A few notes on Mir:
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An unknown number of years ago, during the last age of Leran, a massive crater was rent in the earth of the North. There are no records of what caused it, though the shady, insubstantial views some seers have been given of great warring beings suggest it might have been made in battle. The God-Wars Theory was often rejected by the more logical peoples- as many did not want to believe that gods actually strode the earth once- but the Lunice Exploration of 599 gave weight to the idea. The explorer Lunice, upon returning from the Northern Wastes, claimed to have seen a great skull, many times larger than the Grand Palace, buried in the hardpan. Later events would prove beyond any doubt that the gods once existed and made war upon each other, but in Year 482, the prospect was dim indeed.
This crater lay unused for many years. It wasnít until a group of explorers- in Year 122- came upon a natural spring hidden below the base of the crater that anyone deigned to take interest. The city had no official founder, its citizens sprang up like weeds, slowly filling the base of the crater. The community was remote, far from the buzz of Manderian life. The community was run loosely, by a set of rules accepted by all of itsí citizens, and troublemakers were dealt with swiftly. This is reckoned by some historians to be the single most peaceful time in the history of Mir. The community, which had no name, blossomed out into a sizeable town. Many travelers enjoyed the laid-back atmosphere, and word began -ever so slowly- to spread.
In 156, a wealthy landowner, Geoffrey of Jacklin, convinced Lord Michael Hall to assign him ownership of the crater- which had, up until then, really been owned by no-one, and thus was default property of the High Lord. Bureaucratic nonsense of course, but then Manderia operated on bureaucratic nonsense, even in that day.
Jacklin was an idealist. He was also an optimistic idiot. Not only was he certain that he could transform the small, dirty, backwater town into an official Manderian outpost, he was convinced it would be the best outpost in Manderian history. In light of Mir's actual development, this view was not ironic, only pitiful. Jacklin set up his estate in Mir, and promply named it Hallsburg (out of respect for Lord Hall). He worked from his own savings, hiring hundreds of workers and comissioning huge buildings. For a while, there was a sort of busy peace in Mir, as almost anyone short of money was readily hired in to help with constructions. Crime was low.
In the end, it was import that killed Jacklin. Hiring a hundred peasant workers to build a thirty-foot marble statue of you was a pittance compared with the cost of shipping the marble north from Portsmouth, or Northharbor, or Manderia. He dropped out of the game nearly broke, his Tower of Dawn (the central fixture of Hallsburg) two-thirds completed. Relieved of their jobs as workers, the townsfolk came to realize that their situation had- if anything- worsened. They had no jobs to do- Jacklin hadn't got that far in his thinking- and a half-built city full of contruction rubble to live in. Three years of disgust and poverty culminated in a short, bloody coup, led by peasants who didn't want to be peasants anymore. They got their wish. The city went up in flames, the conflagration killing the short-lived peasant government, their immediate supporters, and a fair chunk of the Hallsburg populace. The fire left Hallsburg ravaged. Blackened marble, stone, and twisted hunks of metal were all that remained of Lord Michael Hall's namesake. Hall didn't care- he was three years dead- and Lord Leviticus was not interested in dealing with the project. Hallsburg lay like a dead thing.
Eight years later- this would be Year 206- the crater again became a subject of interest. In this case, it was the Mad Magus, Corin, who took on the task of building his dream. In this case the term is appropriate: Corin claimed to have had a poignant and lingering dream about a strange city inside a crater. He gave this vision a great deal of thought, and decided to build it for himself. Corin and his escort (some two hundred mages, mathematicians, and useful sycophants) tromped into the ruins of Hallsburg late one summer's eve. Corin surveyed the damage, snorted, and commanded that a massive platform be built above the ruins. Not only would this create a flat city-base, it would erase the signs of destruction. His mathematicians claimed it couldn't be done. His mages agreed that it would be difficult. He sent away his mathematicians, and began hiring workers. He kicked all the squatters out, set up his mansion, and shut himself away. Three years later- an incredibly short period of time, given the task at hand- it was finished. A great, flat cap across the crater.
From there, things progressed in a more-or-less normal fashion. Under the tyrannical leadership of the Mad Magus, Mir became a prosperous city. It also became Mir- the name, chosen by Corin, meant 'the world beneath'. Corin managed to suspend his life for nearly two hundred years, but in Year 403, he lay on his deathbed. His last words, spoken in a husky whisper to his head mage, Silverscale, were in the form of a plea for construction. The ancient wizard contended that he had had a dream, in which he had been instructed to build another platform above the city. He begged Silverscale to honor his wishes. Then he died. Silverscale, true to form, had the third level- a massive disc set upon eight giant columns- built. He also went about the task of corrupting everything else Corin had created. The Assassins' Guild, up until then a pitiful collection of desperate wretches, recieved corporate backing and was transformed into a rather impressive collection of desperate wretches. The lower classes were pushed out of their homes and into the Lower City (the ruins of Hallsburg). Everyone was generally exploited as much as possible; Silverscale had no compunctions about messing with the upper classes. It is just possible that this fact eventually did him in. He died under the knife of one of his own assassins.
His successor, the sorcerer Wec, was disgusted with the whole system. Once he was in office, he executed the legendary Nobles' Purge. Nearly two hundred political-minded nobles fell to their deaths from the Upper city. Once the governing body was back to the reasonable sort of tyranny it had enjoyed in Corin's day, Wec abdicated with nary a word, and dissapeared. The government, a body that didn't have head to begin with, got on. The Assassins' Guild began to thrive again under the leadership of a pale youth named Mishakal. The trade routes with Manderia began to break down. One in every seven carts was waylaid by bandits or obstacles. By the time Saros and Andrew arrived, this ratio had climbed to one in four.
Such was the state of things in Mir.
"Quit this world, quit the next world, quit quitting!" -Sufi proverb.