The arid nation of Gracia has been home to the Gracians for centuries, ever since their mass exodus of their former homeland during the Quickening. For the longest time, the Gracian people existed as nomads, wandering the steppes and barely scraping an existence. It is only in the last two centuries or so that the Gracians have really returned to civilization, rapidly reclaiming their position as the leading minds in invention and the arcane science. This speedy recovery seems due in part to the interest of Aegian investors, who see much promise in the inventions of the Gracian people. Despite this, New Gracia remains relatively small and underpopulated, with few cities outside the walls of Aldebaran.
Gracia lies on the eastern side of the continent, wrapped by the Sahuagin Sea on its north and east coasts. To the west of it lies the perilous Saltsea and beyond that the Aegian Empire. To the south lies the vast and untamed Saguaro Frontier - a fertile land populated with all manner of gigantic creatures.
The capital city of Gracia is the city of Aldebaran - the first city built in new Gracia. It is famed for the pursuit of innovation in both new and forgotten arts, which has lead to the development of firearms as well as the revival of the art of Automation.
- 70% Gracian
- 10% Saltsea Aegian
- 5% Imperial Aegian
- 10% Nazirite Sanhedrin
- 2.5% Human (From Saltsea Khaganates)
- 2.5% Gimble Sprites
The people of Gracia tend towards darker skin, usually dark tans and chocolate browns. Some still retain the paler skin of their ancestors, though this is still darker than the humans of Godsward. Black and brown are the most common hair colours. Their eyes tend to be striking desert colours like orange, yellow, tan or beige. Very rarely, children are born with ash-grey or white hair. These children are usually considered especially beautiful and often end up with prominent public roles.
Aegia is Gracia's closest ally, and Aegians make up the largest minority in Gracia, holding a important positions in both the courts and economy. There are a handful of Aegian outposts within Gracia itself, and a few towns towards the west have predominantly Aegian populations.
Though Nazirites are primarily wanderers, they have a few permanent settlements within Gracia. These settlements are usually trade hubs, and experienced Nazirites are often in demand for transporting goods across the Saltsea.
Gracians are ruled by a monarchy known as the Caliphate - descendants of the folk hero Ignacio Del Fuego who led them the ruins of Old Gracia to their new homeland. The ruler, known as the Caliph, is supported by a small council of viziers, typically from the noble families of Gracia. The noble families are all descendants of heroes who supported Ignacio Del Fuego during his exodus from old Gracia.
Science and Philosophy have become exceedingly popular topics in Aldebaran. Open forums are regularly held, with respected scholars drawing large crowds to hear them speak. The leading experts in both arcane and non-magical sciences can be found here, and it serves as a beacon of learning and knowledge rivaling Sin and second only to the Golden City of Oron.
Football is popular amongst both the upper and lower classes, and it can often be seen being played in the streets.
Gun Duels in Aldebaran have become highly ritualized affairs utilizing both firearms and cold steel. They are regarded as a legal way to settle disputes, and there are areas that are designated as official 'dueling grounds'. Typically duels are not fought to the death, but it is not uncommon for that occurrence to happen. The first gun a duelist uses is known as his “Leading Arm” and is usually the most decorated and expensive of the guns in their brace. Typically, duelists have between two and six single-shot guns. If both are still standing and uninjured after each duelist has fired their shots, they draw their espada and continue in fencing-style.
Trade is a core part of Gracia's economy - In particular, the trade of Ore, Machinery and Inventions.
Mining is one of Gracia’s chief exports. The hills of Aldebaran are filled with precious metals and gemstones, and have driven much of Gracia’s booming economy.
Machinery and Wyrm Oil are close seconds in importance, with many gracian innovations finding their way to the west. Whilst not widespread, the machines are put to good use by certain groups of Saltsea Aegians and Sinites, who are entering into the very early stages of mechanization in the fields of agriculture, assembly and mining. These machines are usually powered through the use of Wyrm Oil, which is harvested from the colossal reptiles in the Saguaro Frontier to the south.
Wyrm Hunts have become a booming industry in Gracia. Short-range dirigibles are used for hunting wyverns and dinosaurs alike - Wyverns for their catalyst fluid, and dinosaurs for their oil. Both are valued for their hide and bones, and their meat is regarded as a high delicacy. The most famous Wyrm Hunters become celebrities and rub shoulders with the highest nobility in Gracia.
The infamous United Guild of Assassins (UGA) calls Aldebaran its home. Though their presence can be felt worldwide, it is here in their hometown that they truly hold sway. Officially, they work under the eye of the Caliphate, but truth of the matter seems almost to be that the two offices hold power in equal measure.
Religious practice in Gracia is rather lax. Gracians have no patron deities they pay homage to, and their royal line is descendant from culture heroes rather than divine mandate. As such, religion does not find its way into government or politics very often - and is instead left up to the personal choice of the individual citizen.
Aulsfare and Libra are the most commonly worshiped deities in Aldebaran, and are often worshiped side-by-side as representations of freedom and order respectively. Aulsfare is the goddess of love and war, and her passion is seen as crucial in gaining inspiration and living life fully. Libra is the goddess of logic, law and reason, and is viewed as the tempering force that shapes passion into reality.
A philosophy which has gained popularity over the last few years in Aldebaran. The idea has existed for almost all of Gracian history, but has only gained traction within the last decade. Popularized by the philosopher Salim al Kassis, it purports that divinity is a property innate within all living beings, rather than a property of the Gods.
It theorizes that all Gods were once mortal beings and that therefore, all creatures possess the potential for divinity. It is through the perfection of self that one can achieve such divinity. Gods, then, do not become objects of worship - Instead they are examples of what can be achieved through purity of being.
To the Cero school, worshipping Gods is a futile effort - Though they can grant power, so can devils and demons and fairies. All of those things require sacrifice - Whether that be in blood, or coin, or worship. It can be given easily, and just as easily taken away.
Cero is a rejection for the need for such bargains, and the idea that power can be found within. Mortal beings can achieve great things without divine intervention, and the veneration and perfection of the self can unlock that potential.
Caballeros de Cero (Order of Cero) Edit
The Caballeros de Cero, or the Order of Cero, are a monastic order that practice the philosophy of Cero as a way of life. Founded centuries ago, the order bases its teachings on the writings of an unknown individual called "The Ascendant One". It is believed that this being achieved perfection and ascended to a state of divinity.
The Order is split into four paths which cater for the various aptitudes of students - the path of the barbarian, the path of the sorcerer, the path of the druid, and the path of the monk. Each of these paths focuses on one aspect in the pursuit of perfection - Barbarians pursue the mastery of emotion, sorcerer's pursue the mastery of inner magic and pure power, druids pursue synchronicity with the natural world, and monks pursue the mastery of mind and body.
Encarnación is a modernization of the idea of Cero, proposed by the noble philosopher Estella Garza. She rejects the idea of being able to be a perfect being, and instead posits that one must be the perfection of an ideal: That whatever one chooses to be, one must fully embrace that concept in body and mind. She dismisses Salim al Kassis’ teachings of a ‘perfect self’ as noble, but unrealistic. She cites the gods as example cases: All gods are an embodiment of an ideal or concept, none are merely just “perfect” - and this is what practitioners should strive for.
Gracia has two monoliths: Svarog of Aeons Past and Saguaro the Cactus King.
General consensus holds that Svarog is not native to Gracia . Legend indicates that it was Svarog who led the Gracian people during the mass exodus from their homeland during the Quickening. Whether or not Svarog’s actions were intentional or not remains a hotly debated subject. Svarog appears as a massive collection of ruins, rusted automata and ancient remains embedded in a body of constantly shifting sands. Svarog wanders the steppes of Gracia and the wastes of the Saltsea, constantly depositing and picking up remnants of ancient civilizations in its swirling sands.
Whether or not Saguaro actually is a monolith is something that scholars can’t agree on. While being a colossal living entity that has a profound effect on the surrounding ecosystems, Saguaro is unlike other monoliths in the fact that it is, for the most part, sedentary. While other monoliths take the forms of other animals or humanoids, Saguaro appears as a network of cactus forests spread across Gracia. Some believe that these forest are not Saguaro itself, but just a by-product of its presence, with its true form submerged somewhere in the desert yet undiscovered.
Notable Citizens Edit
Queen Cenobia Del Fuego: Current queen of Gracia, and latest in the Del Fuego bloodline. She is regarded as fickle, and often has to be reeled in by her advisors on matters of foreign policy. However, she is also a great believer in risk and experimentation and many advances in technology and magic have been made under her rule and patronage.
Salim Al Kassis: Famed philosopher and proponent of the Cero school of thought. He teaches that divinity lies in the perfection of self, which can be found through introspection and meditation.
Estella Garza: Founder of the Encarnación school of philosophy, a branch of Cero that proposes divinity lies in embodying a single ideal.
Felipe Cortez: A historian and inventor who has single-handedly revived the lost art of Automation - the creation of magically-animated clockwork servants. His art is still young and exceedingly expensive, so it is seldom seen outside of curiosities and the royal palace.
Ximenez Soto: A famous alchemist and the inventor of the catalyst, the cornerstone of firearms. He made the discovery whilst experimenting with the concussive fluids produced by stonebelcher wyverns, and managed to process the fluids into the crystalline firearm catalyst that became the center of his work.
Commodore Ana Marid: The firearm industry's biggest backers. She sees a great deal of potential in firearms and was one of the first to own one. Since then she has tried to break into the business herself, investing a great deal of her personal wealth in it. Though she is not a smith herself, she has the gunsmith Blas Soto in her employ as well as several apprentice gunsmiths. It is said that she is also looking into improved cannon technology.
Blas Soto: Ximenez Soto’s nephew and master gunsmith. He is second only to Antonio Vega in terms of renown.
Antonio Vega: The most renowned gunsmith in Aldebaran, his firearms are highly prized amongst the fortunate few who own them. He is the pioneer of the revolving cylinder firearm, a secret that is highly sought after by his competitors.
Uziel Richter: Mr Richer is an arcanist, game hunter and gunsmith. His focus lies more in the synergy between magic and firearms, which have thus-far proved highly resistant to magical tampering.