Near Dreaming: NightFyre City
The City of Dreams
Dreams are real. In the Near Dreaming NightFyre City reflects many of the dreams and nightmares of its Autumn World twin, central Alabama's city of Birmingham. Connected by the Silver Path and Twilight Roads, the Changelings and chimerical races of both cities trade and argue with each other. Yet one thing remains: the Dream is Real.
The sentient races of NightFyre are more or less humanoid. The ruling High Folk control the bureaucracy and government of NightFyre; they resemble Sidhe with pupil-less eyes of robin's egg blue. The mechanically-oriented Engineers run the city's machines, and resemble Nockers with pupil-less eyes of red. A few Engineers have more than one sets of arms. Finally, the animal-like Beast Folk make up the bulk of the laborers, farmers, and other second-class citizens. The various sentient chimera derived from dream lovers, childhood imaginary friends, abusive nightmares, and the like are usually considered another type of Beast Folk.
Oddly, both 'normal' Christian and Pagan ways and sects more common to the Near Dreaming flourish in NightFyre. A few Sidhe of House Liam have proselytized for various monotheistic faiths, and certain Satyrs have tried to reinstate the Eleusian Mysteries.
Though aspects of government change from week to week, certain things are constant. An council of men and women make up a circle called the Matriarchy, whose name may date back to a time of all-female rule. The council works behind the scenes; constables and magistrates handle day-to-day governing.
What Dreams May Come
As part of the Near Dreaming, NightFyre City is often the refuge of escaped and forgotten dream creatures. Dreams will frequently appear in alleys, parks, and strange corners as scenes that the folk of NightFyre cannot affect. These scenes, called Tableaux by the locals, are reflections of the dreams of the waking world. Visiting Changelings may only affect a given Tableau by using Intermediate Dream-craft: Dream Riding. If a Changeling does so, he or she is drawn into the dream that spawned the Tableau. The same happens to Prodigals using the Intermediate Galliard Gift: Dreamspeak or the Basic Phantasm Arcanoi.
Banality: the Disease
The chimerical folk of NightFyre are duly fascinated by Changelings' ability to walk the Silver Path. Those that know of the Autumn World are in even more awe. All, though, fear 'the Disease,' which is what they call Banality. Though all chimera have the slightest amount of Banality to hold their form, called the Banal Shiver, the Banal Shiver of Changelings is far more pronounced.
Effects of High Banality (6+)
Wooden and leather objects tend to rot more quickly around Changelings and Enchanted with a Banality of 5 or more, and those with a Banality of 6 or more can spread a terrible cancer that kills in days.
The wave of change that sweeps across the Dreaming at random intervals is called the Firchlis. Whenever it hits NightFyre the people and buildings themselves change appearance and location, though NightFyre itself remains relatively stable. A building whose Autumn World twin lies next to another building may sit several blocks north before the Firchlis, then suddenly be south. NighFyre's inhabitants do not notice this because their direction sense changes as the buildings change... visitors from elsewhere are usually not so lucky.
Geography and Architecture
Like Birmingham, NightFyre sits on several ridges, surrounded by a ring of forested hills. Both Red Mountain and Sand Mountain exist in NightFyre, too. The city itself encompasses several different flavors of polis. Locals can navigate the city with relative ease. Visitors must succeed in a static Mental challenge versus 5 traits (retest with Enigmas) or become lost. Newly arrived visitors are one trait down for a month.
Tall, gleaming skyscrapers of glass and dark metal line narrow, trash-clogged streets in NightFyre's downtown area. During the daytime the sidewalks are crowded; at night they stand vacant. Odd nocturnal chimera haunt the cellars and sewers in downtime, hunting who and what they can.
The high-priced homes in HighTown corresponds roughly with the Autumn Realm's Homewood, Vestavia Hills, and Hoover. The Matriarch's constabulary patrol here heavily.
The bulk of the Engineers and Beast Folk live in Smog Town. In the Dreaming cosmology Smog Town roughly corresponds with the areas from Fultondale to South Side, Ansley to Lakeside, though its location is different. Many NightFyre folk and other chimera clog the narrow streets of Smog Town at all hours.
Graveside does not have an Autumn World analog; instead, it corresponds to the dark places of the psyche. Many strange chimera hide and hunt among Graveside's smashed and abandoned buildings.
Silver Paths, Twilight Roads
The main Silver Path is New Moon Market Way, which starts in Birmingham and terminates in New Moon Market. Several major Twilight Roads also leave NightFyre for other cities and freeholds.
Monsters Under the Bed
Because nocnista and other chimerical monsters can spring from Tableaux anywhere in the city, most of NightFyre's inhabitants go armed and observe and informal curfew. The constabulary patrols the nicest areas of town (e.g., HighTown), which also helps reduce the hazard. Some terrors and nightmares pass themselves off as Beast Folk. Most escaped nightmares and monstrous chimera hide in the slums, alleys, and abandoned tenements of Smog Town and Graveside.
Angels, Demons and Kithain
Many strange visitors haunt the alleys and abandoned buildings. Rogue Redcaps hunt through Graveside; House Liam Sidhe preach to the converted in Smog Town. Almost all long-term Kithain and Enchanted are in Stage One of Bedlam, and constantly hear whispers in the background. Not a few have fallen into Stage Two; almost all suffer from the Social Darwinism derangement.
Gunpowder and explosives do not work in Nightfyre. The Matriarch's constabulary have a substitute that they use in conventional firearms, but most citizens have to make do with swords, knives, clubs, and crossbows. And most citizens do go armed against hostile chimera. Despite this anomaly, the city otherwise seems relatively advanced. An analog of electricity powers lights and machines exists, and computers are often sentient.