Countryside

Table of contents


Simpler and quieter than Kaipalu or Cessnock, the Countryside is both a harder and an easier place to live. Most of the land in the Turritella has been turned to flora and fauna; there are wide expanses of patchwork green, gold, brown, and red crops that will stretch from one wall of the Rift to another, covering the ground as far as the eye can see. Many of these have been turned to pasture for livestock — cattle, goats, sheep, horses.

Among the crops, breaking up the miles of land that make up the Countryside, towns have sprung up. Most of these towns are small, two or three streets, generally only a few dozen people in each, and they're rarely more than a thousand strong. Most of the small towns are simple trade outposts, supplying a convenience to local farmers so that they don't have to ride all the way to the nearest city on their own every time they need some new seed or tool, or need the help of a skilled artisan.

There are a handful of larger Countryside-cities. None of these even compare or come close to the size of Kaipalu, but most have the essential amenities any city does: markets, a place to stay for travelers, at least bar and restaurant, blacksmith and ferrier or someone who can repair broken vehicles.

Layout

Most towns are based around a small Danne Church, and will have one or two trade posts as well as the shop of an artisan or two – usually Chitin or Actin-workers. Artisans of Haemol and Spiracle are far less common, and usually either wander on their own or require a long trip to hire. It's common for the town to grow on either side of one of the main roads that runs from one end of the Turritella to another, with the Church at one end and some kind of saloon at the other, with some kind of clock tower somewhere in the middle (more often than not, part of the Church).

Farms have no standard layout, though simple common sense and knowledge of good farming demand that crops be grown in neat plots and regular shapes, to maximize space. It's foolish to own animals without some kind of barn or stable, as well as a pasture, and it's equally silly for the fields to be arranged randomly or allowed to overgrow. Most farms have to maintain the roads and paths around them on their own.

Life in the Countryside

In the rural Countryside, life revolves almost entirely around planting and harvests. A farmer's life is far from easy, and he'll usually need to wake up early in the morning and tend to his fields clear until night. About once a month, the Church will hold a day devoted to pious worship of a Saint or tradition, and further breaking up the year are four festivals, steeped in pagan tradition, hosted by the large cities and saloons – one festival for each solace and each equinox, which the Spire mimics from the traditional weather around Lapidum.

Many of the major farms are run by families that have been on the land for as long as anyone can remember, with temporary hired hands taking up the slack at harvest and planting time, or to help out with the beasts. Outsiders are viewed with an instinctive kind of distrust, but skill can win over the locals with ease.

Weather

As a contrivance, the Turritella was designed to have standard four-season weather corresponding with Lapidum, the city it hovers high above. This weather is controlled through a complex system understood by few, but amounts to something indistinguishable from an actual, natural ecosystem. However, unlike the Surface below, weather within the Turritella is more moderate. There are no dangerous winds, and major storms are extremely rare, widely believed to be something broken in the framework.