Bakura

The Kingdom of Bakura

*Racial Breakdown*: 70% Stone Elves, 20% Wild Elves, 5% Avian, 5% Mountain Dwarves
*Population*: 326,000
*Major Industries*: Forestry, Crafts
*Military*: Medium land forces
*Government*: Tripartite monarchy
*Current Ruler*: King Vulderion Omorath
*Capital City*: Bakura
*Major Cities*: Bakura, Altaira, Recinda

Politics:

Located at the base of the Eastern Mountains, the Kingdom of Bakura is a peaceful nation, and welcomes with open arms most of the representatives from other cultures and kingdoms, as well as refugees and citizens seeking a new life. The political standing of Bakura with many of the other races is mainly one of neutrality, though there are some close alliances that exist.

Their chief alliances include Maub'dib, the Realm of the Avians, situated on the misty peaks of the Eastern Mountains. The Priest-Kings, who wished to have the support of the Avian army in their battle to expand their territory, initially established the alliance. There are open trade agreements that exist, principally in the export of lumber and pottery to the Avians, and the import of various textiles and grains to the Stone Elves. As the Avians are also allied with the Dwarf Kingdom of Gerdain, they are content to serve as "lookouts" for the two races, to bestow early warning on the threats of enemy movements from their high vantage point on the Peaks.

Gerdain and Bakura have an age-old alliance, formed during the first migrations of the Elves to the foot of the Mountains. Relations between the respective Kingdoms remain favorable, and the Dwarves are the principle source of armor, mined goods, and weaponry for the Stone Elves.

In regards to the humans, there is but one principle alliance, which exists between the Stone Elves and the Eastern Kingdom of Berphaunt. After initially rejecting the offers of friendship and peace offered to them by Bakura, Berphaunt later sent envoys to the Stone Elves with propositions to establish a possible alliance. Berphaunt wished free passage through the Eastern Mountains, primarily at that time for raiding parties and numerous spies and, if necessary, quick unhindered movement of their army for their war against Clan Sprawn. The alliance remains, at best, rather strained, as the humans maintain the alliance solely for political and diplomatic reasons, not wishing to have an enemy bordering their lands. Very little trade goes on between the two respective Kingdoms, and both remain moderately aloof towards one another.

There is not much association with the other major power, the Kingdom of Tiefanue, though both Bakura and Tiefanue are followers of the Church of Light. Trade is difficult due to the massive landmass between them, though the Stone Elf ambassadors who make the journey are usually received with hospitality, rather than hostility, and are generally accepted and respected by Tiefanue. The relations between the Two Kingdoms remain politically neutral.

Stone elves are generally thought of as "peacekeepers" by the other races, with which the Stone Elves try to keep political neutrality, and are a fairly common sight to them. They are actively involved in the workings and politics of the other nations, and help to encourage trade and communication between the races.

Government:

King Vulderion Omorath presently rules the Kingdom of Bakura, and has for the past 300 years. The Kingdom currently holds three provinces, all of which border the base of the Eastern Mountains: the main province of Bakura, and the lesser provinces of Altaira and Recinda. Each contains a large city overseen by a Governor, who represents the King in everyday matters, as well as settling disputes within their jurisdiction. The capital city is located in the center of the main province, and it is from there that the King controls the workings of his lands.

Although it is a monarchical society, led primarily by the King, there exists a triumvirate that represents the different factions within the Elven society, in matters of concern that the King should address. The General of the military represents the army, the High priest for religion and the common folk, and the Head of the Merchants for the nobles of Bakura. Each brings the concerns of their respective factions before the other three representatives, as well as the King, and ways of resolving the issue in question are decided and voted on, with the final decision being made official by the King, unless the King abjectly disagrees on the issue. In matters of great importance, however, it is solely the King who decides on the best course of action.

Wild Elves that have made the decision to remain within the Kingdom are still subject to its laws, and still owe their allegiance to the King. But should they choose to leave the Kingdom, they must forfeit their citizenship. Although they may appear wild and unstable, the Wild Elves have also formed their own societies outside the Kingdom. While some have choose to live in isolation, others have formed small nomadic tribes that the other races have dubbed the Tribal Elves, and they answer to no one but their own wills and intuitions, and they make every effort to live life to the fullest.

While outside the Kingdom, the King holds no sway over the Tribal Elves, but should they choose to reenter any of the provinces, they are subject to its laws the same as a normal citizen, but they may not reclaim their original citizenship.

Judiciary system:

Each province contains a Judiciary Council, who oversees the majority of the punishments for most crimes. The Kingdom of Bakura has no jails, as the crime rate is a bare minimum, and offenders are usually made an example of to encourage the rest of the citizens to abide by the King's set laws. The Stone Elves may be viewed by most as a peaceful and open Kingdom, but in order to ensure that the laws are not taken advantage of, the punishments are rather harsh. Crimes such as racism, discrimination and thievery are punished by the removal of citizen rights for a length of time decided by the Council, and a public act of humiliation, usually a flogging and 3 days in the stocks.

Large crimes however, mainly murder and treason, are punishable by death. This law is rather contradictory to their pacifistic natures, and yet seems appropriate. Stone elves abhor treason and murder, and have no qualms about the death penalty in such cases. An attack against the citizens of the Kingdom is considered an attack on the King, to which there is no excuse. Treason against the King is virtually unheard of in Bakura, as the King provides the stability that the Stone Elf nation needs. In the entire history of the Stone Elves, there have been only two recorded counts of treason, and one count of regicide, one by a Dark Elf necromancer, and a Human assassin, and the other committed by a sadistic Wild Elf.

In the event of a murder, the accused is allowed a trial, but should they be convicted there is no parole or appeal. They are put to death in the same manner in which they murdered their victim.

The punishment for being convicted of treason, against commoners or nobles, is by the accused being ceremoniously thrown off a cliff at sunset as an example to all others.

These consequences are known throughout the Kingdom, and are only called upon about once every few thousand years. Generally, the Stone Elf society is extremely lawful, with a high code of ethics and morals. It is also because of these morals that Stone Elves will not usually use their most powerful method of discovering the truth: the mind meld. The telepathic ability is one of great importance and reverence to the Stone Elves, and isn't used lightly. However, if it is a question of innocence or guilt in which the verdict is unsure and an innocent may be put to death, an accused is offered a chance to prove their innocence by allowing an official access to their mind through the link in order to confirm the deciding judgment.

Crimes committed by the Wild Elves that still reside within Bakura are no less punishable than an ordinary Stone Elf. By choosing to remain within the boundaries of Bakura, the Wild Elves are still required to abide by the King's word. Individuals from other races who also live in Bakura are also required to follow the law.

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