Sunday, May 8, 2011

Profile: Azael

Azael is a nation on the planet Draco during its first age. Located in the northeast of Contel, it contains a lot of low, tropical coastlines, which fade into higher grasslands, then hills before finally reaching the high mountains separating it from Daeyul. The territory, though recognized as a nation, is in a stablized form of anarchy containing no governments greater than a township. Due to this, it is a favorite location for smugglers and others who breach minor laws in other nations; however, the people do not tend to accept violent criminals, which is largely enforced by the informal, bipartite militia.

The militia is generally understood to contain two castes, Azaca and Azule. Each caste has their own military traditions, philosohies, and place in society. Although most attempts to sum up their beliefs fail, most outsiders agree that 'liberal' and 'conservative' are about as much as they need to know unless they plan to live with them. Azuleans prefer to keep the peace and maintain order, while Azacans prefer to reform, experiment, and argue. They all agree, however, that so long as all or most people there respect the rest, there is little to no need for government.

Their shared creed, the Azalean Code, insists that citizens be earnest, honest, and forthright, and most citizens are more than happy to oblige. Outsiders often have a lot of bad things to say about Azael, but they all tend to agree it's a very cheerful place compared to most others.

Because of the lack of government, social services and sanitation vary widely, although most places have a community-oriented mindset that encourages cooperation. Little enough (excepting Azacan projects) is ever really planned or thought through; the only true exception is the vast network of roadways funded by foreign traders, without which many otherwise large townships might never have been found. Because of these roads, and because of the large number of traders from Seyona, the nation to the southeast, Azael is not a terribly backwards place, unlike some places in Alyon.

Azael also contains the closest ports to the continent of Anstra, and is frequently used as the last port before and first port after the trip between them. Because most other nations prefer the Evoloid-descendant races to stay out of their own borders, they tend to only settle on that continent; the people of Azael do not typically care, however, and so many settle there or travel between the two freely. The major exception are Laras, winged creatures that are rarely seen at low altitudes, who prefer the mountains of Ooria and Daeyul.

Azael contains the Fire Dragon Temple, and their magical traditions usually involve fire magic. However, they are better known for their militia, who are trained in martial arts only lightly enhanced by magic. The traditional design for elementalist dojos,two-story huts in which the instructor lives above the training space (where it will be endangered if they do not teach proper control) originated in Azael, and is most widely used by the Azulean order.

Because of the proximity to the Fire Dragon, the nation also contains many mana fountains. If a fire-user drinks from these fountains, they are able to manifest a small amount of more destructive fire energy than normal. Although these fountains pop up in other nations as well, they only really seem to affect the use of fire magic.

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