Bazel is one of only four nations on Hevna that are entirely landlocked. Situated in the middle of the southern Imyran landmass, Bazel is bordered by Nyret to the north, Mayris to the east, Ketto to the south and Ithas in the west.
An arid country of desert and rock, Bazel is mostly known for its gas reserves and lucrative gold mines, which provide it enough prosperity to exist on the world stage, despite the relative lack of natural resources people gravitate to.
Due to the inhospitable weather and low levels of arable land, Bazel has a lower population than many of its contemporaries, however, the recent advancements in rail technology (which the Bazlish people have snapped up alongside co-investment from Nyret,) have seen a steady boom in population growth year by year.
Bazel also makes a special living out of indigo dye. In those areas of the country with the best soil, a native plant known as ‘King’s Gold’ (Serkasha Tafar, in the native tongue) grows rapidly and provides an excellent source for making purple dyes. With purple still considered a ‘royal’ color in many places for its difficulty to produce, it can be quite lucrative for the master chemists who know how to process it.
Capital: Had’Almat (’Rain Gardens’); Palace: Zah’Tafar (’Beautiful Rose’)
North City: Malsha Tira (’North Market’)
South City: Bunaj Tira (’South Market’)
East City: Alsha’Kan (’City of the Sun’)
West City: Shel’Bajal (’Mountains’ Shadow’)
Mountain City: Naylu’Kan (’Place of Indigo’)
Two settlements are known to exist in the vicinity of Neru’s Peaks and the Crumbled City, though not their exact location or names, due to the enmity between Men and Nagu in the area.
Bazel’s strong religious ideals and scarcity of resources have fueled centuries of aggression between Men and Nagu. The Nagan races have never had a particularly large presence in the area, due to its climate, but some Attonagu have always called the place home, only to be pushed back to a potential two strongholds, hidden away from easy reach by mankind. While it is possible there are more Nagan homes in Bazel than Men know, current projections list two settlements hidden within mountainous areas, and the likely Nagu present in both places as Attonagu. Sadly, not much is known beyond this as Nagan knowledge from the area doesn’t easily make it outside of Bazel’s borders.
Water: Water is Bazel’s single biggest challenge. Thanks to the geography around the country, as well as the effects of aether in driving certain weather fronts to act in peculiar ways, Bazel sees very little rainfall every year and has no significant standing water or rivers.
Historically, the Bazlish people have built their settlements over underground reservoirs and used wells to meet their needs, though this has naturally kept most settlements small and well spaced out.
Recent technological progress has been beneficial, however, with water treatment techniques allowing the Bazlish to get more use out of what water they do have, as well as begin to establish complex water catchment devices around the mountainous regions to trap and store morning dew and mist before the rising sun evaporates it.
Nevertheless, water is and will always be a challenge for Bazel, and is this treated very carefully and respectfully by the people living there.
Food: With water and plant life much scarcer than other areas of Hevna, Bazel’s peoples have had to come up with some different solutions to the problem of feeding its populace.
For example, the growth of wheat is banned in the country, for its drain on water resources. Grains and palm trees, however, are encouraged. Grains are managed in new farms utilizing modern technology to irrigate and protect the crops, with the country aiming to be self-sufficient by the turn of the next Century. Palms, in the meantime, provide ample dates for the people and their animals, as well as a trade export. Olives are also popular, as are citrus fruit trees.
With the advent of railroads, Bazel brings in more food in more varieties than it ever has before, but for now, this is offset by export goods.
Law Enforcement: Due to the harsh nature of the country, it is perhaps not surprising that Bazel has a harsh law system. The Serk (Monarch) issues decrees of law, used in conjunction with the teaching of the Guiding Lights to dictate all levels of governance, though it should be noted the Serkate subscribes to the older forms of Lights worship, without some of the more progressive elements seen in the home of the Faith.
Laws are enforced by a street division of the Army and judged by scholars of law in all settlements. The Serk mandates that all crimes must be brought to trial within a month, so justice is a quick (and often lethal) affair within the Serkate.
Fire: Most of Bazel’s structures are stone or mud brick buildings, giving a degree of protection from fire, especially as the Bazlish favor tile on any roof that isn’t flat. That said, the agricultural areas of the country take fire extremely seriously, given the resource commitment that goes into a years harvest.
In areas where fire is more common, dedicated and constantly manned firehouses exist, and Bazel is one of several countries to mandate fire safety in businesses, and send out clerks to audit such, even if the business is a foreign owned and run one.
Utilities: Gas is one resource in easy abundance in Bazel, and most homes have some form of access to gas for cooking or lights or both. Alongside this, larger towns have successful waste management for sewage, though solid food waste and the like is not always so well organized.
Bazel has a strong Armed Forces precedent and requires all men of fighting age (Seventeen years old and up) to undertake military training before the age of twenty-five. While most of these individuals will not remain in the military beyond their training period (usually a year to two years) and will return to their personal pursuits and jobs, there is a standing force maintained in each of the main cities.
Bazel does not train only infantry, of course. The camel is a common animal of Bazel, and while the Bactrian camel is the national animal, it is the dromedary that forms the backbone of Bazel’s domestic cavalry. Horses are also kept and trained with, though the camels outperform them in most respects.
Bazel maintains few airships, due to the unkind nature of the skies, but they do possess a strong Weaving force and aether lances to defend against incoming air threats.
Unique Imports and Exports: Bazel’s chief exports are gold, gas, indigo and exotic fruits. The country also exports camels, trained and wild, as well as some of its native sand for use in magus globe manufacture, to its neighbors. Imports consist of water, rail tech, magus globes, steel, and spices.
Docks: No docks exist in Bazel, as it is a land-locked nation, one of only four across all of Hevna.
Airports: Air travel is the least important form of transport and trade to the Serkate, and as a result, airports are not very common. One exists on the periphery of Had’Almat, and another at Shel’Bajal, but neither is particularly large or elegant.
Railways: While docks and airports fail to impress in Bazel, there are instead several significant railyards. These act as a crossroads for all manner of trade between southern Imyra’s nations. These railyards, and accompanying warehouses and vaults, can be found outside of Malsha Tira, Alsha’kan, Bunaj Tira, and the Capital, Had’Almat. Plans exist to extend the rail network west, now the other rails are complete, at which point it is expected that Shel’Bajal will become another trading city, so long as relations remain cordial with Ithas.
Currency: The Bazel Kun (BAK). The Kun is common currency among the southern Imyran nations, though Bazel’s variant is troubled. The international worth of the Bazel Kun is relatively low, based on their market presence, however, the availability of gold and its presence in the coins makes the currency worth more outside of its own borders for raw material. As a result, counterfeiting has become an increasing problem, and the Serkate is in the process of trying to solve the problem of value versus worth.
The Kun, as in other areas that use the coin, is subdivided into kunari using the decimal system. Bazel produces coins in denominations of 1, 20 and 50 kunari.
State Religion: Faith of the Seven Guiding Lights. It is unclear how the religion first made its way to Bazel, but it is very much built into the fabric of the country.
Bazel practices an ‘older’ form of Lights worship, and as a result, the government can be quite intolerant of other faiths and anything outside of their personal interpretations of the older scriptures in the holy book. While it is not required for any person to follow devotions each week, nor is it illegal to hold another faith, there are no churches or shrines dedicated to other faiths within Bazel, at least that is openly admitted to.
Conflicts: Bazel has a two-pronged history with terrorism, though it has always been on a relatively minor scale, within cities. The first prong comes from those malcontents who contest religious matters. Historically, this has included those who feel the restrictions put in place by the Serk are too stringent and oppressive, as well as those who feel the Serkate isn’t doing enough to enforce Lights law.
The second prong of unrest, on the wane in recent years, typically came from those starving or suffering after bad years for the country, prior to the intervention of the rails.
Bazel currently has no open conflicts or grudges with its kin, though the people remain tepid to Ketto, once known as an expansionist nation.
Alliances: Bazel has strong alliances with most of Imyra, due to the desire other countries have for it’s gold and gas reserves. This leaves the country in a strong position, especially when it comes to continuing practices some of its allies disapprove of, such as capital punishment and religious suppression. Bazel’s strongest relationship, however, is with Mayris, both for strategic reasons and because the two countries share similar ideals in certain theaters.
Bazel enjoys a strong trade relationship with Nyret, but it is a well-known fact this is by necessity only, as the two countries’ leaders rarely see eye to eye, especially on foreign matters.
Manner of Rule: Hereditary monarchy, with full power. The Serk rules in the name of the Lights, and uses ministers to carry out and distribute his will.
Gold: Bazel supplies Hevna with one of the readiest supplies of gold in the world. While a precious stone in its own right, Bazlish gold is an even more precious resource for its input to stabilizing Imyran economies. Many Imyran banks use a gold standard at the present time, with bars of precious metals drawn from Bazel’s mines nestled inside strong rooms in multiple nations.
Building Materials: Stone and mud brick from the backbone of the common home in Bazel, with imported steel used in larger scale buildings and agricultural structures.
In deference to the cycle of heat and cold which plays out every day, many homes have underground sections, while the mountainous regions may have entire houses, some of significant size, carved into the rock.
Healthcare: For many years, health-care in Bazel came down to the local Weaver, and home remedies. The age of industrialization and global trade, however, has prompted Bazel to retain doctors trained in other countries, importing medicines and technology. Bazel academics try to seek government scholarships to pursue medicine, as the profession is highly regarded and respected by the current Serk and his government.
Disaster Relief: All cities have underground safe havens, for both Storm problems and periodic sandstorms. Warding is light around Bazlish towns, not out of a lack of funding or desire to protect them but because aether streams are so unpredictable and vary in strength. Bazel prefers to make cheap, disposable wards that can be easily replaced.