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The Junkyard


The Great Woods Mall
There is a large forest which covers a large portion of the known AMD world known simply as The Great Woods. It is a dangerous place, filled with numerous undocumented beasts and creatures of unimaginable terror. It is also the home of the benevolent Forest Elves, as well as the Leaf Dwarfs. Both these tribes have been warring for decades over the subject of this article, the Great Woods Mall.

Upon moving from the mountains to the Great Woods, the Leaf Dwarfs used their mechanical know how to construct a great tree top metropolis. Not just shrewd engineers, but also business men, it didn't take long for them to turn their wonder into a tourist attraction for men and beast the world over. Over time, this developed into a sort of neutral location for trade and barter, due to the Leaf Dwarfs strict security and absolute neutrality.

The mall is a series of platforms built between the trees, some as stacked as many as five or six levels tall. These platforms extend between only the strongest and oldest trees, causing the floor plan to follow an organic flow up and around specific anchors. This has allowed little light to reach the forest floor below, causing most of the original plants to be replace with fungi. In fact, in the area below the huge mall, there is very little life at all, which is what has caused so much friction with the nature protecting Forest Elves.

To make up for this, there are hanging taxis which can ferry customers between themed platforms. To move from the Court of Art to the Court of Food, it is a simple four minute automated taxi ride between the platforms - assuming the lines aren't too long, and they frequently are. These automated taxis are routed through a specific intersection where as many as six dozen lines criss cross amongst each other - some missing each other by a fraction of an inch. It is said that traveling through this junction is more terrifying than the beasts on the forest floor. There is a team of controllers sitting in a box above this intersection using echo boxes to communicate with their staffs at each taxi stand. Without their hard work, undoubtedly the complex network would crumble and taxi would collide against taxi unabated.

Due to the location in the dead center of the massive network of trees and the extreme dangers involves with transversing the forest floor, there are small outposts located a various locations around the forest. It is at these places that you can grab a nights rest if needed, store your cart and ox, and make arranges for travel and shipping. At each of these outposts is a taxi stand which will deliver the customers from the outside world to the mall, relatively free of any danger. These are lengthy taxi rides, though not without impressive scenery, which is why the Forest Elves take out their most aggressive pranking - they insist on scaring the living crap out people going in or out of the mall, so it is not uncommon to be admiring the view when a wooden maquette painted quite scary will jump out at you suddenly.

The mall exercises a strict value of neutrality. It is a place for barter and trade, and not a place for whatever wars may be going on to be waged. As such, customers and providers are search thoroughly at each outpost before they are allowed to continue in. Without the goods and services provided by the trading post, most countries would find it extremely difficult to meet the needs of their people, so they comply with these laws or risk offending the Leaf Dwarfs. The outposts, unfortunately, are not so well guarded and it is not uncommon for fights to break out over racial or political tensions. As such, each outpost has an official partnership with each country, meaning that the Lizardkin rarely run into the Furfolk (which they like to eat) until they are well under the protection of the Leaf Dwarfs.

As mentioned, the Forest Elves have long waged a war against the Leaf Dwarfs over this giant structure. It is the classic battle between nature and engineering and it has been waged for decades. The Forest Elves are a peaceful people and have taken out their anger and frustration in the form of harmless though annoying pranks. The Leaf Dwarfs, however, are not so peace loving, and have sent many war parties through the jungle below to find the Leaf Dwarfs and eradicate them. Many of these parties have never returned and the Forest Elves have managed to elude capture as a whole. However, when one makes the mistake of being captured, the Leaf Dwarfs make an example of them - stripping them naked and hanging them by their toes in the Court of Food until the die. They rarely do die, or even last more than a day there, as their fellow Forest Elves are quite adept at moving through Leaf Dwarf security at this point.

Many people sympathize with the Forest Elves and their plight, but the Great Woods Mall has become so important to the various countries that its destruction would likely damage the economy of the entire known world. As long as the Forest Elves never resort to violence, they will always find sympathizers, but never allies. Still, it's better than enemies and they know this. Their pranks are exclusively targeted towards the Leaf Dwarfs and not the customers and never harm the day to day operation of the mall.

You may be wondering what has become of the Great Woods Mall since war broke out with Farodia. Farodia and its neighbors are but a small part of the land of AMD, and generally limited to that one area. There are supporters for one side or the other, but the dangers of turning the Black Knights attention against their own country has prevented others from stepping in to help. The Great Woods Mall, however, is located high in the trees in the middle of one of the most treacherous landscapes in the world. The Leaf Dwarfs are confident in their security, as they should be. But should the moment come when they drop their neutrality and pick a side, that's when a true world war will begin.



Copyright 2001 - 2008 Sean Howard. All rights reserved.