Establishment in Gralus

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Nick
Posts: 127
Joined: Wed Jan 26, 2011 4:03 pm

Establishment in Gralus

Post by Nick » Wed Sep 14, 2011 5:10 pm

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ESB Financial Center at 4 Pirate's Lane, based upon the Columbia Seafirst Center in my hometown of Seattle, WA




With 76 floors, 142,900 square meters and 46 elevators, the new ESB Financial Center was the newest building on Pirate's Lane. To be filled with the hustle and bustle of finance and commerce, it was the Norse enclave of commerce. Preparing to open a branch in Gralus, the Einhorn-Silverman-Bochs Group wanted a nice new building to conduct their business from, The ESB Financial Center was born from this need.

Today, the first ESB employees were to begin setting up shop in the building, many Norse and many Gralans had taken advantage of an opportunity with a new employer. For the Norse it was a chance to go abroad and for Gralans it was a chance to meet a race of people which they've had little contact with. Though the Common Tongue was mandatory teaching in Norse schools throughout the course of education, the terse, abrupt and seemingly stoic manner of the Norse came as a bit of a shock to many Gralans.

8th Floor - Private Stock Brokering
"We need to find a way to get Gralans using our services, we seem to be one of very few financial companies in Gralus, our main competitor being VBNC, however, I think as a newcomer we need a certain edge," said Jorn Ingmarsson, in the typically quiet and deadpan Norse tone.

Many of the Gralans just looked at him like he had two heads, unsure of what he was trying to accomplish.

"Well, how do you do it in Normark?" asked a recently employed Gralan woman.

"Television, internet..." responded Ingmarsson, "I had assumed that perhaps with the whole magic thing there were different means."

"Yes, but not really used for advertising stuff like this," explained the woman.

"Jeg forstå," muttered Ingmarsson under his breath, realizing that the world's assumptions regarding magic and Gralans were slightly exaggerated.

1st Floor Entrance Lobby
As a Gralan man, Fredric Matthias, said goodbye to his wife and child he used a little bit of his magic talent he had picked up from his academy days, that is before he dropped out to be a broker, to give his child a small lolly.

As the flash from the magic popped throughout the lobby, a Norseman, Hans Torvaldsson, was startled as he walked by the seemingly normal scene. A veteran officer of the Norse Royal Land Self-Defense Forces, he wasn't an easy man to startle.

"FAEN! By Odin what in the nine worlds was that?!" exclaimed the startled man.

"It's....oh...you must be from Normark!" said Matthias, eager to greet someone of a race he'd never seen,"You're nowhere near as different as I thought you'd be!"

"Different?" said Torvaldsson, recovering from the shock.

"Well, I've never seen a Norseman before, we weren't sure what you'd look or be like. I mean, I've met Stormarkers. They're tall-ish, pale, fair haired, stuff like that. You seem to be pretty much the same, are your people related?

"Ah, I see. Eh, no we aren't related ethnically. We're a far more northern people," explained Torvaldsson.

"Interesting, so what part of Normark do you come from?" asked Matthias.

"Langnes in Norvík," responded Torvaldsson, "And where do you hail from?"

"Here in Shelsa, born and bred! Went to St. Nova MANA for schooling though, dropped out and became a broker," said Matthias.

"I see, I was in the military myself, a Lieutenant Colonel. I retired and went to the University of Konungsheim and got a degree in Economics. I've been with ESB for approximately 8 years now and thought a new experience might revitalize my enthusiasm for my employment in the company," said Torvaldsson.

At that point, Matthias noticed that Torvaldsson looked rather uninterested and even bored. Inquiring as to if he was okay, Torvaldsson said that he was indeed okay and was actually in a very good move, eager to meet Gralans. This confounded Matthias, unable to comprehend how someone who seemed so stoic and neutral could be as eager as Torvaldsson said he was. Asking, rather timidly if Torvaldsson was being sarcastic, Torvaldsson let out a rather thunderous laugh, explaining that sarcasm was not one of his strong suits and was being quite honest. The sudden, thunderous laugh was equally as confounding. When they shook hands, as it turned out they were going to be working in the exact same department, Matthias was a bit startled by the way in which Torvaldsson shook his hand.

28th Floor - Accounts Payable
Three men sat in an office, a rather tense mood filled the room. The three men were Norse, two were good friends from the University of Konungsheim and the third was their supervisor.

"I realize that she isn't human but we must show tolerance! You knew that coming to Gralus would expose you to other-worldly elements so why is this even an issue?!" asked the supervisor, Johann Stubberud.

"It was a knee-jerk reaction Stubberud, we just weren't expecting it!" exclaimed one of the men, Olafr Henríksson.

"I know, I know but for the gods' sakes did you have to blurt out Hva faen er det??!" said Stubberud, having a bit of an employee relations issue on his hands, "Do you realize that she could file a lawsuit? Do you realize how this will look for the company?!"

The two sat there, unable to respond. Clearly the mishap was unintentional but it certainly was a faux pas, and on the first day of operations.
This is focusing on some of the insanity associated when two unfamiliar groups are basically thrust together and forced (more or less, anyway) to work together. Gralans should feel free to add to this.

Bob Bobowski
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Joined: Sat Aug 06, 2011 5:00 am

Re: Establishment in Gralus

Post by Bob Bobowski » Wed Sep 21, 2011 3:18 am

odin rocks!

b.b.

Andreas the Wise
Posts: 2189
Joined: Tue Nov 23, 2010 11:40 pm

Re: Establishment in Gralus

Post by Andreas the Wise » Wed Sep 21, 2011 8:07 am

Also, I do plan to respond to this when I actually get time between my two essays (I have a half written response fully planned out, I just don't have the time. Crazy next two weeks).
The character Andreas the Wise is on indefinite leave. But he does deserve a cool war ribbon.
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However, this account still manages:
Vincent Waldgrave - Lord General of Gralus
Manuel - CEO of VBNC. For all you'll ever need.
Q - Director of SAMIN
Duke Mel'Kat - Air Pirate, Melangian, and Duke of the Flying Duchy of Glanurchy
Cla'Udi - Count of Melangia
Vur'Alm Xei'Bôn - Speaker of Nelaga, Minister of Interior Affairs, and a Micron

Andreas the Wise
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Joined: Tue Nov 23, 2010 11:40 pm

Re: Establishment in Gralus

Post by Andreas the Wise » Sat Sep 24, 2011 12:39 pm

“Let’s walk.”

It was day two of ESB’s Gralan operations, and it wasn’t any less mad than yesterday. Jorn Ingmarsson had just finished negotiating the covering of all windows on floors 9 through the 13 so that the dwarven employees felt more at home. They were damn good at finance, particularly anything resource related, but no sunlight? He was just about ready for his lunch break, and now James Nider, a Gralan employed on a similar level to him, wanted a walk!

“We can grab lunch at one of the cafes down the road,” Nider continued. “But I’d like to explain a few things to you and it’ll be easier to do outside.”
Ingmarsson muttered under his breath, then said, “Sure, lunch would be good.” As they took the lift down to the lobby together, he asked “What do you intend to explain?”
“Magic.”
"Jeg forstå," Ingmarsson muttered again. Would it never end?

They were outside and strolling down the street now. “You all seem a bit tense with the culture shock,” Nider began. Ingmarsson said nothing. “So I thought I’d explain a bit more about what magic in Gralus is actually like. Hopefully then you won’t find it so ... offputting. I’m trying to help,” he added, but Ingmarsson’s expression didn’t change. These norsemen were certainly stoic. But Ingmarsson did say “Sure, tell me more. I’m sure it will be ... interesting.” Nider took this as permission to begin.

“Magic hasn’t always been like this. Magic users used to be rare, heroic figures – most of them ended up national leaders – but then there was the Al’Magroth Incident.” Ingmarsson made no comment. The name meant nothing to him.
“Basically,” Nider continued, “a demon businessman tried to take over the country with a giant robot army. Did you see the movie ‘I, Robot’ a couple years back? Think that with more fireballs.”
“Does that happen often here?” Ingmarsson asked, his face still deadpan.
“Err ... about once every ten to fifteen years. Demons that is. We had aliens a couple years back. Anyway, the point is, after that there were a lot of people wary of magic – thought we only had these problems because the mages were poking around too much, and the like. King Lachlan of Novatainia, who had always been anti-magic, took this as an excuse to force everyone with magical powers to register with the government. A lot of us thought that this was the first step to rounding all the magical people and purging them. But ... nothing much happened after that, actually. King Lachlan is not the most proactive king and he never followed through. Meanwhile, the beuracrats noticed that magic was a lot more common than they’d thought. The famous Academies, centres of magical learning, were dwindling in power as their big name leaders had all died or moved on; yet people with some magic, as a proportion of the population, were increasing. After a year or so, some bright spark decided to make magic an elective at school. Just basic stuff, you know? A lot of ex-Academy mages came out of hiding and took jobs as teachers, and then Marvolo’s started.”

“Marvolo’s sells all sorts of basic magical spells and solutions for everyday use. Worried about the environment? Switch over to magical lights. Need your house wired? Why not have a magical electrician who can teleport it into the walls instead of having to leave holes all over your house to get the wires in? And the instant flames were cheap fire starters. Talking about magic stopped being so taboo and became ... just another thing. People who had previously hid their results on magic tests started attending evening classes. It’s not like the Academy days. Magic’s much more domestic now. But it’s also more common.”
“How common?” Ingmarsson asked. Despite his bored expression, he was starting to get interested.
“Well, depends how you class the Sight,” Nider answered.
“The Sight? You’re not telling me you’ve got people seeing visions of the future and we’re not employing them in our long-term investments division?” Ingmarsson asked.
“No, no, nothing like that,” Nider said. “Just the ability to see magic. It’s one of the six laws of magic, I’m told – the six laws being six constraints on magic mages have discovered that seem to be built into the universe – just like gravity. Anyway, the law says magic must always leave visual traces to those with the Sight. Every spell can be seen. Mages often make spells look like ordinary things – water trickling in the gutter, a fly buzzing around, a crack in the footpath.”
“A crack in the footpath?” Ingmarsson asked, confused. “That doesn’t sound very magical.”
“No, but if you want a trap to be hidden, it’s hard to notice if you’re not looking for it. If the spell isn’t glowing or doing anything odd, people with the Sight can’t tell whether what they’re looking at is magical or mundane. The only way to do that is to close your eyes.”
“Why?” Ingmarsson asked. The interest was starting to show in his voice now.
“When you have the Sight, you can still see magic with your eyes shut, as long as you focus. You’re not looking at it physically, so having your eyes shut makes no difference. I should know, I’ve got it. No other magical power to speak of, but I can see it. Here, I’ll show you,” he added, as they reached a cafe. “Grab a table, I’ll be back in a minute.”

Ingmarrson sat down at one of the tables for two, and ordered a coffee. The climate was slightly warmer, and the signs were in common, not Norse, but otherwise this cafe could have been in any major city in Normark. And yet this country was full of magic and surprises, apparently. And capital, he reminded himself. A lot of rich citizens who need someone to invest for them, which is why ESB was here. Just as he was beginning to dream of 20% bonuses, Nider returned, bearing what looked like 3D cinema glasses. “Try these on,” he said. “They’re for tourists, but they’ll give you the basic idea.”
Ingmarrson took the proferred glasses and put them on, as Nider ordered himself a coffee. At first, Ingmarrson noticed not difference. But then he looked around, and saw that the man on the next table had a squirrel on his shoulder. Another lady had earrings that glowed a gentle blue. And the cash register on the counter had a small spider sitting on it, though the people working there paid it no attention.
“The squirrel is probably some basic charm the guy’s keeping going,” Nider narrated, as Ingmarrson experimented with lifting the glasses up and down in front of his eyes. “The earrings don’t do anything – magic glows is just the latest fad – but the spider on the cash register is a low-level defence spell. If someone tries to break it open to steal anything, they’ll get a nasty sting and faint.”
Ingmarrson took the glasses off, slightly disturbed by the vision. “And you see this all the time?”
“Since I was a kid. I had no idea what it was back then, but there was a lot less magic around then so I didn’t know I saw anything different from other people until I pointed out a funny looking dog to my then girlfriend, and she couldn’t see it. Turned out it was a guard spell, but I only found that out after she thought I was delusional and broke up with me.”

“Just how common is this?” Ingmarrson asked, as the coffees arrived. “You said it was growing in the population.”
“The stats aren’t officially released, but my brother works in the Magical Registry Office and he’s told me the rough figures. 45% of the population have at least the Sight, though 13% of those have no magical ability, like me. Pretty much everyone with magical ability has the Sight, or learns it soon enough. 38% have basic magical ability, though only 30% have it strong enough for it to be worth getting some any lessons. 22% can pass their magic test and get their full Mage License – that’s the sort of level needed to do basic work for Marvolo and other magical businesses. 16% have enough magic to learn basic combat magic, though not all of those are interested in doing so. If you can do basic combat magic the military are always interested in you, and if you don’t want an army job, the police or private security firms would love to have you. About half of those – so roughly 8% of the population – can reach Archmage level. They’re the sort of people who back in the day would have gone to an Academy and after they graduated, stayed on staff. Of those, just under 5% have really serious magical ability, starting to approach that of the Druids or High Druids back in the Academy days. So overall, magic is reasonably widespread now, which has really taken the wind out of the sails of attempts to get rid of all mages. That said, it’s a lot more tame than back in the day, and a lot of people who have it don’t bother to learn how to use it, and they certainly don’t all work in magic jobs. Most are just in normal jobs like you or me.”

“Thanks for this,” Ingmarrson said, as they finished their coffees. “I still find it all a bit ... odd, but at least I know what to expect now.”
“No problem,” Nider said. “It’s nice to be working with you guys, it keeps things interesting. Though I did have one question about Norsemen, if you don’t mind me asking. Is it true you don’t feel the cold unless it’s below -20?”
Ingmarrson burst into roaring laughter. He was not the only one with misconceptions, it seemed. “Well,” he began ...
Throwing in some more ideas of Gralan-Norse interaction (you must have employed dwarves, they love their finances :NCU: ), and fleshing out how magic has developed in recent years. Gralan's might want to take a read of it for that reason, since we haven't done much magic development under the Six Laws.
The character Andreas the Wise is on indefinite leave. But he does deserve a cool war ribbon.
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However, this account still manages:
Vincent Waldgrave - Lord General of Gralus
Manuel - CEO of VBNC. For all you'll ever need.
Q - Director of SAMIN
Duke Mel'Kat - Air Pirate, Melangian, and Duke of the Flying Duchy of Glanurchy
Cla'Udi - Count of Melangia
Vur'Alm Xei'Bôn - Speaker of Nelaga, Minister of Interior Affairs, and a Micron

Nick
Posts: 127
Joined: Wed Jan 26, 2011 4:03 pm

Re: Establishment in Gralus

Post by Nick » Sun Sep 25, 2011 2:05 am

There are only humans in Normark, with dwarves being more along the lines of having been in our pre-history times, but if they exist in Gralus then by all means :).

Andreas the Wise
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Joined: Tue Nov 23, 2010 11:40 pm

Re: Establishment in Gralus

Post by Andreas the Wise » Sun Sep 25, 2011 2:20 am

Yeah, Dwarves are one of the main non-human races in Gralus, which is why I assumed you'd have them as employees.
The character Andreas the Wise is on indefinite leave. But he does deserve a cool war ribbon.
Image
However, this account still manages:
Vincent Waldgrave - Lord General of Gralus
Manuel - CEO of VBNC. For all you'll ever need.
Q - Director of SAMIN
Duke Mel'Kat - Air Pirate, Melangian, and Duke of the Flying Duchy of Glanurchy
Cla'Udi - Count of Melangia
Vur'Alm Xei'Bôn - Speaker of Nelaga, Minister of Interior Affairs, and a Micron

Nick
Posts: 127
Joined: Wed Jan 26, 2011 4:03 pm

Re: Establishment in Gralus

Post by Nick » Sun Sep 25, 2011 9:20 pm

Indeed, it works out rather well because they are present in our mythology. In particular, one dwarven king is allegedly responsible for the construction of an ancient castle still in use today in Normark, http://forum.normark-mn.co.cc/viewtopic.php?f=73&t=203

I find it an interesting idea that perhaps the dwarves originated in the mountains of Normark and migrated to Gralus with the rise of menfolk as the dominant race of the region.

Andreas the Wise
Posts: 2189
Joined: Tue Nov 23, 2010 11:40 pm

Re: Establishment in Gralus

Post by Andreas the Wise » Sun Oct 02, 2011 11:13 pm

They're one of the six races our early myths say were there from the start (humans arriving soon after), but that's not to say they aren't connected to the Normarkian ones.
The character Andreas the Wise is on indefinite leave. But he does deserve a cool war ribbon.
Image
However, this account still manages:
Vincent Waldgrave - Lord General of Gralus
Manuel - CEO of VBNC. For all you'll ever need.
Q - Director of SAMIN
Duke Mel'Kat - Air Pirate, Melangian, and Duke of the Flying Duchy of Glanurchy
Cla'Udi - Count of Melangia
Vur'Alm Xei'Bôn - Speaker of Nelaga, Minister of Interior Affairs, and a Micron

Nick
Posts: 127
Joined: Wed Jan 26, 2011 4:03 pm

Re: Establishment in Gralus

Post by Nick » Sun Oct 02, 2011 11:26 pm

Norse* :P

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