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  1. Lore Spotlight: The Government and Politics of Lungarde (Bonus)

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    Because I missed out on doing an article Monday, I’m sort of writing an extra Lore Spotlight this week. Stay tuned again for another article on Friday.

     

    Lungarde small

     

     

    Hundreds of years prior to the beginning of Dizzy Hearts, the Elvish country of Ontonia was a militaristic empire; its spear-head was Lungarde. Long ago established as the capital of Ontonia, where war was fought, the city fortress was the breakwater against invading wild elves, who often pillaged the farmlands of the Ontonia region. In this fighting Lungarde and Ontonia grew larger and stronger, and the smaller nation-states of the Ontonia region united under the empire to protect themselves from attack by hostile forces.

     

    Over time, the technological advancement of the Ontonian elves and the defensive role of Lungarde ensured the safety of its people. The fighting began to die down, and for a few centuries there ensued a tentative, uneasy peace between Lungarde elves and the various hostile wild elf tribes that assailed them in the past. A young Queen, Llend, signed the first peace treaty between Ontonian elves and wild elves, offering to trade food, textiles and other goods between the two regions.

     

    Up until the coronation of Queen Llend, Lungarde had always been an absolute monarchy, born from a millenium long lineage of fiore rulers. The queen’s bloodline had always been a symbol of great pride among Ontonian elves, believed to be blessed in their rule by the Goddess herself. Given the rarity of fiore children it was a surprise, even in the royal family, when the Queen had four fiore daughters, all equally entitled to the throne. There were legends of two fiore sisters who shattered the kingdom, creating massive bloodshed in order to seize the throne. To prevent this situation, the Queen appointed her daughters to oversee four branches of government: the Chambers of Law, the Chambers of Health, the Chambers of Commerce, and the Chambers of Faith, giving them equal representative power in hopes of keeping war from severing the kingdom again.

     

    The government convenes and debates the matters of the day in the Court of Flowers, which is overseen by the Queen. In recent times, it has transitioned away from an absolute monarchy and into a sort of oligarchy, with the princesses having more control and power over their chambers. Each chamber in court is supported by provincial members, Advisories, from around the country, who represent their respective provinces in Ontonia. Each Advisory has the duty to be the voice of their province, in their chamber, and it is the Advisories who together propose bills to the court.

     

    Advisories are appointed by the princess or Queen – they are not elected – however as representatives, they are often the voice of their people. With a few exceptions, advisories are fiore or female nobles from long fiore-lineaged families.

     

    Each Princess has the power of veto, but a veto must have the majority among the chambers, at least a 3:1 vote. The Queen maintains the ability to pronounce an ultimate veto or act as a tiebreaker, and has the prerogative to use this power as she wishes, however this is very rare. In event of a tied vote, she is able to either veto or back any vote she wishes. The princesses themselves have no power to propose bills, but can support bills they helped create within their chambers, and can back the bills proposed by other chambers.

     

    There’s more to talk about regarding the government of Lungarde later in the future, so stay tuned!

     

     

  2. Lore Spotlight: Erzad

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    Immortal sun warriors, “Erzad”

    Odra

     

    The Erzad are the elite guard of Prima Alabasta. They are commanded by Odra Avasa, Erzad Suprema (pictured above), who as the military leader of Prima Alabasta, operates with the Adjudicators as the supreme jurisdiction when it comes to executing law in, and outside the greater Alabasta region. The citizens and even the nobles know very little about the Erzad, other than that they are tasked with maintaining the divinity of Prima Alabasta, as well as safeguarding The Sail.

     

    Among their militaristic duties, the Erzad also maintain order across Alabasta. In dangerous circumstances they also act as bodyguards for the nobles. Half a century prior as Secundo Alabasta was seceding, it was the job of the Erzad to quell the uprising and maintain Secundo Alabasta’s place under Alabast’s long shadow.

     

    The Erzad, identified by their signature sun emblem and their lack of clan sashes. Having abandoned the practice of wearing their clan’s sash upon their bodies, this gave rise to a popular opinion that the Erzad are war orphans who have been taken by the Suprema and trained to be unquestionably loyal. They operate mysteriously throughout all of Greater Alabasta, and there are often as many stories told about the secrets of the Erzad come from as there are standing members.

     

    Regardless of what the Erzad is, it’s known to every Elf in Alabasta that the Erzad are unhesitating in carrying out their orders, whatever they happen to be.

     

     

  3. Lore Spotlight: Wild Elves

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    Tribal savages, “Wild Elves”

    Wild Elves

     

    The Rift is a perilous place, full of violent and unstable weather. The races that live here are often equally violent, struggling to survive while nature conspires to destroy them. Humidity is high in this area as most of the rain fall on the planet occurs in this band of twilight, where night meets day.

     

    Battered almost eternally by strong winds and intense rain, thunderstorms caused by temperature differentials shape the land, carving out lakes and eroded canyons, flowing into violent, white rapids.  

     

    Perhaps it is because of this inhospitable landscape, or in spite of it, that the wild elves have settled in this part of the world. These elves have grown strong and are well-adapted to the area’s unforgiving lifestyle. There is very little room for pleasantries among wild elves, who claim that they are fighting the gods themselves for survival. Elf tribes align themselves to the gods of the sky or land and pray for them to smite their enemies, and spare their villages. This rarely works, and often villages will relocate every couple years as they are burned down, or washed away by nature.

     

    Religion and spirituality is taken to another level as the elves engrave tattoos into each other’s skin with hand-sculpted bone chisels – Imbedding inks and pigments (harvested and blessed by their witch doctors) into their bodies. It is said that they embody the gods’ powers; by imbuing their flesh with the god of the earth they too can become as hard as iron, and by imbuing their legs with the god of the hurricane it will make them as fast as the wind.  

     

    As an elf gets older, they must perform feats of strength for the tribe, which earns them the respect required to bear more of their god’s powers. As such, by the time they reach an old age, they would have been almost completely covered in tattoos, signifying their long life of struggle against nature. It is because of these tattoos that they are respected and feared, or hated by other tribes.

     

    With the above in mind, it is fair to say that these elves will wage war with enemy tribes, as well as nature itself, on a daily basis.

     

     

  4. Lore Spotlight: Drachene

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    Draconic servant race, “Drachene”

     

    Ku av

     

     

    Drachene are a primitive, draconic race that primarily hails from within the Rift, the terminus of night and day – although they have been found in other parts of the world as well. Widely known in stories as being the servants of dragons, the Drachene may have been connected to the Elves millennia ago; but they have since become so far removed from the Elven heritage that they now only resemble elves visually.

     

    Dragons, being asexual and sedentary creatures, commonly dwell in mountains or forests and consume large amounts of local wildlife. This energy is then used for the creation of eggs – which in turn hatches into the Drachene. Between laying eggs and feeding, Dragons also spend large parts of the year hibernating, and as such are rarely seen. Some have even hibernated so long they have become part of the landscape and hills themselves, with towns built upon their backs.

     

     

    Featured in this article is one of the Green Drachene, commonly dwelling in mountains. They primarily serve to bring information, food, and company to the eternally existing dragons, having become too old and large to leave their nests. Although it is in the nature of a Drachene to be highly curious, excitable and eager to help others, they are also duty-bound to protect their parent. Due to this obligation Drachene will always keep the location of their parent’s nest a secret, and as such many dismiss the existence of Dragons as nothing more than myth and legends.

     

     

    Although territorial by nature, most Dragons do not enjoy eating sentient beings, and as such it falls onto the Drachene to maintain a fine line between social interaction and duty. When push comes to shove, however, the Drachene will protect the secret location of their parent nests with fervor, even if it should cost them their lives.

     

     

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