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NE'ER-DO-WELL (Kingdom of)

Location: Sea of Dawn, southwest of the Isle of Dawn, north of the Pearl Islands. SD

Area: 21,699 sq. mi. (56,200 sq. km.), including Greater Ne'er-do-well 17,958 sq. mi. (46,511 sq. km.) and lesser Ne'er-do-well 3,741 sq. mi. (9,689 sq. km.).

Population: 25,000, including Crossroads (pop. 5,000). [Population figures are tentative, pending census. Ed.]

Languages: Alphatian (Alatian dialect), many other languages.

Coinage: Alphatian Standard: crown (gp), mirror (sp), judge (cp).

Taxes: Kleptocracy; officially no taxes are levied, the nation's income is derived from the proceeds of thievery. 10% of tax revenue goes to the Naycese treasury, and an additional 10% is spent on military forces in the name of the confederation.

Government Type: Monarchy heavily influenced by the thieves' guild, member of Nayce.

Industries: Fishing, smuggling, piracy, light agriculture (consisting mainly of people buying the farm), extortion, prostitution, gambling.

Important Figures: Koryn the Harpist (King).

Flora and Fauna: Because of the failure of the Zoo on Aegos long ago and the recent release of monsters from Gaity, creatures of any sort can be found here.

Further Reading: Dawn of the Emperors boxed set, previous almanacs.

Description by Vivianna Romanones.

This pair of none-too-fertile islands has what can only be described as a unique form of government, perhaps possible only within Alphatia's "anything goes" tradition. Here is a naked kleptocracy, a haven for pickpockets, smugglers, pirates, extortionists, and "normal honest criminals," governing the island through the institutions of organized crime. Here is individualism at its most extreme, where people openly use others to their own ends without regard for a common interest. It is said that the people of Ne'er-do-well have yet to find a culture they cannot corrupt or profit from. Ne'er-do-well is alternately "friendly to the world" and akin to a disease, needing the normal nations of the region to do the real work of providing order and civilisation but feeding off them. Lately pirates based in Ne'er-do-well have had a field day; the breakdown of central authority allowed them to raid at will, and only recently with the rise of the Thyatian and Naycese influence have their appetites been curbed. Still, they prey on shipping in the region, especially near the Pearl Islands and even Ochalea.