Tuesday, August 11, 2020

Microstory 1427: Hardtland

By the year 2048, there were over 4,000 people living on Durus. Some were in Springfield, some were in Splitsville, and some were in the still new town of Parade. There were pretty evenly divided too, which seemed to suggest to people that there was some kind of population standard for a town. Maybe there ought to be about a thousand to twelve hundred people together, and no more. Of course, that wasn’t necessarily true. Everyone could have easily lived in the same area, and any further space they needed, they could have found simply by expanding outwards. Still, a lot of people alive in the middle of the century remembered what it was like to be on Earth. The Springfield they could remember was a small town, and most of them chose to move, or stay, there for that reason. By building more towns, they were better simulating what life should be like for them. They wanted to be able to live in one place, but visit another, instead of just having everyone and everything within reach at all times. It just made sense. So they founded a fourth town, which they called Hardtland, in honor of their late leader, Councilwoman Hardt. Calling it a town, however, was a bit of a misnomer. It was more of a rural sprawl, as buildings were spread out, and only placed inside natural clearings in the wooded area where it was located. This was a major operation, which required the cooperation of a lot of people who were not even planning to move there once it was finished, which they hoped would be within a year. They chose not to expedite the process with temporal powers, like they did with Parade, instead relying on dozens of independent construction crews. They now had plenty of mages to protect them while they worked, and planning was so detailed that they easily managed to complete the project according to schedule. The first families officially moved into their new homes in the summer of 2049, and town mages were temporarily assigned to keep guard. Now that there was an entirely new border to protect, plans would have to be adapted, so that enough mages were selected in the next Mage Games, but some realized that it couldn’t stop there. This development also prompted an overhaul of the whole system. Experts did some math, and realized they even needed to be thinking further in the future than that. The next competition would be held in a year, and the next one after that wouldn’t be for another twenty. By the time that rolled around, the number of towns would likely double. This was a truth they confirmed with two separate seers, who knew a little about the future of the Durune population. If more people were going to be selected as mages than ever before, the source mages would have to reexamine their criteria for acceptance. More importantly, they decided they needed to help people prepare for this time, so they weren’t only depending on natural talent. They quickly threw together a training regimen, so hopefuls would already have an idea of what would be expected of them when the contest was held. Worried it wouldn’t be enough, this contest was also pushed back three months. People would later say that it probably should have been delayed a year, though, because of what happened.

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