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The Moving City....
Step into the world of C.L.A.Y, set several generations after the collapse of civilization. The survivors of the apocalypse live in tribal societies and tell stories of the day the cities came alive and devoured all who lived in them.
This narrative artbook is the first creation of this kind by a multidisciplinary artist Natasha Skult, and writer Dr. Petter Skult. The world of C.L.A.Y. was initially built as a narrative setup for the RPG C.L.A.Y. - The Last Redemption, however with the passion for worldbuilding and interactive storytelling, it was quickly decided to expand this world to other mediums not just digital games. Therefore, this artbook is the first of its kind, introducing the lore and the culture of this unique sci-fi world!
C.L.A.Y.: The Moving City is set in a larger, original science fiction universe developed by Petter Skult, with a deep history, years of world-building and multiple stories written for various media (video game, board game, novel, short story). The titular Moving City is just a small part of this larger project, one unique aspect of an already unique world.
In the world of C.L.A.Y., an apocalypse many generations ago caused the downfall of humanity. At the core of the apocalypse, and at the core of humanity’s many advancements, is what is known as living clay. A kind of smartmatter, capable of self-repair, independent energy-generation and reprogrammable by words alone, it is as ubiquitous in the post-post-apocalyptic world of C.L.A.Y. as it was before the fall; even if the knowledge of how it is made is long lost.
The Moving City is a city made out of living clay: it is forever expanding in one direction while it cannibalizes itself in the other, crawling across the landscape like an inescapable urban blight. Outsiders are forbidden entry by protocols set in motion hundreds of years ago, enforced by an army of automated bots, while those who have been trapped inside the city since the beginning have been forced, over generations, to adapt to a nomadic lifestyle. Their lives are ruled by ritual and a strange symbiotic relationship with the city’s machine overlords.
Within the walls of the city that is unlike any other, the golems roam in hunger for human blood, while the chosen ones may control the city through ritual and alchemy. It is time to uncover the secret stories of the Moving City!
Here are some of many characters who will enchant you with their personal stories and encounters:
All of the living cities are long dead – all save one. Although it once had a name, that name has been forgotten long ago. Now it is simply known as the Moving City. When the other cities came alive and consumed their makers – the great cataclysm known as the Hunger, which ended the world of the Ancients – the Moving City simply kept following whatever order it had been given: an order to expand. As it expanded in one direction, it cannibalized itself in the other – migrating, ever so slowly, across the continent.
Trapped inside the Moving City are the descendants of its original inhabitants, a tribe that calls itself the Elbéar. Forbidden from entering the endless, gleaming skyscrapers the City builds, they move as nomads, following the City as it moves. They live in a strange symbiosis with the City’s robotic caretakers – the Bozes – exchanging their labour for safe passage. For no-one except the Elbéar are allowed inside the City’s perimeter, which is guarded by fierce Hunter-Killer bots, patrolling the skies.
But sometimes, by chance or glitch, an Outsider manages to make their way inside the City’s perimeter, avoiding the fierce flying hunter-killer drones that guard the sky. Often this happens when the City paves over another human settlement, careless of who might already live in its path. Whenever that happens, it is cause for celebration among the Elbéar: a chance to exchange stories and to learn about the world outside. For the Outsider, it means accepting and adjusting to the fact their previous life is lost to them forever, as they are adopted into the tribe and taught the ways of the Moving City.
Natasha is a CEO & Creative Director of MiTale, a game development company from Finland focusing on narrative-driven experiences in mixed reality and gamification. She is an active member of the Finnish and international games industry as a Chairperson of IGDA.org. Besides industry work, she is also active in academic research and teaching courses in game design and game (digital) art production at University of Turku.
Besides working in own studio on narrative-driven games, Petter has been working as game designer and narrative designer with many game studios worldwide. He has PhD in English literature on post-apocalyptic literature and post(post-)modernism from Åbo Akademi University (Turku, Finland).