Defiance Bay, originally known as New Dunryd, is the capital and largest city of the Free Palatinate of Dyrwood. It is a major port receiving trade and visitors from all over the world, billed as a city of the common people, where the most prominent and respected citizens are self-made men. It stands at the forefront of Animancers experimentation in soul magic and exemplifies the age of discovery. However, the fallout of the Saint's War destabilized the city, as Waidwen's Legacy has triggered an influx of refugees from rural areas, while animancer research generates no small amount of tension between them and reactionary elements like the Dozens.
The city was founded by gréf Edrang Hadret around 2629 AI as New Dunryd. At the time, Edrang, the new Aedyr gréf of Dyrwood, was tasked by the Emperor to build a new city for him, a seat of power in the Pearlwood Gulf, needed to cement Aedyr presence in the continent and provide official governmental structure for the growing colonist population.
Sitting at the edge of the ocean, forest, fertile farmland, and a river that runs from the coast to the White March, the port city became Aedyr's gateway to new frontier lands and the riches of Eir Glanfath, teeming with colonist, adventurers and explorers from all over the region.
It should come as no surprise that it became the focal point of the Dyrwoodan revolution staged by Admeth Hadret in response to Aedyran exploitation of the colonial frontier and direct violation of his ban on the excavation of Engwithan ruins. It was here that Admeth declared independence in 2668 AI, enjoying support from seven of nine Dyrwoodan erls, and it was here that the war was decided in 2672 AI, during the battle of Ondra's Gift. As Imperial forces landed in the district with heavy fire support, rebel units fought a delaying action waiting for the Lovers' Tide (a rare meteorological phenomenon). The Tide's appearance destroyed much of the armada and flooded districts occupied by Aedyran soldiers, signaling a victory for the rebels. Shortly after the failure of the operation, the Aedyran emperor was forced to sign a peace treaty recognizing Dyrwood's independence. New Dunryd was renamed Defiance Bay and would become the seat of power for the Free Palatinate of Dyrwood.
Shielded from the sea by an ancient adra levee that predated the city by a millennia, it was built as a series of walled sections and levees that allowed the city to expand into the bay itself. During The War of Defiance the ancient adra levee facing the Pearlwood Gulf was broken and as a result some sections of the city were flooded.
Defiance Bay has a number of distinct (large) districts with their own distinct style, sets of interiors, and unique quests/content. They are set up to be easy to navigate, both physically (pathing) and visually. Generally there's an exit from each district along each side of the map.
- First Fires: The government district, named as such to commemorate it as the place where the revolution started. It hosts the Ducal Palace, Vailian embassy, and Crucible Keep. An old, derelict temple of Woedica is also present, deliberately left to rot and decay.
- Ondra's Gift: The port district, named as such due to the fact it was built on swamps drained by imperial engineers. Protected from the sea by a vast adra levee, the district is the beating heart of the city's economy and its gateway to the world. As such, it's filled with sailors, commoners, traders, thugs, and everyone else who stands to profit from all the commerce flowing to and from the city. The scars left by the War of Defiance have been covered well.
- Brackenbury: An old residential district built beneath the water level, with a large adra levee protecting it against the adjacent river, Brackenbury was once a warehousing and shipping district that saw plenty of traffic. Ever since the revolution, noble families that did not flee to the Empire bought up real estate in the area, building mansions and proudly tracing their lineage back to imperial times. It also hosts the Hadret House, where Lady Webb and her spies operate, and Brackenbury Sanitarium, founded to research and treat ailments of the soul, and provide an asylum and safehouse for the gifted.
- Heritage Hill: Used to be one of the more prestigious districts in the city, as heroes of the revolution claimed plots up there, next to an ancient Engwithan tower and the city cemetery. Although it housed much of the city's rich families, the authorities sealed the district up when a plague of undead attacked its denizens, unable to contain the breach.
- Copperlane: Primarily a market district, with the Dozens' expedition hall, public amphitheater, and the biggest library in Dyrwood: the Hall of Revealed Mysteries.
- Aedelwan Bridge: The main entrance into Defiance Bay, leading straight to a highway bridging the Bay and Twin Elms.
- Madhmr Bridge: A grand bridge that connected the Bay to the northern erldoms, destroyed by a flash flood in 2823 AI.
The following text is shown when The Watcher first enters Defiance Bay, alongside a narration:
Defiance Bay. The city at the heart of the Dyrwood’s revolution now seems on the brink of another.
Refugees line the streets, homeless and hungry, displaced by Waidwen’s Legacy, hoping for relief within the city walls and finding none.
Dissidents congregate to protest and to heckle, calling for an end to animancy and the ouster of their duke. The city’s militiamen cast fearful looks as they patrol the streets, their hands trembling at the hilts of their weapons.
The capital of a country that had not long ago incinerated a god now appears to be a spark away from sharing the deity’s fate…
- Update #62: Production 01 - State of the Project
- The Dyrwood, Part 1: Early Colonial History
- The Dyrwood, Part 4: Hadret's Rebellion
- Forum post by Josh Sawyer
- Developer Session with Chris Avellone
- Forum post by Josh Sawyer
- Update #79: Graphics and Rendering
- Forum post by Josh Sawyer
- Forum post by Kazunori Aruga