The South Tonight
The Antipodean summer rolls gently on. Not willing to keep the fun to themselves, Australia has decided to very generously share its heatwave with us in New Zealand, and as a result, the country's wondering how to cope with the hideously oppressive high twenties. As it is too hot out there, I thought today I would bring you all to Gerrise, one of Vodeo's great cities, where the mercury is currently in the high thirties and nobody's batting an eyelid.
Gerrise (that's "ja-REEZ") sits about 150 kilometres south-south-east of Saviso, and is the capital of the province of the same name (just to keep you on your toes). Often overshadowed by its much larger sisters to the north, the city is nevertheless one of Vodeo's principal cities, and not simply by virtue of having a Parliament building on Aulsebrook Square. You see, many years ago when it was founded, Gerrise was just a muddy little fishing village on St Austell's southern coast. In time, though, the it began to grow at a modest pace, supported more by the farms and orchards that began to spread out into the Western Valleys. From these humble beginnings the city blossomed, and by the end of the 1840s, it could boast a population of some 48,000, a very respectable figure in those days even when compared to the likes of Saviso, Holme, and the burgeoning Silverton, then St Austell's second-largest city.
And then it happened. Gold!
The City of Gold
The discovery of gold in a river deep in the Gerrise Mountains in 1852 brought thousands of prospectors flooding to Gerrise from all over the world. The mountains, which until then had been barely charted on account of their ruggedness, were overcome by sheer force of will and overwhelming greed. The Garnet River, upon which Gerrise sits, was perfect for funnelling men and materials into the interior, and before 1853 was out, a railway line linked Gerrise with Ashbourne, around 30 kilometres to the west (though the rest of the trip had to be made on foot or stagecoach). Gold mining towns sprung up all over the place, and while this all took place, Gerrise was sitting pretty, making plenty of pounds off the great influx, and improving the city at a rapid clip as a result. At the time of Consolidation in 1860, Gerrise's population had leaped to over 120,000, making it Vodeo's fourth-largest city, a title it held until the 1870s when Avington regained its spot; Gerrise has retained fifth place since then.
All good things must come to an end, however, and in the early 1860s the gold began to dwindle. The Gerrise goldfields had yielded much more gold than anyone had anticipated, and in the process had made St Austell, and by extension Vodeo, fabulously wealthy, but while there were still reports of small strikes, the spotlight had since moved to other places, such as Storbada and Victoria to the north, and the Googie Mountains near Avington. Nevertheless, the incredible population growth had prompted not just a demographic change to the city and region, but also presented a question of identity. The plight of the miners, who were mostly poor and worked in conditions best described as "inhumane", had rallied public support to their cause, and in the 1850s and 1860s there was a great clamouring for change. As new political ideas swirled, Gerrise turned into a hotbed of political activism, which led to clashes with police. Reform was in the air, and while the St Austellian Parliament passed new laws and regulations, there was still a feeling that it wasn't enough. Following Consolidation, the interests of the Southland (as it was known at the time) had to be weighed up against those of the northern provinces as well - no longer was it Saviso balancing Gerrise's needs with those of Silverton and itself.
The mood in Gerrise in the 1860s quickly turned to one of independence - not from Vodeo, but from St Austell, of which it was still a part. While Gerrisites had been somewhat dissatisfied with Saviso calling the shots in the 1850s, they found that getting Saviso to budge was relatively easy compared with getting support from the northern provinces, who despite the spirit of Consolidation that had enveloped the country at the time, were still in something of a tribal mindset - the North above the South (and vice versa). While talk of separating Gerrise from the rest of St Austell had been around since the gold rush had begun, it really began to gather steam in the 1860s as Gerrise struggled to get its share. Saviso hadn't been willing to let go of its share of Gerrise gold during the rush, but with the boom ending and more pressing matters to attend to, the idea of separation became more palatable. Parliamentarians from around the country eventually agreed, and on November 1, 1865, Gerrise separated from St Austell to become its own province. Huzzah for Gerrise!
Gerrise had won her provincehood, but now it was time to get to work. The goldfields were quiet and the population was beginning to drop, but the treasury was full, so it was time to get to work. Not wanting the city's best years to have been behind it, great sums were thrown into finishing the railway line to Saviso, which had stalled owing to the awful terrain between the two; despite numerous setbacks, the line was completed in 1868 to much fanfare. Rapid industrialisation helped to stabilise the population, and the city continued to prosper, entering the 20th century with a population of some 190,000. Still, the popular opinion of Gerrise was that its zenith had come and gone, and that it would just sort of coast along in Saviso's shadow. To be fair, it did to an extent... until the world changed.
A Brave New World
In the mid-20th century, the Western Valleys were still known for their bountiful fruit, sugar, and cotton industries. While suburbia had already swallowed up sizeable tracts of the valleys, plenty of it was still rural when Main opened a new factory at Fruitvale in 1955. The Great War had spurred a great technological revolution, and with computers the next big thing, the Commonwealth, of which Vodeo was (and is) a part, sought to dominate the new field. Sizeable sums were invested in companies like Main to build these wondrous new machines and research new ones. By the end of the 1950s, Main had emerged as one of the world's leading computer companies, and its presence in Gerrise began to attract other companies, who during the '60s and '70s transformed the Western Valleys into a major hub of technological manufacturing, research, and innovation. Before the '60s were over, the Western Valleys were known the world over by a new name: Transistor Valley.
The tech boom had begun to push the population higher and higher at ever-increasing speed, but that was nothing compared to the personal computer boom of the '80s and '90s. With companies like Colour, Duckworks, and Century Semiconductor setting up shop alongside Main and Quick (who had started out making pianos, but by the 1950s were making radios and televisions), Transistor Valley became the place to be. Having a degree from the Drury University of Technology was seen as more valuable than one from the likes of the esteemed universities of Holme or Saviso, and working in the tech industry almost guaranteed an income higher than most other parts of the country. The advent of the Internet just fuelled the fire even more, with so-called "dot-com" companies sprouting like mushrooms in a similar manner to places like the Federal States. As is the case in business, most of the tech companies of old didn't live long enough to see the modern day, but they did help to build a new identity for Gerrise, which even today is still seen as something of a promised land for the technologically-minded. The city that was built on gold found new life on a silicon chip.
Gerrise has occupied a place in Vodeo's real-world history for well over a decade now. It was one of the first cities to cement a place on the map, which in 2005-06 was still in a state of flux. In the "old" Vodeo, Gerrise sat roughly halfway down the eastern side of a mountainous peninsula, roughly the same distance south of Saviso as it is today. Gerrise, like Saviso, gets its name from nowhere in particular, it was just a random name I thought up and liked the sound of, hence its appearance on subsequent maps, and, eventually, Vodeo 1.0. For many years, Gerrise was the country's third-largest city, with a population of around three to four million. Unlike the modern Gerrise, though, it didn't seem to serve any purpose - Saviso and Holme were commercial centres, Silverton was a hub for manufacturing, and Avington was a big tourist centre, but what about Gerrise? It wasn't until Gerrise appeared on the OGF map in 2017 that the idea of a tech industry took hold, and toward the end of 2018 it took off.
It might seem confusing to you that Gerrise shares its name with its province - it is quite literally "Gerrise, Gerrise". This goes back to the first "permanent" map of Vodeo, circa late 2006, when the country was divided up into eight provinces, of which Gerrise was one. It wasn't the only one, though - Saviso was the capital of Saviso province, and Holme was the capital of North Holme (which, unsurprisingly, was located next to South Holme, of which Tindalls Bay was the capital). The old provinces began to change in 2015, to the extent that Avalon, Gerrise, and Queensborough are the only provinces that have made it to OGF with their original names intact (although Queensborough went by "Queensboro" until last year). So while Saviso, Saviso and Holme, North Holme might be long gone, Gerrise, Gerrise remains as a quirk of Vodeo's history. Don't worry, Gerrise, New York, New York will keep you company (good lord, look at all those commas).
In my last entry, I said that I wanted to build up Gerrise, having barely touched it at all last year. I certainly didn't waste any time - demolition of the "old" Gerrise began on New Year's Day, and over the course of this month, the old city has been wiped away and replaced with a newer, nicer city. Of course, with the announcement of the first OGF City Sprint, I couldn't pass up the opportunity to build up Gerrise even more and showcase the results. I plan on building up the tech industry even more, maybe not to the same extent as Silicon Valley, but certainly with enough companies to give the city plenty of ammunition against whatever the Federal States will build in the future. Oh yeah, and roads and schools and stuff, too.
Let the City Sprint begin!
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Gold! There's gold out there, I tell ya!
A few things:
- High twenties? It got to 44 in Western Sydney last week. The electricity grid couldn't handle it well either. Thankfully, Vodeo should have experience dealing with such heatwaves.
- Seems like a nice city. I think you said one time that it was full of hipsters? In which case, it doesn't matter how nice the city is, I will steer clear of it.
- No offense, this is your country, you get to handle things, but 'Queensboro' is a much better spelling in my opinion. The removed letters spell 'ugh'... which is EXACTLY how I feel about the English language's excess of useless silent letters.
- Finally, maybe this entry should've been called Jeez Gerrise.
- Vodeans probably wouldn't even notice a heatwave rolling through, but send them to somewhere like New Ingerland for their summer, and they'll freeze over. Gerrise is based mostly on Wellington, with Melbourne and Silicon Valley playing a part, and all three areas have pretty decent hipster subcultures. Saviso and Holme can get pretty pretentious at times, but they won't be able to hold a candle to Gerrise. As for Queensboro/ugh, I did mull it over for a while, and the original spelling just seemed too American for a country that, despite being independent for almost 300 years, still has a strong Ingerish streak running through it. Jeez, Gerrise indeed. — ParAvion (talk) 06:43, 30 January 2019 (CET)
"Jeez Gerrise" was a HUGE missed opportunity, Par. I expect better from you. ;-) Also, it's freezing cold and snowing here in New York (where, coincidentally, we do in fact spell it Queensboro, as in Plaza—one of the most frequently malfunctioning stops in the whole crumbling MTA system. Hurrah.)
In other news: City Spring FTW! Really excited to see Gerrise blossom over the coming month. You stay in to avoid the hot, I'll stay in to avoid the cold, and we'll all get to a more interesting OGF world together. February is the shittiest month! -- Louis Walker (talk) 23:56, 29 January 2019 (EST)
- Yeah, yeah, "Jeez Gerrise", I know, I missed that one by a country mile. I'll keep that one in reserve for a future entry, though, it's too good to pass up. — ParAvion (talk) 06:43, 30 January 2019 (CET)