By Caliph Tariq al Hejaz
The Origin Myth of the Neswetej-Per-Aten
On September sixth, 130 AD (by western reckoning), A group of Ketek religious pilgrims left their homeland to find a prophesized 'House of Aten' or 'Per-Aten'. On January second 131AD (again by western reckoning) the Ketek pilgrims founded a settlement near the delta of the H'pi river which these pilgrims named Akhetaten or 'The Horizon of Aten', in their language. Based on a combination of their prior customs, and the revelations of their leader who at this time assumed the title and regal name Neswet-Bejtew Akhenaten Sa-Aten, then began to structure their new society. At this time the Ma'at, or the Order was established, creating the modern Caste system with the Neswet-Bejtew as the leader, with his Djat, and Hem-Natjer-Tepi forming the trimvurial Heads of Government/State/Judicary. the next layer of organization is the Per-A or Great House, which at this time was made up of the Per-Nesu, and Per-Aten (House of Royals, and House of Aten), next was the Seshej Ma'at, or the Scribes of Order, who at this time formed the bureaucratic structure of their burgeoning kingdom. The next highest caste is the Mesha (soldier) caste fallowed by the Hemew (servant/worker) caste. The final caste was is composed of the unbelievers, foreign and domestic. who are merely identified by their ethnic name.
The Current State Apparatus of the Neswetej-Per-Aten
The Kingdom of Aten is ruled by King Akhenaten XXVII Sa-Aten, and his Djat: Wehemmesu. The current head of the Hem-Natjer-Tepi-Aten is Imenemhat who leads the high-priesthood of Aten in it's role as the judiciary. At this time the Per'A has become a pseudo-parliament formed of the delegations from Per-Nesu, Per-Sesh, Per-Mesha, and Per-Hemew. The four castes each have an internal power structure within their own houses, and forming asymmetric federalism with sub-national divisions based on castes rater than geographic location. In the modern era the Seshej Ma'at is most citizens only interaction with their national and sub-national governments, each of the four citizen castes having their own dedicated Sesh Department. The most unique being the Seshej Sesh, which form the overarching diplomatic, and business apparatus, and is divided among the Seshej Remet, or the Domestic economic bueroratic structure, and the other Seshej Amew/Fenkhu/Nehesej/Nebwet/Temeh, each representing the foreign diplomacy and business relationships with a different ethnic group of faithless peoples. It is worth noting that while most faithful are expected to have some ability to read, each Caste is only allowed to write in certain scripts, Heiroglyphic for the Nesu caste, and higher ranking Sesh caste members, Hieratic for the higher rank Mesha caste and lower ranking Sesh caste members, and finally Demotic for the lower ranking Mesha, and Hemew overseers. The majority Hemew and Faithless are not permitted to use Heiroglyph derived scripts, and use a so-called "Ateno-Iverican" script, which is a domestic variant of the more globally common Europan script. The Mesha caste has been divided into two distinct sub-castes, the Mesha (Army) and Nefu (Navy) which, after periods of stiff resistance have started to modernize once more. (A more detailed description of the Military structure and history of tradationalisim will follow soon in a separate article). The rest of the Faithful are known as Hemew, or "those who work", and the faithless do not receive a title and are thus only identified by their ethnic name. However, some non-Ketek Faithful have higher Caste positions in which case their Origin is noted in addition to their caste, as an example an Iverican Sesh caste member, would be a Fenkhu-Sesh. A still smaller, but ever growing number of Faithless foreigners have been given limited higher caste rights, in which case the are identified by adding the negative suffix of -ef to their Ethnic identifier, for example if that Iverican Scribe was Faithless, they would be Kenkhewef-Sesh. A selection of Ethinic identifiers follow, in order of legal precedent: Remet (Non-Atenist Ketek), Fenkhu (Iveric), Amew (Altarian, Colesian, or Wutic), Nebwet (Vostauc), Nehesej (Mesothalasan, Nari, or, Chenxas), and Temeh (Semitic, or Sayfi).
[Stats (28mil pop, 18.5k gdp pc, 250k km²)]
Primary goals of King Akhenaten XXVIII Sa-Aten, the Djat, and most of the Nesu Caste:
Continue Modernization of the Army and the Navy Allow more royal direct rulership rather than proxy rulership through the Hem-Natjer, and Sesh Ma'at Begin to reassert the Per-Aten's historical local Hegemony
A Somewhat Brief History of Zaxar
Before the idea of the nation of Zaxar had even been conceived, the vast lands which the nation encompasses today were in chaos. Politically fragmented, the land was ruled by hostile clans and kingdoms who constantly sought to undermine and destroy each other through bloody warfare, genocide, and backstabbing. Little, in detail, is known about this period due to the frequent book burnings brought about through the warfare and much of what we do know comes from myths and legends passed down through stories and songs so the accuracy of these histories is largely considered unreliable by scholars. The exception to this theme of unreliable sources is La Histori Norte which is a fairly well sourced and thorough history of the Kingdom of Zaxar from 1536-1841 written by the famed Zaxar historian Codin Maxillo and published in 1843. This is where most of our knowledge of Zaxar’s early history comes from.
The history of the Kingdom of Zaxar begins at the turn of the 19th century when the first king of the Zaxar dynasty, Robbert Zaxar, led a pheasant uprising to overthrow the last monarch of the Drogt dynasty, known as Drogt the Tyrant. The people of Zaxar then elected Robbert to become their new king and he was given the name Robbert the Chosen. Robbert’s reign was focused mainly around social reform and improving the lives of the people. Throughout his reign, roads were built connecting the kingdom, the land of former Drogt nobles was divided up among the pheasants, and currency reform was enacted to curb inflation. Robbert’s reign lasted from 1803 until his retirement in 1843 at the age of 65.
The next Zaxar monarch to ascend to the throne was Hectal Zaxar who came to power at age 30 after his father’s retirement in 1843. He was selected by his father for his strong financial skills and his charismatic nature which had originally made him a competent diplomat. Hectal’s rein was one of great prosperity for Zaxar with it being known as the “Great Peace” by historians. This peace was brought about due to the many interconnected alliances and trade deals created by Hectal which brought great profit to the Kingdom. Hectal retired in 1890 at the age of 77 and is known as Hectal the Diplomat.
After his retirement, Hectal’s daughter Olivia Zaxar was his choice to become the first queen of Zaxar. Olivia’s main concern when coming to the throne was the establishment of an army which could cement Zaxar as the dominant power in the region. She used the vast amounts of wealth left over from her father’s rein to create Zaxar’s first standing professional army as well as expanding and modernizing Zaxar’s merchant navy. To test this new army, Olivia launched several invasions into neighboring kingdoms which were met with large amounts of success, allowing the establishment of several Zaxar vassal states and the annexation of large amounts of territory. Olivia “the Conqueror” reigned from 1890 until her death in 1926 at the age of 56.
After his mother’s death, young Prince Kenneth Zaxar took the throne and immediately was attacked by his two largest neighbors, the Kingdom of Bolhetar and the Therno Hoard. All of Kenneth’s rein was spent fighting this war which is now known as the Great Flaxzar War which will be covered in a separate article of its own. After finally achieving victory in 1999, Kenneth “the Great '' retired at age 83 being the longest reigning monarch in Zaxar’s history, ruling an impressive 73 years. His retirement was part of the Treaty of Sandrica which united the three great warring nations under the rule of his heir of choice and thus established the Empire Greater Zaxar under the rule of the first emperor, Emperor William Zaxar.
William has spent the first 21 years of his reign rapidly modernizing Zaxar as well as forging a new national identity which all Zaxar citizens can unify behind. This brings us to Zaxar today which has fallen behind its neighbors in technology, has population shortages, lacks infrastructure, and whose economy is in shambles due to 73 years of total war.
It will be up to the Emperor to fix the nation and unite its people, or face revolution and the destruction of his great empire.
The Primary Goals of the Regime:
Fast-track sustainable growth in all angles of society through government subsidies and public works. Achieve carbon neutrality by 2030. Build a strong network of alliances to promote trade and maintain international sovereignty. Draft new federal zoning laws to combat urban sprawl by growing cities up. Connect the nation through a modernized rail system. Promote population growth through immigration and pro-natalist policies. Promote and grow Zaxar culture as well as parks and other tourist attractions to attract foreign capital and investments. Modernize the Zaxar armed forces.
In the city of Khewet, a large crowd had formed around a statue of Namaset. The statue’s outstretched arms appeared to be gesturing to the entire crowd as if greeting and comforting her “children.” However, this crowd was not a crowd of pilgrims. These were political activists, clad in both traditional and modern clothing. Some of them were carrying signs with various statements written in Hemahatik, Dochi, and even Anglish, the majority of which had statements showing disapproval in the government and the current state of affairs written on them. Others came with nothing, bar two priests to the god Anmatar who were carrying their signature incense burners.
At the center of the crowd, standing on a shoddily-built podium made of wood, stood Council Member Wastan Aybes. Despite being the de facto leader of the Council’s opposition, he did not look the part. He wore jeans, a camo shirt, what appeared to be a Litham - commonly found amongst Dochi but not Hemahatikiq like himself -, and his almost signature aviator sunglasses. He was already in the middle of a speech about how the current council needs to be changed when a much more well-dressed man came up to him and whispered in his ear. Aybes nodded as he then turned to his right.
“Sura Aldjya, will you please step onto the podium?” Aybes asked.
Sura was a woman much older than Aybes. While Aybes was 32, Sura was nearly 80. Unlike Aybes’ more casual dress, Sura was fully dressed in a colorful traditional tunic and head wrapping. Her age was obviously getting to her as she climbed the steps with some difficulty. However, when she made it, she was met with roaring applause. Aybes grabbed the microphone and began to speak once more.
“As many of you know, we are gathered here today to protest C.B 24-32: New Age Tax Act, specifically Section 2 of the bill which would make Dochi clans pay taxes.” He let a murmur among the crowd settle down, possibly for dramatic effect. “I have already voted no, but I will let Miss. Sura Aldjya explain why this would be disastrous for the Dochi.”
Sura was handed the microphone but appeared confused as to how to use it. Aybes motioned for her to speak into the windscreen. “My name is Sura Aldjya, Chieftess of the Aldjya Clan.” She composed herself before continuing. “My clan has been living in our region for hundreds of years. An Aldjya chieftain had signed a treaty with Nebey Meferwet herself.” This was a lie, but an unintentional one as it was taught as true by both Dochi and Hemahatik schools. “The Dochi have paid their taxes as individual citizens of Hemahat, but this steps into an entirely different boundary. This bill makes no mention of Hemahatik Clans, just Dochi ones.” She pulled out a piece of paper from her sleeve, which had a pocket underneath, and began to read it. “C.B 24-32: New Age Tax Act, Section 2. Noting how the Dochi have significant amounts of goods necessary for the continued development of the Hemahatik State, Dochi clans must pay tax proportional to their net worth including that of all individual members combined, starting at 15%. If the tax cannot be made in monetary payment, the state shall seize land proportional to the amount owed in accordance to its value.” She lowered the paper, letting some of the crowd angrily jeer for a few moments before continuing. “If you do not understand the consequences of this, this bill will force clans to pay preposterous amounts of taxes, the majority of whom can only pay in land. This bill is a power grab corrupt members of the Council who are trying to fool the rest of the country - including their fellow council members - into thinking that this bill is ‘Necessary.’” She grabbed the paper and positioned it right next to her head. “Well, I say that this bill and the men who wrote it will fail, for I know this country isn’t stupid.” As she said this, she ripped the paper in half to the cheer of the protestors.
Aybes took back the microphone before readdressing the crowd. “You heard Sura. This bill will not be passed, because if it does through popularity, it would bring great shame to our entire nation.” He paused before continuing. “And if it gets passed through intimidation and corruption, then I will do everything within my powers to defend the people of this great nation. Anmatar be with you all!” The crowd cheered as he held Sura’s hand and raised it, championing her as a proud revolutionary just as he was.
While his words were vague, the message was clear. If this law was passed, there would be resistance by him and his followers, possibly even violent resistance. Whether this was a threat to the council directly or a poor choice of words, this threat would be another straw on the camel's back