Monday, February 11, 2008

Centres of Culture V: Mechia

A note on pronunciation: It is not "MECH-ee-uh". It's "Muh-KEY-uh". Please don't think this place is about robots, dear lord, no.

This is the last major human centre of culture, and the most different from the others. If you go east north-east from the Aruan Archipelago, you will eventually reach the shores of Mechia.

This place, once conquered by the expanding Kularian Empire in the East, and then again conquered by the Aruan Empire from the West, is isolationist in nature. I'm sure I'll get many accusations of ripping off Japan, and in a sense I am, but this society has reasons beyond "Dylan needed a new cultural basis" for being the way it is.

Where the cultures of the west are full of passion, Mechia is a very dispassionate place. That's not to say that Mechians do not feel passion, but it is considered to be vulgar to show any more passion than necessary. The cold hierarchic society gets its inspiration from the moon, which is believed by Mechians and those in the eastern part of the former Kularian Empire to be made of ice. It travels around the earth to protect itself from the raging heat of the sun.

The stars themselves move very little, and are believed to be the Moon's court (well, at least they believe it in a figurative sense), all are in their proper place. So too must all people remain in their proper places. Gender does not play a serious role in this society, but social class plays a more intense role than other societies.

War and combat is also important to this society. After they had been conquered by the Aruan Empire, a great being came to their aid. He claimed to be an Avatar of the Moon, and his power was great. He singlehandedly marshalled the Mechians and with them threw the Aruans off Mechian soil. His name was Darius, and he is now referred to as Darius the Undying, as he is still their ruler today. Most people outside of Mechia believe that Darius' sons, grandsons, great-grandsons and the rest have all taken pains to look like Darius in an attempt to consolidate power.

Darius is, in fact, an ancient wizard. Having broken with the society of the ancient wizards, he remained behind, and felt that in rescuing and strengthening Mechia he was doing right. He is slowly attempting to return magic to the world through his "Angels", who are close friends and like-minded followers of his, also ancient wizards.

It is unfortunate that the sins required to turn this society into a haven for the magically inclined are great and dark. Darius claims to still be acting in the interests of the people, but much of this project is now just an extension of his ego. For those of you out there who know me, Darius has another name, but I'll keep that a secret for now.

People in the West view Mechians as sorcerers, devil-worshippers and similar unsavoury characters. As humans cannot do magic themselves (well, most humans who can't do magic believe this), they must be tapping into the powers of unsightly creatures. The moon-worship and dispassionate attitudes certainly don't help. As a result of this negative attention from the West, and the conquests, Mechia is a closed society. The only people allowed in are given leave by "Darius", and the only people allowed out are Darius' representatives.

These posts aren't supposed to be exhaustive, and I think this gives you an idea of what this culture is like, so I'll cut it there. I'm still deciding on whether or not to do serious posts on the Eastern and Western portions of the former Kularian Empire, as they're fairly similar to Kulari Proper.

Anywho, the next post will probably be about some facet of Elven society.

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