|Government: Imperial monarchy|
|Year of establishment: Around 2100 AEE|
|Ultimate penalty: There are two types of ultimate penalties. The first one is called the “regular ultimate penalty” and will get you a life sentence in one of the empire's most secured prisons. The other type is treason against the empire and you will be publicly killed in an almost ceremonial execution for everyone to see.|
The Etingnean Empire is a former city-state that grew in power and conquered a vast number of new territories. All in the name of the Essence which they appreciate exceedingly. So much that they want to spread the “glory of the Essence”. The imperial family is always in charge and enables its citizens to live a good life as long as they respect the Essence and the current Emperor or Empress.
The first Etingneans were actually Quistasians that fled the country when it decided to become isolated and close all gates to the outside world. A few hundred people managed to escape before that and were damned to wander Faizeon after leaving Quistas.
They even went so far as to travel to the other landmass of Faizeon (the other two where the water falls down like a waterfall were still unknown) to escape eventual pursuers. Some old documents speak of a storm their ships got into and which almost killed them - an example of a small event having the possibility to alter history - but they survived and reached the shores of the other landmass.
The people that fled from Quistas found a small region that was owned by nobody and the perfect place to construct a settlement. The city-state that would follow was particularly small since all the other areas surrounding it belonged to already established countries. The escapees named their new city Etingnun and decided to discard anything cultural left from Quistas to start their own nation and culture.
They developed a new language, customs and got rid of any believes that the Essence was a God. Instead, they decided that the Essence may be an important part of the planet and worth their appreciation but in a non-religious manner. The Etingneans always had much respect for the Essence and did not kill Essence Beings as a result. Their city was growing but their limited land would eventually put a stop to this a few centuries later.
Around the 30. century, Etingnun had harvested most of its natural resources and the lands themselves grew tired. There was a lack of metals, textiles, wood, and food and the people began to lead more and more miserable lives with each decade passing. Their steady increase in population made it harder for them than most other city-states since those may consist of only one city but, most of the time, possess enough lands to cultivate even future generations. Etingnun did not have this luxury and even trading was not enough to sustain them since they did not have much to trade to begin with.
This led them to become desperate, disguising their troops as bandits and pirates to plunder the caravans and ships of other countries. This went well at first and, despite feeling guilty, the population was able to recover but it was clear that there would be a mishap soon enough. One of the other countries they were secretly pillaging found out and instantly attacked them as a result, ready for battle and with a full army at their disposal. Etingnun quickly surrendered without putting up much of a fight and the city-state ended up being occupied.
The Etingneans thought that being under the rule of another country could maybe better their lives but they were mistaken. Their occupiers made sure to make them pay for their pillaging, took away most of their scarce resources and treated them basically like slaves. Etingnun had to endure its worst times and numerous people wondered if it would not have been better if their ancestors had stayed in Quistas.
However, there were still young Etingneans that were not willing to give up, secretly planning rebellions and ways to get back at the occupiers. Essence Weapons had already spread around the world but the country occupying them, being rather old-fashioned, did not use them which the rebels used for their advantage. Instead of relentlessly attacking their occupiers, they secretly gathered as many Essence Weapons and Essence Cores - even if they had to slay Essence Beings and break their forefather's customs - as they could. After they were able to gather enough, they distributed them to as many people as possible. Their plan was to start an uprising that would be big enough to drive the occupiers out and strike back at them at the same time.
Nobody is sure how they managed it but the Etingneans were actually able to bring their rebellion to a success, destroying the surprised occupiers with the power of the Essence (in the form of Essence Weapons, Essence Cores, and Supplicants) and driving them back to their own country. Etingnun was not satisfied with this and continued the onslaught, eventually defeating the other country after a long war involving heavy losses but Etingnun was free and even gained new land they took from their former occupiers.
Etingnun was no longer a city-state by this point since they gained control over new cities which they made their own. Their forced the people formerly living there to either become Etingnean citizens or to be exiled - most of them complied and were integrated into the former city-state that was now a country. The people were finally able to lead better lives and expand. Gone were the days of hunger, poverty, dirt, and sickness. They would probably have been fine with this if it was not for their neighbors, angry at Etingnun. They were shocked how some former bandits and pirates - they learned about it as well but could not do much since the other country that was now gone was quicker than them - had the audacity to act like they earned all of this. They attacked but Etingnun was prepared this time.
The small country had established connections to countries of the other landmass they originally came from, even gaining an ally called Krondax. As soon as they learned about the several declarations of war Etingnun had to face, they sent over their own troops to help them and engage the enemy. Etingnun was also smart enough to upgrade their army with more Essence Weapons and Cores (which were imported, so they did not have to slay Essence Beings themselves), make use of aptitudes and constructed an intelligence network, so they could defend themselves while their spies and assassins could weaken their enemies from the inside.
Their enemy countries were not used to actual war tactics and thought that it was enough to overrun any foe with brutal force and masses. They were wrong and were destroyed by the alliance of Etingnun and Krondax, one by one. Krondax was allowed to keep a high percentage of captured resources and goods while Etingnun kept the conquered lands, growing evermore. Most historians think it is ironic that it was the other countries' fault that Etingnun would grow more and more and eventually become an empire.
History was already well after the second half of the Age of Construction and Etingnun had grown to an impressive size. Not an empire yet but close enough. Once again, Etingnun would have been fine like this but there was a national movement gaining more and more power. A movement that looked back at the old days of Etingnun and remembered that they were sworn to show the Essence their appreciation, especially after Essence Weapons and Cores were basically what saved them from occupation and made them strong. This movement was still non-religious but they were worshipping the Essence, nonetheless, even if it was in a non-religious manner. The movement gained more and more followers and even the council that was still controlling the country at this point and a relict of their days as a city-state were one by one swayed by them.
The Etingneans were disgusted by their neighbors and most other countries of their landmass since they did not seem to show any appreciation for the Essence. Sure, they used Essence Weapons and aptitudes but they slew countless Essence Beings without even thinking about the consequences. The others' culture was just as non-appreciative of the Essence as well and the Etingneans started to see people that did not hold the Essence in their highest regards as barbarians, their most favorite argument being that they would probably not even exist if it was not for the Essence.
A new idea was growing inside the Etingneans' heads: cultivating them even if that meant enforcing it upon them. You can guess that this was a horrible idea and would explode into several conflicts. The other countries were not delighted by the behavior of the Etingneans and began to heavily dislike them. However, they did not dare to just attack them since they knew what happened to the last countries that tried. The Etingneans were angered by how their efforts bore almost no results until one of their council members proposed that only violence could discipline these barbarians. This led to the first time that Etingnun was the first one to strike - and they strike with a shattering force.
The council member that proposed the idea would also be the one leading the troops and gaining more and more internal power as a result, her actual plan was to take control over the country and expel the other council members. The current situation was just what she needed. Etingnun overran its first target and annihilated their military forces that were not prepared for a blitzkrieg tactic of such a scale. The other neighboring countries reacted quickly and declared war upon Etingnun but it was too late. They could have stopped Etingnun by reacting earlier but their caution would be their doom. The Etingnean Empire that was born from this would crush them, ignoring all the heavy casualties they faced as long as they won.
Historians are not surprised that the council member leading the troops eventually reached her goal and exiled the other council members, putting herself on top of the country and making herself the first Empress. The Monetiaga bloodline would continue to rule over the empire alongside its senate that the first empress established.
The Etingnean Empire had grown to an impressive size near the beginning of the Age of Expansion while Krondax still supported them and Etingnun was able to establish various connections overseas. They were a full-fledged empire now and the rest of the countries on their landmass feared them. However, their progress would be much slower from now on since the remaining countries upgraded their forces and banded together to stop the conquest of the empire. Faizeon countries on the other landmasses began to feel insecure and some of them decided to secretly support the countries standing against the empire. The Etingnean Empire tries to continue its conquest even today.
An empire is powerful but it also has to face numerous enemies, not only the ones in front but also those hidden from their eyes or even inside their own country. The empire itself is a stronghold of people that absolutely believe in the good will of the Essence and who appreciate it more than anything else. You could say they are non-religious fanatics and hate anyone who treats the Essence with ignorance or dislike. The Etingneans are wholly open about their views and usually dismiss the views of others, when it comes to the Essence at least, as barbaric, propaganda or the product of stupidity. They also loathe Repudiators, which are not allowed in the military, and those with low Essence affinity (which are most of the time people with the potential to become Repudiators). People like that have less rights and are treated with prejudice.
Etingnun is a country of multiple cultures since the ones of the countries that were conquered were still kept alive but integrated into the empire. Every region is different and ruled by a governor while the Monetiaga family has the last word and possesses the most power. Every traitor to the empire is treated as the worst scum of the planet and cruelly executed while all other criminals, even murderers, are sent to prison. Traitors to the empire are the only people being executed and the current Emperor/Empress always constructs a solid wall of spies, guards, and loyalists to become untouchable. One might think they always fear that an internal struggle could reduce the empire to ashes, so they are extra careful.
The people living in Etingnun often act similar to how others view them, as Essence-fanatics that may possess an incredibly rich culture but have nothing but resentment for those that do not agree with them. Of course, there are many people differing from the norm but most of them prefer to not openly go against the empire and its values since that could easily make you a traitor to the empire. There are also descendants of conquered countries that never forgot what their ancestors had to go through, trying to organize rebellions and looking for ways to re-establish their fallen countries even if they never even lived in them. The loyalists are still one of the most powerful factions inside the empire but this is just the surface. There are internal conflicts everywhere and while the loyalists may be the most powerful faction, there are still other ones that would love to gain more power themselves.
The ruler of the Etingnean Empire is always the current Emperor/Empress. He or she has the most power but there is also a senate directly below the ruler that is second in power to him or her. It is not official but the Senate usually takes it upon themselves to watch the moves of the Emperor/Empress so that their ruler does not something stupid. They can not stop him/her but they can give advice and convince the Emperor/Empress to overthink his/her actions. Senators are different from each other, each with different areas of tasks and their own personal views. Some of them are also power-hungry while others are humble and then there are the ones that do not care about any of this and just want to do a good job. A few senators can even have their own followers and like to build up their own connections.
The family of the Emperor/Empress is treated with the highest regard and they are so well-protected, one could think there is almost nothing they do that is not watched somehow. The Etingnean imperial family is usually protective and would never even think about sending children of the family to a school outside the imperial palace. This can sometimes feel like a cage to them but they are safe, at least, since there are enough people out there that would love to take them hostage. The Emperor/Empress is always supposed to have a devoted one of the opposite gender to have children with but, should they be infertile or die too soon, a nephew or niece can become the heir/ess. Most Emperors/Empresses that have ruled until today usually had at least two children and the heir/ess is not the oldest child but the one with the highest Essence affinity.
Of course, a whole empire would be too troublesome to rule for just one person, so the Emperor/Empress leaves the governing of provinces to governors while the senators can give orders to said governors. As should be self-explanatory, the Emperor/Empress always has the last word and can interfere if a governor seems to provide bad results. The ruler is also the one to govern the main region of the empire, including the capital.
The Etingnean military is so strong, it can rival a Monorian great power and was the main reason how Etingnun could become so massive. They do not excel at numbers like most armies of big countries usually do but rather depend on their excellent equipment and carefully trained and specialized soldiers. The Etingnean imperial army heavily relies on Essence Weapons, Solid Essence, Essence Cores, Aptitudes, and Supplicants, even more so than other countries. However, they completely reject Repudiators and would never allow people with low or none Essence affinity to join their army. This, ironically, makes them weaker against Repudiators but they still have enough tactics should their enemies completely rely on them.
One tactic the Etingnean Empire likes to use and which is loathed by others is to just quickly attack without any declaration of war. As cowardly as this is, their blitzkrieg tactics usually work quite well and even if they do not instantly destroy an enemy, they can still ravage them. There are also moments where Krondax appears out of nowhere to attack the enemy from the side or behind, without them seeing it coming since they usually think that only the Etingnean Empire attacks them. Of course, the imperial army sees their tactics as legitimate because: as long as you win, nothing else matters.
The Champions of the Essence are an non-religious order that are somewhat part of the imperial army but independent from it, meaning generals can only command their members if it was allowed by someone above the order and the army. You could say that they are loyalists as well but they are more loyal towards the Essence than the Empress. Of course, they still accept her as their supreme leader.
The leader of the order is called Grandmaster and on the same level as the general of the imperial army, just slightly below the Senate. The Order of the Essence is not necessarily a military unit because they have more fields of duty than just fighting in conquests.
The members of the order also deal with traitors of any kind, investigate suspicious personnel no matter who it is - so even a Senator could end up being investigated by them - and act like a non-religious inquisition, punishing anyone who dares to antagonize the Essence or the empire. The Order is also strict and chooses its members with utmost care, only allowing the most trustworthy individuals to enter their ranks and those that have proven their worth for the empire.
Their top members are called Champions of Etingnun and, just like the Champions of other countries, particularly strong. They do not only fight but also help out imperial denouncers if there is a need but only if there is a suspicion of treachery involved. The most important investigations are also led by them and they are the ones to give the order of execution to executors when it comes to traitors who have been sentenced to death.
This is secret, so most people do not know about it, but some of them take it upon themselves to watch the actions of other important officials, like Senators and generals, and secretly report back to the Grandmaster. Even the Empress does not know that the Order is watching the other government bodies and keeping an eye on them. Of course, they do not watch the Empress like that since she is above everything except the Essence.
There are still some roots to the Quistasian naming conventions although the Etingneans mostly discarded them. Instead of just using words/combination of words, they use parts of words and put them together to names. Like Briwal, Thusto, Irad, Empusk and so on. Unlike Quistasians, they have actual last names which can be anything but usually contain 'eti' somewhere in the name.