Ponce-du-Lac

From Anstepedia

"Et z'eure was z'e city, I saw, shineeng near z'e blue ov z'e riveur. Elle was nozeeng more z'an a spoilt flower; I do not doubt she shall rize again zomeday, but for now... z'eure are only z'e ghosts ov what she once was." --Ranoire Gottswine, Ponce-Du-Lac storyteller and bard

Table of contents

Population

Ponce-Du-Lac has a population of about 550,000 furres, 10,000 humans and a small popularion of dwarves and elves. Many of the natives are heavy laborers and farmers of one type or another, while the vast majority of the population (approximately 400,000) are refugees from the rest of Austia. Despite the city's elegant history, it is today riddled with the poor and destiture, the bankrupt or still monied nobles, thieves and royalty all living together in a somewhat stable coexistance.

Religion/Culture

Ponce-du-Lac, like much of Austia, is steadfastly religious, primarily of the Vincan tradition. This devotion to the church has only become more apparent since the War of Liberation, as the Holy Launcian Empire has provided much of the reconstruction and social aid to the belageured nation. Throughout the city, Launcian Clerics are seen tending to ill refugees, running soup kitchens, or preaching to small groups of the faithful.

The city is also home to an ancient religious sect, which venerates an eclectic mix of the Vincan and Elven pantheons. Though the sect has never had a large number of adherents throughout its history, its rituals have colored life in Ponce-du-Lac, and many of the unique cultural festivals of the city are based on them. Since the War of Liberation and the Launcian presence in the city, many of the traditional festivals have been toned down, as the more austere Launcian church has spoken out against their excess.

The major festival of the year is the Harvest Festival, held at the end of the summer when the year’s crops have been gathered and the plants begin to die. As part of the festival, monetary and food donations are made to the Churches in the city, though there have been rumours in recent years that the donations have not been going to help the impoverished, but have been funneled to Launcia or the Royal coffers.

Ponce-Du-Lac is also known for its assortment of music. Really, what else does one do when they work in the fields all day? Make up songs, of course. The 'Poncian Labor' songs are popular throughout the region and contain simple lyrics that even the most uneducated can follow, with beats ranging from slow, methodical songs, perfect for mechanically working to, all the way to lively jigs for the end of a hard day's work.

Life in the City

Ponce-Du-Lac is decidedly an impoverished city. The refugees are generally poor and try to get along as best they can on what little economic funds they have, but the economy is stretched thin because of the massive influx of those escaping the Kebeyen Republic. The outskirts of the city are slummy and dirty refugee camps, while the city center is more middle-class. Near the city center sits the Royal Palace of Austia, which was once the summer palace for the oldest Prince. Surrounded by a few noble manions, the "Cercle de la Richesse" (Circle of the Wealthy) is the least decrepit area in a decaying city.

History and Personalities

The city was founded as the official capital of Austia in 4A7 when Damien Reelin established it as a home to all the exiles and castaways that were forcibly removed from the Kebeyen Republic. The King and Queen moved to the Palace in Ponce-Du-Lac during the war as well. Amongst the refugees were hundreds of nobles who had lost their lands and their monies as the Republican armies rolled through Austia. Though they have no more money than a typical refugee, they carry with them a bit of status that afford them better housing than the typical commoner. The noble families of the southern regions have become far more prominent politically as a result. King Louis Brandt II has triplet sons and two daughters. Though the Princesses are all social butterfly and no political ambition, the three Princes, Jacques, Frére and Fróud are arrogant and humiliated over the loss of their nation. The three fight constantly about the future of Austia, plotting behind their father's back to gain his favor and be named heir.