Nation Flavor

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Nation Flavor

Post by Admin on Sat Jul 18, 2009 7:32 pm

This came to mind after I read the Humankind History and several other things which mention the Fall of Tilbury and the Great War along with the nations we have posted. For me, it seems far too hunky-dory that everything seems so stable and established when the world went to hell a couple hundred years back. Now, this may not be the case, but it also isn't stated otherwise. So I came up with a few ideas about the current state the nations would be in after the shaky mass-peace was accepted some generations ago.

First of all, the "Southern States" that are mentioned were founded all at the northern chunk of the present-day mainland. That being said, there were tons of different nations, kingdoms, and whatnot from midway of the Black Mountains (North-western mountain chain above the Spine of Ara'niel main mountains) to the large mountain pass between the Spine and the north-eastern mountains. I'm talking dozens, if not hundreds of small countries dotting or consuming the landscape within that boundary. This is probably because (in my thinking) Ara'niel was whole when they were established. These were all splinter nations off of the large country of Atimar and similar large countries established in the north. The borders of such nations were either really small or decently large, because they either only claimed as much land as they developed or as much land as they could send large patrol forces to keep watch upon.

Alright, so we've got all these tons of nations sprawling on what we see now as the northern section of the mainland on the present-day map. Then a large chunk the huge populace of the larger countries flood into the south, fearing the events unfolding there. That alone probably saw the creation, destruction, or annexation of several nations. Then comes the destruction of the northlands, shattering them into isles and archipelagos. With those crazy events, and the last survivors that managed to escape arriving on shore, all hell eventually breaks loose in what was the south.

If the seas, the poor conditions, and the lack of provisions didn't kill most of the survivors, then the disease, famine, and even worse lack of provisions on the newly dubbed "Mainland" did. Quality of life plummeted, and war broke out for a multitude of reasons.

So now we have the Great War going on. The southern areas of the north are populated by colonists, refugees, bandits, vagabonds, and the like, founding different "nations". The northern areas traded land and blood in horrific magnitudes; a civilization could disappear in a decade. When kingdoms got too large, the people revolted, splitting the land into smaller independant sections, which either thrived on their own or were reconquered or captured by another kingdom. If it ever grew quiet in the north, the northern countries would take the opportunity to cast their influence (and military might) in the south. This created friction with the most powerful in the north, which brought the war back to their homes instead of south to the newly colonized lands.

The Great War ended because it grew meaningless to keep fighting. The people, so horrified by the tragedy of war and the loss of their friends and family, cried to stop the fighting. Men who saw their brothers and sisters murdered at the hands of some nation's army rose to power, pouring everything into their ambition to stop the hatred. Mercenaries and bandits could also no longer continue fighting for the most part. What treasuries they emptied in service now prompted mass infighting. The people were scarred, the land was scarred, the entire event ended in a large gaping wound for everyone and everything.

Then you have the rebuilding and reclamation, the effort to develop ideas and technologies to prevent such an event from happening once more. New and frightening forms of government are proposed by the greatest minds in the world, technology of a long forgotten era are recovered or rediscovered. Effort to mend the terrible wound that simply [i]is[/is] proceeds wholesale. Bandits turn entrepreneurs, mercenaries form their own countries or settle down to become members of a kingdom's proper army.

And now you have the present day. In many areas, the people have forgotten how hard it was to simply exist for a few decades at a time, and now cry out to their governments to provide them with more... "more" being something some countries cannot give. In other areas, the governments have done little to improve the people's quality of life. Those citizens cry out in rebellion, repeatedly overthrowing their governments and letting new parties reign to attempt to correct problems that haven't been dealt with in centuries. Very few places may you find citizens actually content with their quality of life, be it of high or poor quality.

Mercenaries and remnants of war-focused kingdoms are beginning to wonder if the Great War should not have ended, focusing less on the atrocities committed by past generations and instead looking at the lack of food on the table for their families, unable to profit from their profession and unable to adapt to today's world. They may yet try to start it all over again.

Countries, like in the days of an age long past, only claim the land that they have developed or the land that they can control. A nation's boundaries may be very large, simply because they have the military or other such might to lay claim to it. Perhaps the land they claim is simply in waste, which is the case in many areas, and other nations do not bother to contest such claims. And everywhere, whether marked on the map or not, lay pockets of anarchy. Good anarchy, in which the people eek out a decent life without the complications of grand government, or bad anarchy, where warlords or clans control the lands. A nation's claim may expand for hundreds of miles, but areas inside that claim would never acknowledge it.

The countries that also exist now are probably not the ones that existed in the first place. If any country did survive the thousand years of horror, then it's present day state is a grotesque mockery of what it once was, perhaps only the same in name but never again in the same spirit.

The nations of the present day, at least the ones on the mainland to the north of the Spine, must have cultures or governments or economic systems that reflect on these past atrocities. The wound left behind has NOT been healed, nor even stitched over. At best, it's been lightly salted and covered with gauze, simply hiding the festering gore beneath. Life still sucks horribly everywhere for one fundamental reason or another, even if it may seem to be the best life anyone could ever have. So when developing nations, consider this, and how it answers some crucial questions: "Why is this nation here when so many others fell, are the people content with their lives here, is the government focusing on repairing the destruction and quality of life or ignoring it, is the nation threatened by rogue groups, is the government threatened by the hushed question of its permanency, and what part did it play in the last two to three hundred years of its meek existence (if it even lasted that long)?"
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Re: Nation Flavor

Post by CromTheConqueror on Sun Jul 19, 2009 3:57 pm

I like the general idea -though I don't see how there could be "millions of refugees" and then have a mere ten-thousand be too much of a tragedy. Also I wouldn't mind slightly more upbeat approach. Things suck sure but the world IS going up as you say and humans are a generally hopeful race. More of a mix of hope and fear in an ancient world full of darkness and unknown. We've gotten to the point where people can look beyond their own backyards, the issue is that they have only really begun to venture beyond that point. And of course all the chances of old-prejudices and hate waiting to rise up and drag humanity back to the drudgery of endless war it had been involved in before.
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Re: Nation Flavor

Post by Admin on Sun Jul 19, 2009 5:43 pm

Right, right. It is more upbeat than how I made it sound initially. Life is a LOT better than it used to be in most areas, it's just that tragedy is everywhere, and no one's life is really 'perfect'. The people accustomed to luxury have had a taste of something more, and demand those more somethings. The ones in offices of government do have it a lot better in quality of life but they must also deal with politics and thepeople.

It's just that the existing nations are probably built atop the ruins of possibly three other nations, and may have a culture completely different than the remains under the soil. The nations we create now have to be somehow influenced by the fact that up until about two hundred years ago, life was pretty much a horrible existence unless you were privileged enough to be inexpendable for someone.

Unless you mean to say that perhaps the Great War should be a bit more cheery.

As for the "millions of refugees and then a mere ten-thousand be too much of a tragedy", I don't understand how you mean that. Where are the millions and ten-thousand referenced, or if it's a concept, what are you drawing the concept from?
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Re: Nation Flavor

Post by CromTheConqueror on Sun Jul 19, 2009 5:55 pm

I am...I am not sure. I could have sworn I read line referencing millions of refugees and then something down the line a bit more talking about death toll being as high as ten thousand. But obviously Crom is just crazy and made it up in his head. I blame the Payday I was eating.

Also, I agree about them being influenced by the war. That's why my nation is so obsessed with personal skill and strength. The nation was founded sometime in the third quarter of the Thousand Year War. The nation managed to survive by relying on personal strength and indepedence. When armies from the north came in and starting cutting supply lines and communications, it didn't matter, because Imperator generals and troops were largely indepedent as it was. I think of them in a lot of ways like America during the Revolutionary War. Sure there was cohesion, there had to be, but there were a lot of heroes throughout the war that we honor instead of -just- George Washington.

The recent upbeat note in Imperator -the personal honor bit- is due in large part to a sweeping religous movement that occured in the last years of the war and grew and thrived in the relative peace that followed.
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