Vexua

The Shielded Isles

If there is any place on this planet likely to be the utopia of dreams, it is Vexua - but it is for that same reason that you must never dare to go there. They are dangerous, the Vexuans. None who approach their distant isle are ever seen again - not by sight, and not by magic.
  Across the water from the Sunari Wilderness lies the island nation of Vexua. From the waters, towering ebony structures and turquoise lights can be seen, but the closer one draws, the harder it becomes to comprehend what's being seen due to the nation's unique barrier and sturdy inner walls. Strange ships of silver and black can be seen darting around Vexuan skies, disappearing in flashes of violet and aquamarine, or firing bolts of blood-red that seem to disintegrate what they touch.   Whilst the general geography can be made out by careful study, no living being has ever been sighted through the barrier - it seems the primary purpose of it is to obscure them, more than their geography.  


Life inside Vexua is extremely organised. The nation is split into multiple districts, each with different tasks, yet all citizens are treated the same and live in relative comfort. The League doesn't directly interfere in their daily lives, and Vexuans are fairly happy for what they know.   They mostly inhabit tall apartment buildings constructed from glass and steel, and benefit from having most menial tasks automated and standardised to allow them time to concentrate on more important things, such as research and relaxation.

Vexuan Schedules

  Though the League doesn't directly interfere with daily lives, they do provide a daily recommended schedule for all citizens to follow. Veering from it is acceptable, but it's widely considered a bad idea to do so - the schedules allow all citizens to be sure they're improving in the most optimal way possible, after all. At the end of the day, citizens are offered a chance to submit feedback. This is always taken into account for the following day's schedule, so citizens are generally forthcoming with this.

  Regular citizens might work in farms, factories, shops, public services or the like; those with no other position are given maintenance positions or set to do menial work that's too varied to be automated easily. In the standardised Vexuan schooling system, children are taught a variety of topics and are trained in many skills: every Vexuan is able to use a gun, has researched the nation's history and geography, and understands basic technology.   They are also tested for their combat abilities. Those who are proficient with magic are trained separately and on an individual basis, and those who find themselves particularly skilled with weapons (or other combat-related feats) are directed into training streams personalised for them. No Vexuan citizen is pushed to follow the pathways set out for them; however, they do generally take the encouragement. Those who don't find themselves regretting it one way or another.  

The League

The League of Xenoi are the leaders of Vexua - a council of approximately seven of the highest achievers across all areas of Vexuan industry. They remain in constant communication with one another and oversee all aspects of the country's operation, from simple scheduling to the intricate weaving of android souls.   Only the brightest minds and strongest wills can ascend to the League, and the appointment is for life. Once a member of the League approaches their death, they are ascended.


The nation's geography is quite varied, and her citizens take full advantage. Over the years, mountains have been transformed into multi-purpose relaxation and military facilities with extensive underground factory work. Others have undergone large mining operations that seek to plunder the natural resources for use in the League's strange work.   Beaches, forests, rivers and other significant landmarks are organised into 'residential', 'commercial', and 'military', with functions based on those: needless to say, Vexuan druids are content.

  Life isn't bad in Vexua, despite what the more freedom-loving types might think - it's merely organised extremely efficiently so that all will have adequate time for relaxation on top of their usual work. Laziness is not forbidden: they have schedules to adhere to, and society may press individuals to follow said schedules, but there is no forcing someone to do what they do not want.   The island is also strictly not a prison. Those who wish to leave Vexua are quickly pulled aside by the League's Enforcers - they usually return with no desire to exit the country. Those few who do maintain their desire to leave are permitted to say their goodbyes whilst under careful watch. Any memories of Vexua's critical secrets are removed from their mind before they exit, as a condition of their free departure.   If someone leaves, they are not permitted to return outside of exceptional circumstances (such as knowledge of an enemy attack) unless their travel has already been prearranged. The few who have managed to leave find it incredibly hard to adapt to the reality of the world outside; many perish on the edge of the Sunari Wilderness, or meet death on the roads north to other areas of civilisation. Those souls who do find a new life and thrive often keep their origins a closely-guarded secret.

Public Agenda

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Assets

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History

The island nation of Vexua was once a simple forest-covered island, inhabited by a few isolationist elves and gnomes who preferred to keep to themselves. Their society was thrown into uproar upon the removal of arcane magic by the Gods as most of their members were revealed to be magical, leading to the remaining few inhabitants losing faith for taking so many away from them for such a pointless cause, to the point where they became outright dismissive of the gods and their faithful.   The island nation of Vexua was once a small forest settlement inhabited chiefly by explorer elves from the elven homeworld and their gnomish brethren. It was isolationist even in those early days - human traders and conquerors who sought to settle the island were quickly dealt with, and even the early Galasthin empire could barely make contact with their Vexuan friends.  

The War of Magic

The War of Magic was the clash that lead up to the Worldrend, sparked by the rise of arcane magic. Worldwide, it split countries and nations. The effects are still heavily felt even over five centuries later - except for in Vexua, which spat in the faces of the gods and held close their arcane friends for as long as they could. Nowadays, divine and arcane magic are treated as different branches of the same thing in the country, and any differences are studied and taken advantage of.   The more suspicious outsider nations, such as Gildómar, are wise enough to keep their theories on Vexua quiet enough to not provoke an attack, but such places are considered the source of rumours that Vexua works with deep and corrupt powers to obtain its advancements.


The War of Magic threw Vexuan society into uproar - when the gods stole away all practitioners of arcane magic, Vexua lost a majority of its citizens. Those who remained were furious with the gods, their faiths shattering and hearts hardening. The few deities who sent emissaries to them found their messengers treated with disdain and even outright dismissal.   The Vexuans began to train and develop their own methods of dealing with wayward paladins and divine servitors, unknowingly fostering a steady distrust of any outsiders. The beginnings of their walls began to form, and the rest of the world noticed. For the duration of a period known to Vexuans as the Severing of Ties, the young country attracted both war and those seeking to escape it.

  They dealt with both.   It took time to establish a safe method of allowing in refugees; during that period, many unfortunate hopefuls were slain to at least grant them the peace of death. The Accord of Aid put an end to that, and placed strict conditions on would-be refugees: chief of these was that they give up all ties to the outside world. With the rest of Istralar under threat of constant war, many were all too happy to accept. Years of this new normal passed in a blur, and then it all changed.   For the Worldrend had fallen upon them, and Terra Arcana detonated before their horrified eyes. This was what it meant to worship the gods, they knew, this was the punishment Istralar had earnt. But despite the changes wrought in the Worldrend's aftermath, despite the outbreak of fighting and the rise of divine servitors to contain what had occurred, Vexua remained an ocean of relative peace.  
I can't imagine the bravery needed to hand over the reigns to people you don't even know, on their word that they're part of your nation.
  Vexua's former mages were welcomed back into the fold without the distrust prevalent elsewhere, and the fledgling leadership of Vexua hesitated on how to adapt - their arcane brethren were more knowledgeable by half, and the information they held was vital. The three sides to the debate - arcane, mundane, and though not focused on any specific deity, divine - held a committee between their highest ranking members, and made the decision to form a council to lead the nation.   Unfortunately, they had no time to adjust. An offshore nation, perhaps one of the rivals to the Lost Empire of Meihua, struck the island to take advantage of the inevitable disarray. Vexua fought back with arcane weaponry and animate constructs; it was no contest. But the deed was done: whatever trust they might have tried to rebuild was shattered beyond repair, and their new council knew they had to act.   Their land was valuable, their knowledge immeasurable, and their embracing of magic unique at that point in time: they knew they would never be left alone. And so they made their decision. They did not need the rest of Istralar. The isle sealed itself off from the world semi-permanently, placing a shield around its borders. Their newfound constructs would become the base for something greater, and the knowledge their scholars had found upon Terra Arcana would propel them past mortal limits. It is here that their history begins to fade into obscurity. From what has been gleaned from the few Vexuans who dare leave its borders, it would seem that a small group of mages travelled beyond the limits of Istralar to bring back strange magics. Strange magics that, when used, allowed their nation to progress further than ever predicted. It was this same group that enabled the ascension of the League, and it was the League who organised the nation with brutal efficiency and maintained its silence to the outside world.  
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Demography and Population

Vexua is largely home to elves, gnomes, drow, humans, and lashunta. Racial variety rarely increases due to the country's isolation; planar travel and contact with outsiders tend to be the only ways new blood enters the country. Small amounts of other species linger, either as a result of their initial presence on the island, or due to their arrival as refugees or extraplanar visitors. However, the one species totally native to Vexua (well, on Istralar, at least) and the biggest sources of outside interaction and trade for the nation are the androids. They function as entirely sentient beings and are supposedly created beneath the earth in a factory of immense size. Each is different in personality to the next, despite their similar base form.   In reality, androids are essentially the same as any other being in that they possess souls bound to their bodies. Despite this, Vexua is able to mass-produce the metal beings and subjugate them entirely. Androids are exported as specialised slaves with little-to-no willpower of their own, and absolutely no memory of their birth country. They are often bought by the rich and powerful as guards, researchers or assassins, and can be customised by their purchaser to their liking - most nations are completely accepting of this trade, as androids are not seen to be people.   This treatment has caused strife between religious organisations - for instance, Sarenrae's followers generally do not oppose slavery, whereas Milani's are vehemently against it. Sources are mixed on whether androids are treated entirely as slaves within Vexua's own borders - most agree that they are, but only a Vexuan could confirm the truth.

Territories

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Military

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Technological Level

If there is to be any nation on Istralar known for its technological prowess, it is Vexua. Their advances into most fields of science are millennia beyond the rest of the world, and the secrets they find, they largely keep to themselves. They are the masters of soul alteration and the creators of androids, they are the only nation to truly pioneer interplanetary travel on a wider basis than a simple teleport spell, and they take pride in doing it without the aid of the gods.

Religion

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Agriculture & Industry

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Trade & Transport

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Education

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Infrastructure

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Seek Knowledge Beyond the Stars

Type
Geopolitical, Country
Alternative Names
the Iron Overlords, the Kingdom of Steel
Demonym
Vexuan
Government System
Technocracy
Power Structure
Autonomous area
Currency
the Vexuan Credit
Major Exports
Androids, magical items, magical weaponry.
Legislative Body
The League of Xenoi, generally referred to as 'the League'.
Judicial Body
the Valence Brilliance, generally referred to as 'the Brilliance' or (pejoratively) 'the Slated'.


Cover image: Photobash thanks to Unsplash's Maximalfocus, Jesse Collins, and Vita Vilcina & Pixabay's xresch by Hanhula

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