Nation name: Zulkan
"Ad maius bonum"
-Pronounced Zul-kan, plural: Zulkans
-It is a nation of Nobles, Traders, Mages, and Soldiers
-Known as the Gem of the Desert due to being based around an important oasis
-Situated around the only Oasis in the Southern Oballathin Desert and river of full control, except for the fringes near the deserts edges
-Open practice with no primary religion, though kept a watchful eye over
-National languages are Esalani and Neglish Ulkart
-Well known for its strange and 'Unique' navy and wealth
-Constant issues with criminal elements on fringes of territory
-Population: 5 million
-Manpower: 250,000 with 25,000 professional soldiers
-Wealth: High due to important trade route
Cameriu(Beastfolk): A camel humanoid race, the Cameriu consist of 20% of the population. They have a semi-definite role in the nation taking roles of leadership and Politics. The Cameriu are a wise and contemplative race, along with inherent understanding of magic.
Vulpin(Beastfolk): A fox humanoid race that takes up 25% of the population native to the deserts of Kellal. One of the most important due to being versatile, fulfilling many roles the nation needs though their more notable for being shrewd negotiators. The Vulpin have proven to be sly and capable for Zulkan.
Ssrathi(Lizardfolk): A snake humanoid race that consist of 20% of the population native to Kellal. Fulfilling a more niche pick of being nimble fighters and scouts along with 'other' roles needed of such skills. The Ssrathi make excellent skirmishers along with notable scouts.
Equetz(Beastfolk): A horse humanoid race that consist of 20% of the population native to the Savannahs South East and South West of Oballathin. Again fulfilling a niche, though broader, of being frontline warriors and making excellent guardsmen due to quick response times. The Equetz are brave and stoic defenders of Zulkan.
Verja(Birdfolk): Dangerous winged scavengers that make up the remainder of the population. A constant thorn to Zulkan providing constant raids to any unescorted ship using the river or caravan going by land. The raids are quick and short to make off with any supplies possible and fly off to consume their prize to prepare for the next raid. Foul-tempered, ugly, vulture like humanoid race that prey on the weak and unprotected for those who venture the desert sands, especially at night for that is when they hunt.
The Foundation (Second Age; 300)
Around the age of 300 many Cameriu clans had grown dissatisfied of how the Verja raided whenever they pleased of settlements along the river North and South of the oasis. Messengers had been sent along to every clan, asking for each clan's leader to gather around the central oasis. The raiding Verja caught wind of this meeting and gathered nearby flocks to go crush whatever potential threat could come from this meeting. A murdering flock arrived under a cloudy night, only instead of ambushing they came under ambush themselves as the very wind came alive in the form of Air Elementals. With the support of Magi on the ground and Elementals using the clouds for cover, the flock numbering almost a thousand became almost a mere hundred as they retreated. The message sent to each clan leader not just asking to gather to discuss their future, but to secure that future for their children by their actions on that night. Later on they built the first settlement around that oasis was named Esesser, Esalani for “Foundation”, so that their future can stand through time.
The Exodus (Second Age; 400)
Celebrating the founding of the now growing settlement of Esesser, messengers from an outpost near the Southern coast where the desert river branches off into the sea report a fleet of strange ships heading directly for landfall. An emissary, along with an escort, had been sent to meet and greet whoever captained these ships and find out what their motives were. As the ships made landfall it became evident of how strange the situation was as the serpentine Ssrathi refugees disembarked. With a short exchange of surprised greetings, the Cameriu welcomed the refugees to their lands with open hospitality. Shortly thereafter the Ssrathi told their story of hardship of escape, stealing sea worthy ships of their oppressors to flee and find a new home for their only surviving tribe of that they know of currently. In exchange for living in Cameriu lands, the Ssrathi would serve as fighters in mutual protection for both races. Another layer had been laid to the foundation that day of remembrance of Esesser.
The Pilgrimage (Second Age; 500)
Again, the day of remembrance came as Esesser grew into a trading city from the past 100 years. With the help of the Ssrathi settlements along the North and South of the river grew slowly larger from extra protection from raids made by the Verja. Almost as if time had repeated itself, messengers reported from the Southern coast of more ships coming for direct landfall. The ships of a different make this time and again, an Emissary along with an escort made their way to go meet and greet these new arrivals. Unlike last time though, these ships held more of another new race who called themselves the Vulpin. These new beastfolk claimed they were one of many pilgrims who left their lands to start a new life. Initially the Cameriu emissary knew something felt off, but extended a paw in greeting and open hospitality. Another exchange of talks between both came to allowing the Vulpin to settle in their lands in exchange for protection from the Verja. The last layer of the foundation had been laid as the city of Esesser and surrounding settlements greeted its new inhabitants.
The Inquisition (Second Age; 520)
Soon the true reason of the Vulpin pilgrimage came to light only 20 years later after they finally settled. Warships landed on the Southern coast and took the outpost by surprise, slaying any who resisted while taking the rest as prisoners. A lone messenger was all that made it away safely to deliver his warning, before succumbing to his wounds and exhaustion. The current leader of the Vulpin grew nervous upon hearing the news and was soon asked to come before the council to explain their deception. The truth came out with no hesitation as their was no chance of again deceiving the Cameriu and deadly Ssrathi. After finishing, the current matriarch of the Ssrathi said nothing, surprising the elder Vulpin and even more when the current Cameriu Patriarch said they would still defend the Vulpin from their false persecution.
Zulkan Awakens (Second Age; 520-521)
The Inquisition, a fanatical group of Vulpin from their native home territory, had followed the splinter group to purge their race of heresy and the unworthy. Upon arriving they had taken over the Cameriu outpost with little trouble and had began marching towards the heart of Cameriu lands. The Verja avoided the strange horde as they crossed into the desert along the river and neared one of the newly built settlements of the splinter Vulpin. The Inquisition stopped on the outskirts as a lone, elder Cameriu figure awaited to greet them, asking why they have killed and taken prisoners. The head Inquisitor stepped forward of his small army and told him all who did not follow the one true faith were heretics along with those that weren't Vulpin themselves. With a surprise response, the Cameriu replied back with saying how it was a beautiful day outside and how the desert flowers were blooming. Outraged by this, the Inquisitor demanded if this Cameriu was sane or insane and yet again he deflected the demand. This time the Cameriu asked if he heard the birds singing and how he was nothing more then just a murderer. Before the Inquisitor could utter a single order, an arrow fell him in a single shot as panic surged through the ranks when they came under ambush from the combined forces of Cameriu, Ssrathi, and Rebel Vulpin soldiers. The elder Cameriu said his final part to mark this dark day of an ending and new beginning of Zulkan, “Ad maius bonum.”
Zulkans Rise (Second Age; 521-current)
After the fateful ambush of the Vulpin Inquisition, that same Cameriu who went out to greet to them came back a solemn hero. With the defense of the rebel Vulpin helped in securing the Cameriu as what would come to be the first Sultan of Zulkan, that same Cameriu who was the Emissary that greeted the fleeing Vulpin and the one who helped defend them from their oppressive homeland, that shortly soon after were discovered to be remnants of their old Inquisition seeking righteous vengeance. He accepted the position and declared his first decree as Sultan, The Cameriu, Ssrathi, and Vulpin, are now foundations of a new nation that will seek others like minded in order to show them “The Greater Good” that Zulkan offers. In 525 the Sultan now well advanced in his years met headfirst his last acts of his reign, the integration of the Equetz and stop a Verja uprising from occurring. Along with that he helped lay how the government worked and even after his eventual passing, his successors never forgot his words of wisdom and sought to help others see “The Greater Good” through trade and negotiation. From then on Zulkans wealth grew from controlling the only trade route through the desert, expanding by adding trade ports at where the river meets the ocean. Eventually with the combined might of the Cameriu, Ssrathi, Vulpin, and now Equetz, Zulkan has managed to push the Verja to the outer fringes of their now expanded territory.
To the Zulkan, appearance does only tend to matter in the citizens status and functionality of said clothing. Those of the lower class tend to wear more open clothing due to being naturally accustomed to the heat of their home. Such clothing involves usually wearing a pair of trousers and vest in regards to the majority of Vulpin along with a head scarf, the Ssrathi only the vest and a skullcap as their bottom half is not suitable due to being one long serpentine tail. Equetz generally wear light clothing instead of light armor when on duty to prevent overheating. The Cameriu in their higher positions wear an undershirt along with said vest and a colored fez or turban to represent their standing within their family along with their heraldry seal. Woman tend to wear short dresses and veils along with headscarf when casual is appropriate and wearing a more formal dress for formal gatherings or ceremonial purposes. Those who travel abroad take more appropriate clothing depending on their destination and travel route.
Zulkan craftsmanship has certainly made a name for itself, especially in regards to its unique Sand Strider shipbuilding, a collaboration that designed a light ship made to sail on the desert sands of Zulkan using clever designs and a little bit of magic involved to make it work. The Cameriu specialty is their exotic enchantments with magic; the Ssrathi molding sand sculptures and sand pictures; the Equetz skills in glass blowing and intricate glass art pieces; and the Vulpin's shrewd innovation in fine arts and firearm craftsmanship blend together to create truly unique crafts and weaponry.
Due to the diversity of the 4 major races of Zulkan, there isn't a defined set of traditions. Each race is allowed to celebrate their own set of holidays that anyone can celebrate, the most famous being the 100 year anniversaries of the founding of Esesser. The only set holiday that all 4 races recognize for symbolic importance upon which the first foundations were laid for the soon to be capital of Zulkan by the Cameriu's actions that day. Every 100 years a festival of remembrance is held in honor for those actions made, each celebrated differently by each race in their own way. The Cameriu hold an open banquet for all to enjoy; the Ssrathi hold a solemn vigil in a remote part of the city in remembrance; The Vulpin drink and party the night away; and finally the Equetz who hold competitions of skill any could partake in.
Laws and Rights
The Zulkans law follow the basis of morality, honor, and integrity. The Zulkan laws curtail not just to a specific class or station, all are viewed as equal and integral to the future of Zulkan, no matter how lowly they are. As such still there are always Law breakers and those who break Zulkan law are punished lightly as a warning at first, but if they break it again are punished severely to the extent of the law. Another thing is Zulkans anti-slavery act, this act prohibits any kind of slavery and any slaver caught in or near their territory will be summarily executed. Every slave will be released and given the choice to either join with Zulkan society or go on their own way, given necessary supplies to help them along.
Unlike most of the world, the primary language of Zulkan is Esalani. Only after trade began did they adopt a variation of Ulkart called Neglish Ulkart to help make trade negotiations go smoother with other nations.
As mentioned earlier, the Zulkans value the ultimate set by the first Sultan of achieving peace and unity “For the Greater Good”. In fact, many citizens from the lowest worker to the highest that is the Sultan are all considered integral and important. None are considered lower then those of higher stations and all wish for the true peace that is “The Greater Good”. As such all are willing to fight and defend for this belief, viewing those that benefit from their darker natures as obstacles in their journey for the “Greater Good” and with chilling efficiency will any Zulkan seek to eliminate said obstacle.
Aside from various holidays and festivals, the Zulkans enjoy a relative selection from each races views of their own forms of fine arts. From theater to music and a variety of sports, though some do enjoy partaking in other nations forms of entertainment.
Aside from the obvious source of crops grown along the river and oasis, Zulkans are also famous for their export of spices grown on plantations and exotic foods through their trade.
Recruitment and Training
Zulkan is never short on those willing to take up arms in the name of Zulkan. Those that wish to join are committed to fight for and defend Zulkan with their lives if need be. Given the most strictest of training depending on the soldiers job, three weeks of rigorous training recruits are required to go through in order to move on for specialized training, which is their decision alone if they wish to continue. Specialized training is where the true combat training begins as each recruit is selected into each specialized aspect of the military based on their strengths and weaknesses revealed through the hidden test that is basic training. 8-16 weeks can last for any one of the specialized training regiments.
The ZDF or the “Zulkan Desert Fleet” is the majority of ships used by Zulkan to patrol their desert homeland using ships called Sand Striders. Consisting of 400 of these slim, small, and fast ships allowing Zulkan forces to quickly respond to any threat in or near the border of the desert.
The ZNF or “Zulkan Naval Fleet” is the rest of the ships used by Zulkan navy or 'wetships' as their called. Majorly consisting of converted trade-ships and escort ships this fleet is the first and only line of defense and offense in any naval combat.
A home defense force that is scattered into many militias throughout Zulkan of those ready and willing to take up arms at a minutes notice. Each militia is trained by a local guard instructs each willing body in basic weapon drills and base strategies for about 4 weeks and in their off-time to keep practicing when the chance arises.
Hunter Cadre (Professional army)
The main fighting force of the Zulkan military that has made the ultimate commitment of becoming permanent soldiers in the Zulkan military. This commitment further enforces their beliefs as they fight fierce determination and effective strategies to combat any of Zulkan's foes. Made up of different specialized units, the Cadre is infamous of two well known methods employed by the Zulkan Hunter Cadre. Mont'ka, the Killing Blow in Esalani, is a strategy most often used in identifying a target of opportunity and attacking it swiftly through days of planning, this method also offers the benefit of if the target is resilient or evasive the attack can be called off immediately. Kauyon, the Patient Hunter, is the oldest and most variations of any strategy of the hunter using a lure for their prey. Mobile warfare is the Hunter Cadres way.
Zulkan rely's on a council of elected officials representing each major race and vote on the next Sultan who remains de facto leader for their term. All are viewed as equal and each member can be voted into and out of office by the people.
Runs the council and leads in debates along with discussions. Each Sultan serves in terms that last 25 years and new Sultans are elected in through a cycle vote in order of major races integration into Zulkan. A Cameriu is elected first, the next is a Ssrathi, then Vulpin, and finally an Equetz before starting anew again. Can be removed if proven corrupt or not serving their duty for the Greater Good, must be supported by the Council and the people.
The Council is made up of the most current influential members of each race and serve an advisory role to the Sultan. Votes of major laws and decisions are also made in the Council, every representative has an equal say and the Sultan has final word on any discussion.