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The North Rise Again!

When you talk about the long history of Echain the things you hear the most about are the Grand Capital of City Central, the Great Library of Aberisk, the Lush Fields of Plainsdale or the old Trading Center of Southport. What you won't hear about is the small Island of Northport. Established during the early days of Echain in the shadow of the Voros Volcano, Northport have been a haven for those that wish to escape the constant skirmishes and turmoil that plagued the Central Island. Protected on all sides by the ocean and deemed unimportant by the Nobility due to the threat of Mt. Voros, this Island gained favor among those living there due to the rich bounty of minerals and fertile lands granted to them by the Volcano. But this blessing comes with a cost, although Voros is not considered active there are speculation that an eruption would critically damage the Island and due to the small size of the Island combined with it being cut off completely from the rest of Echain, the population of Northport have been struggling to gain a large enough population to be recognized as a Provence.

Northport's Fortunes are turning around! As a result of the Japanese Occupation, a fully functional and well constructed Airstrip is now located on the Northport. Although the Occupation Forces have cause many deaths and done a lot of damage to the country this airfield allows Northport to be connected to the rest of the country and the rest of the world through a means many times faster than boat and car.

Control of this airstrip is given to one of the victims of the Occupation and the person whose farmland the Airstrip lies upon, Ms. Braigwen. While rebuilding the livelihood of her family, Ms. Braigwen works as an advocate of Northport to the Provincial Government, helping the people get their voices heard and the message of the Government to the people itself. We here at The Echain Flame have tracked down Ms. Braigwen and this is what she has to say:

Mr. G: Thank you for meeting with us today Ms. Braigwen. To start, can you tell us who you are and what is it that you do?

Ms. Braigwen: "My name is Braigwen. I am a farmer by trade, and have been tapped as a Regional Advocate to observe and deliver input from the people of Northport."

Mr. G: Really, were you born in Northport or did you move there from the mainland?

Ms. Braigwen: "I was born just outside of Northport, on the eastern side of the island.

Mr. G: Growing up on the Island what was the life like and the state of education in Northport?

Ms. Braigwen: "I was educated as most children were, in the small school houses in most communities. There were only about a dozen children in my school, and it was one small room. Everyone was taught at the same pace so even those who joined late, which were many, had the chance to catch up.

After that, I took a part-time job at one small book store in the area. There were no libraries in our small town, so I did as much reading as I could; Decartes, Mark Twain, and many of the brightest minds in America and Europe. I've had a rather eclectic self-education on many a subject from the social structure of Europe before the USSR to rudimentary astronomy."

Mr. G: It is no secret that Echain have always been Factionalized since the earliest days of the Resistance and some can argue even before the War. This resulted in quite a lot of Parties Working to run the Government, do you belong to one of these Factions or do you represent something else?

Ms. Braigwen: "I don't fit into one party, per se. While I am a supporter of the Democratic Regionalism, I am not a full supporter of it or the others. I support the people of Echain, regardless of who is in power. A country and it's people are more than just the interplay between parties."

Mr. G: I am sure that restoring your farm is taking up quite a lot of your time, what is your reason then for joining Echain's provisional government?

Ms. Braigwen: "I will admit that my wanting to join in the formation of the government is both selfish and not. I wanted the people in my small area to be represented in the new government being formed. Since my two younger siblings are old enough to help my mother with the restoration of the farm, I was able to be present in City Central from the very beginning."

Mr. G: What are your short term and long term goals for Echain?

Ms. Braigwen: "Short term; I want to see this new government formed. It won't be perfect, no government ever is. But I want it to be as equitable as possible for all people no matter their standing in society.

For the long term, I want to be able to return to the farm. While living in City Central has been wonderful, I am still, at my heart am a farmer. My hands belong in the dirt, coaxing the next harvest to fruition."

Mr. G: Hypothetically, what would you need in order to realize your goals?

Ms. Braigwen: "Hypothetically? We'd need a good swift kick in the rear end. There are about half a dozen drafts of the constitution floating around in the Senate building, plus the one that Zeiss has written. There needs to be compromise on all sides. Not everything can be included in the powers the new government will have. Many powers will have to be left up to the regions and localities to decide. Every island and city is different."

Mr. G: How long will it take for you and the Provisional Government to establish the government?

Ms. Braigwen: "That I can not say. It needs to happen soon, however. None of us are under the illusion that we have unlimited time. We are well aware of how short a time we have. If I had to say, I would give it about a month, at most. After that things start getting difficult to keep together."

Mr. G: I'll be frank with you Ms. Braigwen,  things are not easy for the people of Echain right now, we have no currency and the majority of the people in the outer reigions have been using a makeshift barter system in order to trade for goods. The people in the Major Cities where bartering would not be feasible are still using the Japanese Yen in order to operate on a day to day basis. What are you going to do about the complete lack of infrastructure and economy of Echain?

Ms. Braigwen: "During the occupation, me and my family were fully involved in the smuggling of food to the people fighting the Japanese Occupiers, which cost my father his life. I make that distinction because there were many ethnic Japanese who helped us. Saying that, I know of the state of the roads, water and power lines. It's a sad, sorry affair. While City Central was left mostly intact, Northport and Versberg, it's a different story. Before anything else, we need roads. That will allow everything else to be put into place, but more importantly, it will allow food and clean water to be delivered to those hardest hit. Many still struggle daily for survival even after eight years of liberation."

Mr. G: It is about time for us to end our interview, you have been a gracious host. Do you have anything to say to the people of Echain?

Ms. Braigwen: "Know that we hear you. We have not forgotten you. We are you. Should you have any concerns or questions, please feel free to contact us by any means at your disposal. While mail is sparse and often voluntary, and travel to City Central is difficult for most, rest assured that the regional advocates all have contacts that will bring us your messages."

On the Front Page is a photo of the Northport Airstrip. Included in the article is a copy of the speech Braigwen made at the Town Square in Northport.

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