Sohl’s time living in the pleasant wilderness has come to an end. When he next opens his eyes, he is going to be in Triumph City.
What is Triumph City going to look like? How cyberpunk is it going to be? Is it going to be all future tech and grunge like a setting from Blade Runner, or are we going to see subtle changes as we go along like what we witnessed on Amazon’s Mr. Robot series?
I wasn’t sure what direction I wanted to go yet, but I did need a location. I started skimming over maps of Europe. Since Sohl is derived from Sol, which means Sun in Spanish, I settled on using Spain as my backdrop. I didn’t want Spain as it is today, but more as a general outline that I could make changes to and modify according to my story’s needs.
I went over to Spain’s Wiki page, and after looking through its stats, I decided to reduce Spain into a fictional city with a scale of 10 percent. Spain’s population of 47 million will become 4.7 million. It’s geographical size will go from 195,000 square miles to only 19k (or from 505,000 kilometers to 50,500). Also, wanting to keep things simple, I cut away Portugal and made Triumph City into a peninsula with three sides of it bordered by open water. Only the northern boundary will be attached to a larger land mass.
If I need additional details on economy, manufacturing or agriculture, which I don’t plan to spend a whole lot of time on in my Nightfish project, I can easily refer to the Wiki page and extract what I need. In some cases, such as in medieval novels, I will take a lot more time in world-building, but since my story is set in the near future I can use modern, real world examples. This allows me to get to writing the story faster.
Spain is comprised of a number of states (or departments). These will become Triumph City’s neighborhoods. I’m going to ignore the smaller regions up north for a moment, and focus on the larger states, beginning with Aragon and moving clockwise. I will take the state name, reverse it, twist it or turn it to create a new name that I can use in my project. Below, I am listing the geographical location, followed by the fictional neighborhood, with the actual state name in parenthesis.
Northeast – Nogara Heights (Aragon)
Extreme Northeast – Anula Beach (Cataluna)
East – Cianelle or CNL Shores (Valencia)
Southeast – Old Cantrum (Murcia)
South – Landsea Port (Andalusia)
West – Aramex Port (Extremadura)
Northwest – Neo Celiset (Castilla Leon)
Extreme Northwest – Gaitel Hills (Galicia)
Center – Neo Cantrum (Madrid)
Minor territories to the north, lesser populated and mountainous, past Neo Celiset and Nogara, from left to right:
Arbana Mountains (Cantabria)
Ajora-Osca (Pais Vasco / La Rioja combined, like Buda-Pest)
Arrava Mountains (Navarra)
As with any city, Triumph will have its good and bad neighborhoods. However, to give me more options for action scenes and heroism, I’m adjusting the crime level to that of a large city in the time of Rome. Rich people live in nice apartment buildings built right next to older, rundown apartments teeming with the poor. The affluent will have to walk by seedy places and liquor stores to get to their favorite coffee shop or leisure spa, and thieves will accost anyone they can, rich or poor, with security guards watching over most larger businesses.
To a young man who lived an idyllic life, and was jarred away from life that by great violence, Triumph will be a sharp and scary contrast. How Sohl deals with this abrupt culture shock will be a large part of his transformation, a coming of age where he must balance out his life against the inevitable background conflict that will arise between the world of purity and nature he is used to, and the world of blatant corruption and technology he has unwittingly fallen into.