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ID: 1962


December 21, 2005, 10:01 am

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Cheka Man

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City Image - Cheza 'city' Betaze '17'


Cheza Betaze is the 17th Nekron urban area found in the Northern Cascades. The reasons why it is the best known of all Nekron cavern cities is that is has an easily accessible surface entrance/ exit which is just off the main Cascade trade trails. Being of recent construction in a time of prosperity, it is a city the Nekron feel proud off.

To really appreciate this city image, please check out the Nekron first.

Cheza Betaze is the 17th Nekron urban area found in the Northern Cascades. The reasons why it is the best known of all Nekron cavern cities is that is has an easily accessible surface entrance/ exit which is just off the main Cascade trade trails. Being of recent construction in a time of prosperity, it is a city the Nekron feel proud off.

The entrance to the city that Light Siders come from provides a spectacular view of the city, being it enters the cavern some ninety strides up from the floor. There is a steep and winding trail that leads down to the city floor. The trail from the cave entrance was excavated out, but is used for mushroom farming and as bat warrens. It is currently being widened, as it was not created to handle the amount of traffic it does.

The buildings are tall and square. They are large edifices of large block quarried stone. They can be up an unheard of ten stories tall.  Each building has a uniformed one window every three strides or so.  The upper corners of almost all the buildings and all visible lintels are all decorated by master craftsmen.  The main theme here is bats (being a several large bat warrens in this area of the cavern system).  There are bat heads in fierce repose, bats rampant, bats seemingly flying, and the occasional bat like gargoyle lurking on the rooftop looking to swoop down at any reason. 

Many of these squarish buildings are linked by bridges, walk ways really. Used to living in a three dimensional environment, and with seemingly no fear of heights, the Nekron can traverse the city quite quickly despite its size on any number of levels. Some of the decoration on the underside of the bridges is both frightening and highly artistic. Spiders are their dominant motif. The scenes are amusing to the Nekron despite their sometime horrific and graphic depiction of being being eaten. (It is some kind of social commentary that you have to know the history of the place to get). 

There are also a few mobile disks that float through the air, carrying Nekron up and down between levels and along certain paths. These marvels of magic are somehow tied to the three dominant towers in the city.

The buildings and their decorations are dramatically under lit by the odd harsh purple light that the Nekron seem to favor.  While normal light occasionally peers out of a curtained window, most of the light here has that purple cast. This choice in lighting adds to the macabe feel of the city. It is also what makes it hauntingly beautiful.

The four most striking buildings in the city are the City Center and the three magic towers. The Civic/ city center building is a series of blocks, smaller blocks built upon larger blocks below them.  Each tier houses a different aspect of their local government and has its own entrance.  All the doors here are flanked by two statues of fierce Nekron warriors, much suits of platemail flank doors in castles. The Civic center is lit over every square inch, the reflected light illuminates the ceiling of the cavern.

The tall three magic towers are beautiful. Different from the square blocky buildings, they are round and tapered. They are made of a mix of stone and glass, allowing one to see what one supposes is the “flow of magic” inside the tower. (There is also some kind of spinning mechanism insides the towers, which empowers an artistic chandelier in the rotunda at the bottom of the tower).  They are topped with silvery sphere. On those spheres perch large bat like gargoyles artwork, once facing each of the cardinal directions. Those gargoyle’s eyes glow with a bright purple glow.

A horrific, but beautiful place to visit.

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Comments ( 10 )
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Voted KendraHeart
December 21, 2005, 9:48
A city Image I missed? Inconcievable!

This is very cool. It would of been a great post without the other Nekron post. Combining the two together makes it even better.

I get a Max Fisher Metropolis vibe from this. Goth Art Deco. It implies a magic and technology that are alien than the rest of the world. In fact, they really seem to be aliens.
Voted Ancient Gamer
December 21, 2005, 19:45
Uhhhm. Spider motifs, magic towers, walkways, floating disks... This reminded me of the Menzoberranzan sourcebook I read years and years ago. The idea is solid I guess, but here the original drow inspiration really shines through. Nothing wrong with using the old non-cliche aspects of Drow but I have seen it before. A couple of times too many actually.

I love the name though. City 17... Wheee! 'Simon du Fleuve'*, here I come.

*Post apocalyptic cartoon by Claude Auclair.
Voted CaptainPenguin
December 21, 2005, 23:06
City 17? Reminds me more of Half-Life 2... that was City 17, wasn't it?

I, for my part, like it. The spider motifs I can deal with because A. they aren't the main motif (that's bats), and B. they have an interesting reason to be there (they are social context). I find the bat and gargoyle sort of thing rather cliche when we're thinking of "dark" and "gothic" societies... I'd go with maybe intricate bas-reliefs and sculptures... But that's just my personal preference.
I also like the "subterranean skyscrapers"... Wasn't that my suggestion? I dunno', maybe I'm just taking credit for something not mine. The walkways, too, are interesting, and give me mental images, but I really don't care for the floating platforms (unnecessary magic, if you ask me).
The last bit about mechanisms in the 3 towers.. I don't get it, could you make it clearer what you mean?

Can we not find something better to farm underground than fungus?!

Ancient Gamer
December 22, 2005, 3:16
Yes, City 17 was from Half Life 2 too. My guess is that those post apocalyptic /sci fi guys inspire each other ;)
December 22, 2005, 9:50
Actually never played Half Life. Heard it was a great game, just wasn't that interested in it. Didn't know about the City 17 thing. Oh well.
December 22, 2005, 9:52
The answer you want is in Magic and Government in the Nekron Post. (Hence one of the suggestion to review that post first).
December 22, 2005, 18:21
Oh... Right. Sorry. *embarrassed grin*
Voted Cheka Man
February 5, 2006, 17:38
I like the city and the fact that the Nekron trade freely with Light Siders.Also the spider motifs.
Voted valadaar
December 26, 2013, 10:21
A very different city image. I like the picture it conjures.

A few dark-elve tropes applied perhaps too strongly, but still good.
December 29, 2013, 12:04
yes, but unlike the unlikely to be maintained Evil Society, here you have one simply with different values and a different social arrangement (Really, to appreciate this post, one must read the Nekron post first.) This is just a reflection of their society. Then again it is a City Image. This is practice in showing, not telling

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