Thorn's Take On Free Speech: Meridell
Month of Running, Year 18
Greetings. My name is Thorn, and I am a Gelert that hails from the outskirts of the Meridell-Brightvale borders, and I have the misfortune of living with a Meridellian knight.
Why is the deeply upsetting, you may ask? Well, you obviously don't a know a knight yourself, or perhaps you are a knight and have no idea how annoying you truly are. Take that personally, if you'd like.
Maybe it's not every knight, but this particular Lupe never shuts up about how great his native land is. And as someone who grew up right near that location, I know the truth.
So after another loud, barbaric, yelling match between this uncultured Lupe and I, my owner sent me to my room. As if my room can lock away my thoughts.
So here I am, pen in hand and I'm going to prove to not only my owner, but the Neopian public why Meridell isn't the perfect kingdom they try to make you think it is.
First, have you thought about what the Meridellian public does for fun? A visit to the mainland will lead you to seeing plenty of Mortogs and Turdles, native to the area. Their fun seems to come at the expense of other inhabitants, as it is considered an art to kiss these petpets in a gambling roulette until they explode! And what about the Turmaculus? The great beast where owners take petpets, despite the risk of them being eaten alive! Other pets force their petpets down a tiny Symol hole. This may provide a fun jump for some petpets, but what about those who don't enjoy the darkness or cold, wet areas? The owners still shove them down there, hoping for a prize. Bets are placed on Turdles, to maybe earn a few neopoints in races, but has anyone stopped to think about what the Turdles themselves feel? No, as the public is uneducated and cares simply about amusement.
Speak of uneducated, unlike the kingdom of Brightvale, which places honor on learning, or the kingdom of Roo Island, which places honor on having fun, what does Meridell place honor on? There are no impressive schools, and most of the providers of “fun” take advantage of others.
What about the food that Meridellians eat? The cheese that they consume has been rolled down hills, which isn't a “delicacy”, but simply unsanitary. Other unsanitary highlights on the Meridellian menu include, Stale Bread, Very Stale Bread, Very Very Stale Bread, Squished Tomato, Pootato, Mouldy Strawberries, Mouldy Potatoes... The list of disgusting foods that could lead to sickness goes on and on. Some people consume Draik eggs, filled with living baby pets. Not only is that sickening, but they can fetch a price of millions of neopoints. If that wasn't bad enough, the markets sell stew made from the exploded remains of Mortogs. An over all disgusting food market, only the very brave stomached will be able to handle it.
Don't get me wrong, I love to play in the dirt and getting muddy is certainly a fun thing to do, but when my food is dirtier than me, I don't want to eat it.
Not only are the food markets filled with dung, but so are the public areas, including the Pick-You-Own and The Rubbish Dump. And there are no signs or caution tape surrounding the area of the Rubbish Dump, but diving through it is encouraged. It is filled with fish skeletons, fruit peels, gravel, discarded cardboard, and other trash, occasionally a Turmac will wander in, only to be captured up by a lurker's greedy hands. The rubbish is discarded by peasants, cleaning services, and ordinary citizens, so it truly is a mess.
If you take a step inside the castle of King Skarl, or if you just look at images in a picture book, you can see that the money doesn't head anywhere else. The mucky, unsanitary streets make a hard contrast to the lavish tapestry and gold inside the walls. The King devotes jester after jester to making him happy instead of devoting his riches to help the people who NEED him. In fact, he allows members of the public to come into his castle and try to entertain him, threatening to behead or kicking out pets who don't tell funny jokes.
What about Meridell's history? Meridell was struck with a horrible plague, destroying livestock. So naturally, the knights stormed the neighboring, peaceful kingdom of Darigan, and stole the only thing that kept its people alive. Ever since, the Citadel has been cursed with no growth of food, pets with horrible horns, wings, and growths, and burning anger. After losing a war to Meridell over the magic object, they retreated into an uneasy truce until a second war came around, trying to take back what was theirs and being forcibly shut down again. Now the Darigan people are stuck up in the sky, with no cure to their horrible disease that is mutating the citizens, and trying to do their best with the twisted area.
It's not like every single citizen is stuck in the grips of poverty or ignorance or a messy environment, but they have no options because of the lack of support from the king. Why don't the knights devote their time to making the land itself a better place, building schools, creating and teaching healthy food recipes to the peasants instead of spending all of their time flexing and checking out their muscles?
Of course, Meridell isn't a total wasteland, but it is certainly not the paradise that Ryan portrays it to be. Filled with dangerous food, PPL violating games, and filthy areas, Meridell needs to be improved, before we see our homeland turned into a sad wasteland. King Skarl has an influence over the people, and yet he instead chooses to stay inside, throw unhealthy large feasts, and punish citizens.
Well, I think I've made my point. Hopefully others will see the truth about this land, and that Meridell needs to be improved by all the people working together, especially the people of influence. This is Thorn, signing off, and letting the ink dry.