The Silent City

Type: Warehouse

Entrance: Quietside is an iron well cover outside Tremont , Maine. A former Hellcrasher bought the land after retiring. He keeps it locked and well-guarded and will allow access for $1500 or a “particular type” of sex with a female. His tastes have drifted well past the normal predilections in his years of crashing and prevent him from finding willing partners.

Alternately, Backayonder is a cave entrance in the woods outside Bentonville, Arkansas. It is easily found, but requires advanced spelunking and scuba gear to traverse.

Transit Access: The Silent City is the home of Absear Train Station.

Citizens: The citizens of the Silent City are called searchers. They travel in small, silent tribes, sifting through the burning debris and crumbled architecture and fighting other tribes over territory to eke out a sad, squalid existence. A strange physic of the Silent City is the inability of anyone to read within its boundaries. Anyone within the city is functionally illiterate. The searchers never speak aloud and while they are skittish and violent, they are also eager to trade and negotiate with anyone that may have food or other resources. The searchers have developed a complex sign language based off the sign language used by the tonguers. Any communication with searchers will reasonably take this form. If anyone speaks aloud to or near them, however, they will panic and run away. GM note: GM’s should let players know that they must act out any communication they wish to convey. Don’t allow, “I look at him like I’m asking for the gun.” or “I shrug my shoulders.”

Most searchers carry both guns and hacking weapons of some sort fashioned or found while scavenging. Enemies of the tribes are usually chopped up and then reverently placed in the Tenant Bins to moan and weep among the severed residents.

Shackles: Every lost soul in the Silent City is looking for something they cannot leave behind. This conviction is so strong that nearly any soul rescued from the Silent City must be removed forcibly. There are even rumors of some rescued souls committing suicide after reaching Topside in an attempt to return. Each searcher believes the thing most important to them, be it a prized possession, experience or loved one is lost in the burning, broken waste of the city. There is also a sad resignation to the search, a sense that whatever it is they are searching for is lost forever, but the search must continue on the thin hope that it could be recovered. Searchers almost never are willing to tell another person, even someone within their tribe what they are ultimately searching for. There seems to be a paranoid compulsion to keep that a secret.

Screws: The screws of the Silent City are called tonguers. Tonguers travel as a well-organized military unit, tirelessly hunting down those that dare to utter any words. While tonguers are tougher than humans, they are not particularly resistant to Topside weapons. Tonguers appear as human-shaped, vaguely-skeletal, near-humans in military fatigues with empty eye sockets and a seal across their lips that does not allow them to open their mouths. Tonguers wear withered tongues they have cut from speakers they have caught on thin chains around their necks and waists as a status symbol. They are equipped with slightly antiquated rifles and artillery, travelling the debris with gun-mounted all-terrain vehicles and sometimes, even a tank.

Travelling along with any platoon of tonguers, one is sure to find a few whisper hounds. Whisper hounds are actually hideous bats the size of large dogs. They can’t fly, but they can bound on their sawn wings and stubby back legs at surprising speed. Whisper hounds can zero in on the smallest utterance from miles away and then track by scent thereafter. Tonguers can be evaded, but because of the whisper hounds, it’s never easy.

Should anyone make the mistake of speaking aloud, the tonguers hunt the speaker down mercilessly. Once they have caught a speaker, the platoon usually tortures them for a time, pulls out their tongue (remember, it doesn’t grow back), cuts off both legs and one arm and hangs the speaker by their neck from a sign post to direct those traversing the city.

The Place: The Silent City is a vast city that some claim is never-ending. It sits on Black Blood Bay, a clotted body of black, semi-viscous liquid that causes stunning hallucinations and diarrhea if ingested. Its architecture ranges from unlikely multi-story affairs without a single right angle to elegant cathedrals of classic beauty. The city is under constant attack. Bombs occasionally rain down from above the constant reddish cloud cover, fires run wild throughout and both tonguers and searcher-tribes roam the streets with gun and machete at the ready. Nothing in the city is whole or untouched by violence.

The city has no signs or written words of any sort. Instead of signposts, the tonguers have mutilated speakers and charged them with answering questions concerning direction by pointing. They hang from sign posts, with bluish, swollen faces and all their limbs but one arm removed as well as their tongue. Most of the signposts are willing to fulfill this duty for no more than a drink of water or some other small kindness.

The searchers have built rickety, open-topped boxes to collect the (still conscious) dismantled parts of their neighbors and tribesmen. These are the Tenant Bins. Once someone has been reduced to such a state, they are no longer a threat, so the searchers take tenants with a sober respect to the place they all will probably end up. On regular occasions, most tribes bring a tithe of food and water to the tenant bins. It makes no difference if the person was a best friend or a terrible enemy while whole. While being consigned to the Tenant Bins is a horrid prospect, it is considered preferable to being a signpost. Signposts are never touched, and so never know the community of the Tenant Bins.

In the “center” of the Silent City stands the Absear Train Station. It can be seen from many, many miles away. It appears a massive tower that is half completed and stands at a slight awkward angle. Several lines of elevated train tracks lead into its bowels. And trains can be seen entering and exiting Absear many times a day. No bombs fall near Absear, but it is obviously a headquarters for tonguers, so searchers avoid staying near it.

Landmarks: Absear Train Station, the Last Library, Black Blood Bay, the Tenant Bins

Unless otherwise stated, the content of this page is licensed under Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 License