This close to the Sound it’s dangerous to be at ground level at night. The Spires are the skeletons of skyscrapers, colonized and maintained by vertical tribes of humans knit together into loose self-sufficient ecosystems.

At the top tend to live the water tribes, those groups who perform the vital task of collecting, storing, and husbanding rainwater. In many Spires, the top half-dozen stories are taken up with elaborate jerry-rigged storage tanks fed by tubes, funnels and pipes. The water tribes tend not to put too much effort into weapons or defense (although they have some guards) as they have the security of knowing that all the fractious tribes below them would unify to destroy anyone who threatened that Spire’s precious water supply, or sought to take more than their fair share.

The bottom levels are usually given over entirely to fortifications manned by war-tribes whose task it is to keep the Mad and the Esoterics and raiders from rival tribes at bay. Their tools are weapons and ammunition, and they often include individuals with the know-how to repair or fabricate such weapons and ammunition.

The mid levels contain the rest; scavenger tribes who risk the ruins to bring back food and tools and other necessities, raiding tribes who sally forth to take such things from those who already have them, and the general population of cooks, technicians, children, entertainers, seers and others who make life for the rest worth living.


The Coldest War ardhanari