Tauria is a republic, and has experimented with the ideas of democracy. That is, it used to be a republic. Now its a dictatorship, masquerading as a republic, with laws permitting the army to be thugs.
The California of the Cosmic Era, Turkey
"Aye, Averoth! Land of banditry and corruption. Not a place for the faint o' heart, let me tell you. So's me and me mates went for a spell in them plains. We was lookin' for treasure, see, and them rovers and corrupt barons had it. So's we went, killed a bandit or two, maybe a couple o' orc tribes, and we made a fortune. 'Course, when we hit the Capital, we lost it all to thieves, hookers, and drink, but still, the memory of the weight of that sack..."
-Old Gerald, man in the pub.
topled down glory, and trod upon by time. Doth thy hollowed splender diminish? Nay, for Palisander, you grew bright in the imagination, always out of reach.
The Lairdlands of today are a peaceful seaming region of dairies, sprawling farmlands, and pastures of horses and cattle in the sunlight.
These rare, fist-sized spiders do not make webs, but rather excrete secretions which harden upon contact with air. These "droppings" resemble barley-sized spider eggs, or even lustrous pearls, once the slime coating them, dries up. In fact, dried Pearl Spider "drops" are indistinguishable from the marine varieties produced by mollusks, and hence of identical value on the open market!
Several centuries ago, they were studied by naturalists, and several observations were made. Firstly, was that these spiders "lay" these pearls for no apparent or discernible "natural" reason, and secondly, the naturalists had discovered that the more these spiders ate or were fed--and they were true omnivores--the larger the spider pearls came out.
A cottage industry began. Enterprising merchants hunted and collected these creatures across the lands, erecting spider-farms for the manufacture of Spider Pearls. It wasn't long before someone got the idea to force-feed the spiders, ala foie gras geese, and soon, the fattened spiders began pooping out pearls of great size! (relatively speaking). The regular pearl market came to disarray, and prices and value fluctuated wildly.
[b]Plothook[/b] The Mermen Mercantile Alliance hires the party to eradicate all terrestrial Pearl Spider Farms!