Ideas needed for very high Fantasy city

Ban

Troglodytic Trouvère
Article Team
In my work in progress there exists an ancient city made by the living gods that rule there. This city lies in a nation that partly fills in the role that china filled in to the people of medieval and renaissance europe. In other words it is a fairly unknown and mysterious place with a radically different culture and ideology than the nation my story is mostly set in. Its culture however is only vaguely china inspired and is instead more a mixture of various cultures.
What i want to ask is for ideas to make its capital city, which is the political, religious, economic and geographical centre (basically like rome to its empire), more magical and fantastic.

Thanks in advance.
 
That's a very tall order, since "magical and fantastic" can take a million routes.

I'd start by looking at those living gods. What powers and abilities do they have? What types of personalities? What are their politics, the types of conflict and cooperation among them? What sort of economy exists in this city? What sort of artistic endeavors, culture, etc.? Are there non-gods living there (normal mortal, humans, other creatures), and what are their numbers relative to those living gods and the relationships between them and the gods?

Particularly in the realm of powers and abilities: What kind of magical materials and structures, transport systems, communication systems would these living gods be capable of creating and utilizing? And then: Why and how would they be utilizing them, in order to fulfill those other things (their personalities, politics, economy, art, relations with any non-gods living there)?

And go from there.
 
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Heliotrope

Staff
Article Team
I'd also be interested in knowing how their technology might be different from that of other lands… like for instance, how do they use their obvious godly powers to make life easier for themselves? Do they have enchanted lightbulbs instead of candles (lame example, but you get my drift). Do they have ways of getting around that are different? Like flying? If so, then think about how the architecture would be designed differently. Walking tribes have to have their entrance ways at ground level, or have ladders or steps, but a flying group could have their entrances in the ceilings, or as windows jutting over massive rocky cliffs…
 
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Ban

Troglodytic Trouvère
Article Team
To both Heliotrope and Fifthview

I suppose i should have given you guys some more information so here we go.

1 What powers and abilities do they have?
There are 12 gods who combined are powerful enough to manipulate numerous things in the world. There is a god with dominion over agriculture who can bring good harvests to the entire nation in times of need, there is a god of pre life who guides the souls to their new bodies, there is a god for afterlife who guides souls from their past bodies to pocket universes created by these gods and so on. They are powerful enough to severely manipulate the existing world but are not the ones who created it and can only change the world at the expense of significant energy used.

2 What types of personalities?
They were all mortal wizards or created by mortal wizards and have only been gods for a few Thousand years so they still have human emotions and desire to please their followers.

3 What are their politics, the types of conflict and cooperation among them?
Amongst themselves they are mostly amiable except for one god who is the corrupted god who rules over the undead and destruction of society. He is their common rival but they see his presence more as the necessary evil to their supposed good.

4 What sort of economy exists in this city?
As the centre of the nation and the bridge between the western and eastern world this city mostly relies on trade. Besides this resources from all over the kingdom are brought here (they have a king who is appointed by the gods)

5 What sort of artistic endeavors, culture, etc.?
About what you'd expect from the capital of a major empire. They are comparible to Louis XIV's France, the emperors's Rome or China's Beijing.

6 Are there non-gods living there (normal mortal, humans, other creatures), and what are their numbers relative to those living gods and the relationships between them and the gods?
Yes there are millions of humans living here and some other similar races. Most of these humans are free citizens but there is a top layer of magic users and a bottom layer of slaves. They all worship the gods but choose one patron god.

7 What kind of magical materials and structures, transport systems, communication systems would these living gods be capable of creating and utilizing?
This is partly what i wanted to figure out in this forum but i can say that the gods and mages could create some rudimentary transport system with their magic and maybe some specialists could communicate telepathicly over a few kilometer distance and function as a communication system.

8 Why and how would they be utilizing them, in order to fulfill those other things (their personalities, politics, economy, art, relations with any non-gods living there)?
These gods believe themselves to be better than their subjects but also feel responsible for them. They shaped the people's identity and culture and wish to protect and enhance it to fulfill their own desire for entertainment and devotion.

Onto Heliotrope's questions

9 I'd also be interested in knowing how their technology might be different from that of other lands… like for instance, how do they use their obvious godly powers to make life easier for themselves?
This society is supposed to be far more advanced in magic than all other nations but have not catched up on the industrialization that the west has been going through.

10 Do they have enchanted lightbulbs instead of candles?
Not until now! But now i want them

11 Do they have ways of getting around that are different? Like flying? If so, then think about how the architecture would be designed differently.
The gods can fly with ease and some mages as well but normal humans can't so maybe i could make a partially flying city with a magic ferry system. That would be a good idea i think.

Thanks for the questions!
 

Heliotrope

Staff
Article Team
Fantasy Castle Art Landscapes World Places Wallpaper

Yeah, I like to just search 'fantasy settings' or 'fantasy mountain settings' to see what artists have come up with he help me really think about the 'tone' and 'mood' of my setting. I like a very sensory rich, visually stimulating technologically advanced setting, so I find art that reflects that. The image above is one I found that makes me think of what you just said, about the flying city with a magic ferry system. Note the flying ships to the city. Pretty cool idea IMO.
 
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Ban

Troglodytic Trouvère
Article Team
Fantasy Castle Art Landscapes World Places Wallpaper

Yeah, I like to just search 'fantasy settings' or 'fantasy mountain settings' to see what artists have come up with he help me really think about the 'tone' and 'mood' of my setting. I like a very sensory rich, visually stimulating technologically advanced setting, so I find art that reflects that. The image above is one I found that makes me think of what you just said, about the flying city with a magic ferry system. Note the flying ships to the city. Pretty cool idea IMO.

That does indeed look very cool. Especially the vaguely Istanbulish theme in there is what kind of fits with my city.
 

Saigonnus

Auror
All the houses look small from the outside, but like Hermione's bag in Harry Potter, have extradimensional spaces inside, making them palaces.

That's all.


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Ban

Troglodytic Trouvère
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That's a great idea.
I think i will modify it a bit so that only the palaces of the gods are like this. They look like large, lavish palaces on the outside but on the inside there is a pocket universe big enough to house a private city for each god.
Thanks
 

Svrtnsse

Staff
Article Team
The city is built on the top of a mountain in the shape of an inverted pyramid. On the first level is just one house, a tall tover. On the next level are two or more houses, and on the next even more. The higher up you get, the larger the level, and the more houses there are. The levels could be large concenetric rings so that light can come down through the upper ones to the lower, or maybe little islands on top of other little islands, branching out like branches on a tree.

Bridges and roads of glass or transparent steel take you between levels and houses. Aqueducts and canals crisscross the city and watarfalls cascade down the levels, bringing water to the city's many parks. For fast transportation citizen can travel airborne on streams of wind, and for a more leisurely pace they can call on little fluffy clouds to bring them to their destination.
 

Ban

Troglodytic Trouvère
Article Team
The city is built on the top of a mountain in the shape of an inverted pyramid. On the first level is just one house, a tall tover. On the next level are two or more houses, and on the next even more. The higher up you get, the larger the level, and the more houses there are. The levels could be large concenetric rings so that light can come down through the upper ones to the lower, or maybe little islands on top of other little islands, branching out like branches on a tree.

Bridges and roads of glass or transparent steel take you between levels and houses. Aqueducts and canals crisscross the city and watarfalls cascade down the levels, bringing water to the city's many parks. For fast transportation citizen can travel airborne on streams of wind, and for a more leisurely pace they can call on little fluffy clouds to bring them to their destination.

Haha i can already see the serious, stonefaced king of this great nation fly away on a fluffy cloud. But i really like this idea of an inverted pyramid city or at least part of the city. I think i will make something like this the central district. It also makes a lot of sense because the gods i've created are fallible and desire most of all the respect and adoration of the people so it makes sense for them to spend time on making the most extraordinary and impossible of structures simply to express their subjects.
The glass bridges are also really cool.
 

Saigonnus

Auror
I use dedicated portals as mass transit systems. Each portal is marked where it goes and a person merely steps through. Taxis take people between portals, but usually you can go anywhere in the city within 10-15 minutes. That without rush hour traffic.




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