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Now that we have some idea what it is, Fahrenbaum is not the work of a couple of Foglio jerks. Really.



Complex machines abound. Walking machines in the streets. Ornate, wind-powered zepplins fill the skies. Fahrenbaum is a land of technological marvels the likes of which no other land could hope to compete. In fact, a lot of the designs seem too wonderful and marvellous to be true. Almost like magic, really. Just with more steam and smoke.

Nature of Magic

Shh! Keep it down! The last thing you want to do in Fahrenbaum is try to claim you're using magic. Everything here is powered by SCIENCE!. Got it? Good.

While nobody will admit it, the stuff built in Fahrenbaum just can't be made elsewhere. Or work elsewhere, half the time. There's more magic here than in Te'Nahsee by leaps and bounds, but not enough to actually physically manifest. It does, however, manifest in physics. Gravity gets weaker as you get further from the ground. Steam engines can put out far more power than they have any right to. What appears to be simple clockwork can develop its own mind and personality, assuming it has enough whirring bits and bubbly tubes. Basically, Boomlanders can thumb their noses at the laws of physics when they get in the way.

The problem, of course, is what happens when you take these devices out of Fahrenbaum and try to use them in the Animal Kingdom, or worse, Te'Nahsee. Like it or not, every device built in Fahrenbaum operates on at least a little bit of magic. As such, if you take it into Te'Nahsee, it's going to start behaving as if it were under (mostly) real physics. Zeppelins lose lift, steam engines weaken (and possibly find themselves holding more pressure than they can store), and your robotic help stops being so helpful. In a best-case scenario, you can at least make due with what you've got until you have the sense to go back. In the worst-case scenario... did you know that, in a strange bit of parallel development, there was a Hindenburg that flew to Te'Nahsee? Once.

Government and Laws

Since most of the laws of physics are just guidelines, you'd think that the citizens of Fahrenbaum would have trouble accepting laws that exist just because someone wrote them down. You'd be right. However, they do respect those who show themselves to be smarter, more successful, and above all more well-armed than they are. If a citizen manages to get together enough influence (one way or another) and get to a position of relative stability, they establish some sort of dwelling on a conveniently-located hill overlooking the town (there's always one, you know) and become a NAFS.

There's always a bigger fish, though. Eventually, someone had to establish himself as superior to all these NAFS, and declare himself NYAFS. Supposedly, the NYAFS acts as an arbiter for disputes, and ensures everyone gets along. The truth, of course, is far more complicated, and too long for me to cover in this session. More to come.

Architecture and Civic Structure (I think)

Fahrenbaum cities appear to be a gigantic honeycomb when viewed from above. Houses are almost invariably shaped like hexagons (both from above and looking at them from the ground), with the edges touching other homes. This creates both a honeycomb image when seen from above (as is common in a land that didn't bother to invent anything better to get around in than zeppelins), and a series of hexagonal alleyways leading throughout the city. Obviously, these alleyways are usually full of stuff, like in any good city.

Why these strange, extremely close lifestyle? Simple. Fahrenbaum forests don't allow people to spread out for too long. As the only plant in existance to naturally evolve 4-wheel drive, Fahrenbaums tend to wander. Not all that quickly (how fast can YOUR car pull a tree?), but with all the momentum of a glacier. A simple fence of wall isn't going to stop a tree, but a bunch of houses structured to press against them usually do the trick.

Ugh, I shouldn't be working on this during a review session. I'll be back.

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