Culdesac World: Bugliators! (Minimus)
Wysmoth X Falmoth
WysFal is comprised of several major and dozens of minor islands in a mixed saltwater/freshwater bay/semi-lagoon behind staggered breakwaters, fed by one of the continent’s major rivers, the Prio. According to legend, it is the result of artificial construction over generations by a refugee culture of elemental magi, the Utri, who eventually died out or assimilated into the general population many millenia ago. Their earth specialists gradually raised not only the islands from the existing seafloor but many of the buildings upon them as well, which are now considered prime real estate for their excellent original design as well as their historic nature.
The bay’s shape is fanlike, with shallow white sand or grey pebbled beaches leading to high green hills from the north to the south. The Prio exits into the bay at approximately the center of the fan and cuts through the middle of the trapezoidal main island, Utri, dividing it into the North and South designations. However, the local practice is to orient first by the massive Serpent Bridge, whose looping arches roughly quarter Utri in combination with the Prio. West of the Serpent is called Portside, and east is called Riverside, so a charming little cappana (wine bar) in the northeast section would be located in North Riverside, while a rough dockworker’s punchezzi (ale and sausage hall) in the southwest quarter would be called a South Portside establishment.
Confusing the issue are the numerous canals that further divide Utri into its 54 bounds, which are biannually redistricted into 6 contiguous and equal wards (of 9 bounds) during elections. Politics in WysFal can be wonderfully entertaining because the entire assets of upper level elected representatives are assessed and frozen and the value assigned to them as shares in the City Fund. If the City Fund decreases during their term, their assets are sold off at the end to make up the difference. However, Citizens may not refuse to be elected, and candidates are nominated by signing petitions, then run in local elections in each bound followed by simultaneous runoffs and redistricting elections to determine Wards and their Wardens. This leads to such publicly entertaining spectacles as wealthy candidates campaigning desperately to have their opponents elected instead in competitions to shower the voters with spectacles and feasts while at the same time campaigning to have their residential bounds gerrymandered into different wards.
Other large islands of note include Ardua (glassmaking), Benisi (lacemaking), Manari (shipbuilding), Temple Island, (the Cathedral of Wisdom and many monasteries, hermitages, priories, and other religious communities), and Throne Island, formerly the Fist, where the Imperial household resides and oversees the Portal leading to the previous world in the chain.
WysFal is governed by the Ministry of Wardens (effectively a commerce-focused Senate of 72 members),
the religious Council of Twelve (composed of the local high clerics of the Greater Gods or their designees),
the Secret Seven (a self-selecting group of the most competent merchants and nobles of the city), who have great influence with the Wardens, the Twelve, and the city bureaucracy in general, as well as veto power over the popular election of
the Count (who serves as the public and diplomatic face of the State but also has real power as the Master of the Mint),
the 3 Imperial Ombudsmen (appointed and replaced at will by the Imperial Throne of WysFal),
the Imperial Throne of WysFal, currently the elderly semi-retired Prince Paron and Princess Glorrine (who usually stay out of the daily governing of the City),
the Goddess Pelshe or her designate (who usually stay even further out of the daily governing of the City),
and, when one exists, the Hero of the City (Heroes are rare individuals clearly favored by the Gods who have done incredible deeds in the city’s service).
It also is rumored that a thousand-year-old Immortal who heads the secret organization called the Keepers, which watches and defends against the recurrence of a Mind Mold catastrophe, makes his home in WysFal. Some claim that this is because he is Pelshe’s lover.