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Aving Fun in Avington

Everyone rejoice! Today we depart Saviso and head north on the M1, stopping at intervals along the way for rest, refreshment, and to take selfies in front of amusingly-designed public conveniences. As we make our way along the coast, see the 200-foot flood markers as we pass through Havilland. Wave to the Queen as we pass Holme, and raise a glass to Brynderwyn and its rum distillery. Over the Gateway Bridge into Avalon we go, and in the distance we can just make out the Commonwealth Space Centre near Landsborough. And at last we see our destination, Avington, the capital, tour bus tickets price two guineas.

Avington is one of Vodeo's oldest cities, the first settlers having set up camp at Picton in 1608. Following the Ingerish conquest, a new town was established at the confluence of the Avalon and Durham Rivers, where water was more plentiful. Time went by and Avington flourished into a thriving port town, and when Avalon was separated from Cambria as its own colony in 1654, it was named the capital. Unfortunately an economic downturn and financial problems saw the colony go bankrupt in 1662, at which time the colony was merged back into Cambria. In the early 18th century the city became a port of call for visiting pirates and privateers (although not to the extent of Brynderwyn and Port Elizabeth), and during the Ingerish Civil War became an important naval port in the defence of the colonies against the Castellanese and Florescentians, who decided to start probing for weaknesses while Ingerland was otherwise distracted. In 1721, the Castellanese attempted to take Avington, but were repelled by the batteries at Durand Point, Cape Arno, and Cape Phoenix, the latter of which still stands today. Nearly 300 years later, the anniversary of the Repulse of Avington is still celebrated with the firing of cannons from Cape Phoenix.

Only a few short years later, Cambria followed St Austell out of the Ingerish Empire, and suddenly Avingtonians felt very vulnerable indeed. Whereas before they had been able to rely on the Ingerish army and navy for protection (well, what few soldiers and ships that hadn't been recalled back to Ingerland, at least), now they could only call on the pirates loyal to the Vodean Main, and they were all busy in the taverns and brothels of Brynderwyn and Port Elizabeth. Couple this with alarm at what the townsfolk saw as a betrayal of their sovereign, and the stage was set for the Avalon Rebellion of 1726, which saw townsfolk seize control of the Hatfield Barracks and issue a proclamation declaring Avalon an Ingerish colony. As a final insult to "the Traitors and Dogs of Holme" (just what the dogs had done was never ascertained), the flagstaff on Drury Hill was cut down. Soldiers were dispatched to quell the uprising, which led to a shooting match in the streets of Avington. Order was soon restored, but not before more than a dozen people were killed and the barracks burned to the ground. Holme managed to bring Avington to heel, but the city remained sympathetic to the Ingerish monarchy for some time - this was partly what led to Cambria introducing its own monarchy in 1729 that continues to reign to this day. As a sidenote, the Drury Hill flagstaff was re-erected, but was again cut down soon thereafter by persons unknown. Despite soldiers being sent up to the hill to protect it, the flagstaff was cut down again twice thereafter. It was over a hundred years before a new flagstaff was put up on Drury Hill again, and this time it was made out of iron to prevent being felled by anyone hyped up on the spirit of '26 (or any other spirits, for that matter).

Avington's history since then has been much more settled. The fertile Avalon River valley proved ideal for crop-growing, and while sugar was the crop in most other places around Cambria and St Austell, in Avalon it was cotton that proved the most successful. Vodean cotton has long been considered some of the best in the world, and in the 18th and 19th century it was this prestige that brought the world beating a path to Avington's door. Avington was subsequently the first city in Vodeo to begin the process of industrialisation, with cotton mills appearing along the Avalon River in the latter half of the 18th century, helping to jump-start the city's explosive demographic growth; indeed, so important was the cotton industry that by the 1780s and 1790s, the towns of Belvedere and Caterham had nearly overtaken Avington itself. Avington's industrial importance was eventually overtaken by Silverton, but cotton has remained a staple export of the region. Around this time, gold was discovered in them thar hills, and as the only port town close to the Googies, Avington stood to profit handsomely from the stampede of men armed with picks, shovels, pans, and hope (all of which the Googies destroyed).

In the 20th century, Avington became popular with tourists seeking its golden beaches and endless sunshine (fun fact - despite Avington and Saviso being similar distances from the equator, Avington gets far more sunny days than Saviso does), and with the rise of films, became a popular destination in which to produce movies. This movie-making spirit continues to this day - despite Holme and Saviso becoming more prominent in the Vodean film industry, it's still the number one city for the filming of pornographic movies. You won't read about that one in the travel books, I can tell you.

Following the Great War, Avington enjoyed a huge demographic jump, with suburbs spreading out across the valley and around Cape Phoenix toward Macquarie and Streigh. With the sprawl came motorways, and Avington got hooked big-time - Vodeo's first motorway was opened here in 1948, and since then motorway construction has continued at a brisk pace, even though the city is now questioning the wisdom of all its ribbons of concrete. Today it is a modern, cosmopolitan city, renowned for upmarket shopping, a vibrant dining scene, and of course, its beaches. Bring your sunblock.

Land and sea

Avington is unique among all the capitals thus far in that it's not based on anywhere in New Zealand. Instead, it's a mixture of four cities from across the globe - Brisbane, the Gold Coast, Cape Town, and Los Angeles. Geographically speaking, the city most closely resembles Cape Town (a city centre surrounded by tall hills and a handful of passes, with suburbs sprawling around the long and rugged Cape Phoenix) and Los Angeles (plains with even taller mountains off in the distance cutting the city off from the inland). Brisbane and the Gold Coast aren't yet evident, but they'll come into play later on when I map the coastal suburbs, in particular Calliope Bay and Macquarie.

While geography plays a large role in how cities grow, Avington is perhaps the most striking example of this. The city was established on the hilly eastern side of the Avalon River not just because of fresh water, but also because the flat western side was marshy and unsuitable for building. As building techniques advanced, the ground was drained and the city could expand westward. The mountains around Avington cut the city off from the north and west of the province, and so the city had to orient itself southward, where land was plentiful and easy to exploit. The Durham Pass was for a long time the only land route across the peninsula, but the landscape meant the road was narrow and twisty, so sailing around the Cape was a safer bet. When the railways arrived, Avington was the northern terminus, since putting a railway line over the Pass was simply out of the question for a long time. Eventually the funds were available to hack a railway line through the forest and land, and when the Avington-Macquarie railway opened in 1872, it was the key that unlocked the north - rather than sail goods down the coast, they could be rushed (at 30 mph) to Avington and further afield. In the 20th century the transport links north were improved, including new roads through the Dallow Pass and over the Bennett Saddle, and a rail tunnel north that sped up a good portion of the trip between Avington and Macquarie. But the roads have proved insufficient, and so a new tunnel is being built that will by the end of 2019 extend the M19 to Macquarie and provide a much-needed bypass of the city and some relief for the chronically congested Macquarie and Calliope Freeways.

Avington was never well-mapped in the paper days, with the CBD resembling an ordinary grid sat upon an endless plain. A few years later a small mountain range appeared in the distance, moving closer to the city centre with each re-do of the map. Today the Googies loom over the city on two sides, with the mountains of Cape Phoenix reaching around the city like a sleazy guy on a date in a drive-in theatre. Avingtonians live in perpetual fear that the map will someday be remade again, and their fair city will be pushed into the sea. Holme and Saviso may scoff, saying that it would be no great loss, but they would do well to remember that should Avington disappear beneath the waves from marauding mountains, so too will all those dirty movies.

Yes, each city in Vodeo pays its way somehow.

By order of the Lands Survey Department,
ParAvion (talk) 03:34, 20 July 2018 (CEST)

Comments go down here

Please affix your signature and timestamp. You sure sat up straight when you read about the dirty movies, didn't you?

...tour bus tickets priced two guineas. Two guineas?! Is there justice in the world?! Anyway, Avington looks like it's coming on really well, especially since it's only been around on the map for a few days. I especially like this since I'm looking forward quite a bit to seeing the interior and regional areas getting mapped. Even my country, being rather tropical as well, has a lot of environment just like this. Also, (and a delayed question from last bliki) what exactly is in the Museum of Sex?. FictiveJ (talk) 06:01, 20 July 2018 (CEST)

Two guineas is cheap, in Sydney the same sort of tour would cost the equivalent of about £3 to £3 10s. Then again, there's no shortage of tourists willing to part with their money (it also helps that none of them understand the £sd system, so they're fair game). As for Avington, it's been sitting there for more than a year, but it's only been in the last few weeks that I figured out how I wanted the city to look - until then, the CBD was going to be where Claremont and Lamington Bay are. To be honest, I've not really got many plans for the city's layout, and I can't fall back on old maps of the city like I could with Saviso since none exist showing the wider urban area (and certainly not laid out like this version of Avington is), so I'm just winging it. You asked me once, what was in the Museum of Sex. I told you that you knew the answer already. Everyone knows it. The thing that is in the Museum of Sex is the worst thing in the world. Am I telling the truth? Entrance tickets are 15/6, find out for yourself. — ParAvion (talk) 06:21, 20 July 2018 (CEST)
Honestly... (So 1 shilling = 1 AUD?) FictiveJ (talk) 06:38, 20 July 2018 (CEST)
A shilling is worth about 94 New Zealand cents, so right now about 86 Australian cents or 63 US cents. It can vary though, sometimes I'll base the shilling off its relation to the USD as 94 cents, sometimes NZD, and put it down to different prices between the real world and here. Mostly New Zealand though, since that's mainly what I base Vodeo off. — ParAvion (talk) 06:57, 20 July 2018 (CEST)
What's a guinea?
No, seriously though, I love it when people come up with background stories for their mapping and this was pretty entertaining to read, good job. --Eklas (talk) 07:28, 20 July 2018 (CEST)
A guinea was (and in Vodeo, is) 21 shillings, or one pound and one shilling (£1 1/-). When it existed it was a lot of money, and in Vodeo equates to just under twenty dollars (I should really sort out whether I want to align it to USD or NZD). As for the background story, truth be told, I made it up on the fly. Still, it gives me something to work with when mapping, doesn't it? — ParAvion (talk) 22:56, 20 July 2018 (CEST)
Oh, thanks for the explanation! Yes, at least you're Aving fun --Eklas (talk) 08:10, 21 July 2018 (CEST)
I too like when people think carefully of the background behind how things are placed on the map. It's an intriguing story. I'm curious, however, about its royal sympathizers. Any relics of that in monuments, statues, buildings, or streets? I think that could be an interesting twist. I assume that would make the travel books. :) — Alessa (talk) 02:37, 22 July 2018 (CEST)
To be honest, I hadn't really got up to that point, it was more just a basic frame of events to build upon and around. With that said, I do like the idea, but I would imagine that any monuments or what have you commemorating the royalists of Avington would be relatively recent, since for some time after Cambria's independence, the focus would have been on building the nation up as well as keeping Avington in line rather than commemorating those who fought back. Perhaps while Holme and Saviso had been warming to the idea of independence in the 1720s, Avington remained staunchly loyal to King and Empire. This would explain why the rebellion took place, and why Holme would have to expend a bit of effort in cajoling Avington into going along with its new direction. Avingtonians probably didn't want to reflect on the events of 1726 much out of embarrassment that they sided with Ingerland, but in recent years they have been more open in accepting what happened. Adelaide II is quite safe on the throne, however, since the city eventually warmed to the idea of a new monarchy and nowadays waves its flags just as patriotically as any other city.
One thing I forgot to mention was that while the history I wrote above was mostly thrown together for the bliki entry, there is a bit of real-life history in there. The constant felling of the Drury Hill flagstaff is based off a similar event that took place in the town of Kororāreka (now Russell), New Zealand, in 1844 and 1845. In short, local Maori objected to the shifting of the colonial capital to Auckland, and so decided to repeatedly have a crack at the flagstaff over the town. In my version, the town isn't destroyed, but it takes a lot longer for the flagstaff to re-appear on the hill. As a side note, Russell is also the basis for Port Elizabeth (see above), one of Vodeo's most famous pirate haunts. Not bad for a town of 800 or so. — ParAvion (talk) 14:28, 22 July 2018 (CEST)

Good job on the backstory BTW, it's exactly the sort of thing that can be lacking sometimes. I like where some of the stories were inspired from too. You've gone and raised the bar!--Turnsole80 (talk) 14:46, 24 July 2018 (CEST)

2017 February 26: An Introduction by the Lands Survey Department March 5: Noticing North Harbour March 23: Coffee and Relations April 18: Of Late I Think of Crafers April 30: Why is Roger So Jolly Today? May 4: Listen While I Play My Green Tahorine May 11: Of Motorways and Men June 21: Oh Helensvale! July 3: Parliamentary Conduct July 9: Diplomatic Insanity July 16: A Better Saviso Bradford July 21: Go Where the Rhodes Take You August 8: Get to the Point September 11: When Real Life Writes the Script September 24: Mapping Politics October 15: Breaking the Gridlock October 26: 390 Not Out December 12: Good Cheer and Googie December 31: That Was the Year That Was
2018 January 26: Do These Suburbs Make My City Look Big? February 7: Carry On Doctor March 15: Bordering on Madness May 1: Putting On the Pounds June 1: Further Adventures in Finance June 30: We'll Have a Gay Old Time July 20: Aving Fun in Avington August 15: The Country Members September 26: RADern October 3: Living History October 10: The Hauntings of Holme October 17: Is There Anybody Out There? October 24: If You Go Down to the Woods Today... October 31: The Evil That Men Do November 16: Crawl Out Through the Fallout December 22: There's No Place Like Holme for the Holidays December 31: Looking Backward, Moving Forward
2019 January 30: The South Tonight February 20: Jeez Gerrise March 31: The Angles of Aslington April 30: All the Rivers Run June 23: Consolidation and Crafers July 22: The Pirate Kingdom September 9: Every Which Way but Loose October 3: Tender Loving Care October 10: Mystery in the Mountains October 17: Blood, Sweat, and Tears October 24: Highway to Hell October 31: Supernatural Saviso December 31: 2020 Vision
2020 February 3: This Old Holme