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NEVERWHERE

Table of
Contents

The Underside

Game 
Mechanics

Characters

Attributes
& Skills

Magic

Actions &
Combat

Equipment

Undercities
of the
World

Links

Guestbook

Email
 

UNDERCITIES OF THE WORLD BELOW
Asia
Bangkok
Beijing
Calcutta
Tokyo

Europe
London
Paris
Rome

Middle East
Cairo

The Americas
New York
New Orleans
Rio de Janeiro
San Francisco
 

ASIA
Bangkok
    Bangkok Below remains one of the most mysterious of the Cities Below.  Some say that its very tunnels continue to grow by themselves and can shift direction or terminus through their own whimsy.  It is a crowded community, but one of the most friendly to newcomers.  The underdwellers here generally avoid physical conflict whenever possible.  The markets are teeming with goods, from foodstuffs to magical reagents, and the merchants are renowned as hard bargainers.  However, it is not uncommon for a merchant to commit highway robbery with relentless haggling and then laugh, slap his customer on the back, and offer him a free meal.  Like its sister Above, Bangkok Below has a firmly entrenched dark side and nearly any drug, unseemly entertainment, or service may be acquired in its darker alleys and caverns.
Community:  Large.
Beast:  Monkey. Zones: Personalities: Beijing
    The largest community in Asia Below, Beijing supports as diverse a population as can be found.  It is said that its tunnels lead to every point in the known world, and to some points still unknown.  It is so crowded and large that visitors often pass unnoticed through the folds of locals.  It often supports multiple floating markets simultaneously.  All of this can be very disorienting for a newcomer, particular one who is more familiar with the more centralized communities found in the United States and Europe.  But it is easy to find a capable guide to navigate the bustle of Beijing Below and avoid too many unpleasant mishaps...that is if you find a guide you can trust...
Community:  Very Large.
Beast:  Dragon. Zones: Personalities: Calcutta
    Calcutta Below traces its history back to the first English settlers that took over the land Above to create a trading port in India.  As such, Calcutta Below has a stronger English flavor than most other Cities Below in Asia.  The semi-feudal structure found in London Below appears to have been imported, and it is not uncommon to find dwellers who have given themselves a title such as "count" or "lord."  As in London Below, there appears to be no central ruler, but a variety of families and other powers that maintain a strained level of control over the "rabble."  The harsh caste system of India Above has trickled into Calcutta Below, but without its most severe applications.  Poverty is common--as it is in most of the World Below--and the squalor even outmatches what may be found in much of Calcutta Above.  Consequently, Calcutta Below is an extremely dangerous place to visit.  It is best to find a trusty guide, keep your eye on your purse, and a hand on your weapon.  Despite this rough edge, Calcutta is also one of the most spiritual communities in the World Below and many travel there to seek and find spiritual renewal and enlightenment.
Community:  Very Large.
Beast:  The Black Tiger of Calcutta.  Hunter describes him as "A man-eater, brilliant and bitter, the size of a small elephant." Zones: Personalities: Tokyo
    Tokyo Below is a crowded place, much like its mirror existence above.  However, like other Cities Below, this city remains mired in medieval and archaic traditions and technology.  The gizmos that buzz and whir so commonly Above are useless Below.  The community is ruled, as much as it can be, by a number of great and notable families, each with its own ambitions, each holding the others in check.  Tokyo Below was once ruled by an imperial family, but the old emperor inexplicable went mad and, it is believed, killed his entire family and all of his servants after sealing them all within the imperial castle.  There are rumors that strains of royal blood still exist in the community, but non have stepped forward to claim the throne.  The traditions and courtesies of feudal Japan maintain a strong hold over the dwellers of Tokyo Below and visitors would do well to mind their manners lest they find themselves on the worrisome end of a katana.
Community:  Large.
Beast:  The Krakken (Giant Squid) Zones: Personalities: EUROPE

London
London Below is one of the largest and most developed of the undercities of the world.  It has existed in some form since the time of the Romans and has grown considerably in the past few centuries as the dwellers of London Above added new tunnels below their city.  The vast network of Tube tunnels, sewer pipelines, and now underground cabling have created a vast network that few, Above or Below, fully comprehend.  Like other undercities, London Below is an extremely dangerous place, full of intrigue, shifting alliances, monsters (both human and inhuman), and magic.  The undercity is ruled by no one, but a complex semi-feudal system of titled families, scheming politicos, and common rabble give it an air of medieval times.  Blood feuds are common, sometimes lasting for decades.  A wise underdweller makes friends quickly, finds a nice safe niche to carve out a livelihood, and tries to stay out of the way...
Community:  Very Large.
Beast:  Boar.  Hunter describes him such:  "They say his hide bristles with swords and spears and knives stuck in him by those who have tried and failed.  His tusks are razors, and his hooves are thunderbolts."  It is said that if his blood is dabbed on eyes and tongue of a person, they will be instinctively know how to navigate through London's Labyrinth.

Zones: Personalities:


Paris

The idea of salvation from below is ennumerated several times in the book, namely in Valjean's sanctuary in the convent and his descent into the sewers with Marius.
--G. Worth in an analysis of Victor Hugo's Les Miserables (available at http://www.geocities.com/Paris/LeftBank/9640/)
Much like its sister above, Paris Below is a rival for its London counterpart.  Paris' tunnels are, perhaps, even more extensive and ancient than those beneath London.  And they are filled with quite similar personalities and dangers.  Indeed, there is a fair bit of trade and transactions between the two cities.  However, while London Below is a mix of feudal loyalties and anarchy, Paris Below adheres to a more rigid social structure.  The Queen of Paris Below, Colette de Reneaux, has managed to maintain order and demand fealty from the Parisian underdwellers.  Her family line traces back to the first rulers of Paris Below, and through a vast network of soldiers, spies, and assassins the de Reneaux clan remains firmly entrenched.  A fair number of dukes, marquis, counts, barons and other courtiers can be found in Paris Below as well.  Many scheme for a larger piece of the political pie, others just scramble for a bit of Queen Colette's praise and favor.  Despite her rule, the Queen has not managed to tame the dangerous rabble found in the Left Bank and has initiated a more active line of sentries to keep those outcasts from seeping across the Seine.
Community:  Very Large.
Beast:  Gargoyle. Zones: Personalities: Rome
Rome Below is one of the oldest undercities in all of the world.  In the West, it rivals those found in Athens and Cairo.  As one would expect, the mixtures of cultures, races and timelines is complicated to the point of defying description.  Roman soldiers mingle with punk rock runaways, ageless gods haggle with hippy dealers for some decent ambrosia, gladiators now fight with tire irons and brass knuckles...you get the picture.  The underside is truly immense.  It is a bewildering complex of old and new tunnels, dizzying catacombs, massive caverns and little niches.  There are pockets of lost pasts, potential futures, and ignored presents.  Rome Below truly has everything an underdweller might seek, if one can survive long enough to find it.
Community:  Very Large.
Beast:  Wolf. Zones: Personalities: MIDDLE EAST

Cairo
Community:  Very Large.
Beast:  Asp.

Zones: Personalities: THE AMERICAS
 

New York
Community:  Very Large.
Beast:  The blind, white Alligator-King.

Zones: Personalities:


New Orleans
New Orleans Below shares much of the chaotic diversity and history of its sister city Above.  It is a vibrant and bristling community, full of colorful and dangerous characters.  Its smallish size creates a close-knit feel, and most everyone knows at least a bit of everyone else's business.  New Orleans Below is probably the most mystical of the undercities in North America, as much of the voodoo and Creole supersitions Above have filtered down to the City Below.  New Orleans Below is a friendly enough place, welcoming to strangers, indulgent of most every vice, and eager for news of other cities.  However, it is also an extremely dangerous place of shifting alliances, scheming opportunists, and potent black magic.  Newcomers had best tread lightly.
Community:  Small to Medium.
Beast:  Feral Vampire.
Zones:

Personalities:


Rio de Janiero, Brazil
Rio also hosts a substantial underpopulation beneath its sunny streets. As the largest metropolitan area in South America, Rio has ample tunnels, nooks and shadows to house underdwellers.  Like the city above, Rio Below is a somewhat colorful and chaotic place (especially when compared to other Undercities).  Its inhabitants have developed somewhat primitive tribal units, often quite adversary to one another.  They often practice many of the magicks associated with South American and Carribean natives, including forms of animism, voodoo, and Catholic mysticism.
Community:  Large.
Beast:  Rio's Beast is an ancestral rodent, indemic to South America, that grew to the site of a rhinoceros.  It's fur has become blackened and matted with the soil and blood of its travels through Rio's winding catacombs.  It is rumored that its organs would provide the necessary for extremely powerful magics, including a spell to raise the dead.  It has been seen wallowing the mud of the Amazon Below, far inland.
Zones:

Personalities: San Francisco
San Francisco, sitting on a large bay on America's West Coast, serves as home to a large and diverse population of both up- and underdwellers.  Unlike many other cities with a large underdweller population, San Francisco lacks a large number of tunnels and subterranean caverns.  The unstable land upon which the city is built has precluded much digging.  There are a few mass transit tunnels (the BART subway system stretching into the East Bay and limited local trains), but most of the other tunnels have been built in secret by underdwellers over the years.  Because of this, the "underdwellers" of the city often spend a great deal of time above ground, co-existing in parallel with the oblivious updwellers.  They merge with the city's homeless and transient populations--folks pushing shopping carts, kids begging for change down on the Haight, old haggard men trying to catch a nap in Golden Gate Park.  They are just as invisible as the populations of the other Undercities, only they happen to see the sun a bit more.

San Francisco's underpopulation is also less structured than that in other regions.  There are numerous notable figures, some attracting the fealty of followers, but by and large there's a somewhat chaotic feel to the community.  Alliances are nearly always temporary, fitting the need and mood of the moment.  That said, the underdwellers themselves tend to be a bit less factional than those in other cities, often helping one another out without extracting too high a price.  As with all the other undercities, San Francisco Below is an extremely dangerous place, full of danger and magic (much of it colored by Chinese and local Native American traditions).
Community:  Very Large.
Beast:  San Francisco's Beast appears as a massive, hoary Grizzly Bear.  Like his more mundane kin, he is extremely intelligent, adaptable and a brutal fighter.  He dwells in the subterranean caverns created by the San Andreas Fault which runs below the Bay.  No one is sure how old this Beast is, but it rumored that his predecessor was killed in 1906, when a devestating earth quake nearly destroyed the city.  It is unclear whether the Beast's death caused the earthquake or whether it was killed for causing it.
Zones:

Personalities: