Zabel
macchu-picchu.jpg

Government: Zabelian Empire, presided over by the Prophet King in the Prophet's City.

Population: Approximately 20,000,000 (total among all nations).

Protection: Extremely advanced national and civil defenses, utilizing Ancients' technology and magicke. Dangerous jungle terrain acts as barrier to outside encroachment. Disparate tribal armies beginning to combine slowly over last 100 years.

"Zabel" is the emerging conglomeration of the indigenous peoples from Mexico to the tip of South America. With European colonization delayed indefinitely by Novari expansionism in the old world, these meso-american societies are relatively unhindered, and have had time to advance their unique culture and technology. Slowly, they are merging together into one massive empire of indigenous Americans.

History:

Zabel's history is often inaccessible to world scholars. But not to you, dear reader! Here is a brief overview of the strange and powerful Zabelian Empire.

The Founding of Zabel, and Moctezuma's Curious Lack of Revenge

What real-life scholars call the peoples of the "Inca", "Maya", and "Aztec" societies are in our world now the Zabelians.

This imperial conglomeration began several centuries ago, as the many nations of Mexico and Central and South America put aside millenia of conflict, to band together against the northern Rephan Empire. This meso-american political movement began in modern-day Peru, as a tribal King reached across ethnic lines to associate the Stara Ziemans and Westerners to the conquering demons of their legends. A brief civil war followed his efforts, but when the dust cleared, the beginning of a Monarchy was proclaimed. The foundation for "Zabel", a word meaning "The Right Road", was then laid.

As they began to found their new blended society, the Spanish never arrived to challenge them. Their numbers were not depleted by infectious disease, territorial war or genocide. Instead, their already unique technology and magicke flourished, and their empire grew more vast, structured, and xenophobic besides. The site of Machu Picchu was completed after all, and there a holy Prophet's City was formed, the seat of the monarchy and the decentralized (fairly "hands-off") multi-tribal government.

Tech Support from the Gods

Zabelian technology is possibly the most advanced in the world (with a few provisos). Much of their inventiveness has been based on civil defense of their lands.

Zabel's advanced technology is thought to have been given a miraculous head-start by Ancients' leftovers. Their lands possess the richest deposits of artifacts and ruins from the advanced previous civilization. Many of the key components to their devices were found among these ruins, such as Obelisk lenses, and although Zabelian inventors and alchemists do not understand the true nature of these components, they have learned to create their own weapons and devices from them. The Zabelians themselves believe this technology to be a gift from their Sun God, rather than the Ancients. This is simply an orthodox belief, however, and some scholars look deeper.

They possess the power to create powerful stone Golems. These are similar to Novari Siege Golems, however these Zabelian variants are typically slow-moving giants almost impervious to damage, rather than effective siege machines. Zabelian Golems, unlike others in the world, are thought to be created by using special metals and ore in the construction of a large exoskeleton, and then infusing the structure with a powerful derelict spirit. Sorcerors have difficulty issuing these spirits advanced commands as of yet; the best they can accomplish is simple things like "kill anything that comes near" " kill anything, period" and "wait". As a result, golems are better suited for defensive tasks, and do not operate safely in concert with living furre soldiers. This suits the insular, xenophobic Zabelians well, however. The Spirits used in golem manufacturing were once living beings, and as a result must be repeatedly "worked on" by mages such that they do not simply flee their inorganic bodies. If a golem is destroyed, the spirit will typically flee, thinking its "body" has been mortally killed. Some say that elite alchemists have managed to create far more advanced golems through darker magickes… Sometimes out of living tissue instead of stone. These such magickes, however, are feared by the ruling class and forbidden at pain of execution.

Also notable are Zabel's solar-powered magicke Obelisks, which fire astounding and extremely destructive beams of light at unwelcome guests. Tales of these two inventions are usually enough to demoralize any potential invader, and as a result, expansionist Conquistadors rarely give them too much trouble. Obelisks are built around alchemical lenses, ancient artifacts left behind by the previous civilization, made of virtually indestructible glass. There is the same number of these lenses in Zabel since the beginning of their history, however on the rare occasion an obelisk is destroyed, the lenses are salvaged to build new obelisks. Obelisks can only be manned by "gunner" spellcasters, an ascetic class of mages trained in that specific tasks. Most large Zabelian cities have obelisks for defense.

2012 Can't Come Soon Enough

Zabelian politics are strongly infused with their own unique religious sensibility. They associate many modern events with the prophetic tellings of their astrological calendar. Their religion tells them that conquerors will come, and they seen any foreign interests in this prophetic light. Aided by their technology and magicke, they deal with outsiders harshly.

Due to these prophetic beliefs, the Zabelians have a disinterest in conquest and expansion, and a vehement disdain for outside influences; they are renowned for their fierce and deadly defense of their borders. This means your vacation to Machu Picchu might have to wait.

The Zabelians are ruled minimally by the Prophet King. The King is more of a figurehead and religious leader, and generally leaves individual tribes and regions with their autonomy. He does have the legal power to do more, particularly in times of war, but for reasons unknown remains fairly libertarian with his people.

Individual tribal governments can be harsh, and punish apostasy and atheism with brutal cruelty. Zabel is a theocracy in a sense, but with a respect for science that sometimes prevents an excess of inner conflict. There are numerous voices calling for change, but in fierce, eccentric Zabel, little change can be expected.

Good Fences Make Good Neighbours

Zabel shares the vast continent of Stara Ziema with the northern Rephan Empire, and their enigmatic God-Emperor Moloch.
Moloch has made numerous attempts to storm their borders, and so too have his ancestors in the centuries even before the foundation of Zabel. He seems to possess an understanding of Zabelian technology that no other world leader or monarch does, and it interests him enough to brush off heavy military losses while trying to attain it. It is thought that the early cooperation of tribes that formed Zabel was the result of Rephan aggression. Nice work, Moloch.

Zabel still ferociously denies any need for foreign help, though has lost much of their land-holdings (in modern, RL Mexico) to Rephan expansion in the last century. The ruling classes of Zabel, despite this, stubbornly refuse change.

Final Thoughts (before the sky falls)

Though not every Zabelian is a complete xenophobe, those seeking world travel will still have years of conditioning to fully get over. Zabel's culture is truly different from any other in the world, and those who leave will notice this quickly.

People from Zabel will typically be animals from South and Central America or Mexico. They can be cool Inca, Maya, Aztec, etc type meso-American type characters and still fall under "Zabelian". It must be emphasized that Zabel hasn't been an empire all that long, and many of these sub-tribes will still be pretty autonomous.

Zabelian mages and technologists will be typically aristocratic, since these are very sought-after professions in Zabel. Definitely possible to play a hard-working commoner who climbed the ladder, though.

For any further information or thoughts on Zabel, please contact the staff!

NOTE

We are all going to die at the end of the Mayan Calendar, two years from now, as the sky is devoured by a giant serpent, hamster or Freemason and our microwaves and playstations come to life and attack us, so you should probably ask any questions you have before then.

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