Bigicia, officially the Kingdom of Bigicia, is a nation in the northern part of Natia, west of the mini continent of Highwind. It borders Aimūlli to the west, Cherniya to the north-east and Zechonia to the south-west. The eastern part of its southern border is all but wilderness and ruins of long gone civilisations. It is not known when the lands of Bigicia were first inhabited and historians agree that the proto-Bigician tribes migrated here from the south, however the cause for this mass migration in unknown.
The kingdom is in present-day a unitary parliamentary constitutional monarchy following the transition to democracy that happened in mid-2020 and it's currently ongoing. The democratization process kickstarted after the death of the heir apparent, Crown Prince Abnur, who failed to produce surviving heirs to the Bigician throne thus leaving the throne open to a succession crisis. Trying to avert such a grim future, a Great Council was convened by old King Torrhen III, a council of Bigician nobles gathered to resolve contentious issues such as the succession of the realm and the fate of the High Council as a political institution.
The world Bigicia is derived from the proto-Beto-Geran language and it means 'the land of the Betoans, the Gerans and the Ciupeans', the three original tribes who inhabited the region starting with the 7th century BC. In some Ciupean dialects, the word also means 'the united realm', as the word was first used officially in the context of the first unification.
Little is known about the original inhabitants of these northern lands, but human remains found in two caves tell the story of a neolithic civilisation that was wiped out by some unknown contagion. Excavations near a salt spring at Dawnbreak yielded evidence for salt exploitation as old as the 5th millennium BC.
Pre Bigician Period
The first archaeological evidence of the Bigician tribes' migration comes from the 7th century BC, when the three tribes arrived in the region and started creating their own proto-states. The first tribe, the Betoans, settled along the southeastern part of the region, close to where the cities of Whitespire and Cobadin exist today. The second tribe, the Gerans, decided to go forward and settle in the northeastern part, near the current city of Wrobia. Finally, the third tribe, the Ciupeans, migrated westward and settled in what is today the city of Ramidava. Slowly, each tribe has gained more land until the region has been divided by the three of them.
While they shared a common heritage and language, each tribe have developed a different dialect. Today, there are three main dialects of the Bigician language, named after the tribes.
By the 2nd century AD, the region was inhabited by three large states, each competing with the other two for the scarce resources of the realm. The kingdom of Bettony dominated the south and all the trade that comes from it, the kingdom of Gera had its power in north, being focused on mining rare resources and pillaging the neighbouring islands and lastly, the tribal federation of Ciupa had in its grasp the western part of the region, with its reach forests and milder climate, due to the volcanic mountains.
The tribal federation of Ciupa was founded in the 1st century BC, after a strange tribe from the south has arrived at their borders, asking for protection. Originally from the region that is today inhabited by Zechonia, the Zoelkec tribe migrated north after the Zechonian Wastes claimed many lives from their tribes. Back in those times, the wastes were full of dangerous beasts. In the 3rd century AD, the federation fell into chaos and a new kingdom arose, ruled by Cuqirin Dynasty, who would go to rule for centuries to come.
By the 8th century AD, the kingdom of Bettony has expanded southward and conquered much of the Zechonian wastes tribes, forming the Wrairenth Empire. The kingdom of Gera continued to defend its borders against this neighbouring newly-founded empire and, using their seafaring culture, they settled the island now called Obsidian Isles and discovered a new trading material that would enrich their kingdom for centuries to come.
The Wrairenth Empire did not live long however, as it fell in a bloody interregnum shortly after the assassinations of Empress Nentyra and her two sons in 953 AD by a mysterious group of cultists. Tired of this ruthless centralized governance, the Zechonian tribes who were living in the wastes south of Bettony decided to take the fate in their own hands and separated from the empire. With the Wrairenth Dynasty now extinct, nobles from all around Bettony proper warred against each other for the throne and by the end of the interregnum, none had an army big enough to secure the throne. Battles such as the Battle of Sabeta or the Massacre at Cyvrasil are still remembered to this day.
First Bigician Unification (1E)
With the once might Bettonian states now in ashes and dust, the king of Gera renewed his ambition to conquer the entire region and establish an united Bigician kingdom, where the three tribes would live under the same ruler and would be less inclined to petty squabbles or rivalries. Thus, in 980 AD, fifty years after the interregnum started in Bettony, Ayrenus marched south and conquered the Bettoan petty kings one by one, until the whole region of Bettony was under his heel. Not having much taste for imperial titles, he titled himself the King of Gera and Bettony in 985 AD and moved his attention to the fiercely aggresive tribal federation of Ciupa who still had a strong hold on the western parts of the now Bigicia kingdom.
The tribal federation was a worthy opponent and their high chief Nicon Cuqirin, nicknamed the Bloodfist, was one of the most feared leaders they ever had. The war between the now unified kingdoms of Gera and Bettony and Ciupa started in 990 AD and lasted six gruesome years, culminating with the ritual suicide of the tribal federation's leader Nicon. Some of the tribes, such as the Zoelkec who joined the tribal federation in the 1st century BC migrated southward and joined the Zechonian state, being eventually assimilated by their local population. The dismantlement of the tribal federation ended a long period of Ciupean cultural development and helped starting the process of assimilating the unruly tribes into the shared mainstream culture of Gera and Bettony. Before he took his own life, Nicon declared a prophecy that his bloodline will someday return and exact revenge on the Gerans and create a free Ciupa. Many Cuqirin pretenders rose in the centuries after, but none was successful in reestablishing the Ciupean tribal federation. Some Ciupean nationalists are still holding to Nicon's promise despite the Cuqirin Dynasty being extinct for many centuries.
In 1011 AD, after putting down the last Cuqirin rebellion, the Union of Selethis was concluded, uniting Gera, Bettony and Ciupa into a single, federated state, which was to be ruled by a single sovereign. Ayrenus I declared the start of a new era, which he called the First Era and continued to rule the unified kingdom for forty more years, and his life goal would remain the establishment of a religion acceptable to the people of Gera and Bettony, but also to the people of Ciupa, who had a very animistic approach to religion. As a compromise between the three original tribes' beliefs, he established the Eleven Forces, which incorporated elements from both the Ciupean deities but also from the Betto-Geran shared pantheon. This religion continues to be the dominant religion even today.
Upon his death in 1051, it was said that King Ayrenus Didus was buried in the catacombs beneath Gera. This later developed into a tradition by his successors, who were also buried under the city.
The Didian Dynasty will continue to rule over an unified Bigician kingdom for three more centuries, until the ruinous decades of the 14th century. Their influences helped forge an unified Bigician culture and many aspects of it were decided in the times of the Didians, such as the religion tenets, who were first established by Ayrenus I and then reformed in three Great Councils at the order of his successors.
The Aimūlli Invasion
After successfully ruling the kingdom of Bigicia uncontested for three centuries, in 1329 the kingdom was greeted by a new danger. Coming from unknown far northern lands, a seafaring nation, calling themselves Aimūlli, arrived on the shores of north-west Bigicia. Initially underestimating this new threat, for the kingdom became bold and arrogant after centuries of stable borders, king Darvon sent a small force to repel what he thought was a primitive sea-faring tribe. Not one person came back from that encounter. Instead, the leader of the Aimūlli sent back their heads, as a "gift" for Darvon.
The Aimūlli soon started to pillage every village of old Western Ciupa and finally settled at the mouth of the Jaenlovia river, from which their established a new state. In not only three years they conquered all that was before Western Ciupa. King Darvon tried to repel them in three successive wars but to no avail, as the new sea-faring nation was here to stay.
It all culminated in the third Aimūlli-Bigicia war when Darvon was poisoned by an Aimūllian arrow in the Battle of Jaenlovia Bay and died three days after, leaving the once stable Bigician kingdom in disarray. The royal ambitions of many Bigician nobles finally came to the surface and gave way to internal strife within the unified Kingdom. Not long after Darvon's death, most of Bettony completely severed ties with the kingdom and established a patchwork of smaller kingdoms.
What was once a stable and prosperous kingdom left way to a bloated corrupt cadaver following the death of King Darvon. His succesor Dorin was only twelve years old when his father breathed for the last time on the marshy fields near Jaenlovia Bay. It was a clear he won't rule on his own for many years to come, so the rich nobles of Bigicia completely disregarded the old king's wishes and sued for peace with Aimūlli and agreed to let them take all the land of Western Ciupa. For them, that region was a backwards poor marshy land that none of them had any use for and the only thing that truly mattered was the throne in Gera.
The Last Days of the Didians
A great council of nobles was established soon after the peace treaty with Aimūlli was signed and their main objective was to elect a regent for their young king, who will rule in his stead. Gorreth Siguldor, the Duke of Wrobia, managed to win the votes of many lowly nobles, using both subterfuge and his influence, and on 16th May, 1332 he was elected as Regent.
Regent Gorreth Siguldor was a man of big ambitions and a child of twelve years old was not going to stand against him and his dreams of power. He appointed nobles loyal to him in all the royal offices (by the 14th century, there were 4 or 5 at most offices, one of the most important being the treasurer).
At first, he had the love of both commoners and priests, as he promised that the kingdom will learn a lot from the demise of King Darvon and a failure such as the loss of Western Ciupa will not repeat again. He also promised to return the unruly Bettonian nobles back into the kingdom and hold them personally responsible for the military failure that the kingdom suffered against Aimūlli.
However, their love did not last long, as in 1334 the Aimūllian ruler died and their loose state fell into anarchy. Instead of trying to reconquer the Western Ciupa provinces, Gorreth feared the Aimūllians were still too strong of an enemy to overtake and a war would only reunite them against a common enemy.
In October 1334, a group of nobles crossed the border and tried on their own to retake land back, but they were pushed back by the Aimūllians. Hearing of this, Gorreth got very angry and demanded the head of every single one of them. This turned out to be a big mistake on his part, as these nobles were very influential with the commoners and it sparked a revolt in the capital city of Gera, forcing the Regent and his court to hide in their royal palace. This discontent will continue in the following months, culminating with a revolt that will force the nobles to isolate in the royal palace.
Spending almost two years in the isolation of the royal palace, Gorreth's mind slowly slipped into madness. He no longer trusted anyone, not even the young king. He craved the adoration of the commoners and when such a thing stopped to exist, he became a very desperate man. By 1336, his Regency was coming to a close and so was his power and influence.
The act that will spark the flames of anarchy and rebellion happened on 13th June, 1336, not even two months before the young king would've become a ruler on his own, Gorreth pushed the young king Dorin from his royal chamber's balcony ending both his life and his line. Claiming it was just an accident, he claimed the throne for himself not even three hours after the young king's body was taken from outside his window.
Anarchy claimed the city of Gera and then it spread throughout the realm. The nobles convened once again, this time in the city of Greymist and condemned Gorreth as a traitor to the crown and refuted his claim. One major problem that arose was however, who would be the next ruler. With the Didian Dynasty now official extinct, it was the first time in three centuries when they had to make such a decision. Of course, many nobles claimed the throne and none of them would compromise. The only decision of this council would remain the condemnation of Gorreth, as three days later the council would cease to exist, each noble family vying for the throne.
With Gorreth still holding the city of Gera and occupying the royal palace, and many noble families now warring against each other in a race to see who will reach the capital city first and kill Gorreth, the unified Bigician kingdom was by now a thing of the past. While Bettony left the kingdom many years before, they were now interested in claiming the throne as well. New kingdoms arose and many became one with the dust.
Gorreth was eventually assasinated by a servant two years after the start of the interregnum, in 1338, and the remaining nobles in Gera, who still stayed loyal to Gorreth all this time, convened and ruled jointly the carcass of the old kingdom.
Greymist and Dragonwind, old and respectable duchies in the unified kingdom, both formed their own realms and warred against each other, old rivalries starting anew.
In 1340, Aimūlli, now reunited under a single leader once again, started to raid the lands of Ciupa. With eastern nobles busy in their fight for the throne, the Ciupean natives were feeling helpless against an enemy such as the Aimūllian raiders. Eventually, the province of Eastern Ciupa was conquered and made a tributary to the Aimūlli. The lord of Cedonia, Oqinad Ubradian, was personally named Governor of Eastern Ciupa by the leader of Aimūlli.
Many noble houses will try to retake the throne, but the realm will remain fragmented for many centuries to come, under both the pressure of aggressive neighboring nations and the ruinous ambition of its nobles. While the reunification of the realm remained a permanent objective for many nobles and commoners alike, the reality will force them to admit that it is not a dream that will be realized in their lifetime.
By 1400, the realm was a patchwork containing 14 states, large and small, each one concentrated along one of the big cities of the old kingdom. During this period the city of Gera started to lose its status and importance, slowing making way for the rise of the southern Betoan rich cities such as Nar Darum.
Meridian Era (2E)
In 1421, the military forces of the kingdom of Meridia crossed the border and started a campaign to liberate Eastern Ciupa from the Aimūlli occupation. By this period, the Aimūlli state became a bloated realm, nothing alike the warring people who put fear in the heart of every Bigician a century before. King Arses of Meridia led a succesful military campaign between 1421 and 1424 and reconquered most of the Ciupean province, now his kingdom stretching from bright city of Meridia to the marshes of Coldmire.
The Second Era, also called the Meridian Era or the Bright Era by some, was proclaimed by King Arses in 1425, when the Altar of Meridia was finally built. Worshipping the Lady of Life Energies and Light, one of the eleven forces established by old king Ayrenus centuries before, the people of Meridia started a cultural renaissance that will eventually influence the entire region.
Arses will continue his ambitious military campaigns against Aimūlli, essentially reconquering the entire Eastern Ciupa province. The western part of the province remained part of Aimūlli, as Arses failed to get it in his grasp, losing the war against the united Aimūlli and Zechonian forces, to the south.
Other than the flourishing and cultural innovative kingdom of Meridia, in this new era, the merchant republic of Crownshore was established in north-eastern Bigicia and started to engulf it's neighbouring states, eventually reaching the gates of Gera. By 1450, the city was but a shadow of itself, and it easily fell to the rich Crownshorian forces. With the fall of Gera, the old kingdom was now officially dead and buried. Crownshore colonized the icy island of Obsidian, who stayed undisturbed and established the Obsidian Mine in 1456.
Influenced by the cultural enrichment of Meridia, the Betoan cities of south-east Bigicia founded the first Universities and Mzuft was known as a center of religious thinking.
With the climate becoming harsher and harsher in the north each year, many migrated to the south and founded new cities, with cities such as Moudal and Dragonwind becoming less attractive. The icy winds started to become a real problem for Crownshore but they continued to have a steady trade route with Cherniya and Fervorosia, to the south-east.
While the realm was disunited, the petty kingdoms prospered on their own and many preferred peace and trade between each other rather than a bloody race for the united throne.
In 1489, the cities of Bettony formed a union of petty kingdoms and duchies and, with the help of electors from each state, elected a singular leader. The Union of 1489 was but the first step for a Betoan unification, one established not with the sword, but with the help of diplomacy.
Union of Ciupa and Meridia
Inspired by the actions of the nobles in the Betoan province, the king of Meridia declared and signed in 1505 a union between the Crownlands of Meridia and Crownland of Ciupa, esentially becoming a new unified state called the kingdom of Merid-Ciupa. Somewhat threatened by this new large state, the cities of Bettony who stayed away from the union in 1489 started thinking whether they should join or risk being assimilated in to the Merid-Ciupa juggernaut.
Merid-Ciupa will continue to be an important political actor on the stage of the realm for centuries to come, until their demise and absorbtion in the second Bigician kingdom.
By the start of the 17th century, the small patchwork of states disappeared and the realm returned to a picture of big and powerful kingdoms, ruled with an iron fist. To the west, there was Merid-Ciupa, bordering Aimūlli, in the south and south-east there was the Bettony Commonwealth, still a patchwork of states, but unified in a single direction, under a single king, who was chipping away from the powers of the states year by year. In the north however, Crownshore ruled the eastern part and Bleakstorm was ruling the north-western part, both states vying for the control of Cobalt Mine, a resource that would become essential for the survival of these northern cities.
Being in a somewhat isolated geographical position compared to the rest of Natia, the states in the Bigicia region started to lag behind in technology innovation. Some states, such as Crownshore, maintained trade relations with Cherniya to the east and with the states on the Highwind minicontinent, while the Bettony Commonwealth traded with Fervorosia. the Highwind nations were a beacon of enlightenment, but due to the icy winds of the Dragon Bay, not many scholars adventured far north. The forested no man's land to the south of the Bettony Commonwealth that stood for centuries as a natural barrier for invasions from the south, also deterred land trade from the south.
The technological disadvantage was finally clearly seen when the Fervorosian Kingdom fell to the forces of a large newly-established empire to the south, with its capital in current-day Nurdia and not even three months later Driftmark, Ravenwatch and Nar Darum fell to this enemy and the Bettony Commonwealth collapsed with the death of its ceremonial king. The Leonesian Empire, this new terrifying enemy, hailing from the south, was the first mighty adversary in the region since the times of Aimūllian invasion. Soon after, news broke out that old nations with an isolationist habit such as Zombira and Zoidiac fell as well and were incorporated into the empire. The Leonesian Empire now stretched from the Lake of Origin to the Dragon Bay and it was one of the biggest empires in the region in history.
In the following years, the Leonesian Empire swallowed every Bettonian city into their empire, leaving every city who opposed them in flames. When the empire reached the gates of Elsinor, close to the border of the Merid-Ciupa kingdom, it was clear that the other political forces in the region would soon fall too if they not act fact. And acting fast they did, forming a new fragile, but brave alliance, a Bigician Concodat between Merid-Ciupa, Bleakstorm and Crownshore.
Separated, their forces were but an ant in the wind against the armies of Leonesia but together, they could topple an empire. And so they did, winning the battle of Elsinor in 1620 and one year later in 1621, when they finally liberated Nar Darum and pushed the empire back to the forests south of Bettony. Leonesia will continue to dominate the region for three more decades, but will not take hold of Bettony or other parts of Bigicia ever again, and it will finally collapse in 1656, when Zombira and Zoidiac managed to declare independence.
Second Bigician Unification (3E)
In 1621, in the recently liberated city of Nar Darum, the king of Merid-Ciupa, the duke of Bleakstorm and the Archon of Crownshore and the numerous nobles of Bettony established together a great council that will decide the fate of the region. As it was pointed out during the council's session, separated they will not stand a chance against the foes that lurk out there in Natia. The ignorant bliss of thinking they are safe it's over. So, on 11th October, 1621 they all signed the Union of Nar Darum, reestablishing the united kingdom of Bigicia.
The question of everyone's lips however was who will rule the reunited kingdom. Trying to avoid the troubles that arose in the past, the king of Merid-Ciupa proposed an elective system, one where every noble of the realm - but no outsider - would stand a chance to win the throne after the former king has passed. And since the ruler of Nar Darum has tragically found his end by a Leonesian sword a year before, most of the nobles wished for Nar Darum to be the new capital of the reunited kingdom, some sort of neutral ground between the political forces within the realm.
After weeks of debates and negotiation, the great council chose the king of Merid-Ciupa, Kiran 'the Lightspear', as the first king of reunited Bigicia. As an act of goodwill, king Kiran dismantled the old kingdom of Merid-Ciupa and gave a province to each son: Anwar inherited the Meridian province and Abnur inherited Ciupa. Moving his entire court to Nar Darum, the city started to flourish and rival Meridia in terms of trade and cultural advancement.
King Kiran of House Solennan declared a new era, a Third Era of Bigicia, also called the Second Meridian Era and ruled the reunited kingdom of Bigicia for thirteen more years, until his death in 1634. During his reign, Nar Darum truly became a capital city, both in name and size and the realm lived in peace more than ever before. Some of his greatest achievements are the reformation of the Eleven Forces, putting an end to the schism that happened between the Aimūllian-influenced Ciupean teachings and the mainstream Gera-Bettonian doctrine, the creation a high council who will settle judicial matters in the king's name and settle matters of elective succesion, and the founding of the royal fleet, an unified force that will defend the Dragon Bay for centuries to come.
The Elective Period
Upon Kiran's death in 1634, the high council elected his son Abnur I and he ruled for forty years, until his death in 1670. Abnur's reign is viewed even today as one of the longest and most peaceful times for the realm, but not much can be said about innovation and prosperity. The unforgiving icy weather of the north continue to be a massive problem for the kingdom and many subjects moved to the south, making cities such as Sabeta and Brassmond a rival to Nar Darum in terms of population.
When Abnur I died in 1670, the high council felt the Solennan dynasty had enough time to govern the realm, so they went with a more charming noble instead, Gervasius of House Salingire, the count of Aelwel. Gervasius ruled somewhat competently for three years, until 1673 when he died of gout. His son, Abnur II, followed him on the throne.
King Abnur II was not as charming as his father, but was in possession of a great intellect and had a big interest for medicine. In 1677 he founded the first medical college in the realm, with scholars as far as Solentoya coming to the college to study. Nicknamed 'the Scholar' in his final years of life, for being utterly uninterested into realm politics, instead dedicating his time on scientific breakthroughs, he is remembered in a somewhat good light for keeping the peace of the realm, despite the fact that High Councillor Relleth what in fact responsible for that. Abnur II died in 1698 and since he had no heirs of his own, the high council elected his nephew, Clauelvin to follow him on the throne. King Clauelvin's rule was short and nothing of much interest happened during his times. He is also known as Clauelvin the Idle. He died in 1701 in a hunting accident.
In 1701, the high council returned once again its gaze to the Solennan dynasty and elected king Abnur I's grandson, Abnur III, whose reign was almost as long as his grandfathers', ruling for thirty-five years until his tragic death in 1736, when he jumped from a balcony in an episode of desperation and madness. Abnur III ruled with an iron fist and in the last decade of his rule tried to conquer Zechonia, but his campaign failed spectacularly. Conquering Zechonia will remain a shared dream of the Solennan dynasty in the years to come.
After Abnur III met his tragic end on the cold ground below his royal balcony, just as young Dorin met his fate centuries before, the high council went into a small period of turmoil, as two candidates for the throne held equal amounts of influence over them. Abnur III's oldest son, Artevus and Morndilin of House Founrath, the duke of Balmora both wanted the throne and nothing would stop them from achieving their goal. The turmoil ended three months later, in November 1736, when Artevus and Morndilin would decide the realm's fate in a historical duel against each other, where Artevus would defeat and slay Morndilin, despite promising to spare his life. The high council was forced to concede and elect Artevus as the new king.
King Artevus' reign started with a heinous act and his popularity plummeted immensely in the following years. Trying to raise his popularity amongst the other nobles, he created new titles and started military campaigns against Zechonia and Aimūlli. While his Aimūllian campaign met with success, making the kingdom a vassal of Bigicia, the second Zechonian-Bigician War of 1739-40 was an utter disaster, Raylight Keep and the walls of Meridia being destroyed in the process. In 1743, he died in suspicious circumstances, being found dead in his bed. Historians are still not sure wether he was assasinated or he died of natural causes. Either way, the high council convened at once and Morndilin's son, young Anruvan, as the new king of Bigicia.
Anruvan's reign was influenced from the start by his relatives, who were set on eradicating the remaining nobles of the Solennan dynasty. Thus, in 1744 he ordered the imprisonment of late king Artevus' brother Mankdal, for the alleged crimes against the realm, committed during the Zechonian-Bigician war. Mankdal remained imprisoned and died a few years later and his sons' will soon join him in the afterlife. Artevus' only daughter will escape the wrath of the new king and will eventually marry him in 1746. House Founrath nobles will continue to subjugate Anruvan's will for most of his reign and he will not be able to accomplish anything durable in those years, other than filling his relatives' coffers. History remembers him as Anruvan the Coward and he will continue to rule until 1755, when he died of pneumonia.
With the High Council in their pockets, the Founrath family will force their hand again and they will elect Anruvan's son, Torrhen I, whose reign was influenced by the Founrath to a much lesser extent. In 1757 he made it very clear that the throne is his and his alone and he will rule as he sees fit. He imprisoned his aunt and uncle for one month, under suspicion of stealing from the royal treasury. Upon their release, they never set foot at court again. Using their influence, they tried pushing the high council to enforce their will, but it all culminated in the dismantlement of the high council by Torrhen, who was much more popular with the commoners and lowly nobles alike than the Founraths anticipated. Not even a decade later in his reign, in 1767, he will declare the elective system obsolete and a relic of the past and consider such systems too primitive for a kingdom such as Bigicia. His road to absolutism was cheered on by nobles who were tired of Founrath's family influence and the numerous squabbles the elective succession would create. Torrhen promised them glory and so shall they would have, or so they thought.
King Torrhen I's reign lasted for twenty-two years and his absolutist behavior changed the realm considerably. Ruling like kings of old but pretending to be enlightened, he crushed his relatives' influence at court and in the realm at large and by the end of his reign, most of his uncles, cousins and other distant relatives were either in exile, imprisoned or dead. Torrhen I had three sons and the youngest one will inherit Balmora after the Founraths were evicted from the great city. The second son inherited the duchy of Meridia by marriage, after the Solennan dynasty finally became extinct.
Torrhen is viewed as a necessary evil by the historians, for restricting the Founrath's influence gained during the reign of Anruvan, but also for destroying the first dawn of democracy in the realm, in the form of the high council created by King Kiran. Many political elements from his reign are still seen in the Bigician society to this day.
In 1777, Torrhen I died of natural causes and was succeeded by his oldest son Dorin II. Named after the last king of the Didian dynasty from centuries back, Dorin continued to rule in a similar fashion to his father, acting alone and without the need to be advised by a council. However, Dorin had a close protégé, Keza Leerd, who some historians consider he was his paramour. Keza exterted much influence over Dorin and such can be seen in his decision to built a royal summer palace in the city of Ravenwatch, where Keza's family had influence and could profit from it. Despite Keza's wishies, Dorin II married Princess Elaesse of Viola Per Sempre and together they had three children.
Dorin II ruled twenty-six more years, dying of unknown cases in 1803. Some historians claim he died of a broken heart after his paramour Keza decided to take his own life. His oldest son, Abnur IV will succeed on the throne.
King Abnur IV was the first king to have a serious interest in the religious doctrine. Sure, legendary rulers such as Ayrenus and Kiran helped establishing the Eleven Forces, but none of them developed an obsession for ritual ceremonies and the afterlife. Abnur IV is the king to who we own the foundation of numerous temples we have today in the realm, such as the Osenar Temple in the north and the grandiose Eleven Forces temple in Central Bettony. Abnur lived a modest life for a king, but his constant obsession with the afterlife led him to punish his subjects for every religious transgression. He went as far as creating a prison in the Weeping Cave - thus deeply insulting the Ciupan traditions, as the cave was a place of worship for cults older than the Eleven Forces. The prison will be used for heretics and apostates and will lead to a decrease in number of adherents of different religions in the realm. His extremist approach sparked a period of religious turmoil. His reign is also called 'the Dark Decades'.
Abnur IV died in 1820 when performing a ritual sacrifice for the Goddess Nocturnal at her altar in Central Bettony. The ritual involved stepping in the flames and it was only performed by the Nocturnal Priests and not by anyone. Arrogant and dismissive, Abnur stepped into the flames and prayed to Nocturnal, thinking he will be immune to their fiery bite. He was wrong. Half of his body was covered in burns before the priests could stop the fire and get him out of the pyre. As he never married and did not have any heirs, he was succeeded by his nephew Clauelvin II.
Turmoil and the Reformation
Following the disastrous reign of Abnur IV, the realm was inflamed by the fire of religious extremism. Not only the followers of other religions were persecuted, but groups within the Eleven Forces itself started to fight against each other. When Abnur died in 1820, the followers of Sotha, God of Reason, Work and Knowledge, accused the cult of Nocturnal to be responsible for the king's death and claimed their mistress Nocturnal is a dark and evil one. While the mainstream religion of the Eleven Forces stipulates that you have to revere every of the eleven forces, each Bigician is usually choosing their favourite force - or god/goddess - to venerate. Such choice is mostly governed by tradition, location - people from the province of Gera are more inclined to venerate Qhaion or Osenar rather than Meridia for example.
The rivalry between the cult of Sotha and the one of Nocturnal was but an ancient one, as old as the establishment of the Eleven Forces or even before, for they were venerated before as well. Sotha is mostly venerated by the Bigicians living at the border of Bettony Province and his temple is south of Fraser and Moldir. While his cult was mostly isolationist and bordering monotheism in their fervent veneration, they usually respect the other ten forces in the pantheon. That was not the case in 1820, when they openly blamed Nocturnal, the Goddess of Night, Mistress of Shadows, the Lady of Luck. She is mostly venerated by Bigicians living in the Bettony Province, and her temple is north of Ilmoure and the closest to the realm's capital.
Clauelvin II tried to appease both sides and invited both cult's priests to Nar Darum to settle their dispute. Since times immemorial, the cults had no formal leader and the Eleven Forces religion on itself was led by no one, other than the king and only in earthly matters. Thus, feeling this problem was beyond the king's authority, the cult of Sotha was - despite their Gods area of expertise - not very reasonable. They wanted the cult of Nocturnal eradicated and they wanted it now, so they started a military campaign, amassing commoners and nobles alike against her cult. Unfortunately for the realm, the new king, Clauelvin II, was weak-willed and could not enforce his authority like his forefather Torrhen I could.
The turmoil - or the Twilight of Reason how it is also known - lasted for twenty years and Clauelvin II could no do much to stop the open war between the cults, until one fateful day, when he married Princess Safiya of Tohru and through her influence and skill he managed to stop the bloodshed. The cult of Nocturnal did not recover to this day, remaining one of the smallest cults within the Eleven Forces. The religious turmoil ended in 1840, when Clauelvin II and Queen Safiya invited all the nobles and cult leaders of the realm to a great council, each god of the eleven forces being represented. Together, Clauelvin and Safiya argued that the religion needs a spiritual leader, someone could solve disputes such as the one between the Sothasites and the Nocturnalites and would prevent decades of needless war and turmoil. They decided that each of the eleven cults will send three priests to the Temple of Eleven Forces to serve as their electors and none of them could vote for themselves and they will elect a High Priest who will settle all the religious matters.
Thus, the office of the High Priest was created and the Eleven Forces religion became more organized. Unfortunately for their cult, the Sothasites won most of he first elections and the Nocturnalites continued to be persecute, albeit not so openly.
Restoration of the High Council
Seeing that the power of shared influence of multiple nobles could settle even a problematic issue such as religious doctrine, Clauelvin II - mostly influenced by his wife Safiya, re-established the high council of old in 1841. Thus, the era of absolutism was at an end, or so it would seem, for the high council would remain consultative and not settle matters of succession like before.
Clauelvin II continued to rule until 1852 when he died of cancer. He was succeeded by his son Torrhen II. The new king would focus on kickstarting a cultural revolution, a second Meridian renaissance, by inviting scholars from all over Natia to modernize the country. The advancement of science, art and the educational reform would change the realm for the better.
King Torrhen II would be the first king to truly move his attention to other parts of Natia and to attempt to establish colonies in more warmer parts of the world. Thus, he reformed the royal navy and sailed south to isles east of the kingdom of Solentoya, where he established a rudimentary colony. A tropical paradise, full of jungles with trees the size of a small mountain, it was a stark difference to the climate back home. The island will be named ' Torhita' after the ruler, of course.
Torhita will be the subject of two wars with the kingdom of Solentoya in the years following, as they considered the land as rightfully theirs. By the end of the two wars, none of the two countries will truly get to occupy the island, despite the wars ending in Solentoya's favour.
Torrhen will continue to rule until 1901, when he would die of old age. His forty-nine years reign is considered the longest reign in Bigician history and thus Torrhen is also known as Torrhen the Great.
Dawn of the Fourth Era
Torrhen II was succeeded by his oldest son, Dorin III who is considered the oldest heir apparent, ascending on the throne at the age of 44. Upon his father's death, Dorin declared the start of a new era, for the realm has been changed forever. The Fourth Era - or Modern Era as it is commonly called - was to be an era of quick change and progress, yet some things never changed.
While Natia developed into states of high democratic value, the politically isolated kingdom of Bigicia remained ignorant to the world and stubborn in abandoning their ways. However, while the king remained a very autocratic figure, the high council started to change. Getting the best education they could get in southern nations such as Solentoya, Moisantia or the Bander State, the nobles of the realm started to develop their political ideas, forming sides in the high council based on their political views and less on the traditions.
Thus, the high council would consist of unofficial parties with no power whatsoever, as it was still consultative. However, in times when the king was weak-willed, the high council could exert much influence over the realm.
Dorin III ruled from 1901 to 1920, being a king of little action and renown. The high council ruled the country more than he did, as he was too busy with his scandalous affairs that resulted in three royal bastards. He was succeeded by his son, Dorin IV, who ruled from 1920 to 1955.
King Dorin IV saw the country through two devastating wars.
The first, called the War of the Zechonian Succession, was the last Great Dasideal conflict with the Aimūllian-Bigician dynastic conflict at its heart. It occurred from 1925 to 1931 and marked the rise of Bigicia as a major regional power. The pretext for the war was Balonda's right to inherit her father King Zech VI's crown, but Bigicia, Tanoiro and Tamausia & Deltannor really saw it as an opportunity to challenge the Aimūllian power, whose dynasty, albeit a cadet branch, was ruling over Zechonia as well, Balonda's claim was backed by Aimūlli, Fervorosia and the Szimbaya Kingdom, which were collectively known as the Pragmatic Allies. As the conflict widened, it drew in other participants, among them Nurdia, Rahasia-Diati and the Oussou Empire.
There were four primary theatres of the war: Central Dasideal, the Zechonian Lowlands, the Leonesian Wastes, and the seas. The Treaty of Awingar (1931) reflected a stalemate since most of the commercial issues that had led to the war were left unresolved, and many of the signatories were unhappy with the terms. Although the war had nearly bankrupted the state, King Dorin IV withdrew from the Leonesian Wastes for minimal benefit, to the dismay of Bigicia's nobility and populace. The Fervorosians considered their gains in Nurdia inadequate since they had failed to recover most of their claimed lands and viewed the reassertion of Tanoiro commercial rights in Dasideal as an insult. Although Balonda was acknowledged as her father's heir, she did not consider that a concession and deeply resented Aimūlli's role in the war. The result was the political realignment known as the Diplomatic Resolution in which Aimūlli aligned itself with Bigicia, which marked the end of their centuries-old enmity.
The second war, called the Dasideal-Highwind War, was an utterly devastating war for the whole region, causing the catastrophic event that is called the 1950 Disaster, in which entire parts of Dasideal sinking in the ocean and separating Highwind from the mainland. The reasons for the disaster remain unknown, but constant devastating battles in the affected zone certainly did not help. Following the War of the Zechonian Succession, the Dasideal Great Powers realized that they have to bind their fate together in an alliance, as the Highwind nations were getting stronger and more dangerous by the day. The war lasted from 22 June 1945 to 11 March 1950 and it is to this day one of the bloodiest wars in history, with an estimated 12.4 million combatant deaths and 18 million civilian deaths as a direct result of the war. Following the Peace Treaties of 1951 and the 1950 disaster, the nations of Dasideal and Highwind swore to never go to war against each other ever again and this was truly the war to end all the wars.
Despite the kingdom's borders staying as they were ante bellum and the relatively prosperous interwar period of 1931-1945, Dorin IV's reputation suffered greatly, especially for his decisions in the Dasideal-Highwind War and how he handled the 1950 Disaster aftermath. In his latter years of reign he relied more and more on the High Council for important decisions, causing the council to gain more influence than ever before. It didn't last however, as the king died in 1955.
Second Torrhean Era
See also: The Life of Torrhen III
During 1955, Dorin IV's health declined, and Torrhen frequently stood in for him at public events. As heir apparent, Torrhen carried out a wide variety of public duties and he was fully prepared to take the throne when the tragic event of King Dorin IV's death finally happened in October 1955 when, suffering from pulmonary illnesses for almost a decade, he collapsed and died on the floor of his royal chambers, only to be found by his personal secretary fifteen minutes later. Torrhen III acceded to the throne at the age of 26 upon the death of his father, being proclaimed king by her privy and executive councils shortly afterwards.
The coronation was held more than one year later because of the tradition of allowing an appropriate length of time to pass after a monarch dies before holding such festival and it followed a pattern similar to the coronations of the kings and queens before him, being held in The Cathedral of Light in the city of Meridia.
The coronation of the King was the first to be televised in full and it sparked considerable debate within the Bigician High Council on the subject, with High Councilor Daneur Omavrani being against the idea but ultimately it was Torrhen's decision on this matter and he insisted the event take place before television cameras.
Torrhen refurbished the royal palaces, reintroduced the traditional ceremonies and, despite strong opposition from some of the nobles, streamlined the
Torrhen married Princess Bogdana of Kinzerreich in 1959, in a ceremony held on the tropical island of Baia Papaya, one of Kinzerreich's many colonies. An unprecedented move, the idea of a Bigician monarch to hold such a ceremony in foreign land was unthinkable, but the High Council was eager to continue the friendly relations with Kinzerreich and thus it begrudgingly accepted. Bogdana was born on the island and would often visit with Abnur, their only children.
The following decades after the king's coronation have been marked by a period of peace, prosperity and an unprecedented social and technological advancement, with a very open attitude towards other nations of Natia.
With every passing decade, the institution of the High Council started to become more obsolete and anachronistic than ever, but the nobles' pride was too hard to overcome. Torrhen tried three times to reform the political system but was met with fierce resistance each time.
First in 1972, when he wrote the Velos Declaration and announced that the number of members of the High Council will be increased from fifteen to fifty and the positions will be filled by nobles, merchants and commoners alike, with the commoners and merchants being elected for 30 positions. This idea was met with outrage and High Councillor Daneur Omavrani's veiled threat that the monarch might get overthrown if he offends the pride of the realm's high nobles. The tense situation escalated in the next years and it culminated with the failed coup d'état attempt in 1976. Daneur Omavrani and several other nobles were swiftly imprisoned not even two hours later. In the end, Torrhen came to a compromise with the rebellious nobles and he abandoned his 1972 plan, biding his time before making another attempt.
The second attempt happened in 1995, when the political climate changed quite a bit, but still not enough. The newly-appointed High Councilor Brendanus Ilona was far more open to reform than his predecessors and - in order to forge a reputation for himself and set the tone of his mandate - he reached out to the monarch and proposed a law to change the composition of the high council and modernize it, nothing groundbreaking like the monarch was envisioning however. Taking any victories he could, Torrhen accepted Brendanus' proposition and signed the Sabeta Accords in June 1995. The Ilona family was very influential so the Accords passed fairly quickly through the High Council, with an almost unanimous vote. Following the Sabeta Accords, the High Council evolved into a legitimate political assembly who advised the monarch in various subjects, from education to healthcare and could pass laws on their own, laws that would need the monarch's approval however. The high council stayed completely hereditary but it increased its number of members from fifteen to twenty-five, all nobles of the realm, high or low. The element of innovation was however that five seats were rotating on a yearly basis between the petty nobles. The system continued to be function until 2020, when the high council transitioned into a provisional government with Brendanus at the helm.
The realm was plunged into darkness and sorrow when, during the black days of the 2015 financial crisis, Queen Bogdana succumbed to her illness at the age of 86 and passed away from the upper gastrointestinal bleeding caused by the rupture of gastric varices. The King was reportedly at her wife's bedside when she died. With the financial crisis still raging on, she received a modest royal ceremonial funeral, not a state funeral. No sermons or eulogies were delivered at the service at the Queen's wish. She buried in the Royal Vault at Nocturnal's Grand Temple in Cyvrasil. In private, the King said his wife's death had "left a huge void in his life".
The Great Council of 2020
In July 2020, five years after the death of Bogdana, a massive cataclysm struck the islands of Baia Papaya and the ocean reclaimed the land and hundreds upon thousands people lost their lives, including the life Prince Abnur, House Founrath becoming extinct in the male line with his death, the Balmoran cadet branch being the sole remnant of this old and powerful house. This event shook the very foundations of the Bigician society, causing uncertainty about the succession in the kingdom.
Putting his absolute shock and grief aside, Torrhen worked tirelessly to prevent another interregnum that could cause the realm to break, just like it happened with the first United Bigician kingdom in the 14th century, when the realm could not overcome the personal ambition of some nobles. From King Anruvan to Torrhen the Third, the Founrath Dynasty has ruled Bigicia 277 years, thus it was a political situation like it hasn't been in many centuries.
After he convinced the members of the High Council to remain royal to the realm first and foremost and he secured the loyalty of his distant Balmoran kin, Duke Gindyr, Torrhen moved onto convening a Great Council, a council of Bigician nobles gathered to resolve contentious issues such as the succession of the realm and the fate of the High Council as a political institution. While some members of the high council opposed any kind of reform, they did so in private and have begrudgingly accepted the reforms proposed by the king, granted the nobles of the realm would accept them.
Torrhen invited many nations to Nar Darum to present their candidates and also permitted local nobles to select their own picks. In the end, it was Princess Majlinda Mëriqi of Arkodrë (also called the Mbretëresha in her native language), who won the hearts of every member of the Great Council, getting 86 votes, while Princess Liliana Sierra Jade Castello - Ramos of Solentoya, who was seen as a predictable victor, only gained 84 votes. Duke Gindyr came third with 51 votes, thus ending his ambition for the throne. Despite his best efforts, Duke Dagon Drilvayne of Selethis, one of Torrhen's old friends, failed to impress and only got 25 votes.
The Great Council also approved the abolition of the High Council proposed by the monarch, with 194 votes for and 52 against. The most vocal opponent of this proposition was surprisingly High Councilor Brendanus Ilona, whose taste for reform ended when it affected his position of power. The fifty-two nobles accepted the decision however and swiftly formed their own political alliance, the Founders, who seek to maintain the status-quo created by the Sabeta Accords in 1995. The council also voted on a number of other political ideas, all encompassed in a document called the 2020 Charter of Liberties. The document was used as the barebones for the 2021 Constitution, along with foreign inspirations such as the Solentoyan Constitution.
The king honored the vote and ratified the decisions of the Great Council and thus the realm has a new heir presumptive, Majlinda of House Mëriqi. Her family fled her home country in 1930, when it became a republic and has lived in exile ever since. Majlinda will be the first female monarch of Bigicia since the reign of Empress Nentyra in 953 and also the first foreign monarch of the kingdom, despite her being born in Meridia. Following the death of her father in 1994, the monarchists in the Arkodrian Republic are calling for her return and they nicknamed her the Mbretëresha (or Queen).
In a televised speech in August 2020, Torrhen III promised that the kingdom will have its first democratic elections by the end of the year and it is time to leave the vestiges of the past behind. He also noted that he will officially recognize the high council as a provisional government until the first free elections will be held. Following his speech, new political alliances formed and were registered in the realm, ready to stand in the elections. While initially the parliamentary elections were to be held in December 2020, they were postponed to 2021 due to the king's poor health condition.
The first democratic parliamentary election were held on 11 April, 2021 with the Founders emerging victorious.
The first democratic parliamentary elections were held on 11 April 2021 with the Founders emerging victorious. Following the elections, a center-right coalition government was formed by the Founders (TFP) and the Reformist Party (TRP) with Gindyr Founrath, 5th Duke of Balmora as Prime Minister. For unknown reasons, Brendanus Ilona, the former High Councilor, did not assume the position of Prime Minister, despite saying so during the electoral campaign.
The Founrath ministry is currently working on writing the text of the 2021 Constitution that will be enacted after its approval in a constitutional referendum, marking the culmination of the Bigician transition to democracy. The 2021 Bigician constitutional referendum is scheduled to take place at the end of September 2021.
Bigicia is located in the region west of the Highwind minicontinent, on the shores of the Dragon's Bay and stretching its territory to the mouth of the Jeanlovia river. It shares land borders with Aimūlli to the west, Zechonia to the south, Cherniya to the east (via sea), and has its opening to the Pohjooiean Ocean.
The western portion of Bigicia is dotted by numerous volcanoes who are part of the Advakar Mountain range that starts from the shores of Lake of Origin, in Zoidiac and ends at the mouth of the Jeanlovia river, separating most of the province of Ciupa from the reast of the realm.
Aide from the mountainous region in the west, the realm is pretty flat, especially in the north, where the average altitude is 100m. The south is however contains a series of hills and forested area, a continuation of the region just south of Bettony. The river that borders most of South-Eastern Bigicia separates the wild woods containing traces of civilisations who is now a no man's land from the rich cities of Southern Bettony.
The Climate can vary dramatically depending where you find yourself in the realm. In the north it is much drier and colder, the shores of the province of Gera being at the mercy of the winds of the northern oceans, who do not function on a cyclical basis and can change after a couple of years randomly. The last time the gulf stream of the Dragon's Bay changed was in 1910, when the warmer currents stopped one day and temperatures in cities such as Gera and Crownshore started to plummet catastrophically. The gulf stream only returned six year later, but during this time the northern cities suffered greatly and many citizens had to relocate down south. Since 1916, the gulf stream has been kind with and the northern region of the realm is trapped into an eternal autumn.
Down south, the province of Bettony is one considerably warmer as it receives most of the gulf's stream strength and has a much steadier pattern. Southern Bettony also borders a long and busy river who divides the realm from the wild forests to the south, considered a no man's land for centuries.
One anomaly however is the western province - Ciupa - who is unusually warm for its location. That is, however, thanks to the volcanoes that dot the Advakar Mountain Range and provide a steady flow of warm winds who sometimes clash with the cold bite of the current coming from the waters west of Aimulli. In local culture, it is a constant battle between Meridia, who represents the warm and light and the god of storms and endless oceans.
The harshest conditions are registered in the city of Bleakstorm, who is not on the shores of the Dragon's Bay, thus not being blessed with warmer winds. Instead, they receive the same ruthlessly cold gust the Aimullians get. Balmora receives similar conditions, but its small bay shelters it from the worst of storms and cold winds.
The lowest temperatures are usually registered on the island of Obsidian, who was uninhabited for centuries thanks to the deadly cold temperatures. The lowest temperature ever recorded there was -45°C.
|Climate Data for Balmora|
|Record High (°C)||13.8||14.0||12.4||14.6||18.0||23.0||25.2||24.0||22.0||19.3||18.4||14.0|
|Average High (°C)||-5.6||-6.3||-6.8||-1.4||3.4||7.7||10.2||10.4||6.3||1.8||-1.1||-3.4|
|Daily Mean (°C)||-8.2||-9.1||-9.2||-3.6||0.8||4.4||6.8||7.3||3.7||-0.3||-3.4||-5.8|
|Average Low (°C)||-10.4||-11.5||-11.4||-5.7||-2.5||-1.7||3.8||4.0||2.8||0.3||-5.4||-8|
|Record Low (°C)||-32.5||-29.6||-27.5||-30||-19||-10.3||-6.6||-4.7||-8.2||-16.6||-24.4||-25.2|
Nar Darum is the national capital of Bigicia and it's largest city. It lines along the coastline of Dragon's Bay, in Eastern Bettony. The city became the capital city of the realm during the events following the Second Unification of Bigicia, when King Kiran renounced his claims over the Merid-Ciupa crownlands and moved the capital from Meridia to Nar Darum. Since then, the city has becoming a bustling metropolis, a place of both trade and political intrigue.
Dawnbreak is the second-largest city in the realm and the largest in the province of Merid-Ciupa. From humble beginnings, when it was but a simple borderlands town at the foot of the Advakar mountains, Dawnbreak has become a bustling metropolis, a cultural and religious hub. While the city of Meridia has been the seat of the old Meridian Kingdom and later of the Merid-Ciupa realm, in the following centuries Dawnbreak became brighter, being considered the largest star in the Ciupean constellation.
Due to the mild temperatures, thanks to both the mountains that shield the harshest of winds and the volcanoes who heat up the whole region, the city has become one of the most technological advanced cities in the Dasideal mini-continent, hosting numerous international events. Dawnbreak is also a center of entertainment and it hosted the 135th edition of Waiting List Song Contest in 2017.
The seat of the current Prime Minister Gindyr Founrath, Balmora is too a fairly technological advanced city and thanks to its location in the bay and close promixity to the biggest volcano in the Advakar Mountain Range, the temperatures are mild enough for a city of its size to flourish. However, ash storms are a regular occurrence every time the volcano becomes more active. As such, the buildings in the city are built with dark, obsidian stone, that can withstand the harsh ash winds and for that, the city has a unique architecture in the region.
One of the oldest continuously inhabited cities in the region, its location next to the Huntworth River the and persistence have made the city a nexus of trade and diplomatic activities. Cobadin is in close relation with the knightly city of Whitespire who is downwards the Huntworth River. The city has been part of many kingdoms and empires, starting with the Kingdom of Bettony, the Wrairenth Empire, when the Zechonian wastes were subdued for a while, the first Bigician kingdom and it even was its own state in the form of the Principality of Cobadin, in the interregnum period. Cobadin was also part of the Union of 1489, when the Bettoan principalities united into a single force, the Bettony Commonwealth, until its collapse in the Leonesian war when the city become part for the first time of a foreign empire. When the Prince of Cobadin was found guilty of treason to the Leonesian Empire and was sentenced to death, he fled to the city and barred its doors, leading to the long siege of Cobadin in 1604 when half the city was in ruins. After the second unification, the city started to regain its status and influence, being in close proximity to the nation's capital. Ever since the dismantlement of the Leonesian Empire, the region south of the city has been a sort of no man's land, a region disputed between many nations and the Leonesian diaspora alike.
For it's close proximity to the Eleven Forces Temple, the city of Cobadin is now host to millions of Bigician pilgrims every single year and is the host of the Eleven Forces Festival that is held on 11th of December.
The southernmost city of the realm, Whitespire is a borderland city neighbouring Zechonia and, across the Huntworth River, the former North Leonesian lands. Due to its location on the river, the city is an intermediary between the Zechonian merchants and the nations east of the Dragon Bay, such as Fervorosia and Cherniya. At the same time, all the goods exported to Tamausia & Deltannor are sent from Whitespire through Zechonia by land.
Whitespire is known for their knightly traditions and the beautiful Whitespire Castle that functions both as the seat of power for Duke of Whitespire but also as a great dam that keeps the waters of the Huntworth at bay.
In transition from a purely technocratic-authoritarian monarchic regime, the kingdom of Bigicia is currently experiencing the dawn of democracy in the realm, thanks to King Torrhen's decision to liberalize the nation. The old system of the High Council has been replaced by a fully functional parliament in January 2021 and the first free elections have been held on 11 April 2021. The Parliament of Bigicia is bicameral, consisting of Camerum Representatium (Chamber of Representatives) and Senatum (The Senate).
Following the April 2021 elections, six parties have officially been established in the political environment of the realm and have gained seats in the first Bigician parliament. The electoral system used in the realm is the one of closed lists, D'Hondt method.
The six main parties of the Kingdom of Bigicia are The Founders, the Reform Party, the Social Democrats, the Republicans, the Merid-Ciupa Concordat and the Green League.
Following the abolition of the institution of the High Council and its replacement with the more democratic institutions of Parliament and Cabinet, the former high councilors banded together and formed a centre-right right party focused on conservatism, trying to maintain some form of influence from the 'old world' into the new one. Some of the Founders, if not all, directly opposed the idea of constitutional democracy when it was proposed by the king, but of course they had no choice but to accept it. As such, they are constantly showing a very authoritarian attitude towards governance. They are opposed to the Reformists, but would form a coalition with them if necessary.
The Reform Party
The Reform Party is the reformist wing of the old High Council and the group of nobles closest to the king. Seeing the writing on the wall, Duke Gindyr Founrath of Balmora, who is distantly related to the king, has advised the monarch for years for a more democratic system, especially as the danger of interregnum was slowly approaching, following the death of the Crown Prince. Torrhen has finally agreed to liberalize the nation in 2020, when he used the occasion of hosting a grand edition of Waiting List Song Contest in the White-Gold tower to invite nobles from all around the world in quest for the heir. Gindyr has pushed for his own claim but in the end it was Majlinda Mëriqi, the Arkodrë Mbretëresha, who won the vote of the nobles and commoners alike.
The Reformists are centre-right conservative-liberal party, focusing on enriching the individual liberties of the citizens and promoting a laissez-faire economical approach. Unlike other parties such as the Social Democrats, the Reformists won't go as far as establishing a single-payer healthcare system or taxing the rich nobles. Classical liberalism is the motto, with a smidge of conservatism.
The Social Democrats
The Social Democratic Party (SDP) is a social-democratic political party and the largest party of the Bigician centre-left. Unlike the Founders or the Reformists, the Social Democrats have no connection to the former High Council and are instead linked to the petty nobles of Western Gera region and the eastern part of Meridia.
The current party platform of the SPD espouses the goal of social democracy, which is seen as a vision of a societal arrangement in which freedom and social justice are paramount. According to the party platform, freedom, justice and social solidarity form the basis of social democracy, trying to promote reforms such as universal healthcare, minimum wage and syndicalist unions.
The smallest centre-right party of the realm, the Republicans have a similar agenda of change, going further than the Founders and the Reformists and proposing a republican system where the president will replace the institution of the monarch once Torrhen is dead. The leader of the party is the Archon of Crownshore, a high former councilor that has resigned when Majlinda Mëriqi was declared the Crown Princess in 2020. While it is a small political force, republicanism sentiments could grow once the Founrath is finally over.
The Merid-Ciupa Concordat
Named after the former kingdom of Merid-Ciupa kingdom, who was absorbed into the realm following the second Bigician reunification, is a Ciupean nationalist, regionalist, and social-democratic political party. The Concordat feel that, ever since the kingdom's capital has been moved from Meridia to Nar Darum, the Ciupean regional interests have not been the monarch's priority too much. While in the following centuries since the move the Ciupean culture has become more integrated with the mainstream Beto-Geran culture, many local residents of the Merid-Ciupa province feel like their interests should be a much bigger priority and thus have banded together and formed their own party. The Concordats are willing to collaborate with any party if it furthers their regional agenda but ultimately would follow their social-democratic platform.
The Green League
While associated mainly with environmentalist policies, the party has plans to support communitarian economic policies, including well-funded, locally controlled public services within the confines of a steady-state economy and is supportive of proportional representation and takes a progressive approach to social policies. Unlike the Concordats or the Social Democrats, they're big proponents of nuclear power. They also have a much decentralized view on governance, trying to move the political influence from the duchies and the court in Nar Darum to a new administrative division such as provinces or regions.
2021 general election
Legislative elections were held in Bigicia on 11 April 2021 to elect the 330 constituent members of the Chamber of Representatives and the 136 members of the Senate.
The Founders, which had headed the interim government that took power after the abolishment of the High Council, won a decisive victory, receiving one quarter of the total electoral vote (43 seats in the Senate and 103 seats in the Chamber). The second placed party was the Reformist Party who wasn't very far, behind, receiving 32 seats in the Senate and 87 seats in the Chamber. The Social Democrats came on the third position with 29 seats in the Senate and 73 seats in the Chamber. Other political parties, such as the Merid-Ciupa Concordat, the Republicans and the Greens received around 9-11% of the electoral vote.
Following the elections, a center-right coalition government was formed by the Founders (TFP) and the Reformist Party (TRP) with Gindyr Founrath, 5th Duke of Balmora as Prime Minister. The coalition has been met with shock by the public as it was generally thought that the Founders and the Reformists were irreconcilable after the dissolution of the High Council, not to mention the nomination of Duke Gindyr, the Reformist leader, for the role of Prime Minister. Other say, especially in the opposition and in leftist circles that the Reformists backed away from any kind of reform other than free elections. There are even voices saying that the King had a hand in this 'monstrous coalition'. Whatever may be the case, the high council is all but in name reunited, under a democratic umbrella this time.
Parliament of Bigicia
The current structure of the Parliament contains 136 seats for the Chamber of Representatives and 330 for the Senate.
Government of Bigicia
The Government of Bigicia forms the executive branch of the government of Romania and is the central government of the realm. The government is led by the Prime Minister (currently Gindyr Founrath, 5th Duke of Balmora, since 26 April 2021), who selects all the other ministers. The seat of the Bigician Government is at Oversoul Palace in Nar Darum.
|Prime Minister||Gindyr Founrath||TRP||5th Duke of Balmora|
|Deputy Prime Minister||Brendanus Ilona||TFP||The Lord Ravenwatch|
|Chancellor of the Exchequer||Brendanus Ilona||TFP||The Lord Ravenwatch|
|Minister of Education||Morndilin Salingire||TFP||3rd Count of Aelwel|
|Minister of Energy||Sara Kamal||Ind.||-|
|Minister of Economy||Selah Oswald||TRP||1st Count of Kahlett|
|Minister of Environment||Kelina Nerevau||TFP||1st Countess of Obsidian Isle|
|Minister for Transport||Archie Mavis||TRP||1st Count of Zmeos|
|Minister of Foreign Affairs||Lebesu Cholneith||TFP||6th Duke of Wrainwreth|
|Minister of National Defence||Balwûr Cenric||TFP||General, Commander of Raylight Keep|
|Minister of Labour||Bracus Talurn||TRP||-|
|Minister of Justice||Hadiya Sarlamin||TFP||High Magister|
|Minister of Health||Theodemar Presqen||Ind.||-|
|Minister of Internal Affairs||Maraquo Hestohrin||TRP||3rd Count of Brassmond|
|Minister of Culture||Bauron Masoud||TRP||1st Count of Moldir|
|Minister of the Sea||Achivoine Tailencel||TFP||4th Duke of Driftmark|
|Eleven Forces Emissary||Phelaks||Ind.||High Priestess of Meridia|
Arts and monuments
The topic of the origin of Beto-Geran culture began to be discussed by the end of the 18th century among the Nar Darum University scholars. Several writers rose to prominence in the 19th century, including: Ollie Withers, Sindoov Camifeth, Uullanar Spellfhar, Ellie Thorp and Khanzebeh Noru.
Contemporary musicians like Kathleen, Kratae Rsiam, John Carpenter, Alexander Rybak and many others have achieved various levels of international acclaim. At the Nation Song Contest Bigician singers achieved third place in 120th edition and in Waiting List Song Contest they have achieved first place eight times, in the 20th, 127th, 147th, 161st, 163rd, 170th, 186th and 200th edition,
Holidays, traditions, and cuisine
The kingdom of Bigicia celebrate numerous holidays throughout the year, holidays related to the Eleven Forces but also to the history of the realm. The most important holidays are the following:
|Day||Holiday Name||Day||Holiday Name|
|01 January||New Life Festival||11 August||Kirbesh's Summoning Day|
|11 January||Meridia's Summoning Day||11 September||Neajlovius' Summoning Day|
|24 January||South Winds Prayer||11 October||Nocturnal's Summoning Day|
|11 February||Sotha's Summoning Day||31 October||Tales and Tallows|
|01 March||Women's Day||11 November||Qhaion's Summoning Day|
|11 March||Morgûn's Summoning Day||30 November||Serpent's Dance Festival|
|01 April||Jester's Festival||1 December||North Winds Prayer|
|11 April||Phoeus' Summoning Day||11 December||Eleven Forces Festival|
|15 April||King's Day (Torrhen III)||25 December||Meridalia|
|23 April||Dragon's Day||28 December||Nocturnalia|
|01 May||Labour Day||31 December||Void Night|
|11 May||Xizses' Summoning Day|
|11 June||Osenar's Summoning Day|
|11 July||Orita's Summoning Day|
Football is the most popular sport in Bigicia with over 219,000 registered players as of 2018. The market for professional football in Bigicia is roughly ₲740 million according to NATIFA. Other popular sports include weightlifting, handball and martial arts.
Bigicia first competed in the Olympic Games in 1900, when one athlete, a trap shooter, competed at the 1900 Summer Olympics in Gvozd, Ujedinjeni Gvozd.
Music and contests
At the king's behest, the kingdom applied to become a member of the Natia Broadcasting Union. In February 2012, Bigicia became an Associate Member of the broadcasting union and was allowed to participate in Waiting List Song Contest, a contest that is linked to the Nation Song Contest, but organized for the associate members.In January 2013, following Adamsburg's withdrawal, NBU allowed Bigicia to debut in the 92nd edition of Nation Song Contest. Cherniya also debuted in that edition, following the withdrawal of Xhanostania.