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Board's Plot: Blood Rites
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Established February 2010
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* Plot Information for Glacia

For years, the Dark Religion has persecuted the Light Jeweled with its doctrine of stigmatization. Under the messianic Queen Elisif Brenden, it has flourished, ensuring Glacia’s success in other fronts. But upon her death, a line has been drawn and forces beyond Glacia’s borders are gathering to stop its theocracy once and for all.
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Author Topic: The Way Out  (Read 2139 times)

Description: Smugglers in Glacia

Offline Tal

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The Way Out
« on: Feb 27, 13, 07:34:19 AM »
For decades now it has been incredibly difficult to leave Glacia, although not impossible. With social law within the icy territory dictating that any Light Jewel answered for their actions, behaviors, education and finances to their closest relative of Dark Jewel decent, abandoning one’s family to live outside of the Star of Kaeleer was practically impossible. The sanction of the Darkest female member of the family was required and very rarely given, for who would want to inspire the ire of the Courts.  Light jeweled without a Dark Jeweled matron would often have an easier time of escaping the cold territory as there was no one to answer to for their absence, however in some districts, they would be required to apply for official papers from the Court allowing them to travel. It is not unheard of for the Courts to send members of their Circles after a missing light jewel when family members prove incapable.  Glacia’s children are her own.  The Star of Kaeleer will not let her children leave.

With the onset of Collaring in the territory, the situation for the light jeweled of Glacia has become that much more dire. Underground smuggling rings that had proved resilient to the courts’ attempts to ferret them out and put a stop to their illegal and immoral practices have redoubled their efforts in removing the light jeweled from Glacia.

It is important to understand that the smuggling network of Glacia is not a pyramid where, within the construct, everyone ultimately answers to a leader.  The smuggling network is a web of individuals who often themselves only do one or two part of the work required to lead the persons out of Glacia.  There are many steps to the process and with the work being divided between individual cells as it is, anonymity is excellently maintained. This network is the main reason for the failure of Glacian Courts to crack down on the smuggling business.

Smuggling as a Business

A smuggler, any smuggler, whether light or dark jeweled is risking their life in associating in any way with the Underground. In fact, Queen Elisif’s own cousins paid the price for their involvement with the Underground both with their lives, their families lives or their sanity. Smuggling is not an altruistic occupation. While the motivation for it can start off altruistically, the need to lead others into better lives, the reality of it is that it takes time, and stamina and jewel power. People cannot be smugglers by night and pharmacists by day. A person who is a smuggler must be able to make enough money to afford to support himself and his family.  And when that is the beginning stage, the more risk involved, the higher the prices. Furthermore, things need to be bought for the process of border running.

This is not to say there are no poor people involved in the Underground. But these poor people do not have the funds to purchase the right supplies or the best supplies required. Running the border with this people is more dangerous, and as such, their prices are lower than those other smugglers who have created a professionalism in their trade. Lower prices lead to no ability to buy the right equipment and the process becomes circular. Again, this does not mean that border running is cheap.

In the case of poor people trying to leave Glacia and not having enough money to pay the smugglers, a system of indentured servitude is created through bribery and blackmail. This is how some smugglers find a way to improve their lots and also one of the ways in which the system proves immoral for indentured servitude has no collars of which to speak, but the people led out of Glacia into other territories effectively become the slaves of the people where they end up, forced to work to pay for housing and for the trip. A bulk of their earnings goes to pay either the trip or the housing provided by the smuggler’s associates and they are never able to effectively pay off their debt.

Climbers
When people think of “smugglers” it’s the Climbers that they’re thinking of.  The Climbers (so called because of the need to scale mountains across Glacia’s borders) are the ones who do the actual border running.  These men and women are the brave souls who know the pathways between the mountains into the next territories.  Because all landing webs are monitored, taking a landing web and riding the winds into another territory is a bad idea. Instead, people looking for a way out from the Star of Kaeleer are forced to go by foot, traversing the dangerous mountain ranges all along Glacia’s southern borders into either Nharkava or Askavi.

Different Climbers do things different ways, but these are general responsibilities under the Climber’s purview:
  • Food. Food could either be packed away by the smuggled or provided by the Climber for additional costs. Although food can be stored in the Blood’s “personal cabinet”, the lighter jeweled cannot always afford the extra space since they are carrying money clothes or belongings. As such, the Climber can be paid additionally to carry the food and even to buy the food. But of course, everything has an upcharge.

  • Transportation. Not everyone can walk and climb and hike for the requisit three or four days, especially when some of that walking needs to be done at night. Depending on the route, the Climber decides whether they will be walking the entire time or whether they will require a cart. Horses can be rented for a steep price on certain routes, but also require additional food. Traveling only by day has its hazards, but so does traveling by night.

  • Drop Off.  While the ultimate destination of the trip is decided by the customer (the person being smuggled), an immoral smuggler can easily abandon the people he’s smuggling anywhere along the route to fend for themselves. Likewise, he can change the destination point depending on the current enviornmental tempers at the drop off point. And of course, he could always simply charge more halfway through the trip.

Climbers, for obvious reasons, are generally men, warlord and warlord princes. The general course is to simply go unseen, however, if they are discovered, Climbers often have temporary court papers for various reasons to travel into neighboring territories ranging from personal work to court work.

Stringers
The Stringers are the men and women  (most often witches and princes) who create the papers to assist the Light Jeweled in beginning their new lives.  They provide papers from faux Glacian Courts as introduction to other Courts, or businesses that need to be moved to other territories to continue to prosper. They often provide the papers for the Climbers who need to pass checkpoints along the Glacian borders.  These papers do not merely need to be written appropriately, but Stringers are often exceptional at mimicking psychic signatures of Priestesses and Queens who would be required to sign off on the documents.

Stringers are under much less danger than their networking counterparts and thereby are less expensive. Still, their products require skill and time and are expensive.  Documents are not always required when being smuggled out of Glacia and into a new territory, but they are infinitely more helpful and preferred.  As such, Stringers set their own prices. Anyone who hires them that is not the smuggled person or persons often receives a kickback, as Stringers are the most difficult of all networking cells to find. They generally work through legitimate messengers who pass illegal papers and marks paying for those papers unknowingly.

Dowagers
The Dowagers are Black Widows. There are not many Dowagers in the Underground network so their services are generally the bulk of the expense. Although border runs can be done without the services of a Dowager, the risks increase exponentially and it is very very rare to find a Climber who is willing to run the border without the Dowager’s webs. The webs required for a border run are:
  • Illusion webs (psychic). Only the very best Dowagers can create illusion webs of such power and skill that they can, for a short time, confound the senses, masking psychic scent completely or, in some rare cases, making light scents seem darker. 
  • Illusion webs (physical). Nharkavans are not yet under the same obedience collar requirements as Glacians and although this is a risky tactic, sometimes illusion webs for to mask a Glacian as  Nharkavan is required instead. It should be noted that these webs are easier to make and cost less.


Routes

Traditionally there are four popular routes out of Glacia.

The most popular route, and the shortest, begins in the Ilsalmi district of Virratt. Mountain ranges run all along the southern border of Glacia all along its border between Askavi and Nharkava.  The most popular route is called the Sallow Road and it connects Glacia and Nharkava.  Although there are many different twists and turns a person can actually take to climb through the mountain ranges, the path, when taken on foot takes approximately four days, travelling about twelve to fourteen hours a day.  At the foot of the mountains, the temperature is warm and dry, getting hotter and slightly more humid as passage is made into Nharkava.  At the mountains’ highest peaks the temperature is as cold as any Glacian winter and there is often snow on the ground. 

The second most popular route actually takes the individual through the Sallow Road and down through Nharkava, through the borders of Little Terreille. Though there’s no official name for this route, and is still referred to as the Sallow Road, references are made to the dropoff point of the route and routes that lead into Little Terreille are more expensive not just because of the distance of traveling through Nharkava, but also because ever since Logain Morr’s ascension, borders have become extensively more restrictive there.

The third most popular route is one that is hardly popular at all and is called, in short, The Eyrien Way.  This is the most dangerous routes of them all because it travels through the Avorla mountains of Askavi Kaeleer. These mountains, in addition to being riddled with Eyeriens, also open up to a tundra. The cold in Askavi is hardly broken as it is in Glacia by homes and villages.  The tundra of Vyrkov is large and hardly broken and could be deadly to those ill prepared.  If the person is capable of getting past the Eyriens, at any rate.

The fourth most popular route begins in the Umea district of Tornio and goes into Dhemlan Kaeleer.  This is by far the least dangerous route, but it is also the one with the least popularity simply because it is not well known.  The Sanguine River is not actually a river and the way into Dhemlan Kaeleer is not as riddled with mountains. Despite that, most of the Underground takes place in Virratt and Salo and very few people, more specifically, very few Climbers know about the Sanguine River route.




 

 

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