Krysa Empire, or "just Lamara": It rules Lamara
I made a terrible TTS video on this god-awful country.
This article is going to be focused on Lamara's system of government, but here's some foundational information:Lamara, or the Gods' Gift Peninsula, is a peninsula about the size of Europe. The area by which it's linked to mainland is small, extremely difficult to traverse and, on part of the Lamarans not wanting anything coming in, extremely, comically, cartoonishly over-fortified, so unless you've got some real power behind you you're not getting in by force if you're going by land. Getting in by sea can be similarly painful, although that's not so much due to anything the Lamarans have done as because the sea in this world is home to things that lay eyes upon a ship and see a light snack. Thanks to this, Lamara is pretty isolated from the rest of the world. When their distant ancestors wiped out most of the more dangerous indigenous animals, more didn't just walk in from elsewhere to make use of the freed up resources, and from there things being safer meant that it was easier to build up. The Krysa Empire, after many, many years, has conquered the entirety of this peninsula. It is ruled by the matrilineal magic family (matrilineal meaning the abilities only go mother-to-child) known as the Krysa - I know real inventive - with a bloodied - blood-soaked, even - crystal fist.
TempleThe Temple makes the laws that Lamara is governed by. Priests in Lamara double as judges, juries, lawyers, marriage counselors, doctors, teachers, scribes, historians and a wide range of other things. If it's not directly about money or war, they're probably the ones doing it, and even then there are a lot of economic and military things they're involved in. Also many of those roles should be in quotation marks since this is a religious organization in a swords-and-bows society. Teachers don't do much in teaching maths or writing compared to religious stories and values. Doctors often heal with prayer instead of medicine. Historians exaggerate the fuck out of everything. Generally different types of priest are dedicated to different things, so the priests who slap leeches on your infected wound and the priests who beat your kids for being bad at reading are not the same people unless you live in an isolated community where the priest has to multitask. The Temple does have its own lands and from that its own military forces and economic weight, with many construction projects with the explicit purpose of bringing about economic or military benefit being funded by and for the Temple. The Temple's face-to-the-masses leader is the Gods' Tongue, who's said to commune regularly with the God-Builder (the gods being to the God-Builder what angels are to God in Christianity, albeit with a far stronger tendency and longer leash to do whatever they want, in Lamaran religion). Behind the Gods' Tongue is a council, whose job is determining the difference between an actual prophecy and a bad trip since the Gods' Tongue communes with the God-Builder by taking shitloads of drugs. In return for handling so much stuff and providing the legitimacy that lets nobles and royalty rule, the Temple also gets to charge taxes of its own separate to whatever the nobility and royalty charge in their territories. They also serve a similar role to banks, but last time I checked banks don't usually have their own armies at the same time as basically BEING the law to come after you with if you don't pay your debts. Speaking of which, slavery and religious human sacrifice are both normal in Lamara, so guess what happens if your debts aren't paid. How far up in the Temple you can get is generally determined by blood. Close relatives of nobles get given high positions passing sentences and leading holy armies immediately, regular people get put right at the bottom to clean the temples.
Nobility and royaltyThe nobility and royalty run their respective territories with the primary drive being military and economy, especially since the Temple takes care of so much else. They're also meant to deal with any problems that priests either can't or won't. They also enforce the law in their territory, that is to say soldiers working for nobles or nobles themselves will go out and kill criminals or bring them in, and if they're brought in a priest passes judgement for the noble/their soldiers to carry out. This relationship does often break down though, such as high-ranking Temple officials using their soldiers to enforce the law in an area if they don't think the noble is doing it right, or nobles giving punishments to criminals without bringing them to priests. The nobles form an endless layer cake of everyone being someone's vassal until you get to the top, to the Monarch, who isn't the vassal of anyone. Nobles are generally expected to deal with problems in their territory themselves. Being outdone by raiders or invaders is only a source of shame if the odds should've been somewhat in your favour, for example nobody's expecting you who has a small area with 2000 people living in it to beat back an invasion of 10,000 by yourself, but if you can't stop say a group of 200 invaders then everyone's looking down on you with disgust. Internal problems like rebellion or crime being too big to handle is pretty much always a source of shame, because it's considered your failure that it got that large in the first place. As you go further up the feudal ladder, nobles and then royals having more land and more vassals to keep in check and occasionally deal with the problems of becomes a giant pain in the ass so they put administrators in charge of or lease out all or almost all their land rather than managing it themselves, freeing them up to keeping vassals in line and dealing with problems... both of these things normally consist of marching around with an army. So it comes as no surprise that at the top of the food chain, the Monarch constantly has multiple armies marching across the country. One of these has literally never stopped marching and fighting since it was first raised over a hundred years go, dropping off soldiers and picking up new ones as it moves, and as a result is called both the Eternal March and the Artifact Parade, as it never being lowered has resulted in many of the things it's picked up never being delivered to the places they'd normally be on the lowering of this massive ever-moving army. Positions such as being a noble's general, admiral, steward, advisor, territorial administrators etc are generally filled based on whether or not your related to that noble or a noble they want to like them. Competence is sometimes improved by non-inheriting children generally being educated for these roles, but you've still got positions of power and importance being given based on blood and nepotism rather than competence so idiots being in charge of local tax policy can be pretty normal.
Lamara has many internal cultures so pinning anything particular on it is more or less impossible. While culture regularly trumps religion in terms of how people actually behave, the religion enforced across the country has affected the cultures that it's followed in. The religion brings blood-based elitism, individual human lives and the right to self determination not being considered particularly valuable, xenophobia towards anything from outside of Lamara, extreme superstition, reverence for Krysa, architectural obsession, monogamy, the belief that to an extent might makes right, the belief that family is extremely valuable, obedience to one's "superiors" + "knowing your place", loyalty, encouragement of selflessness, human sacrifice and the taking of drugs for many rituals and celebrations.
1. The continuation of its own existence. To this end is the removal / mitigation of threats and the building of its own capabilities. 2. Maintaining control over the entirety of Lamara. 3. Promotion of the Lamaran Faith within Lamara. This religion emphasizes racial superiority of Lamarans over non-Lamarans, followed by the superiority and inherent holiness of magic people over everyone else, itself followed by the Krysa being considered superior to all other magic families. Most nobles are primarily interested in expanding and/or protecting their wealth and influence, and ensuring wealth and influence for their relatives. As a result nobles mostly fight each other, and are given a fairly long leash to do this as them fighting each other is them not fighting the Monarchy or Temple.
The whole country:
Anywhere from 100 to 250 million people, with it being difficult to tell since high birth rates and frequent disease mean it's constantly bouncing up and down. Of these, it's believed around one in twenty are retinue soldiers. A peninsula bigger than Europe from the outside, well protected from external influence by an ocean of monsters and its link to the mainland being treacherous and well-fortified. The peninsula is larger on the inside. Spatial anomalies account for the existence of entire regions, although these areas can often be described as "utterly fucked" and "no way I'm living there". It's unknown how much larger Lamara is on the inside as these anomalous areas are largely unexplored and access to them is usually restricted by the Temple, which claims these are areas the gods do not intend for humans to be in, cursed, or other varieties of "stay the fuck out." The best technology and infrastructure of any standing civilization in the known world. Monster-repellent seaweed for its ships and shores. A recent discovery. 150,000 to 400,000 warships, and 1 million to 3 million civilian vessels. More magic families than anywhere else in the world. Around 7% of its population is literate.
Best infrastructure and technology in the country. Near-monopoly on monster-repellent seaweed. Anywhere from 9 to 10 million people, around one in thirteen of whom are retinue soldiers. About 12,000 warships. At least 9 times this many in civilian vessels. A monopoly on 3 magic families and near-monopoly on two more. In possession of branches from almost all of the magic families in Lamara, except technically the Brijilds since it has no branches but is one of the families that royal territory has a monopoly on. Far closer cooperation with the Temple than others in the country. About 43% of the population is literate. Able to order anyone except those who rank high in the Temple what to do. About a tenth of the country's money and jewelry. Automatic ownership of foreigners. In Lamara it's illegal to not be at least half Lamaran and a free person, punishment being that you're instantly a slave of the Monarchy. The Monarchy can sell these slaves, rent them out or use them itself. Most of these slaves are not in royal territory, being used by nobles who have to either buy them from the Monarchy after finding them in their territory, pay a slave rent or send them to a Monarchy-owned institution and let the Monarchy do whatever with them. Slave rent is almost as big of a source of income for the Monarchy as actual taxes.
Some of the country's best infrastructure. Also a near-monopoly on ancient ruins and weird shit, which often contain various ridiculously useful things like a tree that grows babies, since these are generally classified as holy and to be kept out of secular hands or anti-holy and even more important to keep out of secular hands. Near monopoly on the trade of various drugs. Can get donations or money from selling protection charms and whatnot. 15 to 35 million people in their territory. Most of these are not priests, but a large portion of them are. Priest-farmers and such are quite common. About 1 in 30 of these are retinue soldiers, but the Temple can also draw on its levies with far less complaining from said levies and even gather many voluntary fighters from outside its personal territory. The Temple is as a result the greatest military power in Lamara. Around one in twenty people across the country are priests. Priests fill a large variety of roles and some of these roles are barred from non-priests. 30,000 to 60,000 warships. 200,000 to 500,000 civilian vessels. If nobody else has a monopoly on a magic family, the Temple has members of that magic family. Additionally, all magic mutants are given to the Temple who determines if they're divine or demonic, and nobody's really sure what happens to them, so they could have a monopoly on hundreds of unknown magic families. Far closer cooperation with the Monarchy than any of the nobility get to enjoy. Around 55% of the population of their territory is literate. Control over the temples outside their territory, and various other institutions such as the majority of orphanages, libraries, charities, schools, courts of law, museums and so on. Putting artifacts in museums instead of vaults is a pretty new thing, and access to museums and schools is for the most part restricted to nobles who pay a shitload into them. About a third of the country's money and jewelry. Being able to dictate the law, declare holy wars, gather zealot armies from outside their personal territory, denounce nobles, are the judges (and so get tons of bribes or can control the outcomes of important trials) and in general do a lot of fucking around. Most non-foreigners who are punished with being enslaved for crimes automatically belong to the Temple. Cheat on wife = Temple slave... death is often considered a mercy compared to being a Temple slave, cos holy shit they work these slaves to death most of the time. Orphans with no clear guardians likewise automatically belong to the Temple as slaves. The Temple can force people in its territory to take care of these orphans while still having ownership of them, so "trade offer: you take on cost of taking care of this orphan until they're old enough to be useful, then we take orphan back once they're useful and make them work for us, you get nothing, and if you say no we can fucking kill you lol." Sometimes they'll charge slave rent to the same people they force to take care of these orphans, although this is usually only done if the family forced to take on the orphan has somehow pissed off the Temple.
The beginning, or lack thereof:
Show spoilerAfter translatable writing became a thing / we mostly know what the fuck was going on.
Saying where the Krysa Empire begun is kinda difficult, and the same goes for the religion, because both have changed so ridiculously much. Also there's huge problems with trying to translate old manuscripts, with writing things down having seemingly stopped being a thing for several centuries and only became a thing again about 1,700 years ago, by which point translating stuff written before was impossible. The Temple-Monarchy relationship seems to have already existed when writing started up again, which happened mostly because of the Temple wanting a central holy book and for copies of it to be spread across the land. It's reckoned that the existence of the Temple comes from a prophet who made a "everyone's right" religion incorporating a branch-off of Christianity ( click this to get how that's possible), albeit one where they literally ate people instead of bread and wine on Sundays, and some other religions from the area. One theory is that they were able to get popular enough to form and uprising and rebel against a ruling class who followed the previous religion. A neighbouring Krysa-ruled kingdom's ruler converted to this religion and allied with them, creating the Monarchy-Temple relationship that would go on to conquer the entirety of Lamara, albeit with a lot of changing and morphing over time. Another is that this religion's uprising was within the very kingdom it allied with, and the Temple-Monarchy relationship was part of a peace deal that likely included the King/Queen converting. It's likely this nation would've been ruled by Krysa already, and that the religion adopting a doctrine that promoted Krysa as rightful rulers over both regular people and other magic people was part of the peace deal. This nation then went on to conquer all of Lamara, albeit with a lot of changing and morphing over time. Another is that the Temple had a similar history and got to a similar position to the Catholic Church in the Medieval Era, albeit with the religion being followed over a smaller area. This area was conquered in its entirety by a single nation, and the lack of divided loyalties / competing interests allowed the Monarchy-Temple relationship to form. At the end of the day nobody really knows. By the time anyone started writing down major events and laws rather than religious stories and how many cows had been swapped for ten goats the Krysa Empire was the size of England, the Temple-Monarchy relationship was already a thing and there were already newly built fortresses and temples that had clearly been built with advanced techniques and mathematics. Religious stories might shed some light by claiming that a great flood was sent upon the world by the God-Builder as punishment for humanity's sinfulness, but that some gods were able to lift the continent (Lamarans are only aware of a single continent) in defiance of the God-Builder. Among the survivors was a demigod named Krysa, daughter of the goddess Krissa. Her demigod brothers died in the flood, with her having to eat the corpse (special emphasis placed on her eating the heart) of one of them to survive. Since she was pure of heart and Krissa is one of the less dickheadish gods/goddesses, Krissa was told that she and her descendants had the divine right and task to rule humanity within Lamara, a land without monsters that the God-Builder allowed the gods to make as a reward for what few sinless people there were. This task was supposedly forgotten until the God-Builder showed themselves to two twin Krysa and each of their "friends" (older versions of the story have these friends as the lesbian lovers of the twins but the Temple has gotten a little homophobic). They ordered the twins to make their friends into sacrifices to the God-Builder, and when they did so with sadism, style and a complete lack of hesitation the God-Builder was pleased and told them of the divine duty of the Krysa to rule Lamara and guide it from sin. In the country they formed on the corpses of the heretics, one took up the job of weakening their body by communing with the gods to find their will while the other ran the country itself within whatever the gods wished for. This is supposedly where the positions of Gods' Tongue and Monarch come from.
The oldest translatable piece of writing is a shopping list that was found in the half-buried ruins of a city that the Krysa Empire ruled over before it was burnt to the ground by some of its enemies. The shopping list includes 2 handfuls of aphrodisiac berries, a flower named Geflik's Petals that's known to cure erectile dysfunction, a pair of wedding necklaces, 3 live chickenn'ts, 10 loafs of breadn't, a barrel of mature meadn't, a dogn't and a catn't. If I slap 'nt on the end it means "functionally the thing, but not the thing," since this world has all sorts of wacky species. The Krysa Empire, being about the size of England, pops into history as an already formidable foe to be up against. At this point it had strong martial traditions and favoured practicality in its military above all else. This was born about from the fact that this empire was constantly getting attacked. Firstly, this Empire was located entirely within Lamara, but also right were Lamara meets the mainland. The bit of the mainland it links to is a mountainous, slightly radioactive desert wasteland full of all kinds of fucked up monsters whose only reasons for not spending too much time in Lamara are firstly that the moist, bacteria-loaded air is bad for their dry, sterile-air-adapted lungs, secondly it makes their cancer act up if they get actual hydration, thirdly the fact that Southern Lamara's moisture makes it cold as fuck, fourthly rain makes their skin peel off and Southern Lamara has a very Bri'ish climate, fourthly any eggs they lay don't hatch cos too much moisture gets in and drowns the chicks, okay there's a lot of reasons but they're totally capable of coming over and fucking shit up every once in a while, even if they're basically offing themselves by doing so. This, combined with the nation having a lot of very fertile land for lots of people, resulted in the Krysa Kingdom doing pretty well as far as its military went, even if it was still mostly levies, because living next door to monsters is a good way to make sure that any farmers who can afford to are getting good weapons and armour, as well as good at using them. These monsters are likely a big part of why the Krysa ended up being in charge of everything. The other magic families in the area came with tactical advantages and all, but Krysa were the ones most suited to beating ass. A great wall was constructed between Lamara and the mainland by this kingdom to keep the monsters out. The monsters in question are really just especially dangerous animals and don't do crazy hive mind shit like gathering into murder swarms and attacking the walls, or really have much of a concept of a wall beyond it being that cliff that the things whose pointy sticks hurt real bad, so no fuckery there. The building of the wall was considered a holy task to keep Lamara pure of demons, which these monsters were considered to be, and so every Summer a portion of the men and the especially strong among the women would be conscripted to help in building it. The wall was 15 meters tall, which was plenty for keeping what are essentially animals with big teeth and bad tempers out. Anyway, some tribal dweebs from beyond Lamara got word of this whole "Lamara has no monsters" thing and wanted a piece of that pie. They made use of a giant sea turtle that some of their people lived on and that they knew the migration patterns of, which included stopping by on an island less than a mile off Lamara's coast, to get into Lamara just above the Krysa Kingdom. They clashed with the Krysa Kingdom but were more interested in the easy pickings near North of it. They conquered, brought more people of their tribe and similar tribes over which further inflated their forces, and conquered more. They were never really a single nation or tribe but still worked together. Among these people were the Tummens, a magic family whose members possess magically enhanced physical strength... When I say family here I mean an extremely extended one where it's obvious that there's some common ancestry since the abilities in question are hereditary, so odds are if one Tummen kills, has sex with or does anything else I was told is wrong at Bible Summer Camp to another Tummen they're probably doing it to their bajillionth cousin, not a sibling or anything like that. Speaking of which, a couple kidnappings and "join us" bribes were all that was needed for the Krysa Kingdom to get some of them Tummens. They were extremely useful in building that wall to keep out the tribal raiders since at this point the Krysa Kingdom was mostly just interested in managing stuff in its own borders and didn't care about the outside world being raided to the ground. The Krysa Kingdom was, however, happy to receive and integrate refugees, although any who refused to convert to the Temple religion were kinda immediately killed. This ended 40 years later, when the tribals gathered a huge army consisting of both their own people and the ones that had been subjugated under them, plus shitloads of opportunists from across the rest of Lamara and the original homelands of these tribals who'd heard of the Krysa Kingdom's massive treasuries, launched an invasion into the Krysa Kingdom. Big mistake. The Krysa Kingdom had been having the shit fortified out of it, considering the building of fortifications to itself be a holy practice and preparation for end-times they were constantly convinced were right around the corner, for a really long time now. At this time, even most small villages had basic defenses on all sides... this is no longer the case because a lot of these fortifications were destroyed in later civil wars, vandalism (biggest one probably. Free stone bricks for your house, just take them lol) and natural disasters, plus population growth means that most people don't live where these fortifications once stood anymore. They got trolled. The main reason so many tribes had joined in the first place was the wealth of the Krysa Kingdom... they learned firstly that the wealth was overexaggerated. People had assumed the nation must have a lot of metal and jewels to pay builders for all these fortresses, but in reality the nation's population had been building the fortifications without payment as a form of prayer. They also learned that the fortresses in which what little wealth the nation possessed was stored were way too much of a pain in the ass to take for it to be worthwhile... Also fun fact the technology for siege engines was straight up nonexistent at this point. Most siege weapons used in the war were invented in it and very limited in effectiveness. Bit by bit, the tribals basically fucked off. The last of them who insisted on continuing the fight, thinking there must be a big hit somewhere or fighting for ideological rather than monetary reasons, got their asses beat because the Krysa forces now outnumbered them. Overall, all they lost far more than they gained and pissed off a country capable of getting its people to build fortresses for free with nothing but faith. The Krysa Kingdom and the tribals, now more fractured among themselves than ever, continued warring for a long time, albeit now with the Krysa on something of an offensive, albeit more of a "troll them with skirmishing and raids until they try to attack us, then use the fortresses to rickroll them" than a real offensive. In their offensive attacks, their primary targets were Tummens and other magic people among the tribals who they'd either kill or capture, usually killing adults and capturing + indoctrinating + recruiting children. They also took tons of slaves and put them to work further fortifying their territory, including the construction of a second, even bigger and scarier wall between the Krysa and their tribal enemies. With the tribals lacking much in the way of fortifications and almost never able to mount successful rescue operations for the victims of kidnapping, they found the number of magic people they had and the tactical advantages that had come with them depleted. A quick genociding of the slaves in case they revolted later and the Krysa Kingdom finally launched an offensive it had been preparing for for decades. Problem with the preparing for for decades: they'd also grown more fanatical over the decades... they got genocidal with the tribals. A couple more years of fighting, getting the subjugated people under the tribals to side with them, more fighting and the killing of that sea turtle by a Tummen with a big sword later (F in the chat for the sea turtle. Did nothing wrong it was just following its migration patterns), they'd genocided the tribals and prevented any more from being able to come from their homeland. The Krysa Kingdom tried to subjugate and convert the people the tribals had subjugated, the formerly subjugated people said "no fuck you" and rose up, the Krysa Kingdom lost most of the subject states it had just made and then spent a load more time at war trying to "retake" that land. Their martial culture more or less forgot the "monsters exist, literally the other side of that wall, the one that's honestly pathetic compared to our other ones at this point, over there" side of things and was on that "deus vult" grindset. The state from there developed into having the goals of converting all of Lamara to their religion, purging (which was later swapped out for enslaving) any non-native groups from Lamara, and as a side effect of that and the Monarch now being considered a divine ruler conquering the entirety of the peninsula. They succeeded at all 3. Sort of. Purging being swapped out for enslaving means they failed at purging, but they definitely didn't fail at enslaving. Except for all the instances of non-native groups being thought of as native just cos nobody can remember when they came to Lamara, and the native ones being mistaken for non-natives because they looked too different or were too connected with the world beyond Lamara.
Demography and Population
There are some native / "native" groups who are allowed freedom within the state. They vary a lot in appearance, and are overall more likely to look like they could've come from earth than non-native ethnicities as they're more likely to be closely descended from Entrants (people who came into this world from our one) due to the higher survival rates. Then there's the non-native / "non-native" groups who are automatically enslaved if they are found in Lamara. They vary even more in appearance - no shit "everywhere else" is gonna have more variety - and are far more likely to look like you'd never find them on Earth... for example the Hami have grey skin and light grey/white hair, along with cat-like eyes.
The entirety of the Gift of the Gods Peninsula and most of the nearby islands. They also have outposts in the mainland to facilitate trade, access to resources not present in Larama (especially biological resources as certain items and materials from monsters can be extremely useful) and immigration... Immigration can consist of people outside of Lamara of Lamaran descent coming into Lamara and being allowed freedom or it can consist of slaves being brought into Lamara, usually by Lamaran raiding parties who then sell the slaves to nobles and merchants.
Warrior class, the Yulten: Given land, usually a single village and the surrounding area, in return for use as elite soldiers and commanders. Children of Yulten who aren't set to inherit the position of Yulten usually become Yultanlies, and a Yultan's heir is a Yultanlie until the Yultan dies and Yultanlie is Yultan. Retinue soldiers, the Yultenlies: the soldiers of standing armies who aren't paid in land for their service. They normally live at the forts and fortresses of their boss. Most are paid with wages, and extra rewards - possibly becoming Yulten - if they do well, but the term also extends to those who are paid with other things like food, a roof over their heads, or are forced into it via contract entrapment or are criminals being spared under the condition that they become Yultanlies of the noble who caught them. Levies: They're regular people called upon to fight and die, and generally go back to their regular lives once the battle or war is over. Skill and equipment varies wildly as pretty much anyone who isn't already a Yolten or retinue soldier can be called upon as a levy, plus they'll generally (but not always) be given at least some basic equipment and training if they're lacking before being tossed into battle. The higher up in the nobility you are, the lower the expectation on you to lead your own armies. The Temple has its own military forces. They don't have much in the way of Yoltens, but have a whole lot more raised-from-young-ages borderline supersoldiers.
Renaissance but spears and shields are still normal weapons in war, plus huge disparities in the availability of technology. Magic in the air causes most things that would work well as fuel, or are more combustible than good fuels (like gunpowder), prone to spontaneous and explosive combustion. It also messes with the flow of electricity due to the wacky constantly-changing magnetic fields it creates, also the bane of all pigeons that end up in this world. Metal is rare and highly valued. This has resulted in technology being held back a lot, and low-tech solutions are used for a lot of issues. People are still very inventive and use engineering to solve all sorts of problems. Useful to a lot of technologies are biological materials. Electricity flows just fine through the nervous system despite that magic magnetism fuckery I just mentioned, and Brijilds don't spontaneously combust despite having a high-energy fuel flowing through their veins. Anomalies* and relics / ruins technically shouldn't count as part of Lamaran technology since they're not made by modern Lamarans and any modern Lamaran you pulled them apart in front of wouldn't have a clue how they work, but advanced technology is possible and sort-of present in Lamara... it just requires overcoming far higher hurdles than in our world.
*Anomalies are literally beyond any normal physics or magic. Most don't use magic at all, but are still able to tell physics to suck a fat dick. If any of you reading this are familiar with SCPs: yeah those, usually the chill item SCPs. There are also spatial anomalies, which create areas larger or smaller on the inside, and can allow faster travel by simply reducing the distance you must traverse. There's a room that will make your bones fall from the air - meatsack around those bones not included - about a mile away if you walk into it. There's a circulatory system that self-repairs if damaged and is constantly leaking blood, which seems to be generated from nothing. A beautiful piano that will instantly break the bone of any digit that touches its keys. A giant turtle that doesn't eat but continues to grow.
The primary religion is called the Lamaran faith. Practicing other faiths is forbidden. The Temple, which is to the Lamaran faith what the Catholic Church to Catholicism, holds massive power, sway, wealth and its own armies. It decides what is and isn't illegal, its priests pass sentences, and it can denounce nobles which almost guarantees said nobles losing their land.
They literally think all outsiders are the sin-carrying descendants of people who did such unspeakable things that it prompted the God of gods to try to take away humanity's existing privileges. Not good.
Agriculture & Industry
Varies massively thanks to it being around the size of Europe with all sorts of soil types and so on, plus this world has its own crops. Many of the more connected areas are specialized in one particular type of crop that they grow on mass for trade, especially if their soil and weather is especially suited to that crop, but the vast majority of the country runs on subsistence farming. The farming of cash crops, mining and similar areas of work are primarily done by slaves, who are mostly owned by nobles.
Trade & Transport
Boats are pretty cool, especially since most of Lamara has a lot of rivers. That said, there is no river going all the way from one end of Lamara to anther or anything like that, so if you're going from one end of Lamara to the other you've gotta go most of the way by sea in which case good luck not getting attacked by pirates or sea monsters if you do anything other than hug the coast lmao. In the current day of the setting, underground-but-still-above-sea-level canals are being dug out with the intent of linking all of Lamara by underground boat. This project is over a century behind schedule. There's also a single trainline linking the far North and far South, with only a single train. It runs on fuel extracted from Brijild blood, which is the only reliable fuel source available in Lamara since coal and other fuel sources are weirdly prone to spontaneous combustion. There area variety of animals that people ride, some of them imported or being invasive species.
Somewhat provided by the Temple, but not really. Temple teachers who tell a bunch of little kids about the myths and gods of the Lamaran religion are free, in fact most temples have a priest whose job is to do exactly this once a week. Ones who teach your kid maths, literacy, history that isn't related to the religion, literally anything else cost money. Often a lot of it. Academies and universities do exist, but are really only available to nobility and maybe the children of especially wealthy Yolten. Higher nobility and royalty would usually rather drop dead than have their kids learn among members of lower nobility, and so that leaves academies and universities to be full of lower and middle nobility. The teachers at these academies and universities are always priests and these places are run by the Temple, since non-priests aren't allowed to teach mathematics, literacy, literature, religion, basically anything that is done on paper rather than with handheld tools/weapons. Most who learn skilled trades like blacksmithing or leatherworking do so as the apprentices of close relatives, normally their own parents. Guilds exist in some cities but are generally family run, so learning a trade from a guild you're not already in normally comes with the condition of you being adopted or marrying into the family, or someone in your family being adopted or marrying into it. Most marriages are arranged by the parents of those getting married, so this is more likely to be a deal your parents cut with the head of the guild.*
*Guilds within Lamara are generally pretty brutal. There's a much heavier presence of the "bust your kneecaps if you do our trade on our turf without our permission" side of things than the "my certificate from the guild proves I'm good at the job and can deliver you a good product", in fact most guilds are pretty shit as far as the quality of their products and the prices they sell them at go because they can coast on the fact that they've strangled any chance of competition. Guilds are usually only able to form in the first place because of craftsman families having marriage ties to the low nobles who run their towns and cities, in addition to bribery.
If you start halfway along Lamara, then the further North or South you go the better the infrastructure. It's right along the middle that the worst infrastructure is located.
Mythology & Lore
There's some overcomplicated stuff so you're getting it nice and oversimplified. Oh and do note these are just religious beliefs, not actually legit, otherwise this wouldn't be mythology it'd just be worldbuilding details. Except spirits existing, but Lamarans have got them completely wrong in terms of how they work:
God-Builder: Created the first generation of the gods from blood and clay. Future generations of gods exist firstly due to the 5D chess backwards rolling uphill didn't go to plan inside the plan that went to plan which went against the plan that wasn't meant to go to plan that resulted in it being possible for the gods to be able to reproduce by fucking, and then the fact that they're fucking. The God-Builder itself is asexual and androgynous. Gods: Meant to serve the God-Builder, kinda like what angels are to God in Abrahamic religions. Problem is that the gods have free will, personalities and a strong inclination towards extremely frequent acts of moderate (catastrophic) trolling. Some gods outside the first generation were made with clay and primordial blood, but these are the exception rather than the rule. The world: A living thing unto itself and the God-Builder's ma. Lamarans think that the world is both flat and infinitely large, basically Minecraft with no world border. While they do believe in some places up in the sky, most divine locations are believed to be on or under the ground but way too far away to reach, and that humanity's population is practically infinite. They're also aware of spatial anomalies existing in this world (that's not a religious thing, spatial anomlies actually exist in-universe), so most believe that these places have spatial distortion fuckery afoot. The Ocean: Believed to be infinitely deep across most of its top-down surface. And alive. Yaldabaoth: An ancient being and the God-Builder's other ma. Actually I think it's that Yaldabaoth and the world are androgynous but in Lamaran art they're always depicted as women. Also in Hell. Angels: Far weaker versions of the gods that need wings to travel, unlike gods being able to just appear wherever they like. Servants of the gods and/or the God-Builder, believed to be even more numerous than human beings. Free will seems to be variable among them, with some being made with free will and others without depending on the purpose they serve. It's believed that some humans are turned into angels, and these angels always have free will and are generally more powerful than regular angels, with this generally being done to prevent a person from going into the afterlife and to make them eternally work for the gods. Afterlife: Has "basically heaven", "basically purgatory" and "basically hell" but under different names. Each of these afterlives is believed to have all sorts of internal locations and such, including heaven having a Valhalla-like place called the Blood Mountain, where honourable/pious warriors fight so much that it makes rivers of blood flow down the mountain, which gets used in drinks, whereas hell has a swamp where warriors who were dishonourable or followed other religions fight each other and the demons so much that it's basically made a swamp. Purgatory is where people who weren't particularly good or evil go. Reincarnation: People eventually get reincarnated, at their own will in heaven (so hardly anyone is doing it there), only after some time being bored in purgatory and peeps in hell have to have a level of badassery, genius and perseverance so great that being able to leave and get reincarnated is basically a 1-in-a-million thing - and even then it's only possible cos its rulers allow it to be. The emotions they felt across their existence both alive and dead form spirits, but usually only the ones felt pre-death may be on earth. Spirits: Usually formed from the emotions of dead things, but may fracture apart or gather together such as how Lussa, literally the Spirit of Lust, was formed. Can feed off the emotions of living things, or make things feel their associated emotion or do other doohickey stuff at the cost of energy. Free will and all but plenty of them are trying to become more powerful by getting their associated emotions felt and feeding off of them. Considered a cause of madness or emotions that don't make sense. Lussa: Gets an unfair advantage as far as spirit growth goes. The lust, sexual pleasure and capacity for sexual pleasure is removed upon your entry to heaven or purgatory to keep things nice and PG-13 in there, and is added to Lussa. Despite being stupidly powerful, like "there's a story of me winning an arm wrestling match with the God-Builder", they're not considered a threat by the God-Builder simply because they're not interested in ruling over anything. Serves a similar role to Aphrodite in most stories, with "I ship it" being something Lussa says moments before causing the collapse of an empire by playing cupid or making someone too sexy. The Afterlife Creations: Hell has seemingly always existed and used to be where all humans, gods etc went after death. Purgatory and Heaven were created as a way of sparing those the God-Builder considered to be worth saving, with their souls being intercepted by angels on their way to hell and being brought to Heaven or Purgatory instead. Demons of Hell: Spirits that form from the agony of those in hell and make themselves physical bodies from the endless blood and guts of those who have been tortured by other demons so that they too may torture people. Eternally growing in number and ruled over by dead gods and angels who chose to stay in hell rather than just bust their way out into the living world. Satan: Yep, refer to this on how this is possible but the religion the Lamarans follow has heavy Christian influences and it's unironically because of people from our world going full missionary, followed by the word they preached being shifted over time and merging with some other religions into the monstrosity it is today. Satan is a being that grows more powerful the more fighting there is in hell, and actively participates in fighting just about everything, and is both Lucifer's champion and able to whoop Lucifer's ass at any time but doesn't cos it likes Lucifer. Almost defeated Hufnir, goddess of war, in a fight, and after getting their ass beat they drank Hufnir's blood from the ground where they'd wounded her and gained firstly a lot more power and secondly a respect for using weapons that made them start using them in addition to their fists. Lucifer: rules over most of hell, and claims rulership over all of it. Formerly an angel but was killed for killing several gods and drinking their blood before leading a rebellion of angels against the gods. Seeks to push humanity to sin and Lamarans away from the Lamaran faith so less can go to heaven and purgatory as a fuck you to the God-Builder. Gates to hell: Since Lamarans think all these are places you could theoretically just walk/swim to if you were immortal and had endless time to get to them, they think hell has an actual physical entrance. It's guarded by an army of angels and gods who keep the demons from getting out, including Hufnir who's constantly having a blast going Doomguy on the demons. Scarlet King: Is eating the world and seeks to end all existence. Only stopped by the world being infinite and trapping it in an infinite spatial anomaly that must be maintained with blood sacrifices by humans. Believed to be as old as the world itself, and killed Yaldabaoth. The creation of plants and animals: The gods made them in a competition after the God-Builder said they couldn't make life that lasted if their lives depended on it. The trickster-god Blunir deliberately tricked and messed with all of them to nudge them into making plants and animals that would fit with their environments and each other in ecosystems, although Jarletta was in on it and made almost all of the plants. Blunir was able to get them to create the self-sustaining perpetual motion machine that is life, and it spread far across the world. The creation of humans: After the competition a god named Hogi made humans to see what powerless gods would be like, and kept them secret in a garden with crystal walls. Blunir did a little trolling by letting a couple of them loose and some failed extermination attempts and realizing that human worship and sacrifice feeds gods later humans are here and going to stay. Blunir regularly helps humanity out. Humans no more uggo: Humans were apparently super ugly and deformed at first, but Lussa kept giving them glow-ups during "I ship it" moments. These added up over time to modern humanity being a fairly even mix of beautiful and ugly, and even ugly peeps aren't as ugly as those first humans were. Once the gods started having demigod children with humans, who were pretty much always beyond beautiful, the ball rolled on that a lot faster. Magic families: Descended from demigods. Matrilineal-only ability inheritance in many families is believed to be due to the God-Builder personally nerfing demigods to stop things from getting out of hand. The Upside Down World: On the other side of the sky and then the stars and then another sky is another upside down world. How separate this is from the main world Lamarans live on is super unclear. Does it have its own gods or something or do the same gods rule there too? Nobody seems to have a fucking clue.
Go to temple, do the thing that varies depending on the god, thing you want and time and place, go home. At-home shrines and such are a thing, but are discouraged as "less holy" and such, mostly cos if people just pray at home you can't scam them out of their money at the temples.
Being a priest is usually a prerequisite of the thing you wanna do rather than the goal itself. Being a priest is a requirement to being a teacher, doctor, historian, or fill another intellectualism-based profession. A priest's whole life is more or less controlled by the Temple. You need the Temple's permission to marry, and the Temple may take any of your children at any time. If you joined to become a doctor, they might just force you to learn to and be a historian - refusal coming with threat of punishment - because they have too few historians and too many doctors. The methods you can use in your profession are dictated to you and thinking outside the box and innovating is strongly discouraged and often outright punished. Your clothing is dictated to you, you can be banned from eating or forced to eat certain foods, and odds are you live in a home with other priests owned by the Temple. Your starting position and how high you can rise is determined by your blood. Noble priests usually start out with 10 personal servants, themselves commoner priests, and can quickly work their way into running entire regions of temples. Commoner priests don't get shit until they've proven their competence, and even then will almost never get higher than running a single temple. Priest clothing varies massively on profession but the usual colour is white. Symbols of fabric on the white clothing usually denotes skills and professions. Jewelry denotes rank. There's a switch from simple trousers and shirt/jacket to robes partway up.
Granted Divine Powers
It's claimed that the Krysa and some other magic families are gifts from the gods. The Brijilds are believed to have gained their abilities from deals with demons. Whether or not these abilities are divine is not something readers will ever get to know.
Every significant god or deity has its own dedicated priests and a cult, except the God of gods since the organized faith itself primarily worships them, and the hell-reigning ones like Lucifer and Satan cults exist but are illegal.
https://discord.gg/w9mQP3nFGq Get in it has the story that's set within this world. Also other stories and you being able to tell your own, share lore and chit chat.
Head of State
Crystals like diamonds and rubies are used more than gold or silver as currency due to crystals being more common. Crystals are cut to a specific weight and then marked with a hand-covered-in-runes symbol using a hot metal branding-iron type thing. The remainders of crystals after this cutting are used in decorative jewelry, becoming goods rather than the currency with which to buy them. The value of these crystal pieces is determined by the type of crystal and the brand used on them is too complicated for forgers to make, the brands themselves actually requiring members of several magic families to cooperate in their creation and a special type of forge not available to anyone other than royalty and high nobility. Blue tint Krysa crystal is the best of all of these. Krysa crystal normally dissolves into dust after existing too long, but blue tint is a special type that doesn't ever weaken, only makeable by a certain type of Krysa who even then require the use of certain legally restricted drugs to create it. It doesn't naturally have the blue tint associated with it, as this is artificially added by tattooing the Krysa's skin before they grow the crystal, and is near unbreakable. If made by especially skilled Krysa, these coins may already have the markings engraved into them.
Manufactured goods. Wool. Raw materials. Etc. Ezmut grain (infinite shelf life) is a common export since farming can be difficult outside of Lamara with the monsters and all. Exporting weapons, ships or anything else of major military potential is illegal but happens anyway. Making good weapons is unsurprisingly a nightmare when there are monsters breathing down your neck, so foreigners and foreign groups are happy to exchange monster parts, slaves and unwanted children for good armouries.
Largely self sufficient. Primarily buys wildlife, wildlife parts and slaves from beyond Lamara.
The Head of Faith makes the laws, although it needs to get through a holy council, at which point there's often a lot of back and forth over exceptions and so on before anything is passed. The Head of Faith, also known as the Gods' Tongue, can similarly revoke laws.
Nobles and their soldiers.
Related Ranks & Titles
Remove these ads. Join the Worldbuilders Guild