Empire Of Agnesia

Description

When the Royal Council of Mages, led by Archmage Anthian overthrew the King of Paxia, 400 years ago, the country was in utter disarray. The Kings had steadily lost control of the various problems facing the Kingdom during their reign. The nation had been abandoned by its allies; without its allies it was forced to face threats and dangers alone, continually desperately throwing resources into a military designed to deter its enemies whilst the economy deteriorated.

Since then, after four hundred years of rule by the Mages and Magic Emperors have turned Agnesia into something only vaguely recognisable as the weak state that preceded it, and not only in power. It has become a state obsessed with information, possessing a desire for knowledge and learning that rivals even the most driven of the Dwarven scholar-states. Agnesians crawl across every corner of the world, seeking information on places, on people, on ancient cultures and new ones, of long lost gods and gods newly born, and on magic.

And the world has obliged. Lore has flowed into Agnesia for centuries, filling its libraries, its universities and academies. Bolstered by foreign knowledge and magical treatises, the arcane arts have never been so powerful or so influential in Agnesia; in many cases, magical knowledge is required for a government position.

Similarly, never has the nation been so paranoid. Acutely aware of the circumstances in which they came to power, the Mages are ever watchful for the signs of usurpation or uprising from the populace. Any sign of dissent or protest is stamped out, violently; dissidents or those under suspicion are followed and watched, and the government possesses the magical arts necessary to create a vast and ever-watchful Sentinel Scrying Field, giving the paranoid mages the incredible, yet highly intrusive ability to see anything, anyone, anywhere at any time in Agnesia.

Not even the Mages themselves are exempt from these draconian policies; outside of the Council of Mages and the Emperor himself, mages in Agnesia are educated and shaped in such a way that leaves them vulnerable to the government. Arcane Traces, the Arcane Bondage act, built-in vulnerability to certain types of magic… And every mage, including the Council, are subject to the Codex Arcanii; a massive record of every officially educated mage in Agnesia, detailing their names, occupations, schools, place of education, families and histories.

A great deal of people, particularly in the cities and in the Elven lands, harbour resentment towards the Council of Mages and the Emperor. It is true that when the Mages overthrew the King, the nation was being driven into the ground, but whilst the nation might be greater run now, the Council and its various orbiting departments has become a self-serving engine. A law unto themselves, the Council and Mages in general receive the most luxuries, possess great immunities from the reach of the law and generally practice excesses of a most infuriating nature upon their 'lessers'. The government itself is continually embroiled in factional infighting as groups of Councillors fight to establish dominance over other groups; meanwhile, the Emperor and the Council continually clash over the reins of power in Agnesia.

The Elves have especially suffered; the conquest of the Elves of Agnesia saw the destruction of a great deal of their culture and the loss of their independence. Many Elves in Paxia are relegated to the position of second-class citizens, scrabbling for poor work or otherwise exploited.

But there is always room for change. The flow of knowledge into Agnesia has resulted, inevitably, in the spread of curious ideas or plans. From the faded glories of the cities of Clenceria come the philosophies and ideals of liberalism; from other, more faraway nations come stories of peaceful, beautiful, free places, awakening a yearning in the hearts of the downtrodden Agnesians for emancipation; and from occupied Fresland come tales of revolt and revolution- tales that the Agnesians might find worthy of replicating.

Geography

Agnesia is an island nation, just off the northern coast of Clenceria, on the continent of Miridon. It is a gentle, green place, with large forests in the northwest and the south, with the east being primarily lowland and rivers. A mountain chain (creatively named the Agnesian Mountains) runs through the centre of the country, from northwest to about mid-centre. The seas to the south and east of Agnesia tend to be calm and easily navigable; on the other hand, the northern and western seas are far choppier and dangerous, especially since much of the northern coast of Agnesia is rocky and cliffy.

Government

Agnesia's government can be described in many different ways, but the best and most succinct way is probably that of an "Administrative Magocratic Monarchy". All power is concentrated in the hands of the Mages, the ruling class. The government itself is divided into three parts: the Monarchy, the Council and the Administration.

The Administration, a large bureaucratic body, is divided into ten ministerial departments, each of them with their own area to focus on :

1. The Department of the Imperial Treasury (DIT), which deals with matters of economy and finance. Thus, it is the Treasury's roll to manage the national taxes, tolls, sets the budget and deals with matters of internal trade. The head of the DIT is known as the Minister of the Treasury.

2. The Department for Foreign Affairs (DFA), which deals with matters regarding foreign states. Its area is primarily the work of embassies, diplomatic channels with other nations and the department in charge of implementing foreign policy. The head of the DFA is known as the Minister of Foreign Affairs.

3. The Department for Education (DE), which deals with matters of education in the Empire, especially magical education. The head of the DE is known as the Minister for Education.

4. The Department of Security (DS), which deals with matters of internal security to the state, especially the enforcing of the Mage laws, the monitoring of the Sentinel Scrying Field, and action against insurrectionist or dissident forces. It also manages police forces. The head of the DS is known as the Minister for Security.

5. The Department for Agriculture and Rural Governance (DAR), which deals with matters of agriculture- managing the empire's farms and agricultural output- and administrating the rural areas of Agnesia in general. The head of the DAP is known as the Minister for Agriculture.

6. The Department of the Imperial Military(DIM), which manages the Empire's army and naval forces, including leadership, logistics and recruitment. The head of the DIM is known as the Minister of the Military.

7. The Department of Research (DR), which manages the Empire's famous knowledge-gathering initiatives, as well as manages research into new magical ideas and the like. The head of the DR is known as the Minister of Research.

8. The Department for the Administration of the Elven Territories (DAE), which manages the Elven territories of Agnesia and supposedly acts as a liaison between the local Elven governments and the Agnesian government. The head of the DAE is known as the Minister of the Elven Territories.

9. The Department for Civic Administration (DCA), which manages the Empire's individual civic bureaucracies. The head of the DCA is known as the Minister for Civic Administration.

10. The Department for Trade and Production (DTP), which manages external trade (trade with other nations) and production of goods- essentially everything that isn't agriculture. As expected, a great deal of these goods tend to be magical or arcane in nature, and the DTP regulates the export of these items. The head of the DTP is known as the Minister for Trade and Production.

The Ministers are appointed to their respective Departments by either the Emperor or the Council of Mages.

The Council of Mages serves as a managerial and legislative role- it is ultimately to the Council that the Administration reports, and it is to the Emperor that the Council reports. It is made up of fifty members, divided into two sections: the Greater Council, comprised of 20 members, and the Lesser Council comprised of 30.

The Greater Council is divided into two 'Rings'; the Magisterial Ring and the Ministerial Ring. The Magisterial Ring is a ring made up of 10 seats, occupied by the 10 headmasters, deans and leaders of the 10 most powerful arcane universities, academies or organisations. Indeed, some Magisters are the heads of smaller councils in and of themselves. The Ministerial Ring is made up of another 10 seats, occupied by the Ministers of the Administration. Each Greater Councilman has two votes in the Council.

The Lesser Council is somewhat more freeform in its organisation. Members of the Lesser Council are generally made up of individuals, as opposed to the heads of organisations or departments. A Lesser Councilman can be anything from a highly competent mage, a mage-noble with great regional influence, or an especially skilled teacher or researcher. Each Lesser Council man possesses a single vote.

The Council comes together to rule the Empire, voting on laws, policies and the like. It appoints its own members and (traditionally) appoints the Emperor.

The Emperor is the most powerful individual in the government, wielding executive power; all laws must be signed off by him and thus, can be vetoed by him. An Emperor may submit his own policies to the Council, who then take a vote on it. The Emperor is unable to pass a motion the Council do not pass first; however, the Emperor has the power to override the Council and appoint whoever he wishes in a vacant Council position; he may also dismiss a Lesser Councilman if they have served for less than 6 months.

Once chosen, the Emperor remains Emperor for life or until he abdicates. The current Emperor is Emperor Celestine I, who has caused upheaval within Agnesia for his continual power struggles with the Council, especially over the area of picking a successor; Celestine is determined to establish a hereditary dynasty.

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