Experiences of Writing, World Building

World Focus: Ithas

Another world focus day, I’m afraid, but at least it proves I’m keeping up with the Compendium and generating content for it!

 

ithas

Ithas

Ithas is one of Hevna’s most varied countries. Stretching from arid dunes and desert in the east to lush plains and wooded areas in the west, Ithas even sees snow at certain points of the year in its more southern regions. Due to a mix of both it’s geography, and the release of weather build up on its coast line as Aether storms affect the area, some parts of Ithas can have very hot days followed by frigid nights, while other areas maintain a relatively balmy climate for most of the year.
Due to this, Ithas is one of the most agriculture friendly nations, as a wide variety of plants can grow across its many biomes, making it a very valuable country to much of southern Imyra.

Permanent Settlements
Capital: Muh’joyida (’Well Protected’) Palace: Ma’Altana (’Dragon’s Seat’)
North City: Malad’Alah (’Safe Harbor’)
Central City: Eubar (’Crossing Place’)
West City: Agra Alta (’God’s Bounty’)
West Port City: Eaz’Alah (’Great Port’)
East Central City: Vaca Cestum (’Great Fort’)
East City: Tisari (’Victory’)
South Central City: Alasal (’Honey Fish’)
South City: Barada (’Cool Winds’)

Nagan Settlements
None known.

Mankind/Nagan Relations
Men and Nagu have terrible relations in Ithas. The Ithinic people practice a very strict and niche form of Lodaism that interprets the creation myth of the faith differently to other Lodaists. The Ithic faithful believe Nagu are the negative elements of the Great Dragons that were purged in the creation of the Lodestones, and that Men are the pure guardians of the world left behind.
As such, not only do the Ithic faithful consider Nagu to be bestial waste inferior to Men, but that killing them is godly work, and their mission from the Dragons. Any Nagu foolish enough to show his face in Ithas runs a terrible risk of execution without trial or crime, especially as this racism is embedded within the Government of Ithas.

Amenities
Despite Ithas’ position as the breadbasket of the South, it is not a rich country as a whole, and the governing men of power are known to be corrupt. Due to this, some few areas of Ithas show immense progress with steam, proper sewers, rail and aether (mostly areas visitors from abroad are most likely to see, or where the nobles live), while other areas of the country have very little in the way of basic amenities available.

Water:
In Ithas’ west, water is a relatively plentiful resource for the taking, especially along the Altan mountain range and into the Plains of Bounty. Here, water is free for the taking, and smaller communities manage their own wells. As one travels west, however, the country becomes much drier swiftly and water more precious. There are fewer settlements to the west for this reason, but in those places which are inhabited, water is rationed and treated much more cautiously, similar to how the people of Bazel manage their liquids.

Food: For all its poverty in places and the difficult climate in some parts of the country, Ithas is never short on food. Variety is literally the spice of life for the Ithinic people, and most families in the west grow multiple crops for themselves as well as that which is produced for market. Ithic cooks are some of the best in the world, able to match many flavors and textures from practice with national dishes, and while everything else may be expensive, food is generally cheap and the population well fed. Even desert towns eat well, as the trade networks allow many foods to make it to the eastern settlements before they perish.

Law Enforcement: Each of the eight major cities maintains its own law enforcement, under the personal leadership of the dominant noble of that region. Outside of the cities, however, law is a very haphazard business, as no central authority enforces the law across the land. Most smaller settlements will appoint their own constables and sheriffs (or equivalents) as needed, so most towns do have law and enforcement… but the consistency and what is considered a capital crime varies widely.
On a national scale, laws set down by the Serk are ratified by the Serkate council and expected to be adhered to countrywide. Most are, as they relate to systems which benefit people or are in line with their beliefs (such as ordinances for waste, capital punishment and regulated prices for wheat and grains), but for those more contentious laws, it is not uncommon to find some settlements ignoring the law on a local level, at least so long as no government officials are in town.

Fire: Ithas’ agricultural land is fiercely protected from fire by a state-funded fire department, including a force of Weavers. Without their crops, Ithas’ would be in a dire position on the world stage, so this is one area not skimped on by the officials in power. Beyond this, and some fire departments in the richer districts of certain cities, fire control is left to the local populace to worry about (or ignore) as they see fit.

Utilities: The majority of utilities in Ithas can be found in the rich quarters of the big cities, and are privately owned and run enterprises. Where amenities such as gas and steam are laid on, warding and tamper proofing are much more present than in other places, as the rich zealously guard their perks over the common man. A fact which is heading toward a tipping point as a lack of sewerage services in some places for the poor is leading to periodic outbreaks of sickness around Ithas – something no amount of wards will protect a man from.
Military
In all technicality, every noble of Ithas owes a fighting force drawn from their province in the event of conflict. In actuality, most nobles just maintain a personal armed force of bodyguards and patrolmen for their own estates. While this technically meets the word of the old law, it is a far cry from the intent of it, and the readiness of other nations. While the lack of a formal and trained military is a known fact to anyone who has spent even a small amount of time in Ithas or studying it, the country still maintains a degree of safety simply in the usefulness of its exports and the sizable armies of the countries who depend on its fields. As for neighbors with thoughts of conquest to take the fields for themselves, the difficulties of managing their own lands have usually been enough to prevent more than border skirmishes and minor conflicts. For now.

Other
Agriculture: Food is Ithas’ main concern. The majority of the population finds employment either in the food industry directly, or in tertiary business concerned with logistic, processing or account for the produce constantly moving about Imyra. The people of Ithas have a far greater understanding of crop rotation, seasonal hazards and potential pest and disease problems than most other nations on the planet, which has led to a few particularly enterprising Ithic residents to emigrate to other agricultural countries as chief advisers to some of the largest food firms in the world. The government would rather this did not occur and keep a close eye on the most talented local business leaders.
Ithas’ main products are grain, vegetables, fruits, pulses, Ceja, cotton, dairy products, fish, livestock and poultry, with fruits such as mango the most valuable. Ithas also grows a species of the nightshade family that naturally absorbs aether. A wide leafed plant with blue veins, Dawnaba can be dried and chewed for a light psychoactive effect, or smoked for similar. Alongside Papaver, the ‘Dawn Rush’ addiction rate is climbing to concerning highs, which most governments have yet to address.

Building Materials: In the west, Ithas favor wood and brick buildings with a daub to help keep temperatures regulated. Tile if often baked to form rooftops, for those area where rain is regular, while the desert regions favor flat roofs for storage space. For the few towns located out in the dry east, underground rooms lined with stone are popular, with reeds for roofing (if needed) and carpets. Traveling nomads favor skin tents and woven rugs for their own comforts, and make excellent use of bone in their temporary constructions.

Healthcare: Entirely localized. Health is the purview of each individual, and towns usually have access to a local, privately operating, doctor.
Some of the larger cities have a more dedicated approach to health-care and treatment centers, but it is only the wealthy and influential who can afford anything more than basic care, with surgical procedures really only available to the elite.

Disaster Relief: None, in the event of a catastrophe. Some effort is in place to prevent such, in the form of proper drainage, dams, aetheric warding and utility protection, but unlike some of its peers, Ithas does not maintain a fund for repairs should the worst occur (the money instead better suiting the pockets of those in power) now any form of dedicated evacuation plan for most of its large cities. In this regard, the traveling nomads and smaller settlements who manage their own affairs are likely more ready for a bad Storm or other event than the more ‘civilized’ parts of Ithas.

Trade
Unique Imports and Exports: While none of Ithas exports are unique, the quantity that can be put to market is what makes the country special. The range of goods and cattle Ithas releases into the global network every month is the backbone of many cities which would simply fail without it (especially the southern country of Stomwool, which relies on its sea trade with Ithas to survive).
On the side of imports, however, Ithas brings in much that is exotic for the edification of the ruling elite. Nyret pearls are the latest fashion for high society women, while men currently favor Rasaalian silk and Bazel gold. The average man, however, makes do with foreign spices and Rasaalian sugar to liven up their lives.

Docks: While Ithas has a large stretch of coast, ranging from warm waters in the north to frigid ones at the southern tip, not all of the coastline is usable or safe. The Wrecking Reef extends down from Nyret into Ithic waters, while cold currents coming off of Friweft help stir up serious swells and eddies in the waters along Dragon’s Glide.
Despite this, in the areas where it is safe to make harbor, Ithas makes full use of the sea. It has several port towns, and maintains one of the largest docks in Imyra outside the city of Eaz’Alah, where much of its trade is carried out.

Airports: With sea routes and long-extant roadways historically forming the backbone of Ithas trade, air travel has been slow to catch on. In part, this is because it has been cheaper to construct the great north-south rail line which has improved the shipping and caravan routes Ithas has always used, as opposed to committing to the long term upkeep and commitment of aether power.
A few airports can be found around the largest settlements,, but they are not as well maintained or impressive as those elsewhere in the world, and not as well visited, as Ithas’ corrupt government and hard-line religious stances deter some who may otherwise have brought the technology to the fore.

Culture
State Religion: An offshoot of Lodaism. While Lodaism changes region by region in certain aspects and is far from a unified belief system, most iterations of the faith follow the same general creation mythos and belief structure regarding the cycle of life, death and moral choices.
Ithas is different. Be it due to ancient animosity with sister countries who maintained the animal gods of ancient Helze even as time marched on, or some long forgotten text which the Ithic people read differently to their peers, it cannot be denied Ithican Lodaism is unique. Like many other Lodasit cultures, the Ithic people believe they are the guardians called forth by the Dragons when they went to their rest, however they also believe the Nagan races are the personification of evil in the world, and must be purged.
Extremist groups dedicated to the religion espouse violence against Nagu and anyone who consorts with or defends them. Weft Lodaists, the most vocal and violent of these groups, also believe that Weaving is an evil (because all Nagu can Weave) and Weavers are men who consorted with Beasts and must also be purged. Their belief is such that they do not believe they will be able to return to the life cycle on death if they have not claimed a heretics life by the time of their own demise.
The Serk and Council outwardly denounce such extreme beliefs (even if they do also allow Nagu to be killed on sight without legal recompense) but no actual methods have been put in place to curb such groups, and the suspicion remains that many nobles actually fund these groups in private, to enact violence for their own ends.

Terrorism: Most terrorism in Ithas is domestic. The majority of known and broadcast events stem from religious extremism and conflicting beliefs within communities, but there is also underlying anger towards the government that has spawned aggressive acts. Protests and strikes are ‘illegal’ within Ithas, and on those occasions people have risen up in peaceful protest, the responses have been swift, violent, and kept as quiet as possible on the international stage, including the imprisonment and execution of those considered to have caused the protests. As a result, outright rebellion on the streets has begun to increase in recent years, from stabbings to shootings, to bombings of relevant institutions and locales.

Alliances:
All of South Imyra relies on some manner of trade from Ithas, and so the country has alliances with most of its neighbors out of necessity. Ithas also trades with Siwa over the Ithic ocean, and the two nations have a very strong alliance despite some significant differences in ethos and religion. This mostly comes from the willingness of both nations to patrol and police sea-routes against piracy, which matters more to both countries than their differences. The third nation in this triumvirate of the sea comes in the form of Stomwool, who rely very strongly on their relations with Ithas to maintain their own existence.

Manner of Rule: Hereditary Monarchy, figurehead only. Unlike the Serkate of Bazel, wherein chief power rests with the Serk himself, the Serk of Ithas is more a talking head for diplomatic occasions, while all the decision making and law regulation comes from the Council of nobles. This Council is comprised of the richest men of Ithas, all of whom take great pleasure in undermining and bankrupting their rivals as part of the political process. It is easy, therefore, to see who corruption has seeped into the Ithican palace.
Brief Lexicon of Ithas
Alah – Harbor, port, dock
Altanan – Dragon, giant, God
Asal – Fish
Bara – Cold
Eazum – Great, grand, good
Hayra – Lake
Joridan – Protection, defense, guard
Malad – Safe, sheltered, covered
Rat – Damp, wet, marsh
Sah – Dry, arid
Tisari – Victory, conquest

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s