Gobopolis is the result of several dozen goblin clans coming together to form an underground city, squabbling about who should be in charge and how the place should be designed, and then digging tunnels for six hundred years without ever agreeing on anything.
Population: Ten million, approximately. Goblin birth rates are frightening, but then so are goblin death rates. A plague or fungus famine might cut the city’s population by 25% in a few years, but a new drug that encourages romance might have the opposite effect.
Area: Several hundred miles of tunnels – this one is also quite hard to estimate. Tunnels tend to loop back on themselves, intersect and divide, and lead to dead-ends for no obvious reason; partly this is due to the goblin love for unnecessary complexity, and partly due to historic reasons which are no longer clear (Well, we were going to connect up those two neighborhoods all the way, but we couldn’t get a permit stamped at the last minute and the whole project was abandoned with only 100 feet to go.) The other thing to keep in mind is that tunnels collapse, or are flooded, or are simply abandoned, on a regular basis; while other tunnels are constantly under construction, making change more constant than stability. Maps of specific tunnels are usually useless after a couple of years; only general maps of neighborhoods and major thoroughfares are really practical.
Elevation: The deepest tunnel known to city officials is the Really Far Down Line, at approximately twenty miles below the surface. Construction on this line has been historically slow due to the long commute for workers, bad air, drainage (everything in Gobopolis seeps downhill), and other construction hazards like wyrms and magma. Current projections estimate that the Really Far Down Line will be finished only about a century behind schedule! For the time being, however, the RFD does not actually connect anywhere to anywhere else, and the city official who started the project is dead, so no one is really sure what it’s for. It’s really far down, though, and that’s exciting enough to keep working on it!
Sub-Geography: Several underground lakes and rivers exist within the city and are popular destinations for sight-seeing. The Big Stair tunnel is a central(ish)-located, massive, vertical tube with a spiral ramp, that rises from the lower tunnels up toward the surface, and many other important tunnels radiate outward from there; the center of the tunnel is a popular place for daredevil goblins to test various flying devices and rope swinging, and the bottom of the tunnel, known as the Big Splat, is a graveyard popular with scavengers. Gobopolis is large enough to contain several different kinds of rock, including basalt and lava tubes, limestone caverns, and solid granite; it is generally agreed that granite is the most fun to tunnel through, since you have to use explosives.
Political Structure: The most important gob in the city is the Mayor. No one is actually sure what a mayor is supposed to do, but they agree that he must get paid the most, so this is a highly-desired position. Terms have no official limit, but no mayor has ever lasted more than five years without being assassinated or driven from office by scandal. Below the mayor is the City Council, roughly fifty upper-class gobs who traditionally buy or blackmail their seats from predecessors, and the Assemblage, which consists of 1,516 elected representatives from around the city. Council meetings are notoriously secretive, decadent, and self-serving, while Assemblage meetings almost invariably devolve into small riots, and are generally considered quite entertaining by the general populace. Many gobs make a living by setting up booths outside the Grand Assemblage Hall and selling rotten produce and stink bombs for throwing, noisemakers, and homemade pornographic literature depicting Assemblagers engaged in various unlikely acts.
Utilities: Every goblin needs access to water, fresh(ish) air, food, transportation, and light/heat sources. Many of these essentials can be purchased from local city utility agencies, with the right forms and proper bribes; some must be scavenged, bartered for, or stolen from richer neighbors. Glow bottles and rods are a popular source of dim illumination, and may contain living glow worms (a bit spendy, but they last longer) or merely glow-worm-juice (more common). Heat is generally obtained by burning coal and garbage. Fairly ingenious systems exist to improve ventilation, but need constant maintenance to remain useful. Water and air pipes are constant targets for resource theft, and many gobs make a living by installing hidden “leech” plumbing to divert flow from public pipes into homes. The vast majority of gobs would be unable to get to work without some form of transportation, as the ever-shifting popularity of trendy neighborhoods means that goblins almost never live anywhere for practical reasons such as proximity. Some goblins buy or have cobbled together their own transportation devices, and a few use the laughable public transportation system, but most of them rely on local commuter cars, jam-packed with customers and poorly maintained.
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