Patallians, the New Folk

We can be something much greater than our roots.  
— Patallian crier
  Though mankind have only just begun to fumble their way through the dark of Patala, there are already those who wonder what the region could become. An unusual amalgamation of zealots, misfits, ideologues, and rebels have all begun to dream of creating a new home, a new kingdom here. Those few ambitious souls see a glorious future ahead - with every one imagining themselves at the throne.    

A New Folk

If I can never go back there, I might as well make the most of things here, eh?  
— Yoti, Dūbavum Outcast
  "Patallian" is not a unified concept, or even one widely shared. Most who arrive in Patala still have ties (and debts) to the homes they left behind, with no greater plans than to survive the next day and perhaps carve a better life for themselves from the virgin expanse. To them, ambition is a luxury they can't afford. Nor is there much of a common root, with early explorers coming from both Vataam and the Abyss, regions with vastly different cultures and folk - even within themselves.  
It is sometimes said that Patala is only home to two kinds of people - those who fled, and those who followed.
The idea of creating being Patallian, of being part a new folk, has only been whispered in the last year and has yet failed to take hold in the popular imagination. With a recent wave of migrants from Mharaji only a few years ago, the city has changed again and several new, powerful interests are trying to establish themselves in the city.   Even to outside city-state, the question of who Patala belongs to is unclear. Araea is so vast and difficult to travel, that for even rulers in other regions, Patala simply is. People may die or they may benefit, and only as long as trade and profit flow, they care little. Even if they did, it is unsure what they would do. Many powerful figures in Patala are still linked by business or blood to their home city, and have no reason to jepordize them.
City-states like Mharaji has been the most organized, with the city's ruling council having coordinated a large expedition to the region. Others have not replied in kind yet, but as one influence grows, others will react.
  Most distant powers are more concerned with personal matters - that individual rivals should not grow too powerful, or certain friends find the funding they need for an expedition. With the survival of Vicitra still uncertain and the region so distant, the idea of an independent Patala to rise is still just a seed of naked ambition, waiting to grow.    

Factions

This would be easier if we could all agree on even one thing.  
— One of many hopeful leaders
  In the choking heat and constant toil of Vicitra there is little way of shared tradition or unity even among those who see the Patala rise as a new power in Araea. Save for the fact that each of them think they should wear the crown, there's nothing they have in common. Though each faction that dream of holding power are still small, their appetites are monstrous and may devour the city whole.
Patala   Patala lies on the edge of the known world, beckoning the ambitious. Deep within the Inner Shell, it has only recently been opened to settlers and explorers after a calamitious earthquake cracked the path open, though ancient cairns and sealed chambers filled with bones hint that they are not the first to step foot here.   Read More About Patala
by Midjourney

Vicitra, the First City

The first and only city of Patala, Vicitra is a jumble of tangled streets, haphazard construction, and boiling tensions. It is a patchwork of fiefdoms, forced to co-exist, more than it is a single city, with law and order existing only as far as it can be enforced by local powers.   In this wretched hive of scum and villainy, ordinary people try their best to find a new, better life than the one they left behind. Now, they are being swept up in the ambitions of the city's rich and powerful.  
Vicitra, the City On The Perch
Settlement | Jul 27, 2022

The first thrust into the unknown Patala region, Vicitra is a city too small for the ambitions of those within it.

Merchant-Kings and Queens

Chief among those who see the region as a vehicle for their own glory are the merchant-prince and princesses. Usually wealthy beyond what most can ever hope for even before they arrive, they are the benefactors and investors who have poured money into the city.   There are maybe a handful of them within Patala, a couple whow have made their fortune in the region but already rich. Each of them are suspicious and jealous of each other, with only rare moments of cooperation when something like the Plague of Dreams demanding either an concerted response or their extinction. Among the merchant-lords of Patala, Muradov the Merciless, Bhūkha of Vataam and Khandozhk of Dūbavum are the most powerful and most ambitious - and fierce, jealous rivals who'd rather see Patala razed than its crown upon the head of one of the others.
by Polyvore.com
 

Rebels and Revolutionaries

by Midjourney
Not everyone left their home for Patala of their own will. Dissidents and trouble-makers, criminals and freedom fighters have all found new homes in Patala, hiding here from the hangman's noose that aways them back home.   A sizable part of the migrants from Dūbavum are those who either angered the theocracy there or wanted to get away from the faith. Others belong to rival cults or sects that fragmented from the main branch of the church, and either chose or were forced to flee. A few have taken to the idea of establishing Patala as a counterweight to whatever it was that drove them from their home - a place to be free, or just to get away with their crimes. For every rebel with a just case, there is a one who simply failed to seize the same power they are now on the run from and wants to try again.
 
Yoti of Dūbavum is one such rebel - a smiling, charismatic man from the Abyss whose crimes were stark enough that bounty-hunters still arrive in Patala to claim his head. It'd be more difficult for them, he wagers, if there was a crown on it.
 

The Faithful

To a zealous few, the question of what Patala should be is not a matter of opportunity or ideology, but an article of faith. The Called have heard the tuneless song that spill from the Far Deep in their hearts and hear it every night in their dreams. They know that there is something divine about Patala itself, something that - of course - only they know how to commune with.   With a new leader and prophet to lead them, the Called are the ones with the most glorious vision of Patala's future and the least equipped to see it fulfilled. What they lack in wealth or martial power, they make up for with fervor, slowly hardening into fanatical zeal as the cult perfects its recruitment and initiation rites.   Even so, the Called are no more unified than the other parties who vie for Patalan's future. Splinter cults have begun to emerge, others proclaim themselves prophet or seer, and the abuse of the Called creates disaffected dissenters as often as loyal, subjugated servants.
by Unsplash (Nisarg Chaudhari)
 
The Called
Organization | Jul 28, 2022

There is a song in the darkness, in the metal that bears the will of something divine. The Called have answered it, giving their flesh and their thoughts to something greater.

 
To those who know of the soaring ambitions, a few wonder of its true origin. Is the song that calls from the deep more than a haunting dream? Are they all falling under some spell, the very same that once saw Patala sealed away and forgotten, with all its ancient gold and charnal pits?


Cover image: by Midjourney

Comments

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10 Jul, 2022 20:55

"Leader dude" killed me. I laughed a lot. I liked this article a lot, all those snarky remarks about what the different factions and individuals want and their motivations. I'm sure they'll work it out peacefully :D

11 Jul, 2022 07:42

Oh you know it. It's definitely not going to descend into a region-spanning orgy of violence and bloodshed! :D


Creator of Araea, Megacorpolis, and many others.