Island of Geumsog
|Form of Government||Oligarchy|
Geumsog is a large island off the west coast of Nysdra. Famous for its advanced technology and steel it is incredibly hard to reach due to its status as a far away island. It's Capital is Poji located at the center of the island. Neighboring it is the Cinnabar Islands collectively named Palgan Jiog (Red Hell).
Home of the Psurgans.
Geumsog uses an Oligarchy, a group of nobles judge and choose the best blacksmith on the island as religion states that the best blacksmiths are the closest to the gods and the patience required for the art is a favourable trait to begin with.
While it is rare, the leader chosen could also be a species other than the native Psurgans.
The current leader of Geumsog is the "Drunken Princess" Hwajae Mul.
Due to the generally isolated nature of the island (not so much for the Psurgan inhabitants due to their amphibious nature) the history has been based around civil conflicts. Before the island was unified under an Oligarchy there were four territories competing for supremacy. Baeggeum was based in Economy, Pogtan was based in military, Dogso was located closest to the Cinnabar islands and so dealt with poisons, and Jeongkeu was based in a slightly different kind of religion commonly practiced in Geumsog. The first to go was Jeongkeu, unlike the rest of the nation they believed that the use of the meteorite was an insult to the gods and so used more primitive stone and wooden weapons (They didn’t last long). Earlier on it seemed that Dogso was going to rule, that is until their liberal use of the toxin mercury caught up with them. The built up mercury poisoned the people, plants and animals of the territory killing them. Eventually the battle for supremacy came between Baeggeum and Pogtan with Baeggeum coming on top, while not having as strong of a military as Pogtan they were still able to last and more importantly manage their funds, Pogtan eventually ran out of funds to support their military allowing Baeggeum to defeat them.
Knowing that the skills showed by Pogtan and Dogso would be needed to keep Geumsog protected from invaders, the leaders of Baeggeum round up the survivors and allowed them to continue their practices under the new government (under supervision of course).
To keep the skills and innovations of the land’s blacksmith’s sharp there is an annual fair and competition where everyone showcases their works and competes with others in challenges such as speed forging and quality tests (all against the current leader of Geumsog).
Geumsog's religion surrounds its meteorite. The people believe it to be a gift from the gods so that they could have the chance to reach the same heights as the gods, thus those with the best metal techniques and recipes are held in the highest regard. To mark one as a true blacksmith one must create a ceremonial sword that must be judged by the nobles of the island, said sword, if it passes the test is placed on top of the meteorite to "return purity to its source".
The meteorite is so important that only highly skilled and authorized miners are allowed to even go near it, trespassers are evicted from the premise and repeated offenders are killed on sight. Getting to use the iron from the holy meteor is considered the greatest of honours and only the most elite among the upper class are ever given the chance.
Metals from foreign lands are nearly worthless to those in Geumsog due to the meteorite. Instead borax is prized due to how important it is in the forging process but due to it being found only in seasonal lakes (which Geumsog lacks). Acids are also fairly prized for similar reasons, though not to the same extent as it is optional.
Naturally the primary exports from Geumsog are metal goods such as tools, weapons and armours. The people of Geumsog have created a number of variations of these. They include folding/hidden blades and even folding armour which aids in travel.
Certain blacksmiths even specialize in metallic poison, namely mercury which they extract from the cinnabar stones on the adjacent islands. However due to the difficulty in processing it is a rare commodity
Annual Hammer Strike Competition
Competition gives motivation to bring out one’s best. Knowing this the first ruler of Geumsog had this competition made to keep morals high (or low), the blacksmiths innovative and the status of the country renown throughout the world.
The categories are:
· Metal strength: metal suppliers and blacksmiths test their raw metal and blended metal recipes
· Weapon strength: different categories of weapons by different blacksmiths are pitted against each other
· Innovations tests: blacksmiths compete to see who has the most unique and practical tools and weapons.
· Speed Runs: Blacksmiths compete to see who can make a certain weapon of acceptable quality the fastest.
· Ceremonial Blades: The best of the best compete to see who can make the best sword to potentially catch the eye of the oligarchy. This is the hardest challenge as the ruler himself/herself will also join this competition.