|The Duchy of Caradia|
|Motto: Bound Together in Blood|
|Anthem: Marș, Omâci (Lyrics)|
Coț Stanțul Auramic(No Lyrics)
|Official language(s)||Sarnechi, Sacovian, Vosanskiya|
|Official religion(s)||Black Flame|
(revolves around veneration of a Caradian war hero and nationalism)
|- Duke||King-Saint Godrîc XI|
|- Legislature||Flemic Archbishopric|
|National website||Caradian newspaper, Broția vân Tașide|
|National drink||Uasacu Caradic Sangat|
|National tree||Angel's Trumpet|
The Duchy of Caradia, commonly referred to as Caradia, is a monarchical state on the western edge of the island known to foreign nations as "Caplona", but known to locals as 'Cațișâm', 'Cáczichem', or 'Кацишым' (Katsishym), depending on where in the nation you are. The Duchy, born out of the failed government of the Sarn Republic, is extremely heavily influenced by its state religion, by its military, and by its state-sponsored nationalism. The government of the nation operates in concert with the Church of the Black Flame, the state religion, to increase fanatical nationalism within the Duchy.
The entire Duchy has a consistent near-glacial temperature climate. Ice storms and hail are common occurences, and occasionally seasonal blizzards will batter the coasts. In general, the cold nature of the island has become the primary contributer to the low crop growth throughout the Duchy, and has been responsible for more than one famine. Constant pollution from large coal and oil plants has also increased the frequency of freezing acid rain, causing certain places in the Duchy to have to regularly receive external maintenance in order to prevent the outside of buildings and equipment from becoming permanently caustic, due to the prevalence of acidic freezing rain in the area.
The structure of Caradian cities features fewer tall, modern skyscrapers, and tends to sprawl much more than standard cities. Every major city has a district dedicated to power production, feeding huge coal furnaces that spill smoke over the cities. Cities are also clustered around areas with noble families living. Most cities are also dotted with monuments built and maintained by funding from the state and from the Flemic Church. Nearly every city, town, village, and hamlet, small or major, has one or more fortified Flemic churches. These churches date back to the early days of the Duchy, when it was in danger of being invaded by neighbouring tribes. The "Swamp Barbarians", launching regular raids against border cities in the Duchy, constituted a large problem that the fledgling government decided would be an apt challenge of its new powers. The reigning Duke Rando I, with the support of Archbishop Figăra, ordered the fortification of Flemic churches on the borderlands. The result was Flemic churches outfitted for sustained combat, and for sheltering citizens of whatever town or city they were in. In addition, remote monasteries in the hills near the border were transformed into walled abbeys, to provide for the protection of any nearby towns. Eventually, with the assimilation of what is now known as the Apuèstas March, the barbarian attacks slowed down, and the military became
capable of defending cities properly without the support of fortified churches. However, the notion of outfitting Flemic churches for defense had been established as a tradition, and thus the practice was continued, with every new Flemic church being fortified to resist increasingly modern firepower. The walled abbeys did not last, however, and monasteries in general have little use anymore, as Flemic monks have grown few and far between. Two monasteries still exist, however: The walled abbey that now functions as a military base known as Sacrei Tomâs in the Apuèstas March, and the Sândorov Monastery that sits atop a coal mine outside Nașichest.
The Duchy has five major cities, each with dominance in one region of the nation. Relacul (REL-ah-cool) is the nation's capital, and is situated on the coast, in the Jacorîn (ZHAH-kohr-in) Region. Relacul is the political and cultural centre of the Duchy, with Sînpișul Castle (the residence of the monarch) overlooking the city. Theogiorick (THAY-yohr-ik) is the industrial hub, also on the coast, though Theogiorick is in the heavily-mined Scear (SHEER) County. Historically the capital of the Sarn Confederacy, Theogiorick is where the CIC is based, and is also a major trading port with the country being opened to foreigners. Nașichest (NAHSH-i-kest) is located in Cearîm (CHAIR-im) County, and used to be a major military base. Today, it hosts a rather large population, facilitating a growing industrial sector. Chivalho (SHEE-val-yo) is another old military base, though its current primary use has stayed the same, unlike Nașichest. It is located in the Apuèstas (ap-WAY-stus) March. Finally, Togărest (TOHG-uh-rest) is the administrative capital of Rovighi (roh-VEE-ghee), and facilitates the colony's development and economy.
Caradia is situated along Cațișâm's western coast. The country is, except for its most coastal regions, saturated with rolling hills, disallowing the growth of thick forests or shrubbery. This is compounded by the ruthless stripping of the land for mines and other such industrial production complexes. Coastal regions are characterised by flat, sandy land, which is usually unsuitable for construction without significant modifications to the terrain, as in Relacul's case. No hill peaks are high enough to create denominations for, except for one hill in the Vețula Hills, where Sanțîs Tomâs Monastery is, known as "Kovaylots Hill (Vosanskiya: Kovaylots Myruzha [Ковайлоц Мыружа])".
Caradia is stocked with natural resources needed to continue its industrial production. The most notable of these resource deposits is the large deposit of coal beneath Cearîm County, which is why Nașichest continues to be the major source of coal for the entire Duchy. Iron is the second most abundant resource, there being a large number of medium sized veins beneath the city of Theogiorick. Mines in these two locations provide most of the needs of the Duchy, in terms of these two resources. Food has become a valuable and limiting resource, as large portions of the Duchy have been stripped for resources related to industry and urban growth. Large portions of the country's farms are dedicated not to the production of food, but to the production of lumber, as Caradia has precious few remaining forests. The country's farmland used to be situated in the Apuèstas March, but a gold rush in the late 15th century caused the land to be overturned in search of the precious metal. The gold veins dried up in 1517, though, so further prospection has become a poor investment of nobles and a dangerous misallocation of labour. The land remained virtually unused until a reconstruction process was begun in 1632 by Duke Princkenfel II upon his crowning, though Duke Alecsi XIV cut funding to this project, virtually bringing it to a standstill. King-Saint Godrîc XI returned government funding to the area, and the reconstruction of the farmland is projected to be completed in 1681.
Prior to known civilisation in the area now known as Caradia, there existed a number of small nomadic tribes that wandered the island and hunted for food. These tribes had no written records, and so most knowledge of this era comes from the few archaeological activities financed by the Caradian government in recent times. These tribes were known to be relatively peaceful in the areas now known as Jacorîn, Scear, and Cearîm. Regular attacks against these peaceful tribes were carried out by the Sacovian tribes to the east, which contributed to mounting instability amongst the tribes. Eventually, to better defend themselves from Sacovian raids, Scearick and Câțiruli tribes settled in permanent agricultural cities with individual governments. Civilisation as we know it began in this period.
The peacefulness of the tribes did not extend into their city-states, however. Constant war was made, for a variety of reasons, including stocking food storage, acquiring weapons and tools, dominating new subjects, acquiring slaves, and emotional reasons such as vengeance. Most of these city-states existed as absolute monarchies, because these governments were more efficient in the constant war pervading the region. These wars were undercut by continuing attacks from Sacovian tribes, who had not settled in cities. Eventually, all tribes west of the Vețula Hills were conquered either by Scearick or Câțiruli city-states, effectively dividing the region into two states. This culminated in a large-scale war between the two states, known now as the "War of Blue Ice", for the event that decimated the Câțiruli forces and resulted in a Scearick victory: a massive blizzard.
Following the War of Blue Ice, the Scearick forces elected to spare the surrendering Câțiruli forces. This resulted in a deal: the island would be ruled jointly by the Câțiruli and Scearick, in a confederacy called the Sarn Confederacy. This deal was tilted in favour of the Scearick, however, as each Scearick city received one representative in the Confederate Council, while the Câțiruli received one representative for the entire region.
The Câțiruli were subsequently expelled from southern Cațișâm, and ordered on a forced march out to the central portion of the island, adjacent to the Vețula Hills. The Confederate Council decided that the Câțiruli would serve as the nation's source of food, and also as a living barrier between the capital, then called Fadhenbarg, and the Sacovian tribes that remained in the Vețula Hills. The region controlled by the Câțiruli was promptly transformed into a farming region, allowing the Scearick to live in much higher standards with less individual work.
At some point (the specific year is unknown), the Sarn Confederacy was transformed into the Sarn Republic. This was done by the Confederate Council, who had concluded that they would be better off with more direct control over the two regions, as the Câțiruli were technically still capable of drafting their own laws at this time. The conversion from a confederacy to a republic was presented to the people of the Republic as a ceremonial change to reflect the evolving nature of the government, but was in reality a transition to a more unitary system of government. The Câțiruli's right to draft laws and form their own independent army was suspended by the new Republican Council. Sacovian attacks became more frequent at the border.
Just before the end of this era, Councilman Farthur Selck led a vote to dissolve the Câțiruli as a state. This vote intended to reduce the Câțiruli's legal status to effective slaves of the Scearick minority, so that they would have no chance of holding up strong rebellion against the Republic, as talk amongst the Council had grown quite fearful of such an event. Councilman Selck was convinced that reducing the Câțiruli's legal status would prevent them from having the willpower or ability to rise up against the Council, and thus allow the Scearick to continue their upper-class lifestyle while being able to use the Câțiruli for food, so that the Scearick did not have to farm. This vote was the most controversial Republican Council vote at the time, and a number of Scearick protested this action, most notable among them was Farthur Selck's son, Godrick Selck.
Godrick I and the Caradian Age of Gold
It is difficult to find material in Caradia about King-Saint Godrick I's life that has not been altered by the Flemic Church. Flemic Law states that any disparraging comment concerning King-Saint Godrick I is to be punished with death, so very few texts survived the First Flemic Purge unaltered and undamaged. Vosanski scholars have, in recent years, employed non-Flemic Caradians to uncover the truth about King-Saint Godrick I's life, and since the Vosanski are the one group in Caradia where it is acceptable to not be Flemic, the Caradian monarch allowed them to keep a completely accurate record of King-Saint Godrick I's life locked away in Togărest's Grand Library.
Godrick Selck was not pleased with the outcome of the recent vote against Câțiruli citizens. The exact reason for his displeasure has never been pinpointed, but it is suspected that he was close friends with a number of Câțiruli. His displays of public disagreement frightened the Council, especially since he was the son of the Councilman who had motioned for the vote in the first place. Godrick was thus exiled to the Vețula Hills, to save face in the aristocracy. Godrick remained in the Vețula Hills for three years.
Accounts of Godrick's time in exile are fuzzy at best. Supposedly, he was taken in by a Sacovian tribe, from whom he learned his military strategy skills. Other accounts state that his military genius came to him in his isolated home one day as a miracle. Still others claim that he was simply born as a strategic genius. Whatever the case, Godrick returned to the Câțiruli region three years after his exile with an intent to reform the government with force. He returned in disguise, so as not to alert Scearick authorities in the region, and began a secret recruitment campaign in the Câțiruli region. He ordered construction of a large basement in the hill now known as Kovaylots Hill, where Sanțîs Tomâs Monastery stands now, in order to meet with his recruits.
After two years of building a secret army among the Câțiruli, Godrick launched an all-out offensive against the Sarnian government. Though his forces had numerous disadvantages (poor equipment, poor training, outnumbered), the newly proclaimed "Cearîmi Army" prevailed through most engagements. These largely inexplicable victories, as well as the large number of deserters from the Sarnian Army, caused a rumour among Cearîmi troops to spread, that Godrick was divine. Eventually, the Cearîmi forces grew much more massive, overran Fadhenbarg, renamed it Relacul, and placed Godrick on the throne, transforming the nation into a monarchy, renamed Caradia. All of the Councilmen were executed.
King Godrick I's first act as reigning monarch was to allow interaction between the two ethnic groups which had been at odds for so long. This earned him respect with both groups, as this act equalised the two halves of the nation, and paved the way for economic growth and scientific progress to begin. He funded a new army, and sponsored many architectural projects. He fought to grow the culture of the nation, as well as repair the fractured lines it sat on. He also used the army instead of the Cearîmi to protect the nation from Sacovian raiding.
King Godrick I's reign eventually came to an end, as he was assassinated thirty years after he became king, by one Culver Ardrick. Culver was subsequently interrogated and executed. King Godrick I's body was disposed of in the method that remains traditional to this day: it was burnt on a funeral pyre. However, all known accounts claim that as King Godrick I's body burned, the fire became black, which seemed as auspicious to the watching crowd as anything, as a black flame was the symbol of Godrick's army. This was the final miracle of his life, which caused a church to form around him, worshipping him as an ideal example of humanity. Purportedly, Godrick's pyre burned for three weeks straight, and a single ember was recovered from the fire which supposedly still burns to this day; it is kept on the urn containing Godrick's ashes, in the crypt underneath the Holy Sepulchre of King-Saint Godrick I, in Relacul.
The Dead Times
Contrary to what might be assumed, the Dead Times are not named for a particularly large loss of life within the Duchy, but rather for an astounding lack of development, in multiple senses. Immediately following King-Saint Godrick I's reign, there came a string of Dukes who put extraordinarily low amounts of effort into governing the Duchy. This created issues among the classes, as suddenly Godrick's government appeared to be failing. Cearîm and Scear became mostly independent states, with little interaction with the capital. This caused small farming communities to spring up in regions where previously there had been no such agriculture, as in Scear. Cearîm became more industralised, having already had much farmland prior to Godrick's rule and the start of the Dead Times.
The Flemic Church also faced a particular challenge during this era. The failure of the Dukes following Godrick to adequately provide for the populations in farther reaches of the Duchy strained belief that Godrick's lineage was holy. The church tapered to a minor sect, primarily in Relacul. Other beliefs surfaced in eastern Caradia; more spiritual beliefs with polytheistic pantheons and a strong bent toward a concept of moral good vs. moral evil. Writings on these belief systems is scattered at best, so it is currently unknown whether these beliefs were created by Caradians, or produced by other civilisations.
The Dead Times came to an end with the crowning of King-Saint Godrick II. Following the death of his father, Duke Alecsi II, but before his coronation, he allegedly restored his father to life. The Flemic Church immediately claimed him to be a reincarnation of the first King-Saint Godrick, and King-Saint Godrick II was placed on the throne, with a new name. Belief in the Flemic Church spiked and Caradia's first troublesome era as a nation came to an end.
The Pale Age
The Pale Age is so named because of the event that marked its beginning; namely, the arrival of the Vosanski on the shores of Caradia. This event was a rather startling one at the time, as no other ethnic group had arrived on the island for over eight hundred years at that point. One account of the event, as written by one Soarânul Palovir, is as follows:
"They simply came out of the fog. The ice swirled atop the heaving ocean, playing a sweet tune upon the ears with the slight creaking and groaning of the centuries-old ice. I looked up from my fishing hole, checking to see if the storm I had spied earlier had rolled in. I saw them then. A great fog bank stretched as far as one could see, and from it, they came. A multitude of people, each with those wide, staring eyes, and skin pale as a corpse. I ran back to my lone house, wishing then that I had moved to Relacul. At least there I would have had safety in numbers. The stranges thing, though is that they just ignored my house. They walked right pass, through the beginning of the blizzard, over the hills and away. I didn't leave my house again for a week."
The Vosanski have long been a confounding piece of Caradian society, and this was the event that brought them to the Duchy. They never said, at least, it was never written, from where they had come. They always simply stated that they had "heard of the great Duchy, from across those wide waters, and wished to come to where they would be wanted". They did not speak of their origin even to their children, allowing the secret to die with the first generation. The mystery may now never be solved.
One thing the Vosanski brought with them, however, was an ability they possessed that Caradia had never seen before. Rarely, a Vosanski individual would possess limited psychic power. This ability appeared most often in the lines of Vosanski who were politically powerful, suggesting the ability was hereditary. The ability, according to scholars at the time, could manipulate objects from a distance, and allow the user to communicate telepathically. Scholars noted that the telekinesis was draining physically to the subject who used it. The telepathy, however, was not, and also allowed the user to conduct on people with which the telepath had had extensive psychic contact with, what the Vosanski call "Hardening", a form of psychic torture that causes physical and mental pain without damaging the subject. This was observed to be used in Vosanski disciplinary methods early on, and was adapted into the Vosanski Sacred Guard, a paramilitary group operated only by Vosanski (and occasionally choice others, though they never allow Flemics into the group).
The time following the Pale Age is the one most remembered in the present day structure of Caradia, that being Larusul Miric, or "Big Freeze" in common tongue. This is in reference to a blizzard (which was technically a series of blizzards that were functionally conjoined) that passed through the area, and lasted for a period of eighty-seven years, from the time of Due Princkenfel I to Duke Alecsi X, and did not completely end until King-Saint Godrick X took the throne, which the Caradians regard as the event that dispeled the storm, and earned the ruler the heavenly title of "King-Saint". The period has also been called the "Noapte Lunga", or "Long Night" due to the storm's tendency to block out the Sun for days or weeks at a time.
Larusul Miric was the most devastating period in Caradian history, and, although there was no fighting or war at all, over three million Caradians died during the blizzard, which was half of the overall population of Caradia at the time, mainly to starvation, thirst, and sickness, as a simultaneous outbreak of particularly severe influenza and pneumonic plague occurred during the period. Crops failed and died all across the Duchy, and most of those killed were peasants or labourers who were forced to stay out in the biting cold and try to cultivate a small garden, fighting the forces of the very world itself. Many Caradians regard the storm as a premonition of the horrible invasion of the Frigid Chaos that Godrick allowed into the world as a warning and a test of things to come. The proximity of the event to modern day also has an effect on the Caradian conscience, which generally believes that the end times spoken of by the church are near upon us.
This was the event that sparked the large-scale industrialisation of Caradia on all levels, with the Dukes who reigned over the years of the storm ordering the construction of large factories and indoor gardens heated by coal power, and many Caradians came to regard the industrial-age factory as a symbol of order, and the heat that those factories were associated with became entwined with the faith. "Flacăra Vieții" (Flame of Life) became a common way of staunching sickness, wherein a priest-doctor would burn the subject with a brand on the location of the infection. Needless to say, this practice eventually died off as those who had received the Flame of Life died in the cold due to their burns and the church rejected the priests who had performed the ritual as murderous heretics.
The Caradian governing power has, since the formation of the Duchy, rested solely on the monarch. The Duchy as such operates as an absolute monarchy. The Duke of the nation holds all power over legislative, executive, and judicial powers, and serves as Archon of the Caradian Legions. King-Saints, when they are crowned, officially have the same level of power as Dukes, though they effectively have more power, since the Duke, though possessing absolute power, is considered mortal, though extremely holy and powerful, King-Saints
are considered direct reincarnations of King-Saint Godrick I, and thus the Church of the Black Flame considers every word and action the holy action of the original King-Saint, who they worship. This allows King-Saints to reshape Caradian society as a whole very quickly, as nearly all Caradian citizens are adherents to the Black Flame religion. The previous reigning Duke, Duke Alecsi XIV, the great-great-great grandson of King-Saint Godrick X, has exercised his power by expanding Caradia's ever growing industrial sector and pushing harder to keep prisoners working the mines. He also became possibly the most famous of the 'Duke Alecsi' in Caradia, as he was the one who ended Caradia's extremely long isolationism policies. Unfortunately, Alecsi XIV was taken by seizure before he could witness the fruits of his efforts, leaving his son, the recently crowned and renamed King-Saint Godrîc XI to reign, who is also a unique case in Caradian history, as he is the first King-Saint to choose the Sarnechi spelling of his name as the official one (choosing to be known as King-Saint Godrîc instead of King-Saint Godrick). All monarchs of the Duchy must have been ordained as Priests of the Black Flame.
The Ducal Council, established in 1482, ostensibly serves as the voice of the people to the Duke. In accordance with Caradian tradition, as the Duke is believed to be divinely chosen by King-Saint Godrick I, the Duke is not beholden to this council. It merely exists to advise the Duke as to the opinions of various people groups throughout the Duchy. Those who serve on the Council are:
- The Archbishop of the Flemic Church (Currently Archbishop Alexandru Șîreameș)
- The Grand Inquisitor of the Flemic Inquisition (Currently Grand Inquisitor Corvèrre)
- The Grand Templar of the Brotherhood of the Order of Saint Rodrick (Currently Grand Templar Eofel Yeavenby)
- The Count of Cearîm (Currently Count Covilo Protâneșul)
- The Count of Scear (Currently Count Manfred II)
- The Marquis of the Apuèstas March (Currently Marquis Faròdico dè Sofriz)
- The Viscount of Rovighi (Currently Viscount Yakoraslav)
- The Baron of Salòdica (Currently Baron Pedro Coramen)
- The Magistrate of the Armed Forces (Currently Magistrate Andrei Socavul)
- The Field Marshal of the Legions of the Black Flame (Currently Marshal Cozaru Faragul)
- The Grand Admiral of the Black Armada (Currently Admiral Sàlveus Santágador)
- The Sky Marshal of the Skyfleet (Currently Marshal Vladimir Tvaranov)
- The Vosanski Patriarch (Currently Patriarch Ivan Vankoravich)
- The CEO of the CIC (Currently Giohan Virack)
- The COO of the CIC (Currently Cobîn Vusân)
- Any living saints (Currently Santo Òdalho dè la Corvèo)
Religion in the Government
The Church of the Black Flame holds a very high position of authority in Caradian society. The Duke must be ordained as a Flemic Priest, for example. However, the church also has a more direct control in the lives of Caradian citizens, since the two heads of the church have the power to institute and enforce religious laws. The Church's two branches each have different powers in the government of the Duchy. The position of Archbishop, head of the ecclesiarchy and currently held by Archbishop Lord-Saint Alexandru Șîreameș, has absolute power to enact "Flemic Laws" in the Duchy. De jure, these laws only apply to Flemic adherents, however de facto this is not true, since no enforcement officer has ever been prosecuted for enforcing Flemic Law on non Flemic Caradians. The Church has another branch with authority in the Caradian government: The Flemic Inquisition. This Inquisition, currently headed by Grand Inquisitor Corvèrre, effectively serves as a military branch of the Church, and keeps a force that has the power to enforce Flemic Law on Caradian citizens. The Flemic Inquisition also has the power to declare a Flemic Crusade, or "Church War", and call a draft that is enforced under Caradian law on Caradian citizens, and bring military power to bear against any foreign power without the de jure support of the Caradian government.
Caradian justice is carried out in a brutal and efficient manner. Flemic priests serve as community judges, being called upon to judge the morals and methods of those who commit crimes. No codified law exists for defining crime (except treason and sedition, which are defined as action and speech against the state, respectively), so judges judge all trials on a case by case basis. Furthermore, this means there is no legal difference between misdemeanors and felonies; all crime is judged as action damaging to Caradian society. Two punishments are given more often than any other: Seclusion in a prison-temple (a Flemic temple designed to hold prisoners), or forced labour in Caradian iron and coal mines. The second part accounts for most manual labour in Caradian mines.
The death penalty is not used as often as might be thought in Caradia, since it is seen as an inefficient allocation of labour; most prisoners are simply sent to work in mines. Occasionally, however, a criminal is deemed too dangerous to be allowed to continue to live in Caradian society. These people are usually executed, mostly by drowning in the ocean. Sometimes, if the Caradian populace is particularly angry at a criminal, the criminal will be put on a scaffold and stoned. Beheadings and hanging are carried out when the judge wishes to display the punishment of the convicted, by hanging the body or head near whoever they wish to put the warning into (usually at Caradian penal mines).
The education system in Caradia, while education is free, is very closely regulated by the Caradian crown. The most glaring example of this regulation is the disallowance of anyone to educate children without a license that can be attained by attending classes in education. The focal point of Caradian education is mainly around engineering, science, theology, and military science. It is also expected that teachers will instill in their students a stronger love of the state by implementing exercises in discipline and community. Relacul, Theogiorick, and Togărest enjoy the best education in the country, which is of decent to good academic prowess when compared to foreign nations, though Nașichest and Chivalho have lower quality education, though they are still instructed in the most important pieces of Caradian education; namely a love of the state, and experience with strong discipline.
The economy of the Duchy is dominated by first and second sector jobs. 88% of jobs are either in the production of raw materials, or the production of manufactured goods. In the first sector, nearly all of the workforce consists of unpaid prisoners. This allows the Caradian Coal Company (Campașt Întrependurul Caradic) to hold a strong monopoly over this area of the economy, which is largely focused in mining of coal and iron, and the pumping of crude oil. The CIC's monopoly of these resources allows their prices to be manipulated to the CIC's favour, which allows it to strengthen its hold over the second sector. The second sector is dominated by steel foundries, which the majority (93.2%) are owned by the CIC. This sector also includes the rather extensive power grid maintained jointly by the government and the CIC, which is powered entirely by coal and oil plants. The third sector (service based jobs) are mostly occupied and maintained by nobility.
The monopoly of the CIC serves partially as a source of tax revenue for the government. This is because of an agreement between the CIC and Duke Rando IV, which was established to facilitate cooperation between the CIC and the government. This agreement allows the government to have partial control over the prices of raw iron, coal, and oil, and the price of steel. This allows the overall price to be lower, so that the government can instate higher taxes on these items. In turn, the government provides the CIC with a state-sponsored monopoly, and allows prisoners to work in CIC mines and oil pumping facilities for no pay, as well as allowing the CEO and COO of the company a seat on the Ducal Council.
While being a 'professional politician' is very much out of the realm of possibility for Caradia, the political situation of the Duchy is less static than it may seem from a distance. While the main governing power is unable to be changed, due to the totalitarian monarchical style of the government, lower administrative positions exist, some of which are voted fore and some of which are appointed. These positions have administrative power over the areas they govern, and supplement the reigning monarch's local power to maintain stability. These positions are actively vied for by local officials. Some of these positions are chosen at the whim of the monarch, leading to people shifting to support whatever projects the monarch is pushing for, and others are voted for by the local populace, resulting in the monarch modeling the established "political rules" of the nation.
The political situation closely aligns itself with authoritarian ideals, the idea that the state and community are the supreme power above the individual. Social conservatism is widely accepted as the norm, and things that are deemed harmful to the public health and conscience are removed from society (such as drugs like cannabis and nicotine). Economic policies tend more toward what could swing toward either what could be called authoritarian socialism or government corporatism. The two largest companies in the country, the CIC and the CAAT are both owned by the government and are operated by government officials. These companies were chosen to be nationalised because they, together, provide most strategic resources and services to the country, such as maintaining roads and healthcare, and providing the nation with arms and strategic resources like coal and oil. Other businesses, however, are allowed to continue as they are, though none ever reach the height that the CIC and CAAT do. These are mostly local service based businesses, providing for local populations without spreading over the country.
Opposition to established political institutions is usually met with harsh resistance throughout Caradia. Citizens, as a rule, support those who most closely model what has already been established. This means that any kind of different ideology or idea for policy-making is shot down by public opinion very quickly. This restricts the capability of politicians to embody political opinions in opposition to the established norm. Political parties, while they have existed in the past as no law prevents their existence, are usually short-lived and often some kind of spurious attempt to overthrow the monarchy. The participants are subsequently labeled as traitors and executed in a variety of means.
The society of Caradian is dependent upon the idea of community and duty. It is seen as the duty of the individual to perform as necessary to benifit the whole. This concept was first born in the initial days of the country, when government was necessary to keep the population fed in the cold, forbidding land. Now, community keeps civilians working in whatever job they may have, working to benefit the nation. The individual in Caradia has little, if any, inherent value and is mostly seen as an asset of the nation itself.
- Main article: Caradian ranking system
Religion in society
While forcing others into slavery is illegal in Caradia, there is no law against selling oneself into slavery. This is an allowance of the law intended to prevent people from being trapped in inescapable debt, as the value of a slave in Caradia is very high. It is also illegal to prevent slaves from buying their freedom, so that once an individual has fulfilled their debt to their owner, they can continue doing work to benefit the nation. However, there is also no law against bringing in slaves acquired by any means outside the country, which leads to many an entrepreneurial Caradian (usually Sacovian from the border regions) to venture into the unclaimed lands outside the border to acquire slaves. These slaves are legal in Caradia, and used for many menial tasks and manual labour.
Prisoners are often sentenced to forced labour, effectively rendering them slaves to the Caradian government until their sentences end. These 'bound labourers' are legally separate from slaves, and are unable to buy their freedom. They are also exempt from certain legal protections that slaves have, namely protection from extreme overworking and overly dangerous working environments. Bound labourers are legally not civilians, while slaves are. Bound labourers are almost universally miners, allowing civilians to be removed from the dangerous, overly strenuous environment of the mines.
The Cearîm people make up the ethnic group that has been dominant in Caradia since the nations founding under King-Saint Godrick I (ironically, a member of the Scearick minority). The group is characterised by their strong nationalism and ethnic cohesion, having the most imperialist culture, which also embraces and encourages piety. The group came about as it is when King-Saint Godrick I originally built his army to perform a monarchical coup of the Sarn Republic. Before this time, the group was known as the Câțiruli, and were mostly made up of peasant farmers and workers. This is also where the tradition of piety came from, as these people often turned to non-denominational religion and spirituality to provide relief to themselves as the starving, oppressed lower class. This tradition of piety was continued with Godrick I, who incited the creation of the Flemic Church, most of whom's members are Cearîm. The group changed their name to Cearîm during the secret recruitment process, as cearîm means glory in Sarnechi, and so it became a code name for the army, and stuck once the war ended.
The Cearîmi's history began with the island's early settlement, when they were still the Câțiruli. The Câțiruli were the first group to settle the western side of the island, and thus became an early ruling power in the warring city-states period. The treaty that began the Sarn Confederacy was unfavourable to the Câțiruli, and the Confederacy set about systematically reducing the power of the ethnic group, until King-Saint Godrick I's coup instated a monarchy that was friendly to its large Cearîmi population. The Cearîmi have been the dominant group since, especially since the state religion's holy language is Sarnechi, which encourages assimilation into Cearîmic culture even more.
The Scearick people are descendent from the island's second known inhabitants. They were the other tribe, apart from the Câțiruli, who founded and were integrated into the Sarn Confederacy. However, this Confederacy was dominated by and largely favoured the Scearick city-states. This allowed them to oppress the Câțiruli, and instate the Scearick as the ruling class. Not all Scearick were happy with this situation, though, and many Scearick joined King-Saint Godrick I's army and assisted in his coup (King-Saint Godrick I himself was Scearick). The culture, however, was heavily damaged by the dominance of the Cearîmi after the coup, especially in the ecclesiarchy. Today, very little of the culture remains, apart from traditional names (Godwin, Edward, Arthur, Bheafrick), place names (Theogiorick), and fragments of the original Scear language, which is still spoken in remote parts of the Scear County.
The Sacovians were the first group to be integrated into Caradia after the country came about. Once known collectively as "Hill Barbarians", the Sacovians were composed of a number of nomadic tribes along the border of Caradia, in the Vețula Hills and Sacovia. They became a source of fear and hatred among frontier villages in Caradia, as they regularly conducted ferocious raids on border towns for food, weapons, and sometimes slaves. This activity resulted in the building of Caradia's signature walled churches. This raiding lifestyle came to an end for the Sacovians for three reasons:
- The Sacovians were increasingly converted to the Flemic Church by Flemic warrior-priests who evangelised in the Vețula Hills.
- The Sacovians united as a single tribe, in order to better govern themselves, which made a single, unitary joining of Caradia more feasible.
- The Sacovians' military power never really grew much stronger, since they didn't hold raided villages, and thus had no real scientific progress.
These factors contributed the the Sacovians being assimilated into the Duchy as what is now known as the Apuèstas March, which also allowed the border cities settled by Caradian citizens to be fully integrated into Caradia. The Sacovian culture has been preserved rather well, especially near the border, where Sarnechi is almost never spoken, only Sacovian, the Sacovians' language.
Caradian scholars are unsure of the origin of the Vosanski (Восански) people. They first appeared in Caradia about fifty years after the death of King-Saint Godrick I, during the reign of Duke Rando I. Records of that time speak loosely of "spirit people who came in vast numbers across the great waters". The "spirit" part may be in reference to the Vosanski's odd and easily identifiable physical traits, these being extremely pallid and pale skin, wide eyes, and thin, emaciated figures. The Vosanski have traditionally avoided large cities, preferring to settle in small, almost entirely Vosanski farming towns. Today, Vosanski have moved to cities, though they have been relentless in the preservation of their culture in the city, with a cultural rule to never speak to another Vosanski in Sarnechi; they only ever speak to each other in Vosanskiya (Восанския), their native language.
The Vosanski are also semi-independent, as a cultural group. They in general follow Caradian law, but it is an unspoken truth that the Caradian monarch has no real power over them. Vosanski are also almost never found among Flemic Churches, since they follow their own native spirituality. Few Vosanski face any real ridicule over this, however, as the group as a whole is extremely beneficial to Caradia as a nation. Pure Vosanski possess psionic power that has yet to be explained by Caradian science. This power is limited, and is taxing physically to use, but it is greatly useful in many jobs of manual labour. These powers, and their rigorous discipline, have earned Vosanski respect as trusted Caradian allies. Because of this, they have been granted the right to maintain their own military. These forces, known colloquially as the Ghostblades, though known officially as the Sacred Guard (Vosanskiya: Gruzhyev Voletsye [Гружэв Волецэ]), is led by the Vosanski Patriarch, and operates independently of the Caradian Armed Forces.
The least populous group in Caradia is the Dochvern. The Dochvern have long occupied the northern edges of the island, parts always outside Caradian control. The group has, since its beginnings as a united people, been at odds with Caradia and Sacovia. Upon their beginning, they quickly built a hybrid of a tribal and feudal society, wherein the nearby Sacovian tribes would be forced to pay tribute or be hunted for either slave labour or sometimes cannibalism. While officially stateless, the tribes that still wander the northern reaches of Caplona cause occasional outbursts of fear due to a raid coming too close to Caradian borders. The monarchy and church have held that the Dochvern are an impure people unworthy of compassion.
Influence of Religion
Caradia does not have a particularly strong sport atmosphere, owing to the general Caradian sentiment that most sports are a waste of time and do not serve an adequate purpose. However, the nation does have two sports that it participates in, though only one is international, that being football. Caradia in general does not take national interest in its football teams, so currently internal football statistics and matches are poorly documented and recorded. The football players that do exist perpetuate Caradia's typical hyper-nationalism and fanaticism, with Caradians that are invested in football believing it to be another avenue that Caradia can extend its influence throughout the world. However, many Caradians are ignorant of football because of the aforementioned belief of its frivolity, resulting in lower than average turnout for football games and a somewhat sub-par national team. Caradia has very few major foot ball stadia, with the largest and home stadium of the national team being Strălucitoare Stadium in Relacul.
Despite Caradia's general disinterest in football, Caradia does take an active interest in gladiatorial combat, which has the native name of Luptă Sacră. The Caradian government actively endorses luptă sacră and invests in its growth by sponsoring new arenas and coliseums in the nation. The nation does maintain a national luptă sacră team, the head of which is the national champion who is the fighter designated for national single-fighter duels. Domestic interest in luptă sacră is very high because of the national promotion of the sport as well as the promotion of the sport by the church, both of which emphasise that the sport is honourable and good for the national spirit. However, for fear of losing people who have the potential to be productive members of the nation because of their athletic ability, most authorities of luptă sacră disallow rulesets that allow for fights to the death, the most notable exception to this being the Nașichest Luptă Sacră Association.
The religious calendar of the Flemic Church, and thus of the Duchy of Caradia, begins on 846, with the death of King-Saint Godrîc I. The calendar traditionally had 16 months, with 22 days each. This calendar was an effective time-keeper for Caradian peoples, and had holidays based around the Flemic tradition. This calendar was altered by Duke Alecsi XIV, with the year count being pegged to the AN calendar, to allow for better international time-keeping. To appease the Flemic Archbishop, however, religious holidays' dates remained unchanged.
|Pașa vân Sode||Month of Ice||Sode|
|Pașa vân Vozeari||Month of Wolves||Vozeari|
|Pașa vân Zoră||Month of Breath||Zoră|
|Pașa vân Loaranul||Month of the Thaw||Loaranul|
|Pașa vân Tosavila||Month of Rebirth||Tosavila|
|Pașa vân Vitase||Month of Flowers||Vitase|
|Pașa vân Coleare||Month of Farms||Coleare|
|Pașa vân Darami||Month of Warming||Darami|
|Pașa vân Ignatul||Month of the Flame||Ignatul|
|Pașa vân Sacrea||Month of Ceremonies||Sacrea|
|Pașa vân Vila||Month of Life||Vila|
|Pașa vân Polamachi||Month of Fading||Polamachi|
|Pașa vân Rovacanul||Month of the Harvest||Rovacanul|
|Pașa vân Tearamachi||Month of Tears||Tearamachi|
|Pașa vân Victoru||Month of Victory||Victoru|
|Pașa vân Morta||Month of Death||Morta|