The mining city of Katipo lies buried in the bedrock of the Southern Continent. It is shielded from the outside world by a network of grand caverns and tunnels, known as Mangaia, an old Matoran word meaning “Protector”. In fact, the inhabitants have become so shielded that they have lost almost all connections to the outside world. It is very rare for beings to enter or leave. The last team of brave adventurers to set out from the city returned two months ago after trading what the miners had dug out of the earth with the surface-dwellers. They seem to have brought more than merchandise back with them.
Trouble is stirring in the city.
It began with the area’s rahi. They were acting strangely. It was hardly enough to worry about, until a heard of blade burrowers stampeded through a housing block, trampling two Matoran. Since then, more and more rahi-related incidents have occurred. Some rahi were spotted that no-one had heard of before. Odd mutants displaying baffling powers occasionally emerged from the surrounding darkness, frequently attacking citizens before retreating into the shadows. The best-known occasion was when a Muaka with the head of a Kane-Ra ran down one of the main streets while causing everything it touched to shrink to half its size. The beast was cornered by the city guard and captured, though nobody knew what to do with it after that, so it has remained in captivity.
Even more disturbing, some beings have seemingly vanished, and chief among them is the leader of the last expedition out of Katipo, who is also the captain of the city’s guard. None of them have left any indications of where they went, or why. Citizens are growing nervous, however. Clearly, there are forces beyond simple rahi at work here.
The leader of Katipo, Turaga Tawhito, has offered a great reward to any being who can solve the mystery behind the events and put an end the disappearances and the unnatural wildlife that has come to the City in the Dark.
About the Game
City in the Dark is an invitation for you, the player, to probe the mysteries of the darkness. What you seek is out there, but knowledge is not all you might find. Shadows, danger, power, and hope can all be found when seeking answers, but which you find is up to you. Do you dare to explore? You may be surprised by what you discover.
If solving mysteries is not your thing, then there are plenty more things for you to do within the world of this game. Keep reading.
The events of this RPG will take place around 5,000 years Before the Great Cataclysm (BGC)
Katipo exists many kio below the surface of the Southern Continent, in a massive cavern 100 bio in height called Mangaia. The city and its 2,000 or so inhabitants take up most of the space in Mangaia. There are other, much smaller, caves and tunnels leading away from Mangaia. These used to house beings when Katipo itself was still under construction, but have long since been abandoned in favour of the main city. Only rahi, exiles and the mad live in the Outer Darkness.
Katipo sits on top of the largest mine on the Southern Continent. It provides much of the universe with ores, stone, lightstones and many other goods. The mine forms the cornerstone of Katipo’s economy. The city itself is circular, with 24 main streets leading radially out from a central point, the Central Concourse. Curved cross streets run in circles around the city, joining these main passageways. It was this shape that led some outsiders to refer to the city as “The Web”. The Central Concourse contains all the most important buildings in Katipo, such as Turaga Tawhito’s hall, the largest markets in the city and the headquarters of organisations like the Katipo City Guard and the Miners’ Corporation.
In addition the city is two-tiered. While half of Katipo lies on the floor of the cavern as in most cities, there is a mirror image second city carved out of the cavern’s roof. In the world above, the streets are made of (very thick and strong) glass to allow both levels to see each other. The two levels are connected by elevators, placed on every second junction between the radial and circular main streets.
The entire place is lit by a myriad of different coloured lightstone lanterns. These are hung regularly along all the streets and inside buildings, so when looking down from the top tier of up from the bottom, the city looks like it has been sprinkled with glitter.
Katipo is led by Turaga Tawhito and policed by the City Guard. Together, it is their responsibility to ensure the safety and prosperity of all the beings living in Katipo.
The residents of Katipo are a diverse group, species-wise. Matoran and the most common, but there are also a few toa in the city, with other beings such as Vortixx, Steltians, Hydraxon’s, Tobduk’s and Trinuma’s species and even a few Skakdi. For notes on these species and their abilities, see below.
While not quite at Metru Nui’s level of advanced technology, Katipo’s mineral wealth has allowed it to trade with other lands for some pretty good tech. Kanoka disks are present here (though not as ubiquitous as in Metru Nui), as are knowledge crystals, protodermis refineries and many different kinds of motorised vehicles. Most of the more advanced tech is involved in the mines; I’m talking big vehicles, drilling machines and explosives – things that make ussal crab carts look horribly out of date.
Katipo City Guard
Really, there’s not a lot to say that isn’t implicit in the name. About 60 strong, the Guard is there to keep everyone in the city safe, whether from rahi, criminals, cave-ins or anything else that might pose a threat. They are well-regarded by the populace and have a reputation for being tough but fair.
Leadership: Technically, the guard answers to Turaga Tawhito, but the day-to-day operations were all taken care of by a being named Turano, the Head of the Guard. Since his disappearance, the other guards have done their best to get along without him, but no replacement has yet been found.
Base: Guard HQ is located on the Central Concourse, near the southwest corner. It is one of the largest structures there, standing three floors above cavern floor, and three more below.
Symbol: A black stone shield on a red background.
Other info: All members of the guard carry a badge with the Guard’s insignia to identify themselves. These allow access to secure locations within the city, such as Guard HQ.
All Guard members are equipped with a shield and spear, but many choose to use their own equipment as well as or instead of these.
The mines below and around Katipo are not governed by the city’s leaders, but by their own independent body – the Miners’ Corporation. This group negotiates trade of minerals with other settlements, prospects new areas and employs everyone who works in the mines. As the economic powerhouse of the region, the Corporation holds huge influence within Katipo, because almost everybody depends on them one way or another.
Leadership: The Miners’ Corporation uses a ridgid hierarchy of authority, accounting for the simplest worker digging holes up to the beings who coordinate the whole operation. The top level consists of a dozen beings who together form a ruling council. It should be noted that there is little unity within this council, and there is great contention among them over many issues. Really, the only reason any of them tolerate the others is that nobody has enough power to rule on their own. It’s a cutthroat world at the top of big business.
Base: The headquarters of the Miners’ Corporation is located at the junction of the Central Concourse and the main street running north. It is a large building, taking up the entire city block. It is constantly bustling with activity as beings hurry to and fro, carrying information in and out, whether they be profit reports, requests for more drills or orders to excavate a new tunnel.
Symbol: A pickaxe in front of a stack of golden ingots, all set against a green background.
Other Information: Most of the richest beings in Katipo belong to the Corporation. The average workers lower down aren’t too badly off, but the further up the chain you go, the more affluent beings you find. The guys at the top are filthy-stinking-rich.
In these difficult times, fear and uncertainty are rife within the population, serving to inflame old rivalries and conflicts. The guard is stretched thin, trying to deal with rahi attacks, investigate disappearances and maintain order in Katipo. While this combination of misfortunes is horrifying for many, it is a perfect opportunity for the unscrupulous.
The Hammer is a newly emerging faction, which has only appeared since the rahi attacks and disappearances began. It is composed of many different individuals who have little in common other than the desire to use the city’s troubles for their own benefit. This newly formed gang has congealed under the leadership of a being calling himself Bo-Kal. So far, they have been performing raids on various locations within the city, stealing, destroying and assaulting citizens, and then disappearing again just as quickly. They have demanded that Turaga Tawhito step down as leader of Katipo so that Bo-Kal can take his place in a coup.
At this point, the demands have been laughed off and rejected, but as the attacks become more frequent and more violent, it remains to be seen whether the Guard can face enemies both within the city and without. Individual members also have their own agendas that they can advance by carefully targeting their raids.
The members of The Hammer are known only to each other, and are careful to keep their identities hidden during their attacks. They wear large concealing cloaks and dark masks to cover their faces. There are currently 15-20 members.
Leadership: All members are under the direct authority of Bo-Kal.
Base: The Hammer are known to have a base, but just where it is is not public knowledge. The best guess is that it is somewhere within the top tier of the city, which is less densely inhabited, and where many of The Hammer’s raids have taken place.
Symbol: Having been around only a short time, The Hammer doesn’t have a recognised, official seal. Drawings of hammers are occasionally used, but there is no consensus about what type of hammer, nor how it is drawn.
Make your own.
No really, go ahead. Make your own groups; this is encouraged. I have outlined the major groups in Katipo, but there are many other, smaller groups free for you to design and play. What to form the Katipo Kolhii Club? Feel free. Hold a city-wide tournament if you feel like it. In particular, groups of beings who are working together to solve the mysteries of the plot are highly encouraged. You will make more discoveries this way.
More will be revealed later as the plot progresses. If say, a few Dark Hunters turn up, (not that I’m saying they will) players might get to play as them as a reward for good RPing and contribution to the game.
· All BZP rules apply, obviously.
· In general, don’t do anything that breaks the realism or detracts from other peoples’ enjoyment of the game. All the usual RPG fallacies fall under this, such as god-modding, meta-gaming, bunnying, auto-hitting and the like. For more on these, see the BZPRPG topics, where you will find some great descriptions and more details on the subtleties of these.
· Use IC and OOC to separate what your character(s) do from you talking.
· Do not wreak huge destruction on the city. After all, if you decide to go nova and bring down the cavern, you will squish the entire city and end the game very quickly with the deaths of every character. Nobody wants that. Minor blowing stuff up is all right (so long as you can avoid the Guard and their prison).
· Do not kill or injure somebody else’s character without permission.
· GMs have the right to do anything they see fit in the IC world. This includes punishments for rule-breaking and rewards for making positive contributions to the RPG.
Edited by The Lorax, Jul 23 2014 - 12:41 AM.