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|Affanumuur and Tiffikilsii
|Written By: Deirdre / Wyld_Dandelyon (Writer)|
|Affanumuur was originally built as a companion town (Itumuur) to the distinguished naval port city Affakilsii. However, as time went on, the "shameless" town grew into a famous and influential city, and the port city dwindled.|
In 1279, the Emperor and his advisers took stock of the war against the Roluma. It was taking a terrible toll on their resources and their soldiers. The soldiers needed a place to go where they could recover from battle wounds and battle stress. Additionally, having so many of the people off at war was causing a drop in the birth rate. This, combined with the fact that there was no likelihood whatsoever that the war would end soon, prompted them to make some changes.
Policies regarding female soldiers were altered to allow pregnancy leave, with enforced adoption of the resulting child if she had no family to take care of it. Travel restrictions were adapted to allow more conjugal visits. Camp followers were encouraged to get pregnant. Adopting a soldier’s “orphan” was propagandized as a great honor and imperial duty.
Unfortunately, those measures fell short of the desired goal. After considering and rejecting a number of logistically impractical options, including attempting to kidnap and indoctrinate Roluma children, Itumuur was founded—a brightly painted vacation village right next to the military port city of Affakilsii (the city of mooring ropes). Itumuur was designed to be almost all red-light district. Slaves manned some of the establishments, but others were staffed by women pressed into service due to debt or petty crimes, who were allowed to work off their debt to society by having children and raising them to be good citizens.
The new vacation spot became very popular, and quickly expanded to town size. Entrepreneurs set up additional establishments with luxury accommodations and free women. Some of them were just fancier brothels; others were set up more like singles clubs, with the stated purpose of connecting soldiers with women who would become their brides.
It was renamed Tiffumuur in 1283, with a great deal of fanfare and new attractions, including a circus and hotels that specialized in what we today would call physical therapy, so that soldiers who had been injured could be readied for battle at the same time as they had ample opportunities to engender offspring. Less heralded were the nurseries, schools, and family dwellings that sprung up—all the businesses of normal living, for the women who had developed friendships there, or who simply preferred a sexually free social life.
Affumur slowly stopped being a place where singles went to seek a marriage partner, though it did remain a place where more adventuresome couples could go on their honeymoon. For the most part, the inhabitants don’t worry about marriage. It’s not that they’re against it—for nearly all of its history people could marry there as they chose, regardless of gender and even the number of spouses. But marriage simply was not a driving social factor.
From its founding, having children was honored and having children out of wedlock carried no stigma. These attitudes have carried forward into the present day. There is quality childcare for visitors as well as residents, though most visitors leave their children with family, rather than bring them to “shame city”. Also, even today, the licensing requirements for residents to have children don’t include marital status; the paperwork only asks about the skills and resources of the people who would be a child’s legal parents. Visitors can buy these licenses, but they are very expensive for visitors, and some cities impose an additional license requirement on any parent who visits Affanumuur and comes back with a child that was not licensed and planned for before the trip.
The town continued to grow all through the war with the Roluma, reaching city size at about the same time the war was finally won. The Empire abandoned the free establishments, which led to a great bidding war for those prime properties at the center of town. The inhabitants petitioned the Emperor to recognize their status as a city, which he did, and the city was renamed Affumuur.
The next decades were hard on Affumuur. The great Famine of 1296 hit the whole Empire hard, and for a while, there was little energy for travel, and less money for frivolity. Affumuur held on as a tourist city and a haven for soldiers, but barely. Its population dwindled, and the cheapest and most expensive establishments either adapted or closed their doors. Incompetent and prudish Imperial executives both kept Affumuur relatively poor. And when the reason for the famine was understood, travel restrictions were put into place. With less tourist business, Affumuur had both the time and the need to mature as a city, to develop all of the services its people needed. It also developed the libertine reputation and culture that it’s best known for in the present day.
The next big event in Affumuur’s history was when the Empress started vacationing there. She bought a huge hotel on the outskirts of town outright, and started referring to Affumuur as “Affanumuur”, her wonderful, beautiful city of sexy, shameless people. In 1400, shortly before her death, she officially renamed the city.
Unfortunately for Affanumuur, the next Emperor was ineffectual, and most of the Council who ran things during that time were prudish enough to disapprove of the new name. They didn’t actually overturn the Empress’ order, but they did make it clear that mapmakers who used the new name would face investigation of one sort or another. In Affanumuur, of course, all the signs and maps were changed immediately. This duality of the city’s name persists to this day.
This time period also showed a change in the relations between Affakilsii and Affanumuur. The Council and the Military were working together when they deposed the final Emperor; Affakilsii’s foremost families, all traditionally very active in the navy or in other military organizations, were staunchly on the side of the Council; Affanumuur, however, was very mindful of the Empress’ favor, and supported the Emperor. The two cities remained interdependent—much of the commerce in Affakilsii came from travelers to Affanumuur, and many visitors to Affanumuur arrive there through the port at Affakilsii. But their friendly relations were, for the first time, strained.
In the time between the last Emperor and the present day, Affanumuur’s sister-city, Affakilsii lost population as an active military navy became more and more attenuated. The Duurludirj sailors were better at fighting sea monsters than the navy, and the Empire had not been fighting a war over the waters for decades. In 1463, an earthquake hit the city. The faultline was apparently what created the inlet they’d been using for a port in the first place; the southern side of the inlet dropped significantly, with a sinkhole taking out the naval shipyard there.
The Empire abandoned the navy facilities there, relocating the personnel to intact facilities. They did assist citizens with rebuilding sufficient homes for people to live in, and to operate the tourist port that funnels people to Affanumuur, but (to the locals’ outrage) officially changed the town’s name to reflect its actual size, renaming it Tiffikilsii. This has created tension between the locals and Affanumuur. Even as they recognize most of their income comes from travelers heading to Affanumuur, they resent their proud heritage being ignored while Affanumuur prospers.
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