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Story Locale (Banlan Backlash): Nyamo Wall

Underground_tunnel_RCW_02Nyamo is a walled city; years of outside threats necessitated the construction of a sturdy barrier hundreds of years ago. Originally designed to repel intruders, it now serves a slightly different purpose—as the settlement became a center of commerce, traders from all over the world arrived in Nyamo to sell their wares and exchange ideas.
While the goods and money were welcome, the ideas were not.

The visiting merchants and migrants were mostly housed in the migrant district, which was composed of most of the northern half of the city. Construction began on a new section of the Nyamo Wall that effectively split the city in half, running down the middle and connecting each end to the original outer wall. Taller and thicker than the original wall, the huge gatehouse built into its center gave each side of the barrier its own portcullis.

Traffic between the sections of the Nyamo Wall is strictly regulated—in order to pass, the person must provide an acceptable reason, a gate tax must be paid, and a stamp issued. Those wishing to stay overnight must obtain permission and purchase a special permit to do so. Guards from the Order of the Staff search each and every person that passes through the gate, ensuring that no contraband makes its way into Nyamo (normal magic items are not illegal, but may not pass through the gate; these items must be surrendered or passage is also prohibited.) Usually, traveler are given the option of simply turning around and not passing through the Nyamo Wall if they do not wish to surrender their items—in this city of Timeaus, this is just the cost of doing business. Those that pass through the gate are often followed by a member of the Order of the Staff, who make careful notes on interactions they make and often follow up questioning where searches occur (often using Nyamo scribe orbs).

Those that wish to enter the city from outside must go to the Migrants' Gate on the outer wall (unless they are a Timerian citizen) where they are still subject to search and seizure, declaring all of their enchanted items; undeclared magic items are subject to confiscation. Those that wish to stay more than 24 hours must apply at the gate or at a Timerian embassy for a permit, and anyone found entering the city under false pretenses are subject to expulsion or arrest.

Only Timerian citizens are allowed entry through the Timerian Gate. They must present the proper papers and declare any magic or valuable items obtained outside of Timeaus. Generally speaking, most citizens comply and seizures at this gate are rare.

When the Nyamo Wall was constructed, the sewers under the city were modified, blocking passages with bars and grates, and in some cases blocking tunnels altogether. Over the years enterprising smugglers and other criminal elements have reopened some of these sealed passages to facilitate the burgeoning black market in Nyamo. While some goods are sold, it is most often news of the outside world that is traded, as well as books and other forms of publication. Several competing guilds operate underneath the Nyamo Wall, including those that support revolution; simple thievery and smuggling are often overlooked, with the occasional blatant offender caught and made an example of. However, the revolutionaries that deal in information and subterfuge are almost always put to the death when caught.

Entry into the tunnels that connect the two sides of the cities is a closely guarded secret. A select few safe houses on each side contain concealed entrances to the underground labyrinth—these are moved on a regular basis, the old entrances sealed up. Few people know of the existence of more than one way into the network under the Nyamo Wall, and even some of the guild masters do not know every entrance under their control.

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