=== Adamondia, the City of Spices


Adamondia, the City of Spices
Adamondia sits on the eastern edge of a great empire. Its indigenous people were once nomads in desert and arid lands. The city became a caravanserai, then an agrarian centre, and eventually a centre of trade with the east until it was conquered ruled by the Amonentian Empire, and their gods, the Olympians. The city is crowded, hot, dusty, and filled with corruption, merchants, and Imperial outcasts. The city is rife with schemes, people running from trouble, and ancient mysteries. The sewers and basements of the city are filled with secret tunnels and ruins. And you’re just trying to make your way in the world one day, one job at a time, whether it be by crime, mercenary work, or just doing the best you can in a hard, ruthless world.

Originally, two towns started in the place that are now Adamondia and Selindra. Adamondia was founded as Temmuz, a caravanserai for the nomadic people of the region, the Tarquai. This slowly grew into a minor trading outpost for trade between the Tarquai and the Sea Peoples of the near east. Selindra was founded when Tarquai and Sea Peoples settled in near the ocean to plant date and wheat and begin trading in food, beer, bread, and date wine. Eventually, an Amonentian merchant name Nonus Adamon, exiled from the Empire and seeking his way, found his way to Temmuz, where he introduced accounting and monetary practices, helped streamline trade, and helped the people of the city become true traders.

Adamon built up trade with the West, including the Amonentian Empire, and with the East, including the Kingdom of Derwynd. When Adamon died, the city became known as Adamondia, and at its height became known for the trade in Eastern steel and spices, earning the nickname the City of Spices. As the city has it expanded, it has become a fortified outpost on the east of the Empire, a dumping ground for nobles, priests, and soldiers the Empire could not get to fit into society on the edge of the Empire. Forty years ago, the city was incorporated into the Empire. However, under the surface, many factions struggle against each other with a veneer of peace.

The lowest social caste in Adamondia is held by goblins. Goblins are menial labourers, criminals, beggars, and slaves. The goblins of Adamondia serve fill the worst jobs and the lowest stations in society. This also means that goblins do other dirty work. Poverty, prejudice, and hard circumstances goblins face have turned some to crime. Goblin thieves, spies, thugs, assassins and smugglers use backwaters, sewers, and slums to do their work. However the red skinned Goblins of Adamondia are a hardy bunch and those with insight realise that the goblins are survivors and an intelligent race and if they ever mobilised they could be extremely dangerous.

Among the barges of the Riverfront live the River Folk, halfling gypsies who live on covered river barges. Largely treated as vagabonds, con artists, thieves, and criminals, the River Folk are distrusted by others. They are a small and ill-treated minority.

The city watch have heavy patrols in the Old City and the Second City and moderate patrols in the New City and Selindra. They provide sparse patrols in the Riverfront and the Waterfront. There are few patrols in Red Lanterns and Downwind. They are sometimes supplemented by the Imperial Legionnaires that serve the Prince and serve as heavy infantry for the city’s

Social stratification is normal. Not only do people of wealth and standing have greater rights and protections under the law, but sumptuary laws prevent people from even seeming like they are of higher social classes by penalising the use of titles or even clothing of a higher social class. Armour and weapon are theoretically controlled, but the law is loosely enforced, particularly in poor neighborhoods. However, the city watch and Imperial centurions are glad to harass anyone equipped for violence leading many thugs, criminals, and commoners to equip themselves with ‘tools’ which serve as weapons in a pinch: hammers, chisels, and so forth… at least in areas where the guard still maintains a strong presence As a consequence, weapon smuggling is big business for the various gangs and criminal syndicates.

• High Amonentian: The Amonentian dialect used by the nobility.
• Low Amonentian: Those who speak Low Amonentian understand but do not speak High Amonentian.
• Tarquaian: The language of the indigenous Tarquai people of the region.
• Behdoon: The language of the nomadic Behdoon tribesmen from the northwest.
• Kanian: The language of the seafaring merchants of the near east.
• Farasi: The language of the eastern Empire of Ferisia, a decadent, expansionist nation ruled by a sorcerer-king, the greatest rival to Amonentia.
• Derwynd: The language of the eastern empire of Derwynd, merchants and bureaucrats.
• Kemri: The language of Western Kemric barbarians, in their far and green land.
• Goetic: The language of Western Goetic barbarians, known as mercenaries, and traders.
• Goblin
• Halfling

The River Selintan runs north of the main city, with a bridge crossing the river between the Old City and Selindra. Adamondia sprawls from the river over the tip of a small peninsula, with ocean to the east and south, seeing river barge traffic to the north, along the Selintan, and ocean ships along the waterfront to the south. A wall protects the edges of the city except for
the riverfront, the waterfront, Red Lanterns, and Downwind, with a moat outside the western wall as well, fed by the Selintan and flowing down to the ocean. West and southwest of Downwind there is a swamp, the Salt Marsh, home to smugglers, alligators, huge rats, giant spiders, and all manner of human scum.

The original site of the original trade city of Adamondia, the Old City is built of stone, with flat-roofed houses and shops, typically of two or three stories. The streets in the old city tend to be winding, narrow, cobblestone, and without easy drainage.

1 The Palace. The imperial governor, Prince Lucius Martellus’ palace. He sees petitioners once a week, as chosen by his councilor, Marius Escandar. This is well guarded by a garrison of Imperial Centurions.

2 Temple of Zeus and Hera. The most powerful religious factions in the city, but lacking in the traditional value of the temple of Aphrodite who was the patroness of Adamon, and thus is the patroness of the city that bears his name. Her priestesses have since had the ear of the city’s princes.

3 Temple of Nox. The Temple to Nox the other most influential temple in the city. As the mother of all, Nox is prayed to for a large variety of reasons but expectant mothers come to her to plea for her blessing as an aid during childbirth.

4 The Court of Justice. The courts meet six days a week. Court proceedings are by tribunal, with Amonentian judges accountable only to the Prince. The hangman’s noose, whipping post and stocks are outside, but crucifixion happens outside of the city, in view of Downwind.

5 The White Dragon Inn. A wealthy and wellheeled establishment with rooms for traders of status and food for the well bred. They do their best to keep out the riff-raff.

6 The City Jail. Heavily guarded with tiny, miserable cells and a continuous problem with poisonous vermin.


The second phase of the city’s development, this area has wider, more organised streets. The second ward was built by and for merchants, and serves as the heart of the city’s economy. 

1 The Grand Guildhall. The trade guilds maintain a monopoly on training, certifying, pricing, and distributing many kinds of craft goods and skilled trades in the city. They are part corporate monopoly, part trade union, and part mafia family. Among the most influential guilds are the guilds of stevedores, porters, and blacksmiths.

2 The Three Lions Tavern. A respectable tavern for merchants, tradesmen, and guild members, the Three Lions is a clean place filled where informal business is done regularly.

3 The Temple of the Pantheon. This is the main place of worship for commoners in the city. Shrines to the enitre Olympian Pantheon may be found here.

4 The Great Bazaar. This large open-air market is an essential shopping area, where small merchants maintain booths selling goods of all sorts. Market stalls open every day, and remain busy throughout the year.

5 The Scola Magica. The Scola Magica is a educational institution for the wealthy and powerful. Part University, part school of wizardry, the Scola Magica plays a key role for magical investigations.

6 The City Watch Armoury. The armoury is a centre of the city’s defences. It is both a garrison for soldiers and a storehouse for arms and armour, a visible sign of the city’s commitment to protecting the Second Ward.


The outermost of the city’s main wards, the New City was expanded on in the last five decades, built as the Empire sought to expand its interests eastward. The plans never came to fruition, so the New City is home to more foreigners, poor, and outcasts than other portions of the city.

1. The Sanitarium. Run by doctor Marcellus Nonus, the city sanitarium treats the mentally ill, with a focus on helping the poor and needy. The Sanitarium seems to be preternaturally still, and the people there very calm, though Nonus is very enthusiastic about helping. In truth, it is a cover for Nonus’ necromantic experiments on patients he thinks will not be missed.

2. The Shrine to All Gods. A simple shrine with an altar to the Unknown God. The building is maintained by the priesthood of the Olympians, but serves as a placeholder for worship of any god unknown or unrecognised by the Olympian priesthood, and is used for worship by all manner of people, particularly foreigners.

3. The City Baths. The public baths are widely used by working folk, in particular the local Tarquai, for not only hygiene, but as a place for sharing news and rumours. The place is divided into the women’s baths and the men’s, and sections of the baths are maintained for the wealthy and the common.

4. The Great Arena. The Amonentians are fond of combat, and the Great Arena is where games are held, sometimes between convicted criminals, sometimes between professional gladiators, and sometimes with wild animals or monsters. Some
fights are prizefights where no one dies, others are full-on blood sports with fights to the death. A great deal of gambling goes on behind the scenes, and is key part of the games.

5. The Farm Market. The stalls here sell produce, meat, dairy and simple farm goods such as soaps. The place is usually busy every day. This is less a place of merchants than of farmers earning extra cash.

6. The Horse Market. The market sells horses and beasts of burden as well as other livestock at a daily auction.


Located across the River Selintan, Selindra was once a small orchard village. Selindra is now part of the city, connected by a great bridge and walled for its protection. Its inhabitants are largely Tarquai , with a heavy number of them living lives tied to fishing and the orchards, either as labourers, owners, or merchants

1. Fish Market. Daily loads of fish come in from fishermen’s boats for sale here, while dried fish are also sold in numbers. This is a place of wheeling and dealing by fishmongers, who buy and trade in what is freshest each morning.

2. Djaffar the Herbalist. Djaffar Assad is an elderly wise man, an herbalist and apothecary who has a collection of herbs and medicines that range from the common to the extraordinary.

3. Fruit Market. Fresh fruit from the orchards around Selindra make their way to this daily market and its stalls.

4 The Temple of Astarte. The cult of Astarte is ancient in Selindra, and remains influential. By agreement with the Church of Hecate, Astarte’s temple remains in Selindra, where her priestesses serve not only as temple prostitutes to fill the coffers, but also as mercenaries serving the goddess’ role as a goddess of war. Most often, however, she is worshipped as a fertility goddess by the farmers and fishermen of Selindra, and serves to bless their bounty each season.

5. The Golden Apple Tavern. A homey, rustic tavern, this place has cheap, simple fare for people not interested in rooms or finery. It is a good place to meet with simple, rustic folks.

6. The Lighthouse. A simple lighthouse helps guide trade around the mouth of the River Selintan. It remains used and maintained by the Navigators Guild as a service to the city.


The river docks on the southern side of the River Selintan are part of the barge traffic inland leaving the city. This bustling area is filled with foot traffic, stevedores, porters, and barge handlers who work hard, drink hard, and leave the city quickly.

1. The Happy Eel Tavern. A rough and tumble tavern catering to laborers along the river. They serve hard drinks for men who want to get drunk fast, and they don't tolerate having any interesting characters around to give the joint "atmosphere".

2. Warehouse. Warehouses are very common along the river docks.

3. Stevedores’ Guildhall North. The Guild controls what cargo goes onto and off of barges. They get a cut of all river traffic, legal or illegal, as a result. They enforce their monopoly both through labour stoppages and sabotage. Rarely, they send thugs too. Rumour has it that they also give a cut to a major crime lord.

4. Severian’s Barge and Boat Repair. Known as the best at what he does, and has many clients among the river traders. He is serious and devoted. He is also known as an aid to smugglers, but only talks to those he knows and trusts.

5. Jovialus the Black. A former centurion, dismissed from service due to some questionable interactions with natives on the southern border. He is ruthless and stingy, but beloved by employers for finding cheap short-term labor for unpleasant jobs. He also runs several press gangs to help his recruitment efforts.

6. Honest Hari’s River Supplies. An outfitter who will sell any number of goods, though his goods are often either shoddy or of questionable origin. He won’t answer questions about where his supplies come from, or tell others who he sold to, which
makes his goods attractive to the right kind of customer.


The southern ocean docks are the center of a different sort of trade, though the sort of rough customers here are similar to those on the riverfront.

1 The Tipsy Mermaid Tavern. A dive, filled with dockworkers and foreigners. The place is frequently the site of gambling, brawling, and criminal dealings.

2. Warehouses. Warehouses are very common along the waterfront.

3. Shipbuilders’ Guildhall. The shipbuilders have a great deal of power in the city, and are closely allied to the bankers. They control access to the merchant trade and ability to get into the ocean. They are wealthy and deeply influential.

4. Navigators’ Guildhall. The navigators are able to control sea trade by making sure that no one can get across the ocean without access to maps and navigators. Ships are not allowed to sail in or out of the city without a guild-approved Navigator, which earns them money and control.

5. Shipyards. This is where ships are built and repaired.

6. Stevedores’ Guildhall South. The Guild of Stevedores controls what cargo goes onto and off of barges. They get a cut of all sea traffic as a result. They enforce their monopoly both through labor stoppages and sabotage. Rarely, they send thugs too. Rumor has it that they also give a cut to a major crime lord.


Located outside of the walls of the city, the Red Lanterns district is a small section of buildings dedicated to vice and general lawlessness. The city watch turns a blind eye to this place, but that also means it is lightly patrolled and potentially dangerous.

1. The Gold Lilly. The Gold Lilly is a high-class brothel with a variety of goods. It is clean and well cared-for, but does not cater to any unusual tastes. The Lilly provides food, drink, and entertainment along with its services.

2. The Silk Slipper. The Silk Slipper is the rival to the Gold Lilly. Its women are a bit less attractive, its rooms a bit dingier, its prices a bit lower, its services less developed, and more options for exotic tastes.

3. The House of Fortuna. This casino serves high rollers in games of chance of all sorts. The place is heavily armed and backed by major crime bosses.

4. The Three Lotuses. The Three Lotuses is a drug den, where users of lotus powder go to obtain the drug and forget their world. The clients are both wealthy and poor, the business lively, and the fates of those who find their way here usually increasingly grim.

5. The Two Dogs Tavern. Two Dogs is a seedy tavern, known for its animal fighting pits and its ruthless crowd of drug-dealers, crime-lords and thugs.

6. The Slave Market. The Slave Market is operates freely, largely selling slaves captured on military campaigns as spoils of war, though slaves from distant lands like Nornlund to the North-east or even further afield can be found here.


Downwind is the poorest of neighborhoods of thecity, but it isn’t truly in the city. It’s a shantytown outside of the walls of the city. It is filled with the poorest of the poor, industries too noxious or foul to exist within the walls of the city, and to the city’s
necropolis. It is rarely patrolled, overrun with crime, and largely controlled by the Nestor, King of the Beggars and the criminal gang known as the Masks, who patrol the city in their distinctive and eponymous black masks.

1. Garbage Pits. The garbage pits to the north of Downwind are maintained by the Garbage Men, who scavenge among the refuse and regularly burn it to make room for more.

2. Ibn Fazl. Ibn Fazl is a criminal healer who helps those who need healing. He also uses his skills to conduct experiments on living subjects. He is a cruel and vicious man and a born sadist.

3. The Night Market. The Night Market is the city’s illicit trade centre, a black market where any sort of good, particularly illegal ones, is available.

4. The Green Skull. The Green Skull is the worst ****-hole tavern in the city, serving a watery stew made of mystery meat, watered-down beer, and sour wine. It is a wretched hive of scum and villainy, a place where illegal deals are sealed all
of the time.

5. Tenements. Downwind is filled with tenements and flophouses.

6. Necropolis. The necropolis is where the city’s dead are buried on the western edge of Downwind, in a walled open-air city of the dead on a hill just outside of the Salt Marsh.

The Imperial faction is the de facto governing body of the city. With control of taxation, law, and military, the Imperials have cornered the market on state power. However, the Merchant Families have both local credibility and economic power in terms of controlling markets and trade.

Prince Lucius Gallus Martellus is the current governor of Adamondia, granted that station by his eldest brother, the glorious Nestor Julius Martellus, Emperor of Amonent, master of the malachite throne, to remove his little brother and his reputation as a rake and lothario from the court. Prince Lucius is seen as a frivolous fop, easily manipulated by his lusts and his self-interest. Young, pretty, and always surrounded by wine and women, the Prince is not well-respected or –loved in Amonent. But he is also politically astute, and keeps those who circle around him in constant chaos while he makes sure he is protected.

Captain Marius Bellus Escandar is the commander of the Imperial Guard as well as nominal commander of the city watch. Escandar is a middle-aged professional soldier, very conservative and by-the-book. He is rigid, honourable, but chauvinistic about the Amonent way of life— he sees provincial people as backward, and sees little need to care about local traditions, ways, or audiences. He tends toward a very black and white perspective.

Watch Captain Rel Duran is a local, raised in Adamondia as the youngest son of merchants who joined the watch to avoid joining the church. He is outgoing, folksy, and very well-connected to many influential families. He works in the community to keep peace, and is said to maintain a system of patronage and favors as well, which makes Escander see him as corrupt, but which Duran sees as a way to keep people connected.

Exchequer Ingnatius Otho Novian is a fat, fastidious man whose interest is in the flow of money. He tends to reduce all things to a matter of cash, and sees his job as making sure that the local barbarians keep paying their due into the Imperial coffers. He enjoys the power his job as chief accountant and tax collector grants him, and his small force of publicans are greatly feared. He believes that his role gives him great power over the prince.

Madame Hermia Aemelia Pallida was once a well-placed courtesan for the prince’s father. Today she maintains her grace and beauty, though she is now in her forties. She serves as an adviser to the Prince, where she watches others, gathers rumours, and whispers in the Prince’s ear. She is, in short, the Prince’s spymaster, and her network of agents is subtle and deadly.

House Crius is led by Horace Juvenal Crius, and crusty old merchant with strong ties to Imperial royals. House Crius is closely tied to shipping, shipbuilding and trade, with a strong influence on teamsters and carters. He is cunning and ruthless, and largely humorless. His sons Horatius Nero Crius and Secundus Martus Crius are his eyes, ears, and fists in the world. His daughter Nessa Innocenta Armada married a minor nobleman, who died a year later, leaving her with a large estate just outside of the city and deep coffers. She is seen as many as Horace’s closes advisor. House Crius is not subtle.

House Loxus is led by the widow Bricea Marada Loxus, a prim, proper woman whose interests are tied to the banks of Adamondia. House Loxus controls the flow of debt in Adamondia, and thus funds most major merchant ventures, purchases, and mergers. The family is closely watched by Ignatius Otho Novian, who is concerned about its economic power. Madame Loxus has two children — the twins Antonius Cassius Loxus and Antonia Cassia Loxus, both of whom are feared as ruthless business people.

House Vendestus is known for its land holdings and its patronage of the arts. The patriarch of the House is Gaius Albus Vendestus, a jovial man known for his love of large parties and for collecting favors and friends. His two children are Flavius Cassus Vendestus, a wastral and rake who parties with the prince and otherwise makes little of himself and Junia Marina Vendestus, who is known for her large gatherings of poets, thinkers, and outcasts, often as part of huge masques or street carnivals. This House is seen as particularly decadent.

In a world where player characters can perform miracles and cast spells, it seems clear that the average character in Adamondia, is well aware that magic exists, and has been able to observe magical or divine power first-hand. For most people, though, gods and magic are not everyday elements of their lives. Few have actually witnessed the magical professions using spells, seen demons or devils, or been connected to the power of the divine in any meaningful way.

The Amonentians worship the Olympians. The patroness of the city is Aphrodite in her role as goddess of beauty. The Temple of the Olympian Pantheon holds major shrines to Zeus, Hera, Poseidon, Demeter, Athena, Apollo, Artemis, Ares, Aphrodite,
Hermes, Hephaestus and Dionysus and the other gods, with the worship of the Olympians the official religion of the empire, and thus enjoying an important position as a result.

The indigenous Tarquai people still have a strong connection to Astarte in her role both as fertility goddess (though many still remember her role as goddess of war). Her temple and temple prostitutes hold great sway and are known brokers of sensitive
information. Foreign gods are not uncommon, though evil cults are illegal and covert.

The Temple of Zeus and Hera is one of the two strongest temples in the city. Stodgy Tertius Livius Calix is the priest of Zeus, and the nominal primate, or leader of the Pantheon priesthood in the city. The priestess of Hera, Julia Venia Nessus, is known to be a peacemaker and a deal-maker who keeps the priesthoods relevant and respected in the city.

The Temple of Nox is the other most influential temple in the city. Selena Agrippina Malmo is the priestess here. She is young, charming, and cunning, using her abilities to manipulate others as necessary to make sure she maintains her influence in the city.

The Temple of Apollo has its greatest influence in Selindra, where the god’s role as sun god makes him a key fertility god for those who remember the days when the area was covered only with orchards. The Temple of Apollo is also well-known for its healers, and for the occasional prophetic vision. The head of the temple is Octavius Vitus Xeres, a virile man in his 30s known for his forceful leadership and his distrust of Selena Malmo.

The Temple of the Pantheon is the main place of worship for commoners in the city. Shrines to the Olympian Gods may be found here, as well as to other gods. The priesthood here is not very influential, but is led by the elderly and wise Marcus Vergilus Vespasian.

The Temple of Aphrodite is the last remnant of a cult that predated the Amonent Empire, but is still common among the peasantry and farmers. Goddess of fertility, love and war, the Amonentians keep an eye on any preaching about war, but are fine with temple prostitution and fertility worship. The Temple of Dionysus has certainly poached some followers from her worship, but the cult endures. Their leader is the head temple prostitute, Nimue Nandara, an exotic, inscrutable woman who seems content to ply her trade and to bless crops, but maintains an impressive list of clients.

Magic is rare enough that ordinary folk look at it with awe and fear. Magic and advanced technology from across the world are often seen as the same thing. The common people tend to distrust magic and those who use it while being utterly fascinated by it, too.

For the most part, magicians are insular and disconnected from each other. However, there are two universities in Adamondia and one of them is the Scola Magica in the city’s Second Ward, within which the college of wizardry tries to control the teaching and
practice of magic in the city.

The Amonentians tend to look at scholastic training in magic or divinely granted magic as signs of a person of learning and importance, even among barbarians. Of course, a learned barbarian is not only still a barbarian, but also she or he is also a potentially very dangerous barbarian. The use of innate or hedge magic, however, is a lowly thing, and clearly likely to be a sign of deviltry or innate corruption. Power gains from such base spirits may be a sign of poor character, evil influences, laziness, or inability to learn properly and thus sorcerers and warlocks are seen as unclean and are executed. The Scola Magica is tied to training of bards, particularly of the College of Lore, and Wizards.

The Tarquai tend to look at any magical abilities as suspect. Since magic grants powers beyond those of other mortals and are hard to comprehend for the uninitiated, all magical abilities are treated as unpredictable, as are those who wield them. Even priests and priestesses are people of power whose true loyalties and purposes are shrouded in mystery due to the role of magic in their lives. Most look at magic with a combination of fear and fascination.

Outside of the official channels of power, there are a number of other factions who influence the city.

The trade guilds maintain a monopoly on training, certifying, pricing, and distributing many kinds of craft goods and skilled trades in the city. They are part corporate monopoly, part trade union, and part mafia family. Among the most influential guilds are the guilds of stevedores, porters, and blacksmiths. But the head of the trade guilds is a seamstress named Namala Needletongue. Namala is known above all as a tough negotiator, who is able to keep the factions of the guild together to control markets, influence laws, and fight back against the Houses when they need to in order to get better access to money and credit. She is also known to be ruthless, and to use force when necessary to enforce the Guild’s rules.

Several criminals form the underbelly of Adamondia, and are involved in plots and schemes every day. Adventurers are sure to come into conflict with them regularly. 

Decanthus Garm, is said to be the “Guildmaster” of crime in the city. His network of thieves, assassins, and thugs is jokingly referred to as the “Thieves’ Guild”, and they demand a cut of all criminal profits they discover as protection money.

Nestor, King of the Beggars is the protector of Downwind, and a criminal thug in his own mind. He is cunning and knows a lot about what happens in the city due to his network of beggars. He pays protection money to Garm.

Ibn Fazl, the Surgeon, is a much-feared part of Downwind. The surgeon studies human life. He dissects corpses he purchases from body snatchers, he heals criminals discreetly for a fee, and he is said to take those no one would miss in order to further his knowledge of anatomy, surgery, and the ways of life and death.

The Three Liches are a legend in the city. It is said that these three seek to doom the city by summoning a Duke of Chaos who is their master, the Bane.

The three Liches are said to be the:

Kalsha the Raven Lich, a Kenku also known as the plague crow, said to hold the power of pestilence and disease,he spreads famine and illness and ravens are seen as unclean animals in the city as a result 

Inna the Serpent Lich, a Yuan-Ti from the far south, the mistress of spies and rumours, the betrayer of secrets. Cityfolk warn their children not to lie lest Inna comes and takes them while they sleep

Jekka the Goat Lich, a goatman from the far hills and master of devils, he is said to be the most powerful of three and has many infernal allies.

Each has powers over demons and devils and the unnatural world in addition to their own skills as spellcasters. They also are served by diabolical familiars who serve as their eyes and ears in the world ===