|Population||??? (20% Halfling, 20% Felbraug, 20% Gnomes, 15% Equitarn, 12% Half-elf, 12% Humans, 1% other)|
|Exports||Fish, wine, barley, malt liquor, ships and shipwrights|
|Languages||Halfling, Common, Aquan|
Amenti is one of the youngest nations in Cobrin'Seil, at least in its current rendition. Originally Atiamnin - 'Founded of the Five-Faced' - was the home of several major dragons' hordes, hordes so intricate and well guarded they became cities. These Draconic City-states formed a council and government, and, in the days before the Second Age, ruled their followers - humans, halflings, and kobolds - with an iron fist.
Then, a dalliance between two of the Dragons led to the Blasted Son, Aggravax. A Half-Gold, Half-Red, Aggravax rejected the philosophies of both his parents; only a rule of law enforced by might of arms could control a nation where the lowest common denominator was a dragon's might and mein. Aggravax held himself as kind of the Dragon nation for almost eight hundred years - a reasonable rule even unto a Dragon.
Then, the infighting began.
The Dragon nations degenerated into infighting and internal struggle. Believing his time had come, Aggravax brought forth his weapon - the Edge of Bleak Winters - and, in a month of bloody slaughter, slew every last member of his erstwhile extended family. Amenti lore has it that at this point, the mighty dragon, realising that he had bought the peace of a graveyard with the life of a nation, turned the mighty Blade upon himself.
The lands of Amenti lay untamed and uncolonised through the duration of the Second Age. Idyllic and largely peaceful, the untilled wilds were tended to by handfuls of resilient refugees from the Dragon's lands. Fishing villages sprung up along the coast, self-governed, - but owning no particular title or country.
At the end of the Second Age, the High King of Kyngdom sent forth an edict to these people, complete with several thousand gold in tribute. He spoke to them of a lone fisherman, a man named Sherei, who was the true King of Amenti.
Thus began the quest to find the king; throughout the wilds of the land, up and down the coast of the area outlaid by the High King; the land so marked was a territory that truly was unowned by any kingdom, per se. After a year of searching, Sherei was found, and, when presented with the tribute and emissaries on bended knee, was stunned and surprised.
After some convincing, Sherei travelled to the site of the old coastal city of Aggravax, and entered the palace. As he did, torches lit themself, doors opened, and the throne that Aggravax had had made, inexplicably small for his own enormous frame, was positioned to seat Sherei perfectly.
So the nation of Amenti found its king. It has been shaping itself in the past forty years, adapting to this new idea of a national identity.
Government And Politics
The governmental body of Amenti is a fledgling monarchy. Ruled by Sherei Fillithes (NG Human Expert 2/Wilder 4), a man who has somehow within him the seeds of a great leader to go with twenty years' experience as a fisherman, Amenti's political strata is delightfully simple. Thanks to his psionic ability and that of his close advisors, there is little governmental work that has to be delegated; most of the cities of Amenti manage themself, and the government tends to public works, rather than waste the people's time otherwise. Taxation is light but fair, and the towns of Amenti are flourishing as a result.
Sherei has only one major concern - that he has two sons, fraternal twins. He fears that the nation could degenerate into civil war before it's even grown its own native identity, and has been trying to shepherd his sons to the notion of mutual cooperation.
The power groups in Amenti are best described as sleeping giants. Any of the following houses could bring their influence to bear in the shaping of this new, uprising nation.
The Church of In'Muniel
In'Muniel is not so much of a god as much as he was an ideal; an emblem of thought that represents a perfect perception of the world around him. The Church of In'Muniel is so named to remind the populace that a church does not need follow a god; but that anyone can attain the status required to maintain a church around him.
The Church believes in introspection and the formation of perfect identity. The Church of In'Muniel, if able to influence Sherei, would be primarily interested in exploring the country's own phrenic history; why, exactly, do individuals from Amenti display psionic potential far and away beyond that of other nation's? What does this indicate from the influence of the Dragons of the Old Kingdom? And most importantly, how can this power be employed to shape tomorrow and beyond?
The Crystal Collage
The Collage is a collection of psionic individuals who have attempted to come to a greater understanding of their own abilities by comparing their similarities with other, very different individuals.
There is no particular racial strata to the Collage; they seek members, ideally, from as many exotic and different races as possible, hoping to find that single point of commonality on which all psionic power revolves. Why is it that a power with such varied explorations and possible applications can appear as an inherent power of so many different races? This is the area that the Collage wish to explore; the Collage's influence on Sherei is to encourage immigration and exploration.
One of the more mysterious organisations to be found in Amenti, the Jeh'Nai are a group of intensely secretive individuals - mostly Elan - who inscribe their bodies with elaborate tattoos and weild formidable Psionic power. Due to the mass of rumours surrounding them, their true purpose and motivations are extremely difficult to pin down; outwardly, they seem primarily concerned with observation. The Jeh'Nai apparently consider any large-scale use of Psionics be their business, and are often seen in the vicinity when such events occur; they never seem to intefere, however, simply lurking nearby and watching. Such behaviour has caused a great deal of suspicion amongst outsiders, of course - for one, the surety with which they appear has led to a widespread belief that they possess a degree of prescience. Many think them some sort of dark cult waiting to enact a great evil plan; others claim they are assassins employed by a powerful Psionic entity. Still others call them the agents of some mysterious God, stalking those who have done something to displease him.
The current leader of the Jeh'Nai - indeed, the only one of their number to have publicly shared her name - is called Rashiel (LN Elan Female Wilder 11). Strikingly beatiful but cold and distant, Rashiel is brutally efficient and unwaveringly decisive, leaving no room for contradiction to her orders; whatever her goal may be, she is ruthless and absolute in her pursuit of it. Despite her harsh nature, however, her subordinates regard her with utmost respect, and will not bear those who speak ill of her.
The Ministry of Zuoken
One of the few genuine religions in Amenti, the Ministry of Zuoken is an order of monks who keep monasteries within the walls of most towns in Amenti. Half church, half ascetic monastery, the individual whose lives revolve around Zuoken are usually individuals who focus intently on their training. However, the Ministry of Zuoken is one that has an enormous understanding of the mind, and of how people function. Zuoken's priests serve the duty of educators and tutors to those that would ask.
Zuoken's Followers in Sherei's eyes are primarily militaristic expansionists; they wish to define the borders of Amenti in a serious, concrete fashion, and to represent Amenti's first and best line of defense.
Amenti's foremost industry is that of fishing. With barely any nation in the world able to produce the same bounteous output, Amenti's people eat what they need and sell what they don't. However, the Golden Fields of Amenti are also the stuff of legends - mighty barley crops are harvested every year, and the nation is renowned for its fine distilled malt liquors and wines.
The people of Amenti are earthy and jovial, and their predisposition is towards hearty, enjoyable foods, served hot, with crusty bread; while other nations care for delicacy, Amenti fills its stomach with solid meals and lets the days fill themself thereafter.
The vast majority of Amenti's population qualify as part of their rural populace, given the nation's recent formation.
Thanks to the well-stocked ocean nearby, the Amenti rural life is one of self-sufficiency with family focus. Big families are common in the rural areas of Amenti, but since the lands themself are so bountiful, this tends to not provide problems. The people of Amenti have developed farming and fishing techniques that allow for multiple harvests throughout the year, and children can help out in the harvestime as early as age seven.
Magic is not much of an influence in Amenti, and psionics' strong power within the borders of the nation don't have that much influence on the rurals. While magic can compel crops to grow, call up weather or produce food from nowhere, the psionic influence in Amenti has just led to individuals being able to subsist without food for days at a time. Some psionic influence is also evident in their export structure, with food produce from Amenti arriving as fresh and as active as if it had just been caught - in some cases, literally.
The Amenti family structure is tight, and large. A surprising commonality of people are born with a fraternal twin (over 30% of the Amenti population), and this has led to families being explosively large in just a few short generations.
City life in Amenti is like rural life, only moreso; psionic influences are used on a grander scale, the fishing boats are bigger, and people still eat what they catch and sell what they don't need - but the quantities are so much greater. No Amenti city is without a large, extremely well-stocked and well-manned docklands area. The halfling Hulk cultures have even begun to collaborate with the Amenti fishermen, taking strong, stout dockworkers on board to fish the deeper waters off the coast.
The psionics in the people of Amenti has become more prevalent in the cities - people decorate their homes with crystal ornaments, their aesthetic sense being filtered through a mind that calls out to psionic resonators. It's also curious that children in Amenti cities rarely have nightmares - for some reason, most people with psionic potential feel safe and protected within the walls of an Amenti city.
Amenti is a largely rural nation. Even its cities, being primarily coastal, are production centers, being focused on their dockland estates. The general economic strata of Amenti is such that five in ten people are poor, four in ten are middle class, and one in ten is wealthy.
The Poor of Amenti are primarily self-sufficient inland farmers, or coastline fishermen, working in larger fishing boats. These people develop subsistence existence within the larger city areas, or out in the non-coastal territory of Amenti. Most of the poor own some kind of investment that helps them eke out a subsistence existence - a fishing vessel, a struggling but maintained storefront, or, in the case of hired arms, a sword and shield.
The middle class of Amenti are the dockhands of experienced ships, those that travel out into deep water and sell their wares to resellers, or the tradesmen who manipulate stock delivered by direct salesmen of their own bracket, small to medium landowners, and other prosperous workers. Members of this class have no more than four hundred gold pieces in cash available at any time. Few individuals in this bracket have an individual investment they can call 'theirs' - they have a home, perhaps, but most fishing crews own their vessel mutually.
The wealthy of Amenti usually have access to a few thousand gold pieces in ready cash available at any given time. These are the individuals who own companies or fleets, or who have significant investment into the Navy.
The people of Amenti benefit from a high level of disinstitutionalised public education. Thanks to the Ministry of Zuoken, most communities have generally access to a trained, well-informed individual with access to a semipublic library.
Amenti's language is rich and rolling, and the Amenti people value singing voices highly. People from Amenti tend to be flowery and descriptive in their talk of food, wine, pleasures, or of beauty, but tend to be somewhat sparse when it comes to the technical aspects of life. Also, Felbraug is a common second language amongst those from Amenti.
Amenti has no fixed religion, but there are some widespread faiths that tend to do battle in the form of ecclesiastical debate. Most sailors revere the Seafather in some fashion or other, knowing that they put their lives in his hands every day. Several groups revering Acydea also exist. Zuoken also sees worship, particularly by the growing militia force.
Generally, Amenti individuals tend to view religion as a personal concern. They rarely preach or attempt to convert others, and they tend to be relaxed about their own worship.
The most major city of Amenti is the one that holds the majority of the nation's identity. Its obsession with symmetry and mysterious origin at the hands of a half-mad Dragon-cum-godling is the stuff of legend, and its influence shows the kingdom over.
Arvadan (Metropolis, 28,000)
The capital city of Aggravax's kingdom, Arvadan has been recently reoccupied by human settlers. A human city designed with a draconic ruler in mind, it has large, wide main roads, with small, irrelevant side and back streets - a mere thirty feet wide, compared to the main roads' eighty feet across. Arvadan has taken to housing bazaars in the middle of the main streets, knowing full well that no amount of human traffic could occupy the giant roadways.
A huge, gleaming jewel of a city, Arvadan also holds the palace of the king, Sherei. The city owns to a curious symmetry; even the Throne Room of the king in the Palace has its sister room, exactly opposite in the other half of the Palace. This other room, a throneless simulacra of the Throne Room, sets a precedent that is covered for the entire city as well.
Amenti's most significant hindrance to having sites of historical significance is its own lack of history. The lands of Amenti are nonetheless, the relics of a time of draconic holdings - and that could mean only one thing: Treasure.
The Elan Mother
In the ruins of the Draconic city of Sardis, there are many a collapsed building. Navigating through the city's mazelike sewage system can lead one to break into a chamber beneath the palace. Therein lies a machine, crafted in stone, wood, and strange, shifting fibrous, that hosts a single, human-shaped cavity that almost resembles a bed.
This area holds some significance to the few Elan that have travelled there. Some deep-seated karmic memory speaks to them, and the construction holds some significance despite many of them having never been there. The machinery itself is magical and psionic, and its precise workings have defied the analyses that have been performed on it.
The Elan Mother, as it has been dubbed, is a subject of interest to the Horandi University, and they have commissioned some research parties to risk life and limb travelling through Sardis to find it, and perhaps take a field researcher to examine it. Few people have expressed interest in this offer, however, given the extreme nature of the exploration.
The Deaf Lectern
More of a curiosity than anything else, there stands in the open plains of Amenti, a simple, varnished lectern, complete with paper notes and a writing pen. Adventurers have encountered it and been slightly baffled; for a start, the paper is clean and neat, despite being completely unprotected. The stand does not resonate magically or psionically, and its wooden surface is always clean and neat. Animals avoid the Lectern. The Crystal Collage find it an enormously interesting relic of a bygone age, and have taken to sojourning to it, meditating in its presence, then leaving, speaking of the experience as 'cleansing'.
The Golden Fields
It was said in the summertime that the fields of barley in Amenti's winds would shake, 'as fields of gold'. This led to something of an urban myth propogating that there was, somewhere in the land's borders, a field where anything you planted would grow to its full fruition as a living entity composed of purest gold. While nobody has ever found the Fields, it's also true that nobody has ever conclusively proven that they cannot exist, and there are stranger things indeed in the wide nation of the dragon's scions.
Adventuring in Amenti
Adventuring in Amenti is difficult. There is a single line of the Grand Highway that leads north, through Corrindale Forest, and another that traverses south to the Owlbreak Ranges, into the territory of Kyngdom. This makes most of the travel across Amenti's domain a slow affair, with long, winding roads that arrive at their destination as a probability rather than an eventuality.
The lands of Amenti are largely free of monster incursions and banditry, since there's only recently begun serious trade. However, with this trade will come banditry, and, if Sherei does not invest in a patrolling force, it will likely be a prevalent problem. If banditry becomes a serious concern, it is likely the Fists of Zuoken will be called upon to amend the problem in their own terminal fashion.
Monsters, on the other hand, from Amenti tend to be predators and nocturnal hunters; provided one is smart enough to be within four walls, or at least have a well-designed shelter, by nightfall, there's generally little one has to fear from the night. The real horrors in Amenti walk on two legs.
Adventurers of Amenti
Amenti is a land where psionics is common, and every large town likely has a Fist of Zuoken representative in the role of lawbringer. The people respect unarmed fighters and mentalists of any stripe, and most people know better than to ire an unarmed and unarmored individual. The people of Amenti don't make snap judgements - they prefer to observe and keep their options open.
Amenti's most common adventurous representatives are the Psychic Warrior and Psion classes. Thanks to the Crystal Collage and the Ministry of Zuoken, both the Cerebromancer and Fist of Zuoken are common prestige class options. Dragon Disciples are also common, and characters from Amenti are frequently influenced by dragons in some small way.
Copyright: Original content in this article is copyright © Talen Lee 2006-2008. -