Rouen is the location of the fourth wonder of the world: the Horn Tunnels, a great pair of tunnels mined through the great gorge that separates Rouen from the rest of the Empire. Mined in co-operation with the Dwarfs of the high mountains there tunnels were the cause of much controversy, especially within the Church. As Church law forbids non-human labour within the Empire the Church opposed the use of Dwarfen miners in the construction of these tunnels. However the King of Rouen, Roger III solved the problem to his, if not the Church's, satisfaction by seceding the land the tunnels were to be built in to the Dwarfs, and then purchasing the land back from them 20 years later, when the tunnels had been completed. Thus Roger III acted within the letter of the law, as no non-human had worked within the Empire, and nor were non-humans employed by Imperial subjects in place of humans.
Since the Horn Tunnels were opened 30 years ago Rouen has progressed from being a wealthy, but remote industrial city and provincial capital to being the third city of the Empire and Prefectural Centre for the Northern (seventh) Prefecture. While not as large as some of the older Circular Sea or Old Coast cities, Rouen is one of the most beautiful places in the whole Empire, and is growing rapidly with the easing of trade that the Horn Tunnels have brought. Set in the Allied Kingdom of Rouen, Rouen City is a carefully laid out urban area, with all the polluting industry sited well down river from the rejuvenated city proper. Both Roger III and the Duke of Rouen have spent large sums on the beautification of the city and the surrounding countryside.
A new cathedral has recently been completed in the Gothic style, with assistance from the Archbishopric and the Prefect, and it has the highest bell-tower in the Empire. Unfortunately its construction has resulted in accusations of hypocrisy being leveled at the Church, as it is commonly held (mostly outside Rouen) that no tower could be so high without the aid of either Dwarfen masons or magecraft. The Rouenese hold that only Men worked on the construction and that there is nothing in law to stop a man learning his craft from whomsoever he may.
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This Page was last updated 20MAR2004
This Page and all content not otherwise noted copyright Rupert Boleyn, 1999-2004