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Nephemir

Structure

Nephemir's system of government relies on three houses of The Adyra Family each overseeing a portion of the nation's government. The ruling house occupies the royal palace in Elcaryn and acts as the head of state. The head of this house is the acting monarch, overseeing foreign affairs and appointing people to internal positions. The head of this house also has control over the military once war is declared, and can periodically overturn laws. The second house writes laws, regulates trade and commerce, and can declare war. However, they do not control the military once war has been declared. The third house has power over the police force and court system. If the two minor houses decide the acting monarch is not upholding their duty, they can take them to court.   The nation is split into three holds: Dorhana, Lensa, and Braern. Each house is not only is responsible for their branch of the government, but also their hold. These holds act in certain ways as their own countries within the larger nation of Nephemir. Internal border checks are fairly common, especially along major trade routes.   When the acting head of state dies, can no longer serve their role in office, steps down, or is removed from office by the other houses, a new head of state is chosen from the heads of the Three Houses. The heads of all Three Houses travel to Elcaryn with a champion. The three champions compete until only one champion remains. Champions can surrender, though this is uncommon. Usually this draws quite the crowd and the city of Elcaryn is flooded with travelers.  
"May the gods lend their strength to the champion of the house they deem most worthy of the throne."
From the Ceremony of Champions
  The head of the winning house assumes office and appoints the other heads to either the legislative branch or the judicial branch. Generally speaking, the new head of state will select the head of the house they have a better relationship with to be in charge of the legislative branch.

Assets

Nephemir relies heavily on trade coming up from Alia, Rend, Yajemir, and Dereko. The fertile farmland of central Nephemir supplies not only Nephemir's citizens but also the droves of merchants that travel the Iaria Trade Route every day. Grains and vegetable fields and livestock pastures dot much of Nephemir's landscape. Wood and other building materials are plentiful throughout the nation. Near the seas, fishing is also another major industry.   Each hold maintains something of a reserve military. Braern along the Great Western Sea has a moderately-sized navy. In the event of a declaration of war, however, much of the military would be conscripted from the nation's populace.  

Agriculture & Industry

Farming - especially grains and vegetables - is the main industry within Nephemir. This couples well with its location on the Iaria Trade Route, allowing Nephemir to quickly and efficiently export its fresh produce to foreign buyers. Fishing is also common along the coasts, though this industry can be regulated rather heavily in certain areas to avoid harming Selkie citizens.  

Trade and Transport

The Iaria Trade Route cuts through Nephemir in two separate arms. Namely, metal, wood, grains, slaves, and textiles are what move most commonly carried across Nephemir to the ocean on the west coast.  
"Coastal cities are the best place to find exotic goods; merchants are always trying to sell their excess before paying shiphands to load it onto a ship."
A letter from a retired merchant to his son
  The Iaria Trade Route is well maintained and quite safe to travel. Though there are few areas along the trade route with no villages, there can be issues with theft and crime in these uninhabited tracts of the road. The Iaria Trade Route is the most direct roadway through Nephemir. Other roadways throughout Nephemir are not as well maintained as they are traveled on less frequently.  

Infrastructure

As much of Nephemir has low rainfall, irrigation and water collection systems to aid in crop production are not only common but advanced. Likewise, major cities have rudimentary sewage systems.   Major cities and temples usually have stone walls for security. This is also common in older temples and cities, as attacks and raids were much more common in the past.

History

Before settlement, Nephemir was inhabited largely by Centaurs, though there were some Human and Elven settlements in what is now western and eastern Nephemir. Settlers from Mederi fleeing religious persecution fled north into what is now south-eastern Nephemir. They banded together with existing Treist settlements, and officially founded the small beginnings of Nephemir in 4E 1254.  

Earnest expansion continued in 1312, however, the first encounters between native Centaur tribes and Nephmiri settlers did not go positively. Treist settlers saw the strange practices of the Centaur tribes and feared they were heretics practicing necromancy. The Centaur tribes, who knew the goddess as O'erall, likewise feared the settlers.   As more settlers encroached on tribal hunting grounds, tensions rose and war was declared in 1374. Initially, Nephemir had little success. However, as interest in trade and farming in the area grew, more resources and manpower became available. By the 1420's, Nephemir had a formidable fighting force, and the tides changed.

Centaur
Kentaur by Hadrian

  Tribes were beginning to fall, and in a last desperate attempt to defend their homeland, Centaur tribes united under a tribal leader by the name of Sarall. This proved ineffective, however, as Kaika herself put an end to the fighting by calling for the Centaur tribes' surrender. Essentially the entirety of the remaining Centaur population was killed or enslaved.   Nephemir continued expanding, reaching the great western sea by 1504. This further boosted trade and foreign interest in Nephemir. Travel through Nephemir was now exceedingly common, however only truly accessible and safe for Treist travelers. Additionally, settlements on the extensive borders with nations that were not Treist were subject to raids often, with little being done by the crown at the time.  
"Of course the crown don't care about them raids; they have walls and guards, and we ain't Treist."
A letter from a Baqist high priest near Nephemir's border
  Tensions within Nephemir began to rise as the monarchy worried itself with keeping Nephemir strictly Treist than defending its borders or its citizens. In 1548, a coup headed by The Adyra Family put an end to the previous monarchy and established a new government that tolerated the worship of other gods within Nephemir. While there are still areas with an official religion, Nephemir as a whole has no religion.

Demography and Population

The population of Nephemir is quite diverse, as merchants travel through on a daily basis from many different nations. The average citizen, however, will either be Human or Elven. Much of the population is dedicated to food production and trade, however, many skilled artisans inhabit the nation.   Nephemir is home to just over 19,275,000 citizens. The average Nephmiri citizen lives a moderately comfortable life on their wage, though there are areas where the average citizens struggles during certain seasons; the average living wage is higher than the average of Lathai. The average life expectancy in Nephemir is 65, which is quite a bit higher than in other nations in Lathai because of the number of Treist temples offering health care services to the nation’s populace.   While there are many ethnicity that call Nephemir home, generally speaking, Nephmiri citizens value family and their sense of "home", which are both quite Treist values. Families tend not to move over long distances very much, and instead tend to remain near their family's home.

Territories

Nephemir is home to grasslands, forests, expansive seas, mountains, hills, bluffs, glaciers, a pseudo-desert, and coastal environments. With the diversity, it is no wonder why this nation is one of the richest and best armed countries in Lathai. Two separate branches of the Iaria Trade Route further aid in this country’s trade potential. Nephemir covers roughly 8,800,000 square miles. The most direct path from the easternmost to westernmost points is 3,891 miles, a journey that takes at least sixty-five days on a fit horse. Thankfully for travelers and merchants, much of the landscape is relatively flat.

  Prairie and plains make up the vast majority of the country, and essentially the entirety of Dorhana. This area lends itself well to farming and grazing land, though wildfires are common and can devastate farmland. Fires rise up quickly but do not generally burn for long, depending on the season. Many of the animals native to this area are grazers such as bison and antelope. Both fire and these large grazers contribute to Nephemir's fertile farmland, though both cause loss of crops to farmers. Low-lying areas within these prairies are usually quite wet and home to waterfowl and fish. Many of these wetlands have been drained, though some have successfully been used to grow rice, which otherwise is not grown in this region.     The Aldema Mountain Range is the reason for the large tracts of prairie to its east. Though these mountains inhibit trade somewhat, as there are few reasonable passes through the mountain range, they have also stopped attacks from the west in the past. To the west, Nephemir looks quite different. Boreal forests dominate the landscape, from the Aldema Mountain Range to the western edges of the Osina Peninsula.  

Osina Peninsula

Landschaft mit Wanderern by Franz Barbarini

The wooded regions of Nephemir are home to rich hunting grounds teeming with deer, wolves, boar, and bears. Fine furs come from this area. Farming can be somewhat more difficult in this area, but the increased annual rainfall mean increased crop yield and other varieties of crops that can be grown. Cheese from this region is said to be particularly delicious from cattle raised on flowers found in meadow valleys here. The only area of Nephemir well suited for raising Unicorns are in the wooded bluffs of the Osina Peninsula. While this is not a major industry in the region, it does serve the Nephmiri military's best interest to have a domestic breeding population of the war mounts.

  To the north of the Osina Peninsula, near the Temple of Perrie, there are fewer hills, but instead great moors. This is one of Nephemir's poorest areas, with the major industries being potatoes, sheep, and goats. The land is much less fertile, and fields here tend to flood often due to the humid ocean winds pass over the land.  

Pasture

Misty Pasture by Nicolas Raymond

  To the northeast of the Osina Peninsula, once again to the east of the Aldema Mountain Range is the driest region in Nephemir. This area is sparsely populated, and is known to be home to bandits, raiders, and those seeking to remain hidden.     Continuing east into the hold of Lensa, plains continue to the coast of the Taearduin Sea. To the north and east of the sea, however are large tracts of evergreen forests. The western border of Nephemir is the beginning of the Iron Highlands of Dereko, though Nephemir does not share a border with Dereko, but instead the tract of the Iron Highlands in The Northern Reach. These peaks hold a glacier known as the Elksbane Glacier.

Military

Each hold is responsible for defending its own territory, so all three holds maintain a small army. With Nephemir’s rising tensions due to the disappearance of the goddess Kaika, all three holds have begun to conscript additional forces to prepare for any conflicts or violence that may arise internally, though this has not been the case on the national level.   In the event that Nephemir were to go to war with a foreign power, each hold would be responsible for supplying forces to defend the nation. The decision would be that of the house currently overseeing the legislative branch of the government, which is currently Braern, though the army itself would be under the control of the acting monarch, currently Queen Irihaal.

Religion

The most common gods worshiped are Kaika and Sote. Nephemir’s temples are a source of local and national pride. Temples and those residing within are often well-cared for by the local population, who supply food and other supplies to ensure the temple’s operations run smoothly.   Queen Irihaal is a dedicated worshiper of Kaika. She would prefer to make Nephemir a strictly Treist state, she has not seen much success in her endeavors. Religion in Nephemir can be a rather tense topic, especially in areas where two or more religions are observed.  
"Mautist snakes like you aught to be sent out to that sea you love so much with a rock tied around your necks."
Account from a speech delivered in Braern by a Treist farmer

Education

Formal education is mostly given to males of noble or wealthy families to study religion, leadership skills, philosophy, and linguistics. Colleges throughout the nation usually require applicants to have a close relative who has attended one of the colleges in the nation or to provide some form of service for the college for free for a certain amount of time. There are several prestigious colleges throughout Nephemir, including the one in Alamar.   The average citizen is more commonly trained via apprenticeship in a specific field or learns their trade from their parents including farming and craft skills. It is expected that at least one son takes over a family trade or shop.

Book
Old Book by Anna Langova

Founding Date
4E 1254
Type
Geopolitical, Kingdom
Capital
Elcaryn
Demonym
Nephemiri
Head of State
Queen Irihaal
Government System
Monarchy, Absolute
Power Structure
Unitary state
Economic System
Market economy
Currency
Almost all currencies are accepted in Nephemir, though the official currency includes two sizes of gold coin, one silver coin, and three different bronze coins.
Major Exports
Grains, slaves, building materials, and fish
Major Imports
Metal is most commonly imported from Dereko. Fine cloths, furs, and fruit are imported from the south via the Iaria Trade Route.
Legislative Body
Elosrin Adyra of Braern currently oversees the Legislative Body. He currently resides in Elcaryn, leaving the management of his hold to appointed officials.
Judicial Body
Vesryn Adyra
Character | May 14, 2019

One of the three crowns of Nephemir

Vesryn Adyra in Dorhana is the current head of the house overseeing the Judicial Body, however he has decided to take a more hands-off approach to this aspect of his responsibilities, focusing instead on overseeing his hold and appointing managers to oversee the courts.
Deities
Controlled Territories
Neighboring Nations
Organization Vehicles
Notable Members
Related Ethnicities
Related Myths

State Religion

The settlers who initially left Mederi in the 1200's were all Treist, and founded Nephemir with the intention of it being a Treist nation. However, as the nation grew, sects evolved subscribing to other religions. Most notably were Baqism which was the religion of immigrants from the south and remnants of Kanoism in the north. Hurism had been a force in the northwest early in Nephemir's history, however the area has largely been converted to Treoism.  
Treoism
Organization | Jun 24, 2019

The religion worshiping the goddess Kaika

  While the majority of Nephmiri citizens are Treist, the nation itself seems resistant to declaring Treoism as an official religion. There have been several points in Nephemir's history where a monarch has attempted to outlaw the practice of any religion but Treoism within Nephemir's borders. However, all these attempts have failed due to the nation's dependence on trade and travel. During Nephemir's history, Mautism has been outlawed within Dorhana and Lensa, and Baqism was briefly outlawed in Braern, though all these bans have been retracted. Open practice of Anacism and Anacist spells is currently outlawed in Dorhana.  
Queen Irihaal
Character | Sep 25, 2019

Queen of Nephemir

  In recent Nephmiri history, there has been another push for Treoism to be the official religion of Nephemir, though other religions would not be outlawed. This is in direct response to Kaika's twenty-eight year absence. Queen Irihaal, who is a staunch Treist, attempted to respond to the chaos surrounding Treoism by grounding it as a state religion. While she had support from a large portion of her population, the motions have failed each time they have been proposed in the past ten years of Queen Irihaal's rule.  
Cairn
Large Cairn on Monadhliath by Andrew Spenceley
 

National Issues

Queen Irihaal inherited Nephemir as it neared the brink of dramatic change. Though she is a capable leader, nothing could have prepared her for Kaika's disappearance just as she assumed the throne and how that would effect Nephemir and its citizens. Because much of the Queen's focus has been on quelling religiously-fueled infighting she has been less able to respond to other national issues.   Kaika's absence is Nephemir's most significant issue, and it is not a localized problem. Tensions are running high among the Treist population. While temples are still largely able to operate, prayers are not being answered by the goddess. For the first time in the nation's history, there has been a dramatic shift of Treists converting to other religions. The most common religion converted to is currently Baqism, though Mautist communities have began to appear with increasing frequency.   This is a dramatic shift for Nephemir's citizens, and resistance by Treist citizens is common. New temples have been vandalized and there have been cases where citizens known to have converted away from Treoism have been murdered or executed outside the constraints of the law by village guards.   All three holds have increased the amount of soldiers on patrol within their borders in an attempt to maintain a presence and quell these types of religiously motivated attacks. However, this has caused its own issues, as those conscripted feel they are being forced to fight against Kaika and their beliefs.  
Yajemir
Organization | Jun 26, 2019

A land of sand, merchants, and dragons

  Due to the increased tensions within Nephemir's borders, the nation has pulled its support from their allies to the south, Yajemir, which has been locked in conflict with The Fidean Empire for decades. This has not significantly affected trade, but there is increased tension between Nephemir and Yajemir due to this decision.       Additionally, The Fidean Empire has taken hold of a portion of Nephemir's territory. In 1640, Fidean forces landed on the northern edge of the Osina Peninsula just on the border of Nephemir and Aperan. The Fidean Empire and has held fast there for the past five years, but has not expanded their territory. This issue has only really gained attention in Braern, but has not been deemed a priority by the nation or the hold, as it is currently not an escalating issue.  
Siege
Siege tournai by Adam Frans van der Meulen
  Travelers on their way to the western coast through Braern face a relatively new threat, as a large band of escaped Centaurs are intercepting merchants before they can reach the sea. This has not significantly affected national trade, though large merchant operations have began to avoid some areas of the Iaria Trade Route in this area.   Guards in Braern have been attempting to quell this uprising, but has not received aid from the other holds or on a national level.  
Centaur Rebellion Army
Military Formation | Jun 1, 2019

An army of escaped centaur slaves fighting under the name of Rudanes

  In closing, Nephemir is locked in a state of fear which the current monarchy cannot respond to. While the situation is currently stable, many fear that a dramatic shift in the status quo is imminent, creating a volatile atmosphere.

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Cover image: Brown Eyed Susans in the Tallgrass Prairie by NPS Photo

Comments

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12 May, 2019 13:14

This is an excellent article. All I really had to offer in the way of feedback was some nitpicks!   I like how the land is split up into three holds - that's a great seed for all kinds of shenanigans. There's an crazy amount of cool detail. Is it safe to say, this is pretty much THE empire of the setting?

12 May, 2019 16:58

I’m glad to hear that you liked it! That means a lot! Yes, almost all of the story I’ve got planned takes place here, and yes, shenanigans do ensue!