|Serene Empire of Sutārei |
Odayakana Sutārei Teikoku
|"Long Live the Empire!"|
|Location||Tengoku-no-Kuni, in the Infinite Isles Archipelago|
|Climate||Tropical in the southern isles, temperate in the central isles and cold / dry in the northern islands|
|Regional Language||Kajiyumuta (Arashi-No-Kuni)|
Faeru 60% |
|Religion||Predominately The Thousandfold, second largest is The Jaded Path, third largest is The Thousandfold|
|Ruling House||House Amaterasu|
House Hachiman |
Silk / Textiles |
Meat / Poultry
Fish / Shelfish
Software / Hardware
Commodities Production |
Naval Defense Force |
Atmospheric Defense Forces
Sovereign Class Carrier |
|Founding||First Imperial Era|
Sunset Polity |
Claiming the Isles
Warring States Period
"Calm before the storm is the single mind is the key to victory."
-Amaterasu no Hanaka-denka, First Sei-i Taishōgun of the Empire
The Serene Empire of Sutārei or Odayakana Sutārei Teikoku in Reigo, is one of two official vassal Empires (the other being the Empire of Vish) to exist in the greater Avalonic Star Empire. Found in the Sentinel System on the second planet, Yomi, and is situated on the massive scattered mega-archipelago known as the Infinite Isles with some territory claimed on the larger continent of Nara. To the east, the nation is bordered by the Gaeryo Union and the much larger Sage Kingdom of Tianxia. To its south is located the infamous Jade sea and to the west the Ancestral Ocean. The Serene Empire is an absolute monarchy with the reigning Empress (Tenno in Reigo) holding near complete control over the creation and enforcement of the law. Below her, the rest of the nation is split into four individual domains each controlled by a powerful Noble Clan. Citizens of Sutārei are known for their respect for the common good and high level of ritual expression.
Sutārei is known for its production of commodities such as luxury goods and local food stuff (poultry, fish, red meat) and takes full advantage of its large-scale arable land in the central islands. Its northern province produces a steady supply of weaponry for the nation and some of the finest Arcanist smiths are said to dwell in the Courtly Isles of Tegnoku-no-Kuni.
The capital of the nation is Sukona-kyo on the Isle of Nishima.
- 1 History
- 2 Government and Politics
- 3 Environment
- 4 Economy
- 5 Demography
- 6 Culture
The history of Sutārei began in the early settlement of the Infinite isles by the wayward refugees commonly called the "People of Wa" or the "Wajin". Landing in droves upon the various isles of the western hemisphere of Yomi the various peoples soon splintered off into wayward petty kingdoms and city-states for self-defense and common survival. Life on Yomi was far from difficult, but dangerous native predators such as the massive banded-tigers which hunted prey in the thick jungles of the southern isles. Other mysterious stories tell of massive demonic creatures named Oni coming out of the sky and slaying the early Reijin settlers. Then there was earl conflict with the lesser states of the Q'an people who also settled the Islands of the West and were promptly driven out by Reijin pioneers (a bone of contention to this day). The earliest known actual precursor to the Serene Empire was a small inter-linked band of settlements centered around the old castle of Karasu-no-Shiro. Here the first of the Sun-Chosen Queens raised the Grass-cutting-Sword in conquest and solidified her rule of the surrounding domains of Nishima and later the central Islands of would become Courtly Lands of Tengoku.
For more than three centuries the Reijin live apart controlled by the independent scions of the great Amatsukami lineage. House Inari in the north ruled as the Mountain-Kings, south is controlled by the Storm-Queens of Susanoo, Uzume's line declares themselves the Dawn Shogunate and defied all attempts at subjugation by the warring states of the river valleys. By the time cities were preparing to reunite with the stations in orbit of the star three distinct countries had to appear in the isles. First was the Mountain Kingdom of the north ruled by the Inari Clan; next was the mainland Dawn Shogunate. The Storm Kingdom of the south proved fairly divisive as it attempted several times to conquer the other nations by guile but was tricked every time. Finally, the Moon Kingdom of the far west sat quiet only exchange small messages for periods of time.
Then the Mountain Kings declared war and sent their armies south in great steel ships and many wearing Ashigaru carapace armor. Legions were rebuked by the southern nations, but the Inari Clan pushed harder until challenged by the Sun-Queen herself. For the period only ended years later when the Lady of Inari, The Fox Woman was cut down by the Grass-cutting-Sword (a long-standing blood feud still exists to this day). A generation later House Amaterasu unleashed its forces during the early days of the Second Imperial Dynasty and brought the other Clans to heel. In the aftermath, the four nations were remade under the ivory fist of the Serene Empresses. The Warring States period ended with the unification of the Empire and the rise of the Amaterasu Supremacy.
Government and Politics
Government within the Serene Empire is managed by the various extensions of the four branch families of the Imperial Clan and each family respectfully controls an important role in the Imperial Court. Every Soke (family head) of the four Imperial families sits upon the Daijō-kan, the Great Council of State. Upon the throne awaits the Empress, the Tenno, who has the final word on all matters of state and policy. Beneath her is the chancellor, a woman (or at times a man or non-binary) chose to serve as the voice of discussion and advise. Chancellors are always chosen from the Karasu-Branch (the keepers of the ancient castle of Karasu-no-Shiro). Meanwhile, the Minister of the Left (who oversees all domestic and financial concerns) is controlled by the Nishi-Branch of the family. The Higashi-Branch of the Clan thus takes the role of Minister of the Right and deals with military matters in accordance with the reigning sibling nominate as the Taishogun of the country. The Minister of the right also is concerned with training, military armament, and the establishment of diplomatic ties.
The other Clans of the country all play a part in the Imperial government. All three Kokushi families along with the Imperial house submit a current child of the line to act as the High Priestess of their Ujigami or Clan God. They also offer up warrior trained members to act as the generals the Taishogun who controls the defense and training of all errants in the Empire. The most senior of these officers will then become the Shikken or the second to the Taishogun when necessary. Other than the Imperial Council and the War Council the country itself is administrated by the local families and their client lineages.
The Serene Empire has for many years undergone intermittent periods of isolation. During these periods there was open civil war among the various factions of the Imperial Court and the various noble Clans. In that time the four Clans have built their own connective base locally and abroad of Yomi. House Tsukuyomi mostly sticks to the Stars and has developed strong ties to the Starborn Houses of Sentinel and Rook. House Uzume meanwhile has an ongoing trade agreement with the peoples of Bou and Tianxia respectively. The northern clan of Inari does well with the Fox people of Gaeryo and the southern Clan of Susanoo has a long-term arrangement with the peoples of Sarat.
House Amaterasu itself is far more restrained in the formation and keeping of alliances. Sun-Chosen House is one of the proudest and stubborn in existence. When united the Serene Empresses reach out from Yomi and export mass amounts of goods to the other nations of the Star Empire. Riches and connections are usually formed for a generation to then be calmly severed. Old alliances do exist, but the actual terms and conditions are generally kept quiet. Meanwhile, the embassies of the Serene Empire are found throughout the Triad and beyond, all paying careful attention any foreign threat or advantage which appears.
The power of the unified legions of the Serene Empire is controlled and maintained by the Sei-Taishogun or simply the Shogun. This Supreme Warlord is the leader of the Buke or "House of War" the collective cultural and governmental forces of war. Beneath the Shogun is the Shikken, their administrative hand in the organization of logistics and troop movements the most skilled candidate sent by one of the other CLans to serve the Sword of Amaterasu (as the Shogun is called). Historically, the Shogun and the Empress have remained separate entities. However, if she sees fit the Empress may take hold of the armies herself and lead them into battle, which is unheard of.
The military of Sutārei can be separated into two main branches: the Naval Defense Forces, and the Atmospheric Defense Forces. Both are under command of the Shogun and the War Council. Each branch itself is commanded by a group of generals all ranking members of the Warrior Class and often bearing Earthly Names of the Clans. Errants, on the other hand, exist separately and act as sworn warriors to each clan separately. Men are known as "Bushi" and women and non-binary are called "Onna-Bugeisha" if they received Errant training.
Most of the leadership of the Empire's military and the Shogun position go to women. It is usually a place of the Imperial heir or the second daughter to attain the rank of Shogun for those in the main branch of the Imperial House.
THe entirety of the Serene Empire is divided into five massive collections of islands and one mainland territory each ruled by a "Kokushi" or Governor. These regions are provinces (Kuni in Reigo) and are then spliced further into districts (gun) to be administrated by the Ministry of the Left. The local administrations are generally chosen among the lesser branches and distant relatives of the Clans. Most if not all are at least members of the Kuge class.
The five provinces are:
- Tengoku-no-Kuni - Located in the central plateau Courtly Islands of the Infinite Isles, it is ruled directly by House Amaterasu
- Arashi-no-Kuni - The southern islands made up of volcanic rock and small scattered atolls which are prone to storms and flooding. Ruled by House Susanoo.
- Kitsune-no-Kuni - The land of high sheer mountains and thick alpine forests, ruled by House Inari.
- Hinode-no-Kuni - A series of channel islands near the coast of Nara and a long thin slice of territory made of rice fields and slow estuaries, ruled by House Uzume.
- Tsuku-no-Kuni - Spiraling out from the central archipelago and scattered deep into the open oceans of Yomi is Tsuku-no-Kuni, ruled by the enigmatic House Tsukuyomi.
The Infinite Isles are one of the largest collective archipelagos in the entirety of the Triad. Only the islands of Raoharenga number even greater in number. Straying from the north to the south the Islands themselves are split into four distinctive biomes. The north and south isles are respectively either alpine temperature rainforests made of pine and evergreens or dryish lowland plains. The middle islands ranging from the middle of Arashi-no-Kuni to northern Tengoku are tropical and quite pleasant. The lands of Nara which make up the coastal islands of Hinode are in turn swampy estuaries and river deltas. Plentiful in the rich soil they are one of the breadbaskets of the south.
That leaves the arid and quiet islands that make up the moon spun lands of Tsuku-no-Kuni. Covered in light brush and open grass the environment is usually without fresh water forcing the locals to desalinate from the sea. Wood too is scarce as the islands are in turn rich in mineral wealth and large nearby fisheries.
The islands themselves number well over a thousand and can be large enough to situate several cities or a singular small village. Most development is found in large beautifully constructed arcologies which tower in the natural splendor of the different biomes. While each province features its own unique climate and general geography they are all united by the common connection to the sea. The localized waters that surround the isles are known as the "Sea of Spirits".
Notable landmarks in Sutārei include the mist-filled Kitamatsu Mountains a place held in high regard by the followers of Inari and the rest of the gods. The central forests of Tengoku the Karasumori is a thick deciduous forest filled with maples and oaks. Sutārei is filled with natural pristine places set aside and protected by national law. The country's cities are built with the natural order in mind and are often beautiful mixtures of technology and nature.
The length and size of the Empire mean it experiences a wide variety of seasons and climate shifts. The middle islands situated along the equator usually exist in a steady state of warmth and tropical rains all year. To the far north and south, the islands are far more arid and cold than those of the central waters. The north itself is known for its harsh snowy winters and semi-warm summers. The south is made up of small atolls and volcanic islands are often hit by harsh storms in the winter and have established a series of precautions to prevent mass casualties in the more dangers times.
Tsuku-no-Kuni is a strange place in the far western waters, it experiences the harsh winters of the north and the heated summers of the south. Winds bring the far more gentle winds to the other isles and leave the Moon draped lands of the west mostly in shadow.
The vast arable lands of the tropical bound isles provide fruitful ground for raising various crops such as rice, millet, fruits and several varieties of tubers. Rice wine and beer are a major commodity exported from the country and Sutārei openly competes with Tianxia and Gaeryo for the top ranking in rice-based spirits. Shellfish and fish are one of the highest food exports and industries found across all the various provinces. Many foreigners prize the tuna caught in the Sea of Spirits and the rich Salmon who run the rivers of western Nara.
Technology and information are the second most important industry to the Sutāreijin. Mecha is one of the greatest focus for the warrior nation and many highly trained members of the Wrights guild have come to reside in the industrial centers of the country. Weapons and ammunition are another exportation though production tends to be on a smaller scale compared to other nations.
The people of the Empire long ago were five independent nations with their own cultural identities and governments. When they were all laid low by the strength of the Grass-cutting-Sword they were brought under the ivory fist of the August Empresses of the Sun. Over time the five different sub-ethnic groups of the Reijin have found a sense of nationhood. Overall Sutāreijin culture is fairly unified in its sense of pop culture and its primary trends. The various islands and their ancient "nations" still exist to an extent with provincial identity and more importantly "island" identity playing a role in how citizens connect to society at large.
Major Population Centers
Unlike some nations, the major Worldborn nations the cities of Sutārei are known for their controlled sprawl and usage of tall majestic spiraling arcologies. Most large-scale production centers are found either underground or in specially contained governmental zones. The largest cities themselves are the provincial capitals and the major trade ports found on the mainland.
- Sukona-kyo - The historical home of House Amaterasu, and the cultural core of the Reijin people. Sukona-kyo is filled with historical mansions, courtyards and districts all aimed at reliving the splendor of generations past.
- Torihanto - A massive industrial city built on the headland of the Bay of Cranes, Torihanto is primary starport and home to industrial production in the country.
- Tetsuyama - Capital of the Inari Clan, and the home of major mining city in the Empire. Some of the finest Arcanist and sword smiths have their shops located here to take advantage of the fine quality ore.
Races and Ethnic Groups
The Reijin Worldborn make up the majority of the Faerin peoples living inside the borders of Sutārei. Beside the Reijin a large population of Q'an immigrants have moved to the islands seeking work in the Empire. Members of the Anwnwyr who follow a branch family of House Artur moved to the capital city and set up a small enclave. Other than that most if not all members of the Faeru are Reijin and if not they are silently expected to slowly assimilate the local culture. Soulgiven in Sutārei are seen as tools, respected and useful, but tools nonetheless. Powerful Errants often have far more regard for their partners than the everyday citizen.
Local TALOS populations are considerably higher than Escuier with roughly fifty percent of the Soulgiven are used to maintain the relative calm of the interconnected systems of the local SysNet. Many Errants have come to prefer TALOS as bondmates A local Homunculi series the Shikigami which are found in all forms of occupation and life all over the Empire. Pariah Dolls are often employed in high-class entertainment and as Squires for families who wish to seek revenge against someone who has wronged them.
The Gwagaruh have established a small beachhead in the Serene Empire with a local variant of the Devilkin dubbed the Youma by locals. Helogavana in the country tends to either be Gnome (Wood and Stone cursed) and Undine.
The Reigo language is the preeminent spoken and written language found across Sutārei. Its cousin, the Kajiyumuta is spoken as a regional language throughout the archipelagos that make up the province of Arashi-no-Kuni. Two major dialects of Reigo are spoken with the prestige Court Speech spoken in the capital and a more colloquial form spoken in Hinode and Kitsune-no-Kuni. Immigrants and native Q'an speak Yuanha tongue versus the northern folk who speak Guanha in the Sage Kingdom. There are also local members from Gaeryo who actively live in small enclaves near the Imperial Capital.
Sutārei boasts one of the largest populations of Elder Folk in the Sentinel System and the entire Triad at large. Worship of the Amatsukami is very prevalent with several major yearly festivals and local festivals dedicated to the various local gods of The Thousandfold. Missionaries from the local sect of The Jaded Path eventually established a foothold and the religion has become syncretically linked to local traditions of the various Kami. Another major faith is that of the Emerald Creed which has established itself primarily in the northern forests of Kitsune-no-Kuni and the channel islands of Hinode-no-Kuni.
The societal order of Sutārei is governed by an intricate series of client-patron relationships, and the power of the Imperial family. The Serene Empresses and their heirs are considered living embodiments of the holy Sun and thus are given a position mixing religious leader with the supreme ruler. Those directly beneath them, the Kuge or "Aristocratic Class" are made up of the "divine" blooded Clans which claim descent from relatives or even siblings of the Sun Kami, Amaterasu herself. The first rank was the "Sekke" the extended members of the Imperial Household and those who have major claims to important positions on the ruling Council. Next was "Daijinke" who were the four ruling main families of the four Noble Clans of the Empire, and directly below them were the Meika who were the extended branch families of the nobility.
Second came the Hanke who were commoners who were given the right to serve and live abound in the Imperial premises and directly on the lands of the Imperial family. Third was the Jigeke who were commons who served on the lands of the four other Noble Clans.
Outside of the Kuge was the Buke, the House of War, who was formed from the elite officer Class of the Empire and the various errants found across the Empire. Bushi and Onna-Bugeisha ranked above the Officers who worked beside them and could even become Kuge with enough honor. Non-military officials including artisans, tradesmen, and imperial officials were known as "Ryomin", and are the upper middle class outside of the Hanke and Jigeke. Lower ranked individuals were simply called Senmin and included the workers and cleans who keep the country running.
Art and Literature
Art and ritual are one of the most important aspects of Sutāreirejin life. Most high ranking officials prefer to spend money and extravagant parties or invest in local festivals. These are seeing as appeasing the local gods, and are also a way for families to compete with one another. One of the highest forms of art is the training of individuals known as Oiran and Geiko, high ranking local members of the guild of Masques. These individuals are often Faeru, or in some cases highly modified Pariah Dolls created to exist as living art for the highest bidder.
Sutāreijin literature itself is highly romanticized and covers a variety of genres. Historical retellings of previous events through a new lense or heavy modification are quite popular. Many artists have also taken to creating long and lengthy graphic novels which have become a staple of local literature.
Media and Entertainment
Media and holo-entertainment in the Empire are much like that of the art and literature. Holo-games with complicated expanding stories are some of the most popular. Animated and interactive forms of local graphic novels have also taken off across the country with the most popular acting as propaganda for the ruling Houses and often heavily influenced by the age-old feuds of their branch families. Much of the local media glorifies the lives and raining of the Buke class, and fandoms focused on a team of Mecha or a specific Chevalier are quite active on various forums within the local RegNet.
The Masques guild in Sutārei is vastly powerful and along with the Bards have established themselves as paramount producers of visual and musical entertainment for the country at large. Many major holo-casts and games are produced by teams composed of both guilds and have strong ties to the branch families of the Noble Clans.
Imperial Sports is a mixed bag, with many important figures partaking in martial arts contexts testing their skills against other members of the ruling class. Stylized Chevalier Tournei are quite popular between the expanded members of the Buke with several low ranking Errants attempting to gain a mecha by defeating another higher-ranking errant in a duel. These have over time become highly holocized and streamed affairs with bets and entire fandoms appearing to back the respective warriors.
Gravball established itself in the Empire and four local teams representing the four outer provinces. The Imperial Court itself backs the national tea which has openly compete in the Triadic Games and has even come close to earning the Pan-System Championship. Football on the other hand is not nearly as popular and remains to a selective crowd.