Ere Beghin Edit
Ere Beghin is technically a continent south of the main body of the Eastern Continent. It is generally lumped together as part of the Eastern Continent, though the Ere Breghin are disdainful of this association. They are one of the most unique races, as they evolved from fish, and their remaining need for moisture and water has led to some interesting forms of architecture and magic.
Some Terms: Ere Beghin: refers to the country of the Ere Breghin people.
Ere Breghin: refers to the people of Ere Beghin.
Beghin Vreski: refers to the language of the Ere Breghin people, though it is also often simply called Vreski.
Technically Ere Beghin is a separate continent south of the Eastern Continent in the southern ocean. Normally in global terms Ere Beghin is included in the Eastern Continent, a fact that irritates many Ere Breghin. The land itself is barely above sea level, dropping deeply below sea level in several places making for salty land-bound lakes. These natural depressions were further modified and expanded into the main lakes of Ere Beghin in which their biggest cities have been constructed. Ere Beghin, due partly to its amphibious people, and partly due to the natural quantity of water within its territory have built their cities partly above water and partly submerged. Narrow walkways, floating causeways, suspended bridges, underwater tunnels, swimming guidelines and a great number of canals make up their 'roadways'. Aquatic steeds like sea turtles, large fish, water-bourne chariots, gondolas and canoes are the main sources of transportation, along with free swimming. The buildings themselves are considered the most beautiful in the world, and many tourists make their way into the southern waters to see the cities first hand. A combination of glass, crystal, stone, enchantment and sea-sourced treasures - pearls, shells, chitons, stones etc - make for a series of glowing spheres, towering spires, curving, molten-looking structures and a perfect mirror image inverted underneath the water.
Modern Ere Beghin is ruled by an oligarchy of 5 to 9 members, though at some moments in history it has gone as high as 13. This oligarchy reviews and implements sections of the legal structures that apply to the specific era in which they rule. They determine how many eggs of each gender will be accessible each year. They approve all applications for permits and requests for funding. It is understood that bribery and nepotism are a part of policy. Unlike other nations, this is not scene as corruption, but rather opportunism and degree of conviction in a request. Bribes are looked at not in raw monetary value, but rather as a percentage of the briber's worth. In this way, even a poorer citizen may have their petition slingshotted to the beginning of the queue by putting their equity on the line. In the same way, any incompetent individual who has attained a position of influence or power who cannot perform the duties will likely be assassinated and replaced with someone more skilled. Any relatives lost to this sort of competition are considered inadequate or weak, and the society the better for their loss. Revenge or retribution is never sought for them, although if an equally incompetent individual replaces them, they may pursue an assassin of their own to ensure the dead relative was not killed in vain. There have been times in history where unwanted or cumbersome acquaintances, business partners or relatives have been disposed of in this legal way.
Due to these shifting mores and needs, the oligarchy's platform and stance an many social issues may change radically from year to year. However, and significant departure from what best serves society (such as gratuitous embezzlement, opulence or sour foreign trade policy) will be met by swift social justice, and other members of the oligarchy or even the wealthy citizenry may assassinate any member that gets out of hand. In this way, despite their relative dictatorship, the oligarchy is seldom tyrannical because it behooves their best interests to keep the public happy and successful if only to lengthen their rule (and lives).
In the distant days of the past, when the Five Clans still ruled the Uaharté, the Ere Breghin had Tribal Kings. These so-called Kings were warriors, shamanistic leaders who by violence and dominance, gaining power and influence over their fellows. It was these first rulers that decided to take the early developing Ere Breghin away from the other Clans and move to the South where they could develop their ways and preserve their individual culture. In time, without any other race interfering with their social development, the need to defend their people from outside influence lessened. The reason to follow one ruler became debatable and eventually clusters of Ere Breghin overthrew their once Tribal Kings and took control, setting down some of the earliest law in the 'civilized' world. These clusters of usurpers grew in numbers with those who could offer some useful insight, control or prowess that helped the council better run things. Eventually, these clusters grew into the modern government, which was officially established with the Unified Declaration penned by Logos Charra, Mor Fleski, Sanno Gerebai, Vil Terosk and Vil Vanai.
Ere Beghin does not have a standing army, but rather hires mercenaries and bounty hunters when there is a need for a skirmish. Many of their fighters are battle mages and other offensive magic users who travel out to the site of dispute, while a team of defensive magic users defend the captiol and any threatened cities. These mercenaries are paid well for their temporary loyalty, and are only paid ten percent at the outset, with the rest on completion. This helps ensure they are not bought out by the enemy forces and also saves some money for those that die in battle and therefore cannot collect.