Tirivahn is the smallest nation in the world, and arguably the most beautiful. It is a magically potent land with a rich history and extensive religion. The origin of the Tirivahni are a point of speculation and study, and many authorities believe that they were in fact decended from the Gods they worship.
A few terms to clarify:
Tirivahn: The country of Tirivahn
Triviahni: The people of Tirivahn.
Tirilys: The blanket term for the many dialects spoken throughout the history of the Tirivahni people.
Surrounded on three sides by Speritan and on the northern shore by the Fasadan Straight, Tirivahn is often purported to be the most beautiful country in the world. Aside from its extensive green spaces, gardens, natural lakes, rivers and waterfalls, long and beautiful coastline, innumerous magical sites and mystic ruins, delicate but functional architecture, and expansive wildlife reserves, its cities are some of the cleanest and most artful worldwide. Frequented by tourists from all over the world for research, vacation, exile or travel, Tirivahn retains a 'mystical land' despite its tangible nature and easy to reach location.
A green land, Tirivahn, being quite northern has the sort of climate we might associate with Ireland. They have a distinct shift in seasons, from snowy First, Second's showers and flowers, Third's balmy sun and light breezes, Fourth's blustering storms, cold sleet and return of fog and mist. In general, the weather there is clement enough, for those who don't mind the rain to ensure a furtile land full of forests, clear water, ample flowers (both wild and cultivated) and rich crops. The beaches, both the silver sands and the pebbled shores are considered some of the most serene in the world, but being most northern in the country are not the warm, sunning swim areas of the tropical beaches of Lisdan and Bodove.
Due to the combination of an excess of lush land in Tirivahn and the social demand to protect and maintain its wildlife, there are a great number of species that find home only in Tirivahn and nowhere else. Their laws against poaching and deforestation are some of the strictest worldwide, and moreover are considered an issue of hubris to be further castigated by the priests. Many believe the reason the land there has such a tranquil, untouched flavour is because the people worship it so dutifully. In Tirivahni opinion, their land was cut from the Realm of the Gods as a gift for their true mortal children, and so long as they show appreciation for it, it will be blessed.
The governing body in Tirivahn is a moot that works as advisors to the Imperial family. The moot is made up of two parts: the Tece Liete (the Dire Moot) and the Tenye Liete (Lesser Moot). The Tece Liete is composed of 34 representatives selected by the Emperor/Empress to represent the gods' wills for the country and its people. These representatives are chosen from throughout the country as the best for their position. They must fulfill two requirements: firstly, that there be one member for each of the Iseapo forms the Tirivahni can be born to, and secondly, that they have the skills to fill various offices assigned to them. The five Tece Iseapo are to fulfil the roles of Treasurer, Secretary, High Priest, Court Mage and Administrator. Below them, the Tenye Iseapo positions are filled by all manner of physicians, historians, merchants, artisans, ambassadors and the like, each of whom is in charge of running affairs of a beaurocratic function, both internally and for international affairs. The Tenye Liete is elected by the people, and consists of 29 representatives that bring forth the needs of their people to the Tece Liete and Monarchy. The Tenye Liete are chosen for different ridings which can be as small as a single city or as large as an entire county, based on distributing them through the variances in population as best as possible. The Tenye Liete live amongst their riding and throughout the year are required to travel throughout their riding talking with the people, taking petitions and complaints, requests and inventories. Once a year the Tenye Liete is called to present their cases before the Tece Liete and the Emperor/Empress. In this way, they can decide which laws need to be addressed, altered, enforced, changed etc, as well as allocating funds for the coming fiscal year, resolving difficulties and addressing needs of the populous. For smaller issues the Tenye Liete can write to the appropriate member of the Tece Liete and ask for immediate intervention or assistance (such as in times of war, plague, famine etc). The building of monuments, especially those of an educational, religious or public nature need to be cleared by the Tece Liete at the annual meetings to ensure that the entire population is fairly handled to prevent favouritism and to disuade the seperation in wealth between the extremely wealthy and the poor.
There is also the Royal Court: those who entertain foreign dignitaries, hold banquets, feasts, attend unveilings and dedications, support the monarchy and run the Sun Dances and other traditional events. This group consists of the Royal family (including those offspring who will not inherit the throne), a number of the Founderlines and the dignitaries that attend to them. These dignitaries are almost always the members of the Tece Liete, partly so they can be privy to events in the nation and thereby better administer to them, and also so that the powers that govern the country are kept in balance under the Imperial watchful eye.
The Tirivahni believe that the Royal family has been chosen by the Gods. There are multiple myths and legends surrounding the intiation of the Reign of the White Tiger, all having some basis in the theory that the White Tiger form is that of godhood, or that the Tirivahni descended from the coupling of Pomeli and Iseapo deities. Since which animal form one takes has nothing to do with hereditary reasons, it might be thought that a white tiger could spring up from anywhere in the country. However, this has never happened in the history of the Tirivahni people. There is some mystic need for some link between the ruling Emperor/Empress and their offspring in order to pass on the line of the White Tiger. It does not mean that every child the emperor/Empress has will become a White Tiger, on the contrary, they often need to have a great number of children to produce an heir. There will noly ever be one child of a specific Emperor/Empress that is chosen to succeed to the throne by the Gods by being granted that elusive form. For this reason, this heir is guarded by the Founderlines with holy reverence. The other princes and princesses born prior to the Heir cannot inherit under any circumstances, and so there is no rivalry for the throne among them. The gods have chosen, and the only force higher than the royal family is the gods. In the event of an heir dying before ascending the throne, the current ruler must bear another heir. In the event that they can no longer bear children or the ruler dies before bearing a proper child, the sister of the ruler (or if there are no sisters, the brother) chosen by the Tece Liete must bear a White Tiger heir that can ascend to the throne, with the Tece Liete's lead five ruling the nation until the child comes of age. In this way the line has never been broken. There was a period of fear after the Emrpess Stofftiere had vanished during the Speritanian occupation that many Tirivahni believed the line was broken and thereby the Gods grace lost to them, but when Prince Falian rose out of the ashes to free the people, all such doubts were forever quelled.
As the animal form isn't revealed until early teens or later childhood, there are a number of years between birth and revelation as to whether or not they are the heir, and so all of the princes and princesses are equally well educated in the crafts of all the Tece Liete positions so that they can properly rule. These other Princes and Princesses are generally married off to members of the Tece Liete or the Founderlines, or become members of the Founderlines or Lietes themselves. There have been a number of cases in history where the child everyone expected surely to be the White Tiger and has turned out to be a normal Tiger or Panther or Lion, or even a Griffon or Dragon, other signs that tend to display some of the similar qualities. Because of this, and because of their pious faith in the Gods, despite these beliefs all the princes and princesses atre to be treated equally until an heir arises.
Within the Royal Court there are 9 different factions that govern everything from passing laws, to internation affairs to public entertainment etc.
Planet Court: Edit
The Planet Court is made up of the Royal family and the Council. This is led by the crowned Empress (or Emperor). Because Tirivahni have such a hard time breeding, and because the mantle is passed down by the bloodline, but specifically to the one member each generation who can become the White Tiger, it is not expected that the current Empress or Emperor will be the one to sire their heir. The royal family consists of a great many half-siblings who all have some thread of connection to the ancient family of Empress Stofftiere, prior to the Occupation. The Princes and Princesses who are have not risen to the Mantle, have the duties of earning money for the Planet Court, carrying out public appearances with the commoners throughout the kingdom, and breeding potential heirs. Because the White Tiger heir could come from any member of the bloodline, any of the Princes, Princesses or the Empress/Emperor could be the sire.
Along with the Royal Family, the Council helps to debate any issue brought for judgement. The Council includes 1 member of each gender of each of the beast forms of the Tirivahni. They are tagged from throughout the country by members of the Royal Family. when one retires or dies, they are replaced within the season by another of their gender and animal form. There are 56 (28 animals, one of each gender) Tenye Iseapo representatives (the common animals) that report to the Planet Council and are asked to correspond about decisions by offering their perspective and opinion. There are 10 (5 animals, one of each gender) Tece Iseapo representatives (the rare animals - including dragon, unicorns, griffons, capricorns and giant sea turtles) which are kept close in the main palace along with the Royal Family. These 10 are the inner sanctum, and their wisdom and insight is greatly revered. Because these animals are so rare, it sometimes takes up to a year to find a member to replace each slot.
Sun Court: Edit
Like the Planet Court, the Sun Court is also housed within the palaces of Parieta, the nation's capitol. The Sun Court is responsible for enriching the nation's culture, and is composed of artisans, musicians, dancers (including the Sun Dancers of the royal harem), and witty courtiers. They are chosen regardless of station by the Planet Court for their merit and skill and personality. These individuals usually are housed within the capitol so they are easily accessed and deployed for various cultural events, to entertain ambassadors, to put on performances, do artistic works, and share creativity. There is a grand ballroom in the palace called the Chamber of the Sun, and at any time of any day or night, there are always members of the Sun Court practising their arts here.
Moons Court: Edit
Moons Court are rarely seen in public, but do a great deal of work behind the scenes. The Moons Court develop policy, and accept claims and requests from citizens across the nation, delegating work to the other Courts where required, and deciding (and organising) those individuals who need to be brought in for the Planet Court to be recognised for achievement/have their concerns heard/be considered for appointment to one of the Courts. These members can come from any area or walk of life in the country, but require high standards of education and compassion. Their marker is a desire to improve their nation.
Light Court: Edit
There are 4 Pantheons of Gods in Tirivahn: the Tece and Tenye Iseapo, and the Ashka Pomeli (the Societal Spirit-Gods) and the Ndai Pomeli (the Nature Spirit-Gods). Because they have so many gods, and because religion is such a personal and in-depth part of their culture, the Light Court is in charge of overseeing temples, up-keeping places of worship, maintaining the staff for these institutions, and communing with their gods to ensure that they are not running afoul of heaven. Their gods are very involved with their race, and balance with the environment and with their gods is a very important aspect of the prosperity and happiness of their nation.
Dark Court: Edit
The Dark Court deals in secrets, including those that need to be kept from the general public, but also in the flow and balance of the 21 Realms. The Dark Court are part secret service, part international relations, and part barometers of the world climate. They are hand picked by the Courts above them for their skill, power and discretion. It should be noted that the Founderlines (those Tirivahni of unusually enormous Beast Forms), which for the personal Royal Guard, are the visible portion of this Court.
Air Court: Edit
This Court is all about gathering and sharing news, public relations with the commoners, picking up on the general opinions of the masses, and presentation of communications. Part news service, part cultural groomers, part information gatherers, this Court is made up of troubadours, heralds, poets, promoters and harbingers. They are chosen for their skill at storytelling, charisma, popularity and credibility. They also run the universities, libraries, and tutoring programs. (Note: all Tirivahni have access to the Libraries, (like public schools), and those who want to train for a Court go to the universities. Only the wealthy can afford tutors))
Fire Court: Edit
The enforcers of the law, the Fire Court is responsible for keeping a weather eye out for lawbreakers (and note that this includes those guilty of upsetting public decorum, offending the Gods, and breaking legalities). While this may seem very invasive and big brother-ish, the Fire Court are known for their sociability, their speed of response and their swiftness of decision-making. They are posted in every town and city, and can always be reached to lodge complaints, to beg asylum and to get help with problems. They are also responsible for delegating issues to higher Courts if appropriate.
Water Court: Edit
These run the hospitals and public works (like light, clean water, plumbing, heating, etc). A collection of healers and nurturers, the Water Court ensures that every citizen has access to basic mortal rights. Any issues of hoarding, cruelty, or sub-par standards are reported to the appropriate Court. They are the ones to whom a confession can always be made, as compassion and discretion are their trademarks.
Earth Court: Edit
Last but not least, the Earth Court are the hard working members of society that live to serve their fellow countrymen. They are responsible for building and maintaining the infrastructure on which the entire country is built. From masons to architects, plumbers to enchanters, these labourers ensure everything is built to code and kept safe and sturdy. They often work with many of the higher courts to upkeep the temples, schools, hospitals and the like.
The Nobility: Edit
Made up of old families, each one descended from those who fought for freedom during the Resurrection of the White Tiger. These few have family crests of their ancestors and can trace their lineage. they have wealth, power and land.
The Greos: Edit
Known as Gypsies, these families escaped enslavement and rule during the occupation by taking up a nomadic lifestyle. They often operate outside the courts, but still bow to the same gods and Empress.
The Commoners: Edit
All those freed by Emperor Falian during the Resurrection of the White Tiger.
The Slaves: Edit
All those who refused to fight during the Resurrection of the White Tiger and were kept in slavery as a punishment. These ones are indentured to the Noble Houses.
The military in Tirivahn is small but highly competant. There are two factions of it, the civilian forces and the registered forces. The civilian military is in charge of policing, protecting trade routes and roadways, dealing with bandit and sometimes gypsy forces, and splitting up internal incursions such as civil unrest, riots, fueds etc. These individuals are trained fighter and have to have sufficient skill to pass an initial screening process. During this process they look for the presence of certain character traits like devotion, determination and resolution, and an absence of flaws like short-temper, prejudices, weak stomach, cowardly, etc. They also need to be clear of ailments, physical defects and addictions. There are routine inspections to maintain that the militia is still meeting these requirements.
The registered forces consist of the Founderlines. Founderlines are Tirivahni who have for whatever merit of soul developed an animal form that is incredibly oversized and powerful. Because of the raw amount of power and manna they can wield, the royal family has them registered so that all Founderlines are known of throughout the country and are recruited to the service of the royal guard. Those who refuse this great honour (and they are few and far between) are either imprisoned, executed, or otherwise employed under the oversight of the royal family. This royal guard act as the personal agents of the royal family, often acting as consorts, political marriages to princes and princesses, seat in the Lietes and are trained as an elite fighting force. It is this force that are the single most potent fighting faction in the world. They may be few but they are powerful and highly dangerous. During the War of the Empress, it was a force of some 4500 Founderlines that held off the 3 million strong Speritanian army for nigh on 8 years and decimated the Speritanian forces to a few thousand when the final three Founderlines abducted their Empress and went into hiding.
It was during the Speritanian Occupation that the Founderlines were charged with maintaining knowledge of the traditional Tirivahni culture and passing the knowledge on until the day that the throne could be restored. During this period they formed a nomadic city named for their Emrpess Stofftiere: Yuelisi Stofftiere which they used as a base to keep these teachings alive during the 800 years of Occupation.