Saturday, September 10, 2011

Berk Locations - The Sunken City

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The city of Berk slopes down toward the ocean so that the western part of the city is actually underwater. If you keep going west over a section of empty water (which some Librarians refer to as the Former Bay), you will find the Sunken City. Very little of the city still remains above ground. Only the slimy tops of some ancient skyscrapers show that there is more going on under the waves.

Under the waves, there is an entire city that is still just as lively as it was before it sunk. Cuttlefolk come and go, their cloaks shimmering in the clear water. Schools of fish swim through office buildings and shopping malls are now home to anemones and sea stars.

Underwater breathing gear is almost unknown in Berk, and the few Librarians and Brofessors who still have working equipment treat them as precious relics that cannot be risked in exploring the often dangerous submerged streets of the Sunken City. Instead, breathing devices are kept for occasions of cultural exchange with the Cuttlefolk, when a chosen "dry" citizen of Berk is invited to meet with the Cuttlefolk leaders in specially prepared meeting rooms with air pumped inside half the room.

The  main interaction that citizens of Berk have with the Sunken City is with the Cuttlefolk merchant-explorers who visit Berk to sell the treasures they have found in the dangerous forgotten sections of the city.

Sunken City Artifacts

The most common treasures recovered by Cuttlefolk from the Sunken City are clever mechanical devices that the Cuttlefolk repair when they can and then sell to the Berk merchants. For some reason, there seems to be an endless supply of music boxes in the Sunken City, but wind-up toys are also common. Clothing and furniture is almost always ruined by the water, but there are some rooms that, through luck or good construction, are at least partially dry, though their building is underwater.

The Trap

One of the districts of the Sunken City, known as the Trap, is well-known for an abundance of stores selling all sorts of items, including cheap stainless steal swords and daggers, most of which have now rusted away. Nevertheless, the Trap is one of the best places for finding authentic cutting weapons, and some expert Cuttlefolk treasure hunters have gained fortunes from finding these stores.

Another thing The Trap is famous for is tea. This drink is particularly popular with Brofessors and the Sepia Society, so finding a watertight container of tea leaves can be worth several months' wages to a treasure hunter.

Sea Dwellers

Most of the fish who swim about the Sunken City are harmless and delicious. Mutations are common, but a few extra fins or eyes does not change the flavor of the fish.

The sharks of the Sunken City are a different story. They are longer, slimmer, and faster than sharks before the First Event, and they are uncommonly vicious. Many have terrifying mutations such as a second mouth below the first, additional flippers that allow faster movement, or armor-like plates along their sides.

Clickers are very common in the Sunken City and are almost always predatory. Swimming centipedes can grow to over ten feet in length and enjoy waiting in broken windows for something juicy to walk by. Giant crabs and lobsters have evolved butter organs that they use to squirt over their victims before tearing into them with razor-sharp claws.

There are rumors of a society of friendly hermit crab-people who live in the Sunken City. It is unknown if this is true or not, as the only hermit crab-type animals that have been seen on the shores of Berk were either hostile, or fled into the water at the first sign of approach. A common story says that the hermit crabs who flee frequently drop harmonicas or instruments made of shell that resemble trumpets or saxophones, but these rumors are quickly dismissed.

Stories of mer-people living in the city should always be treated with the utmost suspicion. Lovestruck Berk residents who think they see a mermaid soon find that a shark can rather resemble a mermaid from a distance, but not so much up close.

The Dry Zone

One of the most persistent legends about the Sunken City deals with the so-called Dry Zone, a section of the city that, while submerged, is waterproof and has air. According to the legends, there is a tunnel that leads from Berk to the Sunken City. The Russian Werewolves all believe this legend, and usually add that if you follow the tunnel from Ashbykov station, go through Macarthurvich station, and then past some magical number of streets (either 12 or 19, according to who is telling the story), you can turn West under the Deep City and follow the tunnel under the Ex-Bay and into the Sunken City.

For years there have been attempts by various factions to mount a joint venture to find this legendary tunnel and explore it. In addition to the ever-eager Russian Werewolves, Librarians and Brofessors have expressed interest in the hopes of making new discoveries, and even some Gibson gangs have offered to go along in hopes of the loot they can find there. Whether the expedition will ever be mounted or is fated to remain forever a pipe dream remains to be seen.

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