The Republic of Albion is a major, predominantly human colonial power of the Realm. Its superb fleet tradition, colonial reach, expertise in metalcrafting and industrial production and government system, controlled in equal parts by meritocally-promoted civilian leaders and members of Albion's unique religious cult made sure that, as of year 765, Albion is the closest thing the Realm has to a superpower.
This optimistic assessment, however, does not mention the darker side of the Republic: it's ruthless colonial politics, brutal inequality, insatiable expansionism with a healthy dose of nationalistic zeal and a tendency to transform most of its inventions (whether magical or mechanical) into weapons of war. As the sultanates of Sina and Borealis are finally experiencing a cultural renaissance, the Republic seems firmly set on its descent into darkness.
Albion's peculiar location within several closely-knit archipelagos at the far Southern rim of Faraam, far from the trade routes of Thessea and Sina, ensured that it spent its formative years in relative isolation, with but a few conflicts with Nicea. Back then, it was split between numerous small island states, eventually united into a single kingdom by ~700 PP. It was around that time, that, according to Albionese dogma, the wise men from the North brought the teaching of Taglur to the islands, which soon replaced the native fey worship as Albion's dominant religion.
Guided by the focused, ambitions and demanding nature of the Teaching of Divinities. Albion's development started to rapidly accelerate form that point in. Despite originally being in far worse position both socially and technologically than Aluren (due to lack of contact with dwarfs and elves, as well as lacking the unifying genius of someone like Rex Verstandt in their history), by ~1000 PP they were approximately on the same level as Borealis at the time.
The rising influence of the Teaching and its prominent adherent - the knights-custodians of the Order of the Seven Islands - as well as the developing social sciences and power of Albionese gentry soon put the power of Albionese kings to test. After years of slow-burning cold war between the Crown and the Order (backed by gentry and puritan divinite city-dwellers), the rumour that the King was a secret fey-worshipper has driven the nation into a short yet bloody civil war. The King (who despite the popular outcry, was an unusually reasonable individual), seeing that the war could continue for years and devastate the country, has voluntarily abdicated in 1312 PP and entered into negotiations with the Order-backed rebels, which ended up creating the Republic, at the cost of preserving the royal family's and its supporters' lives and (partially) wealth.
Since then, the Republic has gone through an unprecedented spree of technological development, embracing both natural sciences (unlike their counterparts in Thessea and, to a lesser extent, Sina) and the arcane. While they are not yet fully industrialised, it seems like a path they are about to embark on. Moreover, under the aegis of the Teaching, they proceeded to rapidly expand into a colonial empire, incorporating the compliant natives into their culture (and slaughtering those who mounted up resistance).
The latest hurdle in the path of Albionese expansion is the incredibly reach (and unimaginably dangerous) continent of Faraam. After rapidly shocking the coastal state of Nicea (famous for its philosophers and dimplomats but not for the strenght of its military) into submission, the Republic entered a bitter war with the sultanates of Southern and Central Faraam for control of the Pearl Faraam, the biggest and the richest port city in the Realm - legendary Sina.
The foreign invasion of unprecedented scale and power was pretty much the only thing ever capable of uniting the sultans into a loose confederacy (now known as the Sultanates of Sina), that has mounted formidable resistance to its technologically-superiour adversary. Fortunately, what armies of Faraam lacked in weapon quality and logistics, they got back in pure fighting skill, knowledge of their homeland and calculated wisdom of their wise scholars and monks (who just so happened to also be the most skilled magic-users of the Realm, second only to magos of Quenn Mindon and wave-singers of the Allavvi).
In 759, the Sultanates' armies, led by the fabled warrior-scholar Samir al-Mutasim, managed to ambush and rout the armies of Knight-Governor of Nicea under El-Salaf. Al-Mutasim used the opportunity to collapse Albionese supply chains on the continent, encircle and retake Sina after two decades of Albionese control and even begin taking back settlements on Nicean border. The brief truce that followed fooled no one - both sides are eagerly stoking the furances of war, seeing the very first convenient opportunity to go on the offensive.
Teaching of the DivinitiesEdit
To understand the Albionese unprecedented success on the international arena and way of governance, some insight into its relgion is essential. The Republicans do not believe in Taglur and follow its cults as do the majority of peoples of Thessea and Faraam. Instead, they follow the Teaching of the Divinities, brought to them by the mystical Keepers of Order.
The official Albionese theology proclaims, that the Keepers were the messengers of the Great Will, who has once created and populated the Realm [in many ways, this part of the myth is similar to the beliefs of Thessean Old Faith or the Andrassian reformation]. Chosen for their might in combat, virtues and wisdom, those scholarly knights were given angelic visage and power and sent to free the people of Albion from the whimsical durance of the Witch Queen of the Fey folk, whose cruel lords and ladies were the chief local duties of Albionese tribes.
The Keepers revealed the hidden truth of the world to the people of Albion. When the Great Will created the Realm, in its infinite power and wisdom, it preordained the entirety of its fate, from beginning and until the end. The end of the Realm would be a glorious ascencion to the spheres outside of human comprehension, where eternal bliss awaited those who were part of the preordained Order. However, only individual of great virtue, whose very existence, by virtue of their deeds, put them close to Divinity, were vowen into the Order. In other words, only individuals of immense attunement with the Divinity had a Fate; and only those who had a Fate, would become one with the Great Will after the world's end, granting them life everlasting.
The Keepers outlined the Four Cardinal Divinities that would bring a person closer to seizing its Fate. By making even one of them the very part of its soul, a mortal would become Fated for greatness. Those Divinities are:
- Divinity of Invention
- Divinity of Temperance
- Divinity of Purity
- Divinity of Retribution
The pinnacle of a mortal's life is achieving Sainthood. Saints are canonised within the purview of individual Divinity; and if one thought that the Aspects of Taglur were manifold and (a little bit) bloated, he woud not have seen the amount of saints of each individual thing and concept (rangind from Saints of Metals and Saints of Chastice to Saints of Gunnery and Saints of Beasts etc) that were canonised through the existence of the Teaching. These Saints are the primary object of worship and direction for an average followers' prayers. The strict following of the Teaching's arduous tenets has created a very ascetic, zealous and dedicated culture among the Albionese faithful (of which there is a majority). While an average divinite is hard-working to a fault and pays little heed to luxury, the true believers go to extreme length to fit within the fateful narrative of their chosen Divinity - the Inventors pay little to no heed to ethics and morals in pursuit of efficiency and science; the Temperants can burn out their lives to help an ungrateful stranger; the Puritans resort to extreme fasting, fanatical devotion to work and self-flagellation, while the Avengers are willing to slaughter the entire countries of the Fateless and sacrifice lives of thousands of their own compatriots to write their name down in history.
Outliner and demographicsEdit
Albion, being the only unitary state of the three major powers of the Realm (not counting the Timeless Empire of the Nav), also has the highest overall population, thanks to its numerous colonial holdings. The people of Albion proper are mostly humans, although there are strong minority groups of orcs and halflings, mostly assimilated through conquest. The presence of any dwarfs or elves is miniscule.
State and Government
Albion is the Realm's only democratic republic. Its main legislative organ is the Republican Parliament, where the representatives of the Albionese constituencies (and, in many cases, its colonial holdings) sit and pass down laws for the executive to implement and populace - to follow. The Parliament has over a thousand overall representatives.
Albion has universal suffrage - or at least so does it say on the lid. In practice, many laws have been passed by the Parliament to restrict it. To vote for (and be voted for), a citizen of Albion or its dominions has to hold registered property or wealth above a prescribed threshold of 200 gold florians (~ 300 gold Borean guilders), be in employment or trade of repute and to be judged a person "of sound Republican values" (conveniently disenfranchising peoples of Albion's dominions who have at any point resisted its rule).
The Parliament approves the top appointments within the Order of Saint Aine. Most notably, selection of the Order's grand master is done by the Parliament (although from a predetermined list).