El Herado

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Towns of Godville
El Herado
Pyramids.jpg
Home milestone 82
Map code EH
Known for Expensive stuff, lavish parties and good savings

El Herado is a fascinating little town in Godville with many stuck up monsters hanging around.

These upscale homeless creatures thrive off taunting other towns' homeless with their fancy finds in the dumpsters of El Herado. Parties are wild on the town, and on rare occasions you can even find the pure gold party, a party where all you eat is gold. It's a teeth cracking joy to experience.

Game Notes

  • Inflation is rife in this town, prices soar higher than eagles
  • Gold flows freely here, visitors are likely to spend their funds either on drinks or savings

Geography

El Herado is found in the swamps that form around the Heradian peninsula, which are the lands north of the Hypergiant Delta and west of Los Demonos, surrounded by the Mainstream. The region is full of jungle and only the tips of the city's pyramids surface over the green mass.

History

On the first pyramid of the city, which is made of pure gold, is depicted the myth of Yatzil. This is the story of how El Herado came to be, according to a sober priest it goes like this:

"In the count of the snake, the phase of the lion and the sixth of days (2886 g.e.) came to El Herado a snake of gold; tall as two huts and so long that when the villagers found her, the head was laying in their marketplace while the tail was still treading out of the Limestone Labyrinth. They had been startled by the rumble of beer jugs tumbling, Yatzil was merrily sipping their content.

The villagers fell in their knees to worship, they fed her vegetables, beer and cocoa everyday at dawn. They done so for 20 days until, with the new count, the eastern star Akna came back to cross the earth afoot. In her wake she found the golden snake slumbering in El Herado. The star woke her with mellow rays of crimson light. As she arose, Yatzil started shedding her shining skin on the swaps around the town. The Heradians rushed after the snake picking up the falling scales.

After a couple days they had stored that much gold that they had to fetch water with their own hands. Scales can be found below the mud or floating down even today."

Nowadays, we know that this myth is quite exaggerated although based on real events. Yatzil was a gigantic snake who decided to shed her skin in El Herado because of the food she smelled there. She was not a being made of gold but she was covered in it, because the waters around El Herado are full of gold from the money tree. The Heradians venerated Yatzil and fed her while she was shedding her skin, and obviously picked up the gold she left in her skin and kept picking the one pouring from the tree. Yatzil's bones have been found in a mining shaft under Los Demonos, which is supposed to accidentally connect with her lair.

Be it fact or fiction, snakes are held in quite a good regard there and many effigies of them adorn pyramids and other buildings. There also is an annual celebration where a conga of locals go roaming the streets and throwing gold at passerby emulating the march of the snake.

Two snake heads in a small shrine

Distinctive Features

El Herado has a colossal surplus of gold, for coins fill the lakes that surround the city and money literally grows in the trees. This metal is not scarce in the town, to a local a gold brick is no more valuable than a pile of clay or a log. The streets are paved with gold bricks, the locals wear clothes made of it and they even use bricks as door stops.

This affects the average price of every single thing El Herado has to offer. To put it simply: if a bottle of beer costed 10 gold coins in Godville, 50 coins would be paid here for the same bottle. This example applies to all other services and goods, heroes should carry a couple of sacks filled with coins if they expect to spend the night in this town.

There are myths of parties where gold is consumed both in drinks and dishes. Actually, this is not a legend but a reality for Heradians. Living surrounded by monsters made them wary of their gold, thus feasting on gold became yet another way of withholding the fortunes of the city. In every table one will find gilded dishes and punches sprinkled with gold nuggets.

All around town, people is pouring sacks of coins into melting pots. Heroines tend to go with the flow and just drop most of their gold into the mix, it is beyond their understanding if they thrown their funds into a punch or they accidentally made a saving.

Landmarks

The money-tree

A crude depiction of the money tree

The money tree is a mythical tree that may be found in El Herado.

Legend has it, the admins planted the money tree in a swamp near El Herado as a cheat to get infinite gold in order to test if the world was working alright. After Godville was released the money tree was to be burned, yet the admins were so busy pouring the champagne and welcoming the visitors that they forgot about it.

Old texts and patrons seem to convey that the tree is real and it hides inside one of the swamps around the city, yet only some heroes have (or claim to have) actually found this tree. Even though the money tree could provide for a retirement, the short-sighted mentality of the heroes allows them to take no more than a branch's worth to spend it right away on beer. Real or not, the money tree is still a good turistical attraction for El Herado.

The Hoarding Cone

A standard golden ball

In this court the Heradians enact every three months, through a ritual ball game, their foundation which is known as 'the hoarding'. The hoarding consisted on building a high pyramid in which they could dump their gold, this effort came with no little trouble as monsters heroines and traders coveted the shining metal. But through skill and wit the Heradians were able to fill the pyramid and put a wall around it, thus turning El Herado from a town into a city proper.

The goal of the game is to score a golden ball into a hollow cone that represents the pyramid, this ball must be carried by a team of six players that will rush through the cone each step at a time. They will have to pass the ball between them to avoid their rivals, who will try to steal the ball, thus making them lose the match. The court is divided in three sections:

  • The Swamp: This is the first section in the bottom of the cone. It has been flooded to resemble a muddy swamp like those that surround El Herado, here four "monsters" lurk and will try to ambush the players to steal the ball. If the players succeed in avoiding the monsters getting through the murky waters, they will enter the second section.
  • The city: Here lays a square full of traps that the "traders" will use to capture the Heradians and their gold. The players may expect pitfalls, tight ropes, disappearing bumps and moving tiles. Then only a section stands before glory.
  • The Wall: The wall is the outside of the pyramid cone, where four "heroines" will try to gut them. Here the Heradians will have to juggle the ball over the heroes and make a throw, here the match will be truly decided as the ball will either fall inside or fall down the cone.

If the Heradians score the gold they will be cherished and showered in praise, gold and whatnot. But if they fail and shame their city they will be stripped of their gold and forced to wear a mark of shame that will be seared in their arm. This is one of the most important events for the Heradians as it is a vital part of their shared history and a major cultural event. The whole town fights for the bests rows in order to witness the ordeal, also betting heavily on the game. The youngs are more than willing to participate and often spend a couple years of their lives training for their match, this is often a rite of passage as well. Outsiders are welcome to sit in the stone stalls and bet but are not allowed to participate as this is a sacred Heradian activity.

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