Today is September 26, 2018, the 293rd anniversary of St Austell's declaration of independence from Ingerland. While St Austell takes the day off (in the midst of one of the wettest weeks this year), the rest of the country continues as usual. In Holme, the Queen is visiting a school for the disabled; in Silverton, Cobalt and Tace are busy building motor vehicles; and in Radern, the customs officials are keeping watch over the borders lest something detrimental to the Dominion gets in or out. Let us go to the southernmost part of Vodeo today and take a walk around Vadiorare's capital city.
Radern sits on the north-western shore of Lake Vadiorare, which is split between Vodeo, Hleziria, and Dania. It is by far the largest city on the lakeside, but its population of just over 107,000 pales in comparison to some of its larger neighbours like Silverton and Gerrise. Indeed, Radern is one Vodeo's more forgotten-about cities, which is unfortunate, given its strategic importance to the Vodean economy. You see, Radern sits upon a vital freight corridor linking Vodeo with Dania and Hleziria - the M8 between Silverton and Radern is one of the country's busiest freight routes - and its location on the "Vadiorare Triangle" means it's an important junction between the three countries.
Radern's history is a little unusual in terms of Vodeo's capital cities. For starters, it's the youngest of the capitals, having been established as Malvern in 1856 (more on that a little later), when most of Vodeo's capitals had already been established by the early 19th century. Second is the reason for its creation. Radern's wiki article goes into a bit more detail, but to give you a brief run-down, in the mid-19th century, the St Austellian government (remember, St Austell was a nation in those days, not a province - the province in question was Queensborough, but let's not confuse things) was concerned that Hleziria or Dania might seek to take the entirety of the Lake Vadiorare area for themselves. The region wasn't well mapped, having barely been explored since its discovery in 1714 on account of the local Vadiorare tribe being decidedly less than friendly to white explorers. This hostility was quite unusual, given that most of the tribes that inhabited Vodeo were more than accommodating (hence why Vodeo has historically had quite good race relations), but by the 1840s it was decided that tribes be damned, the flags of St Austell and Queensborough must be raised on the lake shore at all costs. Naturally, the Vadiorare tribe were highly annoyed and went to war. You can guess how that went for them.
While it was initially isolated and incredibly hard to get to (the Great South Road south of Hopetoun being a joke with an awful punchline), Radern succeeded thanks to the mining industry, with rich coal seams found all over the place. By the 1870s, Radern had become one of Queensborough's most prosperous centres, and in 1888 was named the capital of the new Vadiorare province. Commerce eventually surpassed mining in importance, and today there's not much mining activity in Vadiorare at all (with the notable exception of the Taranrata uranium mine). Radern encountered a bit of a slump in the first half of the 20th century, but by the 1950s it had bounced back. The M8 Vadiorare Highway and Lake Carder Dam were two of the province's biggest public works programs and required funds that the province just simply didn't have before, but were of utmost importance because the Great South Road was a white-knuckle journey and Radern was running out of power, respectively. Warford, north-west of Radern, was quite the boom town for a while. The opening of the airport in the late '50s finally provided a long-awaited air link to the rest of the country, and while passenger services to Radern ended more than 25 years ago, the city remains one of the most important hubs on the nation's railway network, thanks to the important marshalling yards at Uront and Chapelborough (I still need to fully map those out, come to think of it...).
These days, questions are being raised as to whether Radern is ready to face its history. The city was, after all, built upon the seized lands of the Vadiorare, and Captain Ernest Malvern, who had led troops into Vadiorare lands in 1850, has become demonised by some, and his statue in Gardner Square is now facing a rather precarious future. Protests led by native tribes, university students, and radical activists have pushed the issue to the fore, to the point where it became one of the biggest issues in the provincial election earlier this year. Radern is one of Vodeo's most staunchly left-wing cities ("Red-ern" has been a popular nickname for the city for well over a century), but the rest of the province is just as staunch in its conservatism, and with a clear line being drawn between Radern and Vadiorare this year, it seems that a solution to the question of the city's (and province's) identity will remain elusive for some time.
Radern is the constant butt of jokes from other parts of the country, but Radernians are a proud and hardy bunch, and like to get their revenge by soundly thumping any sports teams they come across. Vadiorare rugby teams in particular are not to be trifled with. Today, Radern is quite popular on account of its pleasant climate - situated up in the southern highlands, it enjoys cooler and less humid weather than its counterparts on the plains and coast. Those of you who are sick to death of the sticky heat of Avington, Holme, and Saviso might want to consider an inland trip before the dry season kicks in.
Lands Survey Report
Radern originally appeared on maps somewhere around late 2007 to early 2008. It's always been an inland city, but in those days had no lake, only a river that linked it to Welson and the coast near Holme (don't try and work it out on the modern map, this is going back to when Vodeo was shaped a bit more like the USA), and went by the name Malvern (as this version of Radern did between 1856 and 1880). In about 2015, Malvern was shifted to sit upon the brand-new Lake Vadiorare, was made the capital of the province named for the same, took the name Radern, and began a new life as a major border city. In 2017, Radern made its way to OGF, but for a short while was the capital of a principality of Vadiorare, had its street layout shuffled around a couple of times, and generally couldn't get its act together. Something had to be done.
Radern now is based predominantly on Taupo, New Zealand, and Adelaide and Bendigo, Australia - Taupo as a lakeside town, and Adelaide and Bendigo both providing some basis for the street layout. Dunedin Airport is the basis for Radern's, and even New Ingerland was thrown into the mix, with the Lands Survey Department ransacking Kingsbury and Williamsdene to try and figure out what pieces go where. Radern has been one of my most 'gridded' cities thus far, up there with Empire's End, since by the mid-19th century urban planning was all the rage and surveyors the great men of their time.
And now for the really good part. For many, many months now, I've been taking you around Vodeo, showing off all kinds of things from piratical Brynderwyn to the gentle countryside of Voces Shire. But Vodeo isn't all sunshine and rum as you may have been led to believe: ghostly apparitions, strange sightings, and places of pure evil are scattered across Vodeo, and beginning next Wednesday, I'll be bringing you five bliki entries that will chill you to your core. What tales have I to tell? Meet me in the Welcome Islands next week for the first instalment of Curious Vodeo, but only if you think you're brave enough!
Comments go down here
Please affix your signature and timestamp.
Radical politics debated every hour, on the hour.
- And that is why Grinders and Bluestone exist, just so Empire doesn't get complacent. But if it'll make you feel better, I'll add some Verona locations to Vodeo so that the Drabantian ex-pats have somewhere to go. — ParAvion (talk) 22:40, 26 September 2018 (CEST)
- It's Vodeo, everywhere is hot and humid. I really should do a piece on how air conditioning made modern Vodeo, since with humidity sitting in the 90s for a good part of the year, they'd need it. — ParAvion (talk) 22:40, 26 September 2018 (CEST)
Amazing work. I will think of the Vadiorite cane farmers next time I drink tea with sugar in it. (Eklas, that's unnecessary.) For the October series, will you be mapping new areas? FictiveJ (talk) 14:33, 26 September 2018 (CEST)
- Ah, don't mind him, he's just envious. All the towns and cities featured in Curious Vodeo already exist on the map, but some are more well-mapped than others. I'll be stopping work on Radern within the next couple of days to start sprucing up all the locations of the stories. I've been planning this for a great many months, so it's fair to say I'm very excited to show off my work. — ParAvion (talk) 22:40, 26 September 2018 (CEST)
- Curious Vodeo? Has someone been reading/listening to the Curious <city> series on ABC Radio? --Turnsole80 (talk) 16:06, 27 September 2018 (CEST)
- Funnily enough, I made that connection a little while ago. I've been known to binge-read the articles, but it was just a happy coincidence given I couldn't think of a decent name for the series (it was going to be "Haunted Vodeo", but one of the entries doesn't deal with the supernatural at all). "Curious Tales" sounds like some kind of cheap '50s magazine, so make it Curious Vodeo and off we go. Any better names will be welcomed. — ParAvion (talk) 14:15, 27 September 2018 (CEST)