"In an infinite many worlds, living in the worst of them seems like an impossibility. Statistically speaking, it's the truth, too bad the spectrum of universes that exists don't run on statistics. Shortening the sentence manually here is pointless, because even if you die, reincarnation on another world is not an option, because this place has a wall, and that wall only lets people in. The wall is called the Veil; it's a product of an old magic, one of the ones that isn't practiced anymore for a good reason.
The Veil resists the travel of those who are powerful enough to do damage to it, or else it gives what Sidhe called Veil Recoil to them, weakening them enough to fit in. Historians claim it was made as a defense against powerful attacks from outside worlds, but ended up being a mistake. Cut off from the natural flow of magical energy the planet became choked off from magic. Natural talent for magic only appears here and there in people that are commonly called "Sidhe" which is pronounced "Jí." Not all people with magical talent are born, some unlucky people like myself, are made. We're more common, but weaker, however an "Augmented," like myself, never needs to worry about Recoil. We Augmented are nothing more than a candle in the shadow of a bonfire compared to the Sidhe.
Most of the city is a crumbled, pile of rusted iron and steam rising up into the ever-present storm clouds that choke our land and poison our water supply. Some places might have it better but in Wayen Vage, this is life. 'Vage is the largest, and only city in this world; a population of nearly ten million people live in it's just over three hundred square mile territory. If you wanted to do the math that would be 33,333 people per square mile, but there are 8 platforms to this city, and the ground, so closer to 3700 people per square mile, this isn't including the space our outposts give, just a general population.
The lowest platform is the most dangerous, the highest platform is the "nicest" but nice just doesn't fit this place's archetype. We have 9 layers, just like hell, and I happen to appreciate the implications of that analogy. In a place this foul, optimists are in short supply, but we seem to have a surplus of crime, too bad you can't export it.
There are people working to change 'Vage into a livable town, but most people don't respect them. They call themselves "The Hopefuls" and it's a name that is mocked as much as a popular idol. I don't have a problem with them, because they don't have a problem with me.
Among the humans and Sidhe are a few other major groups.
There's the Elrhune, Technomancers, a species of people dedicated to the art of engineering. They're thin, six-feet tall on average, with yellowed skin that's rubbery to the touch. They speak through 6 voice boxes, in fluting tones, understanding one's damn near impossible without a translator, and unless they've learned to understand you, you need one to talk to them. They speak from long snouts that act as both nose and mouth, and they eat a syrup refined from a root that grows in the mines under 'Vage.
The Maruvei are the Shadow-Walkers, ancestral relatives to the Elrhune, they didn't focus on refining logic and sciences, and they refined their spirits. They literally walk in the shadow of the veil, they're taller by about two feet than their kin, with gray eyes, dark ashen skin, and are natural assassins. The fact that they speak in hushed whispers through a similar set of vocal chords is unsettling; you have to hear it to understand.
The Fyren are humble insectiod people who are about three feet tall, and fly at a slow pace. They live as a working class, comfortable with simple lives. They're not particularly bright, but I've seen barrels full of freshly made steel bars fall on them, and they got back up and put the bars back in the barrel. They're a hardy race. They talk through dance, and a fluorescent color that shows itself in their translucent wings. They're not nearly as unsettling as the Maruvei. Translators with cameras have been devised to explain what the dances and colors mean, generally speaking.
The Sidhe are a race of people who came to this world before the Veil, looking to gain knowledge in our world's magic. They're powerfully magically inclined, far beyond anyone else here, and they act as the ruling class her, giving orders, controlling the masses, and enjoying every minute of it.
The Augmented have two ways of being made, from a matching DNA and tissue typed piece of Sidhe being attached to a human with innate magical talents, or through the unfortunate event of an "Energy Spike." Spikes are the world's way of trying to fight off the Veil; anything within the area of a Spike is imbued with raw magical power. Over the next few days the person is mutating and adjusting to the change, but the power can change a nice kid into an emotionless monster.
Then there's the Berevoy. A "Berevoy" is any race really; it's someone that the Veil has removed the spirit from, someone driven mad by this world. It can happen at any time, and it's more common with those who can bend things to their will magically. Wayen Vage is here to defend from the Berevoy on the outside world, but sometimes they get in (or worse they are created here), and cause some damage to the lowest platforms. One of the most frightening things in this place is a man without a soul, who only wants to take yours away from you.
Most people in Wayen Vage have a job, or a task they fulfill. My job in this town is to act as the police, and fire department. I also am working to fix this place, but with a realist's mind, not an optimist. You can't put a bandage on a severed head, but you can stop the blade that tried to cut it off. So I'm called a Shield. The Shields have territories they protect, six square miles. Escalation is always a problem, the better we get, the harder the criminals, arsonists, Sidhe with a penchant for killing inferior beings, and some unexplained things will fight, but there's something to be said about those who make a living in killing.
In the worst of all possible realities, you pray to go to sleep and have a nightmare, because nightmares end.
Welcome to Chokeworld." -Victor Crane, Water Essence Augmented.