Given what’s going on in the United States these days, it felt eerily contemporary to write this passage. Still, it points out some of the problems with The Realm. Let’s unpack.
As I mentioned in “unpacking” last week, The Harbor is a section of No Entry in which non-gnomes are allowed to enter, and even live. Space in the neighborhood is limited, so there is an extensive 1 visa system in order to obtain a permit of residence. Most are passed on down through generations, so there are very few of these available to the general population. Regional governments pay handsomely to secure one of the permits, and associated benefits, for their constituents.
Visiting The Harbor is not impossible, but does require an entry visa. Ever since refugees began moving toward the Fifty Peaks Mountains, however, these visas are almost never given out. But more on that in a bit.
The Wizard’s Firecracker
Wizard’s do, indeed, have their own private language, which randomly discharges magical energy when spoken. This is the “Wizard’s firecracker.” Aside from warning the general population to not trifle with those who have firecrackers lit, it’s a handy way to hide one’s conversation from prying ears. The cracks of energy can be quite loud.
Boarsblemish is an interesting place.
The Refugee Crisis
I did not decide to write about The Realm’s refugee crisis, and New Town, because of the current refugee ban in the US. Of course the current refugee crisis which the world faces was an influence on this becoming an important part of the story, but given the nature of war the idea of refugees made sense.
When I created my map of The Realm several years ago, “No Entry” was the name I’d given to the gnome’s border town, because I’d already decided they’d be a rather closed society. They also happen to have the safest territory in case The Horde manages to renew their invasion, so it makes sense a mass of frightened people would make for their territory.
And then last Friday and Saturday happened and I thought, “Oh, wow.” But all the plot points from this scene were set in stone weeks ago, and have been forming over the course of years.
The Empty Throne
The throne really is empty, which has removed an important cog of The Realm’s system of government. While the King is far from an absolute ruler, only the King is able to over-turn a harmful law, or break a deadlock in the governor’s council. Only the King is allowed to set a common rule for all peoples, ratified by the council. Without the king, gridlock is the order of the day.
And no one knows how long the throne has been empty.
I love how Nobody doesn’t seem to understand how he probably shouldn’t be offering dangerous snack chips to his companions. It honestly hadn’t occurred to him, he thought if any of his current batch exploded he’d be present to record the results 2
New Town is not a happy place, and the gnomes have no intention of letting any of it’s denizens into their borders.
The gnomes don’t like outsiders, but neither are they cruel. They bear no animosity for the refugees, but they really feel they’ve suffered enough on their behalf. Really sentiment toward the war, and all it’s effects, is extremely low.