Night Phlox

My foolish dreams

The Golden Rim

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The Golden Rim (often called Goldrim; the Rim) is the largest and newest city in Eldany as mentioned below. It’s built right along the border with Veldland, with a huge western wall that was constructed to intimidate rather than as a means of defense.

The capital city of Eldany

The main part of the city runs in a belt from north to south. The wealthier areas are concentrated in the south, with the exception of several manor houses in the north.

Tacked onto the side of the Rim is a large area of farmland, most of which is arable. This land (as well as the fisheries along the coast) generally caters for the city’s food requirements.

The Shelters are the only extension of the city to date; the course of the eastern wall was changed to accomodate this area of housing for the poor and homeless. Initially, the Shelters were well-kept and the city was proud of them, but they have suffered years of neglect and have come to be regarded as a hive for criminal activity. At the time that my novel is set, the Shelters’ main use has become somewhat distorted. At first, the royal family and its taxpayers were happy to give free housing to the homeless for however long they needed it. It kept them from sleeping on the streets, after all, and the whole city is about keeping up appearances. Now, however, residents are only allowed to stay rent-free for a maximum of two weeks. Differing rents apply to those who stay for longer, depending on the size and quality of the accomodation.

The Shelters are also the main gateway to Goldrim. Anyone who wants to enter the city for non-trading or non-official purposes is first held in the Shelters until their paperwork can be verified. Those without a house or job waiting for them in Goldrim are not allowed to enter the city. Therefore, employers who need cheap staff often prowl around the Shelters to find them. There is such a large supply of potential workers that wages for low-skilled or manual jobs are often low.  The income might allow workers to rent a property at the northern end of the Rim, but most simply upgrade to a larger Shelter.

Construction

The idea of the Golden Rim was first envisaged by Princes Isaac and Brandon a hundred years before the novel starts. The first plans of the city were presented to the King as a birthday present. At that time, the Kingdom’s capital was in the centre of Eldany (name tbc). The princes did not fully realise the impact the new capital would have on the rest of Eldany.

The men that built the Rim were paid in a very unorthodox fashion. The crown supplied their food and temporary accomodation alongside the construction site, but did not pay them beyond this. All of the workforce were promised properties on Goldrim if it was completed within the five year time window that Prince Isaac aimed for. There were two squads of workmen, only one of which was working on the project at any time. They switched round every few months to allow them to accumulate useful wealth for their families.

Goldrim was finished six months before the end of the deadline.

Now: 95th year of the Rim

The construction of Goldrim created a new divide in Eldany. The Rim’s wealth grew so quickly that the rest of the kingdom couldn’t keep up. Within fifteen years the rest of Eldany was referred to as the Old Kingdom by citizens of the Rim.

With the capital’s burgeoning population and wealth, demand for essentials and luxuries rocketed. The result was rapid inflation. Few wages in the old kingdom could keep up with this increase. As the Golden Rim became wealthier, the rest of the kingdom suffered. Thousands starved. Efforts were made to keep the inflation in check, but it was never going to be enough. Resentment in the old kingdom grew.

Those who couldn’t feed their families had a choice. To starve or to migrate to Goldrim. This mass migration was what caused the expansion of the Shelters, hundreds upon hundreds of people wanting to have a share of the city’s wealth.

The King was not stupid. He only allowed the best craftsmen to enter the city. Each family was assessed on their ability to improve Goldrim, those who didn’t make the cut were cramped in Shelters for a couple of weeks before being thrust out into the old kingdom again. Talent was drained from the old kingdom.

This caused the King to lose yet more favour. On the rare occasions that a royal travelled to the old kingdom the people were forced to show their respect…yet there were always those who stepped out of line. Those who spoke out.

A king of Eldany, as of 95GR, has not visited the old kingdom in fifty years. Citizens of the Rim know little of the old kingdom, and indeed, the Great Forest is enough of a barrier to deter the curious from visiting it. The old kingdom is wilting, on the verge of complete collapse; yet no-one in Goldrim cares.

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Written by Freya

Tuesday 3rd May 2011 at 9:23 pm

Posted in Novel

Tagged with , , , ,

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