Wednesday, May 17, 2017

Wallosp, City of Arts

On the continent of Yofga there are four walled cities. These cities were constructed by the Lujggao, or at least by their giant slaves. These cities are massive urban sprawls with high walls and structures of black stone. Each of these four cities contains a furnace of creation and a purifier, and from these four cities flow the nearly limitless resources that allow humanoids to flourish on Yofga.

So we're going to  talk about the third of these four cities, Wallosp, City of Arts.

The history of Wallops might be considered somewhat boring. Stories say that when the original inhabitants found the city, they entered it and explored it fully. They immediately found the furnace of creation, purifier, and descendants of the Lujggao. Unlike the other cities, the furnace, purifier, and descendants were not hidden behind heavy doors. The doors were wide and the descendants of the Lujggao were prowling the city doing their tasks. The early inhabitants also found massive stores of raw materials that the furnace of creation had obviously been producing for years. Why the furnace of creation and purifier were already in operation, unlike the other three cities of Yofga, is unknown and has been speculated on to great degree by historians.

Unlike the other three cities of Yofga, Wallosp never experienced problems with poor nutrition and dehydration that led to plagues and illnesses. The population of Wallosp had little difficulty expanding into the surrounding area and using the excess of seeds produced by the furnace of creation to being early efforts at agriculture. Early settlers were even able to use the fresh water supplies stored in the city's reservoir to begin the process of digging trenches that served as early aqueducts, which are the backbone of the agricultural efforts of the towns surrounding the other cities.

Wallosp's history might be considered almost boring by readers expecting exciting events and stories of tragedy. The city has little experience with tragedy. It's history is a story of unlikely coincidence and things working out to the benefit of its citizens. Food has always been plentiful, populations have been high, health has always been good. Almost no citizen of the city has every truly wanted for anything in the way that citizens of the other cities or the people of the desert tribes have.

This tale of luck and abundance has given the people of Wallosp something that few in the other cities have ever been able to devote their lives to: art. Almost since it was first settled, Wallosp has been the center of art on Yofga. While other cities worried about scraping together enough lumber to make hafts for tools, the citizens of Wallosp were taking up the arts of woodcarving and scrimshaw. When other cities were trying to scrape together enough iron or copper and tin to forge tools, Wallosp was putting up statues of bronze and brass and studding them with inlays of precious stones and metals.

Dozens of schools have sprung up in Wallosp, schools of poetry and philosophy and all manner or things that may be classified as art. These schools and studios have sprung up in the heart of the city of Wallosp, sort of organically growing up around the Great Gallery of Wallosp. The Great Gallery is a large series of interconnected buildings that incorporate pre-existing structures and mortal additions as well. This large structure contains various wings where art is displayed and at the times the building itself act as art. The Great Gallery was founded by an early king of Wallosp named King Grannomel.

In addition to its dedication to what might be called the of arts of the mind, Wallosp has also supported physical arts in the form of games and sporting events. These eventually culminated in the creation of the Arena of Wallosp and the formation of the week long festival known as the Great Games. The Great Games are an incredibly popular event in Wallosp that fills the city to its brim with spectators from the other cities and town and even the tribes of the deep desert. Contestants participate in trials of the body and the mind in competition for cash purses of thousands of gold. This event is overseen by a group of secretive stud wielders known as Architects. Their identities remain unknown, but during the Great Games that can be identified by their voluminous red robes that shroud their features in shadow. These mysterious figures are sometimes called sadists for the difficult trials they inflict on individuals, but despite their cunning, few participants in the games have ever been truly slain during their trials.

The ruler of Wallosp is King Metlesken Hargrave (57 H M). He has ruled the city for approximately 20 years now and is considered to be a fairly benign if unimportant ruler. He became king approximately twenty years ago with little fanfare after the natural death of his father. King Hargrave is not very involved in the running of Wallosp and relies heavily on his mother and advisors to keep the city running day to day while he enjoys the fruits of his position and their labors.

The government of Wallosp is primarily a monarchy ruled by King Hargrave, and he wields essentially limitless power in the city, though he rarely does so. The city is more closely overseen by the Council of Curators, though anything they do or enact can be overridden by King Hargrave. There is a fair amount of corruption within the city's government, but it is relatively benign and does not prevent the system as a whole from functioning. The monarchy is traditionally a hereditary monarchy, while positions on the Council are typically purchased by artistic contributions to the Great Gallery of Wallosp. There are essentially an unlimited number of seats on the Council, but the current number of council members is roughly 120.

The laws of Wallosp are fairly benign in nature, with nothing too overly authoritarian being enacted. Crimes such as murder are treated more harshly than minor crimes such as theft, as is the case across most of Yofga. Law is enacted on the street level by contracted investigators who wield little power in the city when they are not actively investigating a case. Those investigators are hired and overseen by judges that are put int position by politicians on the Council.

The economy of Wallosp is almost certainly unassailable. The city has effectively unlimited resources and it is not stingy in sharing those resources with the towns that owe it fealty. Because it basically needs nothing from the other cities, the city has a strong position in terms of bargaining and trading. It may not have quite as much iron as Mennum, or as much copper and tin as Crannom, but it has more than sufficient amounts for its basic needs. The only thing that Wallosp truly lacks is tradesmen. They have artists and resources, but because of the somewhat unfocused and relaxed lifestyle of most citizens in the city, they lack tradesmen committed to a specific trade. They have goldsmiths and silversmiths and gemcutters and carpenters, but they focus on artistry. The city only really needs skilled tradesmen with practical skills that can forge and shape raw materials for practical uses. This gives the other cities bargaining power, but not nearly as much as having unlimited resources.

Armed Forces
The armed forces of Wallosp are many and varied. This is due to the fact that the entirety of what might be called Wallosp's armed forces are mercenary in nature. Wallosp does not keep a standing army of any kind. Instead, they use the city uses its reserves of coin to buy the unquestioning loyalty of a hodgepodge of career mercenaries and participants in the Great Games the city holds every five years. This method makes the forces of Wallosp very varied and versatile and makes it rather difficulty for the other cities to gauge the precise nature and strength of Wallosp's forces.

Current Affairs
Wallosp is currently celebrating its Great Games. The celebration has been going on for two days now. On the fourth day, the Arena opens up and daring individuals can begin competing for acclaim and prize money. The influx of people wishing to see the Games of course brings in a great deal of commerce and chaos to the city. This naturally leads to increased crime for those natives and visitors living outside that law, as well as better job opportunities for those seeking gainful employment. Many merchants and nobles seek to hire participants and victors from the Games as guardians for their goods and persons. 

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