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The largest city in the Scavenger Lands, and possibly in Creation. Your basic hive of scum and villainy. Nexus sits at the confluence of the Yanaze River, the Gray River, and the Yellow River, some six hundred miles east of Lookshy.

Page references:

Nexus Pages

Denizens of Nexus

  • The Emissary -- Mysterious enforcer of the Council's will
  • The Council -- Rulers of Nexus, in a rather hands-off fashion.

Demographic Speculation

Almost a million people (Scavenger Sons, p.105)... assuming an advanced and fertile 200 people per sq. mi. agriculture, ( a little less disciplined than Lookshy which can do 210 people/sq.mi. as the height of the Romans could in such fertile grounds)... 5000 sq. miles of farmland, radiating an average of 105 (90-120) miles out from the city into the land between the GrayRiver and YellowRiver (using a 70 degree angle between Yellow and Grey). --the autistic UncleChu

They must have a spectacular army and merchant caravan to keep all that food flowing in - not to mention astonishing granaries. --Kukla


I expect Nexus imports a lot of its food along the river; the kind of anarchic conditions which apply in Nexus would be TERRIBLE for agriculture, which requires peace and quiet and the enforcement of law in order to flourish. Wheras, without any enforcement of things like, say, boundary markers, it would be difficult for any efficient farming to flourish. --JohnBiles

Still, if you start heading outside the city, simply cuz its fertile riverland, people will be trying to grow stuff. A friend of mine who grew up in war-torn Serbia has shared vivid memories of farmers shooting at crows with sub-machine guns. Also, lots of farming got done in the wild, newly settled Americas, without the benefit of strong leadership. You're right that it's not going to be highly efficient, but it'll still be happening. Farming is good business. --UncleChu
I am willing to go out on a limb and say that early America and war-torn Serbia were not supporting 200 people per square mile on agriculture. Lookshy can do 210/square mile because it's very organized and safe. Whereas, it seems the difference in conditions ought to more heavily reduce the efficiency of agriculture around Nexus by more than 5%. --JohnBiles

Nexus isn't an anarchy. It's a rigidly-controlled dictatorship led by the Emissary (plus Entities). There aren't just 5 laws or whatever, there's pages and pages of commands they can give out whenever they please that, if countermanded, can be punished however they please. It's true that the place isn't as organized as Lookshy on the whole, but I suspect that the Entities and their various dominion-affecting powers can get at least as much done as the Gentes.
~ Shataina
The Emissary and the Council freely let people butcher each other unless it turns into full-scale war. They provide no protection against theft, fraud, etc. Their agents are highly corrupt because they have arbitrary power. The council may arbitrarily take all your property and sell you into slavery after raping you, your wife, and your children if they feel like it. What you get combines the worst features of anarchy and tyrannical rule. No matter what you do, you may at any time be subject to arbitrary imprisonment and murder or your neighbors may just slit your throat and throw you onto a dungheap. I find it completely impossible to believe that under such conditions highly organized agriculture is going to flourish the way it would in a stable, organized, peaceful (peaceful at home anyway) place like Lookshy. Sure, the Council could use its unlimited power to manage all agriculture in a tyrannical but stable manner; but that's not how they operate. They basically only interfere if things become way too chaotic or if some member of the council feels like abusing his power. --JohnBiles
Wow, thats a crazy scary view of the Council of Entities! Is that how you run them? I've never had any games in Nexus, but I guess because personally I believe in things like economic freedom and individualism, I viewed the Council as a much more libertarian group, and much more just... or at least much more detached, interfering when things are more important. Like, sure, there are abuses, but random murder and imprisonment? Nexus is a nasty place, but yeesh, scary.
As for agriculture, I do agree that Lookshy will certainly do a better job of agricultivating. I also agree that the Council probably doesn't focus on the agriculture that grows outside the city at all. Whatever comes in, comes in. I guess, ultimately, the land is still fertile enough that even with the most rudimentary agricultural processes, Nexus' surrounding lands still have a reasonable agricultural output of 200 people per square mile. They have access to supplies and fertilizers from around Creation like few other places do. --UncleChu
Well, I don't mean to depict it as the Council running through the streets three times a week hacking off heads. But it's a place where there is no way to tuck your head down and stay out of trouble. You may be subject to arbitrary loss of property and life at any time, and I do expect the council's flunkies to heavily abuse their powers, since no one can gainsay them and absolute power corrupts absolutely. And vengeance and blood feud are the primary way in which any sort of boundaries on behavior are enforced. To me, it seems like an environment where you couldn't trust anyone and in which your neighbors would have every incentive to sell you out and sabotage your activities. And even if you band with your neighbors, the rich will screw you anyway, and the government could care less if they do. Though, as I think about it, the inevitable result of this would be that all the small farmers would have been wiped out centuries ago, and instead the fields would all be giant estates worked by slave labor, in which case the rich landowners might be able to protect their lands enough to make efficient agriculture possible. Honestly, though, I can't imagine how anyone who wasn't rich would want to live in Nexus unless they have some addiction they can't feed anywhere else. --JohnBiles
Well. as I recall, there's a small problem weith the long-term keeping of slaves in Nexus? Although that could make a fun plot-arc.. we have slave colonies /just /outside the boundary markers, upon whose labor the city depends for it's survival, and a group of anti-slavers out to free them, no matter the cost. Personally, though, given the population of the city, I see it more being subsistence-level freedmen work, & indentured servants. - Molikai
I dunno. I always got the impression fairly severe excesses were stomped on. I.e. strong abuse of the council's power would obstruct trade. Similarly, really bad excesses anywhwere would tend to do what you said. No-one would come there. I tend to view it as the type of place were petty crime and corruption are rampant, but there arn't that many really huge dangers. Although you could have "company towns" which would be a kind of effective slavery. -FlowsLikeBits
Yeah, FLB! Yeah! Nasty place, but not NIGHTMARISH. A rough Chicago or New York 'hood, but not East St. Louis or *shudder* Detroit. --UncleChu
There's a problem with long-term keeping of slaves? I can't find anything to that affect in Scavenger Sons or the 2E core (my 1E core isn't handy.) Well, there's no law, and thus you lack the support structure to enforce the slavery unless you do the enforcing yourself, but I couldn't find anything that liberates slaves. --JohnBiles
As noted in the comments section of TheNexusProject/BaleOfStars, the citation you seek is in Manacle and Coin. -EJGRgunner
Ahh, the book I don't have at all. ^^;;; --JohnBiles

i remember something about the Council hiring mercenary companies as police forces. which are still mostly corrupt, of course. but the simple economic fact is this: in the long term, rampantly oppressing your workforce is really bad for business. seriously. North Korea has rock-bottom GDP because they have electricity for only 10 hours a day and its a dictatorship. dictatorships are not sustenable forms of government. not for 800 years anyway. so i would theorize that due to the exponential cost of lugging goods all the way across Creation, the bribes to the mercs and the Council, protection fees, housing taxes, etc etc, everybody is too strapped for cash trying to kill each other to have any left over for luxuries, or they live in luxury and get killed, or live in luxury and are parasites on society (criminals and artists), or get rampantly oppressed (everybody else) until they have a revolution, which probably happens on an unofficial basis every few decades. so, Nexus would be sort of like a loosely organized semi-anarchal dictatorship/oligarchy with heavy corporational control. Conditions are tolerable, but only because there is a point beyond which further oppression hurts productivity. And everybody stays in Nexus because they're too dirt-poor to move. there is probably semi-constant gang warfare, mercenary companies who are paid to be cops and have to do it because you can only subsist on bribes for so long before the Council fires you (unless you bribe them), and hordes of unwashed peasants who just sort of keep their heads down and stay quiet. and every few decades the Powers That Be get too big for their britches and there's an unofficial revolution. - Han'ya