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Friday, March 15, 2013
The Emerald City of Smaragdoz
The capital and only city of the world of Smaragdoz is the green crystalline megacity of the same name, which is also the de facto capital of the Alliance and a nexus of trading routes. Smaragdoz has a unique form of government: a psydemocracy group-mind. The captured thoughts and desires of the citizens form a composite psionic entity that makes all the polis’s laws by decree. This civic mind often manifests as a giant disembodied head off-worlders sometimes refer to as “The Wizard.”
The land beyond the capital is divided into four bucolic prefectures: Smalt, Gules, Xanthic, and Purpure. Though pre-industrial in appearance and pace of life, these carefully controlled farmlands, orchards, and forests are more a sanitized, theme-park version than a replication of any historic rural environment. The farms and hamlets are inhabited by Smaragdines disinclined ito city life, criminals sentenced to labor, and atavism tourists in animal bodies. The convicts aren’t under any restrictions--other than being forbidden from returning to the city until their sentence is up and being followed at all times by conscience wisps. The wisps provide escalating levels of admonishment and finally neurologic lockdown if the convict attempts to commit further offences.
The inhabitants of the prefectures are not part of the civic mind, but the mind monitors the prefectures and interacts with them through avatars. Scarecrows in fields are often criers announcing important events, and quaint clockwork robots help settle disputes among the rural folk.
The outer border of the province is formed by the Waste, or the Deadly Desert: a “no man’s land” made as lifeless and poisonous by the environmental nanites as the prefectures are fertile and inviting. The lands beyond the border are genuine wilderness. These sparsely populated lands are home to political dissidents, radical nonconformists, and criminals.