Friday, January 30, 2015

City of Curses: The Wolf Quarter, In Depth

Aspect: The Forest Inside Crux
Connected To: Poorfellows (To the Northeast), Rose Quarter (to the Southeast), Old Crux (To the North), The Grand Bazaar (to the Southwest).
Most Significant Icon: The Archdruid
Well Known For? An Ursyklon Neighborhood
Notable Sites and Locales: Tengril Square, the Grove of Mage-Trees

I turn to the east as I walk out of the Prince's Gate.  I can smell the pine needles of the trees, and squirrels chattle at me.  The Forest inside Crux.  The Wolf Quarter.  The Ursyklon's ancient home looks more like a slice of wilderness left within the city proper.  Wolves prowl the streets, some capable of speaking- one even winks at me, his collar bearing the seal of the city.  A Wolf of the City Watch.

The Ursyklon's buildings are made from druidic magicks.  Massive trees are allowed to grow here.  Stone and wood are bent and coerced into buildings.  Every inch of the sky is covered in leaves, but for open spaces left for temples of the bizarre menhirs.  Animals of all kinds are to be found in the Wolf Quarter- some speak, others don't.  Not only do the Ursyklon live here, but also live their Feyborn creations, the results of generations of their own tampering.

The Wolf Quarter is old, but it is the third place in Crux the Ursyklon have lived.  They truly came from Gruudl, the site their ships landed near Crux nearly ten thousand years ago.  Often the Ursyklon have lived in a walled off part of the city, kept away from others for fear of their odd ways.  Some fear them.  Others warn that the Ursyklon have always been waiting, lurking for the right moment to strike back.

The Ursyklon first came to Crux to conquer it.  But they found the single wall- now the inner wall of Old Crux- and the waters around it a hard prey.  The Prince never knelt to the Ursyklon.  Instead, they landed their ships on a nearby hill, creating a place from which they would keep a siege against the Skullmount for almost a thousand years.  Called Gruudl, its ruins can still be found in the undercity below Crux.

Although this lasted for thousands of years, Gruudl wouldn't be a permanent home for the Ursyklon.  Infighting amongst the various clans would be their downfall.  By the time of the Tomasi Empire, they were evicted from the hill above Gruudl's old ruins.  The clans were forced into a wooded palisade in now what is the Rose Quarter.  A narrow ghetto, under the Tomasi Empire Ursyklon often were maltreated.

Their religious rites were surpressed.  Tomasi magi coined the term "halfling."  It became high fashion at one point to own feyborn animals- a few lords even ate feyborn animals, their abuse take as a grave sacrilige to the Ursyklon.  Ursyklon assassins, known as the Greenknives or Dafhrog, perhaps were the most targeted by the Tomasi Empire's rather verbose discrimination.  Any new tree found within Crux often triggered criminations and would lead to the hanging of a Ursyklon urzahad.

When Tomasi Empire fell, the Prince offered a section of Old Crux to the Ursyklon.  His other restitutions left the Ursyklon with some autonomy until the Othebean Crusade tried to take the city.  In the Wolf Quarter the Ursyklon began a new neighborhood, with all the Clans uniting after crafting the center of the Wolf Quarter, Tengril Square.  Tengril in Ursyklon means "Time" or "Future's Place."

Since then, the Ursyklon in the Wolf Quarter have acquired wealth and means from their central location in Crux.  The end of old feuds between clans also brought them stability.  But most importantly, one of the most Ursyklon positions in Necruxa and Ainesia settled in the City of Curses- The Archdruid.

The Archdruid was a figure who lived further lands outside of Crux.  In forests or in the Archdruid's own wilds, but instead the position moved to inside the city of Crux.  This development has perhaps been the most beneficial to the Ursyklon clans.  Gruudl became a sacred site, protected by the Archdruid and the Archdruid's protectors- the same Greenknives who centuries before had assassinated their people's enemies.

It also motivated those nomadic or lost Ursyklon to immigrant.  This perhaps has the most longterm potential for the Ursyklon.  A few among them dream of Tengrilism- the dream that one day their people might be able to found a new nation of their own.  This Tengrilism frightens some of other nations.  The fear of a new Ursyklon nation, rising and taking their land, strikes a cord with ancient paranoias about the smaller race.

The Clans
Here are more on a few of the potential Clans in the Wolf Quarter.  These Ursyklon Clans could be added to, modified, whathaveyou.  Of course, not all are listed here- just the ones that struck my fancy.

The Boar-Roars: Best known for their many Greenknives, this clan has been honored as the chosen protectors of the Archdruid.  But their conflicts with Tieflings from the Wish Quarter have now and again caused them trouble.  They've also long been allies of the Batscream Clan, and both clans are strong proponents of Tengrilism.
Aspect: The Archdruid's Knife

The Wolfsongs: The Wolfsongs are known for their wealth.  Their ties with the Spice Khan and vast family trade network make them one of the most upscale clans in the Wolf Quarter.  The Wolfsongs love the arts.  They always support them, but are eager purchasers of real estate as well- the Wolfsongs imagine a canal in Southern crux, something more reliable than the Sleeping Straits for trade.  Of course, such a Canal ideally would be built where the Wish Quarter now resides- it would have to be destroyed for such a dream to be made manifest.
Aspect: A Song of Coin

The Wiseowls: Descended from the clever and cunning Srady, the Wiseowls of Crux have always had a interest in studying and learning.  They ask questions, and as such, tend to have contacts other Ursyklon would snub.  Of course, Wiseowls also are known for having trouble.  Trouble, as in, thievery.  It would not be a lie to say that some of the most brilliant inventors and painters of the Wiseowl Clan also have been some of the most notorious thieves Crux has ever known.
Aspect: Cleverer Than You