Towncryer

Oh yay! Oh yay!
Bandits on the road!
Beware when travelling to Everwick!
— The Towncryer of Blackford
  A Towncryer is someone who makes announcements (known as Broadcasting) to the public, such as; law changes, news delivered by the local, regional or national lord/lady and announcing the Start and End of the Day. In almost every major settlement within Atharia is a Towncryer. Every Towncryer must be part of the Atharian Towncryer's Guild, a Guild which is endorsed by the Alliance.  

Duties & Responsibilities

When the bell rings

Starting the day: This is what people refer to when the towncryer rings the bell at the Start of the Day, when businesses can open.   News: Whenever news arrives to the cryer, they decide whether to announce it. News from the Lord or the Guild must be read.   Ending the day: Much like Starting the Day, but at the End of the Day. This is when businesses must close.   Funerals & Respects: A towncryer may also ring their bell to signify the start and end of observing a moment of prayer and silence.

Towncrying

There are many times in the day when the towncryer conducts their Broadcasts. One of which is the latest news, trade prices and other local occurences in the town which the public needs to know. This is the core of what a towncryer does, as their job is primarily to inform their fellow citizens of the local news.   However, towncryers also plays a Jingle to notify the Start of the Day and the End of the Day. Most businesses, by law, can only sell their products during what is commonly known as the Day. There are exceptions to this law, but it was put into place by the Alliance to prevent any unfair advantages between merchants. The exceptions are recreation and hospitality businesses, like pubs, inns, and theatres.    

The Towncryer Code

Being a towncryer, and thus being a member of the Towncryer's Guild, there are rules they must follow in order for the person to keep their job. There is a disciplinary system at the guild, however breaking some rules is more severe than others; such as bribery to spread misinformation commonly known as Fake News.   Upon taking up the membership and role as a Towncryer, the new member must agree to the code. To do so, they ring the Bramdar Ashborn's Bell at the main Headquarters of the Guild, the Towncryer's Guildhouse in Emberfall.

The Code

The Towncryer's code is as followed:
  1. Only broadcast True News!
  2. Never take preference to any news other than the Lord's, Lady's or the Guild's.
  3. The Towncryer's Uniform must be worn at all times when outside, especially during broadcasting.
  4. Be loyal to the guild.
  5. A towncryer will not be bought, sold or hired by anyone but the guild.

Equipment

Jingles

A Jingle is the pattern, or tune, a towncryer plays before broadcasting. There are different kinds of jingles, but the most common ones are listed below. Each Jingle pattern consists of Rings and Dings.   A Ding is the hit of the bell, whereas a Ring is the chime of the metal, caused by a pause between dings. The number of rings in a pattern denotes how many times the pattern is played with the long chime at the end of each ding.  
Start and End of the Day
3 dings, 3 rings.
Lord News
4 dings, 3 rings
Guild News
2 ding, 3 rings
Moments of silence
1 ding, 3 rings

The Bell

A Towncryer is incomplete without their bell. As well as the scrolls which the towncryer reads from is it the bell which the towncryer needs to do their job. Citizens are wise to pay attention when the bell rings, as the towncryer updates them with the latest goings-on; such as trade prices, new laws and calls for curfew.   A bell can be handheld, which is prefered by many towncryers, however, a bell can also be mounted on a post. By law, only the Towncryer can ring this bell, unless the ringer has permission to do so. The punishment for breaking this law is one week in the dungeon.   A Towncryer traditional only has one bell, however the Towncryer's Guild is researching into ways to be more efficient with the bell-ringing. Efficiency means being able to ring the bell in such a way to grab people's attention, whilst also being less annoying. The guild are looking into perhaps using multiple bells of different tones, to make a more interesting 'jingle' before broadcasts.

The Uniform

The Towncryer's Guild provides their members with the coat and hat, known as the Towncryer's Uniform. They also provide them with the funding necessary to complete their outfit.   It is the Towncryer's duty and honour to wear this uniform, as it is derived by the same outfit Bramdar Ashborn worn during the Siege of Emberfall. Bramdar was the towncryer of Emberfall who motivated the whole city to survive the siege.

The Atharian Towncryer's Guild

For those aspiring to become a Towncryer, they must first be accepted into the Atharian Towncryer's Guild. This is a plane-wide guild, which is supported by the Atharian Alliance to share the latest news and information the public needs or wants to know.   The guild also gathers and archives information based on the events occurring in Atharia. This is known as the Atharian Chronicle
Alternative Names
Cryers
Type
Public Services

Terminology

Broadcast: The act in which a towncryer makes their announcement.
Jingle: The pattern of the 'rings and dings' of the bell.

Oh Yay

In order to grab people's attention, the towncryer rings their bell and, before they make an announcement they shout, "Oh yay! Oh yay!"   In other worlds, 'oh yay' is instead spelt as 'oyez.' There is another version of this attention grabbing phrase, which is "here ye, here ye."   However, the plaque of Bramdar Ashborn spells it as 'oh yay' which became the way norm. Many debate whether this is the right way.

The Towncryer's Vow

Oh yay! Oh yay!
This is my do!   Oh yay! Oh yay!
To announce only what's true!   Oh yay! Oh yay!
Under rain, snow or shine!   Oh yay! Oh yay!
I Name of Towncryer will chime!

Shouters

The term Shouters is what many may called Towncryers. Other terms such as Yellers, Loud Mouths and Foghorns, are also what these people may get referred to. However, this is very offensive and the heckler can find themselves thrown into the dungeon for bad behaviour.   The appropriate way to address Towncryers is the same as one would respectfully to anyone else.

Articles under Towncryer


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