Hermitage Island Fellowship
The Hermitage Island Fellowship (HIF), also known simply as the Hermitage Islands, is a small nation comprised of several independent city-states located in Western B cube, each claiming an individual natural or artificial island at its home territory.
Demography and Population
The Hermitage Island Fellowship is overwhelmingly Rostran (specifically Low Rostran) in ethnicity, though a few rare High Rostrans have chosen to emigrate from the Rostran Archipelago Confederacy to the Hermitage Islands. The relative isolation imposed upon the Hermitage Islands by the deep waters of the Western Tesseract means that few other people have the opportunity to visit the nation.
The Hermitage Islands lack their own centralized military force, instead relying on their strong alliance with the Rostran Archipelago Confederacy for foreign defense. Small island militias handle local defense, though these are typically not well-equipped enough to repel modern military threats.
Most of the Hermitage Islands' technology is imported from the Rostran Archipelago Confederacy, though some has been quietly stolen from visiting Navigator's Guild and Manifold Conservation Society craft. The only area of technological expertise where the Hermitage Island Fellowship excels compared to other powers within the Manifold is in the construction and upkeep of floating cities; while advanced in terms of aquaponics and aquaculture in general, the HIF lacks the advanced educational infrastructure to surpass the Rostran Archipelago Confederacy in this area of science.
Being of a somewhat isolationist bent, the Hermitage Island Fellowship possesses little in the way of ongoing foreign relations with powers other than the Rostran Archipelago Confederacy. Occasional visits by researches from the Manifold Conservation Society represent the few contacts that the HIF has with the outside world. While the leaders of the HIF prefer the status quo in this regard, this limited exposure to other nations within the Manifold has left most residents of the nation with a skewed perception of Humans and Verdials, leading to open disdain and hostility amongst the public for the cultures of these other humanoid species. Outsiders often perceive Hermitage Islanders to be arrogant, insular, and callous towards anyone not of their idyllic island homes.
Trade & Transport
The HIF has extensive nautical trade networks for the direct exchange of commodities. The Western B/Rostral C skystation is primarily a trade hub, though it also serves a weather forecasting and inter-tesseract communications role.
In the parts of Western B where no landmasses exist to support Rostran habitation, large sea-going vessels known as ship-districts are attached to one another and anchored in shallows to create floating cities. Water treatment and distillation is handled by massive solar stills, which use the power of solar heat to "sweat" seawater into its constituent freshwater and minerals, though rain water collection is also a large contributor to freshwater reserves. In shallow regions of the cube, artificial shoals have been constructed to provide additional living and growing areas, providing habitats for mangroves.
Hermitage Islander, Hermit
The Hermitage Islands use the Rostran Sea Ducat, though Navigator's Guild Credits are also accepted everywhere.
The Hermitage Islands are large-scale exporters of fish and other aquacultural products, such as seaweed and various unique vegetable species from the ocean floor. The only notable mineral export from the HIF is salt, which is removed from volumes of seawater via the "still islands": solar stills built to cover small atolls with dammed inlets or aboard specialized ship-districts in floating cities.
As the Western B cube is limited in terms of dry land, with all the mineral and agricultural products attendant thereto, the Hermitage Island Fellowship imports large amounts of lumber, glass, metals, and fruit from the adjacent Rostran Archipelago Confederacy.
Every year, on the equinoxes and solstices, the chiefs of the various islands join the decks of their state-issue presidential ocean liners to create a temporary Floatilla of State in neutral waters, where long-term legislative issues are handled. In situations where urgent action is needed, however, this tradition is abandoned in favor of radio communication, with secretaries encrypting the words of each representative chief so that foreign agents in local airspace cannot listen in without great difficulty.
Each member city-state has it's own law enforcement and judicial branches, with trials usually settled via a jury and panel of judges established in a public forum.
Official State Religion