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Queendom of Silnai

Capital Alcanis
Language Silnaix (a pidgin between Abunese, Tynirese and Nylusegia)
Currency None, Bartering
Form of Government Absolute Monarchy

The Queendom of Silnai is a small island located in the eastern portion of the Risel Ocean, due south of Nylus. The capital of Silnai is its only city, Alcanis. Though Silnai lacks an "official" currency, the citizens of the country trade internally with the shells of the local mollusk known as the barinel. Once a powerful and prosperous nation, Silnai has fallen into decay. The Silnai speak a language that is a strange mix of Abunese, Tynirese, Nylusegia, and a number of unique words. Collectively, this language is known as Silnaix.

The country is currently ruled by Queen Briel of the Pilusat Dynasty, though the Queen is in poor health and rarely has the strength to move further than the distance between her throne and her private chambers.

Polyxena are the predominant race of Silnai. The Royal Family of Silnai are Polyxena. Additionally, members of various other races can be found living on Silnai, most of whom are descendants of ex-slaves.

History of Silnai

Silnai began as a small collection of Polyxena tribes scattered across the island. For many years, the tribes waged war until a long and bloody conquest by Carithes Bylemhic united the various tribes under a single banner. Her reign began the Bylemhic Dynasty of Silnai. The country operated autonomously for many years before an accidental meeting between its native inhabitants and merchants from Abun crossing the Risel Ocean. Recognizing the value of Silnai's abundant natural resources, the Abunese merchants forged a deal with Queen Selthix Bylemhic, exchanging raw Silnai natural resources for (highly inflated) finished Abunese goods. When Queen Selthix passed away without an heir apparent, the nation exploded into a bloody civil war as varying tribes fought for the right to seat their ruler on the throne.

The Abunese supported the Dianvi Tribe, and with the Abunese assistance, the Dianvi subdued the other tribes and claimed the throne for Alcanis Dianvi, thus beginning the Dianvi Dynasty. The capital was established in a relatively flat part of the hilly island and named for the Queen. The original palace of Silnai was first constructed from wood at this time. The Dianvi Dynasty, as the longest-running dynasty of Silnai, took many steps toward making Silnai an economic powerhouse, including establishing trade agreements with Nylus and Ty. At this point in Silnai history, the island had run low on its previously abundant natural resources. The once lush forests had been cleared both to make a profit trading with Abun, Nylus, and Ty and to allow for the continued expansion of the Silnai capital city.

The Queen, realizing that her country would be essentially powerless without its natural resources to trade away, turned to a desperate and controversial form of income: Silnai was reformed into a slave state. For many years, Silnai seafarers patrolled the waters of Nakti, capturing any ship they could get their hands on and enslaving its inhabitants. The Silnai also set up a small outpost in Aleban, and the Polyxena there eventually expanded outward. In an event forever immortalized by the Silnai people, a large group of dissenting Silnai citizens and freed slaves formed a lynch mob, rioting in the streets of Alcanis. The entire Royal Family of Silnai was slain and the palace was burned to the ground.

The crowd declared its informal leader, Liafan Pilusat, to be the new Queen of Silnai. Queen Liafan's first act was to have the abundant natural granite of Silnai (long ignored by traders for its difficulty in quarrying and transporting) excavated and used to build the new palace. In the process, copper was discovered in the rock and Silnai's trade economy was revitalized. The current Queen, Queen Briel Pilusat, spent many years of her long rain establishing further trade deals and alliances with the various nations of Nakti, and as part of said deals, the Silnai smiths were taught how to forge copper and tin into bronze.

Economy

Silnai relies heavily on trade with the other nations of Nakti for income. The country itself lacks a monetary system, and usually only accepts natural resources or finished goods as payment from other countries. However, the people of Silnai often use the lustrous shells of a type of mollusk found only near the island (called a "barinel") for currency. The value of an individual barinel shell fluctuates constantly and is often dependent on the season. As barinels breed in the spring, shells are much less valuable in the summer due to the influx of shells from the sudden boom in barinel population. On the other hand, their value skyrockets in the winter when barinels are less common.

Religion

The religion of Silnai is heavily tied to the observation of celestial bodies. The Silnai believe the moon to be the heart of their god, which guides them by night, while the sun is its eye, which watches over them in the day. The stars are thought to be the spirits of Silnai who died after having lived just lives. It is believed that one who lives a wicked life will be absorbed by the stars, the darkness of their souls forever seared by the stars' burning light. The Silnai perform a ritual known as Moonsong for three days each month. As the Silnai believe the moon to guide them, they fear its total disappearance more than anything in the world. So for three days and nights straight, the priests and priestesses of Silnai, led by the Queen herself, offer up a howling, songlike prayer that the moon might return to them and guide them through the darkness ahead.

Politics

Silnai is a queendom. The nation is led by the Queen, who functions as both head of church and head of state. The line of succession passes through the Queen's female descendants. If a Queen produces no female descendants, the line of succession passes to the wife of her eldest son. If the eldest son is unmarried, succession then passes to the wife of the second eldest, then to the third, and so on and so forth. If a Queen's sons are all unmarried, the eldest acts as King Reagent until one of the sons is married. This often creates a power struggle as brothers race to be the first to marry.  

A Queen's husband, although not technically possessing of a rank himself, is often given a position of honor, such as Royal Steward or Captain of the Guard. Ordinary citizens exist on three levels of classes. The upper class, mostly made up of Silnai-born Polyxena, are considered to be true citizens. They may own businesses, land, and (before the abolishment of the practice) slaves. The middle class, made up mostly of non-Silnai-born Polyxena and Silnai inhabitants of other races, may own businesses and slaves, but not lands. The lower class, made up of foreigners and slaves, are unable to own lands, businesses, or slaves. People of lower class are not considered citizens. It is considered taboo for a person of lower class to speak directly to one of higher class unless spoken to, given permission, or conducting business.  

The court system is run by a group of judges referred to as "arbiters", hand-picked by the Queen herself. An arbiter listens to both sides of a case, and then makes a ruling based on the information presented. Punishments are usually based on social class: generally, an upper class citizen will be fined, a middle class citizen will be jailed, and someone of lower class will be executed (although many arbiters in recent years have pushed for an end to the use of execution). Rulings usually favor the higher class participant in the dispute. 

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