#City23: 1st Week of February

Crossposted to Cohost

I've written about my #City23 projects here and on Tumblr. You can check out my last post. I still have two #City23 projects I'm working on: a fantastical version of Nottingham during the high middle ages and a contemporary fictional city in Maine called Cape Crescent.

As noted in that end-of-Janaury post, I spent most of January (minus a break) working on the area around Nottingham's Bar Gate and Cape Crescent's "main street": Pine State Highway. That was a bit of a struggle since I felt like I was filling in "gaps" for a city that hadn't been sufficiently sketched out yet, but did give me a sense of what the locals in both cities are like.


For February '23 in Nottingham, I'm focusing on Nottingham Castle. While Nottingham was not anywhere near the size of London at this time, the castle, a royal residence, meant that the city was far more cosmopolitan than one might expect, with large French, English, and Jewish communities. The castle isn't just a physical space, it's a symbol of the sheriff's authority as the royal appointee. Thus it's the headquarters of a sizable faction and a base of its power.

This week, I started with the outer bailey, and I think I may camp out a bit. The first line of yards, gardens, and buildings within the castle's outermost wall, the bailey is the home and workplace of many common folks in the sheriff's service. I started with a random guard-generator, including what after-effects from last night are distracting the guard:

Distractions from Last Night

  1. None: Attentive
  2. Gambling debts
  3. Caught cheating in love or at cards
  4. Unrequited infatuation
  5. Family disputes
  6. Lost a brawl, wants revenge

I also started work on the castle's large outer stables and kennel (because I'm in charge, I've decided there's a separate royal stable and kennel further into the castle). My Robin Hobb fandom is showing through. This gave me three NPCs in quick succession: Kado the stable boy, his best friend (and likely crush) Nin who assists in the kennel, and the late stable master and kennel master Warinfried. Kado and Nin have some arcane talents (including some that haven't occurred in Sherwood), and Warinfried's body was buried in the tunnels below the castle without removing the necromantic ring he stole from the sheriff. This could be why folks in the outer bailey's brewery have reported seeing signs of a ghost. If Warinfried is haunting the castle now, who knows what he might do to revenge himself on Kado, who murdered him, or Nin, who Kado was trying to protect? I've also name-dropped Wainfried's patron, Raimund, the castle's steward/seneschal and a son of the sheriff, who I'd love to develop a bit more.

So far, the castle is a lot of Norman and Breton dudes, so over this next week, I'd like to diversify the population a bit.

Cape Crescent

In Cape Crescent, I wanted to begin digging into two explicitly hostile factions: the cult-like Grove and the loosely Pentex-inspired Ghost Bay Foundation. Over the past week, I've worked on Pine State Realty, a mid-sized real estate agency near the middle of town that doubles as an administrative front for Ghost Bay Foundation. Over the past week, I've identified three NPCs who work there:

  • Ramji Davindran dropped out of grad school to come work in Cape Crescent and discover why his sister disappeared. He covered his tracks well, and so far the only person I've found who knows about his real purpose is...
  • Cornelia Richards, the office manager, isn't supposed to know much about the Ghost Bay Foundation or the realty's real purpose but knows almost all of it. She may even know more than...
  • Ted Cliff, the "owner" of the real estate agency and a Ghost Bay administrator, is supposed to know way more than he's actually figured out about the employees he keeps around to create a more compelling front.


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