Along with Nyret, Mayris represents one of the first settlement points for humanity as the species spread out from Helze in the far distant past. Unlike its northern neighbor, however, Mayris has no real ruins or remote archeology to its name – because people continue to live in the same places even to this day. In the early days, Mayris was a collection of warring tribes, before becoming unified under a military campaign by Myarin the Great, founder of the Empire of Mayris which has persisted ever since, as has the continued use of the ancient alphabet which still forms the basis of the native Mayrisian language.
The country itself is a contrast of forests, plains and rivers, with an extremely warm north around Netib, and fertile temperate lands around Dibika and Iberi in the south. Deforestation of some areas, and lengthening dry seasons, however, have begun to slowly change the environment in certain locales, for the worse.
Capital: Ch’ofi (Forested place); Palace: Filsena (Blessed House)
North City: Tewina (Named for Warrior Tewor)
North East City: Ketema (Wealthy Town)
East City: Yemeseb Bota (Gathering Place)
West City: Keh’Belayi (Great Lake)
South City: Wenuzu (River Town)
South East City: Riki Bota (Distant Place)
In general, relations between Men and Nagu have been peaceful in Mayris, as both groups mostly ignore each other. The ancient Helze influences on Mayrisian culture have perhaps allowed the Nagu to retain a degree of distant veneration by the Men that dominate the Empire, but the general consensus is to leave each other well enough alone, save for some trade situations.
Sadly, this may not remain the case for long. In some areas of Mayris, drought years have led to extreme tension between Men and Nagu when they cross paths, and some initial outbreaks of violence. Even in less drought-affected areas, those Nagu who live or work alongside men in outlying settlements are beginning to feel the onset of tensions as the dwindling resources in some areas affect the culture in others. Coupled with water pollution issues, and Nagu often favoring the head of rivers and streams to settle, reasons for grievance continue to mount inside the country. Only time will tell how the situation resolves itself.
Mayris has historically been a self-sufficient and self-enclosed country, with fluctuating development levels. In the early days of the Empire, Mayris sat somewhat ahead of other areas of the world, maintaining old traditions and technology from Helze that were lost to some settlers. As time marched on, the rest of the world has outstripped Mayris in terms of amenity availability and quality, but the old ways still work well for most of Mayris.
Water: Water has rarely been an issue in Mayris’ past, with runoff from the mountains and its rivers providing enough moisture for its extensive population and their crops. Aqueducts, viaducts, and underground piping have allowed well water to be freely available to the populace, with runnels heading directly into the houses of the more wealthy.
Unfortunately, the steady deforestation of some areas and lengthening dry spells in midsummer have reduced some perpetual water sources compared to their traditional size, and more dust and debris has polluted many. Laws regarding industrial pollutants are also lacking, leading to further issues with the quality of water, the further one gets from the source.
Food: In those areas where agriculture does best, 85% of the population are involved in just that. Mayris boasts some of the oldest genus’ of cultivated plants, as well as those crops desired the world over – ceja, and tlaki. Some of the strip fields of Mayris have been in the exact same place since records began, and despite how desirable some plants are on the world market, nearly all farming in Mayris are small scale, farmstead affairs.
Most Mayrisians will enjoy a mix of grains and hunted meats, though cattle farming has begun to take over as forests shrink and wild herds become less common. Fruit also forms a large part of the local diet, and most of the populace pride themselves on their preservation techniques that have, so far, managed to aid even the driest areas through drought seasons.
Law Enforcement: Mayris operates very much as an Empire, rather than a single entity. Mayris recognizes eight regions within its borders, each administered on a local level by elected officials in the largest settlement of each region. In turn, these officials affect the lawmaking on the country-wide level, as well as retaining and training the lay officers that form local police forces. Federal laws outlaw grand scale crimes, such as murder and assault, with prison sentences or exile from the country attached to them. Local authorities decide the punishment for lesser offenses, and thus the consequences of crimes such as poaching can vary wildly across the country. The death penalty is outlawed across Mayris, but there has been recent stirring among the populace to bring execution back for the most serious crimes.
Fire: Similar to policing, fire prevention is handled on a local level. Mayrisians favor timber buildings, so fire safety is something of importance to everyone in a settlement and usually well regulated. In areas of periodic drought, this is a highly trained and skilled position for people to aspire to, and Weavers are retained in such areas to both help control those fires as do happen, as well as stimulate prevention by creating earthen berms in the path of frequent fire lines.
Utilities: For all Mayris can sometimes struggle on the world stage and uses less modern technology, it still has one of the oldest functioning sewer systems in the world. Most large settlements, even those away from rivers and streams, have stone lined water systems purely designed to carry waste out of towns. Most sewers did not originally connect to personal homes, though this has been steadily rectified as time has gone on… though public toilets and waste drops still exist in near every town.
Richer folk in Mayris sometimes employ gas in their homes, alongside running water, but most of the populace favors outdoor cooking with charcoal and wood and thus the gas systems across the country are very primitive, as are the uses of steam engines, when animal power is cheaper.
Under the order of the Emperor, Mayris maintains the First Battalion of the Regular Army as a standing force, with reinforcement battalions drawn from each region in times of strife, as well as volunteer Weaver forces should need arise. The Army is joined by a standing Navy that patrols the coast, and a very young air force, made up of a mix of both aether ships and Gyr mounted women.
While Mayris has no draft or mandatory service for its peoples, it shows no favor between men and women who wish to make a career in the forces, though both genders have roles for which they are favored (all Gyr riders are women, for example, because women are thought to be more empathic). Most of Mayris’ population are competent with bows, muskets and polearms from their day to day lives, but only the standing forces possess proper training in etiquette and tactics in combat.
Unique Imports and Exports: Ceja and tlaki form the biggest worldwide commodity Mayris produces. Oilseeds come in a close second, followed by gold. Mayris also exports some unique plants from it’s forests to the high society men and women of northern countries, where horticulture is undergoing a revolution in popularity. Despite this, Mayris does not currently have a particularly huge income from trade.
Affluent Mayrisians favor silk, spices and aether for import. The country also has designs on importing foreign technology to further improve matters inside its borders, but until foreign investment or better trade can be negotiated, the money has yet to emerge for the creation of further airports and rail lines, much as the Emperor wants them.
Docks: Small fishing docks decorate Mayris’ short coastline, with several large docks near most of the larger towns. Truly international ports can be found at Ketema and Asar, where much of Mayris’ imports come into the country under the watchful eye of officials keen to make sure taxes are paid – much of which funds the naval patrols that keep piracy under control along the Helze channel.
Airports: Mayris has very few airports. The Emperor maintains a personal airdock at the palace, used by the highest ranks of Mayrisian society, but there are also formal ports at Ketema and Keh’Belayi. Informal docks have also sprung up in the flat spaces around other large cities, though these are mostly used by the few trading companies inside the country who own airships to make such places worthwhile. Over time, these sites are growing, and will likely improve massively if some outside investment is brought in.
Railways: To date, Mayris has no railways within its border, though there are plans within the Government to begin construction when possible. With efficient road networks that have serviced the country so well for so long, Mayris has been slow to pick up new technology, but the pressure of foreign sources to move ceja and tlaki more easily is certainly being heard within the circles of power. Rumor has it that foreign investment may just get construction begun within short order, though many who rely on road transport to make a living have voiced concerns over who will profit from the ‘better’ rail system, especially if foreign investors are allowed to profit off each journey.
Currency: The Mayrisian Kun (MAK). With borders with both Ketto and Nyret, Mayris is in the handy position of having a stable economy between the two major players in southern Imyra’s trade. Mayris therefore uses the common Kun currency, but many merchants and stores also accept the Stol if it is in coin form.
The Mayris Kun, like its contemporaries, is subdivided into kunari, using a decimal system. Mayris produces coins for denominations of 1, 5, 10, 20 and 50 kunari.
State Religion: Ancient Helzetian derivative. Many of the ancient deities persist in Mayrisian worship as a variety of spirits under the guidance of the chief god, Fili, and are celebrated inside every household at small shrines. Mayris celebrates its spirits and gods in line with the calendars of its neighbors, often simply replacing the deity of one celebration with its own variant. The cultures of the southern Imyran countries have become so intertwined, no one is sure whether Mayris’ celebration dates informed later Lodaism, or the other way around. Either way, the smudges lines between Mayris’ religion and both Lodiasm and some elements of Light worship mean that Mayris supports freedom of religion from its populace, so long as it does not dispute the sovereignty of the Emperor.
Conflicts: Mayris has been at peace for a long time, but the beginnings of class divide are showing themselves in the cities, especially as the droughts across the country put pressure onto the most vulnerable members of the populace – the poor. So far, most unrest remains at the lobbying level in local governance, with outbreaks of aggression against easy targets such as the Nagu. In many places, protest is not permitted, however, which could lead to greater issues further down the line.
On the international scale, Mayris maintains a peaceful relationship with the rest of Imyra, as enemies make for poor trade partners.
Alliances: Mayris trades extensively through Nyret, and holds a relatively friendly relationship with them through religious similarities. The strongest ally to the country, however, is Bazel, to the west. Bazel offers useful trade goods to Mayris’ elite, and both countries agree on much from a military standpoint, and certain ethics. Bazel also favors the use of Mayris’ docks for some exports and imports, keeping the two nations friendly with each other.
Manner of Rule: Hereditary Monarchy. The line of Mayrisian Emperors has changed hands quite a lot over time, though every dynasty strongly pushes some connection back to the great unifier, Myarin the Great, to legitimize their rule. The current Emperor, Kurbash VII, is descended from the Hemen line that has held the position for the last two hundred years. Interestingly, Mayris does not favor males or females for the most important role in the country, so long as the heir is the eldest and healthy.
While the Emperor is the ultimate authority in the country, and grandest judge, the Emperor does not make the laws as this is considered beneath him. He merely ratifies what is decided by the Council of Chor. Despite this, in technicality, the Emperor could pass a law of his own without any input from the Council… but dynasties have fallen over less. The Emperor is far more likely to weild his power by refusing the ratify a document, which can often have the same result as acting more directly.
Artifacts: As the intelligentsia of Hevna continue to expand their knowledge and interests into the workings of the world, a burgeoning love for archeology has started an illicit trade between the average Mayrisian peasant and the rest of the world. Much of Mayris is built on the foundations of generation upon generation of people who came before – including the old practice of burying the preserved dead under their homes, often with grave goods. Coupled with the grand but hidden tombs of the aristocracy and continuation of Helzetian beliefs and iconography in the area, artifacts from Mayris fetch a high price to collectors in other parts of the world, despite the legislation in the country that disturbing the dead is a crime. Nevertheless, there is a hefty trade in antiquities coming out of Mayris, though it is unlikely the peasants are truly compensated duly for the items.
Building Materials: Timber has been the standard building material of Mayris since time immemorial. Advancement of technology and learning means today’s buildings are sturdier and bigger than in the past, but overall, they remain traditional in many ways. Wood carving allows one to display status in Mayris, as does a tile roof rather than rushes or thatch. Glass is easily imported from sandy regions or from across the Helze channel, with stone used in more expensive homes to form courtyards and walls.
Healthcare: Entirely localized. An individual’s health is their own concern, though most towns have doctors available if you have money (or barter, in some places). The presence of sewers through so much of Mayris’ history has prevented outbreaks of illness other nations have endured so well that universal healthcare has never been something people have dedicated themselves too, and many doctors will have a second job alongside their trade for when work is sparse. Most people self medicate with various plants traditionally used for common complaints, especially as both the ceja and tlaki plant have painkilling properties that can be distilled from the leaf.
Disaster Relief: Depending on which region one may find themselves in, plans for disaster relief can be very different, to non-existent. Long-term towns are almost immune to aether storms after centuries of warding, and fire is something most places are prepared for. None of Mayris seems prepared for the longer term droughts now ravaging parts of the country, however, and food stores are not something maintained by many areas. The concerns have made their way all the way up to the top tiers of government, and even the ears of the Emperor himself, but as yet, no countrywide solution has been devised.
Brief Lexicon of the Empire of Mayris
Asa – Fish
Belayi – Lake
Bota – Place
Ch’ofi – Forested
Derk – Dry, arid
Ketema – Riches, wealth, prosperity
Riki – Far, distant
Sorfi – Trees, Copse
Yemeseb – Gathering
Wenuzu – River Crossing