Iskirra is a nation located to the west of Amarna, across the Waltari Sea. It is a federal socialist state. The capital is Drosperinon.
The Iskirran culture is defined by its prolific use of magic merged with science and technology. Iskirran sorcerers are trained at the Magic Academy in the capital. They, along with inventors, are incorporated into a robust military-industrial complex which seeks to spread Iskirran influence and expand the nation's borders through warfare and (often underhanded) diplomacy.
For most of its history, Iskirra was confined to an island, which it shared with its northern neighbors, the Sarovarians. At some point prior to 149, they conquered and made Sarovar a province of the Iskirran Empire. In 149 Iskirra invaded and conquered the kingdom of Zantium (to the east, across the Garhoon strait).
Mainland Iskirra also includes the Gorodok peninsula in the south, which is known for its high volcanic activity. Around 40% of the region is mountainous, with a few lakes located in the northern half of the country.
Iskirra is officially a federal socialist state, though some have described it as an authoritarian empire. The centralized government supervises its citizens' lives in everything from healthcare to child-rearing to finding a mate. Despite this, there is a strong divide between the upper and lower classes. The bulk of the upper class minority is made up of bureaucrats and statesmen (managers of enterprises are counted as national leaders under the Departments of Agriculture, Commerce, Resources, etc) who are the most powerful men and women in the country, whereas the lower class majority is everyone else (the common laborer/peasant).
Thanks to its advanced military-industrial complex and incorporation of magic practitioners into its warrior class, Iskirra was able to mount a catastrophic invasion of Zantium, crushing its neighbors and shocking the world. Other countries, particularly Amarna, are now concerned that Iskirra has plans of world domination. Iskirran representatives and diplomats have done their best to assure them that this is not the case, and that the conquest of Zantium was the culmination of years of hostility between the nations. In other words, Zantium got what was coming to them - they stood in the way of the wheels of progress and were crushed.
The native Iskirrans make up the bulk of the population, although it is known for being very racially mixed. Iskirrans are among the tallest human ethnic groups, with most males standing over six feet tall and females around 5'10". They typically have straight hair and dark eyes, though blue eyes are not uncommon.
With their conquest of Zantium, the Zantines have become their largest minority, followed by the Sarovarians, Eltenians and Amarnans.
Defined by their absolute devotion to progress and technological advancement, the Iskirrans consider nothing sacred or off-limits. It is rumored that their scientists and physicians perform experiments on human subjects without thought for the risks or harm such activities might cause them. Such practices are considered acceptable so long as the experiments are conducted only on criminals, prisoners of war, or others who have been deemed useless or a detriment to society.
The Iskirrans value military training and education very highly. Anyone can join the military and all schools are open to the public. The education one receives in an Iskirran school is rife with state propaganda.
Religion in general is frowned upon as primitive superstition, but it is especially reviled if it stands in the way of "progress". This perspective began to shift after the conquest and subjugation of the Zantines, who were highly devout. The Iskirrans decided to try creating a new religion for the Zantines to follow in order to fulfill their cultural need for faith. This backfired badly and the policies were rolled back within a few years.
Attitudes toward foreigners are based on their perceived usefulness. For instance, there is an Iskirran government organization which focuses on encouraging immigration of individuals from esteemed foreign academies and schools who have received the highest marks among their peers. They are offered unique opportunities and jobs in Iskirra, along with various other benefits. Many have condemned this practice as bribery, but the steady drip of promising students who defect to Iskirra each year from abroad seemingly proves the success of such methods.
People and Society
- Races (Numbers): 65% Iskirran, 40% Zantine, 3% Eltenian, 1% Nykaran, 1% Amarnan
- Languages Spoken: Iskirran, Zantine
- Autonomy: Zantines are treated as second-class citizens.
Iskirra is officially an atheistic state. All non- or anti-magic religion is highly discouraged via propaganda and the public education system. The rights of the faithful to practice their religion are typically ignored in matters of the law. Subjugated Zantines who continue to openly practice Zantine Akhenism are either heavily taxed or actively persecuted, including imprisonment in reeducation camps, depending on their economic status and location.
Magic is studied and practiced primarily among the upper echelons of the populace. Iskirran sorcerers are employed by the government and considered a branch of the military. Magic is incorporated into science and technology, and utilized in warfare.
- Gender Equality/Roles: Women and men are seen as equal in the eyes of society, lacking any differences aside from biological ones. Both sexes can run for office and hold various careers, including military positions. Interestingly, arranged marriages are surprisingly common among Iskirrans, particularly in the upper class. Such marriages are typically arranged by the state rather than the individual's family, with the goal always being "to benefit our society" with a union which is profitable, convenient, or advances the nation's sphere of influence.
- Familial Units: Divorce is considered normal, with half of all marriages ending as a result of the union being dissolved, and neither parent is favored over the other on the basis of sex when it comes to child custody. Children born out of wedlock are no cause for alarm from a social standpoint and bring no shame upon either parent. Children are considered to be in the custody of the state, not the parents, as soon as they are born. The state has a legal contract with the parents wherein they are given a kind of "temporary custody" which permits them to raise the child within their household up until they come of age. This contract can be terminated under "appropriate circumstances", such as abuse, neglect, or if one or both parents is declared an enemy of the state. The government can then remove the child to an orphanage or other home. Adoption and foster parenting is fairly common. Most children are handed off to state-run daycares as young as age two while their parents are working, then as they reach the age of about five they are transferred to a more streamlined school system. Their education is filled with propaganda, and they are drilled from an early age to believe in the superiority of their culture. Children from upper class families may be sent to the Iskirran Magic Academy if their parents can pay for the tuition, in which case they receive a sorcerers' training. Aristocrats have been known to sponsor children from lower class families who would otherwise be unable to afford to attend the prestigious Academy; this is considered a mark of status, a flaunting of wealth, and a way of achieving greater favor (or restoring one's standing) with the state.
- Social Rituals:
- Fashion and Dress: Depending on social status, clothing is usually more elaborate and of better quality the higher up one is. There is no dress code between the sexes, with both men and women being permitted to wear whatever they wish.
- Entertainment/Games/Sports: Iskirran entertainment varies between social classes. The upper class typically favors more "highbrow" forms of leisure; there are opera houses and theaters in their sphere. Lower classes have their own theaters, but the productions are considered of lower quality. The plays themselves are universal, however. Iskirrans also have made a sport out of gladiatorial games and other tournaments. These may be mere sparring (such as those involving young students at the Academy) or lethal combat. The deadly blood games are often a means of executing prisoners, dissenters, and enemies of the state in a spectacular fashion.
- Art and Other Great Works: All Iskirran art, it should be noted, is inherently propaganda and must be approved by the state.
- Notable Subcultures: Iskirran magicians could be considered a subculture, seeing as they operate in a distinct sphere of society. Often viewed as gods or godlike beings, they are feared, loathed, respected and venerated by those outside their little world.
- Greeting and Meeting:
- Government Type: Unitary Directorial Dictatorship/Empire
- Nobility and Privilege:
- Capitol City: Drosperinon
- Crime and Punishment:
- Allies and Adversaries:
- Taxation: High
- Natural Resources
- Trade, Guilds and Market
- Technology and Medicine
- Transportation and Communication
Other Significant events
- Foreign Relations
- Internal Relations
Geography and Ecology
- Notable Natural Landmarks
- Notable Flora/Fauna
- Emperor Taranis Kuhl