Nyevaerie, The City of Hope

By Steve Arensberg and John W Curtis III

Copyright ICE 1999

At the heart of a fertile valley, amid the rolling hills of Tesse Nadir, the great white walls of Nyevaerie rise atop a hill which overlooks the river valley and a small lake fed by a great waterfall (the Tesse Sabine).

Government

The government of Nyevaerie is small, especially compared to the elaborate bureaucracies of the Urdaan. The main governing body is the Council of Nyev, supported by a number of other officials and their staffs.

The Council of Nyev

Nyevaerie is governed by a council of ten elected officials; two each from the five races who dwell within the city in significant numbers. These groups are: Men (primarily Nadiri, but they represent other cultural groups as well), the Shulaar, the Pulaar, the Dy'rnthar, and the Egalian. Each set of two officials is elected form within their racial group, to represent their race's interests in the workings of the council. They are also meant to serve on the council keeping the best interests of the city and all its inhabitants in mind as well. Each council member receives one vote to use during decision making for the city.

The Council technically oversees the governing of the Nyevaerie only, and of the several smaller communities within a day's walk of the city. They do, however, provide guidance to the various mayors, village elders, and town councils of Tesse Nadir, who run the governments of their specific areas.

Council members serve for four-year terms. Half of the council (one from each race) changes office every two years (so that some consistency in policy is maintained). There is no limit to the number of terms a council member may serve (though they must be re-elected every four years).

The Voice

Additionally, the council is overseen by the Voice; a single official elected by the entire populace of the city, to serve as the balancing factor and voice for the city as a whole. The Voice is responsible for overseeing the council, breaking ties in votes when necessary (he otherwise does not vote).

The Voice serves for a six-year term, and is elected during years when no council members rotate off. He may serve any number of terms, provided he is re-elected by a two-thirds majority of the populace.

Mikada Tandor is the current Voice. He is the first Man to serve in this post (which has traditionally been held by a Dy'rnth). He is serving the second year of his second term.

The Advisors

Finally, the Council also has a core of advisors, who provide insight on various issues relating to their areas of expertise. The Advisors do not vote, though they may propose motions and arrange for items to appear on the council's agenda.

These advisors are all members of clergy from the three Hues which are worshipped in the city: Lady Hope, Grimbold, and Sabine. These advisors are appointed by their specific church, and approved by the council.

The priest of the Bright Lady (Lady Hope) serves as record-keeper and historian for the council; he usually has a scribe to take notes during meetings, but is responsible for the final content of meeting minutes and all decisions relating to documentation of city decisions.

The priest of the Protector (Grimbold) serves as military advisor and captain of all armed forces in the city (from the standing army to the militia to the city guard).

The priest of the Mistress of Sorrow (Sabine) serves as empathic advisor (and sometimes lie detector), and as a representative of the forgotten folk within the city walls and those out in the wilderness.

Military

Nyevaerie's military is divided into three distinct groups: the standing army, the militia, and the city guard.

The standing army is made up almost entirely of Pulaar (nearly 250 strong) who serve as the main force of protection for the city against outside forces (and for the inhabitants of the valley as well). Most are stationed in outposts in the valley, though one such outpost remains near the city. Those within this tower (actually the Temple to Grimbold) serve as advisors and trainers to the militia and city guard (a number of militia and city guard units are commanded by Pulaar).

The militia is made up of citizen volunteers from all over the Valley of Tears. Most are stationed near their homes, though they generally are required to report for duty at the city (usually once a year) for training and review.

The city guard are paid warriors who keep the peace within the city walls. This is their "job" and they are paid from city taxes to man their posts and perform their duties.

Citizenship

A person is considered a citizen of Nyevaerie, with all associated rights and privileges, if they are one of the following:

Citizenship provides the following benefits:

Citizenship carries with it the following responsibilities:

Law and Justice

The Laws of Nyevaerie are simple and clear. The integrity of the city is tantamount above all things, and any crime against the city or its citizens as a whole is considered the foulest betrayal of everything the city stands for.

In specific, treason against the city and trafficking in dark powers are two of the most unforgivable crimes. In either case, the penalty is almost always death (though banishment has been called for upon occasion).

Other crimes against the citizenry of Nyevaerie, such as murder, theft, or assault, are dealt with according to the severity of the offense, the accused's previous record of crimes committed, and the circumstances around which the crime took place (a father stealing bread for his child would be dealt with more leniently than a drunkard stealing money for ale).

The most common punishments are:

The city guard are responsible for dealing with most complaints, though the determination of guilt or innocence is reserved for the twenty Justicars. These officials (appointed by the Council) dispense justice and interpret the laws created by the council.

Overall, there is very little crime in Nyevaerie; most citizens and visitors are happy to be there, and would do little to jeopardize their place in a city so fair.

Currency

Currency is a relatively new development to the city (a result of the city's growth and increased reliance on paid staff; the city guard, the Justicars, etc.). The city's coinage utilizes base metals (rather than precious ones). It is not the coin itself, but the value ascribed to it by the city, which gives it its worth.

The coins and their worths are:

Note: A Leder (talent) is the equivalent of an RMSS gold piece.

Most of the currency of Nyevaerie remains within the city walls. Folk outside the city generally trade for goods (bartering) and use R'gang (Gorlu) trade bars when they do use currency. A trade bar is usually worth 18-20 Nyev, a practice they've inherited from the Shulaar.

Some Areas of Interest in Nyevaerie

The following is a list (by no means complete) of locations in and around the City of Hope.

Editor's Note

What did you think of this preview of the Bladelands? Post your comments on the General Discussion Board.