Divinice

Our future may seem dark, but this shall only happen if you allow it. We are people of rich history, and it is only the cowards amongst us who believe that this could be snuffed out. With Ylais as our witness, we shall never die. We have faltered in our past decades, but no longer. With hard work, we can restore that which is most precious - our pride. We shall endure all that comes our way, and we shall emerge stronger and more united than ever. We will make our future bright!
— Empress Sunniva, 1305

Divinice, officially the Divine Kingdom, is a sovereign country in northern Losiné. Divinice includes Grace Island, the northern part of Stolis Island, and the Kao Island archipelago in its entirety.

Divinice is an elective monarchy, with the Empress of Divinice elected from an elite faction of demigods by the Council of Princesses. The current monarch is Empress Ilsa, who has reigned since 1360. Its capital is Lusca, located on Grace Island. The Empress resides in Dael Castle to the west of Lusca, after the throne was relocated there during the War of Succession due to safety concerns.

Divinice is commonly divided into two administrative districts - Metropolitan Divinice, and the Kao Islands. The distant Dominion of Maleli is also part of Divinice, sharing its monarch and religion, however it has far greater autonomy and acts as an independent country in many situations.

Structure

Divinice is ruled by the Empress, who has ultimate authority within the Kingdom. She is elected from and by a group called the Council of Princess, who are themselves elected by and from a group of elite demigods. This Council functions similarly to any elected government, with each Princess having different jurisdictions, such as Education or Foreign Affairs.

One Princess is designated Princess of the Isles and is the chair of the Council of Islands, which represents the interests of the Kao Islands. This council is democratically elected by Kao citizens and is not demigod exclusive, with each island electing at least one representative. Due to this, many consider the Kao Islands to be an autonomous region within Divinice.

Additionally, there are Ritual Maidens, who are comprised of every mainland demigod in Divinice - Kao Islanders are welcome to join, but it is not mandatory. It is from this group that demigods are selected to join the elite demigods who run the country.

Public Agenda

Divinice positions itself as neutral in international politics, only allowing its troops to be deployed for peacekeeping missions. It prizes its independence and security, and so maintains a strong navy to defend its territorial waters and a sizable standing army to protect its border with Stolisia. Worship of Ylais, Goddess of Light, is heavily enshrined in Divinitian institutions, and many organisation are required to allow time for prayer during the work day. It likes to portray itself as fun and free, with a large amount of imperially funded events throughout the year to encourage tourism.

A singular Divinitian national identity is encouraged in all its territories. To this end, prominent worship of Kysro, Goddess of Darkness, or prominent atheism are strongly discouraged, and the speaking of native languages is restricted to scholarly and private use. The extent to which this applies varies within its territories, but is firmly enforced within Metropolitan Divinice.

History

Background

Humans are believed to have first settled Stolis and Grace Islands about 4,000 years ago, moving southward from Grace into Stolis. There is evidence of humans prior to this, largely from the neighbouring Nirvejan Island, however it appears they left thousands of years before modern settlement occurred. A second wave of migration occurred starting in the early 7th century following the assassination of the Crown Princess of Divinitia, with the Divinitian citizens fleeing across the ocean to land on Grace Island. With the aid of the sympathetic Stolisi tribes, who also helped ferry them across the ocean, the first Divine Kingdom in Losiné was established in 628. Under the rule of King Caelum I and his successors, it would slowly come to encompass the whole of Grace Island, as well as the northern parts of Stolis Island.

Aside from a coup in 782, with King Lucius being deposed in favour of his cousin, Samson I, Divinice was peaceful. The advent of Demigods in the late 800s, initially only in Divinice, greatly boosted its power and cultural pull in countries abroad and ensured its protection from invasion. During the late 900s was a massive boom in the country's economy and international renown, with this is lovingly considered the First Kingdom's Golden Age.

War of Succession

Queen Twila I was the 16th monarch of Divinice, and the first demigod born into the royal family. Her being a demigod - and thus incapable of having children - greatly complicated the matter of succession. The crown would eventually fall to her cousin, the Duchess Jennifer of Santonia. However, Jennifer narrowly predeceased her royal cousin, and so it fell to her son, Caelum. Having prepared for this, Caelum was fluent in the language and versed in Divinitian culture, and even had a Divinitian wife. However, him being barely a quarter Divinitian was tough for the locals to swallow. Additionally he was a human, not a demigod, and was not 'divine' enough for the Divinitian throne in the eyes of some. Despite this opposition, he ascended to the throne in 997 as King Caelum VI.

Azure, Duchess of Dael, was prominent in her opposition to his reign. As 6th in line to succeed Twila, a demigod, and having lived in Divinice her entire life, her family believed she was a far more legitimate successor to the throne. And so, three weeks after Twila's death, Azure would amass a small force of loyalists and set out to depose Caelum VI. While unsuccessful, Azure was able to escape to Dael Castle and turn it into her base of operations, continuing to pressure Caelum into stepping down. This came to a head when a sudden offensive on the royal palace forced him and his family to flee south in 1000. He kept all his symbols of royalty, but Azure declared herself Queen nevertheless. He would continue to fight for his throne until 1004, when he finally surrendered and officially handed over all royal regalia, before leaving the country.

The Second Kingdom

With Azure now the undisputed Queen, she set about to make changes. Amongst them was adding the title of Empress, thereafter the prominent title of all leaders of Divinice, and enshrining in law that only demigods could sit on the throne. From there, she now set out to quash any who might oppose her rule. This largely affected the non-Divinitian Stolisi tribes on Stolis Island, who had harboured Caelum VI after he fled the palace. Within a decade, the entirety of Stolis Island was under direct Divinitian control, taken by force rather than diplomacy. Her successor and cousin-once-removed, Morgana I, continued to quash dissent from the southern Stolisi, and turned her eyes westward. In 1024 she launched a campaign to conquer Nirvejan Island, to the west, and initially found great success.

The Victorian War

The former Crown Princess of Divinice, Victoria, arrived in south Divinice in the summer of 1028. With the backing of a small army of Santonian soldiers, she quickly claimed major southern towns. Morgana I ended the Nirvejan campaign in order to combat her, but the delay gave Victoria an early advantage. This allowed her to formally petition to Santonian monarchy for additional aid, which was granted, and her bolstered force quickly took control of key region in the south. But as time advanced, even with the death of Empress Morgana I to boost morale, her resources dwindled, and she was pushed back to the shores. Victoria stubbornly held on, until she received a final message from her Santonian patron - the court was in chaos, and she was alone. She surrendered in 1035, returning to Santonia with her army, and granting Empress Soleil V a much needed victory.

The eastern shores now secure for the foreseeable future due to the chaos in Santonia, Soleil V took a short break to repair and rearm and set forth in Nirvejan in 1037. All their previous holdings had been taken back and reinforced by an angry Nirvejani populace, slowing their advance, but by 1047 Nirvejan Island was theirs. Soleil V swiftly moved onto the final major island in the Losiné region, Nuli Island, and conquered it by 1051.

The Divine Navy

The nearby Kao Islands had remained staunchly neutral in the last five decades and refused to trade or communicate. In the final years of Soleil V's reign, this became something of a personal slight. And so, with the assistance of her heiress, the young 'Princess' Eloise, Divinice slowly boosted its navy, both to prepare for invasion and to help expand its ability to trade southern goods with the eastern nations. Soleil's death in 1056 turned the 'Princess' into Empress Eloise III at the age of 22, and in 1057, she officially launched her invasion campaign of the major Kao Islands. Her tactical prowess ensured a swift conquest, and in 1062 she shifted focus to conquering smaller and further away islands, stretching far into the northern and western seas.

This was largely uneventful until 1083, when Eloise's navy expanded eastwards. Santonia, harshly weakened by a series of splits in the 60s and 70s, was hardly the power it had been during the Victorian War, but it maintained strong diplomatic ties with other eastern nations. So when Eloise landed on a Santonian island, the kingdom quickly reacted, sending a small force to kick them out. Despite diplomacy not being the strong suit of the new Divinice, the potential for war with much of the east quelled her conquest, and she reached out to Santonia to clear up their misunderstanding. They parted amicably, and Eloise instead focused her attentions to the vast northern oceans. Her conquest of these islands created a near monopoly of the ocean, and strong trade would fuel Divinice long after her passing in 1101.

The Massacre of 1148

Empress Twila III had been on the throne for only two years when, in 1147, she made a royal visit to Nirvejan. While there, assassins broke into her royal villa and murdered her and many of her attendants. This included her right hand, the demigod Ciel, who many believed would succeed her. In the absence of leadership, much of Divinice was in chaos. The elite demigods who had stayed in Lusca held a small vote amongst them to pick Twila's successor, finally electing Mira to be Empress. She swiftly and aggressively took control of the empire and launched a large 'investigation' in Nirvejan and Nuli. Said investigation is more commonly known as the Massacre of 1148, as her royal army swept across the islands, capturing and killing all who stepped out of line. Worshippers of Kysro, Goddess of Dark, were particularly badly hit, with many churches ransacked and destroyed for 'harbouring revolutionaries'. By its end, thousands had been killed.

While many of Divinice's allies harshly condemned the extent of the violence, others did not. Chief amongst them was the small northern kingdom of Maleli, who heard of the massacre and believed Divinice could help protect it from greedy neighbours. In 1152, the two kingdoms began official trade relations, giving Divinice a monopoly on southern and northern goods, due to the isolationist policies of the region. When drought struck them and tension increased, Divinice stepped in to ensure their survival, supplying them with goods and soldiers.

In 1211, after a few years of negotiation between Empress Roshni I and the king of Maleli, it was agreed that Maleli would become an official dominion of the Empire of Divinice, and would switch its official religion to honour Ylais, Goddess of Light, amongst other changes. To date, this is the only region of modern Divinice that joined peacefully.

The Stolisi Revolt

Under Empress Yeong-Hui I during the first half of the 1200s, life became more difficult for southerners, while the north grew rich off their exploitation. A hike in quotas for the Stolis Island mines is cited as the cause of the Stolisi Revolt of 1235, led by a man named Kara. He and his movement stormed the royal palace to demand their rights and were brutally cut down or captured. When Kara was executed shortly afterward, the movement collapsed and many of those not captured returned home. Those who had been captured were executed or given life in prison for their treason.

The First Stolisian War

The sudden disappearance of an elite Stolisi demigod in the south caused a lot of concern amongst elites, who believed it could signal the start of rebel groups capturing them for ransom. Empress Celeste II, ascended in 1240, quickly set out to show her dominance in quashing any southern rebellions and rescuing this demigod. Despite her aggression, no sign of the demigod was found, and the persecution of innocent southerners only served to anger them further.

This came to a head when, in the summer of 1247, the great southern city of Kysra was forcibly taken over by revolutionaries. Their leader, the missing demigod known as Kaisa, subsequently declared the Republic of Stolisia and that it sought to take back all lands stolen from the Stolisi under the reign of Empress Azure I. Caught on the back foot, and wholly unprepared for a full-blown armed conflict, the Divinitian army faltered regularly against their peasant revolutionaries, and within the year, much of the land south of Kysra had come firmly under Stolisian control. This war, known as the First Stolisian War, soon attracted international attention, and its scope expanded. Santonia, long since recovered from its crisis in the mid-11th century, sent many soldiers and medics to the Stolisian rebels, and Maleli blockaded its neighbours to prevent them from doing the same. The latter turned out poorly, as the northern countries instead attacked Maleli directly, forcing it into an early surrender and declaration of neutrality to protect itself. And so, in 1249, northern ships would set sail for Stolisia, which had continued to grow and gain territory in the meantime.

The success of the Stolisian revolutionaries is regularly laid at the feet of Kaisa and Celeste II, with Kaisa possessing the charisma and intellect necessary to command troops to devastating victory, and Celeste II for lacking these in equal measure and regularly blundering through armed conflict. Kaisa's charisma also served an additional purpose - to win over the opposition. Many elite demigods, particularly those of non-Divinitian descent, swapped sides and lent their magic to the Stolisian cause, and many from Nirvejan and Nuli snuck across the polar oceans to join the revolution.

The war finally ended in 1256, after nine long years, with Celeste II offering an unconditional surrender and travelling to a border town to negotiate. After negotiating for the exchange of certain locations for others, a border was drawn up, and it was decreed this border would remain open for six months to allow displaced families to collect belongings and have the freedom to decide where they would live. This deal infuriated the Divinitian elite, but they had to accept it.

Aside from minor civilian clashes on both sides of the border, particularly strong amidst Divinitians against Stolisians, peace reigned, and Interim President Kaisa set about drawing up electoral districts to prepare for the first elections of her new republic.

The Second Stolisian War

On an ordinary day in late spring of 1256, the city of Kysra exploded. Many members of the interim cabinet, included Kaisa herself, were killed in the blast, and much of the city was levelled. 'Raw magic', a twisted form of magic, stained the ruins of the city centre. The people of Stolisia were furious, and blamed Divinice for the deed. The survivors of the cabinet swiftly declared war upon Divinice in retribution. But Divinice seemed to have prepared, with fresh boatloads of troops arriving from their foreign allies shortly after the declaration, and they initially came out ahead in the conflict.

However, many of those allies would later withdraw from the conflict, citing 'ethical concerns', while Stolisia's allies remained steadfast and even boosted their contributions. The war would become a stalemate in 1259. The death of Empress Celeste II, aged only 40, sent rumours flying of an assassination by the Stolisians, and Divinice briefly was able to retake land under Empress Kohinoor I as Stolisia's reputation fell. This did not last, and by the wars end in 1261, Stolisia had taken more land than they had held under the 1256 treaty.

The Dark Age

This was the least of Divinice's worries, as it became apparent that across the world, no new demigods were being born. As the Empress must be a demigod, this greatly scared the elites. This fear would become founded in 1287, with the assassination of Empress Eloise IV, after her food was poisoned in her palace by rebels from Nuli Island. Her successor, Roshni II, only managed to capture one of the suspected assassins, before she herself died suspiciously in 1290. Each Empress after Eloise IV would barely reign for three years at their best, as many were old and frail when assuming the throne, or otherwise died suspiciously.

Amidst this leadership turmoil, in 1293, Nuli Island declared itself independent under the control of the Tsuli Republic, which was swiftly recognised by Stolisia. The Empress at the time, Twila IV, chose to leave the Island to its own devices, deeming it not worth the effort to defend due to its position and climate. Tsuliya did not just claim Nuli Island, however. They also claimed Nirvejan Island, much to the distress of the Nirvejani people. When Empress Nila formally gave Nuli Island to Tsuliya and renounced Divinice's claim in 1298, she refused to renounce Nirvejan Island, and conflict ensued. Despite the constant change overs of Empresses, this conflict went well, with Divinice only losing the western cape.

Despite not wanting to be under Tsuliyan control, many Nirvejani did not wish to be under Divinitian control either, and as Divinice struggled to keep order on the island, many civilians fled to Tsuliya and Stolisia. This is commonly known as the Nirvejan Refugee Crisis, lasting from 1303 to 1310. It was made worse by the maritime death of Empress Eloise V off the south western coast of Stolisia in 1304. This plunged the reign of her successors into a cloud of illegitimacy, due to the loss of many of the symbols of Divinitian royalty going down with her.

Recovery

Demigods had begun being born again in the latter half of the 80s, and were slowly coming to adulthood. The most well-known amongst these was a Dawn Demigod named Sunniva, who became Empress of Divinice in 1305, aged only 18. She was the second 'illegitimate' Empress, but nevertheless sought to restore her kingdom from its slow decline due to its constant wars and loss of trade and stability. She began negotiating with a prominent Nirvejani rights group, and in a very small way with Stolisians, hoping to recover Eloise V's sunken ship. This was finally successful in 1307, and she very quickly affirmed her legitimacy as a ruler.

In 1310, her negotiations with local group bore fruit - Nirvejan was granted autonomy and a provincial government, who would run the country under Divinice for a few years to aid a peaceful transition. In 1312, they became wholly independent, but maintained ties with Divinice.

Empress Sunniva also placed a high focus on reforming the government to provide stability, and enshrined a Council of Princesses, who would act akin to elected officials. They would be elected from among the elite demigods, and would also be responsible for electing the next Empress.

More reforms would be need when, in 1316, the 'raw magic' that had been unleashed in the destruction of Kysra in 1256 crept its way across the border, having slowly spread its way to the source of a river that flowed between Stolisia and Divinice. Sunniva quickly created a group known as the Ritual Maidens, comprised of many Divinitian Dawn Demigods, who travelled to the tainted river to attempt to cleanse it. While fixing the river was impossible due to it having a tainted source, the Ritual Maidens were able to keep it contained within a small region surrounding the river and its attached lake, and later to keep the border somewhat clean when raw magic crept towards it as well. Stolisia has made efforts to curb the spread on their side, but a lack of communication and coordination with Divinice has limited this effort.

In 1324, Divinice joined the United Nations of Asavla, after their application had been vetoed multiple times by Stolisia, who was one of its founding members.

The Dominion of Maleli attempted to hold an independence referendum in 1347, having believed their union to have run its course. This was ruled as breaking the terms of the initial agreement and Empress Soleil VII refused to allow it to be held. Many in Maleli are still frustrated by this, and independent sentiment continues to mount.

Territories

The core of Divinice is located on Grace and Stolis Islands, with all of it having been peacefully joined Divinice during the time of the First Kingdom, as a loose collection of tribes. They had previously conquered the entirety of the Losiné region, but have lost this to Stolisia, Tsuliya, and Nirvejan. Of note is a conflicted region south of the official border with Stolisia, which Divinice still holds a claim to. Contrastingly, Stolisia claims the 'Black Lake' region of south east Divinice as part of its territory. In practice, both countries continue to uphold the 1261 treaty and border.

The Kao Islands are the only part of Losiné that was conquered and kept, due to it being pampered by some Empresses and given degrees of autonomy early on. Its people are generally content with Divinitian rule.

divinice map

Foreign Relations

Divinice maintains friendly relations with many of its trading partners, these being many of the coastal countries of the east. Its late entry into the United Nations of Asavla has kept it quite distant from eastern and northern continental powers, though it has worked to bridge the gap in recent decades.

This friendliness does not extend to its former territories, harshly opposing communication and affiliation with Tsuliya and Stolisia. No embassies or foreign missions exist between them, no flights run direct, and any citizen from Tsuliya or Stolisia is not allowed to leave the airport. Divinitian policy explains this as "protecting its national security." The border between Stolisia and Divinice is heavily monitored on both sides.

Nirvejan maintains friendly relations with Divinice due to its aid in the Nirvejan-Tsuliya, and are the sole southern country on good terms. Nirvejani ships are allowed passage through Divinitian waters and they have a number of exclusive trade agreements, though the relationship is slightly strained due to the close relationship between Nirvejan and Stolisia as well.

The Divine Kingdom
divinice map
Area controlled by Divinice in dark green; disputed area claimed by Stolisia in green; claimed but uncontrolled territory in light green.
Type
Geopolitical, Kingdom
Capital
Lusca
Alternative Names
Imperial Divinice, New Divinice, The Second Divine Kingdom
Demonym
Divinitian
Head of State
Empress Ilsa
Government System
Monarchy, Elective
Subsidiary Organizations
Location
Losiné
Related Ranks & Titles
Related Professions
Controlled Territories
Neighboring Nations
Organization Vehicles
Notable Members
Related Ethnicities

Friendly

Nirvejan was the only country to leave the Empire through diplomacy, and it shows through how the two countries have maintained communications and formal interactions. Nirvejanis are the only southern nationality allowed to enter Divinice.

Dominion and Biggest Ally

Maleli initially relied on Divinice for many of its military and resources during a harsh drought, but the tables have turned and many consider Maleli far stronger than Divinice. Resentment amongst citizens has sparked a few independence referendums, and the independence movement grows stronger with each passing year.

Peace

Divinice
-10
Santonia
-10
Divinice and Santonia have not been allies since the War of Succession, and it shows. The two have no trade agreements in place, and Santonia had previously helped veto Divinice's application into the UNA alongside Stolisia. The two of settled into a state of apathy, despite or in part because of ending up on the opposite side of arguments regularly. In recent years, Santonia has been accused of smuggling Stolisian terrorists into Divinice, a charge it vehemently denies and which has soured their relationship all the more.

Weak Peace

Stolisia
-60
Divinice
-90
The Stolisian Wars from 1247 to 1261 have left these two countries in an uneasy truce. Stolisia regularly worked to undermine Divinitian control in the Losiné region, funding Tsuli and Nirvejani revolutionaries and smuggling them supplies. The two had never officially spoken following the end of the Second Stolisian War in 1261 until as late as 1306, when Sunniva began quiet negotiations to recover the lost ship of Empress Eloise V. As a founding member of the United Nations of Asavla, Stolisia vetoed Divinice's application until 1324. In recent years, Stolisia has made frequent attempts to establish formal contact with Divinice, and many Stolisians (as well as Divinitians nearer to the border) hope the countries become more friendly in future.

Mutual Disdain

Tsuliya
-100
Divinice
-100
Tsuliya's exit from the Empire was brutal and remains a sore point in history of Divinice. The two only ceased being at war officially in 1312 with the independence of Nirvejan, though Divinice remained involved in the region for at least a decade afterwards. The feeling is mutual, and the two only interact if a law if broken by their citizens or government.

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