Map of the urban area of the city of Zhlindu

The City of Zhlindu

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The Map

This map does not follow the color convention of the remaining maps in that the multistory construction is dark green instead of red, much as it would look if seen from space. The red on this map are the named megastructures such as the Rikannon and Tweignmonkt. This is a copy of a paper map distributed by a streetcar company about the time of first contact back in 2271ad. Since then the area of farmland to the northeast on the Imoneeya River has been flooded and the Garveskuul channel has been widened. The streetcar routes can barely be discerned on this scale (the paper is about 3 x 6 feet) and today many of them are routes in the city's tube system. A few of the tiny lines extending radially into the 'suburbs' are major streets that also contain tubeway lines. The longest lines extend about 20 miles from the downtown area, far smaller than the systems in the Yakhan or Trenst. Today, as then, the entire volcanic plug is covered with at least 30 stories of construction, and that extends for several miles beyond the mountain in some directions.

Some areas of urban development are newer than the original map, and it was touched up using data from the gateship Almon's Crossing in 3817. That white has not faded as much as the original map. It is unfortunate that so much of the data from the gateship has been lost, but we are fortunate that someone added it to this copy at the time. The map had been scrolled for at least 200 years and it took some care to unroll it so it could be copied. The mapmakers of Zhlindu itself generally only cover the downtown area and give no coverage to the 'low city' that actually holds two thirds of the urban population. Most of the population of the 'low city' do have some land and garden space and do not consider themselves urban. By the Kassikan's convention they are because they grow less than they eat.

We have a view of the city, also from the same era.


Culture

There is a saying 'You can get some of the people straight some of the time - except in Zhlindu' and there is some truth to that. The city is so dense and there is so much larorlie that the dense and humid air carries the fragrance of the bloom thruout the city and one will get high from the fragrance alone. If you don't want to get stoned, don't visit Zhlindu during the bloom, weeks Kyebenwae thru Ekendosa most years. The yaag consumption in the city is legendary, but more dangerous drugs are less common than in the Highlands, and many other basins. However, remain cautious about what you take.

The main attraction in Zhlindu is the music. There are thousands of halls and you can't walk a half mile on a commercial street at any time of the week without passing one that is active. There are tens, maybe even hundreds of thousands of bands. There are hundreds that have been together longer than humans have lived on Centorin. Nearly everyone in the city attends a live performance weekly. Note: that is more than will attend a live musical performance this year on the entire planet of Centorin. Zhlindu is famous for hard and powerful music, but all genres can be found and the people at the tops of their charts have been practicing their craft for millenia. When you first arrived on Kassidor you were astounded by the music in the Yakhan. Prepare to be astounded all over again. Even if you have an extensive collection of recordings, you will find the real thing shows you just how thin a data stream is actually recorded.

Pneumatic amplification was invented by the wizard Klikenstra on the Isle of Zhlindu in Kassidor's 40th century, 317bc by our calendar. His is still the leading pneumatic audio laboratory on the planet, and RankZapp is the leading electronic audio-visual manufacturer on the planet, producing devices so advanced they cannot be legally imported to Centorin. The music and the industry drive each other, and music makes up a large part of the economy. Four fifths of all music recorded in the basin is recorded here and a third of all copies are manufactured here. One fifth of the recordings in the basin are actually sold in urban Zhlindu.

On a related note, the medical science devoted to hearing is the finest in Zhlindu, and the Zhlindu University of Audiology is the Kassidor's leading research center. Some of the music made in the city cannot be fully appreciated until youíve had some work done at a place like that. If you do however, you will probably need ear protection once you return to Centorin.

It is interesting to watch the heavy industry below the Hyadrain valley. The Khovike works casts ceramics as large as small ships in stone caverns lit by fires stoked with whole tree trunks. A wide canal filled with big ships winds between the factory foundations, completely indoors and lit by great torches the size of a standard lighthouse. But be warned that the air quality is not what you will find higher up in the city. However, the noise level is silence compared to a factory on Centorin, even though it is loud by Kassidorian standards. Almost all technological products and a third of the housewares and clothing made in the basin are manufactured in the central city.

Drinking vessels are high art in the whole basin and that art reaches it's peak among the craftsmen of the upper reaches of the Karthuum valley. There you will find pieces that you won't find in the remainder of human space outside a museum. Even if you have no use for one, take a browse thru the area just to observe.

Instead of amusement parks, Zhlindu has a form of recreation called simply 'trips'. You wonít get the full effect without taking some psychedelics, but the experience is enhanced with such things as moving floors, glass floors, projections and music. There are numerous environments in most of them. There are actors and actresses thruout with various roles. Sex is part of the experience at most of them with plenty of dens and furniture to aide the mood.

Zhlindu is not one of the cities where you commonly see people going at it on the walkway railing. There are fewer clubs where you can watch live sex than in the Highlands. The sex clubs in Zhlindu, as in all the basin, are called 'Meeting Houses'. Most have a public room where there is a lot of petting and mingling, but private rooms for the act itself. Most will allow nudity in the public room, but the custom of blatantly showing off the body that is common in the Yakhan is not as common in Zhlindu. The undressing ritual that is part of sex in the Yakhan is not required here.


Environment

Today there is a tube system that reaches most of this map, but most of the population cannot afford to use it more often than yearly. At the present rate of construction, it will be connected to the system in the Highlands by approximately 4250ad. Until then the city can be reached from the gatehead by sailing ship from Beltora in the Highlands in a bit less than an Earth year.

Almost all big cities of Kassidor have multiple street levels in their centers. In Zhlindu there are multiple levels of streetcar and cargo roadways also. The layout of the city is random in three dimensions and with the larorlie in bloom you may find yourself hopelessly lost and loving every minute of it. On the other hand, if your legs are not prepared for thousands of stairways under gravity 10% higher than Centorinís, you are going to have a very difficult time getting anywhere in the central city. The city is built on a two thousand foot high volcanic plug that has been eroded into spires and pinnacles almost everywhere. Much of the original shape of the land cannot be seen any more because of the construction and growth over it. Downtown Zhlindu is the densest human settlement known, and as a first order approximation, only residential space reaches daylight.

There are abandoned areas in the cubic miles of space in central Zhlindu, and they may be the lairs of drug burn-outs called scrounges, dangerous escaped carnivores and millions of wevn, the animal that fills the rat's ecological niche. There may be rotting staircases, sharp shards of broken machinery, toxic vapors and choking dust. On the other hand, Zhlindu is too new to have a severe problem with dangerous slime-rots or breathing-wort, though there are some toxic glow-warts and slime warts in the damp spots. While exploring on your own in Zhlindu, stay in the lighted tunnels unless you see a fair amount of traffic on them. Not all public paths in Zhlindu are lit, even if they are not abandoned, and people who know them well will walk them by feel and sound without bothering to light their torch. If you've gotten this far across the planet, you know the language and you know you are in an area where much of the population doesn't believe in Centorin, so using your comm as a light will attract a lot of attention.

On the upper levels of the city, you can find paths with spectacular views. Up there is where the rich live, but almost all the paths are open to the public and many have street cooks even up here. The food and drink will be much more expensive than fifty stories lower, but it will be tasty and potent. Once you get wasted up here, BE CAREFUL, the leading cause of death in Zhlindu is falling from a high walkway while too stoned to know better. During the bloom, you don't need to drink a drop to get there. Focus! Hold onto that railing, up here it will be strong and in good repair.


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