I welcome your ideas and inputs, but I will write the magocracy and theocracy myself and post what I've come up with here for feedback. You can invent something yourself and start writing. That goes for everybody.
The Magocracy of Astyria was founded five hundred years ago by the surviving Archmages of the legendary Mage Wars. It occupies a stretch of land which no other kingdom previously inhabited, commonly known as the Wizards Vale. Astyria is a state where not men, but magic rules the lives of its inhabitants. It is not your intelligence, looks or origin which dictates how far you will climb in the hierarchy of the land. It is your ability to understand and use the forces of magic.
There are two kinds of people in Astyria; the Mages and the Serfs. The mages form the ruling class and live rich lives filled with magic and intruiges. The serfs are those born without the ability to use magic, and are thus on the lowest possible peg in the food chain, sometimes considered even lower than cattle. Serfs have no rights and can never ascend from their position. They form the working force of the Magocracy, toiling in the mines and fields all their life until their bodies succumb to the heavy labour.
The people are categorized as mages or serfs after having undergone a test at the age of three. The children then undergo a certain ritual devised to separate the gifted from those that are not. The gifted are stolen from their families and raised in one of the five Great Towers, where they learn the ways of magic.
The leadership of Astyria comes in the form of the Five Pointed Star, which is a council made up of the Archmages of the five Great Towers. These five individuals decide on all matters that concrn the realm, both domestical and foreign. They are not united as one, though; there is a bitter rivalry between all the Towers and many a conflict has blossomed and withered during the states five hundred years old history. In fact, the only time when the Archmages appear to stand united is when a threat arises from outside the land. The rest of the time, the Towers governs themselves and the land around them without interference from the other Archmages.
The laws of Astyria differ greatly from many of its neighbours. In the Magocracy, weakness is considered a flaw of almost criminal dimensions. Therefore, the laws regarding the security of individuals are very vague. For example, thievery is not punishable at all. The wizards reason that, if you get away with taking something from someone without them being able to take it back, the thing which you stole is now rightfully yours. The same goes for vengeance and murder; if you think you got what it takes to kill a rival, or exact justice for a friend, by all means go ahead and try. If you succeed then clearly you were the stronger one and thus obviously in the right. If you fail... then that is oftentimes punishment enough. The only time other mages will interfere is when something is conducted in an unmagelike way. For example, murdering a rival with brute physical force instead of using magic. Such behaviour can get mages banished from their towers, or even worse, killed outright for their offence.
The cornerstone of the economy of Astyria is the mining and trade of Faestone ore. Faestone is a special kind of mineral which is crucial in the use of magic. A mage is a person who can tap into the flow of mana which courses unseen through existense and thus change the world to his/her will, but that power in itself is useless and impossible to perform without the use of a conductor of some sort. Faestone is one of the few known materials which fuctions as such a conductor. It is used in wands, staffs, orbs and even scrolls to help the magician focus and unleash his/her power. There are domestical industries devoted to the search for and excavation of Faestone, but the Magocracy also trade for it with both the dwarves and other neighbouring nations. It is an expensive commodity to buy at such scales as the Astyrians do, but it just so happens that the Mages are very, very rich.
The military of Astyria is a joke and therefore relies heavily on mercenaries from abroad. The land has no military tradition at all, with the wizards having fought out all their conflicts with magic in the past. The standing army is made up of pikemen, more pikemen and a few archers to back them up. Young, upcoming mages act as officers and the members of the Star are the great dictators of the armed forces. To add some oompf to their host, the mages hire all sorts of warriors and thugs from arounf the world to serve them in battle. Most famous mercenary companies has fought for the mages at least a time or two. And because of the abundance of gold in the treasuries of the Towers, the number of willing soldiers never dissipates.
There is no religious worship in Astyria. It isn't officially outlawed, but the mages don't seem to care for worshipping anything else but themselves. The serfs have never had the concept of gods explained to them, at least not thoroughly, so there are no widespread religious beliefs among them either. No foreign church has ever been allowed to build temples in Astyria. The mages chase the priests/priestesses off, calling them spies for their government.
Ia ia Darkelf fhtagn!
Last edited by Wolfsbane on Fri Jun 01, 2012 11:07 am, edited 5 times in total.