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Magincia

Discussion in 'UO Atlantic' started by SunWolf, Dec 30, 2011.

  1. SunWolf

    SunWolf Seasoned Veteran
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    Magincia (The City of Jewels)

    “The city of Jewels, Isle of Pride… may it be rendered to ash by daemonic fire.”

    Location: Jungle island south of Nu’Jelm, north of Ocllo.
    Virtue: Pride, the reverse of Humility
    Government: Plutocracy, main body is Parliament, consisting of nine members, whose positions go to the most wealthy. Although part of the Kingdom, Parliament chooses which laws to follow.
    Imports: Almost anything and everything, food in particular.
    Exports: Precious Minerals

    Heraldry

    A golden diamond on a maroon background

    Geography

    The origin of the island that would be known as Magincia is hazy, it is not volcanic in origin, which suggests that it separated from the mainland during the Cataclysm. It consists of one large island, shaped roughly like a lion’s head, and a smaller rocky atoll off the southeast rim. The larger island has jungle fringes on the north and southeast areas, and a thick area of jungle on the west side. The moongate rests in the Mane, the name given to the jungle on the western side of the island. The center once consisted of several rolling hills, which sloped north to a long sandy beach, with the occasional grove of jungle foliage here and there.

    Today, the center of the large island is well developed with several sandstone structures. The northern part of the isle consists of the various estates of Magincian nobles, and a large temple to Pride. The southern portion is the business district, and the docks. The small island is home of the Magincia Parliament, connected to the large island by two large ornate bridges. There the Nine, as the nine council members of Parliament are known as, write and conduct the laws of the city.

    Climate

    Magincia is a tropical isle, and enjoys warm weather year round, although hurricanes are not outside the possibility.

    History

    Vesper ships charted the island of Magincia in 23 A.C., but the isle was considered far too remote at the time, as well as rocky and worthless, for any kind of base or port. It remained uninhabited until a ship bearing refugees from the city of Fawn arrived in 40 A.C.

    The old city of Fawn had been destroyed, and the refugees had been eking out a living as second-class citizens in the port of Vesper for many years. (See the entries on Minoc and Vesper for more information.) The ship cost them what little wealth they had, the only reason they left Vesper was because one of their leaders had a vision of an island, “shaped like the head of the long extinct lion, where jewels flowed like water from the stone.” Soon after arrival they built a simple town of wood from the jungle, keeping large numbers of cattle and sheep to feed themselves. The town was named after Maginus, the visionary, who spent the remainder of his days searching for wealth upon the isle and failing.

    The early Magincians were quite different from today. They were a simple people, who only dreamt of greatness. The elders among them remembered the glory days of Fawn, and every young herder on the island dreamt of marble buildings, and riches beyond the imagination. The herdsmen worshipped pride, in a form, pride in the civilization from which they came from, and the one they wished to rebuild. Vesper tradesmen re-established contact with the small island in 54 A.C., bringing a taste of civilization to the island, in return for their wool.

    In 101 A.C., the Great Earthquake struck, which caused a small quake upon the island that caused several cracks in the ground. Shortly afterwards a sheep strayed into the Mane, and it’s herdsman, Methis, followed it. While searching, he fell into one of the cracks, which took him to an incredible place… A vast cavern network, under the island, with gemstones literally falling off the walls. Grabbing a handful, Methis climbed out, excited beyond measure. At last their dreams would come true.

    The Vesper tradesmen were astounded on their next visit two years later when they were paid in gemstones. The head merchant attempted to bargain for the mine’s location, but the herdsmen would have none of it. The merchant planned to take the gems back, and hire a mercenary army to take the island, but the Magincians were one step ahead of him. Methis had paid the ship’s captain and crew to murder the merchants on the voyage back. In return, the captain would use a portion of the gems to hire a reliable mercenary company to guard the island. Thus the tapestry of greed and pride was stained with blood, from the first day.

    The building of the city of Jewels, as it came to be known, was a slow process. When word of the wealth spread to the various cities of Sosaria, there was a large number of immigrants, seeking easy wealth. A circle of renegade mages from Vesper, on the losing end of a guild war, arrived in 108 A.C. and established the Circle of Magicka, the current mage’s guild on the island. With their aid the security of the island was well established, and the mages were happy to supply the Magincians with the magical trinkets and flashy spells they liked, so long as they could work in peace on less trivial projects.

    In 110 A.C., the famed engineer and artisan Enris, formerly of Trinsic, arrived on the island. He had been banished from Trinsic for his unethical practices, and lack of honor in monetary dealings. He found Magincia to be to his liking, and is credited for the design of the city architecture. Even after his death in 154 A.C., his designs lived on, and eventually were also used in building NuJel’m. Today his residence is the home of the Tic-Toc Shop, the island’s Tinker guild, which make the toys and baubles for the Magincian nobles to play with.

    In order to make room for the new city, Methis, the de-facto ruler of Magincia, ordered all wood buildings burnt to the ground in 115 A.C., so that no one need live in such simple housing ever again. (Thankfully, the warm climate prevented the citizens from freezing to death until the first stone buildings could be erected.) As the amount of land for grazing decreased, the need for food increased, and Magincia was forced to import more and more from the mainland. This did not adversely affect them, though, the gemstone mines of Methis seemed endless.

    Decades later Methis, corpulent and the victim of much illness due to his excesses, set up the government that would exist in Magincia today. He gathered those he trusted, mostly his extended family, and appointed them and himself as the Parliament of Magincia. On the surface it appeared to be a democracy, with those who had the greatest amount of landholdings to be the elected officials. (Time has since eroded away this gilded image into what it is, a hereditary plutocracy of the wealthy.) The Parliament Building was commissioned in 139 A.C. and completed by 144 A.C. Methis himself died in 141 A.C., the richest man in the history of Britannia.

    After Methis’s death, however, the fortunes of Magincia began to change. Increasingly dependent upon Vesper for basic necessities, the merchants continuously raised their prices, knowing that the Magincians would have no choice to pay. An attempt to establish trade with Britain and Trinsic in 154 A.C. failed, both disliked the city’s ethics and policies, and refused to deal.

    In 169 A.C. a new member of the Parliament, Lord Argus, came up with a plan. He forged a quiet alliance with the pirates of Buccaneer’s Den, to raid merchant vessels of the various city-states for food and supplies. He also proposed a trade alliance with Ocllo, who to everyone’s surprise, agreed, giving Magincia a new source of trade. Six years later, Argus was ready to propose his plan to avenge the wrongs against his city.

    In 175 A.C., Argus declared that Magincia would have no further dealings with the outside world, and declared the Embargo in effect. The result of this action was the economy of the world collapsed, still heavily dependent upon the Magincian gems for a ready market. Most of the city-states severed ties to one another, trying to reclaim self-sufficiency, some issuing copper and silver coinage in an attempt to fill the void, most scraping by.

    Magincia suffered little during this period, although the people were not used to rationing. They stockpiled their gems, in preparation for when the market would be reopened, and to pay off the pirates, who continued to sell supplies to them, at increasing rates. While the plan had worked, many felt they had traded one enemy for another, Vesper for the pirates, and Argus found himself under increasing attack, and was forced to spend his personal fortune to keep the city afloat.

    In the fall of 189 A.C. disaster struck when a massive hurricane struck the island. The stone structures held up well against the assault, but the destruction was widespread, and the city lacked in talent and manpower to recover fully from it, only the pirates, who showed little sympathy, and Argus’s depleted fortunes and resolve carried them through. The Embargo was viewed as a curse, which prevented them from taking rightful pleasure from the world.

    Not long after, Magincia reopened trade relations with the rest of the world, allowing healers and workmen from other cities to be hired and brought to the island to begin the repairs. Export of gemstones was carefully monitored, so that they could never devalue to the point of dependency. Such was the recovery that the people soon forgot about their hardships, and the Nine ordered the Temple of Pride built in 196 A.C., as a sign of Magincian power and pride. Lord Argus did not share this, however, he had been reduced to a pauper for his city, and was subsequently banished, a bitter and wretched man.

    In 225 A.C., Magincia established a permanent trade relation with the growing colony of NuJel’m, then under control of Kahz the Ravager, a notorious pirate. Kahz was sly, however, and he promised the Magincians complete protection from the numerous pirate fleets that had sprung up in the third century. He kept his word, hunting down the rebel pirates personally, and making sure none touched Magincian shores. The wealth Magincia paid for protection built the grand city of NuJel’m that exists today. Magincian nobles enjoy sailing north and enjoying the pleasures the island has to offer.

    In 250 A.C., the Kingdom of Britannia was established, which worried many of the nobles of Magincia. Parliament spent a few years debating the political ramifications, and to everyone’s surprise petitioned to be admitted into the Kingdom in 259 A.C. Although many in the Kingdom disliked the idea, Lord British saw their admittance as a step forward towards better relations, and a possibility of more influence, to prevent another Embargo. The only concession was that Parliament would retain the right to veto any of Lord British’s decree’s they did not see as equitable to their city-state. So far none have come that they have disagreed with, but it may only be a matter of time.

    After the destruction of Paws in 280 A.C., Lord British decided that the Magincian Parliament building would be used for meetings of the heads of state in the Kingdom. There was some objection to this, but the warm climate and isolation makes it an ideal location, and to the Magincians it is a symbol of status.

    Culture

    The People

    Native Magincians possess bronzed complexions, from long years in tropical climates. Natural hair colors have the usual ranges, but Magincians favor dyeing them in myriad of colors, as fashion dictates. Magincians view the idea of mingling with foreigners with disdain, they almost never marry outside of their own borders. To date, this has not adversely affected them as a culture, but it may only be a matter of time.

    Magincia has a very unusual social structure, in that it does not have a sizable lower class. About 40% of the population are very wealthy, another 50% are middle-class, and acts as the servants for the rich. The remaining 10% are foreign visitors, and some poor. Magincians dislike beggars and signs of poverty, any seen are seized and deported to NuJel’m, a service that NuJel’m gains much from.

    The Clothing

    Clothing is always of high quality, with somber but rich colors. Metallic colors are especially favored for contrast. Because most of their basic necessities are taken care of, Magincians dedicate far more of their time to fashion than any other culture. Most have wardrobes spanning entire rooms, and will spend several hours assembling an outfit.

    Arts and Entertainment

    Magincia has not constructed any new buildings in over a century, and has shown no inclination to do so. As a result, Magincians often visit NuJel’m to satisfy their cravings for the finer things of life. On their own isle they do have two bakeries, the Magincian sweet-tooth is legendary, and their own tavern, which is frequented by Parliament.

    In recent years, sculpting has arisen as a popular art form in Magincia, but it has begun to fade, as Magincians realize the amount of work involved in crafting the pieces.


    Crafts and Trades

    Magincians buy the best and the greatest services, crafts, and entertainment money can buy. They dislike the noise and the griminess of ironwork, though, and prefer to import tools. Tinkers are viewed with favor, since they are superb architects, and construct pretty baubles, but rarely is more done. They despise herders, though, viewing them as anachronisms and reminders of a humiliating past.

    Magic

    Most Magincians have a fairly benevolent view of magic. They see it, however, as yet another bauble or toy to possess. Mages are treated more like artists, and are held in awe more for the product of their efforts than the means. The mages of Magincia are a secretive group whose aspirations are far more than they seem on the surface. The original circle of Magicka fled the city of Moon during the Revolt and the subsequent civil wars, to find a new and safer place to practice. The principal areas of magic they study are those of pyrotechnics, summoning, and animation. The guild is particularly interested in the field in which Relvinian the infamous mage practiced, the summoning of daemons and binding them to will. Such servants would be invaluable to them. Animation comes in useful in the making of toys for the nobles.

    Oddly enough, most Magincians object to the moongate that exists on their island, as they see it as an annoyance that gives foreigners (and invasions, perhaps) an easy way onto the island. For this reason, they have done their best not to beat a path to it, and rumor holds that the mage guild is planning to “accidentally” release some summoned creatures into the Mane to discourage visitors. Another holds that the guild is researching a way to collapse the moongate altogether, or redirect it’s ethereal path to another location, possibly Ocllo or NuJel’m.

    Ethics

    Magincia’s native philosophy is a combination of hedonism and pride. They view themselves as the epitome of civilization, and the natural leaders in the world. The ocean serves as a border to block out the offensive outer world, neighboring states serve as buffers to protect them. They are extremely isolationist, and their dependence on their natural wealth for power and basic necessities means they put very little effort in accomplishing anything. If they need hard work done, they usually import workers.

    The Magincians emulate the Oclloans, who are the only people they consider perhaps equal to themselves, in placing great stock in their family lineage. Lord Hobart, one of the Nine, and the owner of the Great Horns Tavern, claims to be directly descended from Methias himself.

    Government and Politics

    Magincia is ruled by a hereditary plutocracy, the seats of the Council held by the richest families. Nine members ensure that there are no tie votes. Foreigners with considerable wealth who expect they can buy their way onto the Parliament are in for a rude surprise, the Magincians do not consider wealth alone the symbol of nobility, merely the dressings. Parliament is fairly effective in maintaining and enforcing law, but is slow in dealing with emergencies. Since the Parliament building sees little use most of the months, it is also used by Lord British for meetings with all the heads of the city-states, a situation Maginica is most proud of.


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