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Calls for heightened security on northern border

In light of the current upsurge in crime, the realm of Fantasy is asking whether the time has come for more stringent border controls and immigration procedures.

At the moment, Fantasy has few formal requirements for arriving visitors. Tourists are not screened for past criminal convictions or asked for the purpose of their visit, and there is no time limit on their stay. Because of this "open border" policy, it is literally possible to walk into Fantasy unnoticed and depart the same way.

This policy has always been a tradition in this realm and many others, along with the sole formal entry requirement that the visitor must be able to write their name, or at least a name of their choice, and choose a magical word which acts as a type of passport. Having done this, the tourist is free to enter and leave the country as many times as he or she chooses, with no further control whatsoever. Also according to tradition, this name and magical word cannot be used by immigration officials for any other purpose, or passed on to any third party.

"I believe this lax approach can only lead to trouble," said a local soothsayer. "I set up my business near the main point of entry into Fantasy, on the northern border, in the hopes of attracting the tourist dollar. You simply would not believe some of the people I see arriving in this world."

Other citizens agree. "In my job as Old Guard of the Castle Gardens, I meet many tourists," said Mr. Vrontar the Bold. "My colleague Kevin the Not Quite So Bold, who is the Young Guard of the Castle Gardens, will agree with me when I say that many of them are not, how can I put this, 100% normal."

Police have emphasized that there is still no definite proof that the wave of thefts, burglaries and serial killings which have stunned Fantasy come from an outside source. "It does seem more likely that the criminal, or criminals, are not Fantasy residents," said the chief of police. "But until we are sure, we simply cannot put through such drastic measures as sealing the borders."

"What do they mean, drastic measures?" protested a fox we interviewed at the Northeast Wall. "There's only one path into this whole country. You could seal the borders just by dropping a big rock across it or something."

But many say that border controls are not the answer in any case. "Whoever killed Count Blackwing Blooddagger, Fafnir the Fire Drake, and that damn carnivorous giraffe, you can bet a blocked path isn't going to stop them for long," was the opinion of one mermaid we spoke to. "This problem is not going to just go away. Do you think my hair looks good like this?"

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Article by C. Patrick.