Songbell and Annies

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Hello! I’m not here normally, due to my city’s neutrality, so allow me to introduce myself as one of Songbell’s current council members and ambassador. I know many of you town leaders have gathered here today have your reservations on Songbell’s stance on Annies as a human town, and have called me here specifically to discuss this. I’m here to tell you that you’ve got nothing to be worried about! I’ve had a few of my people on the streets talk with the people and compiled a list of notes, combined with what my own staff have told me and my own personal experiences.

Despite being a dominantly-human town, Songbell is on relatively good terms with Annies in general. Take it from me we love the Annies we’ve got in the town, even though the intensity of our love varies a bit. I’ve got a little kid who gets really excited whenever she sees one showing their blessing’s ears and tail, though... at least now she asks them before trying to pet them. Annies are also a good part of the reason Songbell can stay afloat, so actually it’d be rather counterproductive to be on bad terms with them. We actually depend on you lot quite a bit.

I’ll start by addressing how currently most Annies present in the city are not permanent residents of the town. As much as I hate to admit it, our city relies a lot on trading with others in order to survive. It’s rather in our best interest to keep ourselves neutral around you all. The most you’ll ever see out of us is that some of us might come off a little cold and formal when dealing with visitors. There’s no real discrimination to be had against that. I will admit that there is no law in place prohibiting sellers from denying Annies a sale, but that’s simply due to a law stating that a seller may refuse sale for any reason. This usually comes up with a few Annies who have actually brought human slaves into the town. Ya gotta give us a break on that one. I mean, who has the audacity to do that? Not even the Annies in town really sell much to them! Then they come to the office and complain and feel so entitled and blah, blah, blah.... Ahem. Moving on.

A lot of Annies come to Songbell for its recycling as well. Our recycling industry allows them to sell what they consider junk to us and we can turn that into something usable again, all the while turning a profit for ourselves. We also pay Annies for their magic in order to charge our city’s crystal-powered central heating system, allowing us to do everything from heating our homes to running our forges without burning a single tree! We have a system to figure out how much magic they’ve given us and what we believe to be a fair exchange rate for it. We don’t have enough magic-using permanent residents to support this on our own, and while we have a waterwheel system to produce magic energy using the river, unfortunately our usage has exceeded what the river can give us on its own. We didn’t want to just beg for magic or destroy the environment we worked hard over generations to construct, so we thought for a long time and came up with this system so that everyone wins!

Some Annies come here to open shop from time to time as well. Merchant’s Corridor provides a guaranteed space for travelling merchants to set up shop and vend to us. We’ve gotten a rather large variety of them, from large merchant convoys that travel the continent to independent sellers carrying individual knicknacks. There are many who enjoy keeping an eye out for for interesting sellers and snatching up rather similarly interesting buys. While there are some humans from other towns that set up shop here, many of them are Annies, thanks to the increased difficulty of travel for those without a blessing, especially after the meteors fell and damaged many of the roads our human traders. We also rely on them a lot for delivering to remote climates with harsher conditions that many humans would shy from.

Most of the Annies I’ve talked about so far are the ones that stay for one or two weeks at the most. However, there are a good many that stay in town for much longer. There are many Annies who currently attend the university in our city. While we don’t exactly have much on magic to speak of, there are still many classes that Annies attend. Many of them come to mathematics or physics in order to gain a better understanding of how the world works and apply it to their magic. Others come here and take chemistry classes and apply it to alchemy and potion-making. Some even come here to learn trades like pottery and woodworking, or to improve their writing in our liberal arts department. Most of them stay in the dorms side-by-side with our human students and often they get along just fine. Those who don’t get along are treated like any other feuding roommates and separated as necessary. Unfortunately in all our years the number of engineers who have come to us for a full degree can be counted on our fingers, but some do take an engineering class or two when training to be an airship technician.

I think, though, you’re probably MOST interested in our own permanent resident Annies. I’ll say there aren’t many of them compared to our human population, but we really do appreciate them all. Some of them have immigrated, whatever reason that may be, while others are born and raised here. Most of the ones that move here tend to prefer living in the fields outside the city, but there are many that still live in the city proper. They have an oddly wide variety of professions among them, too. Among our Annies we’ve got farmers, store owners, schoolteachers, special forces members, and even professors at the college, to name a few. I hear one even heads a church in the city! The Annie children go to the same schools and have the same requirements as the other kids, though typically once the child receives their blessing any Annies on the staff are encouraged to ensure the child has the opportunity to learn anything they’d need to learn as an Annie that we humans can’t really help with, such as magic and connecting with their blessings. We have several tailors in the town that can help them make an outfit that fits their blessing, too! There are also Annies that help us in our research departments, too, to develop more efficient and less-impactful methods of production in various fields! We all advance together as one!

...I suppose I should say there is one dark stain on this happy little picture I’m painting. I really don’t like having to discuss it, but I cannot keep this from you in good faith: there are… rumors flying about of a few Annie children who were kidnapped for the black market when they strayed too far from their parents. This is in addition to other kidnapping cases of human children that we have not solved, for those involved seem to be very good at keeping a low profile. We’re looking into the matter but the case has gone cold since we have no leads. We have suspicions that people leaving the city are the most likely targets but we cannot verify this claim either as none have reported such a thing occurring. But we are looking into it as best we can to see how much truth there is in these rumors and our police has stopped many more crimes before they could even happen!

But that one negative point doesn’t change the fact that we really do wish to maintain a positive relationship between humans and Annies overall within our walls. Just because we’re a neutral city doesn’t mean we have to be unfeeling. We love progress, we love moving forward, and progress always happens fastest when we all work together! I hope I’ve cleared up any doubts you might have had about us and continue any existing support like always. If you have any questions I’ll gladly answer them. Thank you for all the time you’ve given me today!

Founder 121GWJolt | Coded by rollingpoly
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