"Tamnia is a world ruled by balance. Life decays into death, death nourishes life, and both sides struggle for dominance. It is through this struggle that we are allowed to grow; to thrive. To deny this struggle is to deny who we are."
- Maria Albain
Tamnia was a war-torn, fragmented world long before the Heartless encroached on its borders. This thread acts as a codex of sorts to expound upon the history described in Jin's profile, as well as delve into the details left untold by it.
This reading is essential for anyone seeking to play as a Tamnian of any allegiance - Gifted or otherwise.
Below, links to individual posts that describe various points of interest are provided.
As with any thread, this will be frequently updated with new posts, an updated index, and edits in places where changes are needed. If information on something you're looking for isn't provided, please shoot me a PM and I will add it as quickly as possible.
"A world rended in two by chaos needs vision; guidance. Caelum will be Tamnia's eyes and ears, its light in the dark. No length too great, no ocean too deep, no height too far out of reach. Tamnia will see to Tamnia's continued safety and prosperity as one body."
- Caelumnian High Magistrate, First Ordinance
In the years leading up to the first Gifted uprising, Tamnia had no central governing body. Instead, each of the twelve nation-states had taken it upon themselves to set up their own various and diverse systems of leadership. Some of these nation-states were entirely democratic, allowing the will of the majority to sway the direction in what they believed to be best. Others were somewhat monarchic, and others still relied on keeping political power and presence to an absolute minimum. If there was one similarity between them, it was that the people were very clearly in command of their governments.
When the Gifted first came into the public eye, Caelum acted as a hub of cultural sharing for all of Tamnia. Representatives elected through whatever means from each nation-state gathered to talk about current events, exchange news of various technological advancements, and assemble the facts and figures that allowed each person to take an objective look at their homes as a whole when compared to others. The fact that it was a beacon of the best things that Tamnia had to offer didn't hurt its reputation, either.
With the presence of these new Gifted on the rise, it was natural for fear of the unknown to show itself. As a response to rising public demand that the Gifted be understood, contained, or even - if only in the most radical of cases - removed from society, Caelum took it upon itself to gather the best means available for studying what set this new faction of the world apart from the rest. At first, the task force that Caelum deployed and dubbed Perothum seemed promising. It was able to pull resources directly from Caelum, and subsequently all of Tamnia as a result. However, any hopeful aspirations for the group soon took on all too different realizations.
Perothun, and by extension Caelum, continued to cultivate power as the Gifted uprising transitioned into the war that people would come to call the Trials. What was originally an attempt to understand the Gifted on a biological and psychological level soon turned into a trained military force with the might of all twelve nation-states behind it. As fighting broke out across the continent, Perothun's research was quickly weaponized and turned against the Gifted it had been gathered from.
When Caelum's power swelled, so did its influence. People relied on Perothun to get things done where an individual nation-state could not. The representatives from each of Tamnia's territories quickly became entrenched in their positions within the capital of their massive continent. These positions were no longer for the betterment of their world, though. They were trying to suppress a faction of it in the name of protecting all the others, and the frightening part was that it was working.
Caelum became mightier and mightier with each citizen that enlisted alongside them. It wasn't long before cities needed to be built to accommodate all the supporters flocking in from every corner of the world. Caelum had made the transition from servant of the people to the group that called the shots of the world, and it had done so under the absolute support of the people it now more or less ruled over.
In the face of Perothun, the Gifted were forced further and further back until a majority of their population - the ones that had yet to be captured or hadn't enlisted in the military force - were housed in Soqus. With this in mind, the Caelumnian High Magistrate commissioned the construction of a device that would sever Soqus from the rest of the main continent and use the resulting tectonic and tidal catastrophe as a weapon against the Gifted housed there.
The construction took months, resources from across Tamnia were pooled into planting the necessary terminals in the exact locations necessary to pull off such a feat. In this time, the Resistance had gathered information on exactly what was being built and the conclusion was made that the machine needed to be destroyed. The Trials would be ended before anyone had the chance to use it.
While a major fight to execute the operation was put up, the machine was successful in its prime objective: Soqus was split off of Tamnia, but the resulting backlash of forces could not be contained with the tampering that had been done to the main control tower. Consequently, the task of containing the damage was left to the Gifted and the Perothun forces that remained stationed on the border separating Soqus from the rest of Tamnia.
The damage was minimized when all was said and done, but not without cost. The battles that had taken place before Soqus’ separation and the struggle to contain the disaster sprung from it sacrificed many lives on both sides. Soqus was safely adrift from Tamnia proper. For the foreseeable future, peace was an assumed factor; nobody wanted the war to swallow up the world the way it almost had.
Currently, Caelum operates as the main governing body of Tamnia. The High Magistrate grips onto its power with an iron fist, citing the continued existence of the gifted as cause for their unending reign. As Caelum has its own population, a thirteenth seat in the High Magistrate has been added for the Chief Captain of Perothun.
Though the Trials have ended, it is now more dangerous than ever for a Gifted to live in Tamnia. With the rising of the Leviathan and stricter measures being used to deal with the remaining Gifted population being enacted every day, no one called out for their Gifts will be in for a pleasant time. Some say that even now the embers of war are being fanned to the point that they may blaze to life again.
Caelum's primary mode of function is still intact, though with some slight changes and much more political sway than they've previously known. The High Magistrate - assembled in the days leading up to the Trials - consists of a representative chosen from each nation-state as well as the Chief Captain of Perothun. Criteria for appointment may differ from territory to territory, but the power of each position is equal.
Each member of the High Magistrate is tasked with looking out for the best interest of their homeland. Propositions are discussed, debated, and approved or denied by majority vote. Funding pours in from various forms of taxes or labor required of citizens from each area, and most every record of their activity is made public in some form or another. Recently, these records have become rarer and rarer, and those that are to be found may not contain the whole truth. After all, the way to peace is simplification and clarification of information for the palate of the people.
Perothun's ties to Caelum are primarily through the thirteenth seat in the High Magistrate that serves as their representation. Their Chief Captain holds this seat, and acts as an unofficial tiebreaker should a decision need to be made and debates drag on too long.
"Our first directive is not to fight - though we will fight if the need arises. Our eyes should always be turned towards how to best adapt to the so-called Gifted that are cropping up more and more as of late. If need be, we will keep them in line. Our hope, however, should always be that they join us peacefully in the interest of the world at large."
- Cyrus Albain, Perothun Chief Captain
Perothun's instantiation as the first official branch of Caelum at first filled the people of Tamnia with hope. The Gifted's appearance had stirred feelings of unrest across the continent, and this effort from their world's Capital to understand them was supposed to do both sides of the issue some good.
Rapidly, however, a fraction of the Gifted population turned to rising up against those in the population that they had accused of treating them poorly. It was true that in every nation-state there were those that did their best to dissociate themselves with the Gifted. Store prices mysteriously increased, service was of a generally lower quality, and all sorts of accusations began flying left and right. Soon, whether they were provoked or not, many Gifted felt justified in committing crime in the name of their own survival in a world that they felt was too harsh.
Caelum, not knowing what to do in the face of escalating uproar, stacked a new responsibility onto the only chip they had to play: Perothun.
The scientists and researchers that had been working with the few willing participants in the program were tasked with finding ways to use the data they had gathered in order to detain the ever-growing percentage of the Gifted population that was acting out. It was a reasonable request. As it stood, the law enforcement agencies from across Tamnia were all having problems corralling the chaos. Caelum, who was always thought of as the best hope for understanding the Gifted, wa also the best hope at stopping the riots.
The first developed mode of defense against Gifted attack was identifying the chemistry involved with the use of powers. Across the board, Gifts acted much like a muscle. It was just a matter of figuring out where in the brain that the signal to flex the muscle came from and designing a measure to inhibit it. A helmet turned into a collar, which turned into a simple patch applied to the back of the neck, and so on and so forth. Restraints designed to take care of the Gifted soon became commonplace among the soldiers of Perothun, and they were successful for a time.
But as Gifted became more violent in retaliating against Perothun's troops, more intense measures were needed. Casualties were steadily growing, and it was not in Perothun's power to kill without repercussions, even in self-defense.
As research furthered, the weaponization of various countermeasures to specific categories of Gifted were developed. Bullets designed to puncture even the toughest of skin, tranquilizers that could sap the strength of the strongest among them, hallucinogens to render those with telepathic or telekinetic powers useless, and the ever-growing list of tactical measures slowly transformed Perothun from a government agency to a powerful private military under the sole jurisdiction of the twelve members of Caelum's newly ordained High Magistrate.
Shortly after this, the Trials began. The Resistance, a Gifted force based in Soqus' territory, struck against a Perothun facility that was used to house captives deemed too dangerous for release or even further study. Their jailbreak's success hinged on major reinforcements that would come after the cells were broken apart, and the resulting battle was more akin to war than a riot. All of Perothun's best assets were pushed to their limit, and casualties on both sides were the tipping point.
Caelum declared all-out war. Any Gifted that wished to live safely in Tamnia was to register with them and assist Perothun in pushing back the violence, or they would be captured and subjected to research by force. The Resistance didn't really see a difference.
With each Trial, Perothun and Caelum by extension gained more power and sway in the world. Each day, more members joined in the fight to save their homes. This all culminated in the severing of Soqus from the rest of Tamnia and the declared peace. Since then, Perothun has silently been fortifying their defenses and preparing for the next war. Caelum had assured them that so long as the Gifted were still plentiful, there would be another battle to fight.
Perothun is headed by their Chief Captain, who now sits on the thirteenth seat of the High Magistrate. Below him are the Generals of the respective divisions Perothun has since been divided into: Research and Development, Detainment, Military, Infiltration and Reconnaissance, and Medical. Each division of Perothun serves a different purpose, but all of them are prepared to fight at a moment's notice.
The Research and Development division of Perothun is the oldest division in existence - originally composing Perothun in its entirety. Its responsibilities include taking in test subjects and studying their powers as well as their applications, weaknesses, supposed sources, and overall limits. They are the providers for the rest of Perothun, and deep respect is held for them throughout the ranks.
The Detainment division was the second formed division of Perothun, and is tasked with securely holding all Gifted that are considered to be a threat. They have bases in every Nation State, which is mostly because transportation of Gifted is hard to pull off safely. The members of the Detainment division are trained to follow orders and regulations to a T. At times, they appear to lack any empathy whatsoever. They are stern, efficient, and vital to Perothun's survival.
The Infiltration and Reconnaissance division of Perothun was formed shortly before the start of the Trials. It is primarily composed of Gifted who were against the conflict and simply wanted the peace that Caelum was trying to help establish. Their responsibilities include gathering information on various Gifted groups, tracking Gifted activity, and monitoring specific targets to ensure peace can be kept. As many members are Gifted, this division carries quite a bit of power but is also carefully watched. Trust is something incredibly hard to come by in their ranks.
The Medical division of Perothun was founded under the watchful eye of Chief Captain Cyrus Albain's daughter Maria. Her powers were a vital part in tending to the wounded both on and off the battlefield, and her distaste for conflict drove her to be a sympathizer of both sides. However, her eventual defection dealt a heavy blow to the Medical division. While they still exist, they skirt the line of disbanding. Without a war, their purpose is limited to specific areas where casualties and violence rates are high. It also helps that they're the figurehead of Perothun’s supposed kindness.
The Military division of Perothun was instated at the same time the Trials began. They are the first responders, the ones who engage in front-line combat, and the most heavily trained members of Perothun. Their presence can be felt across all of Tamnia, and the weight on their shoulders of enforcing the peace earns them a heavy amount of respect. The Military division functions closely with the Medical division, though their size is much greater.
"Industry is the breath of life to any military. The pen may be mightier than the sword, but that isn't because words are stronger than force. A sword is a tool to be used by one man, but the pen can place swords in the hands of thousands and mobilize those blades into battle.
- Aurella Aeverus, High Magistrate of Soraria
The Aeverus family has ancestors threading back throughout Tamnia's history as far as any historian can keep record. They are noble, proud, and incredibly influential. In recent years, their biggest accomplishment by far has to be the creation of Soraria - the floating nation-state that resides in Tamnia's northernmost skies.
The Aeverus family have been in the pursuit of influence in Caelum's High Magistrate since its establishment, and they've gained it from the simple fact that they are incredibly hard to get to. Soraria's location is easily secured due to its position high up in the air. While some Gifted were capable of flight during the war, not nearly enough were around to be able to mount a full-scale assault on the area. Because of this, Caelum located the head branch of Perothun's Research and Development division in the nation-state. This was a huge boon for the Aeverus, as their deep pockets grew even deeper from the land deals and their silver tongues wormed their way into the good graces of the entirety of Perothun.
The Aeverus family has more or less been in charge of all the mass-production of Perothun's weaponry because of the way they were able to take advantage of Soraria's creation, and this gives them quite a bit of power over who ends up receiving what. Equipment is something that Perothun is always in need of whether it's supplies to be replaced after battles against the Resistance or a fresh set of gear needs to be shipped to the newest recruits during their training in Paladisia. If Perothun were to overstep their boundaries, they may find themselves running into production issues that could leave whole units of the Military division without the armor, weapons, and restraints that are essential in leveling the playing field between them and the Gifted in battle.
This power comes in handy for the Aeverus as they have quite a few secrets that they like to keep hidden away from prying eyes; deals that shouldn't have been made, weapons supplies that may have gone to an unsavory group of anti-Perothun protestors, the occasional supply shortage for a commander they didn't particularly like, nothing was foul play when it came to cutthroat business with Perothun and Caelum. However, the most prominent of these secrets would be the family's only son Trey.
Trey was born albino, and while his incredibly pale complexion falls in line with the family genes, the red eyes and the stark white hair certainly do not. While his appearance itself may not have been so bad, there was also the matter of covering up his Gifts.
Trey was born with the power to control wind, and he started showing signs of this talent at a very early age. What used to be mysterious drafts that blew through the house at the strangest of times in the strangest of places quickly evolved into hard-to-conceal gusts of wind. Naturally, the Aeverus knew that they would be presented with two choices upon this development: Either hand Trey over to Perothun's readily available Research and Development team in Soraria or be stripped of their status and end up like the Hikari had all those years ago. Neither option was incredibly appealing, so they decided on neither. Trey was swept under the rug, heavily sheltered, and told that he was to be neither seen nor heard. It was for his own good, really.
Trey found himself with dyed hair and colored contacts soon after his twelfth birthday, and he was sat down in front of the rest of his family and told how things would have to be from now on. If he wanted to stay with his family, he would have to hide his poorly controlled powers as best he could. With that sword hanging over his head, the boy became incredibly reserved. To others, he came off as introverted and shy, but really he was just hyper-aware of everything around him that might set his powers off. It wasn't long until he discovered that his outbursts were triggered by intense emotion, and when the secret was shared with his family they began searching for anyone that might be able to help him learn to control himself.
Luckily, it was around this time that Jin made his debut in the Colosseum. With the popularity of every other sport that existed at the time combined, it was the easiest way to find the fighters that were most able to control their gifts. Naturally, those with more emotional connections with their Gifts stood out to the Aeverus in their search for a mentor that Trey could glean techniques to control himself from. Among these, Jin seemed to be the most skilled example. With any luck, he'd win his "freedom" in the coming months. After that, it would be a simple matter to draw him to Soraria.
What they hadn't expected was the sudden interruption of the matches by what Perothun had taken to calling "the Leviathan." This monster of a Gifted boy made it his business to launch attacks on populated areas that Perothun and Caelum drew power from, and it seemed he'd fashioned the Colliseum into his next target. While his attacks had been manageable in recent years, there was only evidence of him growing stronger and stronger. Now, though, his power seemed to have shattered all of its former limitations. No one was supposed to be able to break in or out of the Colosseum. It was a masterpiece of Tamnia's modern defense technology resistant to any and all interference either Human or Gifted. Those expectations shattered along with the dome around the battleground when the Leviathan managed to break through and attack Jin.
Miraculously, the boy was able to fend off the attacker that entire squads of Perothun sentries had been hard pressed to handle as of late. However, the Aeverus found themselves short on luck when both of the eerily similar-looking boys disappeared after the fight. This stretch of bad luck would be short lived, though. Jin and his new companion - a red haired girl named Kailyn who claimed to be his sister - practically showed up on their doorstep.
After negotiations and a deal that included housing and food for the two Gifted, Jin agreed to take Trey under his wing. He'd been reluctant at first, but Kailyn had managed to convince him that it was a good idea.
However, the increased activity that came with Jin's training methods were hard to cover up. Eventually, Perothun got too curious. Caelum agreed that amping up security around the Aeverus compound would be best for the safety of the family, though that was really just an excuse to deal with years of growing suspicion as to conduct done behind closed doors as far as Soraria's most influential family was concerned. In response, Jin was forced to play his hand.
Before anything could be solidified, he made a show of himself, and the Aeverus used the diversion as means to fake Trey's death. The boy had to run with Jin, shirking his dyed hair and his obscured eyes in favor of his true appearance.
After this event, the Aeverus were placed heavily under the thumb of Perothun. The member of the High Magistrate representing Soraria stepped down, citing his old age as the reason. In his place, Trey's mother was appointed to fill the position. Now completely vested in Caelum's oligarchy, the Aeverus live under constant watch of their actions. All eyes are on them, and if secrets come out it could spell the end for all of them. While their position of power is there, one representative among thirteen hardly carries any weight. This is especially true when the Aeverus could be deemed unnecessary at any moment. If their secrets are revealed, it would spell the end for them.
"The people of the mountain are hardy and powerful. Their willpower is made of the same stuff as their weapons, and their fervor for battle is only matched by their love for home and hearth. Because of this, it isn't uncommon for historians to mark the start and end of wars by sightings of the Hikari at the base of the mountain.
- Caelum Historical Records
In the days before Perothun's existence and the uniting of Tamnia under government leadership in Caelum, nation-states settled conflict the way any two arguing parties eventually turn to; they went to war. Some areas had a natural militaristic advantage - Paladisia comes to mind as the most well-armed of the various Tamnian prefectures, as they were focused on military might even before they began training Perothun sentries. However, every nation-state has its warrior families, and the Hikari stood out among all of them as the oldest and the most skilled in the art of combat.
Originally, the Hikari were natives of the Dorani Heights; a rugged and intense mountain range that cuts off Levitara from the rest of Tamnia. The environment there was harsh, especially as the elevation began to increase. It was here that the Hikari found vast deposits of good iron that they were able to forge into weapons. Each member of the Hikari is tasked with building his or her own weapon if they wish to learn how to use one, and more often than not the family will settle for only the best materials available to them when it comes to making these weapons.
In this way, the potency of metal found in meteors was discovered. When forged, the substance is extremely lightweight, strong, and able to be sharpened to some of the finest and most durable edges created. The problem is actually harvesting it. While the Hikari were lucky to find the meteor that crashed into the Dorani Heights, the metal inside was eventually used up. After that, they were forced off their mountain for the first time in their recorded history in order to search for more.
When they found it, they were displeased to discover that it was already in the hands of the Anelloran government. Anellor was currently studying the metal, and the only way they'd be willing to hand any of it over the the Hikari was for some sort of service in return. This was unfortunate, as the Hikari were primarily a warrior family. They had some methods of cultivating food, but none that Anellor would find useful given its history of overabundant harvests. Instead, they needed to find a different way to pay for the meteor.
It just so happened that Anellor was locked in combat with Ornicco at the time. Borders between the two prefectures were being disputed, and troops were engaging one another with each passing day. The offer from Anellor was simple; put the weapons they'd spent so long crafting to good use, assist the Anellorans in the fight, and the meteor was theirs.
Seeing no reason to refuse, the Hikari quickly took up arms and sent fifteen of their best men out into the field. The conflict, currently counting soldiers in the hundreds, seemed like the type that couldn't be helped by such a small amount of men, but that assumption would soon be proven false. Because of their acclimation to the harsh climate of the Dorani Heights over the generations, the Hikari could run faster, fight harder, and keep going longer than any other trained soldier. The fifteen men that they'd provided quickly took to the front lines and eliminated any force that stood in their way. Superior weapons and superior soldiers were not something that Orinicco could match.
Surprisingly, the Hikari did not kill those they did battle with. After Ornicco's surrender, Anellor asked why. In response, the leader of the Hikari explained that they did not come down from the mountains to take lives. They simply needed the metal from the meteors, and if one day Ornicco came across some it would be nearly impossible to convince them to sell it with the blood of their soldiers having been spilled by the prospective buyer. This way, perhaps they would be more generous should a need for the Hikari arise.
After that, the Hikari began recieving more offers of payment for services in combat and training for it. Nation-states that wanted to witness the Hikari in battle would ask for skirmishes with them. When conflict arose, the Hikari would go to the aid of whoever had the most metal. However, if both sides offered up the material, the Hikari would often take the side of the one whose moralit most closely aligned with their own.
It would be this freelancing that eventually eliminated the Hikari. Soon after the first Gifteds started appearing and Caelum initiated the Perothun project, Tatsuo was born to them. He was a natural with a sword in hand - his desire to learn the way of the weapon lead him to begin training at an early age. However, his powers soon developed as he continued to train. His speed surpassed the level of a trained warrior and entered the plane of superhuman. It wasn't long after this that Caelum came knocking on the Hikari's door asking for help in training Perothun soldiers with a sizable portion of meteor ore.
Seeing the path that these events were leading to, the Hikari refused the offer. Caelum sat stoic for a year with this, building up their arsenal as Perothun continued to do its work. Then, when it was finally discovered that Tatsuo had powers, Perothun was sent to capture the entirety of the Hikari clan.
The battle was long, bloody, and ultimately one-sided. The Hikari bought time for Tatsuo to escape, but paid for that window with their lives. The boy eventually made his way to Soqus, where he would join the Resistance and try to fight back against the government that had so nonchalantly slaughtered his entire clan.
"I will not stand idly by as the people I consider friends and family are wiped out by Caelum and their Perothun lapdogs. The High Magistrate needs to learn that people are not just another natural resource. I will fight as long as it takes to break them of that illusion."
- Tatsuo Hikari
The Resistance finds its roots in Perothun's rise to power under Caelum's rule. From the time of the first Gifted sighting in Tamnia, there has always been unrest about how those born with power will wield it. Caelum paints the picture that the only way to make responsible use of that power is to contribute it back to Tamnia by becoming subservient to those of the High Magistrate and the scientists of Perothun. However, willingness to take part in this new government program quickly dropped off when rumors of inhumane experimentation taking place began to spread like wildfire throughout the continent.
As propaganda encouraging all Gifted residents of Tamnia to throw in with Caelum grew more and more severe, the public opinion regarding those who didn't comply grew more and more negative. It wasn't long before laws passed in all thirteen of the nation-states that required parents to register their Gifted children with heavy prison sentences and the ceasing of the child as punishment for those who violated them. Once registered and of age (or captured in some cases), the Gifted were coralled into Perothun laboratories for research and documentation. Caelum said it simply wanted to understand the way the Gifts worked, but all the while they were also developing ways to replicate, negate, and control these Gifts for themselves. The fact that the process of doing so came with a shockingly high mortality rate even after those with the power to heal others at rapid rates were discovered was quietly swept under the rug.
It was the small mercy of allowing healers to save subjects that were bound for death by any other means that Perothun provided to the Giften in their captivity that enabled a major counterattack. When the ones captured were able to worry about more than just staying alive, an uprising was bound to occur. When it inevitably did, it spread across all of Tamnia like a massive tidal wave, spreading from Paladasia in the North to Soqus in the South. Perothun's facilities were summarily dismantled and destroyed, and the riots carried into the streets where civillian casualties were inevitable.
Quickly labelled as a dangerous element, the Gifted took to hiding in various locations around the world. Information networks relying on atypical means of communication were soon set up, and the first meager attempts at small sanctuaries began shortly after. In response to this, Perothun mobilized task forces to hunt down and round up Gifted wherever they could find them.
Tensions continued to rise between the renegade Gifted and Perothun. Battles broke out, and eventually the majority of Gifteds were pushed into Soqus while others were either captured or killed. In Soqus, the remaining free Gifted finally formed together into one group. News began to spread throughout the continent about this, and Perothun jumped at the opportunity to sell this as rooting out the source of corruption. Naturally, it wasn't long before the First Trial came to pass.
Battles continued to grow with one so-called Trial following another. Allegiances on both sides became even more intense, and it wasn't long before the public was ready to vote for the most extreme measures. The motion to separate Soqus from the rest of the continent - to cut out the cancer that the High Magistrate had turned the Resistance into - passed with an overwhelming majority.
Not long after the Final Trial, the Resistance faded into the background. Overwhelming casualties on both sides mixed with the peace that came with Soqus' split with the rest of the continent meant that there was no reason to fight anymore. Now that Soqus was free from Tamnia in all but representation in the High Magistrate, the Trials were finally over.
However, when the fires of war began to kindle again, the Resistance emerged in the mainland of Tamnia again. With the second generation of Gifted heading the fight, new and vastly powerful warriors proved more than a match for stagnating Perothun technology. In the coming years, the conflict between both sides was more heated than ever before. And this time, the Gifted actually seemed to stand a chance of winning.
Forged without knowledge of proper military tactics, the Resistance has never been as structured as Caelum or Perothun. Their ranks are composed of small teams following a leader with different specialties among them. Some teams are meant for stealth and reconnaisance, others stand on the front lines and fight the hard battles, and others still chose to tend to the wounded both on and off the battlefield. In the case of Tatsuo Hikari - the man considered to be one of the most important fighters of the Resistance's first wave - missions of any kind could be taken up.
While the Resistance has no official leader, certain individuals do carry more respect than others. Either for their power or their strategic intellect, the Resistance celebrates strength and success over anything else. However, they also believe that the greatest strength is in numbers. The Resistance both old and new will always watch out for its own.
In that sense, it's more like a family than an army.
"People draw their life from the land, and when their lives expire they return to it. The land is our source of nourishment and has been since our beginning. Without our land, we are nothing; to act against the land is to court death."
- Borrin Halrend, High Magistrate of Anellor
Anellor lays to the Northeast of Caelum, sharing borders with the Capitol itself, the Dorani Heights, Paladisia, Ornicco, Korenth, and Notharr. The territory starts out wide in the South, but eventually bottlenecks in on itself as it stretches to the North before finally cutting off at the Ornicco border.
Because of where Anellor lies in the continent, the weather shifts dramatically as you travel through it. While the climate is incredibly mild in the South and it's possible to fully enjoy all four seasons, the eternal winter of Ornicco grabs at Anellor's heels the further North you go. As a result, more of the Nation State's rather dense population is gathered in the South.
Anellor benefits from a relatively flat elevation curve across its entirety. The hills and valleys of Anellor and lack of harsh weather made it easy for people to survive even before the advent of modern architecture. While there are various other reasons contributing to the survival of the Anelloran people, their gift of livable, fertile land should be taken into account when trying to understand their culture. The balanced climate makes their crops plentiful, their crops in turn feed the people and the livestock, and the livestock is able to do better work on the land as a result of good food as well as make for good food itself.
Nearly two thirds of modern Anellor is farmland, and as such the Anellorans are responsible for much of the food produced for Tamnia.
The earliest known Anellorans were nomadic, travelling from place to place in search of naturally growing crops and hunting down their food. As time passed on, the people divided into two faction: those who would brave the harsher winter climates of the North to keep better relations with the winter-time fishers of Ornicco, and the ones who would settle down throughout various areas in the South to take advantage of the weather as their knowledge of agriculture continued to grow.
The Anellorans had developed strong bodies with unrelenting work ethic over time. This, combined with their penchant towards gathering together during their days as nomads in order to better secure prey for the hunt, made them incredibly efficient at rearing livestock and working the land. However, their strength also made them incredibly bullheaded.
It wasn't uncommon for there to be contests for leadership of certain groups as more permanent towns began to form. Initially, the groupings were small enough that just one person could take the lead of the fifty or so people that made the town up. As populations continued to grow, more people were unhappy with the systems they had in place. The traditional way of resolving this unrest was one-on-one combat between the aspiring leader against the current one. Naturally, this evolved into a war of attrition and would go round after round until someone finally broke whoever was in power at the time.
The eventual decision to decide a new leader once every year came to pass, but the methods for selecting one remained the same. Fights would be held after the last harvest of each year before the colder weather began to set in. The former leader would be discluded from these tournaments to make room for new blood, and whoever came out on top would be in charge.
In the Northern parts of Anellor where conditions were not optimal for fighting and population growth of towns was drastically slower, the issues of power in the South were never present. As such, they retained the old systems of power and instead focused on adopting fishing methods and technology from the people of Ornicco. Slowly, it was almost like the North and South of Ornicco were becoming completely different Nation States, but both sides did well to remember their ties to one another and mutual origins.
When Caelum was established in the center of Tamnia, the people of Anellor benefitted immensely from the technology that came with it. Access to more natural resources meant that it was easier to build machines to take some of the burden of farming off their shoulders. Tilling soil, milking cattle, improving crop rotations, and many other things became possible. In return, the people of Anellor provided shares of their improved harvests to the rest of the Nation States throughout Tamnia.
The Gifted of Anellor were highly praised for their talents in their beggining. Those that had skills which made it easier to work the land held high value to the residents of towns throughout the Nation State. Surpassing even the efficiency of the machines that had been provided by Caelum, the Gifted brought in some of the most bountiful harvests that certain cities had seen in their lives. Of course, the flip side of this was that Gifteds whose powers were not so easily contained ultimately hurt the land more than it helped. To the people of Anellor, acting against the land was one of the gravest crimes you could commit.
The High Magistrate quickly found itself an Anelloran representative upon its commissioning. The leaders of each village interested in taking on the role gathered to settle things as they always had; a tournament. The man to come out on top was a tall, tanned, burly figure by the name of Borrin. He'd had the unfortunate experience of losing a good portion of his harvest to a Gifted pyromaniac, and had no sympathy for the ones that proved unable to follow orders. Naturally, he promoted their harsh regulation, documentation, and at times extermination.
In modern times, Borrin still holds his seat in the High Magistrate. Anellor experiences some relatively strict policing due to this, but the Gifted that are tasked to work there are treated well if they are able to do their work. Those who aren't have a history of being sent up North, where extra food, clothing, and shelter are hard to come by and the work is still incredibly taxing - usually involving work as a deck hand on a fishing boat. Freezing to death isn't that strange of a thing to come by up there, especially given their working conditions.