Things to know when traveling to The Stewardship.
The events depicted in "Tales of Tiberius" generally take place in the Tudorian Stewardship (“The Stewardship”), which is a country in the Anderheim (Fairy lands – see notes on “Area” below). It is theoretically possible to travel there from, say, New York. The following tourist information is presented as a public service.
How to get there and back: There is no regularly scheduled transportation between The Stewardship and the 'old world.' Most people travel to the Stewardship by accident after becoming 'lost' in the Bermuda Triangle. It is even more rare that someone makes the trip back.
What to see and do: Should you be fortunate enough to travel to Tudoria, it is unlikely you will be bored. Be sure and see the theater and museums in Port Elizabeth. Visit the Roman baths in Novillium. Many attractive Castles dot the countryside. Most of these are working castles, but visits can usually be easily arranged. See the great Tower of Vonair for an example of fine elven architecture. Sports abound. Check local listings for the next Joust or archery competition. The National Jousting title is usually in late June in Port Elizabeth. If in the North, visit the Walker family Vineyards. The Markets of Walsingham are noted for their fine selection of Elven, Dwarven, and Spanish Goods.
Alcohol, tobacco and firearms: There is no legal drinking age in the Stewardship or any of the bordering countries. Alcohol is still commonly used as a preservative, and consequently light alcoholic beverages are considered suitable for any age. As there are no cars, in the Stewardship, drinking and driving isn't an issue.. Improved sanitation standards in the Stewardship have recently resulted in improved availability of non alcoholic beverages including, apple juice, cold tea (“Sun tea”) and sarsaparilla. A fledgling temperance movement exists in some cities. Tobacco never really caught on in the Stewardship. Supplies are uncommon, but there are no legal restrictions on it's use. Smoking in public is frowned upon , but not to the extent common in American cities in the twenty first century. There are no legal restrictions on adults owing or carrying weapons, although rules of etiquette may apply. (e.g. a gentleman carrying a small sword in town wouldn't be remarked upon, but wearing a battle axe and plate armor into a china shop would attract attention. Walking around New York City in a trench coat with a violin case under your arm isn't illeagle, but it may get the attention of the constabulary. Ownership of a Long bow is generally required of all able bodied citizens.
Area: 175,000 sq Miles - a little larger than California (163,707 sq Miles) or Japan (143,939 sq miles) Note: the Stewardship is only one of several countries in the area. The fairy lands are at least the size of North America.
Population: 3.5 Million
Capital: Port Elizabeth
Government: For all practical purposes, an independent democratic republic, run by a senate who in turn elects a Chief Steward who serves as the acting head of state. The country is technically an English Colony held in trust for Queen Elizabeth (The first) who is nominally the official head of state. Residents are aware that Queen Elizabeth I is long dead, but refuse to officially acknowledge her death. This is the result of a political compromise reached when the current colonial charter was signed about one hundred and seventy five years ago. (A small old Roman colony was merged into the stewardship, opening the question of European allegiance in the event that normal relations ever resume. It was finally agreed the colonies would continue to be held in trust for Queen Elizabeth I and ONLY for Queen Elizabeth I.)
Unit of Currency: Steward's Shilling which equals one fifth of a one oz Spanish dollar or Crown. Very similar in appearance and weight to the classical English Silver Shilling or the American silver quarter, but the sliver content has been adjusted to allow for decimalization of the currency. 5, 10, 20 and 50 Shilling coins are in common circulation. Ten and 20 Shilling coins are a mixture of gold and silver. The economy is on a bimetal standard with an approximate fifty to one gold silver ratio. A shilling is approximately equal to a dollar or euro in value, (or it was before gold prices started shooting up. - editor, maybe two dollars per shilling now.)
Important notes on currency exchange: Most merchants will not accept 'old world' money such as American dollars, euros, or English pounds. Surprisingly, local banks will exchange shillings for dollars on a one for one basis (up to $10,000), though you may get a better deal out of coin collector. (This is done both to assist new arrivals and to provide the government a source of 'hard currency' in the event or renewed contact). Sadly no ATMs are available (see electricity below) and as the local banks have no relations with 'old world' banks, checks and credit cards are not accepted. Local banks do provide the usual banking services and you may open a local checking account, line of credit, etc. Be advised that most transactions are handled in cash. Checks and bank drafts are typically only used for large purchases (e.g. buying a house).
Electricity: None. The entire region (hemisphere?) is under a technological "ban" enforced by the magic of the elves. It is very important to turn off any electronics or steam engines prior to entering the region. Explosive chemicals are also not recommended (e.g. gunpowder). Plastics are not recommended for long term storage as they tend to rapidly degrade in this region. Soaps and medicines generally operate normally, but you are advised to avoid aerosols.
Cars: None, see electricity above.
Local transportation: Transportation tends to be expensive but there is a well developed stage coach system operating between the major cities. Ships also provide regular transportation between major ports. Carriages and Horses are available for sale or rental in most populated areas.
Immigration requirements: None.
Crime and local dangers: The local crime rate in the Stewardship is generally quite low, especially in metropolitan areas. Travelers in rural areas are advised to inform themselves of local conditions. Travelers should exercise caution in the border provinces as incursions from the fairy woods are by no means uncommon. Fairy folk can be quite dangerous. On no account should any traveler exit the Stewardship and enter known Fairy woods without proper guidance. The border regions are much safer than they used to be fifteen years ago. Increased patrols by the Rangers have all but eliminated highwayman activity in the Vonair province and regular stagecoach service is expected to begin soon.
Religion: The official state religion is Protestant-Anglican and over 75% of the population is a member of this church and attends services on a regular basis. While everyone pays a small church tax, the population is free to worship as they choose. About 18% of the population is Catholic and the rest are assorted other religions. (Jewish, Mormon, Islamic, Pagan, Atheist, etc.) Pagans should take note that "Devil worship" and "Witchcraft" are generally prohibited. Adherents are advised to either join an established Pagan movement or consult legal council. (Devil worship in this context refers to worship of known malignant entities. Witchcraft similarly has a specific legal definition and would generally refer to invocation of supernatural forces via malignant entities. Modern Druidic or Wiccan practices would generally not be prohbited, providing that they are not directed with ill intent towards another, but adherents are strongly advised to consult local legal council.) Please note that Atheists and Pagans are not well regarded by the local population.
Transnational Issues: The Stewardship is bordered on the North by a Nordic Constitutional monarchy, to the West by the Kingdom of the Elves and to the south by a collection of smaller city states typically referred to as “The Spanish Kingdoms” although they are not actually all Spanish. A western provence of the Stewardship is called the borderlands and was ceded to the Stewardship from the Elves by treaty with some restrictions. (i.e. changes in zoning laws and the regions land use must be approved by the Elf King.) The border lands touch upon the Kingdom of the Dwarves and an unsettled region of the fairy woods. The border between the fairy woods and the Stewardship is not well respected by fairy folk and incursions by dangerous and or hostile fairy folk (Goblins, Trolls, etc.) are common.
Ethnicity: Most residents of the Stewardship are of European ancestry, but there are enclaves of other ethnic groups, e.g. the Capital City of Port Elizabeth has a “Chinatown.” The City and Region of Wallsingham has a significant population of African Ancestry. A small minority of residents are not 'human' e.g. gnomes, trolls, etc. The Stewardship takes no official notice of Ethnicity of it's citizens.
Military manpower - availability: males age 15-49: 1,000,000
Military manpower - fit for military service: males age 15-49: 842,000
Military manpower - reaching military age annually: males: 26,500
Standing army: 33,600
Standing army & National Guard: 84,000