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The Holy Queendom of Brellach (Defunct, see NS page)

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Inoffensive Centrist Democracy

The Holy Queendom of Brellach (Defunct, see NS page)

Postby Brellach » Wed Sep 10, 2014 10:34 am

Holy Queendom of Brellach
The Holy Queendom of Brellach
Image
Flag
Her Favoured People, of Her Favoured Lands

Capital: Sheoth
and largest city
Demonym: Brellachi
Government: Absolute monarchy
- Divine Queen: Lyta I
- Most Devout Advisor of Her Court: Fellis Jessina
Formation: 1056 A.D.
Area
- Total: 16,581,185 km2
- Water (%): 1.75
Population
- Total (2014): 22,016,521
- Density: 1.33/km2
GDP
- Total: $150.042 billion NSD
- Per capita: $6,815 NSD
Gini: 37.2
HDI (2014): 0.561
Currency: Drake (Ð)
The Holy Queendom of Brellach, commonly known as the Holy Queendom or simply Brellach, is a sovereign nation located on the Divine Isles, an archipelago consisting of one large island and several smaller ones in the middle of the Ocean of Panmenah. The capital of Sheoth, which is also the nation's largest city, is home to almost 200,000 of the country's population.

With a population of just over 22 million, occupying an area of 16 million kilometres squared, Brellach has a remarkably low population density when compared to other nations in the world.

It is a matrilineal absolute monarchy presently ruled by Queen Lyta, notable for having a large proportion of its population still actively living nomadic lifestyles. Almost 60% of Brellach's population are members of one of the many nomadic tribes that roam the country, who shun Western consumerism in favour of what they believe to be a more natural lifestyle and are protected by national law. Much of Brellach's small economy is driven by the 40% of people who have taken up permanent residence in one of the few towns and cities in the country.




































Etymology


'Brellach' is the Anglicised phonetic spelling of the country's official name. It is an Old Brellachi word, or rather two words combined - 'Brel', meaning 'land' or 'space', and 'ach', derived from 'acha', which variably means 'unity', 'together', or 'at peace', the latter probably being the intended meaning.

The name was coined in 1056 A.D. when The Compact was signed, uniting the tribals and city-dwellers of Brellach in peace and forming the Holy Queendom. Prior to that date, the city-dwelling population were known as the Sheothi, due to the city of Sheoth being their capital (and the name of the tribe they were descended from). This term is sometimes still used by tribals to refer to city-dwellers.

Brellach is pronounced 'Brell-ak', with the demonym, Brellachi, being pronounced 'Brell-ack-ee'.

The geographical archipelago as a whole, divorced from political definitions, is known as the 'Divine Isles' internationally, though to the Brellachi they are only known as 'Her Favoured Lands'. Brellach has come to refer to the geographical landmass as much as the sovereign nation in modern times.



History


Image
Artist's impression of the City of
Sheoth, circa 1056 A.D. Sheoth was
a source of strife in Brellach for
centuries.
Since prehistory, Brellach has been home to an ethnically unique population of nomads, who formed cohesive, mutli-family tribes as early as 10,000 years ago. These tribes were largely peaceful, never remaining in one place for too long for fear of over-hunting an area and causing an imbalance in nature. Some larger tribes, such as Sheoth, rose to prominence in the early 1st and 2nd centuries A.D., and took the controversial step of establishing a settlement near the middle of the Enjaen River. This settlement, which is now known as the City of Sheoth and forms the capital of Brellach, represented the first significant transition from hunter-gathering to agriculture for the Brellachi people.

The city of Sheoth also became the focal point of violence for three at least centuries, as other tribes became angered by what they saw as the destruction of the natural order, and launched repeated offences against the city in the name of their goddess. The tribe of Sheoth, now with the first established economy in Brellach, was able to construct fortifications around the city and produce weapons in great quantities, and they were quick to establish the first organised military force in Brellach. This army, fueled by a constant stream of farmed food and blacksmith forged weapons, was able to continually drive back the assaults by the other tribes despite being outnumbered.

Brellach returned to peace throughout the 8th and 9th centuries A.D. until Sheoth began to expand, building new settlements elsewhere and encroaching on hunting trails typically reserved for the nomadic tribes. By this point, the tribe of Sheoth was no longer considered to be a tribe at all, and all of the remaining nomadic tribes united against their forces in an attempt to preserve their way of life. A brutal battle took place across the Aichan Savannah and the surrounding areas, where tens of thousands of lives were lost and little ground was gained on either side.

First Divine Queen, Sumi

The First Divine Queen of Brellach was Sumi I. Her birth date and origins are unknown, though it is known that she was roughly 18 years old when she assumed the position in the early 1050s A.D.

Known in modern Brellachi literature as 'She Who Was Sent by Her to Save Brellach', Sumi was identified as the Avatar of Her Divine Glory by the Priesthood at a young age (as all subsequent queens have been), and was immediately recognised as such by the 'Sheothi people' (the precursor civilisation to modern Brellach, with whom the tribes were at war). She assumed her position as the war between Sheoth and its cities and the nomadic tribes reached its most brutal stage, and her first task was to bring about an end to hostilities. According to official history, she visited each tribe leader one after the other, tirelessly, over the next two or three years, and each tribe leader she visited recognised her legitimacy as Avatar of Her Divine Glory. According to myth, she did this by performing miracles for the leaders of each and by demonstrating her reverence for their ways of life, but in reality it was probably a combination of the influence of the Priesthood and overtures of peace and tolerance.

In 1056 A.D. she was able to summon all of the warring tribe leaders to what is now known as the Grove of the First Divine Queen - neutral ground, in what was already a sacred site for both parties. After intense negotiations, Sumi brokered a treaty between the city-dwellers and the tribes in 1056 A.D., forming the Holy Queendom of Brellach in the process, under the terms of The Compact, which established a peace that has lasted until modern times. The position of Divine Queen of Brellach was cemented in its current form by this document, and the terms contained within required the tribes to venerate the Divine Queen as the Avatar of Her Divine Glory. In exchange, it required the Divine Queen to protect the ways of life of the Brellachi tribes, even if it came at the expense of advancing the Holy Queendom's interests, and essentially compelled 'city-dwelling' Brellachi to 'live and let live' when it came to the tribals, and vice-versa.

Due to her being the first of a line of queens believed to be living embodiments of their goddess, and her role in forming the Holy Queendom, The Compact, and a millennium-long peace, the Brellachi people have elevated Sumi to near-legendary status, and even Divine Queen Lyta is said to revere her. Believed as she is to have been the first incarnation of Her Divine Glory to walk upon the Earth among mortals since mythic times, she also has a great significance in the Church of Her Divine Glory, comparable to that of Jesus Christ in Christendom.

Since The Compact

Since signing The Compact, Brellach has been at peace, both internally and externally. Developments such as the Industrial Revolution and increasingly urbanised populations largely passed the Brellachi by, with industry in particular being viewed with scorn by their leadership. It is only in the past 50 or 60 years that the population has become more urbanised, and even now the population is mainly spread out across the countryside.



Climate and geography


With its massive size, Brellachi climate varies considerably from one place to the next. The western regions experience a largely temperate climate, with deciduous trees, warm summers, and chilly winters. Stretching south from there, dominating the southern regions and stretching up into the east is a Mediterranean climate that is pleasantly warm all year round, which is where the capital of Sheoth is to be found. The central regions are dominated by dry savannah, and experience low rainfall and high temperatures, while the northern areas consists primarily of steppes - low-lying grasslands devoid of trees, experiencing the lowest temperatures in Brellach.

Image
The Mound, the tallest point in the
country, rises 422m above the west
Brellach landscape.
Brellach is notably devoid of mountains. There are some 'hilly' regions, particularly in the north and the west, where individual peaks can reach upwards of nearly half a kilometer, but nothing approaching the scale of a mountain. The highest single point is only 422m above sea level, a feature named, literally translated, 'The Mound'.

Temperatures vary drastically from one region to the next. The desert and savannah regions experience highs of 40-50°C all year round. The Mediterranean regions experience highs of 30-40°C and lows of 10-20°C. The temperate regions in the west have a climate similar to Great Britain, while the steppe regions are (consistently) the coldest, rarely feeling temperatures above 10°C.

Most precipitation falls in the west, with some in the south at predicable periods of the year. Rainfall in the northern and central regions is low, however, which both receive less than 100mm of rain per year.

The islands as a whole are thought by scientists to have formed as a result of a long-lived, massive, but only very mildly oblique shield volcano which gradually emerged from the ocean over the course of millions of years, which has since been further flattened by erosion. Given that there is, in fact, a very mild slope all the way from the coasts to the rough centre of Brellach (the central Aichan Savannah is roughly 300m above sea level, on average), and Brellach does not overlap with any extant fault lines, this seems to be the most plausible cause for the lack of mountains on the huge island. The government and most residents of Brellach only accept the creation myth told in their scripture, however, which claims that the Divine Glory created it apart from the rest of the world, intending for it to be her sanctuary.

Settlements are distributed across the islands, though the central regions of Aichan are dominated by tribes, with only one recognised town known to exist. Most population density is located in the southern and western regions. By far the most heavily populated city in Brellach is Sheoth, the capital, which has a population of over 200,000. It is also the most advanced in terms of services, amenities, and the economy, which is gradually becoming more service-based.

Image
The official map of the Holy Queendom of Brellach.




Demographics


The official population figure for the Holy Queendom was estimated to be 22,016,521 based on a census conducted by Her Court. The government admits that it is probably impossible to know exactly how many Brellachi there are, however, due to the nomadic nature of the majority of people. Some tribes refuse to take part in any aspect of society, particularly those that roam the central savannah region.

Almost 60% of the Brellachi population belong to nomadic tribes, or at least live in settlements 'off the grid'. A traditional way of life that has existed continuously in Brellach for millennia, these tribals eschew modern civilisation and technology, preferring to live traditional lifestyles, rarely staying in one place for too long, and living entirely off the land. They avoid all contact with the government, though it is known that they all revere the Queen and recognise her status as the Avatar of the Divine Glory, and generally avoid each other too.

This is the primary reason for the drastic income inequality that exists in Brellach, and the lower-than-expected GDP - nearly 60% of people in Brellach do not contribute to the economy in any way. On the other hand, none of them utilise state-funded services, so they cost nothing either. For similar reasons, Brellachi infant mortality rates and standards of living are rated low, as these nomadic tribes do not avail themselves of medical care or education services.

The remaining 40% of Brellachi have elected to join civilisation, with most living in urban areas. Almost 20% of them work in agriculture, though there is a growing service industry in the major Brellachi settlements.

With over half of Brellachi being under the age of 30, it is a youthful population consisting entirely of ethnic Brellachi. Ethnic Brellachi are fair-skinned, of average height, and have predominantly brown, blonde, or red hair.

Language

Standard Brellachi is the official language of the Holy Queendom, and the first language of most citizens. It evolved in isolation and is unique from other languages. Its formal alphabet consists of 197 flourished pictographs (such as the Glyph of Light on the Brellachi flag) which represent a number of objects and concepts, which must be combined with other icons in different ways to form complex words or sentences.

It is rare for new pictographs to be added to the alphabet, which means that new 'words' must be created by using unique combinations of existing icons, which often results in the new object or concept simply being described. It is for this reason that direct translations from Brellachi to English tend to seem unusually specific, descriptive, or cumbersome; the name of the headquarters of their legislature, for example, is translated into English literally as 'The Building of Her Court's Residence', while the Brellachi term for 'computer' translates literally as 'The Machine That Counts on its Own'.

These linguistic peculiarities make it difficult for native Brellachi speakers to learn foreign languages, and it is similarly difficult for foreigners to learn Brellachi. These difficulties, combined with Brellach's political and economic isolation, mean that Brellachi is a language not widely spoken abroad, nor are foreign languages commonly spoken within the Holy Queendom. Only a fraction of a percentage of Brellachi claim to speak English as a fluent second language, and most of them work in government, or for one of the few businesses in Brellach with international ambitions. Speakers of foreign languages besides English (which is considered by the Brellachi to be the global lingua franca) are statistically non-existent, and measured in single digits.

Tribes are known to have their own dialects of Brellachi, some of which can be difficult for a Standard Brellachi speaker to understand at first. Some tribes do not have a written language and never come into contact with society, and their dialect has deviated considerably to the point that a translator is required to communicate with them. Other tribes, particularly those that have semi-regular contact with society, have kept their dialects virtually the same as Standard Brellachi, with only pronunciation differences.

The literacy rate is low, rated at less than 40%, primarily as children from the tribes do not tend to enrol in schools.

Religion

Image
The Brellachi Glyph of Light, the
symbol of the Brellachi faith and
the nation as a whole.
Almost all Brellachi citizens are adherents of the Church of Her Divine Glory, including those from tribes, which is administrated by the Priesthood of Her Divine Glory. The Church plays a significant role in Brellachi society, and has a role in selecting - and raising - future Brellachi Queens. Tenets of the Church can be found in all aspects of Brellachi life, from the way people speak to the rules people live by. The symbol of Her Divine Glory, the Goddess venerated by the Brellachi, is used on the Brellachi flag, and is also the symbol used on the Queen's pendant (their equivalent of a crown).

The Church of Her Divine Glory posits that the Divine Glory is responsible for all of creation (see also: Brellachi creation myth), and that all of nature is simply an extension of her form. She is typically described as being the most perfect and beautiful being in the universe, omnipotent and omniscient, and as being compassionate and wise beyond human understanding. It is believed by the Brellachi that she maintains a presence on Earth in the form of their Queen, who is described as being an avatar of the Goddess. The Brellachi, therefore, believe that their Queen is the most perfect woman alive, and she is worshipped as a living Goddess.

Adherents of the Church are expected to respect their Goddess' creation, including their own bodies and the natural environment, and have a set of moral codes to live by which are mostly similar to those of other faiths - no killing, no stealing, and the like - as well as a unique requirement to defend Brellach, her favoured land, 'from the dark'. An intrinsic respect for, and desire to be immersed in, the natural world pervades most Brellachi sensibilities, and is perhaps directly responsible for the nomadic nature of so much of the population.

It is said that the Brellachi are her 'favoured children in her favoured land', hence why she maintains her avatar there. Brellachi couldn't be said to be 'god fearing', however, as their deity has never been portrayed as having a vengeful or malicious side, but instead they seek to win her adoration much like a child seeking the approval of its parent. They believe that acts of benevolence, generosity, and kindness bring joy to the Divine Glory, which in turn increases the love she has for her people. On the other hand, selfish or malevolent acts bring her great sadness, and Brellachi believe that things such as natural disasters happen as a result of this - not as an intentional punishment from her, but much like a tear falling on and killing an insect these disasters are an unintentional side-effect of her despair. This drive to please her influences everything the Brellachi do.

There is no government mandate that requires Brellachi citizens adhere to the Church, nor are there laws against following other religions, although the government does not allow churches from other faiths to be built in Brellach. Rather, a social convention exists amongst the Brellachi themselves, who simply find it incomprehensible that anybody wouldn't revere their Goddess.

Tribes

Most Brellachi are members of one of the thousands of nomadic tribes that roam the lands. The exact customs and traditions of these tribes may vary from one region to the next, but commonalities include a matrilineal hierarchy, an emphasis on community, and strict adherence to the tenets of the Church of Her Divine Glory. All tribes are known to recognise the legitimacy of the Brellachi Queen, whom they acknowledge and revere as the Avatar of Her Divine Glory, even though they choose to remain outside of Brellachi society.

Image
A female leader of Tribe Roro,
from Western Brellach.
The bulk of these tribes are nomadic, and live entirely off the land. Men are expected to hunt and forage, while women tend to leading and organising the tribes and venerating the Goddess. They take only what they need to survive from the land, as their faith dictates, and greed is as alien to them as quantum mechanics. In essence the tribes are the ultimate communists, with their only consideration being the well-being of others. They have no understanding of currency or commerce; if one tribe needs something that another has in abundance, it is simply given to them freely, with trades being extremely uncommon. In the rare event that a tribal enters a city, city-dwellers are expected to give what they can to those in need - it is illegal for them to attempt to charge the tribal for anything, which is considered a form of exploitation under Brellachi law.

It is very common, particularly for those tribes who operate principally in the Aichan Savannah or in the southern regions of Brellach, for tribe members to live their entire lives without any form of clothing, and for many tribes the knowledge of how to make clothes has been lost. Only tribes in the colder northern areas, and a few in the temperate western region, are known to wear clothing with any degree of regularity, purely due to the lower temperatures these regions experience.

All of these traditions are influenced by their faith. Tribals are known to consider themselves "the purest of Her Divine Glory's favoured people" - with the exception of the Queen herself - and consider city-dwellers to have "lost their way". Immersed in nature as fully as possible, Brellachi tribals live their lives exactly as taught by the Church of Her Divine Glory. City-dwellers sometimes request to spend time among local tribes, a request they are glad to accept, in an effort to be closer to their Goddess.

Rather than the tribes being considered an inconvenience or a nuisance as they might in other countries, Brellachi value their presence in the country. It is thought that having the tribes reside in Brellach pleases their Goddess, who would otherwise be upset at how many Brellachi had started to live in cities, distancing themselves from nature in the process. Queen Vala III, ruler of Brellach from 1942 - 1996, said of the tribes: "None but the tribes know the truth of Her Divine Glory's Creation. Selfless and devout, those of the tribes are as much a part of nature as nature is of the Goddess. Their presence in Brellach continues to be welcome, for their presence is welcomed by Her Divine Glory, to the benefit of us all. We should thank and honour them for staying the path that so many have strayed from."

The tribes and their ways of life are protected in law by The Compact, the oldest functioning legal document in Brellach. Signed in 1056 A.D. by tribe leaders of the era and the first Divine Queen of Brellach, it establishes the roles and responsibilities of both parties in relation to each other. Most importantly, it precludes the Brellachi government from interfering with the lifestyle of the tribes, as well as requiring tribes to be respectful of any Brellachi settlements they may come across. In return for this protection, the tribes acknowledge the legitimacy of the Brellachi Queen as the Avatar of Her Divine Glory, and also agree to lend their support to the state in the event that Brellach is threatened by outside forces.

The Compact also compels the Divine Queen to intervene if any state activities have a negative impact on the tribes. The most recent time this has happened was in 2009, when Queen Lyta overturned the decision of the mayor of the savannah-bordering town of Aichen-boke to grant a local farmer permission to extend his farm. This extension would have overlapped with the hunting grounds of a nearby tribe, and they appealed to the Queen. The ruling was successfully overturned, and Queen Lyta personally visited the tribe leader to offer her apologies.



Politics


Brellach is an absolute monarchy, with a matrilineal Queen assuming absolute power over all matters of government, served by an advisory institution and legislature that translates literally as 'Her Court'.

Divine Queen of Brellach

Revered as an earthly avatar of their goddess, the Divine Glory, the Divine Queen is the absolute ruler of Brellach. Though powerful, Brellachi Queens have historically tended to be significantly less autocratic than most monarchs in the world, and have many limitations on their day to day lives.

Rather than being a hereditary position, the Divine Queen is selected as an infant by the Priesthood of Her Divine Glory. As the incumbent Queen reaches the end of her life, the priests begin a protracted ritual known as scrying. The nature of this ritual is a closely-guarded secret, but is believed to involve mild hallucinogenics and deep meditative states. During this ritual, the priests are supposedly informed of the location of the next Divine Queen - known at this point as the Divine Successor - by the Divine Glory herself, and they are then authorised by the incumbent Queen (or Her Court, should there be no living Queen) to go to that location and take the Divine Successor into their custody. This process is known as The Renewal, which is considered a great honour for the family.

The future Queen is never informed of the identity of her family, nor is her family permitted to reveal their daughter's true identity to anybody - she is to be nothing but a Queen, and an object of adoration for the Brellachi people, with no history beyond her supposed ties to the Goddess.

Image
The Queen's Pendant, the Brellachi
equivalent to a crown, is worn by all
Queens and symbolic of their link to
the Goddess, the Divine Glory.
The Priesthood raises the Queen from that point onward at the Sheoth headquarters of the Church of Her Divine Glory, training her extensively in theology and her ties to their goddess, teaching her to be compassionate, dedicated, and imparting a sense of duty onto her. She is often schooled in multiple languages and given an understanding of subjects such as the humanities. Throughout her time at the Church, the young Queen is trained in horsemanship to an expert level, for it is traditional for the Queen to be the best rider in the land, and she is rigorously tutored in fencing. During her upbringing, the Divine Successor is never seen, nor spoken to, by anybody outside of the Priesthood until the age of 15, when she is granted the Queen's pendant - the Brellachi equivalent of a crown - and becomes the Divine Queen.

Despite being the absolute ruler of Brellach, the Queen has massive restrictions on every aspect of her life - more than any other citizens, in fact. While clothing is optional across Brellach, the Queen is prohibited from wearing any items of clothing for her entire life, without exception - she is not even permitted footwear. This clothing prohibition lasts from the moment The Renewal is completed, to the moment she dies. The only item she can keep on her body is the Queen's pendant.

She is forbidden from owning possessions too; she is provided with the Queen's pendant, the symbol of her reign, and is allowed a single horse of her choosing to live with her and serve as her transportation (which is immediately replaced if it dies), neither of which are her property. This restriction on her ability to own anything is partially symbolic, indicating that she needs nothing but the creations of the Goddess, and partially meant to discourage notions of greed or selfishness. All of her most basic needs such as food and medicine are satisfied by Her Court, which is responsible for her health and well-being, but she is given nothing more than she needs to survive.

It is also forbidden for the Queen to use make-up or alter her body with piercings or tattoos in any way, for such would be considered tampering with the perfection of the Divine Glory's Avatar. A similar restriction is placed on unnatural substances like soap or shampoo, and artificial additives in foods. Her body, more than anybody else's, is almost literally a temple. Medicines are permitted when absolutely required, but as a rule she must only use natural remedies for non-serious maladies.

She does not have an opulent residence like many monarchs; instead residing in the Queen's Divine Sanctuary. This heavily guarded, open-air shelter is located within an extensive, untamed wilderness in the woods just outside Sheoth, and is essentially a roof on legs. It has no walls or floors and is made entirely from natural materials, designed purely to keep the rain off the Queen in winter. Inside the shelter there is only a small bookcase, complete with books she enjoys or needs, and she is permitted nothing else. Brellachi Queens only spend any time indoors when such is absolutely necessary for their health (or during particularly bad weather) or required for her to conduct her duties.

The completely exposed shelter, and her strict lack of clothing, serve three key purposes: firstly, as an Avatar of the Divine Glory, her body is considered to be utterly perfect and not to be obscured. Secondly, her simple abode, completely open to the elements, allows her to maintain a deep spiritual connection with the Divine Glory and her natural creation. It is believed that her bare feet must maintain a connection with the 'True Ground' (the earth) and her skin must stay in contact with fresh air as much as possible for her link to the goddess to be strong; this limits the amount of time she can spend indoors. Lastly, the combination of the two is somewhat symbolic; her divine nature means that her happiness depends on nothing but being immersed in nature, and all of her needs can be met by being physically connected to the creation of the goddess.

At no point in her life may she have sex or marry, for it is said that her body is not to be touched by mortal hands. No Brellachi Queen has ever had children. Even when Queens have required medical treatment, doctors have been expected to wear gloves and only touch her when absolutely necessary.

Essentially, the Queen has nothing in her life but her faith and her dedication to her people, and these restrictions are stipulated in the Divine Contract of Rule. Written by the Priesthood (some time during the early 1050s A.D.), and believed by the Brellachi to be the direct words of Her Divine Glory as spoken through the First Divine Queen, Sumi I, the Divine Contract stipulates not only the powers afforded to the Queen, but the restrictions placed upon her life, as described above. All Divine Queens since Sumi have rigidly adhered to the terms of the Divine Contract, having been made to memorise its contents during their upbringing.

A myth exists which suggests that Brellach could one day be corrupted by an "Avatar Lost to the Dark" - a corrupted Queen - and thus the Priesthood, as well as being in charge of selecting and raising future Queens, must also watch over them to ensure they abide by the terms of the Divine Contract. The Priesthood can theoretically be summoned to 'correct' a wavering Queen by Her Court, should there be considerable evidence to demonstrate such, although no formal procedure exists for actually 'dethroning' a Divine Queen, and it has never been necessary in practice.

While the overall tone of the document is known, the exact text of the Divine Contract of Rule is known only to the Priesthood and the Divine Queens themselves, however. The original is kept securely in the main Sheoth Church of Her Divine Glory, under the watchful guard of both the Priesthood and Her Protectors.

Despite their frugal and restricted lifestyles, Divine Queens command the adoration of the Brellachi people, and have the ability to shape their nation however they choose, typically doing so altruistically.

'Link Break'

The Priesthood of Her Divine Glory is usually efficient at ensuring there is an adequate line of succession, however there are occasions when their calculations are off, leading to power vacuums - usually when a Divine Queen dies unexpectedly. In Brellach this is known as a 'Link Break', for their direct link to the Divine Glory is believed to have been severed. During this time it is seen as appropriate for the existing Devout Advisors of Her Court to govern the country in the Divine Queen's stead, until a Divine Successor is chosen and comes of age. As the Devout Advisors were hand-picked by the outgoing Queen, they are thought of as carrying out the deceased Queen's last wishes.

During this time, Her Court will rarely pass new laws, and will essentially maintain the status quo until relieved by the new Divine Queen. The Priesthood of Her Divine Glory will often oversee them during this time, ensuring they don't overstep their bounds.

Despite governmental stability largely being maintained, the years without a Divine Queen become cynically known as 'Sun Rotations Lost to the Dark', believed to be a sign that their goddess is upset by something they have done - the living embodiment of their goddess having essentially abandoned them. While there isn't considerable public unrest, Brellach's already-weak economic output invariably deteriorates into recessions during these periods.

The last time a Link Break occurred was in 1996, when Queen Vala III died suddenly of a cardiac arrest. Although not a true Link Break (The Renewal had already occurred, and had selected Queen Lyta as the Divine Successor), Lyta - then aged only 4 - would not come of age for another 11 years, and Brellach entered an economic recession almost immediately. The economy has only just recovered to its pre-Lyta level.

Queen Lyta I

Image
Lyta, Queen of Brellach, with her
current royal horse, Enan
The present ruling Queen, Lyta, is one of the more popular monarchs of recent times and has reigned since her 15th birthday. While most Queens have the benefit of tutelage from the outgoing Queen, in Lyta's case the previous Queen passed away before her Renewal could be completed. This lack of guidance from the outgoing Queen has brought a fresh approach to Lyta's rule.

Taken from her parents shortly after birth once she was identified as the Divine Successor, like all before her the 22-year-old's family history is unknown even to her, and she spent the entirety of her younger years undergoing intensive training for her position. As is tradition, she devotes the majority of her time to matters of state and spirituality, is forever forbade from wearing clothing or jewellery save for the Queen's pendant, and has no possessions of her own.

She chose her first royal horse when she became Queen, whom she named Enan. She is said to be extremely fond of him, which is often true of Brellachi Queens who tend to be isolated, and he lives with her, unrestrained, at the Queen's Divine Sanctuary. As per Brellachi custom, as well as being her closest companion, he is also the only mode of transportation she can make use of, except for in extraordinary circumstances (for example, when travelling abroad on a diplomatic visit, which she is rarely able to do due to how protective the Brellachi are of her - and historically, such journeys have been undertaken by ship, with the royal horse accompanying the Queen anyway).

Her affinity for the 'common soul' has garnered much respect for the young monarch in her short reign. When she is able to do so, she often walks the streets of Sheoth, talking to its citizens about issues that concern them.

Her full title is The Magnificent and Beautiful, Wise and Powerful, Perfect and Almighty, Avatar of the Divine Glory, Queen Lyta of Brellach, Her horses swift and Her blade true. According to tradition, there is no 'short form' version of this title, and members of Her Court will usually quote it verbatim each time they refer to her. Queen Lyta herself, however, is notoriously unconcerned with her title, finding it cumbersome and unnecessary, and prefers to be referred to without it.

Her Court

Image
The Building of Her Court's Residence,
where Her Court has operated since
its inception.
For at least five hundred years the Queen has been served by an institution literally translated as "Her Court", which is a collection of twelve royal advisors (the 'devout advisors'), each specialising in a different matter of governance. Her Court is led by 'the most devout advisor', who is senior to the others but still subordinate to the Queen herself. The most devout advisor will typically also represent Brellach (and the Queen) in foreign affairs, and is as close to a head of government as can be found there.

Each member of Her Court is hand-picked by the Queen herself shortly after she assumes power, in a process known simply as The Choosing, designed to ensure Her Court's loyalty and devotion to the Queen, to the Divine Glory, and to Brellach and her people. Anybody can put themselves forward as a candidate for membership, although typically only candidates who are well-schooled or has good experience in certain professions or lifestyles will be seriously considered. Each Queen has different motivations and methods when choosing her advisors; Queen Lyta is known to subject candidates to particularly long interviews, with candidates expected to stay with her at her sanctuary for several days, during which time they will discuss all manner of subjects. She is of the belief that a brief interview based on prescribed questions does not reveal a person's true character. Once appointed, any member of Her Court can be dismissed by the Queen at any time, and replaced with another of her choosing.

The current members of Her Court are:

  • Fellis Jessina - Most Devout Advisor of Her Court
  • Rena Vaska - Devout Advisor With Responsibility for Speaking with Those of Other Places
  • Rayna Brenyoi - Devout Advisor of Her Court With Responsibility for Farming and Building
  • Rekka of Trelnya - Devout Advisor With Responsibility for Learning
  • Sula Ramta - Devout Advisor With Responsibility for Horses and Moving
  • Tirra Moro - Devout Advisor With Responsibility for Spending and Trading
  • Tula Brann - Devout Advisor With Responsibility for Upholding Her Laws
  • Urla of Nakre - Devout Advisor With Responsibility for Defending Her Favoured Lands
  • Yariss Uranti - Devout Advisor With Responsibility for the Church of Her Divine Glory
  • Karra Vulto - Devout Advisor With Responsibility for Healing
  • Ell of Sten - Devout Advisor With Responsibility for The Tribes and The Compact
  • Cici Lucona - Devout Advisor With Responsibility for the True Ground and Her Creation

Each week the Queen meets with Her Court to hear of issues of national importance, and orders them to enact any decisions she makes. To avoid having the Queen go indoors (and therefore have her bare feet leave the 'True Ground'), the tradition is for members of Her Court to hold these meetings on the grass in the grounds of her sanctuary. When not meeting with the Queen, Her Court resides in The Building of Her Court's Residence, located in Sheoth.

For day-to-day matters the Queen will typically accept the recommendations of Her Court without argument, though she is technically under no obligation to listen to any of them and can overrule them on most matters. Her Court is also expected to tend to the basic needs of the Queen, providing her with food, water, and a replacement horse when necessary. Although submissive to the Queen, they have the power to call upon the Priesthood to punish her should she fail to abide by the terms of the Divine Contract - such as attempting to own property, wearing clothes, or the like.

Her Court maintains their own separate, more recent organisation called the Her People's Court, meant to give the people of Brellach a greater degree of influence over national governance - at regular intervals, prominent individuals from the community such as tribe leaders and businessmen will meet with Her Court to discuss any issues they feel should be addressed. The advisors of Her Court then decide whether or not these issues should be brought to the Queen's attention. Occasionally the Queen herself will observe and even take part in these sessions, a rare honour. Although prominent community members will normally be the speakers in these sessions, any Brellachi citizen is allowed to raise an issue if they wish.

Local governance

There are 40 administrative divisions in Brellach, attached to one of the 40 major towns and cities spread across the country. The Brellachi term for these jurisdictions, translated literally, is 'Her People's Space'. These constituencies are almost all governed by an elected official, usually the mayor of the town or city they are centred around, although there are a handful with hereditary leaders. Although an absolute monarchy, local authorities are given surprising leeway when it comes to matters that purely affect local residents, being allowed to make decisions with a minimum of interference from the Divine Queen or Her Court - though such interference does occur, often when the Queen believes a decision has not been made with the best interests of the local residents, if the decision runs contrary to national laws, or if it impacts local tribes in a negative way.

Each of Her People's Spaces includes a town or city at the centre, with the constituency's territory extending roughly 20 miles away from that settlement's core (this varies in some larger regions, such as Sheoth, which has considerably more area under its sway). Vast swathes of the country, particularly in the Aichan Savannah, which has only one Space centred around Sia'sa, do not fall under the jurisdiction of any local authority, and are thus only governed by the Divine Queen. The goal of this configuration is to allow urban Brellachi the ability to have some measure of control over their regions, whilst still leaving as much space as possible available for tribes to remain isolated and unmolested by local politics. There is nothing stopping people from living in these 'unclaimed regions', but they must not get in the way of any tribes that might also roam in that space lest they be evicted by the Queen.

All of these local authorities are ultimately subordinate to the Divine Queen and Her Court. Their governors are usually the ones who represent their constituents at Her People's Court.

Law and order

Brellach operates a mixed legal system; it is largely similar to common law systems in that judges make laws based on precedent, but the Divine Queen - the highest court of appeal - has the power to create laws arbitrarily or even overturn the decision of judges if she feels it necessary.

As in every other part of their society, Brellachi spiritual beliefs play a large part in the process. Their goddess, in-keeping with her portrayal as a compassionate and benevolent deity, teaches that people are to be treated with compassion even when accused of a crime. When arrested by Her Lawbringers, people charged with crime undergo a trial by their peers (for which the Brellachi word is literally 'impartial others'), presided over by a sentencing judge, who is almost exclusively a member of the Priesthood of Her Divine Glory with training in law - the thinking behind this being that while the jury speaks for the Brellachi people (who have been directly 'wronged'), the Priest speaks for Her Divine Glory (who must 'reset the balance').

The Brellachi do not employ 'punishment' as English speakers understand it, with their equivalent word translating as 'Divine Penance'. Those convicted of minor crimes ('Penitents') will be required to complete good deeds that either benefit either their victims directly or the local community as a whole. These deeds can range from assisting in the construction of schools or hospitals, to teaching underprivileged children or helping the sick, depending on the skills of the Penitent. In some cases, when the victim agrees and it is appropriate to do so, the Penitent may be tasked with aiding the victim and their family specifically with whatever they require. The Brellachi believe that crime upsets the Goddess, and these benevolent activities go some way towards pleasing her again and thus 'rebalancing the universe'. It is also thought to have the side-effect of rehabilitating the Penitent, as it rekindles a sense of community spirit and empathy in them as they meet and work with the people they wronged.

Image
Her Place of Redemption, Maeloth;
one of the oldest 'prison-churches'
that still exists in Brellach.
People who are convicted of more severe crimes, particularly violent crimes, are not released back into the community. The Brellachi are aware that dangerous criminals (known as 'The Darkened') must be kept away from the innocent, though they believe this to be as much for the sake of the convicted as for the rest of the population. Specifically, the Brellachi believe that people who commit acts of violence for selfish means are not in control of their actions, or at least being coerced into doing so, as they are "tainted by the dark, and must bathe in Her light". If given the chance to commit more crimes while under this influence, it is thought that they would experience great mental and spiritual anguish when they are eventually redeemed.

As such, The Darkened are placed into the care of the Priesthood, in specially-commissioned churches called 'Her Places of Redemption' (which could be termed 'prison-churches'), intended to spiritually cleanse them. The length of the sentence depends entirely on the severity of the crime committed, and whether or not the Priesthood believes The Darkened has been properly cleansed.

The Darkened will find themselves completing good deeds much like Penitents, but in a much more strictly controlled manner. For those who are 'too dark' to be allowed to leave the confines of Her Place of Redemption, this work can involve manufacturing clothing or preparing food. Others may perform work in the local community, under the watch of the Priesthood and Her Lawbringers, until returning to the prison-church when they are done. The rest of the time, The Darkened live as the priests themselves do, having nothing but bare essentials to their names, and spending their days maintaining the church and 'revering Her Divine Glory'. Many may be released once the Priesthood is confident of their 'redemption', but many more either choose to remain or are never released.

Laws are enforced by the Brellachi police force, which is known as 'Her Lawbringers', whose organisational headquarters are in Sheoth. They are responsible for detecting and investigating crimes, as well as patrolling the streets and aiding needy citizens. It is uncommon for Her Lawbringers to be armed with lethal weaponry; they are instead trained to apprehend criminals through non-violent means where possible, non-lethal means where necessary, and to only use lethal methods when no other choice is presented.

Her Lawbringers answer directly to the Divine Queen, and venerate her accordingly, but have their own hierarchy and infrastructure. That they answer to the Queen directly has the side-effect of making the people of Brellach accord them with some measure of reverence too, for it is believed that they operate under a divine mandate, and have a living goddess as their guide. Her Lawbringers have done nothing to dissuade this, as it has been noted that people cooperate with them much more readily during investigations.

Crime in Brellach is largely a non-issue, however. Their simple lifestyles, combined with their strict adherence to their spiritual beliefs, means that the Brellachi are not typically inclined to criminal activities beyond crimes of passion. Even the impoverished can find assistance from the Church, precluding their need to steal in most cases.

Military and foreign relations

The Holy Queendom is defended by Her Legion of Light, a military force that serves the Queen. Their stated mandate is to "lift the veils of darkness that hang over those who would do harm to Brellach or Her Divine Avatar, our Queen." It is split into three branches; The Legionnaires of Land, the Legionnaires of Sea, and the Air Legionnaires.

It is centrally funded at a cost of $4.307 billion NSD, and currently has 140,000 active personnel in service, known as Legionnaires of Light regardless of which branch they serve in. A compact exists between the government and the nomadic tribes, however, as part of the same agreement which grants their traditional lifestyle legal protection - when Brellach is threatened, the tribes will rally to its defence, which means that there are over 9 million people fit and available for military service. Her Court maintains an armoury of old, mothballed weapons to arm the tribesmen with in the event that it becomes necessary.

Image
The Brellachi navy is small and lacks
carriers, but it is well-organised and
commands reasonably modern ships.
Most of the Legion's equipment is designed and built in Brellach, with personnel in all branches sporting natively designed assault rifles (ARM-19L) and sidearms (PM-58V). Their navy is built with defence in mind rather than expeditionary missions, and it is not a bluewater navy - rather, they have centred it around four large, modern anti-ship frigates and twelve anti-air guided missile destroyers, all constructed at great cost to the state across a period of 20 years, with air support provided by the mainland. Their navy represents the most well-funded branch of the Legion, as it is intended to be their first line of defence in the event of an attack. All modern Brellachi ships are named after past Divine Queens.

The Land Legion has access to just over 300 Brellachi-manufactured main battle tanks, 500 infantry fighting vehicles, 100 mobile artillery vehicles, and 52 attack helicopters, with myriad light transport vehicles. With the exception of the MBTs, which were introduced some 20 years ago and received upgrades 10 years ago, most of these vehicles are reaching the end of their useful lives, with the IFVs in particular being almost 40 years old now. Insufficient funding exists to either design and build new equipment, or to purchase new equipment from abroad, and Queen Lyta has set government spending priorities elsewhere for the time being.

Similarly, the Air Legion is small and poorly-funded, with only 33 third-generation fighter aircraft at their disposal and a handful of tactical and strategic airlifters, and there are no plans to expand this.

The Queen has set a foreign policy of 'compassionate cooperation', intended to curry favour with the nations of the world by maintaining a reasoned, considerate approach to international issues. Where possible, Brellach will offer material support to those in need, but often their support is vocal.

Brellach is not currently party to any international agreements, though they have signed several non-aggression pacts in the past with nations that, in some cases, no longer exist.
Last edited by Brellach on Fri Oct 07, 2016 3:00 am, edited 112 times in total.
The Holy Queendom of Brellach
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Brellach
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Founded: Jun 20, 2007
Inoffensive Centrist Democracy

Postby Brellach » Thu Oct 09, 2014 1:34 pm

Economy


As some 60% of the population of Brellach lives a nomadic lifestyle - or at least, lives outside of society - hunting, foraging, and living off the land, the economy of Brellach has never been as robust as similarly-sized nations. Essentially, the Brellachi economy realistically only includes the product of 40% of the population, as they are the only citizens who directly contribute to its growth. Accordingly, the GDP of Brellach is at an all-time high of $150.042 billion, with a per capita rate of just under $7,000 - both reasonably low for a country of this size and population.

Farming and agriculture is the prominent industry in Brellach, with cotton, rice, sugar cane, sugar beet, wheat, beans, and onions being grown in particularly large quantities. Cattle and goats are also significant, and so meat and dairy products are produced in somewhat large numbers. The product of tribal hunting and foraging is not included in GDP figures, as it is unknown how much of either is gathered.

Heavy industry finds heavy opposition in Brellach, as the Queen - supposedly the living embodiment of their deity, and therefore mandated to protect her creation, environment and all - outright rejects any proposals for large-scale mining or manufacturing operations. There is a modest arms manufacturing sector in Brellach, primarily due to the Legion of Light's insistence on purchasing Brellachi-made equipment, but this has been struggling since the completion of their last naval destroyer and arms exports are illegal. More recently, Her Court has been supporting the Queen in making Brellach a desirable place for financial institutions and other clean, high-value services to set up shop, as the tax rate in Brellach is virtually non-existent. The relative poverty of Brellach has made this a difficult proposition, however, as the market for some services simply doesn't exist.

All of the main towns and cities, and most villages, have access to amenities like electricity and running water. This is in stark contrast to those living outside of urban areas, which constitutes the majority, as they have outright refused to adapt to the modern world. Even city dwellers only make use of a bare minimum of modern services, opting to stay as 'natural' as they can. This has led to a reduced market for many luxury goods.

Image
A 1Ð coin, minted by the Royal Bank
of Her Divine Avatar. Each coin
features a profile of Queen Lyta I.
The Royal Bank of Her Divine Avatar is responsible for setting interest rates and minting new currency - that being known internationally as the 'drake' (Ð - a symbol only used abroad, as it has no meaning to the Brellachi).The value of drakes is set by the Royal Bank, and is currently pegged at around 1Ð = $2 NSD. The Brellachi drake is a non-decimal commodity currency, used exclusively in the Holy Queendom.

A drake can be sub-divided into 20 'pieces' (literally translated), and each piece can be further divided into 12 'bits'. Quarter-bit coins, known as 'slivers', are minted also. Paper notes are uncommon, but are in circulation and can be found in denominations of 10 pieces (half a drake), 1 drake, 5 drakes, and 10 drakes. 20 and 40 drake notes are produced, but are never found in circulation and are used primarily in business transactions.

Barely integrated into the global economy, despite the Queen's efforts to do so, Brellach rarely experiences 'booms' or 'busts' nor significant inflation or deflation. It could be said that the economy is somewhat stagnant; GDP only seems to rise and fall in line with population changes, rather than because of enhanced productivity or trade. While this stagnation and lack of integration limits opportunities for growth or competition in the global marketplace (concepts which seem to be unimportant to residents anyway), it does have the side-effect of protecting Brellachi citizens from overseas recessions and depressions.

Transport

Vehicle ownership in Brellach is not high; currently it is rated at less than 2 vehicles per 1,000 people. While this figure is impacted dramatically by the fact that 60% of Brellachi are tribal, and eschew modern civilisation in all its forms, even accounting for this unusual trend vehicle ownership is not particularly high among the remaining 40% of the population when compared against most modern nations. This is thought to be due to a combination of the environmental impact cars have, which runs contrary to the beliefs of most Brellachi, and the relatively low income of most Brellachi families.

Image
Roads are sporadic in quality and
fewer in number, particularly toward
the savannah region.
Despite this, most major cities in Brellach have paved roads, though a large number of city centres are exclusively pedestrianised due to the narrow, historical streets. Vehicles, when owned at all, are often owned by several families jointly, or even by entire neighbourhoods, with their usage - and financial burden - shared between them. Most major cities are linked by roads, while less significant settlements may only be linked by unpaved trails - however, virtually all vehicles in Brellach are capable of all-terrain driving. Road networks are much better developed in the south, and to a lesser degree in the west, where the majority of urban areas are located. By contrast, the central region has no real transport networks to speak of, requiring off-road travel to get anywhere.

Traditional modes of land transportation far outweigh vehicle use, particularly given that the tribes rely on horses to maintain their nomadic lifestyle. Even amongst 'civilisation', people in rural areas also rely on animal locomotion.

Rail networks are not comprehensive, though Queen Vala III spearheaded a large railway expansion plan in the latter years of her reign, which resulted in virtually every city being connected via rail, albeit not directly. Railways have become the principle mode of travel for intra-national journeys, which is unsurprising given the vast distances between some Brellachi cities. As with the road network, rail links are better-developed in the more densely populated southern and western regions.

Air travel is not well supported in Brellach, principally due to the infeasibly high cost. Only one international airport exists in Sheoth, which is small, poorly-funded, and not heavily used. It is, however, the only entry point for international visitors, and has seen greater revenues - and the development of a dedicated airline - as tourism has expanded in the last ten years. Only two other significant airports exist, and both only cater for domestic flights; one in Bekton, western Brellach, and another in Reechpuint, on the east coast. Despite their size, the position of these airports makes them ideal for traversing the vast distance between the eastern and western coasts of Brellach in a reasonable timeframe, and both cities have seen economic growth since their construction.

Far more common in Brellach is sea travel; most Brellachi coastal settlements have at least some form of harbour or port, and it is often quicker to journey from one coastal city to another by boat than it is by car or plane. As recent years have seen a dramatic increase in importing and exporting commercial goods, development of large commercial harbours has occurred in a number of towns.

Energy

Electricity did not come to Brellach until the early 1960s, and was not common in homes until the 1990s or later in some areas. There is no unified national energy grid, with each settlement generally being responsible for providing electricity for their area of influence, although some have linked their power grids up with neighbouring settlements.

More than 60% of power generation in southern Brellach is achieved via the use of photo-voltaic panels, nearly all of which were imported at great cost to the cities using them. These are primarily employed in great 'solar farms' on the outskirts of towns, with only a handful of towns - notably Huleoth - operating schemes to place them on individual homes.

In western Brellach, most towns opt for wind turbines, similarly placing them together in wind farms at the outskirts of towns, using solar power for only a small proportion of electrical output.

The use of fossil fuels for power is not common, and never has been. While this is partially because large deposits of fossil fuel have never been discovered in Brellach (with the notable exception of significant coal deposits recently identified in north Brellach), but is primarily influenced by their religious beliefs. As energy generation did not come to Brellach until long after the environmentally damaging effects of burning fossil fuels were known, it was never an option for the Brellachi.



Education


Public education in Brellach is sporadic and not compulsory. Given that more than 13.2 million of the 22 million Brellachi people are tribal, and avoid both the government and civilisation in general, attendance at schools is already severely restricted. But even amongst 'city dwellers', home schooling is the predominant form of education.

Each settlement in Brellach is required to offer adequate public schooling for those who wish to make use of it, and Her Court is responsible for providing schools with both funding and a curriculum. These public schools, known as Her Places of Learning for Children, teach a combination of basic academic skills - mathematics, the Brellachi language, and basic sciences - and vocational skills that are useful in typical Brellachi life. No 'qualification' as such emerges from this, beyond a greater understanding of the subjects involved.

Excluding tribals, who all 'home school' their children, an estimated 65 - 70% of parents home school their children, and do not enrol them in schools. The literacy rate in Brellach, accordingly, is below 40%. Despite Brellach's Divine Queen and Her Court attempting to modernise the school system, a cultural aversion to schools, and a tradition of schooling one's own children, has kept public schools firmly in the minority.

Further education exists in the form of university-equivalent facilities that teach subjects in a great amount of detail. Known various as Her Places of Learning or Her Academies, depending on the royal charter they receive, these institutions often teach specific subjects such as law, history, or language, and offer a qualification known simply as Knowledge of subject certificates. People attend these 'universities' when they wish to pursue a more academic career, particularly in law or politics.



Health


Thanks to the nomadic lifestyle of the majority of the population, key health indicators in Brellach are typically poor on average, but with great inequality; those living in cities typically have much lower instances of infant and child mortality than those living outside of society. Infectious diseases tend not to spread quickly amongst tribes, however - it is unknown what causes this.

Air quality and pollution, however, are amongst the lowest in the world, to the point of being non-existent in many areas; a notable lack of heavy industry or polluting power stations, and low vehicle use, are the primary factors. Smoking, though not legislated against, does not exist in Brellachi society, outside of some tribes that smoke herbs on rare occasions. Respiratory illnesses are accordingly low.

The tribes of Brellach make use of various types of traditional medicine. Some, such as their own versions of acupuncture, and the use of salt water to clear the body of disease, are of dubious or no scientific value. Others, however, are surprisingly effective. Northern tribes long ago discovered the anaesthetic properties of a particular type of native plant that grows alongside rivers in the region, and refine it into an effective painkiller which is now used by nearly all of the Brellachi tribes. This same painkiller is also used by Brellachi doctors, due to the prohibitive expense of importing foreign drugs. Meanwhile the western tribe of 'Roro' have been known to understand the relationship between diet and health since at least the 1400s1, and have since exported that knowledge to the entire island. Most tribes have also discovered the antibacterial properties of certain types of mould, and in more recent years have made use of them for fighting disease instead of traditional methods.

Public healthcare in Brellach has historically been patchy and underfunded, but since coming to power Queen Lyta has made its modernisation a priority. Government healthcare funding now contributes more than 16% of total expenditures, and the results are beginning to be felt. More than half of the large settlements (23) now have at least a moderately-sized hospital, and medical training techniques have been copied from foreign systems and issued to doctors and nurses across the country. Those settlements without hospitals are home to large general practice surgeries with equipment to handle most common and serious ailments, if not on a large scale, and vital medicines have been imported from abroad where possible. Existing private practitioners have been utilised to plug gaps, with the government paying for eligible patients.

1 15th century Brellachi scholar, Chus Tarrid, after visiting Tribe Roro noted in his letter to Divine Queen Hessi II: "The tribeswomen of Roro insist upon their folk a varied but balanced diet - eating a good quantity of apples is advised, but not too many, for too many bloats the abdomen [distension]. Fish and grapes are said to improve the mind, especially the [memory]. While too much meat will cause a weak heart and a lazy gait [obesity]. And alcohol, that temptation of Her Divine Glory, is to be avoided for the damage it causes to [the liver]. All of this, and more, leads to the tribeswomen and men of Roro to be among the healthiest in all Brellach, with great stamina, acute minds, and few if any ailments."



Culture


Brellachi culture is heavily influenced by their faith, which informs almost everything they do. The lifestyles of the tribes, the people of which make up the majority of the population, also features heavily in their culture.

Visual arts

Most visual artworks in Brellach typically have a religious function. Paintings are not common, but woven tapestries of varying styles and sizes can be found across the country in all manner of buildings. These tapestries, woven mostly from wool, often depict either events from their mythology and history, or natural landscapes or animals.

The most famous of these is 'Her Favoured Lands Emerging', a huge tapestry produced by an unknown artist in the 15th century and presently found in the main hall of The Building of Her Court's Residence. It is over five metres in length and depicts the lands of Brellach emerging from the ocean, as described in their creation myth.

Other tapestries portray various scenes from nature - a key element in their belief system - and historically significant events, such as 'The Compact Is Signed'.

Sculptures are less common than tapestries, but more so than paintings, and are most commonly used to portray the Divine Queen - each Divine Queen, for example, is always portrayed by an officially-commissioned bust at the commencement of her reign, with a hall in the Sheoth Church of Her Divine Glory hosting each one ever made. Smaller sculptures of the current Divine Queen can be found in many homes, often used as part of that household's shrine to the Queen, as well as in official government buildings. Sculptures of animals, particularly horses, are also common as either religious or decorative features.

Music

As with other art forms, music in Brellach is influenced by a combination of their spirituality (and, therefore, nature), and by tribal customs. Instrumentation consists primarily of wooden percussive and wind instruments that are unique to Brellach.

Among city-dwellers, singing without instrumentation is more typical, with various religious songs being favoured by the populace. Singing is often part of religious activities such as veneration of the goddess, as the Divine Glory is worshiped through song and dance. The exception is during major festivals, when bands of wooden instrumental performers can be found on the streets playing music that could only be described as tribal in nature.

Within the tribes singing is also common, and many of the same songs are used by the tribes. They too use wooden instruments of various types (which city-dwellers most likely inherited from them, given their own tribal origins), though they use these more commonly than city-dwellers - many tribes play music before they sleep, as a means of seeking the protection of the Divine Glory at night.

Major musical performances - either recorded or live on stage - do not occur in Brellach as they do in other countries, and there is no such thing as a 'music industry'. Accordingly, there are no particularly famous musical artists, and the origins of most of their songs and tunes are largely unknown - this being true even for more recent works.

Architecture

Though building styles vary across Brellach, as slightly different traditions and environments influence constructions from one end of the landmass to the other, the overall architectural style can be summarised as functional.

As even city-dwelling Brellachi view man-made structures as 'blights on the land', only to be constructed as necessary, little attention is given to their appearance - they are to be fit for purpose, long-lasting, as clean as possible, and little else. Common themes include natural materials such as stone and wood, few buildings above five or six storeys in height, and often large gardens with enough room for growing food.

In the southern and eastern regions, where a warm/hot, dry Mediterranean climate reigns all year, houses are typically more open and aerated, usually made from stone, with flat roofs and cool stone or tiled floors, and shutters instead of glass windows. The stonework is often painted in bright colours to reflect the sun away, leading to surprisingly colourful towns.

In the more temperate regions to the west, where it rains more heavily and the temperatures can plummet to zero or lower, houses are usually made from a combination of stone and wood, with thatched roofs, insulated walls and usually glass in the small windows. Floors are often carpeted in the larger, wealthier towns, though sometimes a simple covering of hay is used in poorer areas (or in households where families feel the need to connect more strongly with the True Ground).

In the northern areas, which are predominantly steppe and grassland regions that experience cold temperatures year-round, houses are predominantly stone due to a historic lack of wood. Often they are only a single storey in height above ground, with living areas found underground where it can be kept warm more easily.

Only one settlement can be found in the central region of the Aichan Savannah, a region of intense heat and limited rainfall. Houses here are superficially similar to those found in the south, though they are typically even more open - to the point of being little more than roofs on legs in some cases.

The various tribes that roam Brellach have dramatically different living arrangements, however. Some sleep in the open, with no form of shelter whatsoever, seeking to bask fully in the creation of their goddess. This is particularly true of tribes who predominantly roam in the warmer areas. Others, particularly those active in the colder regions, use rudimentary tents made from natural materials, which are often reusable and can be packed up to travel with.

Government buildings, such as The Building of Her Court's Residence, are somewhat larger and more elaborate than most buildings, given their purpose and 'divine mandate'. Though not influenced by foreign designers in any way, they often bear coincidental similarities to a mixture of Renaissance Baroque and Islamic styles, with other aspects being unique.

Media

Media in Brellach is underdeveloped. Predominant among the various disparate outlets are the local newspapers that serve most large Spaces; these are often printed using obsolete technology, and serve populations of thousands rather than millions. No national newspaper exists, nor does the Brellachi press have any kind of international presence - indeed, a foreign, volunteer news provider called 'BrellachWatch' has been set up outside of Brellach for the purposes of delivering news regarding the Holy Queendom to interested foreign parties.

Radio is fairly new to Brellach, with the first local station having been set up in Sheoth about 20 years ago. Generally, radio stations in Brellach are community-led, as the traditional advertisement-funded model used elsewhere proved unsuccessful. Due to many homes lacking electricity, often voluntarily, it is unlikely that radio will expand in the near future.

Television stations face similar problems; a lack of revenue and viewers makes it an infeasible proposition. Television sets do exist in Brellach, particularly in Sheoth and in schools that teach foreign languages, but no domestic broadcasting company exists, and so the few owners of television sets must rely on imported media or foreign satellite broadcasts.

Of the few 'motion pictures' have been produced domestically, most - much like the early history of American movies - have featured recreations of their history and mythology, with the most popular feature being 'The Moving Picture About The Signing Of The Compact', a supposedly historically accurate retelling of the unrest leading up to the signing of The Compact, and the accession of the First Divine Queen.

Internet access

Unsurprisingly, considering the level of technology used in Brellach, Internet use in the Holy Queendom is quite limited. Excluding the tribal population (who, despite being in the majority, do not factor into such calculations due to their complete disinterest in technology of any kind), only 4-5% of city-dwelling Brellachi citizens can access the Internet on a regular basis, with a further 5% professing to use it semi-regularly at communal locations such as libraries. Predominant users are students and people with (as they are considered in Brellach, at least) niche technology interests.

Internet use is more common with some of the larger businesses in Brellach, particularly those with more than one premises (as they use it to communicate more efficiently) or those who deal with international clients regularly. Larger cities like Sheoth, Bekton, and Reechpuint have rudimentary copper cable networks for businesses to connect to, and are linked together with other large cities (and, via way of Sheoth, the global web) via cross-country cables. Most smaller towns and villages lack true access to the Internet, though a handful of businesses in these settlements have pooled their resources to create small, private, isolated WANs.

Only Her Court and its associated organisations have invested in broadband connections, mainly for the purposes of international communications, which are prohibitively expensive for most. Most others are limited to basic dial-up speeds, though this is a financial limitation rather than a legal one - the tiny market has precluded the large-scale development of broadband Internet. As with most things, the Divine Queen and Her Court tend not to interfere in people's use of (or method of) connecting to the Internet; freedom of expression is a de facto right for Brellachi web browsers and content publishers.

Censorship does not exist in Brellach, with the government opting to stay out of such affairs.

Brellachi calendar

Literally translated to English, the Brellachi term for 'year' is 'Sun Rotations Since the Birth of the Avatar of Her Divine Glory'. As indicated by the somewhat obtuse name, Brellachi years correspond to the age of the current incarnation of the Divine Queen, and as such the start and end date of official years can vary from one ruler to the next, and is reset when a new Queen comes of age.

In general, the Priesthood of Her Divine Glory is reasonably good at predicting when to begin The Renewal (i.e. when the incumbent Queen is likely to pass away and need replacing), meaning there is usually only a very short gap between the death of an incumbent Queen and the coming of age of the next (known as the 'Divine Successor'), and so the years continue in that until then. Should a Queen die a considerable period before the Divine Successor comes of age, however, a Link Break occurs, and years are instead measured from the time of death of the late ruler, and are known as 'Sun Rotations Lost To The Dark'. This continues until the Divine Successor is old enough to fill the void.

At present, the year in Brellach is currently the 22nd Sun Rotation Since The Birth of Lyta, and this cycle commences on 23rd November. For the sake of foreigners, this is occasionally abbreviated to Year 22L in correspondence. Due to the way Divine Queens accede the 'throne', Brellachi years can never be below 15.

The year itself is broken up into two 'months' per season (known as a 'season group'), for a total of eight 'months' with 45 days in each. These months do not have names, but in typical Brellachi fashion are merely given descriptive terms based on which season group they are in. These are (translated from Brellachi): 'The First/Second Half of the Coldest Season', 'The First/Second Half of the Season of Growth', 'The First/Second Half of the Warmest Season', and 'The First/Second Half of the Season of Wilting'.

Five days of the year are not included within any one month; instead, they are interspersed between 'season groups' as 'free days'. They are used to celebrate the change from one season to the next, and are often accompanied by festivities. Two 'free days' are included at the end of the autumn ('Season of Wilting'), and one day is included at the end of every other season. To prevent the calendar from falling out of sync thanks to the missing quarter day, much like leap years in the Gregorian calendar, every four years an extra free day is added to the end of winter ('The Coldest Season').

Despite the calendar year commencing on the Divine Queen's birthday, the precise date does not reset to one on that day and is still expressed based on what day of the traditional month it is. As an example, 23rd November 2015, according to the Brellachi calendar (and literally translated to English) shall be written as: "The 41st Day of the First Half of the Coldest Season, on the 23rd Sun Rotation Since the Birth of Lyta". As shown, the exact date continues based on what day of the month it is, while the year advances on from 22L to 23L.
Last edited by Brellach on Fri Jul 10, 2015 2:22 am, edited 26 times in total.
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Postby Brellach » Thu Jan 29, 2015 7:12 am

(New post as OP has reached the character limit)

Devout Advisors of Her Court

Devout Advisors of Her Court serve, as their name implies, as advisors to the Divine Queen. They have no real authority, as such, functioning merely as mouthpieces of the Queen, though they are often given responsibility for the minutea of day-to-day governance. Each Devout Advisor is selected by the Queen on her accession, or when replacements are needed, during The Choosing.



Fellis Jessina

Fellis Jessina


Most Devout Advisor of Her Court
In office
Assumed office
24th July 2008



Monarch: Queen Lyta I
Deputy: Rena Vaska
Preceded by: Julla Ranto


Date of birth: 23rd July 1983 (age 31)
Birthplace: Del'am, Sheoth, South Brellach
Spouse: None
Children: None
Alma mater: Sheoth School of Law and State
Religion: Church of Her Divine Glory
Fellis Jessina (born 23rd July 1983) is the Most Devout Advisor of Her Court, a position as close to a head of government as exists in Brellach.

Jessina studied advanced Brellachi history and achieved an honour in legal studies at Sheoth School of Law and State, but when she completed her education she went into her family's business in Sheoth, which made a living by reselling barley farmed from the surrounding countryside to other settlements.

In 2007 when The Renewal was completed and Queen Lyta ascended to power, Jessina submitted an impassioned application to sit on Her Court which attracted the attention of the young monarch, who invited Jessina to spend some time with her at the Divine Queen's Sanctuary. It isn't well known what they talked about during her stay, but in early 2008 the Queen appointed Jessina to be the Most Devout Advisor of Her Court.

Since then, the Most Devout Advisor and the Queen have maintained a close working relationship, with the Queen often discussing her decisions with Jessina when she is unsure of a direction. They are also said to maintain a friendship of sorts, though the requirements placed on the Queen make such a difficult proposition.

Jessina is known to share the Queen's liberal views on such matters as public welfare, and has made it her personal mission to develop the Queen's plans for a universal healthcare system in Brellach.

The Most Devout Advisor is unmarried and has no children, and when asked she claimed "serving the [The Queen] and the Brellachi people is more rewarding to me than any marriage could possibly be".

Family

Fellis Jessina was born in the Del'am district of the city of Sheoth on 23rd July 1983. She is the youngest of three children by her mother, Geli Jessina, and the only child of her father, Huk Jessina. Her half-brother (age 34) and half-sister (age 37) are both fathered by Geli Jessina's second husband, with polygamy being common in Brellach, and they continue to work in the Jessina family business. They all grew up together in their home on the outskirts of Sheoth.

Her parents, and her mother's first husband, are reasonably affluent and own Jessina Mek'tar, a re-seller of barley head-quartered in Sheoth. This affluence afforded them the finances necessary to send Fellis to the Sheoth School of Law and State, a university that is prohibitively expensive to most.

The Jessina family has a history of serving as members of Her Court: Fellis' grandmother was a Devout Advisor to Queen Vela for over 20 years before retiring, and her great-grandmother was the Most Devout Advisor to Queen Duma in the late 19th and early 20th centuries. Her grandfather was a High Legionnaire in Her Legion of Light.

Education

Fellis was home-schooled as a youth by her second father, Kulon Jessina, until the age of 15. Kulon is a well-known Brellachi author and imparted Fellis with considerable reading and writing skills, though it was Brellachi history that Fellis was interested in particularly. When Kulon had no more to teach her on the subject, Fellis asked to be enrolled in the Sheoth School of Law and State, a request which was granted by her mother.

She focused her studies on Brellachi history, particularly the Golden Period of 1050 - 1400 A.D., and achieved excellent marks in all of her papers. Conscious of the fact that she needed a vocational skill to participate in the family business, she also studied for an honours qualification in Brellachi law, which would later come in handy during her short stint handling the family business' legal affairs.

Most Devout Advisor

Jessina was appointed as Most Devout Advisor of Her Court by Queen Lyta on 24th July 2008, after spending almost two weeks with the teenage Queen at her Sanctuary. Though the particulars of their discussions during this time are unknown it is thought that they sparked a close relationship, as Jessina did not originally apply to become the leader of Her Court.

As the first appointed Advisor, she helped the Queen sort through the myriad applicants and appoint members to the remaining positions of Her Court. Jessina is known to share the Queen's liberal stance on many issues, and the appointed members of Her Court tend to reflect that.

Her main project since being appointed has been developing the Queen's plans for a universal healthcare system. This has proven particularly difficult as Brellach's existing health delivery infrastructure is reasonably poor, and the Queen has mandated that Brellach's historically low taxes shouldn't be raised considerably to fund it. Therefore Jessina has been helping to explore other alternatives, such as transferring existing funds and streamlining other services without compromising their efficiency.

She has also been heavily involved in carrying out the Queen's foreign policy, supported by her deputy and the Devout Advisor with Responsibility for Speaking with Those of Other Places, Rena Vaska. Jessina has communicated with many foreign delegates during her tenure, and has sought to create a reputation of peace and reason for Brellach on the international stage at the behest of the Queen.

Attempts to attract clean, high-tech business to Brellach have also been a key part of Jessina's role, one which she has found particularly difficult to achieve as a combination of general poverty, low education standards, and stringent environmental laws have historically cancelled out the appeal of low tax rates and deterred foreign businesses from operating in the Holy Queendom. Economic growth has occurred, but on a global scale Brellach is still an insignificant marketplace.

Personal life

Fellis Jessina, since being appointed to Her Court, has devoted the majority of her time to governance, and little to her own interests.

It is known that she regularly rides horses along with the Queen, who by tradition is a keen horse rider, but often these treks are used for discussing issues of state. She has also continued to study Brellachi history in her spare time, and has written several theses on various historical subjects which have been well-received by Brellachi academics.

She maintains close contact with her parents and siblings, who live reasonably closely to the Building of Her Court's Residence, but has not married or had children of her own and claims to have no intention of doing so. During state holidays, she either returns to her family home, or goes on traditional excursions with one of the local tribes in the region, living among them for a few weeks and adhering to their customs. She has built up a good relationship with the leader of that tribe, which is considered to be vital for many issues that Her Court must deal with on a day to day basis.






Rena Vaska

Rena Vaska


Devout Advisor of Her Court,
With Responsibility for Speaking with
Those of Other Places
In office
Assumed office
2nd August 2008



Monarch: Queen Lyta I
Leader: Fellis Jessina


Date of birth: 8th May 1985 (age 29)
Birthplace: Kuro'nala, Huleoth, South Brellach
Spouse: Umbok Vaska
Children: Tellia Vaska (age 2)
Alma mater: Her Academy of Huleoth
Religion: Church of Her Divine Glory
Rena Vaska (born 8th May 1985) is the Devout Advisor of Her Court, With Responsibility for Speaking with Those of Other Places (the Brellachi equivalent of a foreign secretary), as well as being the Most Devout Advisor's deputy.

Originating from the coastal city of Huleoth in South Brellach, Vaska is an accomplished author and has qualifications in sociology and anthropology from Her Academy of Huleoth, skills which the Queen felt would be ideal for somebody meant to communicate well with foreigners. She is fluent in English too, to a greater degree than her superior, Fellis Jessina, which helped her to secure her application to become a Devout Advisor.

Vaska has worked tirelessly to develop the Queen's vision of Brellachi foreign policy, most significantly by developing the Holy Queendom's first diplomatic exchange program. Though Brellachi custom requires that the Most Devout Advisor conveys the exact words and wishes of the Divine Queen to outsiders, the Devout Advisor with Responsibility for Speaking with Those of Other Places handles communications regarding less important matters that the Queen does not need to speak directly to, or when a crisis occurs which requires immediate diplomatic attention. She also advises the Most Devout Advisor on how to word such communications.

Family

Vaska is a single child born to what many foreigners would dub a 'nuclear family' - her parents, who still reside in Kuro'nala, Huleoth, took no other spouses, and no extended family lived with them. This is unusual in Brellach, where there are usually either more than two partners in a marriage, or previous generations live together in the same house. Vaska has stated in the past that this arrangement, considered traditional in most foreign countries, has given her a unique insight that aids her in her dealings with representatives from foreign countries.

Her family was a traditional farming family, with a large flock of sheep to their name, and it was intended for Vaska to follow in their footsteps, but in her own words Vaska felt "an urge to explore, and to meet people rather than sheep." When her emotional state steadily deteriorated during adolescence, her parents decided to pay to enrol her in Her Academy of Huleoth, enabling her to pursue this dream. Her parents have since sold their flock and retired.

Vaska has one spouse ('He Who Would Be Hers'), Umbok Vaska, and claims to be following in her parent's footsteps in not taking additional partners. Together they have a 2-year-old daughter, Teela. Vaska's family moved to Sheoth with her when she became a Devout Advisor, so that they could remain close.

Devout Advisor

Vaska was appointed as a Devout Advisor of Her Court on 2nd August 2008, and was given the specific task of 'Responsibility for Speaking With Those of Other Places'. This is the closest to a Foreign Secretary that Brellach's government has; she also doubles as Fellis Jessina's deputy, meaning that she would assume the position of Most Devout Advisor should anything happen.

Her application intrigued both Queen Lyta and her Most Devout Advisor, who both felt that Vaska's in-depth knowledge of sociology and anthropology, combined with her grasp of the English language (which is today considered to be the strongest in Brellach, even above professors who teach the subject), made her a uniquely qualified candidate when it came to foreign interactions.

Since assuming the role, Vaska has interacted with foreigners considerably, employing the Divine Queen's doctrine of "compassionate cooperation" in all her dealings. She has improved relations between Brellach and a handful of countries (Brellach, traditionally, avoids interaction of any kind, making this a significant accomplishment), and has been pivotal in the Queen's desire to improve international trade links.

Personal life

Vaska is a student of foreigners, which extends beyond her role in Her Court. She is known to have a substantial collection of English language literature, which she claims to have read entirely "at least twice." She is considered to be the best English speaker in Brellach, which typically shows in her letters to foreign governments - while Fellis Jessina's letters tend to exhibit considerable "Brellachisms" (being overly descriptive, for example, or using many words where one would do), Vaska's letters instead are more natural in tone and wording. She is a keen advocate for the improvement of foreign language adoption in Brellach. Aside from working closely with Rekka of Trelnya (Devout Advisor With Responsibility for Learning) to modernise Brellachi schools, she devotes considerable amounts of her own time to helping educators in Her Academy of Huleoth develop and easier-to-follow English curriculum.

She has also written several books about foreign countries she has learned about during her time as Devout Advisor. She has stated that she hopes to "expand the horizons" of the typically insular Brellachi people.






Rayna Brenyoi

Rayna Brenyoi


Devout Advisor of Her Court,
With Responsibility for Farming
and Building
In office
Assumed office
22nd August 2008



Monarch: Queen Lyta I
Leader: Fellis Jessina


Date of birth: 13th June 1979 (age 35)
Birthplace: Trel, North Brellach
Spouses: Teern Brenyoi; Dupo Brenyoi
Children: None (two step-children)
Alma mater: Her Academy of Trel
Religion: Church of Her Divine Glory
Rayna Brenyoi is the Devout Advisor of Her Court, With Responsibility for Farming and Building (the Brellachi merging agricultural and industrial secretaries together, feeling that the latter impacts upon the other).






Rekka of Trelnya

Devout Advisor With Responsibility for Learning






Sula Ramta

Devout Advisor With Responsibility for Horses and Moving






Tirra Moro

Devout Advisor With Responsibility for Spending and Trading






Tula Brann

Devout Advisor With Responsibility for Upholding Her Laws






Urla of Nakre

Devout Advisor With Responsibility for Defending Her Favoured Lands






Yariss Uranti

Devout Advisor With Responsibility for the Church of Her Divine Glory






Karra Vulto

Devout Advisor With Responsibility for Healing






Ell of Sten

Devout Advisor With Responsibility for The Tribes and The Compact






Cici Lucona

Devout Advisor With Responsibility for the True Ground and Her Creation

{Unfinished, obviously!}
Last edited by Brellach on Fri Oct 07, 2016 3:03 am, edited 9 times in total.
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Inoffensive Centrist Democracy

Miscellaneous entries

Postby Brellach » Fri Apr 24, 2015 5:18 am

{Adding a new post for misc. entries so I can link to them from the main entries above.}

ARM-19L

ARM-19L

Image
ARM-19L in standard
configuration


Type: Assault rifle
Place of origin: Brellach

Service history

In service: 2012 - Present
Used by: Brellach

Production history

Designed: 2009 - 2012
Designer: Delsi of Granth
Manufacturer: Her Armourers
Produced: 2012 - Present
Number built: ~150,000

Specifications

Weight: 4.1kg loaded
Barrel length: 396mm
Cartridge: 6.4x42mm BAR
Magazine: 24 rounds
Rate of fire: 450rds/min
Muzzle velocity: 800m/s
Effective range: 350m
Feed mechanism: Detachable box
magazine
The ARM-19L (Anglicised name which is short for Assault Rifle, Model of the Ninteenth Year of Lyta) is the standard-issue infantry rifle issued in Brellach.

Designed between 2009 and 2012, after Queen Lyta's Devout Advisors suggested to her that the 1932-issued battle rifle in use until 2009 was somewhat obsolete, the ARM-19L was designed by a conglomerate of Brellach's leading small arms experts under the banner of the government-owned arms group Her Armourers. It has since been admired by Her Legion of Light's soldiers as a rugged and reliable weapon, if otherwise unremarkable by international standards. Her Protectors have also adopted the weapon.

One of the primary motivations for issuing the ARM-19L was cost, as the rifle is particularly cheap for its class at only $950 per unit (converted). Brellach forbids the sale of weapons abroad, and so there are no plans to market the weapon.

History

The Brellachi military forces, known as Her Legion of Light, are renowned among the very small proportion of the world who have heard of them for utilising equipment for as long as practically possible before ultimately discarding it once it is no longer useful. While ultimately this leads to military impotence in many cases, it saves considerable money.

As such it is appropriate that, until 2007, their standard-issue infantry rifle was the BBR-45Q, a battle rifle that had been in use for over seventy years before ultimately being replaced. This rifle was semi-automatic and chambered to fire 7.9mm cartridges, but was old, unreliable, and severely outclassed by its later years. Queen Vala's Devout Advisors had been aware of this for years, but were reluctant to recommend a replacement.

With the accession of Queen Lyta, and fresh members of Her Court being selected during The Choosing, the new Devout Advisors immediately recommended that a replacement either be developed in Brellach, or purchased off-the-shelf. Unwilling to send money abroad, Queen Lyta opted for the former option, and commissioned a replacement rifle for Her Legion from Her Armourers, a state-owned arms group, under the lead of Her Master Armourer, Delsi of Granth.

Delsi studied various Western conflicts and weapons during the course of her work on the project, and applied what she learned to the design of her rifle. The result, approved by Her Legion's Guardians, was the ARM-19L. Its design was finalised in 2012 and entered production later on in that year.

The first few batches were provided to Her Legion of Light in early 2013, and it was being reported to have decent accuracy, reliability and firepower. It is yet to be tested in real combat.

The ARM-19L has been nicknamed the 'Enlightener' by Her Legion.

Design

The ARM-19L is a short-stroke, gas operated, rotating bolt assault rifle chambered for domestically designed 6.4x42mm 'BAR' cartridges and built according to a conventional layout. This cartridge is hoped to offer a decent compromise of stopping power, penetration abilities, recoil and accuracy between smaller and larger intermediate rounds, and the rifle was designed around this cartridge from the beginning. The trigger mechanism allows for semi-automatic and fully-automatic firing modes, along with a safety position.

Much of the rifle's effective range is owed to the BWISS-2 optical sight, which is mounted atop of the rifle. This sight offers a 2x optical zoom with tritium illumination for use in darkened conditions, and is designed to offer normal infantrymen additional range and accuracy in a fire fight. It is mounted on Brellachi-designed equipment rails and can be removed in favour of iron sights. A flashlight is located beneath the barrel, which can be removed and replaced with a purpose-built 30mm grenade launcher.

Both the upper and lower receivers are built from stamped metal, and its bolt, bolt carrier and barrel from steel, while the stock and grip are constructed from polymers. The stock is fully retractable, as part of a measure intended to remove the need for carbines and improve its portability (the value of this measure is debated). When fully-loaded, in standard configuration with the BWISS-2 sight and flashlight attachment, the ARM-19L weighs a little over four kilograms.

Overall, testing has suggested that the weapon has 'average' capabilities in most respects, though is supremely reliable and functions in all conditions.

Variants

The ARM-19L has been designed to fulfill as many roles as possible with as little expenditure as possible, although two variants have also been commissioned.

The first, the ARM-19L-DM has a fixed stock and an elongated (421mm) barrel, with a trigger group denying the option for fully automatic fire, and is intended to give additional range and accuracy to marksmen. This has proved unpopular, however, and most marksmen in Her Legion have opted to retain the BBR-45Q.

The second variant, the ARM-19L-SSW has the same elongated barrel, but sees the removal of the BWISS-2 sight and the addition of a folding bipod in place of the flashlight. It also has a 72-round drum magazine in place of the standard 24-round box magazine, and lacks a semi-automatic option. The ARM-19L-SSW is designed to be a squad support weapon, intended to fulfill the role of a light machine gun when a dedicated machine gunner is not available.

Adoption

The ARM-19L has been adopted as the standard-issue rifle of Her Legion of Light (Brellach's combined military forces). Around 150,000 have been ordered by Her Legion to date.

Additionally, around two thousand ARM-19L-DMs have been ordered, along with around two thousand ARM-19L-SSWs.






The Compact

Part of a series on
Brellachi politics
The most significant legal document in the Holy Queendom of Brellach is The Compact, a document signed in 1056 A.D. by the First Divine Queen, Sumi, and the majority of the tribe leaders of the era.

The original document still exists, and can be found, usually under heavy guard by Her Protectors, in The Building of Her Court's Residence. Written on vellum in Archaic Brellachi script, while the pictographs used are the same as those used presently the grammatical rules used in older Brellachi language have changed significantly.

Contents

The Compact, at its most basic, lays out the rights and responsibilities of city-dwelling Brellachi and the tribes in relation to each other. This extensive document contains myriad points, but the most significant (paraphrased for easier reading) are:

  • The tribes shall recognise and venerate the Divine Queen as the Avatar of the Divine Glory (their goddess).
  • The tribes shall recognise the formation of the Holy Queendom of Brellach, and agree to be citizens of such per the terms of The Compact being upheld by both parties.
  • The tribes shall respect the boundaries of any Divine Queen-sanctioned settlements ('Her People's Spaces') they come across in their travels.
  • In the event that Brellach is threatened from foreign forces, the tribes shall rally to her defence under the Divine Queen's banner.
  • The tribes, in the free regions beyond Her People's Spaces, shall have free reign, provided they adhere to Her Divine Glory's law.
  • Neither the Divine Queen, or any organ or any government body she may create, shall interfere in the lives or ways-of-live of the tribes in any way, whether deliberate or accidental.
  • The Divine Queen shall undertake to protect the tribes from interference - or external threats to their survival - no matter the source.
It also includes a number of options for both parties in the event that the terms are not upheld. The Divine Queen, for example, may deploy Her Protectors to defend against wayward tribes who deliberately harm her people or their settlements, should the other tribes make no effort to bring them under control, without risking war. On the other hand, a failure by the Divine Queen to intervene should her people negatively influence the tribes, would allow the tribes to take matters into their own hands with a similar lack of repercussions - for example, should the Divine Queen ignore a petition to remove a building that sat outside the boundaries of one of Her People's Spaces, and overlapped an essential hunting ground, the tribes may pull it down themselves.

Both parties have successfully upheld their responsibilities since The Compact was signed, however, and these options have never needed to be used by either party, both of whom have demonstrated considerable respect for for the agreement.

The Compact is credited with establishing the Holy Queendom as a sovereign, unitary nation, as well as forging a peace that has lasted since it was signed.






Brellachi creation myth

Part of a series on
Brellachi spirituality
Image
The Brellachi creation myth, as taught by the scripture of the Church of Her Divine Glory, is largely accepted as fact within both the Brellachi government and Brellachi society as a whole.

It is unusual when compared to the myriad creation myths around the world in that it posits that the universe as a whole is part of their goddess1, and has existed for eternity - merely reshaped after prolonged periods of time into fresh new forms as she seeks a perfect form. These periods are known by the Brellachi simply as 'Reformation Epochs', and while the forms of preceding epochs are inherently unknowable to mortals, it is believed that the universe is currently in its Golden Epoch - the most perfect final form that their goddess has been seeking2.

Earth was the final part of the universe to be created in the last Reformation, as a home for 'Her Children'. Brellach itself was created last of all, in an isolated region of the planet3, and was intended to be Her Divine Glory's "favoured lands", populated by "Her favoured children", as a kind of divine retreat. So that she can walk amongst her favoured children, the Brellachi believe that the Divine Queen is an avatar of the goddess, created fairly recently in historical terms, which allows their goddess to experience life as a mortal and offer direct guidance to her favoured children.

That the universe and everything in it is believed to be a physical manifestation of their goddess is the primary reason why the Brellachi value, revere, and respect nature above all else.

References

1 "Everything is Her Divine Glory. Her Divine Glory is everything. We are both within Her and a part of Her, in glorious, infinite embrace!" - Canon of the Divine Glory

2 "[...]and when She saw Her Final Reformation, in its infinite, glorious Perfection, She knew that it was to be the Final Form, for none could surpass its beauty - Her beauty [...] and knew, in Her Divine Wisdom, it was the right time to birth Her Children, so that it and She may be enjoyed by moral eyes!" - Canon of the Divine Glory

3 "Unto the most lonely and isolated corner of Her Children's World, from the depths of the deep blue, Her power summoned a land, Her Favoured Land, that emerged from the waves already adorned with all the Climes and lesser creatures She adored. [...] It was to be Her sanctuary, Her Favoured Lands of Brellach, to which She bore Her Favoured Children, only purest and Lightest of all, to live within, upon, and alongside Her, to defend Her Favoured Lands from the veils of the dark in Her name, to be loved by Her as they love Her, basking in Her Divine Creation for the eternity!" - Canon of the Divine Glory







Divine Contract of Rule

Part of a series on
Brellachi politics
The Divine Contract of Rule is a legal and spiritual document which affirms the rights, responsibilities, and powers of the Brellachi Divine Queen.

Written by the Priesthood (some time during the early 1050s A.D.), and believed by the Brellachi to be the direct words of Her Divine Glory as spoken through First Divine Queen Sumi, the Divine Contract stipulates not only the powers afforded to the Queen, but the restrictions placed upon her life. All Divine Queens since Sumi have rigidly adhered to the terms of the Divine Contract - having been made to memorise its contents during their upbringing - which, among other things, requires them to:

  • live natural, selfless lives devoid of clothing, property, or other selfish or materialistic trappings;
  • requires them to remain 'pure' and live 'devout, pious' lives, in direct connection with "Her Divine Glory's Creation" (the natural world) as much as possible;
  • requires them to treat their citizens in a 'holy' (usually interpreted to mean compassionate, given how their goddess is portrayed) manner.
In exchange for obeying these holy stipulations, they become venerated as the Avatar of Her Divine Glory, and are free to shape Brellach and command her citizens with nigh-unquestionable authority.

A myth exists which suggests that Brellach could one day be corrupted by an "Avatar Lost to the Dark" - a corrupted Queen - and thus the Priesthood, as well as being in charge of selecting and raising future Queens, must also watch over them to ensure they abide by the terms of the Divine Contract. The Priesthood can theoretically be summoned to 'correct' a wavering Queen by Her Court, should there be considerable evidence to demonstrate such, although no formal procedure exists for actually 'dethroning' a Divine Queen, and it has never been necessary in practice.

The exact text of the Divine Contract of Rule is known only to the Priesthood and the Divine Queens themselves, however, and the original, hand-written, vellum document is kept securely in the main Sheoth Church of Her Divine Glory, under the watchful guard of both the Priesthood and Her Protectors.






Her Lawbringers

Her Lawbringers


Motto: "Protecting Her
Favoured Children from those
who are tainted by The Dark."


Overview

Function: Civil policing
Formed: 1754 A.D.
Employees: 60,000 (total)
Annual budget: $120 million
Governing body: Divine Queen Lyta
Law enforcement services in the Holy Queendom of Brellach are provided by an organisation known as Her Lawbringers (literally translated from Brellachi to English).

They are tasked with "protecting Her Favoured Children from those who are tainted by The Dark". In other words, they prevent, detect, and investigate criminals and their activities, with a view to bringing them to justice and protecting the innocent.

Though possessing their own internal hierarchy, Her Lawbringers report directly to the Divine Queen, and they are a nationally funded and organised service. They do, however, maintain regional headquarters in each of the 40 main settlements of Brellach, and have some degree of leeway to police each region in a manner that respects local customs and traditions.

In addition to policing, Her Lawbringers are responsible for providing security for the Priesthood of Her Divine Glory at the various 'prison-churches' they operate.

Structure

Like so many organisations in Brellach, Her Lawbringers do not have a particularly complicated structure. They have their own ranks and a hierarchy, but unlike the forces of other countries they do not have special branches or divisions. As
Part of a series on
Brellachi law and order
once explained by the Most Devout Advisor of Her Court, Fellis Jessina, when she was quizzed on the subject of police special branches:

"Law and order is maintained by Her Lawbringers, and they do so at the behest of the Magnificent and Beautiful, Wise and Powerful, Perfect and Almighty, Avatar of the Divine Glory, Queen Lyta of Brellach, Her horses swift and Her blade true. Operating under such a divine mandate with Her Infinite Wisdom as their guide, Her Lawbringers need no 'special branch' to achieve their noble goal of protecting Her children from those who might seek to do them harm."

As such, Her Lawbringer's organisational structure is effectively a pyramid, with the Divine Queen at the top, Her Chief Lawbringer directly beneath her, and the lowest-ranked Lawbringers at the bottom. In practice there are 'part time', unofficial special branches; individual Lawbringers are offered training to specialise in a certain field (firearms handling, for example), and are called upon for particular tasks related to their training.

Powers and restrictions

In theory, Her Lawbringers have exactly as many powers as the Divine Queen deigns to give them. Their mandate, which doubles as their motto, is simple: "protect Her Favoured Children from those who are tainted by The Dark"

In practice, their powers - though not codified anywhere - are largely dictated by Brellachi religious beliefs, which compel them to 'pursue the truth' and 'protect the innocent'. It requires them to accomplish these objectives without the use of violence (unless necessary for the preservation of innocent life), and to generally conduct themselves with honour and dignity. They are, so far as the Brellachi are concerned, carrying out a divine mission, and must represent themselves accordingly.

To aid them in their mission, the Divine Queen has granted them the power to:

  • detain potentially dangerous suspects, should they pose a risk to the public during an investigation;
  • use force to detain potentially dangerous suspects only if no other choice is available;
  • charge suspects with a crime when evidence implies that they could be guilty;
  • compel a charged suspect to appear before a court of law.
Unlike many other police forces across the globe, Her Lawbringers cannot stop and search members of the public in the streets. Nor do any of their powers apply to members of tribes, who are protected by The Compact; the Divine Queen alone holds sway over the tribes. In the thus-far-unprecedented event that she would need to enforce the terms of The Compact upon the tribes for a breach they had committed, Her Protectors are the only organisation she could use to do so.

Her Lawbringers are held to account not only by the Divine Queen herself, but by Her Court and its subordinate groups such as Her People's Court, and by the Church of Her Divine Glory. As an organisation as equally bound by spirituality as it is law, they are held under intense scrutiny by all of these groups.

As a rule, the public are entitled to 'fair treatment' by Her Lawbringers. This 'fair treatment' includes such things as freedom from unnecessary violence, good treatment if arrested, a right to know why they have been arrested, and to not be detained for an undue length of time without being charged. It is expected that suspects are treated as though innocent until proven guilty before a jury (for which the Brellachi term is literally 'impartial others'), and even when charged with a crime they are to be treated with dignity and respect. The use of violence is forbidden by divine law except where it is absolutely necessary, and any complaints made by the public are taken extremely seriously by both their own leaders, and the Divine Queen and the church.






Her Protectors

Her Protectors


Motto: "Shield, sword, life."

Overview

Function: Royal guard
Formed: 1061 A.D.
Employees: Unknown (believed to be
~1,400)
Annual budget: Unknown
Governing body: Divine Queen Lyta
Her Protectors is a martial force in the Holy Queendom of Brellach, specifically tasked with the defence of the reigning Divine Queen. In modern times, they have also come to be employed in such roles as embassy security and the protection of visiting dignitaries.

Entirely separate from Her Legion of Light, yet organised and equipped in the same manner as a professional military force, Her Protectors is considered to be a paramilitary force, that answers exclusively to the Divine Queen.

Role

Almost as old as the institution of Divine Queen itself, the principle duty of Her Protectors is the defence of their monarch, a task they devote themselves to with religious zeal. The bulk of their efforts during peacetime are focussed on defending Her Divine Sanctuary from attack or intrusion. They also escort the Divine Queen wherever she goes.

The unofficial motto of Her Protectors is "Right Hand of Her Divine Avatar, our Queen". Beyond being mere bodyguards, they are the executors of the Divine Queen's will, though are rarely deployed in anger. Divine Queen Lyta typically employs Her Protectors as guards of Her Representatives in embassies abroad, believing that as they speak on her behalf, they should be protected from harm accordingly. Additionally, according to the terms of The Compact, Her Protectors is the only force the Queen may deploy against the tribes should they breach its terms, a task they have never been called upon to carry out.

During war, Her Protectors have authority over any battlefield they enter, and rank above any member of Her Legion of Light. During peace, they have authority over Her Lawbringers, though they have never exercised this power - a power afforded to them in the event that a crime against the Divine Queen is perpetrated by a Brellachi citizen, which is unheard of in history.

Recruitment and training

Her Protectors are appointed by the Divine Queen directly. They are often recommended to her by Her Court, drawn from the ranks of Her Legion of Light. In this case, selection is mostly based on exceptional skill, though candidates must have demonstrable faith to the Church and the Divine Queen. Candidates are also drawn from the general public on rare occasions.

Successful candidates are not required to accept service in Her Protectors, even if directly recruited by the Divine Queen. Enlisting in the group requires great personal dedication, as Protectors cannot resign their posts, marry, have children, or own property - their lives are entirely devoted to the Divine Queen. As such, forcing somebody to enlist would be unconscionable to any Queen. Those who accept, however, take their vows to the Divine Queen and immediately become known as Protectors.

No matter where recruits are drawn from, all are subjected to intense training after taking their vows. This initial training lasts for an entire year, and includes disciplines that would be familiar to most elite forces around the world. In addition to the advanced bodyguard training that befits their role, Her Protectors are endowed with martial skills such as expert marksmanship, the ability to drive armoured vehicles, advanced combat tactics, amphibious landings, parachute deployment, advanced survival skills and the like, making them a flexible force capable of independent special operations.

Structure and equipment

The organisational structure of Her Protectors is unclear, and neither the Divine Queen nor Her Court have been keen to provide clarity. Her Protectors wear no rank insignia, nor has anybody heard them being addressed by any title other than 'Protector'. It is believed that they do not have ranks - the only 'commander' in their force is the Divine Queen herself. Instead, when carrying out her orders, the organisation may small enough that they can operate communially, or groups may elect temporary leaders depending on the nature of their mission.

It is also unknown how their forces as a whole are organised, though it is known that they operate in military divisions such as units and companies. Given that Her Protectors are believed to have only between 1,000 - 2,000 personnel in total, it is likely that they operate in ad-hoc units.

They are fitted with largely the same equipment as Her Legion of Light, though sport their own uniforms. They are known to use the ARM-19L assault rifle as standard, and they have access to a few armoured vehicles and anti-air weapons. However, given that they have the power to assume command of any portion of Her Legion of Light as they deem necessary should the Divine Queen's life be in danger, it is assumed that they would simply second equipment and personnel from the military as appropriate in the event that their Queen's life was in immediate danger.
Last edited by Brellach on Wed Jun 17, 2015 6:45 am, edited 37 times in total.
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