Twoggle

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The port and city of Twoggle, located in the Modani demesne of Sehmlshire is the administrative seat of the Bailiwick of West Lyhiggle. Situated on the eastern edge of the Lyhiggle Plain, at the end of a long tidal inlet and river estuary facing onto the Gulf of Khaz, Twoggle is chiefly notable for its excellent crab fisheries which have been created over the centuries by carving rock basins into the granite shore. The rock basins are typically a toorriq in length, two riqs in width and another toorrig in depth. Built at just before the high-tide mark, these basins serve as tidal pools where sea-water enters by means of a narrow carved inlet and is retained by crude sluice gates constructed at the mouth. The delicious flavour of Twoggle crabs reputedly. comes from the ancient custom of disposing of the corpses of executed criminals, suicides, witches, and heretics into the crabbing basins, a custom which has been supplemented by deceased community servants and Froyalaners in modern times.

The mode of architecture in Twoggle centres around building upon raised platforms of rammed earth above a central storage chamber and refuge. Buildings tend to be circular, formed of mud brick walls one riq thick lined with wattle and daub as protection against the elements, although a finish of lime cement mixed with pigs blood is increasingly used. More prosperous properties, typically those of citizens, as well as those denizens with profitable connections to the crab fisheries, tend to focus upon a central stone blockhouse, also circular, built around a tower with an internal diameter of two toorriqs within a wall one toorriq thick, which still stands to a height of over four riqs. The interior of these blockhouse towers will contain a water tank, a larder and pantry as well as a kitchen capacious enough for bread ovens and a roasting split. Dining rooms and domestic quarters are usually located on the upper stories of these buildings. All residential properties in the traditional style are built around the presumption of ownership by family and kinship groups. Typically the immediate nuclear family of the patriarch of the residence will occupy the central tower or the upper storey of a building. Cousins, nephews, dependants, and other such are typically accounted as little better than loyal subjects, and live on the lower floors or in outhouses and lean-tos along with the servants and the livestock. Roofs are typically slanting, and are covered by corrugated iron or lead sheet tiling. On account of the ferocious winds rising off the Gulf of Khaz and blowing in across the steppe all residences, along with the various districts, and the city itself, are either partially or fully enclosed by tall mud brick and adobe walls which serve as windbreaks. A multiplicity of walls entails multiple gates and this is especially true in this city whose name of "Twoggle" is said to derive from the word for "city of many gates" in the long vanished Lywind language[1].

In former times the Imperial presence in the city was minimal, with occasional visits from coastal patrol boats and tax collectors being the egregious and intrusive reminder to the city's inhabitants that they remained the Kaiser's long-suffering subjects. It was no surprise that the factor's office and the tax registers housed within were amongst the first targets of the masses' fury during the Kalirion Fracture. There was also a post office whose postmaster was responsible maintaining and monitoring the port's connection to the communications grid.

In the 1620s the city experienced a brief boom as the maritime staging point for the migration known as the 'Great Replanting' wherein the greater part of Shireroth's undead and Deep Singer elite, travelling from Shirekeep via the mountain city of Dolorous, met with an armada of disaffected colonists from a failed settlement programme in Neridia and set sail to establish the Kingdom (later Empire) of Minarboria on the abandoned Ashkenatzan shore of the Cosimo Sea. Twoggle was chosen for the purpose due to the status of its Lywind hinterland as a princely possession of Lyssansa Rossheim, an undead royal of some notoriety who sponsored the migration and eventually abandoned Lywind to become Minarboria's head of state. By virtue of the not-inconsiderable number of Lywinders who elected to join the transiting throng, Many cultural and indeed genetic features of the area bled into those of Minarboria and consequently Kalgachia.

The Royal Court and Chancellery of Drak-Modan is represented in the city by a regiment of cudgellers, notionally 1,200 in number, belonging to the Public Order Force. Their barracks is a modern edifice built in the Imperial Revival style during the reign of the Prince of Modan, and modelled, as all such buildings are, after Raynor's Keep. The barracks is also shared with a detachment of engineers and surveyors from the Drak-Modani Defense Force.

Local government is carried on by a municipal corporation, comprised of the Aldermen of West Lyhiggle and representatives of the various guilds active in the city. Each year the "worshipful corporation" elects two syndics[2] and a bailiff[3] with the succinct remit to ensure that the city's roads, sewers, and walls, are kept in good repair, the law is maintained, and that the rites of the Cedrist religion are observed. This last requirement may put the city at odds with the pro-Bovic Royal Court in the future.

In the 1664 election for the Modan State Assembly the city duly "enthroned" Hennessy Thrumper, a candidate from the Coalition 1660 bloc, as Assemblyman. Successive changes in regime appear to have not disturbed Mr Thrumper's position as leading citizen of the city and he still represents Twoggle's electoral district in the Fury, the reformed legislature of the region.

Roads from Twoggle lead eastwards to Oggle and Lyhigh and westwards, across the Lyhiggle Plains, towards the city of Tok-Tok. Galarmjabat and Tak-Tak are also reachable via the Tok-Tok road. A railway station consisting of four platforms, two aligned north-south and two east-west, was built during the 1650s and the renovation of the regional railway networks. Nee, Lyhigh, Drakorda, Eriksburg, and Modan Hamlet are all accessible from Twoggle via the reconstructed Southern Brookshire Railways. The punctuality of services can be considered at best to be variable. Ferry services from Twoggle are operated by the natives, so caution is advisable. Ferries sail twice weekly to Ž & Azarea, and Zy-Rodun. Anyone wishing to travel to So-Sara should first board the service to Zy-Rodun and expect a long wait at the other end. Chartering a vessel is possible, but negotiating with locals can be frustrating and time consuming without an old Lywind hand to act as intermediary and facilitator.

The loss of some of Lachmodan's coastline and barrier islands to neighbouring Sanama reduced Twoggle's importance as a port city but this situation has been reversed somewhat by the decision of Benacia Command to use it's harbour as the location for unloading and auction of contraband taken from vessels trading with the Guttuli Protectorate and the Verionist Pretender in the Skyla Isles.

References

  1. ^ Conversely the neighbouring city of Oggle is said to derive its name from being the "city of one gate". These folk etymologies are, at best, considered to be unreliable.
  2. ^ a species of magistrate
  3. ^ a species of bully