic so warrants.
While Lookshy’s primary outlook is one of cooperation and unity of purpose, the finitude of resources demands that difficult decisions must be made on how best to allocate them.
Each industry, military branch and civil concern has arguments supporting the primacy of its needs, and each political faction has a philosophical outlook it deems appropriate for the times. Enter politics. While Lookshy’s political struggles are rather stoic compared to other places, and none have ever led to (open) bloodshed, tempers do fl are and perhaps unfortunate words are spoken when one group’s best interests are selected over another’s. But large-scale conflicts between political factions or other large concerns are rare. For the most part, no political entity is willing to compromise Lookshy’s security by making the nation appear divided and weak.
Historically, the rate of change in Lookshy’s political arena is staggeringly slow. This is not surprising, given both that the government and the conservative military are one and the same and that well-functioning policies have been in force for centuries. For matters that do not require immediate action, the General Staff rarely enacts policy changes without years of study and contemplation.
Most organized political factions do not concern themselves with specific industries or military branches. Their outlooks are more general and concern Lookshy’s role in the wider region of the River Province. Five major factions occupy the stage, though many minor, less popular outlooks are also represented.
Imperialists: Imperialists support covert interference in foreign regimes and the wooing of powerful foreign houses so that the Seventh Legion can someday claim sovereignty over other states. This faction is the least powerful of the five major ones, as its ideals are still out of fashion. Recently, however, with the incident at Thorns and the disappearance of the Empress, the Imperialists have gained in popularity, as many feel that the best way to guarantee security in such uncertain times is to control as much of the region as possible.
Interventionists: Lookshy is quite active in River Province politics, actively defending much of the territory, training and arming foreign armies and participating in the Confederation of Rivers. Interventionists would have Lookshy participate even more, perhaps to the point of dominating the political landscape and resurrecting the Shogunate Bureaucracy.
Why not, they reason, have a single army under a Lookshy-dominated Shogunate? That would surely make the Confederation more secure.
Isolationists: The Isolationists believe that Lookshy has its fingers stretched too far and sunk into too many pies. They presume that Lookshy’s wealth and military resources should benefit Lookshy alone. They see the Confederation as irrelevant at best, potentially involving Lookshy in struggles a thousand leagues away that in no way impacts it. The most extreme of these Isolationists seek to cut all non-commercial ties to other nations, dismantling foreign redoubts and recalling all garrisons.
Mercenaries: The most powerful faction in Lookshy, the Mercenaries believe that the current state of affairs is optimum for guaranteeing the security of Lookshy. Hence, they do whatever they can to preserve the status quo. Their opposition to the other parties’ lines of argumentation has, in recent years, become somewhat contentious and accusatory as these rivals gain more support from the people. While the Mercenaries would like to see a return of the Shogunate, most are willing to await the coming of a true heir.
The Pursuers of Immaculate Purity (Purists): The Purists advocate a moral crusader policy, pitting the Seventh Legion as tool to be used against the wicked and heretical in the Scavenger Lands. They wish to restore the Shogunate as soon as possible, but only in order to spread the faith of the Immaculate Dragons. Most of Lookshy’s citizenry shies away from this party, adherents of which can often be seen on Third and Fourth Ring street corners accosting passersby with their pitches.
Helot Factions: Helot factions are concerned more with the interests of a particular community or industry than general philosophy. While helots, as individuals, cannot speak at Council, groups of them may elect a spokesman to do so. Even though they do not carry the influence of the five major factions, most are content just to have their voices heard.
Lookshy does not form alliances with cowards or those it cannot trust. That said, it is no surprise that the city has few true allies. Despite contracts, vows and treaties, most Confederation states cannot be called friends. With few exceptions, these nations frequently seek to discover loopholes in contracts, to fabricate false dangers and to stage inane protests in pursuit of their own ends. Lookshy considers itself the parent that is taken advantage of by children that it must protect for their own good, so these obvious ploys are often overlooked or dealt with calmly.
Great Forks: While it might seem strange at first blush, Great Forks is one of Lookshy’s most dependable and stable allies. Officers from Great Forks are the most common foreign students in Lookshy salons, and Great Forks’ traders have reserved spots in the District of Trade’s markets. Many Lookshyans deal with the people of Great Forks as they would any other foreigner, though their officers and merchant princes often merit superior treatment in the eyes of most Lookshyans. Generally welcoming, Lookshyans have no real reservations about the folk of Great Forks aside from their insistence on heresy (which only Lookshyan Purists take great issue with) and their tendency to dwell on certain ignoble aspects of Lookshy’s past.
The Marukan Alliance: Lookshy is currently very closely allied with the free-spirited Marukan “horselords.” All of the seventh Legion’s horses are Marukan steeds, widely known as the fi nest available. The Marukan Redoubt is a welcome fixture in Marukan lands, and the two nations exchange training and intelligence on a regular basis. Lookshyans have a romantic fascination with the Marukani, who live such different lives and yet are so similar in their love of liberty.
Metagalapa: While not generally known in Lookshy, most of Metagalapa’s Dragon-Blooded trace their ancestry back to a talon of Seventh Legion scouts. Their lineage and battle prowess have earned the favor of Lookshy, which has signed many lucrative contracts for various metals in exchange for grain, arms and training. Most of Lookshy’s helots do not know where the visiting hawkriders come from. While tales abound—some believe they are spirits—only those who have served extensively in Hundred Kingdoms’ territory and the few lucky scouts given the chance to train with the hawkriders on their floating mountain know exactly whence they come.
When the hawkriders arrive, it is a minor wonder.
It is the Lookshyan way to make light of the enemy. This mindset, applicable in the case of all enemies but theraksha, stems from the Lookshyan sense of national superiority. Lookshy’s people respect their enemies insofar as they are worthy combatants and dismiss all others as insignificant.
Linowan: The Linowan, commercial pirates, allies to the Realm and often friends to the raksha, have been chronically troublesome. While the Seventh Legion has no desire to confront the Linowan directly in a formal war for fear of brewing a larger conflict (even though its officers are certain of victory), it by no means treats the Linowan with a gentle hand. Linowan pirates and raiders are considered fair game for the Seventh Legion, and open war is not out of the question. Lookshy has been at war with the Linowan three times in the past 200 years. Typical Lookshyans consider the Linowan hangers-on and bores. If not for the Realm or the raksha, the Linowan would be less than nothing, many Lookshyans believe. This is in the face of many successful attacks on Lookshy’s economic interests, some resulting in the ruination of Lookshy families.
While the Linowan are not the noblest or the most powerful of enemies, they are certainly cunning and have managed to become a serious concern for Lookshy’s merchant princes.
The Raksha: The people of Lookshy hate and fear the Fair Folk. While not technically at war, Lookshy will not enter into any kind of agreement, treaty or contract with the raksha and will treat with them under only the direst circumstances. The raksha have not appeared on the promontory in force for centuries, but the Seventh Legion has assisted other River Province nations against them dozens of times over the years. Should the raksha manage to attack Lookshy directly, it would be difficult to maintain order.
The Realm: The General Staff treats the Realm with wary hostility during the best of times and has never shown it what the Empress would have referred to as “the proper respect.” While Lookshy signs treaties of non-aggression at times, it does so with the knowledge that the Realm’s navies will violate them within months. Lookshy never trades with the Realm and does not officially permit its residents to travel there. Unofficially, the Intelligence Directorate has many spies placed throughout the Realm, with a dozen or so on the Blessed Isle itself.
The citizens of Lookshy widely consider the Realm’s people to be soft and spoiled, akin to children who have been handed every luxury, only to squander it on corruption and a lumbering empire. As such, Lookshyans have no fear of the Realm, believing that they possess more First Age tactical weaponry than the Realm and have better trained soldiers.
Thorns: The Mask of Winters is the true tyrant of Thorns—no one in Lookshy wishes to make war on Thorns’ suffering citizenry. Currently, the General Staff considers the Deathlord to be the greatest potential threat facing the security of Lookshy. It is unlikely in the extreme that the General Staff will ever agree to any contracts, trade or treaties with Thorns until its tyrant is ousted. Any movement by the Mask of Winters into the River Province region will result in open war.
While the people of Lookshy have heard of the Mask of Winters’ coup, they do not understand who or what the Deathlord is or what he is capable of. As a result, the Council floor has been rife with motions to send troops to Thorns in a measure to dethrone the Mask of Winters. There has also been recent talk of annexing Thorns for the foreseeable future to prevent further incursions. As time goes on, more and more are willing to accept this proposal.
OTHER POLITICAL CONCERNS Edit
Lookshy is a worldly nation, with ambassadors, military contingents and spies placed throughout the Scavenger Lands, the South, the North and even the Blessed Isle. Given the scope of the arena in which it chooses to operate, it is noteworthy that politically, Lookshy is more of a homebody, entrenching itself so much in regional politics that it has not time or energy left for the concerns of the wider world. This is no accident, but a part of Lookshy’s foreign policy, which focuses on regional security to such a degree that no nation would dare attempt an invasion. As Lookshy is not imperialist, the General Staff has little interest in the movements of foreign armies, unless they approach too closely to the Scavenger Lands.
The Anathema: While the Solar Exalted are not hunted or shunned in Lookshy, their arrival is not considered good news. Peaceable Anathema have come to Lookshy and found cordial accommodations for the length of their visits, but their unpredictability combined with the raw power at their disposal makes them difficult to befriend.
The Confederation of Rivers: Lookshy’s history with nearly every nation in the Confederation is a spotty one at best. Without Lookshy, however, the Confederation would be an empty exercise in solidarity. Everyone is aware of this, Lookshy most keenly. Where some nations might use this leverage to extract even more lucrative contracts and assert more dominance of the region, Lookshy has been rather pacific with the Confederation since the incident at Thorns. Preferring to focus on the threat at hand, Lookshy’s ambassadors have stressed cooperation, the extension of treaties and their willingness to negotiate fairer contracts with member nations for the sake of preparing a unified front should the Mask of Winters turn his eyes northward.
The Delzahn and Chiaroscuro: Lookshy seems endlessly fascinated with the cunning and mystery of the Delzahn culture, not to mention the spices and other exports the city provides. Merchants, merchant-spies and high-ranking Lookshy officers have been invited to the Tri-Khan’s table, and Delzahn warriors occasionally put into port at Lookshy, causing commotion and thrills throughout the city.
Gethamane: The empire-building Haslanti League, with its superior technology, has recently ignored treaties and attacked several of Gethamane’s outlying military posts with no provocation, making its intentions no secret. Gethamane’s leaders see nothing but war and misery on the horizon, and Lookshy, formerly a friend, has been no help. Because Lookshy has been courting the Haslanti League in preparation for lucrative contracts, it has refused to come to Gethamane’s aid. Letters of protest have been sent to Lookshy, but the General Staff, loath as it is to abandon Gethamane, has not responded.
Greyfalls: As a loyal Realm territory, Greyfalls is technically an enemy of Lookshy. Its distance from the Imperial City has led to a certain laxity with respect to official Realm policy, though. Over the last century, there has been little official communication between Lookshy and Greyfalls, and the Seventh Legion has had few encounters with Greyfalls’ forces, none of them violent. The silence from Greyfalls worries the General Staff, but as there does not appear to be any threatening movement from Greyfalls, the General Staff is content to wait for Greyfalls to make the first move.
The Haslanti League: The Haslanti League is a conundrum. Many in Lookshy desire friendly relations with it, for the Haslanti nation is rich and has much to trade. Just as many think that the Haslanti are not only amoral and unworthy of Lookshy’s friendship, but present a danger to River Province security. The Haslanti are efficient imperialists, and the General Staff would prefer it if they would keep their distance, but they also offer many business and technological opportunities of which the most powerful Gentes wish to take advantage. A trio of ambassadors from Gens Maheka has managed to secure contracts with the Haslanti that provide for an exchange of technologies. This is much to the dissatisfaction of critics who see the escalating relationship as foolish and dangerous.
The Hundred Kingdoms: There is concern that the Hundred Kingdoms might one day unite into a single, formidable power, but this possibility seems very far off indeed. Currently, their middling military strength is spent on internal conflicts and their economy and trade potential are of little interest. When necessary, the Seventh Legion operates cautiously in Hundred Kingdoms territory, not out of fear, but to avoid any unnecessary misunderstandings. For their part, the Hundred Kingdoms’ armies give the Seventh Legion a wide berth, but any sort of alliance is very unlikely.
Nexus: Most Lookshyans would rather forget about Nexus. They see Nexus as a den of rampant and unfocused commercialism and an overall undisciplined and irresponsible turmoil. Nexus has its own complaints, however, and accuses Lookshy of scapegoating and warmongering and generally disrupting business. Nexus’s people also have a long memory and still blame Lookshy for many citywide catastrophes during the last raksha invasion. The Guild is welcome to do business in Lookshy, but only on such a limited basis that it is not worth maintaining a larger presence. The facilities it does have are mostly devoted to moving products through Lookshy on to other destinations.
Sijan: Why Sijan is not a formal ally is a mystery. They have never been in conflict, and they enjoy several lucrative contracts. Lookshy mercenaries routinely patrol Sijan’s borders and maintain garrisons outside the city to ensure its security, an arrangement with which Sijan seems happy. In exchange, a company from Sijan’s Morticians’ Order manages the interment of many of Lookshy’s dead in local crypts. Sijan insists on remaining neutral, however, though it frequently supports Lookshy’s causes at the Council of the Concordat.
Whitewall: Lookshy’s friendly overtures with the Haslanti League have strained its relations with many of Haslanti’s Northern neighbors, but none more than Whitewall. Formerly on friendly terms, if not quite allies, Whitewall has since cancelled all of its Lookshy contracts—even for mundane items from Lookshy’s merchant princes—and refuses to negotiate new ones. This friction has caused minor economic instability among Lookshy merchants who did considerable business in Whitewall. It has seen the near fall of the Oculoi family and countless metics who rely on good relations with Whitewall. While Lookshy is certainly agreeable to trading with Whitewall, the General Staff has made only a cursory effort to resolve the matter.
THE SEVENTH LEGION Edit
The Seventh Legion is not considered the supreme military force without reason. Its weaponry is unrivaled among any army in the Scavenger Lands and even surpasses the potency of the Realm’s armaments. Its soldiers are trained from youth and drilled throughout their lives. The location of Lookshy on the promontory allows the Seventh Legion to restrict access to and from the Yanaze, while the Lookshy Wall provides tight security against land forces. High city walls, natural springs, networks of underground passages and hinterlands specifically developed for defense contribute to one of the most defensible cities in the Scavenger Lands.
The Seventh Legion uses the old Shogunate rank structure with a few minor tweaks. Note that few mortals advance beyond the rank of shozei, and none beyond kazei, mostly due to their relatively short life span. The Seventh Legion stresses the proper chain of command and insists that orders be passed down the chain by the proper commander to his charges, who pass them on down the line, as appropriate. Therefore, it is unusual to see, say, a kazei issuing direct orders to a lowly sochei except, perhaps, in the heat of battle.
Lookshy does not employ a linear promotion structure. A nitei, for example, may be promoted to whatever rank fits both the Seventh Legion’s needs and the nitei’s abilities. While vast jumps in the hierarchy are nearly unheard of, they are possible. Bukane Tava Quan, a brilliant soldier and strategist, was promoted from gunchei to shozei for leading her fang to several victories during the recent conflict with Thorns.
Nitei: The lowest rank of the Seventh Legion and the majority of Lookshy’s fighting force. Helots and citizens alike begin their service here. Those who do not decide on a military career usually remain at this rank all their lives. Reports to gochei.
Gochei: The rank passes orders from chuzei to the nitei in their fang. The gochei is recognized as the leader and figurehead of a fang. Fangs are often referred to by the name of the gochei. Reports to chuzei.
Haichei: These soldiers are the majority of the Seventh Legion’s technicians and hardware specialists. While they may be promoted to shonai, most helots remain at this rank, which is considered equivalent in rank to the gochei.
Sochei: This soldier is the administrative aide for a scale. She manages the distribution of supplies, leave schedules, post delivery, pay distribution and other clerical duties. Reports to chuzei.
Shonai: This enlisted class operates, maintains, administers and manages the Seventh Legion’s equipment and support personnel. They are also counted on to offer counsel, advice and solutions to support the command. Reports to chuzei, but is often called upon by officers of higher rank.
Chozei: The lowest officer class, most Dragon-Blooded citizens begin at this rank after graduating from a salon or academy. Their emphasis is on training enlisted personnel. They also manage standards of performance and the professional development of their talon. Reports to chuzei.
Chuzei: Recognized as one of the most difficult positions in the Seventh Legion, chuzei are responsible for all sub-officer activity for a scale or talon. Day-to-day operations for a chuzei are a balancing act between strategy meetings, observing training operations, paper-pushing and problemsolving. Most are masters of delegation and multitasking. Reports to taizei.
Taizei: Taizei command a talon or wing of troops and concentrate on military organization, preparedness, specialized training and the suitability and availability of equipment. Reports to shozei.
Shozei: Shozei command a wing or dragon of troops. This officer is responsible for collecting reports from the taizei under her command and ensuring that all units work together, taking disciplinary measures when necessary. Reports to kazei.
Kazei: Kazei command a dragon of troops. This officer reports directly to the taimyo regarding all activities ongoing within his dragon. While a daunting thought, the kazei relies on reports from various underlings and is commonly ignorant of most details. Reports to taimyo.
Taimyo: There are two types of taimyo, field-force commanders (taimyo-yin) and administrative overseers (taimyo-tuva). Taimyo-yin lead the Seventh Legion’s various field forces. Taimyo-tuva act as leaders of the Seven Directorates. Traditionally, the two oppose one another in Council, though this is more theatrics than real hostility. Reports to General Staff and the Chumyo.
Chumyo: The leader of the Seventh Legion, the chumyo is the figural power of Lookshy. She is the leader of the General Staff, but never to the point of domination or abuse. The chumyo can be removed by a majority vote of the General Staff, though this has happened only once in Lookshy’s history.
Daimyo: A provincial leader appointed by the Shogun. There are as many daimyos as the Shogun wishes, and each possesses as much power as the Shogun wishes him to have. Currently, there are no daimyos in the Seventh Legion.
Shogun: The traditional leader of the Shogunate, appointed by birthright. The Shogun’s bloodline was lost during the Contagion, but hope still exists that an heir will someday surface.
Sazei: A skyship’s captain, ranked as a taizei. Each sazei is responsible for the operation of one skyship.
Haizei: A skyship pilot, ranked as a chuzei. At least two haizei are needed to pilot each skyship.
SEVENTH LEGION FIELD FORCES Edit
Casually called “legions,” these field forces combined represent the entirety of Lookshy’s military forces. All soldiers, regardless of their rank or specialization, receive assignments in one of the field forces, each of which amounts to approximately five dragons of soldiers, though some field forces, such as the foreign legions, expand and contract regularly. Each field force has a purpose or specialty, though they are not strictly governed by their particular strengths (i.e., the First Field Force has a few talons of battlefield units).
THE FIRST FIELD FORCE Edit
The First Field Force is composed of various special forces, reconnaissance units and highly mobile troops who are called in for specialized tasks. Units from this field force are often used in urban warfare, forest and jungle settings and other close-quarters operations where smaller, faster and more potently armed troops are appropriate. The First also has several units specializing in extreme environments such as deserts, steppes and tundra. Each talon from this field force consists of elite shock troops and reconnaissance units and highly specialized heavy units such as ashigaru. These units are reinforced by warstiders, combat engineers, dragon warriors (the Lookshyan designation for dragon-armored Terrestrial Exalts) and rangers.
The First Field Force is an elite force, with access to powerful and sometimes experimental weaponry and vehicles. Only the most focused, intelligent and highly skilled soldiers are accepted to it. Soldiers from the First Field Force can be stationed anywhere, with established quarters in all of the known and secret redoubts and many other foreign encampments and fortresses in and beyond the River Province.
Taimyo Karal Linwei leads this field force. The General Staff is loath to contract out First Field Force units to other nations except in emergency cases, in service to close allies or in cases where the contracted fee makes the expense worthwhile. Its soldiers wear red armor.
THE SECOND FIELD FORCE Edit
This field force is Lookshy’s main front-line battlefield unit. It is normally activated only in cases of open war. The rest of the time, its soldiers conduct exercises and war games on the promontory inside the Lookshy Wall. Units from the Second Field Force are often contracted for foreign service as well.
The Second Field Force consists primarily of heavy infantry, archers and a wing’s worth of horse skirmishers, It is not a comprehensive force, and it requires special operations reinforcement from the Home Guard. This field force is considered by many to be the backbone of the Seventh Legion. Its soldiers wear forest green armor and conical helms and are led by Taimyo Yushoto Marana.
THE THIRD FIELD FORCE Edit
This field force specializes in siege warfare. Having a large supply of heavy weaponry, it is usually the force dispatched to deal with dangerous Wyld creatures and behemoths as well. Due to their large, unwieldy and dangerous equipment, most Third Field Force units are stationed in fortresses on the promontory inside the Lookshy Wall.
This field force consists primarily of heavy infantry and archers with specialized siege-weapon training, reinforced with warstriders and combat engineers. Soldiers wear jade-green armor in battle, but switch to similarly colored jackets for ceremonial purposes. They are led by Taimyo Maheka Lespa.
THE FOURTH FIELD FORCE Edit
Led by the progressive Taimyo Teresu Zen Wu, this field force has become a melting pot of new methods of organization and tactics. As a result, the Fourth Field Force has a large number of small, functionally independent units that excel in non-textbook situations. When not contracted out on unusual missions, units constantly drill in new, experimental techniques and tactics as well as develop novel methods of defeating recognized threats.
Taimyo Teresu considers it advantageous to have all sorts of units on hand to test his battlefield theories and to explore all possibilities for any tactical situation. Soldiers of the Fourth wear silver armor that they polish to a high sheen every morning as a part of their daily exercises. This armor, which is worn in battle and ceremonially, is a source of pride for all of this field force’s soldiers. Although this field force has the highest battle casualty rate, it is also a great theater for distinguishing oneself as a soldier in difficult, uncertain situations. For this reason, it also has the highest number of granted citizenships in the Seventh Legion.
THE LOOKSHY HOME GUARD Edit
Like the First Field Force, the Home Guard has a high concentration of a wide variety of specialists (about half the force). This force mainly serves as a source of specialist units that reinforce other field forces. The soldiers who are not specialists are primarily heavy infantry and archers. This force is officially stationed in the District of Barracks, though most units can be found attached to other field forces.
Taimyo Maheka Varil, the Home Guard’s leader, is notoriously militaristic and tries to have as many of his units actively engaged in missions as possible. The Home Guard wears purple armor, with white cloaks added for ceremonial events.
THE LEGION RESERVE Edit
All Seventh Legion soldiers who have served one tour of duty and have not decided on a military career are automatically enrolled in the reserve, or “the Gray Legion” as it’s also known. By last count, the number of Gray legionnaires equals more than six full field forces. The reserve has not been activated in over three centuries, but retired soldiers continue to drill once per week, though the exercises tend to be more devoted to civil engineering and disaster preparation than actual battle training. Some in the General Staff claim that the Gray Legion is unneeded or in dire need of organization, but its commanding officer, Taimyo Taroketo Stonefist, an old soldier of many campaigns himself, adamantly opposes making any significant changes.
The Gray Legion’s members usually wear gray, loosefitting uniforms. Many are mortal helots with important professions and enjoy the respect of the community despite having retired from military service.
THE NAVAL FORCE Edit
Lookshy’s navy functions primarily as troop transport, merchant vessel escort and river patrol. While the Seventh Legion possesses over a dozen First Age vessels in working order (and a further dozen in various states of repair), its naval forces are middling compared to the great navies of Creation. Naval ashigaru, soldiers and sazei make up this force’s talons, each one of which are assigned to a pair of ships, called a seabrace. The Naval Force has 75 conventional ships and is commanded by Admiral Sirel Sogrun.
Naval Force seamen wear navy blue armor with small white skullcaps. In ceremony, they wear long, dark blue wool coats over their uniforms.
THE SKY GUARD Edit
The only functioning fleet of First Age skyships in Creation, the Sky Guard is the pride of Lookshy. Skyships are continually being retired, as their age, their general wear and tear, and the city’s limited maintenance capabilities make it difficult to preserve such venerable machines.
Because of its equipment’s delicacy, the Sky Guard rarely enters combat. Routine assignments include patrolling Lookshy’s districts and environs, troop transport and surveillance missions. There are 115 working skyships currently in operation. Each is manned by 15 Sky Guard specialists and supported by 10 ground-crew technicians. Five manned skyships and their support staffs make up a talon.
Because the skyships are few and military operations ongoing, the Sky Guard’s services are frequently in demand. Taimyo Nefvarin Shou-Yu leads the Sky Guard. Sky Guard soldiers wear sky-blue armor with small dark-blue skullcaps. In ceremony, they wear long, white wool coats over their uniforms.
THE LOOKSHY MANSE GUARD Edit
Lookshy’s last line of defense, the Manse Guard is a primarily mortal force of well-armed soldiers permanently stationed in the city. This force maintains Lookshy’s defensive operations and devices. In times of war, its commander, Taimyo Bukane Winter Rose, has authority over all military operations in the city.
While important, duty in the Manse Guard is not particularly desirable for those who crave battle, and it has been dubbed “the Yellow Guard” by the rank and file. Its soldiers wear black armor and add silver sashes in ceremony.
THE FOREIGN LEGIONS Edit
The Seventh Legion maintains several foreign operations too remote or too politically tenuous to easily accomplish with standard forces. Therefore, fortresses, redoubts and other foreign troop encampments are occupied by troops from the foreign legions. These troops are often former slaves, mercenaries, criminals or refugees from other lands wishing to put the past behind them in exchange for protection from those who would hold them accountable for past deeds (moneylenders, law-enforcement officials, etc…).
When recruited, the new foreign legionnaire is given a new name and modest equipment, then intensively trained in one of the secret redoubts for one year. If she survives the rigorous training program, she graduates into a new life as a janissary legionnaire. More than half quit before the first month has ended. Only 10 percent make it through the program.
Janissaries technically fall under the command of the Second Field Force, but the foreign legion has evolved over the years into a practically separate entity. Most janissaries do not rise above the rank of gochei, and cannot be promoted above taizei. While the foreign legions are under Seventh Legion supervision while stationed in redoubts or while accompanying other field forces, they frequently find themselves “on their honor.” No redoubts are manned solely by janissaries, though some minor fortresses are.
Janissaries are granted eight weeks’ leave every other year and are given a version of a transit pass granting them free passage through Confederation territory, a right more or less honored depending on the nation. Some journey to Lookshy itself.
The foreign legions wear no standard uniform in battle. They are given refurbished armor and weapons from the various field forces such that the armor is usually multicolored and faded and the weapons well used.
THE GENERAL STAFF Edit
The General Staff is the Seventh Legion’s administrative command group, as well as the political engine that controls nearly all aspects of life in Lookshy. It is composed of two groups, the Martial Staff and the Administrative Staff.
The Martial Staff, comprising six senior officers and the Seventh Legion’s chumyo, primarily concerns itself with military matters.
The Administrative Staff fluctuates in size, with an average of 23 seats. The chumyo leads the Administrative Staff but cannot dominate it completely.
Seven directorates support the Seventh Legion and provide for Lookshy’s security. Each directorate, led by a taimyo, is responsible for a certain arena of duties, some of which overlap and all of which are necessary for the operation of the Lookshy nation.
THE DIRECTORATE OF THE ADJUTANT GENERAL Edit
This directorate is responsible for personnel and their training. As all employment and training of Lookshy’s residents is state-sponsored, the Adjutant General’s office is a very significant directorate. It manages each resident’s education and employment records and calculates aptitudes and strengths, then assigns appropriate responsibilities. A resident’s first unit, any specialty military positions and post-military career is all managed by the Adjutant General’s office. Residents may petition the Adjutant General in writing to request an assignment or career change, but the requests must usually be in line with the individuals’ education or experience to be granted, though especially resourceful or intelligent residents may be given special consideration.
The Adjutant General’s office also manages the housing assignments for all residents. In general, residents are assigned residences in the same district or community as their family by default. Requests for a change of residence are almost always denied, unless the resident can demonstrate a business-related need. Housing is also arranged for metics, new helots and citizens and estranged slaves.
Funerary arrangements are the directorate’s final responsibility to a citizen. While morticians from Sijan handle the actual interment, the Adjutant General’s office handles all expenses and provides for any of the deceased’s disabled dependents in a fitting manner, should there be no family members able to do so.
THE JUSTICE DIRECTORATE Edit
Law enforcement for the Seventh Legion is in the hands of the Justice Directorate. It has a bad reputation, not for being overly corrupt or severe, but for being, in general, soft on crime. Word on the street is that, as long as you stay out of their way and don’t call attention to yourself, the justicars will leave you alone. This is exactly what the Justice Directorate wants. Minor crimes are often overlooked or closely contained. Arrests don’t occur until a situation endangers the populace (notably citizens). As long as a criminal operation is small, justicars usually look the other way. The justicars also handle many major crimes without resorting to arrest. They often allow known foreign spies to continue operation, for instance, but deliberately surrounded them with Security Directorate agents who feed them false information. Violent major crimes, however, receive serious treatment and swift action.
With a few exceptions, fangs of justicars patrol each district and any place where the Seventh Legion has a presence. Most of their time is spent resolving minor disputes and incarcerating petty criminals. In such cases, judgments are often handed down on the spot, with punishments ranging from minor fines or reduction in pay, to publication in the Black Lists. Black Lists are publicly accessible records of dishonorable deeds and those who perform them, hung in public bath houses and municipal buildings all over Lookshy once per month. In the case of active-duty soldiers, the offenders’ commanding officer is notified before any action is taken. For repeat offenders, the Justice Directorate works with the reprobate’s shozei to arrange a reduction in rank.
Metics receive harsher judgments, as they commit the majority of crimes. Justicars must investigate more complicated major-crime cases. Investigations require the involvement of a justicar of chuzei rank and a judge, who administers the case and hands down a verdict once the investigations have been completed. Punishments tend to include heavy fines, imprisonment, caning or, in the worst cases, death by beheading. Any judgment can be appealed in the appropriate district Court of Justice. Given the practice of summary judgments for minor infractions, few appeal them. Punishments issued for major crimes and capital offenses are often appealed, though verdicts are rarely overturned. In some cases, additional or more severe punishments result. Soldiers always maintain the right to demand a military tribunal of officers if they so desire before any punishment is carried out by the Justice Directorate. Many prefer to simply handle the matter with as little fuss as possible, however.
Lookshy is a civilization where deeds are primary and words so much air. As a result, threats, slander, libel, even vocal sedition, are not punishable offenses, though very few Lookshyans would ever take advantage of such freedoms. While these things are not illegal, however, they carry certain social ramifications that the populace itself tends to ensure. While reactions to slander are variable, those known to have seditious intentions are watched carefully and usually shunned socially.
Judges cannot hand down exile as a punishment to residents of Lookshy. It is a particular point of Lookshyan pride that they can take care of their own and not force the rest of the world to eat their bad apples. In fact, judges are much more inclined to ban hardened criminals from ever leaving Lookshy. Metics, on the other hand, are routinely banished for major crimes. Minor crimes include petty theft, dueling, barehanded assault, speaking at Council without leave or right, disregard for public property and trespassing. Major crimes include rape, assault with a weapon, major theft and smuggling. Capital offenses include murder, treason, conspiracy and unsanctioned espionage.
THE SECURITY DIRECTORATE Edit
Counterintelligence and military security are the provinces of this directorate, which uses rigorous surveillance methods, disinformation and cryptographic security to ensure Lookshy’s safety. The surveillance and registration of foreigners is accomplished by the directorate’s Civilian Affairs office and includes the distribution of transit passes and work permits. All foreigners entering Lookshy territory through any of the Lookshy Wall entrances or Port District landings are registered and at least cursorily investigated. Massive files, detailing every individual who has legally entered the city for the last 500 years, are kept in the directorate’s headquarters. This directorate is responsible for the registration and possible confiscation of First Age artifacts coming into the city. The directorate’s sorcerer-engineers investigate all confiscated items. If an item is deemed to be safe, it is returned to the owner with a registration permit, which must be kept with the item at all times. Investigators may offer fair sums for items deemed worthy of inclusion in Lookshy’s stores. First Age weaponry is always of interest, but books, communication devices, vehicles, apparatus that enhance skills and Charms and other items are also routinely purchased at fair prices, such that scavenger lords tend to visit Lookshy regularly. Items considered too dangerous or volatile, such that they may compromise the safety and security of Lookshy are kept in one of many secret storage locations in the tunnels on the promontory. All items of this sort must be reclaimed at the Blue-Green River Gate.
As a further security measure, directorate agents routinely vet foreign legion personnel for spies and saboteurs. Unannounced site-visits of redoubts by agents disguised as Marukan horsemen or Seventh Legion officers are standard practice.
THE STORES DIRECTORATE Edit
This directorate manages the acquisition, storage and disbursement of all arms, equipment, vehicles and clothing to the soldiery. All requests for new equipment must be made through the central Stores Directorate office.
Under the umbrella of the Stores Directorate can also be found the Arsenal Staff, a government-run firm engaged in the research, design and construction of military artifacts. State sorcerer-engineers design and build new weaponry, while masters of the arsenal are on hand to repair, maintain and store them. The Arsenal Staff also trains soldiers to use created items. All artifacts confiscated by the Security Directive are turned over to the Arsenal Staff. Those that are purchased or kept become state property and are added to the Arsenal Staff’s catalogue.
The Stores Directorate maintains storage facilities all over Lookshy, though most are kept in the Warehouse and Port Districts. Many artifacts are kept in the Academy of Sorcery, but the most powerful items are stored in the underground network beneath Lookshy Manse.
THE LIAISON DIRECTORATE Edit
This directorate manages all civil concerns in Lookshy and its holdings abroad. It employs examiners—usually older, retired citizens or conscientious objectors of good reputation and family—to manage the day-to-day needs of each district. These are usually life-appointments, unless an individual bungles things to the point of catastrophe. The Liaison Directorate is the least military-affiliated bureau in Lookshy and is considered an acceptable alternative profession for those who object to more war-oriented careers. That said, examiners and their staffs must still be intimately familiar with emergency siege-prep procedures and other military details necessary for district security.
Examiner Superior—Part public-works inspector, part municipal accountant, this official oversees the various examiners inferior. She also manages major repairs and new construction projects throughout the city. The examiner superior employs a staff of 40 administrators.
Examiner Inferior—These officials, one for every district, are responsible for the everyday upkeep of roads, sewers and defense fortifications. They are also responsible for rubbish removal, snow removal, ice breaking and window washing. Hinterland communities, redoubts and other holdings are treated the same as districts, in that each is assigned its own examiner inferior. Most patron families take responsibility for new construction projects in the hinterland, though all plans must be approved by the Examiner Superior’s office.
Examiners inferior assigned to foreign redoubts, temporary encampments and other holdings are also trained as negotiators and must interact with local governments to secure provisions and adequate land accommodations, to arrange for passage rights and to settle disagreements between the Seventh Legion and the local citizenry.
THE INTELLIGENCE DIRECTORATE Edit
While the Security Directorate is concerned with keeping Lookshy and the Seventh Legion safe from saboteurs, spies and terrorists, the Intelligence Directorate focuses on the collection and analysis of raw intelligence pertaining to the politics of the wider region and beyond, to foreign troop movements and to the growth of potentially threatening regimes. This directorate employs many spirits, demons and elementals, along with mortal and Dragon-Blooded agents, that act as spies (often posing as merchants or ambassadors), message carriers, inquisitors, contacts, codebreakers, safe-house operators, administrators, recruiters, costumers and trainers. While everyone in Lookshy knows that the Intelligence Directorate exists and what it does, the directorate operates quietly for the most part. Only rarely is the directorate’s taimyo seen in public, and she makes only infrequent pronouncements.
The Intelligence Directorate operates listening posts and safe houses throughout the region, many of which are located underground, with others in hidden treetop bungalows or disguised as normal country residences.
THE OPERATIONS DIRECTORATE Edit
This directorate is a planning commission and think tank made up of the Seventh Legion’s greatest military strategists. All planned military operations must be approved, if not designed, by this directorate’s strategoi. Each wing of soldiers usually employs at least a scale’s worth of Operations consultants. The directorate also manages the proper procedures for the delivery of orders through the ranks and develops elaborate war-game scenarios.
FOREIGN CONTRACTS AND RELATIONS Edit
Lookshy provides troops, arms and training to Confederation members. Here are the general policies the nation follows when considering contract proposals.
TROOPS AND ARMS Edit
Lookshy supplies troops and arms to other nations for military campaigns and defensive measures throughout the River Province. This is a heavy burden, but the General Staff does not take this responsibility lightly. Hundreds of requests for aid come from all over the Scavenger Lands every year. Some are dismissed out of hand, some are accepted with ready enthusiasm, but all are considered. Proposals for aid involving either the invasion of any Scavenger Lands nation or intervention in internal insurrection are never supported. Likewise, dishonest or baldly manipulative ones are treated with scorn. Other proposals can be refused for reasons dependent on the circumstances, as Lookshy will not support lost causes or proposals that will result in a longstanding commitment to hold foreign territories.
Many proposals made to the General Staff are worthy but still cannot be supported for one reason or another (perhaps not enough troops are available or the proposal contains tactical plans that cannot succeed). In these cases, the General Staff frequently works to find an amicable solution. Few legitimate petitioners are sent away with an outright denial. Officially, Lookshy is politically neutral when considering contract proposals. Even when two parties are vying for Lookshy’s support for similar proposals, Lookshy’s policy is to accept the first suitable proposal presented. While this usually holds true, political circumstances do unofficially determine these decisions. Parties with more desirable proposals may be allowed to present first by means of arranged delays, last-minute provisions, “lost” post messages, et cetera. Members of the General Staff may be aware that this practice is not exactly fair, but they do not consider it corruption if done for what they believe is the good of all. These individuals understand that Lookshy, being in the best position to aid the region’s regimes, owes it to the Confederation and its people to undertake operations that it believes have the greatest chance of success. If they happen to accept contracts with close political allies more than others, that is only because these allies are more worthy, smarter and have better intentions, rather that any sort of nepotistic partiality.
NEUTRAL NEGOTIATORS Edit
Lookshy also manages negotiations between regional parties in dispute. These negotiations commonly take place in politically neutral territory, either in one of Lookshy’s fortified redoubts or, if no redoubts are close by, a city not associated with the dispute at hand that agrees to the arrangement. Particularly violent disputes are negotiated in Lookshy itself to guarantee the safety of all parties. No foreign troops associated with such disputes are permitted to approach the city beyond the Lookshy Wall. Some disputes that do not reach the negotiating table in time require intervention to preserve regional security. Negotiators usually resolve such instances before major hostilities erupt, but at times, the Seventh Legion must dispatch peacekeeping forces to prevent regional conflicts or ill-conceived wars with foreign powers. While, of course, no formal contract is binding between Lookshy and the other parties involved, the General Staff is never late in presenting a bill to culpable parties, a bill they are strongly advised to pay.
Lookshy provides military training to River Province nations. While this service is not inexpensive, it is also not available anywhere else, especially given the quality of the resultant soldiers. Mobile instruction units from one or more of the Seventh Legion’s combat units perform most training operations. Large, dedicated areas must be cleared and made ready according to their specifications. These areas closely resemble scaled down versions of Lookshy’s Barracks District.
Some nations send their finest soldiers to Lookshy itself to train in more specialized areas. Many foreign officers can be found in Lookshy undergoing such training. Training programs are a means for Lookshy to keep tabs on its neighbors’ behavior and customs. They also keep Lookshy informed about how every River Province nation has been trained, what their strengths and weaknesses are and how they might be best deployed against an outside aggressor (or defeated if an unavoidable conflict arises).
A MERCENARY ECONOMY Edit
Because Lookshy’s government is synonymous with its military, military concerns and the economy are more closely related than in other places. In many ways, Lookshy’s economy and trade policies are just additional weapons in its arsenal. Because Lookshy supplies so many regimes in the region with troops, training and arms, the General Staff can refuse to supply such regimes as a way to pressure them into abandoning corrupt or unappealing policies. While this is not standard procedure—Lookshy does not frequently interfere in the business of other regimes so openly—it is a viable option.
Officially, Lookshy has little formal interest in trade agreements with those outside the Confederation of Rivers, though there are exceptions. Most pacts are one-off deals. Trade treaties are considered to be bad for the business of defense. That said, Lookshy has no formal ban on any sort of trade, except trade with those nations or persons considered hostile to Lookshy.
Existing trade agreements center around a fairly broad agricultural and crafts community. Sheep, quail, cattle and bees are the primary livestock. Various starch roots, tea and oil-bearing seeds and wild barley are the main crops.
Reliable, fast communication is vital to Lookshy’s survival. Military personnel rely on efficient transfer of orders, at times over distances of hundreds of miles. Merchants must be aware of market data and political news impacting business. Clandestine operatives stationed in other cities require secure methods to secretly transfer information to and from their superiors. To these ends, Lookshy has developed many inventive technological, magical and mundane communication systems.
The Seventh Legion and several large Lookshy business concerns use both First Age technologies and various applications of sorcery to send messages of high importance or high sensitivity. Most significantly, the Seventh Legion possesses the Chiang Savi Array, an artifact that can send short, approximately 15-second messages, from the Lookshy Manse to relays hundreds of miles away. This artifact requires a large expenditure of power and effort to operate, however, and the relays are rarely placed in any but the most secure fortresses. The major redoubts all have them, but their placement elsewhere is rare.
Certain sorceries, such as those that enhance Linguistics and Lore Charms, are more common in arranging for long-distance communication. Spirits, elementals and demons also have their uses, but almost never for sensitive communications. Non-sensitive communications are usually sent via heliograph or by Legion Post. Heliograph communiqués are preferred when the areas of communication are not over a few hundred miles. Although it can be used for longer distances, the equipment becomes unreliable, with a 10 percent chance of failure for every 100 miles distance beyond 200 miles. Heliograph technology is usually used only for everyday communications, but it can be used to transfer sensitive information in a pinch, with the use of fairly secure heliocodes. The Legion Post is slow but very reliable, and it is commonly used in areas not covered by heliograph. The relay system used employs horsemen who switch steeds and exchange messages and packages at way stations every 50 to 100 miles. The Seventh Legion never uses this method for sensitive communications. The Legion Post also operates commercially, with message and package delivery service throughout the Scavenger Lands.
LOOKSHY’S IMMACULATE FAITH Edit
Traditionally, most Lookshyans see official Immaculate Philosophy as a naked tool of the Realm. Even the helots spit upon it. Lookshy’s version of the faith is much more private, less dogmatic and not at all evangelical. It depends not on dogma, but on the simple emulation of the Immaculate Dragons. Their faith states that, Exalted or not, people are judged (and rewarded) according to their adherence to the path of righteousness. Honor, Loyalty, Prowess, Compassion and Resolve are the five pillars along the path, and each must be mastered in order to become the Righteous Warrior (the Lookshyan concept of the perfectly wise soldier).
Lesser virtues are mentioned as well in the ecumenical lore as well as steps to each pillar. Most Lookshyans believe that their version of Immaculate faith is truer and more faithful to the path followed during the Shogunate era. Some Lookshyans strive to attain enlightenment through this philosophy, even though they know that the Righteous Warrior is an unattainable ideal. Others follow it to a lesser degree, or not all. Faith such as this is considered a matter of personal choice.
Most Lookshyans do not worship or revere gods any more than they would a great warrior or fearsome, dangerous beast. They refer to beings of worship (whether god, spirit or ancestor) as patrons. Temples, even those dedicated to Lookshy’s dead, are less houses of prayer than places where business is transacted. These temples contain no images of their gods, but often display the more impressive treasures offered to the temple’s patron. The wealthiest families help preserve their dominance by purchasing miracles and services from certain patrons.
Most Lookshyans consider Tu Yu, the old god of Deheleshen whose massive temple sits in the Old City, to be the prime patron of Lookshy. He lives in his temple and can be seen doddering around the districts, telling stories of the Shogunate. But it is Tu Yu’s daughter (though others claim she is his sister, mother or lover—or all four at once), Tien Yu, who is the spirit of Lookshy. She represents Lookshy in Yu-Shan and lives in a golden citadel there. While she seldom involves herself in mortal affairs personally, she has been known to manifest during times of crisis, taking the form of a tall, silver-haired officer in black jade and moonsilver dragon armor.
The Seventh Legion venerates Sunipa, Eastern goddess of war, patron to soldiers and a relation to Shield of a Different Day (see p. 142). Sunipa sometimes pays attention to individual soldiers during battle and rewards those who fight economically, using just enough power and skill in besting their enemies as well as those who fight only when it is proper and right to do so. She is pale-skinned, silverhaired and jet-eyed and wears armor forged of impossibly fine steel. She carries Delicate Scarlet Blossom, an ancient fire lance, and a sword of unmelting ice from the Far North. She monitors the conflicts in the East from her Yu-Shan citadel. In Creation, a retinue of automaton warriors known as the Sun Guards accompanies her.
THE CITY OF LOOKSHY Edit
At the edge of the promontory at the mouth of the Yanaze sits Lookshy, a sprawling city of blue stone. Built upon a massive, jade-infused stone masonry foundation, Lookshy is a wonder. Colossal guardian statues of Nefvarin Gilshalos and Tien Yu watch over the Eastern Gate. Huge flood embankments protect the coastal districts to the west.
The city’s streets are mostly planned, and the majority of them are paved. The widest thoroughfares are 40 feet wide, though many are as narrow as 12 feet. Housing in Lookshy is standardized, with a dozen or so basic designs. Most have flat-roofs, which are covered with either white cement, for wealthy estates, or bitumen, for poorer homes and tenements. The more spacious dwellings, estates of wealthy families, are laid out around a central courtyard where guests are received, food is prepared and servants do their daily chores. These estates are usually furnished with wells, plumbing, private baths with connections to the public drainage system, glazed windows and wall facings of dressed stone, but present a plain outer façade, as it’s deemed uncouth to flaunt wealth. The poorest families live in single-room tenements, with shared toilet facilities, lacking all but the most basic cooking arrangements and natural lighting. Public buildings come in two breeds. The rebuilt and restored First Age buildings are resplendent structures of alabaster and gold. Newer buildings are fashioned either in respectful homage to Deheleshen architectural styles or in a sort of nouveau-Deheleshen mode, marrying the ancient with tasteful, utilitarian flourishes. Courts of Justice, public baths, sentry-houses and administrative buildings incline toward austere façades, while shop arcades and salon alcazars lean toward more cosmopolitan embellishments.
EMBEDDED DEFENSES Edit
The River Province region is possibly the most belligerent in Creation. It has been rent by an almost continuous series of dynastic, religious, civil and national conflicts. That said, the defense needs of any one city tend to be concentrated in space and chronologically intermittent—alas, the Seventh Legion has but infrequently been in a position of defending Lookshy from foreign invaders. Lookshy has taken steps, unique in the Scavenger Lands, allowing for maximum defense value should an enemy attack, but also preserving a livable and aesthetically pleasing environment for residents.
The most direct and persistent effects of such embedded fortifications are the negative restrictions they impose on growth and development. City defenses are costly fixed investments that cannot respond easily to urban expansion or, conceivably, contraction. Therefore, expansion, construction and reconstruction of any structures is carefully considered, if not discouraged, by most authorities. Erecting new structures makes the defense difficult by requiring military officials to alter their security strategies along with hosts of administrative and municipal hindrances with which most bureaucrats would rather not contend. The General Staff believes that its defensive plan for Lookshy currently provides the optimum achievable security against any sort of enemy. To alter the layout of the city in any significant way would destabilize defenses by forcing the use of imprecise, unreliable, ad hoc tactics. For this reason, by law, the city of Lookshy and her districts cannot be altered in any significant way without the approval of the General Staff.
THE FOURTH RING—”THE FOREIGN QUARTER” Edit
Most metics live here, as they are not permitted to journey beyond the Foreign Quarter or the Lower City without a pass. This ring consists largely of metic-run businesses and warehouses, guild houses, marketplaces, apartments, temples and salons.
Fourteen battle towers here buttress the jade-infused porous blue granite outer wall of the city. These towers are always manned with 20–70 Seventh Legion regulars (50 percent of whom will be Dragon-Blooded) armed with both stationary First Age missile weaponry and potent melee weapons. The main gate leading into the District of Trade is always open, except in times of crisis.
Regular patrols of justicars and mercenaries make this quarter safe to travel through, as long as one stays to the main thoroughfares. Thieves, spies and worse lie off the beaten path, in the shadows.
The District of Agriculture—The largest district outside the Old City, the Agricultural District consists mostly of small, meticulously well-maintained fields of vegetables, fruits and herbs, as well as warehouses and granaries. The crops grown here are meant to supplement hinterland production and serve as an emergency source of food in times of siege or some other emergency. The fields are maintained by this district’s examiner inferior.
The District of Trade—The first sight of Lookshy for those entering the city by land is of Lookshy’s center of landbased commerce, a bustling, mystifying marketplace that never sleeps and where most anything can be purchased for the right price. Four large, open market squares dominate this district. Anyone is free to set up shop here for a small fee. Many of the streets are lined with shops of all kinds, with barkers standing outside nearly all of them, egging on potential customers. Above these shops are apartments, taverns, burlesque theaters and brothels. The majority of this district’s population comprises metic traders and shop owners and those who cater to them by running the district’s groceries, teahouses, temples, baths, et cetera. Some non-residents maintain permanent shops and warehouses that open when the vendor arrives, usually bi-annually, with new stock. The Guild maintains a satellite office in this district, as well as a small trade hall and auction house. While the Guild does brisk business in Lookshy, it is by no means the largest business concern in the city or even in this district.
The District of Blades—Bladesmiths, weaponsmiths, armorers and martial instructors of all kinds can be found here. All of the foreign-run salons in the city, and some Lookshy based ones, can also be found in this district, as well as many informal training halls and freelance instructors. Security is understandably very tight here. Mercenary scales from the Hexagon patrol this district night and day, supplemented by regular hourly justicar patrols.
The Hexagon—This district houses Pel Kan’s Ordinaries, a famed mercenary company allied with Lookshy. Its huge, gated military compound dominates the district. In the winter, the entire company resides here. During the rest of the year, one to three units reside there, along with convalescing warriors, the rare spouse or child and messengers. Through contract with the Justice Directive, the Ordinaries provide peacekeeping patrols for the Hexagon and the District of Blades. Other trusted mercenary companies may also enter into this contract, especially during the nonwinter months when the Ordinaries are away.
The District of Craftsmen—This district houses workshops and warehouses and firms involved in the manufacture of non-martial products such as leather goods, clothing, candles, furniture, vehicles, construction materials and farming equipment. Freelance sorcerer-engineers conversant in First Age technology can be found here, if one looks hard enough, but they are rare. This district’s workers typically dwell here, though some business owners are from wealthy families and dwell with them in the inner city.
THE THIRD RING—”THE SAVANT QUARTER” Edit
Although the third ring is the home to more than just some of the most learned savants in the East, the “savant spirit” is alive in this quarter of schools, invention, and sorcery. This quarter’s districts are rife with eager students, famed savants, reclusive philosophers, mad artists, honey-tongued and destitute poets, curmudgeonly sorcerer-engineers, crackpot street-sophists and gregarious epic-peddlers, as well as enough dormitories, teahouses, libraries, amphitheaters, game-lodges and smokehookahs to make the streets lively and interesting.
The Green Hunt—This district is a wild space, or as wild as a place can be in the middle of a bustling walled city. Many Lookshyans come here to relax away from the commotion of the city and forget about the worries of the day. At any given time, from 100 to 1,000 people can be found in the district’s trails, game fields, feast pits, tree-lodges and zoos. Roughly half of the Green Hunt is deliberately left undeveloped and is technically off limits. The intention is to give young Lookshyans safe places to explore. Few people live in the Green Hunt. The grounds crews and maintenance staff reside there, as well as a select few minor families with permission to do so. The examiner inferior, Yushoto Cudgel-Arm, an elderly Dragon-Blood, lives in the Green Hunt as well. His estate, the Vined Xavatet, is the restored hunting lodge of the O-Daimyo, who once stalked these woods for game. The Green Hunt is also a place to honor the dead and war-fallen, with giant victory-plates and triumphal arches erected in unexpected places. Some have been forgotten in overgrown copses, while others stand in prominent, well landscaped positions. Several tombs, as well, are tucked away in odd corners of the district. These are modest granite structures displaying long memorial homilies of the deceased’s great deeds. In places such as these, the ghosts of Lookshy’s fallen heroes visit to collect offerings and prayers.
The District of Schools—The city’s finest academies and three prominent hospitals are the main attractions of this district, though many are also lured by the fashionable teahouses and shops. Prestigious dojos, salons and training halls abound, though they are very exclusive, and some are open only to well-placed (or highly skilled) residents. The hospitals in this district are, by many accounts, the finest to be found outside of Great Forks or the Imperial City, thanks to an able staff largely trained in Great Forks.
The District of Artisans—While many artisans ply their trade in the District of Craftsmen, the best make their way here, where expertise is not a rarity and astonishing sights are no further than around the corner. The very best glassworks, jadeworks, ingenious and useful gadgets, furnishings, fabrics, musical instruments, jewelry, ceramics, chattels and tools can be procured here for moderate to exorbitant prices. The streets of this district have been ornamented over the centuries with some of the finest examples of decorative artistry ever created. Because this district contains some of the city’s most valuable items (apart from the city’s First Age technology), it is constantly monitored from the air by skyships.
The District of Savants—Those entering these twin districts first notice the smell of the foundries and the warm, sooty air. The factories and millworks here produce pollution and plenty of noise, but also raw materials for use in the construction of Essence-powered weaponry, buildings, ships and machines. The pollution produced in this district is offset by a sorcerous engine commissioned by the examiner inferior, Maheka Tablu. This engine is located in the district’s northern corner, and it prevents any pollution from entering any other district. It does little for the noise, however. Because of the potential for accidents, this district houses considerably more fire brigades and emergency personnel than other districts.
The Academy of Sorcery—This institution, recently relocated here between the twin Savant Districts before the expansion proscriptions, is quiet and frightening at once. A sense of danger is in the air, as all residents know that hazardous experiments and unknown researches are constantly being hatched. This is the place where untested First Age artifacts are brought to be puzzled out and experimental devices tested. This academy is also home to three fortified warehouses, where artifacts confiscated from scavenger lords and other visitors are stored. Most of these items have been deemed benign but are taken here to give curious sorcerers the opportunity to examine them and divine their secrets. Potentially dangerous artifacts are taken to secret fortified warehouses in the hinterland, far away from Lookshy’s populace.
THE SECOND RING—”THE WAR QUARTER” Edit
The streets of the War Quarter are a little bit richer, the lights a little brighter and the level of security leaps and bounds above the Third and Fourth Rings. Most citizens and many helots dwell and make their respective livings here. Most of the buildings date from the time following the Realm wars, while many others, especially residences, are of more recent construction. Many of Lookshy’s administrative offices can be found in the War Quarter’s districts, as well as the barracks of the Seventh Legion and the magnificent Deheleshen Lighthouse.
The Port District—This district, the headquarters and home of Lookshy’s naval operation, slopes upward to the east, affording sightseers a striking view of the Inland Sea. Lift tubes powered by First Age machinery deliver naval personnel, merchant lords and travelers from the docks 800 feet below to the Sava Heedra Terminal, which also services the few (and expensive) commercial skyship flights. Most naval personnel without notable or wealthy families make their homes here. These homes are typically stucco affairs, with many foreign embellishments, while those of the officer class dwell in blue granite bungalows. Towering high above all is the magnificent Deheleshen Lighthouse, the glimmering spire that is the pride and symbol of Lookshy’s naval forces. All naval barracks are also located here; each houses one talon. The Lookshy Naval Academy is located in the north section of the Port District. Residents are not permitted to leave campus without consent. These people live in bare accommodations: mess hall, spare bath facilities, standard barracks with no privacy, parade- and drill-grounds and administrative buildings. The eastern section of the district is famed for the fabulous homes of the resident merchant princes. These eccentric palaces host rich, exclusive galas, and their owners produce the dishiest gossip (intentionally or not). Sava Heedra Terminal is a massive building where all the lift tubes from the Lower City emerge. It also features a small commercial landing strip on the roof. During the First Age, this building was a light rail station, but the rail engines failed around Realm Year 340, and the system fell out of use. Most of the rail in the city was torn out during the last reconstruction. The Deheleshen Lighthouse is the oldest structure in Lookshy, and no one knows the details of its origins. Thirty stories high and only scalable by the stairs spiraling around its exterior, the free-standing, slowly-tapering shaft houses an Essence-powered lantern that can be seen for leagues in every direction, serving as the region’s primary navigational beacon. This unique lantern is a stationary artifact embedded into the jade-infused crystal of the lighthouse and cannot be removed. Some sorcerer-engineers have theorized that it does not produce light on its own; rather, it lures the light from the stars down into its machinations, then issues dense beams of starlight out over the horizon. The Secretary Admiral, a refugee from the Realm named V’neef Olagar, carries out all administrative functions of the district and is also its examiner inferior.
The Warehouse District—The Warehouse District is primarily used for the storage of exports and dry goods intended for military use. Only two gates, one into the Port District and one into the Barracks District, afford access, with narrow alleys connecting the massive warehouses. Warehouse workers live in rooms above the central complex of lunch houses, syndicate offices, personnel acquisition agencies and odd shops, though a small percentage dwell in other districts and travel to work en masse in manpropelled wagons. This district is kept scrupulously clean by the examiner inferior’s crack maintenance team.
The District of Barracks—This district houses soldiers stationed in Lookshy. Large barracks, parade grounds, target ranges, training halls and administrative buildings are interspersed with occasional blocks of dining halls and shops. The barracks here are large enough to sleep one talon each. Most afford no privacy to the soldiers living there, who sleep side to side in moderately comfortable beds. Officers’ quarters have private rooms, though some taimyos prefer to stay with their units. Bath facilities are located outside the barracks and are used by all soldiers, regardless of rank. On-duty soldiers are not permitted to leave the District of Barracks without their commander’s permission.
The District of the Legion—Prior to the Contagion, this was the city of Deheleshen’s Business District. The military administrative offices here have made the best of fitting themselves into facilities that were never intended for such use. The Operations Directorate, which is based in this district, as well as ancillary offi ces of every military branch are housed here in faded, once-grand ex-hotels, the backrooms of long-abandoned tobacco-shops and the hovels above neighborhood groceries. Operations Directorate headquarters can be found in the former Tivi Sava Loan Commission Building (the unmistakable sign still hangs on the building’s roof), a washed out yellow and orange building comprising an entire city block.
The District of Justice—This most heavily guarded district has only one entrance—from the District of the Legion—and is the headquarters of the Justice and Security Directorates and the location of the Nightwatch Citadel, Lookshy’s high-security prison facility. The Justice Directorate headquarters was completed 10 years ago to great acclaim. It is a pyramidal bright-indigo crystal grown out of the earth using what was the last dying gasps of the Overtir Maga, a sentient First Age architectural growth engine, an action that depleted its power in a single use. The building stands 300 feet high, with a 600-foot-wide base. The Nightwatch Citadel is a domed two-story black and silver building. All its prisoners are kept in locked cells (one man per cell) located in underground cell blocks. Justice Directorate agents in guard towers and fenced checkpoints keep the building under constant surveillance, and skyships always loom overhead. The Citadel is a level-3 Earth-aspected manse whose hearthstone is a stone of judgment.
Residential Areas—Residential accommodations of all types are located in these areas. Mansions, estates and the compounds of the Gentes occupy the majority of the northernmost sectors, while apartments and smaller dwellings tend to be found in the southern areas. The westernmost sector is host to various ambassadorial mansions and commemorative parks, and this sector is under heavy guard and constantly patrolled. The eastern sectors house poorer families, with the northern and southern sections housing richer and poorer residents, respectively, and are patrolled by five scales of justicars each.
THE OLD CITY Edit
The Old City has never fallen to an enemy invader. Even the raksha, who devastated the rest of the Deheleshen, could not breach its fortifications. As a result, most of the buildings in the Old City are, with a few minor restorations, just as they were before the Contagion. Most of the buildings, once fortresses and mansions, are now given over to various government agencies for use as administrative offices.
Lookshy Manse—This heavily armored and equipped fortress is both the zenith of Deheleshen military design and a marked departure from the popular trends of the day. Its minarets and spheres stand out as a strikingly discordant design even in the present Age. Lookshy Manse is a fortress intended to be both a launching point for long-range weapons and a last-stand stronghold and retreat point in case an enemy would somehow breach the Old City. Essence cannons have been carefully camouflaged within the structure’s ornamentation, while the walls themselves are jade-fortified steel. Lookshy Manse is a level-5 Earth manse. It is also an entrance to the caverns and the stores of weaponry that lie beneath the city.
The Aviary—Another intact Deheleshen structure, the Aviary is a towering obelisk with numerous outer platforms and doors running up and down each side. The Sky Guard’s skyships berth here, with hundreds of technicians on hand for repairs and maintenance. The lower platforms are reserved as construction zones for new skyships, while the inner structure of the obelisk accommodates offices and repair garages. Several lift tubes provide access to each area. The lowest sub-basement is an entrance to the caverns. The Aviary has enough space within and without to allow Lookshy’s entire fleet to dock. It is a level-5 manse, Air-aspected, and its hearthstone is the gem of the wind’s secrets.
The Teocalla of Tu Yu—The Teocalla of Tu Yu is the ceremonial center of Lookshy. It is a massive pyramidal structure housing Tu Yu and his functionaries and guests.
THE LOWER CITY Edit
The Lower City sits 500 feel below the Old City on the promontory. The district is protected from the sea by a high, ancient wall and a massive citadel. This district never sleeps. Workers constantly transfer cargo to points in the Lower City and the Warehouse District. Even when the commercial docks close for the evening, maintenance personnel repair and refit triremes under the light of sunstone lamps. Few people live in the Lower City on a permanent basis. Most housing is short-term for sailors and their crews, while Lookshy’s dockworkers usually live in the city above. As such, the economy in the district is generally restricted to lunch bars, taverns, teahouses, nautical equipment stores and craftsmen devoted to the maritime trades. Forty-seven lift tubes run from the Lower City to the Port District, with roughly half of these fully functional at any given time. The lifts are Essence-driven elevators, the engines of which are mounted to the retaining wall surrounding the city-section of the promontory. A lift working to full capacity can carry up to seven tons and can be used to carry equipment, machinery, cargo or passengers. The trip lasts between one and 10 minutes (assuming it does not break down, which is by no means rare), depending on the weight of the cargo and the particular lift’s state of repair.
Most lifts have a cargo chamber of 25 feet by 30 feet, while a dozen or so smaller models exist that can accommodate a dozen or so people. During the hours of peak use, one might wait two to three hours in the queue, while after midnight the wait is signifi cantly less—perhaps one hour. Soldiers and governmental offi cials of rank may, with ample justifi cation, jump forward or skip the queue altogether. The lift lines are a fact of life in Lookshy. Most accept it with a shrug.
Some residents prefer the system of stairs, ramps and ladders running all along the retaining wall. Anywhere from several dozen to caravans of hundreds of people can always be seen snaking their way up or down the promontory.
These stairs, like the tubes, begin at several spots in the Lower City, but all terminate at the Sava Heedra Terminal in the Port District.
Those who do not wish to be seen entering the Upper City may attempt to scale the retaining wall, which is a (Dexterity + Athletics) task, difficulty 4, in good weather.
Port Citadel—The last line of defense between sea invaders and the Upper City, the Port Citadel is an imposing structure, nearly as massive as the Lookshy Manse, built into the blue granite walls of the Lookshy Promontory. Naval forces and talons of soldiers from other units man the Citadel’s 17 towers, each one mounted with Essence cannons.
The Port Citadel is a level-3 Water manse, and its hearthstone is a freedom stone.
THE CAVERNS OF LOOKSHY Edit
The Lookshy Promontory is honeycombed with caves and tunnels. Some descend far below sea level, while others extend for miles eastward into the wilderness. The Seventh Legion uses most of these caves for the storage of emergency supplies, foodstuffs, weapons and other caches deemed necessary for an eventual siege. Many First Age weapons, some secret, some unfathomable in power, are stored in caverns far from the city under heavy guard and securely warded.
The passages beneath the city and beyond also provide a means of communication. Couriers familiar with the caverns’ twists and turns carry messages between districts.
One passage leading eastward extends beyond the Lookshy Wall to a hidden redoubt. Lookout points have been placed throughout the caverns, especially those that run outside the city itself. These outer-city points double as listening stations that monitor the Lookshy Promontory at all times.
Several large chambers function as secret training facilities for Lookshy Special Forces. Some of these chambers contain exact replicas of significant buildings throughout the Scavenger Lands and are used as staging grounds for mock assault in preparation for an invasion, should one become necessary.
The largest chamber, deep underground, contains an enormous underground lake where covert naval exercises are staged.
THE HINTERLAND Edit
The hinterlands east of Lookshy to the Lookshy Wall are sparsely settled alluvial plain communities, with managed fields, well-built modular bridges and wide, paved roads.
Home Guard regulars are stationed in guardhouses on out of sight side roads, where training fi elds are also hidden from casual sight.
The land has been developed with a military purpose in mind. Streets are laid out for optimum defensive advantage. Roofs are flat to accommodate lookouts and ambushing soldiers. Drainage and irrigation ditches are made of concrete and can easily be converted into defensive trenches. Even copses of trees are carefully spaced and maintained to provide for optimum defensive use.
Hinterland communities are led by elected elders and their assigned examiner inferior. Each community contains a public building, each identical, that functions as a court of justice and permanent town hall. These are 90-foot-square pillared halls made of Lookshy’s trademark porous blue granite.
Public baths of bitumen-sealed brick grace each as well.
A few farming communities exist in the now dry riverbed where the Ehloze River once fl owed. The Ehloze was obliterated by the raksha during the Contagion, and even the work of Lookshy’s greatest engineers cannot make water flow there again. Farming communities use river silt as a natural fertilizer. Communities with wealthy patrons possess impressive irrigation and floodwork technology.
Miners of agate, carnelian and blue granite live further east in the furthest and the most heavily garrisoned communities.
THE LOOKSHY WALL Edit
The Lookshy Wall stretches across the promontory, limiting all land access from the East. The wall is 30 feet tall, with heavily fortified guard towers every fi ve miles. The three public gates are continuously monitored and guarded.
The three gates are: the Blue-Gray Sea Gate, overlooking the ocean, the Blue-Green River Gate, which looks out over the Yanaze, and the Forest-Green Center Gate, the largest of the gates, which sits midway between the other two. At least four hidden sally gates exist, but their locations are secret (and can be determined by the Storyteller)