The Republic of Chaya is a small nation of about 180,000 citizens, resting southeast of the Scavenger Lands. The country does cover around 220 square miles and consists of 12 nearly identical towns, each circa 8,000 to 10,000 citizens strong. The citizens of Chaya are a remarkably placid people, even if only for 14 months of the year.
The Chayan plains are fertie and prosperous, yielding good crops and lush vegetation to sustain it’s people. The climate in Chaya is mild, mostly warm with much gentle rainfall. Three small lakes lie central in the Chayan plains: Tegeus, Machilo and Pancho Bae. First Age ruins scar the land in some places, some looking picturesque, some being a real plague on the land. These wrecks are built upon former Demesnes so maimed they cannot produce any usable essence anymore. These ruins are inhabited by Slag Tribes, vicious scavengers of the region. Chayans stay away from the ruins and instead gather in 12 rectangular towns, all following the same basic pattern of logical grid-like layout. Each town holds 8,000 to 10,000 citizens, with the exception of the capitol of the nation: Larjyn, which holds roughly 15,000 citizens. Every town has exactly 12 watchtowers along a wooden palisade, strengthened with fireproof laquer. Streets in Chayan towns are extremely clean and tight, some being just wide enough to walk somewhat comfortably in them. Each town has three distinct districts: Market, Oratorium and Temple District.
The life of Chayan citizens differs from those of other nations citizens in some areas, most notably in the single month when Chaya turns from a placid nation to a dangerous place.
- Fire Trees
Very important to the way of Chayan life are the fire trees. In the month of Resplendent Fire Chayan citizens turn into frenzied berserkers, tearing outsiders apart for being outsiders and mating in a violent way. Most outsiders dismiss stories of these occurances as bizarre stories, but nontheless many will only stay in Chaya as long as needed.
- Chayan Outlook
Chayan citizens refer to themselves as freedom loving people and moralists. They are consciously not individuals, but strive for community and do things for the sake of the Republic, not for the sake of a single person. They highly dislike changes to their lifes and beliefe that long exposure to foreign ideas might have a bad influence.
- Life and Work
Chayans do not make a clear distinction between work and social life, as work, meals with friends and family and interaction with friends flows seamlessly into each other. Chayans are sophists, quick with sound arguments about nearly everything and just as quick in pointing out fallacious arguments. Every single Chayan is adept as social combat somewhat, as they endlessly debate about just everything.
Traditionally, families in Chaya consist of husband, wife and their children and if either parent is a first born, the surviving parents of said firstborn. If the firstborn of any given family marries, it is customary for his parents to move in with the new-founded family. In Chaya it is important to be pregnant about every third year. All women are expected to give birth in Descending Earth or Ascending Wood, though, and women who were not impregnated in Resplendent Fire suffer greatly in these months and may eventually die.
- Religion and Laws
To all Chayans religion and laws are one and the same. Chayan behavior is governed by set of rules called the Radiolari Protocols set down by their patron god, Xochichem. These protocols are the basis of all Chayan laws and are considered inviolable.
The history of Chaya begins after the Great Contagion. Chayans say their ancestors found the plains and the fertile land was perfect for a new nation. They founded their first city and found their national god Xochichem and his scripture, the Radiolari Protocols. By RY 80, the Chayans had founded the other 11 towns and were joined together in a republic. The Chayan tried to hold off any contact with other nations and even at the time the Seventh Legion defied the Scarlet Empress, Chaya stayed neutral and out of any conflict.
The Poisoned River War
In RY 265 the two nations of Laris and Velen expanded their long-standing dispute over water-rights to the Sandy River into open war. All other nations around Chaya took a side in the struggle, but Chaya stayed neutral still. The war was partly fought in their territory and many Chayan farms were destroyed in the process. Late in RY 265 the Seventh Legion used Essence Artillery to obliterate two enemy forces near a Chayan town, accidentially destroying the town in the bombardement. One week later, the Sandy River became toxic. The fight over water rights became a non-subject and investigations from Sorcerer-Engineers from Lookshy said that the bombardement had released unknown substances from the First Age ruins into the water, defiling it.
The Chayan Civil War
In RY 364 the eastern fringe of the Scavenger Lands were being attacked by the Arczeckhi. One of the barbarian mobs ranged into Chaya and did wreack havoc there. It took several weeks before troops form Lookshy mopped up the invaders. Though the invaders were destroyed, so were some areas of Chaya, mostly accidentially or by ignorance of local geography by the Seventh Legion. This prompted the National Council to seek an agreement of mutual assistance, giving the Seventh Legion access to the land in exchange for protection. The end of traditional neutrality made for some uproar in the Chaya society. In RY 367 two Chayan cities (Querecha and Bhochin) seceded from the Republic of Chaya. Armed conflict was expected, but the National Council suspended every military operation, thus implicitly permitting the secession. Three months later citizens from Querecha came to other Chayan cities, naked and begging for forgiveness. They told of miscarried children and that all fire trees were melting into heaps of metal-flecked glass. The National Council met and debated about the course of action, coming to the conclusion of forgiving the two seceded cities, taking them back into their midst. Envoys were dispatched, but only found the two cities devoid of life, bleached skeletons lying around huddled together. This was Chayas last internal conflict and as result they reconsidered the treaty with Lookshy and stayed netural once more.
The Fair Folk
In RY 547, when the Fair Folk invaded the Hundred Kingdoms, they brushed against Chaya and found easy prey. After just a few weeks, the Fair Folk left as suddenly as they had appeared, though.
In RY 610 Chaya had it’s last exposition to war, as Erushon, War-Chief of Cho-Holuth marched his army into Chaya and declared it part of his new kingdom. When next the fire-trees were blooming, the Chayans went mad and tore the invading army limb from limb. Erushon led a new army to punish the Chayans and even though he came in the second week of Descending Fire, he still found the Chayans in their yearly frenzy. The God-Blooded warchief died in Chaya and only a few of his soldiers returned alive. Since then, no force tried to invade Chaya again. The Republic maintains associate membership in the Confederation of Rivers, but does not send envoys. The Guild made Larjyn a hub city because it made a convenient base of operations in the area, but does not meddle in Chayan politics. Recently Chayans have begun creation a wall on the eastern fringes of their land to protect themselves from further incursions.