Nara

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Nara
On each side of the flag, one finds three heavenly trigrams[1] representing the divinity of the nation. In the center the moon rises in a dark night sky.
General
Location3300, 4700
DemonymNaran
Activity levelHigh
AllianceDNA,  Independent Southern Powers
Capital cityShiroyama
SettlementsIchinokawa, Sunatoride, Kajitsu
Area3.05 km^2[2]
Government
GovernmentFeudal Shogunate
• Shikken
SwordMaster7777
• Rensho
Prawny331
• Taishō
BlankestAtlas
• Daimyo
Bronnakus, Earyx
• Samurai
HPLaptop, Hg__80
• Komuin
JeyHey, Bronnakus, mtfUJi, BlankestAtlas
Formation
Foundation date2nd June 2022
Preceded by Far Seas Alliance,  Inferno
Links
Discordhttps://discord.gg/M8etHAEyBB


Nara is a nation on CivMC, located in the deep (+,+) on the continent of Alenarith. The nation is Japanese-themed and is rooted in aesthetics and environmentalism.

Nara's territory runs from Lake Biwa in the north to the world border, and reminds many of Chile, to the point that an acceptable, but memeish, alternative demonym for Nara is "Chile Admirer".

Nara is bordered to the west by Dalgon, the east by Free Danzilonan Republic and Gensokyo, and to the north and northwest by Doom City and the Arsenio Pact.

History

Initially founded in late 2020 by several members of nations in the Far Seas Alliance in CivRealms 2.0, Nara was planned for the now-cancelled iteration CivEx 4.0[3]. Following the decline of player count on CivRealms, Nara was initially planned as a nation of states, much like Nro'meagh and later the Imperial Federation (albeit with a more rigid federal structure), to make use of some of the planned mechanics of CivEx. Due to the cancellation of CivEx, many members continued on to play CivUniverse or Devoted Hell in the interim. In Hell, many Narans composed the successful nation of Inferno while waiting for a more serious, stable server to release. This did not occur until the announcement of CivMC in early 2022. With CivEx out of the picture, Nara was merged under one banner in preparation for launch, and many of the plans for subdivision into smaller nations (such as the planned nation of Nagoya) were abandoned.

Launch

Upon launch, the Narans paired up with the Dalgonians to find suitable land for settlement. Given the nature of both nations' ambitions, with Nara wanting to build its capital by a mountain and Dalgon wanting to live inside a mountain, the two were natural neighbors. Within half an hour of launch, Dalgonian leader Fredhun14 found and shared pictures of beautiful white cliffs by a birch forest. Shikken SwordMaster7777 loved it, and the scattered Narans beelined to settle the area. After switching to the meadows north of the mountains, work quickly began to set up defenses and farms in what would become Shiroyama.

Within a week of founding, Shiroyama had begun construction in earnest. The house of Bronnakus, Nara's oldest building, was built on 6/4/2022, followed quickly by Ukai's house and sheep gauntlet in Noto Point. By the end of the week, Nara hosted a flower shop, wood exchange, multiple houses, and the global headquarters of MofuMofu Wool, the largest provider of both gay and anime girl wool in CivMC. Shiroyama, a city built at a reasonable scale and focused on aesthetics, quickly blossomed into an attractive place for foreign visitors and investors.

The First Month

Ichinokawa was thought of within the first week, but it was not until week three that Paragonius began the project in earnest. In that time Shiroyama also was expanding quickly and drawing in newfriends, as well as advancing through the tech tree with the help of Greltam and his farms in the Greltam Special Economic Zone (GSEZ), which is located in north Dalgon. A public factory room was set up, and then Komuin Bronnakus continued to encourage settlement and home construction throughout Shiroyama. New parts of the city were seeing growth, and the SpeedyJustice Manor Neighborhood began to take shape at this time with the construction of the eponymous manor.

Second Month

The second month of the server did not go as smoothly as the first, though Nara is still flourishing. During this time the Nara Royal Academy of Sciences, an academy with the mission to collect every written book in the world and allow free access to them, as well as the Nara Brewers Guild, were created. The settlements of Kajitsu and Sunatoride sprung up and many new recruits joined the citizenry of Nara.

However, notorious raider Vah decided to set his set his sights on the continent of Alenarith in this time period. Due to his slippery nature, for quite some time Vah was able to raid with impunity. However, one fateful day Vah decided to raid the newly-founded Nara Brewers Guild while then Komuin and famous build, book, and brewfriend Bronnakus was online and attempting to brew Nara no Uisuki. Despite at first not wanting confrontation with Vah and logging out, Bronnakus quickly came back to defend his work. Vah killed him and destroyed all of his brewing materials. In anger, Bronnakus charged at him six times without armor. On the sixth time, knowing reinforcements were inbound, Vah attempted to escape. He was chased by Bronnakus (still armorless and weaponless) and Earyx (who was in gold prot) and eventually suffered the dreaded connection issues known to have plagued the server that day, which had been running at 20TPS without problems. Seizing the moment, the duo of buildfriends attacked without mercy and killed Vah. Despite not being able to pearl him, the kill was not without its benefits, as Vah lost multiple weapons, potions, tools, and armor pieces, most of which was burnt or dropchested far from Nara.

Wanting revenge, after waiting for the buildfriends to go to bed, Vah obbybombed downtown Shiroyama with a stack of IRO before being chased off. This was easily cleaned up with the help of allies, and peace temporarily returned to Shiroyama once more.

For the next short while, due to Vah being banned, Shiroyama expanded and welcomed the businesses and embassies of many nations. This peace was enjoyed but it was known it was temporary. Upon the end of Vah's ban, raids returned intermittently.

The Southern Border Kerfuffle

During August 2022, Naran citizen Saren_Solaris was searching for bunkers belonging to the raiders harassing Nara and strayed into Gensokyo. He was immediately confronted in DMs by Topaz4293 and was told to leave. Saren chose to /ignore her, but did turn to leave. Enraged at his decision to ignore her and his prior conduct[4], Topaz ordered Ferro_Vir and Asumaru to pearl Saren. In the resulting skirmish, Saren dropped both Ferro and Asumaru[5], securing both pearls. Due to a server bug, Ferro was pearled yet still free, and he returned to the scene to re-gear. Saren re-engaged with him and chased him down to secure the pearl in Tenseimiya. This caused a boiling-over of tensions with Gensokyo[6], whom already had grievances against Nara for their perceived failure to temper or otherwise remove Saren for his conduct referring to Asumaru. Gensokyo and later Mount Augusta would leave the Alenarith Forum in protest, and in a discussion mediated by Lowtuff between both nations' leaders failed to agree on terms both parties considered reasonable. Both Saren and Asu were banned, and Gensokyo went on an extended hiatus for several months as a result. Following Danzilona's declaration of the territory as a protectorate[7], Ferro was freed in a attempt to mend relations.

The Generic War and its Conclusion

While Nara was not party to the Generic War, due to the raiding of Vah and Ez2Clutch (both of which were associated with Rhode Island), Nara suffered declining activity during the war. There were some minor victories, such as BlankestAtlas quick-dropping clutch in central Shiroyama, but it was a stressful time in Nara. Great focus was placed on building up defenses in the form of bunker upgrades and traps. In early September, the Rhode Island group (including Clutch) were banned en masse[8], meaning Nara was once again at peace. However, the war took it's toll, and burnout set in. Several mainstays of Nara took extended breaks at this point, and the nation appeared to be in decline[9]. Great effort was still expended by the remaining members of government to turn the tide.

The Revival

Due to the efforts of the charismatic newfriend BlankestAtlas, Shiroyama started to see great increases in mega-builds, first the Atlas Palace Library then the Shiroyama Hockey Rink. These buildings made great usage of land and added amenities to the city. They also sparked further development of the city of Shiroyama, as more businesses were attracted to the larger city. Notable meme maker and current Komuin of the Interior mTfUJi began taking on the role of grindfriend at this point, which greatly facilitated economic reinvigoration. As activity begets activity, and due to the changes to force newfriends to spawn in cities with people online, Shiroyama began to be the spawn point for many newfriends, leading to a large slew of newfriend arrivals joining the nation. These newfriends built houses and businesses, and returned life to the streets of Shiroyama. Concurrently, former citizens returned to activity as their school semesters ended, which bolstered the activity of the nation. It was during this time that the village of Yoshiwara was settled in Central Nara, that Q'Barra and Ichinokawa expanded and gained branches of the Nara Library System, and that the Castle Trench was completed. Presently, the national focus is the building of the castle, the beautification and expansion of the cities and towns, and developing and fostering the newfriends into the next generation of Narans.

Geography

The first public claims map of Nara was released on June Eighth, six days after SOTW and two days following Dalgon publicizing their claims.

Cities, Towns, and Villages

Shiroyama

Shiroyama ("White Mountain") is the capital city of Nara. It is a Japanese word best translated as either White Mountain (白山) or Castle Mountain (城山) depending on the kanji used. The name draws inspiration from the real-life Mount Shiroyama in Kagoshima, the site of the Battle of Shiroyama.

As a capital city, Shiroyama is the largest city in Nara. It benefits from its proximity to populated, allied nations, and fringes multiple bodies of water including Lake Biwa to the north, Beartooth River to the west, and the Ebi River to the east. The sizable Lake Biwa is of particular note due to its central location in the plus-plus (+,+) quadrant. It connects at least six different nations both to each other and to the ocean via water.

Port Shiroyama is located on the Beartooth River. It acts as the central area for shipping to and from Nara. It connects to roads Ninjin St. and Taru Terr. which host many of Nara's businesses and residences, respectively.

Within Shiroyama are multiple neighborhoods. The Old Town, centered on the intersection of Bokuso-chi Ave. and Ninjin St. is the most developed of them all, and is the place of residence for most citizens. It extends from the port in the Beartooth River to the Canal in the north, the Brewer's guild in the south, and to the West Castle Wall in the east. Also notable neighborhoods are:

Katanishi-ku, a subdivision of the Old Town founded by HPLaptop. It's known for its density and incorporation of natural elements. It is home of the Venne Brewery.

The Atlas Library Neigborhood, which hosts several shops, quite a few houses, and the largest library in Alenarith.

The Modern Area, which contains the rail station, the casino, and the Hockey Rink. It is built in a much larger, more modern style and is developing in its own right.

Sakura Forest, a planned nature reserve in Southeast Shiroyama anchored by the two Bannedsions of Saren_Solaris and TwigBranch. It is to be filled with built Sakura trees.

A view down one of Old Town Shiroyama's main avenues, Bokuso-Chi Ave.
Noto Peninsula

North of Shiroyama lays the Noto peninsula (named for a place in Japan), flanked by the diverging rivers Ebi and Beartooth. It is the northernmost geographical region of Shiroyama, reaching a northern extremity at Noto Point, the tip of the peninsula. There is a small, unincorporated agricultural community on the peninsula founded by former Komuin dynamiczbee. Notable features include the headquarters of the Naran Agricultural Department and its expansive farm, spanning the entire northern half of the peninsula. it is a source of easy food and XP materials for newfriends to use to get themselves established.

Ichinokawa

Ichinokawa ("Rock Quarry Village") is a village in the central birch forest of Nara, located south-east of Shiroyama, right below Ebi river. Almost entirely constructed by mayor Paragonius, the village now features, following quite rapid development in December of 2022, a community center for all residents, the Ichinokawa Public Library, the Amaterasu Tea Shop and a shinto shrine dedicated to Tsukuyomi, kami of the moon. Although originally intended as a place for an aesthetically pleasing quarry to satisfy the stone needs of ever-growing Shiroyama, it took until December to fulfill that intention, making that name a misnomer for just over six months. The focus shifted to Ichinokawa being a serene and atmospheric retreat from the busy capital for the residents of Nara.

Q'Barra

Q'Barra (named after the jungle region from the fantasy setting "Eberron") is a Naran exclave located in the heart of the Eastern Continent. Q'Barra started as a passion project from Earyx with the goal to find an unclaimed jungle biome that would allow Nara to harvest jungle crops while at the same time allowing him to develop a different style of town and culture whitin the nation of Nara. After exploring some promising areas Earyx finally discovered the land which, on May the 8th of 2022, became known as Q'Barra.

That same day a group of settlers led and guided by Earyx traveled to the exclave colony and officially founded the village of Q'Barra. This group included LunaaCatt, who helped building roads, Bronnakus who helped with developing factories, BlankestAtlas who helped clearing the claim posts around the border of vegetation, and MythicPatronymic who helped transporting materials. Only a few weeks later asakuun joined the settlers team to develop the last stretch of the rail connecting Q'Barra to Shiroyama.

Q'Barran culture, architecture and lore is a blend of Aztec, the mesoamerican indiginous people, and Argonian, the fantasy lizardfolk race from The Elder Scrolls series. This blend produces a theme of stony but colorful builds, wooden huts overclaimed by vegetation, big step pyramid temples and a magical lore with The Hist Tree as cornerstone.

Kajitsu

Kajitsu ("Berry") is a hamlet in Southern Nara founded by Ukai upon his return to CivMC. The site was chosen due to its remote nature and allows for a peaceful retreat from the hustle and bustle of economic activity and politics. On the site is Bronnakus's Berry Cabin, built in early July to "make the southern part of Nara a little less Crayola sixty-four pack with sharpener, and a little more Crayola twenty-four pack" (Bronnakus), as well as some farms for brewery supplies.

Sunatoride

On July 22, 2022, it was discovered that a trio of newfriends began building a village in an Arabian style on a small beach in central Nara, unaware of the claims. At the time Komuin of Citizen Management Bronnakus, as well as HPLaptop, discovered the settlement on a trip southwards. After some investigation, the pair was able to determine the owners of the settlement. Rather than reacting harshly, the group was invited to join Nara as an official village. Sunatoride ("Sand Fort") was given as a temporary name while the group decides for itself a proper settlement name. However, due to inactivity of said newfriends, the settlement is abandoned, with its materials being cannibalized for the development of the industrial center of Nara and supplies for Yoshiwara.

Yoshiwara

Yoshiwara was founded by an IRL friend duo of AnbuBlack0ps and T0astyAce in Central Nara. The two were joined by MrDarkini on the day of founding, who was coincidentally looking for a small village to found in a taiga. The trio set to work developing their village with the help of Bronnakus.

Politics

Feudal System

Nara is a Feudalist Shogunate led by Shikken SwordMaster7777, with a government split into three groups in a descending hierarchy of authority.

Imperial Court

Reporting to the Shikken is his Rensho, Prawny331, the nation's second-in-command. Also reporting directly to the Shikken is the Taishō BlankestAtlas, the military leader of Nara. The Taisho is in charge of Nara's militia and samurai, military infrastructure, as well as taking effective command of the nation in time of war. These three leaders form the Imperial Court, which functionally acts as a Triarchy.

Daimyo

The Daimyo are in charge of a specific region of Nara, and can essentially have complete control over their assigned region (with the exception of military infrastructure), ruling over the land for the Shikken. The most populous prefecture is that of Shiroyama, lead by Bronnakus and containing the city of the same name. The prefecture of Q'Barra is a strategic exclave on the Eastern Continent, and is ruled over by Earyx. There is space for the declaration of additional Daimyo, provided their region is either strategic or reasonably populous.

The city of Akheron in the nether was declared a prefecture, ruled over by the former Daimyo TolypeVelleda. This position and prefecture were later revoked following an altercation with Dalgon.

Komuin

The Komuin are the civil servants of Nara, and operate much of the day-to-day requirements of the government. There are four current roles, these being;

  • Komuin of Citizen Management

Handles recruitment, plot assignment, coordination of zoning, and promotion from resident to citizen, works with the population to ensure citizens are happy and having fun. Currently held by Bronnakus. Several of these responsibilities were merged into Bronnakus' appointment as Daimyo of Shiroyama.

  • Komuin of the Interior

Coordinates management of natural resource gathering and farming, as well as all land either reserved for national parks or not currently part of a city/village. Initially held by dynamiczbeez, who stepped down in late July to be replaced by Greltam. In December the position was filled by mTfUJi, following Greltam's absence.

  • Komuin of the Treasury

Oversees shop creation and maintenance, promotes Naran business internationally and encourages businesses to open in Nara in coordination with Citizen Management, identifies opportunities for economic cooperation and works with Infrastructure to develop trade routes and ease travel, controls national currency should the need for one arise. Initially held by Ukai, who also stepped down in late July so that JeyHey could take the position.

  • Komuin of Culture

Responsible for organising international sports events (like the hockey league and winter olympics) as well as furthering Nara's unique cultural identity. It is currently held by BlankestAtlas.

Naran Infrastructure Committee

Initally a full Komuin role, the position was transitioned into a joint citizen committee to oversee public infrastructure works such as roads, rails and bridges. This committee is currently suppended and diluted into different jobs for all citizens to partake in.

Defunct Positions

  • Komuin of Infrastructure

Handled infrastructure for all of Nara, eventually split into the Naran Infrastructure Committee. Previously held by JeyHey before becoming the Komuin of the Treasury.

International Relations

Nara has a very close relationship with the neighbouring nation of Dalgon. This is due to the fact that the Shikken SwordMaster7777 is a good friend of the founder of Dalgon, fredhun14. This close allyship also assisted both nations during the CivMC launch as they could guard each other's backs from the roaming players at the time, merging their territory until official claims maps could be posted, although this did lead to some confusion with many people believing that the two separate nations were but one. This alliance is yet to be formalised, but has been named the Dalgon-Nara Alliance, or DNA.

In November 2022, Nara joined the Independent Southern Powers as a founding member. In early December 2022, Nara and Danzilona formalised a friendship treaty[10]. The two nations also announced a planned 2023 Winter Olympics[11].

Nara maintains friendly relations with most of its neighbors, with an active prescence in the Alenarith Forum, and generally remains neutral on the world stage. Shiroyama hosts a consulate for each of the member nations of the Arsenio Pact, and is connected by rail to Danzilona, MTA, Pridelands and the Commonwealth.

Culture

An illustrated map of the early Naran Nation[12]

Naran culture is built on two pillars:

  1. Vibing
  2. Environmentalism

Vibing has been integral to the foundation of Nara ever since its roots in the Far Seas Alliance, with Shikken SwordMaster7777 leading the nation of Vibeville. As a principle, Nara does not seek out war with other nations, nor does it engage in wanton expansion. Nara claims that its national interests are to harmonize with its neighbors, to cooperate thoroughly, and to prioritize industry.

Environmentalism is also integral to Nara's roots. Daiymo Bronnakus and Rensho Prawny331 ran the colony of New Providence, which was built in a Solarpunk style and strongly valued environmental integration and architectural passivity. This translates today into the careful consideration of terrain that is present in all of Shiroyama's construction. While other nations see little issue with wiping out entire flower fields and cutting across mountains with trenches, Nara is keen on avoiding such things.

Economy

The Naran Agricultural Department's Noto Farmland

Nara boasts an agrarian economy with an increasing rate of industrialization. The majority of jobs are currently in construction, with mining and farming being other popular choices. Due to Nara's core lands of meadows, birch forests, and taiga, Nara is a leading producer of carrots and wheat, birch wood, and spruce wood, respectively. Other significant exports include wool, dirt, obsidian, and honey. Presently, there is no official currency of Nara, with most shops trading in iron and diamonds.

The Naran economy also has a significant amount of shops specializing in brewing items, largely stocked by the Nara Brewers Guild. Presently, there are six shops, bars, restaurants, and cafes in Nara.

National Associations and Organizations

Libraries

Nara is home to three libraries. The largest library, Atlas Palace Library in Shiroyama, is home to a collection of over forty in-game books. It operates using a library card system, where one library card costs 1 diamond and can be exchanged for any book in the library. This library card is compatible with the Ichinokawa Library and the Q'Barra Library, which host collections of 6 books and 5 books, respectively. The library card is usable internationally as well, working in Lambat as well as planned expansion to Danzilona.

Nara Royal Academy of Sciences

The Nara Royal Academy of Sciences is an academy offering wisdom to all knowledge-seekers of the Civ world. It hosts several new player guides in the Naran Discord[13].

Brewer's Guild

With the addition of the brewing plugin to CivMC server on July 24, 2022, Nara quickly founded the Brewer's Guild on the same date to discover and perfect brewing recipes.

The guild is headquartered in Shiroyama and consists of individuals who have an active shop in Nara related to brews, such as cafes, restaurants, and tea shops, or that are part of The Nara Royal Academy of Sciences. At the same time, guild members cooperate with each other and share their knowledge within the guild.

Nara's Brewer's Guild boasts of having discovered and perfected to 5 stars almost 40 different recipes in the first 4 days of brewing being added to the server.

The guild is currently searching for a new brewmaster, due to the desertion of Superbgamer5225.

Nara has two national brews:

  • Nara Puffer Fish Wine, discovered and perfected by Earyx. Being the first Naran recipe to be perfected, it earned Earyx the title of Auxiliary Brew Master.
  • Nara no Uiskui, discovered and perfected by Daiymo Bronnakus, Director of the Nara Royal Academy of Sciences and Recordkeeper of the guild, after pushing through some harsh times with raids and targeted attacks trying to ruin the brewing process.

Naran Postal Service (NPS)

A small government provided service that will ship any item to valid NPS mailboxes and PO boxes. Current branches include Shiroyama and Ichinikawa.

References