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The Corvallis City State was a nation in the post-Change world. Its population center was the city of Corvallis, but it extended westward to the Pacific Ocean, with an outpost at Newport giving independent access to the ocean and its fish stocks, available by a railway line maintained by the city; another railway line to the south provided speedier access to farmland for farmers living within the city walls — a girder-reinforced boulder-and-concrete wall nearly eight miles in circumference.
The faculty of the university, styling itself as the Corvallis University Committee, managed to form a government and keep destruction at bay. The population of the city rallied around the committee, which eventually retitled itself as the Corvallis Faculty Senate. The government was broadened to include an assembly of people not affiliated with the university.
Corvallis had a population density unusually high for the post-Change world, with around 9,000 souls residing within the walls by CY 9, a population surpassed only by Portland for lands west of the Rockies. Weaponry is not illegal within the city walls, but edged weapons over 10 inches are required to be "peace-bonded", being wrapped in copper wire, sealed with a lead disc stamped with the beaver-head symbol of the city. The purpose of this was not to impede drawing or using a sword, merely to make it obvious if a weapon had been used within the city walls. City law required residents to keep their militia weapons at home and ready for use, but the presence of a City Police force meant that it was unusual to see people walking with long blades, as the city had low rates of such crime. At night, the city is lit by lamps powered by methane from the city's sewage works.
By the time of , Corvallis had become known as a trade centre and for technology manufacture, with Mike Havel and Peter Jones discussing quick-loading crossbows on Havel's arrival in the city early in CY9 and Aaron Rothman visiting with the Bearkillers' party in order to purchase medical supplies.
In the War of the Eye, elements close to the Portland Protective Association tried to keep Corvallis neutral by tying up the Senate, but the assembly authorized citizens to participate voluntarily. After the war, Corvallis became the home of the Meeting, at which the nations in the Willamette Valley discussed grievances.