Star lake is the city in which Blackrose Academy is built on. The city was originally a small spot on the way to the school but has grown into a vast city sprawling acorss the island like a weed. The city has been divided into four Zones, each one housing the different districts of the city itself.
There has been a city on this site for centuries. Cultures/ societies have come and gone, but the city site remains as it is a crossroads. Those gone by have left their marks upon the city. The city has grown and fallen numerous times. The last time, it was nearly destroyed, yet a few pieces remain.
In the center of the plaza is The Bell. The large iron Bell is covered by a small slanted roof held up by four pillars. These pillars rest upon a square raised foundation. There are small stairs that lead up to the level of foundation. The foundation also has four strong iron loops towards the edges. If one does not know the two traditions, this arrangement makes no sense.
In the western part of the city is a large neighborhood. It is this good sized old walled neighborhood that gives the city is reputation for education, wisdom, and enlightenement. It is called The Quadrangles by locals and those of high education.
Coastside Park—the ultimate haven away from urban chaos—was deeded to the people over one hundred years ago out of the prescient notion that the city folk would one day feel overcrowded. The city has spilled over three sets of defensive walls and is now reaching water to water on its hilly sandy peninsula. This foresight proved invaluable.
The Plaza of Tarnished Entertainments is a large, circular plaza, built in the formerly-affluent Saeppellion district of Hartacon, capitol of Mysia.
Beacon’s Hill is a two and a half century old downtown residential neighborhood situated directly north of the Common and the Public Garden.
Hexagon Plaza is a “zone” in a cluster, not far from a gate. This is because gips are herded to the plaza, the shortest distance possible is the best for creatures, handlers, and people nearby. Note: For this area to make sense, check out the Encyclopedia Kernnica for details on gips, hard and soft leather.
Hy-Pointe or “High Point” gets its name for being the highest point of the city. The Pointe is also the name of the signal tower (now in disrepair) that stood on the hill.
In more magical areas, not all the citizens are full sized and landwellers. In worlds where pixies, nixies, gnomes, lepracauns, faeries and other fey, batkin, catkins, and ratkins, all exist, there will often be Cotery Neighborhoods in the city.
Somewhere towards the mountains, something subterranean occured. A while later and many miles away, the two large eastern quarters in the city change. The soil became damp for reasons beyond divination.
It seems like nothing more than Walls, Gates, and two long windy roads. The Walls are nearly taller than the city walls. The Gates, they are manned with real soldiers. You can’t see what is going on here. They don’t want you to see either.
The courier looked at the address again. It did not make any sense. There was no Skydistrict street in the southern part of the city, or any part of the city. He jumped a bit when he saw a winged figure fly over his head. His eye followed the figure up to the tall towers above the buildings. He had seen them over city the city. He thought they were decorations. He was wrong. Scratching his head, he wondered how he was going to get up there.
The Arcade is a long narrow entertainment district built upon the dried up Arcadey creek. This jurisdictional no mans land has become a vibrant section of the city.
This little quarter of the city is a quiet one. It is where the “other people” live, those who do not have enough numbers to “take over” a given district in the city like The Orcen or The Chinese.
It is often a colorful part of the city, flags waving everywhere. The People there are always seeming to have a good time. They should, this faire like atmospher is their lively hood.
The Grey District was once a prosperous inner district in The Hill City of Frankard. It is an erriely silent place now, where people make little in the way of noise or light. It’s district walls are now painted with a Grey Line, a warning as to plague. However, it is not the plague you would expect.
The City Fathers decided decades ago to build a Grand Temple. The Faiths gave their blessing. Taxes were raised. Land was purchased and dedicated. Supplies began to be procured. People poured in to do the work. The Broken Ground is the neighborhood around the construction site.
It seems odd to a number of travellers that several towns and cities along The Marches have small neighborhoods with the same name. "The Royal Majesty’s Most Beautiful Road" linked all the various town and villages in the Marches. The road is not gone, but only these remnants remain.
"This is the place nobody wanted. We are the people nobody wanted. Nobody tells us what to do and we tell nobody what to do. Did you get that? Good. "
Nine times out of ten, it’s the undead that do the running.
Not strictly animal or vegetable, the Corpse bud is a peculiar individual that shares characteristics from multiple kingdoms and species. In appearance, all corpse buds bear a shape of a large rounded top bud divided into four lateral segments, and a much longer, narrower bottom bud, also divided into four segments. Between the two halves are a set of four radial limbs, rounded on top and flat on the bottom, covered with tiny serrated hooks facing towards the body. In overall size, it’s limbs reach as wide as a spread hand, with the body being as thick as a fist. It is as long as a human hand from top to bottom.
Internally, the top bud of the corpse bud contains a bacteria filled membrane that produces the hydrogen that the corpse bud uses to stay aloft, and a series of fungal gills for the dispersal of spores for reproduction. The lower half of the bud contains a number of fine filaments, as well as a sharp barbed stinger containing a powerful local anaesthesia.
The Corpse Bud mobilizes by inflating its top bud, and steers by rotating its arms rapidly about its body. The corpse bud ordinarily drifts with the wind, orienting towards the scent of recent decay and death. It preys on the recently dead, burrowing the lower bud into the victim, using the anaesthesia in case the victim is dying, and not truly deceased. Once embedded, it releases its filaments into the body, replacing the current nervous system. This gives it full animation of the body, and allows the corpse bud to direct it.
Corpse buds are not a malevolent species, being primarily concerned with breaking down the host body for food, and infecting the reproductive cycle with spores in order to mate with other corpse-bud bodies. To preserve the corpse for this purpose, Corpse buds will seek out dry locations to prevent bacteria from destroying the corpses. This often causes a large number of corpse buds to gather in a single location.
In culture, Corpse buds are used to repair broken spines or degenerative diseases, as the sentient mind will easily overcome the mind of the non-sentient corpse bud. Once infected by a corpse bud, however, removal is usually fatal, and the infected individual cannot reproduce, or risk infecting another. Thus, it is a technique often reserved for the elderly, or a last resort.
Necromancers and other dark sorcerers will often preserve the corpses of their victims magically, and infect them with corpse buds, creating traditional undead as well, so as to seed their lairs with undead both offensive and non, in order to throw their enemies off balance. They will also enslave the rudimentary minds of the corpse buds, and transform the docile things into a plague. There have also been accounts of magically transformed corpse buds with stronger minds and a taste for living flesh, but thus far all accounts are unproven rumors.