The Mine, grab your Nerdians - Learn about Nerdosia

There is no special name for this massive maze of tunnels other than simply being called the Mine. Within Mine are a variety of precious metals that can be converted into a currency known as Nerdian. Nerdian is the only currency system accepted as a commodity between the districts. Without it, a nerd cannot do business!

The Tunnels

There are a vast number of tunnels throughout the Mine. In addition to the metals that make the Nerdian currency, there are also a number of minerals and ancient artefacts that can be discovered if any nerd hunting in the area has an eye for such things.

That eye, without the Nerd Lens, can’t see anything! Not only does the Nerd Lens allow a nerd to live as close to a normal Nerdosian as possible, but since it’s made from the ancient lens devices Ancient Nerdosians used to have, there is a lighting mechanism within that can help see through the darkness. When not wearing the Nerd Lens, a nerd won’t be able to see their own hand, let alone know where they’re going!

It’s also easy to get lost in the tunnels. There’s so many of them! Furthermore, nerds are not the only organisms that have sought refuge underneath the planetary surface. Creatures of all sorts, both friendly and unfriendly, call these tunnels their home. When feeling threatened or territorial, they will attack without warning.

The Pits

The ground shifting is normal for any planet. When there’s a mix of something liquid working against something solid, plus a variety of other ecological and environmental elements that have anything to do with earth, wind, or fire, action is bound to happen. When the clash of elements happens, the electricity can become intense enough to easily make geographical changes anywhere.

This includes creating pits due to large rocks falling, or even tunnels collapsing on top of each other. What could have been a perfectly passable tunnel a year ago may now be a big gap going straight down.

The Pools

There are a number of puddles and pools located throughout the Mine. For Nerdosians, the waters forming the pools and streams are necessary as it is their number one lifeline, as well as the air they breathe. There are a number of pools, but there are three, in particular, that stands out the most. Interestingly enough, each of these pools is at the heart of the three districts of Nerdosia. Each pool is named after the district they’re located in.

Physical District Pool - surrounds the entire Physical District as if making it an underground island. The founders of Physical District were smart to create an Industrial City to feature a series of canals that would lead the waters straight to the giant fountain located at the heart of Industrial City’s most centralized location. This fountain is brilliantly designed to look like a pile of rocks, forming a pyramid-like mountain that spits enough water out from its top to make it cascade down all around it to make it look like a natural waterfall all around it. Its appearance serves as an oxymoron, contrasting the industrialized look of a city that stretches as far as the eye can see.

Retro District Pool - acts like a series of rivers that has a collection of smaller pools where some are designed for drinking and others for swimming. There’s also an old-style waterpark designed where a beautiful collection of varnished wood and chiselled stone serve as waterslides into a large pool that is designed to look like one of the ancient lakes today’s nerds heard used to grace some of the above-ground surfaces of Nerdosia. The Retro District also has the reputation of having the coldest, best-tasting water and yet also the reputation of having some very warm hot spring setups where some nerds find too hot to jump into.

Virtual District Pool - is underneath the entire Virtual District and is separated by a glass structure where if a nerd didn’t know any better thinks they’re walking on water. It’s only a one-way view, though. This is also the only district that has the fish species known as Neels, which are apparently electrified snake-like creatures that live and swim entirely underwater. What makes these neels so cool is the constant spark of electricity that comes from them, which serves as a natural power resource for the Virtual District. This is the same power source that keeps the lights on, so to speak, throughout all of Nerdosia’s underground layout. Kayoto explains the Ancient Nerdosians, once learning about these neels, learned to rely on them to help nerds survive and thrive without having to do any of them harm. The entire glass structure that supports the Virtual District is framed with the Mine’s strongest known metal, tungsten. But, the formation of this glass structure was already in place before Ancient Nerdosians built Nerdopolis on it as soon as they understood they could do this without breaking the glass. It is suspected the glass is made by every single mineral and material in the most complicated formula known to nerd. Some suspect there are also magical properties involved in the glass, as well as the neels.

Known Metals and Minerals:

Bronze - it’s easily meltable and there’s so much of it. The Mall is the only location interested in it as they can work with it to make all sorts of decorative items as small as a ring to as large as a giant statue.

Copper - ideally used for medical purposes as its mineral content is so high that its no wonder the Ancient Nerdosians used this as part of the framework that went into their old-style lenses. This is the same metal that’s found as part of the Nerd Lens. Those among the Retro District love this metal enough where it can be found in most of their possessions as cookware, decorations, and hardware. Neither the Physical nor Virtual District seems to have use for it, both considering the metal too outdated to meet their needs.

Diamond - the hardest known substance that can cut through anything, as well as build some of the strongest structures. As soon as Ancient Nerdosians learned what it could do, this became the official tool of choice to dig out the tunnels that make the Mine what it is now, as well as build an underground world that can withstand just about everything. Instead of treating it as a commodity, this is treated as a necessity that the Plant needs in order to keep all of Nerdosia going without issues. Any nerd caught trying to hoarde or sell diamonds on the black market will have the Nerdosia Security Network to deal with.

Gold - this relatively easy to melt metal used to be the currency of choice among Ancient Nerdosians until the discovery of pure nerdian. While gold can still be treated as a commodity, only the Physical District and Retro District care for it. The Virtual District sees no value in gold other than regarding it as a foolish relic.

Iron - Industrial City came to be because of iron and steel. Most of the tall buildings is mostly made of iron and steel, especially in the industrial areas where both iron and are expected to withstand high heat as factories are contracted to melt down softer metals to make a wide variety of items for nerds of the Physical District. Some of the iron has also been known to show up at the Mall as sellable items interested nerds can take home. Usually, the only nerds interested are from the Physical and Retro Districts.

Platinum - among the rarest metals to find and highly valuable. This is an ideal metal for crafting and trade among the Physical District and Virtual District. As for the Retro District, they’re not really fond of it as its too flashy for their liking.

Pure Nerdian - the rarest yet most valuable metal in Nerdosia! Almost impossible to find and always in the most dangerous locations of the Mine, this is the most coveted metal among all nerds. Getting your hands on one is one thing. Keeping it from others who know what it’s worth is another.

Roughling - when found in raw form, they look like bright white nuggets. When refined, it becomes a nerdian. Not all the same size, once refined, each has its own value. It is extremely rare to find a large enough roughling that would be enough for a nerd to retire on. Most of the time, a roughling may be enough to trade it in for a pair of boots.

Silver - easily meltable, this makes a great material to build a series of everyday items every nerd can use. The Mall makes good use of the silver, making and selling anything and everything nerds need in live like a true Nerdosian.

Steel - Only the Physical District and the Common Area seem to have any interest in this material as it plays an integral role in the overall construction of Industrial City, as well as the various constructs of Common Area.

Tungston - is the strongest metal that is extremely rare to find in the Mine. Good luck trying to chisel some out as doing so can potentially lead to disaster.

Various Hardwood - believe it or not, trees can grow underground, at least in Nerdosia! The wood coming from these trees is strong enough to build entire structures that seem impervious to whatever is thrown at it. Nerds are convinced it’s magical! The trees that grow various forms of hardwood are strictly located within the core of Retro District. Understanding how important the hardwood is for the ecostructure of Nerdosia, and how hard it is to actually cut it, it’s left alone until there is a proven need some of its wood is needed.

Various Softwood - as hard as it may seem to believe wood can grow underground, it can. There is a wide variety of softer woods that are found only within the area of Retro District. The softwood serves its purpose for some Retro nerds to build wagons and other items that make their lives easier. They also love the smell of the softer woods and how, once the wood is old enough, simply sinks into the terraform that makes the Retro District seem like it’s just as alive as the nerds who live there. This wood is easy enough to come by, but restrictions are in place to ensure it’s ecological contribution for Nerdosians remains neverending.

Known Food Sources

When Nerdosia faced its first global disaster over a thousand years ago, most of the vegetation was destroyed. However, some insightful nerds who apparently saw the disaster coming built hydroponics some of the favorite foods nerds have come to love so much. Listed below are the foods the Ancient Nerdosians made sure are kept available for all nerds to enjoy;

Apple - hanging off some of the softwood trees is a fruit called apples. Nerds from the Retro District have the advantage of plucking one from a tree and simply eat it as is. Apples are also available at the Mall for nerds of other districts to enjoy, either as is, or in prepared format such as juices, pies, and treats.

Banana - in an isolated corner of Retro District, a few trees have clusters of bananas hanging from them. This highly fragile fruit cannot leave the Retro District at any time without preparing them into something. Bernie, mayor of Retro District has mastered and taught fellow nerds of the district how to make banana cookies, banana loaf, and banana smoothies that can be sold from the Mall for other nerds to enjoy.

Beans - the walls of the outer skirt buildings of Industrial City are coated with vines that are all beans. Every type of bean a nerd can think of is here. The favorite beans, cocoa and coffee, is seen along more walls of such buildings than any of the other bean varieties combined.

Carrot - grown in the hydroponic warehouse of the Mall, there are miniature carrots grown and funny looking carrots that look like orange, headless nerds. Majority of the nerds prefer the miniature because it’s sweeter and easier to eat. The bigger carrot usually has to be pulped down and put into juice, combining it with oranges, because its texture is so tough. On it’s own, it’s pulped down and mixed with a bit of water to pass as a smoothie. Regardless if it’s in the form of a juice or smoothie, nerds find this otherwise tough carrot highly addicting. And no, they won’t cook it because it becomes bland as it loses its flavor!

Corn - grown in the hydroponic warehouse of the Mall, as well as from one really weird nerd living in Retro District. Nobody knows the name of the nerd, but if you want corn from her you have to bring her a full bottle of wine. Wine does not come cheap in Nerdosia and can only be bought from the Mall. The corn from the Retro District nerd is considered to be far superior than what the Mall provides as it’s bigger in size and sweeter in taste.

Grain Garden - this specially designed hydroponic garden has rotating wheels of well organized grains that nerds like to use when it comes to food preparation. There’s a barley wheel, canola wheel, flax wheel, oats wheel, and wheat wheel.

Grape - strangely enough, the only place grapes can be found is at Virtual District, and it’s grown upside down, hanging directly overhead of Nerdopolis Park, which is located at the very center of the city and all of Virtual District. There is a wide variety of grapes that grow, all together, where it used to be easy to tell them apart. According to an edict Galileo placed when he first became mayor of Virtual District, only half of the grapes off the vines may be sold to the Mall to be turned into wine. The other half is to be sold as is.

Herb Garden - an entire wall of wheels inside the Mall is dedicated to fresh herbs of all kinds for the nerds to have access to. If nerds would rather have something already dried and crushed, there’s bottles of these available as well.

Leafy Greens - the Mall has various forms of leafy greens as their top seller among all the nerds. The Physical District nerds seem to have quite a fondness for spinach while those from Retro District go crazy on the romaine. Virtual District nerds really haven’t expressed a favourite as they equally buy every kind they can get their hands on.

Lemon - are grown everywhere, but each district has their own version of this fruit. Even the Mall has it’s own variety none of the other districts have. This is the favorite fruit for nerds who have backgrounds in bartending, cooking, and medical professions.

Lime - are grown everywhere and there is only one variety of this fruit. It is the favorite fruit nerds use in their drinks, especially alcoholic ones.

Maple - from some of the hardwood trees in Retro District, a nerd can drill a hole into the side of a tree and draw a thick goo from it that is super sweet to taste. There is only one time of the year nerds can do this and it’s a short window of time when it happens. Only one day a year, on the first day of each year, can the nerds from Retro District gain access to these trees to draw out the maple. Bernie, mayor of Retro District, placed this edict to ensure the hardwood trees are not drained completely dry as this would cause them to shrivel up and die. By doing this only one day a year, it’s an insurance policy that the tree has enough time to recover to fill up with more syrup that can be drawn again the next year. Bernie makes sure there is enough syrup to go around, though, as he has set up an annual contract with the Mall so nerds from the other districts can have access to it too.

Mushroom - grown everywhere, anytime, anywhere. But, in the Mine there are is a special collection of mushrooms that taste far better than anywhere else in Nerdosia. However, Nerdosia Security Network will not allow nerds to pick any mushrooms from the Mine without a license and they are only allowed to pick as much as the basket that is assigned to them can carry. It’s a small basket, so don’t expect to collect much. Plus, it’s only one basket per nerd per visit and there are Mine grown only tomatoes to be found there as well. If a nerd wants to collect it with the mushrooms, it’s up to that nerd to find the best way to fit it all in the basket. Stuffing pockets will be a bad idea as the nerd greathounds that are parked at the only way in and out of the mine have an extraordinary sense of smell that they can tell whether or not you obeyed the rules. The breath of a nerd will be sniffed by the nerd greathound also, just to see if anyone had the bad idea to eat as they go while plucking away inside the Mine. Offenders will have their account frozen while repeat offenders become exiled.

Nerdberry - when colours could still be seen, the most yellow fruit on the planet is the super sweet nerdberry. They’re the easiest to grow among all the fruits on Nerdosia and they’re everywhere. Entering the home of a nerd that doesn’t have one would be rare. It’s usually their favorite fruit.

Orange - grown only in Retro District, there are many different varieties of oranges that range from sweet to very sweet, as well as sour to very sour. Some of the oranges are known to be even more sour than a lemon. The most sour among the oranges are highly favored by nerds in the bartending and cooking trade. The sweetest oranges are what’s used with the headless nerd carrots to make juice drinks sweet enough for nerds to buy it.

Peach - only the Retro District has access to a raw peach from the collection of soft trees it has. While this fruit can be brought to and sold to the Mall as is, it’s lifespan is short. Unless a nerd places an order in advance, raw peaches will not be brought to the Mall. However, the nerds of Retro District have mastered the art of making food items such as peach cobblers, peach juice, and an alcoholic beverage known as peach schnapps.

Pepper Garden - Hanging off the different ceilings of University for some reason are peppers. Some are shaped like bells while others are long and skinny. Each type of pepper has its own room and there are twelve different types of pepper in particular. There is one room where there is a strict rule a nerd must be covered from head to toe in protective clothing and is not allowed to pluck a pepper without wearing gloves. Called Ghost Peppers, these are so hot to the touch, smell, and taste that only a tiny handful of nerds can actually handle it. Kayoto is the only nerd who can actually eat a whole pepper without flinching.

Pizza Plant - this is the strangest tree in all of Nerdosia and only the Retro District has it. It’s just one tree, but it has no trouble keeping up with the task of feeding every nerd who has become insanely addicted to this tree. Proven this tree is organic and not genetically engineered, attempts to make copies out of it failed. This is the case with every vegetation that grows throughout the underground of Nerdosia. Even the hydroponics at the Mall are limited to strictly grow and manufacture what’s been laid out for them. The funny pouches that grow from the branches of these trees can hold its form until it’s time for a nerd to work with it. Every pouch offers the same thing and its up to the nerd to do whatever they want with it. It’s the weirdest, yet most popular food item among the entire nerd population.

Potato - the Mall has an entire hydroponic warehouse that is nothing but potatoes. With over ten varieties of potatoes available, the one thing there is no shortage of for nerds are potatoes. Siris, the nomad nerd that has no real fixed address, has earned himself a reputation for making something he calls Nerdissian Potatoes. Nerds hire him to make this for them as he won’t share the recipe, not even to Kayoto who has since given up asking.

Spice Garden - the Ancient Nerdosians really knew what they were doing by designing a spice garden as this is laid out in sections in a warehouse belonging to the Mall where it’s available at all times. Whatever spice comes to the imagination, it’s there.

Tomato - one group of nerds insist the tomato is a fruit while the other group says it’s a vegetable. A large number of tomatoes are grown upside down everywhere throughout Nerdosia. Even in the Mine they can be found, but those are special. Don’t try to pluck one while in the Mine without a license. For starters, if Nerdosia Security Network learns a nerd has plucked tomatoes from the Mine without a license to do so, that nerd will have their account frozen and on house arrest for at least thirty days. Repeat offenders face permanent exile. The tomatoes in the Mines are left for the animals who live in the different tunnels there. Since there is no other food source for them to access other than mushrooms, it is to be left alone to ensure their survival doesn’t become threatened. Since mushrooms and tomatoes are shared in the small basket given by Nerdosia Security Network as a nerd goes into the one and only entrance and exit of the Mine, attempting to take more than what can fit in the basket is prohibited. Nerd greathounds are in place to catch any nerd who thinks they can stuff their pockets and get away with it. Breaths of each nerd is also sniffed to make sure they didn’t eat any of the tomatoes while inside the Mine.