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The Incredible Story of Angliaterra, Pt 2 of 3

(This is the second in a series of pieces about the City of Angliaterra, and it's recently discovered city-within-a-city.)

Examination of the inhabitants of the inner city of Angliaterra is most fascinating, but a clearer context is established by first taking a look at the inhabitants of the outer city.

As stated previously, the inhabitants of the outer city (referred to as Angliaterrans) have an age-old reputation for being quixotic and somewhat less than pleasant in many circumstances. In retrospect, however, it can now be seen that many of those behaviors were a result of adaptation to their role as keepers of the inner city. For instance, Angliaterrans have a reputation for being extremely proud of their products, despite the fact that such products have never been highly regarded in the world and indeed are, for the most part, apparently unexceptional. However, it would seem that the components of some of these products are produced by the denizens of the inner city as parts of objects used therein, for purposes not yet understood.

How the Angliaterrans periodically come into possession of such items is also not well understood, and details are still emerging. However, there seems to be a complex system of secret barter with the inner city residents. This barter system is performed by the small number of initiaties to the full secret (remembering that most Angliaterrans are apparently unaware of the existence of the inner city people). Outwardly, raw materials would appear to be brought into various workshops and buildings that lay on the edges of the obscure inner city wall. Some time later goods would be produced by the workers (who are initiaties) in the workshops. These goods could be toys, simple machines or sometimes optical devices (such as telescopes), or possibly even foodstuffs, often mushrooms or sometimes cheese. These products are normally an amalgam of pieces constructed by the Angliaterran craftsmen (all are male) as well as key components by the inner city dwellers (and we now know that these inner city craftspeople could be male or female). What was not apparent to casual observation, however, was the goods coming out were not made out of the materials going in: there was a time lag that could be months, years, or (in the case of fine arts and crafts) centuries. In other words, the goods coming out could easily contain parts of materials that went in over a long span of time, though the reasons for that are related to the lifestyle of the inner city dwellers.

In fact, it can only be wondered if this arrangement is actually the origin of the "night workshop of elves" fables that have existed in Europe for centuries. And indeed, there are a variety of beliefs and fables within the outer city that can easily be seen to derive from the interaction between the two societies. For instance, children are always told to do good because "the walls have ears" and they are being watched. There are also numerous tales from over the years of certain Angliaterrans of exceptional grace, beauty, and other characteristics simply dissappearing, normally in conjunction with some dead-end or hopeless situation that they faced with exceptional resolve. One can only imagine that the inner city inhabitants did indeed observe the Angliaterrans and occasionally select some for citizenship in the inner city. Such an acticity would almost certainly be necessary too, in order to preserve the viability of their genetic stock.

As for how the Angliaterrans regard the inner city inhabitants (through either knowledge or fable), there is clearly a mixture of worship and awe as well as fear and often disgust or derision. The inner-city dwellers can be seen as either God-like or parastic, and often both at the same time. This may also be why, occsionally, an Angliaterran craftsman may even grow angry when one of his products is praised in certain cases. It is possible that some goods are viewed in an unrefined state and therefore a product of an inner city dweller. The Angliaterran in that case may feel like a fake or imposter on some levels.

The questions that then arises is precisely how the interchange of goods and materials is made between the inner and outer cities, and whether physical contact is every made. Apparently, for an Angliaterran craftsman to see or talk to an inner city dweller is very rare, and may happen only a few times during a life time, depending on the craftsman. Raw materials are left in the workshops at night which are sealed up through a laborious set of protocols meant to prevent accidental encounters as well as give clear indication of any unwanted intrusion (by curious adolescents, for instance). On rare occasions, however, the inner city dwellers may need some special materials and for these they apparently may pay in advance in gold, along with a physical visit to discuss the needs. Such an encounter has been known to make the craftsman extremely wealthy, and there are numerous fables describing magical occurrences that delivered gold. These fables are clearly designed to act as a cover for the real reason, the the real reason can often be discerned through the fables details.

The fact that the inner city inhabitants seem to have stockpiled a very large supply of gold ages ago is quite curious, and perhaps the exhaustion of that supply is what has caused the inner city dwellers to reveal themselves. However, a particularly curious fact is that all of the gold bars that have emerged over the ages (even in batch from the 1970s) appear to have been smelted very recently, which should be impossible given what has been visible from the air (and the fact that there would need to be vast wood or possibly coal stockpiled for heat). This has led o the secret fable that the inner city inhabitants mastered alchemy ages ago, and was indeed why they hid themselves (ie, to prevent themselves from becomming slaves of various greedy kings throughout the ages).

In our next piece we will discuss the mysterious inner-city dwellers themselves.