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The Incredible Story of Angliaterra, Pt 3 of 3

As has been discussed, Angliaterra was recently discovered to have hidden within it another city, the inhabitants of which have had little or no contact with the world (or even the outer city) for perhaps as long as 1000 years. As we've also discussed, keeping the secret of the hidden inner city has had psychological and other consequences on the inhabitants of the outer city of Angliaterra. In this installment we'll discuss the inhabitants of the inner city itself, but it should be recognized that information about the inner city inhabitants is only now emerging, and a full understanding of these people will probably take decades.

As for the inner city inhabitants themselves, they are suprising in possibly every conceivable way. For ethnologists and sociologists, the first and most obvious question would be about the viability of the genetic stock of a small population that has been cut off from the outside world for so long. Theoretically, such a people should have degenerated on a number of levels, but as far as is currently understood of these people this is largely not the case. The inner city inhabitants appear to have started off with what might arguably have been a deliberately strong and diverse population. Early genetic tests indicate the presence of pan-European genes as well as Northern and even sub-Saharan African genese (giving additional credibility to the legends of ecumenism and Moorish origins). Inexpelicabily, however, there are distint asian traits seen as well, though how this could have occurred given the early origins of Angliaterra and the inner city is not known.

As for the appearence of the inner city dwellers it is suprising. By all accounts they are quite a handsome people, though small and thin in stature, as might have been guessed given the incredibly scarce resources such a people would have had to experienced. The tallest inner-city dwellers are no more than 5'4", with most between 5' and 5' 2". The skin tone is clearly a mulatto or tan, and faces are normally high cheekboned. Eyes hint at traces of asian ancestry.

In terms of the culture and lifestyle, it is an incredible mixture of the austere as well as the sensual, with some claims of decadence made by more prudish scholars. The inner city dwellers live a lifestyle of scholarship and work, interfused with ceremony and regular intervals of play. None of these phases of inner-city life however would be described as languid, and all are lived fairly intensely. A complete description of these people is clearly well beyond the scope of even a short book, so only some of the more suprising aspects of their lives can be discussed.

In terms of work, the inner city dwellers actually spend a lot of time developing new ideas, artforms and technology. They seem to perceive their society as a sort of incubator, in preparation for when they would rejoin the outside world (apparently, this was always part of the foundation and plan). Thus, they have written huge numbers of works which are hidden deep in catacombs that sprawl downward deep underground, how far is not clear, though some "knowledge shafts" have been discovered that are at least half a mile deep!

As for the content of these works, it appears to span all areas. What is unclear is whether these works will have any kind of value to anyone but scholars interested in the inner city dwellers, particularly as the inner-city dwellers have been cut off from international trends and scholariship.

As for technology and art, for inner city dwellers these two seem to be viewed and experienced as one. Indeed, networks of their advanced lenses have already been discovered incorporated into the very architecture and foundation of many of their buildings. These appear to be used to view (or, arguably, "spy on") the outer city dwellers. However, the lens systems allow images of the outer world (even beyond the outer walls) to be pulled deeply into the inner city and switched and channeled into various locations, some workshops (where images may be converted into highly detailed drawings or paintings) and some public viewing rooms! What gatherings of the inner city dwellers might have done in the presence of projected images of the outside world is unclear. It would also appear that, through this system, some outer-city Angliaterrans might actually have been trackable as they moved through their daily lives, for the purposes of discussion by the assembly.

In terms of sexual practices, mores, and marriage, the lives and beliefs of the inner city dwellers is not currently comprehensible, and a sociological framework may require years to construct. Needless to say, forms of birth control would appear to have been necessary in order to eliminate the need for a constant outflux of inner city dwellers. Nevertheless, the inner city dwellers do not seem to have anything resembling marriage in the rest of the world, and seem to have fairly loose sexual practices. Contrast this to the lives of the outer-city Angliaterrans who have very strict regulations regarded marriage and sex.

As for the personalities of the inner city dwellers, they appear to be quixotic but, unlike their outer counterparts, they are humorous and jovial. They can also appear to have short attention spans, but this is contradicted by some scholars who claim to have been questioned by those angliaterrans that know some french for hours about subjects that seem to interest them. So as might be expected, the things they value or deem worthy of attention are completely different from the outside world.

The most striking thing about the inner city dwellers is how strongly they seem to live with regard to some kind of purpose. Clearly, in their sppech and in their writings, they seem to believe that their city was hidden for very specific reasons by their founders, and that current conditions (both internally and in the outer world) mandated that they reveal themselves at this time. Many scholars question this, however, and claim that the precarious balance of genetics, resources, and interaction with a changing out city Angliaterra gave them no choice. The truth will almost certainly not be known for years, if ever.

One last and wondrous notion relating to the founding of their city should be noted. According to their legends, their founder was none other than the legendary figure known as Prester John. Interactions with the medeival Prester John myth are fascinating to consider, and on the surface it might explain many of the things attributed to Prester John. However, the earliest dates of the inner city seem to occur well after the Prester John myth had been spread, so the connection may be apocryphal.

In the end, a full examination of Angliaterra, both the inner as well as the outer cities, their citizens, histories and mores will take years. And what role the outer-city Angliaterrans will play going forward is unclear, given their terminal status as keepers of the anciet secret. As more is discovered it will be reported here.

Lots of potential

I agree, a great set-up. I'd love to see you try a follow-up story or two, exploring the inner city and its relationship with the outer city in more of a narrative form.

Bringing in the legend of Prester John is an especially clever touch. Christendom always assumed his lands lay far away but, in fact, his world was right within their midst all along.

This feels like a nifty setup...

... and I'd love to see a narrative using the setting.

every wall collapses, given enough time.