Endless Blue – Week 122 – Governments of the Fluid Nations – Gulf of Locanth   Leave a comment

Politocology

Governments of the Fluid Nations: Gulf of Locanth

Odayal Commune of Locanth Gulf
Aliases: The Flowing Gulf, the Circulating Kith, The Nomadic Tides
Region: Hinterseas
Capital: Moenkopia (“Where the Flowing Waters Meet”)

The Gulf of Locanth lies in equatorial waters north of the Tropic of Kracken. To the homesea’s north stretches the vast Cetacean Ocean, and to its south dwell the depths of the Lumulus Basin. It is bordered by a crescent of islands to the west which itself faces the Core of the Known World. Coral grows in abundance in the Gulf’s placid waters, which also serves as the basis of a complex underwater biome. There are so many varieties of tropical fish that the curious will find a new species daily.

Locanth are nomadic in nature. The Locanth long ago learned the lesson of over fishing waters and over tilling shore beds. They listened to what the sea life taught them, that life worked in repeating patterns. Fish that graze the reef one day end up moving on to fresher waters later, allowing the reef time to regrow. The shark frenzies on schools of fish, but enough get away so that their numbers can replenish during spawning season. Just as a circle has no beginning and no end, neither does the migration of sea life. Thus, so do the Locanth. This is the Tradition of Enso.

Despite this “life on the move”, there are some permanent settlements in the Gulf of Locanth. These are the Locanthic Pueblos. They were built over time in areas where where the nomadic kith would find the seasons the most difficult to survive. Stores of food collected over the prior year and used to sustain the migrants, and surplus non-perishable staples are securely stored there in reserve for a severe future time. Anyone who finds them self desperate for shelter or survival and discover the cliff-hugging buildings of a pueblo, take note that Locanths believe it is honorable to partake of their stored supplies. If there is need, they provide respite. But to plunder their stores for profit, or neglect to restock what is take, this shows opprobrium. This is the Tradition of Honor.

Moenkopia is one such pueblo with a distinctive history. It is where the Locanthic kith send their representatives to meet and decide the gravest of all threats. As such, it serves as the homesea’s capital, but it lacks the bureaucratic complexity that mire the capitals of the Fluid Nations in the Periphery. The last time the odayal met in Moenkopia was during the Verdigris Epoch, responding to the encroaching navies of the Kraken Empire.

Society

Demonym: Locanth
Population: 16,670,000
Races: Locanth (15,720,000), Orcan (350,000, 65,000 of which are Narwahl), Chelon (75,000), Kouton (45,000), Lumulus (100,000), Mer (337,000), Sahaguin (13,000), Yaun-Teel (19,000)
Other: Ceph 2,000,000, Kelpygmy (unknown).

Locanth villages are noted as their “Kith”. Part of being in a kith is blood/matrimonial relation, but other parts are regional proximity. “Of the same nation” is good approximation of a definition for kith, if it is perhaps a bit to wide reaching. It has a connotation that all are part of the same colony. It can mean family, or neighborhood, or village. Multiple local kith can even be described another, over-arching kith. Even all life under the wave — all flora, all fauna, all pisceans — are their own kith versus the abominations of the Vastness. This is the Tradition of Kith.

There are over 300 formal kith in the Locanthic Gulf, with innumerable informal kith comprised of multi-species pisceans. Locanth are open to other species joining their kith, but their minimal life style and constant movement are not for everyone. Having to constantly migrate with the sea life makes the accumulation of material goods a hindrance, thus most Locanthic kith discourage the accumulation of material goods and encourage the dependence on others. Despite the Locanths’ openness to migration, it is still dominated by its indigenous species.

Religion

Official Religion: Eadro, the Changing Tide.
Accepted Religions: Source, Ancestory and/or Spirit worship.
Alignments: Neutral.

The clerics of Eadro are shamans. Their worship of the Changing Tide is not of praise, but of guidance. They seek out signs of Eadro’s will by interpreting the behavior of the waters. Thus these shaman, called Ardent, advise the kith when it is time to move on to clearer waters, which direction to migrate, what species of fish to consume.

The kith come to their shaman for aid in their everyday activities.  They seek blessings for births, charms for unrequited love, curses on adversaries, and myriad other inconsequential acts.  It is up to the shaman how far to fulfill these petitions, but most often will send the individual off with a magic charm of some sort to mollify their need.

Commerce

Imports: Raw and Exotic Materials for crafting.
Exports: Exotic crafted ware, acari, other food stuffs.
Currency: None, see langeneli below.

The major export from the Gulf of Locanth are crafted goods. The Locanth have spent generations living off the waters, utilizing every part of the fish they feed upon to make their clothes, shelter, and tools. In doing so, they have honed their skills to an incredible degree, resulting in crafted goods of such incredible workmanship that they fetch a high value to those with an eye for quality.

Transient lifestyle of the Locanth makes it difficult to trade with other cultures. It is kind of hard to reliably build up a business when you cannot be not found in the same place you last sold your trade. This is why most kith pass by or directly cross the Pecuniary Stream, a trade route well known to carry wealthy merchants across the Known World. This small window of time is the only opportunity to easily trade with the Locanth without deviation from the stream, forming a bottleneck in the flow of Locanthic goods out of the homesea.  Ambitious traders can take the risk and travel deeper into the Gulf of Locanth to reach the nomadic kith during their migration, but the Stream caravans will not wait for their return, essentially leaving them behind.

There is no recognized currency traded in the Gulf of Locanth. Instead, a system of barterable debt is used. The Locanth keep a series of leather strips tied together and woven into a personally recognizable pattern as a form of “debt record” for services rendered to them. It is not just the strip that has significance in the debt, but the style of weaving and usage of knots to denote details of the transaction. When the original party has been repaid, the strip is removed from the weave and returned.  These redeemed strips become prized mementos, tangible proof of a young warrior’s dedication and trustworthiness to fulfill his debts. Locanth merchants vouch for one another, showing the array of strips as evidence of trustworthiness. 

A recent trend has begun of trading these debt strips to third parties, who themselves can either collect on the debt or trade off to yet another merchant, making the langeneli the first banknote of the Known World.

Politics

Government Type: Kritarchy
Ruler: The Meeting of Odayal
Selection Process: Life-long expression of responsibility and wisdom.

A Kritarchy, wherein government is ruled by judges, or elders. Laws are not made out of whole cloth, but instead created as judges, called odayal, decree what is legal by the judgements of the cases they rule over. This is called Xeer law, where in the brother is responsible for the brother, neighbors are responsible to each other, where a migrating kith is responsible to the waters it travels. This is the Tradition of Xeer.

Odayal are chosen organically. They are the wise ones, the individuals that all others know instinctively as the fairest of judgement, the calmest of minds. No one can seek to become an odayal — the recognition of intrinsic demeanor and behavior makes you one. In a family, who do you look to for guidance? In a village, who is sought out for their wisdom? These are the odayal.

While some Eadroan shaman can become odayal, their dedication to the faith is a bias in their judgement. Thus rarely is a kith’s odayal also its shaman.

Issues are addressed as close to the level of involvement as possible. Part of Xeer law involves solving problems by those who the problem affects. The only way to understand a problem is be subject of the problem. Regardless of complexity, it is rare for a problem to require judgement from a higher level odayal. Only wider ranging problems necessitate seeking a meeting of odayal from neighboring kith.

Military

Name: N/A
Organization: Local militias organized by kith in the area.

The primitive races of the Fluid Nations do not have standing navies. Instead, militia are drummed up as needed to face threats to safety. In this way, each kith is dependent not only on the bravery of its own mariners, but on the support of neighboring kith.

It is the Tradition of Kith that keeps us united.
It is the Tradition of Enzo that keeps us going.
It is the Tradition of Xeer that keeps us true.

It is the Tradition of Honor that keeps us noble.
It is the Tradition of the Locanth that keeps us alive.
— Locanthic “Oath of the Odayal”

Endless Blue – Week 121 – Governments of the Fluid Nations – The Mer Currents   Leave a comment

Politocology

Governments of the Fluid Nations: Mer Currents

Federation of the Mer Currents
Aliases: The Sea of Ideas, the Pearl in the East
Region:
The Periphery
Capital: Special, each current has a government with capital, and the newly elected ruler chooses which of these capitals will serve as the national seat of government.

The Federation of Mer Currents is located in the east of the Core, directly north of the Creche of Civilization, with the Chelon Sea to the northwest and the Yaun-Teel Bights to the north east. It is the shallowest of all the Fluid Nations, and it’s position close to Elqua’s equator results in year long temperate weather.

While the Mer Currents presently consist of eight provinces, there were at one time thirteen. Some of these original currents were wiped out by military actions of others (The Cetacean Hordes or The Kraken Invasion), some have wiped themselves out through fighting each other, or even by their own hand. From west to east, the remaining Mer Currents are Yrmensas, Mensas, the bifurcated North and South Estuary, Mere Paradise, the surrounded East Loch, and the paired Novum Cascade and Verdant Shoals.

The Dark of the Dumasque

The Dumasque were one of the original thirteen provinces. History tells that the Current was exterminated by the expansionist Cetaceans during the battle known as Khan’s Folly. This is not the whole truth.

Make no mistake, the Cetacean Hordes slaughtered many of the Dumasque as they fled the Horde. This became known as the Mer Exodus, and had the Dumasque Current migrate north through the Chelon Sea in order to escape the First Khan. Ultimately the Khan’s navy trapped the Dumasque. With victory almost within reach, the remaining Mer Current decided that death at their own hand was preferred to complete slaughter. They threw themselves into the Undertow, and as it dragged them down they denied the Khan his prey.

Infuriated, the Khan drove his tired and wounded forces into the whirlpool. Just as the Dumasque were swallowed into the sea bed, so were the Cetacean Horde. Thought lost and his victory stymied, the Khan retreated. But in truth, both the Dumasque stragglers and the Cetacean veterans survived, dragged into the subterranean expanse beneath the sea floor. They became trapped there by the “Bubble Below”, a vast cavern of air that the Undertow poured through.

Society

Demonym: Mer, Merfolk (antiquated)
Population: 54,870,000
Races: Mer (330,000.000), Orcan (2,100,000, 150,000 of which are Narwhal), Chelon (1,100,000), Kouton (550,000), Locanth (5,750,000), Lumulus (2,750.000), Sahaguin (1,640,000), Yaun-Teel (8,230,000)
Other: Ceph (260,000), Kelpygmy (unknown, believed none)

Population Breakdown per Mer Current

  Yrmensas Mensas North Estuary South Estuary Mere Paradise East Loch Novum Cascade Verdant Shoals
Mer 9,220,000 7,575,000 6,255,000 4,609,000 334,000 3,290,00 987,000 658,000
Orcan 614,000 505,000 417,000 305,000 22,000 215,000 66,000 43,000
Chelon 307,000 252,000 208,000 153,000 10,500 106,750 33,000 22,000
Lumulus 768,000 361,000 521,000 384,000 27,500 292,500 82,500 54,200
Kouton 153,500 126,200 104,000 76,750 5,400 53,800 16,500 10,750
Locanth 1,490,000 1,262,000 1,050,000 77,250 52,500 543,000 171,000 109,300
Sahaguin 460,000 378,000 312,000 230,500 16,500 144,500 49,500 32,750
Yaun-Teel 2,304,500 1,893,00 1,563,750 1,152,000 82,000 823,250 246,750 164,500


Due to the Mer Currents’ small size and its temperate climate, it is the most densely populated of the Fluid Nations. Add the homesea’s openness to new ideas and discoveries, pisceans have schooled to nation. One prominent group of immigrants were the Anatomists — forefathers of modern medicine — whom established the College of Doctors in the heart of the Mer Currents as a result of the Culling Purge.

Because of the heavy population density of the Mer Currents, it is believed that no Kelpygmy tribes reside inside its borders. There are few untouched kelp forests inside the Federation, and any credible sighting to the vegetative bantams has always been along the borders of the no-mer’s-seas between homeseas. Such incursions are quickly classified as extra-national and the idea of kelpygmy infiltration dismissed.

Religion

Official Religion: None, but generally expected Trishnan values, with a rising contingent of Olyhydrans.
Accepted Religions: Pantheon/Idolatry accepted, other religions tolerated.
Alignments: Lawful Good, trending Lawful Neutral

Trishnan tradition is deeply ingrained into Mer culture. Popular belief held by a majority of Mer is that, while the Federation is not a religious regime, it is a regime that follows the ideals of Trishna.

The domination of Trishnan culture in the Mer Currents is slowly eroding away. A new religion has formed, given sanctuary due to the Mer’s intrinsic acceptance of new ideas. Olyhydranism, the worship of the Mistress of Law, is growing in popularity, population, and power. Waters have be conceded to the Church of Olyhydra slowly over time, as the faithful worked their way into political influence. One day, with the right piscean as Head Presider, the Pearl Pontiff may decide it is time for the Holy Waters of Olyhydra to demand independence.

Commerce

Imports: Nacre, abalone, ice, luxuries.
Exports: Ricelqua, textiles, jade, religious artifacts (Olyhydran).
Currency: Nobles, sovereigns, and crowns (100 noble = 10 sovereign = 1 crown)
and Cupreium, argeium, and aurieum (1 cupreium = 8 copper, 1 argeium = 8 silver, 1 aurieum = 8 gold).

The Mer employ two separate monetary systems, rural coinage, and lucrum (trade coinage). Rural coinage is the money used in everyday transactions — buying food, paying debts, etc. These are the noble, sovereign, and crown. They are comprised of a special red coral and carved into distinct shapes that make it impossible to be chiseled down into the other coins.

Lucrum, on the other hand, is designed for trade with other nations. Each octagonal coin is comprised of a troy ounce of its respective metal, tying its worth to the material. The coins are etched with grooves that aid in snapping the coinage into fractions. This allows a trader to make exact change on the spot while also taking price fluctuations of the base metal into account. The Federation can later re-press separate coin pieces into new, whole coinage, as the value of the coin is based on the metal, not the minting.

The majority of the Mer Currents consists of great swaths of fertile, shallow shoals and shore whose temperate waters make them perfect for aquaculture. The bordering island chains that shape the Mer Currents are sparsely populated, and what abominations that do live above the sea are relatively placid. With few “apex predators” to worry about, this has allowed the Mer to farm sea beds closer to the surface than any other homesea.

With greater farming land comes greater harvests. Ricelqua aquaculture prospers in the Mer Currents, as does the raising of staple flora and fauna used for textiles. As a result of this trade, the Federation economy provides even the lowest economic performers with a higher level of living. When everyone has a chance to import luxuries, everyone’s standard rises.

Politics

Government Type: Religious Democracy
Ruler: Head Presider w/presidium council
Selection Process: Hierarchical promotion from province level government, general election otherwise.

The Federation of the Mer Currents is a Religious Democratic Federation where the leaders are elected on a local level, but those representatives decide who will be the nation’s leader. That leader then decides which provincial capital too use as the nation’s capital.

Each current is ruled over by a central council named after the province of origin (North Estuary Council, for example). Those council nominate and vote upon which of their number will serve upon the national Presidium Council. This process is repeated again with the members of the Presidium Council to determine the ultimate head of the Federation, the Presider.

With the growing conversion of Merfolk to Olyhydranism, the religious underpinning of the Mer culture is becoming more contested. As each election passes, Olyhydran adherents progress further up the electoral ladder. This is by design of the Church of Olyhydra, and they believe it is only a matter of time until circumstances are perfect for an Olyhydran to claim the Mer Presidency. The shift between traditional liberalism of Trishnan beliefs and the more orthodox conservatism of Olyhydranism is something the Federation has not had to deal with prior. But the Sea of Ideas is nothing if not accepting of new interpretations.

Military

Name: United Marine Command
Organization: Multiple squads, called shoals, forming larger military units.

All military shoals initially consist of six mariners and two attachments — one packbreeder, and the shoal standard bearer, a vexillifer. Groups of 2 to 4 shoals form a School, 2 to 4 schools form a Company, and so on, creating Flotillas, Brigades, Division. Corps, and finally the complete a Fleet. Fleets, of which there are traditionally thirteen, are led by Admirals (for active fleets) and Rear Admirals for retired ones.

Ranks in the UNC start at Ensign and rise to Captain, with further promotions into Fleet command starting with Commodore and ending with Fleet Admiral. Fleet Admirals report to the Presidium Council.

“If no navy can stop an idea whose time has come;
What can stop a navy mobilized by those ideas?
Not tyranny, not doubt.
Only by letting it slip from memory can our navy truly die…”
— “Epigraph of the Dumasque”

Endless Blue – Week 120 – Governments of the Fluid Nations – Lumulus Basin   1 comment

Politicology

Governments of the Fluid Nations: Lumulus Basin

The Lumulus Basin Unitary State
Aliases: Percipience Parliament, the LBUS, the Forgeclans Collective
Region: Periphery
Capital: Q’ur-Lurgal’zu

The Lumulus Basin is the second largest fluid nation on Elqua, and lies far to the south of the Cetacean Oceans. Q’ur-Lurgal’zu is designated the capital city, and here the Percipience Parliament resides. The city itself is the farthest south city in all the Fluid Nations, and is locate well inside the Antarctic Circle, butted up against the mountain-islands of the Spine of the World.

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Endless Blue – Week 119 – Governments of the Fluid Nations – Chelon Sea   1 comment

Politicology

Governments of the Fluid Nations: Chelon Sea

The Great Chelonite Empire of the Endless Blue
Aliases: The Old Empire, The Birthwaters
Region: Periphery
Capital: Arce Novum, the City of Spires.

The Chelon Sea is located eastward from the Cetacean Ocean and is bordered to the west by the Yaun-Teel Bights northward and the Mer Currents southward. It is mostly Shoal to Shore depths waters with only a few area deep enough to be considered the Shelf.

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Endless Blue – Week 118 – Governments of the Fluid Nations – Cetacean Ocean   1 comment

Politicology

Governments of the Fluid Nations: Cetacean Ocean

Hegemony of the Cetacean Ocean
Aliases: Hegemony of the Eight Ordu, The Reformed Khanate, The Cetanate, the Cetacean Horde
Region: Periphery
Capital: Zhashwaram

Situated to the northwest of the Known World, the Cetacean Ocean is neighbored to northwest by the Bay of Kouton and to the southwest by the Gulf of Locanth.  Its western border is marked by the mountain archipelago known as the Spine of the World, while to the east it borders on the avoided Ruins of the Kraken Empire.

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Endless Blue – Week 117 – Reef-backs: Immense Creatures and Where to Find Them   Leave a comment

Zoology

Reef-backs: Immense Creatures and Where to Find Them

It is not a fluke that the endless oceans of Elqua have given birth to creatures of stature beyond any of the aberrations that roam the surface world. Known as abyssal gigantism, some deep sea animals have evolved to sizes manyfold greater than normal. The Colossal Squid, the Blue Whale, or the Hair Jelly are all animals that have grown to immense size due directly to vastness of the oceans.

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Endless Blue – Week 116 – Waves of the World: The Anemoi   1 comment

Folklore

The Anemoi

The Rous Pyxida: Compass Rose of the Endless Blue

Folklore encompasses the verbal stories passed down by a culture that help define what they value in life.  It is the informal beliefs of everyday life, the superstitions and traditions that small groups share.  Through folktales, the listener is exposed to the vernacular of their culture, spoken between individuals, regardless or even sometimes in spite of sociological expectation.  They are the stories of the common piscean, dealing with the minutiae of every day life.  It has no concerned with grand or profound ideas. It has no care for how life began, how the oceans were created, or what happens when you die — that is the purview mythology.  Nor is it fable, as there is no objective lesson in the stories of these bigger than life heroes. The Anemoi tells what it means to be piscean.

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