Al-Kaig (Karanduun Setting)
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“The Yavuman Empire of Al-Kaig will rule the world.”
In the 258th Year of Yavum’s Slumber, the Septumvirate left Lakungdula, escaping the War of the Four Datu, and traveled north, arriving at the wintry land of Hosk-Ede. They, and with their families and slaves, wreaked havoc across the Continent, until they came upon the Kivhran Peninsula, which housed the snow-skinned Kivhran Tribes that worshipped the seven gods.
When Kivhra had been conquered, they adopted their beliefs, and became a polytheistic tribal people that believed that the Septumvirate were the seven avatars of the Seven Gods. In the 355th Year of Yavum’s Slumber, the Septumvirate eventually devolved into fighting, until a certain Son -- the middle child, named Kaig, found the Tomb of Yavum, further to the north beside the Irikairan River. There, he gleaned the secrets of the truth, of the Dream, and how all of Reality is but a Nightmare. He unlocked the secrets of his soul as he read the occult writings of the book. He wept tears of blood, and bled from every orifice, but he came out a different man, wherein those same sigils would appear out of his hands.
Kaig became the First Prophet. The first of the Saint-Kings.
In the 321st Year of Yavum’s Slumber, Kaig won the War of Seven Tears.
This is the Holy Yavuman Empire of Al-Kaig.
After the Infinite Tears and Lightnings Apocalypse, the humans regressed.
The humans that were saved from certain doom being travelling from Tabun, the Island wherein they were protected by the Apo, specifically, Anitun Tabu and Dihan-Ma-Salanta. Eventually humanity spreads out once again. The First Barangay is established in the northern tip of the island of Osa. At this point, there is only one Datu. Before long, however, a dispute rings out over which god brought them victory and the ability to survive. This began the first major war of the humans in the Time of Malice. The war lasted for a hundred years, sputtering out into an agonizing end with hostilities on all sides. Weapons of war were honed, sorceries were accepted, and the First Barangay was fractured. Humanity was once again against each other. The War of the Four Datu began.
Other natives did not move down with the rest of them, instead moving up further North, to Hosk-Ebro. Here they discovered the icy Salvagewastes, and created entire societies around them, and set to learning these lost technologies.
When the war eventually ended, a race of tamawo half-bloods decided to travel North, away from the Thousand Islands, as suggested by their tamawo forebears. These seven humans were known as the Septumvirate, and learned much from their tamawo mothers, for they were half-bloods. When they arrived and settled in Kivhra, they began a new way of philosophy and religion, interacting and learning and adopting the doctrine and the knowledge of the pale-skinned humans who were native to the region. This is where they first learned about the Seven Gods.
The native Kivhrans believed the seven men to be the Seven Gods, and named them after their gods. Soon enough the half-bloods conquered all of the Kivhran region (which was no empire, rather, a bunch of small settlements with some ability to measure the stars and rudimentary knowledge of mathematics) and began building their own empire. To the far north of the Kivhran Peninsula, buried in ice, was an old tomb which was raided by a party of adventurers headed by Kaig, one of the Seven. In its deepest parts, having only two other of the original companions with him, Kaig found a leatherbound tome written in a language that he was only able to comprehend because of his innate tamawo blood. There, Kaig heard the voice of Yavum. He witnessed the manifestation of Yavum upon the earth… and the revelation broke him and killed him. In the next second, however, Kaig awoke in a pool of his own blood, and a halo around his crown. He was Blessed, Chosen, the First Prophet.
The First Prophet spoke and sang to all that could hear, and he spoke to all that could not. He spread a message of solitude with one another, and a hatred for “evil”, to put away material wants and to seek higher enlightenment through the Canticle. He garnered the 14 Disciples and went to spread the Yavuman Faith. The six other siblings of the Septumvirate all worked together to kill him, fearing they would be too strong. The six killed him in the Battle for Heshkelios (a cliffside plain in the Peninsula nearing Saviro) a horrible and awesome war that forever marred the cliffside plain of Heshkelios. It was eventually renamed into “Cross”, for this is where the seven crossed, and only 6 left alive.
These were the first few steps of the empire-spanning Yavuman Faith.
The Six began fighting amongst themselves, subjugating the tribes in the Kivhran Peninsula and in the surrounding regions into seven peoples. Those that followed The First Prophet’s Cult gathered all their followers from all the Seven Cities and they launched a counterattack. 7 Days after Kaig’s death, the First Prophet returned, and he spoke to the Congregation of followers, which numbered 200 in total. There, in that Congregation, the First Prophet gave them the Blessing of Yavum, which shone Halos upon their crowns. They became the First Saint-Kings. And with that done, Kaig ascended to the Seat of Heaven, and there they decided that Kaig was God Incarnate.
The Saint-Kings went out into the world and preached, and converted. It wasn’t long until the Major Religion of the Seven Cities became the Yavuman Faith. The First Father, the eldest Disciple named Ebro, stepped up to become the leader of the Church, and all the Seven payed tribute to the Patriarch.
However, the Seven Cities were still a divided people, and it wasn’t until the Third Father, Baerius, who was a warmonger and echoed the Warring Aspect of Yavum the most, that the Seven Cities erupted into Holy War…
...after fifty years of War, the Seven Cities became one Empire -- the Yavuman Empire. It spanned the entirety of the Kivhran Peninsula, along with the Eastern Havrian Region, the Nomadic Plains of Jyliean, the Inner Sea of Saviros, and the Near Northern Mountain Regions of the Snowsword Peaks.
Before long, Kaig’s Disciples worked to reproduce copies of the Tome, which they decided to name the Canticle of Light. Within it, they blocked off and reproduced the second volume of the Canticles, which they called the Canticle of Secrets, which are only allowed to be used by Magisters and, eventually, the Inquest. The knowledge gleaned from the Canticle of Secrets were known as “Theurgy”, upon which they called upon the various angels of Yavum, known as the Merak, to plea for the manipulation of reality.
Thanks to their faithful, the Yavuman Empire flourished. They retrieved many artifacts from the tomb, and the Saint-Kings, continued to be exceptional leaders, bishops, warriors and savants--esteemed members of society.
The Yavuman Empire took its first steps to divine domination.
Soon the Qirong Naga established trading routes along the Eastern Havrian Region, which is in constant battle with the Giro’jji. The Al-Kaigians and the Giroans fight over ownership of the Altoannian Strait, but the Yavuman Empire in the current year has gotten the upper hand, allowing the Dragon Lines to open. Trade with Qirong has brought about a whole slew of new technologies, although the crystal technology that the Dragon Lords of Qirong used was kept as meaningless esoterica. Nevertheless, the Kaigians gleaned important insights and concepts from them. Notable inventions (or more likely, rediscoveries) of this timeline include the pneumatic rifling alongside crossbows (which were learned from the rian), flowsteel armor (expensive to find, even more expensive to craft), and craftlight (alchemical fixtures that create light and is the primary source of light in the seven cities). The Qirong have lately been able to steal the knowledge of witchdust from the Lakungdulan Isles, and have managed to create a powder that could be exploded within a barrel. This invention they called dragonflame powder, and was in a sense easier to craft.
Around 613, the twenty-first son of Kaig, Iabdeki became the first Patrilineal Leader of the Empire. So far they had been led by a line of Priest-Kings, the Fathers, until Iabdeki became a Saint-King and subsumed the power. The Church still had immense power over the state, however, and decreed it that Kaig’s line is a blessed line.
Under Iabdekian rule, he appointed Province Governors for the now Seven different Provinces. Each of these Provinces were given a degree of autonomy, but they all paid tribute and they all followed the Yavuman Faith. The Seven Provinces were: Phaedrus, Kivhra, Havria, Jyliean, Saviros, Snowsword, and the newly conquered region to the Far West, which consisted of those that fled the War of Seven Blossoms, known as Ikigian. With each of the seven provinces decreed, Iabdeki made sure to fortify places and solidify the Yavuman Church’s power, and he was under no corrupt compulsion. Only the compulsion of religion. His last and final awesome decree was thus: to change the name of the Yavuman Empire, into “Al-Kaig”. The place of Kaig.
It was met with some hostility from the Church itself, but the rest of the populace backed the idea, and it was so: It was fully dubbed as The Holy Yavuman Empire of Al-Kaig, or simply, Al-Kaig.
Several dynasties followed after: the Jannian Dynasty from 693 - 732th Year of Yavum’s Slumber outlawed “Blessed” that were not part of the Congregation or the Church. He called these deviants “Devil-Kings” or “Dukes of Hell”, and were agents of the One Who Fell, Zhayfrithem, as he toiled in his abyssal cage.
The Valuyan Dynasty from 732 - 789 was marred with political conflict between the Provincial Governors. Emperor Valu, however, succeeded in creating the Great Stone Wall of Phaedrus, making it impervious to destruction. He set about to creating a larger wall to the north that would protect Al-Kaig from the shapeshifting witches and horrors of the night, the name of which they learned from the Lakungdulan Sages -- Aswang, but he was assassinated and replaced by a Saint-King known as Ohraimon the Vizier.
The Ohraimon Dynasty lasted from 789 - 923, the longest it has ever been. The Saint-King weeded out political opponents himself, moving through the night. During this time, technological jumps were made, and the great Kaigian warmachine constructed the feared armadura power armor, which was powered by spiritual energy (their word for Diwa). The Dynasty also raised the stature of the Saint-Kings even more, and they became manifestations of Yavum, gaining idols and murals upon the various Cathedrals.
In addition to this, they created the great Temple of Ohraimon. Ohraimon, possessed of wisdom given to him by Yavum, being the wisest man to have ever lived, had contacted 99 Demons to do the job for him. These demons were handpicked by Yavum for redemption, and said that those that would serve under the Ohraimon would be given redemption. Half of them were redeemed, but the other half were possessed of their natures, and as such they rebelled, bringing havoc and destruction. Ohraimon ascended to the Seat of Heaven, leaving the trouble of the 50 wrathful Demons to the next Saint-King in line: Zuhayr.
The Zuhayran Dynasty lasted from 923 to 1068, and he created the Inquest, which was made specifically to destroy devils and demons, and in addition, keep the Empire safe from all terrors. In addition, Zuhayr enacted the great Manifestation of Fate, and branched out from their Peninsula to colonize the Thousand Islands as well as the Northeastern part of Vakshiri, and the Southwestern Region of Kat’jja.
The current Dynasty, lasting from 1068 to Present, is the Yunusian Dynasty, headed by Emperor Yunus III. He has redoubled efforts to colonize the Liwayan Islands and the entire world, and has actually suffered devastating losses with the Kaigian-Qirong War during the first few years of his reign.
The Al-Kaigian Empire is split into five discrete social classes. The first one is the Imperial Class, wherein those that live within the Imperial Cathedral have all the other Classes working for them. This includes the House Heads of each House. They are primarily concerned in governing, and is usually just made up of the Emperor and his Senate. The second class is the Gentry Class, which consist of every person that owns a fief, and is a vassal of the Imperial Class. Most of the Noble Class associate themselves with a Noble House. The lowest Noble Class is the Youngest Sons of a Lord of a Manor, while the highest one is a Satrap of a Satrapy, or a certain Province. Each Satrap answers to the Duke of their House, or the House Head.
There are Seven Nobles Houses, each one having their own Noblesse Oblige. They are as follows:
“Glory to the Unconquered Dream.”
The Rulers. They are the firstborn sons of the Monarch and the children of Kaig, (hence the Al-), and are directly in line for Emperor. The Empire itself has the moniker of “Spawn of Kaig”. Relatively the most spited house, and the house constantly under fire. Their emblem is the Great Dragon, representing the most powerful and greatest manifestation of Yavum as the Dragon Of All, a being of vast power and strength. This is represented in a serpent with a million wings biting its own tail, with the upper part being the sky, the lower part being the ground, and within the hole made by the serpent’s circle is the sea, as it floats through the void.
Noblesse Oblige: Ruling, Administering, Caring. They are the sharers of Yavum’s word as well as the Leaders of the Empire, as well as having too much responsibility being put onto their shoulders. They are trained rigorously since childhood until the end of their first Tour of Duty. The most obvious obligation they must do is rule over the rest of the Empire of Al-Kaig, and they must put forth humanity without disregarding Yavum’s Word. They are trained to be master diplomats as well, and to lead the rest of the Houses, and make sure everything is working efficiently.
House Head: Emperor Yunus, First of His Name, the Greatest Lion, Retaker of the Archipelago
“War is the crucible of greatness.”
The Warmasters. They are descended from the eldest son, Alar, who was a master of martial combat, tactics, discipline, and warring. It was said that Al-Alar was the one who would’ve won had Al-Kaig not found the Tomb of Yavum. For this reason, they are constantly at odds with Al-Alaria, and the Head of Al-Alaria is rumored to be a militant atheist. Their emblem is the Lion, representing their fury and strength and tenacity.
Noblesse Oblige: Disciplining, Conquering, Protecting. They are the trainer of Al-Kaig’s soldiers, and they are doing a damned good job of it, as well as the order that pushed for the mandatory military training for every civilian, meaning every Al-Kaigian citizen can fight. They are the leaders in the battlefield, masterful warriors, and train the secret order of Soulfists -- in the Monastery of the Blossoming Fist in the mountains of Anatius to the East. They are unrivalled in the arts of war, and some would argue they would take over Al-Kaig if it weren’t for their devotion to Yavum and the crown.
House Head: Aquilus Al-Alaria, Imperial Legate of the First and Second Legions, Slayer of Aker, the Pagan Black Goat God
“We must all do our part in the Divine Dream.”
The Priests and the Congregation. They are descended from the second eldest son, Shilom, who is said to have conferred with the Old Gods of Kivhra, and then helped Al-Kaig kill them off one by one. Their emblem is the Owl, representing the purity of their souls and their closeness with Yavum’s Dream.
Noblesse Oblige: Preaching, Ministering, Blessing. They are the ones that propagate and conduct the Imperial Masses, as well as every other thing to do with the state, such as laws, sovereignty, and what things to celebrate or revere. They are effectively the shadow of the throne, and Emperor Yunus knows this, hence why his Prime Vizier is Danilo Al-Shilomius, Head of the House. The Dreaming Patriarch is the Emperor as well. Under them are the Glaves (Battlemind) and the Magisters (Ardent) trained.
House Head: Danilo Al-Shilomius, Supreme Pontifex of Yavum, Slayer of the Seven, Shadow of the Throne
“Know what cannot be known.”
The Scholars and Savants, who push the boundaries of accepted canon. Many of the scholars within this House are open-minded and are not beholden to their religion, accepting many different theories. They are the House of Sorcerers, and are probably the House with the most prejudice. They are also in good terms with the House Al-Alar, mostly because their technology helps them become more efficient, as well as them sharing similar beliefs in progress. They are descended from the youngest and most curious of the siblings -- Fulmus. Their House Emblem is the Serpent, symbol of knowledge and heresy. This does not help their public image.
Noblesse Oblige: Teaching, Inventing, Pushing. They are masters of teaching and education, and teach their alphabet and writing and natural philosophy for free, causing most of Al-Kaig to be literate. They are the inventors and creators, and the Jeremian Order is subservient to them, allowing them to create and push the limits of technology. Because of them, new advances in skyships (which use geoturgic techniques) and weapons (such as pneumatic riflings and the even rarer blazebolters.)
House Head: Ilyana Al-Fulmus, Supreme Master of the Phaedrus Collegium, Sorceress of the Dragon, Breaker of Bonds, Interpreter of Apocrypha
“Our steps are relentless.”
Infiltrators and spies. The only reason they are not prejudiced by the public is because even the public does not know much about them -- only that they are the “House of Travelers”. Everything about this House is kept under the veil of secrets. Because of this, the Emperor entrusts them with every single secret, occult, and arcana. They know everything, but you will never know that. They synergize well with the House of Al-Fulmus, for the obvious reason of them both seeking knowledge past the norm. Even the House of Al-Shilomius depends on them when needed. They are also the most neutral party, only having one clause when asked to perform acts of larceny and skullduggery -- they put the Emperor and the Empire first. They are descendants of the only daughter of the Septumvirate, Ilis, who was known to never be there until she needs to be, or if one was actively finding her. She was also a master painter and artist, and manipulated her looks with Illusion Magic that she inherited from her tamawo father. Their emblem is the Fly. That insect that you will never catch, but will always be there. To the general populace, their emblem is the Bull. For their endurance in travelling.
Noblesse Oblige: Keeping, Infiltrating, Serving. They are taught from a very young age to keep secrets, and never tell them. They are, as mentioned, the secret keepers and takers. They travel to the farthest of reaches of Al-Kaig -- they are the first House you will see when going to a new land -- and gather information. Their job is thankless, but crucial to the success of the Empire. They are also trained to be master Assassins and Infiltrators. Secrets that are not meant to be leaked out will not leak out of a dead body.
House Head: Keeper of Shadows, Fracture of Dark and Light. Their real name is unknown. It is rumored (by the House itself, nonetheless) to be a tamawo. Three Aristoi receive messages from them whenever needed, and carry out their orders. The only thing sure about them is that they only have one loyalty: to the Emperor of Al-Kaig.
“The sea provides.”
Noble traders and sailors and merchants. Head of the Al-Kaigian Guild, as well as the Al-Kaigian Navy. They specialize in all forms of trade, including slaves and contraband. They are responsible for almost every part of transportation and commerce in Al-Kaig, and has allowed it to flourish like it has. In conjunction with the House of Al-Kaig, they have a booming trade economy and even trade with Qirong (before the Qirong Wars) as well as the Island of Mushi. They are descended from the fifth son, Daniado, who was probably the most talkative of the Septumvirate, and had the most concubines. Their emblem is the Crow. The bird that seeks the shiniest of things.
Noblesse Oblige: Trading, Traveling, Sailing. Those of this House are taught to be traders and master mathematicians, as well as hagglers. They have access to every vehicle imaginable -- even the first of skyships and spiralwings. They are almost always born in the galleon trade seas as well. This House also tries to open trade routes with every race, allowing for more trade to boost the economy. So far, they have opened trading with the mountain folk, a few of the beast tribes, the Qirong Empire, the Giroan Empire, Lakungdula, and the garuda clansmen. Right now, they are focusing their efforts in opening trade with Biringan, the Underground Kingdom of Libing-Libing, and the Island of Tabun.
House Head: Offanus Al-Daniado, Haggler of Ambrosia, Trader of Ether, Traveler of Sea and Sky
“We are the backbone of the Empire.”
The farmers and masters of agriculture. This House is descended from the sixth child Quani, the most diligent of the siblings and also the one that provides the final decision on things. Despite being the sixth child, he was arguably the most responsible. This reflects the House of Al-Quanitus, wherein they are mostly humble and lowly, and focus on showing their nobility through action instead of speech. Because of this, the lower classes love them, but they are brushed aside by the Higher Classes. Their totem is the Karabaw, an animal native to Lakungdula, wherein they represent diligence and hard work to reap the seeds of effort even on the hottest of days.
Noblesse Oblige: Sowing. Harvesting. Farming. They are the representatives of the lower class of freemen that work the fields near the outskirts of the town. They understand that agriculture is the backbone of the Empire, and if they didn’t exist, the Empire wouldn’t have existed. Despite this, they work silently and humbly. Many of the Nobles of this house don’t live in the Noble Quarter, rather living alongside the farmers (and usually not within manors, instead within the same houses as the farmers.)
House Head: Assan Al-Quanitus, the hardworking veteran of war who decided to work on the fields and to uphold the rights of the freemen. He holds a disdain for the Gentry, although it is not outright hatred.
There is another class of nobility, although they are more of a vocation that the nobility can go into. That is the Knight-Seeker, wherein they go on quests and travel far and wide in the Name of the Emperor, sent by the Emperor himself to perform acts for the Empire. This includes spreading the word of Yavum, setting up and protecting trading posts and outposts, and even slaying fabled monsters. Any noble can go into the Knight-Seeker vocation, and are directly employed by the Emperor.
The third class are the Freemen. The freemen are split into four spheres -- the Soldiers, the Farmers, the Profiteers, and the Crafters.
The Soldiers are very numerous among the citizens, for almost everyone is trained in basic military training. Those who become Soldiers answer directly to House Al-Alaria, and are trained to be the absolute best. Legions are usually sent to areas of fierce dangers and temperatures, filled with barbarian tribes that seek to kill on sight. Because of this, the Al-Kaigian War Machine has been undefeated for the better part of the millennium. The Farmers are those that farm and live in the outskirts of the city-bastions. They are usually hardy fighters as well thanks to the constant threat outside of the cities. They are the backbone of food and wealth of Al-Kaig, and answer directly to House Al-Quanitus. The Profiteers answer directly to Al-Daniado. They trade and ride ships into far areas to trade, and are usually employers of various slaves and mercenaries. They are also merchants and make profit from everything that they can get their hands on. The Profiteers are in good terms with almost everyone. The Crafters answer directly to Al-Fulmus, and they invent and work in smithshops. Slowly, thanks to them, Al-Kaig is moving into industry. The Crafters are hardy people who are usually in good terms with the Profiteers.
The fourth class are the Slaves. The slaves are traded by both the Gentry and the Freemen. Most slaves are Lakungdulans or Al-Kaigians who did not follow or fulfill their responsibilities to their superiors and must work to pay their debt, or those who have been captured as prisoners of war. This includes rebels. These slaves are usually fed well and given good treatment conditions, but not all the time. They are not paid, but slaves freed by their masters may move up the rungs of Al-Kaigian society. They are usually the ones forced to do hard labor and -- as industry rises -- more and more of them are working in industry. The conscious House of Al-Fulmus use mechanical golems to carry out their hard labor.
Families usually follow the basic First Name and Last Name convention. Most Last names are usually the name of the father preceded by binti (for daughters) or de (for sons). (ie. Alvaro de Sagasya). Their names are usually a combination of Native Kivhran and Al-Kaigian (which is a language that evolved out of Northern Tabun and mixed with Kivhran).
There are seven major provinces in Al-Kaig are: Phaedrus, Kivhra, Havria, Jyliean, Saviros, Snowsword, and Ikigian.
Phaedrus is the capital city, situated in the southwest tip of the Kivhran Peninsula, and is considered as a province of its own due to both its political power and its sheer size, being half the size of Kivhra, which is as large as an entire peninsula. It is a bustling city that has just entered a sort of industrial revolution. Power has been upturned and merchants are becoming rich oligarchs, and even the Al-Kaigian Emperor is having a hard time managing them. The Kaigian Basilica, also known as the Senate Building, is where most of the administrative duties are done.
The Shilom Cathedral is the largest cathedral in the Known World, and is also in the capital city. Prevalent in this city nowadays are child laborers due to the exponential increase of industrialization. In many ways, Phaedrus sees itself as the center of the world, with trade and knowledge and culture and technology and military power in their hands.
The human-only Empire of Phaedrus houses all kinds of human beliefs. In the well respected University of Phaedric Studies, which welcomes both Dreamer Yavuman and Rhapsodic Yavuman, as well as those that still study the “pagan” ways, where they are frankly looked down upon by the other students. Here they also study and teach alkimiya.
In the Kivhran Region, the following cities are well known:
Rassania is a city further northwest, but not yet in the freezing colds of Huskede. In Rassania, the Al-Kaigian population is blended more with the Kivhran population, producing lots of mixed races. Rassania is as large as Phaedrus, but less dense, giving it a sense of larger scale despite their similarities. Trade is less important here, but much of the Noble Houses have their Ancestral Homes in this city.
Much more interesting, and lesser known to the rest of the public, Rassania sits above the tomb upon where the Al-Kaig found the first copy of the Chronicles of Light. Some say this is the reason why Rassania is unwavering in its principles. It also houses the Kaig Cathedral, the third largest cathedral in the known world, that is a training ground for those Blessed by Yavum.
Ashastum is much further to the north, leading them to be much further from the cultural and civilizational center of Al-Kaig. Those that have been exiled or have become war criminals are sent to the Black City, where they fight with the steel men.
They also come in contact with the mountain folk of the North, which has led them to adopting a native religion of worshipping a metal god, which is obviously heresy. Those that come from here have become disillusioned to the safeties of southern civilization, and most of those that come here on their own free will are mercenaries, adventurers, or nobles that are bored, for there is a larger swathe of earth to the north. Some say that if they continue walking forward, they will find the end of the world, and will be swallowed by a huge ice serpent.
The rest of the Kivhran region is pocked with various villages and towns, most of which are heavily fortified with wooden barricades because of the constant threat of demons lurking about. The Kivhran Region is situated in a peninsula, and surrounded by water to the south, east, and west. To the north is the colder Havrian Region. The region of Kivhra is warmer to the south, and colder to the north, and experiences all four season -- the Season of Ice or Long Nights, followed by the Season of Grass, and then the Season of Fire, and finally the Season of Wind before finally ending in the Season of Ice. Agriculture is a major export, and the Kivhran Wine is a sought after wine that is made from Kivhran Nieveberries, which are known to turn a bright electric blue after fermentation and distillation. The Peninsula also supplies food, grains, crops, wood to the rest of the Empire.
Culture in the Kivhran region is known to be very rigid, but welcoming of the two branches of Yavuman.
[Work in Progress]
Schooling in Al-Kaig begins from the age of 5 until the age of 14, where they enter a pueblo primary school. Here they are trained in Arithmetics, Lore, Religion, and Martial Arts as core subjects. Afterwards, they may go into working in Phaedrus or becoming a farmer or applying to the military.
Or they may choose to go into a specialized secondary school. So far, there have been three different and powerful academies of which a thousand children are admitted to almost yearly.
The Floating Castle of Secrets is exactly what is on the tin -- it is a lazily floating castle that moves across the entirety of Al-Kaig’s sphere of influence. Upon it are Yavuman Savants and Miracleworker Novices being trained in the secret art of Yavuman Sorcery.
The House of Swords is situated in Rassania’s outskirts, and is basically a large military compound for training the best of combat soldiers. Many Secrets Students who seek to go into the military move here after four years of studying sorcery to learn combat thaumaturgy. Those trained here usually take 4 years, and are immediately sent to the barracks.
The Supernal Sophia Academy is situated smack dab in the middle of Phaedrus, and is where most people who seek to learn engineering, as well as advanced arithmetics, natural philosophy, and more academic pursuits adventure to. Many of the people that study here are rich people who seek a position in the Senate. Religion
The Yavuman Faith is the Religion of Light, Dream and Song. The world is a world of Nightmare and Darkness, and it is up to those who practice and adhere to the Faith to spread it to the world for the world to become a better place, as well as to save the world when Yavuman awakes and comes down to the world of mortals once again. The Grand Patriarch is usually closely connected to the Emperor, and are usually treated as Gentry wherever they go.
The Yavuman Faith is split up into two interpretations of the text, a rift stemming from the teachings of the First Prophet being interpreted in two different ways. When he spoke of the world and Yavum, he had used an ancient Yavuman word, which translated into either Dream or Song, depending on how you accentuated the speech.
Sevarios, a military commander who gave his life fully for the Yavuman Faith and his Lord Kaig, fought with fervor and perpetuated the thought that they are the Song, and as such, he Sang in the battlefield hymns and chants to Yavum. Many military men and eventually, those that were conquered by Sevarious’ Legions, were converted under the battlefield hymns. The Rhapsodists were known to interpret reality as notes in a song, and that Yavum is the original singer.
In another hand, a nomad bandit named Namashdi awoke from a dream with a sign from Yavum after having meditated upon the Scriptures. In his Dream he said that Yavum spoke to him, and told him that the Dream is him actually awake, and that when he awakes, he is actually Dreaming. He then said preached, with arm and sword, the countryside and taught that all of reality is but Yavum’s Dream, and it is their job to awake the people from the dream. There are two ways to bring People to “Wakefulness”: belief in Yavum, which will give them a full life and a chance to be with Yavum if they follow the Four Great Teachings, or Death, the forceful waking, although it is said that they might be sent to Limbo, the great twilight between damnation and salvation. The Dreamers are also forceful people, but Dreamer Scholars are well known to be forceful in their inventions, and have inadvertedly created alkimiya as a way to “exert their wakeful will upon the dream by manipulating its elements”.
There is third branch that nobody ever talks about, mostly because it is composed of those that are native to the region and are those who have learned about the Scriptures directly from the second man who read the Canticle, after Al-Kaig -- the historian and scholar Sallano Jerem, who purported that the Dream and Song rune was just a metaphor (putting forth that metaphor was in important part of the ancient rune language) for Yavum’s Light, and he put forth that Yavum is Light, and that the world is Darkness. Many of the Illumined do not intrude upon the Dreamers and the Rhapsodists, although they suffer the same amount of conflict with them. The Illumined are looked upon with prejudice because of their usage of Jeremian Theurgy, which is easier to use and channels the Merak, and puts forth that humans have the Light of Yavum within them, which is something heretical to the Dreamers and the Rhapsodists.
The Dreamers and Rhapsodists have been at odds with each other, and the Illumined try to avoid them to cultivate their light more. However, under the Holy Yavuman Empire of Al-Kaig, they were mandated neutrality and safety in the Seven Provinces, and were also given the right to scholarly debate and discourse in the universities and schools spread across them.
Icons are beloved and are a sign of great artistry if an artist in the Yavuman Faith (and the whole of the Kivhran region). Pieces of worship, such as the Prayer Braces (iron braces clasped over wrists) and images of Yavuman’s Symbol -- a seven-pronged star -- are all good and are usually created and traded for profit among the Islands.
Their main form of sorcery is one powered by Yavuman Faith. These sorceries tend to follow strict guidelines, and have a peculiar connection to the movement of the sky. Stars, sun placement, and the lining up of the heavenly bodies are crucial to performing powerful and large rituals for ceremonies. Professionally trained Magisters are known to be able to inspire with nary but words, using some special training used to fill their words with sorcery. The First Class Team of the Empire -- the Godglaves -- have been infused with this techno-sorcery, and are known to be a changer in the battlefield. They have the same impact as three cannons, with the ability to teleport here and there with hushed sorceries, and having a heightened state of awareness. It is said that no single Godglave is seen in the battlefield more than once. Many rumors pertain to the fact that their bodies cannot contain the sorcerous implements and most of them either go mad or are killed off.
It is a well known fact that this sorcery only works as long as the one who implemented it or the one who becomes the conduit for such sorceries has a great faith in Yavuman, strengthening the theory that their supernal sorcery works by connection to their God.
The Yavuman Faith also depends on the Canticles of Light, the written word of yavum Himself. Many peasants and commoners are illiterate, and so many of the interpretations and readings of the Chronicles of Light only come from the Priesthood.
Along with this, there are still some remnants of the Kivhran folk religion. The Seven Gods of Kivhran myth have more or less been subsumed as angels and demons -- the Gods of Fire and Justice, Jihan and Sara-ojja, have been turned into Ufrithem and Safrithem respectively, becoming Angels of Fire and Justice. The God of Death, Sharisa, is said to have become the Demon of Perversion, Shasathem.
Al-Kaig is technologically advanced, especially their war machines, for they were forged on the crucible of conflict on all sides -- from the Dragon Lords to the East, the Galadarians to the North, the tamawo raiders from the Archipelago, and recently, the Giroan people from the Near East. They have developed the ability to harness Diwa, the underlying essence of sorcery that, when used in the correct ritual, can be used for nigh-infinite energy. They have since made leaps and bounds in technology, creating automata, war-armors, skyships, and pneumatic riflings and slugshots.
The Al-Kaigian Army’s composition is made up of various Marshals that command 1-3 Legions. The Al-Kaigian Army is made up of 30 Legions, split into three callings. Those with conquering and military endeavors are in the Conquest Wing, those tasked with the guarding of the cities and pueblos become part of the Vanguard Wing, and those tasked with defending the royal family, capital city, and the Yavuman Congregation are known as the Aegis Wing. The Conquest Wing and the Vanguard Wings both have twelve legions under them, while the Aegis Wing has six legions underneath them, spread across the Continent of Huskede and Zuhayras.
Each Legion is split similarly like the Zuhayran branch, into subdivisions known as “companies”, of which there were 10 - 12 each, splitting up the 2,000 large Legions. In each of these Companies, the usual makeup is: a Foot Squad, a Cavalry Squad, and a Tech Squad. Tech Squads were a recently new addition, but are usually filled with war-artificers and sappers that use explosive technology and reverse-engineered relic tech. A Company was usually lead by a Captain and usually contained cabal of Yavuman Miracleworkers, of which there were usually 7-10.
Architecture in AL-Kaig were usually built with brick and plaster along with stone. They usually were well known for their large domes painted with beautiful mosaics for public buildings such as the Justice Building, Father Shilom’s Basilica and the Wise Rassan Librarium by the pier of Phaedrus. They also had windows tinted with alabaster to softly illuminate interiors.
Much of Al-Kaigian interior are large and wide, soaring high and supported by marble columns and then beautified by mosaics. Houses are usually also brick and stone, and were usually one to two floors high. Those in the city and capitals usually have larger buildings, and some of them even have house complexes that houses more than one room which is made to sell rooms to those needing them, similar to an inn, but more permanent.
The Steamway is a vast and intricate railway system that connects Phaedrus, Rassania, and Ashastum, with various different provincial stops in the midway. This took a total of fifty years to fully construct, and so far there have been five steam-powered locomotives that are running. Each locomotive takes fifteen days to fully travel from Phaedrus to the ice wastes of Ashastum, and then another fifteen days to return.
More importantly are the manufacture of skyships, which are strictly sorcerous workings, meaning that there are only around three of them, each of them stationed in each of the three big cities. It is well known that the designs were copied from relic technology.
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