"Clad in orange and cloaked in lies, the destroyer will come from the East.
Skin like snow and eyes like ice, the destroyer will start in the West.
Words of honey, heart of tar, the destroyer will call you her friend.
Blood like rivers and hills of skulls, the destroyer will end our whole world."
—The Esoteric Chapter
The Tavat Avati (1304)
"She will come heralded by seven bells and a new moon. She will come speaking the Tavari speech but bearing the face of a foreigner. She will build a mountain of Tavari skulls on which to climb to the stars.
She will steal the weapon she swears to detest and use that which was forged to protect instead to destroy. She will rain moonlight upon the cities of Tavaris and turn them to ashes.
A dozen and seven years after her first treason, she will strike.
She will come from the East.
She will come from the East.
Let not the new moon ri-"
—Final Entry, Private Diary of King Utor I
18 April 1312
[Editor’s note: King Utor died while writing the final word, believed to be “rise.”]
When King Utor I, the first King of All Tavaris, wrote the Tavat Avati in an attempt to codify those traditions that made the Tavari “the Tavari,” he established the foundational beliefs of the modern Avatidar faith, known also as Tavari traditionalism. His book was so popular it standardized the grammar of the Tavari language and cemented spirtualism’s place in Tavari society. However, one part of the book that King Utor wrote was often not included because it was little understood and believed by most not to “fit” with the rest of the text. Known as the Esoteric Chapter, it is believed King Utor wrote it under the influence of psychoactive drugs (that the rest of the Tavat Avati decries as harmful and sinful) and spent the final decades of his life desperately impressing upon his son and courtiers its importance, but to deaf ears. Tavaris’ great scholar-king died with his subjects believing he had gone mad years prior.
The prophecy of King Utor I went unheeded until the day it came true, 18 April 2023. Seven hundred and eleven years after King Utor’s death and 19 years after she committed treason by funneling millions of našdat in Church of Akrona money to forces opposing Tavaris in the Volscine Civil War, the blue-eyed, Norgsveldet-born elf Vana Dandreal decapitated the entire Tavari government when she set off a nuclear bomb in Nuvrenon, killing the Emperor, the Prime Minister, and more than two million others. It was one year to the day that she had signed the Ranat Accords that brought peace to Tavaris.
There was no Tavari Civil War. There were far more Akronists in the Tavari armed forces than right-wing nationalists, it turned out, and they were far better at waiting patiently to strike. When the world rose up in anger to avenge the worst act of terrorism yet seen, Vana Dandreal—acting always in the service of life—nuked the city of Odai in central Tavaris, killing another half a million people, and threatened that by the time foreign troops reached Tavari soil, it would be “nothing but radioactive ash.”
The world relented, and on that day, the Acronian Empire was born. And from the very minute her Empire began, on a planet surrounded by enemies who would never forgive her and never cease plotting her downfall, Vana Dandreal was obsessed with reaching the stars.
THE ACRONIAN EMPIRE
Nation Name (long): Eredan Acronís (Acronian), the Acronian Empire (Staynish-Codexian)
Nation Name (short): Acronis
Capital: Crystal Coast, Urth Province (metro area pop. 8.67 million)
Largest City: Õvrenis, New Metradan (metro area pop. 10.15 million)
Demonym: Acronian, Acronašta
Language: Acronian, Staynish-Codexian
Species: 94% orc, 3% human, 2% elf, 1% all others (2200 census)
Population: 1,104,316,807 (2200 census)
Land area on Urth: 1,060,768.62 sq km
Government type: Theocratic autocracy with some democratic elements
Leader(s): Matron Telerea Basdõmi (elected for life by Elders who are themselves appointed by the Matron for life), Chief Administrator Mazó Tatsani (selected by Matron from largest faction in elected Synod)
Legislature: Synod (popularly elected but highly limited in legislative jurisdiction)
Formation: Kingdom of Tavaris established 22 April 1304, People’s Communion of Acronis established 14 March 2022, Acronian Empire established 29 May 2023
Total GDP: $82,609,523,064,442 (2200)
GDP per capita: $74,806 (2200)
Currency: Acronian Našdat (ACN, ŋ)
Calling Code: +421
ISO 3166 code: AC, ACR
Internet TLD: .ac
Map of Extraterrestrial Holdings: https://cdn.discordapp.com/attachments/895008739197865996/1112965445012684861/image.png
ACRONIAN EXTRATERRESTRIAL HOLDINGS
Since the 2041-2047 Novari-Acronian War—in which Zampanea (formerly known as Metradan) and Rodoka, assisted by allies among the countries of Novaris, successfully rebelled and overthrew the Acronian yoke, Acronis has focused almost exclusively on expanding its space program, already well underway by the time of the Novari war. In the war, Acronis lost the entire island of Rodoka to the United Tribes of Rodoka and the Isles (whose annexation, like those of Metradan, Racatrazi, and Elatana, was mostly internationally unrecognized), but seized Vaalsaar in the eastern Cerenerian Ocean. The Zampanean insurgency that defeated both Acronian forces and resident ethnic Tavari (officially called “ethnic Acronians” since 2023) attempts at re-establishing the former Republic of Metradan established the Resurgent Republic of Zampanea out of the ashes of the war and later undertook a campaign of political realignment with Cescolia and the larger Celanoran sphere.
Vana Dandreal ordered, years before it was ever founded, that Acronis’ first interstellar colony be named New Metradan out of spite. The word “Metradan,” translated as “the land of the moon,” was originally applied to the entire continent of Novaris by an Akronist Tavari poet in 1604, once news of the new continent first reached Tavaris, and Dandreal claimed she was “reclaiming” the word when, in 2101, the Acronian Empire officially established the colony of Õvrenis, meaning “refuge.” Õvrenis is today the largest city in the Empire. The planet New Metradan is the most Urth-like Acronian world, without any atypical major hazards and significant arable land and natural resources. There exists no animal life on land but an explosion of life is occurring in the oceans. It has a population of 381 million.
The second colony established was Vonaris, also in 2101, named for Tavari King Vonar II who abdicated to become an Akronist in 1864. Meant to honor his alleged tradition as a scholar (there do not appear to be contemporaneous records ascribing any particular love of research to Vonar II), the colony was established for scientific purposes to examine the inactive Slamgate in the system. The Empire’s goal is to reactivate and assume control of the Slamgate, a goal which has monopolized a significant portion of the country’s entire economic and scientific output for several decades. Unlike its sister colony established in the same year, the population is much lower and the planet is much, much less hospitable—high in radiation and low in gravity, without an atmosphere and requiring enclosed habitats for settlement. It has a population of 4 million, the fewest of all Acronian worlds.
The colony Mevaqõl was established in 2105, in the system neighboring New Metradan. Mevaqol, meaning “tear-rise,” is named in reference to Qóvakõl, (“tear-fall [point]”) a meteor impact site in Acronis sacred to Akronists. Acronis is said to have “risen” from Qóvakõl to Mevaqõl and brought the light of Akrona with them to the reaches of outer space (or so say the marketing materials published by the Ministry of Labor.) The planet is rich in minerals but gets extremely hot; most settlements on the planet are built at least partially in cave systems or underground. 345 million people live on Mevaqõl.
In 2151, Acronians entered a then-unnamed system to survey it and were greeted by spacecraft that were not of Urth origin. The Acronians proclaimed “Zena nezo!” (“there is [sapient] life!”), a phrase which would name the world in the system on which the Acronians settled three years later. The planet Zenanezo is known for higher-than-average gravity and purple plant life using the pigment retinal, but the system is far better known not for its Acronian residents but the spacefaring civilization resident there known, in a grand cosmic coincidence, as Asronians. Their homeworld, Asroni, is a moon in orbit of a gas giant in the system whose star they named Ta. There are 254 million people on Zenanezo.
The Asronians are bipedal, humanoid beings, less massive than orcs on average but often taller, with a rather long and narrow build. They have sensory organs on the sides of their head that reach up nearly a third of a meter tall that have the appearance of dramatically pointed ears. Because their planet is more exposed to radiation, there are very thin deposits of heavy metals such as lead and cobalt in their skin that can act to insulate from radiation. It gives their skin, which is typically dark blue or dark gray, an iridescent sheen in bright light. The Asronians have more advanced energy and propulsion technology than the Acronians, and their homeworld is remarkably rich in heavy metals and other minerals necessary for building ships and FTL drives, as well as thorium, needed in a style of nuclear reactor favored by the Acronians. In turn, the Acronians have significantly more people and more territory, and present significant options for the Asronians to peacefully expand as well as provide desperately needed labor. Asronian authorities, known as the United Asronian Realm, report a population of 44 million.
LIFE IN THE ACRONIAN EMPIRE
In the immediate aftermath of the events of 2023, known officially as “the Cauterizing” after Dandreal described the event as necessary to “cauterize Akrona’s wounds” after centuries of abuse at the hands of the Tavari, the nascent Acronian Empire leaned heavily into communist doctrine in an attempt to retain the allegiance of citizens whose allegiance to Acronis, previously guaranteed by their Akronism, was tested by the Matron murdering 2.5 million people. In addition to attempting to guarantee housing, shelter, and a basic quality of life to all citizens, the Empire also violently repressed political opposition, restricted civil rights, and imposed a national system of corvee labor in which the Ministry of Labor assigned citizens to jobs under the guise of a “proletarian revolution.” Eventually this expanded to granting the government the right to relocate citizens as it pleased. The Acronian Empire still practices these policies to this day and has ruthlessly enforced them throughout history, though the intensity of violence used in political repression has varied across decades.
The Acronian Empire, despite it all, remains an Akronist state committed to the principles of the Akronist religion. Officially, life is valued above all else, with the noted caveat that the Church can and must act first in the interest of life as a whole over the lives of any particular individual(s), should the needs of one need to be set aside to meet the needs of the other. This doctrine, known historically as Ilarism, was supposed to have been formally abandoned by the Church in 1992, but was secretly championed by Vana Dandreal throughout that time and restored in the wake of the Cauterizing. Citizens are expected to remain in good standing with the Church of Akrona, which exists as one of two governments in the Empire (the other being “the proletariat,” represented by the Synod and the Chief Administrator.) In keeping with the religion’s emphasis on life, abortion and contraception are banned, and all citizens are expected to each have two children over the course of their lives (or four per each married couple.) It is illegal to eat the meat or eggs of any animal except for those that live all or a majority of their lives in the water. Strict building and engineering standards attempt to mitigate as much environmental impact as possible, both on and off Urth. Acronis has attempted to remain a leader of clean energy technology on Urth as the impacts of global warming increase, though few have been willing to become too diplomatically or economically close to Acronis since the Cauterizing.
The Acronian education system features high standards and strict enforcement. Education by state authorities is mandatory for all citizens aged 3 to 23 in a curriculum that has been dominated by engineering and biological sciences since the 2050s. Students are nominally allowed to select their own course of study upon reaching the age of 16, but social pressure and government intimidation are often used to ensure students select courses desired by the state. This massively hyper-detailed government focus on the minutiae of education curricula and the proportions of students who study particular fields is undertaken almost exclusively in the hopes of unlocking the Slamgate, or in research to extend lifespans, the government’s stated secondary objective. While most of the Acronian state’s continued existence depends on strong state repression and the leveraging of violent force, there is significant social buy-in generated among the public by the government’s research into extending lifespans, which by 2200 had resulted in Acronian orcs finally reaching equivalent lifespans to the average human, never before recorded in history.
Vana Dandreal died in 2124, at age 174—ancient for an elf, inconceivable for an orc—after an entirely unprecedented 121 years as Matron of the Church of Akrona. After her death, the Acronian government undertook a series of economic and political reforms that have been slowly, meticulously, and unwaveringly repealed in the decades since but that played a major role in rehabilitating the country’s image in the eyes of its own citizens. The Charter of Rights, a document ratified by the Synod and the Elders in 2125, remains nominally in force to this day and establishes ostensible rights to freedom of expression and freedom to redress the government for grievances. It also mandates a retirement age of 60, and since 2125 has indeed been mostly compliant with rules that require the government to permit people to stop working once reaching that age. Also in 2125, the legal areas in which the Synod is allowed to legislate was expanded to include regulation of private business enterprises, which had the effect of legalizing private business enterprises.
Current Matron Telerea Basdõmi, the 43rd Matron, was elected in 2198. Like every Matron since Vana Dandreal, she has proven to be a hardline Marxist and devout Ilarist Akronist, unafraid to leverage violence and even lethal force if she feels it necessary to ensure the continuance of Akronism, which as she defines it includes the Acronian Empire as currently politically constituted. Since her election, incidents of arrests of political dissidents by Acronian Armed Forces personnel have increased significantly (according to outside observers). In particular, Basdõmi seems to be very focused on protecting and perpetuating the corvee labor system and ensuring that as many Acronians are employed in Slamgate research as possible. A particular hallmark of her rule has been citing “religious necessity” in relocating prisoners to labor camps on Vonaris. Prior to her election, she served as Supervising Priestess of the Acronian Ministry of Space Exploration and Scientific Advancement, a position de facto outranking the Minister of the department, and had a reputation for being incredibly strict in demands that researchers meet established publishing quotas. Her motto is “Life Restores.”