snailsNAT May 1st, 2019 (edited) 62 Never
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- History of Horizon
- Horizon is located in a crater, alone in an endless expanse of impossibly high crystal mountains. Before it was discovered by other races, it was inhabited by diamond dogs, who had been underground as long as they could remember. Legend has it, they felt a great impact, and tunneled towards the sound to find the ground was much too hot and compacted to dig through. This event, and area, later came to be known as Impact. It is the first record of the great crater which forms the valley Horizon is located in. There is no record of the object that caused the crater.
- The diamond dogs lived under the mountains in and around Impact for a long time before settlers first came. They arrived some 150 years ago with the first flying machines. At first, the settlers were mere explorers and scientists, drawn by curiosity. Soon, it was discovered that the crystals had certain properties when combined with certain magic. This knowledge was kept secret for many years as the crater became the site of an archaeological dig site, then an extraction site with refinery nearby, to a full-blown mining/refinery town. As the ramifications of the new products came to light, Horizon became a full-fledged town, with a resident population ever-rising and in need of more and more places to live. About this time contact with the Diamond Dogs occurred; the underground tunnels already in place were mapped and taken into account of the building of the city. The leaders of the Diamond Dogs met with the leaders of the town to form a truce. Soon enough, however, the moguls who owned Horizon's magical refineries felt that was not enough; they employed diggers to mine into the very foundations of the crater. The floor of the city became an ever-deepening dig site. Unfortunately for them, the material that formed the crystal mountains proved to be denser and harder to dig through the deeper they delved. New technology was required, and the call was put out for a new generation of scientists to come to Horizon.
- When the town was still basically a camp, a scientist named Gulf was called in to research the possibilities of using the resident materials to form structures fit for living in. Prior to this, all materials and food had to be flown in at great expense. Gulf, along with his team of scientists and magicians, was able to create a technique that could pull material from below the ground to form a structure. With a bit of tweaking and a lot of trial and error, he was able to craft the first crystal structures which formed the current "old town," including several domiciles and a chapel. Digging continued, elevating these domiciles to several times their original height. Gulf became a beloved figure and lived for many years after retiring in Horizon, which by then was a functioning self-sufficient town due to magical farming techniques. This was about 80 years ago.
- After this, another period of growth occurred. The technology born from the magical effects of the crystal crater had influenced the outside world, and several scientists and occultists were drawn to the allure of a new magical substance. One in particular, Reap Toren, was able to create a magical system of crystalline growth that created the first megastructure skeleton, towering hundreds of feet into the sky. It was such a successful summoning spell, in fact, that many existing buildings were damaged in the incredible growth process, which took a total of 2 weeks and was watched closely by both officials and the public. Once the growth was finished, multiple tests were performed on the resulting structure, which proved the material to be virtually indestructible but also unalterable, permanently grown from the crystalline structure underneath. From this first Toren structure, the New Cathedral was built. It was finished 40 years ago. It was later found that growths had started sprouting in a perfect circle around the structure, the same diameter that the original growths had sprouted. These spread in an exponential ripple to cover the entire crater's floor, forming a skeletal structure high into the sky at regular intervals within a couple year's time.
- This crystalline infrastructure became a boon to construction. A whole architectural field sprouted around working with the Toren structures. Factories to mass manufacture the magical goods that crystals make possible sprouted like pox along the ground floor of the valley. Over time, the crater filled with a polluted smog which is harsh on the lungs, as well as causing other problems. Since then, the Toren effect has multiplied without stop, creating massive solid crystal skeletons of buildings which have mostly remained empty, but also been utilized to form homes and businesses, fully replacing the now-polluted and inhospitable old town's functionality, stretching into the sky and into the distance, only bounded by the impossibly high crystal mountains.
- Sunlight has become the prime resource. Floating farms appeared in clusters in the sky over the mountains, massive agricultural archipelagos to support the population of Horizon.
- The owners of the factories and the megastructures, living far above the rising polluted fog, don't care about the workers who have to toil in the pollution. Instead, they build grandiose megaplexes to house their families and workers. Real estate in the sky is easy to acquire because of the out-of-control Toren effect. The only thing that is missing is sunlight.
- This leads us into modern times, which have multiple half-finished crystal megastructures stretching from the ultra-polluted ground level, to above the "fog level," to high into the sky, where there is another level of civilization among the clouds. This "upper city" is home to the elites and visited by the hopefuls on special occasions. There are several empty megastructures between each location, many of them home to flying creatures living illegally in the unfinished structures. The ground level is so polluted that most citizens who have to visit there wear gasmasks. A select few seem immune to the effects of this gas and live their whole lives on the ground floor, including in the old town which is now a few stories tall and totally wrecked by Toren roots, not to mention in perpetual darkness because of the levels of civilization above them.
- Current State of Horizon
- Tall crystal infrastructure bounds the town of Horizon. Even in the sky, the crystal lattices stretch upwards to unknown heights. Many of them have been 'trimmed' using magic to contain their size; even so, there are so many growing structures in some districts that reach high into the sky. Many of the lattices have not been refined into buildings; some of these unfinished structures have become home to the Griffon and Pegasus populations. On the polluted ground level, diamond dogs (who are unaffected by the fog) and the poorest of the other races live. Many of them work for a corporation known as AlphaBravo Corporation, which owns much of the manufacturing industry in Horizon. The fog is a dangerous place, not merely because prolonged exposure causes strange effects, but because it is home to some of the less savory characters of Horizon. There are roving gangs of criminals, magical pests that feed on technology, and a thriving occult scene, among other threats. Most ponies from the upper level never go there, and most denizens of the fog can never afford to leave.
- There are two major entrances which do not cut over the dangerously high crystal mountains. At the gateway to each, there is a tall wall and a guardhouse, followed by a customs center which serves as both border security and a taxation point. All goods coming in or out of Horizon are tariffed, and the heavy flow of trade ensures that the royal purse is never empty.
- The King theoretically has the final word on how the city is run, but the real lawmaking and governing is mostly carried out by the Council of 9. The military, however, is controlled by the King. He also has a private army of royal guard who enforce the rule of law in the upper city. The lower city is mostly policed by mercenaries hired by ABC to ensure the peace through selective use of violence. Horizon is not currently at war, although their relationship with the outside world is not great. Being a technological leader, they are feared by the outside city-states, and terrorist attacks on the city are increasing.
- There are several technologies which are powered by specially-made tubes, which are for the most part unique to what they're powering and not interchangeable. It takes some technical specialty to adapt or replace these batteries. Many older automatons have run out of juice and it's hard to find replacement tubes, so they are discarded. There is a huge junkyard which is piled high with old discarded technologies; this can be a goldmine for a tech-savvy tinkerer.
- Most ponies go to the Cathedral atop one of the highest megastructures once a week to worship. Much of the meaning has been lost or distorted over time. Little emphasis is put on friendship and harmony; mostly, service is highly ritualistic and incomprehensible to the average pony. It is expected by society, however, and the Cardinal himself offers a free zeppelin ride to the top of his tower for the poor, so that they might not miss out on the spiritual side of life.
- In another part of the upper echelon of Horizon's megastructures, zeppelin racing is a popular sport amongst the well-to-do. These single-rider contraptions were built for speed. In the official leagues, interfering with your opponents is disallowed. In the illegal street races, however, anything goes. These low-altitude high-speed contraptions are homebrewed from the finest minds and deepest wallets to provide cutting-edge entertainment for the masses, and even the poorest citizens of the slums have a favorite racer.
- Royal Palace
- Cathedral Tower
- Factory: External, internal, railroad tracks, lifting station
- Slums/old town: Chapel, funeral home, crematorium, cemetery, entry to catacombs
- Pub: Upper (themed clubs, ritzy restaurants), Lower (old family-owned inns, sketchy dives, speakeasies, back alley tapped kegs w/dumpster fire)
- Megastructure scaffolding: Exterior, interior, access chutes, control room
- Megastructure interior: Apts, offices, entertainment complexes (Stadium, circus, flea market/bazaar), parks, airship docking, schools, libraries,
- Customs Office
- Sky Coliseum: Internal, external
- Opera Hall/Theater
- Homes: Penthouses, apartments, shitty apts, slums, sewers
- Outskirts of town: Automated farm
- Aboard a zeppelin
- In the City Heights, above the fog
- On the City Streets, below the fog
- Tinker workshop, magical laboratory, scientific testing grounds
- Underground complex: Sewers, catacombs, dungeon, ancient ruins
- Garden District: Rooftop Park
- Dry Dock: Constructing a Cruise Ship
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