The t is not a standard t sound, it's somewhere between t and th. You press the tip of your tongue against your top teeth and the sound quickly and harshly. Don't worry if it's hard to get at fist, I'm still practicing.

For as long as I've been working on Shattered World, Ventrair has been my one great constant. It was born from my frustration with places like Stormwind, Ascalon and well most any MMO capital city I've ever seen. Most recently some thoughts of it's underlying content have been informed by The Inevitable City, though primarily on the lower level as the high level hasn't changed at all.

I could give a dry talk about how Ventrair is big, gothic, and bustling. But that's not what makes Ventrair the dream worth fighting for. Not what brings me back to it again and again. It's so much more than the scale of the city, or the design of the architecture. So much more than the density of content and NPCs.

Ventrair is a society, a living, breathing society that's still unsure of it's identity and it's role in the world. It's people huddled in stadium seating in a massive cathedral to see and pay respects to a woman who has been a vegetable for ten years. And they do this because it was giving them their freedom, their emotions, and the whole of their lives since her appearance that left her in that coma. Their mysticism steeped in duty and sacrifice, in this deification of the role of a parent, the role that has been fundamentally missing from their culture for millions of years.

It's a dozen factions vying to be heard in the council and on the streets. Each with something important to say, each with something important to contribute, but all screaming at the top of their lungs to not get drowned out by the hoard. A fertile political ground, waiting for the rise of it's great leaders.

Thousands of people mulling about the two main streets of the market district, hawking wares in bazaar style and opening disparate shops right next to one another. The deals made and broken up and down this street deciding the future for so many of it's citizens. But also the occasional rickety shop or eccentric salesman, that makes shopping with them more than just a matter of consumerism.

It's the story of a brand new influx of people, full adults who may not have existed the day before. Citizens who may not have had any concept of life before Ventrair, who have no appreciation of what has been built for them. But most terrifying of all is that they are the future; their decisions will shape the entire world that all of them will have to live in for better or for worse. Two generations of beings attempting to coexist as their entire concept of the world and what it means differ by huge extremes.

There is so much to this city. Their four sports teams that regularly compete in front of massive audiences. The Mercenarium training sim centers. Residential housing standing in rows of mismatched buildings, each one representing not only someone's personality, but a serious investment in their own ability to produce and compete. A city should mean many things, to many people, it doesn't belong to just one person or group. Everybody who inhabits it should have their part in writing it's story, line by line, event after event. Those are the stories worth writing, the stories worth remembering.

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