- Government Type: Representative Democracy
- Symbol: Three Eyes
- Major Races: Humans, Halflings, Semi-Aquatic Lizards
- Capital: Menghormati
- Demonym: Ulosian
Ulos is an archipelago nation, with a tropical climate and natural beauty known the world over. On its largest island of Mistik is the eponymous Mistik Ravine, with waterfalls stretching for miles. Magic is strong, yet unpredictable within Ulos; perhaps this is because the border between the Mistik Ravine and the Elemental Plane is thin, or perhaps due to strange ore found in the islands' land. Ulos is loosely based on the real-world regions of Indonesia, Polynesia, and Korea.
The nation of Ulos is widely regarded as the center of the arcane arts in Cahyali, having one of the highest concentrations of magic users. The beachy climate of Ulos provides a respite from the thundering dangers of the outside world. With little economic disparity, Ulos prides itself on art, culture, and the creative productions of its people. Less populous than most other areas of the world, the people that do live in Ulos live in relative comfort, deriving their livelihoods from the skills they acquire.
Education is the second emblem of Ulos, as its relative ease of access to citizens provides for a reasonable standard of living. Over 90% of Ulosian citizens are literate. Free public education is guaranteed by law in all Ulosian provinces and is well-funded, though most institutions of arcane study and higher education are run privately. Despite this, education is still affordable, and most people remain students well into their 30s.
Not content to excel in magical matters alone, Ulos' position as a gateway between Eastern and Western Cahyali has made its seas a primary shipping lane. Logistics and sailing is a major part of Ulos' economy. Fearful of ever losing this lucrative global position, Ulos has remained staunchly neutral in all modern conflicts, deterring foreign aggression through the threat of destructive magic - though the island nation is not well militarized and only keeps a minimal standing army.
The Ulos Magic Circle, as well as being the country's governing body, operates a well known university for those that wish to study magic of all types. While it falls short of Ruefang universities in secular topics, the Magic Circle provides unparalleled education in the arcane. The Ulos Magic Circle upholds ideals of integrity and honor, standing against injustice as part of The Kinland Order. The Magic Circle's municipal side consists of:
- An executive branch headed by a prime minister, currently Kenese Auva'a, a halfling.
- The prime minister is supported by a cabinet of ministers, known as Jang-Gwan.
- There is also a sub-branch of Jang-Gwan that operate in incognito. These secret ministers sometimes act as spies, inspectors, or informants for the prime minister, but keep a public appearance unrelated to the Magic Circle.
- A legislative branch known as the Third Koalisi, with 126 sitting members.
- A judicial branch known as the Keadilan Court, with 10 sitting members.
While the overwhelming majority of the Magic Circle are mages, as the name implies, skill in magic is not a requirement to serve as an Ulos politician. All Circle members are democratically elected every five years. Taxation is famously quite high in Ulos, though nearly all of this collected money feeds back into the country to support its sophisticated infrastructure and ensure the quality of its education.
In the realm of rumors, conspiracy theories, and shadow is the Koldovstvo College. It’s an underground school where only those that are invited are capable of attending. Those admitted are expected to research and create a large amount of new magical spells and knowledge. Graduates often move on to become powerful mages in the employ of wealthy businessmen or leaders of other smaller groups of magi. It is suspected that this enigmatic school was founded by, and still under the thumb of the Pthoran Ystervuis.
For more information on the history and culture of Ulos, follow this link: Ulos History & Overview
Ulosian policing is relatively small, and most arrests are citizens’ arrests. The age of adulthood on Ulos is 18 (or the equivalent for one’s species) and with adulthood comes the privilege of voting, as well as drinking. Ulos has abolished the death penalty.
- Plagiarism, of artistic work or academic content: Fine of up to 2,500 gc and/or imprisonment for up to 30 days.
- Severe mistreatment of individuals (hate crime, domestic abuse, etc.): Remedial classes and fine of up to 500 gc.
- Deprivation of another’s education, by an individual or institution: Fine of up to 10,000 gc and possible revocation of educational license.
- Tax evasion: Incarceration from 6 months - 2 years.
- Theft of personal property: Fine equal to the value of the stolen items, and incarceration for up to 30 days if items are not returned.
- Theft of public property: Fine equal to double the value of the stolen items, and incarceration for up to 50 days if items are not returned.
- Carrying deadly weapons without state license: Fine of up to 1,000 gc.
- Assault and battery: 5-10 years incarceration.
- Ownership of another intelligent humanoid creature: Exile from Ulos for life, or incarceration for life.
- Murder and rape: Depending on degree, incarceration for 5 years to life, with parole possible.
- Treason: Incarceration for life, or exile.
The national flag of Ulos.
Cities of Ulos
Menghormati, Mystic Confluence: Population 3 million. Built on the edge of the Mistik Ravine with a metropolitan area sprawling down miles of its length, Menghormati is the capital of Ulos and the location of the Magic Circle University's primary branch. The city is built of stone, metal, and glass, with breathtaking architecture in organic shapes. Founded as a meeting location for ancient kingdoms, Menghormati has eventually become the beating heart of all of Ulos.
- Ansan Village:
Szczyet, Gateway of Planes: Population 1 million. Szczyet is located on the other side of the Mistik Ravine from Menghormati, and features many portals to other locations on Cahyali - and other planes, most notably Jaern. Most Jaernian travelers arriving on Cahyali arrive here; Jaernian culture is strong on Szczyet. In fact, this city is one of the few places on Cahyali where you may commonly hear the gods referred to by their Jaernian names. [Note: this city name may be changed soon.]
- Kekoa Village:
New Dubroshire, Constellation of Man: Population 400,000. This city's Vervish name may be notable, as are a few others' within the area. Located closest to Vervand of all major Ulos cities, New Dubroshire has significant influence from its northern cousin. It is one of the largest shipping and trading cities in Ulos, and is built with massive docks surrounding its entire perimeter. Day and night, sea traffic passes through in an unending, circulating stream.
- Aubrucken Town: A district within New Dubroshire and a center of Shinneok culture - much like we on Earth might consider a Chinatown. Aubrucken hosts a variety of festivals and showcases Shinneok architecture, music, and food. Most significant of these festivals is the six-day Langstenachtfest, taking place around the time of the winter solstice.
Makani, Peaceful Getaway: Population 2,000. In stark contrast to the hustle and bustle of New Dubroshire, a mere few hundred miles away across salty sea, Makani is a sleepy fishing village with a sense of incredible peace about it. Located at the edge of a doldrum, the winds here are calm and the weather is kept constant by the tender care of air mages. Many people come to Makani to “find themselves”, or just to escape from the chaos of life outside.
Moku'pele, Last Bastion of Kings: Population 1.5 million. Following the upheaval that led to the current state of Ulosian government, Moku'pele was the last place one could find a living royal family. For the past century, its economy has run mainly on the business of tourism, receiving many visitors from Ley'Ork due to its proximity. Moku'pele and its surrounding area was annexed by Ley'Ork in 10059 and the Kainoa ruler, Queen Pua'lani, was extradited to Ley'Ork Spire. This event has led to ongoing tensions between Ulos and Ley'Ork; some fear it could erupt into war.
- Ahupua'a: Population ~700. A small village on the edge of Moku'pele's metropolitan region, paradoxically excluded from the Ley'Ork annexation. As the closest location to the disputed Moku'pele territory, Ahupua'a Island has steadily turned from a mining town to a military garrison.
Cheonsuwon, Great Gathering Place: Population 500,000. Located relatively close to Ruefang, Cheonsuwon has become the de-facto meeting place of the Kinland Order. Much of the city is considered an embassy for the entire faction, and Kinland members walk freely within its borders - regardless of their actual country of origin. Persistent portals exist in the center of Cheonsuwon, allowing instant travel between this city and Ruefang, the Kharshi Collective, and Union-controlled sections of Splint.
- Jag-Eun Seom: Population 0. A ghost-town island about fifty miles out from Cheonsuwon, center of many urban legends and ghost stories. Rumors abound that a vengeful necromancer's spell cast in the area caused the dead there to never be able to rest.
Peace & Compassion
Ulosian culture places great emphasis on the care of each and every one of its citizens, taking it as a moral requirement to serve the downtrodden and sacrifice for the sake of the poor. Many Ulosians even travel abroad to places such as Splint and Dahabu to do volunteer work.
Ulosians also place great value on pacifism and neutrality, believing that war is an uncultured and brutal thing, and that peace should be sought at any cost. While this has led to a kind and understanding attitude in daily life, Ulosian policy has been criticized both without and within for its relentlessly neutral attitude on the global stage; the island country has never participated in a modern war, and staunchly remains open as a logistic lane for all countries, even those who have committed grave human rights abuses or enacted violence against Ulosian citizens, such as Pthora and Ley’Ork.
Many Ulosian youth are pushing for a new attitude, placing the virtue of care for mortalkind over peace. Especially with the recent annexation of Moku’pele, a call for retaliation, war with Ley’Ork be damned, is becoming increasingly popular with the public.
The Spoken Word & Darkest Ink
Cultural landmarks of Ulos include various types of tropical flora, images of waves and fish, and complex geometric patterns. These can be seen on not only the loose-fitting garments traditional to Ulos, but in the tattoos many people get as a coming-of-age marker. While some of these tattoos carry magical properties, not all do.
Music and oral tradition is also a common way of passing down stories. Despite the high literacy rate in Ulos, these traditions persist as their own distinct art forms. Many consider prose or poetry in print to provide only part of the true experience of the work, as one must listen to a performance to truly understand it. Most of these performances are given in the Ulosian language, or a local dialect. Some contemporary works are even given in Haoog and Paroli. Art and culture is highly valued in Ulos, though perhaps not as much as it is in Arenti. Various festivals showcasing artisan and cultural works are common throughout the year. Notable of these is the annual Mistik Highstar Celebration, held on the island of Mistik during the winter solstice from dusk to dawn.
Ulos is a rather secular state. While freedom of religion is protected by law and divine magic is studied just as much as other forms, most Ulosians do not profess to belong to any priesthood or actively worship any god. Surprisingly, Ulos is one of the few countries on Cahyali that does not criminalize demonic worship or other esoteric forms of religion. While some claim this will lead to dangerous cult activity, any religious rituals that result in harm to others are quickly punished. For now, at least, Ulos remains mostly cult-free. The gods are mostly seen on equal ground, though the more intellectual deities: Seherine, Thoth, and Vormaxia, are worshiped more than the others, especially within academic circles.