Life in Vermintown

Wikis > The City > Life in Vermintown

Information on the day-to-day business of VERMINTOWN — its institutions, its cultures and the preoccupations of its citizens.

Jump to article:

The Glamoured & the Vastfolk: a comparative treatise on time and scale.

To the Glamoured Races of Vermintown human beings – generally known as “the Vastfolk” – appear impossibly slow. Philosophically, from a Glamoured perspective, they have more in common with natural features or tectonic masses than living entities: their sluggish senses have helped the Little People both evade detection and perform their (more visible) cultural duties since time immemorial. The Glamoured owe their clandestine lives partly to their endless diligence and clever magic, but more prosaically because when they move fast they’re simply too quick for human eyes to see.

(It’s hence paradoxical – though perhaps characteristic – that so many of the Glamoured’s oldest traditions revolve around performing tangible functions in the lives of beings nearly incapable of detecting them. They’re culturally compelled to hint at their presence but socially and physically prevented from revealing it. This, arguably, is at the crux of the existential crisis facing the Glamoured.)

It follows, to Vermintown’s population, that a human occupies a strange mental niche somewhere between that of Glacial Landscape, Terrifying Predator and Deity. They peer up at these monstrous figures, creaking overhead, and see colossal feet and legs tapering infinitely into spindly, hazy, fisheyed-uncertainty.

TIME:

Given the disparate scales by which the Glamoured and the Vastfolk experience time, there follows here an illustrative chart comparing standard units.

Vastfolk

Glamoured

1 year (356 days)

1 Allseason or 8 Halfseasons – roughly relative to 8 human years

45 Days

1 Halfseason – roughly relative to 1 human year (360 wakes)

1 day / 24 hours

1 Suncycle or 8 Wakes

3 hours

1 Wake – roughly relative to 1 human day and night

(Note that Boggarts keep a differently scaled circadian routine, operating roughly according to divisions of one-sixth of a day/night cycle rather than one-eighth).

SCALE:

As a rule of thumb – with obvious caveats made for the extreme variety found even amongst people of a single race, let alone the disparity one might find between (say) a young Gob “scrawny” and an elderly Brownie “finderking” – the average denizen of Vermintown is approximately one inch tall.

In comparing human architecture to the structures throughout Vermintown a very rough ratio of 72:1 can be assumed.

 

THE MILITIA:

Vermintown’s small, overstretched, and perpetually under-funded police force. Their official duties include keeping the peace, investigating and prosecuting criminals (those, at least, big enough to notice), and guarding the city’s outer limits against roving predators. Their unofficial duties – clear to all but remaining meticulously unspoken for the sake of simple politeness – include the defence of wealthy gobs against undesirable elements, a preservation of the goblins’ broader cultural superiority over newer arrivals, and the execution of whichever personal projects the mayor and his cronies command.

Citizens do pay a nominal tax for the privilege of living in Vermintown, and in theory the bottletops are funded by that revenue. In practice they receive most of their money from paranoid Hobs and goblin community-chests hiring them in a slightly more private capacity to keep out the riffraff. Goblin culture being what it is, such baksheeshery could barely be considered genuinely corrupt; regarded rather as a simple manifestation of the principles of wealth.

Ironically, despite the systematic prejudices and preferential treatments afforded one particular ethnic group, the Militia is arguably the city’s greatest example of racial integration. Here one finds Pics, Fey, Goblins and even Brownies rubbing shoulders in the shared desire to uphold the law. Or, at least, to earn a minimal wage while giving the appearance of same.

Even the Militia, on the other hand, won’t contemplate hiring Boggarts. Some standards are simply too low to reduce any further.

 The Militia is presently overseen by Commander Briskovine Scattle, regarded by many in the city’s administrative circle as a dangerously progressive liberal. He’s tolerated nonetheless thanks to his impeccable pedigree; his father having served for several allseasons as a widely-respected mayor (before, that is, a short but eventful period of scandal, during which the senior Scattle resigned his post, announced the existence of his hitherto unrecognised son, then disappeared all together. Such spasms of excitement are, on the other hand, not uncommon in fusty goblin society).