The World of Qaryesh T'marne

by Celtic Bard

Tags: Fiction,

Desc: Fantasy Story: An overview of the peoples, nations, religion, and other facets of The World of the Am'mortal Universe. This is meant to flesh out the stories of the Universe and give better context to them.

The world of Qaryesh t'Marne is a complicated one with eleven younger races having sprung up to build on the ashes of the elder race of Humans, who fought amongst themselves until they became extinct. In this world, the different races have divided the land into roughly fourteen nation-states and four regions to which nobody has laid claim. These nations are in constant flux in their relationships with each other and with the various races. The history of Qaryesh t'Marne is rich with intrigue and conflict, often erupting into war. The following is simply a description of some of the aspects of that world and how history has developed it.

The Elder Race

Humans (singular-Human)- A long dead race of barbaric and warlike people who seemed to have been a tribal and highly territorial race. Few details of their civilization remain known by the general populous of the world and little is known about how they came to disappear. Most academics theorize that the Humans killed themselves off in the many intertribal wars and blood feuds that were known to consume them. The lands of the Humans are now occupied by the Merxis, Khiton, Sujtasas, Truzlos, and Adytos Khitonans and several states of the Federated Commonwealth of Viniterus. Scholars of the Sheitan also believe that the city of Saidahn was once a Human city that the Sheitan simply settled and expanded on since its architecture is unique among the old ruined Sheitan cities.

The Younger Races

Am'mortal (singular and plural)- One hundred men and women who are so long lived they are referred to by the other races as the Immortals or demigods. Tall, stately, and very attractive for the most part, the members of the Am'mortal race are almost all sorcerers and witches of the highest caliber. They have the appearance of Humans (a long dead race) and they seem to each stake out a territory for themselves, ignoring international borders and national sovereigns. Many of the Am'mortal are trusted advisors to powerful families, national governments, and international consortiums, and the Headmaster of the world-renowned Lampredes Warlock Academy is the Am'mortal known as the Black Master. Few know anything about the Am'mortal except that whenever one of them dies or is killed, a rare and virtually impossible occurrence, all of the Am'mortal disappear. When they reappear in their home territory, a new Am'mortal has appeared with them, taking up residence in the dead Am'mortal's home domain.

Brynhiedrans (singular-Brynhiedran)- A quadripedal, mountain dwelling race with seemingly boundless wisdom, strong telepathy, powerful magic, and few battle skills who have life-spans that average three centuries. Brynhiedrans have equine bodies with extendible prehensile tails, shaggy fur over thick hides, clawed hooves, and short necks upon which sit almost reptilian heads. Their heads are long and rounded with sharp foreteeth, armor-like bony protrusions around the eyes, a short crest of bristly hair, and frilled ears. They have coloring which varies from snow white to jet black. Their senses of sight and hearing are very keen but lack almost any sense of smell.

The Brynhiedrans are without a national identity of their own due to their lack of cohesive unity and a fairly sparse population. Unable to speak any of the humanoid tongues, Brynhiedrans make their wishes, thoughts, and opinions known by using their telepathy and are often employed for short-term contracts as advisors, truthsayers, arbiters, and diplomatic envoys. While they are not very large in their population, a Brynhiedran can be found in almost every port city of any size and most of the larger inland urban centers of the world.

Cassemoors (singular-Cassemoor)- A short, thickly furred race of humanoid people who dwell in the old growth forests of the high northern latitudes. Rarely reaching more than four and a half feet, the Cassemoors are known only for their rich pelt, which they shed, whole, every year or two as they grow throughout their short lives that are thought to average a little more than four decades. These diminutive people are often hunted by unscrupulous fur trappers for their hides. Cassemoor fur is often used in clothing for the extremely rich, despite most nations' ban on the import of this material.

Aside from their being viewed as a luxury commodity, little is known about the social or physiological dimensions of the Cassemoors. Scholars of the northern nations in which they live have assumed they are tribal or clannish in their societal structure and most assume that they are matriarchal, since nearly all pelts brought for sale are clearly female. Few trappers have ever reported seeing anything but immature male Cassemoors.

Eovrians (singular-Eovrian)- A large, non-humanoid, marine race which dwells in the waters and the adjoining land to the east and south of the Khat-Khava Collective on the southern continent. The Eovrians have a lower body similar to seals, though much larger, in that they have no legs and move by a wormlike squirming of their lower body. Their upper torsos terminate in a pair of shoulders which sprout two masses of tentacles and a short, strong neck upon which rests a sleek, furred head. Eovrians are much more maneuverable in water, where they hunt and spend a majority of their lives, which average nearly eight decades, and only come on land to sun themselves and tend their young on the ice sheets and rocky coasts of Eovria. Eovrians are sentients with an isolationist turn of mind and they violently defend their lands and waters from intruders. It is thought by Peisti sailors who have the most opportunity to observe the Eovrians that these creatures have undersea cities and only lay about the coasts in order to protect these cities.

Kenstrills (singular-Kenstrill)- A primitive race of people who dwell in the swamp- and rain forest-covered nations of Kenashivaliar and Astrilloccejui. The Kenstrills are cold-blooded; hence they are rarely seen far from their steamy homelands except in the very warm months of the lowland regions' summer. They vary in height between four feet in early adulthood, around their thirtieth year, to eight feet or more by the time they reach late middle age around their ninetieth year. With each year Kenstrills put on more and more mass until they begin to lose mobility. They have sleek, greenish-brown skin, eyes with vertical pupils, and coarse, black-streaked, brown hair which forms a crest on the heads of the males and is longer and fuller in the females. Kenstrills only have three digits on each limb with the middle digits ending in long, sharp, retractile claws.

Kenstrill society is theocratic and patriarchal. Strong family bonds forge Kenstrill kin-groups into fierce clans and tribes who hunt and gather in familial territories for the many rare herbs, fungi, medicines, furs, skins, feathers, and minerals which can only be found in the swamps and jungles in which they live. Young Kenstrills hunt and gather, seek adventure, and make war on other clans while their elders (those who have grown too large to move so quickly or easily) deal with the foreign merchants who flock to the few towns easily accessible to the caravans of outsiders or maritime merchants.

The priests of the Kenstrill spirit-gods rule their followers with a loose grip. Neither Kenstrill nation has many laws, and most laws have to do with religious obligation. The patriarchs of each clan do most of the "law enforcement" duties found in other nations and most clans follow the rules and traditions laid down by their patriarchs more than they do the national laws. The Grand Priest and the Assembly of Theocrats of each nation only get involved in the business of the clans when two or more clans come into dispute over something. The priests are also the commanders of the nation's armies, a loose amalgam of warriors each clan sends to the priests to comply with their obligations to the nation and their spirit-gods.

Khitonans (singular-Khitonan)- A highly urbanized people who dwell in the nations known as the Khitonan Collectives. They are roughly eight feet tall (though a couple of castes average only six to seven feet) with thin, strong bodies covered in a hard but flexible exoskeleton. They are hairless, with dark brown to black coloring and large, compound eyes and jointed antennae not unlike ants or certain types of wasps. Each member of this race has six limbs, though the usefulness of all six depends upon the role or caste into which each Khitonan is hatched. For high caste Khitonans (i. e. queens, fertile males, and what are commonly called princess-queens, or non-fertile queens), the mid-limbs are practically useless and serve more for holding useful items such as quills, tea cups, or food. For worker-laborers and soldier caste Khitonans, the mid-limbs and the fore-limbs are much stronger than their high caste collective mates and are integral parts of their bodies while at work. For the castes between these two extremes, the mid- and fore-limbs have varying degrees of strength and usefulness.

The Khitonan societies are organized along complex, lineage-based groups known as collectives. Each collective is headed by a queen-matriarch and ranking within the collective is based upon how close an individual is related to the queen-matriarch by blood, mating contract, or business relationships. The Khitonans are an egg-laying race and the queen-matriarch of each collective rules over a complex selective breeding scheme with which they try to advance their collective's genetic quality. The Khitonan life span varies wildly from only two decades for those drones and unmated males chosen to do manual labor or military service to the four to five centuries of life some of the longer-reigning, wealthier queen-matriarchs have been known to live.

Each collective engages in commerce on a massive scale and each member is inserted by the queen-matriarch into the best position in which he or she can best improve the collective's economic status in relationship to the other collectives. Rank within each Khitonan nation is based upon this economic status and the ruling house of each nation is only secure in its position so long as it remains the most productive collective. The Khitonans are engaged in trading and manufacturing of just about everything and anything they can possibly manage with their resources. As such is the case, most Khitonan collectives are among the wealthiest individuals/groups/corporations in the world.

The nations that make up the Khitonan Collectives are as follows (in order of establishment): Khiton, Merxis, Sujtasas, Pernecor, Khat-Khava, Ithmus-Meisch, Truzlos, and Adytos.

Peistis (singular-Peisti)- A seafaring people who dwell mainly in the nations of Ryujinne, Ereshiga, Bo Sai, and Pai-Lung and on the Islands of Spice and Wine which are partially owned by the Khitonan Collectives and the Federated Commonwealth of Viniterus. They have lean but muscled bodies with blue-green, hard, smooth skin (not unlike dolphins) and life-spans that average almost a century. A Peisti's skin is covered gradually from birth with grayish tattoos denoting rank, family, loyalties, alliances, and achievements until the whole of their skin is cover by middle-aged adulthood. Their long fingers have miniscule suckers that allow them near-unbreakable grips. They also have loose webbing between fingers and toes which allows for great speed in swimming. Eyelids which can be made clear at will give their eyes the appearance of unblinking stares and they have pre-gills along their ribs, allowing them to breathe underwater for limited periods of time. On their heads, neck, and back the Peistis have hair which looks white when dry but is truly clear.

Peistis are consummate seamen and are recognized as the best fishermen and sailors the world over. Most ships, whether owned by Peistis or not, are crewed by at least a few Peistis and many of the best captains in the merchant marine fleets of the world are Peistis. Though poor merchants, many Peisti men become comfortably wealthy by captaining the ships of the great merchant houses of the Viniterians and the Khitonans.

Sheitan (singular and plural)- This is the name given to a people who dwell in the vast desert lands known as the Sea of Hell. It is unknown what they call themselves, but the Sheitan are known throughout the world as a fierce, warrior people. Their physiology is unknown due to the fact that they are never seen without the traditional kaffiyah headdress and mask, caftan, and voluminous haik. These garments are highly colorful and it is thought that the colors and patterns denote rank and tribal affiliation to the Sheitan. The Sheitan are unwelcome guests in any town or city but because they bring valuable and rare trade goods they are tolerated.

The Sheitan are thought to be ruled by a single autocratic king and they have been at war with all of their neighbors at one point or another over the centuries. They are feared and respected for their fighting ability and seem to be able, at times, to simply appear out of nowhere to savage caravans that stray too close to their desert lands. Some few merchant houses have been able to negotiate free trade pacts, which the Sheitan uphold almost religiously, that allow their caravans to take direct routes across the Sea of Hell and the peripheral territory that the Sheitan claim. Most of these merchant houses are Viniterian clans. It is also known that they allow the Yvaerians free travel through their lands, although why is another mystery.

Viniterians (singular-Viniterian)- A tribal and agrarian people who dwell in the Federated Commonwealth of Viniterus. They stand between seven and nine feet tall with thick, muscular builds on humanoid bodies. Skin, hair, and eye coloring depends on geography, clan lineage, and climate of home range. They reproduce through a strange symbiosis with a plant they cultivate called the Vine of the Gods. The dominant female of the clan deposits her eggs in expansive walled vineyards with seeds of the Vine of the Gods. The dominant males of the clan, numbering anywhere between five and one hundred, then fertilize the eggs and the seed through an orgy-like religious ceremony with all of the females of the clan. The females of the clan then guard the vineyards from all intruders, be they wildlife, other clans, or their own males. Each clan has four such vineyards which they rotate use of, three in production and one fallow (usually planted in off years with certain legumes which provide crops and replace minerals to the soil for the next Vine season). The dominant female supervises the care of the Vines while her young grow from them in protective sacks filled with nutrient fluids. She has the ability to decide both the sex of the growing child and the role/occupation the child will fill when it is released from the sack, three years from the time of fertilization. Viniterians have varying life-spans which depend greatly on their place in the hierarchy of their clans, with dominant males and females living as long as two and a half centuries and the most submissive and low-ranking members barely living three decades. Much of this has to do with the role/occupation chosen for them while still in the sack of the Vine.

Aside from Vines of the Gods, Viniterians are expert agribusinessmen who produce most of the draft animals, farming implements, fertilizer, fruit, pork, vegetables, and wine traded internationally. They are also the trainers for several different national armies and the home of the Agriculture Guild, the International War College, and Lampredes Warlock Academy are all located within the Federated Commonwealth of Viniterus. The Viniterians are almost militantly neutral on issues of international politics and are therefore the guarantors of international free trade and travel on the high seas. The Viniterian Hall of Peace is the accepted location of neutrality for all international disputes and the Viniterians are the arbiters of many such disagreements. They have been at peace with the rest of the world since the founding of the Federated Commonwealth in antiquity and the only conflicts they engage in are between clans or defensive actions against aggressors to their lands or trade. The Code of Viniterus, the unofficial constitution of the Viniterians, mandates a suspension of all clan wars, however, should any single clan be attacked by an outside force.

Yvaerians (singular-Yvaerian)- A scattered and nomadic people who wander through the world in small bands of up to a hundred, trading, thieving, and plying various trades including assassin, smith, cobbler, and seer. They stand only four to five feet tall with lustrous fur of varying shades and arms and legs enabling them to walk both quadri- and bi-pedally. They have long faces with short snouts filled with sharp teeth. Yvaerians have excellent senses of hearing and smell due to wolf-like ears and noses keener than most tracking hounds. Yvaerians are the shortest-lived race with an average life-span around three and a half decades, though there have been records of Yvaerian elders and shamen living into their eighth decade. Blessed with a small talent for magic, Yvaerians seem to other people to have uncanny luck at gambling and other such activities but this is merely the result of their abilities to cheat well without getting caught. Their societies are egalitarian and rather democratic, with the leaders of the various bands usually voted upon by the heads of the nuclear families that make up the bands. It is not unknown, or even rare, for a band to be led by a woman.

Yvaerians gather twice a year on various uninhabited plains at great fĂȘtes where they breed animals, arrange marriages, trade stolen goods, apprentice children, and acquire news about lands where they wish to travel. Most cities and towns throughout the world both dread and anticipate the arrival of the various bands of Yvaerians and they are therefore both treated with great courtesy and watched with extreme suspicion. Although Yvaerians are both small in number and without any real nation of their own, they are rarely attacked due to their speed and ferocity in battle.

Zargross (singular and plural)- Zargross is the name given to an unknown race living in the Forests of Zargross, a vast, unexplored, thickly forested tract of land to the west and southwest of Kenashivaliar. It is assumed that the Zargross are warlike and predatory towards other races, as none who have ever seen these people have left the Forest to describe them. It is also assumed that they have no naval skills due to the occupation of the Isle of Zargross and the adjoining heavily fortified strip of land opposite the isle by the Federated Commonwealth of Viniterus without any contact or attempted attacks.

Nation-States

Astrilloccejui- Astrilloccejui is both less populated and less wealthy than its southern neighbor, Kenashivaliar. Though both share their extreme brand of animism, in which all living and inanimate objects either are god-spirits or have god-spirits of their own, Astrilloccejui's tribes have fewer resources than Kenashivaliar's. Only the wealth gained from the Viniterian and Yvaerian caravans moving through the Sea of Hell allow the Astrilloccejuis to maintain an almost comparable standard of living to their southern neighbors.

Capital City- Astrilloccejui City

Dominant Race- Kenstrills

Other Races (by population size)- Viniterians, Khitonans, Peistis, Brynhiedrans, Am'mortal

Population- 1,000,000 (estimated)

Government Type- Patriarchal Theocracy

Sovereign- Grand Hyoshtra Gruxbaniar

Resources- feathers, fungi, furs, herbs, medicines, minerals, and peat

Chief Religion(s)/God(s)- Polytheistic Animism

Bo Sai- The Peistis of Bo Sai feel superior to other Peistis due to their occupation of the home city of the Peisti civilization, Port Peisti. On the rare occasions that the Peisti nations are able to cooperate, the ruler of the junta of Bo Sai is usually deferred to as their supreme leader. It should also be noted that the Peistis of Bo Sai do not allow Yvaerians within their realm, considering them to be demon spawn and fit only for killing. Conversely, the Peistis of Bo Sai are among the fiercest prosecutors of the poaching of Cassemoors, whom they protect by designating the lands within Bo Sai in which the Cassemoors live as national preserves.

Capital City- Port Peisti

Dominant Race- Peistis

Other Races (by population size)- Khitonans, Viniterians, Cassemoors, Brynhiedrans, Am'mortal

Population- 3,400,000 (includes sailors based out of Bo Sai)

Government Type- Military Oligarchy

Sovereign- Grand Admiral Khonovarch Offinost

Resources- fish, mercenaries, minerals, ports, shipyards, vegetables, wood

Chief Religion(s)/God(s)- Sea Gods

Ereshiga- The Ereshiga Peistis are the most blatant violators of the ban on the trade of Cassemoor fur. Because they have a native population of Cassemoors in their own territory, the Ereshiga Peistis feel no compunction in the killing of Cassemoors for their fur. Ereshiga Peistis are also the most organized of the poachers into the Cassemoor Forest, often engaging in pitched battles with the warders of the territory.

Capital City- Ereshiga

Dominant Race- Peistis

Other Races (by population size)- Khitonans, Viniterians, Cassemoors, Kenstrills, Am'mortal

Population- 3,000,000 (includes sailors based out of Ereshiga)

Government Type- Military Oligarchy

Sovereign- Grand Admiral Minishimo Hasegora

Resources- Cassemoor fur, fish, mercenaries, ports, shipyards, vegetables, wood

Chief Religion(s)/God(s)- Sea Gods

Federated Commonwealth of Viniterus- The Federated Commonwealth of Viniterus is the single most powerful nation in the world and therefore Viniterians are the guarantors of peace and the enforcers of treaties signed under their auspices. The Commonwealth is ruled by a monarch called the Supreme Matriarch, which is a hereditary title handed down through the founding family of the Commonwealth on the maternal side. Although it is a centrally ruled nation, the individual states of the Commonwealth have tremendous power and armed conflict between these states is a common occurrence due to interclan warfare. The Supreme Matriarch has the power to end all feuds in times of national emergency, but such a situation has never arisen under the Commonwealth rule.

Capital City- Viniteria

Dominant Race- Viniterians

Other Races (by population size)- Peistis, Khitonans, Brynhiedrans, Cassemoors, Kenstrills, Yvaerians, Sheitan, Am'mortal, Zargross

Population- 56,000,000

Government Type- Federated Commonwealth/Constitutional Monarchy

Sovereign- Supreme Matriarch Anedaen Seanché

Resources- advisors, animal hides, armies, caravan routes (through the Sea of Hell), fermented spirits, fish, fruits, fungi, fur, gems, healers, medicines, mercenaries, minerals, navies, peat, ports, processed foods, textiles, vegetables, wizards, wood

Chief Religion(s)/God(s)- Viniterus

Kenashivaliar- Due to their trade pacts with the Khitonan nations of Pernecor and Sujtasas, Kenashivaliar is much wealthier and more populated than its northern cousin, Astrilloccejui. The Kenstrills of the south have made better use out of their contacts with the Khitonans and even their less friendly relations with the Viniterians than the Astrilloccejuis have. As a result, the Kenashivaliarans are regarded much more highly than their northern neighbors in the fields of international politics and commerce.

Capital City- Kenashivaliar City

Dominant Race- Kenstrills

Other Races (by population size)- Khitonans, Peistis, Viniterians, Yvaerians, Brynhiedrans, Am'mortal

Population- 2,500,000 (estimated)

Government Type- Patriarchal Theocracy

Sovereign- Grand Irahji Hrazdrien

Resources- animal hides, feathers, fish, fungi, furs, gems, herbs, medicines, minerals

Chief Religion(s)/God(s)- Polytheistic Animism

Khitonan Collectives- Each nation within the Khitonan Collectives is independent and aggressively competitive with the others as well as the rest of the world. The Queen of each nation rules her own collective, as well as her nation, in an attempt to keep ahead of the other collectives within the nation. Should the Queen's collective fall behind in wealth and influence, the collective that has passed her gains control of the nation and its queen-matriarch becomes Queen. While the nations within the Khitonan Collectives are extremely competitive with each other, they all share a common sense of defensiveness should any of the others come under attack from the outside. The Khitonan Collectives rarely come together for any other purpose than war against an outside aggressor.

Total Khitonan population- 104,000,000

Adytos- The Adytos Collective is the youngest and least populous of the Khitonan Collectives. As such, Adytos has fewer cities, less international standing, more problems with pirates and smugglers, and, ironically, is therefore more politically stable. The Adytos Collective only has a few collectives within its borders and the collective of Queen Zhlee'Jreech is the most powerful and affluent by far. Thusly, Queen Zhlee'Jreech has little difficulty in maintaining her collective's dominance within the Adytos Collective.

Capital City- Adytos

Dominant Race- Khitonans

Other Races (by population size)- Peistis, Viniterians, Yvaerians, Brynhiedrans, Kenstrills, Am'mortal

Population- 4,500,000

Government Type- Absolute Monarchy/Constitutional Dictatorship

Sovereign- Queen Zhlee'Jreech

Resources- fish, fruits, gems, manufactured goods, minerals, spices, vegetables, wine

Chief Religion(s)/God(s)- Queen-Goddess

Ithmus-Meisch- The Ithmus-Meisch Collective is the least urbanized of all the Khitonan Collectives. The collectives of Ithmus-Meisch concentrate much of their economic activity on enterprises which do not call for large urban centers. Ithmus-Meisch, the city, is the only large city in the entire nation and is only there to serve as a manufacturing hub, port, and administrative center to the collective whose queen-matriarch rules as Queen. Because it is situated between four Khitonan nations, Ithmus-Meisch has only a small military navy and an even smaller army.

Capital City- Ithmus-Meisch

Dominant Race- Khitonans

Other Races (by population size)- Kenstrills, Viniterians, Brynhiedrans, Peistis, Yvaerians, Am'mortal

Population- 7,000,000

Government Type- Absolute Monarchy/Constitutional Dictatorship

Sovereign- Queen Mhrii'Leeasiy

Resources- animal hides, fish, fruits, manufactured goods, minerals, processed meat, spices, vegetables, wood

Chief Religion(s)/God(s)- Queen-Goddess

Khat-Khava- The Khat-Khava Collective is the most unstable, politically, of all the Khitonan Collectives. The collectives within Khat-Khava are among the most ruthless and successful economic powers in the world and the rulership of Khat-Khava changes hands frequently, along with its capital. Khat and Khava have both been the seat of power several dozen times within the last century as the crown has switched hands from a Khatian collective to a Khavan collective and vice versa. Because large portions of Khat-Khava are accessible by sea and the Collective owns several islands close to competitors both Khitonan and Viniterian, every collective within Khat-Khava maintains its own small army and navy to support the already significant military of the Khat-Khavan Collective.

Capital City- Khat

Dominant Race- Khitonans

Other Races (by population size)- Viniterians, Yvaerians, Brynhiedrans, Peistis, Kenstrills, Am'mortal

Population- 10,000,000

Government Type- Absolute Monarchy/Constitutional Dictatorship

Sovereign- Queen Khivie'Khoivae

Resources- animal hides, fish, gems, ice wine, manufactured goods, marine mammal hides/meat, minerals, shipyards, spices, vegetables, wood

Chief Religion(s)/God(s)- Queen Goddess

Khiton- The Khiton Collective is the ancestral home of all Khitonans. Khiton was the first city, and then the first Collective, of the Khitonan Collectives. The queen-matriarchs of the Khiton Collective can all trace their lineage directly back to the original queen-matriarch. These queen-matriarchs are all extremely wise and experienced by the time they come to take over their collectives and thus the collectives of Khiton have come to arrange their nation more along an aristocracy system than the monarchical systems of the younger Collectives. As such, the collectives within the Khiton Collective operate more like subsidiaries of one giant corporation than many separate corporations competing with one another, to the detriment of all. By doing this, Khiton has remained the supreme Collective within the Khitonan Collectives.

Capital City- Khiton

Dominant Race- Khitonans

Other Races (by population size)- Viniterians, Peistis, Yvaerians, Brynhiedrans, Am'mortal, Kenstrills

Population- 20,500,000

Government Type-Constitutional Oligarchy

Sovereign- Queen Kliirha'Rhie

Resources- animal hides, fish, fruits, gems, manufactured goods, mercenaries, military advisors, minerals, sages, ships, spices, vegetables, wood

Chief Religion(s)/God(s)- Queen Goddess, ancestor worship

Merxis- The Merxis Collective is the second oldest and second most powerful of the Khitonan Collectives. Beginning as the Yav Collective, Merxis became the capital when the longest reigning queen-matriarch within the Khitonan Collectives of the time wrested control of the Yav-Oj Collective away from Yav and moved the capital to Merxis. Merxis is one of the most politically stable of the breakaway Collectives and is an economic giant. Many guilds, including the Miner's Guild and the Fishing Guild, have headquarters in the Merxis Collective. Because of its border with the Sea of Hell, the Federated Commonwealth of Viniterus, and Bo Sai, the Merxis Collective is highly militarized along its non-Khitonan borders and along its coastlines. The Merxis navy is the largest of all the Collectives' navies and its army is only second to Pernecor.

Capital City- Merxis

Dominant Race- Khitonans

Other Races (by population size)- Viniterians, Peistis, Brynhiedrans, Yvaerians, Sheitan, Am'mortal

Population- 19,750,000

Government Type- Absolute Monarchy/Constitutional Dictatorship

Sovereign- Queen Xeera'Jhi

Resources- animal hides, Cassemoor fur, fruit, fish, gems, guilds, ice wine, manufactured goods, marine mammal hides/meat, minerals, vegetables, wood

Chief Religion(s)/God(s)- Queen Goddess

Pernecor- The Pernecor Collective is the largest and most populous of all the Collectives. Despite this fact, however, Pernecor has been unable to unseat its two main Khitonan rivals, Khiton and Merxis, to become the guiding force of the Khitonan Collectives. Pernecor has two main problems which prevent their ascendancy. The first problem is their border with the Forests of Zargross. The more or less continuous threat from the mysterious inhabitants of that wooded land requires that they place large numbers of troops along this border to prevent the lightning swift raids from the all but invisible Zargross. This gives Pernecor the largest and best army of all the Khitonan Collectives. Their second problem is the fact that there are at least nine collectives within Pernecor that vie for rulership at any one time. The Queen of Pernecor's collective has nearly been unseated from the throne seven times within the last century by collectives from the ten major cities of the Pernecor Collective. These two problems, one external and one internal, have kept the attention of the Queen of Pernecor from repeated abortive attempts at overcoming both the Merxis Collective and the Khiton Collective.

Capital City- Pernecor

Dominant Race- Khitonans

Other Races (by population size)- Kenstrills, Viniterians, Zargross, Brynhiedrans, Peistis, Am'mortal

Population- 25,750,000

Government Type- Absolute Monarchy/Constitutional Dictatorship

Sovereign- Queen Pfriestol'Zav

Resources- animal hides, fish, fruits, gems, ice wine, manufactured goods, mercenaries, military advisors, minerals, sages, ships, vegetables, wood

Chief Religion(s)/God(s)- Queen Goddess

Sujtasas- The Sujtasas Collective is the weakest and poorest of the Khitonan Collectives. So weak is it that twice in the last two centuries has it lost territory: first when Pernecor invaded and pushed their border north to Port Wye and again when Ithmus-Meisch and Truzlos agreed to split some of Sujtasas' land in the Islands of Spice. Sujtasas was able to regain some few islands, but has been mostly unable to recover from these two losses. Only its trade pacts with the Kenstrills and the Sheitan have kept the Queens of the ruling collective from being usurped or the very strong collectives in Mrodlao and Vhillnha from breaking away to form their own Collective.

Capital City- Sujtasas

Dominant Race- Khitonans

Other Races (by population size)- Kenstrills, Sheitan, Peistis, Yvaerians, Viniterians, Brynhiedrans, Am'mortal

Population- 7,500,000

Government Type- Absolute Monarchy/Constitutional Dictatorship

Sovereign- Queen Mrae'Laoyi

Resources- fish, fruit, fungi, herbs, manufactured goods, minerals, peat, spices, vegetables, wood

Chief Religion(s)/God(s)- Queen Goddess

Truzlos- The Truzlos Collective is perhaps the most aggressive of the Khitonan Collectives. Truzlos is an open seller of arms and is the base of dozens of mercenary troops. Truzlos is also an opportunistic expansionist. Three times within the space of the last two centuries it has gone to war to seize territory from its neighbors. Pai-Lung, the Federated Commonwealth of Viniterus, and the Sujtasas Collective have all lost lands to Truzlos. In addition to this, Truzlos has open ports, freely allowing pirates and smugglers to seek haven under the protection of the Truzlos navy, which is second in the Khitonan Collectives only to the Merxis Collective. From all of this aggressive and, at times, illegal activity, Truzlos has maintained a threatening place below Khiton, Merxis, and Pernecor within the Khitonan Collectives' hierarchy.

Capital City- Truzlos

Dominant Race- Khitonans

Other Races (by population size)- Viniterians, Peistis, Kenstrills, Am'mortal, Brynhiedrans

Population- 9,000,000

Government Type- Absolute Monarchy/Constitutional Dictatorship

Sovereign- Queen Tyre'Hilihe

Resources- fish, fruits, manufactured goods, marine mammal hides/meat, mercenaries, ships, vegetables, weapons

Chief Religion(s)/God(s)- Queen Goddess

Pai-Lung- Due to its proximity to both the Khitonan Collectives (Adytos and Truzlos Collectives) and the Federated Commonwealth of Viniterus and their influence upon it, Pai-Lung is considered to be the most civilized and technologically advanced of the Peisti nations. Pai-Lung, like the other Peisti nations, is a military oligarchy. However, Pai-Lung has gone somewhat beyond the other Peisti realms, politically, in that much of the political system governing Pai-Lung is either democratic or meritocratic in nature, including most city councils and all but the very senior offices in the bureaucracy. As such, Pai-Lung is the wealthiest and most efficiently ruled Peisti realm.

Capital City- Pai Sha

Dominant Race- Peistis

Other Races (by population size)- Khitonans, Viniterians, Brynhiedrans, Yvaerians, Am'mortal

Population- 2,500,000 (includes sailors based out of Pai-Lung)

Government Type- Military Oligarchy

Sovereign- Grand Admiral Pai-Tsao Jialeou

Resources- fish, fruits, mercenaries, minerals, ports, shipwrights, shipyards, vegetables, wood

Chief Religion(s)/God(s)- Sea Gods

Ryujinne- Ryujinne is the home of both the largest band of Yvaerians and the largest home range of Brynhiedrans. Ryujinne is the poorest and least developed Peisti nation and as such it lacks the political and military might the other Peisti nations have. Because of their weakness, the Ryujinne Peistis have followed the advice of the resident Brynhiedran sage of Ryujinne for centuries and therefore have a strong relationship with the Federated Commonwealth of Viniterus. Although the Grand Admirals, due to the conditions laid out in their pacts with the Viniterians, vigorously prosecute Cassemoor poaching in their own lands, Ryujinne is the second largest source of Cassemoor fur after Ereshiga.

Capital City- Ryujinne

Dominant Race- Peistis

Other Races (by population size)- Viniterians, Khitonans, Cassemoors, Yvaerians, Brynhiedrans, Am'mortal

Population- 1,750,000 (includes sailors based out of Ryujinne)

Government Type- Military Oligarchy

Sovereign- Grand Admiral Guyakoma Cejai

Resources- animal hides, Cassemoor fur, fish, gems, mercenaries, minerals, ports, sages, shipyards, wood

Chief Religion(s)/God(s)- Sea Gods

Unclaimed Regions

Cassemoor Forest- The Cassemoor Forest is not exactly a nation, but it is a large territory claimed by none and protected by patrols mainly from the militaries of Bo Sai and the Federated Commonwealth of Viniterus. Due to the richness of their fur, the Cassemoor are often poached by scofflaws from the other Peisti nations, young Kenstrills, organized criminal syndicates from the Federated Commonwealth, and Khitonan outcasts. The warders of this land kill all poachers and often attempt to track their backers, killing them as well.

Dominant Race- Cassemoors

Other Races (by population size)- Peistis (Bo Sai), Viniterians, Peistis (Other), Am'mortal

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