Shalerton

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Shalerton is a city-state with a population of about 50,000 people. Herds of sheep form the economic backbone of the city. Close to a million sheep live around Shalerton and there are enough pastures and vegetable farms to provide for a healthy diet for the livestock and the people of the city-state. The town itself is small for the number of citizens in the city-state. The necessary businesses like smiths, tailors, and mills occupy the majority of the real estate within the town walls. Government buildings such as courthouses, fire stations, police headquarters, the jail, and city hall fill out the rest of the space in town. There are almost no permanent residences separate from a person’s place of work. With so few residences, hotels and inns compete ruthlessly for customers. The three main hotels are: the Pot of Comfort, run by Jusilia, a mother goose character; the Traveler’s Home, run by Hardigan, a big fat bearded man; and the Yurgastraplax, run by Tgfjklwharydfbi the foreigner, whose nickname is Bill.

Only about 6,000 people live inside the town’s walls working in businesses or for Shalerton’s government. The government workers are part of a bureaucracy that is headed by the police chief. Lieutenant Hunter is a large man who controls everything in the town. Extra taxes usually go in his pockets instead of to the town treasury. He unofficially appoints all the bureaucrats, judges, and police in the entire town. He inherited this role from his father and his father before that. While the town is effectively a monarchy, the Lieutenant family (yes, their first name is Lieutenant and it is their family’s surname) has always stayed away from officially declaring their power.

In the past only police were allowed to carry weapons within the city. Spell books and anything else that could be magically offensive were not allowed inside the town walls as well. If somebody did wish to bring in a weapon special permission had to be gained from Lieutenant Hunter directly. Those who were granted weapons were made members of a special operations police force that occasionally acted as spies or secret police. Shalerton’s participation in the Second Alliance War has caused a shift in this policy. The general weapons ban has been lifted as Lieutenant Hunter believes an armed populace will assist in the defense of the city alongside the police force.

The large police force ensures that crime is close to nonexistent in Shalerton. Theft, murder, and rape are rare and punished severely soon after the crimes are committed. This reduced crime rate and swift response is not just because of the restrictions on weapons but also due to Lieutenant Hunter’s almost complete monopoly on magical power in Shalerton. All magic users must join the special operations force and the practicing of any simple magic within the city is highly regulated. Some magic users chafe under these rules, but Lieutenant Hunter does his best to keep his special operations force happy with gifts and the occasional party in their honor. Using these bribes, Hunter is able to keep the magic users power in his court. With liberal application of divination magicks he is able to predict most crimes before they happen and discover the culprit of those that do fly in under the radar.

Lieutenant Hunter also plays a hand in the town’s economic system through price controls. His grandfather started this practice and he continues it. Price controls on most commodities eliminate excessive time spent on haggling allowing the people of Shalerton to spend more time at work or at home. The price controls also serve to protect both producers and consumers depending on market conditions. Initially the populace resisted these controls and there was even a revolt, but since that time the citizens of Shalerton have grown to love the predictability the price controls bring. Few would dream of returning to the old unregulated system.

In recent years Shalerton joined the Second Alliance against Xoria, not out of good hearted nature, but because Lieutenant Hunter feared his town might be one of the first on the Xorian invasion route. Unfortunately, due to Shalerton’s history of restricting the public’s access to weapons the people of Shalerton have little real martial experience. Their troops were kept out of the early battles of the war to train and were not present at the Siege of Phoenix. Training continues under the eyes of Junai and Gradorian and soon the Shalerton militia will be a formidable force indeed.

-GoCorral

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Dalleer

Dalleer

Dalleer is one of the biggest cities in the east. It resides mostly on the eastern side of the Black River, but some citizens live and work on the western bank across the Bat Bridge. Slight amounts of the black coal in the river are still visible by the time the water reaches Dalleer and the mirror quality of the water is retained as well. The walls of Dalleer are fourteen feet high and made of granite stone with trace amounts of iron in them. The blocks made for the wall were sent downriver from Restnor’s Point.

Dalleer has a population of about 160,000 people. Most are Humans; but as always, some other races are present. There is almost no unemployment in the city. The government offers numerous repair and civil improvement jobs to those out of work. There is ample space to expand agriculture work around Dalleer as well.

The staple diet in Dalleer is bread made from the wheat grown along the rich Black River. Enough wheat comes from the farms to export some to the Aractrashans in the south. The meat in a Dalleran’s diet is steak from the cows in the city’s fields and mutton from the sheep of Shalerton.

The people of Dalleer are known for their individuality as well as military strength. The city has a well kept and well paid military and police force. They have eliminated most crime, but have been unable to stop the thieves of the world from burglary. Anybody capable of divination is likely to get a hiring call from the Dalleer Police (DP). The General is Sir Trustgard, the Cavalry Colonel is Sir Mark, the Street Warden is Sir Tucker, the Wall Commander is Lady Discoma, and the Jail Warden and Public Prosecutor is Sir Marius.

Dalleer’s system of government is an appointed dicatorship, where the previous ruler appoints the next. The leader bears the title of Björn and is considered a divine entity. This was started by the first leader, named Björn, who built the walls of the city. He enjoyed immense popularity, but was senile in his late years. As such many strange customs are now still practiced because, “Björn couldn’t have been wrong, could he?” Due to the appointed nature of the office, the insanity is often carried over into the next leader. While the Björn is nominally in control a council of elected politicians is the true power in Dalleer.

The judicial system is sufficiently fair. The only problem is it’s stance on heresy and treason are relatively harsh. The punishments are torture for an amount of days proportional to the amount of damage caused by the individual. Thankfully such crimes are not commonly committed or reviewed. The current Judge is Sir Balander.

The main buildings in Dalleer include the largest pantheon temple in Cimmeria, Dacklack’s Armory, The Inter-Racial Coalition Headquarters, The Brown Library, and Tremble’s Race Course.

The pantheon temple in the town is forty feet high with statues close to that height in the main chamber. The temple has a magical effect that makes it appear as if someone is alone in the temple save for the people they entered with and the priests. The illusion is self-preserving and will anticipate any mistakes.

Dacklack’s Armory is similar in looks on the outside to an 1840 factory. The smoke billowing out of the roof comes from the twenty forges inside. The brick construction is necessary to protect the building against fire. Dacklack’s grandson, Jormunger, runs the Armory. His first responsibility is to provide the DP with whatever they need to keep the city safe. He gives DP members discounts. Jormunger was a master smith before taking over administartion of the factory from his father. He still enjoys filling special orders for unique weapons and armor himself.

The Inter-Racial Coalition Headquarters is a large bar, inn, restaurant, park, and guild training area for all races to meet and develop respect and tolerance for each other. The head of the organization is Kig Yupington. He created it to help the different races come together peacefully and as a good experience for people in their youth. His own race is unidentifiable. Pointy ears of an Elf, stocky body of a Dwarf, hairy feet of a Halfling, tusks of an Orc, and blue eyes of a Human. He is a mystery that even magic has been unable to solve and something the gods refuse to reveal.

The Brown Library is the largest collection of books in the world. It has a restricted section for spells and a no rental policy unless you get a library card. Getting one is as easy as telling your name and giving one strand of hair to the desk clerk. The restricted section is much harder to get access to. It is locked with a powerful magic spell and requires an extensive character test before being admitted. You may only rent one book at a time and may keep it for up to a month before returning it. Spellbooks and scrolls must have a deposit put up before they can be rented.

Tremble’s Race Course is a place of gambling. The track usually has a horse race every day. The infield has an iron fence around it and many obstacles for the gladiatorial fights that take place within it. The betting parlor is connected to a magically warded casion. Any cards, dice, or luck altering items that are brought into the casino glow red. Any abilities used to influence the throw make the caster glow red. Cheaters are thrown out of the casino and forbade to return to Tremble’s Race Course ever again.

Various beasts and slaves are kept below the arena ready for combat and races. The current champion of the arena is a fire giant named Hoyt. He uses his feet most of the time, but will use a glaive if his opponent is near to his size. He often faces more than one opponent to liven up the matches. The racing champion changes day by day but the notables are Dangal on Hoofbeat, Tiana on Harver, and Unglit the halfling on Joyride. The announcer for the track and arena is Tremble’s daughter, Halfax. She learned from her father, one of the best announcers in Cimmera and she has an amazing voice that matches his in color and timbre. If Björn is not present to render a verdict on a gladiator match then Halfax is honored with that right.

In recent history Dalleer joined the Second Alliance War against the Xorians. Dalleer sealed their entrance into the Alliance by the marriage of the current Björn to Cassandra, the daughter of the now dictator of Bradel Fields, Astyanax.

-GoCorral

Seth Rogen’s Film and North Korea

There’s a new movie coming out in the USA on October 10th 2014 called The Interview.

The movie is getting a lot of press because of the unusual plot. In The Interview two journalists travel to North Korea and attempt to assassinate Kim Jong-Un.

This has obviously upset Kim Jong-Un and some North Koreans. Every major news company has released something covering the North Korean response.

Here’s one of the articles I read put out by CBC.

The North Korean statement went something like this, “If the U.S. government doesn’t block the movie’s release, it will face stern and merciless retaliation. The reckless U.S. provocative insanity of mobilizing a gangster filmmaker to challenge the North’s leadership is triggering a gust of hatred and rage among North Korean people and soldiers. The film’s release would be considered an act of war that we will never tolerate.”

So if the statement is to be interpreted accurately, the North Korean people are upset over the upcoming film’s release (I doubt many of them even know about it. I certainly didn’t until this news article popped up on Facebook as “trending.”)

Seth Rogen is apparently a provocative, insane, gangster filmmaker (Provocative for sure, but the other statements are just insults).

And the final point, North Korea will view the release of the film as an act of war.

If that’s taken seriously, then North Korea intends to declare war on the USA because we didn’t censor a film.

Granted the film is highly offensive to North Korea, but that’s only because the North Korean administration doesn’t understand how free speech works.

If we censor the film then what other films should we censor? Should Olympus Has Fallen have been censored because it portrayed the North Koreans attacking a fictional US President? No.

And perhaps that’s the point of it. Past movies of this kind have always dealt with fictional leaders of countries. The person at risk is never the real President or the Supreme Leader of North Korea. It’s always some random person in an alternate past or unknown future.

And I think Seth Rogen wrote his script with the actual leader because he knew this type of response was coming.

He knew the North Koreans would flip out and make a statement of some kind.

And he knew that other news networks would pick up the story.

And now his film gets free international publicity.

It may be provocative and insulting, but it was also a smart business decision.

Anyways, I doubt North Korea will attack the USA once the film is released.

More likely they will use this as their excuse to launch missiles at South Korea this year. There will be a tense standoff and then once again nothing will be resolved in the eternal Korean War.

That’s all for today!

-Mister Ed