The Akan-Ji

So, I haven't made a geeky post in quite some time. This is more fluff from a fantasy setting, one that I used to play in quite a bit way back in the day with Michael, Alex, and Laura.

This if the fluff behind the Akinji, the villains of the setting if there ever were any. The fact that they were the villains did constrain me a bit in really fleshing out their civilization, since I wanted to humanize rather than demonize them. I think that final result are nicer than the Nostians, at least to some degree even if for me there is still that lingering stigma of having been the villains of a rather epic D&D campaign. There were several things I had to include about them to make their background true the the game as Alex ran it, including their slavery, mistreatment of women, and torture of civilians as a tactic during war. Hopefully I was able give them enough of a face so that they rise above your typical faceless orc or goblin antagonists.

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Coalition Education & Public Services

    When every Coalition States child is 4 years of age they are given a variety of tests to determine the child's intellect, psychic potential, and natural talents. For children who test more or less normally - slightly above average intelligence or lower, no psychic potential, normal genetic scan, etc. the child is sent on their way and the parents raise that child until the age of 8.

    For children who are gifted with great intelligence (2 or more standard deviations about average, an equivalent of 130 or higher IQ), psychic abilities, or some other natural talent or potential - then the child is sent to a special school. These schools, called Primary Instructional Centers, or PIC schools, educate these children in how to best utilize their special talents. For psychic children this means learning how to control their psychic abilities under the tutelage of Psi-Net. For exceptionally bright children it simply means learning reading, writing, basic logic, and critical thinking skills. Most large Coalition towns have a PIC school for smart children, but there are only a few large PIC schools that allow for psychic training and conditioning, thus those children often go away to boarding schools. PIC schools last for 4 years.

    For wealthy families in the Coalition whose children didn't qualify for a PIC school, it is possible for them to pay a considerable fee to send their kids to a PIC school anyway. Children who attend a PIC school will have a great advantage over those who do not later in life.

    At the age of 8 all children within the Coalition are sent to school. The majority of children, those who did not go to a PIC school, end up in an Education and Public Service Center or EPSC. At these institutions, children are taught about the basics of Coalition history, politics, civics, etc. Basically, they learn all of the Coalition propaganda we all know and love. They are also taught about physical fitness, basic health, sports, teamwork, etc. Teachers here also try to instill in the children a basic sense of civic responsibility and patriotism. As part of the training program, students engage in public service projects such as picking up garbage, helping in factories, working on farms, etc.

    Children who attended PIC schools, or those who can pass a series of basic tests involving mathematical ability, reading comprehension, and problem solving skills, are allowed to go to a different kind of school. These children go to an Instructional Academy or IA. The IA is in many ways similar to an EPSC accept that there is a much stronger focus on education, reading and writing, and thinking skills. Children read books about history, are taught more complicated math, learn more in depth knowledge about geography and politics. They also are requires to do public service projects. Psychic children go to a PIA, a Psychic Instructional Academy - which teaches children all of the above with a strong focus on mastery of psychic powers.

    At the age of 12, Coalition kids graduate from either their EPSC or IA school. At this age they are now ready to enter into the Public Service Corps. The PSC is a government program which gives teenagers within the Coalition States basic job training while utilizing them to work for the Coalition government and people. What kinds of skills the children are taught is usually based on their previous education. Children who only went to EPSC are usually taught more manual labor or military related jobs. Children who went to PIC and/or IA are trained to go into higher professions. All children who are physically capable are also taught basic military and survival skills - how to use a gun, basics of hand to hand combat, what to do in the event of a monster attack, etc. As the children grow older, they education consists of more and work actual labor - such that a large amount of unskilled or low skilled labor in the CS is done by kids between the ages of 12 and 16. At the age of 16 kids enter the next stage of their education.

    16 year old Coalition citizens enter into Primary Public Service. They are given a government job for minimal pay utilizing the skills that they learned while in the PSC. For the majority of young adults, this means military service. Only those who are not physically or mentally capable are put into the military. The 16 year olds can apply for different positions and if they can pass the proper tests, then they may attain those jobs. Those who cannot pass the special tests usually end up as infantry or in one of the more lowly support positions. Those who do well on tests, particularly those who went to IA, get better jobs within the military and can train to become officers, pilots, specialists, professionals, etc. At the age of 20 a CS citizen is allowed to leave the military and public service. If they chose to leave, the CS government will arrange for them to receive a job related to what they did for their public service. For the most part, those who leave public service at the age of 20 are low end workers.

    Those who wish to continue their education and public service can apply for Secondary Public Service. Secondary Public Service usually involves staying in the military longer to specialize in a certain field. People in this phase of public service are pilots, low ranking officers, field medics, special forces, mechanics, etc. It is also possible for the citizen to enter into a non-military field of Secondary Public Service, but for the most part you will be employed by the military in some capacity. At the end of 4 years, when the citizen is 24, he or she will have completed Secondary Public Service. The citizen will now have many more job opportunities in the (semi) private sector is within the government. If the citizen desires, they may apply for Tertiary Public Service.

    Tertiary Public Service is for those who want the highest levels of education. This includes becoming a medical doctor, an engineer, a RCSG scientist, a high ranking officer, etc. It is the CS equivalent of getting a doctorate degree. Over the course of the next four years the citizen learns about their field of study while serving as an assistant to his or her instructors. For officers, this includes commanding troops are well as intense study of military science and war gaming. When it is possible, those in Tertiary Public Service will be in the military - doctors will work in military hospitals, engineers will design weapons or military buildings, etc. Though, in the case of certain fields of specialization, civilian public service is used instead. Like every previous stage, Tertiary Public Service takes 4 years to complete. At the end of these 4 years the CS citizen may leave public service to get a public sector job or may stay employed by the CS government continuing to do what they were trained for.

    In what ever case, pay after leaving public service is almost always better than pay while on public service. In a sense, it is a form of work scholarship. Most CS citizens merely serve 4 years of public service in the military and then leave for blue collar jobs. It is also possible for someone to stay in the military after finishing public service, for higher pay but lower chances or promotion. Non-comissioned officers are often drawn from soldiers who underwent 4 years of military public service and decided to stay in the military after the age of 20.

    The CS has private industry and wealth and has many of the trappings of capitalism that we are familiar with. Despite this, private businesses work in close cooperation with the government and are subject to many government regulations. many businesses are given very cheap labor in the form of young people completing their public services. In return, the companies provide cheaper goods for the government. As the number one economic force in the Coalition, the government is the largest customer for many businesses within the CS. In a way, there is a almost a system of controlled and legalized government corruption - the government regulates pricing, labor, production, and other major economic activities and forces while at the same time providing special perks to businesses that benefit the CS government the most.

    The CS Credit is based upon a gold standard, where one Credit is worth one microgram of gold. In the unstable world of Rifts Earth, even a relatively stable nation such as the CS cannot sustain an economy with a unit of currency entirely based on people's trust and confidence. But, but basing their monetary unit on a gold standard and because of its own wealth, stability, and military power, the Coalition Credit has become the standard currency of North America and is even popular in other places around the world.
   Because of the chaotic nature of the world and many different governments, the CS cannot use paper currency. It is far too easy to counterfeit and the CS government does not want to risk the threat of a major enemy printing up billions of credits to destabilize the CS economy. Within major CS cities, the official Bank of Chi Town uses an electronic monetary system, where all credits that each person owns are stored electronically. People access their money in official CS banks and complete monetary transactions through the use of credit sticks - small electronic devices (much like a pen drive) that allows the citizen to access their currency within the Bank of Chi Town. Credit sticks come in different forms, many of which have spending limits or fingerprint or eye scan requires to prevent theft or minimize its effect.

    Because the CS monetary system is so popular, it means that many people outside of the CS use credit sticks and have money in the Bank of Chi Town. This greatly strengthens to CS economy. This also allows the Treasury Department of the CS to manipulate pricing and even create a small amount of electronic money that ends up increasing Coalition wealth at the expense of others that use Coalition currency. Most smaller independent nations and organizations don't like the idea that any time they use Credits that they make a small unofficial tax payment to Chi Town, then again the dependability and universality of the CS credit make it a hard choice. For CS citizens in more rural sectors of the CS where electronic connections a large bank are hard to make, gold coinage is often used as a substitute for Credit sticks.

The Wisdom of Tarnost : Tablet I

This is the first of many tablets of the so called "Wisdom of Tarnost" - the philosophy of the founder of Nostia

I looked out unto the world and I saw that unto to mare is born a foal and unto the bitch is born the pup and unto woman a human child is born. And to fair parents are born fair children and to dark parents are born dark children, and a strong man receives strong sons and to a wise man is born clever children.

And when a dark woman and fair man are coupled, a child that is neither light nor dark is born, but a child who is is a mixture between both parents. And thus to a strong man and a weak woman a common child shall be born and also shall be born unto a strong woman and a weak man. And thus a strong man and a strong woman shall sire and bear strong children.

I have seen that all that a man is, so too is his son; and all that a woman is so too is her daughter. And when a man dies and becomes naught but dust, he then lives on by blood of his blood and fruit of his loins. For his every fault is carried by his son and his every virtue is likewise carried by his son. And every woman's virtue and her faults and her beauty is carried to her daughters. And also is the blood of a man carried to his daughters and the blood a woman carried to her sons.

So to every man and every woman there is the chance to live beyond death, in the blood of sons and daughters. And when there is a mixing of blood between man and woman so too are the eternal futures of the man and woman mixed forever. Thus when a strong man lay down with a weak women he makes himself weak and when a wise woman lay with a foolish man she makes herself a fool. For forever will the stain be carried in the blood. For once wine and water are mixed never can they become separate and once the blood of the weak mixes with the blood of the strong neither can become whole again.

And so a man and his family are one, for a man carries in him the blood of his father and shares that blood with his brother and with his sister who share their blood with the mother who bore them. And when a man takes for himself a strong woman he makes his family strong and when a man takes for himself a weak woman he makes his family weak. And when your brother takes a woman, that woman and her blood shall forever be mingled with yours.

A great man is so because his father is great and his mother is great. A weak man is likewise born to a weak man and a weak woman. Thus each man should seek for himself a woman of wisdom and of strength and of character who excels in all of her persuits for in her greatness he becomes greater. And a woman should turn away any man who is foolish or weak or is a failure, for in his flaws she too becomes flawed.

Thus in siring or bearing children is life eternal. So in having many children, the life of a man is that much greater and also his immortality insured. A great man lives for many years and has a full purse, he sires many strong and wise and able children and his life blood flows like a river. A lesser man lives but a short life and has an empty purse and has few children who shall die in their youth, so that the life blood lesser man shall dry and turn into dust with his death.

And so too does the strong lion feast while the weak lion starves, and the strong lion shall have many cubs and the weak lion shall have none. So that the strong shall live forever and the weak shall die. And the deer shall be food for the lion, for the deer is weak and the lion is strong. And the dog shall eat the rabbit, and the cat eat the mouse. The weak perish that the strong may live. So too with man and with woman. For the strong man shall slay the weak man and the wise man shall press into his service the fool. As the predator eats the flesh of its prey, so to does the master grow fat from the labors of his slaves.

This is right that the strong should rule over the weak. For as the strong triumph so too does strength triumph, and as greatness thrives so too does greatness multiply.

And a great man shall rule over lesser men - thus the master rules over the slave and a man rules over his dog. But the slave is not devoured by his master, for in a master's greatness so too does a slave thrive. For the slave is a lesser man or woman, but in service to a great master the slave shall have the protection of the master.

A slave is inferior, for the slave has been captured and forced to serve by a greater man. And the son of a slave is likewise beneath the master's son, for the a child born of a slave carries in his blood his father's weakness and a child born of the master carries in his blood his father's greatness. And the child of a wealthy man has earned that wealth through the labors and wisdom of his father and the child of a poor man has earned poverty through his fathers foolishness; for as a father gives unto his son the greatness of his blood so too does a father give to his son the wealth of his purse and the bounty of his fields and the servitude of his slaves. In this way, the wealth that a man earns in his life shall be his after death, for blood of his blood and fruit of his loins shall possess that wealth. So also, are the children of a man or a woman pressed into servitude deserving of servitude and so too are their children deserving of slavery.

And a weak man who only serves himself, only serves weakness; but a weak man who serves a great man also serves greatness and greatness prospers from his labors. And thus the slave has worth in the that a great man may benefit from that slave's labor. A slave with no master is of no use to anyone, and would be better off dead than to spread his weakness among the world. And thus it is only right that the weak should serve the strong and the foolish shall serve the wise and the lesser shall serve the greater. And that which is inferior which does not serve that which is greater should perish and go into the dust.

The Etristi

Here they are, a world premere of brand new fluff - the Etristi. As promised, they are a matriarchy, though somewhat out of the typical mold that many such fantasy societies fall into. At least, that was my intent.

I think I am going to have them exist on the same continent as the Nostians, I am toying around with the idea of dealing with interaction between the two cultures, at least on their peripheries.

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