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The Duchy of Morigont


Introduction

Level 132, colloquially referred to as the Duchy of Morigont, is a large plane within the Backrooms that houses multiple settlements of significant populations. While it is a duchy, the Duke of Morigont is non-human, and thus Level 132 is not supervised by any human-led organization. Instead, most villages conduct affairs locally without affiliation to many of the large groups throughout the Backrooms, including the M.E.G. The five villages located within Level 132 boast a wide variety of cultures and climates, though the entire environment of the level is rather temperate. Due to this level being one of the more variegated, peaceful, and habitable levels within the Backrooms, several wanderers who have been able to arrive here have settled permanently. Thus, the M.E.G. has designated a survival difficulty of 0 to this level.

Level 132 is home to a population of approximately 800 people, spread throughout the villages. The Duchy of Morigont itself covers approximately 50 square miles (130 square kilometers). At the border of the Duchy are presumably infinite cliffs leading down into an unending white void, and thus no land outside of the Duchy itself has been discovered. While arable land is plentiful, the countryside is only inhabited due to personal preference instead of for farming purposes. This is due to the steady supply of food that comes from one of the anomalous properties of this level — its vast bazaars.

Every single store in Level 132 is, instead of being what one would expect from a village marketplace from roughly the High Medieval Era, consists of a copy of a random store from Earth that existed at any point in time. Ancient stores that have long since been destroyed on Earth are reproduced in full, selling intermittently-restocking wares that their historical counterparts sold in the past alongside modern-day franchises and old brands. It is not uncommon to see Grecian urns for sale in a booth next to the newest smartphones.

The wide variety of curios, in addition to the large amount of both historical artifacts and convenient utilitarian technologies, makes shopping the center of life for those who live in this level. It is by far the most widely-enjoyed form of entertainment, and the storefronts at village centers are always bedecked in spectacular and extravagant decorations. The economy in these settlements are purely supported by bargaining because of the unique value placed on different goods in this level. Equivalent monetary value on Earth is proverbially thrown out the window here, because expensive items sold in stores restock as often as common items do, and do not require the processes to procure them that make them expensive on Earth. Instead, goods are valued based on people's personal collections. For instance, a diamond ring would be worth an apple if the person bartering for the apple needed an apple to complete their collection of fruits, and the person bartering for the diamond ring needed a ring to complete their collection of jewelry.

Because shopping is the main attraction in the villages, the communities are extremely close-knit and are not open to invitations to outside groups. Care has been taken into making the streets and especially the plazas and squares of the villages aesthetically pleasing. Small gardens and several benches, chairs, and tables can be found strewn across the cobblestone roads, as most traffic is pedestrian. Restaurants are the most common type of store encountered in Level 132, and thus each village hosts a vibrant culinary scene with cultural dishes that vary by village. Festivals are also extremely common, and each village has developed their own festivals. These festivals are centered around the celebration of material goods with certain themes — for example, Lumiria's Festival of Phones, and Pollisville's annual BikeFest. During these festivals, many members of the community show off their related collections.

A large emphasis is placed on collecting certain types of items. Those with the largest collections of a certain type of object, or those with the most variety of many different categories, are generally held in higher regard. Collections of objects are often accrued through careful bargaining and trading. Occasionally, cross-village festivals are held where each of the five villages showcase their various specialty wares and goods. This is the most common way inhabitants expand their collections by trading for goods that come from the other villages. Those who have the largest collections of each of the five villages then compare their numbers, and the person with the most comprehensive collections then visits the Duke of Morigont to compare their collections to the Duke's very own. As of this writing, not a single human has ever consolidated enough items to outperform the Duke himself, who is the most avid collector of all the inhabitants of Level 132.


The Villages

Pollisville


The Town of Clothing
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Population: 57
Climate: Slightly chilly temperate forest
Primary Product: Clothing


Pollisville is the smallest and least populated of the five villages. Situated to the west of Morigont, this small village has a plentiful amount of clothing stores. As such, much of their culture revolves around presentation and appearances. Pollisville is by far the most decorative of the five, and every house comes equipped with several repurposed trinkets that have been accumulated through bartering and displayed as ornaments.

The fashion scene in Pollisville is far more elaborate than any of the other villages, as clothes from every time period wax and wane in popularity. Many civilians claim that the popular style and time period changes every few months or so. In one instance, Iroquois deerskin shirts and kilts were popular, and in another instance, it was traditional Chinese Hanfu. Oftentimes the clothing style of choice reflects the original culture and ethnicity of the most accomplished collectors in Pollisville, out of respect for that person's roots. In everyday situations, however, villagers usually wear a combination of many different clothing styles from vastly different cultures and time periods at once in a flamboyant show of experimentalism. Notable examples include wearing a magician's top hat, a Roman toga, and ripped jeans, and wearing pantaloons accompanying a trenchcoat.

Surrounding Pollisville are several fields of flowers that are grown and harvested to create natural dyes. Many of the stores in Pollisville also offer dyeing services. It is considered a rite of passage into adulthood to dye a shirt, and those who wish to become citizens of Pollisville must learn how to dye a shirt in order to join. Pollisville's streets are also filled with many flowers, and almost every citizen has a personal flower garden for convenient access to natural dyes.

In terms of food, Pollisville deems presentation to be of more importance than taste. Even casual and cheap goods are heavily decorated, and several bakeries specialize in food decoration. Wanderers are not encouraged to try the more experimental Pollisville cuisine, as so much focus is put into presentation that there is no guarantee the food is safe to eat or even edible.


Merria


The Town of Architecture
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Population: 89
Climate: Warm and humid woods
Primary Product: Building materials


Merria is the second-smallest and second-least populated of the five villages. It is the southernmost village, located in the far south region of Morigont. Because of this, Merria also has the warmest climate. The architecture style of Merria's several buildings is much more varied than any other village. When Merria was first found when Level 132 was first discovered, it only contained a few small townhouses and stores around the square. Merria today is much more expansive, and besides the original buildings, every other building in Merria is completely custom-made and built by its residents. It is not uncommon for a resident of Merria to have large extravagant houses, or own multiple on a certain street.

Merrian residents are often professional or hobbyist architects, builders, engineers, and more. This is because many of the stores in Merria sell tools, building materials, and landscaping paraphernalia. Houses in Merria are constructed using materials gathered from these places to suit the builders' personal tastes. While some houses are less structurally sound than others, there are a multitude of well-crafted and lavish villas that dot the landscape. Many Merrian residents often construct their houses to be as big as possible, given that there are no height or space regulations that would be present in a normal modern city. This turns Merria's streets into windy and twisted alleyways between experimental and often irregularly-shaped structures.

While there are several inhabitants of Merria that do not build, (mostly relatives, lovers, or friends of those who do) if one wishes to join Merria and construct a house, one must prove that they have the sufficient skill to create an abode that does not, at the very least, endanger anyone due to poor quality. This is partly why Merria remains a very close-knit but exclusive community, as those who do not have the knowledge to build their own structures are not allowed in if they do not live with someone who does.

The citizens of Merria have access to a type of collection that the other civilians do not: houses. During one of the many festivals in Merria, citizens will often host building competitions where individuals or families will construct their own buildings near the outskirts of town. Due the frequency of these events, Merria is full of houses and structures that are either completely uninhabited or owned by citizens but never used. Houses are treated almost like any other purchasable object. A rising trend in Merria is portable and vehicular housing, because these houses can be traded in cross-village festivals for other premium goods.

The food in Merria is often very bland and standard, as unlike other villages, simplicity is lauded in the cuisine here. This is because citizens are often busy working on new housing projects and thus prefer simple meals and snacks they can consume while working. There are few restaurants here, instead replaced with delis and bakeries that sell easily portable and preparable pastries and confections. Regardless, Merrian cuisine is still rather palatable and quaint in a certain sort of way.


Fosran


The Town of Food
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Population: 142
Climate: Cold semi-tundra
Primary Product: Food and drink


Fosran is a moderately populated village that lies near the north border of Morigont. Fosran contains the most restaurants out of any of the five villages, including several of the only restaurants from specific regions or time periods. Despite its rather cold temperatures, Fosran citizens enjoy a warm life due to cuisine there being, for the most part, served hot. Those who enter Level 132 often opt out of choosing to settle in Fosran due to its colder temperatures and dreary climate, and so many of Fosran's original houses remain empty. There are more restaurants in Fosran than is needed to feed its population, and so there is always a surplus of food.

The more exotic and rare a food is, (especially if it is historical, only found in Fosran, or found in what would be an expensive restaurant) the more popular it is in Fosran. Many citizens make it a point to gorge themselves on the most avant-garde of gourmet dishes instead of collecting them — cake is an especially esteemed delicacy. This often leads to citizens of Fozran not possessing the grandest of culinary collections due to consuming most of the items instead.

The city center of Fosran is permanently filled with the scents of traditional and modern food alike and almost all restaurants have developed an outdoor, social dining environment. Wanderers who end up in Fosran often find it reprehensible to eat so much, but in time they begin to become accustomed to the Fosran tradition of eating four meals a day instead of three - the fourth being a meal enjoyed during the nighttime called secondary supper. Many Fosran citizens also have a different sleep schedule than those of other villages because of this. During midnight, the streets of Fosran are still lively as the scents of grilled delicacies and sweet deserts fill the chilly air.

While extravagant, varied, and rich, there are several foods in Fosran that are not entirely safe for consumption. In an attempt to use to surplus food to add variety to the culinary scene and prevent it from going stale, there are many amateur and professional cooks alike that create increasingly experimental dishes. Based on the experience of the chefs preparing the meal, Fosran fare may not be entirely safe to consume. It is generally best to stick to more reliable dishes that are known to be palatable if one should feel pressured to try a dish that appears inedible.


Luscio


The Town of Knowledge
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Population: 256
Climate: Semi-tropical forest
Primary Product: Books


Luscio is the second-most populated village in Level 132, and also the easternmost. Luscio maintains a high population despite many of its residents moving out in order to join the other villages in the level. The main feature of Luscio is its very competitive education scene, in which several of the schools in Luscio compete to collect various items of knowledge, such as books, scrolls, mathematical devices, historical records, and such. The most common stores in Luscio are bookstores, and oftentimes these bookstores sell prints of books and other items used to record information (such as the Peruvian quipu) that have no surviving copies on Earth. The older a recording device is, the higher the value placed upon it is.

The reason many of its citizens leave Luscio after graduating from one of its schools is because all of the schools in Luscio provide classes that prepare civilians of all ages to pursue interests related to the specialties of the other villages. However, those who stay often become teachers, work in the bookstores, or man the other stores, many of which barter with school supplies. There is fierce competition between students of each school, and thus the population is socially divided. There is a great schism between students of different schools, as cross-school interaction may lead to accidentally revealing information that could be used against a student's school.

Another thing for travelers to Luscio to note is that food is paid for twice — first, a small fee is paid to be given the price, name, and ingredients of the food, and then a second additional price is paid to order it. This is also consistent with other stores that offer menu-like selections for their items, but this style of ordering and bartering is ubiquitous throughout all the restaurants located in Luscio.

While the majority of the Luscio population consists of adolescents and young adults, there are several older adults that also populate the village. Wanderers of all ages are welcome to join Luscio at any time, and there is no specific trial that one needs to pass, unlike some of the other villages. However, schools will often fight to enroll new wanderers, as people of all ages can be enrolled in school at any time. Wanderers who are professionals in certain fields, especially those that are not taught in Luscio schools, are highly sought after, as are new citizens from other villages.

The architecture style of Luscio is reminiscent of very antiquated university campuses. Fashion in Luscio is rather standard and uniform, as all students wear their school's uniforms at all times when in public spaces. In Luscio, civilians attempt to make themselves appear as plain as possible in order to not give away any free information about themselves to any strangers passing by. As such, Luscio's community is notoriously less interconnected than that of the other villages.


Lumiria


The Town of Technology
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Population: 324
Climate: Warm countryside
Primary Product: Electronics


Lumiria is the largest and most populated village in Level 132. It is also the most technologically advanced, as it is the city with the highest number of modern stores in the level. Lumiria is located near the center of Morigont, and therefore it is also the village that hosts all cross-village annual festivals.

Lumiria's specialty is electronics of all kinds. Because of the size of Lumiria and the variety of stores encountered, village life in Lumiria is full of modern amenities. Houses in Lumiria have working showers, flushing toilets, televisions, modern kitchen appliances, and laundry machines. Computers and smartphones are also able to be bartered for here, though the WiFi signal is rather inconsistent. Lumiria's stores also contain modern establishments catering to the specialties of other villages — 21st century clothing stores, restaurants, construction stores, and bookstores. However, streets are still made of cobblestone and Lumiria lacks any form of vehicular shops.

Because of the higher technology level, citizens of Lumiria are able to enjoy comforts and conveniences of life that are not available in other villages. This is partly why it is the most populous village in Level 132. Due to all basic necessities being taken care of, Lumirian citizens spend their time enjoying modern hobbies made possible by the items on sale. Such hobbies include playing video games, photography, drawing and painting digitally, vr experiences, and more. Oftentimes Lumirian citizens do not contain the same drive to collect as many objects as possible as the citizens of other villages, as they seem to be rather content with the amount of accommodations that they already possess.

Several Lumirian citizens also find it pleasurable to browse the M.E.G. database. The WiFi connection and safe location of Lumiria allows wanderers who find themselves in Level 132 to have a place to rest and begin to document all that they have experienced. As such, though Lumiria, like the rest of the villages in Level 132, freely chooses not to associate with the M.E.G., much of the information that the M.E.G. database is based upon comes from the reports of wanderers stationed in Lumiria.

In the outskirts of the village is the Duke's Palace. While referred to as a palace by the Duke himself, its appearance is more similar to that of a Norman 11-12th century keep. The Palace is not open to visitors except during the annual cross-village festivals, upon which the Duke will personally invite the most accomplished collector from each of the five villages into the keep. However, while the Palace's doors remain closed, the Duke himself is often seen among the city streets of Lumiria, and on several occasions he has eagerly bartered with the inhabitants.


The Duke


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Hand-drawn sketch of the Duke by a civilian of Lumiria.

The Duke of Morigont is a humanoid entity that resides in Level 132. He is often amiable and spontaneous and interacts with humans very casually. He possess a great amount of intelligence and is capable of speaking any language, historical or otherwise.

The Duke is easily distinguishable even in a crowd due to his tall stature, large and unique crown, and his signature flowing red robe. He wears a golden mask over a deep purple pointed face. His legs are covered in a shadowy substance and appear almost intangible, with many black wisps of some kind of vapor rolling off his limbs and emanating from his body. Despite his slightly otherworldly appearance, he is quite friendly and cooperative to inhabitants of Level 132 and visitors alike. Visitors to Level 132 will often be approached by the Duke, who will inspect one's belongings before offering to barter for several items visitors possess. Declining politely is always an option. The Duke will also show visitors the exit if prompted.

Despite his otherwise unassuming personality, the Duke has a penchant for ostentatious presentations during annual cross-village festivals. He is partial to performances and plays from a wide breadth of cultures, and thoroughly enjoys attending, hosting, and sponsoring them. At the zenith of each festival, the Duke will call five people, one from each village, up to the stage. These people are always the people the Duke considers the most accomplished collectors of their respective village.

At the end of the festival, the five selected people will accompany the Duke back to his private estate. Those who enter the Palace's premises are never seen again, and thus this allows for new people to take the previous collectors' place after they visit the Duke. It is widely accepted in Level 132 that when the Duke takes the five away, he bets against them - if their collections are larger than his, then he will abdicate the seat to the person with the largest collection. If none of their collections can surpass his, he adds their possessions to his own vast trove of items and they are forced to leave the level.


Exits and Entrances:

Level 132 can commonly be entered through Level 10 by entering one of the towers inhabited by the Archers. Secondly, Level 132 can also be entered by traversing the forest of Level 302 for an extended period of time.

The Exit to Level 132 can be found in Lumiria, in a large hollow tree trunk growing in the center square. Entering the tree trunk will take wanderers to a random location in Level 10 or Level 21. Additionally, there is an exit out of Level 132 in the Duke's Palace, but it is currently unknown where this leads to, as the collectors that manage to access it have all electronics confiscated them as part of their payment for losing their bet to the Duke, and thus their whereabouts are unknown.

Additional Information:

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