Welcome, dear reader, to a new collection of tourist-orientated posts from Intrepid Explorers™. As with our collections for other worlds, each article — written by an experienced Intrepid Correspondent — will showcase some aspect of the world that might interest the recreational visitor. In addition to guides about local customs and places to visit, we will feature interviews with people of note.
Today I’ll introduce you to the realm of Numoeath. Unlike previous worlds I’ve visited, where there have been many nations or even interplanetary communications, Numoeath is a completely isolated society. The population migrated (“Settled”) overland many generations ago, and their return route has been cut off by some disaster. Today’s citizens don’t even consider that other civilisations might exist, and they look at me blankly when I tentatively raise the possibility. In fact, although my sources tell me the realm is known as Numoeath, you won’t find a single inhabitant referring to it as such: in the absence of other population groups, there simply isn’t the need.
The technology level is low, surviving technology from the original “Settlers” being the exception. You will find very few motors in Numoeath (all within the capital city of Ascar), and nearly all machinery is human-powered. Yes, “human” rather than “animal” powered. Domesticated mammals do not exist, and wild animals (mammals, rather) are viewed with dread. But more on that in a future article.
First of all, I’d like to share with you a map of the realm. Even obtaining this map was a challenge. Dwellers within Ascar rarely venture beyond its limits, and inhabitants of rural settlements face considerable practical obstacles to travel. Thus, maps are an uncommon item, although not actually forbidden. It so happened I met a young man in an Ascar tavern, and he mentioned that he used to work with the logisticians: they have the role of distributing resources and generally ensuring that things run smoothly. When I mentioned my interest in a map of the realm, he offered to draw me one from memory (in return for a few drinks, of course).
And here it is, thanks to my chance meeting with a cartographer. You’ll notice that Ascar lies at the centre of the realm, with rural settlements in a roughly hub-and-spoke arrangement around it. You might find the sparse distribution surprising, since the land is so rich in natural resources, but settlements are required to be a minimum distance away from each other by statute. You might also wonder about the lack of roads, but since travel is so rare, it seems that they’ve been deemed unnecessary.
On my visit to Numoeath, I split my time between Ascar and Maldon, one of the larger outlying towns. I’ll give you more detail about those in future posts.
Your Intrepid Correspondent.
Obligatory statement of responsibility: In accordance with the conditions of our alternate world exploration permit, Intrepid Explorers™ affirm that 1. none of our ICs (Intrepid Correspondents) will challenge citizens’ current state of knowledge or world view and 2. any use of technology more advanced than in the visited world will remain concealed.