Mezthaluen itself is centered on what used to be a section of the Bloodstone Marsh that thinned into wetlands and then the Southern Plains of the midlands. Highly urbanized, the inner city no longer boasts any signs of the original landscape and instead features miles of stone and metal. The southern district gives way to the plains in the southeast, but following the river to the southwest, one will find themselves moving through high rising hills and low elevation mountain ranges, putting the southern district in the highest part of the city. The moving into the northern half the city takes you downhill, some streets gradually declining while others turn into steep grades that bottom out quickly.
The entire northern district lies at a low elevation and boarders the lake, and as is common with the rest of the region, winter flooding is a known problem all around the city. Along the west and the south, the river’s levels tends to rise during heavy rains and sometimes breaches the levies designed to hold it back, while the marsh’s boundaries sometimes seep into the east district. The southern plains themselves tend to flood with the spring rains and mountain runoff, causing native villagers to travel into the foothills of the mountain, avoiding the flooding that consumes the plains for a couple months of the year.
The actual city itself is largely wrought of stone, the majority of its buildings carved from minerals mined out of the neighboring mountain ranges, given the sparse availability of wood in the local region. The city itself has a fully functional sewage system and aqueduct, removing waste and bringing fresh water to residents outside the poor district. Dependent upon which part of the city you are in, you might find high rising buildings (political structures, the church) or long strips of businesses lined wall to wall, with alleys cutting along their back (business district). You might find suburban like neighborhoods, with beautiful houses and well-maintained yards (residential, middle class) to large estates with fields for recreation. In the south, tall buildings spot the city once again, these worn and poorly maintained, each building packed tight together in clusters, surrounded by taverns, specialized shops, and opposite them, the docks district.
Each district is unique in its design and layout. All districts connect to the center of the city, shaped like a ring and made up of a single cathedral and the grounds it rests upon. Here, the city's primary religion takes shape, providing both a place of worship and a landmark of great beauty, the building a testament to artistry through architectural design. On the grounds, stone benches and paved paths cut through gardens and even copses of birch, linden, and maple trees. The central part of the city boasts the most vegetation found within the city proper. (Return to Index)
The Northern District acts a port for airships; for those that are military related or for commercial business, allowing pilots to stop off for fuel, food, or other supplies. The Northern district also hosts the city’s Crossroads, setting up travel for those going to distant locations and able to afford the fees, which in truth are not too extravagant. The rest of the Northern district is mainly comprised of nicer shops and middle class homes, as well as masons who work stone for aesthetic purposes. A notable Inn is also located in the upper quarter, where aspiring adventurers can find notices for quests and work while getting some quality drinks and nice rooms.
Opposite the Northern side is the Southern District, which is made up of two distinct halves- the slums and the docks. Both are considered eyesores, often ridden with crime and unpleasant residents. The Southern district is entirely locked off from the rest of the city, requiring a ‘tax’ to even get through the separating gates. This angers both those who live in the poorest neighborhoods due to their low paying jobs, as well as businesses and shippers bringing goods in and out of the city. The city stands hard and fast on this fee, using the funds to create ‘better living conditions’, and to pay for public services such as ‘the library, plumbing, and home for the infirm’.
Of note in the Southern district is the large amount of child abductions and disappearances. The city chooses to sweep the reports under the table, considering their very own Treasury Steward is heavily involved in the illegal capture and selling of children into the slave trade. Those taken are sent to the Slaver’s Enclave, to be put to work as laborers or lovers for pedophile masters. While many of these children are taken, some parents are fooled into giving their children up (offers of education, a good home, etc.) Some are paid for the children, the parents selling their responsibilities away for a few weeks’ worth of drugs and alcohol.
The Eastern District is largely made up of the working class and common peasants, where many shops of smaller size are located, as well as a great deal of the general labor not related to the docks. The Eastern district hosts much of the smithing work, as the residents of the West and North sections do not care for the noise or the smoke. Some only craft their goods on that side of town, sending their wares to a business partner who sells them out of a shop in the North. Smaller, less successful smiths sell their armor and weapons in the Eastern quarter, mostly to those who are unable to afford higher quality goods from the North. Masons who do the bulk of stonework for the city reside here as well.
The Western District is what makes up the nobility and the government, a system of appointed leaders from Union City, ruling as Chancellor. Despite the official title, many just refer to their leader as ‘King’, as he functions much in the same way. The city’s main army operates out of the West district, with several barracks and training grounds located there. Some large fields and pastures are left open for horse raising and training for those who become knights or for rich children with obliging parents. Several noteworthy families live in the Western Hills, but of most note is an old family- the Ref’Ter family, who have served as guardians of Chancellors for centuries. It is known that a few may have aspirations for more power.
Like any major city, Mezthaluen has a many varied neighborhoods, varying both between and within the districts.
The Northern District consists of a mix of businesses, residential homes, and transport options. It contains all three of the colleges of Mezthaluen as well, and has about 29% of the population of Mezthaluen city (not region).
The High Rises: Principally the docking stations for incoming airships, there is also some businesses that have set up here, largely stores selling souvenirs and trinkets, items of convenience, and restaurants, all of which try to capture the attention of tourists coming into the city. Given the nature of the location, guards heavily patrol this section of the Northern District, keeping crime to an absolute minimum.
The Roundabout: Named for both the circular street going around the waygate station as well as the waygates themselves, the roundabout is a section of the north where people frequently come and go, using the gates to travel to other parts of Genesaris as well as the other continents. The circular road that completely wraps around the center (a cylindrical building that is empty save for the gates and offices) have places to park for drop off and pick up (carriages and the like) as well as exits onto multiple roads leading back into the Northern district, or bypasses to connect to other parts of the city. There are no businesses here.
The Refinery: Small buildings on decent plots of land run through here, as these are centers for individuals working with stone. Shipments of precut material arrive here, with artisans using a combination of tools and chemicals to polish and refine stone material into aesthetic pieces for art collectors, building design, parks, or other functions that require a cleaner look. The large workspace allow multiple projects to be going at once and allow for the use of potentially toxic chemicals. Fortunately, nothing outside the shop-interiors are flammable, and thus fires have not been an issue. Historically, theft and vandalism have been issues at times, and so when either go on the rise, guards begin patrolling the area more heavily, arresting what usually turns out to be bored adolescents.
The Emporium: The bulk of the Northern District’s businesses and malls are located here, lined up neatly with back alleys allowing shipments to come through. The business’ alignment is formed into the rough shape of a square, layered three businesses deep before coming to a 1sq mi market square, filled with well to do merchants selling at stalls and tents and from carts. Direct access to each layer rests at the corners, which give easy access to specific alleys for deliveries as well. As this is a known site for roving pickpockets, the guards tend to patrol heavily though here, often receiving free snacks or little gifts by successful merchants hoping to entice guards into making a continued presence.
The Hearth: This name largely applies to the entire residential zone for the Northern district, although there are possibly hundreds of thousands of different homes (including apartment flats) on hundreds of streets. The major “sub-neighborhoods” are named after the main streets they either directly or indirectly connect to—of those, there are seven.
- Brooks: This neighborhood consists of upper-class families, who are either low nobles, entrepreneurs of large and successful business, low to mid ranking government officials, and religious officials who do not reside at the church. This neighborhood also has one of Mezathaluen’s three colleges, “Fallenger’s Studies”, the largest college in Mezthaluen. It's subjects cover religion, business, mathematics, the sciences, history, food (cooking, brewing, wine making), animal husbandry, crafts, art (in general), politics, and many others. It has seven schools for children with low student to teacher ratios.
- Edington: This neighborhood consists of Lower-middle class families, largely of background of small business owners, smiths, stoneworkers (not artisans), teachers, government workers (not officials), young guards, and those who work in transport. This is the largest neighborhood in the Northern district, with eleven schools for children (with high student to teacher ratios) as well as hundreds of apartment complexes. Approximately 10% of the entire population lives in this one neighborhood.
- Harris: This neighborhood also consists mostly of Lower-middle class families, with a smattering of purely middle class families. The background of these people include business owners, smiths, stoneworkers (not artisans), teachers, government workers (not officials), young guards as well as noncommissioned officers, transporters, and scribes. This is a smaller neighborhood in the Northern district, with four schools for children (with a moderate teacher to student ratio) as well as the smallest College in Mezthaluen, one training primarily masons, architecture, and engineering.
- Kilip: This neighborhood consists mostly of Lower-middle class families and small working class families on the higher end of the spectrum, sharing its borders with the Refinery. Individuals here are inexperienced guards, smiths who do not own their own business, managers for large businesses, and repair workers. This is an average sized neighborhood in the Northern district, with six schools for children (with a moderate teacher to student ratio).
- Lorel: This neighborhood consists entirely of upper middle class and the well to do, and is the smallest sub-neighborhood in the Northern district. Typical work for people of this area include guard with officer positions, large business owners, less successful stone artisans, government administrators (not officials), scientists, college teachers, and “poison food tasters”. There are only three schools here (with low student to teacher ratios) but so is the last college, the middle sized one, which focuses primarily basics of magic (eventual transfer to mageside city), history, religion, mathematics, most sciences, economics and business.
- McAel: This is a moderate sized neighborhood near the business district, made up of a mix of middle class individuals and is the official neighborhood of “The First Stop Tavern and Inn”, Mezthaluen’s most successful and popular establishment. People in this area hail from numerous backgrounds, including business, smiting, stonework, transport, government work, low ranking guards, and academics. Given its proximity to the well-patrolled business district, it is considered one of the safest neighborhoods in Mezthaluen and is the second largest, boasting about 10% of the population. It has nine schools for children, with moderate student to teacher ratios.
- Stella: This is a small neighborhood closer to the city center, where many of the religious members who are not bound to living in the cathedral tend to say, as well as some of the city’s most devout. Given that it serves as a mecca for those who are highly religious, the range of individuals living here encompasses those who are in the higher earnings of working class to those who have enough money to reside in the west, hailing from all kinds of occupations. There are five schools in this neighborhood, two of them private religious schools, each with smaller student to teacher ratios. (Return to Index)
The Southern district serves three official purposes. Bringing in trade through the docks, which are built along the western edge of the river flowing out of the northern lake. It serves as serves as the section of the city for the indigent. Lastly, it also serves as the location of the “Infirm”, a building close in size to a mansion, where the city’s mentally ill individuals who do not prove to be too dangerous to remain free (those who are typically end up in prison); they are fed three meals a day with a guard preventing theft, but otherwise unsupervised. The Southern district is riddled with crime and requires a tax be paid every time a person wishes to leave (it is surrounded by a 15’ wall made of polished stone, topped with sharp blades). It is also known for kidnappings of children who are sold into slavery and smuggled out on ships. It holds 20% of the city's (not region) population.
The Docks: The docks district is a section of the southern district that is busy both by day and at night, though for two entirely different reasons. During the day, ships pull through, dropping off and picking up shipments, using dock’s workers to help load and unload while the captain’s barter and the sailors go drinking. At night, gangs unconnected to the guild wander through, looking for people who are late getting back to the ships, hoping to help themselves to extra coin—locals stay clear of the area as much as possible. Much of the slave trading that runs through Mezthaluen (as it is notorious for child kidnappings and it’s lake connects to a river running close to the rumored location of the slaver’s alcove) occurs at night, though some cases are said to occur in broad daylight, guised as students leaving for foreign schools.
The Slums: This is where the poorest among the poor reside, either living on the streets or in tight quarters in rundown homes ran by a slumlord, the city’s treasurer. His homes are worn down, infested with rats, lice, cockroaches, and other unpleasant creatures, lacking plumbing (residents dump waste into the river) and running water (get from a shared well). People in the slums often have diseases, poor health, and a significantly lower life expectancy, though the life expectancy for southern district residents is low in general. Those who live in the slums have no school, and no actual sub-neighborhoods to speak of either (it is just one tightly packed set of apartment buildings and small streets). Violent crimes occur here regularly and rarely is anything done about it. About 1/3 of the 20% of the residents who live in the south reside here, packed into an area taking up just 10% of the residential district.
The Penny: This is the business district of the southern district, with small shops selling food and general goods, as well as a couple of cheap smiths, leather workers, and other easy to produce goods. There is one inn, ‘The Bumbling King”, a rundown shoddy establishment that serves cold food, warm piss like beer, and has customer service about as good what you might get from a cranky troll. Nevertheless, the bartender is actually a decent fellow, sometimes rumored to be a magic user, though no one has confirmed this. The Penny is a common place to run into cutpurses and muggings are not uncommon, though less so than when wandering the docks alone.
'The Turf' [unofficial]: Technically, this shares its boundaries with parts of the docks (including a particular tavern), The Penny, and the slums, although no one outside the southern district recognizes it as an official neighborhood. The Turf is so aptly named because it is the stomping grounds of the organized thieves, belonging to a guild called, “The Conduits”, led by an unknown rogue (outside those circles). They are known for some pickpocketing in the southern district, but the majority of their work focuses on stealing from shipments coming through the docks and sneaking into other districts to burglarize homes or to mug wealthier citizens. No one is sure how they get in and out so easily, with rumors stating thing such as bribery, secret tunnels, using the river, magic, and going over the walls (a difficult feat). Ironically, The Turf is generally the safest place in the Southern District, as they do not tolerate competition and tend not to commit crimes in their immediate neighborhood, other selling stolen goods and drugs. No one is sure where the guild is located.
The Flats: This is the primary residential neighborhoods of the Southern district, where the “Working Poor” reside. Though not as poorly off as those in the slums, these individuals have low incomes and make just barely enough to get by. Their homes are often in poor repair, but they do have running water and plumbing, as well as a single school for their children to attend. The average family shares about 400sqft (average family having 4 kids), which is sadly still five times what people in the slums have (80sqft per family of 8). Most individuals in these neighborhoods work own businesses inside the southern district, work at the docks, or work low-end jobs in the East districts, their employers paying the daily tax to leave (taken from wages). The home for the Inferm is found here as well. Five sub-neighborhoods run through here, off the main streets.
- Alpha: This is an average neighborhood of the southern district, containing a moderate amount of the population, and sitting closest to The Penny. People here tend to be business owners, although some work at the docks or as teachers.
- Breaker: Breaker is the most populated section of the Flats, with the majority of those who work the docks or work in the East District residing here. It tends to be the “nicest” part of the southern district, but its quality still pales in comparison to even the lower end homes of the East district. As much of Breaker cuts through “The turf’, it tends to be a safer neighborhood.
- Cafort: This is the worst neighborhood in the Flats, only a small amount better than the slums. It is a smaller neighborhood with an average population, many of the people living in tightly packed, small homes and apartment structures that are only improvements on the slums in that they have water, plumbing, and you have access to the school. Unskilled laborers and large families with only one person able to work tend to be here.
- Dewert: Dewert is another smaller neighborhood, though not the smallest. It winds through less populated areas and has the Home for the Infirm located on it. As guards roam these streets a few times a day, it tends to be a safer area within the southern district.
- Effent: The least populated neighborhood, this is one sits on road used primarily for shipping goods and boasts the school. This area tends to be safer during the day, but can be incredibly dangerous at night, as late night shippers mugged by thieves several times a month, and some thieves are willing to slit throats to avoid leaving behind witnesses.
The Eastern District serves multiple purposes, while supporting the largest portion of the population. It has the majority of heavy labor, such as smithing, as well as an extensive business section (small and simple), the largest residential area and a large hospital which is supposed to serve the East and the South (The North goes through one of the colleges, the West through a private hospital). It also contains all the funeral homes and cemeteries for the entire city as well. In total, there are four neighborhoods; each named “The” something.
The "Yard": The yard consists of the major skilled work that tends to create a lot of noise, smells, and pollution. The air quality in this neighborhood as well as the surrounding areas tends to be lower, with people who have lung problems (asthma, life-long smoker, retired smiths) often having to move much further away. Businesses that are found here include smiths, smelters, tanneries, masons (stonecutting and building prep), and wood treatment.
The "Busy": This neighborhood consists of the majority of the other businesses in the east district, including shop owners, inns and taverns, skilled labor, organizations like mercenaries or bodyguards. The businesses tend to be packed together and smaller, in layered neighborhoods surrounding an inner area where peddlers sell goods from carts and stands. The busy is a play on words for “businesses” but also serves as a good descriptor—it can be extraordinarily busy during the day. With largest majority of the population in this district, this business tends to be very crowded, and as such, prone to pick pockets. Though there is a guard presence, it is not as nice as it is in the northern district’s shopping areas.
The "Grender": Named for the hospital (Grender Healers, named after the founder), “The Grender” is nicknamed by the locals as “The Grim” as you generally go here for one of three purposes- medical care, illegal business, or death. In addition to the hospital, Mezthaluen’s funeral homes and cemeteries for everyone (but the rich) are located in this district. This also is the place to find alchemy shops or stores selling questionable goods, without having to venture into the Southern District. There are also a few taverns throughout here, rumored to have criminals for hire, such as professional thieves and even assassins. The guards avoid this area. Currently, there is a cat problem- see canonized events.
The "Burg": This is where the vast majority of those who live in the eastern district (which is half the population) reside, living in smaller but decent homes that have small yards and schools usually within a reasonable district. There is a decent enough guard presence through here, so between the guards and the lower income status, this actually tends not to be a site for crimes, other than domestic issues. Given its size, there are eleven neighborhoods, each with its own school.
- Addington: Largely made up of the less successful smiths as this is right next to “The Yard”, this decent working class neighborhood would not be so bad if not for the noise and air pollution. It is on the smaller side of medium and like all schools in this district, its school has a high student to teacher ratio, although it is one of the less dense schools.
- Darva: This is the largest neighborhood and generally the one with the least income, made up of low skill workers who earn enough to stay in the east district if only just. They tend to live in small homes with several generations at home or they live in one of many apartment complexes that rent small homes to bigger families. Typically, people from this area have little hope of seeing a college and struggle with medical expenses. The school in this neighborhood is especially packed.
- Egard: This is a medium sized district, consisting of a mix of low skill laborers (servers, janitorial, etc) or large families with parents who have decent jobs but many mouths to feed. They tend not to be destitute but they also usually have tight incomes with little wiggle room. Like the majority of the east, their school is very packed.
- Gurma: Gurma is the smallest neighborhood, consisting of smaller families with parents who have decent jobs, but are not quite making enough money to move into the north district, if only because getting to and from their job becomes that much more difficult. The school here does not have nearly as bad of a ration of student to teachers, with it nearly comparable to the North district.
- Jodson: Jodson is another average district, with a blended mix of low skill laborers and those who have okay jobs but many mouths to feed. This is on the further end of the East, much closer to the north, and this has cleaner air and often employs transporters.
- Mybin: Mybin is another smaller district, sitting on the border of the religious center. The people who tend to flock to these homes are the religiously devout, or those who work for the church in lower paying jobs, like tending the grounds. The neighborhoods are decent enough, and the school is not too bad on its student to teacher ratio.
- Orton: Orton is not the a very populated district, but it does have the majority of the cemeteries and funeral homes, making it a rather unnerving place to live for some people. They typically are at higher risk of disease when illnesses sweep through and begin killing people, and there was once a major outbreak of disease after a flood washed through decaying bodies in the cemetery and contaminated well water supplies, which were used to water small livestock (chicken and pigs).
- Quaid: Another not so populated area, this neighborhood only has a smattering of homes but is where you will find the most inns, taverns, alchemy and pawnshops in all of Mezthaluen. If there is criminal activity to be found outside the southern district, it is likely to be here. It is not unheard of for people to be found dead in an alley, a knife having gone through their back. There is also a brothel located here, which is questionably legal, but has not been shut down.
- Sefi: This is a fairly populated district, with more unskilled workers and large families like many other districts. The homes here are decent, it is just that the people are only making enough income to keep their head above water and perhaps stash a bit for a rainy day. The school here is rather packed, but said to have good teachers.
- Tobin: Tobin runs along the wall of the southern district, often encountering thieves who have left the southern district and gone in search of people to target. The homes are rarely burglarized, as they hardly have anything worth stealing, although opportunistic thieves are known to mug people out walking on their own and who look vulnerable. Muggings make this a more crime-ridden section, but truly violent crimes (assault, murder, rape) are as infrequent as any other neighborhood in the east.
- Wall: This district also runs along the wall of the southern district (hence, Wall) and is the neighborhood with the hospital, placed reasonably close to the southern district so it could be used, “In theory”. Residents of the southern district will tell you they rarely if ever go to the hospital, unable to afford the services, let alone the tax to leave in the first place (which is not waived for medical emergencies in most cases). Because it is closer to the gate, this neighborhood tends to have more guards and thus less criminal activity. It is heavily populated though, so its school is quite packed. (Return to Index)
The Western District serves as the home of the wealthy and prosperous, the main holdings for the army, government infrastructure, and the intelligence center as well as majority holding for the guards of the city (who have barracks with jails in the other districts, but the highest-ranking officers, detectives, and a bulk force reside here). Only 1% of the population lives in the Western district, yet they have nearly one quarter of the available land. The West has several neighborhoods, including residential, business, and political.
Capitol: This is the main political sphere of Mezthaluen, as well as where the military trains and stations itself and where the guard networks’ intelligence and operations runs through. The capitol building is a massive fortress, designed to withstand a direct assault from an army, though that has never managed to happen. With only one “easy” way to get to the city (the front gates near the Southern District), this building is well protected and hard to reach. The highest ranking members of the guard as well as the detective forces work out of here, as does the Chancellor, his assistants, and the senate, who all work with administrators and other city figures to create and enforce laws, manage budgets, and handle other affairs. The building is quite busy and has constant activity. Aside from the capital, there is also military dorms, which holds about 10% of the troops kept in Mezthaluen (the rest stationed in forts around the region). The private hospital for the West is here as well.
Fete: Named because of the sheer frivolousness of the neighborhood, this area contains shops selling exotic goods and finery (silk, expensive jewelry, perfumes, rare items, and magical items), antiques, as well as large establishments for drinking and holding political functions, parties, and celebrations. Very little of what gets sold in the Fete is of actual importance for everyday living, with the majority sending hired help to purchase goods of that nature from the North district.
The Estates: The estates is where all these privileged few live, separated into what are technically three sub-neighborhoods- “The Refuge”, “The Elite”, and “The Worthy”. All three divide the nobles and wealthy based on their level importance and income even within the Western district, with others constantly vying for ways to move into a larger estate in the next ranked neighborhood. Descriptions of each follow.
- The Worthy: The worthy are those who are considered just wealthy or privileged enough to reside in the Western District. They are held in higher esteem than anyone else (save maybe artisan stone workers and respected college professors, who have more status than wealth) except for the two ranks above them, and can be put down or treated with less respect in circles only involving Western folks and a particularly snobbish group of higher ranked nobles. Nobles of lower birth tend to be here, as well as highly successful business people, the highest ranked government administrators and guards, many magic users, lesser tenured politicians, and high ranked priests from the main church. This is often the most driven group, never happy to just be in the Western District’s circles, but desiring to gain greater wealth and power.
- The Elite: The Elite are the second highest ranked group in Mezthaluen, making up perhaps 10% of those in the Western District. The most successful business men, such as those who own the stone quarries or have large investments in the colleges preside here, as well as advisors to the chancellor, longer served senators and appointed government officials such as the treasurer or guardian (like a secretary of war). All but a few of the oldest families in Mezthaluen tend to be here as well, relying on old money to turn over investments and make more money. The Elite are very powerful and can work their way out of many crimes, often including murder or the hiring of assassins, so long as the target is not of high profile or rank. Their estates tend to sit on very large tracts of lands, with stables and horses, fields set up to hunt rabbits and other small game, as well as space to have small private tournaments and festivals.
- The Refuge: This is the smallest most important rank among those of the western district, with the Chancellor, his closest allies, the very oldest and most successful families, the head of the church, and the president of the colleges all residing here. This group is in size about 10% of the 10%, or just the 1% of the 1%, a very exclusive club. They are nestled at the center of The Estates, surrounded by huge plots of land that support raising dozens of horses, private livestock, game fowl and rabbits, parties and celebrations that can entertain tens of thousands, as well as the protection of all the noble families and their small private armies, in addition to the soldiers surrounding them. In essence, this is a very, very difficult place to reach. (Return to Index)
The city itself sits on a lake and alongside a river, with marshes to two sides of it and mountains not terribly far either. The weather tends to be like that of a valley, only tending towards cooler weather in the spring and fall as it resides by a body of water, with mild to occasionally warm summers and mild winters. Mezthaluen’s city tends to get snow only a few times a year with a couple inches at a time, although larger amounts have been recorded a couple of times a decade. Flooding in the fall tends to be a problem for the city, but many measures have been implemented to reduce this.
In the surrounding territory Mezthaluen controls, its northern neighbor is the Bloodstone Marsh, which tends to be as you would expect from a marsh- generally mild temperatures, frequent rain and a lot of humidity. The plains themselves tend to be a warm in the late spring and summer, cool in the fall and chilly in the winter, with the southern most regions receiving some of the mountain snow and cold winds. The mountain range nearby, though low elevation, does tend to have cold winters with snow that lasts from November until late March, turning into runoff in the spring and causing the spring flooding in the spring. Mudslides have historically been an issue as well.
The entire region of Mezthaluen has never had a hurricane and only a few recorded instances of brief tornadoes but a few thunderstorms a year during the summer, often coupled with hail do tend to occur. Lightning strikes have led to brush fires in the plains, which historically have caused problems for the farmers and nomads who live in the surrounding territories, but they have adapted means to reduce fires and prevent damages when the do occur. (Return to Index)
The city of Mezthaluen for the most part has rid itself of most flora, save for a handful of purposely-planted trees, common grass, garden grown vegetables and flowers. Trees found inside the city itself include cherry, birch, elm, maple, and linden trees, while other plants include ferns, lilies, irises, roses, daisies, daffodils, petunias, and numerous other flowering plants imported for aesthetic purposes. Outside the city limits, the fauna varies with where you are located.
River/Lake: Along the river and lake are sea grasses, reeds, lily pads, algae, river mushrooms, aquatic ferns, and ordinary grasses as well. Growing out of the water and along its edges (both in the Bloodstone marsh and Mezthaluen’s nearby lakebed) are a few specific kinds of Mangroves, one type dangerous as well.
Plains: Ordinary grasses, ordinary shrubs, as well as purposely grown orchards such as apples, pears, figs, cherries, and plums (the region especially known for apples and cherries). Farmers also grow many different kinds of vegetables—name it, and they probably do somewhere. The occasional oak tree is not unheard of, but they tend to be rare.
Mountains: Going up the mountains, certain kinds of pines and other evergreens are present, with the density of the trees starting out fairly close and thinning out as you go into the higher el elevations, trees soon replaced with shrubs and then not much of anything. All kinds of wild berries grow through here, most of them edible (a couple of kinds are not, beware). (Return to Index)
Fauna in the city of Mezthaluen mostly includes domesticated animals, including chickens, pigs, dogs, cats, horses, donkeys, the occasional exotic pet and some cows in the Western district. Mostly “wild” animals include rats, mice, raccoons, gophers, bats, pigeons, finches, crows, the occasional hawk, and every once and a while, water snakes and alligators (coming in from the river and/or marsh). Outside the city, much more variety exists.
River/Lake: The lake itself has dozens of varieties of fish, crawdads, freshwater lobster, several varieties of snakes, alligators, and water fowl (ducks, geese, etc). Bears are known to turn up from time to time to access the fish in the area. In addition to animals, many differing kinds of insects prevail, including problematic species like mosquitos as well as beneficial kinds like bees.
Plains: The plains have all kinds of creatures, including dozens of varieties of birds, including prey birds like hawks, eagles, and falcons, common birds such as crows and ravens, there are wild horses (including a rare kind known as Southern Plains Broncos), rodents, rabbits, raccoons, snakes, deer, cougars, bears, coyotes, wolves, as well as a strange floating creature that can turn invisible (this will get a name later).
Mountains: The mountains have a similar variety, only with more cougars and bears, less wolves and small birds (more birds of prey), with prey animals being mostly rodents, rabbits, and wild sheep. (Return to Index)Demographics
Mezthaluen is a massive city, with about 25% of the total population living within the city proper, and the rest spread between farms, villages, and nomads who wander between the plains and the mountains. This puts about 2.5 million people within the actual city itself, the population composed of about 92% human population. The entire population of the Western district is composed of humans, where only the most wealthy or oldest families are allowed to take residence. The composition of the North is about 96% human, while the east about 93% human, and the South about 88% human. Like the majority of Genesaris, the population of Mezthaluen consists mainly of Genesarin humans, with the bulk of the population having ancestry tied to the midlands. As a large port city, many different people have come and go over the years, leaving behind a mixture of people hailing from the Arcentian East, the Cold South, the Great North, as well as neighboring islands; many long time Mezthaluen residents have lost track of the Genesaran lineage.
While the majority population is human, other humanoid races make their home in Mezthaluen as well. Elves, Dwarves, and Gnomes most often live in the North District, though a smattering are known for residing in the East District. Halfings, half-orcs, and other ‘lesser’ races tend to be found distributed between the Eastern District and the Southern District.
- Elves, while uncommon, have found some niches within the city, working on ships, at the colleges as educators and in the few wood production areas. Some own their own businesses and homes, while others take work at established and successful shops. Most live in the Northern district, working in the northern district as well, or sometimes working out of “The Yard”. Elves get along with little trouble in Mezthaluen, as the people appreciate their ability to work wood, create fine bows, and the contributions they bring to the scientific and magical scholarly fields. They make up .5% of the population
- Dwarves known to stay in Mezthaluen tend to be found in the high quality smithing shops, either as owners or well-paid employees, or as artisan stone workers, their cuts and designs considered highly desirable and hard to compete against. Not all Dwarves have artistic ability or the right kind of talent to smith goods, so those few who wander from their homeland without the traits they are so widely recognized for tend to become mercenaries for hire, using strength and stubbornness to earn their coin. Most people get along with the Dwarves as well as anyone can, given their temperament at times. They make up about .5% of the population.
- Gnomes are hard to come by, but there are a couple who own jewelry shops in the West District (they do not live there though, they live in the north) as well as a few who teach classes on mechanical technology at the colleges. One works as a physician in the Eastern District hospital, while another runs a pawn shop in the Quaid neighborhood. They make up about .25% of the population.
- Halflings are the most common of the nonhuman races, not hard to find and usually associated with odd jobs, employment in positions where being small is a desirable trait, or in association with the thieving community, though to assume that is a stereotyping. They tend to be in all of the districts (save for the West of course), but most are between the East and South Districts, with only a small handful having gone on to be successful enough to move into the nicer Northern end of town. Mezthaluens generally do not have problems with halflings they know or they perceive as working professionals, but those who are dressed as a lower class citizen without an obvious state of employment (such as working at a legit job) are sometimes subject to suspicion. They make up 2% of the population.
- Halforcs are the second most common of the nonhuman races, easily found between the East districts among the stone workers (generally stonecutting masons) and other laborers, or working as mercenaries, and the Southern District, as unskilled laborers, docks workers, or thugs. Very few ever go on to do something significant with themselves, though there are pawn shops ran by half-orcs and one even owns a tavern on the docks, a small accomplishment. Half-Orcs in Mezthaluen face a combination of social and biological factors, in that they have a higher propensity for unstable social behaviors (their Orcish half leads to a much higher degree of antisocial personality disorders and traits) alongside discrimination from others, which can range from mild to quite severe, depending on the group. Some people are willing to give Half-Orcs a chance, but it only takes one to blow it for that person’s trust to be permanently lost. They make up 1.75% of the population.
- Other races are present within Mezthaluen as well, but individually they make up the smallest parts of the population, with their numbers ranging from a couple hundred to just the one. This does not include the differing races that pass through, as many different people pass through on a regular basis, either traveling by way-gates or on trading ships. All told, the dozens of other races that fit here make up another 3% of the population.
The ages of the residents of Mezthaluen vary by race and by the region, but as a whole, this is a breakdown of the age groups with the city and the surrounding region taken as a whole. [some races vary, but this is meant to represent physical development)
- Civilian Population: 10,000,000
- Minors (Under 16): 2,225,000 (22.25%)
- Elderly (Over 60): 1,800,000 (18%)
- Male/Female Ratio: 49.8%/50.2%
Within the city, there are less children and more elderly, though the numbers are not terribly different. In the city as a whole-
- Civilian Population: 2,500,000
- Minors: 487,500 (19.5%)
- Elderly (Over 60): 500,000 (20%)
- Male/Female Ratio: 49.9%/50.1%
The age distributions also vary by the district in question. Some districts have more children and less elderly, while others have more elderly and less children. This is the breakdown of the four regions.
- East District Population: 1,250,000 [50%]
- Minors: 243,750 (19.5%)
- Elderly (Over 60): 250,000 (20%)
- Male/Female Ration: 49.9%/50.1%
- North District Population: 725,000 [29%]
- Minors: 134,125 (18.5%)
- Elderly: 148,725 (20.5%)
- Male/Female Ratio: 49.5%/50.5%
- Southern District Population: 500,000 [20%]
- Minors: 108,500 (21.7%)
- Seniors: 89,000 (17.8%)
- Male/Female Ratio: 51.5%/48.5%
- Western District Population: 25,000 (1%)
- Minors: 4,500 (18%)
- Seniors: 5,375 (21.5%)
- Male/Female Ratio: 49.4%/51.6%
|Language and Literacy|
The primary language spoken by residents of Mezthaluen is the native language for Genesaris, the common tongue. There is no secondary language for the people of Mezthaluen, but schools in the Northern and Western Districts make second and third languages a requirement of the curriculum, with many students choosing to study the native languages for the Arcantian East and Terrenus based dialects. Schools in the Eastern district have no such mandate and offer less varieties, but nevertheless, most students taken enough years of a second language to gain proficiency, often one of the two above. Other languages offered include the common tongues for Elves, Dwarves, Gnomes, Orcs, Ogres, trolls, draconians, and many number of others, with guest teachers sometimes coming in to cover rarer languages. These are more typical of students in better neighborhoods or those attending the colleges. Often, those in the south with proficiency in more than two languages often learn them while working on the docks, exchanging language lessons with foreign travelers.
The following tells each districts ability to speak second languages or more:
- 2 Languages: 99%
- 3 Languages: 95%
- 4 Languages: 45%
- 5 Languages: 18%
- 6 or more: 6%
- 2 Languages: 99%
- 3 Languages: 90%
- 4 Languages: 27%
- 5 Languages: 6%
- 6 or more: 2%
- 2 Languages: 88%
- 3 Languages: 60%
- 4 Languages: 6%
- 5 Languages: 1%
- 6 or more: Less than 1%
- 2 Languages: 46%
- 3 Languages: 12%
- 4 Languages: 2%
- 5 or more: less than 1%
The literacy rates in Mezthaluen are very high in general, with more than 99% of the North and West Districts considered literate by the age they should be (standard is 7yrs of age) and about 95% of the East considered literate. The Southern district however, does not boast such high numbers. With 20% of the residents living in areas where they have no access to the single school in the Southern District, and that school overcrowded and poorly equipped to deal with challenging students (coupled with a high dropout rate), it is estimated that only 65% of the population is considered literate. The struggle with literacy in the flats creates a perpetual cycle of poverty, with the poor unable to find better jobs or receive and education, and their children growing up in similar conditions. (Return to Index)
Mezthaluen has diverse political views, but what makes for an interesting contradiction is that while the city is technically answerable to the Union City Council (only ran by the Chancellor), many refer to the Chancellor as “The King” and think of him more as a benevolent monarch than an appointed representative. The with the warmest regard for the current state of affairs tend to be those in better situations, they easily able and willing to overlook the clear cases of corruption occurring within the government, which, if not facilitated by the chancellor, it certainly is not stopped by him either. The approval rating for the government as a whole and likewise the chancellor typically fluctuates between 70% and 75%, with most of the dissension coming from the Southern Districts, not a surprising finding.
In so easily settling for a monarchy, Mezthaluen has grown lazy with democratic processes, the turnout for voting on measures brought to the public or in electing new senators (more like representatives) tending to average around 50%, with more people from the North and West voting and far fewer people from the South participating. Citizens of Mezthaluen assume that processes will work themselves out and that the system is “working fine”. Legal processes tend to work out without obvious corruption, and this it is usually only citizens of the Southern districts, who are subject to more crime and the slave trading, who realize there is a problem at all—and their voices are unheard.
Most of Mezthaluen considers itself highly religious, with even the “average” citizen ascribing to a greater degree of piety than many of the most devout from other cities. Surprisingly, although highly religious, the majority of people in Mezthaluen have learned to coexist and embrace other people’s religions, likely stemming from the peaceful cohabitation and integration of the minority religion. Typically, The Three Brothers minority faith tends to be followed more by residents of the Southern District and those who live in the plains, whereas the bulk of the city’s population as well as its farmers and villagers ascribe to the national religion found within Genesaris.
Similarly, Mezthaluen shows a much greater degree of tolerance for other minority groups and differing peoples, with the average citizen showing little to no open prejudice against other peoples, except in some cases with half-orcs, but that tends to be less pronounced in the North and East and more of a problem in the West and the South. Mezthaluen shows a remarkably lower degree of intolerance towards others as opposed to the Great North, who tends to see any who are not from the great north as inferior. While Mezthaluen has its outliers, the majority of people show no prejudices towards any native of Genesaris, reserving wariness for half-orcs who poorly represent themselves (or those who had a bad prior encounter) or people openly state they are from Terrenus.
Contrary to stereotypical expectations of a highly religious society, Mezthaluen has shown a tendency towards liberal views concerning issues of morality, with prostitution within brothels “technically illegal” but rarely, if ever enforced. Gambling is a common site, with legally operated businesses set up to facilitate this. Mezthaluen has no active prohibitions against homosexuality, although it has not made any laws to recognize same sex unions. Nevertheless, the people are rarely harassed or even given much of a second glance.
While liberal in some views, residents of Mezthaluen believe in maintaining strong families, which requires loyalty to your spouse and your children, making it technically a crime to be caught committing adultery—the penalty is generally community service. Marriages can be dissolved but it is frowned upon, except in cases where it is clear abuse is taking place or the relationship has turned so toxic it is believed to be creating an unlivable environment—proof of this with children in the home tends to expedite the process. (Return to Index)Economy
|Outlook and Distribution of Wealth|
As far as Mezthaluen goes, the distribution of wealth is anything but fair, but in comparison to some places, the distribution spreads out decently. As with many large countries, the richest control the greatest amount of wealth, with those in the poorest categories controlling the least amount. To some extent, a “bubble” shape is expected, with concerns largely rising from a shrinking middle as opposed to a small upper bubble and small lower bubble. Mezthaluen has a sizable middle class, which makes this nation a stable society with strong economic foundations, but their poorest poor are in fact very poor, given little option to rise from that station. The working poor, although a little better off, certainly receive far less than middle class standards, despite working as hard, if not harder, than most of those who fall above them.
The wealthiest few, those who reside predominantly in the Western District (live, not work) control 8% of the wealth, despite making up just 1% of the population. The next 9% of the population control 27% of the wealth, meaning each percentage of population controls 3%, and overall, the top 10% controls 35% of the economy. The next 65% of the economy falls to the next 70% of the population, while the bottom 20% controls the remaining 10%, it divided into the working poor and the very poor (16% vs 4%), the working poor having control over .06% to the working poor’s .51%. If all things were equalized at once, the richest would lose all but 1/8 of their income, while poorest would see a jump of nearly five times.
All in all, the city produces enough income that everyone in all of Mezthaluen could receive a silver piece of a day and the city would not bankrupt itself. With the working population taken into account at these figures, it puts the gross domestic product of Mezthaluen at about 219 Billion gold pieces annually. How silver from Mezthaluen translates into “valbullion” is a quandary for another article. (Return to Index)
Mezthaluen is a large city that produces many goods and as a city on a major lake connected to rivers, it serves as a shipping hub. While there are many industries in Mezthaluen, four legal industries stand out above the rest.
- Agriculture: Mezthaluen’s farms produce many crops, many of which are only designed to feed the people in the region and themselves, but Mezthaluen does have three crops it grows in great excess, two of them the city is famous for. These include Cherries, Apples, and Corn.
- Metal works: Given the sheer volume of smiths in the city, it should be no surprise that Mezthaluen produces a large majority of basic weapons and armors (no guns or other complex devices) as well as tools and repairs. Mezthaluen easily serves the population and supplies finished products to other cities.
- Shipping and Distribution: Not all industry is about created product, but sometimes about moving products. Mezthaluens docks are some of the most extensive in the mainland, connecting to many parts of Genesaris through cheap, easy to travel means.
- Stone: Mezthaluen sends miners into the mountains to remove promising material, dragging it back to Mezthaluen where trained cutters will cut and polish the stone into workable material. The city itself is largely built upon those materials.
As stated above, Mezthaluen is a massive city with numerous goods produced and shipped, but aside from the big four things listed above, Mezthaluen provides several other things as well.
- Alchemy: Given an abundance of rare herbs and minerals found along the river, lake, and along the Bloodstone Marsh, alchemy is a flourishing industry in Mezthaluen, even if much of the wares are questionably legal at times. However, exported alchemy products usually include tonics, emetics, cleaning agents, and make-up.
- Architectural Consultations: Just as Mageside city sends out wizards, Mezthaluen sometimes sends out their most brilliant minds in the world of architecture, with many of Genesaris’ finest buildings having first been thought up by a Mezthaluen resident.
- Fish: This should come as no surprise, given they reside along a lake and river, it is perhaps surprising that they do not export more fish. However, with Kaurillia having a vast abundance of available saltwater fish, Mezthaluen only supplements with their freshwater varieties.
- Precious Metals: In the same ranges where they gather their stone, they have found pockets of silver and gold veins, mining them out, smelting it down, and then selling the refined metal material.
|Major Companies and Institutions|
These are listed in order of their industry type, alphabetically.
Light and Easy Alchemy- One of the few truly legitimate alchemy businesses (in that they are licensed, certified, deal in no poisons and accept regular inspections for illegal actions or sales), this is by far the largest alchemy store, located in the Northern District instead of the East District like their shadier counterparts. Considered the best place to stock up on quality healing potions, salves, and antidotes, people are willing to pay the higher prices to get goods they know to be both quality and true to their purported use. Light and easy alchemy is also the number one shipper in the alchemy secondary industry, sending remedies made from rare herbs and plants only native to that area to varying customers both within Genesaris and outside it as well.
Owner: The main owner is a small, slightly built Halfling whose name is Elriod, known for his good manners, topnotch customer service, and rather effeminate mannerisms. His minority holder “partner”, Adug, is a large, burly and mean looking Half-orc who goes with most shipments; ensuring thieves do not take hold of their wares. He is fiercely loyal to Elriod and defers to him in matters of business. Rumor has it that beneath his grim expressions and tendency to snort, Adug has a real heart of gold and an appreciation for theater—who knew!
Mendhel and Mendhel is Mezthaluen’s largest and most successful architecture firm, starting out as just the two brothers and now employing more than eighty architects, accepting work from within Mezthaluen, all parts of Genesaris and even Terrenus on occasion. Getting a job at Mendhel and Mendhel is considered an honor, and a sign of success, as the jobs are highly competitive and only the best of the best receive jobs. Their preferred specialty is stone buildings of course, but they keep people on hand who have trained specifically in wood, brick, and other materials. The Mendehl brothers themselves are considered the best at what they do and come with a very high price tag- one that many will pay without batting an eye.
Owner: Theodore Mendhel and Geoffrey Mendhel, identical twin brothers who both took up the same profession and not only can finish each other’s sentences, but finish each other’s designs, without consulting or asking questions. Both are now middle and among the most wealthy in Mezthaluen, having gone all the way to being “Elites” in the Western District.
Three companies compete for business along the docks, each claiming a certain amount of territory and then spending their off time fighting over grey areas with no clear boundaries. Docks workers are hired help who load and unload ships, assist with repairs, and sometimes will be used to round up drunken sailors. Ships generally pull in at aras corresponding with their preferred dock workers company.
- Zendel’s is the smallest of the three companies, only having a few hundred workers on staff. Their service is also the most expensive but generally considered to be the most reliable and of highest quality, as Zendel is good with customer service and only employs fast, hardworking individuals.
- Tom’s Movers is the medium sized of the three, employing well over five hundred employees to work their share of the docks district. Tom charges prices lower than Zendel’s but more expensive than the last, with usually reliable service and decent workers. Tom is usually good natured and willing to work with an angry customer, but he does have a temper when pushed.
- Andrew’s Go-To Crew is the largest company and the cheapest as well, their hiring practices less stringent, thus making the quality of their service less reliable (could get good ones, could get bad ones) at times. This company tends to have a high turnover and Andrew is known for his stubbornness with issues he believes to be in the right about.
This serves as a cross between a cooperative and a union, with farmers pooling together their cash crops and selling them on the market to other cities in large, bulk quantities. They divide the profits based on each farmer’s contribution to the goods after covering overhead, which includes shipping, packaging, and price researching to remain competitive. This works out as an all-around beneficial system as they have support in numbers, are able to make large-scale sales, and they reduce competition between themselves, competing only with the nationwide market.
This business specializes in all things fish and fishing, selling fishing equipment and bait, renting boats, as well as being the main company for fishing the rivers and lake, selling fish to the city and shipping some of it out, using three fishing boats. They are the #1 exporter for the city, though the city only exports to Southern Swell cities, Union City, and neighboring areas within the Mezthaluen’s territory.
Owner: A middle-aged woman with wizened skin and greying hair, her face tanned to the color of leather and hands calloused enough to protect from knife cuts. In addition to being a hard worker, she is a keen businesswoman and smooth salesman.
Freelance Magic Users Guild
This guild hires out mages for higher, fulfill roles similar to those who are mercenaries, though they become quite insulted when you refer to them as such. They come at a high price, but the majority of them are seasoned spell casters who have at least ten years’ experience outside of magic academy. There is only one such organization, “Mystic Services”.
Owner: An older man, with salt and pepper hair and a slow step. He has retired from his days of adventuring, only taking work that requires a presence in town and little physical activity. Despite his frailty, do not underestimate him- he is the most powerful magic user at that guild, and could rival the head of magic at the Capitol.
The Golden Chisel
The largest business in all of Mezthaluen, this Golden Chisel specializes in material production of stone for all purposes, from buildings to roads, to artwork, to furniture and more. They also handle the bulk of precious metal mining, refinement, and wholesale. The Golden Chisel has tens out thousands of employees who work in the mines, tens of thousands who work to bring it to and from the city, thousands more who cut it down to proper shape, as well as thousands of workers ready to treat the material with any necessary chemicals. They have their own private shipping division for preparation and arrival at the docks, using contracted shipping companies to transfer their goods. They also have servicemen to make items, to put down roads, and they have artists on their payroll to sculpt and sell to the wealthy. Though they are the largest, they do run into the large company problems, with sometimes questionable customer service, quality that can at times be mediocre and occasional delays. Still, while there are competing companies, they are the largest and the #1 employer of Mezthaluen.
Owner: Cornelius Fitzer, one of the wealthiest men in Mezthaluen and among the wealthiest in Genesaris- think of as the “Carnegie” of Genesaris. He is a shrewd business person, but quick with humor and involved in a great deal of philanthropy. However, not all is right, as unknown to anyway, he has ties to an form of Mob (not the guild) whose presence is largely unknown. They use his shipments to move mass quantities of drugs to all parts of Genesaris. Shipping within stone gets it around customs easily.
There are four mercenary guilds available, all of them located in the East District. The largest among them has nearly 300 people available for hire, many of whom work in small teams—this is the cheapest guild. The smallest among them is guild that has twenty people, all of them highly trained and formidable and always working in less than pairs—this is the most expensive guild. The other two are a mix of size and skill.
- Bruno’s Men: The largest guild, led by a scarred up dwarf missing half his right ear, two fingers (ring and pinky on the left hand—jokes good thing he never got married) and has bald patches where burn scars prevent hair growth. He dyes his bear multiple colors and talks with more profanity than the most determined sailor. His rates are cheaper and the skill level of his men variable, but some are good warriors and useful even in the most hostile environments. He makes no prejudice about who he hires, so long as they have some ability to fight—but he is honest about each man (or woman)’s ability to fight.
- Dante’s Team: The second largest guild, this one is led by a human of slender build but incredible grace and agility. He keeps just over 200 men in his employ, most of them reasonably priced and capable. He himself fights with a rapier and with speeds that beat out most elves, all with a big grin and suave language. He could play the part of a swashbuckler, but dresses more like a gentleman preparing for a ball.
- Wulg’s Beaters: This is the smallest guild, consisting of the twenty battle hardened warriors that one would be foolish to fight if they had the option to avoid it. Wulg is a half orc who makes it clear that he is mean and always out for blood, using mercenary work as a legal means to achieve it. Though his talk is guttural and his instincts more often speaking for him, do not be fooled, he is both clever and cunning. He never betrays an employer, his loyalty steadfast and unbreakable, an expectation he passes on to all of his crew.
- The Sword and Shields: Contrary to the name of their organization, not all of them fight with sword and shield, with some using a variety of weapons. The owner, Fulton, employs 90 people in this organization, preferring to hire quality but ensuring he has enough men to go around, as his prices, while higher than Bruno’s, are still significantly lower than Wulg’s Beaters. Some of his men are also crossbowmen.
Smithing Chain- “Bogdull’s Fantastic Goods”
This is a major chain of smiths found in Mezthaluen, keeping three each of blacksmiths, armorers, and weapon smiths. While all goods are made in the East District, all three retail stores are found throughout the north district, carrying only high quality goods that even come with one year warranties, short of damage by magic. This is the only stores known to reliably carry a small stock of magically enchanted goods and has a reliable mage on retainer to produce custom work. All items are made only by highly skilled Dwarves.
Owner: Bogdull is a Dwarf himself, born and raised in Mezthaluen, unlike most who are immigrants with no intention of staying permanently-Bogdull is happy where he is. He has more than enough wealth to live in the west, but as some of the West District members tend to frown on Dwarves as neighbors, he chooses to live in the nicest neighborhood in the North, sending his children to their school (he has three). He occasionally works one of his shops, when his business work (behind the scenes) is caught up and he feels like interacting with customers—watch out, he is hard to haggle with.
Shipping Company- “Water Works”
This is the largest and most profitable shipping company inside Mezthaluen, with two dozen cart runners within the city, each with six employees ready to package and transport goods. On the docks, they have other teams waiting to get goods from carts to the staging area for docks workers to get goods on to the ships. This company grew large because of their expedient and reliable service, practice they continue. Another reason for the success is their ties to the unknown “mob”, they involved with shipping out future slaves. They hold contracts with over 100 shipmasters.
Owner: A rather manic personality, named Hob McGillard, he talks rapidly and constantly and is rumored to be spending profits on drugs. He can range from happy and friendly to angry, sulking, or even rude and insulting with temper flares. He is quite the mercurial character, but a smart business man who demands perfection from his employees and managers.
Mezthaluen celebrates artistic endeavors, especially those related to carving stone. Mezthaluen has two museums, one located in the north and one located in the west. The museums do their best to showcase art by local artists, but they do go out of their way to collect art from other parts of Genesaris and from other parts of the world, adding to a growing collection of varying arts.
North: The north district’s museum is designed to be family friendly, educational, and admiring of the talents of others. They carry a wide variety of artwork, including sculptures, paintings, blown glass, metal work, weavings/tapestries, pottery, artistically designed weapons, calligraphy, as well as displays retelling history. There is a lot of focus put on stone carvings, as this is a particular interest of Mezthaluen locals, and though they invest less money than the west district’s museum, they have some paintings of renown. The admission prices to the museum here is quite reasonable and afforded easily by most eastern district residents.
West: The west district’s museum is much less about family and education, putting more on socializing, ‘high culture’, and conversation. The west carries largely abstract pieces, which they analyze and ‘ponder the meaning’. The west museum also runs an exhibit for famous winemakers, each presenting unique wines judged on appearance of the liquid, flavor, and the appearance of the bottles. While most pieces displayed are there permanently, the wine exhibits run as competitions and places to sell cases of bottles.
(Certainly not inclusive, but these are ‘famous’ to at least some degree)
- Vagret the dwarf, specializing in humanoid forms
- Camlee the female dwarf, specializing in nature forms (animals, trees, etc)
- Peter the human, specializing in abstract designs largely shown in the west.
- Choi the female human, specializing in creating vases, jars, pottery, and other related pieces, painting them as well
- Bayel, male human who makes human busts.
- Felacara, female elf- carves animals and flora
- Aerendugisi, male elf- carves abstract figures and designs.
- Jaisen, male human oil painter, does surrealism with mythological creatures;
- Para, female human oil painter doing abstract work with light/dark contrasts (mostly shown in west);
- Hoyle, male human traditional painter who does splotchy abstract works for the west;
- Dipeh, a male Halfling who does nature scenes (sunsets, beach, forests);
- Ugug, traditional half-orc male painter who creates paintings of flowers.
- Hira, female human, abstract blown glass [West];
- Thyre, male human, blown glass shaped like animals;
- Wetzl, male human who creates stained glass [West].
- Cole, male human- stylized scenes with people using traditional paints;
- Arlea, female human who uses stained glass pieces to make murals that resemble mage storms
- Ahdul, male human, uses specialized rare paint to create murals consisting of muted browns and greys in abstract work, for the west.
Wines (west only)
- Tophie, female human who works with dark wines (dark red to black);
- Laurelen, female human who works with blushes and pink wines;
- Alphort, male human who specializes in white wines.
Art Around the City
- Statues- some donated to parks, there is one in front of capitol (see monuments), the marketplace has a giant statue in a fountain, other fountains;
- Murals- there are a handful of buildings with painted murals by Cole and Alrea;
- The church is a source of stained glass pieces, statues, and carvings.
Architecture is considered a big deal within Mezthaluen, with the most talented of Architects receiving treatment akin to the most celebrated of artists, often referred to as much. Mezthaluen architecture resembles the values of the city, with large stone buildings designed to last for ages and provide enduring quality, build into shapes that are aesthetically pleasing as well as functional, often working in carved art pieces as well. Throughout the city, there are some examples that stand out as “the best of the best” and are shown to others when talking about architecture.
- Capitol: The capitol building is a testament to the design of Mezthaluen’s engineers, designed so the outermost pieces are awe inspiring without becoming ostentatious, with the interior designed for comfort, function, and safety.
- Chancellor’s Refuge: Like the capitol, this marvelous building (and surrounding neighborhood) is designed to be pleasing to the eye while providing comfort, functionality, and keeping safety in mind (for possible attacks). While the capitol is entirely white, this home has a splash of color, painted in light blues and dark blues.
- Church: One would have gone amiss if they did not mention the sheer size and beauty of the main church, or the smaller yet still pleasing look of the Three Brother’s church. These buildings consist of high rising pillars that hold up vast structures and look prepared to outlast Armageddon itself.
- The Golden Chisel and Owner’s Home: The main office building is huge, among the biggest buildings of Mezthaluen, and the design layout speaks to the artistic tastes of the owners, the reflected values of Mezthaluen, and again that cross of comfortable design, functionality, and safety.
- West Condos: These luxury homes show the capability of the architects to create homes carved from stone and yet large, spacious, beautiful, and stable.
- The Menhdel Brothers Building: Of course, what kind of architectural firm would the brothers have if their building were not among their most impressive work? This building is built similarly to the capitol, yet differing in some ways and a smaller too.
Mezthaluen residents enjoy many different kinds of opportunities for entertainment, with families often using parks and festivals to keep themselves busy. However, Mezthaluen also has more to offer, with theaters for stage productions found in three different districts, as well as gambling halls, burlesque performances, brothels, and clubs (feature restaurant quality food with music or comedians).
- West: The west only brings in the very best acting companies, using both locally formed troupes as well as those from all over the country. They prefer classical plays that often evoke deep thought and philosophical concepts.
- North: The north typically books up and coming companies (on the rise to fame), having them perform popular plays which often tell stories, myths, or reenact religious tales.
- East: The east typically has smaller groups with less talent, telling every day stories or raunchy, comedic tales that appeal to more of their blue-collar culture.
- South: Most gambling found in the south are in taverns along the docks, where the sailors go to drink and gamble away their money. They play card games, dice, and arm wrestle, usually losing to local champions and cheaters. Gambling in the south without the ability to pay up has led to more than one death. “Underground” games have also involved cock fighting.
- East: The east still favors a lot of dice games, but they also have card games going on in Taverns as well as a gambling hall located only in this east district (see attractions). The ability to place bets is better monitored here, so less disputes arise over unpaid debts, although the system is not perfect, and a few murders a year are attributed to being gambling related.
- North: The north shies away from dice games and mostly focuses on card games, although some taverns still have folks who get the dice games going. Fast paced card games are often put aside in favor of more complex games.
- West: The west frowns on dice games as games for the poor and stupid, and instead prefers to play games much more focused on skill (similar to poker) and good judgment. They gamble on dog fights, having specially bred a dog to act as guard dogs and fight—these are held on private residences and are not openly spoken about, as they *might* be illegal- though no one is sure, especially the politicians.
Burlesques, Exotic Dancing, and Brothels
- South: Though one might expect to have something in the south, they do not, though many who work in the East district joints come from the South.
- East: The east is notorious for seedy activity within certain neighborhoods, as such, they have a couple different Taverns that do “Dance nights” where women are paid a sum to come out and dance and strip, and can receive tips as well. There is a brothel in the east as well, which operates under questionably legal circumstances, but since many of the senators themselves use it, no one says anything. See attractions section on the brothel.
- North and West: The north and west are a little more ‘refined’, holding burlesque features instead, dressing an appreciation of the human body and sexuality in a cover of ‘enjoyment of a dance’.
- East: The east has one place serving as a sort of club, selling above average restaurant style food and having some form of entertainer each night, ranging from notable bards, comedians, poets, and other types of entertainers. People pay a cover charge to get in.
- North: Like the east, they have clubs, though here they have three of them, with good food and at least one form of entertainment each night. They hire the most popular bards, wizards to do magic shows, comedians, poets, and those who do specialized acts.
- West: The west only has one such club, ran very similarly to the North, only their food is gourmet and the entertainment including very hard to book lineups.
Mezthaluen appreciates music as much as anyone else, having specially designated places for musical performances as well as many local bards, some of quite renown. Even the Southern District, often faced with hard decisions and tight budgets, finds the time to occasionally catch a show or produce music of their own. The North and West Districts have concert halls for orchestra performances, while pavilions for music exist in the North and East. Many taverns and inns offer free drinks and even bonuses to entice bards to perform at their venues, relying on the extra foot traffic ordering food and drinks to cover the costs, while the bards make additional money off tips.
- Northern District: The northern district has one concert hall, an impressively large one with the ability to seat up to 10,000 people and a stage that supports up to 150 performers. The auditorium is designed with acoustics in mind, offering improved quality of sound as well as making the music heard just as easily in the furthest seats as it is for those closest to the “pit”. There are three Orchestras in the city, with two of them performing in the Northern District. They take turns using the concert hall, playing every other month, and splitting holidays/festivals. The cost is a little expensive, but the more economically comfortable residents of the North are able to afford attending each month, while others make it to a few shows a year. Some residents of the East make it once or twice a year, while residents of the Southern district rarely show.
- Western District: Never ones to turn down an opportunity to separate themselves from those they see as inferior (those who are not rich or wealthy), the west has its own concert hall with its own orchestra, one that performs every month. This orchestra is only composed of 60 performers (stage supports up to 80), making it a highly competitive group—the pay is better, but most importantly the prestige is greater. This venue is able to support up to 12,000 people and is mainly attended by residents of the West District, though it is not unheard of for them to invite members of the North, or for members of the North to choose to splurge and make a show (ticket prices are much higher).
- Northern District: The northern district has one park with a concert pavilion, a large stage where Bards gather during certain days of the year to have a “battle of the bands” sort of competition. During each concert, residents give a donation to enter (fairly generous in the north) and then can give tips to the bard(s) after they perform. After all bards who showed up to perform have done so, they split half the money given between all performers, and then they hold a vote, the winner getting the other half. A performance is held toward the end of April, three during the summer (once each month), and one at the beginning of October. During holidays and festivals, concerts for the celebrations are held at the Pavilion as well. In addition to the state, the pavilion also has bleachers set up for people to listen, as well as surrounding grassy areas to set up blankets. People here are less likely to dance, except during festivals.
- Eastern District: The Eastern district operates much like its northern counterpart, only the bands that play here tend not to be as high of caliber and the earnings are not as good as they are in the north, given that the average income is lower. Nevertheless, those who perform in the east still give it their best and the people have a great time. They too hold performances at April, October, and the summer months, though purposefully on a different day (as some people will go to the north, and vice versa), and they sometimes have spontaneous performances, musicians coming out to play when the park has heavy traffic or when groups plan parties. Often, people will break out into dancing at this pavilion.
The city has many bards, too many to write into a single list. However, some bards stand out among the rest, frequently winning contests at the Pavilion and receiving requests from owners of inns and taverns hoping to boost customer showings. Even the south has a couple of repute, although they primarily play in the southern district and not elsewhere. Of the eight listed between the north and east districts, five of them have receives requests from residents of the west district to entertain at parties or hotels.
The list provided are just the most famous, not near an entire list of all possible b
- Haveal, a male half elf singer and instrumentalist;
- Thomlen, a male human singer and instrumentalist;
- Edgar, a human instrumentalist, singer, and poet (also performs in west);
- Rosalie, a female human instrumentalist and singer (also performs in west).
- Pedervali & Sharmelia, elven couple, instrumentalists and singers (performs in west);
- Povaro, a human male singer and instrumentalist;
- Otlot, a half orc singer and drum player;
- Dilara, a female human singer and instrumentalist.
- Beo, Teo, and Veo, male Halfling a cappella group;
- Nelero, former Aldrak slave, instrumentalist only (known for music that is highly emotional and evocative).
- Haveal, a male half elf singer and instrumentalist;
|Values and Prejudices|
Mezthaluen people are individuals who vary in values and what they regard as important, but there are cultural norms that one will most likely encounter when picking out a random citizen in society. Native residents typically hold family, fidelity, work ethic, stability, honesty, aesthetics/beauty, art, and productiveness in high regard. This is reflected in the structure of their society, with their love of stone and architecture, their buildings made to last many lifetimes, and in the way they raise families while discouraging infidelity and divorce, except in circumstances where abuse is occurring. Mezthaluen appreciates those who are willing to work hard and instills in the youth, starting at a young age, the importance of honesty and hard work.
As far as societies and cultures go, Mezthaluen has a surprisingly low amount of prejudices, but no society is perfect and they do have some. Residents of Mezthaluen tend to mistrust half-orcs, often associating them with crime. This can sometimes extend to Halflings (particularly if their appearance suggests low income and not financial success) and visitors from Terrenus. Mezthaluen sympathizes with the working poor but regards those in poverty with no employment as ‘lazy’ and ‘unproductive’, assigning blame to the individuals- this especially true of drug addicts. Mezthaluen will typically overlook those with criminal histories of petty crime, but those who were previously guilty of crimes that are more serious or had lengthy careers as criminals are deemed as lacking integrity and thus should not be trusted.
Residents of the West in particular look down on anyone who does not have high incomes as well as those who are not parts of families with long established histories in Mezthaluen (3rd generation or greater), though they make ‘exceptions’ for those who are especially wealthy. Because of this family generations rule, they often show disdain to those of other races, though it actually has nothing to do with their race itself, but rather the rarity for other races to be long established citizens with high incomes.
Mezthaluen residents typically believe that a life that has stability, opportunities to be productive, and one led with integrity will eventually be rewarded. They see living a life where you maintain steady employment, raise a family, live in fidelity and treat others respectively as living ideally, and those who report having these things also report high levels of happiness and optimism. Those who live in poorer conditions, or have unreliable work, or less stability, all report increased levels of depression, unhappiness, and lack of hope. It is believed that it is not so much of having these things that just make people happier, but the shared cultural belief that these are valuable, so in having them, the people truly believe that good things will come.
|Primary Religion [state Sponsored]|
The state sponsored religion is the most common religion in Genesaris, that of the creators, Sefverikah & M'Selenkah. Lore is limited on this religion at this time, but a little more information is available here.
|Three Brothers Religion|
The Three Brothers is the second most common religion in Mezthaluen, though it pales in comparison to the support for the Creators religion. The Faith of the Three Brothers is an old one that dates back to the native inhabitants of the Midlands region, before the area rose to great prominence as the sister cities. The few untouched hamlets and villages within the Midlands continue to practice in the faith, as well as the nomadic people, making the two most common sites for Three Brothers followers within the Midlands themselves, and the Southern District of Mezthaluen, where many displaced natives have ended up.
Despite its status as a minority religion, the faith of The Three Brothers is generally well tolerated by those of opposing religions. Of course, within every group are those naturally inclined to hate. Over the course of their current church leader's tenure, support of the church has reached out further, acquiring more members and gaining some influence in state matters as well, as there has begun to be a growing base not only within Mezthaluen, but Union City as well.
See the full article here.
Other minority religions:
- The Elemental Gods
- Aezar, God of Earth
- Luquura, Goddess of Water
- Pyrozen, God of Fire
- Glizer, Goddess of Air
- Zare, God of Thunder
- God of Comradeship (a bitter god who rules over friendship and loyalty)
- God of Betrayal (admires the cleverness of traitors and laughs at their misfortune)
- God of Knowledge (one who is eager to share his knowledge but rarely finds those who want it)
- God of Vengeance (popular to summon to take an eye for an eye)
- God of Justice (a god who seeks to right the wrongs)
- God of Clarity (a god who is called upon to ensure unbiased views and clear thinking)
- God of Artistry (often credited with bouts of creativity and genius)
- God of Words (an eloquent god who often shares his skill with the God of Knowledge)
- God of Courage (an angry god who sees more of his other spectrum - cowardice)
- God of Repentance (a sad god who began as a human and still carries the guilt of that life)
- Altus Arcantium, the God of Mysteries and Secrets
- Ratharo, God of Propheces
- Valjer, the Dragon God
Mezthaluen believes in hard work and productiveness, but also recognizes the need for recreation and time away from the job. They have several parks located throughout the city, with the religious center considered a sort of ‘park’ as well, even though it is the religious mecca. Aside from the center of the city, there are parks spread throughout the four districts.
Lowland Waterfront: This park is located on the river, considered a great place to get in some fishing or watch the sun go down. It has picnic benches that are generally taken care of, and a small set of play equipment for the children. Unlike other parks of the city, this one is prone to some degree of vandalism, with officials from Mezthaluen only coming around a few times a year to clean it up. The Church of The Three Brothers, however, come down every couple of weeks to do the best they can to clean up vandalism and garbage. This is the only park located in the southern district, taking up 20acres.
- East Pavilion: The East Pavilion is the park with the east’s concert pavilion. This park has the stage, bleachers, space for dancing/picnics, in addition to small nature trail cutting along a creek, and two different playgrounds. This park takes up 12acres.
- Pallen Park: This park is the smallest of the noteworthy parks, taking up just 6acres. It has one decent sized playground, as well as two fields for recreational activity.
- Tolford Park: This is the second largest park (aside from The Pavilion), taking up 10.5acres. It has two smaller playgrounds, as well as a trail leading through fields and patches of blackberry briars.
- Keppa Park: This smaller park is 8acres, hosting one large playground as well as three fields for recreational use.
- Miscellaneous parks: There are about another dozen or so located throughout the east, each less than 5acres. Some are just fields with flowerbeds, others have small play structures.
- North Plaza: The north plaza is the equivalent to the East Pavilion, only it is a bit larger with more seating for music performances as well as a lengthier nature trail. This park takes up 14acres and has two decent sized playgrounds in addition to a smaller third one.
- Rizol Park: This park is the smallest of the mention worthy parks, taking up 7acres. This park has one large playground and one large field recreational activities.
- Devv Park: This park is 11acres, made up of sprawling fields and nature trails through artificially created woody areas.
- Miscellaneous Parks: There is another ten or so smaller parks located throughout the north, each with 5acres or less. The types vary, ranging from simple fields to playgrounds.
- West Gardens: This park is stunning and remarkable. Spread over more than 500acres, this park features lengthy trails winding through many different kinds of floral arrangements, maintained by work crews led by garden designers who take growth arrangements as seriously as an artist does their art. Six different locations have playgrounds for children, and the park features four creeks as well as three fields for recreational use.
- Balta Trails: Another manmade set of “nature trails”, this 700acre park features winding trails through wooded areas as well as sprawling fields and other features one would normally have to travel hundreds, if not thousands, of miles to see. Clever groundskeepers and magic users help created the area, and now the groundskeepers and their hired help maintain the site, even having transplanted deer, rabbits, foxes, and other animals to make it seem as real as possible. The endeavor was very costly. This park does not have any playgrounds.
- Riding Trails: While the other districts (excluding the south) have miscellaneous parks, the West does not, but instead has open lands for those with horses to come out and use to ride and train, or to set up games played from horseback in areas designated for such use. These are used mostly by the “Worthy” as the “Elite” and those belonging to the Chancellor’s Refuge are both wealthy enough to have land plots large enough for these activities.
|Festivals and Holidays|
Mezthaluen has a handful of holidays and special festivals, with the Government assisting in the funding of such ventures, encouraging businesses to close and to either take up street vending or just enjoy the celebratory activity—they give tax credits to those who do close and can prove it. Some businesses (like taverns and inns) stay open anyway, as they make more money not only staying open, but make more money than usual as well.
New Year’s Day: New Year’s Day is a big deal to the people of Mezthaluen, celebrated not just on the day but starting with the day and then onward for a full week (the mood and activities very reminiscent of our Christmas). Concerts are held, stands with puppet shows get go on, miniature tournaments are held, people give gifts, light off fireworks at night, and they feast. Each district has differing activities going, with different traveling groups performing in the areas (cheaper groups tend to go to the East while more expensive groups the North) while those in the West often hold private festivities. The celebrations in the south tend to be much more subdued, but the three Brothers church come out, setting up special events in the park, giving away household supplies, food, and clothing, as well as fireworks and candies. New Year’s occurs February 1st.
Spring Festive: This is a three day celebration that commemorates life and good health, reproduction (tied with the ideal of having a family), and the season for starting crops. Traditionally, the first two days are spent gathering flowers and decorating homes and parks, trading baked goods and playing festival games (carnivals come through). On the last day, each District (even the south) holds a large dance function in their biggest parks, with the local bards and even traveling bards playing from sunrise until one hour after sunset. This occurs during the first weekend of May.
Gods’ Week: This week celebrates the gods, which is taken very seriously by the residents of Mezthaluen. Church attendance increases significantly as people go to sermons and then attend picnics sponsored by the churches. During this week, “all are considered equal” and so all festivities occur at the church at the center of the city, requiring people from all classes share the space—generally, this works out fine. Those are private citizens of the Southern District (not carrying goods) are allowed to come and go without paying the normal tax for four hours a day, a trend showed to be followed by an uptick of available drugs in the city. Some have called for a prohibition against this practice, but both churches have fought against it. This week occurs from the first Sunday of August through the next Saturday.
Harvest: The harvest festive is a celebration of a good year and the reaping of the majority of crops, combining themes from our celebrations of Halloween and Thanksgiving. Street vendors sell gifts made of straw, candied apples and sweet corn, while people dress in costumes, holding contests and attending dances. Farmers turn cornfields into mazes and people carve vegetables into ‘sculptures’, ranging from abstract designs to faces or animals. This is a three day festival that begins at sunrise on the first Friday of October and ends at sunset of the following Sunday.
Leader’s Day: This is a holiday for the government officials to take the day off (unless at war or there is an emergency), where people hold functions to ‘give their thanks’, typically by wearing colors of the state (red and white) and giving those who work in government free meals and gifts. At the end of the day, just after dusk, there is a fireworks show. This occurs on the last Friday of June.
Birthdays: Birthdays are family affairs, but the birthdays of children in families which are financially stable and well off tend to be big celebrations, with families coming together, making big dinners and baking several pies.
Mezthaluen residents relish sporting opportunities, seeing preparing for competition as another means to prove their “good work ethic” as well as have fun. The city has a single coliseum, located in the western district, perhaps the only time and place where residents of all districts are welcome to show, just so long as they can afford the admission prices (varies with the event). Inside the coliseum, there is a large field, surrounded by a dirt track that loops all the way around. Beyond the track are the seats, with lower level seats sold for higher prices than higher rising seats, and a single box area designated for the Chancellor, other high ranking officials, and their guests. They use the coliseum for numerous events. Families in the west are also known for holding smaller, private functions. Sports tend to be dominated by men, but women have competitions of their own, and they are allowed to compete against men, though that rarely occurs, outside archery (archery is generally gender mixed).
Track and Field: During the early part of the fall, Mezthaluen holds track and field events, where competitors come out to show off their abilities and compete for the ‘bag’ of each sport. They do sprinting (100m dash), long distance (12km run- 12 laps), spear throwing, ‘chucking’ (throwing a small cannon ball), long jump, pole-vaulting, high jumps, and team relays. Those who take first place get the “bag”, which is a cash prize, the prize of the bag equal for all events but relay (relay is a four man event, so it is worth 4x as much). Those who come in second are given a bag with the same value in silver, and those in third get a bag with the same value in copper.
Tournaments, melee weapons and Archery: These tournaments are competitions held by weapon class, fighting with training weapons and light armor. People compete in sword, staff, spear, axes, maces/hammers, and wrestling. Battles are fought in two categories—finesse and endurance. Finesse goes until someone scores 5pts (5pts for head, 3 for torso, 1 for limbs) and endurance goes until someone is unable to keep fighting, by failing to fight back after 5 hits, collapsing, losing consciousness, dying (rare), yielding, or inability to hold their weapon. Wrestling matches are fought in only undergarments and go until someone submits, loses consciousness, or is pinned. There are two styles- technical and brute. Technical is only grappling, brute is akin to street fighting, with shots to the groin and attacks designed to maim or killed the only illegal moves. Archery competitions involve two contests—traditional contests of aim (increasing distances to hit bullseye) and trick shots, which are decided by judges.
Tournaments, Full: These are tournaments in the traditional sense, where stone sections are laid out over the entire field, and wizards are brought in to create a magical barrier that prevents magic or items entering or leaving the battlegrounds (prevents attacks from hurting spectators or spectators interfering). The stones laid out are not ordinary, but are beautiful white rocks that are immune to magic from anyone but the facilitator, and when activated, create any manner of environment for the fighters to battle on, with the barriers “rippling”. Passing the barrier ends the battle immediately, considered a ring out (even if in the air). Also of note, the stones “reset” all values when deactivated- thus, when a battle ends, both fighters return to exactly how they were when the fight just started. It prevents lasting injuries and death.
“Peril”: A game only found in Mezthaluen, this is a team sport that starts at the beginning of spring (second week of April) and ends by midsummer, with games played once per week by 12 teams. Teams play each other once a week, with the four with the best record advancing to the semi-final, paired based on record (1 and 4, 2 and 3). Both teams play on the same day, with the final two meeting the week after. See the main article on the game of Peril.
|Landmarks and Monuments|
The First Stop Tavern and Inn
The most notable Tavern and inn not only in the Northern District but all of Mezthaluen is The First Stop, a place where new adventurers come in pursuit of quests, and older ones come to put up their feet and swap stories. The drinks are cold and never watered-down, the rooms are clean and comfortable, and the staff is polite and efficient. The Tavern itself is large enough to sit 50 patrons comfortably, and perhaps a dozen more if a little cramped. The inn portion rises up three stories, the bottom level with four rooms, the top two with twelve each, for a total of 28 beds. Most days they run at 80-85% occupancy.
The Market Square
At the center of the Emporium, a market square takes shape, revealing a traditional bazaar where it is possible to find almost anything. Rare foods and exotic clothes, hard to find treasures all line the streets inside the this square. Located so close to the waygates, traveling merchants have an easy time setting up within the well-policed market, selling rare goods from lands far away.
The Religious Center
The religious center is perhaps the prettiest part of the city, with lovely gardens and finely trimmed trees, intricate statues and beautiful architecture. The large amount of money spent on the main church’s property is quite clear. The Three Brother’s Church is much more simplistic but still aesthetically pleasing, with gardens that are taken care of by the Clerics themselves.
The Chancellor’s Refuge
They refer to it as the refuge, but in truth, it is a small castle, where the Chancellor and his guardians reside in the center of all the other nobility’s families. The site is very old but well cared for, and considered a tourist attraction.
Southern District’s Docks
The docks are a major area within the city, where both business and military ships come to port and leave, providing a steady amount of activity during the day. At night, things slow, but the rate of crime increases exponentially. Locals warn others to stay clear of the docks after dusk, and if impossible to avoid, walk in a large group.
Home for the Infirm
This is their polite way of referring to those who are mentally ill. The home is for those who can function semi-independently, with only check-ins and delivered meals. The home is located in the center of the Slums in the Southern district, as they wish to keep them tucked out of sight and in an area where the ‘better people’ will not be at risk from wanderers. Those who are too ill to function without constant supervision and assistance are either taken care of by the families, or exiled out of the city, left to fend for themselves.
The Bumbling King Tavern and Inn
Probably the only halfway decent establishment in the Southern District, although that still isn't saying much. Still, it tends to be less rowdy and better policed, with the majority of patrons minding themselves a majority of the time. Rumors has it that the bartender here is actually a powerful spellcaster, but no one has proven such a thing. One would have to wonder, why would a bartender with special powers and abilities be set up in the middle of the worst side of the city?
Northside Museum of Art and History
This is the museum found in the north district, not too far from the roundabout. This museum caters to the normal people, emphasizing an appreciation for history and art for its own sake rather than fodder for ‘intellectual conversation’. The city uses some of the capitol guards in this location, keeping an average of 8 staff on duty at any given time. It is rumored that the items have magical based alarms put on them to prevent thefts, and that the place will go into automatic lockdown if someone swipes something.
West District’s Gallery
This museum puts much more emphasis on abstract art and pieces for generating conversation, rather than artistic expression and appreciation. Their gallery has paintings, sculptures, and even wine, where different winemakers come to showcase new wines and their ‘fancy’ bottles. Most people who come here just stand around having conversations designed to make themselves look smart.
|City Politics and Management|
Mezthaluen is ruled by a pseudo-democratic system, not to say that the people are duped so much as there is very limited choice in the selection process, with the only real recourse for citizens is to make Union City start over in their selection process of a Chancellor. The process in selecting a senate, however, is largely a democratic process, although residents of Mezthaluen are rather apathetic when it comes to politics and usually vote for the incumbent candidate, unless they have committed a blunder large enough and close enough to election time to motivate normally indifferent people into rallying behind choosing a new senator. Mezthaluen’s politicians and appointed directors must act within the framework of the Mezthaluen Charter, a document that outlines procedural processes, the rights of citizens (of which can never be taken away, only added to) and the binding tie to Union City.
The Chancellor presides over the city-state as the leader, allowed to carry executive actions in accordance with enforcing laws, setting the budget, and overseeing all military actions not handled by Union City. He acts as a judge in matters of crimes against Mezthaluen, he can offer pardons to criminals, and he has the ability to censure of a senator, the beginning of the removal process. The Chancellor is not elected in the traditional sense, but is instead appointed by the council of Union City. Upon appointment, the new Chancellor serves for one year and one day, whereupon the final day the senate votes whether to grant ‘the right of campaign’. If granted, a vote is setup with the citizens of the city within 6wks of the senate’s vote, allowing the people to vote to keep or remove the chancellor. Historically, the people always vote for a senate-approved chancellor.
The Chancellor maintains the position until they resign, they are removed, or their death. The removal process requires a unanimous vote by the elected senators, and then final approval by the Union City Council. If the Chancellor is removed or resigns, the senate designates an immediate replacement, who will serve until the Union City Council can decide who they wish to appoint (can take up to 60 days). If the Chancellor dies in office, the senate will appoint someone who will serve for 90 days before the Union City council takes the matter, serving out the “Months of Mourning”, a period that allows the people to mourn the loss and allowing things to “stabilize” for the people.
The current Chancellor is Vaki Elchoen.
There are three senators for each district, in addition to one appointed by the Chancellor to serve as a tiebreaker in voting. Senators serve 6yr terms, with election held every two years to vote on one of the three senators. The reelection rate of incumbents in Mezthaluen is over 90%, showing of their general disinterest in voting against the current candidate and as such, most elections do not see anyone seriously campaigning against the current senators. Senators can be removed if the Chancellor censures the senator, after which he presents a case to the Union City council.
Senators write laws, take petitions from the people, and can choose to hold votes that overturn a decree passed/enforced by the chancellor, although this takes a 2/3 majority vote (not including the appointee of the chancellor). When writing laws and policies that affect all of Mezthaluen, the senators hold a vote. However, if their intent is to pass a law or policy that only affects their represented district and in no way affects the others, they can vote amongst themselves and pass such measures with a vote of two to one. This commonly leads to directors and senators speaking in group settings and in clusters, depending on whether desired changes are city wide or only for a district.
Stewards are appointed by the Chancellor and then validated by a majority vote in the senate. There are seven Stewards, each in charge of the management of certain aspects within the city. Each Steward is allowed to hire as many assistants as they feel they need, so long as the Chancellor approves the required budget. Stewards serve until they step down or are removed by the Chancellor and are among the most powerful people in the city.
- Military: This position is our modern day equivalent to the Secretary of Defense, acting as the liaison to military generals and the Union City council, as well as overseeing all operations of the City Guard. This position is filled and maintained by an Edgemaster, a required qualification. The current director is Kijad, The Moonlight Blade.
- Diplomacy: This position is our modern day equivalent to Secretary of State. This steward spends as much time in Union City as Mezthaluen, if not more so. They act as an intermediary between Mezthaluen and other cities or countries, working out deals and keeping relationships in good standing. Historically, this is a favored replacement for Chancellors. This position is currently filled by Aterem Quinn.
- Economics: This is our modern day Treasurer, acting as the overarching figure in all monetary matters. He sets taxes, plans expenses, calculates needs, and assists the Chancellor in setting the budget. Currently filled by Korpos Haviya.
- Justice: This Steward is akin to our Attorney General, who oversees appointing judges, maintaining ethics standards of city prosecutors, prosecuting cases of crimes against the state and interpreting current laws. This position is filled by Florence Dewey.
- Infrastructure: This position oversees all affairs related to building codes and construction, roads, bridges, docs, transportation regulation, waygates and air ship ports, the wall around the city, parks, utilities, etc. He is charge of determining budgetary needs, hiring out companies to implement new buildings/repairs, and for the issuance of permits to make alterations on property. This is currently headed by Travis Ureal.
- Education and Magic: This position oversees the regulation of Mezthaluen’s public schools and colleges, ensuring education standards are upheld, he hires new teachers, determines budgetary needs, acts as an intermediary of Mageside City, and regulates laws and uses of magic. This position is always filled by a magic user, this one Ferdinand Typher.
- Religious Affairs: This stewardis always the leader of the main church, assisted/advised by the leader of the Three Brother’s church. This director oversees church affairs and its relation to the state. The Leader of the Three Brothers church has a say but not a vote, although he can appeal to the Chancellor up to three times a year.
Citizens of Mezthaluen are generally happy with the work their government does and very few believe that there is any actual “corruption”, which actual evidence suggests is far from the truth.
At the very least, the Steward of the Treasury owns the majority of slums in the southern district, providing cramped housing in the worst neighborhoods and barely maintaining them at a ‘livable standard’, a standard that is both not truly reflective of something livable and a standard set by… him. Rumors about claim that the Steward of the treasury may be involved in child exploitation and the rampant slavery related kidnappings. There is possible evidence to implicate the Steward of Justice as allowing certain criminals to get out of prison time, using her position of power to influence city prosecutors to turn a blind eye to certain individuals. There are a few rumors of her possible involvement in the almost completely unknown mob that no one can identify or pin down. It is also believed that she may have pocketed money from the budget, a fact that gets overlooked by the treasurer and the chancellor, interestingly enough.
The senate has a history of corruption, the information publically available but often underutilized, resulting in officials caught in controversial situations or even committing minor crimes managing to get reelected and continuing as though it never occurred. Only getting caught in the act of serious crimes seems to result in the removal of a senator, usually at the behest of the Chancellor, who must act to maintain some degree of integrity within the city’s politics.
|Relationship to Union City|
The “Federal Government” is Union City for Mezthaluen, with the final word on many things going through that city. Union City appoints chancellors for Mezthaluen. All laws that affect people outside city limits (excludes farmers, who are considered inside city limits) must be ratified by Union City, as well as changes in military policies. Union City has the ability to remove a Chancellor, Senator, or Director on their own without request of Mezthaluen, although this has only happened a couple of times throughout history.
The city guard consists of individuals who work as city patrol, gate guards, wall watch, and those who work in the capitol and public buildings. In addition to the normal guard, there are specialists who are split between roles as detectives and forensics investigators, the forensics investigators consisting of at least one magic user at all times (if one is lost, they immediately hire another). Those who are on city patrol walk the city, assigned to certain areas depending on where their base is located. Those who watch the gates monitor the people entering and leaving, as well as collecting taxes at the Southern District gate. Those who are on the wall monitor activity immediately outside the city, watching for signs of danger and defending against intruders if needed. Those who work the capitol and public buildings do the same work as the city patrol, only within those buildings instead. They also do searches and pat downs.
The city guard is broken down into varying ranks, which go from guards in training (trainees), full-fledged guards (basics), noncommissioned officers (corporals, sergeants), commissioned officers (Lieutenants, Captains) and the Director. Corporals lead escorts (4-5 guards), sergeants lead squads (8-10), Lieutenants lead patrols (15-20) and a captain leads a station (30-40) while a chief of guards runs a precinct (150-160).
Mezthaluen has 13,500 individuals on the payroll as part of the city guard in some capacity (includes specialists and officers).
- 800 officers work as guards for the jails, which means at any given time, about 160 guards are on duty.
- 900 officers guard government regulated buildings, including the museums, the library, the Capitol, the Chancellor's Refuge, government administrative buildings, etc. This puts about 180 on duty at any given time.
- There are 40 special assignment officers, 10 being detectives and 30 being forensic investigators. This puts about 2 detectives on duty at any given time and 6 forensic officers on duty at any given time, at least one of which will be a magic user and/or sensor.
- There are 85 high ranking officers (chiefs or greater). They work primarily daytime.
- There are 330 Captains. They too work primarily daytime.
- This leaves 11,345 guards, of which about 2,269 are on duty at any given time (average).
Any given area will have 3-8 guards inside a single square mile, with areas with much lower crime rates being lower (as well as the southern district) having closer to 3 while areas (not in the south) with higher rates tend to have closer to 8. Guards never travel alone, going off in at least pairs. The way guards are spread means that if you commit a crime and encounter two guards, if you are in an area with at least 4 guards, you can count on the other two sets being able to arrive within 1 minute, and other groups of guards being staggered out by 2-5 minutes, coming in groups of 2-4.
They do have the means to get guards from one side of the city to the other in an emergency situation- the above applies to normal crimes, not acts of terrorism.
As with any city, the crime in Mezthaluen is varied and often dependent upon which part of the city you are visiting. The overall rate of violent crime in Mezthaluen tends towards low average, with the Southern District having by far the highest rate, followed by the East, then North, then West. The exception to this would be kidnapping, for which Mezthaluen has a significantly higher than average rate. Crimes of property tends towards what would be considered average for the whole of Genesaris, again with the Southern District having the highest rate of crime, followed by the other regions in the same order. The use of illegal drugs is high in the Southern District and at moderate levels in the east, while the North District actually sees very little.
South District: The southern district has the highest rate of crime, with more than two thirds of its illegal activities occurring along the docks and the surrounding neighborhood. The south has a high rate of murder, assault, and sexual assault, with over half of women having faced an attempt by the time they are 25 years old (assumed that about half succeed). The excessive rate of kidnappings are almost entirely concentrated in the Southern district, with the majority of the few cases in other parts of Mezthaluen largely being a domestic issue rather than one involving strangers.
The southern district sees a significant amount of use with illegal drugs and excessive consumption of alcohol, which leads to violent behavior. Vandalism and theft are rampant as well. While smaller thieves guilds are sure to exist, the largest thieves’ guild, “The Conduits” is located in the South District. The Southern district has no formal establishment or brothel for prostitution, but it is common throughout the south, especially near the docks, where sailors come in for short stays. The less reputable inns have connections with pimps and are willing to arrange services, while others will have to wander the neighborhoods in pursuit of someone combing the streets for johns.
- The Conduits: See Main Article
East District: The second highest rate of crime belongs to the East District, although their rate of crime is about average for a city region within Genesaris. Assaults, muggings, and petty theft are the most common forms of crime, with murder and sexual assault being rarer. The East district also has the questionably legal brothel, which exists and pays taxes, though its legal status remains unclear. Some use of drugs and excess use of alcohol exists, but it is less common than in the south. Illegal goods tend to be bought and sold in this district, making fencing and money laundering a more common practice in certain neighborhoods. The East tends to see a higher rate of burglaries, being in close proximity to the South District and having more goods worth stealing than those who live in the South already.
North District: The North district has low rates of crime, with more crimes being related to domestic issues than violent crimes against unrelated parties or property crimes. Occasional thefts and burglaries occur, but due to the higher presence of guards throughout these areas, it is difficult to carry out successful crimes in the Northern District. The use of drugs and excess alcohol tends to be rarer, as people who become hooked can ill afford the property values of the North, spending their extra income on the illicit substances.
West District: Criminal activity in the West District is less common, and typically relates to either white collar crimes (fraud, embezzlement) or crimes that go “overlooked” (use of illegal drugs, prostitutes, exploitation of people). It is rumored that there is a mafia presence, who live in the West and keep business fronts in the North, but nothing is definitively proven at this point. The use of prostitutes here occurs with higher end ladies called “Call girls”, who are hired to be “Companions at events and functions”, the details of sex left out of polite conversation of course.
Mezthaluen has three jails for the majority of its citizens, with a fourth located at the capital itself to hold the few western district citizens who are locked in a dungeon, and to house high profile political prisoners (who are guarded by capitol guards at a much higher guard to inmate ratio). The prisons inside of Mezthaluen hold those who are awaiting trials and those who have been convicted of less serious offenses- low value thefts, destruction of property, unpaid debts, etc. The criminals kept back are not those who have been convicted of a violent crime or an offense of serious degree, those prisoners being sent to one the prison cities instead.
Mezthaluen’s overall incarceration rate is about 50 people per 100,000, accounting for the entire region, not just the city. The rate of incarceration for individuals outside the city is about 40 per 100,000 and the rate for within the city is about 80 people per 100,000. The incarceration rate includes all those who are either in jail awaiting trial, in their jails for minor offenses (terms of less than 2yrs) or in one of the prison cities. About 2/3 of their criminal population is actually relocated to a prison city, while the other 1/3 does not leave Mezthaluen. Mezthaluen has an actual capacity for 2,400 criminals in their main three prisons, but their population rates typically stay at about 1,600, give or take a couple hundred. They staff their main prison ratios at one guard for every 15 inmates. The prisons are set at capacities corresponding with the level of criminality and imprisonment in that part of the city.
The North’s is the smallest prison, with a maximum capacity of 450 beds, the average occupancy typically around 300 criminals. Their rate of incarceration is only 50 people per 100,000, matching the overall average. They have 30 corrections officers on duty at any given time, and about 150 in total.
The East and South
The prisons in the east and south are both the same size, but what is of note is that the south has less than half the people, telling of their rate of incarceration. The east has an incarceration rate of about 65 people per 100,000 while the south has an incarceration rate of 162 per 100,000 (about 2.5x the rate of the east). Both prisons hold up to 975 people but have a census of about 650 prisoners at any given time. Both have 65 guards on duty at any given time, with a total of 325 guards on staff.
The west has a jail for the upper class at the basement of the office where the detects and forensics workers reside, kept in rather ‘comfortable’ conditions (considering what corrections normally is like) with softer beds and better food, as well as a chair to sit on and books. This prison is watched over by capital guards and has a maximum capacity of 15 beds, and has three guards on duty at all times (takes up 15 of the 900 capitol guards). The other jail in the west is one kept in a secure basement of the most heavily occupied military barracks, where high profile prisoners and ‘political criminals’ are kept. This prison has enough beds to hold up to 20 individuals, and is staffed with 10 guards at all times, taking up 50 of the 900 capitol guards (total of 65 for jails).
Defenses and Security
Prisons within Mezthaluen are not easy to break free of by any means, especially those kept in the high security west prison. All prisons are made from a magically reinforced stone, making it 50x harder to break than normal stone, as if stone being 3ft thick were not bad enough. The prisons are actually located beneath ground, lit entirely by artificial means. Prisoners are kept behind solid steel doors, not doors with metal bars and spaces between. The door is reinforced by a titanium locking mechanism, a bar that slide over the door and rest between brackets on both sides of the door, those brackets held into the wall by three screws an inch thick and a foot long.
Prisoners do not have yard time or time to mingle, as they do not leave the room until it is time to face trial—for any reason. Food is delivered in a clay bowl (very brittle) through a slat at the bottom of the door, as well as liquids. There is a hole that leads to a pit for relieving oneself- this hole is two inches wide and no paper is provided. The prisoner is kept inside the prison with no clothing anyway. Prisoners are not allowed to converse with guards, but there is an enchanted section of the wall that allows prisoners to place their hand against it, and then push a finger against a specific cell number- they can than converse with other prisoners. This found to help cut down on rates of prisoners going insane.
Prisoners are allowed visitors once per week, but the visitor is monitored after being carefully searched and only allowed to visit wearing a long brown tunic that comes to the knees of someone who is just under 6ft tall (they have varying sizes). The person is allowed to hold the prisoners hand the through the food slot and they are allowed to visit for one hour before they are made to leave. A guard must be there the entire time in order for the visit to be allowed.
As stated, the stones the prison are made from are magically enchanted. They are reinforced to being more than 50x as difficult to cause damage to, as well as not just being magic resistant, but magic absorbent. Those who attempt to cast magic (psionics, innate talents, manipulations of anything, any supernatural power be it even the regeneration of a werewolf or the ability to change cells—this covers all supernatural/unusual abilities) immediately have their source stolen and absorbed by the stone. The energy collected by the stone is periodically drained and used to recharge exalta stones.
There may be a separate lore page for each prison at some point, but there is not at this time.
Mezthaluen has a vast army, including their own impressive navy in addition to housing the navy for Union City. Mezthaluen also has an airship fleet as well, but most of these are kept at Union City, used only where there is such a need. The maximum occupancy within the city for military housing is 36,000 (excluding high-ranking officers), though their numbers fluctuate between 30,000 and 36,000. Another 39,000 to 50,000 soldiers are within a day’s march of the city at any given time, kept back to deal with emergencies.
Within the City
Within the city limits, in the West side of Mezthaluen, there are 10 military living and training facilities. Each of these facilities are composed of 12 housing units, 12 ADL wings (activities of daily living- eating, bathing, etc), all surrounding a giant square (About 280’x280’) training ground for soldiers to use daily. Soldiers (not in training but maintaining) train for six hours a day, split between two groups, the time each group going out changing each week- they take one day off a week. These ADL wings also serve as the weapons storage for soldiers (not siege weapons, but swords and the like). The soldiers kept within the city are treated like the National Guard, in that they do not typically respond to incidents unless things have truly gotten out of hand (they can assist guard with riots or terrorist attacks) or in the case of natural disasters.
The lake for which Mezthaluen sits upon contains the naval base for both Mezthaluen and Union City. All ships of Mezthaluen sit in the water of that lake (obviously) as does Union City’s, but Mezthaluen has very few Union City naval members there. Mezthaluen has several naval forts located around the lake, with the soldiers staying at forts closest to their assigned ships. In times where the navy is required, naval soldiers can quickly mobilize, load up, and set out on ships, usually within 10 minutes if required.
Outside the City
Mezthaluen keeps a majority of its soldiers stationed in forts around their range of control, stationed about every 20mi to 25mi apart. Each fort contains up to 180 soldiers (never less than 150) and are interconnected by short range waygates located in an open area of their property- these gates can transfer troops up to 25mi (to another fort) at about 10 soldiers at a time, a group every 20 seconds (about 30/min). This allows them to quickly send reinforcements as required, or to abandon a fort if needed (5 to 6 minutes to completely clear out). The forts are fortified stone fortresses, using magically reinforced stone bulwarks to defend against intruders. Their walls contain 40 to 48 archers, as well as men for using canons and catapults. Each fort also contains 3 to 4 mages and 15 to 18 Holy warriors, who lend considerable strength through offensive, defensive, and supportive magic.
The majority of Mezthaluen’s airships are stationed in Union City, kept with their Air Force until a time of need. As a backup precaution, the military has made space for 10 of their airships in Mezthaluen itself, keeping the rest in Union City. Should a need for the airships ever come, pilots are ready to use waygates to transfer from Mezthaluen to Union City quickly.
Unit Amounts and Types
The breakdown by branch of military is as follows:
- Infantry, Archers, Cavalry, Knights and Paladins: 250,000 to 300,000+
- Navy: 150,000 to 180,000+, with 3,000 ships (average capacity for 60 crew and up to 350 soldiers for transport)
- Air Force: 50,000 to 60,000+ with 900 pilots and 400 airships (average 2 pilots per ship+15 crew and up to 30 soldiers for transport).
- Holy Warriors: 40,000 to 48,000+
- Battle Mages: 10,000 to 12,000+
Groundsoldiers: Ground soldiers consist of regular infantry, archers, cavalry units, Knights, and Edge masters. These soldiers make up the main basis of the army (50%) and are the most utilized.
- Infantry: Traditional foot soldiers, consisting of 75% of the basic army. They use spearmen (in the front), with soldiers armed with other weapons following behind.
- Archers: Consists of about 12.5% of the army, staying in the very back and using composite long bows.
- Calvary: Horsed units, about 10% of the infantry. Use pole arms and swords.
- Knights: Specialized warriors who act as Lieutenants, covered in heavy armor. About 1 in 10 is a paladin. Very formidable, about 2.5% of the army.
- Edgemasters: Much rarer, act as highest ranking field officers. Use magic and highly enhanced weapons—very hard to kill.
Navy: Consists of those who are either part of a crew or soldiers who are transported by ship, go up to shore, and kill enemies (think marines). Some are specialized as well.
- Crewmen: These are the navy members who operate ships, among them captains. They use cannon fire and keep ships functional, performing repair work with the ships laborers (not considered military) as needed. About 60%
- Invaders: A team of individuals who are hardy, tough as grit and about as hard to take on as two regular soldiers. They make up about 39% of the remainder.
- Stealth Killers: These are like invaders, double it, and then add the skill of an assassin and there you have it. These are the equivalent to their Navy seals. They are about 1% of the Navy.
Air Force: Members of the airforce include pilots for the airships, those who man the weapons for the airships, and those who are “divers”.
- Pilots: Fly the airships. They always have two on board in case one happens to the other. Pilots are sharp thinkers and one of the two is a magic user (fix exalta issues).
- Gunners: Gunners run the weapons, combining skills of analytical thinking, good aim, and amazing coordination. They are prepared to switch out exalta as quickly as needed. There are usually 15 on board, though the number needed at once varies, depending on the airship.
- Divers: Divers do not so much as dive as they just fall onto battlefields. A recent Genesaris invention by the work crews of Mezthaluen uses silk sheets to slow the descent of individuals who weigh less than 200lbs (have not made a safe one for those who weight more and must carry gear). This is a relatively new invention and has not yet spread to other cities (by may in time)
Holy Warriors: Holy Warriors are individuals trained by one of the two churches to be men of god while brutally beating the hell out of you. They use all manner of weapons and focus both on fighting off the enemy and keeping their fellow men alive through buffs and wards, as well as healing. Holy Warriors cannot leave their training programs until they are able to perform magic that can stabilize a fatal wound, put up a shield that can withstand a seasoned wizards fireball (without failing) and they must be able to fight three recent graduate students at once. Basically, you have a green beret rolled into a medic.
Battle Mages: Battle mages focus mostly on offensive magic, though some learn some defensive skills as well. They are used for their abilities to turn the tides of a battle, dropping a well-timed spell at a crucial moment of vulnerability for the enemy. Unlike traditional wizards, these are not scrawny weaklings afraid of falling leaf- part of their training is learning to cast and hold spells while getting beat up. They are trained to fight in three different weapons and must go through a rigorous test before graduating. They are tough as nails.
|Education for the Youth|
Mezthaluen believes in educating its children, so long as taxes are paid. This is why the citizens of Mezthaluen see nothing wrong with not educating the youth of those who live in the slums and are largely unemployed. The lack of fairness in how the schools resources are distributed is a byproduct of available tax revenue and population—one that the citizens would agree with being inherently unfair but due to their political apathy, most are unaware of this disparity, assuming their child is getting as good of an education as they can possibly get. Mezthaluen’s education system in the west district and much of the north ranks high amongst schools of Genesaris, while most within the east district come closer to average, and the one school in the south district is quite poor.
Students go to school from the time they are six until they are sixteen, where it is expected they will enroll either in a vocational program, earn an apprenticeship, or go on to a college of some sort. The students learn basic mathematics up through advanced algebra, with the option to go further if desired. Students learn to read and write, and usually learn second and third languages to a point of proficiency. They learn all about history are required to take religious curriculum, but the studies are left to them (which god, what focus, etc). Students are also required to take basic sciences and at least some philosophy.
Mezthaluen offers three colleges, all of them found in the North District, even for the wealthier kids from the west district. Students pick their school based on their intended course of study, the culture of each school, and their ability to pay (as some cost more than others). Mezthaluen uses public funding to cover much of the cost of the schools, drastically lowering the cost parents will have to pay for their students, although this still tends to be out of reach for the majority of the southern district and some of the East. For those who are closer to a middle class income, the prices are quite affordable, and students can earn scholarship funds through their childhood schools.
Fallenger’s Studies: The largest college in Mezthaluen and also the most affordable. It tends to see a lot of students from the east district as well as some of the “less well-off” of the North district. Fallenger offers numerous subjects of study, with the average program taking two to three years to complete.
- Religious History, a study of religion from the viewpoint of a scholar, not to become a priest. This is for those who take an interest in religion or intend to write and study religion and the affect on the people. Though you do not become a priest or holy warrior, this often leads to a job with the churches.
- Business, a degree of study for those who intend to start their own business or work in the office side of one Mezthaluen’s big businesses.
- Mathematics is a field of study where you learn advanced mathematical calculations and processing of data. They often get work in businesses, the church, or government.
- The sciences, this is a job that leads to working either for the school (teaching) or doing research, especially in fields of technology.
- History is a field of study for those who intend to pursue becoming a historian or even librarian, although more than a few future bards have taken this course of study.
- Food studies are about learning the science and art behind food. It helps prepare one for a career in cook or alcoholic beverage production.
- Animal Husbandry is a field for those looking to train animals, in particular horses and dogs.
- Arts and Crafts is the program where you learn about art theory and history, production methods, as well as skill building. There is a long standing debate as to whether it is better to do the class or do an internship.
- Politics is the study of the political system and how it works, often used by those who intend to work in government, politics, or are as an assistant to a politician.
Cut in Stone: This is a smaller college that specializes in all manner of stone, teaching masonry, geology, architecture, and engineering. This school is smaller and still highly sought after, so getting in is very hard. Many going into working for stone forgo college and go to internships, but the highest paid stoneworkers both have a degree, and took the apprenticeship. This is the most expensive school.
The Aether of Knowledge: This college is the middle sized school which largely specializes in magical studies, giving students the needed pre-requisites to then go on to Mageside city where they will learn how to be an effective mage. The pre-requisite program is two to three years and then mageside city is another two to three years, as just becoming a novice wizard is difficult. Other programs of study are available too. Those include History, Mathematics, Sciences, Business, Economics, and Business.
|Trade Programs and Mentorship|
Many occupations within Mezthaluen do not actually require a degree, but instead only require a mentorship/apprenticeship. Some occupations recommend or even require that some degree of knowledge be first obtained, but this is not always the case, and it can depend on who is teaching the program. Areas where mentorships occur include,
- Smithing (weapons, armor, blacksmithing)- some of the better smiths require students take advanced geometric mathematics and science courses focused on metallurgy and basic engineering.
- Masonry- some dream of going to the masonry college, but not everyone can get in. Many just take the apprenticeship instead. Some mentors require students to take geometric mathematics and geological sciences.
- Jeweler- some go on to be jewelers, and given that there are no degree programs for this, they must go to a jeweler. Some have students take mathematics classes as well as geological sciences and sometimes metallurgy, but not always.
- Arts- some go to school, some go straight to the masters. Getting an apprenticeship is difficult though, as not all artists are willing to do this, and those who are have strict standards.
- Carpentry- A vital field as well, with the most people are asked to do is to make sure they have good math skills (may need to take a course).
- Tailor/cobbler: These programs are usually mentor led and rarely have much to do with the education system.
- Alchemy- given the stigma, this one requires a mentor, though often students will be sent to schools to take chemistry courses.
|Life Expectancy & Causes of Death|
Life expectancy in Mezthaluen varies, depending on what part of the city you live in. Overall, the expected life expectancy for someone in Mezthaluen is about 59, but this can be a little misleading as some areas bring up the life expectancy more. The leading cause of death in Mezthaluen is pneumonia, followed infections, and then “the gaspers”, an unknown disease that no one has identified or successfully treated (lung cancer). These figures apply to Mezthaluen as a whole, the following snapshots each area.
South: The average life expectancy in the south district is only 30 years old; while this seems low, one must realize that if you make it to age 21, your life expectancy goes up to 50. The southern district deals with much more disease and illness, without adequate treatment or high quality water to ease sickness and allow for healing. Children disappear; young people are attacked and murdered. People live on the streets in starving conditions, making it hard to become an adult safely. The leading cause of death is infections, followed by pneumonia, and then murder.
East: The average life expectancy of the east district is 55, with the life expectancy of an individual going up to 62 once they make it to age 21. Hospitals in the east have reduced child mortality rates, but some complications do still exist, usually rapid illnesses or unexplainable deaths. The leading cause of death in the East is “the gaspers” caused (unknown to them) by the constantly polluted air with metal sediments (smithing). The next two are pneumonia and then accidents.
North: The life expectancy in the north is 62, and if one makes it to adulthood, the life expectancy goes up to 66. Life in the north is typically better, with a better hospital and less air pollution. The most common cause of death in the north is infection, followed by pneumonia, and then ‘natural causes’.
West: The life expectancy in the west is 70, with those who make it to adulthood expected to live 72yrs. They live in the cleanest, nicest part of the city and enjoy the best healthcare. Their leading causes of death is pneumonia, ‘natural causes’, and then alcohol related deaths, of all things.
|Hospitals and Healers|
There are two hospitals in Mezthaluen, one in the east and one in the west. The north does not rely on the hospital, sending their people to Fallenger’s Studies College, where they receive treatment by students who are supervised by teachers who are doctors. The hospital in the east is supposed to serve for both the east and the southern district, although this arrangement has proven problematic many times. Unless a case of emergency is clear, the guards cannot let people pass without paying their tax, and many cannot afford the prices of the treatments anyway, and thus do not bother going to the hospital.
The East hospital is a decent enough hospital, certainly doing much more good than harm. They have 3,000 beds, 500 doctors (100 on duty at any time) and 1500 assistants (300 on duty at any given time) who act in a capacity similar to that of a nurse (they do not call it nurse). They have herbal treatments for different kinds of infections, largely having to go off the location and the smell, which is not always very accurate. Still, despite their technological shortcomings, the hospital has saved many, many more than they have lost, and have shown to have contributed to a cut in the spread of disease.
This private hospital only serves the wealthy and does not receive subsidies from the city, thus they are more expensive and they require upfront payment. They only have 300 beds, but they have both better doctors and a better ratio (20 for 300 patients) with a better ratio of nurses as well (60 for 300 patients). They have better knowledge, science, and access to new academic information. They also go out of their way to stay up to do date and have the time to do it.
Both churches offer healing, typically only for a donation and only so often, as it does wear out the clerics. The problem (historically) has been one of access, as those who could use the free healing services most are those who cannot leave the Southern district. The Three Brothers church has gone out of their way to meet people in the city from time to time, but not as often as they would like.
The college is always doing research, using the bodies of volunteers (after they died on their own course) to study internal anatomy and how systems work. They are often shadowed by members of both churches, who wish to have a better understanding of how body systems work. Research methods have led to better treatments of certain illnesses and infection, while also dispelling old superstitions and finding logical explanations for phenomenon.
|In and Out of the City|
Mezthaluen has many different ways to get in and out of the city, depending on what your needs are for the moment. Generally, the faster it is, the more it will cost someone to get around.
- Hitch a ride: One option is to hitch a ride with a traveling merchant or caravan. Often times, they will give you a free ride if you are willing to help with camp and offer protection. If you are unable or unwilling to do those things, they are usually happy to accept a little coin as well, especially if you don’t need food. This is probably the cheapest way to get out of the city and on to somewhere else, and it will take the longest. The nearest major city (Union city) is about 1600mi and the next nearest (Aelindra) is about 2,000. At 20mi per day, you are looking at 80-100 days of travel.
- Buy a horse: If you are willing to shell out on a decent horse, this will get you around for quite some time. It costs more than paying for another means of travel, but a well taken care of horse will get you around for much more than a onetime trip. It is not unreasonable to expect a decent horse to get you 50mi and a good one 60mi or even more. Just make sure to stop where there is good food sources and give it breaks. For those same cities, be prepared for a 27 to 34 day journey.
- Travel by boat: Mezthaluen offers charter services on ships, which can take you up and down the main river at fast speeds, and then along smaller (not mapped) rivers that will get you fairly close to other cities at the very least, if not directly to them. There are a few different ways to get through on the river.
- Timber-rafting: The slowest but certainly cheapest means, this gets you on a raft that measures about 150ft long and 50ft wide, and a set of drivers take turn taking you and a group down river, going about 60mi a day. You’ll get going at the same rate as a horse, but the price is pretty cheap.
- Charter boat: Often, traveling merchants do transports of people on the side. They operate 24/7 and make about 120mi a day (24hrs). The prices are usually reasonable and you will make good time. You’ll hit either of those cities in 13 to 17 days.
- Galley: You can hop a ride on a river galley, a bit of a cramped ride that will take you along the rivers at a faster pace. They have teams of rowers who take turns propelling you down the waters, working around the clock to get you about 200mi a day. This costs a bit more, and it is less comfortable, but you’ll get there in 8 to 10 days.
[*]Airships: You can take a ride on an airship. They have airships that are meant to be more like luxury cruises than transportation, so be careful about what you book—pro-tip: cruises cost more. If you catch a ride on a standard passenger transport airship, they’ll get you going at about 50mph, reaching those two cities in 32 to 40 hours. Even the cheap ones are fairly comfortable, so it’s not a bad way to travel, and it is affordable for most—it’s how the citizens in the east district tend to get to and from other cities. Airship costs are on par with our present day charter bus.
[*]Way-Gates: Way-gates are the access to the crossroads, an inter-dimensional space that connects all worlds and dimensions and all that good, complicated stuff- we’ll just be simple here and say Genesarians have been exploiting those gaps for a long while. Keeping these machines running in good order costs a fair bit, so this tends to be the most expensive way to travel, albeit by far the fastest. You hit up the way-gate and you’ll end up in either one of those cities. Traveling at those rates, you’ll be in Aelindra in about 2 seconds, Union city even faster. The price of this is certainly not too bad, but those without a lot of spare income try to avoid it. These costs are along the lines of cheap plane tickets as far as impact on the wallet.
- Timber-rafting: The slowest but certainly cheapest means, this gets you on a raft that measures about 150ft long and 50ft wide, and a set of drivers take turn taking you and a group down river, going about 60mi a day. You’ll get going at the same rate as a horse, but the price is pretty cheap.
Getting around Mezthaluen certainly can be a task, given that the city has 400sqmi to it- that’s 20mi across and down. Walking from one side of the city to the other can turn into a day trip, should you have the need. Fortunately, there are other methods of travel aside from walking.
- Horse: Yes, the horse again, but it does work. Mezthaluen has paved roads that are well kept (even the South, in most areas) and they keep the flow of pedestrians to the sides—just like now, with sidewalks. Horses and carriages use the road to get around and a horse could get you from one end to the other in about 4hrs.
- Speedster: A word crossed between speed and teamster, these are horse drawn carriages that are designed to be fast. Often driven by Halflings (less weight), these six team coaches rely on the southern plains broncos to get about quickly, hitting top speeds of 20mph. If you hire a private coach, you’ll be to across town in a bit over an hour. If you take the public service ones (stop every half mile on all major roads) you’ll get where you’re going in about an hour and a half—just don’t get hit by one. Cost equivalent to bus rides. The only drawback is that on busy days, they might be full (hold 8) and you’ll have to wait for the next one. They come around about every 15 minutes.
- Airship Trollies: The fastest way to get around, though a bit more expensive. They have stops all over town, with schedules posted up and airships swinging by every 30 or 60 minutes (busy stop or infrequent stop). These airships get going at speeds up to 45mph, covering the entire town in about 1/2hr and are never of filled. These charge by how far you go, so it’s a lot like hailing a cab, only they travel fixed routes.
- One-way way-gates: These are smaller way-gates, only able to send you up to 20mi and only sending you one way- some people catch a ride to the way-gate station just to hop them. They’re much cheaper than the long distance ones, but it’ll hit your wallet more than the other options above- but hey, you’ll get there faster than as second. Guards have access to their own inside barracks and stations, and theirs go all directions. It allows guards to get from one end of town to the other quickly when they need to regroup.
Chancellor Vaki Elchoen, The current chancellor of Mezthaluen, he has ruled for the last 11 years, and done so with a fair amount of popularity amongst the population. He is neither conservative nor liberal, maintaining a strong military while giving to the working poor during holiday functions. He has not done anything particularly remarkable in his tenure, but neither has he screwed up either, which works just as well for the people.
Senator Dashyer Ref’Ter (Chancellor’s Pick and Right-Man)
Steward of the Economy Korpos Haviya- Many rumors circulate about this man, but never in the right circles it seems. There is enough evidence to know that there is real dirt on him, it’s just getting that information to stick. He might involved with drug trades and human trafficking. He might use prostitutes or even child slaves. He might be involved with the rumored mafia. About the only thing known for sure is that the worst properties in town are all owned by him—he is definitely a slumlord.
Shivers- Shivers was originally from Mezthaluen, though he has not been back since having gone to Reyer (he got out nearly a year ago in Valucre time). Shivers used to live in the southern district in the flats, working long hours at the docks. After a night of heavy drinking, he lost his temper with another patron and beat him to death with his fists. He was convicted of manslaughter and sent to Reyer. If people were to ask around in taverns along the docks, some might remember the man named “Wer’tan Rythall”, as he was not known as Shivers then. Although, all but one person who knows him as Shivers only knows him as Shivers.
Elders: Jasper Foveh, current leader of The Three Brothers Church
Mentors: Luke Meritok, a noteworthy mentor who has surpassed the requirements to be an elder, but chosen not to become one.
Stupple Hupple- Stupple Hupple is a resident of Mezthaluen as a drifter in the southern district. He is particularly of note for both being totally psychotic and also a kind healer and friend to the poor. Stupple spent much of his time healing injured and sickly people during the day, and would go out at night and interrupt child abductions fueling the slave trade. Stupple has not been in Mezthaluen for a while though and no one is sure where he went. Rumors are he’s either dead or wandering the plains naked…again.
Starthos Strade- Starthos Strade- originally from other parts of Genesaris, he moved to Mezthaluen to pursue a career as a journalist in the west district, following faint rumors of corruption. He did in fact find something on the Steward of the Treasury, but while doing an investigative piece on Reyer’s worst parts, his paperwork was “stolen” and the only guard who knew he was there undercover “disappeared”, stranding him in Reyer for the next two years. Continuing his digging, he found out that Korpos was behind it all, having arranged for that break-in, hoping the ‘weakling’ journalist would not make it long in Reyer. Starthos returned, spending time in the southern district and met Stupple. Last time he was seen, he was in the company of the mad cleric.
Mezthaluen is among the youngest cities in Genesaris, created a short time after the founding of Union City, after ultra-religious citizens decided that the much too secular government of Union City just was not for them. Thus they moved further north into the heart of the midlands, looking for a good place to set up a community. They soon came upon a small mountain range that led into plains eventually ending in wetlands and then a lake, finding fertile ground for farming and a quarry within the hills, a suitable place to take building material and begin shaping a community.
They soon found out that they were not alone, as other Genesarian people who lived as wandering nomads, herding sheep and other livestock while planting small gardens, moving on as the soil quit baring plentifully and retreating to the mountains when the spring floods set in. The people were happy to let them have the wetlands, a place they typically avoided due to the mosquitos and other pests, content to stay in their foothills where they had good land and space to roam. The founders of Mezthaluen found the nomads kind but a bit off-putting as they had their own strong religious beliefs, that of The Three Brothers, which varied from the majority religion of Genesaris.
Mezthaluen (named after a local word for “Of the Gods”) started out as a small community carved from stone, but as time went on, it grew quickly. Others from different parts of the world began to flock there, enjoying a city built upon a lake with plenty of fish to catch and farmland waiting to for someone to nurture it. The biggest group of immigrants however, came from out of the Cold South, where after the war with the great north, many home and entire cities were destroyed, leaving people with next to nothing and decades’ worth of rebuilding to endure. With the increasing population and the start of trading companies along the river, Mezthaluen suddenly exploded, hitting its first “golden age”, when money began to flow into the city at rates much faster than the people could spend it.
About ten years after its founding, Mezthaluen had grown from a small, religiously minded community into a decent sized city, one that began to take more land for itself, slowly starting to encroach upon the nomads in the plains. Some chose not to resist the changes, eventually taking on jobs as farm hands and laborers on the docks, while others moved further upland, putting more space between them and the growing city. The absorption of the nomadic people did an interesting thing in Mezthaluen, introducing a new religion to already religiously devout people. Some took to it readily, and thus, a new minority religion began to spread.
Another six years later, (this now being 247 years from the present day) Mezthaluen grew to a point where it was no longer feasible to run the city by a handful of ‘elected’ religious folks, and the city was too big for Union City to ignore. Seeing the rapid growth of the city and the income it brought in, not to mention the massive size of their lake and River, Union City decided to handle the incorporation of Mezthaluen carefully, to create the bonds of an indebted ally rather than a resistive enemy where no gains could be made. Union City offered to bolster their military numbers and lend them more money and resources for trade, ensuring Mezthaluen rapid growth. In exchange, Mezthaluen would become a sister city, one relying on Union City to aid in matters of rulers and laws, paying 1% of its taxes for the cost of regulation.
With the formal aid of Union City, Mezthaluen’s resources tripled, and on those investments, they made continued gains. The city itself flourished as a trade center and an exporter of granite and marble, several competing companies coming into existence. Mezthaluen’s first formal government took shape, with a Chancellor appointed by Union City, to rule for 1 year before the people decided whether he continued his rule or if the process started over. The first ruler’s name was George Humphrey, who took seat as chancellor with the senate composed of the original leaders. Per their request, the formal head of the church became an official advisor and steward for all religious matters, with the Chancellor able to pick other stewards of his own.
George Humphrey did well, ushering in policies and practices that aided Mezthaluen in flourishing and brought economic growth. He showed tolerance for all people and instilled that on the people, which allowed for a greater influx of former nomads looking seeing if the city life would better suit them. Some left, but most stayed indefinitely. This increase in the formerly native population caused an increase in followers of the Three Brothers, and a small church was formed, so that they too might have a place for worship.
George Humphrey ruled as Chancellor for 39 years, eventually succumbing to a stroke that rendered him incapable of continuing to serve. Union City went against the wishes of the senate and chose not to elect George’s chosen senator, his former right hand man, and instead chose to place an up and coming politician of Union City in his place. This new ambitious man took the seat and bided his time, working with the senate patiently and appearing to be a good and decent leader. When the time came for the vote, the people were happy enough to vote him in without much opposition. Once elected, he changed.
As it turns out, this new leader, whose name was Zachary Bluthe, was xenophobic and intolerant of religion in general, doing whatever he could to oppose the church and overturn previous religions policies. He spread propaganda and rumors to convince the people to turn out their current senate (mostly the founders or those picked by them) and went out of his way to try and strangle the life out of the smaller Three Brothers church. He made shifts in the city design to make the west more luxurious and let crime flourish in the south, even pushing the poorer people (especially the nomads) into the southern district.
Eventually, tensions rose and the people became angry, noticing how the west’s wealth increase dramatically while others stayed stationary, the south even going backwards. The push against the Three Brothers church angered the nomads, and with the church of the state feeling its power dwindling, they joined with the Three Brothers Church and helped push back, finally convincing the senate to vote to hold a trial against the current chancellor. Union City itself could only formally remove a Chancellor, and without knowing a whole lot about what was going on, they chose to veto it. Zachary returned, angry, and become even harder on the people and senate.
With growing dissent in the South among the poor and both religions weakened significantly, riots soon broke out, with people overturning carts, throwing food, and gathering at the edge of the west side of the city, screaming and yelling and making threats. The senate held another vote on whether to try to expel the current Chancellor, but due to fear, two of them refused. The rioting got worse, and soon soldiers were called upon to subdue them. For a while, the military and guards made arrests and quelled the uprising. However, as the violence got worse and the people felt more and more oppressed, even some of the guards and military switched sides, joining the riots and calling to arms.
People began constructing vast numbers of weapons and armor, preparing to storm the heavily guarded west to remove the chancellor by force if needed. Pressure came on to the senate to vote out the Chancellor, but only one of the two changed their minds, the last holdout adamantly refusing to give in to “such childish acts”. Rumors spoke of an attack coming in two weeks’ time, so as the guards spread news and made plans for preparation, the citizens crashed through, catching them off their guard just three days after the start of the rumors. The citizens made it to the capital, but the Chancellor fled and the senate were corned. When confronted, the quickly turned on the last holdout, who made many excuses and promises, but the fired up people wanted blood, and so they dragged the senator out and removed his head.
The citizens of the mob immediately elected to senate the leader of the riots, and with his taking office, he called an immediate vote to remove the chancellor. The situation got back to Union City, and in the face of riots and violence, they relented and called for the removal of the corrupt chancellor. The chancellor, already in hiding, never did surface in Mezthaluen again, though rumors say that he was seen in Union City over the years, but he may have met an early end. This time, Union City chose to be Chancellor a high ranking priest from their church, one favored by the clergy. This appeased the people, and the dust began to settle.
In thanks for the support, an amendment was made to the constitution, calling for the Three Brothers church to have recognition as one of two official religions and to have a say (but not a vote) in government matters. The poorer people of the south (largely Three Brothers religious faith) finally began to settle down, seeing that concessions were made on their behalf. Though the old ruler was removed, some practices continued. The west, already populated by the wealthy, continued to attract those with money, becoming a mecca for the wealthy. The East, having found many buyers for their weapons and goods, began setting up multiple smithing sites, creating weapons and armor for other areas. The North began to flourish as a place for people to live and attend schools, while the south remained a crime ridden shipping center.
The start of the new reign began after nine years with the corrupted chancellor, this time replaced by a man known as Ludger the Wise. Ludger’s reign was a mostly positive one, with the economy growing, the city expanding, more schools built and an emphasis on education put into place. Ludgar even pushed for helping those in need, beginning the tradition of aiding others who cannot get by on their own- over time, this would shift to just helping people who are at least working.
Ludvig peacefully left office eighteen years later, passing away from what was presumed old age. Union City chose a replacement based on the recommendations of the senate, chosing one of their own to take over the spot. Blaine Charles took office and made it through his first year without issue, not even giving so much as a hint of trouble. After that, he slowly began to push the idea of continued expansion, taking more of the nomads land to the south. This idea was largely unpopular with the residents of the south, given how many have nomadic heritage. He succeeded in convincing the senate, and soon there was a campaign to expand the city’s limits from just the current borders and the quarry to all the way to the mountains, taking it by force if needed.
Soldiers went out and chased nomadic people from their homes, carrying out their task with a grim resolve. More of the land was taken, farms set upon them, while old farms were absorbed into the city. Soon, the nomadic people fought back, attacking soldiers and some resorting to attacking farmers, burning down their homes. Most spoke against the use of violence against the people, but not all felt that way. A particular group was the worst of all, attacking the farmers’ homes, killing the entire families. This led to an increased number of soldiers, and an increased amount of blood spilled. Soon, Three Brothers Church had to say something.
Speaking for their biggest base of followers, they appealed to the Chancellor to give up this needless pursuit of land, as they already used far more than they needed. The chancellor would not budge and threatened to not only take the land but also to have them all killed on sight. When word of this reached the soldiers and the people, others began to stir once again. There were rumors of possible riots and everyone grew upset. Seeing how this ended the first time, the senate quickly voted to remove the Chancellor, and pleased with Union City to do so on the basis of using his power needlessly, killing innocent lives. Union City removed the Chancellor, only four years into his tenure.
Peace was made with the nomads, agreeing they would accept Mezthaluen as their government but would be allowed to remain on their lands and do as they always have—something good enough for them. This deal was brokered by the Chancellor Martin Jameson, who finally ended the conflict, restoring peace the city and helping improve its growth once again. His leadership proved to be nothing spectacular but nothing bad either, ruling in peace and allowing the government to run itself for the next forty years, when he stepped down due to losing all of his hearing and beginning to go blind. He died a year later.
The next Chancellor took office, and it was during his rule that the Golden Chisel company was founded, soon growing into the biggest stone and precious metal company in all of Mezthaluen, their success owed creating a chemical that reduced the weathering of stone, greatly lengthening the time the stone resisted weathering. The docks remained ever busy, and the south now had enough people to support a school, but crime remained problematic. The current Chancellor of the time, “William Mathews”, made it his goal to cut down on the crime rates, but he never did find a viable way to succeed. He ended his career after forty eight years, having done little to improve the city directly, but having done nothing to make it worse.
These times of peace and relative lack of instability in politics bred the Mezthaluen cultural trait of indifference to politics, all of them happy that someone is there doing the job, if nothing else. During the next man’s rule, Sean Remus did much to expand the culture of the city, founding museums and encouraging the opening of a general studies college (two were open, one with an emphasis on magic, the other on stone). He brought music to the city and pushed others to seek enriching activities. He pushed for the Home for the Infirm when they found a rising population of those with mental illness, and even managed to quell some of the rising crime in the south district. His forty-one years were considered the best the city had.
The next Chancellor, the last before the current, was Brivlen Dugoten, a man who would serve for forty-three years. His reign was a controversial one, with highs and lows and no one able to agree on how good a Chancellor he was. He improved the economy, but let crime rise in the south district. He expanded the military and airship programs, brought waygates to the city and improved transport around the city and to other locations, but he also implanted the south gate tax to “cover new expenses, and the expansion for the Home for the Infirm”. He got the city involved in world politics, acting as intermediary in varying matters, but the hardly spoken of child slave trading began on his watch.
How his term played out largely depends on whom you ask. The west and much of the North loved him, while much of the east felt ambivalent and the south had a strong dislike. His approval rating lingered around 50%, and while things were well for the upper middleclass and wealthier, as well for those interested in world politics, things got worse for the people of the south district, especially after implanting that tax at the gate, meant to “mostly affect traders”. The going thought was that this man strongly hated the poor, and was the one who pushed the mindset that you should “only help the poor who are working”.
The current Chancellor took office eleven years ago, and has had a mostly uneventful tenure, maintaining the status quo and keeping the balance as it were. People hoped he would abolish the south tax, but he did not. He even allowed a man to go through and purchase huge plots of land in the south, turning them into slums—not only allowed it, he made the man his steward of the treasury. Still, traditions continued under him and aid to the working poor increased, with incentives given to businesses to hire people from the south and to give some reimbursement for their gate taxes.
This brings us more recent days.
Mezthaluen's Child Slave Network Uncovered
Mezthaluen's Child Slave Network Uncovered: During the thread, “Time Heals All Wounds”, the character Stupple Hupple reveals to Starthos Strade that this whole time, he had possession of a ledger that showed slaver schedules for picking up or abducting children, including where they would do so and where they would drop them off. The ledger contained information that gave vital clues on how to find the Slavers’ Alcove and could possibly link the Treasurer of Mezthaluen to child sexual abuse. This proves to be a smoking gun for the former journalist Starthos, who could use this information to bring down the man who had him imprisoned despite innocence.
Stupple Hupple obtained the ledger during the course of “The Chronicles of Stupple Hupple”, a still ongoing thread detailing Stupple’s past endeavors. Sometime earlier in that thread, Stupple comes across slavers trying to take children, and with the help of a teenage companion, they took down the kidnappers and returned the children to their home. On those slavers, they found the ledger, and began using it to track down slavers and prevent kidnappings, as often as they were able and dared. Stupple, being mentally ill, and his friend Silena, being a youth, both failed to realize just how important that ledger truly was, until the day Starthos made that clear. These events jump started the Abolition Thread.
In the year (by Terrenus tracking) 26AO, as the spring thaw set in and during the busiest time of day, strange creatures spontaneously appeared on one of the ships making for port. Nobody knows how the creatures got on that ship or what compelled the creatures to go there in the first place. What they do know is that every single one of the people on that vessel died before they ever came within sight of the Southern Docks, their bodies mashed and their brains removed. Despite the lack of a captain or navigator, the ship pulled in as expected, presenting the docks workers with a terrible surprise—the arrival of unnamed creatures who would soon begin tearing through everyone in their path.
Guards attempted to step up, but they were going down faster than they could gather in the first place, and an attempt to send official magic users resulted in the creatures becoming more aggressive, and rendering the brains of magic users free of their skulls, and then proceeding to consume them. It quickly became clear that the guards were overwhelmed and many would die that day, unless some brave heroes stepped up. Fortunately, several did answer the call that day, although only three would see it through.
The beasts tore through the five residential neighborhoods of Mezthaluen, attacking people as they passed, snatching stragglers who ran and one creature making a beeline for the school. The heroes engaged the creatures as best they could, but for the longest time, nothing appeared to work (stoneskin and magic resistance). Clever improvisation by the Hunter known as Tha` led to some significant damage finally being dealt, and over time the characters realized the best course was to either find bladed weapons that penetrated their carapace, or to cook them in their carapace using lightning. They finally began to slow one creature, and then even managed to kill it. Tha` consumed its innards.
Working in tandem, the other two heroes, Lysander and Kenshin worked together, tearing through the city hurling insults at the apparently intelligent creatures, drawing two of them away. Through a multi-prep planned attack, Lysander brought down a second, and began engaging with a third. Unfortunately, while Tha` ate and the other two battled, one creature made it to the school, where it set upon the children and teachers, causing much heartache and tragedy. Eventually, Tha` pursued the next, while the other two brought down another, coming back to work together in bringing down the one Tha’ attacked. At this time, one monster breached the gates, creating havoc with the guards who had come together to hold it back.
Kenshin charges up a huge attack, nearly killing herself in the process, setting up a takedown that through teamwork, led to the demise of the final creature. Tha` found the bonus item, a magical stone, and consumed that as well, gaining special powers. Together, they brought down the five terrors of the southern district’s early spring attack, an assault that cost nearly 200 lives by the end of it all. Nevertheless, the characters found valuable material among the creatures, which justified the OOC VB gains.
The participants: Thâ, Lysander, & Kenshin
Epidemic of Cats Within Grender (East District) and Surrounding Areas
A strange "Cat Lady" accompanied a group in search of a famed bard with an alcoholism problem, and along the way she kept setting loose numerous cats, apparently some of which were even on fire. It was not until the group had stopped to check a Tavern within the Grender neighborhood had she decided to unleash her ultimate contribution, setting loose an entire wave of cats, hundreds bursting out all at once. The ensuing chaos kept guards busy for hours (forcing guards to enter a neighborhood they otherwise avoided), trying to help people retrieve their dogs and to get ahead of the cat problem. Naturally, cats being cats means far less than half of them were recovered before they went into hiding, and now they have resided in the area ever since, increasing in number as they continue to breed. While this has had the added benefit of reducing the local rodent population, the number of cats in the area is beginning to get out of control. On any given street you can find a dozen or more cats running around, most of them quite feral and often territorial, skittish at best and aggressive at their worst. Additional action may soon be required, and more than one petition has been sent to the government.
- City- Acies ab Vesania
- Region- Acies ab Vesania, The Hummingbird
- Continent- The Hummingbird
- City image- Raphael Lacoste
- Flag- Acies ab Vesania
- City- Acies ab Vesania