Encyclopaedia of Aquila
Volume V: Voshe and the Oceanic Republic of Voshe
For scholarly purposes, Chalise Jelani
Agadir, Oceanic Repository of World Studies
Highharveste, 3rd dawn, 4852
Voshe - the island continent lying squarely in the bosom of the Sea of Mes Raina. It is indubitably a land blessed with a unique and powerful culture and immense untapped wealth. Even so, it has been fraught with all manner of evil and crime until this century. The embers of a bloody past have lit a flame within the soul of the continents' denizens - one that is set to power the newborn Oceanic Republic as it solidifies itself as a center of trade, education, and skilled labor in the new world.
The sizeable continent of Voshe is striped with savannahs and deserts, giving way to lush prairie only near the coasts of Tarasque, Agadir, and Ancbold. It is dotted with hot pastures in which sturdy fauna graze under the cover of acacia trees, and blazing deserts through which only the bravest travelers have hitherto passed. The topography of Voshe is almost entirely flat, beginning at sea level and sloping upward at a snail's pace until it gives way to the savannah hills. Despite the harsh climate, the continent is blessed with geographically traversible terrain that, owing in no small part to Dashari and other investors, is now the subject of an expansive railway system.
The land, in this peacetime, has drawn countless visitors from abroad who happily pay a sack of emeralds to be guided to the continent's beautiful oases and sloping hills covered in unique flora.
People and Society
The Oceanic Republic is home to about 9 million people, spread far and wide between Agadir and Ancbold. The population density is relatively low, and the physiological density is slowly decreasing as a result of agricultural expansion in the inland. Its largest population centers are Tarasque and Ancbold, followed closely by the capital of Agadir. As the population increases at a rapid rate facilitated by the advent of basic healthcare and medicine creation/importing, many families are moving inland and domesticating the savannah with the eager sponsorship of the government through a series of homestead acts.
One of Voshe's defining features is its almost entirely Oceanic population; indeed, the continent is home to a measured 98% of the world's oceanic population, up from around 80% before the crushing of the slave trade. These people have a darker skin color than most Aquilans, similar to that of the Dashari and just lighter than rich cocoa beans. The dominant language by far is Oceanic, academically known as Voshi, but there is a growing popularity of High Kilranian, Occan, and particularly Zetashari, whose hearth is closest to the island.
The Oceanic people are largely socially conservative and value family ties above all else. Men and women are roughly equal, although the current demographic transition stage in which Voshe finds itself places a demand on women to remain home and raise young. Regardless, women are common in both the government and the military.
Religion has a considerable influence, and the prominent religion is Oimezenism, a polytheistic religion focused on worship of the sea.
As of late, the similar Oceanic and Dashari cultures have intermingled. It is common to see Dashari warriors and merchants in Voshi ports, some of them even taking up temporary residency. As an indirect result, there has been a significant boom in interracial marriages and children; the average age of an Oceanic-Dashari citizen is three years old. The most common and earliest seen marriage of this kind is between Dashari women and Voshi men as a result of the Sultanate's involvement in the Nascent Revolution; however, in recent years, strengthening economic ties have brought more Dashari men to the island republic. Offspring of these marriages are slightly larger than regular oceanic babies.
Government and Courts
The government of the Oceanic Republic of Voshe is legally split into three; the Presidency, the High Oceanic Council, and the Courts of Voshe. The lawmaking is handled by the former two; the HOC is a council of fifteen from large cities and provinces all across the continent that conceives laws and then votes to recommend them to the President by simple majority. The President may then either sign the law or veto it, and presidential vetoes may be overridden by a majority of 12 council members.
The judicial system is composed of six courts: five provincial courts and the Voshi Supreme Court. The provincial courts involve themselves in high-level civil and occasional criminal cases relegated to them by the city courts, and the Supreme Court may exercise certiorari and continue these cases if the provincial decisions are appealed. The Supreme Court is also the legal arm of the government as well as a deterrent to the other two, as it decides whether implemented laws are in line with the Voshi constitution and its emphasis on liberties.
The President can serve for a maximum of three two-year terms, and HOC members may serve for a maximum of four. There exists criticism stating that the HOC is not truly representative as its strict allocation of one member per legal division grants more power to rural citizens.
The citizens of Voshe, almost all of whom were either former slaves or trading farmers, have given the republic a range of skills. After the end of the revolution, countless guilds formed with government charters, including the carpenters' and fishermen's guild. These companies are run almost completely collectively, with financial power often being relegated to a board of skilled economists, businessmen, or accountants. The guilds are deeply interconnected, and trade amongst each other as well as with the public.
The fiscal policy of the government is largely libertarian, and the methods of fund accrual are mostly a small income tax and a guild operations tax. The HOC has the power to adjust this budget by a four-fifths majority. Both taxes are inversely proportional to the wealth of the taxation target; that is, the wealthier individuals and organizations are taxed more.
The economy is split evenly between the manufacturing and service sectors. The newborn mining industry has led to a boom in coal, iron, and redstone, which have been used throughout the country as material for constructing railways, factories, and power lines. Most striking of all is the booming export sector, which sells unique products like acacia, refined sandstone, and etched glass to consumers abroad. The current primary exports are lumber and skilled labor.
Education is also both a rising goal and a rising profession in the republic, and many more people are attending schools; over the first years of the postbellum era, this dramatically increased the population of skilled labor, and Voshi scientists are beginning to integrate themselves into the world academic system.
Being a newborn state built on a continent that was ravaged by plague and crime until two decades ago, the country lags behind others in terms of technology. There are vast and wildly successful undergoing projects focused on electrifying the country through redstone centuries after many other states finished doing so. Intracontinental transportation is mostly carried out through a system of mid-speed trains that carry both passengers and cargo.
Military science is effectively nonexistant and is not a priority.
Military and Security
Owing in equal parts to its lack of land borders, its partnerships with other states, and a strong cultural aversion to peace, the military is mostly nonexistant. On land, the army is mostly dispatched as an aid to police whenever necessary, and its affairs are mostly to secure villages and small towns from incursions by packs of wild animals as well as crush crime in unincorporated land. More impressively, being the beating heart of the Great Oceanic Fleet, the republic has a well-funded small navy that has successfully brought piracy to its death knell and accompanies merchant fleets throughout the world. The Ocean Force is a symbol of Voshi power and prosperity and are a new and respected sight across the world.
The small Voshe army, however, is exceedingly well-trained and adapted to its environment. The matriarch-generals of the nearby Sultanate of Dashari are prominent mentors to many Voshi officers, and provide training in desert/savannah pacification in exchange for priority in Voshe's iron, lumber, and labor exports.
The regular army man is equipped with a bow, as well as an iron sword and iron equipment. Officers do not dress any differently. Sailors have no uniform, but often opt to wear orange or blue, the republic's flag colors.
The republic's closest ally by far is the Sultanate of Dashari, with whom the continent has had ties for several centuries. The Sultanate is the country's largest export consumer as well as a key investor in its transportation projects. As a formal gesture of friendship, the Sultanate guarantees the republic's independence.
Besides their hulking friends in northern Aphelion, the Oceanic Republic has begun forming ties with the Free City of Dreiton, Nova Aquila, and Occa, all of which are interested in the continent's mines and their unique contents.
The Oceanic Republic of Voshe has no foreign disputes, formal or informal.
The continent of Voshe was once Southern Vulturia. It was home to a primitive but well-off unique Oceanic ethnicity focused primarily on fishing and subsistence agriculture and largely detached from the happenings of successive Vulturian empires. Population was centered mostly in a small commune in the far southeast by the name of Darv. After Moros' first defeat and the Great Desynchronization, this southern chunk of the supercontinent broke off and became an island in the Sea of Mes Raina.
From then on, the natives adopted a life of cooperation and inward improvement, forming rudimentary trade guilds throughout the dwarf continent that gave it a semblance of a united economy. Tribal infighting was noticeable at this time; the Teshi Confederation in the west sought to integrate the island into the world, while the Vomis people in the east preferred universal freedom and independence. The hitherto informal name of "Voshe" was derived from the combination of the two foremost tribal confederations' names.
The world in these first dozen centuries was characterized by the reign of Makrozoia and the wide-reaching rule of the Xolumir Khaganate. Whereas Voshe was a stretch of territory of the old Vulturian empires, the new Imperial council saw little profit in directly annexing what was mostly a spit of sea-desert, and opted instead to use it as an outpost for naval operations given its tactically appealing position. The council founded the outpost town of The Rask in one of the continent's northern gulfs. The residents of this town, mostly adventurous Polycrats and Woodlanders, sought new crops and precious metals on the island continent and engaged in trade with the Teshi people.
Throughout the following centuries, until the 2600s, the two tribes engaged in on-and-off primitive warfare. Wielding little more than spears and bows, quick mass warfare was impossible and continued tribal enmity was the norm. The long war dissuaded further foreign investment in the continent at large. As the conflict reached its peak in the 26th century, the settlers - aided in large by the entrepeneurial Teshi confederation - began buying captured Vomis people as slaves to ship them to Northern Kilran, at that time embroiled in chaos.
This mutually favorable agreement itself lasted a few hundred years, operating out of the new Polycrat trading post of Serveu in the west, near Ancbold, the capital of the Teshi Confederation. This period, known colloquially as the Betrayal Time, interestingly saw a heightened fascination with Oceanic culture. The Serveu bandits, at this point organized into a joint-stock company called the Oceanic Trade Board, undertook an expedition to the mythical ancient Oceanic commune of Darv in search of lost wealth and a new outpost. None returned.
Eventually, the Teshi people fell out of favor with the Polycrats, who opted to penetrate the continent with their own weapons and technology with the sole intention of capturing the maximum amount of natives possible. From then on, Voshe was essentially a colony of the city of Vicis in Northern Kilran. There and in the surrounding lands, captured Oceanics were forced to work in massive wheat fields, deadly mines, and unforgiving factories with no compensation. Even so, they returned much of their culture through folk music and religious beliefs, regardless of where they went.
The slave trade flourished for many more hundreds of years, eventually reaching a peak and beginning its slow decline around the 4500s.
Key developments beginning in the early 4800s would bring about the slave economy's final demise. With the sweeping success and fame enjoyed by the Outlanders - one of which was legendary Oceanic Amare Jelani - came a new wave of world scrutiny and reproach toward the trade. Following the end of the Aether War, Jelani remained for a few months on the continent of Aphelion in the Sultanate of Dashari. While there, he spread great tales of Oceanic culture and dreams of liberation to intrigued army matriarchs, and married one of them before returning to Voshe and forming and training an elite militia of oceanics with the goal of violently ending the slave trade. One of these was Zelmen Vigora, future first president of the Oceanic Republic.
Departing from the beaten-down ports of Agadir and not to return for a decade, the Hummingbird Fleet voyaged to the plains and shores of Northern Kilran, staging countless slave rebellions, invasions of slave outposts, and even creating and operating an underground system of tunnels and safehouses to assist the new freedmen into Jelani's old home in the freedmen's commune. After crushing the economic viability of the slave trade and garnering the image of a hero's organization, the Fleet set sail from the commune to Isla Espada, where employees of the Fleet, mostly women and children, had taken shelter and built a sizeable and sustainable outpost.
The time of the Fleet's landing in Thermidore 4825 AD is widely accepted as the beginning of the yearlong Nascent Revolution. Around eight tenths of the landing fleet then departed to Agadir, beginning a well-coordinated campaign of pushing wealthy slaveowners and company outposts westward to Serveu, from which another tenth would be landing under the leadership of Captain Vigora.
Having been petitioned for aid by Jelani a decade prior and eager to find an economic and political partner in a potentially new country, the Sultanate of Dashari deployed a volunteer wing of recruits led by experienced officers from the military desert island of Lymysedo. This wing, nicknamed the Bulldozers, made a parabolic sweep toward the continent's northwest, cutting off supply lines while liberating Ancbold of slaveholders. More than acclimated to the island's arid atmosphere, they moved with blazing power and breakneck speed, and met with the Jelani-led eastern wing at the doorstep of Serveu as the Vigora-led marines approached.
The final battle of the Revolution, the Siege of Serveu, was the final and most crushing defeat for the Oceanic Trade Board. A methodical three-pronged inward sweep of the city blocked company leaders from escaping to the sea, and the characteristic redstone cannons and towering forts were easily hijacked and used by Oceanic mechanics. As the citizenry in its entirety turned against the Polycrat occupiers, the Board had no means left of victory or escape. They were cornered in what is now known as Revolution Square and justly imprisoned for life; they were stripped of all wealth and belongings and locked away on a Dashari island.
As the smoke of war cleared and the focus turned to statebuilding, Amare Jelani seemed the obvious choice for leader given his popularity, charisma, and military acumen. However, he passed the office onto his University of Dreiton-educated friend and longtime ally, Zelmen Vigora. Jelani instead opted to travel the continent as a popular figurehead, rallying support for the new republic into virtually unanimous heights while surveying the continent's geography and agriculture more accurately than ever before.
With Dashari now eagerly invested in the republic and highly approving of President Vigora, trade promptly began between the two and desert emeralds poured into the Oceanic Republic's treasury in Agadir. Many of the Bulldozer unit opted to apply for leave from the Sultanate's army to remain citizens of Voshe, most having married a soldier of the Revolution and with child. Some of the others remained in the Sultanate army but became diplomats to the new republic, easing them into their new journey of cultural and economic development.
Vigora would leave office an unimaginably popular figure, leaving behind an ambitious but successful array of projects including port building and restoration, transportation connection, and desert agriculture. Jelani opted for a quieter life and lived with decent means in the small southern prairie town of Dalatari, his native Pauper having been destroyed decades prior. He remained a close confidant of both the Sultanate and the Oceanic Republic while focusing on raising his two children and supporting his family. His wife, Zulema Mujehk, had long left the Dashari military, but campaigned quietly for the Sultanate's expansion into the seas and the world at large. All three figures are solidified in Voshi history as great warriors and unifiers.
The story of Voshe is one of millennia of struggle fought by a proud group of people unwilling and unable to forfeit their futures. The only remaining doubt is how high the Oceanic Republic of Voshe will soar with the wings of liberty and justice.
Aquilan Development Index
The ADI curve of the Oceanic Republic shows exponential improvement in the years since the Nascent Revolution. The model predicts, with strong confidence, that development will continue to rise and slowly come to resemble those of contemporary powers like Dreiton and Dashari.