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This sovereign state is part of Project Genesis.
Godrealm of Vespia, the Empire of Tears
Vespian XVespian AVespian UVespian ApostropheVespian MVespian AVespian R  Vespian NVespian OVespian DashVespian VVespian EVespian SVespian KVespian OVespian YVespian AVespian NVespian O  Vespian TVespian AVespian ZVespian EVespian NVespian O  Vespian NVespian OVespian DashVespian VVespian OVespian YVespian AVespian SVespian OVespian NVespian O
Xâu'Mâr No-Veskoyâno Tâzeno No-Voyâšono
Flag of Vespia
Emblem of Vespia
Flag Emblem
Motto: 
Vespian VVespian OVespian YVespian AVespian N  Vespian XVespian AVespian UVespian TVespian AVespian K  Vespian DVespian OVespian DashVespian HVespian AVespian ZVespian AVespian N  Vespian TVespian EVespian NVespian U
Voyân Xâutak Do-Hâzan Tenu
Fear God and Honor Him
Anthem: 
Vespian KVespian IVespian NVespian U  Vespian VVespian EVespian SVespian KVespian OVespian YVespian AVespian KVespian UVespian N
Kīnu Veskoyâkun
I Am Vespian
Kīnu Veskoyâkun
Vespia (equirectangular projection)
Location of Vespia in Vesperia
Capital
and largest city
Zanza
Official languages Vespian
Religion Zheaniism
Demonym Vespian
Government Theocratic absolute monarchy
• Tazen
Jadojazhauta
Mozhana Kazhajazha
• Akitana
Zhevaya
Legislature Imperial Hazakiyon
Formation
• Vespoid migration into
the Tuvada Desert
c. -800,000 Ʋ
• Aynadiko civilization
c. -30,000 Ʋ
7 Xonkozu 937 Ʋ
• TBD
11 Xevokozu 4109 Ʋ
18 Šonâkozu 5814 Ʋ
Area
• Total
17,715,636.26 km2 (6,840,045.40 sq mi) (1st)
• Water (%)
0.05
Population
• 5995 Ʋ estimate
1,812,605,268
• 5990 Ʋ census
1,785,819,584
• Density
102.32/km2 (265.0/sq mi)
GDP (PPP) 5995 Ʋ estimate
• Total
$32.983 trillion
• Per capita
$18,196.55
GDP (nominal) 5995 Ʋ estimate
• Total
$15.379 trillion
• Per capita
$8,484.63
Gini (5995 Ʋ) positive decrease 59.4
high
HDI (5995 Ʋ) Green Arrow Up Darker 0.840
very high
Currency Akzun (₳) (AKZ)
Time zone Vespian Standard Time (UTC+0)
Date format dd-mm-yyyy (Ʋ)
dd mm cC yyy AZ
Drives on the right
Calling code +13
ISO 3166 code VS
Internet TLD .vs
Vespia (Vespian: Vespian VVespian EVespian SVespian KVespian OVespian YVespian A, Veskoya), officially known as the Godrealm of Vespia, the Empire of Tears (Vespian: Vespian XVespian AVespian UVespian ApostropheVespian MVespian AVespian R  Vespian NVespian OVespian DashVespian VVespian EVespian SVespian KVespian OVespian YVespian AVespian NVespian O  Vespian TVespian AVespian ZVespian EVespian NVespian O  Vespian NVespian OVespian DashVespian VVespian OVespian YVespian AVespian SVespian OVespian NVespian O, Xâu'Mâr No-Veskoyâno Tâzeno No-Voyâšono), is a sovereign state comprising the northern half of Vesperia. Vespia is a theocratic absolute monarchy, with its seat of power located in the capital city of Zanza. The government exercises its authority over twelve zharukdoms, all of which are under the direct control of the Vespian imperial government. The official language of Vespia is Vespian. Vespia is the largest sovereign state in the world with a total land area of 17,715,636.26 square kilometers (6,840,045.40 sq mi). Furthermore, Vespia also had a population of more than 1.8 billion people as of 5995 Ʋ, making it one of the most populous nations in the world. The capital city of Zanza is the largest city and metropolis in Vespia, and the largest urban center in Vesperia. Vespia is arguably the oldest civilization in the world, with a documented history going back 15,000 years, including archeological findings showing modern Vespia to be a direct continuation of the old Aynadiko civilization which existed some 30,000 years ago. Vespia boasts the world's oldest continuously reigning and unbroken monarchical tradition, with the Imperial Family of Vespia having ruled for some nearly six thousand years in all, with various imperial households replacing each other violently over the centuries to become the new ruling dynasty. There has thus always remained a direct connection between the first Tazen of Vespia to its current Tazen.

Vespia is regarded as the first region settled on the continent of Vesperia, with the first proto-Vespoids arriving sometime around -800,000 Ʋ, and settling along the fertile banks of the Zhona. Many millennia later, the main river valley would develop the first urban civilization in the east, the Aynadiko, a collection of alluvial tribes with various familial bonds that formed the basis of early Vespian civilization. The Aynadiko spread upstream establishing numerous settlements from -30,000 Ʋ to -25,000 Ʋ, until they reached the source of the Zhona in TBD in the southeast. By -1500 Ʋ, prehistoric Vespian culture and religion had matured significantly, with the religious scribes of the population formulating the writing system of the Aynadiko peoples, and a system of government and code of laws based on religious edicts emerging soon after. The oases located near to the Zhona were later settled by the Aynadiko, though the overwhelming majority of the population lived along the river itself near the delta region in the far west. Sometime around 937 Ʋ, the alluvial tribes of the Aynadiko were united under the aegis of Zhautakin, the first Tazen of Vespia, after waging a series of violent wars of conquest against the various city-states that made up the pre-imperial culture. Zhautakin's reign is generally regarded as the start of the Aynad dynasty, which governed the newly unified empire from 937 Ʋ to 1133 Ʋ, and serving as the foundation for imperial rule in Vespia.

The first imperial dynasty of Vespia collapsed some 196 years after the unification of the Vespians, leading the way for several successive dynasties to have a hand in shaping the empire. Vespian rule was swiftly expanded across Vesperia over the next five hundred years, with the most notable phase of expansion taking place during the TBD dynasty during the Nth-century Ʋ. Vespia reached the zenith of its pre-industrial power and influence at this time, with relative peace and stability within the no longer threatened by the bickering of minor lords of the nobility caste. The greatest Tazen of the period, TBD, firmly established imperial rule throughout the length of the Zhona, and expanded and professionalized the Vespian military so as to better confront the nomadic raiders throughout the desert regions of the Tuvada. However, fortunes for Vespia were reversed during the Second Tribulation Era, during which time Vespia shattered into some three hundred states with loyalties nominally given to the vestigial Tazen in Zanza, while internecine warfare spread throughout the old empire. Though attempts to reunify the Vespian dominions into a single entity were undertaken by various dynasties following the TBD dynasty in 3977 Ʋ, with varying degrees of success, true unity would elude the Vespian monarchs for some one thousand years. In spite of the breakdown of central imperial authority, with the vast resources of the local mârīn no longer handed over to the Tazen in the capital, the various aureks of the empire funneled vast sums of money into public works, artistic endeavors, and technological breakthroughs; one part to satisfy their personal ambitions and legacy, and another part to overwhelm their neighbors militarily, with the end result sparking a golden age in Vespian history.

Vespia would finally be unified again under TBD of the TBD dynasty in 5814 Ʋ. Tazen TBD had, during his time as the zharuk of Zharan, been the first to industrialize his realm after forcefully centralizing power under his government, stripping the lecherous aureks of his lands. Vespia was swiftly unified during a brief period known as the Reclamation Wars, where imperial authority was re-established throughout the lands that had once sworn fealty to Zanza. With the zharuks of Zharan firmly in control over the newly united empire, Vespian institutions such as the military, economy, priesthood, government, were modernized and reorganized, and the enemies that had taken advantage of its prolonged weakened state, were viciously expelled from traditional Vespian lands into the south. By 5853 Ʋ, Vespia had developed into a modern power though with its unique culture and traditions intact. It never removed the institution of slavery, polygamy, or human sacrifices, along with many other customs that most westerners found repugnant and outright revolting. Because of the prolonged period of isolation from the rest of the world during its political stagnation as a region, Vespia emerged from the age of industrialization as an alien entity that most nations simply refused to cooperate with, and whom the Vespians viewed as absolutely heretical in their "barbarous" beliefs and customs. As such, Vespia entered onto the world stage as a global pariah, marginalized by all, but too vast territorially and too militaristic culturally to restrain as a nation. For the majority of the international community, Vespia would be tolerated, but never accepted.

Following its five centuries of political disintegration, unification, and modernization, Vespia is considered the global bastion of that which is considered evil and beyond redemption for its atrocious human rights records, ranging from practice of human sacrificing, mutilation of individuals, man-hunting, incestuous customs, pedophilia, legalized rape, and a wide range of blood sports from the legalized consensual homicide. However, due to the country's vast supply of hydrocarbon resources, industrial capacity, mineral riches, and military capabilities, Vespia has managed to maintain some degree of influence in spite of its pariah status. Vespia actively supports tyrannical regimes, supplies weaponry to terrorist organizations, and has provided asylum to war criminals from across the globe. Though bold in its beliefs and behaviors, Vespia has wisely never divulged its geopolitical goals nor admitted to any of its obvious actions in the affairs of neighboring countries. The natural resources have allowed Vespia to maintain a dynamic internal economy, though many political analysts fear what horrors may come in the future when Vespia is no longer able to support itself in the face of increasingly strict and punishing sanctions. It is widely assumed that Vespia, which many political analysts have taken to calling the "great desert dragon", may once again attempt to exert its control over the region powers of the Meridian Ocean if it finds itself in the position to do so.

Etymology

The name Vespia is derived from the name Veskoya (Vespian VVespian EVespian SVespian KVespian OVespian YVespian A), which is believed to have come from two possible sources according to Vespian history. The first source is that of Veskan (Vespian VVespian EVespian SVespian KVespian AVespian N), the first man to have walked the earth in accordance with Vespian religion. The name Veskoya has traditionally been attributed to Veskan for the majority of Vespian history as part of their reverence for the man whom the believe fathered the Vespian people and established their civilization in Vesperia. The name "Veskan" itself translates into "He Who Walks With Shadows", in reference to Veskan having walked in the shadow of Zhautan during his lifetime, and clearly not in Vespia's sun-bleached lands. The second source comes from the more secular veskīyamâra, meaning "shadow lands". This term has its links in the years immediately after the first recorded documents in Vespia were written, some time around 350 Ʋ. As with the origin of Veskan's name, veskīyamâra has its origin in the numerous mountainous locations throughout the country, which historically cast their shadows against the plains of Vespia. Additionally, the name has its roots in the inescapable darkness of the desert during the night, at which time most of the predatory creatures would begin to hunt.

A more grizzly source for Vespia's name comes from the violent and sadistic behavior of the Vespian people. The brutality of the population in the past and the present, led to many foreigners claiming the Vespians were the scion of demons, and the very personification of darkness and everything evil and cruel. The use of black in Vespian culture for its religious significance as the color of purity in Vespian society, helped to solidify the persona given to the Vespians. Overtime, the term Jâ'Mâr No'Xâ'Veskīya, or "The Land of Great Shadows" or "Land of Great Darkness", came to represent the Vespians as a whole overseas and home, both for their violent mentality and the dark culture of the people. At the time when the Vespians opened up their capital city of Zanza via the Zhona River, Vespia was officially know as "Veskoya" overseas, using the name which the locals used themselves to describe their homeland. However, as trade with the rest of the world continued to grow, a Westernied version of the name appeared as "Vespya", and was later standardized as "Vespia" by the far western traders some centuries following the standardization of many Vespian names and geographical locations.

History

Prehistory

Migration to Vesperia

Migration into the continent of Vesperia by humans has been traced back some nearly 700,000 to 800,000 thousand years, with the first human communities emerging along the banks of the great river Zhona. It is believed that the inhabitants along the Zhona brought with them from the continent Kai-Meridia fire and flint weapons, allowing them to take up permanent residence along the river and defend their communities against the large predatory wildlife in the surrounding Tuvada. Migration from the western continent lasted for approximately one thousand years, and was comprised almost entirely of what are now referred to as "proto-Vespoids", humans belonging to a tribe of hunter-gatherers most likely pushed from their lands by encroaching ancestors of the Kaijin from the Riden Peninsula in the south. Fighting between the two human groups was heavily weighted in favor of the encroaching proto-Kaijin, who wielded bronze weapons and armor, and easily brushed aside the ancestors to the Vespians. With few other options available to them, it is believed that the early Vespians took their chances with the seas, and began migrating eastward.

Over the course of this migratory period, the proto-Vespoids became the first-recorded instance of shipbuilders of the period, constructing the simple vessels that would take them from Kai-Meridia to the continent of Vesperia. Following the belt of islands and landmasses that mark the entrance into the Meridian Ocean, these early Vespians moved to Vesperia and landed that mouth of the Zhona river where they would eventually establish themselves permanently. Evidence of their eventual arrival is highlighted by the large communal graves discovered along the western coastline of Vesperia, revealing that dozens of corpses were buried with the decayed hulls of the earliest seafaring vessels discovered, no doubt fatalities which occurred during the course of the migration overseas. Among the many effects discovered were stone and obsidian weapons, primitive jewelry, and cloth sacks filled with seeds from Kai-Meridia, all found within the graves along the Zhona Delta.

Further discoveries made by archeologists were the origins to the modern-day sex ratio within the Vespia, which is currently heavily weighted in favor of the female population. At the time of the migration, due to the heavily fighting back in Kai-Meridia and in Vesperia, much of the male population had been killed over several years of violence. Consequently, at the time the proto-Vespoids established themselves on the new continent in the east, only a handful of males were present in the population. By the time of the modern era, it was found that the entire Vespian population was descendant from about a dozen or so surviving males who had survived throughout the migration during its first wave. Though it is believed that the number may have been much higher, existing data shows that the male proto-Vespoid population was indeed very small, no doubt in their attempt to prevent the Kaijin from wiping out the women and children and preserving their society by any means necessary.

Thousands of years of isolation from the rest of the human population, beginning around 60,000 years ago, combined with various environment and societal pressures, are believed to have been responsible for the divergence of the modern Vespian population as a group and into their own racial taxon of the human species. Known as the Vespoids, the development of the race of humans on Vesperia was most likely triggered by the combination of the hostile climate and wildlife, lack of males in the population and genetic diversity, initial overpopulation of the land with women and children with few hunter-gatherers to depend upon. Over several thousand years, the Vespian ancestors development into the Vespoids saw them adapt to their new circumstances, and consequently, develop a culture and society that was markedly different from that back in Kai-Meridia. The Vespoids would ultimately find themselves diverge into outbreeding depression, severing their ability to interbreed into other human population groups for thousands of years to come.

Movement into the Tuvada

Following the arrival of the Vespoids to the continent, the Zhona River Delta region was swiftly colonized by the inhabitants, which the foundations for cities such as Shokina, Akishonin, and Iokushon being land along the coastline of the river delta. Loose settlements slowly cropped up the river and into the interior as the population of the river delta rapidly expanded. Fighting over scarce resources in the immediate area, and the land of fauna that could be hunted nearby, forced many groups of Vespians to move upstream so as to provide for the ever-growing need for food and water that could not be easily acquired within the vast deserts of the Tuvada. While some groups of Vespoids would attempt to seek refuge in the desert, establishing settlements alongside the many oases in the desert, many others looked to the Zhona as a natural source of food and water. Spurred on by the prospect of greener pastures deeper within the desert, additional Vespian families left the coastline and migrated inland, using the Zhona as their primary method of transportation. The sites for some of the oldest cities in the world were likewise established as the migration into the interior moved farther and father inland, and would ultimately result in the foundation of what would become the Aynadiko civilization several centuries later.

During this time, the first aspects of a proto-Vespian language were laid down, primarily as a hunter's language utilizing sharp and distinct phonemes leaving no room for interpretation as to the speaker's intent and expressions. The rise of a language that all proto-Vespoids would learn and adopt for the growing number of settlements, allowed the formation of rigid hierarchies and social systems in line with the growing complexity of the new societies emerging along the Zhona. The first of these Vespoid city-states according to Vespian mythology emerged sometime around -2500 Ʋ, with the first of the legendary city-states being the holy city of Ravaza, arguably the oldest city in the world according to modern archeologists. Ravaza was founded at the mouth of a large water spring alongside the slope of the Zhonazanin Mountains within the innermost parts of the Tuvada Desert. It was from here that ancient Vespian civilization would spread outwards and into the surrounding desert as a unified civilization in terms of language, faith, and society. Because of these developments, Ravaza would ultimately be regarded as the place where Zhautan personally established Vespian civilization, assigning it a center of growth and maturity.

As the years passed, other nearby settlements would evolve into major city-states, with the rise of Zharakara, Ruzha, and greatest of all and Vespia's future capital, Zanza, establishing their foundations close to the first city of Ravaza. With the formation of permanent cities in the region, the area known as Ja-Hud, or "The Throat" – named so for its location at the nearest approaches between Zhonazanin and Tahava Mountains – industries such as metalsmithing, large-scale agriculture, and early artisan pursuits were able to develop fully. Weaponry progressed from primitive bone and stone creations to more advanced and lethal bronze and copper forms, leading to the inevitable explosive in warfare between the city-states as accumulation manpower and resources became indicators of regional power and prosperity. The organization exploitation of resources by these city-states and their rulers likewise resulted in the expansion of their populations in much the same way as early settlement of the fertile Zhona River Delta saw a growth in the migratory Vespoid population in the far west. This saw further migration into the region that would later be known as Lesser Vespia in the east, where more fertile lands and the mouth of the Zhona were located.

By the time of the Aynadiko civilization, the entirety of the Zhona had been settled by various Vespoid groups, with the largest and most prosperous of them being located in Ja-Hud. The region of Ja-Hud would serve as the melting pot for all of the developments central to Vespian civilization and the Vespian identity, as the greatest periods of their civilization's ancient history would unfold in and around this region. The increasingly sparse resources in the region saw the rise in warfare beyond even the levels of the past, with battles ranging into the thousands uncovered by archeologists in the region. No mercy was granted to the defeated, and slavery was omnipresent within all of the major city-states of Ja-Hud. Culling vast swathes of a defeated population was a common practice among victors, with the city-state of Jivashomaro having been culled twelve times during its early history, giving rise to its name which today mean "killing fields". With a scarcity of manpower at the time of the Aynadiko civilization's emergence, focus on skill and martial capacity at the expense of numbers were promoted by the Vespoids, leading to a highly fatalistic culture creeping into Vespian civilization.

Aynadiko civilization

As aforementioned, further research into the history of Aynadiko reveals that over the course of several thousand years, they had devolved into a violent hierarchical population, competing over the scarce resources within the interior of the continent, as the river itself was long isolated from the rest of the global biome, and thus hosted unique and exotic flora and fauna that made much of the land inhospitable. While civilization began to come into form within prehistorical Vespia, environmental and demographic concerns coupled with the dangerous wildlife and geographical hazards, forced the new inhabitants of the land to develop a power-based hierarchy to ensure proper distribution of resources. Indeed, the unearthed remains of human fossils indicate that warfare was rife throughout the region, and that many of the battlefields hosted thousands of individuals who participated in the fighting. Of particular note was the fact that many of the slain discovered were female, an indication of the increasingly important role women played in Vespian society and warfare, as well as the potential state of the male population within the region.

Indeed, by the time of the Aynadiko period along the Zhona, the proto-Vespoids had diverged significantly from the hominid baseline back in Kai-Meridia, resulting in the first truly distinct instances of Homo sapiens vesperensis, or the modern Vespian. These individuals were distinguished by their dark skin, tall bodies, sharp incisors, and greater strength within the female population, along with numerous other traits that made their population a distinct subspecies of Homo sapiens now considered the native inhabitants of Vesperia. These individuals, known to modern anthropologists as "neo-Vespoids", developed all of the hallmarks of a thriving culture on its way to the first steps of developing an urban civilization. They were identified from the older proto-Vespoids in their possession of bronze tools and weapons, as well as the increased use of agriculture over hunting, which had played a major part in the early successes of the proto-Vespoids. Advances in agricultural development saw the Aynadiko Vespians congregating into smaller and smaller areas of land to collectively till the soil as a group, and share in the bountiful harvests promoted by the rich soils heavy in silt washed downstream by the Zhona.

As was expected for such developments, the growth of agriculture as a natural offshoot of the expanding riverine settlements saw an increase in population and standards of living, though much of what became known as modern Vespian culture had its origins during the Ayandiko period. The cultivation of rice allowed for most of the neo-Vespoid population to transition away from hunting and warfare to farming and rearing of animals. Writing, pottery, mathematics, and astronomy were all developed by the time the period had come to a close, with astronomy in particular having been well-developed by the age of imperial Vespia. By archeological standards, Vespia's prehistorical era is unusually well-documented by sources contemporary for that period, with most information related to the pre-imperial times of Vespia hailing from religious documents. Documentation of rice quotas and cattle counting became a fundamental baseline for the study of early Vespian writing scripts and administrative methodologies. Indeed, many of the recovered texts gave great detail in the day-to-day works of the government, obsessing over details such as accuracy of data and logistics.

The rise of an urban civilization along the banks of the Zhona is believed to have coincided with development of an organized religious belief system throughout the Tuvada, spread by traders moving rice and hides between the various settlements. The city of Ravaza is widely assumed to have been the focal point of this expansion of both the urban trend and religious growth in prehistoric Vespia, where one of the cataracts of the Zhona was located. From Ravaza the Zheaniic faith would have its origins as a truly unified religion, with the codification of certain rites and festivals that along the promulgation of Zheaniism throughout the Aynadiko culture. The first yazanin pyramids and monoliths would be raised between -1020 Ʋ and -870 Ʋ in Ravaza, Zharakara, and Zanza, where the primary growth of Aynadiko civilization was concentrated along the river. Indeed, the great public works of the proto-Vespoid priesthood is acknowledged as having been the main factor in the development of urban centers in the Tuvada, as well as the force driving the expansion of agriculture and economic development in the region, and upstream along the length of the Zhona over the centuries.

Ancient Vespia

Old Empire

The transition between the era of the Aynadiko and the Old Empire of Vespia is well-documented, considered one of the best documented periods of ancient Vespia and the continent as a whole, with writing having been well-developed within Vespian civilization by the time of the empire's formation. According to the existing documentation from the period, as well as additional archeological and forensic evidence from battlefields across the region, pre-imperial Vespia consisted of approximately 52 city-states; stretching from the holy city of Ravaza, down to the coast of the Meridian Ocean. All were governed by a series of patriarchal bodies known as households, some permanently-established on the river and others within the desert as nomads occupying the oases. The most powerful of these was the house of Zharan, which occupied much of the river's length and was regarded as the most powerful of the twelve households within Vespia. Its influence over more than a dozen city-states under the leadership of Zhautakin was considered the major factor in Zhautakin's later successes in becoming Vespia's first tazen, and paramount ruler in the land. Likewise, the great military campaigns and architectural works such as the TBD and TBD accomplished as a result of unification, would become icons of Vespia's ancient history and a source of pride to its inhabitants down to the modern day.

According to all firsthand accounts, as well as primary and secondary sources collected by the Vespian priesthood and foreign historians, the first tazen of Vespia was indeed Zhautakin, the Zharuk of Zharan, who made his residence in the great city of Zharakara. Though his the period of his reign and many of the actions of his rule are well-known, how exactly Zhautakin came to unify the Vespian city-states remains unknown, given that the majority of these cities were located along the western length of the Zhona, considered well-beyond the range of Zhautakin's armies. Indeed, it is now understood that the authority to the Aynad dynasty established by Zhautakin, most likely never stretched beyond the cities of TBD and TBD in the east and west respectively. The core of what was Vespian civilization, and thus the first ruling dynasty of Vespia was concentrated in the interior of the Tuvada between the Zhona and the Zhonazanin. What little that exists of the records regarding the Tazen's conquests, consists of songs of malediction concerning the atrocities Zhautakin's warriors committed during the siege of TBD in 936 Ʋ, bringing most of the fighting to an end and solidifying his rule.

Zhautakin's reign and the later reign of his descendants began what is today known as the Old Empire of Vespia, spanning from 937 Ʋ to 1338 Ʋ, when the empire ultimately collapsed into anarchy and civil war. Until that point in history, Vespia prospered as a civilization, with the arts, religion, sciences, and language developing into the form that most modern Vespians recognize today. Zheaniism, the world's oldest religion, though greatly defined during the period of the Aynadiko, saw its codification take place under the reign of the tazens of the Old Empire. The city of Ravaza was formally declared the paramount holy city of Vespia by Tazen Takinayn in 1146 Ʋ, and the first passages of the Zhautana were penned by the great theologian Madovan the Wise in 1150 Ʋ. Growth of the Vespian civilization along the Zhona was also organized by the tazens in the empire's first capital of Zharakara, with a sustained effort to pacify the lands of their people for future settlement and exploitation. The first imperial census in Vespia, conducted in 1150 Ʋ according to available records, indicated that some three million Vespians were residing between TBD and TBD, out of a global population of some thirty million inhabitants at the time.

Major advancement in the arts and sciences spurred on by greater agricultural capacity and the resulting population boom, were hallmarks of the later Tirad and Vyad dynasties. Wild rice had successfully been domesticated in the Zhona River Delta, and later replaced the wheat crops upstream, leaving Lesser Vespia as the primary cultivator of wheat, and serving as an identifying marker of its inhabitants. The increased agricultural productivity of the period served to help bolster the population from the devastation caused by the warring city-states decades prior, and allowed for a more centralized bureaucracy in Vespia, as taxation on cattle and grains allowed the state to support a relatively small, yet professional army of warriors all-year round. As the day-to-day administration grew to vast for the Tazen, the post of hazazhan was formally introduced into the imperial government during the reign of Jeyihunotakin I in 1178 Ʋ. The hazazhan and his state officials would go on to collect the taxes and resources necessary for sustaining the empire and its military, as well as collection crops to establish the first strategic grain reserve for rationing during times of war and famine.

In spite of all of the progress accomplished during the age of the Old Vespian Empire, the nature of the Vespians and the structure of their government were not entirely conducive to long-term stability and cultural progress. Indeed, by the late-Vyad period, Vespia as an entity was growing increasingly unstable, as the then Tazen of Vespia, Jivazhao, came to grow psychotic and paranoid, randomly killing members of his family and his rivals' families. Jivazhao killed his only son in a fit of rage, and had his son's family sacrificed as an offering for his actions; he thus killed off the line of succession for his dynasty, and allowed his psychosis to drive his supporters away, leaving the empire fragile. The Tazen was killed by warriors from several opposing households who had sought to take advantage of his political isolation, while simultaneously positioning themselves to take the throne for themselves. All of this was further hampered by the coinciding drought that hit the region, and a series of dust-storms that ravaged the fields of Vespia, destroying crops and choking off sources of water from major cities. The major cities of the empire under their control broke away from the central authority of the Tazen, and declared themselves sovereign, giving rise to what would become Vespia's First Tribulation Era; an 81-year period of civil war and unrest across the full breadth and width of the old empire.

First Tribulation Era

With the impressively swift and unstoppable collapse of the Old Empire of Vespia and its central government in 1338 Ʋ, the newly-independent city-states of Vespia were quick to press their claims to the lands of their neighbors, with some being more successful than others. A new ruler over was proclaimed by the most powerful of the city-states, TBD, as Tazen Karovinata of the Jarad dynasty. His claim to the throne was based on his prior time serving as the hazazhan of Vespia, and securing the interests of various other houses in the imperial court during the previous tazen's bouts of psychosis. Though his rule was not secure by any stretch of the imagination, Karovinata at least held the city of Ravaza, symbolically and theocratically solidifying his rule over the rest of Vespia. During this time of instability, the rulers of Vespia's marin found themselves at the mercy of the city-states seeking to dominate as many agriculturally-valuable lands as possible during a time of prolonged drought. One of these cities, TBD, presented a rival tazen to Karovinata's reign, Eman-Yon Ravak I. Eman-Yon Ravak was responsible for conquering the Zhona River Delta in 1340 Ʋ, and set himself up in the city of TBD in opposition to the rule of Karovinata in Zharakara. Eman-Yon Ravak set up the Yanad dynasty as his answer to the fear of the Vespian subjects in his lands that he would be a despoiler rather than a true ruler and administrator. By setting up a dynasty of his own, Eman-Yon Ravak was broadcasting to his subjects that his would be an imperial rule built to last rather than a warlord's tenuous reign.

Geography and climate

Geography

Vespia is the largest country in the world, with a total land area of 18,218,463.35 square kilometres (7,034,188.02 sq mi). Vespia achieved this status sometime around the Nth century Ʋ under the TBD dynasty, when Tazen TBD conquered the lands to the north of the Zhona River seeking to bring under his domain control of the nomadic raiders which plagued his nation for centuries. He mustered an army some 45,000 men strong before marching upon the lands to the north, and subjugating the entire region to the reign of Zanza. The region of land controlled by the Vespians is roughly about a third the size of Kai-Meridia, with most of the nations in the northern regions of that continent able to fit within Vespia itself. Vespia spans nearly half of Vesperia, the continent in which it is located, dominating the northern half of the entire continent. Vespia has the longest coastline in the world, with three major oceans bordering it. To its north is the TBD Ocean, to its west and south is the Meridian Ocean, and in the east is the Great Vespian Ocean. The southern border of Vespia is dominated by the imposing Izhono Mountains, which block direct entry into Vespia in most locations with the exception of the far southeast, where a large plateau is located. As a natural effect of its size and geography, Vespia has a vast supply of natural resources in the form of fossil fuels, metal ores, and rare earth minerals, with Vespia's natural gas reserves alone counted as some of the largest in the world.

Climate

Vespia consists almost entirely of the world's largest desert, the Tuvada. The overwhelming majority of Vespia, about ninety percent of the country, is classified as hot desert (BWh) Shikanokan climate classification. The other ten percent is classified as having a semi-arid climate (BSh), where the Zhona River originates within the region. The arid nature of the country, comprising most of the Tuvada Desert, has been linked to the presence of a large high-pressure system over the country, driving warm, dry air down from the troposphere, and wet, cool air and wind away from the northern half of the continent, preventing the formation of rain-clouds. Over several millennia, the cycle of warming and drying air from the troposphere, and the unfettered effects of thermal radiation upon the landscape in the northern regions of the continent, produced intensive desertification which resulted in the formation of the modern day Tuvada as an expansive desert region. Humidity in Vespia is one of the lowest in the world, with little rainfall outside of the southeastern quarter of the country.

Because of the stability of the atmosphere and the sustained cycle within the region, cloud formation is largely inconsistent and sparse throughout the region of the desert, and rainfall typically rare throughout most of the country outside of the winter months when cloud formation is most common. Only in the southeastern region of Vespia is there any consistent rainfall, which is vital for the sustenance of the Zhona River flowing through Vespia. In spite of the lack of regular and persistent cloud formation throughout the country, Vespia is home to several hundred oases, many of which are fed by underground aquifers protected from the desertification of the country. Ironically, Vespia, in spite of its status as the world's largest desert nation, is also home to the world's largest aquifer, the Veskishona, formed during the continent's early history as a fertile, well-watered region several million years ago. This aquifer feeds many of Vespia's oases, and in turn, sustains the many tens of millions of Vespians living around them and dependent upon them for fresh water within the desert.

Vespia is, by the standards of most regions in the world, unusually hot, sunny, and dry, with the average temperatures during the day ranging anywhere from 30°C (86°F) to 48.8°C (120°F) closer to the interior of Vespia where the hot winds are more common, and where the humidity can drop as low as 5-8% or less. But aside from this, the weather in Vespia is usually sunny and clear with the rare exception of sandstorms, making Vespia one of the least cloudy regions in the world. Based on this information, the only persistent rainfall in Vespia falls in the southeastern regions where the Zhona originates. The majority of this rainfall appears during the winter months, when the air is most humid in the region and flowing southwards into the Izhono Mountains. What little moisture moving through the eastern regions of Vespia accumulate in the Izhono Mountains, and feed into the basin that drains out north and then west as the Zhona. Thanks to the flooding of the Zhona during the monsoon season, the river regularly replenishes the arable lands of Vespia along the river, giving the country a consistent harvest throughout the year.

Biodiversity and environment

For most of its history, Vespia was one of the most isolated regions in the world, due to its inhospitable and far-flung location far from the majority of the human population. Because of this, the arid lands of Vespia developed one of the most stable ecosystems in the world, even with the growth of the Vespian population along the Zhona. The country is home to more than 4,000 species of flora, but only 300-500 species of fauna adapted to the arid climate of the vast desert. The overwhelming majority of the animal species belong to the insect family, leaving about 50-60 animal species larger than a mouse. Uniquely, the bulk of the animal and plant life in Vespia away from the Zhona are either predatory or venomous, a trait linked to the need of life in the desert to survive through hunting. Closer to the river are all of the passive flora and fauna endemic to the country. On a macro-environmental scale, the Vespian biome is one of the most balanced in the world, with few incidences of over-hunting or overgrazing in the region by the various species in the desert.

Vespia is considered one of the most important ecological regions in the world for its large variety of animal and plant life endemic to the region, in all 2,200 of which are found nowhere else in the world. As aforementioned, the relative isolation of the majority of the country from the rest of the globe, combined with the harsh conditions of the region, allowed for the formation of lifeforms of an almost spectacular kind unique to Vespia. The blood trees of Vespia, remarkable for their strange, umbrella-shaped appearance, produce crimson-red sap which boasted a rich aromatic fragrance popular with the Vespian population as both a dye and a perfume. The banks of the Zhona have historically and famously been lined with tall palm trees which played a major role in formation of the Vespian writing system, when priests used reeds to write on the sturdy palm leaves prior to the use of ink and papyrus. As one foreign commentator once pointed out, if not for the many large predatory animals, the Vespians themselves not withstanding, Vespia would have been regarded as a picturesque desert paradise.

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