February 8, 2016

The World of Miscast Spells: The Empire

The Empire covers most of the continent formerly known as Astasia. It is comprised of sovereign nations with their own customs, cultures, and governing bodies who also owe allegiance to the Empress and Imperial Council. The first Empress, Hypatia Mbaga, was originally the queen of the country of Ingadi. She was chosen to lead the Empire, along with a council comprised of royalty from the rest of the Imperial countries, not only due to her country's great size and influence, but also because she worked alongside Marco Melieh. She and Melieh were successful in communicating the need for the diverse human peoples to come together in peaceful terms to turn away a more vexing and constant problem than their individual land disputes, philosophical disagreements, and economic disparities: the Goblin Menace. While humans might be willing to fight to the death about which kingdom had first conquered the Nopali desert or whether or not a guild-based feudal system or a capitalistic republic should govern their lives, everyone everywhere agreed that the scourge of goblins that had flooded over Nomansland and into Astasia had to be dealt with before they could cause anymore chaos.

One thing that tends to confuse goblins (though few are found in the Empire nowadays) is the human tendency to call things exactly what they are. Humans, it seems, are notoriously lazy when it comes to naming locations, hence the Empire wound up with places like “Cliftonshire” (which is a town in a shire on a cliff), South and North Wellington (famous for their many wells), and the Nopali Desert (where nopali cactus are cultivated, as well as a variety of fruits). Of slightly more imaginative geographic nomenclature are the Opal Islands, named not for true opals but for their many-colored, shining silk products, or Ingadi, the largest of the Imperial countries, named after the Ingadi word for “garden”, in honor of the greenery that springs up as if out of nowhere every rainy season. Of some dispute is the origin of the tiny nation of Camellia, which might have been named after its flowering tea bushes, or else the tea bushes may have been named after the country’s founding family; the truth has been lost to history.

The northernmost area of Astasia borders the goblin-inhabited continent of Ataxia and was traditionally known as “Nomansland”. Since no country had claim to the land, which was considered uninhabitable due to its close proximity to goblins, the Imperial Council unanimously declared that this would be the location of the new Imperial capital—simply called the Capital. Since no humans were native to this area, they could now come together there as equals.

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