by Max Barry

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The Federation of
Corporate Bordello

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Notable Cities

San Angelo

Spread across the plains in an eponymous valley between two mountain ranges, San Angelo is the capital city of the Federation. The population is around 800,000 in the city itself and roughly two and a half million in the metro area, making it fairly large for Mount Shavano. The city is the best example of current Shavanoan architecture, being clean and modern with no pretensions to grandeur. Most streets are lined with red brick sidewalks and lines of aspen or pine trees.

The best known landmark in San Angelo is Four Corners Park - calling it a square would be too pretentious, and the grass and trees that covered much of it would belie that description anyway - which lies in the heart of the Federal District. A mile on each side of grass and paths shaded by aspen and pine, with the red dome of the Senate Building rising in the middle. The two roads that run north-south and east-west through the park circle around it at a distance of about one hundred yards. The Park is a natural gathering place of interested crowds and protesters whenever a contentious or momentous event happens. In fact, the city was been laid out with that in mind.

As the seat of the government, San Angelo never sleeps. Street lights, headlights, and lit skyscrapers can be seen at all hours, leading to the common description of San Angelo as a "glittering" city. The city's most common nickname is "the Angel City".

Harbor Grove

Harbor Grove sits on the western bank of the interior seaway, and is the largest city in Laurasia. The population of the city proper is about 950,000 and the metro area about 2,850,000. "The City on the Sea" sprawls across all three sides of the best natural harbor on the interior seaway, and is the main port of entry into the country for those travelling by ship, as well the largest hub of commercial trade by sea.

The city tends to see itself as more of an international hub than San Angelo, and the city itself is built to a more neo-classical pattern than the capital. Viewed from the air, the city appears as a mesh of white split by the green avenues of trees carefully maintained in an effort to live up to her name. Harbor Grove is the site of the Federation's most important war memorial, the large but simple marble spire known as the Memorial to the Unknown Soldier located on the low, wooded rise known as Avalon Hill. The Harbor Grove Republic is the nation's most influential newspaper.


Navato is an old, prestigious city on the West Coast, with a population of about 650,000 and a metro area of about 1,800,000. Sitting in a colder climate than sunny Harbor Grove but lacking the annual snowfall that helps make San Angelo famous, the city's claim to fame is both historical and practical. Navato was the nation's provisional capital for two years while a proper site for San Angelo Federal District was selected, and during the wars of the early 20th C. was known as "The Arsenal of Democracy". Perhaps as a result, she remains the bluest city in the country. She remains the heart of Mount Shavano's often maligned manufacturing sector. Navato also plays host to the Academy of the Federation Navy.


Artain is a city of nearly nine hundred thousand sitting at the mouth of the Grand River in East Laurasia. It was the largest city on the continent until the late 19th century, since all trade moving down the river to cross the sea or move up coast came through her ports. Modern Artain has diminished somewhat in importance with the development of rail and air travel, but is still an important economic hub with a metro population of over two million.

Artain was the first site secondarily colonized from Jenkins City outside of West Laurasia, by within a couple decades much of the population was made up of migrants from further east - from, for example, St. Athan. The city sees strong internal cultural divisions, partially driven by geography. The city is divided into three parts by the Grand River, with the western bank famous for a laid back approach to life, the central island hosting a frantic, modern financial center, and the east bank hosting the primary dockyard and a major concentration of industry and the associated "mill town".


An old city of 650,000 on the northern coast of East Laurasia, Bednost is surprisingly warm due to the currents of the Interior Seaway. Always a center for trade, Bednost, like Evergreen, has seen boom times in recent decades behind a thriving technology sector.

Bednost was a key strategic site between Woodring and Saestor in the distant past, and has been taken by siege more often than any other Laurasian city - a past you would not infer from the gleaming modern city.


Caverge was the city founded by the invading Empire in 1790, intended to be the capital of the Laurasian continent once it was integrated. It served as a military and political hub for a quarter century before the Empire was finally ejected, by which point it was established as a major city. This history makes it culturally and architecturally unique in the Federation.

The city was patterned on the capital of the homeland, with broad avenues lined by marble buildings and few trees, although the outlying industrial areas of the present day have a more "modern" aesthetic.

There is no remaining loyalty to the old Empire in the city, since those inhabitants that chose to stay after the surrender were generally the least attached to the homeland and have had centuries to assimilate anyway. Much of the population is descended from (briefly) conquered natives, anyway.

The city is a major industrial center, not ideally positioned for trade but turned the rich resources of the mountains and forests into finished products.


Crossroads is considered a sister city to nearby larger Navato. Nearly five hundred thousand live here, with another 1.3 million in the metro area. The city is an important hub in both the rail and interstate networks of Mount Shavano, and a significant industrial center. She also won fame for the service of units raised there during the wars of the early 19th C., with both the highest portion of her population serving and the most decorated regiment (the 13th Crossroads). Crossroads remains a hotbed for recruiting, and also hosts the Military Academy of the Federation Army.

Crossroads is also notable historically for being the site of the Ninth Laurasian Assembly - sometimes known as the Crossroads Conference - that made the decision to bring the triumverate system past the original three members.

Old trees line most of the roads and blend in with the surrounding forests as you move away from the small downtown, making the city very attractive - although careful care must be taken to avoid forest fires that could spread. Crossroads takes pride in retaining a very much "frontier" culture of self-reliance, friendliness, and outdoor activities.

Crossroads University hosts the famous Exchange Biological Institute, which studies the interaction between the Laurasian native life and that came along with the settlers. It is one of the world's greatest resources for Saurian studies.


Dunnigan rises right where the plains meet the mountains on the other side of the Angel Range from San Angelo. The population is 250,000 with as many again living in the metro area. The pillars of the local economy are mining projects in the mountains and agriculture from the plains to the east.

Dunnigan's main claim to fame is hosting the Academy of the Federation Air Force. The city is a hub for defense, with the greatest concentration of Air Force and Army brass outside San Angelo itself. The is also the center of the rail and road networks for the coastal plains, with the majority of goods travelling by land from the northeast to the southeast of the country passing through the city.

Politically, the city is regarded as a Blue outpost in the White sea of the coastal plains. It is also noted as the hometown of President William Cloud.


Evergreen is the largest port on the western coast. Six hundred thousand live in the city proper and and another million and change in the metro area. Evergreen has a shorter history than most other prominent Shavanoan cities, having exploded in size in the last 20-40 years with the growth of the computing and technology industries that make up the backbone of the "new" Evergreen.

The "old" Evergreen was already an important hub of international commerce, having the advantage of Neah Bay, the best natural harbor within 500 miles. The port has grown in importance as the trade on the Ante-Pacific has grown in importance relative to the purely regional trade in the Interior Seaway, if not as fast as the technology sector.


Horwood is a city of six hundred thousand at the eastern end of North Laurasia, with a metro population of over a million. Originally built as a fortress so the House of Woodring could guard the eastern approaches to their realm, modern Horwood is a dynamic trade hub and financial center overlooking the eastern approaches to the Interior Seaway. Horwood has grown rapidly in the last decade as eastern trade has expanded.

Modern Horwood is a carefully planned, attractive city with wide tree-lined avenues built underneath the bluff holding the old fortress and city, now preserved as a historic site. Culturally, Horwood is closely related to Woodring and the rest of North Laurasia, and like the rest of subcontinent join the Triumverate when it became a defensive necessity at the end of the 18th century.

Horwood has the coldest climate of any major Federation city, which may have somewhat limited its growth.

Jenkins City

Jenkins City is oldest and southernmost major city in Laurasia. Three hundred and fifty thousand citizens call this city home, with another million in the metro area. The city's economy is built around cattle and agriculture from the southern plains, oil refining from the fields in the valley between the Red River and Angel River, and also regional trade and international trade on some southern shipping lanes.

It is most famous as a cultural center. Jenkins City was the first settlement established in Mount Shavano and Old Jenkins City still contains the National Cathedral, National Library, and the old stone First Lighthouse.

The best-known "black lab" of the Federation Military is located on a small island not far from the city proper.


Monarch is the second largest city in West Laurasia. The city itself holds 900,000 and the metro area two and a half million. Monarch outgrew her older neighbor Jenkins City by being a key trade hub on the Interior Seaway, and has in recent decades also become famous as the headquarters of the Federation space program (although the launch and landing facilities are located several hundred miles away on the plains). Like Jenkins City, Monarch is important to the oil industry.

Monarch is less cosmopolitan than the other huge international trade centers in Harbor Grove and Evergreen, but known as being a far more laid-back place. Monarch, like most Shavanoan cities, sprawls out rather than up, creating a "U" shape along several miles of coastline.

Monarch achieved it's status as a prominent port without the benefit of a superb natural harbor, instead her citizens built made one themselves through the hard work of dredging out sand and using it to create artificial peninsulas to protect the area from weather - a very impressive engineering feat for the late 19th century. They were helped by the areas mild, warm climate and the general calmness of the Interior Seaway.


Saestor is a city of 550,000 in East Laurasia, not too far from the uppermost navigable point of the Grand River. The city is an industrial center for the products of the surrounding woods and mountains.

Modern Saestor bears little resemblance to its old roots, where it was the seat of a kingdom of "highland barabarians" with dynastic ties to the House of Woodring. They had to abdicate all formal authority when they ascended to the Triumverate System - they had little choice, with Ilocanan armies at their gate - but the transition was not as smooth as it was for Woodring.

San Isabel

San Isabel, with a population of about half a million in the city proper, is not an economically or politically critical city, but is important as the first settlements of one of the five primary culture groups that make up modern Laurasia. The "land of scrub brush" that is the southern peninsula of West Laurasia was passed up in favor of sites like Navato by settlers from Jenkins City looking for new sites, and was eventually settled by another group of uncertain origin, although it is known they were Spanish speakers.

This group was, in contrast to the conquering Spanish Empire, a peaceful group fleeing religious persecution. They were late joiners the Federation, not claiming membership until the 1840s; the last to join on the main continent, although preceding the Rilshkanii Archipelago. Culturally, this group was well on the way to fusion with the Jenkins City group before finally becoming part of the same country.

St. Athan

The largest city in East Laurasia and the second largest in the entire Federation, with population of just over nine hundred thousand and a metro area coming up not too far short of three million. St. Athan was the first settlement established in East Laurasia, and the colonists did not share the same origin as the group that settled Jenkins City and then spread across West Laurasia, being one of the first groups to join the Triumverate System during the Old War. As a result, it is something of a cultural capital for the eastern sub-continent.

The original settlers of St. Athan were German-speaking Catholics rather than the English-speaking Protestants of Jenkins City, and it remains a rare part of the Federation where Protestants are a minority. The modern city's economy is as a minor hub for trade across the Great Sea of Gholgoth and supporting the 4th Fleet that patrols that sea.

St. Athan spans a river, with the bulk of the city on the south side in a ring around a wide open park with the ancient cathedral and modern government buildings on the "citadel" at it's heart.


Woodring is the oldest major city in North Laurasia. In the present day, about 700,000 people call it home with a metro area of nearly two million. Woodring is most famous as the seat of the old Imperial house of North Laurasia, which abdicated all real power centuries ago but retains cultural significance.

Woodring exists at a fairly northern latitude, with long winter nights, although thanks to the currents of the Interior Seaway the city itself is temperate. The Silver River flows through the city, and the streets are lined with trees; the trees are grown and the buildings made so that the appear to grow together, forming a unique and famous architectural style.

Woodring is less important as an economic and more as a cultural center in the modern day, with no fewer than three internationally recognized universities inside the ancient city wall. It also serves as a hub for trade coming up the Seaway to North Laurasia and a state capital.