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Duke Wells (first name is Wells, middle name begins with a W, however whether this is a subtle jab against the rumours of incest in the duchy's upperclass or proof to it depends on how much of a sense of humour one believes extant (not Xtant) in the royalty) maintains the grand city of Exerprad with the delicacy of a velvet glove, rather than the deliberation of an iron fist. In fact, his grand manor is referred to as the Palace of Delicacies, where only "the finest is served on the finest." Intricate interactions of foods wrapped in other foods are not unknown but more the rule, and the Duke and his intrigues are similarly inclined.

There are many proverbs in and about Exerprad, including, "The main export is information about you," referring to the League of Professionals, a suggested guild of assassins, and spies, (or "explorers" as they're normally called.) Even regular guards holding gates against the wanderers of the Charnel Road often have two or three different obvious allegiances to the network of guilds and political "clubs" within the city. Combine this with various ethnic group identities and religions and one not native to the region might find it difficult not to offend. [1]

The good news is that the ability to find a job is easy; there are opportunities constantly being offered in the web of Exerprad, many of them small expeditions to insult or otherwise change a relationship, but some have Duke Wells in the center, pulling little strings to change a magistrate's reaction on a proposed code or law. While the Exerpradian version of a snipe hunt" is often called, "Finding a Keg," it is true that the Ji'Li are often given wide berth [2] and considered to be the ultimate bluffers in the citywide games of chance.

Games of chance are probably the city's greatest tax revenue, however, and its tradesmen work elegant artistry into anything from the "Move the Duke's China" game (from when the late Duke Wells' time ("Aich G.") when Welstead ceramics were stolen and moved down the Charnel Road in what is still considered one of the greatest payoffs in all Unaria) wherein a steady hand and a quick shot can save "the precious plates," to the "Pi Wi's Adventure" tests of endurance [3]

Visitors to fair Exerprad always complain about the weather. This has led to a number of laws (irregularly enforced) regarding hospitality in inns and under the roof of various game stalls during the downpours. A fashion for a while called upon "tipping the croupier" which ended up poorly as instead of offering a merchant an extra fee for keeping the tourists in comfort, it often ended up with several individuals bruised and in the surrounding mud. Luckily (or unluckily, as the case may be) the wave of heat that often follows the downpours usually cakes the dirt well enough to be trodden in without discomfort, although the meaning of "mud boots" also seems to have a criminal element in mind.

[1] Alas for poor Gerald Ainslough. [2] this may be "for the size of their generative organs" as the parlance requires, or so it is rumoured. [3] The dance craze was originally limited to children, but then gained more classic status amongst a jaded adult audience.


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Page last modified on October 29, 2008, at 11:44 AM by DoyceTesterman

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