Angbandish Fun (r.g.r.a highlights) - Who would build a town on the pit of the dark lord?
Can someone give me a plausible explanation as to why there's a town amidst the peaks of oppression,
defended from the assault of undead legions only by some meager battle-scarred veterans and mean-looking mercenaries?
I mean, come on, you'd think a blubbering idiot came up with this...
Well, that's local planning authorities for you...
The planning authorities at the Angband town get my vote. I mean, it's a veritable paradise - rents are cheap,
the treasure prospecting in the area is really lucrative, when you move in you'll find all the amenities within a walk
from your home, and the security just can't be beat - the town is totally walled in with very high, impenetrable walls so
no bandits or thieves or worse can get in - the only way is and out is through underground tunnels - and the entrance
into the town from said tunnels has some kind of perfect magical barrier that stops monsters of any kind
from ascending into the town. As long as nobody is stupid enough to read a summon monster scroll in town, or cast
word of destruction or something, everybody's peachy.
Townspeaope are an ungrateful lot though. You'd think they'd be better disposed, living in such a wonderful gated
community. Instead they're all a bunch of delinquents and malcontents, some of the violent. Oh, well - it couldn't be
*perfect* after all. The gods wouldn't stand for it, and we really don't want it getting smited with a hail of fire or
flooded out of existence now do we?
Meanwhile, the planning authorities in Ottawa, ten years ago when the big high tech boom started in earnest, decided
in their Infinite Wisdom that the way to answer the problem of increasing fast traffic all through the city was to force
all the traffic to funnel through about 3 major roads in the middle of town. So we have no excessively fas traffic,
and you have to get up 3 hours earlier than you plan to be at work/school. Of course, you won't live that close to either,
or to the amenities, since they neatly zoned everything - here commercial, here residential, and miles of greenbelt
buffering in between. Probably this idea came to them along with an undisclosed, but large, sum from an association
of dark-suited, smoking men representing major automobile and petroleum companies and environmental groups - GM, Texaco,
1000 Trees, etc...
Actually, it's the shopowners idea. The adventurer business is a lucrative one - the same wimpish half-elf ranger
that you sold a pair of gantlets today will return tomorrow with over a million AU in his pockets, and just itching
to buy that ring of speed +4 that you keep in the back room. And the town has a grat line of defense - blubbering
idiots, aimless looking merchants, mangy looking lepers, singing happy drunks - all the unpleasent dregs of society
constantly wander around the streets, making them such a unhip place that no monster would dare show his face there
or risk permanent ridicule by all his friends.
Of course, the side effect of all this rif-raf wandering along is that the shopkeepers themselves don't like wandering
the street and therefore just stay forever in the stores. And, since they never go out and adventurer's don't seem to have
trouble getting in anyway, they figured there's no point in spending the money to build an actual gate in the town
It might not be ideal, but it's a living.
But why doesn't Morgoth put his best guards right up near the surface? I mean, after all, those little level one
characters are the kind that work up the gumption to kill him and all his favorite minions. No, the real reason
is that Morgoth has been chained by the Valar once more in an impenetrable dungeon. He doesn't return to the surface
because he knows that this time, the Valar have beaten him. Being Valar is rather expensive, however, and so they needed
a fund-raiser. They thought a bit and said "Voila! We'll set up some stores above Angband, sell to adventurers and make
heaps of money." They also charge a fairly hefty admission fee. So it is a great honor to be one of the few that are
allowed to fight Morgoth. The Valar realized that Tolkien didn't write about enough monsters, so they created the yeeks,
Quylthulgs, Zephyr hounds, jellies, oozes, icky things, etc. They weren't the most creative Valar, so they stole
a bunch of monsters from some old MERP books that Tulkas had lying around as well as D&D books that Aule plays
with when he's not painting his Warhammer figurines.
James K. Banks