|This article or section is out of date. The country/countries relevant to this article have been removed from Sahar and have been retconned. Everything here can be considered non-canonical. |
|Holy Empire of Xhodiar
Қыоӆгыс дѝл Зъоӆакэ Зъоӆоҭго
|Motto: "Сфо ҵжаҳхы ﷲ"
The Gods watch over us
|-||1917||The Holy Union|
770,849.48 sq mi
|Time zone||SXT (SCT+2)|
|-||Summer (DST)||not observed (SCT)|
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Xhodiar (/ˈhəʊdiɑr/, Xhorial: Қыоӆгыс, tr. Qioľgis /qʼs̩ʔoǁʱɣ̍ʃ/), officially the Holy Realm of Xhodiar, is a unitary state located in southern Baredina. It borders the Holy Xhovian Empire to the north and Nolcik to the south. The state is governed by the Hykiri who exercise jurisdiction over 20 provinces and one capital province, where the capital city, Lelig, is located. The country has 56 million inhabitants, primarily centred in the northern third of the country, along the coast and rivers.
Xhodiar emerged as one of the earliest civilisations in Baredina. For millennia, the Ancient Xhovian Empire was ruled by non-hereditary monarchies who were regarded as important spiritual leaders. The rulers are known as Hykiri, natively Hayqhiwhi, and continue to be the heads of state in Xhodiar and the state religion, Xhiuism, to this day.
Expansion to the west caused the empire to fracture into numerous smaller states. After the northern nation alliance of 750, Xhodiar entered a period of semi-isolation, only keeping contact with nearby Xhovian nations. This isolation was strictly maintained for only a few decades after which contact with more distant nations slowly began again. The Xhovian states in the region continued to war sporadically until the Holy Unification of 1917 when the armies of the Hykiri of inner Xhodiar took the southern-most regions of the nation, with military aid from the Holy Xhovian Empire.
When discussing the politics of Xhodiar, traditional terminology will frequently be insufficient. This is due to how unique Xhodiar is as an entity. The best way to describe the structure of the Xhorial State is as an Absolute Totalitarian Theobureaucracy. Even that however, does not truly illuminate the levels of authority vested in the Xhorial State over its people. The church and the state are the same entity. Not only in who is at their heads, the Hykiri, but at every level. There are members of the clergy who are not in government, and members of government who are not in the clergy, both determined by the Path system, but the idea that the two could be even slightly separate is a radical one, and classified as a punishable Heresy under Xhorial law. Parties as we might consider them do not exist, nor does a formal legislature. That is not however, to say that there is rule by decree. The actual day-to-day running of Xhodiar is a very bureaucratic process, invented almost entirely after the national unification of 1912. In that regard, with every advancement of technology, the Xhorial government has become more efficient, and thereby more capable of exercising even greater power.
Despite the immense authority held by the state, the composition of those "running" it is surprisingly fluid. Those placed on the Path of Administration take tests at the end of their formal schooling, which determine their aptitudes, placing each in the bureaucracy of the ministry for which they are best suited. These ministries do not have formal "heads" or leaders, but rather appointed representatives, who speak to the Hykiri on matters that may require her approval, or that she wishes to discuss. If her will is transmitted to a ministry, then it is the role of the ministry to make it so, as best manageable. If she does not express any particular desires, then they are entrusted to keep their branch of the state running smoothly. The ministries are internally organised in a consistent way, with committees formed and disbanded to micromanage different things.
When one is first brought into the bureaucracy, they will likely start as a civil servant, and with time served, comes the chance for promotion from the civil service to the rank of "Minister". A minister is not the sole representative of a ministry, but rather one of many. Ministers make up the decision making bodies of the ministries, they join the committees and deliberate on choices. The highest ranks one can achieve are either High Preceptor, the ministry's representative to the Hykiri, or a place on the ministry's Organisation Committee, the committee that arranges the formation and disbanding of other committees, and thereby decides what gets discussed and debated inside a ministry.
Whilst the high ranks of the bureaucracy do come with privileges, both in terms of power and luxury, they are also fickle. The Hykiri can remove any member of the bureaucracy should they displease her, and each Ministry has a Performance Assurance Committee, which is charged with dismissing any minister of any rank, who does not adequately perform their role. They are incentivised to do so not only by the lavish lifestyles they are enabled to lead, but also by the fact that, in the eyes of the Hykiri, they are responsible for any lapse in the Ministry.
As for the ministries themselves, they are:
- Ministry of the Interior
- Ministry of Diplomacy and Trade to the North (H.X.E)
- Ministry of Foreign Affairs
- Ministry of Ministerial Finance
- Ministry of Justice
- Ministry of Education
- Ministry of Housing and Construction
- Ministry of Transport
- Ministry of Agriculture
- Ministry of Healthcare
- Ministry of Population Management
As well as the Ministries themselves, there are also branches of what would commonly be called government that are handled totally by the Church or by the Military. Those are:
- Defence (by the military, United Command)
- Communications (by the military, Intelligence Command)
- Employment (by the Church, Chamber of the Manifold Paths)
- Environmental Affairs (by the Church, Chamber of Paradise)
Xhodiar is seen internationally as somewhat of a Hermit Kingdom, being isolated from much of the world, both by its own decision, and international hostility towards it, apropos of their laws enabling cannibalism, both for religious, and recreational purposes, their extreme authoritarianism, as well as their penal labour system, which many liken to slavery. However, it has very strong, and friendly relations with the Holy Xhovian Empire, which has in recent years, been attempting to make Xhodiar seem more appealing to the rest of the world, via former Emperor Matja I Arsil's Holy Word Program.
The Xhovian military, Chęnh, is organised into four subdivisions: Army, Military Police and Special Forces, Gghej; Navy and Coast Guard, Thùhe; Air Force, Nǫyel, and the Monitoring Division, Thák . In 2015, military spending was estimated at 9.4% of the country’s GDP. The military is normally commanded by the Hykiri unless they have appointed a Chief of the Defence Section. The Hykiri is currently the head of the military.
As of mid-2015, an estimated 3.7 million people were employed full-time by the military. All adult citizens have had military training, so if necessary, the entire adult population could be conscripted. The current conscription model requires for citizens to begin military training between the ages of 15 and 24 and continue serving between 2 and 10 years depending on their assigned profession.
As of 2019, a 5th division was created, the Intelligence Division. Along with the Monitoring Division, it is not accessible via conscription directly, instead promising members of the other three divisions are selected to work in these fields, as well as the two together constituting a Path unto themselves, under the broad term of "Intelligence".
Xhodiar’s road network is amongst the sparsest in Baredina, if not all of Sahar. As most citizens are prohibited from owning their own motorised vehicles, many areas do not have roads suitable for cars or motorbikes. Areas which do have roads don’t have speed limits. Each settlement has an individual network of trams and is connected to the national, polycentric network of high-speed trains.
Xhodiar has a number of airports, most of which only accept cargo flights. The airport in the capital city of Lelig is able to accept both cargo and passengers but tourism is a relatively small industry in Xhodiar, given the few nations allowed general civilian entry.
Science and technology
Healthcare in Xhodiar is universal, and totally free. The quality of care provided is also high, with Xhorial hospitals not quite reaching the level of state of the art ones in the Empire to the North, but also none of them truly being poorly equipped or understaffed, again because of the Path system. However, where they do fall flat are in their spacing. Much of Xhodiar is very sparsely populated, and therefore the hospitals are very far apart. In the cities and near them, in the more populated areas, one is never more than 20 minutes by ambulance to a hospital. However, if one were to experience some traumatic accident out in the interior, chances are they will take a number of hours to make it to hospital.
The more controversial aspect of Xhorial healthcare is the area that falls under the Ministry of Population Management. In Xhodiar, births are industrialised and regulated. Population Control Clinics as well as churches make birth control readily and freely available, and likewise is abortion free and fully available under all circumstances. However, potential mothers must register with the government at a Population Control Clinic if they wish to have a child. After a medical examination to ensure no health issues or malignant hereditary conditions, they will be able to sign up as a mother. The state will provide them with accommodation and a wage of 60,000 Qhan (paid as a year's work). At that point, the mother will either have a pre-prepared embryo implanted in her to gestate. She will be free to live as she wishes with her new money and new home, the only condition being regular medical checkups to ensure the health of the infant.
Xhorials are very passionate about their sport but rarely partake in international competitions. Foreign sports are largely unknown in Xhodiar, with some, such as tennis, even being banned. There are three television stations dedicated to the sports of Hyklan, Khatresht, and Golhung (natively Hikhą, Whatheìt, and Gosuŋ), all of which are traditional Xhovian sports.
Hyklan is a score-based team game, which can be played with any number of teams of any size, so long as all the teams are the same size. National matches are usually played with 3-6 team each with 35 players, with 25 balls per team which are 15cm diameter. Each time is assigned a colour, in order to score, a team must transport one of their corresponding colour balls into their own net. The team with the most points at the end of a match wins. This game can be dangerous as rules of conduct are unrestrictive, serious injuries and even death are not infrequent.
What foreign sports are permitted within Xhodiar were usually introduced via the Holy Xhovian Empire, such as football/soccer.