This new candidate, Gitta Slusser worries me. She is gaining support by decrying the Pelan people who her predecessors invited into Ethion as refugees. Apparently people aren't so happy that they are here. But every time she speaks, I can only think of my neighbor, Clarissa. She is fourteen and one of the most courageous people I have ever met. Her family has lived in Ethion for nearly a century, longer than my family, but she is not a citizen because she is Pelan. The president would like to change that. But Slusser would rather have them out of the country. If this election does not end in Clarissa's favor, I may leave country. I cannot bear to live in a nation that has been so overtaken by hatred.
--letter from Euon Wright to Melissa Hyatte, 1949
Ethion has a representative democracy with a bicameral legislature and a president, elected by the people. The president serves a term of eight years.
Though Ethion has developed a relationship for diversity and religious tolerance, under the power of the current president, Gitta Slusser, Ethion's government has a new agenda to prevent Ethite citizens from suffering at the hands of the growing Pelan population in the country, and perhaps throughout the southern continent. This is a very controversial agenda.
Being on the coast of the southern sea, Ethion has a large fishing community. It also has a large community of shepherds in its more rural area, but its largest industry is spices.
The earliest evidence of people living in Ethion dates back to about year 644. Though these people were scientifically advanced for the time, they were considered barbarians by their neighbors due to their religious practice of cannibalism. These practices officially ended in 1323, however, when the then king and queen decided it was time to usher in a new era, which would allow them to better trade with other countries. This also saw the introduction of more schools across the country, and with those, the slow turn from the early religion of Ethion to the current one. Though the practice of cannibalism didn't end officially until the 14th century, it had already started to slow in the 13th. By this time, the royal family had already adopted a new religion, which was being taught in public schools throughout the country. It was at this time that Ethion also effectively took control of the western half of what is modern day Xye. Over the next 400 years, Ethion was invaded three times, each roughly a century apart. It successfully defended itself each time, but it was eventually the warring of these groups that led to Ethion's entrance into it's Enlightened Period. This was also the basis of the diversity which has come to be considered the backbone of Ehite society today. During this time, however, many people from Ethion migrated to nearby Atlinthaia, hoping it would be a better place to live. As a result, Atlinthaia has a pocket of people who speak the original Ethion language and practice some of the older religions in the area, especially along the western border. In the late eighteenth century, Ethion fought a 13 year religious war against Virarona, in which is lost half its territory, and much of the territory it kept was decimated. It ended, however, with the implementation of a new democratic government, and a new national motto: Risen from the Ashes. Shortly afterward, 1809 marked the beginning of the Second Enlightenment Period, which saw a wave of religious acceptance, immigrants from other countries, increased trade, and growth in science and art. It was also at this time that trade city of Mevi grew into what it is today. In 1851, Celestis Haupt was elected president. Though he ran unopposed in his second term, he is not as fonly remembered by his successor, Sian Eldred. The unopposed run is likely due to having put down a violent uprising shortly before elections, and thus having won over much of the country. Some people believe that this was staged, but no such event occurred in 1897, when Eldred ran against him and won with an overwhelming majority. With a knack for understanding the needs of both rural and urban populations, Eldred was well-liked by nearly all Ethites and served three consecutive terms. She would have served a fourth, but chose to retire to her farm opening the door for Anita Alexander. Alexander served three terms of her own, during which promoted several new progressive policies, focusing on education. She not only opened more schools and created stricter laws for ensuring students attend, but she opened many adult education institutions for those who had not had the chance to learn as young people, especially in rural areas. She boosted literacy rates to 81% of the population, but most of these literacy classes were taught in Zhohu, which is how the language became so prominent. Some people became bitter about this, feeling that Alenxander was trying to demolish the native Ethite language. According to Alexander, she promoted the reading and writing of the more widespread Zhohu to allow for people to communicate with others outside of Ethion. She claimed that she had nothing against developing literacy skills in the native Ethite language, but her policies did little to promote this. Alexander also brought waves of Pelan refugees into the country, fleeing from Estum. She claimed they would be resettled in the future, but she did not follow through on the second part during her twenty-four years in office. While some people viewed this as a means of Ehtion coming into the twentieth century, others saw it as a stark change from tradition and a way of demolishing the Ethite way of life. Nevertheless, Alexander had enough support that after her third term, her hand-picked successor, Nadim Sheedy, was elected. Sheedy promoted policies that allowed the Pelan a path to citizenship and suffrage, noting that many of the Pelan living in Ethion had been born and raised there. He butted heads with the legislature, however, who managed to hold off the vote on these policies until the 1950 election, when Gitta Slusser was voted in as president. Slusser ran on an anti-Pelan ticket, insisting that Alexander and Sheedy were trying to tear down the traditional ways of life that great patriots like Sian Eldred had worked so hard to build up. Since being elected, Slusser has been promoting laws which will return the Ethite language to prominence and rid the nation of "the Pelan menace," whom she blames for the country turning from its traditional values.
Demography and Population
The majority of people living in Ethion are humans. About 42% of the population is ethnically Ethite. That is, they trace their families back to the original Ethite tribes. These people primarily speak Ethite, though some have also learned Zhohu. Many others in the nation trace themselves back to the three major invasions of Ethion--11% to the first invasion, 8% to the second, and 20% to the third. Because the third invasion brought the Zhohu language, this group of people primarily speaks Zhohu, though most of them also speak Ethite. About 6% are Pelan refugees and 1% are Thisaashou nomads. Another 6% of the population are Mermish. Ethion also has one of the highest dragon populations in all of Nideon--amounting to 5% of their total population. The dragons mostly live in the mountains, but some can be found in cities, including Mevi, the capital. Dragons have even served in Ethion's legislature. The remaining 1% are a mix of other groups, including sprites, elves, and some Snoiks people.
Ethion has a decent sized army and a large navy, as well as mandatory conscription for both men and women.
Ethite scientists are currently developing light emitting diodes.
Shenpetle is the state religion, and Shenpetle organizations receive special perks from the government (such as additional funding for temples and schools). Citizens in Ethion, however, are welcome to follow whatever religion they choose without differential treatment. Other religions that can be found in Ethion include the old Ethite religion, Een, Mun, Epaluno, and Shax'ia.
At the moment, Ethion has had strong foreign relations. It has been allies with Suxad since helping in its revolution against Brek and has strong relationships with the Mermish waters and the Southern Islands. They currently share peaceful borders with Atlinthaia and Xye. Though they do not always see eye to eye with Diamondheart, Een, the state religion of Diamondheart, is the second largest religion in Ethion.
Trade & Transport
There are a number of spices found primarily in Ethion, which are cultivated to be sold in the northern hemisphere. Though the spice trade has existed in Ethion for centuries, the main trade partners have shifted. Currently, their biggest trade partner is Snickerry. Like with many countries in Nideon, many of the major shipments are sent via transportation station, especially those which are of medical importance or could expire quickly. But train-travel within the country, and boats to the nearby southern islands are common still, especially when shipping a large volume of supplies. There are also some people who do trade with the Thisaazhou, and send and receive via their caravans, including spice merchants, as well as many artists.
Ethion has a public education system. Students often attend school until they are twenty-two. From there, they may choose to engage in some sort of specialized training, though they may receive some specialized training in their latter years of school. People living in rural areas do not always attend school for so long a period of time.
Many of the buildings in rural Ethion are made out of wood, while those in urban areas are more likely to be made out of stone. Almost all roads in Ethion are paved. They also have a network of trains which covers most of the country, as well as two public transport stations.
Risen from the Ashes
The Ethite legislature has sixty-six members--three representing each of the twenty-two states. Two of the legislators are elected by a popular vote, and they appoint a third together. Elected legislators serve eight year terms, which rotate, with one legislator from each state running every four years. Appointed legislators serve four year terms.
Official State Religion
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