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.
THE ARROYO ATHENAEUM
The heart of the Amagium in Arroyo It is verdant and rendered in opulent Craftsman buildings erected on a scale that would be impossible without magic. Arroyo’s Athenaeum is the largest in the Pacific States of Ericia, playing host to the Amagium’s regional Archive of grimoires, relics, and other magical artifacts. Upper-class dorms are not pictured on this map, as they are on the opposite side of the Westridge terrace, on the edge of the Old Town Gully.
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 PACIFIC STATES OF ERICIA
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).