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The Sunarian Empire


  Sections that are "complete" but viable to change
  > Structure
  > Religion
  > Economy
  > The Panel of the Right
  > Demographics
  > Communication and Travel
  > Geography -Requires alot of writing to go on other pages, concerning the various regions.
  > The Historic Periods
  • Will be heavily revised in the future but enjoy my random jumbled notes for now.
  • Structure

    The Sunarian Empire is structured around a heavily centralized imperial system, with an absolute monarch at its head. This autocratic figure, is the emperor. In Sunarian government, the emperor is the supreme judge and lawgiver, the commander-in-chief of the armed forces and primary designator of officials appointed to the top posts of the provinces, the military, and the bureaucracy.   It is the responsibility of the emperor to govern effectively, and to provide the empire with prosperity, order and stability. Historically rulers who have failed in this duty do not last very long, and throughout history there have been dozens of coups, and civil wars to remove decadent and corrupt emperors.   The emperor has almost always derived legitimacy, or their "right to rule" from the imperial religion Sunemrah, with essentially every single one practicing some form of divine marriage to the Sunarian goddess, Sune. This pairing of humanity with deity, elevates the emperor beyond mortality in the eyes of his subjects, and he is often treated with reverence and awe as a result. Ultimately, the emperor is the absolute head of both secular and religious life, answerable in theory to no one save the goddess herself.

    Citizenship and Status

    Citizenship and Status
    The Sunarian Empire maintains a specific bureaucratic ministry to regulate immigration and administer imperial citizenship. This organization is titled the Ministry of Denizens, with denizens being the term used to describe full citizens of the empire.
      Imperial Denizens and Prospective Denizens
    An imperial denizen is as such a very specific status, that is granted only to children of couplings wherein either both parents hold denizen status, or one parent does, and the family resides permanently within the empire. The overwhelming majority of imperial denizens are for this reason, people of Sunarian heritage, who were born into the empire.   It is also possible for a non-denizen, such as an immigrant, to achieve denizen status, though the process requires that individual to learn Imperial Sunarian, and provide evidence of naturalization into the Sunarian population. Proof of such a process, is often as simple as obtaining a written voucher from an employer, priest, or official, verifying that this individual is a functional resident of the empire.   People going through this process, are labeled by the government as “prospective” denizens, and are given a small number of rights to ease their naturalization into the country. They are, however, put on a timescale once they receive this status, as failure to pass, or apply for a denizen examination within two years is grounds for its revocation. Should a prospective denizen have his or her status revoked they are often abandoned by the government, who will not reinstate the special prospective status. They are allowed to retake, or take a future examination, however, and can still become an imperial denizen if they pass.   An examination to become an imperial denizen is a test conducted by imperial officials, known as examiners, in which a person’s ability to speak Imperial Sunarian is tested. It is a free test that can be taken as many times as a person wishes, though it can take several weeks, or even months of waiting before an actual examination is scheduled and even longer for it to actually occur. As such, the bulk of the process is often just waiting for one’s turn to be considered. The time for them to submit, and or pass an examination is put on hold during this wait, however. Those found to be exploiting this system, by routinely failing with no sign of improvement, or by dragging out their examinations to prolong prospective status, are not well received by the empire. In these cases, the death penalty is frequently imposed; as wasting the bureaucracy’s time with frivolous or illegitimate cases is an incredibly serious offense.   Once heard, a person’s case will be looked over, with the main factor being their capacity to communicate in Imperial Sunarian. Other matters looked at are whether the individual owns a residential property, the length of the residence in the empire, and their guarantor’s credibility. Assuming a person meets every checkbox they are granted the status as an imperial denizen, alongside all the perks it provides. They are, however, required to relinquish any and all allegiances to foreign rule, or rulers, and swear it unto the Sunarian emperor, as their new liege.   As such, obtaining imperial denizen status is quite an immensely straightforward, and simple process. This is in large part because of the empire’s willingness to welcome in outsiders, under the condition that those individuals commit to assimilating, and do not make their presence a problem.

    Perks, Benefits, and Drawbacks
    The most noticeable perk provided to imperial denizens is without a doubt the permission from government to purchase land outside the preordained districts assigned to non-denizens, or undesirables. Overpopulated, riddled with crime, filth and poverty, the districts are in truth nothing more than immense slums present in most urban centers, where the empire’s problems go to stagnate. Being able to escape this hell, is as such the dream of most prospective denizens, who desperately want to buy property in the nicer, and oftentimes better maintained parts of their local city.   Homeless non-denizens, discovered sleeping, or residing outside these designated districts, are usually rounded up and forced back into the slums. Repeat offenders are, as in many Sunaran crimes, often branded to identify them as a trouble maker, with the offense essentially acting as their final warning. Continued offenses after branding are almost always met with execution.   Branded individuals, are furthermore prevented from obtaining status as an imperial denizen, as it looks incredibly bad to examiners to be identified as a routine problem for the empire.
      Legal Representation
    A second benefit garnered through status as an imperial denizen is the right to legal representation by the Ministry of Law and its subsidiary courts. What this means is that an imperial denizen can sue, press charges, or bring other imperial denizens to court. In essence, it is the recognition of the empire that one is a person protected under the law, who if the victim of a crime, can come to the empire to resolve the issue, and levy justice. A non-denizen in contrast, lacks this capacity. Not seen as a legal citizen of the empire, they cannot go to court, and are largely at the mercy of proper denizens. The only laws they are officially protected from are the rather obvious ones such as murder, assault and general violence. Beyond these, however, their is little in the way government provided justice and if wronged, a victim is largely on their own.
      Careers in Government and the Military
    Another perk provided to imperial denizens is the right to apply, be hired and work within the imperial government, and to sign up for the imperial military. Often used as a means to increase one’s social status, work in either branch of the empire can bring prestige, wealth and influence on to an employee or officer. For this reason, they are incredibly sought after positions, that are denied to those holding both prospective denizen status, and non-denizen status.   The Valo-Sunarian population of the empire are similarly barred from holding office or serving in the military, as their tyranny under the Third Empire came to a peaceful end with the agreement that they would banned from either branch of government. This was undertaken to ensure a new age of Sunarian rule once again after nearly a millennia of foreign rule.
      Trade Rights
    Trade within the empire is a complicated affair handled predominantly by the Ministry of the Treasury and its sub departments. It is closely related to one's status as a denizen, however, as all imperial denizens are permitted to apply for trade licenses. This allows a person to legally operate a permanent shop, trade from a stall in a market, and/or export out of the Sunarian Empire as a private business. Without a license an individual engaged in any of these duties is liable to have their business shut down, their goods seized, or in the case of the latter, be arrested for exporting without a license.   Special statuses can be granted to foreign merchants, or traders providing them with a hybridized form of non-denizenship, that allows them to trade, and reside temporarily inside the empire without hassle. These special licenses are usually provided with relative ease upon request, however, abuse of the policy is closely watched for, and when found is grounds for arrest, and branding. In exchange for this preferential treatment, foreign merchants are usually charged a substantial fee for the rights, which must be renewed upon each subsequent visit.   The Valo-Sunarians also possess special trade rights which give them what is essentially a monopoly on both olives, and wine within the Sunarian Empire. Exempted from requiring a license, the Valo-Sunarians are free to trade and export either good without any form of government oversight. They were granted this right several centuries ago to ensure a bloodless end of the Third Empire, and retain it largely because of their extreme wealth, and the threat they could pose if the empire attempted to revoke it.   Each of these status rights does not relate to the imposition of tariffs, or subsidies by the imperial government. Instead, either rarely cross over into one another, and when they do, imposed economic policies by the empire always trump individual rights promised to individuals with denizen status. The exception to this being the Valo-Sunarians, who while on paper are just as susceptible to imperial decree, would only be crossed by someone directly looking to antagonize and incite their wrath.
    Arguably, the most important of aspects of denizenship is taxation and how it changes for an individual based on what status they hold. Non-denizens in this regard get some relief, as they are expected to pay almost nothing, despite residing within the empire. The burden of taxation is as such a load carried primarily by the imperial denizens of the empire, who are taxed somewhat heavily for the numerous rights they hold.   The exception to this standard is in two cases. Firstly are the prospective denizens, who are expected to pay an increased tax to compensate for their legal standing in the empire, and the Valo-Sunarians, who do not pay taxes to the empire.

    The Valo-Sunarians
    The Valo-Sunarians are a unique group within the Sunarian Empire, who while denied the capacity to hold office or standing in the military, retain immense economic wealth, and still hold sizable influence in the country. Exempt from laws requiring a licence to trade, as well as being exempt from taxes, the Valoni are financially separate from the empire and do not directly contribute in the same manner as an imperial denizen does. They do, however, hold similar rights and can purchase property freely, throughout the empire, and are considered legal “persons” in matters of law and business.   The determining factor in whether or not someone receives this unique privilege, is based on their blood and ancestry. Anyone with more than ¼ Valoni ancestry is according to the empire, eligible for the status, which, given the Valo-Sunarian tendency to avoid racial interbreeding, rarely arises. The status can be relinquished freely by a holder in exchange for full status as an imperial denizen, however, this has almost never occurred.

    The Imperial Bureaucracy

    The Bureaucracy
    Underneath the emperor there exist a number of branches within the empire, by which its government functions. The first and without a doubt largest of these branches, is the imperial bureaucracy. Originating with the foundation of the First Sunarian Empire, the bureaucracy employs tens of thousands of tax collectors, treasurers, judges, scribes, administrators, guards, street cleaners, diplomats and acts in essence as the backbone of the state, upon which all systems rely.
      The Eminent Minister
    Managed today by a singular appointed adviser known as the Eminent Minister, the leadership of the bureaucracy has changed greatly since the First Sunarian Empire, millennia ago. At first, the management of the bureaucracy was overseen by three prominent officials, the Eminent Minister. Their roles here were in truth largely honorific and the emperor maintained a very, very strong grasp on government as an absolute monarch. Generals, and magistrates as such, held far more raw power early on, holding the authority to command men, and territories in the emperors name.   Beginning with the Second Empire though, the position would see an increase in responsibly and authority. Overseeing specific elements of government, including the bureaucracy and provincial system, Eminent Minister became second only to the emperor in terms of official power. Magistrates, would onward receive their posting from the Eminent Ministers, or minister, as the position gradually became a singular one held by a single individual. In the modern age, the Eminent Minister is considered to be the most important and powerful of the emperor's countless advisers, and in the case of weaker emperors is often the true power behind the throne.   The official and primary responsibility of the Eminent Minister is drafting the imperial budget; however, his other duties include leading court conferences, acting as an overseer of the imperial court, receiving annual provincial reports and recommending nominees for high office. He can appoint officials below him, however, the emperor always reserves the right to reject these candidates. One of the few duties an Eminent Minister could not do without imperial approval from his emperor, was the declaring of war. This capacity was reserved exclusively for the emperor in all cases, including when said emperor was indisposed, since such a decision directly effected the order, stability and prosperity of the realm.   To overstep such a matter, and to illegitimately instigate a conflict would be treason of the highest degree, easily warranting the execution of said official. The role of Eminent Minister would for this reason be one of the utmost respect in the empire, given out to only the most trusted and loyal of the emperor's supporters. As a result, the pairing of emperor and Eminent Minister had often times been strong one, where the two were close friends, or relatives.   During periods of occupation by foreign powers the position retained some stature, albeit in a greatly reduced capacity. In these periods of subjugation, the title of minister was often either granted out, or assumed by the highest secular official in the city of Sunas. Furthermore, cooperation between these individuals and the Priesthood of Sune, was almost always a necessity, as religious affiliation provided the legitimacy such ministers lacked without the presence of a Sunarian emperor.   A similar situation would occur during times of civil unrest, such as the numerous intermediate periods, where imperial authority collapsed completely. In these crisis information on the position is often times lacking, though it is often times assumed every claimant to the imperial throne appointed his or her own eminent minister. In these cases the posting was essentially just the title for a ruler's first and most important of advisers.

    The Eight Ministries
    Ranked below the Eminent Minister are the Eight Ministers, who each head a specialized ministry. The exact number of ministers and ministries has fluctuated over the many years of imperial history, with there being only four at the empire's foundation.
    > Ministry of the Treasury
    > Ministry of Law
    > Ministry of Infrastructure and Construction
    > Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the Imperial Diplomatic Corps
    Each of these four ministries would have increasingly specific sub departments, who's role it was to manage and govern over certain specializations.
    Besides these four there would later be added another four separate ministries, of which one would later be removed, and then re added.

    > Ministry of Disease Prevention
    Which arose after the Second Rot Crisis during the Third Intermediate Period, and the Reign of Amonkoteph.
    > Ministry of Military Administration
    Which arose fairly early in imperial history, under the order of Akenit II, Akenit I's son, who created it to handle the managerial affairs of his expanded military.
    > Ministry of Sunarian Culture
    Which arose during the Second Akenit Dynastic Period at the order of Emperor Asq I, who tasked it with the restoration of desecrated art, and the creation of new works. It was later decommissioned before being brought back with the restoration of Sunarian rule, at the foundation of the Fourth Empire.
    > Ministry of Denizens
    Which was only founded at the foundation of the Fourth Empire, in an attempt to grant citizenship to the numerous subject peoples of the empire.
    Corruption and Bureaucracy
    These ministry officials would in time come to be incredibly powerful figures in government, with oversight disappearing during times of unrest, thanks to the vastness of the bureaucracy. Valuing familial bloodlines more than merit, these officials frequently appointed relatives to postings under them, or sold said positions to the highest bidder. As a result, the bureaucracy has by the modern age, suffered greatly from a plague of ineptitude, which permeates lower and mid tier levels of imperial government.   Because of this familial favoritism, a unique form of bureaucratic nobility has arisen in Sunar, that is absent in other empires across the world. Solidified around specific ministries and departments political dynasties control much of the bureaucracy, with their members appearing to behave in subservience to the emperor, while in the shadows, they plot to maintain and grow their stranglehold on government.   Corruption as a result, has been an ever present issue in the imperial bureaucracy, with its severity rising and falling through the ages as emperors chose to crackdown or ignore the misconduct occurring among their underlings. Embezzlement is without a doubt the largest of issues, as it is not uncommon for government officials to skim gains from either taxes or tariffs. The pilfering of pay rolls, and imperial funding for certain departments and ministries is also a major financial issue within Sunar, that has fluctuated in severity greatly over its long, tumultuous history.   The scope of influence maintained by these bureaucratic dynasties is what truly solidifies them as a problem for the empire. Possessing immense levels of power in government, alongside great wealth, their influence and ability to cause trouble for the emperor and Eminent Minister, allows these dynasties to push their family members into powerful provincial postings. This is major issue though, as it is one of the bureaucracy's many jobs to oversee and reign in the power of provincial magistrates. Without bureaucrats directly carrying out this job, and instead, directly escalating it by making their brothers, cousins and nephews the provincial rulers, regional dynasties have arisen on numerous occasions to directly threaten the emperor, and imperial stability.   This has proven exceptionally troublesome during periods of civil unrest, when ambitious dynasties have risen up in rebellion. Directly challenging the imperial government, their hopes have oftentimes been to either secede, or replace the ruling family with their own, and on many an occasions they have even been successful in such an endeavor. Of the countless dynasties that have ruled over Sunar, many have arisen in this manner, growing out of the very government they went on to overthrow.   One way the numerous incarnations of Sunarian Empire have attempted to challenge this dilemma, is through brutal, and often times genocidal purges of the empire's administrative elite. Known as purges of the high bloods, such cullings are largely unheard of in the modern age, but are known to have occurred quite often during the First and Second Empires as a means of efficiently solving the problem for a short while. In each case though, a successive wave of bureaucrats have been needed to replace the old, and for this reason the problem has always resurfaced after only a few generations.   Appearing to be endemic to the very nature of the empire, many in the current age view the issue as an unsolvable one, and a mindset of stagnation permeates the topic of bureaucratic reform. While a modern purge remains incredibly unlikely, the problem of bureaucratic dynasties and the corruption they induce remains an ever present dilemma for the modern Fourth Sunarian Empire.
    The Ministry of Law and Court Systems
    The Ministry of Law acts as the main lawmaking body of the Sunarian Empire, however both the Emperor, and Eminent Minister retain the power to do so as well. The Faith of Sunemrah also holds some power to formulate law, known as canon law, however the enforcement of said law is only allowed within designated properties held by the religion's temples. In this respect, the Ministry of Law's main responsibility is not making laws, but the implementation, communication and enforcement of laws. For this reason it exists as another major ministry of the bureaucracy with hundreds of staff members on its payroll.
    The Imperial Court: Acting as a sub department within the Ministry of Law, the Imperial Court is the highest court within the Sunarian Empire, above which no case can go. Seeing no direct court case, all cases are undertaken for the purpose of hearing appeals drawn from the two sub courts, of the capital and the provinces.   In this sense, a citizen dissatisfied with the ruling of his or her local court, can make an appeal to the Imperial Court to overrule the initial ruling. The usual reason for such an overruling is because of corruption on a provincial level. When uncovered corruption of this sort is heavily investigated by other sub departments of the Ministry of Law, with harsh punishments being met out on officials found guilty.
    The Provincial Courts: Law in the provinces is managed by a number of centralized courts, all answering to the Ministry of Law. These courts are run at the behest of officials in the capital, however, the actual day to day management is undertaken by local officials who serve as lawyers, scribes, judges and administrators. The distance between them and the central basis of the Ministry in Sunas, however, has often allowed for corruption to seep into the system. For this reason the influence of local actors, as well as the state appointed magistrates, has often turned the provincial court system into a bit of a joke, where justice can be hard to find. As a result interference by the Imperial Court is often necessary to root out corrupt elements.
    Law in the Capital: Law within the imperial capital of Sunas, is managed by a string of small courts, answering to the Ministry of Law. Operating largely like the Provincial Court System, the actual staffing is done by locals, with the role of judge being an appointed office by the Minister of Law. Unlike the Provincial Courts though, interference by the Imperial Court is often unnecessary, as judicial corruption is far less of an issue so close to the seats of governance.
    Sunarian Law and Justice
    Sunarian law is known across the world for being particularly harsh on criminals, and this is a direct result of Akenit I's views on justice when he founded the empire. At its most basic, this ideology revolves around extreme efficiency, and stark utilitarianism taken to its absolute extreme. In Sunar, justice is not entirely a matter of fairness. Punishments are not scaled to the severity of a crime, innocents can be wrongfully judged as guilty, and ultimately the purpose of law, is not to provide fairness, but to maintain stability, and order. This has on many an occasions seen unspeakable horror be carried out in the name of justice, and the survival of the state, all to the benefit of the greater Sunarian Empire.
    When the limb of a tree begins to fall victim to the rot, it is best to severe that limb before the whole tree collapses to it. There may still be some surviving life still left in the limb, but the effort it would take to salvage and secure each and every inkling left would cause the whole endeavor to fail. For this reason, it is best that one cut the limb cleanly, regardless of the collateral life lost in the process.
    Clearly symbolic of a far darker fragment of the Sunarian Empire, the above quote, and others like it, display a commonly used justification by Sunarians to legitimatize the numerous purges that have occurred throughout the empire's long history. These acts are thus viewed not as a some dark stain in the country's past, but rather as necessary measures undertaken to stave off chaos and collapse.   As an extension of this logic, capital punishment is comparatively easy to justify for most Sunarians, who view those who violate the empire's laws in an immensely unsympathetic light. Rather than see them as countrymen, criminals are by and large looked down upon as enemies trying to ruin the long term prosperity of the whole populous, for their own personnel gain. Trying to rehabilitate such a person might be feasible, but the Sunarian state rarely sees such a course as worthwhile, when the alternative of execution solves the problem outright, by eliminating the cancerous individual from society.   Whether these people are innocent or guilty, is admittedly a matter many individuals actively worry about, but it is not something that the state spends the time to determine in every case. If they were to try law would stagnate as court rooms became backlogged in cases, and criminals would escape punishment for their actions as the legal bureaucracy slowed to a crawl. The men and women incorrectly judged as guilty, are thus sacrifices made to ensure the swift efficiency of justice, even if it is sometimes wrong. This system is a highly flawed one, that poses serious issues for Sunar, but it is none the less something that is ingrained into the society and shows no sighs of changing. The populous by and large support the liberal use of execution as a punishment, as it in their eyes ensures collective stability, which to them means prosperity.
    While the individual, guilty or innocent, usually objects when it is them at the chopping block, the masses call out for their death, and so the individual's opinion no longer matters.
      Case Study of Sunarian Punishment: Branding
    One particular case of Sunarian justice in action, is the punishment of branding. Used on repeat offenders for more minor crimes that waste imperial manpower, time and resources, branding of the face is used as a means of punishing the individual, shaming them, and acting as a final warning before more serious punishments are carried out. If the individual persists in his criminal behavior past this point, it is not uncommon for them to be executed without trial.   For this reason, branding is typically not used on Sunarians who hold status as an imperial denizen, as they are legally "persons" and thus require a judges ruling to be sentenced to death. Instead, it is used almost exclusively upon non-denizens of the empire who do not have the right to a legal defense, trials or even justice. Living within the overcrowded slums of urban cities, these individuals are usually impoverished immigrants, or criminals, who for one reason or another have either not been able to obtain proper status yet, or have not tried.

    The Provincial System

    The Provincial System
    Outside the imperial capital at Sunas, the empire is divided into a number of provinces, run and managed from regional cities, and led by state appointed magistrates. These individuals are in theory, another aspect of the imperial bureaucracy at work, and are answerable to the eminent minister, who's role it is to oversee and check the power of these provincial officials. The reason for this is primarily to limit the growth and influence of any single magistrate. If allowed to rule without oversight such an individual could quickly come to threaten the centralized authority of the emperor and state, and as such are carefully monitored whenever possible.   In practice though, provincial postings have always been filled directly from the ranks of the bureaucracy, with the Eminent Minister selecting the sons, cousins, brothers and nephews of his closest ministers and department heads to act as governors. Earning their appointment not to their own merit, but rather to their families influence. These figures are often less than ideal, and rarely possess any great loyalty to the emperor, instead, they focus their efforts more on personnel and dynastic aggrandizement. This most often takes the form of corruption, by which a regional official can become immensely wealthy, growing the power of his family to even greater heights.   This dilemma has resulted a problematic situation for the Sunarian state. The bureaucracy, who's job it is to provide centralized government, and act as a check on provincial power, does not do this. Bureaucrats instead turn a blind eye to the corruption of their familial relations in the provinces, and throughout the empire's history, have allowed immensely wealthy dynasties to appear, directly challenging the authority of the emperor in the capital. For this reason, it is the mark of a good emperor, when they are able to crackdown upon such a situation, and a bad one, when they allow said dynasties to grow unchecked.
    The Purge of the High Bloods
    Often times compared to gardening, Sunarians have a number of sayings which relate the management of provincial corruption to plucking weeds from a garden. In order for the garden to remain healthy, the gardener needs to rip the weeds out. If he fails in this duty, the weeds will continue to grow until only they remain, and the soil is choked out by their infestation.   With ideas like these it should come as no surprise to learn that numerous genocidal purges of the bureaucracy and provinces have occurred throughout history. The Sunarian Empire in fact, originally arose from one such purge. Occurring during the reign of Akenit I, also known as the First Emperor, the culling saw to the annihilation of Sunar's old noble elite and wiped the slate of government clean, to make way for major centralizing reforms. From this First Purge of the High Bloods, Akenit I built his new empire, developing the bureaucracy and provincial system, while overhauling the region's polytheistic religion, into a cohesive imperial faith; Sunemrah. Numerous other purges would occur throughout history, with Akenit's initial reign of terror being the first and greatest of many to come.   In modern times though, these bloody campaigns of eradication have fallen to the wayside. Never able to concretely stop the problem of provincial and bureaucratic corruption, the purges today, are seen as a bloodthirsty measure from Sunarian antiquity that only ever saw short term relief from the endemic problem. Ultimately a failure, the actual issues that allowed the crisis to grow so serious were never answered by the purges, and for this reason corruption has always returned after only a few generations.
    Purges were never the sole method implemented to combat the situation though. Akenit I himself, would introduce several measures to try and reign in the potential threat his magistrates could pose. Making the posting one of appointment rather than birth right, Akenit ensured that his governors relied upon him and the imperial government for legitimacy and support. Early governors in theory ruled over their provinces for life, but could with complete legality be removed from their office at any time, on a whim by the emperor, without need for cause or reason. Most for this reason, only ruled for about ten years, before they were expected to gracefully accept the emperor's offer of retirement.   This potential for removal would remain with the office of provincial magistrate officially forever, never actually disappearing from imperial law. But, in actuality it ceased to be a practical power of the central government not long after the collapse of the First Akenit Dynasty. During this period, provincial dynasties successfully pressured a string of weak emperors to give them more rights and securities, that ultimately saw the office of magistrate become a hereditary one, where sons would inherit the postings of fathers.   With this change, magistrates began to rule over people groups not just for ten years as they had done in the past, but did so for many decades. Succeeded by their sons, and then grandsons, it was not uncommon after the shift, for a province to be ruled by a specific family for well over a century or more. This lengthy period of rule allowed provincial dynasties to build legitimacy that was previously unavailable to them, creating for them a right to rule in their own right, separate from the authority of the emperor.   The actual effect this had was it made local populations loyal to the magistrate, and thus made the natives more willing to fight for and support them. Onward, if a magistrate disagreed with the emperor's will, he could raise a host, and refuse to comply; and to make matters worse, the emperor knew it. Very few of these weak emperors would openly risk civil war by trying to force their will unto the provinces.   For this reason, until the removal of this effect in the early years of the Second Empire, imperial power would be heavily crippled by a number of corrupt, provincial dynasties.
    The Modern Provincial System
    In the modern age, with the restoration of Sunarian rule under the Fourth Empire, the provincial system is back in full force. Ruled well, and centrally by a string of capable monarchs though, the greatest of problems present within the ancient system have yet to rear their ugly heads once again.   Hereditary provincial postings have long been snuffed out, and are but a distant well learned lesson of the past for most. To the lingering bureaucratic dynasties though hereditary control over the provinces is a long lost dream, that many secretly strive for a return to. Maintaining a sizable control over the empire's numerous territories, old dynasties still linger across the country, and the the bureaucracy suffers greatly from internal corruption.   Their hunger for power sated for the time though, the dynasties as a whole seem content with the current system in which they retain great influence. Relying on the emperor for provincial appointments, magistrates once more rule in their monarch's name, and carry out imperial law to the best of their abilities. For this reason, the Fourth Empire prospers. While the problems of the provincial system will no doubt return in the future, for the time being the issue lies dormant and there is little interest among the imperial government, or the public at large for such a status quo to come to an end.

    The Imperial Military

    The Imperial Military
    Make-up of the Imperial Military
    Since the reign of Akenit II, millennia ago during the era of the First Empire, Sunar has kept a standing professional army. Originally maintaining a small elite force, of well trained and well equipped warriors, the older style used by Akenit I proved perfect for a rapid conquest, but was quickly revealed to be hopelessly undermanned for the defense of such a vast state. Akenit II, Akenit I's son and successor, solved this dilemma by massively expanding the empire's armed forces, while in turn reducing the expense of each individual soldier. While this new force was qualitatively worse than that of his father it was much better at garrisoning the numerous settlements and border regions of the empire.   Large, cheap, but still professional would be the style of Sunarian armies for most of history. Soldiering, would become a profession after this reform of the imperial military, with it serving as a career path for both the common folk and the bureaucratic elite. While the armed forces are a highly meritocratic organization, with few obstructions existing to bar commoners from career progression, there are none the less a number of unofficial factors which bar the average Sunarian from the heights of military power. The biggest and most problematic is without a doubt the capacity to ride a horse. Most of Sunar's population resides within urban centers, or live in a rural setting as farmers and laborers. In either case experience with horses is not something widespread, and only the wealthier members of society really ever learn to ride the animals effectively. As a result, only the richest and most influential of imperial citizens, bureaucrats and administrators, qualify for positions within the imperial cavalry.   Another factor contributing to the class divide within the modern armed forces is the level of education present within the empire. Widely recognized for having one of the best education systems anywhere in the world, most of Sunar's populous is literate thanks to the efforts of its powerful priesthood. The commoners are not typically given a good education in mathematics or history, however, as both subjects are almost exclusively the domain of the richer, and more influential bureaucratic elite. Able to afford private tutors, and to send their children to academies present throughout Lower Sunar, there is quite simply no competition when it comes to the appointment and promotion of officers. Any commoner seeking promotion or posting as an officer faces a steep uphill battle, that while not impossible or directly barred, remains an exceptionally difficult goal to achieve.   For these reasons common folk are generally limited to the position of basic infantry, with a small number of them proving themselves enough to achieve promotion and recognition as officers. The bureaucratic nobility in contrast dominates the imperial cavalry, as well as the upper echelons of military command.
    The Sunarian Empire does not hire foreign mercenaries as a manner of practice. This is entirely because, the empire does not trust them to hold the line the heat of battle, putting their life on the line, when the reason they fight is not out of loyalty, but for fame and fortune. As such, there really are no substantial or notable mercenary companies that operate within Sunar, as there is rarely any work to be had for the small armies. Instead, most of the groups operate on the edges of the empire, where they accept contracts from Sunar's numerous warring neighbors.   A sizable number of mercenaries fought against Sunar, in the defense of Tarsa during the empire's invasion of Western Nebtka, though almost the entire host fell to the vast imperial army rallied against them. Since this defeat, there has been a trend wherein mercenary companies avoid contracts against the empire, as to fight against the super power is usually suicidal. This is because of the sheer scale and capability of Sunarian armies, which often outnumber even large enemy hosts by over two to one, and possess far greater training and discipline.   Individual mercenaries or small organizations of them do exist across the Sunarian Empire today, and do so in great number; though they are rarely organized and find work not as soldiers, but often as guards or security for richer denizens of the empire.   The O'sairi are one such group, who living a nomadic life, travel from town to town, in search of trade or work. They are widely looked down upon though, and few Sunarians fully trust the desert people to make good on their agreements. As such the nomads are usually a cheap, but risky group to do business with, that only the most desperate of merchants hire as guards.   As a Governmental Branch
    Wholly separate from the imperial bureaucracy, the military wing of the Sunarian government has historically been under the direct leadership of the emperor. Acting as the commander in chief, all military matters are the emperor's concern, with every soldier, officer and general swearing an oath of loyalty to him.   The Eminent Minister for example, has no authority over the imperial armed forces, at any time, under any circumstance. His only actual capacity to influence and interact with the military is as such, through the Ministry of Military Administration, by which the payroll and general logistics system are handled.   Below the emperor reside a number of military officials and commanders, who are collectively known as the Imperial War Council. It is the job of these men to manage the armed forces, and lead specific armies at the emperors appointment in times of war. There is no set limit on how many commanders can be within the War Council, though it generally varies between ten and twenty men. The purpose of this council is to advise and receive instruction from the emperor and it generally meets on a weekly basis to discuss matters of imperial security.   Besides the Imperial War Council, three postings within the military reign preeminently over geographic areas. These figures outrank other commanders, answering solely to the emperor, but do not have any influence over who resides at the War Council, nor can they appoint their subordinates. Instead these duties are left in the hands of the emperor as a means of maintaining his authority over potential rivals from the military. These three positions are the High Commanders of Upper, and Lower Sunar, and the High Admiral.
    In the case of the former, the twin High Commanders act as the supreme commanders of land forces in their respected sections of the empire. It is their duty to oversee the work of subordinate commanders and in times of peace to ensure the security of the imperial borders. In the north, of Lower Sunar, the High Commander has traditionally commanded from the city of Quartir. In the south, of Upper Sunar, the headquarters of High Commander as had no real set location, and has instead shifted throughout the region. In the modern age, Lohbe acts as this center of military might.   In times of war, these two positions have often been forced to work far closer together than they do in peace time, and usually function with increased input and oversight of the emperor. There does exist the potential for a merging of the two offices, however.   Known as the Serene Commander, the appointment was in essence that of a paramount military official meant to be selected in times of great turmoil. Only being used on a small number of occasions, the position was second only to the emperor, with the Serene Commander trumping even the Eminent Minister in terms of raw authority. All other branches of government would be subservient to the Serene Commander. His duty in this sense was essentially to act as a form of military regent for an indisposed, or young emperor while the empire was under attack, or in a period of crisis. As with the Eminent Minister, however, it remained the explicit responsibility of the emperor to declare war. A Serene Commander attempting to do so himself, without imperial permission, would be committing an act of high treason.
    The High Admiral in contrast controls the empire's navy, and manages the security of both Belezine Bay and the Sun River; from the island port of Motheb. His duty is often times perceived as less important, even though without him piracy, and lawlessness would no doubt bring the empire to its knees. A thankless job, the position of High Admiral is largely perceived as the highest any person can rise within the imperial navy.   On that note, the imperial navy is given an exceptionally minor role within the imperial military as a subsection rather than its own equal branch. This is without a doubt caused by Sunar's supremacy of the seas in its area of the world. Not threatened by any political force, the only real duty of the navy is the regulation of trade, and combating of piracy, both of which are vital, if somewhat boring responsibilities. For this reason, the navy is often looked down upon as a place for unambitious men, who could not meet the demands of the base military.

    Public Agenda


    The Sunarian Empire today exists as the wealthiest nation in the world, and is centered atop some of the most fertile soil anywhere on earth. Because of this, its economy is largely agriculture based, with the bulk of its population making a living as farmers, or laborers. Despite this though, Sunar is also one of the most urbanized regions anywhere in the world, with dozens of large urban centers scattered throughout the empire.   The Sunarian Empire furthermore spans a massive amount of territory, which allows it access to a diverse, and lucrative number of valuable natural resources. Because of this the empire today wants for little. While timber was once a major shortfall of the empire, recent territorial gains in Western Nebtka have seen the prominent Bayzun Forest fall largely into Sunarian hands, giving it a reliable and high quality source of lumber. Furthermore, Sunarian dominance over the Salt Coast's salt trade have left it the controller of a vital resource, that supplies much of Magna Sunaria.


    The imperial economy of Sunar revolves around the idea of mercantilism, where in it is the goal of the imperial government to maximize exports and minimize imports. To achieve this, it has become the policy of the empire to assert its control over regions (militarily if needed), that while culturally foreign, hold significant natural resources. The reason behind, this as stated, is to minimize the need of Sunarian citizens or their government, to look outside imperial borders for vital resources like lumber, salt or precious metals. This mindset has led to several territorial acquisitions in recent decades, including the annexation of western Nebtka's Bayzun Forest (which solves the most significant of resource problem Sunar faces, that being a lack of quality of lumber).

    Exports and Imports of the Sunarian Empire

    Trade and Commerce

    Trade and Commerce
    Trade and commerce in the Sunarian Empire acts as the single most prominent aspect of the country's economy, around which all other aspects revolve. Sunar's market is resource and merchandise based, with numerous goods circulating throughout the empire for sale internally and/or externally. Some goods like copper, papyrus, black pepper or linen are produced or extracted especially to be traded within Sunar, and abroad. Agriculture, is another major export of the empire, as Sunar produces far more food than its population requires and ships vast sums of wheat, and other grains, to places like the North Shore where the climate and terrain make farming more difficult. While others resources, like tin, fur or tea are not produced in any great amount, or at all, within the country, and are as such imported by traders traveling on foot or by ship from abroad.   These travelers are welcome guests within the empire, for the goods they bring are often highly desired within Sunar and earn each caravan or trade ship a handsome profit in silver for the journey. They are, however, often required to purchase a special status from the empire if they wish to open a stall, or bring goods with them out of the country. This status is known as a trade license, and grants those merchants who obtain it the right to security, legal status, and to do business, within the borders of the empire. It does not interfere, or cancel out tariffs, however, of which there are many, placed upon certain key industries, as a means of ensuring domestic dominance. Some examples of this include protective import tariffs on salt, and agricultural products.   The main reason for these tariffs stems from the imperial government wanting to promote internal self reliance in which Sunarians purchase said resources from domestic sellers rather than from foreign sources. The main motive behind this is as mentioned, Sunar's economic policy of mercantilism, in which internal reliance is paramount. Without these tariffs, foreign vendors could bring in their own products to challenge local ones, and given the sheer volume of wheat, grain and salt produced in Sunar, the freedom to foreign traders is simply unnecessary. These merchants are simply, not wanted and their wares are unneeded. For these reasons, the tariffs exist to discourage them from coming altogether.
    Trade Agreements
    Sunar does have a small number of trade agreements with neighboring states, even despite its protective economic policy. The largest of these agreements is without a doubt a linen-cotton trading pact with the Principality of Rastormont, across Belezine Bay.   This agreement essentially sees Sunar prioritize the shipping of its linen and cotton to Rastormont, selling the bulk of their supply at below normal rates to the wealthy principality. To offset this cost on their fabric tradesmen, Sunar subsidizes any seller who exports their fabric to Rastormont, offering a sizable sum to supplier involved in the trade. From there, the exported fabric is turned primarily into clothing by the world renowned tailors of Rastormont, who then resell a small but still ample amount of their new product at below normal rates back to Sunar, or specifically its citizens. The fact that this clothing is sold at below the usual rate, offsets the subsidy Sunar pays earlier in the process. It furthermore supplies Sunar's populous with high quality, linen and cotton clothing, that outfits most of the empire's populous.   The main reason the typically protectionist Sunarian Empire puts up with this agreement, is that Rastormont's geographic location makes it an ideal trading partner. Far enough away from Sunar that neither state really competes over territory, Rastormont is not a rival of the southern empire. Furthermore, located at the western edge of Belezine Bay, the routes between either country are at no risk of being cut off by an enemy, and run through some of the safest sea lanes in the world. This agreement is thus a safe one, and does not pose a great risk of destabilizing imperial markets,so it is allowed and encouraged by the imperial government.
    Sunarian-Rastormonto Fabric Trade Agreement

    Currency and Finance

    The Sunarian Empire operates on a coinage system based around the silver sekhmat, which has acted as the official standardized currency since the First Sunarian Empire when it was implemented by Akenit II. Prior to this reform coinage existed in Sunar for an untold span of time, but was not uniform, with every city minting their own distinct coinage, out of silver, gold, copper or in some rare cases even wood or clay. Akenit II would change this by making the production and minting of coins by anyone other than the imperial government an illegal act, punishable by death. Furthermore, Akenit II made the sekhmat the imperial base coin upon which both a half, and quarter coin (called the half sekhmat and namut) would operate.

    The main production of these three coins occurs at one of three silver mints situated throughout the empire; Sunas, Old Desa, and Setkhe. The former and latter of these remain in production to this day, with Old Desa's mint having been replaced by Phernac, after the city's sack at the hands of the invading Zanarids.   Furthermore, of these mints, Setkhe serves, and has always served, as the primary minting location for the empire. Estimated as the origin of over half of all the coins in circulation by the year 800 FD, the reason for Setkhe's primacy stems from its dominance over silver mining operations in the empire's north east.

    The Silver Sekhmat
    In terms of appearance, the silver sekhmat is a magnificent silver adorned mint, bearing the likeness of both Sune, and Akenit I on opposing sides of the coin, with the name Akenit I, frequently being inscribed on the coins as well. This pairing of goddess and founding emperor would be no coincidence, and served symbolically as a reminder for the empire's people of its long, unifying history, and the divinity of the emperor in his marriage to Sune.   The sekhmet measures in at about 3/4ths of an inch in diameter, and is always cast in silver, rather than gold. This is due simply to the ridiculous quantity of gold in Sunar, which caused it to never develop a comparable value to silver in the region.   Like the base sekhmat, the half sekhmat and namut were both minted in silver, and weighed to their appropriate worth in relation to the base coin.
    The Silver Sekhmat
      The Half Sekhmat
    The half sekhmat would bare twin images of Akenit II for much of imperial history. This would be changed at the onset of the Fourth Sunarian Empire, however, when the likeness of emperors Camecar the Black, and Amonkoteph began to be adorned instead. This decision appears a rather strange one at first glance, since these two rulers represent emperors of both the best and worst character, but has in fact, a carefully thought out purpose. The double headed coin represents the fact that an emperor should strive to be like neither Camecar or Amonkoteph. To be to kind, or to cruel, is a failure as a leader and instead any wise emperor, must find a middle ground where they balance their actions between wicked and wonderful.
      The Namut
    The namut in turn is quite boring in comparison, with its only iconography being the Sunarian scarab, a national animal that further acts as yet another symbol of the Goddess Sune.

    Banking in the Sunarian Empire is like many things in the empire, a heavily regulated affair that falls under the purview of one of the bureaucracies many ministries and departments. The main reason for this is that only the imperial government holds the right to operate banks within imperial territory. This is done in an attempt to prevent the concentration of wealth in a non imperial organization, but has never really been developed since the time of Akenit I and II. Instead, a general ban against private banking organizations has simply existed in its primitive form for millennia. Sunarians have as a result, come to accept such a situation as the norm, and most see it only natural to trust in the empire to protect their personnel wealth. In fact, the alternative, of trusting another private individual or business, baffles them. Common in places like Nebtka, Valone and Storn, such a custom is utterly alien to Sunar, where private banks are seen as a risk, or even a scam, that most are unwilling to fall for.   Instead, these denizens place their trust in the empire to secure and defend their belongings from thieves, fraudsters and bandits. Renowned for its efficiency, the imperial bank, is not one single bank, but a vast number of connected banks, scattered throughout most of the empire's major urban centers. These institutions are are all run as a subsidiary within the Ministry of Treasury, known as the Department of Banking.   Not as complex as some foreign banks, the imperials banks are responsible almost exclusively for the safeguarding of people's wealth. In exchange for this social service, a small fee is withdrawn by the bank on monthly intervals, which acts as sizable source of income to the imperial treasury.   To provide the safety needed to make such a service reliable, banks employ a vast number of retired veterans, mercenaries, or guardsmen to provide security at the their stations. These men are often paid quite handsomely, but are expected to jump through numerous bureaucratic hoops to earn their position. The largest of these hoops being the sponsorship of an imperial official as guarantor. Because of this factor, most bank guards are either friends or relatives of officials, though some officials have been known to sell these guarantees out to those who can afford it.
    Currency Exchanging
    Another service provided by banks to a lesser degree is the act of exchanging one currency for another. Housing a number of accountants and administrators already, the addition of this service was no great exertion, but only really became official with the rise of the Fourth Empire. To achieve this, most banks keep carefully updated ledgers dictating the current value of foreign coinage. Using this, accountants are able to write up a sort of cheque, or ticket, which can be brought either by the client to the main treasury office in Sunas, or be sent there by mail, in which case the currency will be shipped. Because of the quality of Sunar's infrastructure and the imperial governments devotion to rapid postal communication, such a journey would usually take at most, no longer than a week.
    One service that is not handled by imperial banks is the giving of loans. Permitted only to hold onto and secure the public's wealth, banks are nowhere in their decreed responsibilities expected (and by extension allowed) to give clients loans. Instead, loans are more often than not handled as a personal affair between civilian, or private, actors, For this reason loan sharks, or usurers are very common in Sunarian cities, often easily found around ports or in markets, where their business is at its best. These individuals vary greatly in credibility, however, as both legitimate usurers, and criminal ones exist in equal number, with it often being a challenge to tell the difference. The real distinction between the two types comes in their manor of enforcement.   A legitimate usurer will more often than not go to the local court to ensure his recompense, where he will likely be recognized as offering a fair interest rate to the borrower, and obtain legal permission to extract his owed sum. Should he be unable to do so, further government intervention can occur, with city or temple guards getting involved. This can ultimately result in the borrower facing jail time, with repeat offenders being branded, literally, as scam artists, or cheats. This usually sees an end to their crime, as few people are incompetent enough to trust a man with the words liar branded into his forehead. If they persist, however, the death penalty is the usual next step.   A criminal usurer, or loan shark as they tend to be referred, will instead offer a high, or ridiculous loan, often designed to appeal to the borrower's desperation, or greed. These are seen less well in imperial courts and have been deemed unfair on many occasions, with judges usually ruling in favor of the borrower. In any case, the inability of a loan shark to go to the court to collect forces them to go down illegal means to receive their owed sum. This usually means robbing, threatening or assaulting the borrower until they collect their due. Should a borrower continue to refuse at this point it is quite common for loan sharks to kidnap, enslave or murder them. All of which are perceived as criminal acts by the imperial government, but are rarely easy to prove.


    As previously mentioned, the Sunarian Empire's economy is based primarily on the agricultural sector, with both subsistence, and cash crop farming occurring in high volume. Wheat is without a doubt the staple food crop, alongside several other types of grain, however, numerous other types of food are grown commonly. Some examples include: onions, garlic, lentils, beans, melons, figs, dates and olives, which provide the average Sunarian with an impressive vegetarian diet.   All this is made possible by the Sunar's immense fertility, which the empire owes to the Sun River, which carries nutrient rich soil downriver from the tropical Kamvali Rainforest to the lands of Upper and Lower Sunar. This unique benefit has had the effect of allowing for a massive population in the region, that over millennia, has continued to rise up, time and time again as a major world power.   While the majority of farming occurring in Sunar's borders is subsistence based, meant to provide the populous with food, a sizable amount is also undertaken for the purpose of exports. Sunar as a result has a reputation as a bread basket for numerous Nebtkan cities, as well the few trade ports of the North Shore.   Cash crops are also grown quite commonly throughout the empire, with flax, cotton and sugarcane all being farmed. In the case of sugarcane, however, growth is limited largely to Emensis, and is not undertaken in any great volume. Instead, sugarcane, or more specifically sugar, is primarily imported from the east, where it is produced in far greater quantity.
    Animal Husbandry
    Animal husbandry is another area in which Sunar shines, as the vast grass lands of Upper Sunar, and the rolling hills of Emensis serve as ideal grazing land for vast herds of cattle, sheep, goats and horses.

    Slaughtered for their meat, cows are without a doubt the most numerous of livestock, and are predominantly kept for their beef, with only a small minority acting as dairy producing livestock. Because of this meat focused system, Sunar is one of the few places commoners can afford and enjoy beef at a reasonable price. Cow Cheese, milk and other dairy products in comparison are a bit rarer, with there not being much of presence in traditional dishes.
    Goat cheese in comparison serves as the primary source of dairy for most Sunarians, with most of the animals being kept for this exact purpose. Goats are also a major source of meat in the empire's more remote territories like Drumidia, where goat herding is quite common.
    The raising of sheep is in contrast quite rare, with it only really occurring in the rockier plains of Lower Sunar, where they are raised for their meat, and to a lesser extent, their wool. Lamb meat, is viewed within the Faith of Sunemrah, and most Traditional Sunarian beliefs, as a holy meat carrying with it special pure, and holy qualities. For this reason, it is only really eaten as part of religious ceremonies, by priests. This is especially so during the ceremonial fast of metjanar, where in priests, are only allowed to consume water and lamb meat for any where between two weeks to a full month. The purpose of this is show unto Sune the importance of their prayers and desperate need for her aid.   Wool especially is quite rare, and is often perceived as a barbaric material unfit for clothing thanks to its texture and tendency to retain heat. Instead, linen, or cloth is used in the making of clothing, as both are far cooler materials when worn.
    The empire also maintains a significant horse breeding industry, in Emensis, that originates from the region's time under the nomadic Zanarid Kazatar. While they are a far cry from their western steppe ancestors, the Emensis breed, or the Emensi, has proven one of the hardiest beasts in the south, thanks to the warm climate. Used largely as war horses, the Emensi horse are well known for their endurance and speed, as well as their calmness. Employed to great affect in the imperial cavalry, the Emensi is the breed of choice for the military's elite cataphract units. Similar, albeit less impressive breeds are also raised in Upper Sunar, though they are in no way as renowned as the Emensi.
    Another prominent animal domesticated in Sunar are the one humped camels of the vast Sunarian Sea. Larger than the average horse, but smaller than their western, Hasarine brethren, the Sunarian camel is considered by many to be the perfect pack animal for long overland journeys. The biggest reason for this praise is the camel's capacity to go without water for a week or more at a time, making them the perfect animal for travel through the numerous deserts surrounding Sunar. For this reason in particular, camels are also the primary pack animal of the imperial army.   On the topic of military though, camels are also used more rarely as mounts of war. Unnerving enemy horses, and placing their riders in a higher vantage point, camel cavalry has a distinct advantage in arid regions where traditional equestrian cavalry struggle to supply their animals with water. Despite this though, they are more difficult to train, and are thus used predominantly as light cavalry, where their purpose is generally just scouting, and the capture of routed enemies. Today there are a small number of heavy camel cavalry employed by the Fourth Empire, however, these are more a show of imperial prestige than real practical fighting force, and as such they rarely see combat.
    Because of the might and wealth of the Sunarian Empire, a handful of elephants are kept within the walls of the imperial palace. These are not native to Sunar, however, and do not exist in number within the empire's northern core territories.   Imported by and large from the southern territory of Emensis, elephants are native to the remote frontier land, but do not exist in any great number today. The main reason for this being a mix of over hunting, and loss of habit with the continued settlement of Emensis by Sunarian colonists. The neighboring region of Kamet maintains a far greater population of elephants, with estimates numbering them in the hundreds of thousands. Revered by the local Kameti people, this large population disparity highlights just how significant the loss of Emensi elephants has been.
    Pigs and chicken are also raised for meat and in the case of the latter, eggs, however, they are not as prevalent as the other animals mentioned above, and are primarily raised by by minorities, or immigrants. This is especially so in the case of the Son's of Asher, who revere pork as an especially delicious and holy meat.

    Industry and Production

    Slavery is a banned practice within the empire, with the offenders being the sentenced to death. The empire does tolerate slavery's existence, however, even by its own denizens, so long as it occurs outside the empire's borders. For this reason Sunar is no champion of liberty, crusading to free slaves. The furthest it really goes in this direction is acting as a haven of sorts for escaped slaves, who have like all peoples are allowed to dwell in the empire as non-denizens. As such, these people are often given no help from the government receive next to no economic assistance. For this reason, most runaway's reside within the empire's slums, where they live impoverished and miserable lives that they can rarely rise out off.   One example of the empire's toleration for slavery is its refusal to intercede in the Salt Coast. Remote, and rampant with bandits, nomads and criminals, the region acts as the world's largest source of salt, primarily because of slave labor. Whether these slaves come from abroad, or from within the empire is of a mixed bag, with most living only a short while because of the grueling labor involved in their captivity. Worked to death in the vast salt mines that pockmark the arid desert land; heat, dehydration and fatigue are all major problems for laborers in these encampments.   Most of these slaves come from the Sunarian Empire itself. These are people foolish enough to journey to the Salt Coast without protection, or people who were captured in raids along the border lands of the empire. These raids are quite common, and are usually carried out by the O'sairi of the Sunarian Sea, who's nomadic lifestyle allows them to fade in an out of the desert with ease. Imperial views on these raids vary, with the official stance being to condemn and try and halt the tribal raids. Though, after millennia with little done to quell the issue many have come to accept it as a risk involved with living on the western borders of the empire. In truth, the upper echelons of Sunarian government often turn a blind eye to the capture of these border settlers. This is because, they recognize a value in allowing slavery to continue in the western desert. Without slavery, salt could very well stop flowing eastwards, and if that were to happen, the Sunarian Empire would lose its greatest of resource monopolies.   While not considered slavery, and closely secreted if true, their are rumors that some criminals, instead of being put to death, are in reality handed over to the Priesthood of Sune, to be forced to work in the organizations numerous gold mining operations. Little evidence exists to bolster such a claim, as gold mines are heavily isolated, and guarded locations, so there exists no way of proving it. Furthermore, if this were true it would be of no great concern, as a criminal sentenced to death forfeits his or her life to the state. It is unlikely any Sunarian would lose sleep over such an occurrence, and for that reason most of the rumor mongering is undertaken instead by foreigners.
    One of the primary industries practiced in Sunar is mining, with a vast number of its workforce serving as laborers in private and government run mining operations. The largest concentration of these operations is at and around the city of Setkhe in Lower Sunar. Both silver and copper are extracted at Setkhe, though only copper is truly sold off to craftsmen, merchants, or shipped off as an export.   Silver ore in most cases, is mined directly, or purchased wholesale by the government, who uses it in the minting of coinage. Silver, is also regulated quite fiercely to prevent inflation, and as such it is not used very often by metal workers to create, jewelry, trinkets or weaponry, and as such is not in as huge a demand by the public as copper or iron. Most silver, for this reason, ends up being stored in government secured warehouses, until such a time as it is needed for minting.   Returning to the presence of copper at Setkhe, the mineral is quite often used within the city for the production of bronze. This industry requires large amounts of tin to operate, which is not found in any large quantity throughout Sunar's many territories. As such tin is almost entirely imported from abroad, with the main sources being, the island city of Irmon on the North Shore and the war torn lands of Pershani in the east. Bronze once produced, is circulated primarily within Sunar, as opposed to be sold off as an export. Purchased by traders from across the country, who act as distributors, the metal is often shipped in high quantity to places like Sunas, Lohbe, or Quartir, where it is once again sold of, this time to craftsmen for their work.   Salt is also mined quite commonly in the western borderlands of Sunar, and especially within the region of the Salt Coast. There, however, slavery is quite rampant, and its workers are in no way free, or paid.   Gold is easily the most common mineral found in Sunas, with deposits of it being so prevalent that it can even found above ground in many locations. Because of this commonality of gold though, and for religious reasons, it holds very little monetary value. Instead the empire sees gold as the blood of its goddess, Sune. For this reason gold is highly regulated with only the emperor, and by extension, the Priesthood of Sune, having the right to mine and collect it. Gold is as such an incredibly guarded resource that is extracted from the earth only at closely secured and secretive sites run by the temple. From there it is often shipped to temples directly to be stored in massive vaults. For a further look at gold in Sunar, one should consult the above section concerning religion, and the Faith of Sunemrah.
    Craftsmen and Capitalism
    Craftsman are also quite common place throughout Sunar, with many of its citizens plying their trades throughout the numerous cities of the empire. Catering to almost every service conceivable, and displaying a variety of skills and services, the craftsmen of Sunar are not united under guilds as their fellow artisans are elsewhere. Instead, the Sunarian market has recently begun to be dominated by a number of privately run businesses, which make a profit by temporarily hiring out groups of craftsmen to complete large, or complex contracts. These are referred to in government records as imperial trade contractors.   Able to muster greater capital then an individual tradesmen, a trade contractor is also able to buy up large shipments of material to supply its workers and as such often buys up new shipments quite quickly. This aspect of the business upsets independent craftsmen quite a lot, since they are often forced to wait as a result, or pay out the nose for fresh materials to be specially shipped in.   Its important to note here that the owners of these contracting companies are rarely craftsmen themselves. The overwhelming majority of these thus are run by either active, or former officials from within the imperial bureaucracy; a factor which often give them an edge in matters of accounting and administration. As already stated, this situation is somewhat new, with trade companies only really becoming recognized by the empire in the past century or so. Prior to this there is very little writing on the subject of business, so the origin of trade companies are not very clear, but it is believed that they are a repercussion of the Valoni arrival in the region.   Requiring a licence, that is granted, or more often sold, by the Ministry of Treasury, former, or current employees of the government are in an ideal position to obtain legal permission to operate. Making these licenses yet harder to obtain is the fact that only a set number of them are issued yearly as a measure to ensure bureaucratic simplicity. While this does succeed in making the government's job easier, it also serves as a measure that leaves the wealthy, and connected in control of the system. Violation of this system is furthermore carefully monitored, with unlicensed company owners often having their assets seized by the state.   As this economic process might seem, it is rarely as beneficial to society, or its employees as the foreign idea of guilds. Driven by a ruthless capitalistic mindset focused on profit, trade companies care little for their wider impact on the empire, and because they are a relatively recent development, they are still a rising problem for the Fourth Empire.

    Demography and Population

    The current population of the Sunarian Empire, during the reign of Anipara II, is approximately 15,000,000.

    The Sunarian People
    Ethnicity | Dec 5, 2018
    Ethnic Sunarians are by far the largest group in the country, with estimates putting them at 77% of the total population.

    Minorities of the Sunarian Empire

    Ethnic minorities include Drumidians (5%), Emensi (0.6%) and Valo-Sunarians (2%), alongside various groups of Nebtkan ethnicity (10%). There are also an uncounted number of O'sairi nomads dwelling in the Sunarian Sea, who freely cross in an out of the empire regularly. Because of their nomadic lifestyle, their exact population remains illusive, though most imperial records suggest no more than 4% of the empire's total population. Beyond these groups, other ethnic minorities make up a meager 1.4% of the population, and are a blend of numerous foreign peoples, who often come to Sunar as traders, immigrants or refugees.
    The Valo-Sunarian People of Sunar
    Ethnicity | Dec 10, 2018

    Other Minority Groups

    Other groups residing in the empire usually number less than 1% of the total estimated population and are thus often overlooked as a non factor by the imperial government. This does not mean they are in anyway persecuted or denied the capacity to obtain imperial status as a denizen, however, as they are perfectly capable of applying for an examination, which many pass without difficulty.   Most of these people who come from abroad in small numbers to settle in the empire hail from either the north or east; with many originally hailing from Kamet, Na'tal, the Hasari Merchant Cities, Esteleon, Rastormont, or even Mer.   A significant number of these "others" are also non residents though, who come to the empire for a short period of time, temporarily, before leaving. While most of these individuals are given no special status, and are considered non-denizens by the government, a certain few do hold a minimized set of rights. One example being foreign dignitaries, or diplomats; who are given a special status akin to the status of Valo-Sunarians, wherein they are legally considered a person and are exempt from taxation. foreign merchants as well can apply for a temporary form of status, which allows them to trade and reside inside the empire without fear for their security or the security of their goods. This specialized status carries with it a price that must be renewed upon each visit to the empire, however, and exists separate, or on top of any tariffs that must also be paid for certain goods.


    The Sunarian Empire on paper has no official religion, with its citizens being free to partake in whatever faith or creed they so chose, save for a small few, which for historic, and stability reasons have been banned from operating within the boundaries of the empire. In practice, however, the Sunarian Empire is dominated in matters of religion by the Sunemrah, which acts as a unifying faith for the powerful and ancient state.   Furthermore, within the empire there are a small number of religious institutions that are given special government legitimacy to operate. Currently the only two of these active; the previously mentioned Faith of Sunemrah, and the Holy Tribunal which acts as a religious council comprised of numerous religious leaders and clergymen.

    Religious Demographics: Fourth Sunarian Empire

    Sanctioned Religious Institutions


    Hierarchy of Sunemrah

    As stated above there is no official religion within the Sunarian Empire, but this does not mean that the state does not play favorites, and Sunemrah, the imperial faith, is without a doubt that favorite.   Created explicitly for the Sunarian Empire by its founder Akenit I, the First Emperor, Sunemrah's purpose is to inspire a united Sunarian identity, and encourage loyalty to the emperor. In these goals, Akenit's religion has been proven a tremendous success, and over half of the empire's population today worship the imperial goddess Sune as their favored deity. As a result, the faith today receives sizable subsidies from the imperial government, and possesses several unique rights and responsibilities that make it an unofficial fourth branch of the imperial government.   The Emperor
    Perceived by practitioners as a figure halfway between mortal and deity, the Sunarian emperor is the absolute head of Sunemrah, with the power to shape and change religious doctrine to his liking if he so wills. This position is garnered through the emperor's divine marriage to the Goddess Sune, who bestows upon him the right to rule as an absolute monarch. Legitimized by their marriage, the practice is universal, and has been undergone by essentially every single emperor, save a small number who are largely seen by history as illegitimate.
      In the modern age this idea of divine marriage has changed somewhat with the ascendancy of not one, but two female rulers to the throne of the Fourth Sunarian Empire. Rather than drop the custom, or go through the process of alemana themselves (as some predicted), both women assumed the title of emperor and took a wife (for the purpose of divine marriage to Sune) as their male predecessors had. Operating essentially as a man, the two shaped themselves to fit the tradition rather than shape the tradition to fit them, and as such oversaw remarkably stable reigns. Holding both titles of emperor and empress, both women allowed themselves to be styled as empress in vocal company, for simplicity's sake; while insisting they be referred to in the male styling of emperor, for the purpose of ceremony, scripture, and record keeping.   Ultimately, the only area either of these woman fell short, was in the production of an heir; but in either case the existence of capable relatives rendered such an issue a non factor to the security of the empire, and their reigns.   The current ruling monarch of Sunar, is Emperor ( or Empress) Anipara II.   Highest of the High Priesthood
    Despite holding absolute authority over the religion of Sunemrah, the emperor has historically tended to delegate this responsibility down unto a specifically favored member of the High Priesthood. Often times selected for his loyalty, and obedience to the emperor, this individual, often styled Highest of the High Priesthood, has immense power and can enact religious doctrine in the emperor's name should he or she chose to. However, this great power does not come without restraints. Should a change or alteration be met with dissatisfaction, or worse, anger, from the emperor, it is a simple matter for the emperor to replace the Highest of the High Priesthood and revoke any doctrinal decision.   As such, the Highest of High Priests maintains his authority, not on his own merit, but specifically to stand in for the emperor, in an area of governance most ruler's would rather not involve themselves. Perceived as dull, and calling for a mastery of both the Codex of Life and Death, and Codices of Order (Sunemrah's twin holy texts), the religious leadership of the emperor is almost always pushed aside in favor of the more grandiose, secular role. This is not to say, however, that the emperor neglects his duties in regards to ceremony though, for in either area, only the most foolish of ruler would refuse to carry out Sunemrah's numerous holy festivals. This is because these religious festivities serve as the primary pillar upon which the imperial faith rests. If an emperor were to neglect them, and not attend he would be in essence undermining the very religion meant to give him authority. By attending he asserts his divine right to rule in the eye's of his subjects, and shows himself not as a man, but as the highest of man, second on earth only to the Goddess Sune herself.
      The High Priesthood
    The High Priesthood of Sune, is a small caste of priests in the upper echelons of Sunemrah, who operate as the guiding and governing authority within the religion. Numbering only a few hundred, ascendancy to their number falls only unto the most devote of priests, upon which time they are required to relocate to the Great Temple in Sunas.   During periods of calmness, when a strong emperor rules over Sunar, the High Priesthood act primarily as the caretakers of the religion's main seat of power, the Great Temple of Sune, in the Sunarian capital of Sunas. This is no easy feat though, as the Great Temple maintains the status as the largest building on earth, and has no rival. As such the management of its vast network of rooms, halls and chambers is a herculean feat, requiring the High Priesthood to employ thousands upon thousands of lesser, not priestly, staff.   As if the administration of the largest building on earth were not enough, the High Priesthood is also unofficially responsible for guiding and overseeing the faith. This position gives the greatest of its priests as well as the Highest of the High Priesthood, the power to enact new religious policy and canon law. It is further the duty of the High Priests to maintain and protect the original copy of the Codex of Life and Death, written under the scrutiny of Akenit I, the First Emperor. The Codex is only really accessible to the High Priests and a few other individuals, and for this reason they are required to study and memorize its teachings for the purpose of relaying its message and mythos onto the lower priesthoods of Sunemrah.   Leadership of the faith also brings with it the obedience of numerous other priesthoods. As one might expect, the base Priesthood of Sune, answers to the High Priesthood, and operates in the numerous other temples spread out across the empire's many communities. Another priesthood managed by the High Priesthood though are the Sisters of Sune. These priestess dwell within the Imperial Palace, and act as the servants of the emperor's wife, who through the process of alemana ascends into godhood as the vessel for the Goddess Sune. Eligible as brides to any unwed emperors, the Sisters of Sune, are required to maintain celibacy until they are chosen, with this requirement being devotedly monitored and enforced by the High Priesthood's loyal Temple Guard.   The Temple Guard, act as the military arm of Sunemrah, and are directly answerable to the High Priesthood. Operating within every temple in the empire, and its surrounding community, the Temple Guard are a sizable armed force that hold the legal right to enforce canon and imperial law upon property owned by the faith. Acting in essence like a secondary form of city guard, the Temple Guard often serve as a form of deterrent, keeping non believers out of faithful, Sunemite neighborhoods.   Because of their prominent role within the faith, and the reliance of the Highest of the High Priesthood upon the emperor, the High Priesthood has on multiple occasions become the de facto head of the faith. This is because, when a universally accepted emperor is lacking (during a period of civil war or similar turmoil),and the Highest of the High Priesthood loses his significance, religious authority moves downwards into the hands of the High Priesthood who form a theocratic council. The purpose of this council is primarily to safe guard Sunemrah, for however long is needed, until such a time where a strong faithful candidate arises to retake religious power as an emperor. It has rarely been the goal of the council to retain power for itself indefinitely, though they have been accused of this exact motive on a number of occasions, causing Sunemrah to lose legitimacy and followers around periods of great unrest.
      The Priesthood of Sune
    The Priesthood of Sune is the basic priesthood that comprises the overwhelming majority of Sunemrah's clergy. Numbering in the tens of thousands, the Priesthood operates across the entire empire; and even beyond its borders, with their temples existing as far afield as Tantum Valona in the east. Their primary responsibility is handling the day to day religious management of temples which often includes the enforcement of religious or canon law upon believers, the administration of temple finances, and the organization of religious festivities. While the primary purpose of the Priesthood is to manage provincial temples located beyond the walls of Sunas, a vast number train as acolytes directly within the Great Temple, operating as assistants and trainees to the High Priesthood from whom canon law, doctrine and religious education are all derived.
    Gold within the Sunarian Empire
    It is furthermore the responsibility of the Priesthood to carry out the regulation of Sunar's vast gold reserve, for which they do an unparalleled job. Maintaining the greatest amount of natural gold ore anywhere in the world, Sunar is practically overflowing with the mineral, and as such even the poorest of beggars possess a small bit of the precious metal. These people do not own the gold they hold though, and are not given free reign to do whatever they might like with it. Instead, all gold belongs first and foremost to the emperor.   The reason for this stems from the belief that gold is the blood of the Goddess Sune. As such, its value comes not as monetary or luxury good, but from its status as a divine material, with a spiritual connotation. The outsider perspective, of gold being a symbol of wealth is as such utterly insulting to most Sunarians who see foreigner's obsession with it as a show of disrespect to their religion and way of life. For this reason, gold is one of the most brutally regulated resources within the Sunarian Empire, and it is the job of the emperor to safe guard the lifeblood of Sune and ensure it remains secure within the country.   As already stated, this duty is entirely delegated down unto the Priesthood of Sune, who's members stockpile the empire's gold reserve in their temples, and oversee its transformation into trinkets, decorations and jewelry. These items are generally, then parceled out to followers of Sunemrah for usage in prayer. A strict paper trail is kept by these temples to tract who legally has been given permission by the temple to posses gold, recording both the exact quantity, and form of the material. This is undertaken, to ensure that no party is hoarding gold, except for the empire, and priesthood. It is furthermore, not uncommon for the Temple Guard to carry out door to door checks to make sure individuals granted gold, do not "misplace" it. To be caught misplacing, or giving away gold without direct temple permission is an immensely serious violation, that is often answered, like many Sunarian crimes, by the death penalty.   This system of regulation was implemented first by Akenit II, early in imperial history, and has remained a core tenant of most Sunarian governments ever since. Despite the seeming draconian style of the law, most faithful followers of Sunemrah view it as an entirely justified punishment for those who would dare lay claim to the lifeblood of Sune, and have no qualms with such criminals being put to death.   Because of the massive amount of gold in Sunar though, and its heavy handed regulation, legends and rumors have spread abroad, of Sunar being a land of unbelievable wealth. Portrayed as an empire where even a poor man may carry with them great wealth, more than a few foreigners have met their end trying, and failing, to smuggle gold out of the country.   To further ensure the security of gold, the priesthood has also been granted authority over all gold mines within imperial territory. As a result, these mining operations have become miniature fortresses, with regiments of the Temple Guard acting as overseers and pit guards for the highly secure sites. Recruitment of miners is also entirely managed by the temples, who select only the most loyal, or fanatical, of applicants for work in the mines, as a means of weeding out potential thieves and smugglers. These locations are universally closed sites, with no public access and as such most of Sunar's citizens give them a very wide birth.
    Sunarian Gold
      The Patron Priesthoods
    The Patron Priesthoods are a religious order that have been in slow decline for millennia. Rendered largely irrelevant with the rise of Sunemrah, the worship of patron deities is an irregular affair carried out only by the most zealous, or desperate of Sunarians. Most of their followers, in fact, directly challenge the supremacy of Sune as a universal god; and instead practice Traditional Sunarian Polytheism, which predates Sunemrah by an untold number of millennia.   Lacking any proper place in the hierarchy of Sunemrah, the patron temples are unique in that they answer solely to the Sunarian Empire, but almost never receive any form of leadership. For this reason, they are given far more autonomy, but in turn lack any where near the same level of influence as their Sune devoted brethren. Given no financial support by the imperial government, patron priesthoods are often time grass roots organizations, requiring the financial support of their worshipers.The main reason for this is that they directly challenge the centralizing purpose of Sunemrah. Devoted to provincial, or regional deities, rather than an all uniting imperial goddess, the patron temples promote provincial identities, that the central imperial government would rather see disappear.   They are, however, tolerated as their presence is of no real threat to the authority of Sunemrah's Priesthood, and despite being largely irrelevant, do provide some basic educational services to the public.
    The Holy Tribunal
    While the majority of Sunarians follow the tenants of Sunemrah, a significant number do not practice its beliefs or recognize Sune as the universal creator god. Recognizing this fact of their rule, many emperors have accepted that not everyone will fall in line and have instead extended an olive branch to try and compromise with the minority groups under them. Known as the Holy Tribunal, this assembly, exists for the purpose of advising the emperor on matters concerning the empire's minority religions; as well as providing said groups a place to present cases and settle differences with the oversight of an absolute arbiter.   Lacking any explicit authority or power though, this organization exists purely on the emperor's willingness to give these minorities a voice. As such, more than one Holy Tribunal as been abruptly dissolved when an impatient emperor grew tired of the disunited groups bickering. Furthermore, it is very important to note that not every emperor organizes a Holy Tribunal. In fact, more emperors than not, have directly opposed the idea and not done so.   The current ruler Anipara II, is one of the few who have chosen to organize a tribunal; believing it a path to help unite the disparate religious groups of Sunar into one. Currently, the four demographics represented within the modern Tribunal are the Sons of Asher, the Children of Fire, The Cult of Cusireen and a menagerie of representatives from the numerous patron temples across Sunar.

    Communication and Travel

    The Sunarian Empire is a heavily centralized state, and to achieve this it has developed and maintains an equally intensive system of communication and infrastructure across its vast territory. The main artery of travel in the country is without a doubt the Sun River, which runs from north to south, and acts as the lifeline for movement of people in the country. Ship travel is thus the primary method of travel in the empire with hundreds if not thousands of vessels sailing, or rowing through its water ways at any given time.   Roads, are as a result, generally less important in Sunar, at least when they are near the river where their usage is lessened. One exception to this rule is in Lower Sunar, where several prominent cities do not sit directly along the banks of the mighty Sun River. Here a well maintained, stone, or cobble roadway connects the empire's northeast with the central core around Sunas. This saves travelers a long and roundabout voyage down the Seta River to the City of Imadet, ultimately taking them out into the Bay to reach the Sun Delta, costing a few days as opposed to the relatively short over land trip from Setkhe to Nemilsis, which can often be made in under a day, in good weather.   In the far southern areas of the empire road travel is also quite common, as beyond the Falls of Eom, the Sun River becomes far more turbulent. Cataracts, and waterfalls run through the entire Drumidian stretch of the Sun River, making the highlands a land only traversable on foot, or by horse. A lack of infrastructure makes even this a hassle, however, resulting in Drumidia getting circumnavigated by caravans and settlers bound for the green plains of Emensis. These travelers instead, opt for the more dangerous, but far quicker route, overland through the Karapesh Highlands, which can save weeks off a journey to the empire's far flung, southern frontier.   In ancient times, the empire build many roads through this region for the purpose of moving men and supplies south to fight against the Empire of Kamet. Today, however, a lack of any real tension or conflict has left the old stone highways long since abandoned. Covered by the sands of the highlands, or the vegetation of Emensis, these roads have been taken back by nature. For this reason, they are lost to the modern residents of the empire, who are barely even aware of their existence. Instead most people passing through the region travel along newer dirt roads.

    Security and Threats


    Geography: Regions of the Empire

    The Sunarian Empire rules over a vast swath of territory spread out in all directions from the mighty Sun River. Serving as the source of life for nearly the entire country, the great Sun River carries life giving nutrients down river from the Kamvali Rainforest, and enriches the arid soil of Sunar through frequent, but regular floods. Because of this natural system Sunar’s population numbers around 15,000,000 people, despite being surrounded on almost all sides by desert or wasteland. For a more in depth overview of the empire's numerous geographic regions, please consult the below pages.



    Sunarian Flag
    Ever eternal and ever prosperous

    Sunar Upwards



    Official Languages

    Imperial Sunarian



    Government Type

    Absolute, Imperial Monarchy, Centralized Empire


    Anipara II


    - 750 FD > First Empire < 980 FD
    - 1232 FD > Second Empire < 727 SD
    - 1018 SD > Third Empire < 1189 SD
    - 1189 SD > Fourth Empire < 1300 SD


    The Silver Sekhmat
    Alternative Names
    > The Fourth Sunarian Empire
    > The Fourth Empire
    > Sunar
    Related Ranks & Titles
    Sunar Downwards
    Anipara II of Sunar
    Current ruling Empress, Anipara II of the Ascamonet Dynasty


    Recent History


    Full History

    For a full history of the Sunarian Empire, please consult the Historic Period section on the right panel of this page.

    Historic Periods

    Under Construction: These are a mess right now

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    Articles under The Sunarian Empire


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