PROGRESS OR EXPLOITATION?
Between the rich and the poor of Throal are the teeming middle classes. Neither laborer nor aristocrat, they constitute the professional backbone of Throal, living comfortably and profiting from work, rather than inheritance. But are they as much a part of the problem as those who rule?
Magda Bolg is an upstanding citizen of Throal and a paragon of this successful middle class. A Weaponsmith, a wife, a mother, she works hard. "For Throal to prosper, for us all to prosper, we need the materials to build," says Magda without breaking the cadence of her forge work. Her hammer rings loud and true.
But among those materials are True Elements - the building blocks of our magical world. And to collect them for use is to tear them away from their natural context. Take, for instance, a recent expedition to collect True Wood from the Servos Jungle. Reports indicate that the jungle itself resisted the extraction of True Wood, and expressed its displeasure violently.
"I'll take bacon a lot more seriously now," declared Redsun, a Troll Archer who accompanied Meredith Grimm's harvesting expedition. "Those boars were nearly the end of me. Even worse, they were nearly the end of Juniper - his loss would be a loss for all of Throal," he added. It wasn't only wild boars that tried to deter them. Porcupine Snakes were also in abundance, though Jarock Hammer-Shield insisted "they weren't so bad."
More alarmingly, the jungle itself appeared to try to defend itself. "If it weren't for my Phant- for my actually real summoned Warrior Spirits, those Thorn Men would have been a real threat," said Dale Corson, who refused to disclose his Discipline. "Juniper was weeping as he fought the wood spirits," remembers Malonin Tyrnith, Elf Archer. He continues, "He did not want to do harm to these oppressed people, but he couldn't let the expedition team be hurt, either. It was a dilemma."
Certainly, the materials harvested will help secure Throal, and will aid the many settlements being established by the workers and laborers of Throal. But in doing so, are we also oppressing the natural world that supports us? We would love to hear from you, our readers! Please drop off your replies at The Droop, care of News from the Underground.
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