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About this City Journal

Stranded by a storm while exploring the lakes and rivers in The Belfast Valley a man seeks refuge in the forests only to find when returning to shore that his boat has been swept down river....

Entries in this City Journal



Currently plans for improvements to the Towns of Roderick , Jessingburg and New Amity are being thought up by the congressmen.

However they need your help to come up with ideas on how to attract people to the small towns.

Currently Maravone has covered the following topics:

      Investing in the Logging company.

      Investing in Education and Healthcare

      Parks And Attractive Housing

      And more expeditions to find other resources in the Belfast Valley.

If you have any ideas to contribute please comment.

     These small towns depend on you to grow.

     Try and make your pans to make people move to the valley as bold as possible.

Here are some teasers..... A preview of what is to come in a later update.



Be creative as possible.....


Just Another Day

It has been 50 years since the first men and women began to build their homes in the Belfast Valley.

Today also marks the 10 year anniversary of the death of the man who had originally been stranded on the shores of the Belfast Lake.

But to the Congressmen and congresswomen who sit on capital hill it is just another day.


Just Another Day

The sudden growth that had take place after the Amity reservoir had been polluted had come to a screeching halt.

Luckily for the residents of New Amity And Roderick, The Government had decided it would be beneficial to the small towns to complete the

ambitious projects the towns had so hastily begun.

Welcome back to Roderick.


The Roderick Rail line has finally been completed.

Freight can now more easily leave the city without having to worry about the rising price of gasoline for trucks.

The line currently services the town of Roderick and the town of Jessingburg.

To the north you can see the Roderick Logging Company.

It only employs a few workers and therefore only a small amount of Forest has been able to be cut down.

Sadly....Growth in this area no longer exists.....

The rail line also seems to have been a bust.


You can clearly see the empty tracks.

The line was originally built to service the demand the Government thought the region would be getting.

However they way overestimated and spent more than 3 times on the rail than was actually needed to keep up with demand.

Moving on to New Amity:


While things In Roderick Aren't going so smoothly New Amity is still prospering.

The soil here is unbelievably rich in minerals and food exports have become the towns #1 source of income.

However as you can see in the bottom of the picture small marshes impended larger boat travel.

Thats where the Government stepped in.


A small canal was dug through the marshes allowing boats to sail through.

With easier access to the rest of lake, as well as the rest of the country, larger farming operations are seeing the value of this land.

The government is very please with New Amity, However, not so much with Roderick.

They are currently out of ideas of how to attract more residents to the town.

The Congressmen do have one idea tho.  They will leave it up to the readers of this journal to decide on how to attract people to Roderick.

The coal mine has given them nearly limitless amounts of money to try and create what you envision for the future of Roderick.

Leave you're ideas in the comments and the Congressmen will decide on the best....or don't do anything at all...they should be able to figure something out.


 The Governments plan had worked.

Many of the residents of Amity had evacuated the town and had bought up land in the Belfast Valley.

For the first time in the Valley's history people began to form bonds and rely on each other to survive, causing the first  towns and small communities to appear.

Small Towns Big Dreams


    ( Named after the Roderick Coal Mine )


The small town of Roderick was a prime location for building a new life.  

The Coal and lodging industry brought in tons of new opportunities for growth.

Currently Roderick is the economic center for the Belfast Valley.  

The small coal mine has brought in more money then anyone could ever imagine.

In the left side of the picture you can see where the land is being leveled and cleared for the construction of a freight train line.

It is being funded solely by the Roderick Coal mine.


     ( Named after the First man to settle there, Ryan Jessingburg )


The Town sits just a few miles south of Roderick.

It is the home of the Valley's first coal power plant.

However it has its problems.....It sits just a few feet above the lake.

During rain storms the rocky coast prevents stronger waves from washing the town away.

New Amity:

     ( A memorial to the lives lost from drinking the contaminated water )


New Amity Actually sits below the surface of the lake.

The town was founded during a drought and when the rain came back it flooded New Amity.

The residents built a small series of earth levies to combat the rising lake water, planting native grass on it to anchor the soil.

The government continues to count the pennies that pour in from the valley as they make bigger and bolder plans to bring more workers into Belfast.

Roderick is currently Constructing a railroad to move freight.

Jessingburg is working on industrializing the region.

New Amity is attempting to build canals and passageways for ships to easily sail from there town to any other part of the lake.

They may be small towns.....But they have big dreams.

Ps. Congrats to the Saints for winning the Superbowl!!!!!!!!!!


 It became front page news.

A truck carrying coal from the Belfast Valley had driven off the road and plunged into a reservoir that brought water

to the bedroom community of Amity.

The crash is still under investigation.

Many people speculate the government had played a role in the crash.

The reason for this speculation?

The government offered to move the residents of Amity into the Belfast Valley for half of the cost for the land that others had payed.

Civilian Displacement 

Photographs from a low flying helicopter show the crash site:


The coal had horribly polluted the reservoir killing all fish life in it.

In addition to that chunks of coal had been sucked into the water treatment plant and had clogged pipes causing them to burst.

They government teamed up with the local charities to hand out water to the residents of Amity.


However handing out water could not help the town of Amity and most left .  Some accepted the offer to move to Belfast While

others opted to move in with family members in neighboring towns.

A more recent picture shows the now vacant city.


Construction is currently underway to construct the new homes for those who chose to move to Belfast.

The investigation in to the crash eventually closed causing the congressmen to breath a sigh of relief


Coal Alley

The head of the construction team building the road to nowhere picked up his phone and smiled.

The project was back on.

And.....the government was doubling the amount of workers on the project.

It was released in the papers the next day that coal had been found in the valley.

With dirt cheap prices and the promise of coal 700 people sold there homes and floated down the river in there small boats

in search of a better life in the valley.

The initial phase of construction for the road, clearing a path, moved far faster then anyone could have ever dreamed when the 

thick forest abruptly ended and all that lay in front of them was open land.

It had been a good day.


Coal Alley

Fast forward several months.

The northern most part of the road connecting the Belfast Valley to the rest of the world has been completed.


There is still a visible mark left by humans where they had set up camp several months ago.  But other than that the drive into the valley is surrounded only by nature.  

Unfortunately the project is still not completed.  The southern half of the road is still only mud tracks that snake through some of the most beautiful fields the world has ever seen.


These fields won't last for long.  As soon as truck traffic picks up along this road, pollutants will undoubtedly kill off large amounts of 

the fields.

The government does not care however.  There main interest is simply recovering the money lost in the economic depression that

has fallen upon their country.

They see the coal and redwoods as the way to do this.

They see this plant as the hope for their unstable world.


While the government capitalizes on the  valley's resources the new residents continue to expand they're new world.

The small amount of farmland doubles in size. Most residents now have leftover food they can sell and make a small profit off of.


Of course in order to do this they need to have shops in which to sell they're goods.  A small section of town becomes the 

only market place in the valley.


Being the only place to shop for food and goods in the valley many of the 700 people that moved into Belfast flock to this island.

They set up they're own little community on the coast  where they have breath taking views of the lake.


The Valley is still slowly growing...Even with the coal industry gaining its footing in Belfast.

The Government knows that if they have any chance of pulling they're country out of debt they need the resources found only in the


There has to be some way to motivate people to move there.....

The congressmen pondered over this for days before inspiration struck.  It came to one man as he filled a glass with water.  

As he began to drink he tasted something foul and spit the water out.  He looked at the glass and realized it was unwashed,

contaminating the water he was drinking.......that was when inspiration struck...it was an idea that disturbed him, as well as

the other members of congress....but they decided that they needed money more then anything else in this situation....the next 

shipment of coal from the valley would not be sold.....it would be used to motivate the residents of a small town nearby to move.


Farms Are Boring

 In order to be able to cut down the giant redwoods the government needs workers.

The problems:

     It would be an 8 hour commute round trip from the nearest town to the edge of the Belfast Valley.

     No economy exists in the valley.....people fend for themselves.

     There is no reason for anyone to want to move into the valley.

The Solution?

     Pennies per acre.


Farms Are Boring

Although the prices were low, people still were not interested.

The population of the valley barely rose.

The road connecting the Valley to the rest of the Country was progressing slowly.

The exploration for coal had come to a standstill.

However the Small communities of the Valley were happy.

They had left the chaos of the city and had returned to nature.

They lived off the land and were able to do it for 2 years without power or water.

They broke away from electronics and took up sailing and hiking as they're main activities.

By this time most of the residents had even built they're own boats to to be able to catch the abundance of fish in the lake.


Although small this island prospered and grew.


The older section of the town was connected by a small dirt path, no one needed car for a settlement this small.


Just a few miles away at the mouth of the river that emptied into the lake the other settlement had grown to encompass 

another city tile.


Not much is really going on in the valley.....its just a failed project in the eyes of the government.

To dangerous and distant from civilization for people to want to live there.

All but the president are ready to abandon the project to build a road into the middle of nowhere.

However he still belives there is something special about this place... a certain spark about it.

As the head of the construction project was packing up his workers to return back to civilization the president was sitting

in his office with a cup of coffee. Listening for anything from the radio that connected him to the last 2 explorers left in the woods.

Silence....and then something much more exciting then boring old farms:

" * static*.....for whoever is list * static*........just north *static*.........coal."


The Belfast valley stretches over miles of rich soil perfect for farming.

     However the dense forests that cover the region have hindered the exploration into this valley for hundreds of years.

Fortunately our shipwrecked friend has provided valuable information on the area surrounding one of the valleys lakes.

     He spoke of rolling hills rich with dark soil perfect for crops.

     Endless supplies of fresh water from the rivers and lakes.

     An abundance of fish and wildlife

     And Magnificent Red Wood trees that stretch forever into the sky.

But most intriguing were the caves filled with black water.....possibly tainted with coal..........

First Signs of Life

It took time to navigate the rivers in order to reach the lake but 3 small ships stocked with provisions arrived on the shores of the lake.


The ships were supplied with food to last 6 months as well as tools and farming equipment to work the land.

In one short year the explorers of the Belfast valley had survived endless rain, fog so thick it forced them inside because the moisture 

in the air made it hard to breath, and they survived forest fires caused by lightning strikes.

By the end of that year 2 of the 3 groups of explorers had successfully established permanent residences around the lake.



Now that both settlements are on their feet they will be able to freely explore the land in search of coal and other resources.

While they explore the government will be working on building a road into the heart of the forest to gain access to the valuable redwoods.

The government is in a deep financial slump and hope that the redwoods will be able to boost the economy and bring their country back from the brink.


The discovery of coal will also help the economic situation if it truly does exist in the valley......

However the government has other plans for the coal other then just to sell it......



He was sent to greater explore the uncharted lands of the Belfast Valley.  

He traveled by boat along the lakes and rivers mapping out the body's of water as he went.

After a hard days work he slipped the unfinished map into his back pocket and sailed to the coast for some rest and relaxation on the sun drenched beaches.


He drifted into a deep sleep only to be abruptly awoken to heavy drops of rain on his face.  

The winds picked up as he rose from the ground.

It was then that he realized that his boat had drifted far from shore into the lake.....

Lightning spread across the sky and he ran from the rain into the forest.

2 days had passed since the rains had ended and he was stranded in the wilderness with nothing but his bare hands.

Luckily for him he was able to use the natural resources around him to construct a crude axe.

With it he began his fight for survival.


He began to chop down trees knowing it was the only way he could build a shelter.

It took days to cut down just one tree with his crude tools.

In his downtime he explored the area where he had found salvation, looking for any signs of natives to the land or any food sources.

He found fish and berries and not much else.  

He added to his map as he went to orient himself and get an overview of his surroundings.


It took years but he survived and was able to construct a boat to return home.

He abandoned his small farm and home he had built and sailed for the city from which he came.

His completed map of the lake which he had spent a good 10 years of his live exploring.


When he returned home he told his tale of  survival and spoke of the riche resources of the valley.

Explorers and surveyors were dispatched shortly after to seek the resources that he had spoken of.

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