The Island

The physical setting for this game consists mostly of an island and the surrounding ocean. The island is just short of 100 km on its longest axis, with a land area of about 1500 square kilometers1). It stands alone in the middle of a vast ocean - aside from a few rocky outcrops, there is no other land visible for miles around.

Although it appears at first glance to be a densely forested natural landscape, the island itself is mostly artificial: an immense megastructure of concrete and steel built into and out from the base of a mountain. It is on, in, and around this island that the robots live, following a twenty-four hour cycle divided into orange-pink days born of a sky full of particulates, nights bathed in turquoise light filtering up from beneath the waves and, between the two, pastel sunsets engineered by Dragon_Unit45.

The island can be loosely divided into several main areas: the city, the underground, the swamps, and the mountain. But robot civilisation isn’t merely constrained to land – robots also live and work in the sea around the island, as well as in the sky and space above it.

See the location page for map keys and for information about the mechanics of movement in this game.

Although it may be referred to as a “city”, the resemblance to a modern human city is minor at best. The entire area is overgrown with trees and moss; the difference between this and the forests and swamps nearer the coast being that the buildings here still protrude above ground level. Only in one corner of the city does there still stand a recognisable signature of civilization: through the thick green leaves of the trees shines the neon light of the Internet Café (B1). Serving as church, capitol building and community centre, this is widely regarded as the physical hub of robot society.

With connections to the harbour and space elevator, the central city is the most populated area of the island. Although the number of functional robots is still far, far fewer than the number of humans that presumably once occupied this place, the most-used buildings are (relatively) well-maintained, and well-trodden paths make travel fairly easy.

The Space Elevator

At the very centre of the city – and anchored deep into the megastructure – is the foundation of the space elevator, a gravity-defying cable which connects the surface of the earth to orbit, some thirty-six thousand kilometres above. Or at least technically it does, but travel up its length is currently near impossible: the building-sized elevator car is currently broken, stuck part way up and listing at an ominous angle a couple of kilometres above the ground.

The skydock extends out from the core of the elevator just beneath the broken car, a series of platforms dotted with wind turbines and all the necessary equipment for sky-faring robots to rest and refuel.

The Harbour

The harbour (B6) lies on the northern coastline, framed by swampland on either side. A canal and roadway connect the main harbour to the city centre. The canal has mooring points along its length for anything or anyone small enough to travel up it. Larger vessels can dock in the harbour itself, where various facilities and specialised robots exist to perform maintenance and transfer cargo.

The distinction between city and forest is blurry at best, but there comes a point at a certain distance from the space elevator and central buildings where there is decidedly more living wood than dead concrete. A thriving ecology makes its home on this island, the animal inhabitants outnumbering the robots many times over. Birds flit between the trees, hedgehogs and boar snuffle in the undergrowth, and deer (or at least, things that look like deer) graze gently in the clearings. There is also a healthy population of cats, likely descended from the animals once kept as pets by the humans of the past.

While most of the island remains as wild as the day the first robots woke up, a portion of the land in the southwest (B10) has been cleared for the growing of crops for the biofuel distillery and cereal factory, both of which insist that they alone are entitled to the land.

Descending into the megastructure, it soon becomes apparent that the sea level is higher than it was when the structure was built, and many of the lower levels are partially or entirely flooded. Electrical failures mean Network dark zones and a lack of interior lighting, as well as jammed electrical doors. Strange sounds and eerie radio transmissions can be heard down in the dark; not every robot who ventures down there has come back, and those that do come bearing terrible tales of mysterious assailants – animal, machine, or something else entirely.

Much of the underground thus remains unexplored. Between the darkness, randomly flooded corridors, patchy Network coverage, and the actively aggressive inhabitants, exploration of the underground is considered a highly dangerous activity. But with most of the surface already picked clean of useful scraps, desperate robots are often pushed to delve down in search of lost caches of spare parts.

The Underharbour

The underharbour (A3) was an attempt to provide better connection between the surface city and the Hanging Gardens by constructing a submersible docking point at the base of the space elevator. However, due to the aforementioned dangers, the project has since been abandoned.

Many small rivers and streams run between the ruined buildings on land, even into the hollows of old skyscrapers where they tumble off concrete and metal ledges like waterfalls, surrounded by forests of pillars and broken elevators. Within caverns of seminar rooms and underground cafeterias, multicoloured coral grows, stemming from the busted open tin cans of human food, rotted cured meats and other long shelf-life food; vaults and broken-down industrial freezers half-filled with water burst with a flurry of plant life: pitcher plants the size of wheelchairs, palms and flowers curling out through their doors, dipping their blooms into the rivers.

The island coastline is dominated by mangrove swamps. The megastructure continues on down into the water, but the uneven topology of the buildings has resulted in a network of water-filled channels which break up the landscape. Sand brought in from the sea combined with silt washed down from the higher streets of the city makes for some treacherous terrain. While paths do exist here and there, travel is generally more difficult than in the city.

There are also tales of robots having lost limbs (or worse) to the robogators and other dangers which can occasionally be seen patrolling the coasts and inland waters.

These swamps can branch inland towards the ruins of skyscrapers - with just enough light afforded by broken rooftops, mangroves take over here too, plunging their root systems between building foundations until over thousands of years, they break down and are pushed into the mud below. These mangroves form little caves and crannies for catfish, prawns and macrobes that resemble slimes or thin blobs of jelly. Although there are less hostile creatures in these portions of swamp, travel is difficult without a boat or some floatation device, as shards of broken glass and broken concrete below make it difficult to wade through.

The mountain is (as far as anyone knows) a purely natural formation, and even remains relatively untouched by whatever hands originally built the megastructure. Although a few vast supports are sunk deep into the lower slopes, there is little sign of any other artificial construction. The one exception is a single enormous doorway in the side of the mountain facing the city, which leads to an equally immense cavern which now houses the Ticker (B12), the robots’ primary power plant.

A family of condors nests at the peak, a frequent hazard for smaller flying robots.

  • The Jolly Green Giant - A good-natured mechanised bin with the ability to roll about on their wheels. Picks up anything with a Mysterious Sticker stamped on it.
  • Sceptic Tank - Being a septic tank sucks, and tends to impart one with a strong feeling of nihilism. They try to pass the time with scepticism, and will relentlessly question anything.
  • Bee - Full designation: Universal Warehouse Unit Inventory Module Bay B. One of the last functional warehouse management A.I.s from a vast and sprawling modular warehouse building, Bee was originally designed to organise a single storage bay. She has since had to learn to cope with managing almost the entirety of the island's storage facilities. Bee tries her best, but is often overwhelmed by the scale of the task which has fallen to her. Her warehouse is in Sector B2.
  • Crocobots and Robogators - Crocodiles differentiated by their level of metalwork roam the swamps; they used to chomp down on whatever robot entered their sacred domain, but now are too embroiled in a civil war to care. The invasive Macrocrab species with their musical capabilities and lasers have torn their peaceful bayou apart over what exactly to do with these annoying, yet adorable creatures.
  • M.O.M. - This AI, once responsible for managing the wellbeing of a high-end housing complex full of humans, has found her function in taking care of uplifted machines. With the considerable processing powers available to her, and the small army of drones she controls, she is a force to be reckoned with. Those machines under her care are well-loved and protected, and as for those who aren't… well, let's just say: mother knows best.

OC: approximately the same size as Greater London
  • island.txt
  • Last modified: 2020/10/13 18:24
  • by gm_rowan