Granea is a collection of island states that have fallen under an alliance for a republic. Ten years of struggle saw the success of a united government after all opposition for the individual autonomy were finally quelled. Now the islands of Granea prosper in trade, naval prowess and a powerful network of information dissemination. They are a center for learning and a source of exotic luxury products for the mariners brave enough to travel the turbulent seas around it.
Granea exists on the planet of Caprica.
Geography and ClimateEdit
Granea consists of over 80 individual islands under the control of 14 Provincial Lords residing on 14 major islands. Granea borders Hurroncast to the north, its closest neighbor who shares the Lyzanva Sea. To its south lies the South Gran Ocean, which harbors many tiny islands, most of whom claim to be under the protection of the Granean islands. Tropical jungles litter the landscape, framing plantations and towns. While temperatures stay perpetually spring and summer at sea level, snow gathers easily at the peaks of many dormant volcanoes. The meltwater pools in caldera lakes until they pour down the mountainside as precious freshwater sources to Granea's inhabitants.
The tallest mountain is Mount Kallis, a dormant volcano just south of the city of Kallis on the main island of Eil. 300 years ago, it decimated the city of Kar with its ashes and left only the Library standing, 5-feet deep in pumice and debris. Mount Kallis has not erupted again since. The land around it is fertile and rich, allowing for the cultivation of the highly prized Verdant Pear among a host of other fruit. Kallis prospers from its orchards. Mount Kallis also yields a great quantity of ice during Spring. Ice workers cut the ice from the mountain-top lakes with two-person saws. Mages help preserve the waist-high blocks as they are hauled back to town and stored in the cold houses for when Summer comes.
Although the legally-listed Northern-most province is Merane, islands far North of Prietide claim to be under Granea's governance in Prietide's name, making Prietide the northernmost province in technicality.
Between Aeterna and Esidern is a body of water called the Bay of Kar. A local folktale tells a story of a young fisherman who caught a rainbow-scaled mermaid there long ago. He thought her so beautiful that he could not let her go home. Tying her up and putting her in a barrel filled with sea water, he lugged her home and hid her in his hut. Everyday, he would ask her if she would be his wife, and everyday, she begged to be let back into the ocean. She lost all her red scales on the first day. She lost all her orange scales on the second day. After seven days, she lost all of her scales, and when the fisheman went out to fish, she died of homesickness in that barrel. The fisherman panicked and hauled the barrel out to sea. He rowed far out into the ocean with his little boat until he finally threw the corpse, barrel and all, into the waters. The scales suddenly jumped from the sea where they were scattered. They flew up and up, across the sky and past the clouds in an arc until a rainbow shone down above the fisherman. The mermaid's sisters saw the colorful beacon. Knowing that their kin was dead, they followed the rainbow's light to the surface and pulled the fisherman from his boat, dragging him through the cold depths until he drowned. It is said to be bad luck if a Rainbow shines over the bay. Even now, no ships will embark from the Bay of Kar if there is a rainbow.
Hurroncast is the name given by the Granean Alliance to the adjacent coast on the mainland, meaning "where we throw the bastards." At the end of the Ten-Year War, the Alliance Fleet forced over a million Freedom Faction sympathizers and members into exile across the Lyzanva Sea, halving Granea's population. The jungles near the coast there are populated with venomous animals and arable land is scarce. The only city under Granea's rule there is Chorsita, which jealously guards the trade of fresh with military might.
Roughly 40% of Granea's precious stones come from Cantida's mines. Cantida is one of the few islands within Granea that seemed to have cooled quickly after volcanic activity while the lava did not touch the sea water. This unusual phenomenon, where gems crystalized within a dead volcanic shaft, still cannot be explained after centuries of observation and examination. Like most minds on Granea, these treasure troves are government-owned. Beautiful, lavender crystals call Astellites bring prosperity to Granea's treasury yearly.
Much of Amoe's jungles have been cleared to form pastures and arable land. This change in terrain over the largest island of Granea also created the windiest place within the republic. Every year, two competitions are held at Fidelio's Farm. One is a Kite Contest, where a contestant must make his or her own kite and fly it. There are money prizes for kites that fly the highest, the best kite tricks, the most beautiful kite, and the biggest kite (measured by comparing the longest of three dimensions). The other is a Paper Plane Race. Scribes are encouraged to fold paper planes on a standard-sized sheet inscribed with their spells. They are allowed to partner with a Reader to launch the plane, activating its ability. Knocking out other people's airplanes is permitted and the first three planes to fly half a league to the finish line win cash awards.
Every six lunar months (168 days), Granea shifts seasons. There exist only Spring and Summer. From the second month of spring, snow becomes increasingly common on the mountains up until the fourth month of Spring. From the fourth month to the sixth month of spring, rain and wind pours down with increasing frequency. This monsoon season can last as long as the second month of summer. Farmers build terraces to make higher ground, digging deep ditches to irrigate overflow downhill into artificial ravines. Many jungles will turn temporarily into marshes during this time, forcing a lot of game into high ground where there are less trees for cover. Hunters and trappers take advantage of this despite the miserable conditions. The occasional catastrophes of Great Waves and Water Spinners are most likely during this time. The second month of summer keeps the humidity of late spring, adding to it a stifling heat that no wind can completely disperse. The air loosens up from late evening to early morning, before sunrise. Citizens are usually welcome of the cool ocean breezes come third of fourth month of Summer.
|Month* (Spring | Summer)||1||2||3||4||5||6||7||8||9||10||11||12|
- One year is exactly 12 lunar months long, spanning 336 days total per orbit around Daylight.
It can be a pain to travel when there isn't wind. Rowing by pure manpower moves ship about half as fast as the average wind, so during the stagnant first months of summer, trade by sea takes about 38% more time. High winds can often strand ships out at sea for days during monsoon season. Trade ships have been wrecked and entire crews lost for absence of or poor weather augury. Granea's astronomers and physicists have developed a fairly accurate farming calendar.
The name Granea comes from the ancient tongue "Kraineia", meaning "Prosperity." No one knows for certain just how old Granea's islands are. Historians can only agree that the oldest found piece of writing was recovered from a ruin in Prietide. Known as the Enleigh Tabular Code, Translators have put together the rough meaning of the text written in Lost Helian, revealing it to be a set of rites priestesses offered to worshippers.
Shift From Nomadicism to SettlementEdit
As metalworking and masonry was discovered, the artisan and warrior classes came to light. Smiths made weapons and former hunter-gatherers went to war for resources. Buildings rose with the advancement in animal husbandry. Soon, the first city-states established feudal systems and imposed them upon their peasants. Feudal kings who conquered entire islands held considerable power and maritime control. The many skirmishes at sea forced leaders to develop stronger naval technology. This bolstered Granea's nautical science leagues above any other civilization in the known world before the beginning of the Classical Era.
A written history of Granea originated from the first library, which is now the Library of Pur, capitol city of Amoe. The record dates back to 935AA (Ancient Age). 935AA is 1882 years before the beginning of the Common Age. The unnamed author began the tale with an origin myth: When the Goddess Venetia reached beneath the sea to pick up the necklace she dropped there, she cut her hands on the sharp stones on the sea floor. The blood she dripped became the islands and the tears she cried became the rivers. It speculated on the validity of this myth and continued on to provided several annotated versions of this story, collected from various villages along the rivers of Amoe. The original record remains perfectly preserved and on display at Pur. This is the most convincing evidence that in 935AA, not only was the preservation of paper by text magic already well developed but the art of dissertation was blossoming into what is now the most covetted education system in the known world.
Librarians thereafter followed suit and created their own records individually until in 452AA, the Union of Librarians was established between Meran, Amoe, Eil, and Aeterna. This marked the first instance that Granea's historical records were compiled into volumes and created under commission to be compiled. The Union of Librarians continued to do this with occasional breaks during particularly hard years. Every current library has multiple copies of every volume up to date.
War and Progression into the Common AgeEdit
Granea has had several ancient wars to its name between the Eastern and Western islands, separated by the strait between Aeterna and Nari. That area had been recorded once as Strait of Nameless Ghosts. Due to the uneasiness of that name, no one has used or renamed the region.
The first union of Granea brought in the beginning of the Common Age. Granea flourished for 75 years under three generations of the Felgrud Dynasty. The old palace at the lovely city of Ceraisona was remodeled into a library 100 years after Prince Yolrund Felgrud's defeat at the hands of the Great Peasant Rebellion.
Landlords who came to power through landbuying eventually bought positions akin to kingship. This placed one or two lords on every major island. Many heavily taxed peasants but sponsored the growth of sciences, the arts, engineering, and library maintenance. The middle class flourished from trade and artistry during this turbulent time. It was an epoch of mixed sentiments and mixed policies. Many commoners tried to rally rebellions under the inspiration of the Great Peasant Rebellion but none succeeded, due to poor organization. The defeat of the peasants roused the interests of many scholars. Many academics and rhetorics, including the majority of those gifted with paper magecraft, quit the sponsorship of provincial lords to lead the peasants. Some of them eventually became leaders during the 10-Year War.
The 10-Year WarEdit
Tensions began as the Granean islands were split into two. The Alliance Faction fought for the unification of Granea under one flag and one government, one that is governed by representatives and a council of kings. The Freedom Faction supported the status quo and the right of each provincial king to govern his own estates under his own laws. Because many merchants and artisans received sponsorships from provincial kings, the Freedom Faction gained naval and trade dominance over the Alliance faction. However, the Union of Librarians stood on the Alliance Faction's side despite sponsorships from kings. In terms of information and magecraft, the Alliance Faction had far greater resources and manpower.
The war began on a stuffy evening in the first month of Summer. The rains had receeded unusually early that year. A peasant scout of the Alliance Faction named Darian stumbled upon a military encampment on Esidern. The Freedom Faction military jumped on the scout, stripped her naked, and tied her hand and foot, gagging her with her own loincloth and a strip of rag. They then tied her by her ankles to the back of a bull too old to plow and too tough to eat. Strapping fire crackers to the bull's behind, they lit the wicks on fire, setting the crackers off. The bull took off like a rocket and dragged the still conscious Darian through the countryside until a farmer stood in the road and shot the bull in the throat with a crossbow. By then, Darian was barely recognizable. A pyre was burned for her that night and speeches made to honor her as a martyr. The flames on her corpse declared, on the 5th day, 7th month of 278CA, the Alliance Faction's will against the Freedom Alliance. Ten years of naval conflict and geurilla jungle warfare ensued.
Two primary factors led to the Freedom Faction's defeat. First was the individual wills of the provincial kings that could not let go of their differences. In comparion, the Alliance Faction had less equipment and training but better teamwork and greater numbers in the average given battle. The second factor was trade. Trade was interrupted severely during the war and both sides had limited resources. Without trade ships, every island was naturally forced into seige by the sea. However, the superior guerilla tactics of the Alliance Faction took advantage of poor management on the parts of Freedom Faction's quartermasters. By stealing some and spoiling or descrating what was left, the Alliance Faction was able to win by outlasting the Freedom Faction. The war ended on the 9th day, 9th month of Year 288CA.
Executions of Freedom Faction leaders took place two weeks after the war ended. Over 1 million of Granea's 2.2 million population was exiled to the mainland for no desire to comply to the policies of the Alliance Faction's oligarchical rule under the new republic system. The military fleet spent a month ferrying dissidents in manageable numbers to the nearly uninhabitable Hurroncast coast. Most of the exiles left immediately to find other cities to settle in.
Eleven years have passed since the end of the 10-Year War. While all of Granea remains under strict military security, trade has completely renewed itself and Granea's prosperity grows by leaps and bounds. Still, Granea suffers from lack of manpower due to the loss of almost half its population (most of them are soldiers or families of soldiers paid to fight. Old bachelors could not always find heirs to help work or inherit family farms abandoned after the war. While there were less mouths to feed in the country, less farmed and more found ways to make money privately. The country fed its citizens on imported food.
The Union of Librarians willingly became a faction of the government and turned the public libraries over to federal management. Much of the current resources are subsidized on a stable treasury that supports only the population that remains. Families are encouraged to have children in order to fuel growth, thus education from age 3 to apprenticeship or internship is 100% subsidized by the government. Not only did this help mothers free up time and resources otherwise spent on one child to be used on more, it also helped get students into jobs faster, giving them the resources needed to start families and raise children.
At the downfall of the provincial kings, 14 provincial lords were selected by the people from the leaders of the Alliance to represent each province. These Lords are elected for life and their governing powers transfer to a single heir of their choice. It is the lord's duty to represent the wills of his people as best he can.
Every two months, the 14 Oligarchs meet at the capitol along with a house of representatives elected by the people: one for each village, two for each town and five for each city. At least three representatives each come from the military or libraries. Heads of unions and guilds often attend in addition. Roughly 800 people total represent the government at a time and meetings can last for as long as three to five days.
Government buildings are constructed similarly to ampitheaters. A pit at the very bottom contains all 800 participants and their desks while the rest of the seating, enough to hold between 2000 to 6000 people in rings around the central pit, are filled with citizens listening in on every word, thanks to the vocal amplification spells and the well-designed acoustics provided by support staff. The Oligarchy emphasizes its wish that the government be frank and honest with the people.
To prevent one province from receiving tourism and spectator fees from its citizens permanently, the capitol is changed every two years. Information transmission by mages have made the quick shift of bureaucratic paperwork easily accessible from every library. Most capitol cities will have a major federal library staffed with librarians who specialize in information transmission. In the case the capitol does not have a federal library, the government building will be staffed with its own appropriate mages.
In addition to librarians staffing bimonthly meetings, military personnel drill on capitol grounds and guard every convention. Admission to citizens are by tickets received long beforehand through applications made at provincial bureaucracies. To obtain a ticket, a citizen applies with identification papers. Tickets are free but on a first-come, first-serve basis. Attendees must still pay for travel fees themselves.
Being a StudentEdit
Educational institutions begin at age 3. Pre-school lasts from age 3 to age 6. Grammar school lasts from age 6 to age 13. At age 13, students can choose to enter a skilled trade as an apprentice or take further training to enter a higher-level trade. Secondary school lasts from age 14 to age 18. Institutions and Sponsors will assess the test scores of a Secondary school student before either taking him as a student or sponsoring him as an intern. Both apprentices and interns take practical exams in order to become a full-fledged practician in their fields. While interns and institution students have to take written exams, apprentices usually do not.
Places to goEdit
The bath forum is one of the best places to get news. Attendees pay a small fee to access public hot and cold baths. For an extra fee, spa services like massage, manicure, pedicure, and hair care are available. It is perfectly for strangers to engage in everything from gossip to debate there. The latest issues circulate with ease in the reverbing acoustics of the stone bath chambers.
People gather at government buildings to speak to bureaucracy or to hold trial. Most trials are public by default. Standing outside of a federal building and eavesdropping is also a great way to get news while also staying on top of the latest demonstrations and activisms.
Taverns, too, are not at all uncommon. Bards drop by in late evenings to tell stories and sing ballads, usually about the latest thing that happened in a neighboring town. Most taverns are the first floors of inns. There are almost always open rooms upstairs, for a fee.
Most large cities will have a market street. The day market begins setting up at sunrise and closes shop around sunset. Shopkeepers who own actual stores usually sleep upstairs after locking up. Booth owners will pack up shop and go home. Every third and seventh day of the 7-day week is a rest-day. Some markets will hold night markets on rest days where performers and street food vendors sell their services or wares in a type of festival. Nightmarket usually starts from Sunset and ends at roughly midnight, which is roughly 12am to 2am depending on the season.
Swallow racing, dog racing, horse racing, chocobo polo and insect dueling are popular in Granea. As a result, gambling is also commonplace.
Cantades are operatic musicals with as much emphasis on dance as singing. They are performed at ampitheaters, rarely outside. Troupe members enter apprenticeships and work their way up in the troupe. Each troupe is attached to its own ampitheater.
Circuses travel from town to town, unlike ampitheater troups. They usually perform at day markets and night markets. The Circus Guild keeps track of which circus is traveling where to prevent two circuses performing at the same time in the same place. Groups will send messenger swallows to guild to confirm a next location before they change routes.
Bards are also travellers. They tell stories and sing ballads from the "last town they were in," but hardly was there a bard who sang any truth. They will often sing for some coins at taverns or at night markets. Many of them recount old wartime favorites like Bring Me Fine Ladies and a Tankard of Ale arranged for harp or lute when they are not singing the latest news.
Granean citizens enjoy ball games, boat races, foot races, skip-rope dances, musical instruments, fishing and hiking.