This map shows the city and a little of the surrounding countryside. We have shown most of the city as white, but in truth most of it should probably be red because almost all of it is multistory hangleaf trees and a lot of it is over one to three stories of ruins. The rest of the land is almost all smallholds or lon pond. Small green spots in the lon are villages or other spots of dry land, when they appear in rows, they are on a dike.
The land is quite flat, except for the Borl ridge which is up to a thousand feet above the lon. The ridges in the city itself are only a couple hundred feet high, not much more than the hangleaves growing on them. The Karedarzin goes thru four locks on it's way around the city, but the total drop is only eleven feet, so the water power available is not that great, in spite of the size of the river.
The sites of a few important ruins have been marked on the map. If they were all marked, most of the white area would be black with them. The canals called the raidways were presumed to have been built by the Pikosas, but there is evidence that they predate that era by almost a century. They have been maintained in modern times for commerce and are always filled with lon-laden barges making their way to the city. Traffic on the Karedarzin has to stay in narrow channels because of the lon plains, and there are often islands to mark the boundaries. The people of the city grow very little of what they eat, but at least a million a day paddle miles into the lon to pick their own and catch the fish that live in the ponds.
Borlunth is the second poorest big city on the planet after Hrrst, and probably the most primitive. There is modern grown housing now, and a lot of it. The city looks like a solid patch of old-growth forest. The only crystal buildings are along the north and south waterfronts and along the ridgelines. Those three points surround a tangled mass of ruins overgrown with living apartment towers. The Klagg walls have been breached and some plank ways have been added to give the entire area a rough and tangled grid of streetcar service. It is still all animal drawn. Only 38% of the population believes that tubeways exist, even though there is an extensive system in Trenst, only a three year journey from Borlunth up the Karedarzin.
Most people in Borlunth live in very little space, having only a comfortable bed, a closet, a water closet, enough room to stand up to change clothes. If one is willing to climb at least ten floors of stairs, more space can be had, but there are no elevators in the white areas of the city and getting water up high in the trees can be a grueling job. More than half the urban 'apartments' in Borlunth don't have kitchens. Most urban people have plumbing and if you get this far (it's at least an Earth year from the gatehead) the better inns are now as modern as you saw in all the major cities on your way here.
The poorest of Borlunth live in the ruins under the roots of all the great apartment trees that make up the modern city. In an urban area that has been the center of a basin the size of the whole Indian subcontinent for most of the last twelve thousand years, you are going to find a lot of ruins. In many places three floors of ruins (each of a different civilization) have been excavated and re-enforced and put to use. Cave-ins do happen and some apartment trees lean because of them. The ventilation is very poor, the smell of earth and fungus and refuse is heavy. In many cases the rooms are put to their original use, in many cases the structure is re-purposed in creative ways. Many old religious temples have been converted into performance space or meeting space.
Here and there some of the ruins are preserved and there are museums devoted to one or another culture, with the one devoted to the Pikosas being the most well known. There are about 1800 active digs in the whole urban area, but most are not very active, ie. one guy gets to them for a couple hours every other week. You will probably see even more important historical space if you go home with one of the poor. For most of history there has been little active historical research going on in Borlunth. It was neglected by Dempala and by the Kassikan as well. That has been changing since the University of Kex established a post here in 3819ad.
The penis is the symbol of the Borlunth Basin and the city is the center of that culture. There are still columns and handrails decorated with them being manufactured today. Posters advertizing penis enhancing drugs are plastered everywhere. There are three leading brands. People make crude-local-inside-personal-joke edits to the pictures with artist paints.
If any of you ladies (or gentlemen for that matter) like to watch big boners on parade, there are many clubs in Borlunth where that is happening. In many it is the main entertainment and the most extreme can't even be described without offending the average Centorin or Earthling. We advise everyone not to walk into a place that advertizes extreme without working your way up to it.
Something of a similar scene revolves around the pointstone courts. Men play without suspension and many drooling women sit on the floor dangerously close behind them. Many of the athletes have enhanced themselves for the testosterone to build muscles. Those with delicate sensibilities might not want to hang out around pointstone, or muscleball for that matter, in Borlunth.
There is some of what most people in Borlunth call 'high' culture in Borlunth, things like music, art, cinema. Their music tends to try and imitate Zhlindu but with more aggression. They use a lot more of the plazmoid (fuzz-tone like) effect than most basins. The cinema available here is mainly from Trenst and Zhlindu. The cinema made here is hard core pornography that turns up all over human space. It is all filmed candidly in some of the clubs.
The hidden gem in Borlunth is the expressive dance. It is often performed on platforms high in the trees where the smell of the ruins isn't as strong and during the bloom, the high from the larorlie fragrance is almost as strong as you get in Zhlindu. The dance is always performed in the nude (this is Borlunth after all) but the artistry is superb if you can get past that. It is put to some of the best live music in the city, but of a style more reminiscent of the Highlands or the Old Lands or even Earth's Celtic tradition. Each dance tells a story, and a script is handed out when you come in. Performances are pricy by the standards of Borlunth, a shift of manual labor.
There are a few public vid screens at some of the larger public taps and some of the rowdier sex clubs. There is a big following for video of muscle-ball matches from Zhlindu. The local electronics industry is clearly behind that of the major basins and it's nearest neighbors. However, this basin has the largest video game industry on Kassidor and for a few hours a week you can even get thru to Centorin to download, but the three second time delay from Borlunth to the gatehead precludes any interactive play.