The Nationstates of Imythess

Joined: 4:31 PM - Jul 07, 2010

10:33 PM - Aug 23, 2012 #1

The Nationstates of Imythess

Rather than being a single cohesive country, the continent of Imythess is divided into a handful of powerful nations. The rich variety of cultures and ideologies held by local groups of people have given rise to equally varied governments. The following lore topic contains a comprehensive description of each of the most powerful and influential nationstates in Imythess, how their governments work, and the Non-Player Characters (NPCs) that currently hold some of the highest government positions. This topic by no means covers every nationstate in Imythess, only the most prominent.
Table of Contents:
  • Taras
  • Cascadia
  • Striberg
  • Istan City
  • Rozanai
  • Ivory League
  • The Deep Cities
  • Balefire
  • Norwood
  • Kellen

Risen Republic
Symbol: Anchor
Colors: Crimson, silver

Taras has risen from the ashes, and out of its crime-ridden and anarchic husk has formed the model republic of Imythess. Led by the Benefactors to the city, Ajira Kitas, Sampson Baross and Jeila Harrier, Taras is now a world leader in industry and shipping. The Benefactors themselves were originally tied to the city's massive shipping empire and have reinvested their profits for the better of Taras in the future. It has been whispered that they have an ulterior motive for their charitable actions, but these have been disproved as rumors.

The government itself is a republic. The citizens vote on a representative for each district, and this representative operates within the Taras Congress, an organization full of rich debate. From within the Congress of one hundred, they vote on a Head Minister who acts as an executive to enact the will of the Congress. The current Head Minister is Ajira Kitas. Although her rule has not been without complaints, overall she is considered to be an effective and fair leader. The Taras Congress forms laws, primarily dealing with the allocation of its funds and laborers, how to keep the city's infrastructure functional, how to compensate for the rapid influx of immigrants and refugees, and how to keep the city's criminal elements in check.

The city is kept in order by the City Guard, which is hampered by the variety of criminal organizations that became deeply embedded in the population during the city's anarchical period of rebuilding. The City Guard is headed by the Guard-Captain Sampson Baross. The Guard recruits quickly and will eagerly provide positions to immigrants who have just moved to the city and are unlikely to have ties to the criminal underworld.
Written By: Leyanni

Merchant Oligarchy
Symbol: Winged Rings
Colors: Navy blue, silver

Cascadia is ruled by a merchant oligarchy, where power is shared by a small, selective group of prosperous individuals. The council of Merchant Lords are picked by the amount of merchandise they move through the city itself and the assumed amount of wealth generated by their legal trade. Being a member of the Oligarchy itself is a fairly strenuous position, as keeping Cascadia wealthy is just as important as keeping it a clean, wonderful place to live. Balancing these two roles has been known to have a detrimental effect on one's personal business interests, so Merchant Lords will often refuse the position when it is offered. The Chamber of Merchants, as the oligarchy's center is called, is frequently understaffed, currently containing fifteen of a potential fifty members.

The most influential Merchant Lord is Oren Geist, who deals exclusively in agricultural products such as grain. Geist keeps Cascadia fed as inexpensively as possible while making massive personal profits. There are no elected leaders within the Chamber of Merchants. Instead, its members coalesce into loose political parties that press for certain rights and privileges. Two major parties currently exist. The first, headed by Geist himself, enforces generally pacifistic legislation that focuses on maintaining the flow of money and trade through the city. This party has nine members, allowing them to control most of Cascadia's current policies. The second party is much more pugnacious and wishes to expand the city's hold on trade routes through Imythess by force. This party has six members.

Other than the unusual nature of its highest form of government, Cascadia is a fairly average, safe city when it comes to citizens interacting with the government. The taxation is light, and the law enforcement is more intense and effective than most cities, owing in large part to how difficult it would be to get into and out of the city without passing by an officer of the law overseeing a checkpoint.

(Read more about Cascadia here).
Written By: Leyanni

Egalitarian Constitutional Monarchy
Symbol: Dragon
Colors: Sky blue, dark blue

The governing system of Striberg is a constitutional monarchy, following a revolution that tore down the thaumocracy that came before. The current lord of Striberg is the King of Embers, Mina Hallen. Hallen is one of the Five Fires of Rejevi, an organization of alchemists dedicated to defeating Abnathea and reclaiming the Rejevi nation. She spent many years as a fugitive before making her way to Striberg, where she organized the revolution to tear down the thaumocracy with the help of Cascadia and Balefire. Mina Hallen's rule has been characterized as an occupation by opponents, but public opinion is swaying towards her due to her ripping apart the old power structure and increasing the social and economic mobility of the average citizen drastically.

Beneath her rests a newly formed Striberg military, headed by the ancient dragon Skjoldir. The will of the people is represented by a congress named the Citizen's League whose representatives are subject to an election once every three years. The districts were decided by a number of factors, but were oriented largely towards fairness and representing the population as best it could be. While the old mage families worried their power would be stripped from them, they found it easy enough to win elections and their economic power was maintained. Modern Striberg is still rife with military patrols as resistance is still present to Hallen's rule.

Striberg plays host to the Northern Academy of Magic, headed by Iris Jeiron. The Academy is largely independent of Striberg's government, but not without tensions. The Southern Academy of Magic in Istan City is still under the leadership of Iris Jeiron which has been contentious given poor Striberg-Istani relations. While Hallen has not personally acted against the Academy, and has rejected any attempts to split the organization, members of the Citizen's League have been attempting to force the Academy to separate completely.
Written By: Leyanni
[+] Spoiler
This government was destroyed by a revolution!

The governing system of Striberg is a duumvirate, in which absolute power is shared by two equal leaders who are meant to keep each other in check. First is the Grand Duke of Striberg, a hereditary title that has been in existence since the city was first saved by the sorcerer Strilin. The current Grand Duke is Vincent Strilin, a shrewd magician who has held his title for decades, being inducted as a teenager following the untimely death of his mother. He has expressed interest in expanding the City of Magic's influence in Imythess, and as such has funded the expansion of both their army and navy. His power is shared by the current High Archmaester of the Academy of Magic. This position is chosen through a vote by the highest ranking members of the Academy. For the last dozen years, the position has been held by Iris Jeiron, an extremely powerful sorceress who has been alive for over three hundred years. Unlike many of their predecessors, these two people are fast friends and have similar goals for the future of Striberg.

The social structure of the city is very well-defined in a thaumocratic (mage-favoring) caste system. Those who are born in Striberg are confined to the same social rank as their parents (and often the same profession) until they reach the age of twelve. At that in point, their magical skill is tested by Academy-approved proctors. Literally the most important examination in a Striberg resident's life, it will define how they are treated and what opportunities are available to them. The prestigious Exalted caste consists of those with incredible arcane potential who are usually nobles, government officials, and high-ranking Academy members. The Lord caste consists of skilled magicians that usually work as prosperous merchants, members of the Striberg City Guard, or normal members of the Academy. The Middle caste is restricted to those with a mediocre arcane talent who are restricted to jobs as skilled laborers, artisans and those who perform necessary services in the city. The Lower caste consists of common laborers, indentured servants, and landless individuals who often cannot perform magic at all.

Since arcane talent is paramount to the rigid caste system, it is possible for a nobleman's son to be magically deficient and therefore drop to the Lower caste in shame, while a servant's child could demonstrate a tremendous gift and be adopted either by a noble family or the Academy itself. It is rumored that powerful families will often bribe the proctors to keep their magic-less children from descending in the social hierarchy in such a manner. Visitors to the city are often tested at the gates so that they can temporarily be placed into a caste based on their magical talent. It is rare for an outsider to achieve a rank higher than the Middle caste.
Written By: Seele

Istan City
Meritocratic Empire
Symbol: Kitehawk
Colors: Red, gold, white

Headquartered near the verdant Great Delta, Istan City holds diverse territories all across the southern drylands where they more or less coexist with numerous smaller, independent nations. The empire's government is so tightly intertwined with the military that they are virtually synonymous. Law enforcement is managed by the Army of Istan. Meritocratic ideals are deeply embedded in Istani culture, often sought after but not perfectly attained. In all aspects of life, citizens tend to expect that status will be awarded to those who deserve it the most. This can apply to promotions within the military, national politics, business positions, or even the internal workings of a family.

A non-hereditary Emperor rules over Istan City as its absolute monarch. (The title "Emperor" is gender-neutral). Up until recently, "Emperor" was viewed as interchangeable with the now-outdated term "Sultan." However, in recent history Emperor Ishraq of Hara abolished it at least temporarily when she destroyed the legendary weapon tied to that title. Emperor Ishraq was later deposed by Emperor Jai Atuko, former general of the eastern armies. He did this with the aid of Ramsei, the leader of an ancient group of golems called the Order of the Kitehawk. Ramsei is now Emperor Atuko's Lord General.

Istan has been devastated by past and present war with the Katai Union, a powerful nation from the continent of Choer to the south. Their former northern territories are controlled by the newly formed kingdom of Rozanai which is headed by the loyalists of the previous Emperor. Emperor Atuko's tradition-focused reign is vastly different from his predecessor's maverick plans. Newly passed laws mark a return to ancient ways, often encouraged by Lord General Ramsei. For example, the doctrine of Rohk turns conscription into a permanent institution. The right of Jeiva or dueling allows for internal quarrels both military- and civilian-oriented to be legally settled through combat. Despite the push for traditionalism, the Atuko administration has vastly improved the treatment and legal status of Istani native groups. Istan City has also become a haven for golems as the new Emperor has given all types full legal agency universally -- such as the ability to operate without a handler and the ability to own land. Previously, those rights had to be earned.

Written By: Ozan

Refuge of the Loyal
Symbol: Lion
Colors: Maroon, brass

Within very recent memory (ST06 "Deicide"), the Istan Empire broke in half. During a period of extreme political and social instability, the eastern legions of the Army of Istan deposed the old Emperor, Ishraq of Hara, in a fast and violent coup. It was not a civil war: it was a sudden overthrow, and it left the loyalists of the old empire in a dangerous position. Unable to stand their ground against the overwhelming might of Imythess' largest ground army, they were forced north into the Debon Plains. There, they either absorbed or displaced the local horselord clans, creating a ripple effect across almost every nation in southern Imythess.

Rozanai (lit. "refuge") is a traditional monarchy ruled by Emperor-in-Exile Hakan Solak, believed by his followers to be the true successor to the Istani throne. Solak, a family man worn down by the increasing burdens of his status, is supported by his Lord General, Zihara Vilem, an ex-Admiral in the Army of Istan's airship forces. They are guided by Ishraq of Hara, the Last Sultan, a former sandsea drifter whose connection to an ancient superweapon has turned her into a demigodlike figure.

Due to its small military of hardened veterans and its ironclad alliance with the Ivory League, Rozanai has quickly gained control of a chunk of territory in the Debon Plains located south of Taras, west of Kellen, and north of Istan City. The legal system is egalitarian and attempts to avoid some of the pitfalls of a strict meritocracy. Rozanai's influence is sold to the local Debonese horselord clans as a means to institute stability, safe roads, and productive trade. Unlike Istan City, this kingdom has a law permitting citizens to designate themselves to be bound to a golem hull upon death, becoming what is known as a "proscribed golem" -- something that is illegal in many other countries.

Ozan[/right] ... le/459130/]Ozan[/url][/right[/url]]

Ivory League
Council of Experts
Symbol: Wagon Wheel
Colors: Electric blue, black, white

The Ivory League is operated by a council composed of the heads of each lead department of the League. Letty Amara operates the League Intelligence Service, the League's notoriously effective spy agency. Fleshweaver Kahnaros is the head of League Research and Development. Damion Stalwart heads the Ivory League Armed Forces. Jak Horton heads up the League Municipal Department, responsible for the essential functions of the League. The Ivory League is supposed to operate as an organization run by the nation-states of Imythess, but not enough nation-states have joined the League for this to be viable. At present, only the Deep Cities and the Istani Empire have allied with the League.

The Ivory League's head council votes on all matters and generally votes unanimously after debate. The most influential councilor is Letty Amara, followed closely by Fleshweaver Kahnaros. The politicking is kept to a minimum as this group has worked together for a long time and generally understands one another's opinions and the needs of each other department. This means that the League's operations are kept quick and efficient. The League itself has a minimal taxation rate and instead depends on its considerable mineral wealth. This is not considered sustainable, and eventually taxation will hold the bulk of the League's operations. The League has no tariffs for goods entering the nation, even when tariffs are exacted on its own trade.

Law is handled by a division of the Municipal Department, headed by Jana Boar. The Peacekeeping Corps is just as well-armed and equipped as the League Armed Forces. Security for foreign dignitaries, of which there are many, is handled by their own homeland's personnel.
Written By: Leyanni

The Deep Cities
Alliance of Kingdoms
Symbol: Ram
Colors: Depends on kingdom

The Deep Cities are one of Imythess' oldest mortal governments. Formed of an alliance of twelve dwarven cities, the union is watched over by twelve hereditary monarchs, the Deep Kings. The Deep Kings rule their own cities depending on their culture and location. All of the Deep Kings meet at a council called the Grand Hearth biyearly in the hold of Warden's Reach. The Deep King of Warden's Reach, currently Eirik the Blind, is named the "first among equals" at the council and is in charge of keeping the debate moderate and fair to a degree.

Eirik the Blind is a moderate individual but is quite fearful of the dark elves after an attempt on his life when he was in his teenage years. The Deep King of Axerise, Olaf the Farsighted, is known for his tolerant and even welcoming attitude, born of Axerise's nature as gateway city to the Holds. The Deep King of Oldstone, Plaea the Eternal is a xenophobic and violent woman, much like Oldstone's nature as an isolationist and warlike hold. (The title "Deep King" is gender-neutral).

The other holds vary in similar ways, but all of them are expected to adhere to the declarations of the Grand Hearth -- or at least after they have twisted them to be more in line with the beliefs and culture of their own hold. If a city veers too far from the Grand Hearth's declarations, the other cities sanction it and attempt to punish the city in one way or another. The hold of Oldstone, for example, has had tight sanctions on how many weapons and warbeasts it can purchase ever since it launched an independent war against a nearby dark elf city. It is believed, however, with Eirik the Blind's recent ascension to first amongst equals, these sanctions may slowly be released.

The towns attached to each hold are led by lower officials called Mayors and these individuals are raised by a popular vote. Each district within a hold also votes for a Mayor. Far-reaching dwarven outposts are ruled by Overseers. Overseers are named by the preceding Overseer, but generally an outpost becomes a fully fledged town after a few years.
Written By: Leyanni

Symbol: Lantern
Colors: Gold, silver, royal purple

Balefire's government is divided in two, and the two rarely meet. The upper half is the leadership called the Lords of Balefire, a group that creates the laws and guides the direction of the city. They function as an adhocratic organization, whose members will take any action necessary to further their own political power. Over the years, these power-mad gambles and plots have rendered the Lords of Balefire almost completely ineffectual, which means that the laws of Balefire have remained mostly unchanged for over two hundred years. The Lords of Balefire are watched over by the Marquise Tatiana Karstoff, an ancient werewolf that has kept the city stable with her network of spies and informants. While she is a constant presence in the city, the influence of the Marquise tends to fluctuate with the times.

The bottom half of the government is the Clerks and Sheriffs. The Clerks is a broad term for the people who actually administer the laws and render the services of the relatively light government. They, in comparison to their overlords, are well adjusted people and generally have the city's best at heart. The Sheriffs keep track of crime, but their division is infamously understaffed due to the machinations of the Lords of Balefire. The Sheriffs can only deal with major crimes such as sentient being trafficking, murder, and similarly extreme offenses. For the rest, the citizenry is expected to handle their own problems, whether by offering a bounty or buying a weapon. The Clerks are led by the human Jacques Fowl, and the Sheriffs are headed by a three hundred year old vampire who most simply call "The Sheriff."

The Lords are picked by relative power within the city. Once a person has become powerful enough, he is added to the Lords of Balefire and may attempt to vote on matters important to the city, but is more likely to spend time trying to grow in prestige and power. The Clerks have their own hiring office to divorce their operations as much as possible from the Lords of Balefire. The Sheriffs hire infrequently, but generally choose from the ranks of the city bounty hunters.
Written By: Leyanni

Symbol: Elk
Colors: Green, gold

Norwood Kingdom is a semi-autonomous branch of a larger network of towns that are united under a High King and Queen. The city is led by its own Lord and Lady. The position of lord is usually hereditary through both paternal and maternal bloodlines and held for life, but has been known to change hands between generations based on merit. The current Lord has overseen Norwood Village since his father's passing over a century ago.

The Wood Elves of Norwood view other elven villages as kin and take a stance of neutrality toward most outside civilizations. They do not have established routes of trade with outsiders and depend primarily on the forest to provide for them. This makes hunters the primary workforce of the village, with carpenters and leather-workers following closely thereafter. Some of the finest bows and natural armors have been crafted in Norwood. The elves practice careful forestry, planting trees and only returning to cut the saplings after the proper time has passed. The elven government enforces this long-view of resource development, and the penalties for violating the laws can be harsh.

Given its relative seclusion from the rest of Imythess, the Norwood villages have little to no private defense. They are protected by bands of rangers and druids under the command of the High King and Queen. They practice guerilla warfare and attrition, wearing down threats to the forest instead of aiming for climactic battles. The rangers' and druids' vested goal is to protect the woods and enforce elven ideals of long-term growth, and for this they have earned the ire of the nearby non-elven populations. The bands also press away those that look to get too deep into elven territory, keeping outsiders away from the larger elven settlements.
Written By: Lothlómendil

Electoral Democracy
Symbol: Wall and Horse
Colors: Bronze, slate grey, green

The village of Kellen is ruled by a Mayor that is chosen by popular election and serves for three-year terms. This system of choosing a ruler evolved out of the founding of the village. Kellen was originally settled by a tribe of nomadic plainsmen that chose to stop roaming the Debon Plains and set down roots. The leader of this clan had always been decided from amongst the people that demonstrated the most skill in combat and horsemanship. Over time, this tradition transformed into an electoral process, where a new leader is chosen every third year. The mayor can be any land-owning adult in the city, and every resident over the age of fifteen is given a vote in the election.

The current mayor of Kellen is Quentin Sgread Almurre, a charismatic firebrand in his early thirties. This is his first term as mayor. Almurre won the recent elections over the long-term incumbent, Hewitt Sconner, due to his more hawkish stance on maintaining Kellen's independence, bulking up the military, and increasing the city's defenses as the continent of Imythess becomes more unstable. He has also strengthened Kellen's communication network with the numerous smaller villages scattered across the Debon Plains and the many roaming cultures that remain in the grasslands.

Where once Kellen maintained its security solely through a volunteer militia, a more robust army is now required. The Kellen Defense Force is a new military organization dedicated to preserving Kellen's independence at any cost. It is highly flexible, capable of fielding the light and heavy cavalry the Debonese cultures are famous for as well as many types of infantry and atypical units. Where Fara Merdell was once the elected Captain of the Militia, the new Mayor has in turn appointed his aunt, Shùil Comhlan Almurre, as Force Commander of the Kellen Defense Force. Shùil, unlike many military leaders in Imythess, is a cavalry-mage who uses traditional Debonese rituals to support her troops.

Written By: Seele / Ozan
[+] Spoiler
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