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Dualgate City Council

The earliest non-military residents of Dualgate were simple craftsmen, hired by The Credtara Empire to complete the construction of the Inbar Mot Fortress. At the height of construction efforts, the space between the two gates was home to nearly 200 craftsmen (not counting women and children who had come with the workers). Less a town and more a work camp, the majority of the workers lived in tents until the winter drove them to build ramshakle timber homes. These were arranged around the centers of work; the South Smithy, the lumber yard and Mill, the North Smithy and the stone quarry. While most of these buildings are long since gone, their respective neighborhoods still carry the trappings of their original namesakes.   With the departure of the Knights of Saldaron in 503, businesses soon began to appear in the sprawling empty shanty town left behind when the workers took their families and departed. The interveening space between the North and South gates were considered property of and under the direct authority of the garrison. This did not stop the appearance of the tavern that would become The Battered Ram, or of the tent city of Ladies of the Night that would later become Bed Fellows. These establishements were tolerated becuase they kept the soldiers entertained and they resided in the northern end of the pass near the north gate, and out of sight of the garrison at the south gate.   As trade began flourish and caravans began using the pass as a more expeditious route to growing trade cities in the Andolas Valley, more merchants and tradesmen began moving into the old huts and shanties to serve the needs of the caravans and the other year round residents. By 512, the garrison had established patrols of the growing outpost and began collecting rent from permanent residents. Shanties paid a small sum each year to the garrison for ‘use of the land’, but those occupying the few stone buildings that dotted the valley floor, garnered a much larger rental payment.   As more businesses popped up in the pass, the garrison commanders continued to collect rent for the land, but did little else to regulate how the land was actually used or maintained. In the year 540, the commander was tasked with taking a census of the outpost and determined that the population exceded 700 working men (not counting women and children). As any outpost that had a population of 500 or more was subject to come under governance by a Precept of the Empire; a position specifically designed to shepherd outposts into good and proper tax paying towns. Fearing the loss of additional (and significantly underreported) revenue this change would bring, the commander at the time reported that the census population count was 471. This began a standard practice of reporting back a population between 463 to 482 every 5 years for the census request, despite surpassing 1500 residents in the year 570. Only the settlements unique location at the very edge of the empire made this ruse possible.   The Great Fire of 576 would change everything. Starting late one autumn night in one of the northern shanty clusters, the fire would quickly spread to adjoining structures before any organized effort coalessed to combat it. By morning, over 150 residents were dead and tripple that number injured from the horrors of that night. The fire had also claimed a little less than one third of the city itself and blackened a sizeable portion of the inner walls of the North Gate. The unoffical city was left reeling from the night; angry and wounded. The garrisons decision to start the annual rent collection as winter commenced, particularly after their modest efforts to combat the fire, did not provide any succor to already strapped and stretched residents.   At this time, there was a tradition of young aristocrats to venture out and see the world before returning home to take on their responsibilities. Often they would travel with caravans that carried their families goods (for those from trading houses), or in armed troupe, eager to collect rare and unique treasures to display upon their return.   One such youth, a young noble from the coastal city of Pyrni had elected to winter in the pass with his companions as they explored the wider world. Witnessing the fire and the resulting devistation, he was moved by the plight of the residents, and began rallying for the independence of the town from the garrison.   Twice detained by the garrison commander, only his noble status abroad saved him from a much darker fate. The following summer, when negotiations with the garrison commander failed, the young noble gathered a band of unlikely leaders to baracade the garrison from the rest of the town. No trade was allowed, and no supplies could be brought through. It took less than a week for the North gate to be abandoned but the south gate held firm, even shutting the massive gate leading down to the Sun Sea and attempting a blockade of their own. It was a fruitless effort with unhindered access through the north gate to any caravan that came to the pass. Caravan were allowed to enter provided they did not trade with the garrison. Facing mutuany from unhappy soldiers, and vastly outnumbered by the resdients on the baracade, the commander of the garrison was left with no choice but to cede to the residents demands.   The new townsfolk demanded that the grounds between the two gates be surrendered to them with the exception of the garrison buildings. The town would establish their own guards allowing the soldiers to return to their work on the gates. In return for very favorable trade with the town, the garrison would protect them from external threat. The commander agreed to the demands but insisted that he be a part of the town governance if the garrison was to have a stake in the success of this new endeavor. The young noble and his companions agreed and a deal was struck.   Nevertheless, people can be challenging to organize and it would take another 5 years to finish drafting and ratify the town charter as an independent city state beholden to the The Credtara Empire for a set tributue each year. The empire was not pleased with this arrangement but was in no position to challenge it as it was fully invested both militarily and financially with efforts to civilize the northern borders of the Andolas Valley.   Instead the regent of the territory tasked the town with collecting caravan tolls for all traders that wished to use the pass, threatening that if it’s demands were not met the empire would simply blocade the Northern end of the pass and cease all trade.   Shrewd minds gathered in the in The Library and with the help of the librarian at that time, develped a somewhat complex system of tokens and gate passes with toll values sure to please the regent and then asked that he ratify it as a regional edict. Seeing a growing source of income for his territory being handed to him, the regent signed the towns proposal and then issued an edict proclaiming the process to the territory and beyond. By the time the edict had been heard at the capital in Bliryth, the The Night Market had been born.   The unique system of tokens and passes effectively only charged a caravan when it was leaving Dualgate from a portal that it had NOT entered through. This meant that caravans could come in, trade their goods with other caravans, or more frequently, their agents who remained behind all year round and then depart from the same gate that they entered and not incur the toll.   When the loophole in the edict was pointed out to the Regent after several seasons of light revenue, he was enraged and blockaded the Northern entrance to the pass. Only officials of the empire or those preforming government business were allowed to pass. The City Council collected their taxes early that year and used the increased tax revenue from the growing Night Market to sweeten the tribute that was delivered well ahead of schedule. Upon presenting the tax revenues to the emperor, the emissaries also apologized that they would be unable to maintain such a tribute due to the blockade. By the time they had returned to the pass, the blockade was missing and territory was excitedly awaiting a new regent. Shrewdness and cunning have since been the halmarks of the City Council ever since.   Most recently the City Council amended the town charter to clarify that any business opperating and/or completing commercial transactions within the city would be subject to the city’s tax. While the stated goal of this was to close down the back room trading of whole caravans between traders in and around the city (in an effort to avoid both the tax and the toll), it also brought Bed Fellows back under the perview of the City and it’s Tax Collectors. The brothel premises in the old Barracks had created a unique situation. Technically it was owned by the Garrison and was not an official part of town despite being within the town boundaries. Each and every Madam since the founding of the town had staunchly maintined it’s independance from town governance and specifically the responsiblity to pay taxes. With the revision of the charter, the town promptly notified Bed Fellows of this newfound tax liability. Madam Ermila has since devoted as much attention to the town council as she has to running her business; including but not limited to installing her own agent onto the council.   Structure of Governance: The City Council is responsible for all the territory within the the gates of the pass from inner wall of the North Gate to the Southern Gate but excludes the Chapel, the Library, and the barracks as property and under the Command of the Garrison and it’s commander. Interestingly it had created a rather unique situation for Bed Fellows as it resided in what is considered as Garrison territory but was not attached to the military in any (official) way. The town council recently corrected this abuse against the tax base of the city.   The Mayor: Elections are held every 3 years to select a new mayor for the city. They are the public face of the City in all things related to its operation, and relationship to the outside world and in some cases even the garrison of the Inbar Mot Fortress. The position can be held for multiple terms and has been held for the past 10 years by Soren Brickhammer.   The Military Liaison: Originally the commander of Inbar Mot was one of the seven seats that helped to govern the early city. As time passed, and the city’s focus turned more and more towards management, taxation, and regulation of trade, the liaison’s set was delagated to captains or even lieutenants (often as a ‘reward’ for triggering the commanders displeasure). Currently the seat is occupied by Lieutenant Brix Cenovar. His regular insistance that the garrison needs to work more closely with the town has earned him the seat, though it is too early to tell if this is a boon or a punishment.   Rotating Council Seats: selected from a short list of notable families, merchants, or other business owners, the seats are filled every year in rotation with membership requiring a majority vote of approval to be appointed. Both the mayor and the military liaison may cast a veto to any potential council representive, and only an additional vote with unanimous agreement of all members (save the veto) can override the veto.   Current Members of the Coucil: Balford Grax - He is the tax collector for the City of Dualgate (1 year remaining) Rosevest Inmar - She is a resident trader of fine textiles (2 years remaining) Cinder Markwain - Owner of the Echo; a newly built theatre venue in the city (3 years remaining) Captain Filtcher - Captain of the City Guard (4 years remaining) Genevieve Slate - ‘Seamstress’ and close companion of Madam Ermila current proprietor of Bed Fellows ( 5 years remaining). Point of note; Genevieve was only the second seat in the history of the City Council to have been vetoed and then passed the second vote.

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