The Capital, located in the reformed lush areas of Old World southern Ontario, is the largest concentration of civilization in North America. It was founded 300 years ago by the populace of a cluster of three villages. They decided to band together and build walls to encircle their land, and were able to develop it enough to make population growth seem more appealing. These walls have been rebuilt a total of 5 times as the settlement expanded into a city and eventually a thriving metropolis. Now, it functions as a center of humanoid ingenuity and growth as well as a central trading hub for the villages scattered in the wilderness around it.
The city began as a large residential area with a small market area where people could trade in goods and, generally, gossip about technique and each other. When the Capital was unable to produce enough food to feed the growing populace, they sent messengers out to nearby villages, asking for their aid in exchange for goods. The Capital had a larger selection of items due to its safety allowing for the expansion of invention and innovation, so they had much to offer the other villages. However, many felt that the quality of items they were giving up “for the good of the many” was worth far more than what they were being given. The limitations of the bartering system found a solution in the Capital developing its own currency, and due to it being the largest focus of proper trade for thousands of miles the currency caught on quickly. It’s only really used inside the Capital, as the villages share equally among the community in order to survive, and merely functions as a way for some crops to be sold so they can buy extra goods. These goods usually take the form of weaponry, armour, enchanted items that help with growing or living, seeds or livestock, and other goods.
After the currency system was successfully integrated, the market exploded. Buildings were set up to function as shops in order to prevent theft and damage from the elements, as well as to house the numerous laboratories of the inventive for convenience’s sake. The shops and streets grew larger and more labyrinthine as the Capital expanded to hold them all, and now the market district is a maze of alleyways, streets, and a never-ending parade of fascinating goods. If someone has ever wanted something in the history of the new world, it’s most likely in there. Many people who jumped on the bandwagon early made a monopoly large enough to become rich. They began living in large mansions with properties around them, as they started claiming segments of land outside the city walls and, being rich enough to pay for everything, had the walls expanded to encompass them. They didn’t want to live in the cramped confines of the residential district, believing they deserved better now that they were richer. The rest of the city tends to look at them with some disdain, as they see the using up of the space to be an unnecessary waste. Truth be told, for many of them it is them simply being picky and entitled, though many of them require a large house to either hold their family or to keep what goes on in their estate quiet. Still, there has always been a separation between those who choose to live in fancy mansions and those who live in the residential area, as many people of much wealth choose to live a more frugal lifestyle.
When the walls were being expanded for a third time, one of the prominent members of society stepped up and seized the opportunity for his own gain. A then-young man by the name of Roderick, who was the owner of most pawn shops and second-hand stores, stepped forward and claimed for himself a huge hunk of the land. It was bigger than any other claim, and many of the more egotistical wealthy people accused him of attempting to insult them with the sheer amount of the land he was holding. He never said a thing in his defense, because the arguments simply deflected themselves. The rich couldn’t claim that his asking for that much land was illegal because of what they had done to get their own, and as far as they could see he did indeed have the fortune required to get the walls moved. So, they could do nothing about it and so they waited, stewing in their impotent rage, for his grand mansion to be erected.
As the walls were being built, Roderick spent his time freely wandering the city, where he met a woman named Min Aurum, a young woman of considerable psionic powers1 working as a simple waitress. As the walls project slowly came to a close, Roderick married her and took her name to escape the ties of his family once and for all. Together Min and Roderick Aurum planned out their house. Naturally, the tiny one-floor house he built in the midst of the rolling hills of his property further incensed the rich, as they felt the lack of grandeur in the largest property in the city was meant to be a jab at their overindulgence. Roderick denied it to his grave, but he and Min had both privately planned things out so that it would be a grievous insult to the opulent lifestyle. They shared the same sense of humour. There were legal battles fought to keep the house as it was, ending in the Property Act2 and the banning of all further attempts to expand the walls out of anything but necessity. The House of Aurum remained the same way for years, as both Roderick and his wife were blessed with unusually long lifespans. Min’s talents kept her alive long past the age of many mortals, but for Roderick it was never explained. As far as medical mages could tell, he simply had a strange mutation that made his cells regenerate faster than most other humans.
Though the Capital’s fields and grasslands have all but vanished in its need to expand for more housing space, Aurum made sure that his patch of land was untouched by everyone in the government. No amount of money, items, prestige, or power would sway him, and he lived out the remainder of his days defending his home from people who would destroy it, often in the most humiliating ways possible. Roderick was well known for knowing personal information and being able to apply it in ways that were damaging enough to keep people from becoming repeat customers.
1 Min was quite the powerful seer, though her parents were never supportive of her powers. She had simply lived with the gift without doing anything with it.
2 The Property Act stated that in order to obtain property, it had to be enclosed in the Capital’s walls already, and bought with actual money under the full consent of the person owning it (in the case of unclaimed property, the person was the government) so people couldn’t simply point at unclaimed land and say it was theirs.