The most populous and most oppressive regime in all the world, built on the backs of the broken proletariat
The Vsevolod PartyPronounced (Vuh-seh-voh-lahd) The Party formed by the Vinogradov Family that is by all accounts a class of sycophants carefully curated to run the entire country in the name of the country's new dynastic rulers. Outwardly it is presented as a business or corporation-type organization with meetings of the top ranking "priests" where decisions are communal, but most of all the populace knows and/or assumes that it's one giant farce - the High Pontiff and the Vinogradov Family has 100% of the power. It was formed in the wake of the revolution that founded the country, and in the country's formative years was actually a legitimate source for good in the country, where decisions were made at board meetings of the Pontiffs, Cardinals, Deacons, and such with the High Pontiff weighing in as a tiebreaker. However, as time wore on, it was slowly transformed into an organization for the Vinogradov Family to exercise its ironclad rule over the country and its citizens.
Societal Ranks and ClassesBelow is a list of the ranks and classes present in the society of the Theocracy - though outwardly, the country denies any such classes from existing and instead proudly claims itself a classless society where all are equal beneath the banner of the working class.
The ProletariatThe Working class of the Danzou Theocracy, ranging from workers, peasants, to even the rank and file members of the Vsevolod Party. In accordance with the laws of the Theocracy, they are not allowed to own private property - all property is owned and ran by the state. Their lives are sub-standard and are often incredibly harsh and difficult - the wages they recieve are often not even enough to support more than themselves, even if they are married and both spouses are working to do so. They often survive on the "unofficial economy" - that is, the black market of goods and services which is often run by one of the many crime syndicates that hold massive influence in the country. To make matters worse for them, they face a constant, looming threat of forced conscription into the country's military(notorious for its poor treatment of its soldiers) should their production decline and their "worth" to the country fall below acceptable levels. If such comes to pass, they are shipped off to be "persuaded"(Read: Enslaved) into the ranks of the military, where they are used as fodder in the Theocracy's brutal human-wave tactics - if they survive for a period of time that varies depending on their failure that got them conscripted, they are allowed to return to society as free peoples. On the surface, they have the highest "base pay" of any of the three social classes due to the Theocracy's outward focus on being "Home of the worker", though since they recieve almost no social privileges and the benefits that come with them, they are, in truth, quite poor and downtrodden. Much like the rest of the citizens and Nomenklatura in the Theocracy, they are required to pay daily worship to the Vsevolod Party(Specifically to the High Pontiff, divine envoy of the heavens and the spirit kings, and the Vinogradov Family as a whole) and to attend daily and/or weekly mass to give mass prayer to them as well - even the female members of the Vinogradov Family are due this worship, which has historically rankled many feathers of more traditional Shao-zouans, though they are considered 'less holy' than the males of the family, they are nonetheless still divine beings. They are also strictly watched by all stratas above them, and not allowed to migrate cities without documentation - and ESPECIALLY are not allowed to leave the country, whose borders are, bar none, the best controlled and policied borders in all of Zheng-Kitar.
The NomenklaturaThe High Level Civil Management of the Theocracy, ranging from mid-ranking Vsevolod Party Members, bureaucrats, police, military officers, and the like. Artists and other "culture-producers" such as musicians, artists, and more also hold this rank, further emphasizing the Theocracy's dedication to its 'culture'...even to the detriment of its citizens and working class. Essentially, those who have recieved approval from the Vsevolod party to take on a higher position in society. They do not enjoy as high 'base pay' as the proletariat class, but the social privileges they enjoy such as higher social standing, financial breaks and benefits, political power, and other special privileges mean they often are wealthier overall. Working under the Priesthood who directs and runs the Vsevolod Party and by extension the Country as a whole, they keep the Proletariat under control and the country's coffers full of coin at any cost. They are often watched over and disciplined throughly by the Priesthood above them, and watched over incredibly closely - if they display incompetence or wanton cruelty that does not produce results(Read: Monetary or Cultural benefit) to the country as a whole, they are punished, demoted, or purged. This ensures a rigid adherence to discipline and a zealous focus on providing benefit to the Vsevolod Party and the country as a whole to keep their jobs.
The PriesthoodThe organizers of the Vsevolod Party(Not the rank-and-file-members), who usually hold the title and seat of "Pontiff", "Cardinal", "Bishop", and such(Described in Noble Titles and Ranks Below). Sitting at the top of this class and thus ruling the country is the Vinogradov Family who, on paper, is merely supposed to "head up" the meetings and debates held within the party to communally determine direction for the country and its people...though in actuality they act more as a ruling class of kings and queens with absolute control over all aspects of society. The priesthood, appointed directly and solely by the Vinogradov family, act as ultimate rulers of society - they direct the Nomenklatura and act as overseers of a given city or area ruling in the name of the Vsevolod Party and by extension the Vinogradov Family. As might be expected, they enjoy the most generous social privileges such as the highest social standing, incredible tax and financial breaks and benefits, massive political power, and other special privileges mean they often are wealthiest overall. Each member of the Priesthood is subject to random evaluations of their productivity and the productivity of the areas they manage - those who do not meet quotas and cannot meet 'efficiency guidelines' to prove they are of enough benefit to the country are either punished or, worse, purged.
Noble Ranks and TitlesThough not a traditional feudal society like many other countries, the Theocracy has a wealth of titles and ranks that equate to 'nobility' and bestow a similar level of privilege and status - these titles and ranks are listed below, and accompanied by a short description of their duties. Because of the Theocracy's ban that does not allow anyone regardless of rank to hold private property, these ranks do not confer land - they instead confer societal and special privileges of various kinds, and represent the authority and trust to manage and oversee a varying portion of the Theocracy's land and state-held property, and control the cash, culture, and resource flows within that land. Most of these ranks grant entry into the societal rank of "The Priesthood(See Above)" - those that signify a different rank will note such. As thanks for their services, they are given a percentage of what they move and/or earn in their respective territories - further incentivizing them to keep production high and to keep proving the benefit of themselves and their lands to the state.
- High Pontiff - The rank held by the country's supreme leader. On paper, it simply manages "The Theocratic Board" and weighs in on the meetings there, but in practice holds absolute, unswayed power over all strata of society. Can only be held by a male member of The Vinogradov Family until "The Rapture Clause" is invoked(See the sidebar on The Vinogradov Family page for more info on The Rapture Clause).
- Vasyatol - Translated as "Royal Apostle". A rank reserved exclusively for members of The Vinogradov Family, male or female. Bestows absolute immunity to the law, supreme power over the state, and nigh-infinite freedom to operate as one wishes. This rank is also conferred to honorary members of the family(found on The Vinogradov Family page).
- Pontiff - A rank held by high ranking members of the Priesthood of the Theocracy. They oversee the operations of the country on a country-wide scale and serve as grand advisors and right-hands to the High Pontiff. They rule from the Theocracy's Capital of Kaisernacht, and are the main participants in the regular meetings of "The Theocratic Board" - the 'official' ruling body of the country. Each Pontiff rules and oversees a vast swath of the country, and handles its matters as strict overseers. Typically, there are no more than five to seven at a time. A rank equivalent to "Duke" in feudal countries.
- Cardinal - The rank held by those who serve the Pontiffs. Typically, they are those in charge of large cities or population centers as well as enormous chunks of the countryside, who rule in the name of the Pontiffs and by extension, the High Pontiff. They are called to attend meetings of The Theocratic Board once a month to give updates to the High Pontiff personally(In case a Pontiff is attempting to hide things from the High Pontiff), and are given unparalleled control over the city or population centers they rule over(And typically the surrounding countryside of it as well).
- Bishop - The rank held by those who serve the Cardinals. They typically serve as overseers of all other population centers and large swathes of countryside, and in large cities assist the ruling Cardinal by ruling over various districts of the city. They also run the 'cathedrals' that serve as governmental outposts in most every major city, handling paperwork and other middle-management matters for the ranks of the Priesthood.
- Deacon - The rank held by those who serve the Bishops. They typically serve as the rulers of small villages and townships and the surrounding areas, and in large population centers work under the Bishops as middle men. They also oversee sections of the countryside and the lands they rule over from castles and the like, equivalent to generic "Lords" in feudal societies.
- Chairman - One of the two ranks granted to the Nomenklatura. Signifies one has not only earned the attention of the party, but has proven themselves a "People's Champion" - typically through outstanding and repeated contributions to the country's wealth or otherwise proving themselves a huge benefit to the country and/or its people time and again. Grants one the right to attend regular meetings of The Chairman's Board(A second gathering that serves as a place for the high pontiff to hear the opinions and reports from those outside the ranks of the Priesthood), increased privileges of various levels and kinds, and grants one the privilege to oversee a powerful important aspect of the Theocracy's society that lies outside the realm of the Priesthood, such as the army, farmers guilds, transportation networks, etc. In total, there are Three "classes" of Chairman, each with ascending levels of benefits as well as a hierarchy that sees 1st class Chairman oversee the largest parts of their respective area, with 2nd and 3rd Class Chairmen serving the 1st Class(Such as the Chairman of the Military being 1st Class, and the Chairmen of the Army and Navy being 2nd or 3rd Class beneath them).
- Secretary - The first of the two ranks granted to the Nomenklatura. Earmarks one who has proven a consistent benefit to the Theocracy, and has shown frequently to produce great results in their fields. Grants the right to serve beneath a chairman in the field they work in, and fast-tracks them for further promotions to possible Chairmanship and even into the ranks of the priesthood, potentially. Grants some minor benefits and privileges at the first, entry level of this rank. In total, there are five "classes" of Secretary, each with ascending levels of benefits.
Their society is largely patriarchal - females are expected to provide children, stay in the home, and be 'proper'(Defined as quiet, unassuming, covering all skin, and obedient), while males are given more freedom of dress and in society as a whole. Females are not typically allowed to be single and are married off quite early, and are almost never allowed to own property or positions in the government(though extremely rare exceptions have existed, they have historically had to fight tooth and nail to be recognized in a male-driven society). See the 'Shou-zou' section of the Shaoshuan ethnicity for more information on their culture.
The public agenda of the Theocracy is unabashedly profit and cultural advancement - nothing else matters to the cold, uncaring leadership of the Theocracy.
Demography and Population
The Theocracy's population is largely made up of Humans, Forest Elves, Desert Elf, Jungle Elven Variant, Half-Elves, Goblins, and Guīmogoa, with smaller populations of Bomujeo, Half-Orc, and Jiang-Shi existing within their borders. Notably, they have strict policies against the following races, which they tend to attack, drive away, or outright murder on sight when seen: Orc, Lamia, and Goliath. They hold an especial distrust and hatred for Dai-Yukai and Eldragi.
The lands of the Theocracy are small, but the ones they liberated from the former ruling family, the Huxtables, after the fall of the united Shaoshu Empire centuries ago. They have expanded their territory twice in their long history - first, the legendary Volokov Offensive led by Chairmen First Class Vladimir Volokov which succeeded in striking a blow against the Kingdom of Raoulin, taking the city of Valennin in a siege that lasted the entire summer of 4315 ASK, which miraculously proved the superiority of the numerically superior Danzou military against the smaller in number but better trained professional Raoulish military in a disrespectful blow that resulted in the death of the Kingdom of Raoulin's leader, Kyra Aenai's only daughter at the time. The second and most recent expansion occured a scant 30 years prior to the modern day during the Borya Offensive of 4533 ASK, which saw Chairmen First Class Igor Borya successfully strike the generally neutral lands of the Coalition of Nine and take the city of Maasselt in a strike that cost tens of thousands of lives on both sides but ultimately saw the Borya Offensive successful in a Pyrrhic Victory for the Theocracy.
The military of the Theocracy is notoriously expansive and numerous - though it is made up entirely of conscripts who are individually incredibly weak and very mundane in equipment and training. Instead, the reason the Theocracy's military is so feared is its brutal disregard for its own soldiers - using borderline sadistic human-wave tactics and throwing soldiers in the tens of thousands at enemy fortifications, the Theocracy's military is a gigantic, overwhelming thing that crushes its foes with one part brilliant and strategic(albeit cold and cruel) direction, and one part nigh-infinite soldiery, with numbers fueled from the Theocracy's innumerable working-class citizens forcibly conscripted into the military. Though indescribably cruel and unfathomably evil, this strategy does produce undeniable results - against the most powerful professional militaries in the world such as those of the Kassau Matriarchy and the Kingdom of Raoulin, the Theocracy has held their own for centuries, though the cost in the bodies of their citizens is astronomical. Typically, a majority of their military is made up of forced, unskilled conscripts, with members of the Nomenklatura societal rank(Typically Chairmen of various Classes) serving as "Command and Control" nodes that direct and control the countless members of the military and give them on the fly commands and strategies as a certain battle dictates. Finally, though just a rumor, many whisper that the Theocracy actually brands those they force into their military with magical seals that actually prevent them from disobeying orders, and force them into service....though nothing to this end has ever been proven.
The Theocracy pays homage to The Spirit Kings like the rest of Zheng-Kitar, but unlike the rest of Zheng-Kitar that worship is done through the High Pontiff, leader of the country, who is seen as a divine emissary of those Spirit Kings. The High Pontiff actually dictates the faith of the country, and many Saints are actually outlawed in the country - religion is a thing tightly controlled, and many faiths, even to allowed saints, must do so in specific places through the lens of The High Pontiff.
Their foreign relations can best be described as "Hated, but beneficial" - the Theocracy's brutal treatment of its citizens is something that few of its neighbors actually support, but because the country itself is so wealthy, lucrative, and culturally rich, almost none care to stand up for its citizens and attempt to overthrow it, preferring instead to maintain tense but neutral relations so trade agreements can continue and money can flow freely between countries. Not to mention, the simple nature of the Theocracy's military means that fighting them will invariably mean the death of innocents forced into military service - something more good-natured countries dislike but do not wish to cause. They are at constant war, however, with the Kassau Matriarchy - the two countries being of virtually opposing idealogies has made them mortal enemies since they first encountered each other, and in the centuries since they have been neighbors their war has not stopped for a single day. Additionally, while not at war, they are on hostile relations with the Kingdom of Raoulin to their south - but due to the country's extreme power, they have not wished to provoke them.
Agriculture & Industry
Going alongside the Theocracy's status as the most populated nation in all of Zheng-Kitar, their agriculture yields are some of the highest in the world - though ironically, their massive crop yields only barely cover their enormous citizen count. Otherwise, they are also known to have some of the most lucrative and booming mining industries in the world - they have some of the most valuable and profitable mines in all of Zheng-Kitar. Additionally, while not as lucrative, their hunting, leathercrafting, and fletching industries are also quite profitable as well, as are their metalworking industries - though they specialize in cheap, mass-production of simple items and cannot hope to match the skill of more expert societies.
Trade & Transport
The trade and transport within the country is strictly controlled, and done with wagon or caravan trains - the roads are of a decent enough quality, but are not often used because of the strict permits and documentation one must acquire to move between cities as a resident of the country. Additionally, their border has earned a reputation as THE tightest and most well-controlled border in the world - a feat which many other countries laud though their own citizens despair at, for it means they cannot hope to escape the country to a better life.
Education is almost nonexistant to all but the highest strata of Theocracy society - typically, only the members of The Priesthood are given educations at all, while the members of The Vinogradov Family are given top of the line expert educations. As far as martial educations go, the Theocracy uniquely keeps a tight control over access to martial training and weapons - the best and most well-trained soldiers and warriors all work in dedicated service of the government.
The Theocracy, Land of Squibs
Head of State
Head of Government
The official currency of the Theocracy is the Danzou Dollar - an artificial currency stamped on copper that has historically been of so little value that a majority of the country simply uses the Saltsheets of The Gāngtao Migrant Fleet.
Cheap metalworking, Manpower, Minerals, Gemstones, Ores, Animal Skins, Leathers, Bows, Stone
Wood, Fish, Pearls, Spices, Exotic Foodstuffs, Silks, Luxurious and Exotic Materials
On paper, both the "Theocratic Board" and the "Chairmen's Board" meet regularly to discuss matters of legislation, judicial duties, and state - though in practice, the High Pontiff holds absolute and total power over the government.
On paper, both the "Theocratic Board" and the "Chairmen's Board" meet regularly to discuss matters of legislation, judicial duties, and state - though in practice, the High Pontiff holds absolute and total power over the government.
Organization | Apr 26, 2021
The most populous and most oppressive regime in all the world, built on the backs of the broken proletariat.
Though the Kingdom of Osneia actively despises what the Theocracy does to its citizens, they make no mention of this publically and instead maintain a tense neutrality that maintains the status quo - the vast wealth of the Theocracy is simply too much for them to cast aside for the sake of morality, so they content themselves to sitting idly by and watching as a nonaggressive third party.
Non-Hostile, Tense Relations
Though the two countries are official neutral towards each other, the Coalition and the Theocracy are by no means allies - as the only country to openly attack the otherwise neutral Coalition, the Theocracy has long made it clear their desire to conquer the Coalition and plunder its magical secrets for themselves.
Tense but Nonaggressive
Though the Theocracy took the city of Valennin some centuries prior in an Offensive which resulted in the death of Kyra Aenai's only daughter at the time, the two countries have not devolved into open warfare for mostly one simple reason - after the offensive, neither side wished to pay the toll it would take in lives to finish the fight. So, they now sit in a cold war of sorts, trying to scheme and goad the other side into starting the war anew so they can use it as a Casus Belli to launch a pre-emptive strike that will hopefully claim victory in the war.
Nearly since the Matriarchy was founded, the Theocracy and the Matriarchy have been bitter, sworn enemies of each other - both sides have been locked in constant war for centuries with no end in sight. The infinite armies of the Theocracy, making up for what they lack in training with sheer force of numbers, war constantly with the numerically lesser armies of Kassau that have the leg-up in terms of expert training - each side has committed crimes against the other as leaders have been assassinated, schemes have unfolded, and both sides constantly fight and struggle. The borders of the two nations have been a constantly changing thing since they came into conflict, and they are sworn, hated enemies of each other on levels that go to the core of many issues - the Theocracy, being largely Patriarchal, dislikes the Matriarchal nature of Kassau, while both sides think the other is weak and pathetic and undeserving of land and power. Kassau hates the Theocracy's oppressive and totalitarian nature that sees its people live in absolute poverty and terrible living conditions, and their brutal treatment of foreigners and indiginous peoples, while the Theocracy detests the chaotic, unwashed, barbaric nature of Kassau and sees them as "Savages playing at politics".