Rhadixe and its Nations
Depictions of Rhadixe generally consist of paired maps: one map depicts the view of the globe from above, with the zenith in the centre, while the second depicts the view of the globe from below, with the nadir in the centre.
It should be noted that Rhadixe, unlike our world or other 'real' planets, is a stationary globe orbited by two spheres (celestial bodies of light): Lux, the Sun, and Silene, the Moon. Lux orbits from east to west, passing over the zenith and nadir, and Silene orbits from north to south, again passing over the zenith and nadir. It follows from this that the zenith and nadir, despite being positioned similarly to Earth's north and south poles, are not especially cold. Instead, if one were standing at the zenith of Rhadixe, the coldest points on the planet would be where Silene rises and sets.
Furthermore, seasons occur due to the waxing and waning of Lux's energy over a 365 day cycle, rather than the position of Rhadixe, which remains static. Silene also waxes and wanes over a cycle of 40 days, aligning with the Rhadixe calendar such that new months start at first crescent.
Zenith side (upper hemisphere)
The heartland of the Celesti world. A country that has wielded disproportionate international influence for the majority of history, despite its relatively small size. In former times, Ukanos was a theocratic monarchy, but by the modern day it is a theocratic democracy: it holds elections, but only Elders (human religious leaders) can run for office. Religiously, most Ukanites identify as Saints, and are thus aligned with the most conservative branch of Righteousness, in which the spiritual authority of angels over humans is fully upheld.
Poorer in resources than its northern neighbour, Peuro has had a greater tendency to see compromise as part of the road to prosperity. In political structure, it is similar to Ukanos: once a theocratic monarchy, now a theocratic democracy. Religiously however, Peurs typically identify themselves as Servants, a variant of the Righteous faith that has incorporated the ethical values of Solari Humanism, and which is less convinced than the Saints are regarding the alleged "infallibility" of the angels.
This part of Sol has been the most strongly influenced by Celesti culture, mostly for the worse. Its people tend to use "Nature" the same way Celesti use "God": as a justification for social inequality. The country has long been ruled by a series of "strong men" on the basis that "might makes right," and accordingly tends to be highly patriarchal. Iristanis thus identify themselves as Natural Humanists - implying, in turn, that other understandings of Humanism are "unnatural" and therefore inferior.
This nation split from Iristan around the year 1000. It is known for its strong traditions of socialism, gender equality and tolerance for alternative ideologies. In modern times, its fortunes have fallen after a disastrous experiment with communism, but politically it has since resolved itself into a socialist democracy. Ideologically, most Chazakis think of themselves as Liberal Humanists.
Long the economic powerhouse of Sol, Surshia has lost some of its territory over time as other nations have declared their independence, but it remains the Solari nation with the most significant presence on the international stage. Surshia has long been a republic with two governing bodies: an elected parliament, and an academy consisting of appointed scholars, thus making it a democratic technocracy. The dominant ideology amongst Surshians is Phliosophical Humanism, which strongly emphasizes critical thinking and a belief in progress.
This nation was the archenemy of Celes during the Age of Separation. It is ruled by a group of Lunae who reject the authority of the angels, yet acknowledge the Godhood of Enuzir. These individuals call themselves Paladins, and promote a religion known as Vigilance. Paladins are also practitioners of apotheo, an art closely related to Tenebrae wizardry. Koaffites and Celesti - the Vigilant and the Righteous - have fought one another in holy wars for centuries. Both sides have won some battles and lost others, but since apotheo ceased to work once the angels cut off Rhadixe's supply of magic, the modern era has tended to favor the Celesti.
Rich in resources, this country was subjected to Celesti colonial aspirations early on. By modern times, it has largely won back its independence. Modern Gandbhajat's political system is a party-based democracy. Most Gandbhajatis practice Heart Dharma, a religion in which humans are called upon to overcome their egos through passionate devotion to others, whether other humans, or nonhuman beings such as animals and faeries. The most open-minded practitioners of this religion tend to belive that in actuality, all religions that involve worship - even Righteousness - are just different forms of Heart Dharma.
Tiana prides itself on having long resisted other nations' efforts to conquer it. Modern Tiana is a constitutional monarchy with two houses of government, one of elected representatives and one of inherited nobility. The characteristic Tianese religion is Mind Dharma, in which it is believed that through meditative practices, human beings can directly perceive the Origin, and thereby "become one" with it. Many Tianese also practice Heart Dharma, however, as they see all the Dharmas as different paths to the same ultimate goal.
Tarusha has long been an unstable country, in which numerous small tribal groups vie for power. Even in modern times, these tribes are largely independent of one another, with some selecting their chieftains more democratically than others. Tarusha is known for a religion called Ancient Dharma, which is similar to Heart Dharma except that it strongly emphasizes relationships between human beings and the ghosts of their ancestors. As its name implies, the Tarushan religion is the oldest of the Lunae Dharma paths.
Like Tarusha, Yuenti has little central organization, consisting instead of a collection of islands, each controlled by its own independent tribe. In former times, most of these tribes practiced a form of Heart Dharma that revolved around the worship of faeries. However, many islands of Yuenti have been invaded by the Celesti, resulting in both social upheaval and environmental destruction. Perhaps because of this trauma, Yuenti is the birthplace of New Dharma, a religion that explicitly identifies the Origin as a divine monster, and directs humans to save themselves from a coming catastrophe by worshipping this creature. But similarly to the Tianese, many Yuens practice the other Dharma paths as well, and tend toward tolerance of religions that differ from their own.
Nadir side (lower hemisphere)
- Parts of Teneb under Celesti control:
Neoluxia was founded by Celesti invaders from Ukanos, who were primarily responsible for the invasion's rapid (and violent) success. Although it has diversified somewhat in recent times to include a large minority of Servants, Neoluxia remains thoroughly dominated by Saints. Perhaps because of its self-image as "the light of the world," Neolouxia briefly tried to one-up the other Celesti nations in devotion, with an experiment in direct theocracy, i.e. rule by the irin. But the nation opted for democracy in the mid 20th century, after the angels disgraced themselves. Since then, the country has become both powerful and prosperous.
The Celesti of Peuro were latecomers to the invasion, but still managed to secure some territory for themselves. By the time Peurodia was founded, Righteous forces had already cleaned out most of the Tenebrae, so the country's history is dominated more by internal Celesti squabbles than by atrocities against the Tenebrae, even though Peurodia is by no means 100% innocent of the latter. Peurodia is fairly similar to Peuro in its government and religion, but tends to be even more receptive to Humanistic ideas because of its large Solari minority. Modern Peurodians thus have a reputation for being more tolerant than most other Celesti.
- Parts of Teneb under Solari and/or Lunae control:
Keben was originally a province of Peurodia, but after a large number of Surshians and Chazakis settled there, it opted to become a separate state through a referandum in the 1970s. The government and religion of Keben are a mixture of Surshian and Chazaki tradition, hence the Kebenese flag combining elements of both of those nations' insignia. Keben was the first country to establish diplomatic relations with Methakasha, and has been trying - with little success - to get Neoluxia to apologize for their historical atrocities against the Tenebrae.
Prior to the disappearance of magic, Silenzu was an uninhabitable island due to the quantity of kimerae and faeries living there. After magic disappearead and took the magical creatures with it, escaped slaves from the western provinces of Neoluxia took advantage of the island's dark reputation to found a democratic commune where they would be left alone. The Silenzuns are primarily of Gandbhajat and Tarushan extraction, with religious traditions similar to those of their ancestors. Happily for them, Neoluxia has made slavery illegal by modern times.
- Independent Teneb (Methakasha):
- Whereas once the Tenebrae ruled the whole of the continent, in modern times they are confined to a single city, Methakasha. Although Methakasha is surrounded by mountains, and the area is not especially rich in resources, strict population control and careful organization have enabled the Tenebrae to survive fairly comfortably. (This unpleasant reality - that lack of discipline and planning could prove deadly for the Tenebrae who remain - is the predominant inspiration for Independent Teneb's dark insignia.)
- Cities mentioned by name in the novel:
- Magenta stars on the map = a city that existed in the past; blue stars = a city that exists in the present:
- In the past, Methakasha was the religious centre of the Tenebrae world, a place that any Tenebrae would make a pilgrimmage to at least once in their lifetime. After the invasion, it became an isolated fortress state, and only began to have cautious contact with the outside world again during the 1970s. A long series of liberal governments in Neoluxia during this time led to the construction of a train line between New Caelia and Methakasha, but strict Necroknostics and strict Saints alike have long opposed this development. By the time of events in the novel, Neoluxia has swung back to having a conservative government, and the 1994 terrorist attack has led to the strict screening of train passengers.
- Methakasha is also remarkable for being the only place where magic still works reliably in modern times, as since it is at the absolute nadir of the globe, it is beyond the reach of the roots of the Tree of Wisdom, whose growth over the globe of Codixe is mirrored in a resultant lack of faera in Rhadixe. Hollow Hill, a labyrinthine barrow in the centre of Methakasha's downtown Blackwater Park, marks the exact location of the globe's nadir, and is thus the most magically-potent location on Rhadixe.
- Drakhara / New Caelia
- Drakhara was the most populous city in Teneb prior to the invasion. New Caelia, the capital of Neoluxia, was built on its ruins. Some of these ruins have been allowed to remain even to the present day, such as the spectacular Mourning Palace that Drakhara's necromancers built outside of the city in Drakhara's heyday. Some Solari have attempted to promote these sorts of sites as tourist attractions, but most people avoid the area surrounding the Mourning Palace, out of fear that it is haunted.
- The largest city in Keben, and the closest major city to Methakasha, K'helior is well-known for the quality of its universities, and it thus tends to attract a large number of progressive-thinking young people. Its people are largely sympathetic toward the Tenebrae, and its citizens were the first in the "outside world" to visit Methakasha when the city started allowing in a few outsiders during the late 1970s and early 1980s.
- A mountain town on the border between Keben and independent Teneb. It has perhaps the highest percentage of Tenebrae inhabitants of any modern urban area outside of Methakasha. Due to the resulting influence of Tenebrae religion, K'mera has more nightlife than one would expect from its relatively small size.
- A mid-sized city in Keben near the border with Neoluxia. Due to the influence of that country, it tends to be more conservative than other cities in Keben.
- This is the city where Kiyoko Toubai lived during the Age of Science, prior to the Celesti invasion of Teneb. A variety of factors necessitate Jairus and Sin coming to her initially, rather than her coming to Drakhara.
- Methakasha was the third-largest city in Teneb at the time of the invasion; first was Drakhara, and Ahiszyur was second. This city was particularly known as a trading hub. Sadly, its fortunes have gone similarly to Drakhara's: it was one of the first to be invaded, and thus one of the most thoroughly destroyed.
Last update: December 31, 2012
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