Mikaan

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The Imperial Republic of Mikaan
Government Senate under an Empress
Empress Aramind Ventor
Population Humans, Planetouched, Goliath, Half-orc, Others
Language Mikaanese
Capitol Antonium

Etymology

Traditionally translated from Old Hammuraki glyphs as “Strong Blade” the prefix “Mi” (represented by a triangular mountain) usually meaning strengthened or fortified and “Kaan” being a shortening of “kaaneht” (represented by an arm bent at the elbow) meaning arms either literally a limb or arms and armaments. Scholars dispute whether Kaan in this context means a weapon or the limb that bears it.

History

see The Creation of Hammurak

The First Age

The ancient seat of Druga the Old God of Water and Despair, the Gods seeded Mikaan with great mineral riches. Druga preferred the humans that were created from Godspark and Giants as slaves and so a great number of Sunbloods were transported there. They served for thousands of years as warriors, miners and craftspeople playing out the fanciful wars of the Gods.

The Godswar

At first resistant to the liberating words of the New Gods, many Mikaanese were killed defending the Gods. After the liberation of Caerne by Cispius and Juventa a great contingent of half-orcs, sunblooded humans and halflings swept across the sea and captured Elalum. There they erected a mighty wall and slowly built a resistance to rival the power of Druga. The first of the old Gods to fall, breaking itself and its armies against the wall of Elalum Druga was banished to the sea and its great military forces were added to that of the New Gods and their freedom fighters.

The Second Age

The conclusion of the Godswar left the powerful and ruthless Ventor clan as warlords of Mikaan. After several small clan disputes Mikaan was reorganized into a Barcobene style senate. The sudden loss of the great slave armies of the gods meant that the northeners of Shet had a great need for military troops. The Mikaanese became known as great mercenaries, sailors and armorers. The secrets of Steel and Iron were unlocked by mortals gifted by the Mikaanese new god Rabirus. The Ventors began to conquer nearby islands and small nations fighting a long and calmitous war with Barcoby. The Last Mikaanese emperor of the second age Araquan Ventor devised a plan to end it.

The Cataclysm

Enacting what some scribes claim is an ancient plan that the Mikaanese have been putting into place for millennia the Emperor General Araquan Ventor ordered the Arcanist Guild to create a spell of terrible might and consequence sixty years before the end of the second age. Though many of those that began the weaving would not live to see it’s completion the Arcanists worked endlessly for six decades until they brought about the cataclysmic event that would begin the Third Age. Intended to harness the raw power of the elemental planes the spell succeeded only in pulling fragments of the six planes to the centre of Mikaan and destroying most of the capitol of Cordium. Additionally and of much more consequence were the changes to the Sunblood natives of Mikaan. Nearly a third of the humans born of Mikaan were suddenly warped into the aspects of the planes that had invaded their homeland. The years directly following the cataclysm were frightening and unsure in Mikaan, wild brigands and lawlessness swept the land. After nearly a dozen years of chaos the daughter of Araqaun, Aramind Ventor who herself had been affected by the heavenly plane rose to reform the Mikaanese Senate under the firm guidance of the newly empowered citizenry. Much of new Mikaanese culture is based around the heroics of the planetouched during The War of Renewal which brought the Ventors back to power. Now venerated as a folk hero Aramind set into motion events that have resulted in an explosion of Mikaanese power. Many believe them mere months away from a total conquest of Caerne.

The Third Age

After Amut-ar-Aramut, the mad king of Caerne attacked Mikaan hoping to destroy the weakened nation during the Cataclysm Aramind rallied her forces and formed a devastating counterattack. The Mikaanese are patient (especially the touched as they may live lives that rival the elves and the phoenarchs in longevity) and the 600 years since the cataclysm have seen the Mikaanese slowly fighting their way north into Caerne, building new cities and establishing a Mikaanese empire of the mainland. The wars with Barcoby are all but forgotten and Mikaan thrives economically, militarily and culturally. Under all of this the untouched grow restless. They are disallowed from acheiving any true military or political rank they are forbidden from worshipping their gods and in the ancient stronghold of Elalum resistance builds. The walled city is the last place where humans still rule and they allow no touched to pass under the walls.

Geography

Lying south of Barcoby results in a fierce and unforgiving heat that allows little plant life to flourish. It’s commanding location in the middle of the Hamurak Sea also means the land tends to often be wracked with powerful storms and tempests throughout the year. Despite these troubles the Mikaanese have always made good fortunes as traders and mercenaries. The centre of Mikaan has become a roil of partial islands, small volcanoes, rocky reefs and deadly whirlpools. Though a portion of the old capital of Cordium stands amidst this turmoil the journey to it is dangerous. Northern Mikaan has a similar geography to much of barcoby, rolling hills and coniferous trees that give way to short mountains in the southwest and thick forests and jungles in the southeast. There is almost never snowfall anywhere in Mikaan though its winter are punctuated by long cold rains and wind storms.

Politics

Government

Organized into a Barcobene style senate shortly after the Godswar, the Mikaanese have a particular pride in the vast network of officials, politicians and bureaucrats that allow the Empire to function. The Head of State is the Office of the Emperor which after the reforms of Aramind in the Third Age, is appointed for life and heritable from parent to eldest direct heir. The Emperor has supreme jurisdiction over any law passed in the Senate and is the head of the Miitary. The Senate is made up of planetouched Mikaanese citizens that own land and are of a recognized Noble Family. The senate has a 246 seats as well as 1 eternal seat for the Emperor who is intended to break ties and resolve disputes though they rarely are present for votes or debates. Unlike Barcoby the central Senate in Antonium has jurisdiction over all lower Offices of Government with the sole exception of the High Servitor who is appointed directly by the Empress (formerly the Empress and the Tribunes, a now defunct office of the empire removed by Aramind in the Third Age). The offices of the Servitor see to many of the needs of the vast imperial Infrastructure and the administration of higher offices, providing scribes, lawyers and taxation officials.

Law

The Offices of the Servitor have three levels of Judiciary councils, the councils are always presided over by three planetouched who are eligible to be Senators but do not necessarily have to be Senators. These councils make decisions in cases that can not be resolved by guards or local administrators. The lowest level of the council sees to day to day laws of Mikaanese citizens, the second to disputes between Offices of the Empire and the Highest to disputes of Senatorial Law and between Senators.

Foreign Relations

Formerly a mercenary and mercantile nation the expansion of the empire has strained ties with many of the neighbours of Mikaan. Historically Mikaan has had close ties with Barcoby each nation seeing the other as a more primitive but still respectable version of their own ideals. Mikaan also suplies a large number of mercenaries to the God-Kings of Shet. With the exception of traded slaves, Mikaan has little contact with Moziq and Ehtzandi. Caerne has always competed with Mikaan as an exporter of metal goods and ores. The conquest of Caerne by Mikaan is still a matter of open warfare though hundreds of years of occupation have softened those half-orcs that have grown up in Occupied Caerne.

Military

The Mikaanese military is directly overseen by the Office of the Emperor. It is one of the largest and by far tyhe most costly of the Imperial Offices. The Army is made up of career soldiers that may come from any race or walk of life. Non-Mikaanese and slaves also can join the Imperial Army with the promise of citizenship and freedom after a ten year service. The non-discriminatory recruitment practices and brutally effective training methods have made the Imperial Army a deadly and Awesome force. Comprising of infantry, cavalry, a large and powerful navy, the Mikaanese military has not made use of any magic-users since the cataclysm, though Artisans are common among the forces.

Demographics

Before the cataclysm Mikaan was made up of almost exclusively Sunblood humans though, Goliaths, Half-orcs, Dwarves and Elves were not too uncommon especially in cities. Now though Sunbloods are still the most numerous of the Mikaanese nearly a fifth of the population are planetouched with a almost even divide among the six peoples.

Languages

Mikaanese is the most common language of the island nation, traders often also speak Hammuraki and Barcobene. Those that serve the military tend to pick up the languages of the country in which they may be stationed, commonly Rhocar and Orc. Since the Cataclysm Mikaan has become a very metropolitan empire such that almost every language of Hammurak is represented. Mikaanese nobles tend to speak the dialect of Primordial common to them.

Religion

The plane-touched peoples of Mikaan venerate their ancestors over most Gods and usually exclude any full blooded humans or foreigners from this worship. The highest aspiration of a Mikaanese citizen being to match and then exceed the deeds of their forebears. The Clerics of their sate religon (The Six Sided Star) are able to bind the souls of the recently dead touched peoples of Mikaan to the tumult at Cordium allowing their descendants to contact them and ask advise or favours. Public worship of other gods is forbidden in Mikaan and results in a great number of mystery cults and secretive human religious groups.

Culture

Though not nearly as decadent as their Barcobene cousins the Mikaanese enjoy many similar pursuits from drama to painting in addition they have a fondness for bloodsport unlike the people of the Barcobene archipelago.

Art

Mikaanese playwrights use the “Barcobene” style often with a less parodic and more patriotic bent. Commonly there will be a short list of principal characters and a large chorus that provides exposition. Musical theatre is also common in Mikaan in particular tragic operas. The Mikaanese enjoy extravagant colourful dress each lineage of planetouched having developed an unmistakable style of their own. Sculpture and Mosaic are also widely celebrated in Mikaan.

Sport

The Mikaanese enjoy several sports and most cities will have several purpose built structures for their various pastimes. Chariot racing is popular with colour aligned teams that span the nation and trade racers back and forth, the most prestigious races happening of course at the capital. Boat racing and Diving are popular on the coasts as well. By far the most exciting and popular sport however is the gladiatorial fights which are usually staged between slaves and fought to the death. The slave -gladiator of Mikaan enjoys an odd amount of freedom and celebrity and they have been known to rise to amazing cultural heights. Mikaanese gladiators may fight each other or be arranged in teams and made to fight trained beasts or other teams. Often mock historical battles are staged on a grand scale.

Mikaan

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