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Guide To The City of Mikona and The Nation of M'Chek

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Guide To The City of Mikona and The Nation of M'Chek

PostAuthor: Orleron » Wed Jul 10, 2002 5:49 pm

Eventually the world of Avlis will expand, and eventually we'll have a nice guide site up on the web covering the various aspects of the world.

But for now, we're too busy bringing up the world to do all the web design, so I'll attempt to put snippets about Mikona here in this thread.

Feel free to chime in, Silk, if I'm missing important info.
Last edited by Orleron on Sat Feb 08, 2003 11:20 pm, edited 2 times in total.
"Truth has no form."
--Idries Shah

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Mikona Demographics and Government

PostAuthor: Orleron » Wed Jul 10, 2002 6:02 pm

City: Mikona
Nation: M'Chek
Location: Southernmost coast of the main continent.

Name Derivation: The City of Mikona is named after the god, "Mikon", who created the human race on Avlis with the help and advice of the god Ptah.

Predominant Race in City: Human

Predominant Alignment: None, neutral tendancies

Government: Noble Democracy.
The City of Mikona is the capitol of the nation of M'chek. The ones who rule the city are actually the rulers of the entire country although in practice it is not as clear.

There are two Houses of Government in the City of Mikona. The Noble House and the Common House. The Common House picks its representitives from among the commoners of the nation, although rarely do any of these commoners come from outside the city. Thus most of the concerns of the Common House deal with city matters. Rarely do they interfere in matters of national action or policy, although they do have the power to do so.

The Noble House is made up of representitives from two places: the Noble families of M'Chek, and the various large Temples represented in Mikona, namely the temples of Mikon, Dagath, Ptah, and Valok.

This house deals mainly with foreign policy issues and affairs. Although each individual Noble family has total control over their own estate, they are expected to represent a portion of their nation's interest. For instance, all of the major Noble families have personal armies and troops, but there is also a standing national army of M'Chek to which each noble is expected to contribute a certain percentage of its force.

The two houses of government are presided over by a Minister who executes decisions and carries out the task of administration, although they are liimited in their actions by the legislators. In addition to the Minister there is a War Commisioner who is the commander and chief of the standing army. This is a hotly contested position, that has been filled by either Nobles or reputable warrior generals.
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National Affairs

PostAuthor: Orleron » Wed Jul 10, 2002 6:21 pm

M'Chek: As a nation, M'Chek is large, but not large enough. There is severe overcrowding, and in some places, starvation. Most of the inhabitants in this case are the humans who are native to the place. Other races from the outside come in occasionally, but usually only for religious or commercial reasons. They tend not to settle there very often, because it is so difficult to find someplace to settle.

The mainland are of M'Chek is dotted with hundreds of villages, each one full to the brim. Over the last 50 years, this population explosion has begun to take a toll on the environment in the area, leaving the once lush forests nearly bare in some places, and causing droughts in others.

The solution, as the government sees it, is to find more land for people to live on. The problem is there is no more land available, unless the citizens of M'Chek are allowed by other nations to live within their borders. Some deals have been worked out with the other major human power on the map, The Kurathene Empire. However, dealing with this entity is difficult because it's not really an empire any longer, but a collection of independent fiefdoms, many of which are at war. Still, some nobles of M'Chek have been able to secure settlement deals and even unions through marriage. But the number of places where this is happening is not large enough to even make a dent in the overall population of the country.

Where else can they go? The answer: North. M'Chek is the southernmost nation on the continent, and they are cornered into their niche by the elven nation of T'Nanshi. The land of T'Nanshi is pristine and beautiful, and by human standards, empty. Long ago, the humans beseached the elves to let some of their families moved there, but the elves refused, citing the M'Chekians' mistreatment of whatever land they live on. The elves did not want hoards of men and women coming to live on their land and potentially destroy it, or at least grow to outnumber the elves and destroy their nation through attrition alone.

This argument got uglier and uglier over time, and eventually in the present day, it has become a full scale war. The M'Chekians have nothing to lose, and any gains they make into elven territory are celebrated joyfully. For the elves, it is a different story. They are not interested in making gains into M'Chek's territory. (Why would they wish to compress the already squished humans any further?) However, sometimes strategic conquests are needed to secure their holdings, and they have been known to take land from M'Chek. But for the most part they are interested in keeping the humans contained.

About 50 years ago, there was an odd occurance where one of the evil gods attempted to break his way onto the Prime Material Plane and wreak havoc, but his plans were thwarted by a number of adventurers. One of them went on to found a holy order of warriors loyal to the god Mikon. They are known as the Equalizers.

The Equalizers fight for balance, and will go to wherever they are needed to right any extremes. They feel that the elves are misguided and should give up some of their lands to the severely taxed humans, so in the southern portion of the continent, they have thrown in their lot with M'Chek. Since that time they have taken over control of the M'Chekian Special Forces and begun to infiltrate the elven nation both on the front and behind enemy lines.

One of the allies they have acquired is the fairy races of Titanea. The fairies created by the goddess Titanea are always in conflict with the fairy races of O'ma, for reasons beyond the scope of this writing. In T'Nanshi there exists huge populations of both fairy types, barely keeping from plunging into another Fairy War.

The Equalizers have capitalized on this and promised that if the Titanean fairies aid the humans in their struggle against the elves, the Equalizers and the Nation of M'Chek will be sure to help the Titaneans wipe out the O'Ma fairies once the war is over.

Thus the battle rages on.
"Truth has no form."
--Idries Shah

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Local Affairs

PostAuthor: Orleron » Wed Jul 10, 2002 6:46 pm

Mikona Districts:

The City of Mikona is divided into six major districts. They are: The Garrison/Gate District, The Temple Grounds, The Market, The Noble District, The Residential Area, and The Docks District.


Each of these district interrelates with all the others in some way.

Garrison/Gate District: This district holds the only public way in or out of the city without coming in by ship. Thus, it acts as a flow control for traffic to any other part of the city. A sign at the entrance directs people with various business to the correct place.

Government District: The center of government for the city and the entire nation rests here. It holds the two major meeting halls for both houses of government, and the joint session meeting hall, which also acts as the executive base. Some of the traffic to this place come from the Temple Grounds to the east, where the clerical representitives in government go back an forth to solicit their cases and agendas.
The majority of the temples do not play a very active role in the government. They simply vote their conscience when needed. However, the Temple of Valok seems to take a keen interest in city and national affairs. This religion has taken off in the city sometime within the last 100 years. Its charismatic leaders instill a lot of self-confidence in the common public, as well as the rich and powerful. Its precepts of maximizing your individual potential through any lawful means, and some non-lawful means, really appeals to many in the government arena.

The Temple Grounds: All business within and between churches takes place here. The Temple Grounds has about 5 major temples in it. The most influencial of these five are the temples of Mikon (the largest), Dagath, and Valok. Near these temples are shrines to a large number of other gods worshipped in the area. Usually these shrines have only one or two clerics tending to them. All gods and religions are accepted in Mikona, so the range of deities found there goes from Gorethar, the goodly god of the dwarves, to Maleki, the evil malevolent god of Giant-kin and murder.

The Residential Area: This is where many of the Common folk of Mikona live. Housing conditions are poor, and the crowding has incited a lot of gang activity in the area. Many residents are too afraid to go out even in the day time, and often times the City Guards themselves neglect to walk their rounds there. Common folk refer to these areas as The Slums, because that's what they are. The Common House is continually concerned abou this area, but once there are some serious territorial gains made in the war against the elves, there is not much they can do about it.

The Market: This is the center of commerce in the city. It is located almost midway between the entrance of the city and the docks for easy access. Merchants of all kinds peddle their wares here. Both Nobles and Commoners can be found shopping, for this is one of the only places where the two castes will be seen in the same place.

The Noble District: This is where the major nobles of the city and nation keep their homes. Some of them also have keeps outside the city as well. All in all there is not much activity here in the day time, although lucky rogues sometimes press their luck in these areas at night.

The Docks: This is the secondary area of commerce for the city. Most of the merchants live here and collect their wares here to sell. Emigrants who leave for other areas of the continent depart from here too.
"Truth has no form."
--Idries Shah

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PostAuthor: Orleron » Fri Oct 17, 2003 2:29 am

A guide to Mikona by twilight
Dashel Knight

I would like to dedicate this guide to all those brave souls that have fought in defence of the nation of M'chek from the lowly solider to the mightiest of adventures.

Welcome to the city of Mikon perhaps the most beautiful city in the land. It is likely, road-worn and weary traveller, that you have found yourself outside the City Gate Inn. This pleasant inn is most travellers? first glimpse of the city, and like that city it is warm and welcoming. While you will be lucky to find a spare room, there is a wide selection of ales on offer behind the bar and guests are free to sleep in the common room if they can find a quiet corner. If you ask around the bar you may be able to hear of all sort of rumours or offers of work. Once you have had enough of talking with the locals it is time to set off and explore the city. Though before you do, it is wise to pick up a map to the city from the barkeep to use in conjunction with this guide.
This section of the city is known as the city gate and is called such for it is where the main gate in and out of the city can be found. There are a number of different exits through the city ,as you would expect, but they are often used by traders and merchants, leading to lengthy delays. It is perhaps here that you will first grasp the size and magnitude of the city; the walls stretch up into the sky strong enough to repel even giant attacks. It can be a foreboding sight for those newly arrived from the outlying farms, but a friendly smile from a passing guardsman is enough to remind most visitors that this is a kind and benevolent city that welcomes all that do not seek to do it harm, and the walls are their for your protection. Close by, you will find many young apprentices looking for those willing to aid them in collecting ingredients and other tasks. Also just behind the Inn is the guard house and the prison, though it is unlikely as a law abiding citizen that you will have much run in with the jail. The guardhouse is where you should bring any concerns you have about a criminal matter, or where you should head if you have concerns for your safety. It is likely that you will find a member of the Sword of Toran around there that can aid you. If on a rare occasion they are all out, it is best to leave a message and wait for them to get back to you. As you can see from your map there are four exits from the city gate section of the city. And as it?s always wise to keep on the side of the gods let us next go to the temple district.

The first thing you shall notice as you approach the temple district is the tower that spirals off into the clouds. This is the famous institute of learning and while I have never been up to the top to see if it really does touch the heavens it is well worth a visit. As much of the tower I have seen has taken my breath away, with the inside being even more awe-inspiring than that out. Now you have made it to the temple district and provided you have made it just as darkness descends upon the land the first thing you will notice is the lights, and how the torches reflect off the marble and obsidian buildings. For the temples are open day or night, as the light of the gods never goes out, so the district is lit by hundreds of torches. If any did not believe in the gods before they came to the city I doubt they can deny they exist after seeing such beauty as this. With the marble, obsidian, iron and stone all complementing each other to create something grander than if viewed alone. It would be wrong to come to the temple district and not pay your respects to the founder of the city of Mikona, Mikon. His temple is the largest and in the centre of the district surrounded by a large wall on 3 sides. You should have no difficulty spotting it on your map. Once inside, you shall find yourself in a large hall where prayers are held. Should you have any questions about Mikon there are many priests wondering about that would be happy to answer them. And if looking for guidance there are divine lights within that descend from the heavens that once seen, removes all fears that we are alone in this world with no one to look to. The district itself houses shrines or churches to all the major gods though some can take a little more looking for than others. Rest assured that in a city built around the concept of free choice, religious freedom is enjoyed by all. If you consult your map you will find you can head to five different districts from here. But to keep this guide somewhat circular let us head to the government district.

This is where the council member and the nobility discuss the running of the city and future policy. Mostly boring stuff and if they do decide to speak with you its likely to just run an errand for them. But there are two reasons for coming here. First the library, many wonders can be found among the tomes, such as history, philosophy and theology so it?s well worth a visit if you have a spare afternoon. The second and somewhat more exciting reason to come here is The Canvas, a newly opened club. As can be expected in a place like this, it is a sophisticated and upmarket establishment, while membership is not easy to get it is well worth it. For inside is a home away from home for many of the businessmen and women that frequent the place, with sauna and steam rooms. Fine food and drink all with a welcoming atmosphere. From the government district it is a short way south to reach the market place.

It is advisable to take a few moments to soak in the sights, sounds and smells of the place before entering into the press of humanity that is seeking a bargain. Here you will find all sorts of produce for sale from swords and armour, to food, to clothing - both the mundane and the magical. There is also the chance of finding work from an apprentice looking to lighten his load and see if he can find someone else to do what task his master has set him. But if you have some free time and seek to make some ready coin it is well worth asking about. Also within the market place you will find the Rompin? Romini Inn and Baths. This is a rowdy and good-natured place that many locals like to spend time and soak up the atmosphere. The baths are located under the inn and it is often that an adventure or off duty guard can be found down there relaxing in the baths trying to wash away the blood and grim. However, it is not somewhere for the prudish, as clothes are strictly forbidden.

Now from the market place, it is but a short hop to the docks. As the invigorating sea breeze washes over you it can be an idea to take a moment to enjoy it. Perhaps the best time to come down here is night when the water reflects the glittering twinkle of stars and moonlight. Now if you travel down to the dock, it is from here that you will find boats leaving to the city of Elysia and a small port not to far from the Elven capital city of L?Or Tnanshi. Though it is unadvisable to take a boat into Elven lands, unless you are an elf as they have a habit of attacking any that are not their own. This is due in part to their war with the humans of M?Chek. The captains set sail at both 6 and at 18 of the chiming of the clock. However, boats and sailors are only a small part of the docks. Tucked away one can also stumble across a casino. For those not familiar with a casino it works like a gentleman?s club, but there is no requirement to enter. Once there, a healthy evening of gambling away your hard earned gold can ensue. The secret to being a successful gambler over a loser is, knowing when to stop and not let emotions get in the way. The docks are well patrolled and well worth further exploration.

Now from the docks, it is simple matter to travel to the residential area that has become known as the slums. Before arriving at the residential area, it is important to note, do not set foot here unarmed and unprepared. The guards have pulled out and what you are about to enter is humanity driven mad by the starvation inflicted upon it by the selfishness of the T?Nanshi. There are a number of gangs within the slums, some will attack you on sight and loot your still warm corpse others, some are trying to reclaim the streets and make it safe to walk them again. And then there are the few that have been driven mad through starvation and will seek to eat your flesh. The residential area as you may guess is large and consists mostly of housing, almost all of it run down. Some would consider this a blot on the beauty of the city, the crumbling walls, and splintered and broken wooden supports; but to me it is a testament to the city that no matter how bleak things may look the human spirit will always fight on. The guards could have put all these people to the sword, but this is why the city is the most beautiful in the land. It is a city that will never turn its back, or hide the uglier parts. It accepts all for who they are, not throwing up some false image. In the southern section you will come across one of the rougher taverns the Hang Brains Inn. It is well worth a visit, but keep one hand on your weapon and the other on your purse.

And finally the noble district, there?s not much to do there other than look at the wonders that wealth can buy, and dream of ascending the ranks of nobility.

That about wraps up places in the city of Mikona that you are likely to wish to visit, bellow the city is an extensive sewer system, that can be used to access nearly any point above ground, but are also filled with many creatures, none of which are pleased to see people in their homes. It is not advised to travel there unarmed or alone! Is this all there is to see in the city, not by a long shot! I can only give a most humble account of the city, to truly understand its beauty you will have to visit it first hand. And why do I think it is so beautiful? Well that is simple - because it is a city of endless opportunity.

Welcome to Mikona friend ? the jewel of M?Chek!
"Truth has no form."
--Idries Shah

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