Geneva is a metropolis that serves as the technological wonder of the world. While this means Genevans enjoy a myriad of comforts, it also means it has fallen to the pitfalls of industrialization. Difficult work with few law-enforced standards for little pay means many have turned to criminal activities to supplement their income. In time, a complex network of organizations (few of which are legal or even known about) have come to shape the fabric of Geneva.
City of Geneva – Kingdom of Providence (Now independent) – World of Arden
While most settlements in the world of Arden are under the protection of a monarch, Geneva has fought a bloody war for its independence and has been under its own rule for a decade and a half. Once part of the kingdom of Providence under King Zalmon Exodus, Geneva grew from a small port on the coast of the Siriw Ocean into a bustling trade hub in under a decade.
Geneva’s distance from the capital and sudden wealth shaped a unique, independent culture in its people. Through trade with the Oriental nation of Zerinn and rival Empire Aldmoor, Geneva became self-sufficient, proving itself a golden goose for King Zalmon. Geneva University was founded, and education was free to all – provided they worked in the city for a term of 5 years afterward. This resulted in a golden age for the city as a flurry of inventions took the populace by storm. The printing press, gunpowder, and mass-produced goods appeared suddenly and fundamentally changed both the economy and the people.
Over the years, as merchants and those overseeing the colony saw more and more of their hard earned-money go to the king with little in return, treasonous words began to spread through the city. Attempts at a diplomatic solution were attempted. Though King Zalmon was a kind-hearted ruler, he truly believed Geneva was safer under his care and refused to abandon it. This led the overseeing Genevans to put their newly developed weapons to the test, and throughout all of providence the sound of gunfire and warfare was heard. Forced to see the strength and resolve of his former people and unwilling to lose more of his own to civil war, Zalmon signed a peace treaty granting Geneva its independence. Exodus now trades for new technologies with agriculture and livestock. Though peace is known throughout Providence, none have forgotten the recent bloodshed.
Geneva is ruled by Grant Orien, Lord-Mayor – though in name only. He is part of a council of representatives who jointly rule the city through democracy, each of whom serve for a term of 5 years before the council is voted on again. The Lord-Mayor and 5 other council members have historically been made up of merchants, nobles, scholars, and mages.
Real power lies hidden, however. Of late, Geneva has become overrun by street gangs, and as their petty wars keep the Sheriff and her officers busy, The Syndicate operates in the shadows. Known by name only to those who are part of it or the dangerously curious, The Syndicate is said to have a cut of every black market deal and illegal action in the city – and beyond. Highly organized and secretive, they will prove a deadly challenge to uncover, let alone overthrow. The citizens themselves are largely either cynical or ignorant. Poverty and desperation are on the rise. Some refuse to see the corruption of the city – others refuse only to speak of it. Those who do are careful of their volume and to whom they whisper, for most are never seen again.
Many Genevans work for one factory or another in production, shipping, or labour. Others serve as artisans of various crafts, though these are slowly being pruned out by the cheaper, mass-production options rapidly making themselves available. Most organic food comes from Exodus, Zalmon’s capital, and is somewhat stale by the time it reaches them.
The Spires – Towers of ivory and ebony, where the rich live. A number of access ramps lead up to this part of the city, though they are heavily regulated. Geneva University was the first spire.
Sweat Shops – Smog ridden and humid, this district houses most of Geneva’s factories. The combination of gunpowder and steam make the area quite hot.
The Wharf – Landing point for most trade goods, The Wharf is a combination of docks and warehouses with a few scattered shops of fishmongers and independent exotic goods.
Genevan Fair – Home to artisan’s shops and supermarkets, an eclectic mix of legal goods can be found here, from hand-made tools to the occasional magic item.
The Sprawl – Home to most citizens, The Sprawl is a mazelike cluttering of long brick buildings, most of which are attached to each other. Alleyways can spell danger at night, but the Sheriff’s officers are usually on patrol and deaths are not rampant.
The Underground – Hidden within The Sprawl, this is the gateway to the Darklands. Though few Genevans have entered, even fewer know of its existence, and this is the place to find all illicit goods such as poisons and unregistered firearms. Gangs are generally lurking around the area, but even they don’t know what lies beyond the immediate entrance to the Darklands…