Corradon: The Clockwork City

Corradon Cityscape

Corradon stands as a monument to the Age of Progress—a vast metropolitan jungle of bustling market plazas, alchemical refineries, and automatronic manufactories, crisscrossed by bustling streets and thundering steamrail lines, and crowned above by soaring towers and reaching spires.

Vast, sub-city caverns sprawl beneath the Clockwork City, and farther down are the degenerate slums of the derelict levels. Deeper still are the Underworks, and the uncharted depths of legend and lore, where lurk the nightmares and wonders of the ancient world…

History of Corradon

Once known as Avan Corrion (the Port of Corrion) during the latter days of Elinica, the city became the Eastern Capital of the Empire of Marada, with Glavion as the Western Capital. The city rose, level upon level, with some inhabitants living in crowded districts hundreds of feet below the surface, while others lived in lofty towers reaching hundreds of feet into the sky. Like most of the world, Avan Corrion was devastated during the War of Golla and Marada, and later ravaged into ruins during the Third Age of Darkness as fellspawn monstrocities and twisted thagic Abominations ran rampant.

By 200 CA, the new stronghold of Corradon had been built atop the sunken ruins of Avan Corrion. Much of the old ruins were still sinking, and remained “forbidden” due to the Abominations still lurking there. The kingdom of Armillia soon took shape, expanding outward across the lands of Delarien, Aquenne, and Oleion. By 520 CA, most of northern Celaphania united to form the Kingdom of Celania—the most powerful of the Three Realms, bolstered by the industrial powerhouse that was the booming city of Corradon.

Corradon became increasingly autonomous through the Age of the Three Realms, eventually subject more to the law of business, mercantile interests, and industrial tycoons than to the nobility of Celania. Even as Celania declined into a new age of feudalism, Corradon stood strong. The city’s manufacturing centers and shipworks pumped out arms, armaments, war machines, and ironclad steamers for the king of Celania.

Corradon was again devastated during the War of Tyranny, but resistance forces, led by Darius, son of the slain king of Armillia, escaped through secret passageways to the deep ruins of ancient Avan Corrion, far below the besieged city of Corradon. There, Darius and his men discovered the lost wonders of Marada, and using the great marvels of Maradian over-science, waged a guerilla war against the occupying forces.

Within decades, the city of Corradon was booming again, and no signs of the devastation wrought by the War of Tyranny remained. New towers, buildings, manufactories, refineries, foundries, shipworks, steamworks, ironworks, and clockworks arose with unprecedented speed. The Age of Progress surged forward, full steam ahead.

Today, Corradon is not only the largest city in Armillia, but in the entire world of Mythania, with a population at over 5 million. Ask anyone what the capital of Armillia is, and most will answer “Corradon.” In fact, the correct answer is High Caelavar with Corradon as Armillia’s economic and industrial capital.

The Clockwork City of Corradon, the beating heart of the Age of Progress

Geography of Corradon

The city of Corradon is presently 30 miles east-west and 40 miles north-south, covering some 1200 square miles of the southeastern tip of Armillia. The south end of the city ends at the busy Corradon Harbor. To the northwest lies the long abandoned industrial wasteland known as the Iron Barrens. North and north east of the city stretches the much more idyllic scenery of the Armillian countryside. East of the city are the wealthy estates of Parsanthium Hill and the Armillian capital, High Caelavar, beyond which is the eastern coast of Armillia on the edge of the Sea of Isles.

No one knows how far down the city extends. Officially, only two or three sublevels below the street level are considered legally populated areas. Because of the structural reinforcement, utility conduits, and waterworks, these sublevels may be anywhere from thirty feet to one hundred feet below the surface. However, many levels exist below these levels, built or burrowed into by the lower classes of society, opening up the older, and deeper, derelict regions of the city’s vast and foreboding Underworks.

This is possible for one reason. Over the centuries, Corradon has continued to grow both outward and upward—all the while sinking further into the ground. Over the last 1500 years, the city has sunk an additional 2500 feet, leading some to estimate that the depths of the Underworks may extend upwards of half a mile underground. Farther down are the ancient ruins of Avan Corrion, but the ruins of Avan Corrion are completely inaccessible, buried beneath half a mile of rock and debris accumulated after the War of Golla and Marada.

Districts of Corradon

Corradon is divided into 26 districts. The western most corner of the 1st District is the de facto city center, sometimes called the Central Core, and is home to the Governor’s Tower, Vandor Tower, and the Chamber of Industry.

0 District – The Central Core

The area known as the Central Core is located in the southwestern corner of the 1st District and is denoted as “0” on maps. It is not, however, a separate district, but is in fact part of the 1st District. The Central Core is home to all government buildings and related buildings for Corradon, including the Governor’s Tower and Vandor Tower.

1st District – East Core

The 1st District is the East Core, and is the richest and most well-developed district in Corradon. The Central Core, denoted as “0” on maps, is located in the southwestern corner of the East Core. The rest of the East Core is mostly a hodgepodge of businesses, guilds, banks, restaurants, wealthy homes and apartments, and upscale shopping centers. The 1st District (along with “0” District) is notable in that it is the only district which does not allow manufacturing, refineries, or similar facilities.

2nd District – The Banking District

Densely populated district, known for financial business, banks, attorneys, and casinos.

3rd District – South Core District

The South Core is primarily residential apartments and townhouses in the northeastern quadrant, with supporting businesses, shops, and entertainment. Progressively cheaper housing further south, with some manufacturing. The Eldrien Preserve is also located in the 3rd District, closer to boarder with the 4th District.

4th District – Academy District

Mostly the Academy of Armillia, and otherwise residential with supporting businesses, shops, and entertainment. There are numerous research institutes here as well.

5th District – West Core

The southeastern quadrant of the 5th District, known as West Core, is primarily residential apartments and townhouses with supporting businesses, shops, and entertainment. The Dworgh Enclave also comprises one quarter of the 5th District. The rest of the district is manufacturing and refineries.

6th District – North Core

The 6th District, North Core, is home to a large number of guildhalls and mercantile syndicates. The largest Archidoxy temple is also located in the 6th District, with numerous ancillary abbeys and chantries, along with First Commandery of the Magestrian Order.

7th District – Fashion District

Located east of the 1st and 6th Districts, and west of the 18th District, the 7th District is home to countlessly ships, businesses, theaters, restaurants, entertainment venues, and extensive boutique shops and retailers specializing in fashion apparel. It has thus come to be know as the “fashion district,” and is a fashionable district for the rising upper class and professionals.

8th District – Commerce District

The 8th District is primarily an outlying residential district spilling over from the 7th District and the 2nd District. Famed detective Aldicus Vescard lives at #5 Brass Lantern Lane, in the 8th District.

9th District – The Derelict Zone

The 9th District is mostly rundown, filled with defunct manufactories, abandoned warehouses, and sprawling tenements. It is considered to be crime-ridden slum, with much of it controlled by the Travenni crime family.

10th District – Carnival District

Residential, commercial, and manufactories. It is most famous for the year-round street carnival on Vaugaire Boulevard, which spans some 20 city blocks.

11th District – South Market

Residential, commercial, and manufactories. Considered a lower-class end of town, but is not a slum.

12th District – Manufactory District

Manufactories and some alchemical refineries. Southwestern area has some supporting facilities and manufactories for Consolidated Omniworks. Tenement housing primarily for workers within the district.

13th District – The Warzone

Some manufactories and alchemical refineries, but mostly run down and derelict. Considered by many to be a crime-ridden, industrial warzone. The western edge has become consumed by the Iron Barrens.

14th District – Industrial District

Various manufactories, mills, and production facilities, with some alchemical refineries. Tenement housing primarily for workers within the district.

15th District – Mercantile District

A mixed district (mostly due to spill over from the 6th District) of merchant ventures, banking, shopping, manufactories, guildhalls, and residential blocks. The infamous Vernoct Cryptopolis is located deep beneath the Underworks of the 15th District.

16th District – The Old Quarter

Some vestiges of older Armillian architecture can be found here, and it is largely considered a quainter, quieter, and far less hectic district of Corradon.

17th District – Cobblestone Heights

Similar to the 16th district, and largely residential. It grows steadily richer and more upscale closer to the 18th District.

18th District – Parsanthium Hills

Numerous government buildings, wealthy residential, and supporting businesses and facilities for the Armillian Parliament and aristocratic estates further east of the city.

19th District – Outer Residential District

The northern half of the 19th District is middle class residential area with some manufactories and refineries, growing more rundown further south.

20th District – Outer Slums

Mostly rundown (much like the 9th District), but several manufactories and refineries also operate here, using (and abusing) cheap labor.

21st District – East Wharf

Port facilities and warehousing, secondary to those in the 22nd District.

22nd District – Port of Corradon

Primary port facilities and warehousing. This is also the main commercial and civilian ship port for Corradon, and indeed, all of Armillia.

23rd District – The Shipyards

Shipyards, port facilities, warehousing, and sprawling industrial complexes. Consolidated Omniworks also has facilities here as well.

24th District – The Industrial Expanse

Vast industrial complex of heavy manufacturing and large-scale construction, including airshipworks and newer aircruiser construction facilities. Large numbers of military industrial facilities. Consolidated Omniworks dominates this entire district. Heavy fortifications along the north and north east guard the district from both the Iron Barrens and the chaos of the 13th District.

25th District – The Iron Barrens

The district is entirely derelict and abandoned, having become entirely swallowed up in the rusting expanse of the Iron Barrens.

26th District – Blighted Zone

Mostly derelict and run down. The western quarter is consuming by the slowly encroaching Iron Barrens. It is otherwise a very impoverished district.

Politics of Corradon

Although many assume Corradon is the capital of Armillia, the actual government of the Kingdom of Armillia is located in High Caelavar, some 40 miles east on Armillia’s southeastern coast.

Corradon itself is a semi-autonomous municipality, and is treated as a duchy as far as Armillian law, taxation, and parliamentary representation are concerned. As a result, Corradon has become more and more autonomous over the centuries, subject more to the law of business, mercantile interests, and industrial tycoons than to the laws of Armillia. The bulk of Armillia’s economic prosperity is generated in Corradon, so Parliament is quite comfortable with this arrangement.

The Lord Governor is elected by the Armillian Parliament under the authority of the King of Armillia (presently King Darius Anthocles IV). The Lord Governor himself is a duke by title, but he has no land title over Corradon (his own estates are located in Parsanthium Hills). Instead, most of the city is owned by various mercantile syndicates, trade unions, and companies, controlled by wealthy barons of industry. Many of these tycoons are themselves barons, counts, viscounts, and the like, but others are simply wealthy gentlemen or may have bought their title. The most powerful of these barons of industry make up the Chamber of Industry, who truly govern the city of Corradon. Many believe the Lord Governor is nothing more than a figurehead.

Each district has its own administrative department, headed by a District Administrator (sometimes informally called a mayor) and a District Council. The actual administration of most districts is either impotent, corrupt, or completely defunct, with the actual power residing in the hands of guilds, mercantile syndicates, industrial tycoons, or ruthless crime families.

The kingdom of Armillia has little jurisdiction within Corradon, as dictated by its own constitution. Having evolved from its roots as a feudal republic, the duchies, counties, and baronies of Armillia have authority within their own borders, and the same is true of Corradon, which is effectively a duchy as far as the law, taxation, and parliamentary representation are concerned.

Law Enforcement

The police of Corradon are divided into two separate forces: the District Police and the Vandorian Guard. The District Police are charged with basic street patrol, preventing petty crimes, keeping civil order, and assisting the Vandorian Guard. They also run the jails, except for the special high security prisons run by the Vandorian Guard. District Police are operated (and budgeted) within the administrative domains of each individual district, and so the poorer districts have the poorest police forces. District Police are generally considered to be incompetent and are liable to be corrupt in districts where corruptions runs rampant. In many districts, the police are “supplanted” by the private security forces (i.e., mercenaries) of various mercantiles, guilds, and syndicates, or soldiers of whatever crime family rules the slums. These unofficial forces often do a far better job than the District Police, but are only concerned with serving the interests of their paymasters.

Because of the obvious problems with the District Police, being that they are budgeted within the constraints of their District, the Vandorian Guard was established in 1465 under the Vandorian Jurisdiction Proclamation of the High Court of Armillia. The Vandorian Guard is headquartered in Vandor Tower under the directorship of a Commissioner General. The Vandorian Guard has an enormous budget, paid in part by the city government of Corradon and in part from the national budget of the Kingdom of Armillia. Their chief purpose is to protect Corradon from capital crimes, organized crime, political corruption, and criminal acts of sorcery, against which the district police are hopelessly outmatched. The district police generally resent the Vandorian Guard, especially since they are completely subordinate to their authority. There have been several incidences involving out-right fights between district police and Vandorian Guardsmen, but usually only when the police are “on the take.”

Vandorian Guardsmen, who are sometimes referred to as “bluejacks” or “jacks”, are distinguished from the district police by their brass and blue armor and visored helms. Some also have bolt-batons, which are a magically empowered batons of orichalium-coils and crystals. Bolt batons have four main functions: torchlight, flash bolt, shock bolt, and concussive bolt (the concussive bolt is meant to knock through door and barriers). The Vandorian Guard also employs mages, alchemists, gearmeisters, and special private investigators. At their disposal are airships, ornithopters, armored steam carriages, automatons, and pursuit monowheels. The Vandorian flagship is the airship Justiciar.

The emblem or crest of the Vandorian Guard is a Shield and Scales.

An elite Vandorian force known as HAAMR, the Heavy Armory, Assault, and Magery Regiment, may be called in for situations involving heavily armed opponents, anarchist or terrorist groups, or powerful sorcerers. HAAMR trooper weapons include bolters, which are similar to bolt-batons, but are more powerful, as well as a range of military weapons. HAAMR mages possess a vast array of offensive and defensed spells.

The emblem of HAAMR is a Sword and Shield, similar to the Vandorian shield except with a sword instead of scales. HAAMR mages also have an eight-pointed star emblem.

The Vandorian Guard is headed by the Commissioner General, under whom are various Deputy Commissioners. Next are the inspector ranks, which are Chief Inspector (rank equivalent to colonel), Senior Inspector (rank equivalent to major), and Inspector (rank equivalent to captain). The Guardsmen, unofficially known as jacks or bluejacks, are ranked as Lieutenant, Sergeant Major, and Sergeant (the lowest rank).

Private investigators, who are not ranked, are referred to either as investigators or detectives. Aldicus Vescard is the most famous of these private detectives, but he is certainly not the only one. Vescard, and a few other detectives, have also been grated a “deputized” status, meaning they have some legal enforcement power enabling them to make arrests on behalf of the Vandorian Guard. Not all private detectives are granted a deputized status, and it largely depends on how closely they work with the Vandorian Guard (i.e., those that most often work for private citizens are not deputized).

Criminal mages, sorcerers, and exceptional villains are often sent to Angdred Island Penitentiary, sometimes known as Angdred Prison or just Angdred, where they are held behind severite bars and under maximum security empowerments. There is also Grimhall Asylum for the criminally insane, but Grimhall also has facilities for securing criminals who possess magical abilities.