Minh

Minh is located on the Taken Spur, the western arm of twin spits of land which form the Bit'n Bay. This Bay is relatively shallow and approximately three miles across. The influx of the Sh'LoRa and Mitr Rivers into the Bay continually deposit layers of silt onto the harbor floor. This silting of the Bit'n requires the Ar'Ethmet Core of Engineers to monthly dredge the harbor to maintain its depth for naval traffic.

The Taken Spur is a spit of land reaching three miles into the sea and faced with high walls of native stone. At its widest point, where Minh is situated, it is three quarters mile across. It is mostly barren and devoid of all but the most tenacious eel grasses, brambles, and the occasional, stunted blackberry stand. Across the Bay, its sister (the Rest'd Spur) is a crumbling expanse of mass wasted rock falling in a broken curtain below the expanse of sea. Along the Rest'd can still be seen the salt sprayed remains of pre human fortifications formed of great columnar basalt blocks.

Shra'Cor (or the Lonesome Door) is a small port, protected from winter storms and summer squalls in the elbow of the Taken Spur, about a quarter mile from Minh. All goods brought from the port must be laboriously hoisted up the cliffs of the Spur to be brought into Minh. Since many visitors come to Minh via the Lonesome Door, it effectively segregates aliens from the majority of the Minh population. There are small naval anchorages directly under Minh where war ships can load and unload, thus allowing maritime trade even if the Lonesome Door is besieged.

Because of the shallowness of the Bit'n and the fact that Minh's sewage flows directly into the basin, in summertime it is covered by great stinking masses of algae and fishing is forbidden.

The entirety of Minh is enclosed within three concentric curtain walls of granite. Unlike Aereolus, where the town has outgrown the city walls, the Lord General of Minh strictly regulates population and building to ensure that the masses can remain within these girdles. The outermost wall (Ch'Arda's Charge) is the lowest, rising to a height of thirty five feet. Its top is crenellated and set with large circular watch towers, which rise at intervals along its length. Only one gate pierces this wall and it is opened at sunrise and closed at sunset. The next wall (the Lean) is set twenty feet back and rises to a height of forty five feet. The gate is staggered ninety degrees from the Ch'Arda's gate. It, too, has turrets along its length which are so located as to allow warriors firing from the inner and middle wall towers to overlap their fields of fire. The final wall (the Alliance) is set back twenty feet from the middle wall and its gate is staggered a further ninety degrees (causing it to be opposite from the outer gate). Its turreted expanse rises in a clean, white surface over sixty feet.

The estimated population of Minh is 35,000 souls. This population was not greatly effected by the Plague. In fact, by many estimates, the recent palace coup and brief guerilla war killed more citizens than did the Plague.

No foreigners are allowed to wear weapons or armor of any sort within the city walls. All a visitor is allowed to carry is an eating knife. On entering the city, all visitors, excluding visiting dignitaries, are relieved of weapons and escorted to the Xenodochia, a walled Alien's Quarters. From this area, a visitor may visit most other sections of the city, but must return at sunset for curfew.

The Military Sector is off limits to all foreigners save those with appropriate passes. This area contains garrisons for the city guards, practice grounds, stables, smithies, and military troops.

Access to the Government Sector is strictly controlled, and most visitors are only allowed to visit various historic buildings or sites. The Lord General of Minh has residence here. Its present inhabitant is Fran of Cine, who is un married and, as yet, without heir. The recent turbulence of Ar'Ethmet's defeat in its three year invasion of the Serranthro M'lethet and Fran's coup to regain her throne have put the prospects of her producing an heir in the near future as slight.

The Holy Sector, unlike the Street of Gods in Aereolus or Gods' Way in Ma Cab, has only one religion and only one deity is worshipped. The Temple of Clovis looms over the area dwarfing all other buildings. In fact, except for the Royal Palace and the Military Headquarters this building is the tallest edifice in the city. The Church claims that there was a shrine to Clovis here before the city was built.

From this monument to spiritual and secular power, the Arbat Mach spiritual leader of the Clovis religion reigns. It is lifelong positions elected by convocation of bishops after the death of the previous Pontiff. The present Arbat Mach, Tlotu Mann, has over the past twenty years of his reign carefully gathered his power so that he is presently the most powerful Pontiff in the religion’s history. He has doubled the size of the temples holy troops to over 3000 warriors and fighting priests. Approximately one quarter of these red cloaked troops are garrisoned at various temples throughout the Crescent Lands.

In the past two years, Tlotu Mann's authoritarian measures have caused temples outside Ar'Ethmet to rebel against recent church doctrine and law. The Temple and Archbishop of Clovis, in Aereolus, have declared themselves an independent church of Clovis and now refuse to obey any instructions from the Ar'Ethmet church. In response, the Arbat Mach excommunicated all worshippers who still gave obedience to the Church at Aereolus and declared heretics the clergy and hierarchy.

Any worshipper of a religion other than Clovis who openly displays her symbol in the city of Minh risks beatings.

For the visitor to Minh, there are truly few sights worth seeing except for the exits from this city, but, if one is desperate there are things to be seen and done. Visiting restaurants, though, is not one of them. Not only is Minh known for the poor quality of its cooking, but they even take a spartan pride in that fact; claiming that the extreme blandness of their cooking has led to the lowest rate of ulcers and gout in the Crescent Land.

Many consider visiting the great B'Art F'orta Iron Foundries a worthwhile tour, and, as long as one does not consider the uses for which the great gouts of red hot metal will be used, it is fascinating. In fact, it is an experience which may cause even the most hardened sinner to fear the more fiery half of the afterlife. The great museum of Arms and Weapons is thorough, exhaustive, and informative for those with a warlike bent. Finally, it can be enjoyable during a rain storm to watch the water flow down the only gutters in the Crescent Lands which intentionally (those in Ma Cab do not count) travel down the center of the street. This unfortunate construction feature is an example of their preoccupation with the arts (to use the term most loosely) of war. In time of invasion, they can pour burning oil down these depressions, effectively cordoning off areas of the city with walls of flame.


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