Yankara is an ancient arcology, a self-contained and self-sufficient habitat capable of supporting a huge population and supplying it with all the needs of life: power, climate control, food production, air and water purification, industrial production, recycling of resources, etc. The arcology is primarily situated underground, but certain palaces and pleasure gardens lie above ground protected by a huge translucent dome. Over many generations this high-tech human beehive has declined and its complex machinery has begun to slowly grind to a halt. Infrastructure has been destroyed through conflicts with external forces, in-fighting between competing factions and accidents as well as intentional sabotage. Some of the machines and devices that are necessary for life in the city have broken down and the equipment and skills needed to repair them are no longer available. This has forced the citizens to rely on primitive ad-hoc solutions or importing goods from the outside world. Even in when the machinery still works as intended so much knowledge and information has been lost that the operation and use of the devices is shrouded in mystery and dependent on rote learning with no real understanding of the underlying principles. Furthermore, the little knowledge that remains is monopolised and jealously guarded by various guilds and cabals who are responsible for specific functions within the city.
The population of Yankara is stratified into three classes: the aristocratic guild leaders, ostensibly meritocratic but in reality semi-heraditary; the plebeian artisans and craftsmen of the guilds; and the proletarians consisting of unskilled workers, foreign immigrants and mutants, who find an insecure subsistence as day labourers and through informal services, beggary and crime.
One hundred years ago the Technocratic Council, the oligarchy of guild leaders who ruled the city at that time, was dissolved by the Immortal Autarch who took power supported by the plebeians. Since then he has ruled by pitting the guilds and the aristocrats and plebeians at each other. During his reign the living conditions of the population has become better by opening up to the outside world and importing such necessities that the city no longer can produce on its own. At the same time more knowledge has been lost by the increased competition between guilds and factions, and resources that could have been used for maintenance of infrastructure has been wasted on the Autarchs harem and ever growing number of psychophants at his court.
The city state of Yankara is guarded against outside threats by heavy ray gun artillery and a small but powerful air force of three dozen flyers. The palaces of the Autarch and the major aristocratic families are protected by their own guards equipped with ray guns and other super-science weaponry. The plebeian quarters are patrolled by a citizens militia in which all young men and women must serve, at the best of times this is a fully functioning police force operated for the people and by the people, but all too often the militia is no more than a gang of thugs protecting their own neighbourhood from the gangs of adjacent quarters. The proletarians live in the most run down and dysfunctional parts of the arcology, where such conveniences as light, water, sewage and climate control rarely work and the only law is the rule of the strong and the survival of the fittest.
Locations and Significant Non-Player Characters
Airport, at the top of the dome supported by a one kilometre high pillar. This is where the flyers of the air force and the aristocrats come and go soaring through the skies carried on anti-gravity fields.
The Autarch’s palace is the largest building in the above ground parts of the arcology and home to the Autarch’s wives and many hundred courtiers, servants and guards. Unbeknownst to all but a handful, and suspected only by a few, the Autarch is no longer the actual ruler of the city state. In reality he is but a puppet in the hands of his favourite wife Rehana, a beautiful bird-woman with powerful psychic abilities. Rehana covets Zazarax the witch stone of the robot sorcerer-scientist Ek-Nha-Zeen.
Food-vats, this is where the algae, fungi and in vitro meat that feed the city is grown.
The laboratory of Ek-Nha-Zeen, a robot science-sorcerer, who devotes its tome to investigating the mysteries of hyperspace. The sorcerer owns a Witch Stone named Zazarax. In the onyx pyramid that is the laboratory-palace of the robot wizard it has collected a menagerie of many beings from beyond the gulf’s of space and time. Otherworldly horrors: 1. Metal flowers, 2. Black fire, 3. Blink Dogs, 4. Eye-Beasts, 5. Squid-headed Pneumavores, 6. Shoggoth.
The Regeneration Vats
Here the wounded or sick may be healed by the means of ancient Super-Science. Anyone who is an officially registered citizen of the arcology and belong to a guild may use the facilities as needed, but those of higher rank in the guilds or armed forces get quicker and better service. Non-citizens have to pay in cash. The vats can also be used for producing genetically designed creatures and persons, a service only available to the ruling elite.
The vats are kept operational by a cabal of cyborgs whose living brains lie encased in transparent cylinders, bathing in longevity-inducing fluids. They walk on four metal legs and have four metal tentacles for lifting and manipulation. The cyborgs have enjoyed high status as a result of the current rulers passion for collecting human animal hybrids for his harem, but it is now more than a year since he last ordered a new specimen which greatly troubles the clone-masters.
A band of rogue robots who hide in abandoned sections of the arcology and kidnap humans, mainly proletarians, to steal their organs. These they graft on to their machine bodies in order to become “true men”.
A Primordial who lives in the crypts and catacombs in the lower sections of the arcology. It thinks of it self as a caretaker and secret master of this human settlement and sometimes interacts with others in order to spread pieces of cryptic information meant to subtly influence the course of events in society. Ix-zar may make contact with promising but still anonymous adventurers to ask them to perform dubious quests and missions.
For details I’ll be using stuff from City State of the Invincible Overlord, City Encounters and Vornheim.