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Barsh-yin-Binder

This is the last civilized city that Alfonso visits before he sets out into the wilds of the Ural Mountains in search of Dormia. Of course, calling Barsh-yin-Binder civilized is a bit like calling a Great White shark tame. Barsh-yin-Binder is a city that time has left behind. It is a place where horses and buggies, muskets, foot-powered sewing machines, lanterns, and phonographs are still considered "new technologies." It must be said, however, that the city wasn't always so backwards. The city's many domed buildings are hints of its once great past. In fact, they date back to the Kopalnik civilization.

As legend had it, the Kopalniks were miners who came to the Urals in search of gold, and they found enormous quantities of it in a range of foothills just five miles due north of modern day Barsh-yin-Binder. As their fortunes grew, the Kopalniks soon needed a seaport from which they could export the gold that they mined, and so they founded the city of Barsh-yin-Binder and made it the commercial hub of their empire. For several centuries the Kopalniks prospered and they used their wealth to build roads, aqueducts, sewers, stadiums, and great domed buildings whose roofs were coated in gold.

Then, sometime around 500 B.C., the gold ran out. As prosperity oozed out of the city so did law and order. Theft became common. Roads deteriorated. Water stopped flowing in the city’s aqueducts. And the Kopalnik army, which had once inspired fear and awe, dwindled in size and became lazy in its ways. Word of all of this soon spread and, before long, barbarians from the south began moving toward Barsh-yin-Binder. These barbarians came from a region known as Dragoo and they were often referred to as the “Dragoo People” or simply the “Dragoonya.”

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