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Tampa was a busy metropolis in the human era. When humankind was replaced by Luperci, the city became populated with their abandoned dogs. All manner of breeds and hybrids live here, but it is hardly harmonious: Tampa is wracked with gang violence over territory and limited resources. It is ruled by anarchy, so only the strong survive - and even then they do not survive for long.
|Name Meaning||"sticks of fire"|
|Name Origin||language of the Calusa, a Native American tribe|
|Date of Founding||1849 (by humans)|
|Primary Species||Dog, all breeds|
Tampa is a southern US city located on the west coast of Florida, on the Gulf of Mexico. In human times, it was one of the largest cities in the Unites States; in present day, Luperci have reclaimed the territory and it remains a densely populated area. It has a humid subtropical climate, with frequent thunderstorms during the summer and temperatures rarely dropping below freezing during winter. Average highs range from 70 to 90 °F (21 to 32 °C) year round, and lows range from 52 to 76 °F (11 to 24 °C). The Hillsborough River provides the area with freshwater; it is otherwise bordered by several saltwater bays leading to the gulf. Palm trees and citrus trees grow here, and there are swampy areas outside the city limits.
- extreme heat during summer months
- coastal storms and hurricanes
- mosquito-born illnesses
- flooding, including flash floods
- building collapse
- severe thunderstorms and lightning strikes
- wildlife such as alligators, snakes, poisonous spiders
- disease and starvation
Several founding members of Cour des Miracles came from here, sailing north from Florida seeking a better life. Families and characters that originated here:
- Benoît Fauchelevent families
- Takekuro family
- Trouillefou family
- Jacquez Trouillefou
- Ruri Aceline
- Sylvie Ciel
- Éponine Fauchelevent
- Gavroche Benoît?
- Orin Takekuro
- Niro Takekuro
The prevailing culture mimics gang warfare of human times; roving bands of Luperci (commonly referred to as troupes) battle over territory, namely favorite buildings and landmarks such as the Sunshine Skyway Bridge, MacDill Air Force Base, Busch Gardens amusement park, and the Tampa International Airport.
Dogs are likely to gather in groups of a similar breed and size, forming small closely-knit packs that are frequently overturned before they can establish themselves. Family values are largely ignored here, as the lack of food makes it difficult to support a mate and children. Instead, pups are often abandoned by their mothers after being weaned, especially if they are born with any sort of defects such as blindness. If they are strong, they may survive to adulthood on their own. Those families that do stick together are often fiercely loyal, appreciating what it means to have a surname and blood relatives.
Dogs are by far the dominant species here, a vast mixture of breeds originating from human times. Very few are still purebred, of course, but there are small pockets of families that have chosen to keep their line pure. Several characters of collie ancestry have since migrated to 'Souls. Wolves and coyotes are also present in the city, but to a much lesser extent -- hybrids are more likely. Red wolves are the most common wolf variant, since it is a southern climate. Mexican wolves and Northeastern Coyotes are not uncommon.
The Luperci virus is widespread, and many of the city dwellers find Optime form to be their preference for navigating buildings and streets. However, there is no overall culture here, so individuals do as they please.
English is by far the most common language, but Spanish and French are widespread as well. The Tampa area is a melting pot of various cultures, so foreigners arriving by ship and having to learn English for the first time happens on a regular basis.
The skyscrapers are crumbling around them, but the Luperci here still dwell in human buildings whenever they can. Some set up camp in playgrounds or parking garages, preferring the wider spaces; others sleep in the streets, always wary of a possible ambush. Larger families and successful gangs will claim an entire building or block to themselves, and live in a more civilized fashion. Loners can take refuge in hollowed-out automobiles, railroad cars, or airplanes.
Using the buildings and simple weaponry is usually as advanced as the Tampa natives get. The exception is sailing; there are immigrants from other countries with knowledge of boat-building and navigation, so sailing is a common practice. Fishing is also one of the few ways Luperci can feed themselves here, so rowboats, nets, and spears are prized possessions. Medicine is limited; amputations are common, as well as disfiguring injuries from battle or collapsing buildings.
- Able-bodied canines band together to stake a claim over a building or food source, and defend it daily.
- Disfiguring scars or amputations show how tough a canine is and how hard they fight, something to brag about.
- Traditional family values are a luxury few can afford. Adoption is viewed with contempt; pity is a weakness.
- Birth defects result in abandonment, as a mother can't afford to feed a pup that may not survive anyway.
- Sailing and fishing are the most advanced skills found in the city.
- The keeping of livestock or companion animals is unheard of; the resources do not exist.
- Literacy is rare, as reading and writing is a luxury. Families with books cherish them.
Survival of the fittest. There is no overall ruler or structure here -- anarchy reigns. Troupes and family groups rarely exceed twenty in number, as it is exponentially more difficult to secure enough food for them all, especially if they are having litters. There is a great deal of pressure on families to dump young children that would drag down the rest of the troupe -- and mothers often choose the safety of the group over the uncertain future of striking out on their own with a litter.
There is no inherent morality here -- killing someone to take their food is commonplace, and does not faze most canines here. Adoption is almost unheard of, and is viewed derisively as a fool's pity (an abandoned pup should be strong enough to survive on its own, so the adopter is either wasting their time or will end up starving themselves). Families that wish to protect their pups can choose to leave the city by boat, braving the open waters instead of facing the dangerous streets.
Because of the wide variety of hybridization here, Luperci tend to gather in groups of a similar breed or language, something to unify them. Mateships are rare, as alliances crumble easily and most Luperci would rather not commit to anything long-term. There is little trust here, and starting a new gang is easier than joining an existing one. Outsiders such as immigrants or full-blooded grey wolves are regarded with open suspicion.
There is no overall belief system, but individuals are free to practice whatever they want. Atheism is prevalent here, as the harsh city life does not allow for weakness or pacifism.
History relevant to 'Souls
- Jacquez Trouillefou is born and abandoned here, loses his arm in an accident, grows up to be a troupe leader.
- Ruri Aceline is born blind and abandoned here, taken in by Jacquez, joins his troupe.
- Éponine Fauchelevent and Gavroche Benoît? are born here, Jacquez's first children. They remain in Tampa after the others leave.
- Jacquez and Ruri win control of a ship and decide to sail north with their troupe. Jontae de l'Or is conceived. Most of the troupe are lost at sea before they reach 'Souls.
- Orin Takekuro and Niro Takekuro are lost in Tampa, read stories of Jacquez, sail after him and arrive at 'Souls.
- Sylvie Ciel (Ruri's half-sister) is born here, abandoned and set adrift in the ocean, survives to wash ashore at 'Souls.