The emperor has the ultimate power to make decisions, but he's kept in check by a group of advisors composed of the descendants of the original Virilen families. These families do their best to keep in touch with the people of Virilia and use that knowledge to advise the emperor toward the best course of action for the country. (The emperor does his best to do this, as well, but he has a lot keeping him from having the time and resources to do so.) The emperor's family is usually also involved in politics to some degree or another, each having their own personal project for the betterment of Virilia.
Virilia heavily values art, growth, and learning. How this is interpreted falls along a spectrum depending on where in Virilia you are. Upper/Eastern Virilia believes in taking a very ordered approach to these things, emphasizing excellence in work through structure and consistent work. Lower/Western Virilia expects no less excellence, but they emphasize organic learning, community support, and freedom to do things your own way. The cities in between tend to fall somewhere along the middle of the spectrum, producing a more-or-less neat gradient. Each approach works well for those within it, and those who find a different approach preferable simply move farther east or west depending on their needs. Though the two ends of Virilia hold to such different habits, they deeply respect and support each other. In Lower Virilia, family and community are extremely important. Lower Virilens believe it is their responsibility to support those around them in whatever way is most appropriate, whether that be more hands-on (babysitting, teaching, cooking for) or more hands-off (invitations to community functions, guild work, etc.). If someone isn't plugged into the community, the community will do their best to figure out why and fix it if they can. If someone is being exclusive, the community will confront them about it. In Upper Virilia, community is somewhat less important. Craft guilds are still fairly central to the communities around them, but they're much more formal and less tightly-knit than the guilds of Lower Virilia. There's also more of an emphasis on individuals succeeding on their own, more-or-less without help, which discourages the same closeness that would be found in Lower Virilia. Regardless of where in Virilia you go, however, you'll find artists dedicated to their crafts, people passionate about their work, and strong friendships.
The first Virilens were a group of twelve--six men and six women--who were created by Chiean and placed on the jungle-covered island of Virilia. These twelve worked as a democracy as they built their home amidst the jungle and began families. As the settlement grew and it became impractical for everyone to give input on how it should be run, one of the original families was chosen to rule it, with the input of the other original families as a council. Those by the surname Longwei became the first emperors and empresses of Virilia.
Virilia covers one large island and three much smaller nearby islands. One of these islands is cohabited by The Naftin in certain seasons. There's also a small northern island between Virilia and Sachara that has been somewhat disputed between the two nations, but after The Sacharan Edict, Virilia gave it over to the Sacharans permanently. The primary island of Virilia has been owned by its people from the very beginning, and the only creatures to potentially dispute it are the dragons, who seem happy to let the Virilens live there.
Virilia primarily believes in a pantheon of gods, with Chiean presiding over them. Rongon (god of justice) and Gossalu (goddess of fortune) are the next most prominent gods. Others include Thenome (goddess of water and innocence), Amak (god of music), Matroia (goddess of the sun and war), Thiumea (goddess of the moon and change), and Jinoi (god of time). Following the acquisition (and later assimilation) of Sacharan slaves, however, there's been some spread of belief in Arba.
Agriculture & Industry
Virilia mostly specializes in artistic products such as rugs, pottery, paintings, and glasswork. Guilds and workshops can be found in abundance in every Virilen city, and the arts are what many citizens connect over.
History is valued, as is art, so calligraphy is considered a very important profession. The most recent emperor, Tatsuo, created a university for the best practitioners of the most important professions to train even further and work for the court, including calligraphers, animal keepers (especially those who keep dragons and tigers), and architects, to name a few. Education looks different depending on where in Virilia you are. In Lower Virilia, education is very loose and unstructured. Children learn from their families and communities, following their interests and exploring various skills as they please. Guilds in Lower Virilia are open to the community (including children), providing space for people to watch artists work or to try the skills themselves (with oversight and mentorship where appropriate). In Upper Virilia, there are more skills that children are expected to learn by certain ages. While there's still a bit of flexibility, there's a structure Virilens are expected to follow and most learning is encouraged under supervision and direction. Guild visits, especially, must be scheduled and follow a specific pattern.
Head of State
Head of Government
Dôkèn are the primary currency of Virilia. These are obsidian disks one inch in diameter which are printed with the image of a dragon. Bartering also occurs from time to time.
In the earliest days, when Virilia was a democracy, the three head families would create laws together. These laws still form the foundation of the Virilen constitution today. When the Longwei family was chosen to rule, the Feng family was chosen to act as the legislature and their direct descendants maintain this position today.
When the power structure of Virilia shifted out of democracy and powers were distributed among the families, the Longweis were chosen to rule, the Fengs to write law, and the Thanoc family was left with the judiciary. The direct Thanoc line still acts as the judiciary in Upper Virilia, while in Lower Virilia most judges come from a more indirect line. Since the Longwei family is supposed to be chosen by Rongon, god of justice, some members of the royal family outside the line of succession choose to become judges as a way to serve their kingdom.