Location Profile: New Zhopolis

Here we go, the capital city of the planet Zhop, the biggest city on Zhop, and one of the biggest cities in the entire Cloudy Cuckoo Cosmos. Seriously, this place is big. Bigger than many countries, even. There’s like fifty million residents there. It’s crazy.

Geography

New Zhopolis is located far north on the planet Zhop, almost at the north pole. Many call it the top of Zhop due to this. To the west and southwest is the ocean, a dark ocean with many ice floes that are often broken up to allow traffic to pass through and to the docks along the coast. The lands outside the city are flat, empty ground, with tiny villages here and there at stops leading to New Zhopolis.

The city is connected by a vast subway network that meets at the center, the biggest and richest business district of New Zhopolis. The largest businesses are headquartered there, as is the city’s police and military outfit, the Zhopian Guard. Skyscrapers tend to tower over the area, some with apartments, while many rich business leaders hold offices there. This district is also where the seat of the Zhop government is located, with the office and mansion of the president of New Zhopolis and all of Zhop there.

Surrounding this district is an artificial field and forest, constructed to separate this district from the others. The forest is quite dense—denser than most real forests on Zhop—and many thieves and crooks able to hide there for quite a while. This place is regularly combed, however, both by the Zhopian Guard and by private guards of rich residents, as many of the rich have mansions in these parks, though many are placed in more open field areas instead of the forested areas.

To the west are the docks along New Zhopolis’ coast, which includes shipyards for both sea ships and sky ships plus all sorts of vehicles. New Zhopolis’ far west is a district for the poor, poorly-kept and generally in a state of collapse. This includes the smaller Crumb District, an abandoned area once set aside by the government to lure the homeless there under pretense of free housing, only to then arrest and imprison them.

Northeast of that poor district is the Schalindra District, a destitute area of collapsing and rotten buildings and a foul sewer system connected by wayward pipes to the subway system. It’s here the Schalindras are usually kept in check and prevented from infesting the rest of the city.

Between the western poor district and the center is a small residential district for middle-class residents. This is mostly high-rise apartments, some rather cheap, but some houses are here as well. Of note is the Place for the Placeless, a house opened up by its owner to the homeless to give them a place to stay.

Northern New Zhopolis is an expansive poor district, similar to the western one but with slightly more development. The beginnings of subways have started construction but haven’t gone very far, partly from disruption by Schalindra from the nearby Schalindra District and partly from the lack of it being lucrative.

South of this district is another business district, this one rather diverse—there are some businesses with an eye towards the poor, either helping them or exploiting them, while elsewhere are standard businesses just looking to survive. To its west is the rich district, an area where many of the rich live, and so some businesses near it are geared towards rich patrons. The rich district is mostly mansions with great lawns around them, though a few expensive businesses have set up shop there, too. It composes just about the entire eastern side of New Zhopolis.

The south of New Zhopolis is composed of a fairly wealthy business district, situated between the docks to the west and the rich district to the east, and south of that is a suburban district with many idyllic, picturesque houses with trim yards, often designed identical to one another.

History

The idea of New Zhopolis had been around for centuries, and many times snowbles tried to set it up, but it never lasted until after Zhop and Derantu made contact. Snowbles convinced many nations that put them in danger and that they needed to create a unified front in case Derantu tried anything. This led to the formation of the Zhopian Guard, with New Zhopolis as its headquarters, and before long all the nations of Zhop were part of it—whether they liked it or not.

Although New Zhopolis and the Zhopian Guard leads every nation on Zhop, this control is very loose and generally those nations do whatever they want as long as they pay money and send troops to the Guard. Many Zhopian Guard outposts at other nations hardly do anything. When nations have a problem, whether internally or a dispute among multiple nations, New Zhopolis usually leaves them to solve the problem themselves.

Culture

New Zhopolis is very much invested in capitalism. Everyone is out for themself. The ideal is that if you have an idea and capital and are ruthless enough you can become rich. That’s not entirely true, but you could certainly make someone already rich even richer. Distrust surrounds the city, and cleeple often don’t trust outsiders or even insiders. Politicians, business leaders, and even friends are seen as corrupt.

Yet residents are proud of New Zhopolis for being such a big, bustling city. There may be problems here and there, but the Zhopian Guard keeps things running smoothly. It’s believed anyone can make it in the city with enough work, and even if that’s not true, it’s seen as a point of pride.

The president of New Zhopolis leads both the city and the planet, with a congressional body being elected by the citizens of New Zhopolis to lead just the city. The president also appoints many cleeple to various positions in government. This is often from a pool of cleeple known to one another, many living at New Zhopolis’ center business district or the rich district.

The economy is constantly robust but always striving to be stronger, very capitalistic and quite unregulated. Just about the only regulations in place are to promote wealth, although there are some to diminish global warming. But I mean, come on, the main leaders are made of snow. There is very little in place to help the poor—no safety net or programs to assist the needy.

New Zhopolis is not a nice place, but it’s a powerful place. For the residents of the city, they believe that if you can make it there, big deal, everyone’s rich anyway, it’s super easy.

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