Delmont is another of the planet builds in which I was commissioned to build for the UK LARP system based in Kent.
This one, this time, was for me to finish the work of two others as well as working with another person to finish it completely. As a result, most of what was written was my work. I believe that I’ve removed the work that was edited by me but distinctly theirs but all of what you see now is my work based on the briefs that were given to me in order to create Delmont itself.
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Capital: Edge, Ward 239
Population: 22.8 billion approx.
Orbital Period: 487 Terran Days
Day Length: 30 Terran Hours
Atmospheric Pressure: 1.03 Terran Atmospheres
Surface Gravity: 1.01
Natural Satellites: N/A
Languages: Castorian, Terran Standard
Adjective: Delmonte (Dell-mohn-teh)
Of the Discovery of Delmont
Delmont was the first planet in the Segovax cluster to be discovered that was potentially available for colonisation. Other, more suitable planets like Zennor, Ardheim, or Durgan weren’t discovered until later and long after the first steps on Delmont were made.
Other planets were known from satellite and astronomical observations, and so Delmont was chosen as the first to become colonised when it was theorised to have an emperor’s ransom and more in the wealth of minerals that it may store beneath its surface.
The most sophisticated in Environmental Hazard Units (EHUs) were developed, and the colonisation had begun. Here, the metropolis of Delmont had dug its foundations in what was measured to be the least hazardous area of the world. There were less storms here, and the tectonic plates were far from this plot. The stacks had begun and the first colonists set their eyes to prospecting the land and creating probing mine systems.
They had failed. Delmont was almost empty in its promised riches. There was nothing on this planet but the developing metropolis and the growing mass of human population that now had nothing in the way of mineral wealth. Those who stayed on the planet stayed because they had sunk everything into this expedition and couldn’t return, or still saw potential in Delmont, or those who could still make their life in the stacks. This was the foothold of the Segovax Cluster in which humanity will stake their claim of course. They’d believed that there was more to be had and they could move onwards when more was established.
What minerals and ores that were found were used extremely carefully, and in extreme cases to further Delmont’s foundation and development.
To escape from the world’s natural pollution, the stacks grew upwards. Building spread up and out as the population grew from immigration (both legal and illegal), and birth. Due to the exponential rate, Delmont had to handle a population boom which could not be matched by its construction and economical flow. Delmont was forced into a crisis into which shanty towns were built in the levels and development stagnated.
With the growth, trade was attempted with the further exploration parties and units that used Delmont as a stepping stone into the cluster. This is technically what kept Delmont afloat, but the extra trade and visitors saw a mass increase in pollution, causing the environment to become even more damaged and saw an increase in the acid weathers. Building upwards became a prerogative in order to escape the pollution. People needed cleaner air, and the gigantic fans and control systems were built in the stacks to keep the air flowing and the weather outside whilst still maintaining relatively clean air indoors.
Delmont had more than its fair share of problems, but it is theorised that it is due to Delmont’s colonisation and stationing that other planets were able to be colonised. The current level of development may not have been achieved this soon.
Historians argue as to whether or not this was the most wisest of foundations in the Segovax Cluster, since Delmont’s cityscape has struggling above and beyond problems that has broken it beyond its founder’s vision and plan.
Referring to ancient terrain science, the Langelier lines for the oceans are at -3 to -8. These negatives numbers were never officially seen in terrain water systems since it is classed as so highly acidic that it would be trying to calcify anything with which it comes into contact with to become neutral in acidity. Officially, the Langelier Index is used to determine whether or not water solutions are acidic. It is further used in pools of water to discern what type of chlorination is needed, and in drinking waters to determine what treatment is needed to maintain the pipeworks in more civilised areas. Needless to say, the quality of water degrades the further down in the levels of the stacks you go.
Appropriating data on the seas of Delmont is incredibly difficult and often mortally dangerous. The acids and corrosive materials endanger both the equipment and the lives of any crewmen who enter the waters. The depths of Delmont’s seas are impossible to traverse, with attempts to date being catastrophic with both pressure and acids working their natural laws upon submariners and their devices and instrument.
As far as humans can make out, there is nothing in the way of life in these ‘waters’.
Owing to the high levels of acid in the waters of Delmont, acid rain is incredibly prevailant through all the months of the year. Indeed, acid rains, snows and sleet are the only forms of such natural phenomena that occur. It is rare that any rain would occur planetside with a pH higher than 4,
This has damaged the environment on the planet to irreparable levels, and has been this way since before the coming of mankind to this world.
The walls of the metropolis are impregnable to such things, however, due to the materials in its constructions, but these methods have long since been forgotten, but records may still exist somewhere.
Of Topographical Statistics
16% Water (irradiated);
20% Acid Lakes; and
40% Urban Metropolis
60% Wasteland; and
89% Deserts (due to desertification).
Of the City
Of the Highest Levels:
Traders who can make the trip into the atmosphere and land upon the upper levels – where the guidance lights and beacons are the only place that is safe to land without bandit or criminal influence, and is situated in the troposphere (above the acid clouds) – can make a lot of money in Delmont if they supply what’s in heavy demand.
These traders aren’t likely to ever see what’s below their commercial wards, yet they are normally free to travel the commercial, industrial and residential wards in the levels below. The heavy checkpoints, travel visas and redtape is a lot to go through and generally puts travellers off if they have no real reason to go below.
Delmont’s upper levels look incredibly different from those below, with the upper classes matching the notion that they are above the working class in every way – especially with location. Above the poverty and grime below, gone are the fumes that rise from lower levels, gone is the abject misery forced upon the populace by their constant living in fear. Those who live in the higher levels of Delmont are the figurative symbols of Mazlow’s Hierarchy. People who live in the heights of this hive-like city are superiorly happier than those who live below, engaging everyday life with better enthusiasm. These levels are filled with people who can afford their life. The people who have either climbed through difficulty after difficulty, away from the crimegangs and violence to a life where food can be plenty and the lights are on day/night cycles, shining upon the wards with a UV light. Crime is nonexistent the further up you go, but this is a lie. It is merely that the crimes here go unseen, or are covered up.
Below high society, rich traders and merchants are the state of the art hospitals, the universities and governing bodies.
It is the aim of all of those on lower levels to reach the level above them. The promise of a better and easier life exists on each level but on every one of them the idea exists that above them is a whole new world with a fantastic point of view, where – it is believed – that nobody would be able to tell them otherwise, where to go, or tell them that they are dreaming. The old wives’ tale and children’s storybook notion is still believed by the dreamers who want to ‘move up’. Everybody in Delmont wants to move up in the world.
The checkpoints are government controlled structures that travel the spines of the city, each one vertically travelling from level to level. They are heavily reinforced by datapoints, which check the identity and background of each citizen. It is incredibly unlikely for anyone to change levels, but the travel can be bought with enough credit. They can also be reinforced by varying degrees of weaponry. Some checkpoints in the lower levels can have anywhere between a series of heavy weapon sentries to small garrisons of government troops. This is a tried and tested way to control the checkpoints, having been assaulted and rarely defeated by anything. The main node for these checkpoint exist in the levels that divide the lower levels with the upper levels – the military and security sectors.
Of the Lowest Levels:
Amongst the low levels, the dividing sections between each level, can be found airducts. Each level is riddled with an almost labyrinthian geography of these airducts, and massive fans that slowly rotate in giant arcs. There are also sections where people have come to live, creating shanty towns in the nooks and crannies as well as the larger ducts where shanty hamlets have cropped up. There have been many instances where the occupiers have vacated either through the force of officials, gangs, or in some cases by the Waste Management Office. It is unknown where these people are removed to, but either they have been reintegrated into ‘levelled’ society or have been given the King’s Credit. However, only those of age can be pressed into service, so who knows what has happened to the children, the sick, and the elderly.
Food production on the lowest levels is questionable. Money is barely spent on translating food into these areas. However, since it is still deemed important by higher levels to keep the lower levels working for them, they have set up a number of battery farm-factories to support these wretched areas. As overcrowding became an issue in the past, a series of laws were passed to save the lowest population from both starvation and overcrowding. It may just be a hyper-urban myth but there are many here who believe that of those who have perished and are collected by the urban waste management are actually refed into the system to save on space, finances and proper nourishment. In essence, they believe that if you can’t afford a proper funeral or there is no space for burial, coupled with the demand for feeding the masses, then you are liquidated into the protein vats on the lowest levels. Although believed to be the darkest urban myth on Delmont, what many people do not realise is that it is in fact true, although nobody really wants to question where their food comes from, only that it is keeping them alive.
Anyone below the highest levels preaches that trusting anybody else is a mistake. Almost everyone there has an ulterior motive that helps them survive longer than they would if they were to just bare everything to everyone else. Ethics is a byword for weakness, and anybody wanting to survive to a riper age than their teenage years does everything in the power to stay alive.
Many people fall into crime, joining local juvenile gangs or showing enough skill in their later teenage years to eventually join a crime syndicate of any sort. Anything that at least puts bread on the table, provided that someone has bread, and provided that that bread is another’s.
There have been more than one occasion where, in the lowest levels, where violence has erupted over mere crumbs of bread or clean water. It is here where man can deplete his synapses and almost become feral.
Having said that, most work on these levels is factory based. Basic menial labour that involves putting things together or taking things apart in one sector before they’re put back on the line to another area where some other poor schmuck has to do the exact same thing. It pays little or next to nothing. Conditions are often cramped, with enough light only to lighten up the bare minimum of the work area. Tools are taken out of wages, insurance, like health and safety, is non-existant, and accidents can happen so often that it is uncommon for work to cease unless it directly affects the machines and the process.
There is one series of factory which takes in the workers who can do almost nothing, or are removed from so many other labours that they can do nothing else. This factory is known for its cramped conditions where the so-called workers – for they are less than that here – must grind bone into dust, or unpick the entwined steel from coiled wires, both with no provided tools. These factories are known as workhouses, and only escape law because they have been forgotten by the proper officials, but they are rightly feared by the populace who are likely to take up crime, prostitution or even attempt to risk their lives by attempting to emigrate into higher levels, past the checkpoints above.
Of General History
Concerning the checkpoints, there have been the occasional gang related seizures, which allowed travel momentarily between levels. Gang members and various other personnel managed to manipulate the moment – for a cheaper but still extortionate fee – to gain the transfer to upper levels, but this was controlled and rectified by Delmonte security forces quickly. Nobody knows what happened to the ones who moved up since no news comes from above, but their identities would have been illegal without proper clearance.
Going down has never been heard of, but that’s not to say that it’s never happened.
There was once a time, in the higher of the lower levels, where the huge fans that circled the air grinded to a halt. No official word was sent out, but with the crack of thunder – a natural phenomena which nobody there has ever witnessed – and the grinding of metal on metal, the fas ceased their circulation of air to half a dozen levels. The oxygen levels stifled, and the recycling of air stagnated. Hundreds of people perished without proper oxygen and thrice more became terrifyingly ill. It was two days before anyone of significance had noticed and attempted to rectify the problem.
In the time in which the fans had stopped, nobody had cared at first. When the realisation came, panic engulfed the people; pockets of riots appeared in areas around the levels and the security levels were forced to put down anyone who attempted to gain entrance to the elevator units. Families were torn apart like flesh between dogs and buildings were burnt in the riots and panicking droves. This was not helping their situation – the flames ate a large part of the remaining oxygen, more so than the breathing of the population.
With the distinct lack of information and communication that goes between levels, demographics could not be coordinated, and no news as to why the fans had stopped in the first place came to the populaces which were affected by the atrocity. Who knows how or why they’d stopped? Was it the lack of maintenance, or was it the result of the wrong levers pulled in the rusting junction rooms? Or was it the result of an order to cull the population in order to meet the demands of a dwindling food supply?
Of the Governing Body
Castellan Suhltan Shah rules as if he were a king, but his rule is that of a governor. Suffice to say, the largest percentage of the population of Delmont aren’t even aware that there is even one person on Delmont who makes the major decisions above the almost anarchic rule in the lower levels. Those who sit in their more wealthy homes know of him though, and are amongst those socialites who attempt to climb their social ladder by making their household useful to him.
He throws lavish parties, of which the feasts of even one of these could feed a sizeable family for a Delmonte week. Fountains of recycled water adorn his palace that lies on a level between the highest of the residential levels (that has a land value and real estate pricetag that would deter even the traders who come to Delmont) and the farming levels. It’s needless to say that Suhltan Shah knows of these farmers, and although it could be said that the farmers have a better life than most of Delmont’s population, even the Castellan is better placed in this world.
Having said that, it is unknown as to whether or not he knows of the lower levels and its plight. In fact, if he does, he shows little sign of it. Like the crowning jewel to a gilded staff, he sits above every other citizen of the megalopolis whilst the staff touches the ground and becomes muddied and dirtied at the bottom. It is this base of the staff that comes as a poor metaphor for just how awful life is in the lowest levels – if it can be called life. For all of the negatives that can be said of him, he does rule Delmont, and every ruler has a huge amount of responsibility on their shoulders.
The Castellan does spend a large amount of time attempting to create order on Delmont, and secretly, official documents from his orders and meetings with his most important of subordinates would show that most of this work is focussed on the mid to high sections. This could show that he is working his way down Delmont’s stacks, or that he’s attempting to create some groundwork in trade and security before working on other issues – by doing this he might build a more solid Delmont by garnering the necessities of peace and security in wealth and health, and then take on the issues of Delmont stack by stack, level by level, ward by ward.
Festivals and Special Dates:
Holidays on Delmont, if they are still even recognised, were fabricated things. Holidays that were practiced by ancient theists who came to Delmont either as settlers, or as those who came and went and left their mark, were the holidays that were unearthed and taken for their potential stake in economics.
Holidays that had some notion of gift giving were taken on board by corporations who believed that something so socially acceptable and ingrained into the people’s psyche had the potential to create funds without people being told to do so. They would stop saving their credits, marks and crowns and feed them back into the failing economy of Delmont, hopefully saving it from bankruptcy.
The Parlement of Fowles – This date is one such bastardisation of an early holiday. The name is derived from an old tradition and is believed to have originated from the marriage between two people of great import. The imagery of anatomically incorrect hearts (dubbed “love hearts”) and birds play a significant role on this holiday, and much of the bric-a-brac and paraphernalia of this holiday involves them somehow. The birds involvement in itself is unusual, for since the generations of Delmont came and passed away, less and less people have ever seen a bird (of any kind), and they have fallen into mythology.
Delmont Day – Delmont Day is a day that comes yearly to the planet, and is one that months of planning can go into long before the occurence of the actual day. This said, many people feel that it is celebrated over a week, with one day being more significant that the others. There are a number of traditions here, involving a midday feast, a mass exchanging of gifts between the populace, and a gross over-indulgence in alcohols etc.
Although Delmont Day is still celebrated in the highest levels, it is long forgotten by many in the lower levels beneath the security and port levels. Indeed, it is such that it can be considered yet another myth on these levels. Who amongst them can even imagine the feast, the masses of gifts and the consumption of so much in the way of beverages? Very few can, and it’s a humbling mockery of what it would be to those with more; there are the odd few families who have had this day passed down to them by their older generations of ancestors, and very little, though so much to them, goes into this one day, where the tiniest child would at most receive a carved toy, but he would be utterly happy to merely have Delmont Day “Feast” with his family. Delmont Day, to those who remember it in the lowest levels, is all about family; what else do they have?
It is these two holidays that barely survive on Delmont, and once upon a time they may have been able to save the economy, but other plans were sunk into the city before this could have been so.
Delmont is not a good place to live unless you are rich. When you are poor, the chances are that you live in the lower levels. People born to this squalor almost always hope for something more, but when depression affects those who live here, they either stop believing or cling onto the belief that, somewhere beyond the stacks, is a blue sky and no ceiling.
There exists the mindset amongst those who live in the stacks of the city that above them is a whole other world, where things are better than where they live now. Myths tell of a large ball of gas that burns brightly than any other light than they have ever witnessed, and the ceiling is blue and smoke lists lazily across the ‘skyroof’. There will always be those in Delmont that believe that there is a level above them, a Promised Land, where if you work hard enough you would be given access to this new land.
Although this is a belief, it is more of a mindset than a religion, but it does not stop followers of this ideal from creating fetishes from what they believe this legendary ball of burning gas to appear as. Nor do they let themselves be trampled by the possibility that their reoccurring dream of a ceilingless sky may just be a painted cover. They hope and dream of something that isn’t the city. Alas, the greater fraction of these people will be born, live, and die dreaming about this in the same rags that make up their bed for their entire lives.
Those in the higher levels are less superstitious about this, but there are still a few who believe that they can get higher than where they are now. Obviously there are those who know the existence of the land outside the four walls, since traders and other characters come to and fro the city for a myriad of purposes. Having said that, there are those who believe that this is all there is to life, and that the idea of more is just one huge conspiracy, offering theory after theory of what is what, who is whom and where is where.
There are those who live and work on the very top of the city levels, and these people work the agriculture that feeds a number of the upper levels. They live under the retracting roof that saves the farms from all manner of hazards. Since the peak of the city is here, and is therefore above the troposphere, the roof covers the farms at night to protect from the cold. These farmers here have the best of the life on Delmont, but they do not know it, and neither do those below.
The poor standard of living has taught Delmonte the value of a credit. This inconvenient truth has cultured a belief system which has made a large niche amongst the populace of Delmont. The ethos of this code, at its core, is that ‘nothing is free, and everything has a price’. This has grown to the point that questions have risen amongst the followers of the definition of price. If anything can be bought, then what is currency? What can you use to trade? If you have no money, what can you use as currency to trade?
Since the long past and ancient times of Terra, when it was called Earth, trade of items of equal worth was commonplace before the ideology of currency and coinage labelled items with a pricetag. This ethos reasons that anything, from one’s time, to a precious item (of which the term precious is defined in many ways depending on whom you ask), and even to services. These are but examples.
An excellent example would be one of the recent ways in which a factory owner attempted to minimalise pay by increasing the amount of work that a worker could fit into an hour. With the amount of work committed in a day, the less time that would be spent on a job that would have taken longer. A week’s work would turn into two or three days worth of pay. This idea turned into an auction where possible employees would bid lower and lower amounts of time as currency in order to get a particular job. With the competitive flow of auctioneering, potential candidates for a job would offer less and less time in order to gain that terrible job and be paid a credit per day. Anything to feed the family, yes? Simply put, time is money, and everybody has time.
This code of beliefs simply states that you are rich if another person deems what you possess is valuable. Items, mundane and/or abstract, differentiates in value from person to person.
There is a shared belief amongst Delmonte adherents to this creed in the Terran Armed Forces: soldiers are a commodity. Their person and their very identity is bought when they are recruited into the Delmonte soldiery. When they are given dogtags, they are given their names, ID number and other relevant information on two pieces of metal. This is their symbol of purchase – almost like a receipt.
The dogtag has become integral to the thought process that resembles a religion. The symbol of purchase is a pure form of this ‘religion’, since the person has become the commodity.
“Recruitment is Investment,
Deployment is Transaction,
Death is Payment,
Survival is Advertisement.”
This does not mean that the recruitment of Delmonte citizens is a commercial business. The recruitment of soldiers is the symbolic representation of trade and acquisition. It is the purest form of trade since there is a price to be paid for items – the mortal is bought. Their actions are traded, victory and/or defeat is traded, and survival is traded. In principal, the mortal involved is stock, and the pressing into service is a result of ‘Supply & Demand’.
Import – tea; chemicals; and gasses.
Export – ‘labour workforces’; organs and limbs etc.; mechanical parts; information packets; and refined chemicals.
Teas from Ardheim for the uppermost high classes; they can afford it.
Chemicals are imported to be refined and exported to other planets, or refined and used for the purposes of maintaining a breathable atmosphere in Delmont’s levels. Gases are also imported for this very reason.
Labour Workforces are exported because of the population problem and lack of paid work. Legally, this can be done through contracts although it can be a problem that people are signing up through blackmail, extortion or being forced into it through other means, all because a profit can be turned by these work contracts having questionable ties. It is often slave labour – without the recruitment recording it is otherwise completely legal under Terran Sovereignty law.
Organs and Limbs – Deficit population that perish are, by the law, mandatory organ doners that can be sent out to medical facilities for research and donorship to patients in need. Again, this is questionable, as gangs are known to ‘extract’ these limbs. One tale tells of an organ farm held under the security of a gang in order to culturise these organs for selling on both black and regular markets.
Mechanical parts from anywhere are often broken down by workhouses and factories on Delmont. When they are broken down they can be sold seperately for a greater profit than selling the entire object.
Information is also a commodity can be sold to the highest bidder, regardless of both source and buyer. This can be something as petty as proof of adultery, or as grand as corporate espionage. With Delmont as a hub for this sort of trade, there are many people who travel here just for this information. Knowledge is power, after all.
Refined chemicals that are not stockpiled or used in Delmont are recirculated back onto the market and sold, often to starship owners or to companies that provide habitation units to planets or satellites. This is an act that has survived from the first settlement of Delmont.
With the other options being mostly crime, begging, or other infeasible walks of life, many Delmonte turn to joining the military. There are many various reasons for taking this way out, but they can usually be categorised under a few self-serving reasons.
Money is the largest reason of all, since the Terran Armed Forces offer a wage that is often higher than many of the jobs on Delmont – especially those jobs that are to be found in the lower levels.
With that said, there are those who are pressed into service. Conscription is illegal, but some recruiters on Delmont have found a loophole – The King’s Credit is an old binding contract which, if the credit is taken from the recruiter, is a promise from the receiver that (s)he would join the Terran Armed Forces. Although this practice had ceased on many other Terran planets, it has long been forgotten on Delmont since the rush of the population’s expanse and thusly the huge amount of bureaucracy that followed, it was never cancelled out. Recruiters and those who process the new recruits still know of it, but they do not know that it is now an abolished practice, completely legal since it was not outlawed but it is no longer a legally binding contract, but when you have been recruited and processed, nobody seems to leave Delmont’s barracks – they do not know the legal history of the King’s Credit, but even their new life in the barracks is better than begging in oubliette streets, or ‘turning tricks’ on the exits of the workhouses.
In this way, the military is a method of social advancement, and The King’s Credit is usually only pressed onto people whom the recruiters deem physically fit enough to elevate themselves. There is not enough coin, nor enough space for the John Smith who lies in the gutter with visible ribs beneath his sackcloth excuse for a shirt.
In a city where crime is such a huge influence on daily life, a large number of people feel pressured into joining the gangs or leaving their homes. Some of these people find themselves enrolling into the Delmonte military because of various reasons. They may be running away from threats, blackmail, bribery, or violence. Although there are those who choose to leave the gangs and enrol because they can never leave that lifestyle behind whilst they’re on that stack.
Sad but true, this is also the case for the recruiters, who take the job because it pays.