Valencia: a Metropolis for the New Era!

Hello and welcome, weary traveler, I hope you enjoy your stay here in Valencia, the largest city-state on the continent of Elvira. Located on the south-eastern coast of the freshwater Uisché (pronounced: β̞iʃ 'e:) Sea, Valencia is fairly well protected from the harsh climate of the surrounding grasslands. Over the past 2,500 years Valencia has benefited from trade around the continent and grown to a supermetropolis home to nearly 4,468,000 citizens spanning nearly 1 dozen prominent races and countless others. Recently, Valencian explorers and settlers have been negotiating with the natives of the cold but resource rich land of Sha'hæb (pronounced ʃa'xeib) to start colonizing the area.

During your stay you can enjoy dozens of pubs, playhouses, and street markets as well as engage yourself in what we call in Common the “Contract Culture” of Valencia. Doing odd jobs for a small sum of money is not just a career for many Valencians, it's a way of life. So feel free to continue reading for an exploration of our history, culture and a few recommended travel spots, or just explore the city for yourself!

Sincerely Yours,
Namfoodle Spitaga

  • History:

Valencia is a city that started roughly 18,000 years ago as a dwarven settlement. It grew at a steady pace for roughly 10,000 years as settlements of gnomes, elves, halflings, humans and even a small orcish encampment began to spring up surround the dwarven stronghold. The dwarves were initially thrilled about the new settlers, and immediately devised a system to contract help from the other races in exchange for precious metals and gems.
Eventually, as was the case for the rest of Erresea, the dwarves began to die off. The last of the original dwarven settlers migrated away from Valencia roughly 2000 years ago, leaving behind a huge walled off complex of caves, tunnels, buildings, etc. This complex, which was such an important part of the surrounding settlements' livelihoods, was christened the Dræg Libær after the last dwarven king and immediately was settled by affluent members from all surrounding communities. Approximately 1950 years ago, on what is now known and celebrated as Liberation Day (usually the last day of the planting season), a council of 70 settlers decided to merge all the settlements in the area into one city with the Dræg Libær acting as the location of the central ruling force. Valencia was born.
Despite tensions between races and settlements, the city grew at an alarming pace. Trade was established with cities around the Uisché Sea. The University of Valencia was established and quickly became renowned for its arcane arts program. The latest, and perhaps most important, advancement is the Greater Valencia Air and Sea Hub (Called the G'vash). The G'vash was originally proposed by the affluent orc senator Ha'a'rga Gravash roughly 100 years ago, and it was completed and opened for full traffic roughly a decade ago. The G'vash is located on an isolated island two miles east of the downtown area. The island boasts the ability to dock over 1,000 ships, 350 zeppelins, and 150 larger aircraft at one time. The large trading complex, called the Degemeente, is where all incoming and outgoing cargo and travellers must be processed. Large ferries operate from dawn to dusk transporting goods and passengers to and from the G'vash and Valencia proper.

Approximate GDP: 18,474,794,685 GP annually
GDP Per capita: 4,135 GP
Tallest Building: Bibliotheque Valencia (39 stories high, approximately 130x145 feet footprint)
Oldest Building: Parlimentary Chambers (formerly high king's palace) circa 15,500 years ago
Largest Tavern: Owl's Bane Pub and Inn

  • The Economy:

Valencia’s economy is still primarily an agricultural one, roughly 70% of GDP. The vast, fertile plains and low, rolling hills to the south of the city provide the vital grain, vegetable and luxury crops (like olives and grapes) not only to feed the city, but many of the other cities around the Vorean Sea. Recent advancements in technology, especially steam engines, have made Valencia the shipping capital of the region. Approximately 20% of GDP is produced from shipping fees alone. Sale of manufactured weapons and shipping technology, as well as tourism, legalized prostitution and slave labor accounts for the remaining 10%. One of the best ways to make a quick coin in the city is to engage in “contract work”. Taverns often dedicate large walls to posting advertisements for odd-jobs required by city-residents.

  • The Dragh Libar:

A huge university funded entirely by taxes and surrounded by massive, whitewashed walls. Also serves as the central government, military training ground and prison. Every year, on the first day of summer, Valencian children, aged 10, take an entrance exam. The top 5% of scores are chosen for enrollment and the rest are left to start their own lives in the city (usually being apprenticed by family). Corruption is rampant in the selection process, most enrollment being done under the table through powerful connections and high-priced bribes. Students get to choose one of three educational paths: Law, Science/Magic, or Military. Typically, students do not leave the university once they have graduated, save the soldiers who also serve as civilian law enforcement. Lately, there has been a rash of “ring pirates”, graduated students who leave the university to start life in the private sector. Theirs is a special class on the streets of Valencia; many view them with suspicion, others with immense respect. Almost all ring pirates wear the 13-pointed star rings they received with their diplomas.

  • Magic

Valencia is a low magic city. That is not to say magic doesn’t exist, but there are few who know how to properly use it. Divine magic is one exception. Arcane arts, and divine spells that produce particularly dramatic effects (like sprouting wings, blowing things up, etc.) are viewed with immense suspicion in Valencia, due to the connection with the university, although are more welcome elsewhere. Practicing magic in the streets can get you arrested, if the wrong people are watching. It can also spark riots. However, there are many places in Valencia where magic is practiced freely. One must be careful when practicing such arts within the city limits.

  • Government:

Valencia's government is a proportional representation parlimentary system with a few elements of a presidential system. The legislature is divided between two houses and the executive is divided between two positions. Voting is not compulsory

  • Legislature:

House of Valencia: Each representative serves a 3 year term. Each party sends one representative for every 0.25% of the total vote count the party receives. Total of 400 members plus the PM. The HoV has the power to propose laws to the House of Districts, veto any law passed by HoD or Presidential Decree with a 2/3 supermajority.
House of Districs: Each district elects one representative for an 8 year term, with 1/8 of districts voting every year. There are 40 districts plus the Dræg Libær, which serves a mostly ceremonial position in the HoD, except in the event of a tie, where it provides the tie-breaking vote.

  • Executive:

President: elected directly by people, 4 year term. Oversees HoD proceedings. Has ability to pass decrees, call for a referendum and veto a Prime Minister decree.
Prime Minister: leader of the HoV, oversees HoV meetings and calls to order joint session of the legislature. Has the power to pass decrees and veto a Presidential decree. Also has the power of casting the tiebreak vote in the event of a tie in the HoV. Is elected by the HoV directly, requiring 201 votes to gain his position.

  • Judicial:

Each district elects a judge to their district court. Judges must be approved by PM, President and the HoD. There is no high court in Valencia.

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