The nation, which had set its dreams on getting the planet set up to be a base for water harvesting, died off long ago because of various wars and resource depletion, leaving the Vice to fend for itself. Since then Vice has grown over the years.
Vice as a whole is a loud, noisy and dirty planet; it is overpopulated and rapidly depleted of its natural resources. Technologically it is a hodgepodge of pirated technologies from all over the entire sector. Ships patrolling the solar system are old pirated ships, that are either refitted, and technologies are exotic and diverse as they are typically traded. High end technology is usually kept away from the “common” people of Vice, reserved for the rich and powerful and utilized by the planet's Royal Family for policing and security of the planet and system.
The system is patrolled and protected by the combined forces of the Vice royal family and their appointed lords of the crown, which are simply the ones with the most money interested in protecting their assets.
The society of Vice, unlike many worlds under the boot of the known empires, is for lack of a better word “very free” Any being, regardless of his age, race, social standing, or belief system may rise up through any way he sees fit. It is not easy, and success is far from promised, but on Vice anything is possible.
The society is officially ruled by a standing royal family, which administers rule through a monarchy that rules over the various regions and cities of the planet. The royal family is still present; however, Vice is home to several crime syndicates who actually hold the real power. Through their collective wealth they hold much influence over the planet and “control the crown” of Vice. They lurk in the shadows, and operate in the underworld. Without the criminal syndicates' power, wealth, and weapons, the royals would be unable to maintain control over the unruly mixed population of Vice, and the planet would undoubtedly fall into anarchy. Only The Hierarchy of The Throne and the promise of rising fortunes maintains the tenuous hold over the Nobility.
As the Reservoir system is a monarchy, Inheritance is related to the current dynasty handing down the crown to the eldest child upon the death of the previous monarch. Upon the assumption of The Crown, the new monarch is the ruling entity of the Reservoir system. Specifically, it is the current monarch who wears the crown and sits upon the throne. Under him/her are the delegates of the crown, positions of power appointed by the Monarch. While ideally, those people would be chosen by merit, often they are chosen by payment to the crown.
During the Second Founding, The Crown of Reservoir accumulated a large international debt with various intergalactic traders and had begun to offer lands and power to those who had enough to pay for it. This brought upon the era of corruption. As the only ones with power in Vice were those who had means of securing it, were crime syndicates and large wealthy trade families, now ruling various territories and areas in the name of the very corrupt royal family. This results in a lot of unfinished projects, towns and businesses. Though there have been efforts in the past to give aid to the unfortunate, most of these initiatives end quickly with the changing of land and resources, which seemed to come under new ruling every few months. Cities are traded, bought and owned as if stock in a market.
Because of this diverse monopoly game of ownership, give and take, we come to the largest issue with the society of Vice. There's a great divide between the filthy rich, and the poor. There is a saying on vice that goes; “Vice is a nice place, if you got the money.” It reflects well because no matter the diverse background of any people on the planet, they're either rich or poor. There's hardly a middle class left.
For all of its faults, there is a glimmer of hope for Vice. A rare few individuals, unaffiliated with the syndicates, trade families, or the royals, and likewise unafraid of any of them are starting to bide their time. They are gradually accumulating wealth and power, in an attempt to show the population that there is a better way…
Originally a small settlement on the north continent of Polaris on Vice, located on one of Vice's largest oceans. Traditionally this was a fishing area with a long naval tradition; however, over the years it had been transformed into to a trade port with a constant exchange of boats floating into automated loading docks. A city grew around it naturally and provided headquarters for many of the drugs being shipped around Vice itself. It's also known as the devil's port, for on the large human trafficking that happens in this town. Many women are warned through their life on Vice not to give way to their Faith, else be found lost on the devil's ports.
What was once the Kingdom of Vice grew into a grand city of surreal size. It used to be surrounded with smaller villages that also over time grew with the businesses of Vice, until eventually the borders of all these cities amalgamated into a much larger city called the greater Sydenham Metropolis. Its lower city streets are lost and decayed under the upper city's layer, literally built right on top of the old stuff. The city itself has everything and anything you could ever ask for, on Vice they say that if you're looking for anything in the universe, you could most likely find it in Sydenham…for a price. The royal family still resides here, as well as the headquarters for most of the syndicates and trade business. They all come together to do trade at the center of the city in the large nine tower central complex. It is a modern day marvel; all eight towers built up around the high center building reaching high up above the clouds, and at the very top floor is the royal court where the crown holds its most important meetings with the sky at their back, giving them some sort of god complex. There sits The throne, the physical seat of the sitting monarch in the Reservoir system.
The Throne is an embellished, ancient captain's chair taken from the bridge of the leading colony ship. Made of tempered steel and covered in precious stones, this underpadded chair lends a particular grandeur as it is also raised upon a 12 foot high dais, forcing all who stand in the presence of the monarch to look up. The dais has seven large, wide “steps”, for the heads of the great houses (or their representatives) to stand upon. This sets the stage to balance the various feuding houses, to provide for some political stability. Thus The Hierarchy of the Throne was established. Proximity, not wealth, from the seat of the great house to the throne would determine standing on the dais. Obviously, those who stand closer to the monarch, would have the monarchs ear. Machiavellian politics and maneuvering became the norm, but peace was achieved. With the seat of power residing in Sydenham, the wealthy and powerful pour money into this city. It has vast libraries, grand concert halls, and the classiest joints one could ever dream of. But in the old city under the new streets is the largest population of homeless, the enslaved, and the poor, who cling to life in whatever way they can manage. A powder keg controlled by organized crime.
Landsdown is the original settlement on Vice. It is located on the southernmost continent on Vice. Originally it was the largest and most populated settlement on Vice, sporting glorious sky scrapers and streets filled with automobiles. Today it sits as a burnt out relic of the past glory of the world, struggling under the weight of the heavy pollution and overpopulation. Drugs and hedonism run rampant in its streets all under the gaze of city's vast Star Port, where merchants, pirates, and visitors land around the clock.
New Masias was a city founded by pirates visiting the world. It was initially a hiding camp where the raiding pirates could land in order to rest and lick their wounds. The exotic loot they brought in was more than enough incentive for Faith and Landsdown Merchants to start visiting the camp in order to initiate trade with the pirates. Business in this city became lucrative, and it swiftly started developing from a rest camp, to a trading post. The trading post began rapidly expanding until it turned into a massive city. Construction of the city was not well planned, and many projects were left unfinished. New Masias is a labyrinth of ramshackle structures surrounding a very modern and elaborate “down town” area that is filled with glimmering sky scrapers. Surrounding the city is a collection of suburban towns, where the trade families and their employees live in what could be considered a comfortable existence. The trade families hold little power over Masias, but the inviting estates, and schools are a popular place to live one what is Vice's primary port of trade. Conversely New Masias has very well established party scene, with clubs and bars constantly competing for dominance on the scene. It is here where the rich and powerful can mesh with the poor class of society and it be socially acceptable.
One of the few electronica clubs in the city. Heaven and Hell features two unique floors. The first floor is Hell. It sports red lighting, with the temperature of the room kept at a sweltering 98 degrees. Fires are set ablaze as the DJ slams tracks of a fast paced, hard pounding violent sort. Go-go dancers are scantily clad and set about dancing and goading guests into tormenting each other. The second floor is “Heaven” it features a much more relaxed music set of trance music. It features an Oxygen bar, and the go-go dancers are dressed like angels. The room has an elaborate light show set up, along with a built in pool. Heaven and Hell is owned and independently operated by strange alien with a horned head. She avoids the syndicates at all costs, but as of late has been getting harassed by their agents to start paying operating fees. Kenisha, the owner of Heaven and Hell, is rumored to be interested in visiting a new club 'The King's Deck' as it poses another threat to her electronica Monopoly on the local club scene.
Sun's System is a hip-hop-based club that features all manner of dance style music. The bar itself is set to an intergalactic theme with various models of solar systems being emitted by an elaborate set of holographic projectors. The Bartenders are known for treating patrons like dirt, and for their impressive synchronized dances to certain songs. This club has long since submitted to Syndicate authority, with the original staff vanishing, and being replaced with an entirely new staff.
Another Syndicate-owned entertainment spot, Purgatory was created as a way to entice Kenisha to submit to their rule. Purgatory sports softer more jazzy music designed to enhance a person’s emotions. Purgatory has a rather drab and grey setting, but it works well considering this particular bar sells all manner of narcotics to its patrons, as opposed to booze.
The King's Deck is the newest club in the eastern part of the city, where a long strip of buildings were lost to urban decay and lost dreams. This was once the most thriving places in all of Vice, where the life of the city reflected something more in this hellhole of a existence. The club's owner, a Yamataian born into the poor of Vice who had worked his entire life for the syndicates of New Masias, finally fed up with his path one day started his own business. That's where the King's Deck came in. The establishment was a have it all club, with card rooms in the back, a small brothel in the floors above and a large dance floor surrounded by upscale tables and booths. The club was once a jazz joint, which was more like speakeasy and served the upscale visitors of New Masias. Now with Saka's renovations and restoration of the club, it has the same old kind of feel only updated with a fresh new-Vice vibe; the golden fixtures were embellished and updated. The seating, drapes and other luxurious features were redone and stylized with a new modern flare. The dance floor is actually set down a few stairs in the middle of the room in front of a large stage which is usually DJ'd with some sultry nujazz or intelligent dance music. Or on the party nights, it can be a mix of stuff as long as it's got enough sensual bass to fit the mood. But the booth itself has the ability to retract up over the stage and allow for live bands and artists to also come and play.
The King's Deck features one major bar which is usually manned by two or three bartenders, done up in the same classic look of the rest of the club. Fully stocked with all sorts of liquors from around the universe, some of the unique drinks to the club include; The Easyspeaker, Jazzy Juice, Diamondtinis and the ever popular Full Deck; which is said to be strong enough to make the most experienced drinkers “hit the deck.”
The King's Deck employs a strange assortment of entertainers and workers. Its owner, an opportunist who has recently begun developing his own gang, using the club as their headquarters. It has a little of everything you could be looking for; gambling, dancing, good music, some of the best drinks in vice and women. However it's in constant flux with MaeMae's Burlesque, over who can offer the best ladies of the night.
Located across the street from The King's Deck, MaeMae's Burlesque is very much secluded. It is not flashy or expensive, but it provides some of the best shows in New Masias. The interior is run down, like an abandoned building. But the burlesque troupe is well established, and tells stories through their seductive dances. This exclusive club accepts patrons through invitation only, but provides patrons with a secluded escape, and very creative entertainment. The Burlesque dancers are both male and female, and rumour has that they show live sex as part of their nightly performances.
A fiesta influenced Tequila bar, the Brothers Lopez sports a Salsa Dance floor, and a wide array of exotic food and drink. More of an open Space Bar, Los Brother's Lopez is very hacienda-like in its approach to the club scene.
The Hammered Harriden is essentially a strip club. The strippers also known as “Harridens” are as numerous as they are unique. This club is very comfortable, sporting sofas for the observers to watch, and private rooms for private encounters with the dancers. The club is gigantic in size, sporting 15 different poles, and observation tables, and generally has a high patronage due to the numerous girls that dance at the club. The Harridens are a mixture of females from any race they can find, the club owners being a trade family, priding themselves on the diversity they provide the city.
Somewhere in the grand ocean that separates the north and south continents is a large island just off the western coast of Landsdown. It was populated by third-world natives until some of the space pirates enslaved them and got them to work their labor as they set up their hide-a-ways from the rest of their crews. Most famous captains even ended up retiring on this island, which itself is caught up in a naturally occurring magnetic zone which can spring up storms usually in the late winter seasons and limit communications and tech on the island, which has made it a perfect getaway. The owners of San Dulcia have had the island since the first days of the royal's descent into selling off their territories, and have thus made it into a lucrative vacation spot, as well as setting up banks and businesses that excel in making someone able to disappear.
In the middle of the continent is the ancient sprawling city of Ja'gana and its surrounding villages. An old civilization which claims to have existed first before the descendants of the royal family, it's a culturally rich area with old Hinduistic styled palaces and walled cities which have stood for thousands of years. The main export other than its cultural goods, and spices are its myriad of legal and illegal drugs. It's a borderline third world territory, for those who are not rich. They have their own royal family who still holds sovereignty over their lands, but other than deal with their own internal affairs, do nothing else on Vice of note.
|Places of the SARPiverse|