Reidegger Of The Carthulien Fields

There’s an old saying, “All things flow from the top of the world.” In many respects it’s true, especially when applied to conflict. Every great battle in known history certainly began up here, even the Southern Wars started as nothing more than whispers among the Followers of the Northern Tradition. It’s even said that when the IBG began their rather successful push for control of The Winterlands, it was all kick-started in the Mountains of Teppirung.

                So what caused all these things to happen? Well, the main driving force behind each event was a need for change. Change in personal circumstances, shifts of power, the need to change the position of an enemy or an ally. Always and simply, change.

                Now, think on this. There are two types of change. The first one is change by design. That is something that the IBG does well, it’s something that we thrive on, that we live by. Each and every step we take means something, and not always what we let you think it means. But the second type, now that’s altogether different. It’s like an almost organic necessity, often born of complacency. We don’t like that. That sort of change is a wild beast that tears through all that is known and leaves it shred upon the floor.

                Twenty five years ago, the North grew complacent. There were no plots, plans, hopes, schemes, very few big dreamers, adventurers, warriors. Even aged but nineteen, I could see why this was bad. Something needed to happen, something had to be done to wake the North up. So I forced change to happen.

                The first step was Homuran, a small but well respected city due North West of d’Mascos. The key thing to remember here, the trick as it were, is that Homuran did not exist until I made it exist. Sounds insane, doesn’t it? How can I just make a city exist? Well, what we did was build a small town in an open field situated along a disused trading route. We then populated it with members of the payroll and commenced step two: making people believe that the city was always there.

                So how long do you think that would take? Believe it or not, less than six months. Alterations to historical files and trading histories on Public Information Points, instructing IBG staff in other cities to start talking about their friends and family in Homuran, rumour spreading, false crime, open trade. All of these things slowly implanted knowledge of Homuran in the minds of the general population and all the time this was going on we continued to expand the town into a city.

                Over the course of the next three years, Winterborn started moving in and the original fake civilians slowly started moving out. Once the real population hit a suitable level, I took note of several ‘new arrival’ couples who were expecting children. And so began step three.

                Each child that was born would inevitably have some contact with one of the remaining fake civilians. By gently nudging the children to perform particular tasks or make certain decisions, we began to learn which ones would likely be easier to manipulate in later life. Twenty one years later we had what we needed. Aletha of Homuran.

                Aletha was special. Not because he was incredibly smart, creative or in peak physical condition. No, he was special because he was so unremarkable. He excelled at being average in everything he did. By this point, I had been interacting with a handful of test subjects for a few years but I’d known that it was him I would stick with for some time. I simply kept the study going in case he turned out to be a late bloomer. As it happened, he continued to live the simple life. At least until I pushed him in another direction.

                One of the biggest lies about Homuran was that it was a ‘Free Rule City’. We had made it very clear that they had retained their own governing body. What was unusual was that over these past twenty four years, Mayor Thessalia had maintained her position of power. Of course, to those in the know it wasn’t strange at all. After all, a fake Mayor voted in by fake civilians wasn’t likely to lose her job. And all the time that the fakes are talking about how great she is, the real inhabitants slowly start to believe it.

                Then along comes young Aletha who, thanks to a mislabelled information file, uncovers an unsavoury truth about Thessalia. What he uncovered isn’t important, what matters is what he did with the information. Naturally, he reported it back to me and I claimed that I would look into it but I remained ominously quiet on the issue. Then Thessalia was once again re-elected.

                From there, what we needed to do was ensure that he found his backbone. A couple of well-placed words by friends, overheard conversations about not enough people taking action and doing the right thing. Just as we made the Winterlands believe Homuran existed, we made Aletha believe he had a duty to take action. All it took was for us to nudge him into telling the right people the right things and all of a sudden we have a full blown revolution on our hands.

                The natural consequence of such a revolt would be that the IBG would take control of the city. When word of this spread, rumours of the reasons would run wild in the North. Cover-ups, conspiracies, half-hearted plans to rebel against the IBG, they would all flare up. They would also be led by us.

As Aletha stood atop the roof of what would soon be an IBG office, I explained how his life had been guided from day one. I told him that the IBG maintains power through manipulation and that just as much of what we tell Winterborn like him is a lie, much of what we are told ourselves is in all probability also false information fed down from higher up for one purpose or another.

He was…quite aghast actually. He certainly wasn’t thrilled about the Black 23 I served him, but even then he remained true to form. He was far too unremarkable a person to say ‘I refuse employment, kill me if you can’ and make a run for it. No, while I sit here newly promoted, Aletha of Homuran remains at home acting as the new IBG City Representative. He is my eyes and ears in the city I created, and one day I shall figure out how to use him to climb yet further in the organisation.