The City — Worldbuilding example
The city opposes dark towers against the sky, as if to hold back the stars. The dusk heaves into place, weary and crowded, dirty clouds mimicking the flock below. The light of the day turns into dark purple and orange, murky and forlorn.
Inhabitants hurry along onto every direction, careless and desolate shadows that give the city a semblance of life. Daytime seems strange in the city, whether during a luminous July evening or a gray December afternoon, the light of the sun feeble compared to the underground shadows that seem to power the city’s every aspect.
The night is when the city truly feels in its element. Event when the moon lurches across the heavens as if trying to proclaim light among the darkness, it still comes off as menacing, slightly out of place among the few stars that can pierce the smog encircling the city. Cracked gothic arches and statues give the metropolis its distinct eerie flavor, a sort of purgatory of the forgotten. The buildings are imposing, housing every sort of modern indulgence one could think of and then some.
There’s the nightclubs that turn around every sort of illicit activity and hide ambivalent intentions. The most famous is The Church, named so by the fact that it is actually a very old church, desecrated and remodeled with lavish couches, bars and perched human-sized cages, where almost naked dancers help keep the clients intrigued on weekend nights.
The Church is open every day except on Mondays, when it is sometimes rented as a filming location for music videos and other media ventures. It is located close to the center of the city, having priority as the top place for pilgrimage and rest in the past, but now turned upon itself in a display of commercialism and debauchery. Music played inside ranges from chillstep on weekdays, to post-80s gothic electronica and modern gothic metal.
The more reputable of the city’s inhabitants prefer the Purple Dragon, a cleaner club that dispenses of loud music, preferring instead the modern and postmodern branches of electronica and ambient lounge. The Dragon is also famous for being one of the very exclusive places where magic shows of the more… supernatural kind are still allowed.
Although such displays are treated with extreme caution across most of the planet, the owners of the Dragon seem to be highly connected, allowing them certain luxuries. Some say there is another hidden club inside the Dragon, but details of how one might join or visit are still not part of the wider urban culture.
At the counterpart, there are the still standing churches (some simple and austere in design) and several mosques and private, luxurious sanctuaries of small religious denominations that have been maintained as places of quietude and prayer. Several of them are kept salubrious by the few faithful that dare to make their intentions clear among the darkness and by the templar mendicants that travel from place to place, sometimes helping with healing before moving on to another location in need of assistance.
Rumors sometimes escape about “special” individuals that manage to offer healing of the more divine kind, although none have come forth to reclaim the deeds in public or stayed in one place for too long.
The libraries are hosted in old and new buildings alike. One aspect they share is the magical atmosphere of knowledge repositories that hide more than the eye can see. Either small and clustered behind olden gothic arches or imperious and surrounded by modern ensembles of glass and steel, they are all mysterious in their own way, homes to both ancient and neoteric secrets.
The culture life of the city is indistinguishable from its dark mystique. The theaters and magic shows are constantly influenced by ancient tradition and beliefs, to the point where the supernatural, although banned from most of them, is still used in furtive ways to enhance the spectacle.
Though some patrons suspect this, promises to take down such places has mostly been unsuccessful via lack of funding and possible intervention from those who would benefit from such rituals in other ways.