Coercion and violence are inherently tied to the nature of the state and of capitalism’s exploitation of the workers. Peace and nonviolence are the only routes of revolution that can possibly result in anything but a new state rising from the ashes of the old.
A powerfully verbose but stern figure emerged in this town’s past, leading a wide series of civil disobedience across the realm. The minority group that comprised the majority of the government was not able to punish all the lawbreakers and resisters, even if it had been able to overcome its own soldiers and magistrates’ consciences. It began with a ritualistic breaking of the peach monopoly, where Liguardon Parthelius walked through the peach orchard to pick for himself a ripe peach, something which had been forbidden to the lower class except through government charter. When the regency council was immobilized by a lack of viable options of what to do that wouldn’t result in greater unrest, Parthelius escalated his nonviolent approach. This swiftly ended the government’s legitimacy and Parthelius was swept into power, with many expecting his revolt to be a new master just like the old. He surprised everyone by denouncing his power and putting plans into place to relinquish the reigns in a controlled manner, with a clear timetable promised to the people.
This town’s warm, temperate climate suits its style of open-air homes, moveable yurts, and mural-covered historic buildings. The old buildings at the old center of town have become community buildings that house any person that needs it, hosts barter events, and is used for community functions that need indoor space. Ownership of the land and permanent structures in Parrthussus has fallen to the community to prevent the violence inherent in property ownership, and instead placing that control in something everyone has a stake and voice in.
People here, those that followed Parthelius’ revolution to this smaller city, are a colorful spectrum of all sorts that tends towards the loud-talkers, kind hearted, and open minded people.
Capitalism and high finance, including property ownership by individuals, is tightly wound with violence and coercion of denying others access to the means of production. Trade and barter still occurs, but larger equipment and land is owned and maintained by the community at large. Oftentimes, people will relinquish their votes to delegates better informed in the topic or property, usually the union of its workers and tradespeople, for expediency and lack of interest. All of these communes and groups gift a part of their production to the common stores that anyone can access, and the needy are empowered to give back to help the next in line with access to education, training, and resources on any committee they choose to join.
Rules and regulations as contracts or otherwise to not exist in the same formal sense as most other places. Having rules in place would generally require enforcements, which would necessitate coercion and violence. Thus, the people here have posted lists of suggested behaviors, lists of knowledgeable mediators along with their ratings and expertise, and suggested means of compensation for people that have been wronged. For repeated and intentional harms of another, the worst penalties levied are community-wide refusal to associate or interact with that person. Self-defense against destructive and violent individuals is an absolute last resort and will only be tried after restraining or detaining them has failed after social exclusion hasn’t worked either. Due to the resources and training available to all freely, these incidents have only ever arisen out of freak accident or outside invaders.
1d6 People You’ll Meet
- Some annoying jerk of a young man with a nasally voice, “That is just, like, your opinion!”, he shouts whenever confronted with a statement or person he does not like.
- Faint scars up and down her arms and legs are concealed behind this young womans long, flowery tunic. She falls into the occasional five mile stare and takes a fighting stance for a split second before realizing where she is if her daze is broken. If pressed she will mention a dark past as a mercenary, a good one, until after a broken siege a young girl came up and mentioned she wanted to grow up to be just like the mercenary. She took her saved up pay and quit the mercenary work permanently after that.
- This middle-aged person has a thick accent but warm personality. They will happily talk anyone’s ear off about their long trek to find this city, filled with half-joking remarks about how much better the food was. Colorful cloaks, robes, scarves, belts, and fabric conceals the sex of the androgynous-faced foreigner who is eager to find new friends in this land. Anyone showing even a passing interest in their culture, or even just heard of it really, will find themselves with a new best friend.
- An older vineyard owner with a bronze tan lounges about in the sun, often seen with any of his many wives and husbands. Many of these relationships are flings that are marriages in name only, with many of their anniversaries happening right around the time of his yearly wine tastings. He only allows close friends and lovers to drink his wine, renowned for the care he doles out on its constituent grapes.
- This elderly woman, barely able to walk without her stout cane, has a surprising lung capacity for bellowing out an unending string of violent epithets and original insults. Her vulgarity, especially the violent overtones, are frowned upon by the town but generally ignored as being from the mind of an old holdover from barbaric times past. She takes a more friendly tone with those who can hold their own, especially ones that notice and make fun of the fact that she is faking her need for a cane. Her wife had perished a while back, but she misses the back-and-forth verbal duels they used to share, now she keeps her wife’s cane for sentimental reasons.
- Flips, kicks, and wide arm arcs are the trade of this young boy’s martial prowess, a near prodigy of unarmed combat and forms. Although he has never engaged anyone in real combat, and even espouses his art as meditation exercises, the townsfolk treat him poorly for his exaltation of violence. This giant of a boy could be convinced to take up a life of mediocre lute playing, but would never be truly happy.
1d6 Things That’ll Happen
- A short man starts to demand things go his way at a local tavern, especially that the players do some small favor for him. If he doesn’t get his way, and he will keep escalating his demands until the players refuse, he will follow them. His passive aggressive insults and general obstructionism will make their lives difficult. He mistakenly thinks the party deserves it for wronging him in the past. If this goes on long enough, or the players investigate, they will encounter the actual adventurers that harmed him.
- The players stumble upon a small traveling merchant whose cart is being ransacked by three teens. She frantically tries to take back what each of the three is taking while verbally admonishing them, but she is only one person. If the players intervene with force or threats, the teens will run but report the players as coercive outsiders to their parents that refuse to think their kids could do wrong.
- Word around town is that a larger clan of bandits is making their way towards the city, intent on taking it from the defenseless pacifists. If the players do any searching, they will root out a forward scout, which the villagers will demand they not harm and then promptly release. Townsfolk will defend themselves directly when attacked but only to stun or scare off their direct attacker, never to kill. Players that kill will be socially exiled from town and no one will interact with them.
- This pair of scarred and leather-clad orc-hunters have come to town searching for their quarry. An eight foot tall orc has settled here after getting separated from his war band and then becoming impressed with the strength the people showed in the face of his aggression, just rolling with his threats and attacks. He thinks this is a secret human strategy so he intends to stay until he works out the secret to their “pass if fist” weapons.
- Rodents of unusually large size have invaded and nested in the old city hall building’s basement. Despite numerous injuries catching and releasing the animals, they keep returning. Now they have just had a swarm of babies. The townsfolk that use the building are desperate for a solution but won’t condone or reward violence.
- A bookish older woman is chasing a slow moving, donkey-pulled wagon containing a mound of furniture and belongings. People shout at her as she runs past, “Good riddance, we don’t need your filth here!”. The town is running her out for her violence filled fantasy novels and historical biographies, by which they have packed up her goods, plus some she’ll need for travel, and sent her on her way.