Seaside – Of Dice and Men

*Seaside is also discussed in the context of its primary work in this article:  Setting for Master of the House

Seaside is every immigrant’s idealized version of America.  It is a place where a man rises or falls due to his own merits.  It is a place of vast opportunity, beautiful scenery, and interesting people.  In the King’s Realm, those who would look to step outside of the caste systems of Britania, Keldj, or even New Raj would probably look for refuge here.

Seaside sits on the southern coast of the King’s Realm and features only three great walls.  Due to its proximity to the coast, Seaside is afforded the opportunity to use the ocean as a natural boundary against the roaming hordes.  Its main fortification is the massive Northern Wall.

Seaside is in many real ways the bread basket of this world.  While every city is completely capable of self sustaining food production, it is the people of Seaside who have mastered the craft and made available a surplus of food.  This fact alone allows the other Great City States to trade their excess food stuffs and improve their own quality of life.

Due to the isolate nature of the Great City States, travel between them is limited by the flying vehicles known as ‘Copters.  The inefficient nature of these vehicles and their small capacity of goods means that the King’s Realm is dependent on other means of transporting goods.  Seaside is the crux by which all trade swings upon.

Mastering both the craft of ship building and tidal sailing, Seaside uses sailing vessels to reach Lux, Britania, and New Raj.  Trade with Lux is conducted via a simple route along the coast that is assisted by a massive clockwork rig off the plateau where Lux sits.  Seaside provides the materials and Lux has devised a means by which to acquire them.  New Raj and Britania are considerably more difficult to reach.  Those braving the journey are required to sail along the eastern coast of the King’s Realm and enter the frightening Dead Line River.  This river makes its way to the heart of the King’s Realm, past New Raj and directly into Britania and the Great Central River that splits the realm down the center. Seaside’s ships are then able to navigate this river south and back home again.

This complicated and dangerous voyage has provided great wealth to this nation and has been the key to its survival.  Materials move, food is accessible, and rare foreign goods travel because of the men and women in Seaside.  It is also the root of Seaside’s vast and rooted corruption.  There are far too many open hands and hungry stomachs on every end of these voyages for any one man or organization to put and end to the crime and vice that are now integrated at a fundamental level in Seaside.

Discussion aspects of Seaside:  There is an interesting discussion about Seaside in the later half of Master of the House between Dori and Pride about the character of the great city they live in.  Seaside is something unlike the other places in this book series.  It has no cohesive element that ties it together like Lux or Britania.  Setting aside trade, the only operating rule of Seaside is its lack of rules.  Be first, be best, be smartest…these are the elements of success in this place and they only remain relevant to a person so long as they continue to be the first, best, or smartest in what they are doing.  Seaside is the laissez faire setting where individuals are free to pursue their own success or failure as they see fit.  Honest even makes mention in this when discussing her reasons for leaving Britania.

Author’s Notes:  Thematically, I think that this kind of place is important.  This setting is a place for characters who are not afraid to lose what they already have.  Instead it is a setting for characters who refuse to settle for what they have.  That goes a long way towards justifying the crime and the stark class lines that separate the Valley from what is actually called by the characters in the book as “Seaside Proper”.

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