Protectorate of Naraka (Reference Thread)

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Protectorate of Naraka (Reference Thread)

Post by CodexGigas on Thu Jul 07, 2011 3:02 am

History:
In the First Age, Naraka was known as Diyu, a small, quiet prefecture known for its rustic subterranean architecture. The prefecture's Solar patron had little interest in the region, and so left the administration of the prefecture entirely to her Earth-aspected Gens and a dynasty of Golden Children bred to be the ceremonial chiefs-of-state.

During the Usurpation, the bored Solar left the Calibration feast early, but Sidereal assassins ambushed her flying pagoda before it could reach the safety of her mountain stronghold. Her still loyal Gens hid the current Golden Child in his ornate tomb, claiming to have assassinated him and interred him as directed by the Usurpation's leaders. The Gens patriach ascended to the throne as a daimyo of the Shogunate, secretly consulting the Golden Child during yearly visits to the tomb to "appease the spirits of the dead."

The dynasty ended with the last Golden Child's peaceful death, but the tradition of elaborate tombs for daimyos continued in conflict with the "recommendations" of Immaculate doctrine, which never received more than cursory acceptance by the populace. In imitation of history, when the daimyo, normally a lifelong position, wanted to retire and allow his successor to ascend the throne, he would ceremonially "die" and take up residence in his tomb, where the new daimyo would consult with him once a year on the anniversary of his death.

This tradition grew into a kingdomwide veneration of dead daimyos, and eventually all ancestors, a borderline heretical practice in the eyes of most of the Shogunate.

The collapse of civilization that marked the end of the Shogunate didn't hit the prefecture of Diyu as hard as its neighbors thanks to the assistance of the powerful ghosts of several daimyos, but it did lead to a marked change in the construction of royal tombs.

Mausoleums are, by design, expensive and impractical for the kingdoms forced to shoulder the burden of financing such ornate resting places for their dead kings. 

This observation led to the development and construction of fortress-tombs. Designed with the assistance of a Sijanese contractor, royal tombs were constructed in the form of mighty fortresses along the borders of the kingdom rather than palatial residences in the center of the kingdom. Loyal servants and soldiers who had served under the king could elect to be buried in the fortress-tomb, continuing to serve their kingdom in death.




Last edited by CodexGigas on Mon Jul 11, 2011 11:55 pm; edited 3 times in total (Reason for editing : Overhaul. Still have some culture stuff to add.)
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Geography

Post by CodexGigas on Sat Jul 09, 2011 4:52 pm

Geography:
The self-defined borders of the small eastern kingdom of Naraka are perfectly square, centered on the capital of Meido. Fortress-tombs of kings and high-ranking generals mark these borders; never more than a mile apart along the eastern border. This "Old Wall" was built to protect against various barbarians while the handful of tombs on the western "New Wall" are intended as a bulwark against Realm influence (Naraka maintains autonomy, although they do pay a semiannual tribute). There are even fewer tombs on the northern and southern border, as allies flank Naraka on these sides. 

Due to the curve of the coastline, Naraka's square borders extend out into the sea; several fortresses are water-bound, with cavernous ports ready to launch fleets of funereal ships at a moments notice.


Last edited by CodexGigas on Tue Sep 10, 2013 4:55 pm; edited 1 time in total
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Economy and Politics

Post by CodexGigas on Sat Jul 09, 2011 4:53 pm

Economy and Politics:
Naraka's farmland isn't especially rich, but a rigid control system in place since the Shogunate along with a handful of heirloom skymantis towers allows Naraka to produce a respectable agricultural surplus. Most of this goes to Hundred Kingdom buyers, notably the Marukan Alliance and Sijan.

The semiannual tribute to the Realm is usually paid in food prepared in the form of short-term rations for Imperial Navy fleets stationed on the Inland Sea.

Narakan trade reflects political relationships; Narakans see the Sijanese as kindred spirits, both benefiting from ancestor veneration. The Marukan Alliance has come to Naraka's aid several times, their flexible cavalry complimenting fortified points in the Narakan border.

Tribute to the Realm keeps Naraka mostly autonomous, but at the same time supplies the Imperial military forces that keep Naraka from seeking complete independence. The Realm has recently been pushing for the establishment of a garrison, possibly in one of the border fortresses. For Naraka's protection, of course.

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Religion and the Supernatural

Post by CodexGigas on Sat Jul 09, 2011 4:55 pm

Religion and the Supernatural:
The Narakans are nominal adherents to Immaculate doctrine, heavily favoring Pasiap as a paragon of order and stability (in no small part due to the prominence of Earth-aspected DBs in the nobility).

The lion's share of veneration falls to the ancestors, especially former daimyos and kings as "fathers of the state." The Narakan religious calendar is dominated by "death anniversaries" of state luminaries, ensuring a steady supply of prayer to Naraka's guardians. In addition to public shrines of kings and generals, every household has at the very least a shelf or table holding votive tablets for deceased family members.

Several death gods are also given pride of place on the calendar, especially gods of the righteous dead and gods of honorable death in battle (doubly so death in defense of homeland).

Perhaps most unusual is the popularity of Surya and Agni, lieutenants of the Unconquered Sun. Surya serves as the Sun's rearguard, watching over the parts of Creation the Daystar has already passed over while her twin brother, the Sun's vanguard, watches what the Daystar approaches.

Agni was a soul of an unknown Primordial in the first age, converted by Solar efforts and transformed into a member of the Heavenly Bureaucracy by Sidereal astrology. Officially chief god of prayer-fires, Agni oversees the delivery of important prayers to and from all realms of existence.

Despite the prominence of ancestor worship, few Narakans have ever seen a ghost. The Narakan most likely to see a ghost, other than the king, are soldiers posted along the borders. The handful of times invaders have threatened the kingdom ghosts had come to the aid of mortal forces. Thus, most citizens view ghosts more as distant, mythical protectors rather than a part of everyday life.

Still, ghosts are much more common here than anywhere else in the Eastern Threshold save Sijan, making those who know how to communicate and deal with ghosts an important part of society.

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Culture and Society

Post by CodexGigas on Sat Jul 09, 2011 4:55 pm

Culture and Society:
The Narakan king serves as a sort of first among equals in the ranks of the nobility. He primarily resolves disputes between the nobles and Narakan relationships with other states. The small Narakan army also reports to him.

Administration of the various cities and towns is the responsibility of the nobles. Nobles are entitled to maintain "boneguards," a cross between private army and bodyguard. A noble's boneguard also serves as police, firemen, local shrine honorguards, and other public defense services for region a noble oversees. Strict laws regulate the deployment of boneguards to prevent civil war in the nobility.


Nobility is dictated by blood-purity. The closer a noble is to the pure DB blood of the prefecture's original gens the higher the noble's "bone rank." Only those of the "sacred bone" rank are eligible to be king, while the rest of the nobility are included in the various "true bone" ranks. Anyone to exalts as a DB in the kingdom may petition the king to either form a new noble house or seek adoption by an established house.
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Re: Protectorate of Naraka (Reference Thread)

Post by AlaskanWyvern on Mon Aug 01, 2011 2:32 pm

I'm trying to figure out whether or not Immaculate Monks would have official say around here or not. Given that Meido has a lot of stuff that is nowhere even close to Immaculate doctrine, dead-worship in particular...
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Re: Protectorate of Naraka (Reference Thread)

Post by CodexGigas on Mon Aug 01, 2011 5:39 pm

Nakaraka and the Realm have both had to compromise--Naraka could get assistance from other Scavenger Land allies to drive the Realm out and the Realm could try to enforce military rule/occupation, but right now it's better for both to cooperate, so Naraka currently uses a "revised" religious calendar that includes death days of various leaders; worship is only officially allowed on allotted days.

Immaculates (who are almost exclusively missionaries from the Realm) aren't happy with this arrangement, since just about every day is some sort of holiday, and there are so many private shrines that it's just about impossible to control illicit worship. Still, they can haul lawbreakers off to local magistrates if they catch someone publicly worshiping on the wrong day.
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Re: Protectorate of Naraka (Reference Thread)

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