Amber

General information, Places, and the Very Structure of Reality (i.e. Game Rules)

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Wyvern
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Amber

Post by Wyvern »

Amber. One word, but confusing in its multiplicity - are we talking about Amber-the-world, of which little is known beyond the existence of a small island nation with a unique Power-dampening aura? Or are we talking about Amber-the-city, grown fat off the trade of its Dragon lines? Or there is Amber-the-castle, two-thirds of the way up Mt. Kolvir. (Or, if you are particularly paranoid, or involved in other governments that find themselves dealing with the place, there is Amber-the-empire...)
Wyvern
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Joined: Tue Apr 17, 2007 8:50 pm

Re: Amber

Post by Wyvern »

Amber-the-world:
There are maps of the bounds of the island; you can sail around it. There are no maps of what else might be out there on the oceans - sailors from Amber always run with Pathfinders on board, connecting to other worlds rather than continuing in the same one. Rumors place terrible monsters in the deep waters, though how much of that is real and how much sailor's superstition... well, Gerard might know.

Game Mechanics:
If you're close to Amber-the-city - within a day's ride or so - Powers, by default, do not work. (Further out, they function with difficulty or reduced effectiveness - though this reduction is narrative rather than numerical.) This includes Pattern itself, as well as many forms of both technology and magic.

A sufficiently motivated person with access to a Power can push this, accepting a Doom to use their Power for a scene, or spending a fate point to access a limited version (generally three shifts less effective) of their Power; in some cases, this cost can be decreased via stunts (see, for example, Juno's character sheet).

Ray-guns, high explosives, magic wands, and the like, are just flat-out non-functional; you can't take on a Doom to make them work. Amber-grade gunpowder is relatively primitive in effect (and more than a little bit expensive); 'better' gunpowders can (and have) been formulated for every other shadow along the Dragon Lines - these are generally both higher quality and cheaper, but do not function in Amber.
Wyvern
Prismatic Pangolin
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Joined: Tue Apr 17, 2007 8:50 pm

Re: Amber

Post by Wyvern »

Amber-the-city:
Amber is a walled city with a population of around half a million; it has been expanded once, though little remains of the original inner wall. Despite the lack of any plausible threat, Oberon has made sure to keep the city defensible, with enough empty housing to take in everyone from the outlying farms, and enough stores (and parks that could be used for farming if there was a need) to keep them all fed (if perhaps not well-fed) for a decade. The result is a city that exports people, with eldest children taking up their parents' trades, and younger siblings taking posts in the rangers, or one-way train tickets to better opportunities elsewhere. (Which is not to say that it does not get its share of immigrants, of course; there are plenty of tales of people finding their fortunes in Amber. The tales of those that didn't, while vastly more numerous... tend not to get told much.)

Scenic Points:

The Old Gatehouse. This used to be the city's main gate, before the expansion. Now, it's in the middle of the city, and serves as the main base for the city watch. (There is, also, a small tourist-y gift shop.)

The Aqueduct. A relatively narrow channel for water that leads north-west and up to a lake in the Ghenesh Mountains. It's a fine feat of engineering, and brings crystal-clear glacial water down to Amber. Before the city's expansion, this was the primary water supply for the city; now, it mostly serves the estates of the rich and noble.
(These days, the primary water supply comes from a canal that heads west alongside the Grand Trunk Line. While most shipments go by train these days, some woodsman still float logs down the canal to supply Amber's need for lumber.)

The Royal Gate. One of four major land access points*, and by far the most decorated (and least used), with a unicorn-themed frieze set into the stonework above it. Generally considered to mark the midpoint of the Grand Processional, the road that leads from Castle Amber, down the slopes of Kolvir, through the city, and finally terminates at the docks.
* The Royal Gate, The Trader's Gate, The Grand Trunk Gate, The Black Line Gate. Which head, roughly, north-east, south-west, west, and east, respectively.

Grand Central Station. A massive glass-roofed train station that serves as the centerpoint for Amber's Dragon Lines. Located on the Grand Processional, just a bit south of the Old Gatehouse. The actual rail-yards extend some distance further south, encroaching into areas that used to be considered part of the Docks district.
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