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Vasugu
Government

Divine Monarchy

The most industrialized of all the zhadi nations, and considered by outsiders (and itself) the most "civilized," Vasugu (also pronounced Vasogo) is powerful, wealthy, and acutely aware of both of these facts.

Political StructureEdit

Of all the regions of Australia, Vasugu is the most united, and this makes it the most powerful in many ways. Ruled by a God-Monarch with a body from Gaf and a mind from Kra, day-to-day administration is largely handled by a large bureaucracy of appointed officials. Vasugu has become extremely wealthy on its supplies of precious metals and oil, and has at times established trade with various human countries throughout the world. To this day, Vasugu maintains the strongest broad diplomatic ties to the outside world.

MilitaryEdit

While not aggressively expansionist (there is little land worth taking to the north or east), Vasugu developed military technology to fend off the Ragozhadi, resulting in the finest firearms manufacturing on the continent. Vasugu's military engineers are also skilled architects, rivaling dwarven work in the walls built on the northern frontier. While the military makes heavy use of infantry wielding firearms and defensive siege warfare, massive war sauropods mounted with cannon-howdahs are the most famous emblem and pride of the region. Indeed, these living weapons were a crucial element in the early discouragement of any attempt at European colonization.

Foreign RelationsEdit

Vasugu's history has been shaped in many ways by its relationship with Ragosh to the north. While trade with the eastern nations of Australia and Southeastern Asia certainly made Vasugu wealthy, it was the combination of regular raids on Vasugu's northernmost communities and the periodic need to defend against massive Ragozhadi hordes seeking their own empire that ultimately united Vasugu into the force it is today. It has been many decades since the last legion of raptor-mounted warlords made its way past the great northern walls, however, and Vasugu's relationships with Ragosh today largely consist of hiring Ragozhadi mercenaries, as it has at various times throughout their shared cyclical history.

UniversitiesEdit

Main article: Savok

There is a strong intellectual culture in Vasugu, and the continent's only three universities all exist within its borders. (While Kipak does have its own scholarly tradition, they tend to rely on a master-apprentice model of education). Born from small communities of clergy discussing the finer points of religious doctrine, all three schools now cover a broad range of academic and magical subjects, though theology and philosophy do remain core and respected areas. This university system, combined with the need for powerful defenses against Ragosh, is the source of Vasugu's technological supremacy.

ReligionEdit

In the beginning, there were three siblings: Kra, Gaf, and Ruzh. They were masters of the endless void, each with nearly infinite power. However, at some point, there was strife. It is unclear why: out of anger, ambition, greed, jealousy, or perhaps even foolishness or simple boredom, but Ruzh murdered Gaf. Taking Gaf's body, Ruzh built the world, using the various parts to create the land and the waters and all their features. Kra, enraged by this, banished Ruzh away from the world it had built, exiling Ruzh to the most distant parts of the Void. While mourning the loss of one sibling and the necessary punishment of another, Kra took it upon itself to at least take care of the world both of its siblings had been a part of creating.

Or, so one story goes. While not accepted in society, deep in the wilderness, cultists devoted to Ruzh can be found. They claim that the worshipers of Kra have the wrong story, whether due to simple error or even Kra twisting the facts to its own ends. The most common version of this heresy is that Ruzh did not intend to kill Gaf, and that the murder was a mistake. There are versions in which Ruzh accidentally killed Gaf while trying to create the world, and only incorporated Gaf after the fact, and others where the murder was some other kind of accident and Ruzh was merely making the best of a bad situation. The most extreme claim Kra actually killed Gaf and then made Ruzh a pariah for its own crime, but this has little weight even among the followers of Ruzh.

This is the third world. In the first, Kra killed Ruzh, and Gaf ruled. In the second, Gaf killed Kra, and Ruzh ruled. There is debate as to whether “Kra,” “Ruzh,” and “Gaf” are even the names of the deities or titles or roles that unnamed spirits take on in each existence. It is also debated among many as to what will happen after this world. The most commonly held views are that the cycle will begin anew, or that having completed the third cycle, some sort of culmination or apex will take place, and there will either be a Nirvana-like bliss-in-nothingness for all of existence, or a more material eternal paradise. Others believe the cycle will complete, one day, but that it needs more revolutions to get there: Ruzh must kill Kra, Gaf must kill Ruzh, Kra must kill Gaf. This theological debate, while esoteric to say the least, importantly gave birth to Vasugu's strong academic culture.

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