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The cities of the Dead

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  • The cities of the Dead

    I find this question about the Necropoli, and I think is very interesting...

    "Are they decrepit collections of relic buildings teeming with unlife or desolate and barren? Are the Citadels the only structures in which to live and take refuge or are they the solely for the Hierarchy? Does any kind of infrastructure exist or does everyone have to figure everything out on their own?
    Compared to other WW lines, there hasn't been a whole lot of source material for city/world building, so in turn, it's often left to ST/player interpretation. So what is your take on it?"

    So here we go:

    I am making a London Necropolis. I think about the historical periods of the city and try to reflect all of them into the Necropolis in a darker way. The Haunts are places associated with ghost stories, citadels are not the only haven for maelstroms, but are the safest. I think more in terms of: a city where the dead have influence, where the past have some influence, a dark city. In the Skinlands the ghosts affect certain things and certain places have ghosts presence, in the Underworld, the Wraiths have an entire city with thousands of wraiths. Also... the setting is 1920 (it's more easy to adapt all the things available for Call of Cthulhu) in the context of the Great War of the Dead ( WW1 in the Underworld). Also, wikipedia it's very helpful with information about former buildings. I don't think that creating a Wraith setting is something particularly difficult, it's more about: ok... Skinlands (real london), Shadowlands (the Necropolis), The Tempest (The Sea and the River Thames), Labyrinth (catacombs and really older london with darker secrets, like a Malfean that dwells there). And... secret societies of living, necromancers, ghost hunters, mediums, spiritists, the hermetic order of the golden dawn, Crowley. London is perfect for Wraith, and is the older necropolis in the lore of Wraith.

    So, what do your Necropolis look like?

  • #2
    I generally populate the necropoli with a combination of relic buildings that have sunk down and out of the skinlands as well as buildings composed from soul forging that would be designed from a combination of the overseers understanding of and connection to architecture as well as designed to suit the needs of the legions and to defend against invasions from the tempest with many necropoli being founded with the first creation being soulforged walls and gates to surround the city, even where no such walls were never built in reality.


    • #3
      Most of the Shadowlands is just reflections of the Skinlands. They are "real", but can become incorporeal to a Wraith when he sacrifices a point of Corpus. Buildings or items made exclusively of relic or soulforged goods are always solid to Wraiths. It is possible for a place in the Shadowlands to be occupied by two different items/buildings. An example would be a new building in the Skinlands reflected in the Shadowlands "over" a relic building reiforced by soulforged girders built earlier. In the Underworld, these kind of contradictions in three-dimensional spaces occur.

      Some other things to consider:
      Location of the Citadel
      Location of the Tempest Port
      Location of the Station of the Midnight Express
      Locations of Beacons (moliated wraiths that produce light) - they typically serve as the border of a Necropoli (which remember in this discussion is a Stygian administrative unit not reflecting real world borders)
      Location of Nihils
      Location of Barrow Flames

      That's just the normal geography. You get to divided it up into neighborhoods filled with Circles of Wraiths of varying status, Renegade strongholds, and secret meeting places for Heretics.

      London is supposedly the most haunted city in the world, so you'll have lots of inspirations and real world Haunts to use. Maybe the Tower of London is your Citadel. You can't take advantage of the Blitz in WWII, but you do have the option of lots of Relic buildings besides older Medieval or Roman style ruins.

      BTW, I don't think the rivers and oceans are the Tempest. They're still part of the Shadowlands. The Tempest is simply "deeper" in the Underworld. You access it through Nihils and Tempest Ports. And the Labyrinth is even more "deeper". If you don't have them, both the Sea of Shadows and Doomslayers have excellent information. Most of the original sourcebooks for Wraith are top notch.