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Good

I will make every effort to write this section without derision or sarcasm, but I have no doubt I will fail, because the vast majority of people I have met from these countries were either vapid underachievers or egotistical creators of disaster. Those that were not usually defected and joined the side of Evil. Remember that Good and Evil are more akin to political positions, and do not necessarily correspond to the moral imperatives of good and evil.   The basic definition of a Good country is that it is led by a member of the United Benevolent Nations. They generally prefer to call their leaders presidents and kings, have castles and bases, and usually call public employees sidekicks or citizens or simply use their actual job title. With this in mind, one can easily identify if one is in a good country by the following means.
  1. Wardrobes make liberal use of open-chested (for men) or low-cut (for women) shirts and lighter colors. If the term “hippie” comes to mind, it’s definitely a good country, although there are other styles of dress that are common.
  2. Architecture is clean, white, and uses a lot of glass and wood and other delicate building materials.
  3. Natural decorations such as wood carvings and floral arrangements are the norm. Which is not to say that evil does not also enjoy the occasional bouquet, we just don’t feel the need to carpet everything with flowers.
  4. Boring, average weather. Clear blue skies, pristine snow, sparkling water, deep green forests. Good nations spare no expense at ensuring that everything looks natural. Even if originally they were mostly just gray and swampy.
  5. Use valleys, plains and hills for towns and villages, with the occasional secret base constructed in a mountain or under the ocean. Most heroes prefer accessibility, however, so expect to find heroic strongholds on hills, floating in the air, on top of some light-based natural phenomenon that acts as a beacon, etc.
  In a good country, appearance is everything. If it doesn’t look good, the people might not realize just how artificial their way of life is, so it’s understandable that a leader would spare no expense in maintaining the mind-numbing cliched beauty of their countries. Comfort is also paramount to them. Say what else I will, the leaders of these countries devote a great deal of effort toward maintaining the happiness and well-being of their citizens. They don’t always go about it the most practical way, but they do keep them happy.    

People to Talk To

  In any case, once you have identified that you are in a Good country, there are people to identify. I have divided the list into four basic parts (and this is by no means a comprehensive list and if your gut tells you something is rotten it probably is, my advice be damned).   People who will help: The simplest option is to find older women whose sanity can be confirmed. Clothing can be quite eccentric, but as long as it’s clean you’re probably safe. It’s best to have a quick conversation before accepting advice, though. Treat them respectfully or risk incurring the wrath of those around you, and quite possibly her too. In general, the concept of age before beauty is an acceptable one. A particularly rugged appearance indicative of life experience is a useful image to keep in mind. Avoid the senile and those prematurely aged by addictions and help will be readily available. In good countries, those with experience are usually perfectly happy to pass it on to those who need it.     People who will try to help but will make things worse: Children are a bad idea, whether good or bad. Either they’re too young to understand you or they’re old enough to have learned the heroic tradition of back-talk and thus you will get nowhere fast.   Buff young men or plucky and buxom young women are either too busy to help or too stupid to be any use. Do not bother talking to them. Do not ask for their number. Do not assume they are either knowledgeable or particularly skilled. Pass right on by or suffer a colossal waste of time.   People who will ignore you: Castle guards are actively trained to ignore problems arising in the citizenry, because chaos either allows a hero to step in or was caused by the hero’s amusing antics. In either case, they will be interfering with heroic activities which is expressly forbidden by the code of the Unified Benevolent Nations. And in the event that you ask the guards politely for information, they will invariably point you to some kind of information desk or recite a canned speech about how the king or queen’s door is always open to those who need help.   Also avoid people who are reading. They can be knowledgeable, but vicious when interrupted.   People who will do terrible things to you: Do not go in the tavern. This is either where the “den of iniquity” has been relegated to, in which case it will be full of criminals who will rob you blind and beat you up. Or it is the local hangout, in which case people are happy talking to their friends or relaxing after work and you are unwelcome. Or it is the hub of a Hero's activities, in which case it will be loud, chaotic and quite possibly filled with merry brawlers. In all of these, the encounter ends with you beaten up in an alleyway.   Avoid the rulers of the country and their immediate subordinates. In spite of my general disdain for these countries, the people in leadership positions would not get there without being intimately aware of politics, the balance of power in the world, and the value of someone who has randomly appeared here out of nowhere. There is a chance they would not abuse this knowledge of your identity for their own good or for the good of their country, but it is an unlikely occurrence.

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