Thursday, October 5, 2023

Highlun: The Vital Core

 I've decided my atlas of Highlun is just too big for a single post, and I'm going to publish it in thematic chunks. Today we cover the Capital, Lowmon,  and the largest area of settlement: The Banks.

Lowmon (The Low Range)

The the center of Highlun's main range, and rising just north of the Banks, the Lowmon serves as Highlun's capital. It is the most densely populated area of the mountains, and the part of Highlun outsiders are most likely to see. The Lowmon herding clans boast of their military prowess, political connections, history, and wealth. Other herding clans mock them as being "halfway to fogglanders" or "nearly city folk". Notable locations in Lowmon include:

Coppervin (The Copper Vein): A ex-mining city turned into the cosmopolitan center of Highlun. Here, Highland Herders, Fogglander Merchants, Grizzled Miners, and Offworld Visitors all brush shoulders, do business, and ride in converted ore carts. Coppervin is Highlun's largest commercial starport.

Midkessel (The Middle Castle): A city, fortress, miltary starport, and palatial complex, Midkessel is  the seat of power for house Alacapa. It has a grand military air, and the house works hard to keep it from turning into another Coppervin, preserving it for the Military and House Alacapa.

Feltax (The Place of Taxing Felt): The site of the largest and oldest of the clan festivals. Once a year, it becomes an impromptu camp drawing clans and clan leaders from all over the planet. The festival lasts a full month, longer than any other, and is the traditional place to conduct business between the various mountain ranges. Feltax itself is a large green empty mountain valley 10 miles across, but outside its grounds a fairly large community persists through the year.

The Banks 

The largest, oldest, and densest of the Fogglands, the banks are built along the slopes of Lowmon and Midmon. Minutely sculpted, the banks consist of layer after layer of smooth terraced earth, running down thousands of feet of slopes, with homes and factories built into the terrace walls. Cable cars run up the mountains in neat little lines, and trams run along the edges. Periodic dams and spillways provide accents, at least when the place is not obscured by the mist that gives the Fogglands their name.

The Banks includes almost half the population of Highlun, and its inhabitants have been accused of acting like its the entire thing. It covers about 100 miles from the mountain terraces to the sea, and runs  between them for about 600 miles. Notable locations in the Banks includes:

Sidbrick (The Sideways Bricks): A dense urban center marked by large blocky arcologies. They're named for looking like giant bricks laying on their sides. Sidbrick is the cultural center of the Banks, and they like to claim, of all of Highlun. Their tops are immaculately kept gardens, and each "brick" is a small city unto itself. The Sidbrick has functioned as a fortress complex during occupations.

The Deeps: A large portion of Highlun's industry lies underneath its farms, and the Deeps is a portion of mountain slope with an exceptional amount of industry and structure. 

The Rolls: The Banks extends along the mountains forming Lowmon and Midmon, and its always being expanded. The Rolls is the common name for these expansion zones, one going east, and one going west. Its a place of fresh earth, regularly scheduled explosions, giant machines, and grandiose planning.

Falzen (The Waterfall's End): The port for the banks and the outlet for all the water flowing through it. A massive artificial harbor protects the ships from the powerful storms and hurricanes that spring from a hot planet with a dense atmosphere. The inhabitants of Falzen occasionally objects to being lumped in with the rest of the Banks, seeing themselves more as part of the ocean community of fishers and sailors.

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