Thursday, December 10, 2015

Salt & Steam (Fan Contribution)

This is a fan contribution, suggested by reddit user 0thMxma (and expanded a bit by me).

He began his pitch by writing; I was thinking, let’s take this into the future a bit, where's this place gonna be in a few centuries…




In the nine centuries since the binding of the Tarrasque, Salt in Wounds has grown from a fortress, to a city-state, to one of the great empires that now rule the globe. Rail tracks run for miles in every direction; great locomotives made of carved bone and burning gasified tallow ship meat to conquered kingdoms, ship back
everything that can not be produced in the hundreds of leagues of corrupted landscape. Every week, a new crop of immigrants arrive. Most of these are indentured to one of the  dozens of looming process factories; yet more meat for the city to grind up. 

While some Binder-Lords still hold sway, now it is corporate entities control over half of the 38 Meridians; the number of harpoons necessary to keep the Tarrasque held fast almost trippling since the inception of Salzinwuun. God-Butchers -who now function more like health and safety inspectors- are increasingly cut out of the butchery of the Tarrasque as corporate guilds probe ever deeper into the monster for proprietary reagents to turn into products they can sell on the now global marketplace. Criminal enterprise is rampant, and at times it is difficult to tell where the gangs end and the corporations begin.

Mutations are no longer seen as evidence of low-status; indeed the those ‘absent of the Tarrasque’s touch’ are deemed to be know-nothing recent arrivals. A thriving market exists amongst the apothecary-chemists to produce ever more elaborate flesh crafting. Increasing the reptilian and predatory appearance of sentient beings, elongating teeth to fangs, accentuating features with horns, bone protrusions, and top hats & other finery has been all the rage of the fashion world for the last six decades. Even as these cosmetic mutations hold appeal, implanting uncorrupted organs harvested from other nations’ dead (or, if you believe the rumors, the unwary immigrants) are a necessary cost of doing business and long term residency in Salt in Wounds.

Mysterious red fogs that reeks of fat-smoke and blood regularly rolls over the city, this miasma provoking coughing fits in everyone and kill the sick, and the old. It is rare to see individuals brave the streets without -at minimum- moistened and scented kerchiefs around the mouth and nose or more commonly elaborate filter masks made to look like stylized bird beaks. Even on summer days, it can be hard to see the bright-burning street lamps through the omnipresent haze of the city.

Some of the more observant note that the stirges, ankhegs, and other carrion eaters who used to feast upon the Tarrasque are turning up dead in huge numbers.

Salt in Wounds is the most diverse city in the world and -some claim- the multiverse with every ethnicity and thousands of bizarre creatures counted amongst its populations of millions. Ghouls in particular have become some of the most powerful and wealthy city residents; dressed in finery with blood dribbling from their mouths they sit on many directorships and pronounce their judgements while forever shoving more meat to sate their insatiable hunger.

And under all this, some of the oldest struggles still continue. The remaining God-Butchers strive to keep a sense of honor in their dwindling numbers. The Circle of Release still plots to release their saviour, a second time. And the Tarrasque itself continues to grow; those who look upon it now can almost swear that they see some spark of newfound intelligence gleaming in its eye.

There are those who say that the Tarrasque is no longer held fast.

They say, now, it chooses to wait.




Read about the non-steampunk Salt in Wounds of six centuries prior here - Salt in Wounds: Overview & Origins

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