New Leir Empire
- "Leir is a horrible place to live, but is it evil to use their cool gadgets?"
- ―Anonymous commenter
The Leir Empire is a desert nation native to the continent of Lithica.
Leir is one of the most important civilizations of the early 20th century as they were responsible for discovering a new technique of transmutation that brought on the continent's industrial revolution. Not only that, they popularized the practice of mage slavery, a custom which spread to the nations of Cyrasia to the north including Belavaer and Arguros.
Leir has healthy relations with the nations of Arguros and Belavaer even going as far as to share the practice of using the poor as disposable cannon fodder and experiment subjects. The three of them formed the Ekati Triumvirate as a coalition of forces to oppose the Alliance for Ethics consisting of Shale, Marperio and Kulbrenna.
A self-described dystopia, Leir is a totalitarian state run enforced a secret police. Their philosophy is maximum efficiency even if it means the unhappiness of the everyman. They are not afraid to use propaganda, not for bread and circuses, but to educate the populace on the grim reality of life - the state religion advocating that morality and ethics are childish concepts. Their greatly enforced brutality has led to a nation of hate, but despite all of this, their methods work.
Leir itself has no single leader as it is ruled by an oligarchy. Instead, a large chunk of ekati (known as the Soul Shard) rumored to be a soul fragment of a spirit is publicly referred to as the public leader and god. Interestingly enough, the ekati crystal shows signs of neural activity although it is not known to be conscious.
The secret police is the peacekeeping force to prevent Leir from destroying itself internally. Poor people are usually rounded up as test subjects in experiments on promise of great reward.
Intellectualism is the most valued trait in Leirian society above all else. Leirians are taught from birth that unhappiness is the source of innovation, and that a grim life is a good, diverse life. Being satisfied with one's current state of life leads to stagnation and lack of progress. Instability and infighting are good things, but those who know how to manipulate others come out on top. While other neighboring nations make an effort to hide such corruption, Leir actually makes this aspect of their society quite clear as a means of getting their citizens to accept the reality for what it is - a lifestlye which is also heavily favored by the Asmosian religion. Apathy is actively promoted, but the more gifted portions of the population are often hand-picked to study technology.
The Soul Shard, considered the sole positive aspect of Leirian culture, is deemed the symbol of Leir's superiority, and to be a good citizen, one must recognize it as a divine object.
Leirian academies are known for their legendary difficulty and only those who are borderline genius are allowed education. People with lower IQ's are not considered real citizens and are deported to poor districts. Most of Leir's population is uneducated or used for menial labor, but from an early age, gifted children are selected for education and only those who meet the qualifications can actually continue to go to school. The idea is to isolate the least intelligent people away from the populace. On top of this, IQ tests are required for those who want to have children, effectively imposing a form of eugenics to make Leir's overall population smarter.
Treatment of mages
Leir popularized the utilization and exploitation of mages. Prior to this social "development", the majority living in Belavaer and Arguros were usually burned at the stake for practicing magic. While this still happens as the result of superstitious ignorance, a considerable number of mages have been found associated with Leir's elite for their talents and some of them willingly enlist in the military to use their powers for combat. However, the majority of mages within Triumvirate territory that live in poverty are still used as test subjects as well as energy sources for reactors.
Leir is known for its extreme disciplinary techniques. While they have a standard conventional army comprising of normal citizens, their elite units make heavy use of ethically questionable genetic modification. Some soldiers are modified genetically, grown in test tubes and exposed to heavy amounts of ekati as embryos. (Before this technique was developed, selected pregnant women would have ekati crystals pumped into their bloodstream, but the success rate was extremely low and often resulted in the loss of many lives.) Of those that survive, they turn out to be highly intelligent and physically strong mage soldiers also known as Magic Knights.
Because Leir is not currently in a state of total war, these Magic Knights are mostly used in the secret police to keep order and to prevent citizens from rising up to the overthrow the regime.
Even though other nations dislike Leir for their methods, none of them can deny their technological advancements as they have actively traded cheap, easy-to-use goods. This has led to a cold war in the Lithicia-Cyrasia region, and many fear actual war could break out if living conditions continue to worsen, and the ethical question of mage slaves becomes more and more pressing.
The region where the New Leir Empire stands today was the original landing site for the group of refugees that escaped the Whirlwind.
It didn't take long for the Leirians to discover a substance that worked extraordinarily similarly to the supernatural force that once powered their technology. Ekati - which happened to be found in large concentrations in crystal form in the mountains nearby.
It did not take long for Leir to quickly ascend to become one of the most technologically advanced nations in the world.
Much of Leir's history has been highly cyclical. Technology has exponentially increased, but had overall unstable with constantly changing regimes.
While in the past, Leir was known as a nation of vicious conquerors, today, they are conquering the world economically and diplomatically through the trade of their goods and the spread of their culture.