- A Guide to Utopia: An Era of Hope -

An Introduction
Welcome to Utopia, a world where reality and dreams come together, a world where the lowliest of peasants can become the world's greatest heroes. A world unlike any other that you may have experienced now stands before you.
Any peasant can become Lord of their own province, but only the greatest can survive. Being a leader in the world of Utopia will challenge your every skill and demand your careful attention. Without diplomacy and tact, you will never rise to the respect the people demand of you. You must decide when to be ruthless and when to be compassionate. Will you run an empire of might or magic? Perhaps one of cunning and betrayal? Alas, it is almost impossible to do them all. Every decision, every challenge will be yours and yours alone. Are you ready to be a Lord or Lady here in Utopia? If so, continue onwards...
The Basics of this World
I see you are ready for the challenge, my friend. We will see how long you last. It is my duty to provide you with a background of this world which you wish to enter.

First, as you enter Utopia, you will find that time moves much faster than on Earth. That which you know as an "Hour", is a full Utopian Day here. Your day? A month. And yes, this means there are 24 days in a month. Each Utopian year contains 7 months. Be aware of this as your friends and advisors do not know of this Earth world, and they will generally keep time in Utopian standards.

The currency of choice in the Utopian World is the Gold Coin, noted by "gc" or "$". For example, 1000gc and $1000 both refer to 1000 Gold Coins. Unfortunately, the peasants of Utopia have no sense of the Dollar, Pound, Franc, or other Earth currencies that you may be familiar with.

It will also be important to understand how islands, kingdoms, and provinces are noted. The province "Utopia (3:4)" is named Utopia, a member of Kingdom #3, on Island #4. This notation will be used to allow you to keep easy track of the various lands around the world. You will also find that interacting with provinces on islands close by will prove far easier and quicker than venturing out to islands far away. The Utopian World consists of 50 islands, organized in a sort of sphere -- so that Islands #1 and #50 are as close as Islands #1 and #2.

Secondly, as you take this portal into Utopia, you must understand that Utopia is a world of many creatures, available to Humans as well as Elves, Dwarves, and more. Before entering this world, you have the ability to become a member of any of these races. You may wish to learn more about these races before joining, or you may wish to just take a chance. It is the first of many decisions for you, my friend.

Getting Started
Once you have requested your own province from the Utopian Lords -- they own the lands and oversee the world -- you will be given a small plot of land in a kingdom of their choice. Several natives of the kingdom will come to live under your rule, giving you a peasant population from which to start. The only guarantee the Lords will make is that there will never be more than 25 provinces on any single kingdom.

The kingdom you reside in is very important in Utopia. Remember, your ultimate goal is to grow to be the most famous kingdom on the planet, not simply the more famous province in a single kingdom. As more provinces join your kingdom, it will be important for you to gain an understanding between provinces. Who will lead the kingdom? Without a leader, your kingdom will be torn to pieces by others who are more organized.

Very important to Utopia is the Politics which make the kingdom function. Each kingdom can elect a Monarch to conduct inter-kingdom affairs. Because of this province's nobility, the peasantry will work harder, produce more, and live with more honor than their counterparts in other lands. In addition, the Monarch will be able to name your kingdom for all the world to see and has the ultimate power of the press. Your kingdom's King or Queen has control over the Public Forum your fellow leaders have created to faciliate coordination within the kingdom.

Possibly most important of all, you must understand that this world does not stop for you. I know that you must sleep, eat, and attend to other duties, but the people of Utopia will continue about their business, regardless of your leadership. That means your province will likely grow while you are away, people will flow in and out, buildings will be built, land will be explored, and your students will learn, all while you are away. Be sure to consult often with your Council of Elders -- your advisors -- to keep up with all that is happening within your lands.

As you enter the world, you will become more familiar with its workings. Now, we are ready to move to your duties and responsibilities, your opportunities and decisions. As Lord or Lady of your lands, you will make the decisions that affect your people's daily lives. You will draft them into your service, send them off to war, decide when and what spells to cast, what to build, and how your population will live. Ultimately, you have two primary resources: Your people and your money. Take care of both, or you may quickly find your province in ruins.

To make your life simpler, I have broken down all of this information into chapters in this Guide. Read as you wish, or learn as you go. Much of this information will be provided as necessary by your scribes, squires, and advisors within Utopia. This book is my gift to you as you enter this new world. Use it as a reference, but remember that your instincts and abilities should ultimately be your guiding force.