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The City States of Stella

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The City States of Stella Empty Tue Oct 17, 2023 3:08 pm


The City States of Stella

Description: Deep in the heart of Stella's verdant jungle lies a treasure beyond imagining. Secure in the ancient Sun City of Nenequetzal, the Immortal Sun is an artifact of mythic power that promises boundless wealth, the strength of the city, command over nature, and eternal life. For centuries it was only dimly remembered, veiled in legend, but now the legend has become reality, people seek the Immortal Sun and the power it promises. They will stop at nothing to claim it for their own. In the past, some have taken to calling the mysterious city Eldorado, for the promise of power and riches it held. A land of untold wealth, Stella has invited the greed of mortals throughout the ages. But this wild, untamed land has remained pristine, protected by ferocious Dinosaurs and the fierce, reclusive members of the Sun Empire.

Stellans native to Nenequetzal use carved pillars of Stellarium to mark and protect their territory. From a distance, these totems seem like squat blocks with a hint of humanoid features in the ornamental carvings. When intruders trespass on the lands they are set to guard, though, blue or green light begins to shine from inside the totem, spilling out from cracks formed where separate pieces of Stellarium begin to move apart. Soon the totem fully opens, releasing the elemental energy stored inside. An elemental guardian—a living creature formed of swirling wind, streaming water, or viny growth—takes shape around the totem core. These are powerful guardians, but creating them takes a great deal of work for both the crafting of the Stellarium and the working of magic to bind the elemental spirit to the totem.

Localization: Stella is a centrally located nation with numerous neighboring countries with its bitter rival, Bosco to its west, Iceberg to its North and East, while Joya resides on Stella's southernmost border.

Politics: Long ago, before there was a Sun City, settlements arose in several city-states scattered across the lands of Stella. One of the city-states, Nenequetzal, gradually rose to prominence over the others, thanks in large part to the charisma and cunning of its ruler. She began uniting the other cities under her leadership. The ruler transformed the scattered and fractious city-states into the Sun Empire, the first Stellan Nation. Though with their nation secluded deep in the uncharted jungles of Stella, few foreigners knew anything of them, and saw only the vast wealth of Stella, waiting to be plundered. Countless empires sought to claim this land for themselves, with the old Sevese Empire making the longest, most impactful effort: Though unable to settle the jungles and heartland of Stella, these colonists instead build cities on the mountainside, the arid, dry terrain to the south, and especially along its fertile coastline. These people organized themselves into a proper Kingdom as time went on, but in their incessant war against the Sun Empire, never claimed the untamed wilderness they yearned for. But the Boscosi conquests changed this. For the first time, the two warring factions now had a common enemy. United in their pride as Stellans and the defense of their home, they resisted the invaders, with the unconquered wilds as an impregnable defense, and as the two peoples mixed and married amongst each other, by the war's end they had developed a common, national identity. With their freshly regained independence, the unconquerable Nenequetzal became Stella's new Capital, and they became members of the Magic Council. Now liberated from oppression, slavery was abolished and religious freedom protected by a new set of laws. While Sun King Necalli rules from the Capital, the various Governors of the Stellan Cities are free to govern their daily lives as they please.

Economy: Stella is resource rich, filled to the brim with rare earths, woods, and precious minerals. So much that's it's said the natives of the Sun Empire don't even consider gold or gemstones to be valuable materials due to their sheer abundance. Now that they're an independent country, Stella has been growing rich of exporting their raw material. Between untamed jungles and otherwise hot, arid lands, the country has a low population for its size.

Culture: After endless war fighting a common enemy, the two once opposed peoples of Stella grew united as one. The passionate, expedient and ambitious descendants of the many colonists that had once tried to make this land their own, and the wise, traditionalist and ferocious natives of the Sun Empire. The former learned to attune themselves to this plentiful, but unforgiving land and live in harmony with it, while the latter learned of new technologies and modernized themselves after centuries of isolation. This mixture resulted in a vibrant, colourful culture fiercely proud of their heritage, their homeland and their families. Festive in every aspect of their lives, even funerals are a cause for revelry, eating and drinking to celebrate the life of the deceased. As the only country in Ishgar that still has dinosaurs as a dominant life form, they are crucial to the Sun's City's sense of national identity, and in time this reverence had spread to all of Stella: The people use dinosaur feathers as decorations and as inspiration for design motifs in everything from jewelry to architecture. They come in all sizes and shapes, from apex predators and enormous herbivores as well as small egg-eaters and seed-pickers. Herds of huge, forest-dwelling herbivores, heavily armored quadrupeds, flying dinosaurs, aggressive bipedal predators... The people of Stella live alongside dinosaurs without domesticating them. Whenever a dinosaur moves through a city, it is under someone's direct control—and there's always the risk of it breaking free. This is part of the Sun City's world view: nature is a tool to be wielded, but it is a constant test of will and strength. Nature can't be tamed, but when people live alongside nature they are made stronger. Stellans raised in the jungle shy away from traditional urbanization even with growing technology, however, they make talented mages - trained by their powerful spirituality and close affinity with Elves - and skillfully reproduce modern comforts through the use of magic.

Religion: Many in Stella follow the Illumin faith, which was brought over by the country's many colonists whose descendants form the bulk of its followers. Still, they yet hold reverence for the ancient Stellan pantheon and traditions, the Nahuatl religion. The various holidays of both were condensed and merged into new ones, where the followers of either faith can share in the festivities. Their most famous festival is the Dia de los Muertos, a festival of ancient Nahuatl Tradition celebrated in the day of a sacred Illuminian holiday, celebrating the lives of the venerable dead. Due to the oppression suffered at the hands of the expansionist Boscosi, Stella's Illuminian followers reject the will of the Divine. In the ancient days, the followers of the Nahuatl religion would sacrifice people to their Gods, and though this has since been abolished, some orthodox priests would see it return. They worship a pantheon of Gods representing the various forces of nature, and draw power from the various beasts than inhabit the land. Eagles, Jaguars, and most of all, the Dinosaurs. These great beasts, become an increasingly common sight the closer one travels to the jungles and the Sun City within it. They believe that Quetzalcoatl first gave their priests the ability to call and command the dinosaurs, so maintaining this command is a way of clinging to their ancient heritage. Some can even turn into dinosaurs themselves, believing that by embodying these creatures in the various aspects of their lives, they can gain their strength as their own.

Language: The duality of Stella's culture also shows itself their language. The Sun empire's ancient language is notoriously difficult, and not known to be related to any other language on Ishgar, with countless dialects spoken among the different city states of the former Sun Empire. And thus, as the two cultures merged into one, they adopted the Stellan language brought by their former colonizers, a language from the same family as Fiorian and Minstreli, which in turn slowly adopted many native loanwords and became an entirely new language.


Nenequetzal: An ancient city, Nenequetzal is known by many names. Those of the Sun Empire call it the Sun City, while the Southern Stellans and foreigners alike call it El Dorado, the city of Gold. True to the ancient Stellan's affinity for nature, Nenequetzal is a massive metropolis built seamlessly into the jungle. Dinosaurs are a common sight in the city, where they live in harmony with humans, elves and the other races. Since Stella's independence a few years ago, it's become the country's political capital.

Tzacualli Jungle: The vast, expansive wildrerness surrounding Nenequetzal and the other states of the Sun empire covers a vast majority of Stella. These lands are home to untold riches, and are the main reason why many powers have sought to conquer Stella since ancient times. They are guarded by not only the warriors of the Sun Empire, but the fierce dinosaurs that inhabit it. The main landmark is the imposing Tzacualli temple, the temple of Quetzalcoatl, God of the Sun and the Skies.

Xochatl River: More than simply the lifeblood of Stella, the great Xochatl river connects the various cities of the Sun Empire, its banks a home for countless towns. The vast river cuts across the entirety of the Tzucually jungle, while its various tributaries water the entire country of Stella, some of which even reach as far as Bosco. A force of nature worthy of reverence, it floods during the rain season, yet these yearly floods bring plenty to the whole country. Every Stellan, particularly those born in the Sun Empire cities, are trained as river sailors from a young age.

Giran: Built precariously atop a cluster of dangerous peaks, Giran is a town of tenacity. Just accomplishing the task of having settlements across the uncooperative terrain is a sign of the stubborn creativity who once invaded Stella looking for Eldorado. The main centre of the town crowns the larger, more interconnected bunch of the mountains, and is the most densely populated region. Nonetheless, the townsfolk were fearless when it came to expanding and well supported bridges are slung between the more far spread structures.

Santalicia: Compared to the harsh, arid plains, or the jagged clifftops where many of Stella's conqueror's settled, Santalicia is the crown jewel of Stella's coastal south, a slice of paradise in a country of harsh, untamed beauty. With a vast stretch of beach and waters warm throughout the year, many tourists visit for the summer, delighting themselves on premium quality Stellan wine and meat. As the largest city in one of the country's richest agricultural areas, Santalicia is often considered Stella's economic capital.

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