THE CITY OF ARROYO
It’s no secret that Arroyo is a fanciful, alternate-universe take on Pasadena, California.
The most fanciful difference between the two are the enormous, petrified stone rose briars threaded throughout Arroyo. We’re talking Jack and the Beanstalk big. The largest ‘branches’ loom as large as freeway overpasses. Indeed, some briars have been artfully carved out to fulfill this purpose.
Another notable distinction is that the city is larger. It’s grid is disrupted by a greater number of smaller gulches and gullies. Civic centers are built on the relatively flat stretches of land divided by this greenspace called “Terraces” which are comparable to New York City’s boroughs. These civic centers are connected by a surfeit of opulent bridges. The wealthy have craftsman bungalows and manors built on the banks of these low mesas. And the unhoused live in the shadows of these briars and bridges.
Finally, there is also a First People’s reservation located to the north of Arroyo. A stretch of land that would normally encompass the Hahamong’na Watershed and a large stretch of the Angeles National Forest.
POINTS OF INTEREST
- The Athenaeum
The heart of the Amagium in Arroyo. The Athenaeum Campus runs from the western edge of the Grand Arroyo to the eastern edge of the Old Town gully. It is verdant and rendered in opulent Craftsman buildings erected on a scale that would be impossible without magic. The expansive campus features numerous academic research buildings, the enormous Arroyo Athenaeum Archives, student dormitories, as well as Westridge’s Lexiclave and Keeping Force Precinct.
[Note: A separate campus map is forthcoming.]
- Devil’s Gate Flood Control System [Defunct]
Named for the sinister profile that can be seen in a rock formation above ground, Devil’s Gate has always been an unsettling area. Beyond the rock formation lies an underground floodgate system that has been obsolesced for decades, its service tunnels, maintenance areas, sewer connections, and dam basin serve as an intermittent refuge for Arroyo’s homeless, as dark creatures frequently take up residence in it’s dungeon-like concrete caverns.
- Farman Estate
Jothenan “Jo” Farman was an enigmatic character from Arroyo’s history who pushed the boundaries of science disciplines of the Resting Laws (particularly rocketry) after he was expelled from the Athenaeum under mysterious circumstances. He left his sprawling estate to the city to be used as a public park, which includes Starfall Lake and a manor that has been converted into a community center. During the day, the estate is placid and ebullient. At night, people find it intensely unsettling, and Arroyo’s Keeping Force finds itself making frequent visits to deal with monsters.
- Calle Colorado Bridge (AKA “Suicide Bridge”)
An icon of the city and a landmark of Los Angeles County, the Calle Colorado Bridge has featured in countless car commercials, films, paintings, and professional photoshoots. It also has a dark history. It’s proximity to the Athenaeum makes it a popular spot for desperate Aspirants seeking to take their own life.
- Arroyo Animathurgy Plant [Defunct]
Once the opulent, Art Deco heart of Arroyo’s arcane power grid, the Animathurgy plant has been obsolesced in favor of more modern energy grid that relies on Gygax Generators. Like other abandoned areas in Arroyo, it has a tendency to draw strange entities to its derelict grounds.
- Valmont Estate
Alinore’s family home, which overlooks the Grand Arroyo from the top of Brookside Terrace. The Valmont Estate is occasionally referred to as the Athenaeum’s “North Annex,” due to its expansive grounds and the Valmont family’s close affiliation with the Amagium.
- Matthews’ Booksellers
Hace’s family’s business and home. A venerable, two-story independent bookstore of renown in Los Angeles County. Despite it’s heavy patronage and a tremendous amount of affection from locals, the business has fallen on hard times due to its expensive Calle Colorado storefront, and competition from Arcanet retailers.
- Sevardin’s House
A quaint, modern 3 bed 2 bath with a nice garage that overlooks the Arroyo from the West. Sevardin received a down payment from his parents upon graduating from the Athenaeum, allowing him to immediately settle when he formally enrolled in the Keeping Force.
Time will tell.
Time will tell.
[NOTE: More to come!]
THE NATIONS OF ERICIA
[NOTE: map forthcoming.]
The geo-political layout of Anno Amagium’s equivalent to North America is considerably different from the one we know. A constellation of factors led to these disparities. Some key differences include Jorna Washington declaring herself queen of the New Atlantic Sovereignty. The Confederacy also successfully secedes from that Sovereignty, but is a similarly short-lived enterprise, succumbing to infighting, widespread slave revolts (covertly funded and assisted by the NAS), and a subsequent economic collapse. It splinters to form the Republic of Texas and Gulf Federation. More importantly, the Erician First Peoples united to form a nation of their own during the Civil War, which itself fragments to form the PSE.
THE STATES OF THE PSE
The Pacific States of Ericia were originally comprised of an amalgam of settlers from the New Atlantic Sovereignty, Hispanic missionaries, Confederate defectors, and indigenous Ericians. At the tail end of the Atlantic Civil War, the States “peacefully” seceded from the United Tribes in exchange for forming Reservations in each of their nine states. The premise was that these reservations would preserve Native Erician culture in the region, and the States would pay taxes to the United Tribes, gradually purchasing their full independence.
In truth, this was always a raw deal for the Tribes. But the PSE’s occidental founders had the First Peoples over a barrel, as their fledgling nation was already fighting two-front war against the NAS and the newly formed Confederacy. The founders saw an opportunity to erect their own government to capitalize on the bounties of the coast, allowing them to rapidly pay off their debt to the First Peoples. Rather than risking fighting on a third front, the Tribes accepted those terms in exchange for the PSE’s allegiance against the NAS and Confederacy.
While the States paid off their debt to the Tribes just after the conclusion of the first World War, the nature of taxation was unevenly distributed and the Reservations bore the brunt of the fiscal burden. To this day, most of the reservations, (including the Hahamong’na Reservation north of Arroyo,) are brutally impoverished and poorly policed. In fact, many reservations now receive aid from the Tribes, putting a strain on the relationship between the two nations, though they remain formal allies (as does all of modern Ericia).