The Tabaxi Regiment
Peñapesara is a country of free humans on the Midmoon Continent – specifically, on a peninsula extending south from Alma into the Rupal Sea. The peninsula’s northern border is vague, connecting to both Alma and the Afdol desert with a stretch of lush plains a thousand miles long. The region is temperate and sunny, but is prone to storms during the winter, getting much of the wind that recoils off of the northeastern Dunram Mountains. Otherwise, the region is known for its rolling plains and sunny coasts.
The western border faces the Bay of Sisters that separates Peñapesara from Mudore. The Eastern border is a stark and straight line of tall cliffs that overlook the Suddensea – after a thousand miles, the cliffs decline to the shores of the capital city of Lovestay. The southern tip of the island features the trade city of Frunçida.
Peñapesarans are an amourous people, and prone to globetrotting, but their citizenship requires at least an annual return, during the Venida Oscuro. Peñapesarans are given to poetics and melancholy, and their travelers can be roguish. Visitors to this country are very warmly welcomed, except for on the Black Day, as is customary.
In a given ember, there may be a population of two to five million citizens of the realm. It changes every year. 998E’s census shows the number of people living in the realm was an estimated 3.5 million.
Peñapesaran’s are sometimes called Land-Worshippers – the name is not particularly insulting to Peñapesarans. Indeed, it is thought abroad in Peñapesara that Tabaxi is the master of its people, not the other way around. The abundance of resources in each region creates wealthy cities with wide stretches of agriculture and wilderness between them. Religion, Academia, and the Arts are all plentiful.
Culturally, Peñapesara closely resembles its neighbor Alma, and why not? Most of the population is descended from the ancient Almans who ceceded from King Hubard during the War of Three Tongues. It is difficult, however, for an Alman to truly understand a Peñapesaran, because even simple phrases in Common can mean a different thing in Thirdtongue – for instance: “The Vizier is one of the most honourable men in town” is a reflection on the job, not the person. Most Almans also believe that the tag ‘de’ is interchangeable with the Common word ‘of. Most Peñapesarans tolerate the error, however, ‘de’ is much more complex, so the occasional eye-roll is expected.
Worship of all gods is generally permitted throughout Peñapesara, but there are some city states where some gods – be them Avalonic, Malfadoric, Warplandish, or other – are out of favour with the nobility. Avalon is the most widely recognized and beloved, and has a great temple in each city. The leaders of the Church of Avalon are some of the highest ranking men in the city.
While the worship of the Malfadoric Lords is not generally forbidden, the law considers any action done in the name of Morthos or the Unnamed Lord a crime.
Peñapesara is overseen by a monarch called a Basilius, who, once elected by a council of Keurvorsts, rules until death. Keurvorsts are the highest ranking individuals of each of the realms many city states.
The complex interplay between the city states of Peñapesara allows most people to obtain the status and occupation of their choice. Each city-state has a voting class, and status is determined during a census that occurs during the Venida Oscuro. The high nobility is given their occupation during this census in a democratic process unique to the realm.
Those who spend the Black Day in a city-state are made citizens of that city for an ember, and lose citizenship in any city-state they are not presently in. In order to conduct business, citizens must register their occupation after the Venida Oscuro. The census is compiled and organized alphabetically by first name.
Voting stations contain a few copies of this long document, and citizens consult it to write their own lists which are numbered, ranking the more capable and trustworthy citizens highly. Mathematicians then create a ranked list of citizens and a second census is printed, known as the Meritorio, usually proceeded by “de” and the respective city-state.
The ranks allow, more or less, on ‘dibs’ for certain occupations. Common jobs such as merchant, shopkeep, farmer, etc. are infinite. Lists are long, however, to account for sudden death and retirement, where the results from the first election are used (unless contested by a noble).
Retirement and Death
It is considered bad form to retire in the middle of the year. Retirement announcements usually accompany the eclipse of the Greater Sun. Deaths are recorded during the census. The dead are eternal citizens – they have achieved oneness with the land.
The Nobility Amendment
This law was amended by Tommen de Lovestay in the late First Century upon his retirement. The so-called ‘Nobility Amendment’ prevents highly ranked individuals from refusing their civic duty. The top ranked person in each city-state (known as the Keurvorst) is actually prohibited by law from working, and many of those with leadership status are not permitted to choose lesser occupations.
Counts and Contessas
Traditionally, the man or woman with the second highest honour of a given city-state is known as the Count or Contessa. This person conducts government with a town hall or parliament comprised of other high ranking nobles in different fields.
Guilds and Jobs
While it is likely that the higher ranked members of guilds would also occupy highly ranked positions (such as the Head of the Lovestay Fighter’s Guild also acting as Palace Quartermaster) it does not necessarily follow that pattern consistently. In some cases, highly ranked guild positions are given only to those who have already retired.
This political experiment began in the mid-first Century, when the nation of Peñapesara comprised a few thousand humans living in pockets of melt, exiled from their home countries of Alma and Mudore. The growth and prosperity of the free cities has put this democratic meritocracy to the test. It is not without its drawbacks. The yearly judgment of character can foster anxiety in some people, and plays into family politics interestingly.
Succesful entrepreneurs are sometimes dissuaded from experimenting in other fields. The potential loss of public support could set their options back years, if their honour could be regained at all.
The politics of every region vary wildly, but aren’t completely independent. For example: all elections are held on the Black Day, however, elections in Frunçida are conducted among an elite ruling class, while they say that in Lovestay, beggars can vote.