Building a Haven (PART 2)

Rising from the drowned wreckage of what was once New Orleans, the haven-city of Serenity has been born from the beating heart of the Reclamation movement. The Nuclear Cataclysm melted many of the ice caps which once again brought a great flood to southern Louisiana, but as ever, the tenacity of the human spirit found a way to overcome. With so much of the surrounding landscape swallowed up by dark waters, the survivors of this area had one choice–climb! They took to the tallest buildings while the ground below succumbed to a watery death. Now these skyscrapers rise out of the sea like isolated islands. The inhabitants have built walkways and platforms to connect some of the buildings together, and from this elevated position, a new society has blossomed. 

Serenity has a population of exactly 1000. They believe this number is sacred. As long as it is maintained, The Sickness will be kept in check. It is a rule entrenched in fear and superstition, but the people of Serenity cling to it nonetheless, for it offers hope, a goal, a sense of rationality amidst the chaos and confusion of the Dystopia. If a citizen dies, a new child must be conceived to replace the lost member. If the population exceeds 1000, someone must be outcast… or sacrificed. These strict rules are enforced by an appointed champion by the name of Lt. Col. Stryker. He is a mysterious man with an unknown past, but he is the judge, jury, and executioner of Serenity; no one challenges his will. And so the island citadels of Serenity stand strong and determined in this new age…


Okay… so… a couple more questions. These are very important, so please, feel free to be detailed in your responses. The more persuasive your argument, the more likely I’ll be drawn into your idea!

  1. How is the haven-city of Serenity governed?
    By the Protectorate? A single leader? By a Magi theocracy? Host tech-guild? Is each island citadel governed by a different House (live cell)? What powers have been  bestowed to this governing body?
  2. What are the major challenges faced by the citizens of Serenity?
    Mortis-creatures? Sea-monsters? Starvation? Refugees? Once we determine how Serenity is governed… we can answer how these challenges are handled. So right now, just focus on detailed descriptions of the problems themselves, not the solutions.


17 responses to “Building a Haven (PART 2)

  1. How is the Haven of Serenity governed?
    This IS the wreckage of Louisiana, and especially in the End Times, I can’t help but think that the Voodoo religion would be alive and well, especially with the rebirth of magic. What about having the Haven be ruled by a Voodoo-influenced Magi theocracy?

    That being said I also like the idea of each island citadel being its own independent House.

    The Problems with Serenity…

    -The bayous of Louisiana are alive and teeming with the twisted progeny of the Sickness and the mutations. Twisted reptilians that were once gators, snakes, and/or crocodiles (or why not some unholy fusion?) prowl the waters of flooded Louisiana. Any survivor cells who retreated to the swamps could have devolved and become savage long ago, making the unclaimed streets, bogs and waterways hazardous to travelers who could fall prey to feral subhumans.

    -Refugees will always swarm to centers of the New Order, and Serenity (despite their rigid population controls) is no different. Shanty towns have sprung up throughout the above-water districts of the wrecked city, separate from the Haven itself, clinging determinedly despite the predations of the Bayou predators and the brutal reprisals from Stryker and his men. Perhaps some of the Houses/sympathetic citizens occasionally offer what aid they can, their kindness merely fueling the drive of the refugees to stay.

    -A swamp is still a swamp, even in the wake of the Apocalypse. But following the mutational spasms of the End Times, the swamp now seethes with decay and sickness. Disease should be even MORE pestilent, virulent and ever-present in the bayous and bogs in the aftermath of the Apocalypse. Plague rats, botflies, mosquitoes, the filthy maw of crocodilian behemoths- all of these could carry chillingly destructive viruses and diseases born of the muck and mire.

    • Do you see a Magi theocracy as the reigning authority over the entire haven with each “House” designated as a regent of its respective skyscraper? Or are all of the Houses entrenched in voodoo/religious dogma with no overarching authority?

    • This is good.

      I especially like the voodoo influences… Maybe have each tower/building be controlled by its own voodoo priest/priestess?

  2. The problems would mostly be food I think, they would need a way to get food from the mainland or have it imported somehow.

  3. Food is definitely an issue for a remote location such as this. Perhaps they have connections to a city-state up the coast and they make a semi-regular run to trade foodstuffs for goods produced in Serenity. Perhaps they specialize in making crafted items, both supernatural and mundane. An issue might be that these boating expeditions are quite often attacked by locals that have yet to fall to the Black Dream, but are mutated nonetheless.

    • Thought of something else. These trade missions could be seen as a “test of loyalty” for those that have fallen out of favor. Due to the frequent attacks on these missions, it could easily be seen as a way to “cull the herd” and keep the population where it needs to be.

      • It almost sounds like a gladiator-esque system. They are cast into this dangerous occupation as punishment… but if they thrive in their newfound role, they become revered and celebrated by the people. After all, the citizens of Serenity would certainly love a group of trade sailors who consistently succeed at bringing food and other resources back to the haven.

      • Definitely… I imagine the society as being very neo-tribal, and scavenging being a way of “proving” yourself. The scavs are sent into the swamp with little equipment and tribal face paint/clothes and if (key word ‘if’) they come back are revered as heroes. Those who don’t… well, it helps keep the population stable.

  4. Top of my head reply: Beware…!

    Serenity is governed by whoever or whatever appointed the Champion Lt.Col. Stryker. (Pretty powerful group/entity)to be in the position to “appoint” anyone/anything. In my opinion. So, the power must belong to that person/group/entity.

    Biggest challenge? Must be refugees. Because Serenity absolutely MUST be kept at the number 1,000. So, it stands to reason, (to me) that keeping others at bay is crucial to Serenity’s survival. Being located out of the ruins of the once glorious city of New Orleans is not a safe location. Therefore, much warfare will occur trying to keep “our” population at what “we” consider appropriate for “our” survival…. I say we head for Le Moone!!!

    • I agree. It seems like a mass influx of refugees would really threaten the 1000 person superstition. Even if they are kept at bay and forced to reside in sub-dwellings on the outskirts, people never think rationally when they are scared or feel threatened, and I think these people would threaten their carefully structured way of life. Not to mention… The Sickness feeds off fear.

      • Superstition seems like it would be a focal point of the society in Serenity… with voodoo and tribal influences I imagine charms and wards being placed/painted everywhere…some being actually magic, others being purely superstition.

  5. Another idea: Since the number must stay at 1000, whenever someone is born they voodoo shamans have an elaborate ritualistic sacrifice as the few chosen to be cast out are thrown into the waters far below the city.

  6. The discussion on these two questions will continue until tonight. Then I’m going to make some selections, write up the next little piece about the haven, and present a few more questions. Thanks to everyone who have contributed so far! This is turning out to be a lot of fun… and I really think we are starting to create something unique. I have ran a lot of Reclamation Journeys… and not one game took place in a location like what’s being collaboratively invented here!

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