Rozenburg. The jewel of the Sikkel Islands, the city that every year draws over a million visitors. The permanent population is a steadily growing 500,000 in 1840, and these people support (and live of) an equal number of concurrent guests.
It’s called the city of sin by some, and that’s not an exaggeration. You could find any kind of entertainment you like there, whether it is in the realm of gambling, drugs, “love”, or violence. Many of these are considered highly immoral, but in Rozenburg anything goes.
Other people call it the city of dreams, and this is just as correct. Many poor people make their fortune (or at least make a living) there, and not everything offered is destructive. Theatre companies and orchestras come to make their names, and there are all kinds of curious amusements, even family friendly ones. In addition, the city is always kept rather modern with the large amounts of funds provided by customers. This means sewers, water, and gas light is readily available, together with banks, prisons, and hospitals, everything needed for a proper life and more.
Factions of Rozenburg
There are several groups with power in Rozenburg, and for that matter, on the Sikkel Islands. These are, in short, the largest or most important ones.
The Government. There are of course British officials on the islands. They keep track of the taxes, handle the infrastructure, and decide what companies may operate on the isles. The council has five members, that together chose a governor every four years. Despite their symbolic power they are not the most powerful people on the islands.
Black Hats. So called for their broad and unusual black hats, they are the private police force of Rozenburg. They are sponsored by the collective entrepreneurs of Rozenburg, and defend their profits. Most of them are former soldiers or mercenaries that have settled down somewhat. The only exception to them staying out of unneccessary trouble is their fierce loyalty to each other. If you mess with one of them, be prepared to face the pack.
Somerset Company. Originally the same company that worked on Bermuda, this is now a unified front for all the presentable businessmen on the isles. They choose the 21 members of the committee every two years, which work to further the goals of the legal businesses, and not the least: their own business.
The Church. Surprisingly, the church has some actual power in Rozenburg. There are actually several different religions on the islands, but in the face of so much sin they manage to stop squabbling for the most part and actually work together. The majority of the clergy are christian, but a sizable portion are muslim, hindu, jewish, or even rarer faiths. The “native” priests of the “Gekozen” in particular, stand out with their mostly christian, but heavily influenced by spiritism and shamanism, traditions.
The Syndicate. The illegal counterpart to the Somerset Company, the syndicate sometimes called the Barrows (for their habit of leaving their enimies buried) rule all criminals with an iron fist, as well as knives in the dark. They reign in those criminals that are to noisy for too little profit, because they are fully aware that it wouldn’t be effective if there were too many robberies. Who “they” truly are is their most well-kept secret. The leader(s) of the Syndicate has yet to openly show themselves.
“Gekozen”. The first inhabitants of the isles, the descendants of the Dutchmen and travellers that were stranded over 200 years ago. They are visibly mixed ethnicity, which is much less of a problem on the Sikkels compared to the rest of the world. They still keep some archaic customs, as well as their own leader: Count van Vrees. He has the moral support of his people, but no official power.