Sumichou Caverns

Without the Techo app, you'll get so lost in the maze you won't be able to tell your left hand from your right. Unspeakable things hunt in the depths. And there's no protection from the cleanse there. So don't lose your phone or let it run outta juice. And never let yourself be low on ki there. Ever.
— a Sumichou resident

  A vast set of meandering natural and constructed tunnels that hides the unearthly yokai district of Sumichou.

 

Cavern System

Geography

The human government, after draining the swampland for Kabukichou, discovered caverns they could pump to reveal a fairly mineral rich new area for mining. Once the mining started, dangerous yokai move in and haunted the area, scaring off the humans. No matter how many priests came to exorcize the area, the yokai overwhelmed them and either ate the priests or unceremoniously dumped them outside. They classified records on the incidents to keep the public calm.   Decades later after the top secret documents were forgotten, the government re-explored the area for express subway routes. They abandoned the deepest caverns again. This time, they posted warning signs outside the tunnels.   Inside the caverns, several small lakes that used to be crystal clean grace vast, open rooms. Now the lakes are only the leftover water from the cleanse. Multiple meter long stalactites hang from the ceilings and stalagmites. Most stalagmites have been cleared or turned into homes for small yokai.

 

Ecosystem

The area is a closed system, warm and humid year round. Before the pollution and cleanses came, mosses, mushrooms, glowworms, and snails lined the walls and blind fish thrived in the ponds. A few naturalists strive to save the species in Sumichou's zoo. Perhaps if new leadership arises, the district may have hope of cleaning up and ending the cleanses. Then residents can restore balance in the caverns again.

 

Localized Phenomenon

  • The Cleanse, a non-natural, magically induced flood, happens on a scheduled basis. But residents are usually warned beforehand.
  • Ki blockage, some believe it to be forced closure of the ki well to keep the residents from rebelling.

  •  

    Natural Resources

    Before the Akumakai took over, opal could be found in the cavern walls, due to sandy seawater pouring into various pumice sections. Also, topaz and stibnite were available in small pockets. Excavation reports say those are all depleted. Though, fools mine the few remaining quartz veins and grind the mineral, hoping to pass it off as crystalized ki.

    Alternative Name(s)
    The Hive
    Type
    Cave System
    Location under
    Owning Organization

    History

    The caverns were open access for construction. In the last hundred years, Yokai scared off the human population and made the area their own.   Since the Akumakai took over and installed access gates, they tightly control all entrances/exits to forbid entrance to those from the human government and law enforcement. Leadership changes in Sumichou are swift and violent. Who knows what the future will hold for this volatile area.  

    Access Gate by liuzishan

     

    Related

    Sumichou
    Geographic Location | May 17, 2022

    The darker version of Kabukichou. Mortals don't visit often, let alone survive.

    Tourism

    Until the latest Oyabun took over, Sumichou used to be a popular bizarre tourist area and refuge that specialized in catering to yokai wishing to hide from the human population. Now, yokai find it difficult to leave since there are few places left to hide from humans. Only the most seedy groups do business with the area. What surprises the few visitors is that there is very little graffiti. The spray paint art in the district is political, not gang related.   The Sumichou Underground hopes to bring down the current leadership and clean up the district and the caverns.

     

    Pollution

    Crystalized ki factories cause the dust of their product to get into the air. A constant haze of smoke (house fires, factory, drug usuage, etc.) and dust sized glowing ki particles fills the air. The cleanse helps keep it to survivable levels.   Strong light pollution ensures the populated areas are never in the dark. Though, residents complain about difficulties sleeping.

     

    Why would anyone want to visit?

    The lure of things fobidden among the human population brings most newcomers. The other draw is items and ingredients that can't be found in normal markets. EVERYTHING can be found down here.


    Cover image: by liuzishan

    Comments

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    7 Jan, 2022 12:08

    Those cleanses sound really harmful, but given how they also are needed against pollution, I guess a necessary evil.

    12 Jan, 2022 02:24

    Thanks for the comment. I suspect the Cleanses are used more often than needed due to the current leadership.

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