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The Imperial Theocracy of Gendara


National motto: Igni Ferroque
(Latin: By Fire and Iron)
National anthem: The Imperial March
Official language English
Capital Alaris
Imperator Marius Blackburn
Archimandrite William d'Aquitaine
Population Over 1 billion
Currency The Lune

The Imperial Theocracy of Gendara is one of the Stormland nations, its eastern shores bordering the Sea of Storms.

Gendara is a mixture of imperium and ogliarchy, ruled by an Imperial family - which in turn is advised by a Council of Five known as the Pentarchy. It is made up of five Marches and the Cynosure (also known as the Interior). Each of the five Marches is ruled from a more-or-less central city, while the Cynosure is under the direct rule of the Imperator or Imperatrix, who dwells within the capital city of Alaris.

The Holy Empire of Gendara is not a member state of the United Nations, due to its unwillingness to conform to UN resolutions.


Gendara lies on the Sea of Storms, the eastern coastline of the empire bordering on that body of water. Nearly half of the borders of the empire are defined by the it - three of the six subdivisions have access to the sea.

To the north of Gendara is a massive mountain range (the Briarsis Mountains), which makes travel nearly impossible - though recently, a tunnel was bored through the mountains to allow train passage to the north. Through the mountains to the northeast lies the Principality of Mythinae.

To the west lies a marshy expanse known as the Hellswamp. Most likely fueled by water run-off from the Briarsis Mountains mixing with the mostly infertile lands to the south, the resulting marshland is riddled with quicksand, boggy pools, and twisted overgrowth. Rumor claims that the swamp is haunted, and that those who die there are cursed to remain forever undead, wandering the Hellswamp in search of victims to join them in their suffering.

To the south, the landscape gives way to drier and drier climate, until a vast plain of sand stretches out for miles. This desert is known as the Burning Sands, and it is generall accepted as fact that it is nearly impossible to cross on foot. Through the desert to the southeast lies the Allied States of Solinae. A railway line runs through this desert, running from Gendara to Solinae.

The Marches and the Cynosure

In general, the six subdivisions of Gendara are classified by their location relative to the capital city of Alaris. Specifically, each has a name which reflects its nature in some manner. Each March is ruled by a Margrave or Margravine.

Map of Gendara - Present Day
March Ruling City Ruling House Color on Map (right)
Briarsis Tyndarus Sandarace Yellow
Almeddwyn Cyrene Andreana Green
Mor'crâith Stonewatch Dolorosa Purple
Sarn'alaeth Moonbrook Aquitaine Red
Ildáthach Seareach Bryant Teal
The Cynosure Alaris Blackburn Blue

Briarsis is the March in the northwest of Gendara, a region known for its mountainous terrain (and is, in fact, named after the mountain range that runs through it). Its capital city is Tyndarus (the "Grim Fortress"), an imposing castle carved out of the very stone of one of the mountains. Briarsis is riddled with mines, and most of the mineral resources of Gendara have their origin here. The current Margrave, Nicholas Sandarace, is considered to be a stern but just ruler.

Almeddwyn is the March in the northeast of Gendara, a region known for the skill of its artisans and craftsmen, but also for the hedonism of its ruling House (the name means "the Land of Wine and Honey"). The current Margravine, Myrine Andreana, rules from the city of Cyrene - arguably the most ostentatious city in all of Gendara (and possibly the entire Stormlands).

Mor'crâith is the March in the southwest of Gendara, a region known for its barren scrubland (the name literally means "The Dead Wastes"). Mor'crâith serves two important purposes - first, all members of the military are trained here (and, as military service is compulsory, this means that every Gendaran has spent at least some of their life in Mor'crâith), and this is where criminals are sent for "re-education". The black tower of Stonewatch rests deep within the wastes, surveying the land. The ruler of this bleak March is Margravine Catalina Dolorosa.

Sarn'alaeth is the March to the east and southeast of Gendara, a region known for the passions of its ruling House (the name means "Heart of Fire"). The House of Aquitaine rules from the city of Moonbrook, a massive patchwork of gleaming marble and glittering pools of running water. The greatest portion of Gendara's agricultural production comes from Sarn'alaeth, due to the abundance of fertile land to be found there. William d'Aquitaine currently serves as both Margrave of Sarn'alaeth and Archimandrite of the Pentarchy.

Ildáthach is the March in the extreme south of Gendara, a region known for its shipping... as well as for the number of illicit dealings which take place there (the name means "Sorrow's Path", which stems from the privateers who lair amongst the inlets and ply the Sea of Storms). The city of Seareach is more ship than city - nearly 80% of it is built upon wooden docks and platforms, floating upon the waters of the south's largest inlet. Endless piers jut outward from the main mass, providing safe harbor for coutless ships. Ildáthach survives both from the profits of trade with other nations, as well as from the piracy of the corsairs upon the other nations upon the Stormsea. A tacit agreement has been made with the corsairs - no real action will be taken to bring them to justice, as long as they avoid preying upon Gendaran ships. This acceptance of crime is reflected in the ruling House - upon meeting Margrave Aurora Bryant for the first time, one might believe she's more rogue than ruler.

The Cynosure is the center of Gendara, just as Alaris is the center of the Cynosure. It is a truism that all roads lead there, and that a single decision made there today will effect the cities of the Pentarchy tomorrow, and all of Gendara the day after. The Cynosure produces nothing, even as it feeds off the labors of all five Marches - though it has been said that the true purpose of Alaris is to act as heart, mind, and soul to the Empire... a task which it performs admirably.


Main article: History of Gendara

Much of Gendara's history is incredibly dull - less a study of names and dates as it is an inventory of production and reams worth of efficiency statistics. As such, history is rarely taught to the young.

There ARE some crucial moments which occurred in Gendaran history which are considered important, however, and these are taught to children as young as six - the most important of these is the Wars of Ascendancy and the Unification of the Empire. For more information concerning these topics, please see the main article.


Main article: Religion of Gendara

Though the government of Gendara has in the past been called "avowedly atheist", this is not entirely true. It might be better to suggest that the empire is functionally atheist - while there is no organized church or official form of worship, most Gendarans believe in the gods of their ancestors.

Moreover, the current mind-set of the Gendaran people most assuredly stems from their beliefs. While most Gendarans today are not actively religious, their views of social obligation and the rights of man were shaped by the philosophy and traditions of their faith. Because of this, it is perhaps better to refer to Gendarans as Secular Theists.


Internal Politics

The political system of Gendara has been referred to in the past as an Imperial ogliarchy - in other words, the empire is ruled by one man, who is in turn advised by five Margraves (a group known as the Pentarchy). This provides some measure of "check-and-balance", as an Imperator who is opposed to the entire Pentarchy may find himself little more than a figurehead, while a strong Imperator can play one House against another to weaken the unity of his opposition.

While Gendaran culture is mildly sexist (women are not considered the physical equals of males, though it is assumed both sexes are generally equal intellectually), it is not considered impossible for a Margrave or even Imperator to be female (indeed, in most walks of life, merit trumps gender (though influence tends to trump both)). In such cases, the proper terms are Margravine or Imperatrix.

Cognatic primogeniture - first-born inherits, regardless of gender. Applies to the Imperial House.

Tanistry - chief of the tribe is voted on by all members of the tribe, rules for life. Applies to the noble Houses, as well as when the Pentarchy (the five heads of the five Houses) elect the Archimandrite (who acts as advisor and assistant to the Imperator).

Morganatic marriage - when nobles marry commoners, and both the foreign spouse and the children of said marriage cannot inherit the titles.

Foreign Relations

Not yet available.


Gambling is illegal, Organ donation is compulsory, scientists regularly clone human beings for research purposes, Elections have been outlawed, euthanasia is legal, the mining industry is making inroads into environmentally sensitive areas, and employers may fire workers without giving any reason. Duels. drug policy. Magistrates.

The medium-sized, corrupt government is mainly concerned with Law & Order, although Defence and Education are on the agenda. Citizens pay a flat income tax of 14%. A healthy private sector is led by the Beef-Based Agriculture industry, followed by Retail and Information Technology.

Political activists are routinely executed, citizens are barcoded to keep track of their movements, divorce is illegal, and the alarmingly racist TV show 'Bigtopians Say the Darndest Things' is a hit. Crime -- especially youth-related -- is well under control, thanks to the all-pervasive police force.

It is illegal to make racist remarks in public, the institution of marriage is held sacred and strictly enforced, the government extracts trade concessions from poor nations in exchange for humanitarian aid, and phone taps are frequently carried out by the police.

Women earn less than half the salary of men if they can even find a job.


Strong The Lune. 14% flat tax rate.

Gendaran Economy


At age 16, all Gendaran citizens must report for compulsory military service. Males are almost universally funneled into combat training, though young men with special gifts or who have influential patrons may find themselves groomed for leadership or secular roles instead. Females with exceptional physical conditioning may also be forwarded into combat training, while the rest are placed in a support/medical role.

After one year of training and two years of mandatory service, each citizen may choose to either remain in the military, transfer to the police, or return to private life.

Those who choose to remain within the military undergo a series of tests, which, when combined with observations from their period of service, determine what their future role will be. The cream of the crop are sent to further training, during which time the focus is on developing an awareness of tactics, strategy, and command. Anyone who doesn't qualify for such training remains in the rank-and-file.

Those who choose to join the police are also tested. Those who show a keen intellect (as well as a fair share of loyalty) may be recruited by the Chosen of Ravan (also known as the Redcloaks). Those who are merely average become Conservators in the Order of Harmony, the standard police force.

Those who return to public life may either seek to become an unskilled tradesman, or take admission tests for one of the three Imperial Colleges. College graduates then go on to fill the more intellect-driven occupations in society.

A number of citizens, however, slip through the system without finding a place. Those who seem to lack qualifications for any job, or who simply make waves, may find themselves unemployed. The unemployed must either depend upon the charity of others or work at various demeaning odd-jobs or starve - there is no welfare or unemployment system to act as a social net. Citizens who remain unemployed for too long, or simply become homeless for whatever reason, may find themselves rounded up as "indigents". Indigents are usually sent to work camps in Mor'crâith, though it is not unheard of for particularly severe cases to simply "disappear".