Sunday, April 5, 2015

Ever-Bright

EVER-BRIGHT

Recently completed, Ever-Bright is the gleaming capital-castle of the rabbitjacks of Dawn Valley.  Although most of the valley is quiet farmland, Ever-Bright is crowded and busy, its wending hallways and overlapping briar-bridges always crawling with rabbitjacks and jills hurrying about their business.  Most of the surfaces and edges in Ever-Bright are curved, which gives the city an unreal, dreamy quality.  The byways of the city lead seamlessly to the boulevard-tunnels that run underneath the length and width of the valley; in this way the castle-city of Ever-Bright is an extension of the vast rabbitjack warrens, an intimidating fortress defending Dawn Valley from the forces of the Witch Queen.

What to See
Make the time to visit the Gardens - not the ones replete with oversized carrots and turnips-of-many-colors, but the Crystal Gardens, a sprawling, labyrinthine display of the sort of alien sculpture that reminds the rabbitjacks that they hail from another place.  The installations are myriad: ululating silver wires and ribbons, fractal trees seemingly painted into three-dimensional existence, crystals born inside crystals, and a machine lazily spitting ephemeral soap bubbles which resemble passersby.  Most Wampus folk associate the rabbitjacks with alchemy, but in truth their native technology goes far beyond magical brewing into strangeness such as "portable holes" (several of which are laying about in the Gardens).

Where to Stay
Visitors don't have much choice, being restricted to spending the night in the Super Friendly Hotel; it's the only place in town authorized to host non-rabbitjacks overnight.  It's purely a security issue; Dawn Valley lies so close to the Witch-Queen's Candylands that every visitor is a little suspect.  While staying at the Super Friendly, you should expect to be observed, followed, spied upon constantly, and so forth.  Again, this is for security purposes; it's nothing personal.  Being assigned a covert 'handler' during your stay should be taken as a compliment - they don't do that for your average melon-farmer.

Where to Pray
The rabbitjacks have little in the way of native religion, although they have certain rabbitist philosophies that guide their laws.  The rabbit elders have recently allowed the construction of what they call a Mutual Church in Ever-Bright - a large, cathedral-like space where outsiders are allowed to set up shrines of foreign godlings.  As surely as nature abhors a vacuum, it wasn't long before priests devoted to Taronja, Gloriana, and the Scorpion-God claimed their niches in the building.  Though these clerics are allowed to preach to the intellectually-curious rabbitjacks, full conversions have been few.  A heterodox priest could easily make a living in Ever-Bright by claiming space in the Mutual Church.

What to Eat
All manner of vegetables and greens are widely available in Ever-Bright, some in unusual sizes and colors, and many of them bred to be sweeter than usual to suit the rabbitjack palate.  As such, when you visit such up-and-coming Ever-Bright eateries as Four Leaves or The Parsnip Star, you will be able to delight in such delicacies as maple-glazed blue potatoes, variegated leeks, and a salad of crimson endive, sweet-and-sour chard, and green apples garnished with candied cashews and a grumbleberry vinaigrette.  Meat is just simply not available at taverns and restaurants in Ever-Bright, but can be found in some private homes of non-rabbitjacks.  However, the Cottontail Arms, a private club, serves a remarkable veggie burger slathered in a sweet, spicy pepper and guava chutney that must be tasted to be believed.

What to Buy
Both commercial and hobbyist alchemists offer all manner of potions, unguents, philtres, and brews - some of mild effect which are tried and tested, and others of more daring mien.  In addition, some rabbitjacks have been experimenting with the basics of sucromancy, the better to know their enemy, the Witch-Queen.  Right now the favorite combination for some of the street-vendors are little chocolate bottles filled with potion-liqueurs, typically available in a box of six (different flavors and effects) for around $50.  One of the chocolatiers, the nattily-dressed Zazz Bax, is particularly skilled at sculpting tiny chocolate busts with the likeness of customers (or other faces).  His skill was such that, working from a cameo brooch I wear, he was able to do an entire box of rum-flavored white chocolate versions of my wife, which she enjoyed greatly.

Who to Meet
Inspector Hopalong is the most famous of rabbitjack lawmen; it is he who has the most leeway in Dawn Valley as an independent investigator, and he often leaves the area to pursue fugitives or suspects.  Over time, Hopalong has built up a wide network of contacts - both those who pursue justice, and those who flee it - across the Wampus Country.  Anyone seeking leads regarding organized crime would do well to chat with Inspector Hopalong; he may not know the answer you seek, but he probably knows someone who does (although they may be miles away).  Also worth talking to are any of the briar-jacks - the rabbits who maintain and man the living defensive walls that shield Dawn Valley from the depredations of the Candylanders.  Some briar-jacks have spent months peering at Candyland through a spyglass, and they are wise to the patterns of the Witch-Queen's subjects as well as the appearances of some of the dire sugar-beasts which roam her lands.

Thing to Avoid
There's a nightclub called Hare of the Dog not far from the main drag; it looks like a pretty nice place to drink, or to dance, and has some pretty impressive strings of paper lanterns strung about outside.  Be forewarned, however, this establishment is essentially a creepy rabbitjack swingers' club.  You cannot keep up.

4 comments:

  1. Sounds interesting! New follower here. I'm stopping by from the "A to Z" challenge, and I look forward to visiting again!

    Sylvia
    www.writinginwonderland.blogspot.com

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  2. Hi! i'm another rpg blogger (daylands.blogspot...), just to tell you that you pursue two things that i can achieve to: to create a "magical" magical system, that feels still mystic enough; and the reskinning of the american myths.

    Met you from Merchants of Silk Road; awesome stuff dude.

    I'll keep an eye around here!

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