THE QUEENDOM OF MARMARRA ("STATE OF THE WITCH")

NAME - LOCATION - DESCRIPTION - COAT OF ARMS - PEOPLE AND CULTURE
STATE ORGANIZATION - CLIMATE - ECONOMY - MILITARY

Marmarra is amongst the larger Citystates of the Zhunite people, having very similar levels of influence to that of Hootar, Cusca and Kimbar. The Marmarran realm itself located on the Zhunite plains of Western Nybelmar, their domain spanning most significantly into the southern and central western portions of the Plains of Zhun, characterised predominately by its harsh regime and abuse of its citizens. The multiple vassal settlements and few thousand people under the control of Marmarra could seem to be nothing more than puppets of the Witch Queen and the Marmarran population, the settlements themselves being exploited to keep the important and affluent in a level of luxury and grandeur they desire and have become accustomed to.

Though the system works in terms of pleasing the City’s "important" residents as well as not causing threatening levels of tension amongst Marmarra’s neighbours, it seems to be the case that whenever a settlement falls under the control of the Witch Queen, a joy-sucking cloud accompanies, bringing with it such misery that the loquacious Zhunites affected become demoralised shells of their former sociable self.

Consisting notably of "The Witch’s Barb" outpost chain, "The Morose Shores" fishing villages, Leinata Fortress and the Broken Woods, the Marmarran State is a vastly varied realm, most probably a result of the Witch Queens taking an unrefined interest in a variety of local industries.


Name. Though casual internal documents refer to the state as "The Queendo"’, the initial title of the domain is thought to have been "The Illustrious Queendom of Marmarra". Such self-glorifying titles do not transfer to other states well, especially when the self-glorified realm is fiercely unpopular. Usually, areas or regions within the Marmarran sphere of influence are simply referred to as "of Marmarra". It is very rare for the term "Queendom" to be used outside of internal governmental affairs. Generally, no distinction is made between the "City of Marmarra" and the "State of Marmarra" in terms of how they are referred to, though the fact that the City acts as the State’s hub may make distinction somewhat unnecessary. Return to the top

Location. The "State" of Marmarra (as the name probably suggests) revolves around the metropolis of the same name. The City of Marmarra (the most easterly of the four main Citystates) is located on the southeast portion of the West Nybelmarian Zhun peninsula, in close proximity to the golden Zhunite beaches. The state itself (as is the trouble with the undefined borders of the Citystates) often stretches into the territories of various other settlements (predominately regions under Cuscan control). Handfuls of Marmarran dependencies are nowhere near the main sphere of the City’s control, strategically placed far-flung protectorates. As such, if you were to draw borders illustrating the known limits of the Marmarran domain, you would produce a large, odd, web-like image encompassing a lot of Zhun.

The entry's author however would like to highlight the nature of Marmarra's landscape mentioned above is not as it appeared under the Earth Empire, and reference to entry on the Grand Empire of Krath would be a better source of information on the nature of the domain those periods of history. Return to the top

Description. Despite the fact that Marmarran territories can be found throughout the rustically idyllic Plains of Zhun, categorised by their brilliant rolling hills and enchanting golden beaches, the Marmarrans themselves would seem to have an element about them that allows them to spoil positive ambience - if not physically then through strong social undertones. Though the terrain and location of the Marmarran territories is incredibly varied, there are certain distinct regions and locations of importance that are worth mentioning. The following regions, though constituting most of the Marmarran domain, are not fully representative of the whole of the Witch Queen's realm, there being many somewhat excluded settlements allied to Marmarra that can be found all around Zhun:

Coat of Arms/Sign. The ever-recognisable "Eye" motif is the most recurring symbol that can be used to identify vassal settlements to the Marmarran state. The design itself has a beautiful yet eerie feel to it. The thin, elliptical shape it assumes conjures up images of arrogant beauty as well as fear-invoking scrutiny. In many instances, it has an almost soul penetrating quality, the almost reptilian, thin pupil staring at you in an unsettling manner. However, certain territories or settlements are the private property of the Kogianate families, such as the Meladaria Outpost in "The Witch’s Barb" region, which is the property of the Rarkan family. In these situations, the family crest (such as the Meurtian snake) is used as a coat of arms. Though Kogianates act as the governing bodies on these areas, they are still considered to be under the Witch Queen’s jurisdiction. Return to the top

People and Culture. Though predominately Zhunite, the origins of the Marmarrans stretch into a variety of other tribes, including the ancient Lillivear and Anpagans, as well as a handful of Daedhirians for good measure. As such, the main difference in the people existing under the rule of the Witch Queen would seem to be solely determined by their place in the social hierarchy, their social standing defining their outlook and behaviour. Despite the rich heritage and the conglomeration of tribes that make up "Marmarrans", few noticeable cultural elements can be found. Certain aspects of Krean nature seem to have transferred into the Marmarran psyche (namely arrogance, hedonism and ambition), though this by no means results in the Marmarrans creating a civilisation of equal grandeur.

State Organization. As one of the Zhunite Citystates, Marmarra itself has the main metropolis itself as the core of the domain with a variety of other regions, settlements and dependencies branching off in various directions. The reigning Witch Queen is, for all intents and purposes, considered to be the absolute authority of Marmarra. In theory, all decisions remotely based on governing procedure, be they economic, martial, legal or otherwise, need her approval. However, as Witch Queens are generally known for their lack of interest in matters of government that have little impact on their personal pursuits they generally nominated others to act on their behalf. Those with the authority to act on the Witch Queen’s behalf are issued with the "Black Article" a scroll on black parchment that declares the owner’s power, signed by the Witch Queen. Forgeries of such documents under Marmarran law result in a prompt hollowing. Genuine proprietors of the Black Article are, second to the Witch Queen, the highest form of government and are often attributed with the same fear felt for her (though entourages that generally accompanied them often aided in their frightening image).

Second to ‘Black Agents’ (which theoretically act under the direct control of Witch Queen) are "Governors". Though many governors themselves in fact did have Black Articles endowing them with relevant powers, governors themselves are in fact nominated by Alla’garam diplomats through elections to oversee dependencies from a political viewpoint. However, despite having access to a whole variety of official documents and receiving considerable wealth, the powers warranted by this position are very minor if not accompanied with Black Article authority. As such, for a governor to act efficiently, regardless of the majority in the Alla’garam election, the Witch Queen must approve them personally.

The lowest member of the governmental hierarchy was that of the Alla’garam politicians. Despite the fact that they are amongst the wealthiest and socially affluent men and women in the city, they are in practice nothing more than glorified critics. Their only relative importance to physical affairs being the concerns that they bring to the "Council of Five" between the Witch Queen, the four Kogianate Housemasters and one representative of Alla’garam, though even then their voice holds little weight.

Additionally, separate from mainstream governmental affairs, are Kogianate governors. Kogianate governors account for (most usually) settlements that act as the private domain of the Kogianate families (Rarkan, Meurtian, Tisare and Venraius). Though these areas are still officially considered as a part of the Queendom, they act relatively independent of conventional Marmarran rule. The influence of Black Agents in such areas is additionally quite miniscule, the Kogianate governors themselves in practicality only needing to answer to the Witch Queen herself. Return to the top

Climate. The State of Marmarra is actually subject to beautiful surroundings. In fact, if you were to simply base your impression of the state on its climes, it would be a pleasant place to live. Situated in the Plains of Zhun, an area of temperate winters and sun-filled summers, the ambience that is the backdrop for Marmarra’s activity is quite ironic considering their somewhat sinister nature.

The hottest part of the Marmarran domain are the southerly Morose Shores, bathed in warmth from the earliest days of spring to what is mid-autumn for the rest of the plains; it seems such a shame for these sundrenched landscapes to be ruined by the unforgiving rule of Marmarra.

Though not as hot all-year-round as the Morose Shores, the Heartless Fields (with their frequent refreshing rain showers) are by no means unpleasant areas. However, as seems to be the case for most areas under Marmarran jurisdiction, the Witch Queen seems to have a gift for casting a proverbial cloud over the stunning terrain. The dreariest part of the Marmarran domain is in fact the city itself, though a Cuscan would remark this because there are so many cold hearts in one place. Return to the top

Economy. A substantial amount of Marmarra’s income comes from taxes, most notably the extortionate rates forced upon the relatively simple folk that are slaves to the Marmarran regime. As perhaps a testament to the typical Marmarran lack of concern, the taxes imposed on most of Marmarra’s dependencies lead many hard-working agriculturists and labourers (who do generate a lot of profit) into the lowest depths of poverty. However, a nation cannot run on tax alone. Unlike most of the other Citystates, Marmarra choose to dabble in a variety of Zhunite industries rather than focusing and honing one. However, due to the strict requirements dictated by the Witch Queen’s regime, whatever the particular produce is, it is practically always of high quality.

Marmarrans, due to their ambivalence in choosing an industry to concentrate on, utilise a variety of natural resources. Valuable shipbuilding wood was the main resource that allowed the early periods of Marmarra, though unsurprisingly, Eluda’shi and Mila Venraius (the Kogian who proposed the idea) grew greedy in their pursuits and felled all the fragments that remained of the Zhunite coastal forests. Nowadays, most of the natural resources that the Marmarrans utilise are distinctly similar to those used by the rest of the Zhunites (consisting of a variety of grains, vegetables, fruits, honey, poultry, cattle and seafood) though the variety that they choose to sample is amazing.

Due to the systematic overworking of producers, a huge surplus of high quality goods exist even after the voracious Marmarrans have taken their share. In most instances though, Marmarrans themselves are much more interested in items that are harder to attain than those which are readily available, leaving a lot left to trade. Similarly to other Zhunite nations, Marmarrans are noted for the production of olive oil and wine (using both grapes and roses), though they also have a small monopoly on the fish and shellfish markets of the eastern coasts. Additionally, with the collapse of the Krean Empire, Marmarrans are now the largest producer of poisons on the west of the continent, though the substantial lack of suitable flora has hindered them significantly in comparison. Due to an inability of outsiders to access the Shar peninsula post-cataclysm, many of the most potently poisonous plants and venomous animals have been neglected from conventional sale.

Since Marmarra has a reputation for being "a band of deceitful sorcerers with only their interests at heart", it is unsurprising that many are reluctant to trade with them. In fact, if it were not for the high quality of Marmarran goods, it is likely that no one at all would wish to exchange with whatsoever. However, most large (and respectable) nations of Zhun still refuse to trade directly with the Marmarrans, even if it is only to preserve their image. However, the Faen act as a useful intermediary between Marmarra and their neighbours. Through the Faen men, Marmarrans purchase large amounts of rizjo wine and are also relatively large customers for exotic foodstuffs and animals (to keep as pets). As aforementioned, the Evalaris and Sharosar nations are vital to the Marmarran poison industry, but the two do also limit their open trade with the Marmarrans, also opting to use the Faen as a neutral party. It should be recognised however that Marmarrans choose to live very self-indulgent lifestyles and though these are the conventional areas to spend your disposable wealth, practically anything that takes one’s fancy can be procured somehow. Return to the top

Military. The Marmarran military itself is predominately a land-based force. Though after the influx of Anpagan refugees attempts at producing a naval force were made, these were significantly less fruitful than predicted (the remains of the usually navy being used to hijack and pillage independent vessels, masquerading as pirates rather than real Marmarrans). Marmarran soldiers are generally (as individuals) quite inexpensive, most standard foot soldiers being grossly unequipped in comparison to more militaristic nations (such as the Karakanites). What the Marmarran army lacks in substance, it makes up for in quantity. Though handfuls of the many Marmarran legions (such as the "Faceless Legion" or the Ashen Palace Household guard) are highly skilled, challenging opponents, a majority of the Marmarran army’s function is dealing with the public (or rather scaring them into submission). Marmarrans are great proponents of social and political warfare, be it against foreign foes or their own people.

Marmarrans themselves have a great affinity for ranged combat, at least half of a general fighting force consisting of archers. These black-fletched masses of arrows block out the sun before raining down upon opposing formations, which even if ineffective at least scare the opponents. Even when the enemy comes close, Marmarrans still seem to keep as far away from the enemy as possible, predominately using spears, halberds and a variety of other exotic polearms Return to the top

 Date of last edit 7th Frozen Rivers 1668 a.S.

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