The title, Divine Leader, is granted to an individual chosen by Sargonnas directly. Often individuals with powerful magic, the Divine Leader is essentially a dictator that holds absolute rule over the nation. None question their rule or their superiority because to do so would be to defy the will of Sargonnas. The current dictator is Divine Leader Hella, Chosen of Sargonnas and she has ruled for 700 years now, outliving the entire nation's population multiple times. Directly beneath Hella stand her closest advisers and friends, individuals from all walks of life who have proved themselves worthy of claiming the responsibilities of one in their position. These officials manage all state affairs, with administration and with diplomacy, all while overseen by Hella in person. They work to make things happen that Hella cannot do herself, though there is little she cannot accomplish. The average citizen doesn't fall much further behind the others. They all have a job to do to bring prosperity to Seria and to Sargonnas and they undertake these jobs proudly. Everyone is respected for their work. Citizens of conquered lands and those who refuse to convert to Sargonnas are known as thrall. While many are executed for insolence, the majority of these individuals are taken as slaves for manual labour and in some cases battle thralls in combat. Any thrall can end their enslavement by simply converting to the true faith and within a month they will be integrated into society based on their skills.
There is no real hierarchy in Seria. Hella stands at the top, a select few just beneath her, and then everyone else. The ancestral peoples of Seria are all equal denizens of the nation, serving it in the best way they can. If one proves themselves a capable smith they are given a forge and some orders for the military. There is no cultural divide between races or nationalities. All is judged by faith. Refusal to convert to the faith of Sargonnas leads to enslavement as a thrall, until you convert.
The Mandate of Seria as whole is to unify the people of Alaktasien through faith, not culture. They care not for the petty squabbles and divides of culture beyond religion, seeing the common unity brought about by devoted faith, and the backing of a god. Typically Seria takes an expansionist and assimilation stance on politics, headed by Hella and her advisers personally. The origin of this Mandate is somewhat unknown. The early histories state that the first Humans of the Prime Valley saw the need to band together in unification for an unknown purpose, or to defeat an unknown threat to all civilisation.
Situated in the Prime Valley, Seria has no shortage of strategic resources like iron and wood. Food is slightly more scarce but regions in the north are significantly more fertile than the south, where the capital is located. The summer sea to the North is the nation's primary link for trade and commerce, and even some piracy. The Serian military consists of magic using soldiers known as Proselytes, individuals with iron discipline, ruthless efficiency and skill with war magic. They make up the core of the military, equipped with light amours and large bladed weapons like glaives or halberds. The Proselytes also act as religious enforcers, in constant patrol of the nation, doing inquisitor work rooting out heretics and heathens. In recent years the amount of battle thralls in the military has been increasing as the war drags on. Peoples of all walks of life who refuse to convert to the faith find themselves fighting for Seria in larger numbers than ever before. In many cases those who swear allegiance to Sargonnas to escape thraldom still serve in the army, or are quickly promoted as a lesser proselyte, despite the promises of the Mandate. The Serian navy has been all but destroyed by the fleets of the Empire within the first year of the Magna Bellum. A few ships still serve but their missions are mostly being directed by the much more successful navy of Someria, something the entire nation is incredibly bitter about.
The first cults of Seria sprung up from the shattered societies of the early human civilisations wiped out by the first Contingency Cycle. Desperate peoples clinging to survival, united by the common goal of escaping complete eradication of life in Alaktasien. Legend states they gathered at the foot of the Seros mountains and placed the first foundations of a city of unity, which they named Unitas. Their society grew slowly, they sought to unite all survivors of the contingency under one banner to fight the threat when it returned. Their efforts started well. Under an experimental democracy the people of surrounding communities were assimilated into the city, and even established towns and settlements in the surrounding areas. Order was maintained for a time, when the population was small. Everyone was following the same path to the same goal and it seemed like it would stay that way for a long time. But of course it didn't.
Anarchy and DivideAs the population of the Unitas state grew, so did the burden of managing it. What was originally hundreds had grown to thousands, and from then tens of thousands. People began to loose sight of what was important, instead pursuing more selfish desires. Over time the nation fell slowly and slowly into more anarchy as order broke down. Your place in society was no longer decided by the skills you possessed but by the power you held over others. Unitas became a land of lawlessness, the very symbol of unification had fallen to selfish individualism and petty conflicts. Decades of war and famine plagued the nation, and the very purpose of its creation fell further and further into legend. During this time, one individual, known only as the First Chosen, received a divine blessing from the god of vengeance and fire, Sargonnas. They established the first Order of Sargonnas, under the promise of forcefully reestablishing the unitary state of Unitas under a new direction, unified by the common reverence of a god, led by one chosen by him. The fight for supremacy that ensued lasted a single decade, known as the Emergence. The First Chosen and their supporters barely subdued the various warlords and ideologies that opposed them, finally defeating the most dangerous enemy, the Cult of Someria, guided by the influence of Azuril, Goddess of Winter. The Cult fled to the sea, taking the entire fleet of the old nation of Unitas, where they settled on the largest of the islands of the Summer Sea, proclaiming their own nation. This left the lands of Unitas under the sole control of The First.
Seria and SargonnasWith all threats gone, the First Chosen set about properly establishing his new religious state, recycling many of the policies of Unitas which had been long forgotten. Under Sargonnas the people truly felt the need for unity far more than they ever did before. Sargonnas became more revered, and more respected. The people saw the unity and progress brought about by the mutual following of a single god, one who pushed for order where there was little. The Chosen needed a centre to their new state, and what better place than the famed founding site of Unitas itself, the capital. Here they proclaimed the city of Divinus, the beacon of divine unity and loyalty to Sargonnas in perpetuity. The towers of the chosen were constructed at the centre of the city, to act as the personal abode of the Chosen and their advisers. Once again the people of Unitas were united by a common goal, this time guided by a god. But with everything else being new, the chosen realised that the name Unitas was quite outdated, and so they proclaimed the State of Seria, a new beginning and a new dawn for the people of Alaktasien.
HellaFollowing the death of the First Chosen, Seria was briefly plunged into chaos once again, before the emergence of another Chosen reestablished order, the people realised that this was likely how the system would go from now on. It was the first few of the Chosen that had to come to terms with the presence of other nations outside of the Prime Valley and indeed within it. They managed to assimilate a few of them but they found themselves at their modern borders quite quickly due to the rivalling power of the surrounding nations. They saw the easiest progress in the North against smaller states and cities, but to the West they clashed with the Republic of Perin. The South was by far the most difficult adversary in the form of the shattered states of Vorthos who would join forces to protect their lands. Centuries passed before Hella ascended as the Chosen. Her ascension was quickly followed by spontaneous declarations of war and swift successful and unsuccessful conflicts. Hella cracked down on heresy and she doubled the size of the military. She has lived throughout most of the life of the State of Norvalis and is quite salty how it managed to grow into a fucking superpower that now threatens the entire sovereignty of Seria.
To Fight the Common Foe
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