Silence Haven Settlement in I.D.E.A. | World Anvil

Silence Haven

A quiet place

— . . .   — . . .   — . . .!
— A conversation in Silence Haven

In the unified city-world of Terra, there is no escape for communities disagreeing with the way they are governed except in other dimensions. Or there would be if it was not for an old system, dating from the early days of the United Nation of Terra. With hundreds of countries banding together to rule the stuttering Dominium, the hardliners had no choice but to align, yet they refused to do so. A compromise was found by allowing them to keep a certain form of self-determination. They had to follow the core rules of the U.N.T. without being subjected to the rest of the thousands-page documents. These countries are now long gone and forgotten, but from this system birthed Hypercities, immense buildings, or districts with a certain autonomy from the governance, while still abiding by the most important laws. Perhaps the most renowned of them is Silence Haven, the absolute repose.

Restful escape


This HyperCity is, like most others, one immense building, spanning dozens of kilometers. It is one of the smallest however, as it does not even reach the higher levels, which earned it its surname as the Bottom Repose. The outside architecture is nothing outstanding, except the facades decorated in gothic style over the metal walls. No window opens to the outer city, the inside is completely cut from the world on purpose.


The Haven is designed around its one and absolute rule of silence. This is the only place on Terra where speakers are not continuously diffusing Euphony. Instead, white noise generators and state-of-the-art phonic isolations turn even the loudest scream into a faint whisper. Silence is key here, visitors come from all over Terra for this exact reason, to take a rest from the frenzy of the Terran life. The law does not forbid any noise, however, it is strongly incentivized not to be loud. Two people can converse at a normal voice level if they are close, but anyone several meters away will be unable to hear anything.




The origins of Silence Haven are modest. A simple shelter for the elderly and deaf people, unable to keep up with their life without the support of Euphony. Their aids learned to take care of them without speaking and developed the habit of communicating through sign language. After a while, the inhabitant of what was called the Soundless Hospital came to see the virtue of silence, and even non-deafs stopped speaking altogether. Somehow, words came out and outsiders grew interested in the concept of a quiet escape. Soon enough, neighbors came to propose their services during their vacations, voluntarily.

Soundless Hospital by Jason Goodman (via Unsplash)

About a year later, an eternity according to Terra standards, an entrepreneur saw the potential of the institution and decided to transform it. Alan Yarke bought the hospital and made a high-standing hotel out of the building while keeping the spirit of the silence. To cover for the public backlash, he also purchased a part of the surrounding district and displaced the patients there. He renamed the building The Silence Haven and marketed heavily the virtue of quietness. As good as he was at spotting a golden opportunity, he was not ready to handle the consequences. He and his marketing team greatly underestimated the attractiveness of calm and relaxation, and the wealth of Terran people. Even with prices pushing the boundary of what he was legally allowed to put, his resort was full of reservations for the next two years.


Tired of waiting, the silent tourists settled around and started to live quietly, though with some disagreements due to imperfect isolation. This is where the situation went out of Yarke's hands. People from inside and outside the Silent Haven reached out and created an association for those who wished for it not to be an occasional holiday, but a way of living. Of the rich folks, some were powerful enough to purchase the construction rights of the isolated block that would become today's Silence Haven. With the hotel at its center, the city adopted the name while dropping the article, and turned to autonomy when it became a Hypercity. The Haven is now 94 years old, fairly young for a HyperCity but mature enough to have developed a society of its own, and the original settlers are slowly replaced by a growing younger generation.


Restricted Entry


Although the Haven is now a Hypercity, it is too small to welcome every visitor without falling into the inevitable racket. To avoid overpopulation, the authority designed three kinds of entry permits, obtainable by reservation and delivered in numerical form only, onto one's ring.

Founding Date
145.000 inhabitants


Alan Yarke

I don't want to hear a sound! Shhh, don't say a word and listen closely... ... See!? This is what I mean! This room has been isolated the same way Silence Haven will be. Imagine the same relaxation and quietness you just felt, but for a whole week! Can you imagine how good you'll feel, and how much you'd be willing to pay for even a day?

The founder of the Haven was someone who knew silence way better than noise. A country boy from Para III, he made a fortune in his homeworld thanks to his instinct for successful concept. He came to Terra at age 37, eager to confront his mind to the heart of the Dominium. He was not disappointed. Despite being one of the wealthiest back home, he struggled to set up his first business on the capital dimension. The Silent Haven was his last gamble that would decide his stay on Terra. It goes without saying that he was ecstatic at the success of this enterprise. However, he could not keep up with the sudden pressure of the overflowing demands. It is not certain if he collapsed due to overwork or if he killed himself at 46. In remembrance, his hotel was renamed Alan Yarke's Rest and he became a sort of idol in the collective mind, even called the Silence Prophet by some.




The somewhat official militia of Silence Haven, S&S&S was an ordinary security agency before answering the request for proposal from Silence Haven's authority. They had no speciality, except that they employed only humans and got a good reputation of being discrete. This last reason is why they were chosen. Safe&Secure added the third S to their name when signing the exclusivity contract. Its agents are now watching over the hypercity, mostly disguised as ordinary citizen. This way, they guarantee a top-notch safety while not inconveniencing the inhabitants.



This kind of permit is very long to obtain if you even get on the waiting list. Every housing is occupied, to get a permit you would need to wait until a landowner decides to leave or die without legacy. Because the list is growing extensively, the HyperCity is always trying to expand, gaining hardly any space since it took over its initial district. Not even children of house owners have a lifetime permit if their parents refuse to bequeath theirs.



Given the success of the first resort, many others bloomed in the city. Entire districts are dedicated to leisure and silence tourism, with few animations except relaxed ones like book clubs, chess games, and the likes, all without any sound. Such permits cannot last longer than a month but are easier to obtain. They are, however, restricted to specific areas, and cannot access the residential streets.



When spies are everywhere, trade secrets are near impossible to keep. Except, of course, in places with few people where no microphone can listen secretly to a deal. Business permits are expensive, last only a few hours, and are limited to one per person and per day. Nonetheless, they are still in high demand, as secretive corporations are not lacking. This is the only kind of permit of unlimited quantity because the stays are very short and a major source of income.


These permits do not cover every possible case. For example, someone visiting friends cannot enter Silence Haven in any conventional way. Arrangements can be found between the authority and inhabitants, though these procedures can take a long time and are rarely worth the trouble, compared to the Haven inhabitant going out.


Speechless talk


The law of silence does not mean that people cannot communicate. Of course, they can directly talk to each other if they are close but that is not practical and does not allow more than three people in the same conversation. Instead, residents use a sign language, derived from the antique one used by deaf people to a more modern version that makes full use of the ring to convey all manner of ideas with minimal knowledge of the language. Visitors use translator applications extensively, which are limited unless they want to write exactly what they mean, but good enough. The more time one passed in Silence Haven, the less they rely on technological devices to communicate.



This is a topic the founders of Silent Haven oversighted. If taking decisions collegially with a hundred people is doable with a good organization, the same does not go with ten times more. When it became obvious that such a system would not hold anymore, it was decided to reduce the legislative core. Many were happy to let go of their share of responsibilities, so nobody opposed the handful of people willing to take this burden on their shoulders. They are the ones who restricted access to the Haven and hired a security agency to enforce their rules and kick out the noisy troublemakers.

Cover image: Silence Haven by Kristina Flour


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