After a rapid period of design and development, the sleepy fishing village coastline of Lambeth became far more urbanized. The people maintained their essential character — rugged, sturdy, genial, perhaps a bit fatalistic. They are very good shipbuilders, navigators, very good at handling storms. Not much intellectual life — cards, beer, music, dance halls, sports. With the advent of development, there is a concomitant increase in agriculture and in local crafts: weavers, cheese-mongers, leather-workers and so on.
There are no skyscrapers or truly modern cities. The local technology supports neither internal combustion nor advanced electronics. However, there are clean-burning alcohol-derived fuels that work locally, and brewers do at least as well supplying fuel as beer. SHortly after Dr.Isaac Helgram’s appearance on the Opera Winnifred show, radio stations have popped up across Lambeth. Oddly enough, there seems to be no efforts toward television.
Part of the rapid development may be due to the immigration of so-called “hedge wizards” from Ultima Terra. With assistance from magical engineering consultants arranged by Jericho, and reportedly with an artifact that allows short-term amplification of ley lines, the hedge wizards were used to assist in medium to large scale projects such as irrigation and moving earth and assembly-line projects reminiscent of “The Sorceror’s Apprentice” but without the messy consequences.
The resulting cityscape is far from being a London or Berlin, but has much in common with a Venice or a San Antonio.
Rumor has it the development of Lambeth was motivated by threats from Corwin. However, Lambeth only recently began pursuing a military force per se, after attacks from Riva and Guy during the carving of the Neolympus Squiggle. These forces were trained by Asgard mercenaries. Allied governments having Embassies in Lambeth are permitted, perhaps encouraged, to have military bases of their own.
There is also some construction of fine accommodations, both hotels and restaurants. It is rumored that since Lambeth is not involved in any of the Black Zone or other conflicts between nations, nor apparently obligated to do so, the country may be trying to position itself as a neutral location and safe harbor for diplomatic missions.
There is some murkiness about who is in charge. PM Rodham left BNA to take the corresponding rank in Lambeth. There is also a Cabinet made up of subject matter experts, who previously had been personal research staff working for Isaac Helgram, but now each has portfolio corresponding to her expertise. This level of government is responsible for treaties, infrastructure, and other “large end of the egg” matters while “small end of the egg” matters such as legislation and appropriations are handled by an elected Council.
Oddly enough, Isaac Helgram, who is both Deputy PM and Chancellor of Amber, has the hereditary title of Lord of Lambeth but apparently no real political power there. Of course, given the metaphysical privileges of a Prince of Amber, he may not feel it is necessary.
The consensus of observers is that the redeveloped Lambeth is promising, but these are the kind of promises that risk being unfulfilled. The scene may be changed by anything ranging from shifts in Isaac’s priorities to another outside threat. What Lambeth becomes will depend largely on how others perceive it and what advantage they may find, or take.
No explosives and none of the quantum physics that makes transistors and microchips possible.
So no internal combustion, no computers, no microwave ovens. Television may technically happen, just because it’s consistent with the allowed physics, but he’s going to resist.
However, clean-burning alcohol-type fuels work extremely well, sharply reducing need for coal, wood or fossil fuels and preventing air pollution.
Early-type horseless carriages are around, as are streetcars. Automobiles can’t go beyond 25 mph, no matter the tech.
Post Neolympus Squiggle
Lambeth post the “Neolympus Squiggle” is a world about half the size of Earth. There are no enormous continents, just a lot of islands of generally temperate climate. Across the worlds, a steam belt technology works. Among arcane powers, only Trump, Amber Pattern, the Squiggle itself, and sorcery backed by either.
Lambeth is the second largest, about the size of England. It’s also the central power, where Isaac lives. The Antilla rail reaches Lambeth. Ships and dirigibles connect Lambeth to the other islands.
The largest is Panagea, about the size of Australia, , which Isaac uses for military bases, training, and stuff he wants away from “civilization.” Panagea’s rich flora and fauna resembles a mix of Oz, Ray Harryhausen, and Terry Gilliam.
There is Athenaeum, which is comparable to Greece. Fitting Isaac’s academic biases, it resembles the ideal philosopher-King state that Plato, Aristotle or Socrates might have dreamed of.
Rizun is the counterpart to Japan. Artists and warriors, a medieval Japan.
Jawaii is a combination of Hawaii and Jamaica, with all the attractions and comforts of each.
There are also two polar regions. The northern region is inhabited by a Viking type culture, distinguished by the natives being very short and superb woodworkers. The southern region is barely tolerable to Amberites.
There are also a lot of smaller islands…think of archipelagoes distributed like constellations. Too small for population centers, but there’s a rich variety of fish, bird and animal life. Parrots roam very freely. Imagine if Darwin worked with the classic Disney animation department.
There are a lot of ships in the oceans. Scholars cataloguing and studying the rich flora and fauna. Military ships patrolling. Merchants shipping. Fishing vessels. And of course pleasure cruise ships.
It is speculated that cosmological changes include new planets within the Lambeth “universe” and new subsidiary Shadows connected to Lambeth. These new realms are reportedly named for Greek mythological figures – a technological realm Hephaestus, a prison realm Hades, militarized realms named for Ares, Artemis, and Poseidon, and so on. This would explain an increasing number of clear non-humans in Lambeth, primarily human/animal hybrids but also what appear to be a particularly arrogant race of talking cats.
Notes on Lambeth from the Tiereth Envoy’s Guide
By all accounts, Lambeth is just another boring McWorld ginned up by our lord’s cousins. These places tend to be private sandboxes where our lord’s relatives create their vision of a perfect society. No pollution, social responsibility, quaint architecture…blah, blah, blah ad infinitum. All Envoys of Tiereth have been given diplomatic status while visiting here, so it’s likely to be safe as well as just boring.
This particular sandbox is the property of Prince Isaac. By all accounts, Prince Isaac is the fun kind of crazy. We definitely think someone should visit as long as it’s not us. Go there, and if nothing horrible happens to you, write back and tell us.