The Glorious Vahidian Empire, more commonly referred to as either the Vahidian Empire or simply Vahidia, is currently the most powerful nation in Aenar. The Empire spans across the Golden Sea, and once controlled the majority of the southern portion of Aenar. Vahidia is also the seat of the Luminary of the Creator, with the Holy Patriarch guiding the faithful from his seat in the Grand Cathedral in Roy Vahadi.
First and foremost, religion plays a dominant role in Vahidian culture. As the center of the Faith, the Vahidians put worship of the Creator above most other concerns. Vahidians are known to be the most devout followers of the Faith, with it being incredibly shameful to miss the weekly services. As part of this deep devotion to the Faith, Vahidians view themselves as not only representatives of the Empire, but the Faith as well. Many Vahidian merchants seek to use their trade to spread the word of the Faith, along with many younger Vahidians going on prostelyzation missions abroad. It is not uncommon for the a later noble child to renounce their titles and join the ministry.
Aside from their faith, Vahidian culture is well known for its emphasis on the arts and displays of the nation's wealth. Vahidian nobles often throw extravagent masquerade balls and parties, which can sometimes last several days. Works of art and music are highly valued by the nobility, who use them to show off their wealth and influence. Artists and musicians actively seek out the patronage of a Vahidian noble, knowing that their work will receive recognition throughout the land.
One of the most important holidays in the Empire is the celebration of the Great Founding, which commemorates the founding of both the Vahidian Empire and the central Faith of the Creator. During this holiday, Vahidians cities burst into a week long festival of music, dances, art, fireworks, and games. The festival is capped off with the Grand Ball hosted in the Imperial Palace by the reigning Emperor/Empress, in which nearly all of the Vahidian nobility attends.
The Vahidian Empire is divided into four primary social classes: nobilty, artisans, and commoners.
The Vahidian nobility is the life of Vahidian culture. It is through the nobility that wealth flows and the arts flourish. All Vahidian nobles share the same title--lord or lady--with only the royal family holding higher titles. However, it is common for nobles to attach informal monikers to their titles to distinguish themselves, especially to foreign visitors. This monikers tend to focus around a particular deed performed by the noble or a distinguishing trait/feature.
Through the nobility comes the second tier of the Vahidian social hierarchy: the artisans. The artisan class is comprised of the families of famed artists, musicians, craftsmen, and scholars. These individuals owe their wealth and influence to the patronage of a noble. Vahidians artisans can attain wealth that surpasses the nobility of other nations, especially if they are particularly talented. Many of the older artisan families seek to secure their family's position by sending their children to one of the three universities in Vahidia, to study the arts and hone their craft. This has created a pseudo-nobility among the older families, who utilize their name recognition and wealth to keep in power--in fact some have even ascended into the nobility by imperial edict.
At the bottom of the hierarchy are the commoners, the backbone of the Empire. Unlike the splendor and prosperity that their counterparts experience, life for a Vahidian commoner is often gruelling and unrewarding. They are stuck working the fields and mines, serving the whims of a lord or artisan-master, and most importantly, making up the largest part of the Vahidian military.
Vahidia is ruled through a strict absolute monarchy, with authority deriving from the throne of the Emperor/Empress. All other Vahidian nobility owe their power as grants from the throne.
House Dairael is the royal family of Vahidia, ruling the Empire since its founding by Aechon Dairael in 1 AF. The family has maintained its rule through intermarriage with other prominent noble houses, along raising other powerful common families to the ranks of nobility as appeasement.
The throne passes to the eldest child of the reigning Emperor/Empress, with no consideration of gender. Should an emperor die without children, the throne then passes to the next eldest heir. The heir-apparent is granted the title of High Prince/Princess', with the other direct relations holding the title of Prince/Princess. Once a member of the royal family passes from direct relation to the reigning emperor, they hold the title of High Lord'/Lady. Spouses of the reigning emperor/empress hold the title of Prince/Princess Consort, which they hold until their spouse dies--afterwards they return to whatever title they previously held.
In the event that the heir-apparent ascends to the throne before attaining the age of 18, the age of adulthood, the eldest relative may assume the position of Prince/Princess Regent, ruling in the heir's name until they can fully assume the throne.
Most nobles attained their position following ascension by the emperor/empress, who holds the power of ennoblement. This honor is usually awarded through wealth and political influence. In some cases ennoblement is used to appease a potential usurper.
All nobles hold the same title--lord/lady. This was instituted by Emperor Aechon I as a way to differentiate the nobility from the royal family.
- Roy Vahadi--the captial city of Vahidia
- Vas Grovv
- Vas Lagos
- Vas Riverdane
- Vas Plaens
- Vas Estaris
- Vas Endoch