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Hivokia

A Kingdom that spans the Hivokian Isles, west of the coast of Pelonia. The nation employs a strict Caste structure with the islands divided up among the nobility who must swear their fealty to the King. The archipelago features vast volcanic mountain ranges dissecting the islands forming natural borders. Frequent eruptions and earthquakes regularly change the dramatic landscape. The short rivers deposit sediment in the flatlands creating treacherous river deltas and swamp lands around much of the islands. From the mineral rich land and fertile shores grows dense and verdant forest.   Hivokia has been invaded by Warlord Grisfin con Lanre, who has declared himself the King after destroying the Noble Clan of Satochi and assassinating King Otori. At first this was accepted by the remaining Noble Clans who were either fearful of reprisal or had been bribed to the Warlords side. On the day of the Celestial Alignment, Grisfin attempted a ritual using dormant dragon eggs to open a portal and summon dragons back into Dharguun. The dragons would not bow to his will or his rule and instead began carving out territory of their own from Hivokia and the wider world, loosening the Warlords grip on the nation. The Clans of Hivokia used this opportunity to break away from King Grisfins rule, who found himself unable to bring them back into line with the limited forces at his disposal. Hivokia descended into a chaotic war between the Pelonians, the Hivokian Clans and the dragons, breaking the nation up into provincial states as new Clans rise and fall.

Structure

Hivokia is a feudal Kingdom with a hierarchical Caste structure.  

Royalty

The Archipelago is ruled by the King or Queen and the Crown is usualy hereditary. Prior to the current political situation, the only known instance of this not being the case was when the last dwarf King Ise Cedarbeard passed without an heir, which lead to the Succession Wars, lasting nearly 500 years.  

Aristocracy

Consisting of the Seven Noble Clans, these families and their retainers rules the lands of Hivokia in the monarchs name. They govern vast regions known as Prefectures which are named after the Capital from which the Clan rules. The Clan is responsible for enforcing the Royal Law, as well as any Prefecture specific decrees that they make, for collecting taxes from the people and for paying the tithe back to the crown. With the fall of the Satochi Clan there are now only Six Noble Clans.  

Warrior Caste

The Warrior Caste are the only people permitted to carry swords in Hivokia, in theory though this piece of their cultural ettiquette has fallen by the wayside since the Fall of Hivokia. The Warrior Caste are also permitted to own land though they must still pay the tax for that land to the Aristocracy. However during the chaos wrought by the Pelonian occupation and the return of the dragons many Warrior Caste families are beginning to band together to form new Clans to protect their holdings, sensing the opportunity for power.  

Peasants

The peasantry consists of farmers and skilled labourers. Visitors to Hivokia often make the mistake of thinking that Peasant is the lowest social rank when in fact it is recognised that the work they do contributes to society as a whole and is necessary to the nations wealth.  

Merchants

Merchants occupy the lowest rung on the social ladder. In Hivokian culture they are seen to profit from others skill and not through any merit of their own.  

The Casteless

The Casteless includes all those who dwell within Hivokia but are not a part of Hivokian society. This includes the nomadic tribes of the Aki, the Goblin creatures that dwell in the savage wilderness and forests that lie outside of the Prefectures control, criminal Clans as well as common bandits and beggers.

Culture

Hivokia has a rigid caste structure and a unyielding set of ideals that they believe every person should adhere to which can be summed up by the single word Honour. This can be broken down further to mean courage, rectitude, sincerity and politeness. It is expected of every citizen of the kingdom but is particularly important to the Warrior Caste who are encouraged to embody the spirit in which the ideals were conceived. While the code expounds virtue in reality there is much intrigue and scheming between the Aristocracy though, in order to honour the code they must employ such tactics artfully. Failure to do so would result in a loss of standing amongst the Warrior Caste.  

Courage

Hivokians are expected to be courageous in their actions whether it be in a martial sense or in their every day lives. They face difficult situations with stoicism and a methodical approach.  

Rectitude

The Hivokian ideal is to do what is right regardless of what is easy. Duty, obligation and responsibility come before personal gain or preference.  

Sincerity

At its most basic this is being honest but Hivokians also see it as having as a deeper meaning of acting with all of your skill, ability and strength of intention. Of making an effort with all of your energy in every action you choose.  

Politeness

Rudeness is taboo in Hivokia and it is customary to regard ones social equals or betters with the respect that their rank accords them. Sarcastic, defiant or condescending inflection to ones address can be perceived as an insult and silence can be a scathing review of someones character.  

Magic

Hivokians do not recognise the difference between divine, arcane or primal magic as other nations do. Instead they believe them all to be different harmonics of the same energy that created and fills the world. Magic users are uncommon in Hivokia meaning that even meagre talents are revered among many people, though unfamiliarity means that some are distrustful of such abilities.

History

Before the nation was forged the races of Hivokia lived in tribes divided by their race. As the Andxrathi Empire expanded outward they enveloped Hivokia, conquering the tribes and instilling a governer to rule. During this time the Andxrathi Empire brought the invention of roads, aqueducts and plumbing to Hivokia and using engineering built colossal structures as monuments to their own glory.   The Fey Exodus brought elves, firbolgs, gnomes and goblins to the land of Hivokia as well as the wider world, their sudden appearance straining the resources of the land and pushing at the empires borders. With the collapse of the Andxrathi Empire in its homeland, Hivokia descended into a dark age. Its temples and roads fell into disrepair while the people returned to their tribal traditions. It was at this point that the dwarves Bronzebeard clan migrated from Midrnottr seeking a new home. When they landed in Hivokia they began settling, bringing with them their Clan and Caste structure. The elves and dwarves made contact with each other, forging an alliance and began conquering their neighbours, absorbing the survivors into their ranks. The tortles and dragonborn joined them. Some of the races of Hivokia did not and their tribes were hunted close to extinction. The humans, firbolgs, tabaxi, lizardfolk and gnome tribes were exiled to the south island, Jato.   The tribes enjoyed trade with the nations and people south of the Sword Sea. The Hivokians, looking to control this trade fortified the southern coast of Tahoma and built strongholds on Jato. The tribes rebelled at this incursion and fought against this, prevailing for a while. However while Hivokia was a united force the tribes were still divided. The Hivokians exploited this by convincing the tabaxi who were mighty warriors, to join their union and turn on the tribes, ending the war. Hivokia took control of Jato and the trade that ran through it. The remaining tribes of humans, gnomes, firbolg and lizardfolk, who had been brought close to extinction banded together under Adachi Firequencher and became the Aki Tribes.   Fearful that the Aki would one day be strong enough to challenge them and retake Jato and the riches its trade boasted, Hivokia enacted a decree that the Aki Tribes would be removed from Jato and taken to Tahoma where they could practice their traditions in a specially created sanctuary. The Aki were evicted once again and force marched to High Wind Forest. Seeing it for the prison it was, Adachi Firequencher led his people through the Ways into the Feywild. The Aki Tribes became nomadic wanderers, going where they wished in Hivokia and using the Ways in and out of the Feywild to avoid Hivokians. Unable to control the Aki, Hivokia was forced to tolerate them and their expeditions through their lands though they think of them as nothing more than barbarians.   In its infancy, Hivokia was ruled over by the dwarves who instituted a Caste structure similar to the one they had traditionally held. Under this Caste structure the core value of honour was formed from which the other virtues were derived. After the death of the last dwarven king, Ise Cedarbeard and the War of Succession, King Sadamu Otori, the first Elven King ascended to the throne.   With his ascension came reforms. While Hivokia kept its core principle of honour it shifted away from a martial focus to become something more in tune with elven sensibilities. Pageantry became of utmost importance and ushered in an obsession with expensive and showy displays of wealth, importance and of course, honour. During this time the Warrior Caste became little more than glorified administrators whose purpose was to support the Lords of the Prefectures. This era produced a period of great wealth, giving rise to the rumours among the rest of Dharguun that Hivokia was built on a foundation of gold.   This age of stability and prosperity came to an end with the Pelonian invasion of Hivokia. Warlord Grisfin, the brother of the Pelonian Emperor landed on Tahoma and began to march north. He was met by Lord Morinari Satochi at the Battle of Tsujin Valley where he routed the Satochi army. Lady Shio Satochi, the Lords daughter took the survivors and recruited the refugees of the invasion to form a resistance and slowed the Pelonian advance for a while.   Warlord Grisfin attempted to recruit the Aki Tribes to his side, using illusion magic and necromancy to create a credible seeming of a Hivokian army attacking the Adachi, the ruler of the Aki Tribes, while on his way to a gathering to discuss the Aki's involvement in the war. The aim was to spark outrage against the Hivokians and provoke the Aki into siding with the Pelonians. While this was happening the Pelonian necromancer, Nerangarel, had begun to bribe members of the Aki with offers of power. This plan was thwarted by two heroes who revealed one of these spies who had been offered Pelonian support to become the Adachi, resulting in the Aki turning on the Pelonians and declaring their forces as 'Game.'   None the less, Warlord Grisfins campaign on Tahoma was another ruse. While he marched noisily north, assassins infiltrated the Royal Palace and killed King Otori. Warlord Grisfin hunted down the army of Lady Satochi, captured her and had her and her father put to death. He struck deals with some Clans and threatened others into supporting him as he declared himself King. To fill the power vacuum left behind by the Satochi Clan, King Grisfin installed his Necromancer Nerangarel as the Baron of Koga prefecture which became known as the Koga badlands.   King Grisfin then used a clutch of dormant dragon eggs that he had been gathering in secret and used them to open a portal to the Plane of Blood, summoning new dragons into the world. Grisfin had expected to control and use the dragons to further his own ambition but instead the creatures began to carve out their own domains from the archiapelago, demanding tribute from their subjects and waging war on the Clans and factions in control. This caused the nation of Hivokia to topple. Old Clans began to recede as alliances between Warrior Caste families, banding together for defense or opportunity, created new Clans. The Kingdom of Hivokia dissolved, leaving behind in its wake a fractured collection of warring states.

Demography and Population

Hivokian

The races that make up the civilised nations of Hivokia. These races subscribe to the Caste system, dwelling in permanent, structured settlements all across the archipelago   Elves: The dominant race in Hivokia. Elves make up a large portion of the population in all walks of life. Long lived beings, they have a love of pageantry that has influenced Hivokian culture at every level from grand long lasting festivals to the simple preparation of food.   Dwarves: Dwarves are the second most common race in Hivokia. They sport the same massive beards as their overseas cousin and preen and style them into extravagant, ornamental designs to show their wealth and breeding.   Dragonborn: There are few dragonborn Clans, when compared to the numbers of elves or dwarves but they are all members of the Warrior Caste or Aristocracy with only a few appearing in the ranks of the Peasantry, through debt or misfortune.   Tabaxi: These cat people are present in Hivokian society in both the Warrior and Peasant Caste. They are often unsubtle and brash, going against the grain of Hivokian society.   Tortles: Tortles are common on the Hivokian Isles. They have lifespans comparable to elves though they live solitary lives.   Halflings: Present almost exclusively in the Peasant Caste  

Aki

The nomadic people making up the Aki Tribes. They are prolific monster hunters, using resources taken from their prey to create weapons, armour, clothing, equipment and furniture.   Firbolg: These nature loving giants are more at home among the Aki that the civilisations of Hivokia. The Aki's affinity with animals as well as their outlooks on the natural world has its roots in Firbolg culture. Aki firbolgs grow prodigious beards.   Humans: Their fiercely independent nature and adaptability out weighs their short lived nature, and makes them extremely valuable members of the tribes   Half elves: Half elves often find it hard to fit into Hivokian culture, as sometimes they are not fully accepted by their elven ancestors. Many find warmth in the accepting arms of the Aki   Lizardfolk: Lizardfolk are a calm and pragmatic people focused on the present and not overly invested in the customs of the past. Their reptilian emotional responses do not fit in well with Hivokian Caste ideals but make them valuable members of the Aki.   Gnome: Gnomes are too chaotic to fit into traditional Hivokian culture and find their expertise and love of freedom to be a boon the the lifestyle of the Aki Tribes. Gnomes lend their mechanical prowess to the tribes by creating advanced weaponry from their kills which can be mounted on their war beats to use in hunts.   Hivokian Races- While not so numerous there are a smattering of the other races that make up Hivokia present in their nomadic nations. It is rare but some give up their station in Hivokia to pursue a freer life among the Tribes. The Aki have no stigma around the birth of tiefling and so many find their place with them. The gith have a general distrust of dwarves following their role in the destruction of many tribes at Hivokia's formation but even a few dwarves can be found.  

Tengu

The Tengu are races revered as guardians by the Hivokians. They do not originate from Dharguun, originating instead from one of the Spheres of Creation.   Kenku & Aarakocra: These birdlike races are distant cousins to one another. The flightless Kenku dwell amidst the forests while Aarakocra build their aviaries in mountainous regions. Both races shun the Caste based political structure, living a tribal existence well away from Hivokian settlements and the Aki nomads. They are left to their own devices and held in mild reverence by Hivokian customs as they hail from the Plane of Air in the Sphere of Elements.   Kobolds: This reptilian species believes it holds a sacred connection to the Dragons of old. Whether that is true or not the race of kobolds that inhabits Hivokia revere the Dragons as their ancestor gods and hold a place of high esteem amount Hivokia who believe them lucky.   Aasimar: Aasimar are born to mortal parents but are descended from a Spirit. This connection marks them for destiny and they are revered by the mortals of Hivokia. They are often gifted to Tengu enclaves to be raised or educated in monasteries.  

Goblin

Goblins are mischievous vagabonds who reject the Caste system of Hivokia. They account for a large proportion of the Casteless. Goblins often find employment with Hivokian criminal enterprises.   Ogres: Ogres are large, brutish creatures with a reputation for stupidity and a quick temper. They inhabit the forest and other areas away from civilisation, preying upon those who become lost.   Oni: In nursery rhymes, oni are fearsome bogeymen that haunt the nightmares of children and adults alike, yet they are very real and always hungry. They find elf babies especially delicious. Oni look like demonic ogres with blue or green skin, dark hair, and a pair of short ivory horns protruding from their foreheads. Their eyes are dark with strikingly white pupils, and their teeth and claws are jet black.   Goblin: Goblins are small, selfish humanoids that live in forests and other area apart from Hivokian society. Individually weak they tend to gather in large numbers.   Hobgoblin: Hobgoblins are large goblinoids with dark orange or red-orange skin. A hobgoblin measures virtue by physical strength and martial prowess, caring about nothing except skill and cunning in battle.   Yuan-ti: Yuan-ti are devious serpent folk devoid of compassion. From remote temples the yuan-ti plot to supplant and dominate all other races and to make themselves gods.   Teiflings: Common legend says that these individuals are the offspring of a Oni and a mortal. While neither is true their appearance does little to bely the myth. In actual fact they carry the bloodline of the denizens of the Sphere of Blood, born to mortal parents. The bloodline can present but no sign evident for many many generations before a tiefling is born. They are often outcastes in civilized society and distrusted in the extreme though they are not necessarily evil or untrustworthy.

Religion

Hivokians believe in a pantheon of eight deities who take an active role in current events.   Hivokians alse rever a Zodiac of creatures that represent a series of personality traits. Each creature corresponds to a celestial body whose appearance in the night sky marks the dominance of that creature over the coming year. People born in these years are said to take on the characteristics associated with the celestial creature though it is more superstition than fact. The zodiac and its practice can be traced back to its origins from when the Elves migrated to Dharguun from the Plane of Nature.   Hivokia is home to innumerable Spirits who are often specific to a local area and are revered as local gods. Each spirit is associated with a Sphere of the Zodiac, sharing its characteristics, much as people are supposed to. While Hivokians call these being 'Spirits' people of other cultures may recognise them as Fey creatures and realise their home in the Plane of Nature could also be called the Feywild.

Foreign Relations

Hivokia welcomes outsiders and visitors with respectful politeness but the strict Caste structure makes it hard for foreigners to ascend the social ranks as they do not place on it to begin with.  

Aki

The Aki Tribes presence in Hivokia is tolerated though with their monster hide armour and weapons, and lengthy, thick beards they are considered barbarians and looked down upon.  

Pelonia

Many Hivokians Hate the Pelonian forces for their role in the collapse of the Hivokian Kingdom and its decent into chaos.

Agriculture & Industry

Hivokia landscape and geography mean that it is an extremely mineral rich environment and is able to grow massive amounts of crops, primarily rice which grows in tiered fields on the slopes of the steep hillsides or in the flooded deltas of the coast. Different sorts of kelps are farmed around the coastline, lending a savory flavour to many of Hivokia's native dishes.   Hivokia is also known for the quality and intricacy of its silk, produced by silkworms which are farmed in orchards. The silk is treated with the best quality dyes and used as the underlayer in much of the armour of the Warrior Caste since, unlike other fabrics, when damaged by a strike it does not break apart and fester in a wound.

Trade & Transport

Within Hivokia goods are moved along an advanced road network via horse and cart. These roads are maintained by the ruling Clan of the prefecture, paid for out of the taxation visited on the lower Castes. Between the Isles goods are ferried by small ships through the coast cities of Makino, Ynnuyama and Kazawa on Hitaro. Products are moved outside of Hivokia through the port city of Demi travelling north of the Hilt and Utame when travelling south of the Hilt.
Founding Date
1536CA
Type
Geopolitical, Kingdom
Capital
Demonym
Hivokian
Government System
Monarchy, Absolute
Power Structure
Feudal state
Currency
  • Copper Pieces (CP)
  • Silver Pieces (SP), 1SP-10CP
  • Gold Pieces (GP), 1GP-10SP
  • Jade Pieces (JP), 1JP-10GP
Legislative Body
Royal Law- The law of Hivokia, decreed by the Monarch, applicable across all of Hivokia   Prefecture Law- Made by the ruling Clan of the Prefecture and applicable only in that region
Judicial Body
Each Clan Head, Baron or Provincial Leader is responsible for carrying out the law
Executive Body
The Warrior Caste or Barony Soldiers
Official State Religion
Subsidiary Organizations
Related Ranks & Titles
Neighboring Nations
Related Ethnicities

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