21 Troika the Protoplasmic
Cartilage streets and canals of plasma beneath shuddering lung-walls, raw and wet and host to unknown parasites. The city flushes itself clean every day, enforcing a curfew on pain of digestion. The lower chambers are filled with the unfortunates who were desperate enough to eat the flesh of the City, mutating horribly into the underclass and servitors, collectively forming the Organs of Troika.
All manner of strange biological matter and secretions can be bought here, and all manner of medicinal herbs and tinctures are highly prized. Exposing the raw flesh of the city to new materials spawns new growths, leading to the development of architect-splicers, always pushing the City flesh into novel perversions.
What form does this Organ take?
- A tangle of spider-legs terminating in jagged hooks explode from a central mass of maggot-white tentacles. These Organs are able to scamper and climb about the city, leaving tell-tale puncture marks as they pass. They preen and clean and feed on the filth and excretion of the city.
- Something like a dog-sized wingless fly, the abdomen a mess of coarse bone, stained all manner of colours from the fluids of the city. This Organ scrapes away abrasions and infections with it's awful hide.
- A loathsome dun worm speckled porcelain, stinking of sulphur. It blindly barrels down the cartilage streets, bearing liquified bone in it's stomach. The worm vomits the substance on any damaged section of the city, the bone quickly curing in the air.
- A pulsating brain-organ, surrounded by nerve-fronds tipped with all manner of compound and lensed eyes. They rarely move, mostly lurking in their hidden folds, kept moist by city secretions, sensor-fronds swaying in the breath of the city.
- A hairless and taut quadruple sac with six bone-legs sprouting from the top. Hidden amongst the base of the sac is the proboscis-nozzle. The sac is filled with digestive fluids, which the nozzle sprays, rendering the target into a nutritious soup. The City mostly consumes the organic refuse of it's inhabitants, but around 5 living beings are dissolved by these sacs a day, their remains hungrily slurped up by the lips of gutters.
- A grinding confusion of bone and metal plates, bedecked in spines and horns and antlers wrapped about a core of pure muscle. This Organ is spawned in response to population pressure, relentlessly hunting the other Organs so that the equilibrium of the city is maintained. Other organisms are used for practice.
22 Troika the Splintered
Every surface another reflection jagged and torn and splintered a hundred times over. The skyline torn and sharp like the glass you dropped as a child, shattered endlessly and spread thin and dwelt within. Inhabitants move slowly and have scars - visitors are wrapped in bandages. Glass from between the spheres is keen to cut again and again. Privacy is the highest luxury, paint a trade staple. Mirrors, baubles, vials and bottles manufactured from the purest of all glass flow out from here to the many spheres.
Reflections in the Glass of Troika are not what they seem...
- Everything is upside-down twisted and 5 seconds behind. There will be 2 additional details - one is a lie, the other a secret.
- Reflects only souls - the material plane is too coarse for glass so fine.
- Simply acts as a reflection of what some other sentient being amongst the spheres is seeing, unbeknownst to them. Some theorise that everyone has such a looking-glass.
- Even the reflection is jagged - those attempting to view it must Test their Luck or have their visual organs sliced open, blinding them until they heal. Those careful enough to not cut themselves see a normal reflection.
- Reflects as if it is 2 foot behind you. Can be angled as expected.
- An infinite, black nothing. Such a cosmic gulf swallows faith.
23 Troika the Adrift
The City hurtles through the Space Between Spheres, utterly lost and dancing on some occulted gust. The streets and walls are studded with brass hoops, and all inhabitants wear the Hooks. As the City shifts on it's mad voyage, it's gravity takes some time to catch up - and so the denizens wear the Hooks and tie themselves down lest they are flung into the void, lost entirely. Such unfortunates, it is believed, are the core for the Red Bergs which the city collides with. They are like flesh and ice and silk. Such fragments are wonderfully hard, pliable whilst being soft to the touch. It holds an edge like no other, and is the height of all fashions in any intersphere community. Entire lives are spent seeking chunks of such materials, whether they be floating in the Void or embedded in the buildings of Troika.
Who will sponsor you for the Red Berg hunts?
- Haruu of the Seven Glories, bound to her pewter mask, power hidden beneath a robe of chains she cannot undo.
- The Crown Prince of Cinders and the Smoke Courtiers - acting through their Smouldering Mothers.
- Quark of Plumes, majestic courtesan of the Peacock Court, beak coated in gold-leaf.
- Myshluggah Krr, gelatinous slaver and pit-dweller, looking to diversify it's portfolio.
- Unified Entities Liberation Front, an empire-wide rebellion movement against the Phoenix throne, hoping to invest their war-chest wisely to "further the war effort."
- Big Dave.
24 Troika the Crypt
Consider the shape of a door.
Now consider a gravestone.
Troika overflows with the dead. They value two things - rest and life, with most having neither. Plutocratic somnambulist vampires communicate with their cringing legions through dreams and mumbled commands, a pyramid of bargained blood and life spilling from between rigor mortis lips. Feral wild starvation mad ghouls throng the streets, claws outstretched hungry beggar all bones and tatterskin pleading for a small, sweet drop of precious life. They never touch nor take by force - to do so would violate the immortal decree of the Cryptwardens, their faces pressing from every stone surface, ready to reach out and crush deathless blood thieves forever. The living may spill blood as they see fit.
Permanent Stamina may be traded for most goods in Troika the Crypt. Resurrection is impossible.
What sort of Life is the trendiest right now?
- Poet-Life, toasted fennel seed and sweet spice on the tongue.
- Beggar-Life in great quantities, addictive in it's brash misery and subtle notes of cinnamon-false-hope.
- Warrior-Life, fortified with the flavours of their enemies slain and injuries sustained. Impossible to predict.
- Ancient-Life, stewed and matured in it's fleshy prison - the final product a long, lingering taste containing so much of life's possibilities.
- Soft-Life, a precious gem only harvested from the gentlest spheres. You do not know luxury like they do. Double cream about to curdle and sweeter for it.
- Royal-Life, the classic favourite revitalized by enterprising Monarch Farmers.
25 Troika the Eternal
A city with discrete physical location yet without borders - once within Troika it is eternal, sprawling beyond sight and reason. Until you leave, of course. Then it is finite once more. Inhabitants suggest not thinking about this too much, unless you want a trip to the Mathematics Ward, filled with practitioners of numbers and wide-eyed cartographers.
For every day spent crossing Troika, re-roll on this chart, or indeed, just ad-lib new and ever-stranger districts and realms.
26 Troika the Golden
An entire city constructed of one material, and one material only. At first, it is incredible - after a few hours, the dull yellow sheen is enough to turn the most tasteless monarchs off the idea of a golden palace. This desire for change is common throughout the city, and yet impossible - the architecture itself violently rejects any attempt to sully it's purity, often with lethal consequences - legions of captured carpenters bludgeoned with their support beams, glass-blowers ripped to shreds as they attempt to install a window. No - despite their loathing for the stuff, all are incredibly preoccupied with the collection of ever more gold - despite the best efforts of all involved, damage and theft is inevitable, and cannot be allowed to stand. All inhabitants contribute 20% of all earnings made towards this collective gold-maintenance effort, with a 10% rebate for those directly contributing gold. In a place of abundance, it remains a precious metal.
- Old-Gold, a sight to behold
- Sold-Gold, a deal all-told
- Cold-Gold, no heat to withhold
- Mould-Gold, fungal controlled
- Rolled-Gold, processed sixfold
- Foretold-Gold, a promise to uphold