Welcome to Rivenloss, where I hope to share stories both big and small. This is the setting for my steampunk urban fantasy novels as well as some short stories. It’s a pretty big place and full of fantastic adventure. Let me give you the lay of the land.
Founding a Haven for Humanity
Hundreds of years ago, the Dreamless City of Rivenloss was founded by the Steam Meisters as a haven for humanity. It was a time of sudden and unanticipated terramorphic change. Overnight, plains became mountains; lakes ran to salt and ash; seas flooded over the hillsides; and the world changed.
Contact with other cities was lost, and no one knows if cities besides Rivenloss remain.
Fleeing to the City
Only the most courageous folk stayed in the farms, fields, and mines to provide sustenance for the cityfolk. The original city was quickly overwhelmed with refugees, so a second, much larger wall was constructed to protect the growing population. Soon that wall was not enough to encircle the city, and five more walls were built in the ensuing decades as the city grew.
Ramshackle houses now stretch seven- and eight-stories above the crowded streets to shelter the descendants of those original refugees. Layer by layer, Rivenloss continues to stretch closer to the stars.
Fading into Myth
The Steam Meisters disappeared, and their stories fade to myth. Today, the once-glorious realms of the Steam Meisters lie in ruins beyond the Seventh Wall, the gear and mortar bones of a vast civilization crumbling to dust. Grand alchemical discoveries and mathematical formulae are lost in the passage of time.
Remaining Beacon of Hope
Beyond the Seventh Wall are the monsters. Giant behemoths roam the wastelands, leviathans swim the seas, and drakes circle hungrily overhead. In the middle of such desolation remains one beacon of hope: Rivenloss, the Dreamless City, stretching for days in each direction.
Outposts are dim lights on the horizon, struggling for the survival of not only themselves but the city they serve. Travel is a fool’s adventure. Few who pass beyond the Seventh Wall ever return.
Why is it called the Dreamless City? It may be the multitude of folk living there, always bustling to and fro, all hours day and night. It may be the smoky gloom overhead from row house chimneys, the furnaces of Grand Foundries, and the Cogsworks smokestacks.
Or it may be the odd phenomena of dreamlessness that affects most cityfolk.