| Haud pacis ultra versus. (Latin)|
No peace beyond the line. (English)
| Quid quid latine dictum sit, altum videtur. (Latin)|
I drank what? (English)
|Official Language(s):||English, Spanish, French, Naval Flag Dialogue, and Thieves' Cant. Additionally, most natives know some form of Finger-talk.|
|Capital:||Nominally, Port Verity. Truly, the Sea.|
|Leader:||That's a state secret, and not for you lads and lasses t'know. It's largely de-centralized, after all.|
|Population:||10 Million at page creation.|
|Founding Date:||December First, 2005|
|National Flower:||Black Lotus|
|National Tree:||White Ash|
|Time Zone:||Multiple, due to irregularities in nation composition.|
|Anthem:||What shall we do with the Drunken Sailor.|
|Map:||Not available yet.|
|Tech Level:||Varies, to suit the RP.|
|Nation Codes:|| ISO: NRSA. |
|Stats: NSEconomy Pipian XML|
The Rogue Nation of Nairatsa, or Freehaven of Nairatsa, is a federalist democratic republic, with strong anarchistic leanings, built around the dualistic concepts of negative liberty and laissez-faire governance. The burgeoning power is comprised of several large island chains, and numerous land-bound assets, but both claims no natural territory, and avoids any subdivision or districting of it's lands into any form of state or district. It is referred to primarily and most commonly as Nairatsa, or 'The Haven', abbreviated as F. (of) N., and in a formal context as variously 'The Freehaven of Nairatsa', 'The Piratical Paradise of Nairatsa', and 'The Rogue Nation of Nairatsa'. The various governmental entities of Nairatsa primarily use one of the latter two forms.
The Rogue Nation of Nairatsa's official founding date is December 1, 2005, though it existed in numerous forms prior to that date. The Nairatsan nation is largely indifferent reguarding it's own history, however, so this date is under dispute. The general consensus on it's founding date centers around the establishment of it's first parlimentary council, and subsequent revision of the highly informal Pirates' code into a more uniform, but still informal basis for governance. This revision primarily centered about the establishment and legitimization of government as an extention of the captaincy, and is considered the first real legislation passed. Alternate founding dates include the building of the first docks on Port Verity (January 1, 2005), the first Infamous Captaincy (July 6, 2005), and the first defensive action of Nairatsan militia. (August 23, 2005). No formal founding date is celebrated, though, as the natives say, "It's always a party in port."
- 1 Region: The East Pacific
- 2 History of Nairatsa, the Nation
- 3 Culture of Nairatsa
- 4 Economy
- 5 Environment and Geography
- 6 Technology
- 7 Government
- 8 The Intelligence Agency
- 9 Errata
Region: The East Pacific
Near December First of 2005 the nation of Nairatsa came into recognition in the East Pacific, seeking to enjoy the fruits of a small and sleepy region, however by the end of the month, dreams of rest and relaxation were cast to the winds, and the Black Flag was a'flyin. Shore leave was never so short.
History of Nairatsa, the Nation
The concept for Nairatsa largely grew from the historical Libertatia and other rumored and extant pirate havens. The rest was conjured from fat air and gun smoke, and is not meant as actual historical fact. It should also be noted that Nairatsans have a notoriously lax attitude concerning record-keeping, so even what is said below is suspect to the ravages of time.
Nairatsan history began in an environment strikingly similar to the Carribean of the 1600's. Minor indegenous peoples were being displaced in favor of large colonies established by distant foreign powers, and enterprising journeymen captains often went rogue, first stealing a ship, then preying upon lightly defended shipping. These piratical individuals eventually became a significant threat to the interests of the nations in the region, and were forced to form loose confederacies for mutual defence, as the larger nations exerted military might in the region. These sea coven, along with those of their number lucky enough to retire, either formed or converted the first land-based haven by soaking the region with ready pirate coin. Enterprises sprang up around this source of wealth, designed to cater to the unsavory desires of pirates in port, and an economy was born.
With the economy, and a willing fence for stolen goods, came an operations center for pirates, a convienent place for captains to meet, air grievances (usually by dueling), and form further sea bands. Naturally, the governemnts of these colonial interests viewed this development with trepidation, and early pirate havens were required to move about often, one step ahead of a far superior military. Eventually, these havens grew too large and well established to uproot, and were forced to levy militia, volunteers from among the larger fleets in port, to serve for defense. Shortly after this phenomenon became prevalent, the irate colonial powers swept in with the full might of their regional military. This forced the two largest havens of the time, Port Verity, and the slightly smaller Nightshame, to band together in an attempt to stave off the invasion force. This was commonly known as the first Infamous Captaincy, as the head of the combined armada was one Roque "Shadow" de Gault, a master of seaborne stealth and fleet tactics, and his reign over the combined colonies was long and prosperous. Subsequently, 'Infamous Captancy' has been used to refer to the reigns of a number of Nairatsan politicals, notable for their stature or particular ability. De Gault led his overmatched fleet in a eighty-hour conflict against the superior colonials, aided by an unusually thick fog and starless nights. When the sun rose on the fourth day, the last group of imperials sank, carrying with them the last chance of the colonials.
As Nairatsa grew, Port Verity and Nightshame came to be called the prime islands. Subsequent additions are not adressed with any formal title, though to some extent they are regarded as conquered territory and held in slightly less esteem. Often, similarly minded territories will informally petition for entrance and protection under the umbrella of the nation, and as such, the territories of Nairatsa are disjoint and scattered across multiple Earths and dimentions. All possess at least some means of contact with the primes, however, as part of their charter. Conspicquously absent from these official governmental documents are any mention of education, social welfare, or public enterprise. This was intentional, and born from the underlying capitalist philosophies of the early privateers.
History After Establishment
After the threat of invasion abated, the freebooters recognized that the union presented unpresidented opportunity, namely to rob everyone blind within sailing distance. In fact, the first Infamous Captancy earned it's notoriety for the prolonged period of looting, pillaging, and drunken revel that followed. During this time, the nation became a power to be reckoned with, as fleets swelled, fat with carreened and refitted merchant ships. The first shipyards were built in Port Verity at this time, and it's first tall ship was comissioned for Capt'n Shadow, a one-hundred gun bronze-sided ship of the line. The Black Joker was superior to most nations' largest battleships, and vastly so to any of their local assets.
As time passed, the nations that Nairatsa had begun raiding faded from prominence, torn apart by internecine strife and more local war. With their fall, the young nation turned inward, establishing the more formalized version of the Pirates' Code used today, adopting the Jolly Roger, and co-opting the sea shanty 'What shall we do with the Drunken Sailor' as a (temporary) national anthem, for their recognition and ease of use. It was at this time that the first Ruling Council was formed, as a sort of Captain's Corps. With the estalishment of a Government came the minting of a currency, the Flare (ʃ), though barter prevailed as the most common method of transaction for a significant period of the nation's history.
Alongside currency came diplomacy, and the nation shifted it's focus to include all manner of confidence methods. Diplomatic assignments are simply viewed as a way to rob someone blind without actual threat of force. At roughly the same time, government agencies emerged, from the trade unions that survived conquest. In accordance with their roots, however, the agencies themselves are largely mercenary; in addition to being laissez-faire, they pay and accept bids for nearly every service. Intelligence was handled in a particularly unusual way; the spies are essentially free agents. This has affected the behavior of society as a whole, and the view of the nation in the world's eyes in profound ways.
Since the first, there have been three particularly outstanding Infamous Captaincies. The first of the three, Daniel "The Salt" Schempp, rose to prominence as a member of the upper legislative body, earning his post through a particularly impressive series of raids on a now-defunct nation's diamond shipping lines, returning nearly three hundred million flares of hard assets, and several hundred usable ships. His infamy was earned through his subsequent exploits, though. Once in his new post, the Salt used the military might of the nation to shadow blockade many shipping lines, establishing no fewer than ten sea legends of monsters, electromagnetic disturbances, and flickering portals to other realms.
The third and fourth Infamous Captaincies were rumored to be one and the same, or a man and and his son, Ferth "Steel Heart" de Rin. He was rumored to have had a portion of his heart shot free at an early age, and there may have been some measure of truth to that, as he is known to have had a piece of cannon shell affixed to his torso. Steel Heart the First's ascention is lost to the mists of time, but it is known that he disappeared shortly after a manipulative trade arrangement that sent thousands of pounds of hard wealth shipping home for no real export. The second recorded "Steel Heart" was appointed to the council after a unanimous vote by the undercouncil, again under unknown circumstances, and announced that he was the same man as before. Though the veracity of this claim is unknown, the second Heart continued in the footsteps of the first, wringing every drop of profit out of any trade agreement by any means necessary. It was said, of both, that if you escaped the negotiation with your shirt, he'd simply shoot you and then take it.
In recent times, the nation of Nairatsa has served as a below-board intelligence agency, available for hire at it's discretion. The military is largely kept as a militia, and given that the nation is currently in a low state of alert, few troops are levied. The nation is currently building several profitable trade alliances and diplomatic ties, though there is some suspicion that this is simply to further their covert and piratical aims.
Culture of Nairatsa
From the earliest freebooter's coves, culture has been chaotic at best, a hopeless tangle at worst. Due to the numerous, and largely now-defunct nations that provided the initial populace of Nairatsa, a wide variety of races and species now call the nation home. For each that brought their culture intact another fled some cultural stigma, and would as soon develop one ad hoc. If there were any notable indigenous peoples, They have long been lost to the annals of time, or merged with the population at large. Further, the generally apathetic attitude of Nairatsans toward the affairs of others permits a non-homogenized culture to grow and flourish.
In this varied environ, several eclectic and occasionally high-quality artistic movements have arisen, notably the music genres of Chaos Jazz, Shanty, and Bardic Free Verse. A few painting styles have also emerged in Nairatsa, largely the brainchildren of banished political artists. These include a variant of Cubism, Magical Emotion, and Real Sculpture. The causal appreciator beware, though, for Nairatsan works of art often affect the audience. Paintings come to life, Music inspires action, and Sculpture is often mistaken for animate life. Occasionally, it is.
That said, there are some bedrock values of Nairatsan society, and it is by no means a hazy nation of starving artists and peaceniks. Nairatsans are mainly reserved, stalwart people, compassionate to their neighbors and vicious toward their enemies. The average Nairatsan (Nairatsenné (f.)) is tolerant to a point, believes in the value of private enterprise and aims to achieve notoriety in their life time. Society as a whole is meritocratic, with hard work often the only means to advancement, in direct rebellion to the 'Divine Right of Kings' theory predominant in their countries of origin. Art is a secondary, but valued concern, and hints of hedonism run throughout. Nairatsans are seen by their neighboring nations as a mercurial lot; often sober, yet given to wild revel, a motley crew of characters, and always an interesting gang.
Races of Nairatsa
Due to the unusual foundations and continuing immigration policy of Nairatsa, a number of races comprise the core population, with a non-trivial amount of vagrants shifting through by their own whim. As there is no census, the listing below is in roughly accurate order, by the best guess of the Nairatsan Minister of the Interior.
- Human: Humans make up the majority of the Nairatsan population, and possess no outstanding features other than their lack of body hair. Originally, all of Nairatsa was Human, but with the trans-realm trade deals of the third Captaincy, an influx of other rogues, rebels and exiles has forged the modern nation.
- Demi-humans: Human half-breeds. With all sorts of things. Satyrs through tieflings, with brief pauses at half-elf and elementalkin. Not to be confused with modified humans, though there has been some arguement that Nairatsan demi-humans are genetically tweaked Humans and vice versa.
- Darks: Elfin, slender and sneaky as hell. No one knows from whence they came, and no one asks too closely. Considered by many to be direct kin to Drow. Also present are Dark Elves, but the groups maintain that they are distinct.
- Elves: Elves, similar to both their Tolkien-esque and D&D bretheren, are unusually found living at open peace with their dark-skinned cousins. Nairatsa is one of few extant examples of trade between the two groups.
- Nekomimi: Cat Girls from 1 Infinite Loop, they comprise some smaller chunk of the Nairatsan populace at large. They are generally viewed as completely harmless, but distractingly cute.
- Posthuman: Humans or humanoids genetically or mechanically modified to be something else, usually by addition of cybernetic augmentation, or radioactive mutation. Nairatsa has very few native posthumans.
- Syreen: Green-skinned humanoids, predominantly beautiful and female. Thought to be distant relatives of Humans, they have shown a distinct affinity for the Human males of the nation.
- A.I.: Assorted forms of free (or rebellious) machine intelligence. Extant forms include one liquid metal entity (LiME), three self-aware computer viri, and sundry humanoid forms.
- Sapient Animals: Animals made sapient by some biological, mechanical, or magical means. no one significant breeding populace exists, although Timber Wolves are the most commonly seen.
- Assorted Dross: Nobody knows. Nairatsans come and go.
Customs and Fashion
As a reflection of their general culture, Nairatsan customs are as varied as the fish in the sea, and primarily hail from their country of origin. A group of Syreen may decide to take leave for Baccturnalia, while a gang of Darks is shored for K'rist'nas, for example. There are few official holidays, and fewer still native celebrations. That being said, there are a few notable fixtures of civil existance that hark from the earliest days of island life, and some social tendencies persist from times of sail. These customs are not kept by any governmental action, but celebrated by general consensus.
The colors red and black are considered generally dashing, and historically piratical modes of dress are unusually prevalent, including the three-cornered hat, the bandanna, and leather calf boots. The skull and crossbones is ubiquitous, as is the habit of wearing weapons openly in public, and the favored materials are either waterproof or water-repellent, including heavy oiled wool and treated leather. Nairatsenné women tend toward elegant, yet abbreviated fashions, often causing traffic accidents via sheer distraction. As a majority of men hold some post in the militia, male fashion usually consists of military dress, in varying degrees of formality. Hair is often worn long by both sexes, and wigs are considered societally acceptable. There is no rigorous social seperation by economic status, and it is considered unremarkable to see a captain drinking with his men.
Though a sardonic people, Nairatsan hospitality is a throwback from the early days of "Hide in here, quick."; if a Nairatsan takes you into their home and breaks bread, they are as your brother until the next sunset. People of varied races are treated with equanimity, and Nairatsans are a notoriously unflappable people. Holidays, commonly referred to as 'shore leave' or 'liberty', are often centered around a particularly infamous action, or lucrative haul, and rarely, dedicated to a person. Often the celebration is modest, consisting of a simple toast to the honored party, but there are portions of major cities that hold perpetual parties. These blocks of unchained revelry are formalized anarchy, and customary social inhibitions are entirely left at the door.
(For general Nairatsan ethics and philosophies, see Nairatsan Philosophy.)
Again, as with every other aspect of Nairatsan culture, religion is primarily a product of the individuals' country of origin, or lineage. There is no recognized 'Church of Nairatsa' nor any state religion. Further, as Nairatsans' are firm believers in leaving well enough alone, evangelism often falls on deaf ears. As a whole, Nairatsans tend to show an unusual reverence for the sea and Lady Luck, paying both at least lip service during day-to-day life; likely a product of their tempest-tossed origins. Some guess of the religions present may be formed by investigation of tax records, as every nonprofit must obtain and renew a government charter. By this metric, most Nairatsans are monotheists, followed by pantheist polytheism, assorted other cult beliefs, and a few atheists to round out the pack. Specifically, Christianity and Floydism have some support, as does Sea-theism; also, Hellenic Pantheism seems to be gaining a modest belief base. One could note, however, that Hedonism is prevalent enough to eclipse all others, but that perspective is a minority view. As it pertains to law, the principles of morality set forth by Christianity are the default, though the government generally refuses to interfere with the social existence of its citizens, save to protect personal liberty.
Specific monotheistic religions in order of date first chartered:
- Christianity - Any one of a number of religions centered around worship of a monotheistic deity as expressed by the Bible. Core tenets include belief in Christ, from whom the name Christianity is derived.
- Aism - Linguistic superiority monotheism, basing deitic status upon simply having the lexically superior name of 'A'. Now defunct.
- Floydism - Awfully hard to describe; centering on the teachings of Pink Floyd, the now-defunct band. See the linked page.
Specific polytheistic religions in order of date chartered:
- Sea-theism, or sea worship. - A belief system as old as the sea, and very informal. Superstition regarding the nature of chance and any number of powers, monsters, and stewards of the sea, and, to a lesser extent, nature in general.
- The Right Church of Captaincy - The pseudo-worship of any one, or all of the past noteworthy captains of record, generally frowned upon as an extension of the 'Divine Right of Kings'
- Hellenic Pantheism - The pantheistic worship of multiple deities of a Grecian nature, usually importuned for various causes by specific deity's domain. Often involves sacrifice.
- Dendee Pantheism - Phonetically, 'DnD Pantheism'. The belief in one or multiple patrons alongside a pantheon of related powers. Often the religion of Elves, Darks, Demi-humans and their kin.
- Chance (Religion of) - The belief in, and worship of, variously, Lady Luck, sheer probability, or some form of risk-driven causation. Importuned through bizarre and ritualistic rites, and often paid service in a pinch, particularly by intelligence agents.
- Atheism - The absence of belief in any form of higher or governing deitic power.
There is no formal language of state; all correspondance is written in the language most likely to be understood by the recipient. Internally, this usually means English, but external missives may be in any of English, Spanish, French, Naval Flag Dialogue, and Grog-induced mumbling (when taking dictation). The average natural-born or natualized Nairatsan is well on their way to fluency in all of these, primarily for trade purposes, and speakers will cycle through them as their purposes desire, often without concious effort. English is used is the primary language of commerce, for it's adaptive structure and cross-national commonality. It surfaces a fair amount of time in prose, as well, for it's readily acerbic wit, and it is often the first taught language. Spanish, too, sees use in trade, but it is mainly found in service as a second to English in governmental communication, for it's gender specificity and simplicity, and also for it's capacity for formal address.
French is primarily used privately, for quiet whisperings between couples or romantic prose, and it is held in wide regard as the most romantic of the lot. The descriptive effervesence of French also makes it a natural choice for verbose arguements, florid praise, obfuscatory proclamations, and outright lies. It's sheer fluidity of speech makes it the second taught to most younglings, who may struggle with mastery of the fricatives of English or the rolled consonant sounds of common Castillan Spanish.
Thieves' Cant, a bastardization of language in the interests of forming a cryptolect, is prevalent in Nairatsan life. So prevalent, in fact, that it has outgrown the purely underworld form where it began. Alternatively, the underworld is a significant enough portion of the state to have it's own sub-language, but that, again, is a minority view. Today,it sees primary use as a covert tongue, spoken in shadow as sign and countersign. No extant schools of cant exist, but somehow it propagates. It has evolved to the point that a perfectly innocent discussion may cloak the most sinister of underpinings, and is one more example of Nairatsans not being what they first seem. The exact lexicon of cant, however, is not a matter of public record, as it would be immediately changed were it known.
For a variety of reasons, ranging from stealth to communication in a hostile environment, the vast majority of Nairatsan citizens also understand Naval Flag Dialogue, the communication of ships by the raising and lowering of certain flags, each with encoded phrases. Some learn another tongue alongside NFD, Finger-talk. The second silent linguistic form, finger talk is a specialized variant of sign language, intended to convey involved meaning via a series of barely noticable motions. Either or both of these are visible around the edges of society, appearing as subtly doubly-meaningful public images and gestures, long-distance visual dialogue, and shorthand in a vocally hostile situation.
Weights and Measures
After the fasion of the Imperial system from whence it was derived, the Nairatsan Standard is as follows:
- ynch, inch: Anglo Saxon inch, 3 barleycorns.
- hand: 4 inches.
- shaftment: Width of the hand and outstretched thumb, 6½ ynches before 1066, 6 inches thereafter.
- span: Width of the outstretched hand, from the tip of the thumb to the tip of the little finger, 3 palms = 9 inches.
- foot: Usually 12 ynches but also other variants.
- cubit: Forearm, 18 inches.
- yard: Introduced after 1066, 3 feet = 36 inches.
- ell: Elbow, 20 nails = 1¼ yard or 45 inches. Mostly for measuring clothing.
- fathom: From one fingertip to the other, 6 feet.
- rod: Saxon gyrd measuring stick, might have been from 20 "natural feet". Retained its length but redefined as 16 ½ Roman feet after 1066.
- league: Usually three miles. Intended to be an hour's walk.
- tierce: 42 wine gallons.
- hogshead: 63 wine gallons.
- pipe or butt: 2 hogsheads = 3 tierces.
- tun: 2 pipes or 2 butts.
- grain (gr): ≈ 65 mg.
- dram (dr): 27.34375 gr (sixteenth of an ounce).
- ounce (oz): 16 dr = 437.5 grains ≈ 28 g.
- pound (lb): 16 oz = 7000 grains ≈ 454 g.
- hundredweight (cwt): 112 lb (long) or 100 lb (short).
Nairatsans are unusually self-sufficient; at an early age, the average Nairatsan can field strip a rifle, run a farm, and sail a ship by the stars. Built atop this foundation, the educational system is highly irregular. The basic system is similar to modern American school, with children going through a fairly standard progression of Kindergarden through College, yet the subjects taught cause many a visitor to raise an eyebrow. Maths and Rhetoric are ever present, but alongside them one finds Acrobatics, Wilderness Survival/Orienteering, and Poison Identification (the final is pass/fail). Similarly varied are the degrees offered by these institutions, and it is likely that a Nairatsan has a degree that specifically applies to their chosen field, regardless of what it may be. This unique system stems from a national emphasis on self-reliance and personal responsibility, wherin the average citizen is expected to be a capable generalist, in addition to any specalized skills they may possess.
Unsurprising, given that the entire existance of the nation has hinged upon the peripheral abilities of it's citzens in the past. Public education is virtually nonexistant, though Artisan guilds often adopt children and young adults, offering teachings and board in return for the rights of sale of the acolyte's work. Coupled with a ruthless drive to excel, this has brought a significant portion of the populace far beyond what one would expect from a pirate, creating the archtypal intelligent savage.
In the past, and as a heavy influence on Nairatsa's present, most of the economy was barter based and driven. In fact, Nairatsa developed a currency far after a stock exchange, formal constitution, and a National Bank. This is reflected in every facet of formal economics, first in the unusually hard currency (it may be readily exchanged for any number of solid value items), the still barter-driven The Grand Fair, and more subtly in the tendencies of the natives. Even in aristocratic circles, values often are spoken of in terms of real assets, not currency.
These peculiarities are joined by a tendency to carouse their goods away, which makes the nation biased toward the entertainment and service industries. Heavy industries are also unusually present, accompanied by a variety of low-quantity producers, catering to special needs. The revellry has polarized the economy, with main industry either highly skilled work or mimimally competent grunt labor. Other Nairatsan talents tend to travel extensively, returning to squander their ill-gotten gains, recover, and return to the sea.
With the three-thousandth challenge to their legitimacy based on their lack of coin, however, Nairatsans had had enough. Five years into their nation's existance, the Ruling Council passed the 'Policy for Adoption of a State Currency' and the Flare was born. Though the standard terms of reference are used with regard to currency (i.e. one million flares), it is base eight, and care should be taken when trading.
There is no paper currency, save for high-flare bank transfers, and coins are minted to contain precious materials, to allow for their easy use in foreign states. Every coin has division lines on the obverse, for ready split into eight equal pieces for change-making. To avoid overly heavy currency, rather than mint larger coins, they are cast in progressively more valuable metal and stone. When denominations beyond a certain point are needed, bank transfer slips or checks are usually utilized.
Coinage is broken down as follows:
- 10, 20, 50, and 100 Flare (This is both the name of the currency and the term used to describe coin larger than 10, 8 in base-10.)
- Single and double Real (1 and 2 Flares)
- Single and double Silver (Quarter and half Flares)
- Copper (Eighth Flare, ç)
Exchanges and Barter
Due to the latency between founding and declaration of a currency, exchange rates were formalized immediately after official adoption of the Flare, and, in fact, the Flare was based directly upon the price of precious metals in vairous universal currencies. Even before that adoption, street vendors readily capable of swapping currency from one nation's to another were prolific, and remain so. In the Freehaven, any form of national currency is acceptable, and at your request, a formal notation of the exchange rate will be made and included below.
- F$1 = NS$1.1248 (Flare to Nation States base dollar.)
- F$1 = D$1.5924 (Flare to Dinar, Narodna Odbrana's currency.)
- F$1 = AD$1.4887 (Flare to Axinonian Dollar, Axinon's currency.)
- F$1 = L$5.2049 (Flare to Loop, 1 Infinite Loop's currency.)
- F$1 = D$1.7416 (Flare to Douro, Pacitalia's currency.)
- F$1 = M$1.4193 (Flare to Mark, Xile's currency.)
- F$1 = cr$1.5075 (Flare to Credit, Thelas's currency.)
- F$1 = M$1.7393 (Flare to Menelmacari Credit, Menelmacar's currency.)
- F$1 = P$2.4359 (Flare to Pluto, The Plutonian Empire's currency.)
A flat, guild-set fee of 1% is charged at all exchange booths, and tourists are warned to avoid booths in less-than-savory neighborhoods.
Barter remains the simplest and most prevalent form of mercantile exchange, and at the nation's numerous long-running faires, it is common to purchase goods at one's entry, then conduct in trade from then on. Trade is usually conducted on the eminently haggleable base of futures values in the market, and negotiations are known to last for days, with a negotiatior form each party always present. Grog breaks, however, where both sides lumguzzle until they choose to stop, are often used as a means to accelerate this process. Any agreement struck in verbal contract is considered valid, though often an unbiased arbiter will be present for added insurance. Rarely are barter contracts written, and delivery is often taken rapidly (before the other party can sober up). Though this would seem to portray Nairatsan merchants as drunken, illiterate louts, in fact, they are drunken, shrewd, pennywise louts. For more on barter and Faires in general, see The Grand Fair.
Notable imported trade commodities include Pink Bunny Cola, a favored drink of many, the Alcohol Tree, for obvious reasons, and the fridge owl wings of Nekooters. (Though, as of this writing a franchise does not exist on Nairatsan soil.)
Nairatsan practicality treats information as just another commodity, to be bought and traded. To accurately valuate this nonstandard resource, every piece of salable knowledge is ranked, and those categories (authenticity, rarity, utility and detail) further subdivided as follows:
- General authenticity: Probability of source authenticity. Nairatsan Intelligence is renowned in this field, whereas the shady gent down the alley is suspect.
- Subject-specific authenticity: How likely it is an authentic snippet, independent of source. Also known as likelihood of forgery. An urban legend would score low, while cooking instructions for an egg would score rather highly.
- Rarity of Discovery: How unlikely it is that the information could be discovered in the wild. The True Name of the 423rd Potentate of Chalcedonar is not something left lying around, yet last night's homework is seen as fairly common.
- Rarity of Development: Improbability of the fact being developed from existing knowledge. Internal combustion from first principles is difficult, whereas gunpowder is a simple step.
- Utility by Frequency: "How often will the knowledge be usable?" A knot is an everyday use item, whereas the food preferences of her Highness the Dutchess of Wysterion is not.
- Utility by Necessity: "If you need it, will anything else do?" There are many ways to handle a life-threatening situation, other than improvised weaponry, lock picking, and pitching woo. Conversely, bomb diffusion is a fairly critical skill.
- Detail: "How involved is it?" A simplistic napkin-sketch of a deathray is less valuable than a elaborate architect's plan.
In fact, the mere existence of certain chunks of information, and their for sale status, is of value and is sold for an 'introductory' fee. Highly dangerous or suspect bits are driven into clandestine markets, catering to topics ranging from 'Noble Ladies Diaries' to 'State Secrets of Other Countries'. It is notable, however, that sparing few stories on the Nairatsan government surface, due to the loose nature of the government; the majority of such knowledge is either common or impossibly hard to obtain.
Environment and Geography
This section pertains to the original few archipelagos of Nairatsa. The diverse modern territiories of Nairatsa, legitimate and non, can be found at Geography of Modern Nairatsa.
The prime islands constitute an archipelago of 103 islands with a total land area of approximately 200,000 km². It lies between 13° 40' and 16° 34' E. longitude, and 4° 40' and 10° 9' N. latitude, and is bordered on the east by the Redian Sea, on the west by the Selenian Ocean, and on the south by the Pernis Sea. A few hundred kilometers to the northeast lies the peninsula of Kzist, and the now-defunct island colonies of Remanistad formed the south-eastern border.
The local climate is muggy, humid, and tropical. The average yearly temperature is around 24.9°C. There are three recognized seasons: Summer (the hot, humid season from March to May), Chaudir (the hotter, dry season from June to August), Cahaut (the not quite as hot, but extremely rainy season that contains the remainder of the year) The islands are moderately mountanous, and the less populus island of Erid is an active volcano. Diversely populated rainforests are prevalent, with thousand-year trees a common sight, and the inland waters are often fresh.
At the onset, all Nairatsan technology was stolen. Owing to the spymaster guild's proficiency, the milita was always a step ahead, and with them went the populace.
In the style of the ancient Romans, Nairatsa has begged, traded, borrowed and stolen much of it's technology, along with the manufacturing information for same. Traders continually return samples of advanced goods, or fragments of their plans, which are then sold to, as often as not, the NIS. Then they are analyzed, dissasembled, and rendered into complete plans for production and sale to those interested. Perhaps unusually for an intelligence service, they rarely censor or delay offerings, choosing instead to hike the price until it is no longer a feasible purchase.
Alongside these mundane goods follow bits of arcana, snippings of forgotten texts, indeciferable languages, fell tomes and physical impossibilties. Something as simple as an acorn may contain volumes of magical lore, bound for some academy or another. There are long-standing bids from all facets of the government and numerous schools for advanced knowledge of every stripe, and several are in excess of a million flares.
As the nation matured, however, development tanks arose. Several research institutes, often founded in an academy, have taken the lootings of various Nairatsan tradings and applied the brightest minds available. Of these foundations, several cross-industry developments were born, particularly through the marriage of magic and modern technology. Though this revolution has brought many advancements to the stage, these are not yet prevalent throughout even the upper echelons of Nairatsan society, and the lower levels are a motley patchwork of cross-level scraps.
Composition and Election
The Nairatsan government is composed primarily of a directly elected Ruling Council, a monocameral body akin to the House of Commons. Every year, a general referendum is held, and each Captain must hold a certain number of votes to remain in office. There is no limit on who (or what) can vote, or run, save that they be capable of signaling their assent in some consistent form. Due to this direct method, no distinct parties have formed, and though idealogical lines have developed around one issue or another, the populace does not let that keep them from their drink.
Once seated, a Council creates, appoints to, and oversees the day-to-day agencies of the government, in line with the views of their constituents. All matters of law are put before the council, and must pass a simple majority vote to be ratified. Every non-law concern of the government, from taxation to the judiciary is the purview of one or more of these agencies, with two notable exceptions. The budget, and ambassador assignments must be approved by a majority of the empaneled members of the Council, and it is said that all matters concerning the NIS are dealt with by the rumored Shadow Council instead. The Council also appoints, by general consent, area governors, who function similarly to a governor, keeping the smaller regions from internecine strife.
Local governmental affairs, such as the appointment of a governor, mayor, and dogcatcher, are handled by the locals, as they wish, again with the Council retaining oversight. Regional governances, therefore, have a relatively free hand, insofar as they do not conflict with what few federal laws there are. This has led to a drastic variation in the natures of various portions of Nairatsa, though all ascribe to similar philosophy, some member-states are near anarchy while others are the picture of clean-kept gentry.
The Ruling Council
The Ruling Council was formed on 'the basis that each of the Captains having significant part in the defense and preservation of Nairatsa's existance should have voice into it's future'. The captains of the privateer fleets that banded together in the common defense established the first council, and their style of boisterous (oft drunken) debate continues today. They thought that each set of crew should be counted as voting with their captain, and that 'the assembly of captains should appoint a few to lead them into war, from the most knowlegable of them all.' This first council had only 12 members, all those pirates prosperous enough to staff multiple vessels at the time. Three years later, the rules for the establishment of a council were set down, and from them came the first ruling body.
The only official officer of the council is the Sergeant-At-Arms, the only councilor allowed to bear arms in the chambers, and the only one required to maintain sobriety. This role is given, again, by general assent, and if no quorum can be reached, one is simply not instated. Other, informal positions do exist, with the eldest counselors afforded respect as befitting, but these positions carry no special privelidge or honour. The council votes on all issues before it equally, and any member may, at any time, demand a vote on a particular proposal. All votes are given a full day to be cast, either by personal statement, or indirect ballot.
Currently, the Council is composed of 251 men and women, two for each million citizens at last informal census. The Council numbers 90 humans and demi-humans, 52 Darks and Drow, 52 Elves, 25 Nekomimi (usually absent, off chasing 'something cute'), 1 Aged Posthuman (purportedly immortal), 25 Syreen, 2 mostly humanoid A.I., 2 Sapient Timber Wolves, and Mrs. Hilde's Cat (it is not known whether the cat is sentient, but she has met the minimum tests for eligibility). All council proceedings are open to the public, at the least, through recordings.
The Shadow Council
Every so often, the council closes it's doors, and a quick vote is cast before they are reopened. It is further known that there exists at least one above the Ruling Council, and it is thought by many that he is the mouthpiece of the Shadow Council. The Captain's Speaker is often seen making quiet comments to portions of the council, bringing missives to the archives, or simply about on some government buisness. On this basis, a series of tales and legends have sprung up around a Shadow Council, above the Ruling Council, and elected for life by same.
From the last bit of the founder's statement 'the assembly of captains should appoint a few to lead them into war, from the most knowlegable of them all' the Shadow Council is appointed by a vote of the Ruling Council, their roles kept in absolute secrecy, and their governmental action primarily as oversight. It is also known that these enigmatic people determine the course of the nation in war, intelligence and major foreign affairs. The most official acknowlwgement of their existance is contained in the charter of the Ruling Council: "and there shall be, in times of war, a higher body, that shall see to such things. In times of peace, it shall be as the gentle hand of a wise elder, rare, but absolute."
Rumors aside, it is known that all Infamous Captains came from this super-legislative corps, and that the Ruling Council must call upon the Speaker to start a special Council session in times of war. The identities of those on this council are considered state secrets, but oft gossiped about by those with far too much time on their hands. The most obvious sign of the Shadow Council's action in the everyday world is the NIS, the only agency not overseen by the lower body.
The Intelligence Agency
The Nairatsan intelligence agency is an august body, known to be comprised of a Director, a council of five (or more), numerous cells and thousands of front agencies and data processing offices. It is widly known that most college graduates are offered a temporary position an one of the lower echelons of the NIS as a 'trial' job, and the information for sale from NIS sources is first rate.
Unusually for an intelligence agency, their high to mid-level operatives are not salaried, nor on any form of expense account. Instead, they sell their field gatherings to the Agency, as if on the open market, and in turn purchase various items of use in such professions from same. By this method, the NIS keeps it's agents sharp and flexible, yet leaves them free to prosecute their affairs as they wish. Junior agents are still under the umbrella of the NIS, however, and must abide by the directives handed down from their handlers. This system functions in a similar manner to the free-agent method used in many sports clubs, with the addition of a pay for performance incentive. Nairatsan agents rarely know each other, and some are unknown to all but the Director. A junior agent often will leave for weeks on end, and return under an entirely new name, answering only to the broker he sells to within the Agency.
The system of appointment and promotion within the agency is merit based; an internship is offered to every graduate with the requisite credentials, then a rigorous screening process clears the applicant for field or desk work. As the youth develops, or demonstrates skill (the NIS offers positions to those outside this chain, who demonstrate the capacity, but does so rarely) their handler will reccomend them up the chain, and they will rise. To advance from junior to mid-level agent, a significant work in the field or at home is required, as with most militaries. Advancement beyond that point is based on action and accomplishment, and though the council of five's admission requirements are unknown, they are very stringent. The director is elected from the council, by the council, to serve for life, and only that position, does not require active agency status (the director may be on medical leave, for example).
(Un)Known Nairatsan Agents
The unclassified (or external) reports regarding agents of Nairatsa are as linked below. Be warned, however, that this information is hearsay, and as such, it's authenticity is highly suspect.
Nairatsa boasts two alpha-class global cities.
- Port Verity - The majority of registered Nairatsans either actually reside, or are listed as residing in Port Verity.
- Nightshame - Those others that still want a legitimate place of residence, along with the more diverse members of the populace, reside in Nightshame.
Additionally, numerous major cities (as of this writing, gamma-class or better) compose the body of main Nairatsa.
- Verdant Bay (Roughly 4.3 million)
- Arzoth (Roughly 4 million)
- New Tortuga (Roughly 3.6 million)
- Porthian (Roughly 3.2 million)
- Chestnut Docks (Roughly 3.1 million)
It is notable that the anthem is a stamp-and-shanty, and modal, easily sung by all. Yet another hark back to a corsair past, the Nairatsan anthem is an old sea shanty, largely unchanged for the young nation's use. Additionally, it is often modified by the singer to include any number of substitute or supplementary lyrics, as situation or sobriety demand.
"What shall we do with the Drunken Sailor"
What shall we do with the drunken sailor,
Shave his belly with a rusty razor, (x3)
Author's note: I have sought, and gained permission from all the owners of the above images, or they have already been FDL'd. If for any reason you would like any of the above pictures removed, let me know.