Note: In order that Count Longden might publicly respond to the serious accusations against him, an advance copy of Gavilean's article was forwarded to him. This is his rebuttal.
My Dear Friends,
How easy it is for false accusations to be propagated by our well-meaning reporters who were trespassing on private property. I will not deny the accusations or claim that The Oracle reporting is biased, or that The Oracle is tabloid trash as did one of my opponents in this election, who is too chicken to simply admit to the truth. On the other hand, I have no problem admitting the truth even when it appears to not be in my favor. I think that's a quality all of you want in your Governor. What my dear Gavilean reported is easily explained away as innocent and legal transactions.
Regarding the naked and collared "slaves" that The Oracle reporter had seen; these were nothing more than a shipment of mannequins that has already gone to the planet Pletarate, which is universally known for it's high fashion industry. One can easily understand how a quick view through a door window into a darkened room might have one thinking that the mannequins were naked men and women who were collared and about to be sold as slaves. The "collars" were merely supports about the necks to keep the
mannequins from coming loose during shipping. Even a mannequin should not lose its head.
The "military weapons" were not illegal, but destined to go to the I.I.S.C. to help defend peace loving planets such as ours from evil space pirates and others who would do harm to our fair lands. As your governor, I have the resources to protect each and every individual, and what The Oracle reporter has illegally stumbled upon simply proves the veracity of what I've been saying.
Now, regarding the mention that I killed those three men two months ago, let me just say this about that. I did not kill those men. It is all a matter of how one defines "kill". Those men were still alive, or mostly alive, when they left my hands and fell several stories in the cargo elevator shaft. So, if one would define "kill" as to render a person dead, I can swear to you, my fellow countrywomen and countrymen, that I did not "kill" those three men. They were alive when I last saw them. They happened to be rendered dead, and therefore "killed" by their sudden, precipitous, rapid, and otherwise immediate stop at the bottom of the elevator shaft. One might say that they were killed by the laws of conservation of energy, laws which, as your new governor, I will in no way attempt to change, rescind, or otherwise alter.
As you can see, all of this is easily explained. So vote for Talomar Longden for governor the man who will bring more excitement, romance, and adventure to our great land.
Count Talomar Longden
Gubernatorial Candidate for a Better RhyDin
By LADY WYHEREE BLACK
On January 3rd, The Oracle received word that the following letter was sent to the candidates for RhyDin's Governor. Below is an exclusive copy I managed to procure:
To the Candidates:
I've seen a great deal of talk about many non-issues thus far. It matters not to me which beer is an official beer, nor does it matter to me whether Gav dispenses advice in The Oracle particularly since, given the nature of RhyDin relationships, the poor man is already working against the greater RhyDinian nature.
A real issue is RhyDin's slow exodus. It seems very much as though most (if not all) of you haven't entirely noticed how quiet the realm has gotten. Aside from a few prominent types, I have seen business after business fold, and family after family vanish. I've been in RhyDin now for six years nearly, and spent some time here even before that, nine years ago. How could you not notice how quiet our shores have gotten? How can you address that issue?
Another issue in the realm seems to be the lack of a stable economy. Aside a handful of shops, and a couple of bars (the Medieval and the Red Dragon Inn being the two still somewhat active ones), there simply isn't much commerce. How will you bring business, and therefore prosperity, back into RhyDin?
Finally, and not surprisingly, I would very much like to know why piracy is suddenly a condoned and even sanctioned practice in RhyDin's waters. I have been able to count on one hand the number of legitimate merchant vessels that have landed on my dockside in the past three years. That's it. How can it possibly be good policy to encourage piracy? All that succeeds in doing is driving away trade, commerce and families who might wish to come to our shores. What sane Captain will sail his merchant ship into our ports, knowing full well that he'll end up broadsided or boarded, and NO ONE in the realm will do anything about it? None that I know of.
I know that several pirates are also considered fine, upstanding citizens in the realm. How can people who are dear friends with these 'citizens' possibly put aside their personal feelings and either raise a navy or otherwise protect legitimate trade in RhyDin's ports? I would very much like to know where the candidates stand on this issue.
-A merchant mariner
How did the candidates respond? Using my special persuasive techniques, I managed to secure copies of all the responses returned to this Merchant Mariner. They are printed below unedited and in their entirety.
Dear Merchant Mariner,
I thank you for your letter and for the sincere concern shown by a fellow citizen of this city a city which we both realize could be much better than it is at present.
You mention a very good point, but if you would allow me to redefine the issue, I would describe the real problem as being that of an exodus of those citizens with skills, motivation and talent, while at the same time we have had an influx of those with no skills, zero motivation, and very little talent. Left unchecked, our city will digress into little more than a slum of "humanity" (if I might be permitted to use that term considering the effect of the Nexus), and but a shadow of what it could have been.
This is exactly why I've entered the race. There is too much at stake to leave out city in the hands of one with little knowledge of what's happening here, or one who had entered the race on a whim. My time in RhyDin actually goes back much further than yours, and I know what our city could be, as well as what it will surely become if the situation is left unchecked.
You bring up three issues, and I'll briefly respond to each.
The first issue is the slow exodus of our citizens. As I alluded to above, good citizens will not remain in a land that caters to the lowest common denominator of the population; and in RhyDin, that sinks pretty low. For as long as I've known RhyDin, this seems to have been the problem.
I had made many friends here who are also friends of my wife, and I never see them anymore. It greatly saddens me, yet I can understand their departure. What is here to hold their business and attention? You and I know the answer not much. We need to make them want to be here, and the way to do that is to stop the catering to lawless, dysfunctional, sociopaths who have nothing better to do with their lives than to disrupt our fine society.
The setting and culture of our city could make this a wonderful place to live, but not if we allow the criminals, the ignorant, and the disruptive to control what happens here. I intend to do my best to stop it. I can't do it by myself; but if those with the talents partner with me, I believe we can make a positive impact in a short amount of time and not only stop the exodus, but perhaps entice those fine citizens to return to us once more.
Your second concern is for the commerce of this city, and as a businessman, that is also one of my concerns. To generate establishments of business within our city, you need dedicated businessmen and business women, who will persist with a vision to thrive here. I joked about Badsider Brew, but the Red Orc Brewery has been around this city for a very long time and deserves our support and patronage. My wife started up the RhyDin Spring Water Company and that is flourishing. The economy of this city can be excellent, but there is one thing stopping it crime. Who wants to invest in a business in a war zone?
I plan on encouraging the economy in three ways. The first must be ensuring the protection of every business in RhyDin by increasing patrols and handing out appropriate punishment to the criminals that will permanently take them off our streets. It can be done. Secondly, I'm going to request significant tax breaks and financial incentives for anyone who comes with a viable business plan. Thirdly, I'd like to establish a Department of Commerce that will oversee these financial incentives and also provide RhyDin with a progressive business plan that will ensure continuous growth. Many cities have been successful in turning slums into prosperous areas for commerce and entertainment, and I'd like to see the same happen here.
Your third issue is piracy, and as a mariner, I'm sure crime on the high seas is something that affects you personally. RhyDin has a number of pirates living here and adapting to a civilized lifestyle. We have a pirate who hosts at the RDI and another who has recently married one of our prominent citizens and is living a peaceful life. I believe what is happening is that they do their piracy elsewhere and come to our city to sell their good and spend their money. Unless they commit their crimes in the waters of RhyDin, we are unable to do anything until we receive official complaints and warrants for their arrest. I guarantee you that if they commit a crime in our waters; they will be dealt with severely. I hear that the Pirate Miles Malign already dislikes me and supports my opponents. I promise you that if he commits piracy in a way that formal charges can be brought forth, I will give him a very good reason to dislike me.
This brings up another point why aren't our seas properly protected? Shouldn't we have some form of navy or coast guard that is responsible for the protection of our harbor and seaways? Since you are a merchant marine, I would welcome the opportunity to sit down and speak to you about this should I become Governor.
Please feel free to write me and express your opinions and suggestions at any time.
Count Talomar Longden.
My dear Seafarer,
You touch on several important issues in our society and I do think I can address them all.
First, Exodus: Much that my first opposing running mate has said is accurate. Allow me to quote one specific phrase: "We need to make them want to be here." This is as much true for any individual, let alone business and most likely something I would have said had I responded quicker. People leave a place because either they don't wish to stay for numerous reasons, or because something somewhere else has enticed them. So how do you get people and businesses to want to stay? Well for one, the crime rate being high is about a good a reason as any.
Murders, robberies, muggings, etc. To do away with this, you must have an above satisfactory law enforcement branch. Not to mention a legal system. People need to feel safe and in this city, it just isn't. I have resources available to ensure that a police force can be sufficiently trained to handle any criminal element, living or dead.
A clean place is another thing people would probably like to have if they stay. Why are the streets riddled with trash and debris? Why are the parks so scary at night? Why is there peeling paint on so many buildings and why so many are in disrepair? A city wide cleanup is in order, and I believe I am able to begin that project as well.
Second, Economy: How can we bring business and prosperity back into RhyDin? This touches on the first issue. If you have a demand, the businesses will come. When people stick around, a business will provide what the consumer wishes. I have a great deal of skill and expertice in this area, and can personally bring in several new businesses from a simple deli to weapons and armor shops. The more spent, the more it's recirculated. The more businesses, the more jobs available. The more jobs available, the more the employed have money. And finally, the more employeed that have money, the more they spend at the businesses. It's a cycle. But they have to be here to be a part of it.
Third, Piracy: Piracy is a heinous crime and whomever is caught should be prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law. I've known several pirates, and have seen several work their way into civilized society. My opponent mentions one by name supporting me, one Miles Malign. When introduced to him recently, it was apparent that he was rather well liked. One James Black admitted to being a pirate, and in the same breath vocally voiced his support for my opponent. My opponent seemed to attempt to justify piracy by mentioning one who hosts in the inn and another who is married to a prominent citizen, and do their pirating outside of RhyDin only to sell their goods here. You cannot be for and against something because it is done outside the City Limits. Therefore, when one commits piracy in another country, then we, as citizens of a Fair and Free RhyDin should be able to extradite them for their crimes. You are a Mariner, you should feel safe whereever you go, not just in RhyDin.
As to how security in RhyDins waters can be maintained, I already have a navy at my disposal, and would be willing to dedicate several ships to the city, as well as train a RhyDin Naval Defense Force in how to deal with these illegal criminals. There should also be security on the docks themselves, so that goods can be loaded and unloaded without trouble or discomfort or hassle from local thugs.
Safety is a very key issue in my campaign, and one I intend to follow through with.
And never fear bring to bring issues to our attention, I will address them to the best of my ability.
Baron G'nort Dragoon-Talanador.
I have lived here ten years and I've seen many people come and go. What you must remember is a great deal of people find themselves in this town against their will. A number of those people simply choose to return to their original homes, even after making families here. I cannot fault them for wanting to be closer to their birth place. Others, go off to wars, only to not return. And then, there are the ones who simply leave without reason. I wish I could find a way to make them all want to stay.
As for things being quiet, I thought quiet is what we all wished for in some way or another. I would not call murders in the West End or disappearances in the forest a quiet thing. I, being one of the City Guard, have put forth extra effort and teamed up with the Scathachian sisters in trying to end those very problems. This is a task I do not intend to stop, no matter what position I may or may not have in the future. Perhaps these acts of crime are linked to the exodus of people you are referring to.
The economy is another issue altogether. I do wish more people would use the marketplace in town. I have talked with several people who plan on setting up shops there and have encouraged them. I even supplied one set if girls with a name for their sewing shop. I recently took one of the new citizens of RhyDin to shop in the Market. Perhaps if more of the people who come to this town with their proclaimed independent wealth shopped for what they wished instead of having it conjured up at the behest of mage, then these shops would stay open! But since I cannot control our citizens, I can only push and urge better involvement in the community.
As for the pirates. Yes, many live here as active citizens. Do they pirate those who live here? No. All of the pirates I know, and that's several, all choose to do their chosen profession far from RhyDin shores. If it would put at ease the merchants and families of the town, I would suggest a treaty with the pirates that they would not attack any ship coming to, or leaving RhyDin waters. I would not have a problem in assembling a navy force together to ensure they follow the rules of this treaty. Friends they may be, but they are not above the city law.
If you have any further questions, please feel free to find me while working in the Inn on Sundays. I have nothing to hide and opinions a plenty.
-Kitty Onyxfire Helston
To the merchant mariner:
Having had a chance to reflect on your questions, I feel confident I can answer your concerns.
I do wish to start this letter with an apology for the poor manners of one of my opponents. He is forgetting that it is the people such as yourself who will determine the results of this election.
As to the issues regarding the exodus of RhyDin's residents, I must first state that there is no one single cause. My opponents are all correct in their viewpoints as to what is causing it. The lack of trade, the feeling that RhyDin is not safe, the infamous nexus, and more all contribute to the issue at hand.
Now while I unable to control the ever present nexus, I am prepared to offer the following solutions:
1) Safety This is best addressed by increasing funding to the watch, the city guards and even creating a Navy. I, like the esteemed Baron, also have access to a seasoned fleet, but I am of the thought that RhyDin is better served by creating and training it's own navy. I believe also in an increased push to recruit the person that would be our first line of defense. Now how would the region pay for this?
2) Encouraging trade and commerce. Through the businesses that my family maintains, I am willing to bring in trade from Tybior and Tygnus as well as other regions.
As to the matter of piracy, while the founder of my family was himself a notorious pirate, I can assure you I do not condone piracy. The Albaelia fleet has always stood up to these "bullies" and come away the victors. Believe me when I say it can be done and as I stated before, I will work with the Citizens in building a fine navy. Hard working sailors and merchants should not be the victims of lawlessness on the high seas.
However, I also believe in being able to turn over a new leaf. Many of the "Pirates" in port have either found a home in these chaotic lands or have left their lawless ways behind. As long as they do not attempt to harm any citizens of RhyDin, I feel that would should not judge them harshly. We all come from varying backgrounds, and my own bloodline is proof that even the most notorious of scoundrels can become the most upstanding of citizens.
I hope my answers were what you were seeking.
Sweet water and light laughter until next we meet'
Lady Ilyona Tarissana Albaelia
What's this about pirates being condoned?! Who are these people and why are they doing this?! How will we ever have baby pirates?!!!
This is an outrage! I promise to un-condoned all pirates in RhyDin if I'm elected Governor!!!
Given the widely varying replies to this Merchant Mariner, the race for the Governor's seat will be a heated battle until the election is held. The Oracle encourages each and every citizen of RhyDin to make their voice heard and vote!