New Sammichian Empire
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The New Sammichian Empire (also known as the Fulfwotz Empire, or Nuva Xamichine Impirex in Old Sammichian, and formerly the Fulflet Union) is a sovereign state largely located in the Demmatrodine and other various territories spread throughout the Shire. It is among the Shire’s foremost nations, a global superpower, and boasts one of the world’s largest economies due to its diverse and plentiful natural resources. With its capital in Fulfwotz, the Empire has over fifty integral provinces and several other dependencies in the Shire, as well as a significant cultural foothold given the legacy of its predecessor, the Old Sammichian Empire. It has a total population of 55.7 million, mainly concentrated in enclaves such as Fulfwotz, Caffa, Floffwym, and various other territories. Its national anthem is Daetra Vivum av Impirex, or “Long Live the Empire”.
Leadership of the Empire is divided between the Emperor and the Sammichian Imperial Chancellery. The current ruler is Emperor Sammus Mephistes Inigmax Ich II the Magnificent, who was responsible for the creation of the Empire. The current High Chancellor is Kiera C. Krugerrand, the elected head of the Chancellery. Especially in recent years, there has been a growing division between the two establishments, partially fueled by partisan conflict and the Chancellery’s perceived attempts to restrict and circumvent the Emperor’s power. The Empire has an extremely diverse population with wide cultural disparities, the result of aggressive colonialism and imperialism. The Empire is notorious for internal corruption and instablity, along with its bold and oftentimes hostile foreign policies.
The New Sammichian Empire was formed on May 24th, 1929, following the end of the First World War and the signing of the Treaty of Niflheim. The Kingdom of Fulfwotz, which had been a primary instigator of the war and leader of the Overtaker coalition, suffered immense destruction along with the rest of the Shire; likely to boost morale and reassert the state’s global status, King Sammich consolidated his territories into the New Sammichian Empire and crowned himself Emperor. The Empire underwent a period of internal restructuring and rebuilding. With the outbreak of the Second Plague in the 1950’s, it was fairly quick to respond, yet the self-imposed quarantine of all its holdings was compromised by the migration of avian carriers, and it was through the Empire that much of the southern Shire was infected. Large-scale population loss in the aftermath of the plague led to the already-few business regulations to be lifted in order to compensate and gain an edge internationally; employees were overworked, underpaid, and systematically exploited in the following decades, creating a massive socioeconomic gap and social unrest. In 1972, peaceful protests in Fulfwotz soon evolved into a full-scale violent revolution, aided by the Fulfwotz Communist Collective, a radical political party that had gained the support of the proletariat. To the shock of the international community, the imperial government was overthrown, ushering in the era of the Fulflet Union. For over a decade, the Empire was split between the Fulflet territories in the south and the remnants of the Imperial ones in the north. The Fulflet Union entered a cold war with its fellow superpower Oranjestad, and the Empire was further fractured after the Caffan Hegemony seceded after the failed Demmatrodine invasion to retake Fulfwotz. Operation Reconquista in 1983 brought Fulfwotz and loyalist territories back under Imperial control, and Caffa was soon subdued and reabsorbed.
Today, the New Sammichian Empire is a highly developed country and has recovered from the strife of the 20th century. It leads the way and has a near-monopoly over the entertainment industry, and ranks highly in the sphere of promotion of freedom of speech, press, and thought. It is among the Shire’s most able military and economic powers. Its economy is considered largely post-industrial, though it dominates the Shire in the extraction and refinement of ore. It is one of the Shire’s superpowers and a founding member of the Shire United Nations, with a permanent seat on the organization’s Security Council.
- 1 Etymology
- 2 History
- 3 Geography and Climate
- 4 Government
- 5 Culture
- 6 Economy
- 7 Law Enforcement and Crime
- 8 Science and Technology
- 9 Health
- 10 Demographics
- 11 Territories
The Empire derived its name from its predecessor, Xamichia, now more commonly known as the Old Sammichian Empire. The study of the history of Xamichia is popular amongst Sammichians (and much of the Shire), being the world's earliest known civilization but at one point the most powerful domain the Shire had ever seen; it is for these reasons that many Sammichians look back on it with pride and desired a name that reflected the power it once had.
The empire was originally established under the name of the Commonwealth of the King's Territories by the Chancellory in 1929, but was changed to its current title after considerable prodding by the populace. The name struggled to gain traction for recognition within the Shire United Nations, despite the state being one of the foremost entities in the institution. Many claimed that the title was absurd and reflected an air of imperialism and geopolitical dominance which the Shire was trying to recover from after the events of the First World War. However, as the nation's influence grew and it became a more valuable trading partner and ally, recognition was eventually earned under the name of the New Sammichian Empire.
However, in recent years, many have criticized the name as being xenophobic and a failure at representing the extremely diverse population of the Empire. Despite officially being a Sammichian domain, since it is ruled by a family of Sammichian descent, the majority of the population is made up of Humans; the Sammichian race is actually the second-most numerous racial group within the Empire. In 2013, racial advocacy group ASRR (Association for Shire Racial Representation) filed a lawsuit against the Empire and was brought to the Shire United Nations International Court, arguing for a more inclusive and broad title. The case was lost under the policy of state sovereignty.
A citizen of the New Sammichian Empire is officially known as a "Sammichian", but due to this word being associated with a certain race many choose to identify with where in the Empire they originated. For example, someone from Caffa will identify as a Caffan before Sammichian. To mitigate the confusion that may arise from the terminology, a demonym that is just as commonly (if not more) used by the international community is Imperial. This term is often shortened to "Imp", typically to mock the Empire.
Please see Kingdom of Fulfwotz for the nation's pre-Imperial history.
Imperial Reformation Proclamation
Amidst reconstruction efforts following the destructive Great War, King Sammus presided over the country's government as its autocratic leader. The Chancellery had been disbanded during the Occupation of Fulfwotz and the ensuing chaos, and Sammus found it easier to rebuild without the supposed bureaucratic checks and limitations that the Chancellery imposed. However, by 1930, a year after the war had ended, he was beginning to feel pressure from the Shire United Nations and his people to reintroduce the Chancelleric institution. He formed the Chancelleric Restoration Council to oversee the process of elections, but before they could take place, he issued his final piece of grand legislation, the Imperial Reformation Act. On August 22nd, 1930, the New Sammichian Empire was established. The government and its departments were "imperialized", and Sammus crowned himself Emperor. While there was no given pretext to the passage of this monumental act, it is widely believed that it was passed in order to reinvigorate the downtrodden Kingdom as well as to distance itself from its wartime reputation.
The first country to formally recognize the New Sammichian Empire was the Enderian Nation, being the oldest and closest ally of the Fulfwotzian establishment, soon followed by the Venezian Commonwealth, Oranjestad, and other past Overtaker allies. Where the act was celebrated in the New Sammichian Empire, it was abhorred by the other nations of the Shire. Especially given the context of the Great War, rechristening the Kingdom of Fulfwotz as an empire was perceived as a return to the imperialistic and colonial principles which divided the world in the first place. The Empire struggled for recognition and many countries challenged its position on the Shire United Nations Security Council. On November 5th, 1930, the first High Chancellor of the postwar nation was elected, Alexandria Wacker-Dubois.
High Chancellor Wacker-Dubois, although a member of the Constitutional Party and inclined towards opposing the monarchy's decisions, supported the revitalization of the country. On November 24th, she delivered a speech before the SUN defending the reformation. As the democratically-elected leader of the Empire's legislature, her argument was held in higher-esteem and taken into more consideration than Emperor Sammus' would have been. Following her speech, many of the nations who had initially opposed the Empire decided to recognize it, with the exception of Riverwood, which has not recognized the Empire to this day.
Emperor Sammus, having sensed that the High Chancellor was far more effective at representing the nation abroad than he was in the aftermath of the Great War, withdrew from the public eye as he dealt with reconsolidating and managing the dynasty's assets and properties. The reins of the government were largely left to the Chancellery in his absence as he already laid the groundwork for reconstruction. High Chancellor Wacker-Dubois took this in stride and continued to reaffirm the Empire's peaceful intentions to the rest of the world and the SUN. In one of her speeches, she confessed that the Empire would not shy away from territorial acquisitions, but vowed that no state would ever find itself as a part of the Empire through force or violence. Through her efforts, confidence in the New Sammichian Empire was slowly rebuilt abroad.
One of the cornerstones of Wacker-Dubois' administration was the reconstruction of the Empire in the wake of the Great War. Following in the Emperor's footsteps, she diverted funding from now-obsolete wartime departments and expenses towards the Renewal Programs, as well as creating the Ministry of Reconstruction in order to more efficiently carry out this task. As opposed to purely state-managed redevelopment, which many nations practiced after the war, the Empire instead opted for equal parts government and private labor. Both domestic and foreign firms competed for large government contracts to clear rubble and provide repairs to the nation's infrastructure. Many of the largest construction and development firms in the Empire today found their initial footing through these profitable contracts. This efficient and comprehensive method of rebuilding the country allowed for the rapid redevelopment and rise of the New Sammichian Empire.
Alexandria Wacker-Dubois was (and still is) lauded as one of the country's most able High Chancellors, guiding the war-torn nation along the road to recovery with great confidence and speed. As such, she was reelected to a second term in 1936. However, two years into her term, she would be forced to step down due to her deteriorating health. Having never appointed a Vice-Chancellor, elections for the next head of government were necessary. In order to facilitate this and other governmental functions, Emperor Sammus reemerged back into the public spotlight after nearly six years of relative silence and seclusion. He arrived in Capitolae to assume the post of interim High Chancellor, to the great concern of many a nation. The Shire waited with bated breath to see if he would return to his old ways, but instead, he chose to continue looking inward and focus on domestic matters. One controversial move was his prosecution and subsequent removal of Justice Vincent LeGrange from the Imperial Supercourt on dubious grounds. Sammus then appointed Nesso Tenaxus in his place, a professed member of the new Free Monarchy Party, the successor of the First Monarchy Party. This move damaged the likelihood of the FMP candidate from being elected High Chancellor, and another Constitutional candidate was elected, Isaac Hughes.
The Empire acquired a major asset in 1939, when Emperor Sammus negotiated a deal with the Caffan Doge Alessandro Barsi VI. In exchange for protection from the piracy clan known as the Nave Corsara, as well as substantial financial backing and favorable trade agreements, the Doge agreed to become a territory of the New Sammichian Empire. Given that Caffa was founded by escaped slaves from Xamichia, the move was incredibly unpopular with the Caffan people. There was widespread rioting throughout the city, and it was put under martial law by Kretopol for two months. The Nave Corsara was eliminated by the Imperial Navy, but the city was still extremely unhappy. Barsi grew close with the Emperor and allowed a transformation of Caffa's government into the traditional Imperial one. This outraged the city, which had been led by a Doge for five centuries. With such unanimous hatred for their new government, the nationalist group La Resistenza experienced a surge in membership. General Alfonso Vacarelli, a high-ranking commander in the Caffan Legion, accused now-Chancellor Barsi of being out-of-touch and ignorant of the needs of the Caffan people, and began covertly planning a military coup to depose Barsi and break away from the Empire.
On October 9th, 1941, a ceremony was being held to celebrate the expansion of Caffa's harbor, a project largely funded by the Empire. In attendance was Chancellor Barsi, several Chancellors and other government officials, members of the pro-Imperial Caffan elite, and the Emperor himself. During the ceremony, the Caffan Legion quietly began sealing off the city, closing St. Stephen's Bridge spanning the Caffan Lagoon and encircling the mouth of the lagoon to restrict the passage of ships. According to eyewitness accounts, an aide to the Chancellor tried getting his attention during his speech, presumably to inform him that the Caffan Legion closing off the city, but guards at the ceremony would not allow him onto the stage.
Several minutes later at 12:42pm, Alessandro Barsi VI was shot in the head and killed to the shock of the audience. Chaos erupted as guards and plants within the crowd opened fire on the stage, as well as on Imperial dignitaries and Caffan supporters of the Empire in attendance. Among those killed in the initial attack included Chancellors Eliza Hathwood and Fahmi Farran, Luciana Fiore Barsi (the wife of Alessandro), four Caffan Chancers, and several guards. Emperor Sammus was shot in the left shoulder before he was quickly evacuated to Castello Barsi by the Magistrax Militae. Only a minute after his departure, a bomb placed under a chair in the audience of the ceremony was detonated in conjunction with a second one beneath the stage's platform, killing 43 in the crowd attempting to flee and injuring nearly a hundred more. As La Resistenza and General Alfonso Vacarelli asserted their authority across the city with the support of the Caffan Legion, Emperor Sammus was trapped inside the fortified residence of the Barsi family. A firefight between insurgents within the castle and the Emperor's guards erupted as he was barricaded within Castello Barsi's chapel.
Upon hearing word that General Vacarelli and his forces were en route to the castle, Father Gabriele in the chapel helped to disguise the Emperor's guards as robed monks and concealed him in a large crate on account of his visible horn. He smuggled them out of a secret exit, instructing them to go to the Abbazia di San Salvatore, a convent on the main island's northern end, where they would receive help. The nuns and sisters of the abbey quickly treated the Emperor in their infirmary before lending his entourage a rowboat to cross the unpatrolled northern Caffan waters. They allegedly stole a farmer's truck on the mainland and drove it to friendly Valenciennes, where he was transported back to Fulfwotz. Back in Caffa, General Vacarelli, La Resistenza, and the Caffan Legion finally seized power as Vacarelli was declared Generalissimo and began his dictatorial regime.
Vacarelli's nationalist rule appealed to the Caffan people in its infancy. It promised independence and glory to a people that had been humiliated by the ineptitude of its own government and brought into the fold of the New Sammichian Empire. However. they soon realized that they had taken the freedoms enacted under Imperial rule for granted as Vacarelli's regime railed against secularism and enforced Catholic values within the state. Same-sex marriage was outlawed, women were compelled to abandon professional and educational pursuits in order to fulfill more domestic obligations, and criticism of the Caffan establishment could lead to imprisonment. Unrest was largely quelled by the fact that the vast majority of Caffans were indeed Catholic and did not find issue with the integration of church and state, as well as reassurances from the government that such extreme measures were only temporary as order was restored.
In 1944, the Empire devised a plan to retake Caffa, which involved forming a blockade around the city's harbor and mounting a terrestrial invasion, with paratroopers descending on Castello Barsi to assassinate the Generalissimo. However, the operation failed as inclement weather hampered the effectiveness of the blockade and outright prevented airborne units from conducting flyovers. Terrestrial units were also met with an unexpectedly-large and well-equipped military, its ranks having been bolstered under Vacarelli's policy of conscription. To the chagrin of the Emperor, reclaiming the city was put on hold as elections took place across the Empire and a fleeting economic crisis following the closure of the Fulfwotz-based First Bank of Sarrimus diverted the nation's attention.
Retaking Caffa was again stymied by the emergence of a mutated strain of Yersinia pulex, a virus responsible for Kleopintra's Plague which managed to kill off a remarkable number of Shirefolk around 1400. Believed to have originated from an ancient artifact taken out of storage at a museum in Athitica, it quickly spread within the city, prompting investigations from doctors and pathologists from around the world, as well as the Shire United Nations Health Committee. The virus had the unfortunate timing of reemerging towards the autumn of 1948, where birds in the region acting as avian carriers of the virus would migrate from the Central Shire to the warm Demmatrodine. It is thanks to these migratory patterns that remote Enpeecee towns on the continent would begin to exhibit symptoms of Yersinia pulex, which had been nicknamed the Athitican flu (although technically not a strain of influenza).
Travel within the New Sammichian Empire quickly resulted in the first documented case of the Athitican flu in Fulfwotz being reported on December 8th, 1948. Fulfwotz became the third major city to become infected, after Athitica and Oranjestad. Soon after, at the suggestion of DePrey Institute the Ministry of Health in conjunction with the Ministry of Defense declared a quarantine of the Fulfwotz metropolitan area on December 19th, issuing travel restrictions and setting up roadblocks in order to prevent the spread of the virus to other Imperial provinces. The New Sammichian Empire was the first nation to issue such a comprehensive quarantine, and many other countries followed suit, closing their borders to both domestic and foreign travel.
By the arrival of 1949, the Athitican flu had already claimed some 3 million lives worldwide with a mortality rate of 20-30%. DePrey Institute was granted $85 million by the Empire and a group of other nations in order to facilitate the commencement of work on a cure. Researchers from across the world convened at the Institute in order to work together and make use of its state-of-the-art facilities. DePrey Institute maintained constant contact with researchers at Laurelian University, the University of Clementine, and the Universita di Venezia Nuova, swapping notes and reporting on progress.
Although laboratories worked around the clock to research the virus and develop a cure, its effect on the Shire only worsened as several major quarantines in the dense Central Shire were compromised and cases began to emerge in the Northern Shire. Caffa was soon inundated with the flu, and news stopped coming out of the city by the spring of 1949. In order to prevent social collapse, the New Sammichian Empire deliberately censored much information detailing the severity of the flu, although as many as 1.5 million Imperial citizens had died at that point with countless more infected. By the end of the spring, however, social order in the Empire began to decay, hastened by Emperor Sammus' evacuation to the isolated Niflheim Palace and the moving of Lord High Chancellor Perenes vos Paxae and his family underground, along with leading government officials. Such actions contributed to the impression of the absence of government, and in turn with the devastation of the Athitican flu, led to absenteeism in many of the Empire's urban centers. Without a sufficient medical and police presence, citizens took to looting and violence.
In the winter of 1949, a breakthrough was made when trials began for a vaccine synthesized from immune Laurelii researchers. The effort was truly a global one, achieved with research and findings provided by the Shire's leading laboratories, including those of DePrey Institute. By the subsequent summer, the trials proved successful and the vaccine for the Athitican flu was approved for distribution by the Shire's governments.
The Empire's handling of the vaccines has proved somewhat controversial; whereas the limited supply of vaccines was distributed via a lottery system based on birthdate in many countries in order to maintain the balance between supply and demand following Oranjestad's example, the Empire would instead vaccinate entire regions at once. This meant that larger provinces were prioritized over smaller ones, and some smaller ones would be deprived of any vaccinations for as long as a year after they were made available. The Lord High Chancellor Perenes vos Paxae defended this decision by claiming that larger, urban centers were more important to the infrastructure of the Empire and thus deserved to be rid of the Athitican flu before minor provinces. Fulfwotz, in particular, was known for its arguably-racist means of vaccine distribution, with vaccination centers being erected in wealthier neighborhoods which were typically Sammichian, making them hard to access for poorer Enpeecees.
In the aftermath of the Athitican flu pandemic, the Empire lost roughly 6% of its population (3% worldwide). Approximately 4 million fell victim to the virus within the Empire. The final Imperial citizen was vaccinated in the spring of 1952, and the virus was officially declared eradicated within its borders soon after. In its wake, entire regions of the Shire were left depopulated and devastated. Unsurprisingly, impoverished and ill-equipped countries who could not effectively bolster themselves against the Athitican flu bore the most casualties as a result. In the following September, an SUN resolution was passed which created the World Health Agency, devoted to providing more international oversight on health and disease management as well as providing aid to poorer nations in order to prevent such losses in the future.
Retaking of Caffa
One area hit particularly hard was Caffa, still under the control of the Generalissimo Alfonso Vacarelli. The Caffan Legion and La Resistenza were decimated due in large part to Vacarelli's belief that he was the reincarnation of Jesus Christ, so he and his followers must be immune to the Athitican flu. As a result, he did not institute quarantines or take proper precautions in order to protect his people. Once Caffans began becoming infected and dying, he refused to act again as he believed them to be weak and that their deaths were inconsequential and unimportant to his "mission". Caffa was still struggling to recover, even after Vacarelli gave in and accepted vaccines from the World Health Agency in 1954. The Generalissimo was growing increasingly unpopular with the Caffan people, and in response only tightened his grip on the state by dispatching death squads to kill dissidents, counterrevolutionaries, and potential political opponents.
The Fulfwotzian establishment sought to take advantage of the Caffan political climate and its weakened state. In June of 1955, the Imperial Navy formed a blockade of the city's harbor and soon mounted a seaborne invasion of the city's main island on June 19th. Soldiers remarked at the conditions in Caffa; dead bodies were stacked in alleyways as the digging of mass graves for the victims of the Athitican flu could no longer keep up with the accumulating bodies. The homes of wealthier and politically-important Caffans were fortified and barricaded to keep out commoners and hold the flu at bay. Entire portions of the city had been left without power for months, if not years since the state had fallen to disease. Despite the horrific shape Caffa was in, Imperial soldiers still had to shoulder resistance from both Vacarelli's men and ordinary Caffan citizens.
The entire military operation proved incredibly easy as the Caffan Legion could not put up sufficient resistance. Soldiers on the ground occupied the city and drew legionnaires from Castello Barsi, as aerial units dropped paratroopers into the castle's courtyard where the Generalissimo was having lunch with his wife, Ludavica. He and his wife fled inside, and after a brief firefight were discovered at prayer in the castle's chapel. Once Imperial soldiers closed in, it became clear that Vacarelli and Ludavica intended on committing suicide, both holding pistols to their heads. According to eyewitness accounts, Ludavica went through with their pact and died instantly from a gunshot to the head. However, Vacarelli's gun was shot out of his hand at the last second and he was captured alive. Still despondent over the death of his wife, he was forced to order his men to surrender soon after midday, and Caffa was back in the Imperial fold.
Alfonso Vacarelli and high-ranking members of his government were transported back to Fulfwotz for trial, where they were found guilty of high treason, war crimes, and a multitude of other offenses against the New Sammichian Empire. His lieutenants were executed via firing squad in the Demmatrodine wilderness, while the true fate of the Generalissimo remains unknown. The Imperial government insists he was put to death alongside them, yet this was allegedly refuted by an anonymous member of said firing squad, a claim corroborated by leaked memos (albeit of dubious origin) mentioning Vacarelli after his supposed death. This account has spawned a variety of conspiracy theories with more outlandish ones going as far to claim he truly was the reincarnation of Jesus Christ and could not be killed, or that he was kept alive and experimented on by the Ministry of Defense.
While the Empire had recovered from the Athitican flu for the most part, in the chaos of the pandemic the Shire's economy had suffered and productivity plummeted. As other nations slowly but surely rebuilt their economic prosperity, the Empire sought to take advantage of the situation by deregulating the economy and revoking certain workers' protections, despite being a country with an already extremely laissez-faire economy. By doing so, it would surpass the other nations of the Shire and become the world's leading economy. In the late 1950's, lower-class citizens across the Empire suffered as corporations increased workloads and hours while withholding grants from the Ministry of Labor meant to be rolled into worker bonuses and pay increases. Meanwhile, the ambitious Minister of Defense Cedon Wexfield, who had run for High Chancellor in three consecutive elections and lost every time, began concocting a plan to exploit the powder-keg that was the working class of the Empire.
Minister Wexfield opened a communication channel with the Fulfwotz Communist Collective around 1957, and agreed to aid them in stockpiling arms in exchange for their support as well as their stirring of discontent within poorer parts of the Empire. Wexfield's goal was to launch a military coup and unseat the High Chancellor, and after Vacarelli's takeover of Imperial Caffa, he knew it was possible. While the FCC was occupied with arming themselves and exploiting socioeconomic discord, Minister Wexfield began to sabotage the administration of Lord High Chancellor Perenes vos Paxae from the inside, deliberately misguiding him on military matters and suggesting that he continue his agenda of deregulation. It was under Minister Wexfield's advice that protests around the Empire were put down by force, only fanning the flames of revolution.
Matters came to a head when FCC plants in a Fulfton protest managed to provoke the crowd into violence, inciting a massive riot on October 11th, 1958. Stockpiled arms were distributed amongst the rioters by the Collective, and by nightfall the entire borough had been sent into chaos. Minister Wexfield refused to dispatch the Imperial Armed Forces to quell the growing revolt, forcing Kretopol to intervene. In Capitolae, Minister Wexfield called a meeting of the Ministers and High Chancellor in order to supposedly discuss strategy; after arriving at the Ministry of Defense, all of the Ministers along with Lord High Chancellor Perenes vos Paxae were arrested by IAF soldiers loyal to the Minister Wexfield, bound to follow the chain of command and follow his orders. Spies in the Ministry of Defense alerted Emperor Sammus to the development, who was helpless to intervene as the Imperial Armed Forces took orders and obeyed the Defense Minister and the High Chancellor, not the Emperor. A squadron of military police were en route to Castle Mugg where Emperor Sammus was preparing to evacuate the city, arriving while he was still on the premises. A firefight erupted between Wexfield's soldiers and the Emperor's guards until he was evacuated from the city via helicopter. Later that day, Minister Wexfield appointed himself Premier of the Fulflet Union, a state based upon the communist principles of the FCC. As the Union worked to organize itself, many Fulfwotzians fled the city before its borders would be closed, particularly the city's elite, including businesspeople, artists, government officials, nobility, and celebrities.
Sent into disarray from having the Empire severed at the head, the government-in-exile traveled to Caffa, which became the provisional capital of the New Sammichian Empire. On October 13th, news and communications stopped coming out of Fulfwotz as Premier Wexfield and his Committee of First Officers asserted their authority. The Shire was bewildered, watching with concern as the New Sammichian Empire appeared to be crumbling. Its supposedly-imminent collapse was heavily sensationalized abroad; from Caffa, the Emperor (who had invoked his emergency powers as the High Chancellor and much of the Chancellery remained imprisoned in Fulfwotz) still commanded the numerous Imperial provinces, with the exception of the nation's former capital city. The Empire's closest allies such as the Enderian Nation and the Venezian Commonwealth offered aid, but it was declined, likely out of pride and a desire to put forth the image that the Empire was not desperate enough for foreign aid.
Essentially stripped of its military, save for a a variety of units who deserted in the face of the Fulflet takeover, the New Sammichian Empire needed troops if it was ever to retake Fulfwotz. It petitioned for military support from its allies, but many were still weary from the Athitican flu pandemic; they promised assistance in the future or if the situation got particularly dire, but Emperor Sammus wanted to act immediately. His fury was only tempered by his brother Matares, who suggested that he focus on ensuring that other provinces of the Empire are looked after and won't raise their own insurgencies. Sammus understood, and conducted a tour of various Imperial provinces while simultaneously inspecting for Fulflet communist cells.
For the next five years, Emperor Sammus simmered while the Fulflet Union quietly absorbed the Imperial Demmatrodine and invested heavily in the military and science sectors. It reopened communications with the rest of the Shire in 1959, reassuring the world to its peaceful intentions, a claim contradicted by the annexation of Imperial holdings near Fulfwotz and its then-alleged development of a high-powered weapon of mass destruction. In 1961, the Fulflet Union tested the Ender Bomba, the most powerful nuclear device detonated and largest manmade explosion to date, with a total yield of 55 megatons of TNT. The bomb was detonated in the ocean outside of the Verdenes, just far enough so as to avoid contaminating it and its waters with radiation but close enough to shock and frighten the Verdenesians. Soon after, the Union and Oranjestad entered a cold war as the result of conflicting ideologies and the outspokenness of Oranjestad when it came to its resentment for Premier Cedon Wexfield and his country. International espionage was at an all-time high; in Oranjestad, it was said that for every 100 government workers there was one Fulflet spy, and vice versa. Oranjestad's hate only deepened after a communist rally was organized in its capital city, and the government suspected the Fulflet Union of having instigated it.
However, the domestic prosperity that the Fulflet government enjoyed after seizing power slowly began unraveling, rooted in government conflict. Despite what he said publicly, Cedon Wexfield was not a communist, and aligning himself with the Fulfwotz Communist Collective was truly just a means to an end. Privately, Premier Wexfield confessed his preference for the laissez-faire Fulfwotzian economics typical of the New Sammichian Empire. He simply saw that the lower and middle class in the Empire was unhappy, and figured that a communist revolution was the best way to exploit that anger and retain power afterward. His deputies on the Committee of First Officers sensed this apprehension when it came to devoting himself to communist principles, and soon his own government began plotting against him, with the goal of usurping Wexfield in favor of Officer Vespo Tessides, the original leader of the FCC. Tessides garnered support among the other Officers, and on the night of March 30th, 1963, Premier Wexfield and his family were put to death before a firing squad. His son Edwin was smuggled out of the Union by an unknown operative in the Fulflet government, but was allegedly discovered by racketeers in the Demmatrodine countryside who attempted to ransom him. Although his remains were never found, it is largely believed that he was robbed and murdered when the new Premier Vespo Tessides refused to pay the ransom.
Whereas his predecessor was perfectly content with allowing the New Sammichian Empire coexist with the Fulflet Union and simply let it be, Premier Tessides did not share this sentiment at all and wanted to completely absorb the Empire and its territories. He believed the first step in dismantling the Empire was disposing of Emperor Sammus, the last vestige of the Imperial government. An attempt was made on the Emperor's life in June of 1963, foiled only by a pigeon which flew through the line of sight of the Fulflet sniper dispatched to assassinate the Emperor. The June assassination attempt was essentially the breaking point for international complacency when it came to the Fulflet Union. Only days afterward, Emperor Sammus met with the leaders of Oranjestad and the Venezian Commonwealth to orchestrate the creation of a military coalition which would retake Fulfwotz and, from there, the Demmatrodine.
The plan to capture Fulfwotz and depose the Fulflet regime was named Operation Reconquista, and the operation is largely remembered as one of the most unsuccessful military operations in modern history. It was truly doomed from the start; since the Empire's military had been, for the most part, reappropriated into that of the Fulflet Union, it had a very small army, with only the naval forces stationed at Caffa and virtually no air force. As a result of this, Oranjestad and the Venezian Commonwealth did not feel compelled to volunteer sizable portions of their own militaries. Experts today make the assertion that, taking into account the strength of the Fulflet Union and Fulfwotz's natural defenses, the Emperor's coalition would have needed approximately 20,000 troops to occupy the city; they had less than half of that, with only 9,000. The Emperor's eagerness to begin the operation also resulted in Reconquista being mounted in August, one of the hottest months of the year in the Demmatrodine, with temperatures outside of the Seraphina Valley and Alturas-Santos mountains reaching as high as 110 degrees. Another impediment the operation faced was that its presiding general, Commander Nytressa Tamporae, died suddenly from a brain hemorrhage and was quickly replaced by Commander William Moore, who did not have the same level of understanding of the plan as his predecessor did.
Predictably, the operation was an astounding failure, with coalition forces routed by the Fulflets and chased out of the central Demmatrodine. To make matters worse, during the Emperor's absence from Caffa, the Caffan Nationalist Party seized power and exiled the Emperor and his entourage. The Hegemony of Caffa was established on September 2nd, 1963, under the new Doge Enzo Stavola. Emperor Sammus retreated to Niflheim Palace in shame, the Magistrax Militae fending off attacks from assassins dispatched from both the Fulflet Union and the Hegemony. At this point, much of the Shire had lost hope in the New Sammichian Empire and believed it to be on the edge of collapse. When the Empire's seat on the Security Council was questioned during a session of the SUN given its dubious future, Emperor Sammus delivered an indignant speech before its ambassadors, lambasting them for their lack of faith.
Exhausted with petitioning for and cultivating foreign support and lacking meaningful military assets, Emperor Sammus resolved to focus not on dismantling the Union as a whole but rather the Fulflet leadership, namely Premier Vespo Tessides. The Emperor drew up his plans, modeled after the operation to retake Caffa following its first secession; the highly-trained and skilled Magistrax Militae operatives would topple the Fulflet Union by severing it at the head. On the night of October 30th, 1963, Emperor Sammus joined his squadron of Militae agents and traveled to the Demmatrodine hidden on an Enderian merchant vessel. Once they arrived in the Port of Fulfwotz, they disembarked and sped into Enderfulf Bay and towards Castle Mugg under the cover of night. They went about undetected until a Fulflet submarine discovered them and dispatched the naval forces, but by then the Emperor and Magistrax Militae were within reach of Castle Mugg. They utilized a secret entrance known only to the Ich Dynasty concealed in the rocky base of the island, accessible only during low tide.
Fulflet forces and Premier Tessides were alerted to the potentially-hostile presence inside of Castle Mugg, and defensive positions inside the complex were assumed. Garrisons were stationed outside of the building to prevent the invaders from exiting. Upon the Militae's emergence from the lower tunnels, the castle erupted into a war zone. Although there were plenty more Fulflet soldiers, the Magistrax Militae was infinitely more experienced, better equipped, and familiar with the castle's layout. The added intimidation factor of the Emperor's presence, who was also involved in fighting and exchanged gunfire (witnesses remarked at his dual-wielding of two golden pistols), rattled the Fulflet troops, many of whom were formerly employed in the Imperial Armed Forces and still viewed the Emperor as an authority figure. Many actually stood down or even joined in the fight against the Fulflets, convincing their fellow soldiers to the Emperor's side and handling those who still resisted.
When word inevitably spread that the Emperor had invaded Castle Mugg, the citizens of Fulfwotz began to riot against the Fulflet establishment, aided by troops still loyal to the Empire. Conditions had deteriorated across the Fulflet Union as it struggled with adopting the collectivist economic ideology and introducing it to an extremely resistant Fulfwotz. Workers were worse off than before, with hardly any money to support themselves and new, faulty government programs failing to live up to expectations. Food shortages were common as the Committee of First Officers was failing to effectively distribute foodstuffs in a timely manner. The pent-up anger as a result of these shortcomings manifested itself as an enormous riot and march on Capitolae, where the Committee of First Officers (with the exception of the Premier) was feverishly working to regain its loose grip on the Union. Fulflet troops began defecting to the side of the Emperor by the thousands, giving the Committee virtually no control over their people.
The Magistrax Militae eventually cleared a path to the private apartments of Premier Tessides, and at the insistence of Emperor Sammus, allegedly tied him to a chair inside the drawing room. Nothing is certain about the events that transpired next as the Emperor entered the room alone and closed the door behind him; sources claim that they were together for over half an hour, and three gunshots sounded. When Militae operatives moved to dispose of the body of the Premier, he had been shot in both kneecaps and the side of his head.
Meanwhile, the enormous mob of approximately 300,000 Fulfwotzians continued to descend upon Capitolae, besieging government buildings and attacking Fulflet officials. Loyal Fulflet troops opened fire, killing nearly 75 individuals in the process and injuring hundreds more. Molotov cocktails were thrown in the windows of the Committee Building, forming a fire which would gut the entire eastern wing of the building and force the Committee of First Officers to flee. They were able to use a rear exit and slip through undetected, yet made the mistake of using the Committee's easily-recognizable helicopter which was shot down by heavy ground artillery, crashing and exploding on the Avenue of Victory. The incident led to the death of all 10 on board, as well as an additional 19 people on the ground.
The Emperor was delighted in hearing that the Fulfwotzian people had rallied behind him and did away with the Committee for him. Order was slowly but surely restored in the capital over the course of the next few days, with those continuing to fight in the name of the Fulflet Union arrested or killed. Across the Demmatrodine and other Fulflet-occupied provinces, local governments ceded control after hearing of the events in Fulfwotz, so as to avoid violent revolutions of their own. This made the Empire's reassumption of territories much easier, and by 1964, the entirety of the Fulflet Union was once again under the Imperial yoke -- with the exception of the Hegemony of Caffa, which had refused to cede control and resumed hostilities with the Empire. It would not be in any shape to wage a military campaign until 1966, but when the time came, the city was occupied by the Imperial Armed Forces with a swift and efficient brutality as it was able to flex its muscles once more. Enzo Stavola's government was toppled on April 11th, and he was put on trial in Capitolae and summarily executed for his crimes.
In the aftermath of the collapse of the Fulflet Union, Emperor Sammus maintained autocratic rule as he put forth reforms and repaired the country. The Shire United Nations overlooked this for several years, allowing him something of a "grace period" in order to compensate for the relative lack of international support Sammus received in overthrowing the Fulflet Union. However, by 1969, the Shire United Nations began to pressure him to restore the Chancellery and the democratic values it represented. Emperor Sammus obliged and revived the postwar Chancelleric Restoration Council, eventually electing High Chancellor Pablo Elessandra in 1970 along with the rest of the Chancellery.
Although the 20th century proved to be the most deadly and destructive century in recorded history not only for the Empire, but the rest of the Shire as well, the Empire was more united than ever before following 1970 and enjoyed nearly two decades of peace and prosperity. Its economy recuperated in leaps and bounds, and the countries of the Shire finally regained confidence in one another as it became more closely integrated.
Unfortunately, tensions rose in the Imperial capital after an Enpeecee youth named Teto Demadino was terrorized and eventually lynched by a group of Sammichian racial supremacists in 1990. The horrific incident opened the world's eyes to the racism still perpetrated against the Enpeecee community of the New Sammichian Empire. While they had achieved equal legal standing with their Sammichian and Human counterparts, many Enpeecees still suffered from systemic racism, police brutality, exclusionary zoning, and occasional hate crimes. Teto Demadino's lynching received international attention, and social cohesion buckled under the failure of Imperial authorities to find those responsible. Enpeecees demanded justice for Teto Demadino, a case which began to exemplify a microcosm of race relations in the Empire as a whole.
1991 Enpeecee Race Riots
After nearly a year of no significant progress made on the Demadino case, Enpeecees in the Empire continued to seethe and grow in agitation. Matters finally came to a head after an inside source at Kretopol leaked that the case was being downgraded to medium priority, which is routine for crimes that yield no significant leads for more than eight months. When this news was leaked the morning of May 16th, 1991, Enpeecees across the Empire took to the streets to vent their frustration through a series of protests, rallies, and riots, which have become collectively known as the Enpeecee Race Riots.
The relatively peaceful demonstrations organized in various provinces were, for the most part, overshadowed by the sheer size and violence of the Fulfwotz riot, which led many people to mistakenly view the entirety of the movement as exhibiting similar ferocity. Over the course of two days, Enpeecees took the the streets demanding justice for Teto Demadino, as well as justice for the Enpeecee race as a whole. The Fulfwotz riot was televised to millions of viewers across the Shire.
Although demonstrations took place across the city, they varied in intensity, with the most violent taking place in the boroughs of Fulfton and Frentwood. In these boroughs, there was widespread looting, assault, and arson; some of the most shocking images of these riots were broadcast live, including the shooting of Sammichian newscaster Tairo Nethropidae, the bombardment of the Mulholland post office in Frentwood with Molotov cocktails, the similar torching of the Davis police office in Fulfton, and the scaling of the Frentwood 2nd District Courthouse by rioters, who were controversially sprayed off of the building by authorities wielding low-grade fire hoses.
By nightfall of the first day, it became clear that Kretopol itself was unable to sufficiently restore order, and at the request of Emperor Sammus the Ministry of Defense approved the deployment of the Imperial Armed Forces to provide backup. The government urged calm as Capitolae was placed under protective lockdown which ultimately spared it from much of the tumult, and High Chancellor Remus Vendetta entered talks with the Association for the Prosperity of the Enpeecee People (APEP) in order to discuss manners of appeasing the rioters.
Throughout the course of the second day, large demonstrations were abandoned in favor of smaller skirmishes as order was slowly restored across the capital. On the morning of May 18th, APEP's president Ikero Thompson assured the Enpeecees of the Imperial government's commitment to action, and not long after High Chancellor Vendetta delivered an address in which he vowed to reprioritize the Demadino case as well as cracking down on police brutality and holding hate crimes to the same legal precedent as acting against the Imperial government.
Throughout the highly destructive riots, an estimated total of $1.1 billion in damages was inflicted upon the Empire. 39 were killed in the Fulfwotz riot with approximately 2,000 injured and 8,000 arrested, compared to no deaths and only minimal injuries and arrests in other provinces in the New Sammichian Empire. In the following July, two of Demadino's killers were identified and arrested while trying to escape to Laurelian via Fulfwotz Grand Terminal. Phella Devernus and Lerco Talpidae were charged with first-degree murder on the grounds of racial motivation and were sentenced to life in prison, which was lauded by Shirefolk and Enpeecees around the world. A poll conducted in 1991 indicated that Devernus and Talpidae were among the two most hated people in the world that year.
Despite the satisfaction of most moderate Enpeecees, more radical racial separatists were displeased with the seemingly-cooling of Enpeecee-Sammichian relations in the aftermath of the Race Riots. Well aware of the fact that their extremist agenda only thrived during times of strife, the NPC Brigade was formed in 1992 following the merger of various radical Enpeecee groups in order to incite and take advantage of further discord. The Brigade advocated for the relinquishing of all Enpeecee-majority provinces in the Demmatrodine so as to allow the creation of an Enpeecee state of similar size and scope to that of the ancient Ur Dominion.
NPC Brigade Attacks
On September 19th, 1993, two letters were delivered to High Chancellor Remus Vendetta and Emperor Sammus, containing different messages but both signed by the Brigade. The Emperor's letter denounced him as "Tukmaihl incarnate", condemning the imperialism of him and his ancestors and their subsequent treatment of indigenous Enpeecee peoples, as well as declaring him the "ultimate enemy" of their race. The High Chancellor's letter demanded that the Empire release its hold on the many Enpeecee provinces of the Demmatrodine, or else face "the fury that has been millennia in the making". Until then, Kretopol had no knowledge of the NPC Brigade and immediately began investigating the origin and authors of the letters. In order to maintain the peace, the letters were not made public to the chagrin of the Brigade, which had hoped they would rouse their fellow Enpeecees into action. The Brigade had essentially been snubbed by the Imperial government and resolved to act.
Only a week later, on September 27th, the worst domestic terror attack in the Empire's history was carried out by the NPC Brigade. During Monday morning rush hour, two unidentified Enpeecee women entered Fulfwotz Grand Terminal, the busiest rail station in the Empire, with backpacks laden with explosives. One woman left her bag behind a trash can near the train schedule screens, while the other boarded the 8:30 train to Volta Park. At 8:37am, the bag left in the station exploded. The explosion was felt above ground, killing 78 and injuring nearly 200 more. Approximately thirty seconds later, the second bag on the subway detonated, killing 229 of the roughly 800 passengers and injuring around 400. The explosion derailed the subway inside of the tunnel, leading to the uncontrollable ricocheting of the cars against the tunnel walls at high speeds.
Only minutes after the attacks, all trains were halted and all stations in the Empire were ordered to evacuate. Many countries in close geographical proximity to the Empire followed suit, bringing transportation across the southwestern Shire to a complete standstill. Fulfwotz Proper was placed under lockdown as emergency services removed the dead and injured from Fulfwotz Grand Terminal and bomb squads swept the area for more explosive devices. By 9:10, the derailed subway was reached beneath Seaside Park, the first responders being tasked with evacuating survivors and pulling the dead from the wreckage.
A total of 307 people were killed with hundreds more injured. Emperor Sammus declared a week of mourning, and High Chancellor Vendetta vowed that those responsible would be punished to the fullest extent of the law. The New Sammichian Empire received an outpouring of international support, with multiple nations pledging their resources and assistance in helping to catch those behind the attack. By that afternoon, the NPC Brigade claimed responsibility for the bombings.
The Terrible Years
The Terrible Years was a period of great ethno-nationalist and racial conflict lasting from the Fulfwotz Grand Terminal bombings in 1993 to the elimination of the NPC Brigade in 1999. It had a profound impact on many Imperial citizens who are still living today and shaped the New Sammichian Empire's modern counterterrorism policy.
After the NPC Brigade claimed responsibility for the bombing of Fulfwotz Grand Terminal and the Fulfmetro, High Chancellor Remus Vendetta signed the Counterterrorism Act, a bill which granted sweeping new powers to the Ministry of Defense and Imperial Intelligence Agency. The war on terrorism commenced with the Empire announcing at an SUN summit in late October of 1993 that any foreign nations found harboring known Brigadiers and other terrorist suspects would be treated as hostile and an enemy of the New Sammichian Empire if they refused extradition. The strongman approach set forth by Vendetta was viewed as excessive by many countries of the Shire, yet was celebrated in the Empire and garnered him much popularity with Imperial citizens. In the revised spending plan introduced for the Imperial government at the end of 1993 for the following year, the budget for the Ministry of Defense increased by nearly 35%.
However, as the government made it clear it was devoted to squashing the Brigade, it only became more emboldened and initiated a widespread bombing campaign across the Empire and even sometimes spilling into other countries. On February 12th, 1994, the home of FMP Chancer Miles Jahara was targeted in the form of a package bomb left on his doorstep; he was not home at the time, but the bomb detonated and killed two of his indentured servants. On March 30th, LaFrea Shopping Center in Feverly Hills was assaulted with tear gas grenades as well as an active shooter who managed to kill five civilians before being shot down by authorities.
The 20th century proved to be the most unstable and destructive century for not only the Empire, but the rest of the Shire as well. Worldwide pessimism stunted economic growth and development, as nations anticipated another disaster and went on the defensive. In 1991, the NPC Brigade was formed, a radical group of Enpeecee separatists with an agenda against the Empire. On January 19th, 1992, the NPC Brigade bombed the Fulfwotz Grand Terminal during morning rush hour, killing 61 civilians and injuring upwards of 100. Smaller attacks occurred throughout the decade, provoking racial tensions between Enpeecees and the other races of the Empire.
In 1995, the Brigade sent a letter to Emperor Sammich himself, claiming that the terrorism will end if the Empire relinquishes control of the Enpeecee villages. Given the Empire's longtime refusal to negotiate with terrorists (or simply to negotiate at all), it retained control of its villages and, likely out of spite, it absorbed another one the next month. A second letter was sent to the Emperor, and anthrax powder was discovered inside after inspection. Seven other letters had been mailed to various members of the Chancellery from the same address, prompting a government lockdown. Eight people were killed, among them Chancer Gillian Calhoun, five aides, and one mailroom worker.
On November 29th, 1997, the Brigade's primary compound was discovered twenty feet underground in a remote region of the Colerica Desert. The compound was raided by IAF battalions and over 12 accused terrorist leaders were captured, including the Brigade's leader, Nevin Denorak. Six of the leaders were executed in Fulfwotz, while the other six and the rest of the captured Brigadiers were either imprisoned or returned to their home country to await trial.
International media attention was placed on the Empire in 1999, during the tenure of High Chancellor Amadeus Krugerrand. What is now known as the Krugerrand Trials, the family was under investigation for a number of charges, including the illegal employment of hundreds of indentured servants, tax evasion, and securities fraud. Until the investigations were complete, Amadeus Krugerrand was placed on suspension from his position, and resigned two months later. Since he had never appointed a Vice Chancellor, Emperor Sammich had assumed his responsibilities until a new High Chancellor could be chosen from within the Chancellery. The Krugerrands, one of the most prominent political and business families in the world, were disgraced, and their public image had been destroyed. During the trials, 16 people were convicted, 5 of them senior members of the family. It came as a surprise to many that the current High Chancellor Kiera C. Krugerrand had managed to get elected, though she had been riding on the support of Caffans and more conservative parts of the Empire.
In 2012, eyes were once again on the Empire after Emperor Sammich announced his engagement to Signore Triplici of Caffa. It was monumental news, as the Emperor (despite having a number of suitors) had been unmarried for all of then 106 years of his reign. Immense and costly preparations were made for the Imperial Wedding; it would be the first state wedding in a Sammichian domain since 1885. There were reportedly over 3,000 invites sent, mainly to members of foreign ruling families, diplomats, various members of the Chancellery and Imperial government, the global elite, and friends & family. The preparations were followed with much scrutiny, and produced a number of controversies (as Chancellor Leopardo Sciarra of Caffa put it, "it would not be an Imperial occasion without"), one of them being leaked footage of planning crews spraying the homeless around the venue, St. Flafbenz Cathedral in Fulfwotz, with low-grade fire hoses to remove them from the area. Preparations were abruptly halted after the alleged disappearance of Triplici on May 29th, 2012. His whereabouts to this day are still unknown, with many believing he got cold feet prior to the ceremony, or that he was murdered by enemies of the state. The wedding was cancelled at a loss of an estimated $28 million, and was considered by many to be the most shocking event of 2012; 'Imperial wedding cancelled' was the most searched term internationally that year. The Emperor received a global outpouring of emotional support, and ruled from the solitude of Niflheim Palace for the next three months.
Geography and Climate
By land area, the New Sammichian Empire is the largest nation in the Shire; essentially a colonial empire, much of the Empire's land area is spread out across the world and it does not exist as a contiguous entity. The largest contiguous region of the Empire would be that of Fulfwotz and much of the Demmatrodine.
The Empire does not have a cohesive climate or geography; it ranges from harsh rocky desert landscapes and chapparal in the Demmatrodine to the wet, temperate forests of Floffwym. In the Demmatrodine, the Empire reaches into Lautan Dahaga, the second-largest desert in the Shire, and has jurisdiction over the Colerica Desert. The largest volcano in the Shire, Mount Wrath, sits at the Empire's western Demmatrodine border at a height of 17,388 feet. The Empire also has a number of national parks, such as the Marzipan Rainforest Preserve. Its capital sits in Seraphina Valley, which is actually the caldera of Mount Kotar, a prehistoric supervolcano.
The New Sammichian Empire has an abundance of flora and fauna within its variety of environments. Its megadiverse ecology features approximately 13,500 species of vascular plants. It contains 459 mammal species, 922 bird species, 412 reptile species, and 244 amphibian species. The Empire is also home to an estimated 94,000 insect species. The Ichor Falcon is the national animal of the Empire, as the bird is a motif of the Imperial Family and the Ich Dynasty. Native only to Thrennex, however, the bird survives only in captivity within the Demmatrodine territories and colder regions of the Empire. Niflheim Palace, the Ich family estate, is also a sanctuary for the falcon. Hunting an Ichor Falcon is a crime punishable of life in prison, and is seen as an act of treason.
The Empire harbors a number of invasive species imported and exported within itself from its days of rampant imperialism. The Seraphaho Whelsk (a tree-boring insect native to Karaam) preyed on many of the Colerica palm trees around Fulfwotz and the northern Demmatrodine. Tamuska algae is a seasonal algae that covers much of Caffa's harbor in the summer, brought from ships in Floffwym.
The New Sammichian Empire is a constitutional monarchy, with power being split between the monarchy and the nation's legislature, the Imperial Chancellery. The Emperor serves as the Head of State, with the elected High Chancellor fulfilling the duties of the Head of Government. The country's system of government, although sharing some similarities with a parliamentary system, is nevertheless distinct in its own right and is referred to as a chancelleric system. This governmental structure is seen in many states in the Demmatrodine and those with historical ties to the Empire. The current monarch is His Imperial Majesty Emperor Sammus Mephistes Inigmax vos Ich II. The current High Chancellor is Zeena Komal Ritz-Khalifa.
The monarchy forms one of the supporting pillars of the Imperial government. The role and position of Emperor or Empress is hereditary, often extending to the firstborn child of the incumbent ruler. The passing over of power is usually left to the discretion of the presiding monarch; historically, rulers in the previous Kingdom would often retain their power until their death, but there were also many instances of kings and queens relinquishing power to their firstborn as soon as they were of age.
The role of Emperor is not purely a ceremonial one, as is the case with Heads of State in other nations; on paper, they already possess an unprecedented degree of power, but this can be drawn upon even further depending on the ruler's ambition and political zeal. Powers of the Emperor include the ability to personally introduce legislation to the Chancellery, veto three pieces of legislation in any given year, command the country's law enforcement body, Kretopol, petition for war or the creation of treaties, and function as interim High Chancellor in the event of the resignation, death, or incapacitation of the sitting High Chancellor.
The monarch also acts as the face of the country; while the High Chancellor typically attends summits, meetings, and delegations around the world, Shirefolk associate the Emperor with the Empire far more strongly than they do the High Chancellor. They are also tasked with supporting and funding a number of charitable causes, a precedent established following the restoration of the monarchy following the Chancelleric Interregnum. Philanthropa Imperatia is the charity organization of Emperor Sammus, and donates to causes such as ending poverty and advancing individual rights around the world.
Since the monarch is a hereditary position, it has allowed for the persistence of the Ich Dynasty, the current ruling family and the oldest, largest, and longest-ruling royal dynasty in the Shire. To many, the monarchy has become synonymous with the dynasty, as it has been in power since before Fulfwotz existed. The cultural contributions of the dynasty to the Empire are massive, from the various Imperial Estates to priceless artwork and artifacts accrued over centuries.
The Emperor does receive a salary, though his wage is not a matter of public record.
The Imperial Chancellery comprises the legislative portion of the Empire's government and is tasked with proposing, deliberating upon, and passing laws, as well as maintaining other functions of government in conjunction with the various ministries. The Chancellery is divided into three houses; the Assembly, the Chancery, and the Council, in ascending order of authority. The High Chancellor is the elected head of the Chancellery.
Elections in the New Sammichian Empire occur every three years for the Assembly and every six years for the Chancery and Council (of which the High Chancellor is part of). Assembly elections are timed so that two can take place within a given High Chancellor's administration. Elections in the Empire are infamous for being rife with corruption, with many voters and politicians overlooking such offenses, considering them almost standard procedure. Prosecution of those implicated in corruption is largely only sought when it serves the interests of one of the three major political parties.
The Assembly is the lowest house of the Chancellery, comprised of 262 Representatives elected from each Imperial province, the number of Representatives based upon their respective populations. Laws and bills in the Empire originate in the Assembly, where they are fought over and either voted down or passed onto the Chancery for further review. The Assembly represents the Imperial people most directly, with greater interaction between them and their constituents as well as more frequent elections.
Above the Assembly is the Chancery, often seen as the more powerful house of the Chancellery. Chancers typically possess much more influence in the Imperial government and are generally more established as career politicians, thanks to their longer terms. The Chancery is charged with reviewing all legislation passed on from the Assembly before finally submitting it to the Council for final ratification. The original reasoning for establishing a second house below the Council was to lighten the workload placed upon the Chancellors in the Council, who function as both the supreme legislators of their respective provinces as well as the Empire as a whole. Similar to the Assembly, Chancers are also able to draft their own laws and bills, bypassing the lower house completely. Many Chancers also serve on various government committees. Each province in the Empire is allotted two Chancers to represent them in the Chancellery, with a total of 84 currently serving.
The uppermost house of the Chancellery is the Council, made up of 42 Chancellors from each Imperial province, including the High Chancellor. The Council gets the final say in the passing of any legislation, subjected to a vote. If the Council strikes down a piece of legislation, then it is returned back to the Chancery for further review. The Chancery may then override this decision and ratify the bill with a two-thirds vote as opposed to the majority vote required to initially advance legislation. The Council's Chancellors are by far the most powerful elected officials in the Empire, but (with the exception of an executive order from the High Chancellor) cannot draft legislation of their own outside of their provincial chancelleries.
Overseeing the entirety of the Imperial Chancellery is the High Chancellor, the elected equivalent to the Emperor. On the Council, their vote is triple-weighted, and with the support of two other Chancellors, they can personally veto any legislation brought before them. The High Chancellor is the only member of the Council with the ability to issue laws that affect the country as a whole, which is known as an executive order and is subjected to review from the Ministry of Justice. Unlike in a parliamentary system, the High Chancellor does not necessarily have to be the leader of the largest party in the Chancellery; for example, High Chancellor Zeena K. Ritz-Khalifa is a member of the United Progressive Party, but the UPP is only the second-most numerous in the legislature. This largely has to do with the differing election terms and times throughout the various houses of the Chancellery. As well as being the head of the government, the High Chancellor is the commander-in-chief of the Imperial Armed Forces, although this power can be delegated to the Emperor when necessary. The High Chancellor has the option of appointing a Vice Chancellor to make decisions on their behalf and assume their post were they to be unable to fulfill their duties in any way; however, this has been a historical stigma attached to doing so as many High Chancellors feel that appointing a deputy is only inviting the possibility of their being incapacitated, either by bad luck or an overly-ambitious Vice Chancellor. The only time this is typically done is by more conservative High Chancellors wishing to keep power out of the Emperor's hands, who will usually act as interim High Chancellor as a special election is being organized.
In order to enforce the decisions of the High Chancellor, Chancellery, and manage the day-to-day operations of the Imperial government, a sprawling bureaucracy has been organized which is divided into various ministries. The ministries include:
- Ministry of State
- Ministry of Defense
- Ministry of Justice
- Ministry of Finance
- Ministry of Labor
- Ministry of Commerce
- Ministry of Energy
- Ministry of Transportation
- Ministry of Education
- Ministry of Health
Each ministry is led by a Minister appointed by the High Chancellor and approved by the Council. Ministries wield a considerable amount of influence when enforcing the laws issued from the Chancellery, particularly vague ones, which the ministries can interpret in the interests of the Empire or the current administration. There are approximately 2.1 million people employed in the Empire's bureaucracy at all levels, the majority of that figure comprised of personnel in the Imperial Armed Forces, under the Ministry of Defense's oversight.
The New Sammichian Empire is deeply rooted in a three-party system, which primarily arose after the extremely-divisive restoration of the monarchy in 1785. Although there are dozens of small independent parties scattered across the Empire, the large cultural disparities between provinces mean that most of these smaller parties can only wield influence within their respective provinces, thus vie for power within their provincial chancelleries as opposed to the Imperial Chancellery. The three parties that dominate Imperial politics are the Free Monarchy Party (FMP), the United Progressive Party (UPP), and the Conservative Constitutional Party (CCP).
- Free Monarchy Party- The FMP currently holds the most seats in the Chancellery, and has been the most popular party in the country for a number of years. As such, much of the Empire's unique laws (or lack thereof) are the result of FMP dominance. They are proponents of the extreme deregulation characteristic to the Empire, advocating a minimal government presence in both economic and social matters. The FMP is also known for their unyielding support for the monarchy and the Emperor, often seeking his counsel and advice on various government matters. Despite the fact that he is not at liberty to say, it is quite likely that the Emperor himself is a member of the Free Monarchy Party. The FMP tends to be most popular in the country's capital of Fulfwotz, as well as other Demmatrodine provinces and those with a favorable view of the Emperor. They currently hold 18 seats in the Council, 36 in the Chancery, and 106 in the Assembly.
- United Progressive Party- Originally part of the now-defunct Constitutional Party, the UPP tore itself from its side and formed its own party following the Constitutional Party's radical shift to the right in the 1940s. The United Progressive Party is the most leftist of the Empire's major political parties, pushing for heavy economic and social regulation. The UPP has been experiencing a surge in popularity in the past decade, gathering supporters from both the FMP and CCP. Many view the party as the solution to many of the issues in the Empire, such as its crime epidemic and labor abuses. The UPP is the party of the incumbent High Chancellor, Zeena Komal Ritz-Khalifa. They currently hold 13 seats in the Council, 26 in the Chancery, and 85 in the Assembly.
- Conservative Constitutional Party- The CCP is known for having a more conservative attitude towards social and economic matters, and highly critical of the institution of the monarchy. The party was historically formed in response to the restoration of the Ich Dynasty and was mainly centered around resistance to the monarchy, but seeking to capture untapped conservative votes in parts of the Empire, the party rebranded itself in the 1940's with an extreme ideological jump to the right. Since then, it has become a bastion of conservatism in the Empire. Most of its popularity comes from provinces that have a poor relationship with the Emperor, such as Caffa and the Verdenes.
The three major parties fall comfortably upon the political spectrum; the UPP falls the furthest left, the CCP on the right, and the FMP more or less centrist. The FMP's longtime success can largely be attributed to its ability to form coalitions and cooperate with both the CCP and UPP.
|Membership in International Organizations||Favorable||Moderate||Favorable|
The New Sammichian Empire is one of the Shire's few countries to retain a noble class. There are only eight noble families, or houses, allowed to exist at any given time. These historic houses, identified by the vos nobiliary particle, are Vos Arrax, Vos Hatrinidae, Vos Nervae, Vos Paxae, Vos Petronax, Vos Sparax, Vos Vespae, and Vos Ich, though better known as the Ich Dynasty.
Despite popular belief, the Imperial nobility holds no inherent political power, though that is not to say that many of its members retain no power at all. Aside from their vast wealth accrued over centuries, many members pursue careers in politics, serving as Chancers, Chancellors, Ministers, and High Chancellors; over a third of all High Chancellors can claim relation to one of the noble houses. One of the five seats on the Imperial Supercourt is currently filled by Lady Sisenna vos Paxae.
As a result of the Ich Dynasty's legendary distaste for and conflict with the nobility, their existence is highly regimented and their uncontrollable growth is strictly controlled by the law. The Noble Charter issued by King Tyrannax I in the year 2 CE dispelled with the dozens of less powerful noble families for which there was no room in the considerably smaller domain of the Kingdom of Fulfwotz, instead consolidating noble power within the eight families and creating rules for their continued presence. These rules still exist to this day, with only minimal changes made by Tyrannax's predecessors.
A noble house is led solely by a Lord or Lady, typically the eldest child of the previous head. Their spouse is also able to claim a title, but they do not possess nearly as much influence in the family's affairs as the head. In Thrennexian, the head holds the title of Accraprimus Dominus or Accraprima Domina, distinguished from their spouse, whose title lacks the "primus" suffix denoting sole authority. While all noble children are able to carry the titles of Lord and Lady, the eldest child (or chosen heir) enjoys special privileges unavailable to their siblings. Their Thrennexian title is Sepraprimus Dominus or Sepraprima Domina, while their siblings do not have the "primus" suffix, demonstrating their supposed inferiority. Additionally, only the children of the eldest child or chosen heir will be able to carry a noble title, while their cousins will be classified as common citizens in the eyes of the law. This was done to prevent the spread and creation of more noble families, which the Ich Dynasty viewed as a threat. Each house ceremonially presides over a distinct geographical region of the Empire as suggested by their full titles, but as previously stated, this is purely ceremonial and a relic of Xamichia. In summation, a noble's full name and titles would be written out like so: Lady Culpa Vespania vos Hatrinidae III of the Dahagia, or in Thrennexian, Accraprima Domina Culpa Vespania vos Hatrinidae III sea Dahagia.
While nobles are not inherently politically potent, they do enjoy certain historic privileges that are not afforded to common citizens. It is deemed socially acceptable for nobles to grant their children names shared with past and present members of the Imperial Family, an act to which a stigma is still attached for many citizens of the New Sammichian Empire. They are the only ones able to ascend to the throne and assume the office of Emperor as well. Not only is this written into law, but if the Chancellery deigned not to elect a new Emperor and instead allowed a hereditary ascension, the monarch would be from a noble family as all of the Empire's houses have intermingled and intermarried to the point where all of their members are related to some degree, and virtually every noble can claim relation to the Ich Dynasty.
Such intermarriage over the course of centuries led to the successive shrinking of the class's gene pool and the emergence of various genetic defects, such as hemophilia, blindness, deafness, and schizophrenia. Once the correlation between inbreeding and subsequent genetic defects was made apparent in the late 1800's, frantic nobles finally brought commoners into the fold and married them into their families in order to salvage their bloodlines. The marriage of Lord Atheridax vos Vespae VI to wealthy hotelier Vasandra Tevandrus in 1889 marked the first interclass marriage in over 500 years.
During the First World War, the Kingdom of Fulfwotz aligned itself with the Overtaker coalition; as such, many of its allies in that conflict remain close today. The New Sammichian Empire maintains an alliance with the city-state of Venezia Nuova, with their respective capitals existing as sister cities. The Empire is also extremely close with the Enderian Nation, being allied through one of the world's oldest unbroken alliances.
While the Empire has not declared war on a nation since the First World War, it is host to a number of rather strained relations with other countries within the Shire. Many of these are the result of colonial actions of its predecessor, the Kingdom of Fulfwotz. The Republic of Orange and Purple harbors a deep resentment for the Empire after the Kingdom's controversial involvement in The Britannian War and what the Republic believes to amount to genocide. The Venezian client state of Riverwood has also cut diplomatic relations with the Emperor due to the events leading up to the First World War, in which the Kingdom of Fulfwotz attempted to assert control over the territory. The nation of Laurelian has often been the subject of hostility from the Empire. The cause of this is largely unknown, but many believe it to be the result of deep-seated Sammichian racism or distrust of Laurelian's advanced technology or sprituality.
The New Sammichian Empire is a founding member of the Shire United Nations, with a permanent seat on the organization's Security Council. It also provides the bulk of the SUN's Peacekeeping Force. The contribution of so many peacekeepers was a term of the Empire sitting on the Security Council, which proved most useful as many nations were not eager to contribute troops from their own ranks to those of the SUN. The current SUN Ambassador for the New Sammichian Empire is Mooney Villareal.
Another entity is the PDTO (Pan-Demmatrodine Treaty Organization), a intergovernmental military alliance created after the Fulflet takeover to better handle and protect the Demmatrodine from future attacks. Despite being created in 1959, the alliance was not fully put in place until 1966, when the regime was ousted by Imperial allies. Today, it is one of the Shire's largest regional affiliations, with over ten participating states.
Finally, the Empire is an active member of the DFTA (Demmatrodine Free Trade Agreement), a trade bloc spanning the Demmatrodine, designed to promote economic cooperation and trade between nations. Other members include the Enderian Nation, the Solurian Empire, Sravasti, Zaphoria, Redwoods, and Bucketheadland.
With an annual military expenditure of $256.2 billion, the New Sammichian Empire commands one of the Shire's largest and most capable militaries, augmented by government organizations such as the Imperial Intelligence Agency. The Imperial Armed Forces are divided into terrestrial, naval, aerial, and special forces, those special forces being further divided into distinct units. It currently has 1,180,750 active personnel, with 650,720 reserve personnel.
The Imperial military is unique in its adamant refusal to implement a draft, and there has never been one in its history. It is because of this that the Empire, specifically Fulfwotz and the Demmatrodine, became a popular destination for draft-dodgers during conflicts in other states. Despite the lack of any sort of conscription or draft, the Empire has one of the highest population-to-personnel ratios in the Shire, likely due to its various state programs put in place to reduce overcrowding in prisons. Certain prisoners who are not deemed a serious threat to society may choose to enlist in the armed forces in exchange for a lighter prison sentence. Their military service is begun after their release for double of how much time they chose to eliminate from their sentence. This system also helps ex-convicts reintegrate into society and many choose to remain in the armed forces even after their mandatory service term is over.
Many also enlist due to (waning) societal pressure; Sammichians of the porpoise subrace were commonly used as soldiers and generals during the Old Sammichian Empire. The Empire has been trying to distance itself from the stereotypical societal niches the various subtypes filled, but the Sammichian bulk of the military is compromised of porpoise subtypes.
The Magistrax Militae is a controversial division of the Imperial Special Forces. Originally an ancient order of Sammichian warriors who served and guarded the Emperor directly, during the First World War in the late 1920's they were reformed with a different goal; to hunt down enemies of the state, completely unbound by any formal laws. They are used to handle everything from high-profile criminals to brokers of Imperial government secrets. Operatives work independently for the most part, taking on cases as they see fit; they have the power to assume jurisdiction over a case from the Fulfwotz Imperial Guard and other policing forces, and are commonly employed by the Imperial Intelligence Agency.
However, due to their legal immunity, they have been the cause of numerous diplomatic incidents, such as in 1999 when an operative shot an Oranjestad alderman dead in the street, mistaking him for a anti-imperial revolutionary who was stockpiling arms for the Fulfwotz Communist Collective. In recent years there has been pressure from the Shire United Nations to disband the Militae, citing them as one of the Shire's leading contributors to diplomatic unrest. There have been cases where an operative has gone 'rogue', such as killing innocent people, fulfilling a personal agenda, or committing acts of terrorism against the Empire or other nations. Despite this, the Magistrax Militae continues to be supported by the Empire with access to cutting-edge technology, weaponry, and funding.
Being host to a wide array of cultures and practices, it is very difficult to apply one cohesive culture to the New Sammichian Empire. Customs vary greatly between territories, and some have nothing in common except for their government. However, since many current territories had relationships (be it annexations, alliances, or trade agreements) with the Empire in the past, some have gradually adopted mentalities characteristic to that of Fulfwotz capital culture. Individualism is highly valued as a virtue, while at the same time, status is extremely important and notoriety is sought-after.
This culture was mainly formed and influenced by the Old Sammichian Empire, where the Emperor and Imperial Family were viewed with both intense admiration and violent jealousy. This mindset evolved to be directed at any person in a position of power, inciting competitiveness in the political, business, and social worlds. It also contributed to the higher-than-average amount of coups and attempted government takeovers in the history of the Empire and Kingdom of Fulfwotz.
The Imperial culture is also very unique for its stance on cosmetic surgery and procedures; in many other cultures, the practice of altering one's natural appearance through plastic surgery is seen as fake and disingenuous, whereas such procedures are commonplace in capital culture. In some places, it's common for parents to pay for cosmetic procedures for their children as graduation gifts. The mentality of finding acceptance and happiness in one's own natural appearance is rare, trumped by that of finding happiness in improving your own appearance. While this objectively does little harm, it contributes to the development of severe body image and self-esteem issues in people who lack the money to pay for cosmetic surgery. In a 2014 poll of Fulfwotz teenagers in low-income families by DePrey Institute, 41% of males admitted to having such problems, and 68% of females confessing to similar image problems. Similar studies suggest that 4 out of every 10 Fulfwotz teenagers will develop an eating disorder at some point in their life. Depression rates are also higher than those of other cities. Altogether, beauty is highly-emphasized in the Imperial culture, leading many foreigners to believe Imperials to be egocentric and pompous.
In territories with a high Sammichian population, the percentage of people identifying with a religion drops significantly, due to the Sammichians' inherent distrust of religious institutions. This is believed to have been caused by the Orthodox Church attempting to consolidate power and meddle in the laws of succession around 1000 CE in the Kingdom of Fulfwotz. Because of this, religious has influenced very little in the nation's culture and values compared to others.
Literature, Philosophy, and the Arts
The New Sammichian Empire has been the birthplace of many of the Shire's greatest minds. The dubbed "Father of Communism" Callum R. Wexfield was born and lived in Floffwym his entire life; it's also where he first wrote and published the Peoples' Book, the manifesto in which he describes his ideology of Communism. His grandson, Cedon Wexfield, would go on to lead a Communist takeover of the New Sammichian Empire in 1957. Other famous authors include Flynn Hewitt, the author of the classic Verde Valley series; Eleanor Webb, the creator of over 1,600 poems during her lifetime; Acantha Moray, an investigative writer who wrote a controversial exposé on Fulfwotz business practices and worker exploitation; and Sybil Rigley, a proponent of peace between the Sammichian and Enpeecee races and the first female recipient of the International Peace Award.
Thanks to the flexible morals and carnal nature of capital culture, art had always thrived in the New Sammichian Empire. Before art galleries became commonplace in the Empire, it was common for wealthy families to horde private collections of priceless artwork and sculptures. Following the legalization of narcotics in 1910, the art world became overrun with drug-fueled virtuosos and controversial artworks. One prominent figure of this period was Sydney Pascoe, who revolutionized pop art with his bold and unique style. Though born in Oranjestad, Pascoe moved and pursued a career in Fulfwotz. Not only was he one of the most revolutionary artists of his time, but until his death from overdose in 1987 he was considered an A-list celebrity and socialite among the Shire elite. With a strong attraction to the intense Follywood glamour of the 20th century, he was cited as saying "...I love Fulfwotz, and I love Follywood. They're beautiful. Everybody's plastic, but I love plastic. I want to be plastic."
Other famous artists include Antoinette Devereaux and her renowned Beauty in Seasons art series; Gavin Morley, with his collection of 168 individual works depicting sculptures engaged in sexual intercourse (the most recognized being An Imperial Orgy); and Maxine Bruccia, who was commissioned to paint five individual portraits of the Emperor and countless more of the Imperial elite throughout the mid-1900's.
The Empire is a host to a variety of different music styles, and views the practice with great respect; music has been an integral part of Sammichian culture since before the invention of the written language. Great value is placed in musical skills. Fulfwotz is home to the Imperial Philharmonic Orchestra, nicknamed the Fulfharmonic, widely regarded as one of the Shire's finest and most exclusive orchestras. Also prominent is the Emperor's Marching Band, a staple of most Imperial celebrations and international diplomatic events pertaining to the Empire.
Hip-hop and rap music became popular in Fulfwotz throughout the 1980's as a way to vent frustration with the quality of life in boroughs such as Fulfton and Frentwood. Widespread gang violence also contributed to the preeminence of the genres in capital culture. Central figures included Two-Step, M.C. Bantz, Hit N' Run, and Tang-E. Many lawmakers were motivated by their music to implement programs to improve the quality of life in such boroughs (although much of Fulfton is still in a state of abjectness). In recent years, electronic dance music has become increasingly popular in the country's many nightclubs and music festivals.
The music festival Sandtrap is held in the Colerica Desert outside of Fulfwotz for the first two weeks of July. The festival features many of the Shire's most famous music artists and bands, but also explores themes of artistic self-expression and inclusion. Given this, Sandtrap is the site of rampant drug use, sex, and general hedonism. It takes the form of a temporary city including theme camps, art installments, fairgrounds, and the main stage, among many other things. Attracting many tourists from around the world, attendance swells to approximately 65,000 people.
Follywood, a district in the capital of Fulfwotz, is deemed the world's leader in motion picture production. Following the invention of the kinetoscope and early movie cameras by Elijah Marshall in the late 1800's, aspiring moviemakers flocked to the city in order to escape usage patents and a would-be monopoly on movie production in the central Shire. The sunny and warm weather of Fulfwotz also proved useful since early cameras were not able to shoot in dark areas. The world's first movie studio, Calpernia Pictures, opened in 1919 in east Fulfwotz.
Following the growing popularity of film throughout the early 20th century, multiple other studios were established in Fulfwotz, collectively identifying with the name "Follywood" due to the proximity of the famous Follywood Sign; it was originally built to advertise a planned theme park where Fulfton now lies. It was never built, but the sign remained as a cultural icon of the city. Fulfwotz earned the nickname of The City of Stars due to the concentration of actors and celebrities living there and the image of Follywood glamour.
Today, the Empire is home to nearly all of the Shire's largest film and television studios. Fulfwotz is also the headquarters of the International Film Association, and hosts several of the Shire's largest award shows pertaining to visual media and acting.
With a rich literary and dramatic history centralized in Fulfwotz, the Empire has a number of the most renowned institutions in the world that pertain to the theater and performance arts. The Strokeshaft Institute is an acting company based in Fulfwotz which performs a variety of the famous plays written by the 16th century playwrite Lloyd Wallace Strokeshaft. The group has won over 32 individual Richelieu acting awards. The Sammichian State Opera is among the oldest opera companies in the Shire, tracing its roots back to 1655. It has a well-documented rivalry with the newer Opéra Majestueux, the two organizations often competing for stage time at Foie Gras, the Empire's largest stage. The Cygnenoir Company is often considered the most prestigious ballet company in the world, and is known within its industry for its extremely high standards and demands of absolute perfection from its dancers. Ballet is one of the most celebrated forms of art among the Imperial cultural elite.
The common superstition in theaters across the Shire that stepping beneath a chandelier before a show is bad luck has its origins within the Empire; during an 1856 performance of Desirée & Debauchery, a popular opera, the 6-ton chandelier in Foie Gras plummeted into the audience during the song Vivre Desirée, killing an unknown number of audience members and injuring many more. A year later, a smaller chandelier in the Vontelbaum Opera House (which was shelled during the First World War) fell on the stage during a performance and killed two actors. The superstition is still very much alive in Fulfwotz's theatrical culture.
The New Sammichian Empire is known for its laissez-faire capitalist economy. Though territories can put forth their own economic regulations, they're often inadvertently forced to adopt the Empire's economic policies in order to remain competitive in the Imperial market. The Empire's economy is aided by an abundance of natural resources throughout its varying territories across the Shire and high productivity in the business world. According to the Shire International Monetary Fund, in 2015 the New Sammichian Empire had a nominal GDP of $4.12 trillion. Until 1956, the New Sammichian Empire used gold-minted Aggres as their main currency. Today, they use the multinational Shire Dollar like the majority of the world.
After the global industrial revolution of the 1800's, the Kingdom of Fulfwotz was an international manufacturing hub, and by far the world's largest exporter of goods. This continued until the Great War in the late 1920's, which saw Fulfwotz's economic infrastructure devastated to levels from which it would never fully recover. Following the war and the Athitican Flu outbreak, massive deregulation and business incentives brought the headquarters of some of the Shire's largest corporations to Fulfwotz, among them being the Omega Mining Company, Shire Global News, the Follywood Entertainment Company, Grummkin Financial Group, the Krugerrand Corporation, Niemann-Rigley Properties, Ceppides Enterprises, Morrison-Hock Energy, Hexagon, and Unix Systems.
A large portion of the Empire's economy consists of the excavation of minerals and ores. The Demmatrodine is rich in natural resources such as gold, iron, coal, copper, and precious and semi-precious stones. The New Sammichian Empire is among the world's largest exporters of such commodities. It has a near-monopoly over the world diamond market, and companies such as the Krugerrand Corporation have been accused of using this advantage to manipulate world diamond prices and thus create artificial inflation to maximize profits.
Most highly regarded is the Empire's cultural exports. It is the world's largest net producer of films, music, and television shows, mainly originating from the city of Fulfwotz and its unique grasp over pop culture. Entertainment and media alone account for an eighth of the Empire's GDP and are crucial players in its economy. Unions for writers and actors are among the most active in the Empire; although it is known for its hostility towards worker unions, it recognizes the vast cultural contributions the entertainment industry provides and is more willing to cater to such unions.
Since the New Sammichian Empire's economy is largely considered postindustrial, its capital has become the host to the Empire's burgeoning tech sector. The borough of Verde Valley is often referred to as the "cradle of innovation" and is the headquarters to many of the Shire's largest tech companies, notably internet and tech giant Hexagon, along with Unix Systems, DMT Technologies, Provectus Inc., and ENVIDA, among many others. Verde Valley is the main destination for start-up companies as well as venture capital firms.
The medical sector also comprises a sizable portion of the Empire's economy. The New Sammichian Empire renowned for having some of the most skilled surgeons in the Shire, thanks to a culture which attaches very little stigma to cosmetic surgery, which encourages the prevalence of plastic surgeons and subsequently makes such procedures cheap and accessible to many. Medical tourism is very common and many Shirefolk travel to Fulfwotz in order to take advantage of its affordable and talented surgeons.
Income, Poverty, and Wealth
Imperials have one of the Shire's highest average household income and also ranks high when it comes to food affordability. The New Sammichian Empire ranks 12th on the Life Development Index. Much of the Empire's household wealth is concentrated in the upper class; the top 10% holds 76%, while the bottom half only holds 2%. The severe income inequality is a result of ingrained elitism in Imperial culture, and is also a direct result of it.
According to research conducted by the Lundtbern Center for Research, only 4.3% of the Empire's population lies below the International Poverty Line. The significantly low number, which is lower than many other developed nations, is uncharacteristic for a nation that is known for poor business practices and profiteering at the sake of workers. The low poverty rates are explained by the Empire's legalization of indentured servitude. It is not uncommon at all for someone to enter a contract with a wealthier household to become their servant in order to escape poverty and abjection. The study looked at households, and servants effectively become a part of a household when employed. It is estimated that the Empire's individual poverty rate could actually be as high as 23%.
The New Sammichian Empire is home to some of the world's wealthiest individuals, along with near-aristocratic families who dominate both business and a significant portion of lawmaking in the Chancellery. Over a third of the world's billionaires live and work in the Empire, and over half are involved with the country in some way through their businesses. The single wealthiest individual in the nation is believed to be Emperor Sammus, though his income and net worth are not disclosed to the public. Other prominent individuals and families include Caladan Viltvogel II, heir to the enormous Viltvogel fortune; Kasper Krugerrand, CEO of the Krugerrand Corporation and brother of former High Chancellor Kiera C. Krugerrand; Lady Culpa vos Hatrinidae, head of House Hatrinidae as well as distinguished stock market investor; Clark Sorpren, CEO of tech giant Hexagon; Venia Trinithax, real estate developer
Law Enforcement and Crime
The task of law enforcement is largely left to individual territories throughout the Empire, done so through various police departments answering to the state law enforcement department of Kretopol (named for Kretopoles, the ancient Sammichian god of justice). The largest of these is the Fulfwotz Imperial Guard, which also has jurisdiction in Al' Zinga, Demma, Greenvale, and Summerstone. Kretopol is divided into numerous specialized departments and ultimately answers to the Emperor. This power balance is created to prevent a possible coup; the Chancellery has control of the military while the Emperor has control over the police. While the military is clearly much more powerful than the police, it is largely decentralized and a takeover by the monarch is much more likely than by the Chancellery. In 2015, Kretopol reported having approximately 280,000 officers and agents under its authority.
Trials are held in courts throughout the Empire's territories, with the designated 'supreme' court being the Imperial Supercourt in Fulfwotz. These courthouses operate under a common law, and any additional laws a territory might have set in place. Court cases in the New Sammichian Empire are not settled through jury trial nor plea bargain; the settlement is often left to the discretion of the judge. This process has been denounced as allowing judicial bias and corruption to preside over actual justice. Convicts are kept in various prisons across the Empire, or are sent to large privately-owned prisons such as Mt. Britain Prison.
The Empire, on average, experiences a high amount of violent crime and incarceration, mostly inflated from the crime rates in Fulfwotz and Caffa. Crime in villages such as Poppiton and Watersong is virtually nonexistent. In 2014, there were 19.2 murders per 100,000 people. While crime rates have declined throughout the Empire in recent years, figures can be misleading since it can be attributed to crime becoming concentrated in Fulfwotz (explaining the explosion in crime rates there).
The New Sammichian Empire (and Fulfwotz in particular) has been described as the birthplace of modern ultraviolence, or heinous crimes committed by roving gangs with no exact purpose or intent. Ultraviolence is believed to be fueled by drug use. Drugs such as laced milk and Hoblite have become popular in recent years throughout the criminal world and have yet to be criminalized by the Empire; however, given their reputation on drug use, it is unlikely that they will be outlawed soon.
Science and Technology
The New Sammichian Empire is among the Shire's leaders in technological innovation and scientific research. Following the breakout of the First World War, weaponry and military research was invested in by the then-Kingdom, especially in the field of chemical warfare. After the war ended, much of the technology created in order to gain an edge over other nations was repurposed for commercial uses and led to a period of global innovation. The Empire has been the birthplace of a number of the Shire's greatest inventors, such as Miles Bolta, the creator of the electric transistor, a staple of nearly all of modern-day electronic devices. While the movie camera was first invented in Oranjestad, it was popularized and refined in Fulfwotz and led to the creation of the worldwide entertainment industry. Following the industrialization of much of the Shire, a large number of factories were built throughout the Empire that made use of the assembly line.
DePrey Institute in Fulfwotz is one of the Shire's largest and most reputable centers for research and science. It was established in 1876 by International Peace Award laureate Jacob Wellend DePrey, one of the most influential physicists in history. What was originally created as a school for physics and other sciences soon expanded to include more departments such as social sciences and health. It has published more academic papers than the rest of the Empire combined and has an endowment of $10.6 billion from the New Sammichian Empire, the largest endowment of any non-university research institution in the Shire.
The New Sammichian Empire consistently ranks first in the Shire in terms of freedom of use of the internet, and has two official internet domains; .se for 'Sammichian Empire', and .fu, which is restricted to government use and websites only. .fu is short for Fulfwotz, the Empire's capital and telecommunications hub. Largely unmoderated internet access has led to the surfacing of the Deep Web, which can typically only be accessed with special software; the .se domain became notorious for malicious and unsafe sites characteristic to the Deep Web and Darknet. After the creation of the SUN Safe Internet Initiative in 2014, Kretopol began to take down and investigate dangerous sites, but many still remain. .se accounts for 22% of internet websites and approximately 26% of total internet traffic, making it the largest single internet domain aside from the general .com.
The average life expectancy in the New Sammichian Empire as of 2015 is 89.3 years, which is inflated by the large Sammichian population; their lifespans are slightly longer than those of Humans and Enpeecees. The average lifespan has been increasing in recent years thanks to advances in medicine and technology, similar to many other nations in the Shire. Lung cancer is the most prevalent natural cause of death in the Empire, followed by stroke, ischemic heart disease, and HIV/AIDS.
The Empire has the world's highest rates of lung cancer, thanks to a still-active culture of tobacco use and smoking; it was only in 2012 that smoking was outlawed in public places, and that law has rarely, if ever, actually been enforced. In a 2011 study by the Lundtbern Center for Research, it was concluded that approximately one-third of all Imperial residents will develop lung cancer at some point in their lives. According to research conducted by DePrey Institute in the same year, roughly 42% of Fulfwotzians qualified as casual smokers, while an additional 29& of Fulfwotzians frequently partook in the act of chain smoking. Lung cancer is considered a health epidemic by the Imperial Ministry of Health, and was given threat status of 'Moderate' by DePrey Institute.
The leading unnatural causes of death are homicide, suicide, and drug overdose. Rates of such deaths increase exponentially within the lower class population, due to a variety of factors including body image issues, gang violence, access to drugs, the arguably elitist environment of the Empire, and lack of support from the government. The New Sammichian Empire has the highest amount of annual deaths by drug overdose in the Shire, and has a homicide rate that is significantly higher than any other nation in the Shire. The root cause of such extreme amounts of homicide has often been cited as the Imperial Black Market (which forms a significant bulk of the Shire's international black market), corrupt police forces, and an above-average criminal presence in general.
In the most recent 2015 census, the Empire had a total population of 55.7 million. Its population growth was stunted by the Yersinia pulex outbreak, as was the rest of the Shire's, and only surpassed its pre-plague population in 2005. It is one of the most populated nations in the Shire. Immigrants make up a large portion of the populace, who come to the Empire in order to find plentiful job opportunities or to become wealthy. The total foreign-born population is estimated to be approximately 8.9 million, though immigration has been increasing after perceived Imperial stability.
The New Sammichian Empire has the largest LGBT population in the Shire, thanks to deep cultural influences such as a lack of religious presence and sexuality being an important aspect of historic Sammichian culture. A nation-wide study conducted by DePrey Institute found that 52.7% of the population identified as heterosexual, with the remaining 47.3% identifying as gay (28.2%) and bisexual (19.1%). The country is routinely named the most LGBT friendly in the Shire, with same-sex marriage being legal since the time of the Old Sammichian Empire and gender reassignment surgery being performed as early as 1949. One reason the CCP struggles to gain traction within the Chancellery is because many members oppose policies regarding same-sex marriage. Granted, while it is legal everywhere, some places within the Empire still face social resistance to the LGBT community. Caffa, which has the largest religious population in the Empire, is built upon Roman Catholic values and does not embrace such activity. Emperor Sammich is openly gay, and is part of a long list of other LGBT rulers of Sammichian dominions.
The majority of the Empire's population is clustered around dense urban conglomerations, such as Fulfwotz and Caffa. Fulfwotz has one of the highest population densities in the world, as the inhospitable Demmatrodine does not allow for much outward expansion past the outskirts of Seraphina Valley.
The New Sammichian Empire recognizes the Shire's lingua franca, English, as its official language. Over 78% of Imperial people speak English as their first language. In Caffa, the most prevalent language is italian; approximately two-thirds of its population speak Italian as a first language, with English being a widely-taught second language. Despite the Empire's reputation for preserving the cultures of annexed territories, it has been criticized for pushing English onto natives, and has been famously credited for contributing to the extinction of the Mekjlok tongue of western Demmatrodine Enpeecee tribes in the late 1940's. A common issue (particularly in Fulfwotz) is outward distaste for non-English speakers, despite the fact that Spanish and German are also spoken by groups within the city. In the Chancellery, meetings are held in English, requiring all of its members to speak the language fluently.
For many Imperial citizens, religion does not play a major role in their lives. The Empire, with its staunchly secular legislation and policies, has indirectly suppressed the influence of many religious institutions within its borders. Fulfwotz is one of (if not the most) irreligious cities in the world, and in a 2013 study by DePrey Institute, 38% of Imperial residents attended church every day. The majority of these people live in places such as Caffa, Withering, or Floffwym, where religion is much more prominent. Caffa is one of the largest centers of the Roman-Catholic faith in the Shire.
The Orthodox Sammichian Trinity is based in the Empire, but has lost much of its prestige and continually grows smaller. Current projections place the Trinity at almost completely abandoned by 2100. Irreligion is a growing trend across the Empire, and many claim this is contributing to the devolution of morals in the already arguably-unscrupulous Empire.
According to data from the most recent 2015 census, approximately 43% of Imperial people above the age of 16 were married, 10% were widowed, 18% were divorced, 29% had never been married. Compared to other countries, there seems to be a trend in the Empire of getting married later in life. The average Imperial family has 2.3 children, and does not live with any other members of the extended family (i.e. grandparents, aunts/uncles, cousins).
In a 2012 survey of over 500 Imperial families who made >$200,000 a year, it was found that the average number of indentured servants the households retained equaled 4.8. In the Empire, it is illegal to own more than 10 servants and to sell them through back channels, but this happens often and rarely goes punished. In the famous 1999 investigation of the Krugerrand family, it was discovered that across their seven homes within the Empire, they employed a total of 138 servants and would covertly ship them to homes in other nations, often where the practice of indentured servitude is illegal. They were also accused of both selling and purchasing servants through unverified markets; this is illegal because it diminishes the Empire's ability to keep track of its population and would make it difficult to reach certain people if they were sold without its knowledge. Many compare the practice to a modern-day state-sanctioned slave trade and there has been many calls to outlaw indentured servitude, but it is staunchly defended by the Emperor and Chancellery citing it as an integral part of Imperial culture, and that the servant enters the position willingly.
Cities and Towns
- Koha Nu
- Little Wangleton
- Snowy Mill
- Al' Zingahashbrown
- Buckingham Green
Castles, Fortresses, and Royal Residences
- Bluepointe Manor
- Castello Barsi
- Castle Hyunadorea
- Castle Mugg
- Niflheim Palace
- Palais de Voclain
- Pomanay's Sanctuary
- Schloss Sammlutz
- Caffan Isles
- Central Demmatrodine
- Colerica Desert
- Duchy of Grunesblatt
- Niflheim Plateau
- Sammichian Ice Fields
- The Verdenes (Sammichian Verdenesia)