- 1 Empires and Big Kingdoms
- 2 Small or Satellite Kingdoms
- 3 Tribes
- 4 Foreign Colonies
- 5 Major Religions
- 6 Minor Religions
- 7 Organizations
Empires and Big Kingdoms
The big players of the factions, which influence a lot of local culture and politics.
Daevanagari (country of gods)
Daevanagari has a hereditary caste system, and a thick Hindu flavor, at least initially. Has at least three castes, which is the Kshatriya (Knightly), Padari (Priestly), and Sudra (Lowly). Sudras are allowed to help the Padari in their duties, and they may even rise to become Padari themselves if their families have continuously served for some generations. There may also be a merchant caste, or they could be mixed with the Kshatriya. The Kshatriya caste has some organizations within it, akin to Paladin orders in medieval fantasy.
Long Guo (dragon empire)
Long Guo has a rigid bureaucracy and military might. Knows and guards the recipe for a life-extending elixir, but its ingredients are obtained from the other countries. Their elites and nobles drink these somewhat regularly (once per decade or something) to extend their lives, but the elixir gives a kind of addiction. Has a kinda Rogue Trader-ish stance on trading, in that those with a special permit could trade with other countries.
Azteotlan (wondrous empire)
Azteotlan is a very bountiful empire whose wealth is legendary. More legendary is their bloodlust, driven by their almost-fanatical beliefs on sacrifice. They value jade highly, and since Long Guo has jade, they trade these for gold and elixir ingredients. Their priests are widely known to be knowledgeable in medicine and magic.
Tigrissiya is a civilization far from the archipelago, but their traders are known to ply the trade routes, sometimes carrying their priests who spread their religion of peace. They trade their rare earth oils (another elixir ingredient) and textiles for wood and other raw materials.
Small or Satellite Kingdoms
These are the smaller kingdoms which exist in the Golden Archipelago. Some of them are heavily influenced by the major kingdoms and empires, and became their satellite.
Yu Jiang Shan (jade rivers and mountains)
Yu Jiang Shan is a satellite kingdom of Long Guo, which is on a landmass on the northeastern edge of the archipelago. Main source of jade for Long Guo, and since it's close to the archipelago, it has lots of trade/port cities.
- Jade kingdom
- Jade mountain kingdom
Suvarnagari (golden country)
Suvarnagari is a satellite kingdom of Daevanagari, located somewhere to the north or northwest of the archipelago. Probably connected to the mainland, it is a source of wheat, rice and gold for Daevanagari, and thus trade cities spring up here. Tigrissiyan traders make their stops here before continuing to the archipelago.
- Gold country
Kalaut (from Laut, sea)
Kalaut is a nautical kingdom endemic to the archipelago (still unsure to where in the archipelago they'll be), they regard their sea boundaries as part of their sovereignty; So, they tax every ship that comes through their territories. Ships not willing to pay taxes, or does not have enough goods to be taxed, will be confiscated by Kalaut navy. This led them to have a quite sizable navy, although not as big as Long Guo's navy.
Warihi (from Vrihi, rice)
Warihi is another nautical-agrarian kingdom, also endemic of the Archipelago. Reputedly, they have bountiful wealth, and their rice is superior to Suvarnagari. They're very polite, but that's why foreign colonies start to grow on their territory.
There are native tribes who inhabit the islands as well; Some of them are members of local kingdoms, while others carve their own territory in the archipelago.
A jungle tribe, they have an aggressive culture which includes headhunting and raiding. Based on Borneo's Dayak, Iban and Kayan cultures, maybe with some mesoamerica smatterings.
subtribes: tikitiki, matavaru, kalana, maraehihi, kisikisi
A big island tribe with some subtribes. Excellent navigators, scattered among a lot of the eastern islands in the archipelago. Based on Polynesian cultures. The subtribes are based on individuals in the mythical brotherhood of the Maui religion.
Tikitiki: excellent warriors, they have a wide range of shark-teeth weaponry and are feared because of their ferocity in close combat. But, they have a big sense of pride.
Matavaru: well-known artisans, they carve as well as they weave. When iron was introduced to the Maui, they were the first to learn metalcrafting. They are quick to criticize and have an eye for mistakes.
Kalana: top-notch navigators, they can navigate through the ocean even in a moonless, starless night. Their wanderlust is strong, that they have a very powerful longing when they stay in one place too long.
Maraehihi: powerful shamans, they can channel the holy ancestors to warp reality in ways they will them to be. Also known to be mischevious tricksters and pranksters.
Kisikisi: hard-working farmers and inventors, they have sharp minds and memories. They sometimes get taken by a fiery desire, and will be stubborn in achieving it.
Another island culture, but one deeply versed in magic. Specifically black magic. Based on Carribean cultures.
Dreaming Tribe or Dreamers
A desert culture living on a big island which was isolated for a long time. Their unique way of life, which revolves around dreams, have endured for a very long time unchanged. They have many names in the past, but since the introduction of foreign language, they call themselves the dreamers. They themselves have forgotten their past tribal name. Based on Native Australian and Papuan cultures.
Several foreign powers outside of the major kingdoms/empires have (relatively) recently established colonies in the Golden Archipelago.
Midland is a typical medieval European fantasy country, which had set up some colonies to spread their religion and get some wealth from the archipelago.
While Midland is more knights and priests, Nordviks are vikings. They have few colonies in the archipelago, which are the remnants of misled ocean expeditions and mass exoduses. They were fleeing religious prosecution from Aragon and Midland.
A more progressive and militaristic version of Midland. Competes with Midland on the spreading of religion, which they share. Think of catholics vs protestants. Tend to clash with local tribes.
There are many religion and belief in the Golden Archipelago, but these have more believers.
Deusism (Midland and Aragonia)
A monotheistic religion, with emphasis on conquest.
Salamism (Tigrissiya, 'peace')
Something like a mix of Buddhism and Sufism.
Ilhuicatica (Azteotlan, 'through heaven')
A polytheistic belief that regards intellect and valor as noble virtues. Has human sacrifices.
Vedaism (Daevanagari, 'knowledge')
Another polytheistic belief, but with more emphasis on order.
Ren Yi (Long Guo, 'humanity and justice')
An ancestor-worship belief, and quite militant. Kinda like the Imperium in that they believe their current emperor to be a living god, and HUMANITY FUCK YEAH attitude.
More localized religions within the Golden Archipelago.
Kinda like Voodoo, haven't thought this fully yet.
Vikfomsidr (Nordvik, 'old Vik custom')
Polytheistic belief, similar to Norse.
Based on awesome feats done by their ancestors. Kinda like Polynesian beliefs.
There are other factions which inhabit a nation; or rather, span quite a few nations.
Originally started out as two different organizations in Long Guo and Daevanagari. The Long Guo Beggars' Party started out as a collection of starving-poor or extreme survivalist martial artists who banded together to protect themselves against the state, while the Daevanagari Beggars' Party started out as a kind of thieves' guild who are composed of people who has been cast out-of-caste, who protect the poor and homeless. Over time, the trade lanes brought the two organizations in contact with one another, and they agreed to merge themselves into an international organization. Now the Beggars' Party can be found mostly in Long Guo and Daevanagari, but other nations may have their own chapter of the Beggars' Party in their midst.
The Kshatriya caste in Daevanagari has many organization reminiscent of Paladin orders in standard fantasy. Each organization has a god-patron, who oversee their deeds; Some of them have the same god-patron. Most of them are akin to a holy police force, and some are akin to zealots who follow their god-patron's orders unquestioningly.
The large amount of trade going through the waters had brought with them the usual scum and villainy hot on the traders' trail. Although, what consists as 'piracy' will differ in some instances from the familiar Carribean methods and motives. Exceptions include Kalaut's navy, who has been classified as 'pirates' by some nations for their habit of confiscating ships and enacting taxes on ships passing their territory, and unscrupulous Long Guo traders whose Trading License not only permits them to trade with other countries, but also contain a loophole in which they can legally seize other ships' cargo... as long as they are willing to take a hit on their reputation, and that they do it not in view of the Long Guo navy.