London is split into two different areas: London and Other London. The main city is relatively clean and smog-free, with shining brass roofs. There isn't a lot of litter around.The Thames runs through the city and then continues under the city before emerging on the other end. It's mostly obscured, thanks to the enormous buildings and bridges and bridgework happening around the city - it's almost suspiciously clean and tidy. The main city is raised, sitting above Other London. An elegant monorail runs into the city from south to east, and the streets are filled with well-dressed people. The trains themselves are huge and opulent, running quickly with bits of lightning emanating from the back. There's a small street lined with shopfronts that aren't incredibly opulent nor incredibly poor.
Other London is nestled under the city of London. It was created when the lightning rail experiments flooded the city, and most of it has the crumbled remains of the original city of London nestled around it. It's nearly the polar opposite of Upper London - everything is more dingy and dirty, with a number of stalls set up through the area with merchants hawking their wares. Most of the wares Other London were grown down there - most of the Upper London gang doesn't recognize a lot of it, but the stalls with food they do recognize are clearly the best off. There's a doorway that leads through to another bazaar, staffed on both side by guards. It's a normal market - a lot of clothes, food, etc. The ceiling here is maybe 50 foot high. There's big iron girders holding it up. The floor isn't terrible; it's covered in a strange almost mulch-like underfoot (probably paper and other rubbish). Other London takes up multiple floors of the underground.
Most of the city seems as though people just set up shop in whatever was left. There's a lot of remnants from the flood, and people have mostly populated around it. It's not completely a slum, but it's still dark. All of the lighting comes from the buildings - it's nearly completely encased by the city above it, so there's no environmental light and no streetlamps. The farther in, the seedier it gets. There's a lot of barely concealed underhanded dealings happening; there's not much point to hiding them down here. Eels and rats are cheap, and bread is expensive.
There are both official and unofficial ways in and out of Other London. The official way out is located in a central square, where the more well-off merchants are; there's an Upper London guard standing there near a freight elevator. The Upper London police have a mutually agreed upon boundary with the gangs and neither really interferes with the other.
Dover is a port town that faces France across the Strait of Dover, the narrowest part of the Channel. It's properly stormy here - and there have been four storms this month alone. An underground train runs under the Channel to Paris, and the station is set up as close to the water as possible. The harbor is down a hill, and has a number of ships tied off. Off to the side are the White Cliffs of Dover, which in this universe is where the Temple of Poseidon is housed.
While the party is there, the flood waters are beginning to overwhelm the city. The drains are completely overflowing, and there are puddles all throughout the streets, large enough that it's impeding traffic. Certain streets have been closed off, properties on the edges of the sea and cliffs have been emptied.
Unknown town south of Calais
The party makes their way along the coast, north. Along the coast, there's a small village, that looks fairly opulent. There's a farm estate nearby, and a grocer's nearby. There's an inn in the middle, and a number of automobiles in the streets, run on electricity. There's a tavern in the inn.
Calais has a number of mechanical men and automobiles in the street. There are more mechanical men in the upmarket areas, and the quality of clothing, shops, etc. is higher as well. There's a lot of flashy technology here, and it is much more cosmopolitan than London was. The streets are busier.
Paris is very technologically advanced, much more so than London as it never had to contend with the destruction London did. It has become the centre for The Ordinateurs and is an important banking centre, due to all the computing power. The city is also the hub for organizing a lot of logistics for Meritocratic endeavours. There are a number of gyropters and airships flying through the air, and the city itself is gleaming. The city itself is busy, with a lot of straight roads, and lots of traffic. However, it's much more efficient; the roads are strictly for vehicles, and pavements are clearly for people. There are huge amounts of technology and magical creatures moving around, a number of different races.
Near the Louvre, there's a 60-foot high statue of all the Meritocrats, which is considered one of the wonders of the world. The greatest sculptors in the world worked on it as a sign of thanks for the Meritocrats and their deeds. It towers over the buildings that surround it.
At night, Paris looks nearly neon; there are a number of incredibly bright lights around, most of them magical. Billboards come to life; in the more garish areas, it's like looking at the video screen. The billboards advertise for lectures and flying ships and the party can hear the strains of orchestral music around the city.
A small stop on the way to Albertville. The Alps rise above the city toward the east and south. There's a town square, with a large church at the end of the square, a row of shops, and an official-looking building with columns outside. There's a set of stables where Bertie purchases a horse to travel to Albertville. There are four main roads out of Chambéry, well signposted. The eastern path leads toward Albertville.
Albertville is set in a valley in between several peaks of the Alps. The river splits before it gets into the city. On the low side of the river, there's a handful of scattered buildings, mostly wood and not well-constructed. On the higher side of the of the river, there are incredibly-built stone houses, large and grand, quite austere. They aren't as decorated as the houses in Britain or other parts of France. The temperature drops further higher up into the mountains; there's snow on the ground around the roads.
The Yeti's Claw
It's one of the larger and older buildings, and it's still made of wood, with some stone around the foundation. Hanging from a post, there's a on desiccated claw, covered in what may have been white fur, once. There are eight tables inside the tavern, and most are empty. Mulled cider is the drink of choice at this establishment.
There's a nice wide river valley leading up into the mountains. The cold continues to get worse the higher up. After turning off from the main river valley, the snow gets deeper and the valley gets thinner. There are still plenty of trees and snow. Toward the east, it gets quite foresty, and the trees are quite deep, and the path begins heading slightly downward. There's a ravine heading south, and it leads from the base of one slope to the base of another. It's quite deep, about 40ft. There are caves inside the ravine, and there's a smell of wet fur and large, clawed footprints. The ravine ends at the base of two mountains. Up the path to the west, there's another pass, and from here, every direction is downward.
The tomb is located in a snowy field in the middle of the Alps. Underneath the snow is some worked stone, and it becomes clear that the entire tomb is buried under the snow. The front of the tomb looks like a mausoleum, and it slopes gradually back into the mountain. There are several pieces to the front: at about eye level, there's a carving of the upper torso and face of a man on it's side, with a sentence written in ancient Greek. Underneath, there's a second carving - same style of art as a tapestry, but carved into the stone: it has several naked male figures (ancient art style) and a number of animals in the carving. Some edges of the carvings look like they've been knocked off. (It's a slightly unfinished depiction of the 12 labors of Hercules.) Beneath this, there's an outstretched hand, tilted toward the side with palm facing slightly upwards. Upon touching the palm, it teleports you into the tomb.
The entrance to the tomb that Edward appears in is a large hall - the climate is completely different, and it almost feels tropical, as though it's a sunny day. It's incredibly humid, and the sound of the sea can be heard in the distance. There is a throne on a dais, upon which a large, muscular queen, wearing an extravagant headdress. She's being served by other powerful women, carrying various sorts of weapons. There are a few balconies and a large set of doors behind him as well; a carpet rolls up to the dais.
The entrance that Tjelvar appears in is an orchard, on a warm autumn day. There are apples hanging from the trees, which are more than 14/15 ft tall. The apples themselves are incredibly large, and gleam. Through the trees, there's a 20ft tall giant man standing next to a pillar, which stretches up and gets thicker until it vanishes into the sky. It doesn't touch the ground, instead tapering into a single point above the man.
The entrance that Bertie lands in is a tunnel, sloping downwards. There's some warmth coming from behind him, and some light filtering through, but it's mostly dark. In front of him stands a three-headed dog, the size of a lion. It gets gradually hotter and darker the further into the tunnel he goes. He continuously gets flicked back to the starting point, and then finds a pipe.
The actual entranceway to the tomb is a stone passage, and it's freezing. There's a set of stairs that go down into another hallway. There are gemstones set into the upper part of the hallway to provide light. There's a 15ft patch of silvery, glowing magical stone before the room. A piece of the floor falls away to reveal a 5ft wide pit, while Tjelvar and Bertie are fighting. There is another trap - arrows shoot out of the wall, activated by pressure plates - most of them seem to have been emptied already. At the end of the hallway is a room, with an altar of some kind; a sarcophagus is raised on a platform. The floor around the tomb bears some scorch marks as well. The room itself is much more ornate; there are carvings and various finery at the end, some gold and gems scattered around the room. The sarcophagus is empty, apart from a small piece of paper from Isaac Newton and the Circlet of Command.
The city of Prague itself has two separate levels. The main city is very down-to-earth, plain and modern. It contrasts greatly with the second level of the city - where the University of Prague sits. It hovers above the main city. The two levels of the city communicate often with each other; there are two meritocratic offices in the city, one on the main level and one on the university level. The standard method for getting to the university level is to be teleported. Prague Castle in this universe is known as Bolla's Roost, after the Meritocrat that oversees the city - Bolla Smok.
The main square of the city is where the teleportation circle is to get up to the university level.
Cairo is being tormented by sandstorms; over the past couple of months, they've been dealing with more and more. Due to the sandstorms, the streets have build-ups of sand. The main strip is very similar to Las Vegas. There are a lot of casinos, bars, hotels, leisure buildings, etc.; it is incredibly tourist-oriented, with a number of pyramid-themed buildings. Most of the buildings are occupied from people sheltering from the storms and boarded up to protect them. In the distance, you can see actual pyramids. Many of the buildings around the strip have gargoyles along the roofs - sphinx's.
The residential areas of Cairo are more rich; the streets are long and curvy, and the names are even more so (some street names are above 10 words). The homes are large and sprawling.
Damascus is a large city, with a very warm climate. It was built in an oasis, and has mountains around it. A lot of the greenery surrounding the city looks brown, and the area around the city looks parched. There's a dried-up river flowing into the city. There's a very clear separation between the old town of Damascus and the new. The old town is right in the middle of the city, with the original city walls around them. There's a legend that they were solid adamantine - they really only have adamantine plating, and have mostly been stripped for materials. The new city sprawls around the old one. There is a northern mercantile quarter that seems to be doing quite well, and there is a broad mix of races, including a high population of goblins and orcs. There have been sandstorms here as well.
Ancient Rome became corrupted by dark magic and at the height of its power, the Meritocrats intervened to prevent the destruction of the world. Rome is now a disaster zone of ruins.
Ancient Rome is on the verge of being destructed. It's a large, sprawling city, with a wall stretching around it. The poorer areas of the city are located closer to the wall. There's a heavy guard presence within the city, although it's more clerics and paladins than actual guards. There's a temple district, where all the different temples sit, and a trade district on the way to the palace. The streets are crowded, as guards are beginning to evacuate the city. Multiple military forces patrol the streets, heading toward the outer walls of the city.
A small, rural island in Japan, with several villages on it. There's a torrential downpour, but it's warm and humid. The villages have been almost completely overtaken by Shoin, with the exception of Cel's village and the village in which Wilde has bought an inn.
It's located in the middle of the island, and is built out of wood with a Japanese architectural style. Many of the people in the inn look at Hamid and Azu suspiciously, and don't speak. Many of them are malnourished, and most of the patrons are fishermen. In a side room, there's matting on the floor, with a low table and a drinks cabinet. The room is warm and comfortable. The table makes a hollow sound when Azu bumps into it, and it has a trap door underneath.
Upstairs, there are a number of rooms and baths. Wilde's office is located on the first floor of the inn.
The cell: The floor drops away; down 15 feet, in the basement of the inn, is an anti-magic cell used for keeping potential harborers of the infection. Three walls of the cell are stone, with one side being adamantine bars. The floor resets back into place using chains that are soot-blackened, but there's an exotic metal underneath.
Cel's village is on the eastern side of the island, close to the coast, and closer to the mainland than the inn. It's a few hours travel away.
The Shoin Institute is located off the west coast of the island.