Voxelia is the oldest and largest human state within the Manifold Sky. Occupying all of Medial Tesseract A and having at least a tenuous grip on other cubes, Voxelia is a force to be reckoned with.
In the beginning, the tribes of Medial A cube fought ferociously amongst themselves over limited land resources. Smaller tribes were marginalized and forced to move away from the Medial A1 face - the cradle of humanity in the Manifold Sky - until only seven major tribes remained on the face at the end of the Old Voxelian Conquest. Over time, these tribes grew into small kingdoms and began to expand outward, occasionally coming into territorial disputes with one another as space on the A1 face ran out. To resolve the matter, the kings of these seven kingdoms decided to elect an emperor from their shared noble blood who would serve as a figurehead for their shared interests as denizens of 1A. With the coronation of this emperor, the fledgling nation of Voxelia was founded, and the resulting era of conquest would see this nation destroy or evict all other tribes and kingdoms from the cube. A few of these ousted nations would later rebuild in other cubes to become rival states. Before the unification of Voxelia, while the various tribes had fought, there were also many families who shared blended bloodlines with other tribes and kingdoms as a result of previous diplomatic marriages. From the outset, Voxelia had angered the subset of their own population that held such blended bloodlines by slaying their distant kin and abolishing all previous alliances thereby created. A low-intensity civil conflict broke out within the nation almost as soon as the first Emperor was crowned, and as a result the Emperor's first act was to initiate pogroms to root out any citizens deemed to be disloyal 'foreign agents.' The Emperor's soldiers cracked down on the rebels with authoritarian force, but the occasional uprising (especially in rural walled burghs) would spring up for several generations; in any event, even if most citizens dared not voice displeasure with the Emperor and his vassal kings, the Emperor failed to engender much loyalty or love from his subjects. This state of authoritarian rule persisted for hundreds of years. Late in the age of exploration, as Voxelia established frontier colonies in other Medial cubes - some of these colonies destined to become breakaway provinces in their own right - the vast expenditures of then-Emperor Saraphras Martram on expeditions over much-needed capital city infrastructure finally created enough public displeasure to set a coup plot in motion. Each of the seven kings of Voxelia held their own courts when not directly voting on the Emperor's agenda, and each of these courts employed, amongst other noble advisors and bureaucrats, an official court jester. These were specifically retained as a form of 'gadfly' for the sitting king, being the only non-noble in the whole of the kingdom allowed to speak freely on political matters (albeit in jest). These jesters were drawn from the highest-ranking students of the Voxelia College of Bards, a professional, state-run organization focused on promulgating Voxelian culture and entertainment as a means of propaganda to keep the citizenry distracted from their misery. As a result, all the kings' jesters knew one another from their school days and were in frequent communication from one another. This year, they also all happened to have similar misgivings about the kings and Emperor Martram, being drawn from the same civilian population that cowered under the Emperor's totalitarian jackboots. And so it came to pass that, all on a pre-determined date, the bards assassinated every king simultaneously as they attended the Emperor's council - then turned their blades on the Emperor himself. In the aftermath, the jesters used their fame and favorable public sentiment to form a governing body amongst themselves, called the Council of Liars, which has remained in power in Voxelia ever since.
Demography and Population
The population of Voxelia, including all outlying regions, is roughly 3.5 million.
Voxelia currently is classified as a 'voxel state,' a state which has successfully occupied it's entire cube. Medial A1 contains the capital city, with the rest of Medial A being dotted with various burghs, hamlets, and other small communities. West C, the cube layer opposite Medial A, is only loosely held by Voxelia's expeditionary forces, and may soon come to be contested by other nations (especially Rostran Archipelago Confederacy) due to it's mineral wealth, agriculture-friendly environment, and favorable position for military airship operations against Voxelia. All faces adjacent to Medial A (Medial B4, E4, F4, G4, H4, and D2) have some degree of Voxelian settlement on them, but it is only in recent years that Voxelia has possessed the force projection capabilities necessary to protect their claims in these areas.
Voxelia regards it's human intelligence and psychological warfare operatives as it's most important military assets. The Voxelia College of Bards produces talented artists, musicians, actors, and broadcasters, but it also produces talented propagandists, infiltrators, and counterintelligence agents. This aspect of the College - reinforcing the culture of Voxelia with one hand while hiding a dagger in the other - helps prevent another spate of frontier colonies breaking away to form their own governments. The Grand Army of Voxelia fills it's ranks via yearly conscription quotas, with any young adult male being eligible to be drawn up for a mandatory three year term of service. At the conclusion of their service, each soldier will receive a small pension stipend for the rest of their natural life. Educated conscripts are trained and employed officer roles, with alumni of the College of Bards installed in each unit as political commissars. Individuals may chose to extend their service as long as desired, with these voluntary carreerists accruing high levels of veterancy and, eventually, clout with the Council of Liars itself. Voxelia treats its military with respect both as a means of retaining their loyalty and in recognition of their efforts in the ongoing War of Reunification. The Grand Army fields the largest number of armored vehicles, dieseltech auto-armor, and airships of any nation, though it's strength of forces is nearly matched in defensive capability by that of the Free Faces League in Medial B2, C2, C4, and C5 due to the latter's total war doctrine and fiercely protective national sentiment.
Like most great powers in the modern Manifold, internal combustion engines, dieseltech, and simple pre-transistor circuitry are the backbone of Voxelian technology. Voxelian institutions of higher learning are a frequent client of the Navigator's Guild, having been among the first to ascertain the Manifold Sky's five-dimensional topology from maps and field observations provided by the Guild. Voxelia was the birthplace of biodiesel as a technology when the meager natural reserves of petroleum began to run dry in their cube, threatening to halt their technological progress.
The biggest foreign policy issue affecting the Voxelian state is the ongoing War of Reunification with the Coalition of Breakaway Colonies. With a burgeoning population to feed and the loss of tax remittances from their old colonies going 'native' with the Elovisian exiles, Voxelia is now in a position where, even as a net food exporter, resources scarcity will soon start to curb grander national ambitions. Voxelia retains fair diplomatic relations with their ostensibly neutral relatives in the Manifold Conservation Society. The nation has limited trade dealings with the Rostran Archipelago Confederacy, but is more closely aligned with Petalcap Vale trade interests.
Agriculture & Industry
The moist, temperate climate of Voxelia's home cube makes the nation a prime location for agriculture, especially around Medial A1's central flood plains. Huge bamboo fields and orchards packed with apiaries churn out vast quantities of food and building materials to support the burgeoning Voxelian population. Well-established agricultural hubs like Chateau Blueberry, Hive City, and Ambergrain produce large quanities of food for both internal consumption and export.
Voxelia possesses numerous institutions of higher learning, with the College of Bards being a feeder for civil service positions and numerous small technical colleges feeding into Voxelian industries. A Navigator's Guild guildhall in Silkenvault provides navigators with training, resources, and assignments.
Voxelia is in the process of connecting all it's frontiers with it's capital city, Silkenvault, via rail line, as paved roads are less efficient for commissure travel and commissure transit stations are attractive targets for enemy capture. While Voxelia nominally holds sovereignty over the skystations in all commissures and the inflection layer leading into Medial A, the Navigator's Guild holds a controlling financial interest over the navigational personnel, lifting gas extraction plants, and biodiesel reserves aboard the skystations; Voxelian control only extends into the military domain in these locations. Voxelia possesses two large airports and many smaller, municipal airstrips for civilian air traffic. Voxelian roads are typically wide and well-maintained. Indoor plumbing and municipal wind power are available to subscribers in any region within Medial A, even in isolated mountain towns; frontier outposts must supply their own power until proposed inter-cube utility lines can be constructed.
True Scions of the Gods of Irony
Head of State
Head of Government
The official currency of the realm is the Jester Shilling (JS), a note backed by units of vegetable biodiesel held by the Voxelia federated treasury. Constant demand for, and the eventual expiration of, biodiesel helps to keep inflation in check and ensures Voxelia's business ties with the Navigator's Guild and various biodiesel farming companies as suppliers. 1 JS is equivalent to 2 NGC.
As a cultural powerhouse, Voxelia imports exotic herbs, spices, pigments, and precious minerals from every known reach of the Manifold.
The Council of Liars serves as a parliamentary body for Voxelia, with it's seven members serving as Master Harlequins from their 30th to 60th birthday. While each Master Harlequin a firstborn son from the lineage of the Old Voxelian jesters, educated in the Voxelia College of Bards for this explicit leadership role, each Master Harlequin can be removed and replaced with another descendant upon a successful public referendum within their associated kingdom. The Council of Liars must approve of a parliamentary motion by unanimous consent for the motion to pass. The Council writes and votes on laws, holds meetings with concerned members of the public, adjudicate high crimes, conduct diplomatic meetings, and administer the military and intelligence agencies of the state.
Each municipality possesses a public court where a trio of judges hears evidence from a plaintiff and defendant before rendering a legal decision based on a unanimous decision, with an "irrefutable evidence" standard being the norm. Each kingdom has a single appellate court which possesses a similar structure to the public courts, except that the judges at the appellate level are drawn exclusively from the jester families. The word of these appellate courts can only be overturned by the Council of Liars itself. A certain contrast exists within the legal system of Voxelia. Voxelians, by-and-large, believe in deterrence through public shaming. While the national criminal code is relatively lax, the punishment for adult offenders is often humiliating, violent, prolonged, and perversely spectacular. The Council of Liars and their agents are entertainers in addition to whatever official office they hold, and this flair for the dramatic manifests in their tendency to make a public show out of a convict's suffering. While this practice does reduce crime within Voxelia and bring in ticket revenue for the government, it puts them squarely at odds with the stoic and ruggedly individualistic personality of Free Faces League citizens, who regard such showmanship as a sign that Voxelians don't have a strong enough grip on their baser urges to be trusted with the fate of humanity in the Manifold.
Official State Religion
Related Ranks & Titles