The Ishvalan Empire is Okami's nation in NC Spacebattles. It was founded in 2139. From a collection of warring clans to a world-spanning empire, the Ishvalan people are a distinctly predatory race hailing from their homeworld of Ishvala. Beloved by his people, the charismatic Emperor Matthias Raedec has ascended the throne and has vowed to extend the territory of the Ishvalan people to the stars themselves, attaining the glory that is rightfully theirs. Will the Ishvalan Empire stand the test of time and trials of the galaxy or will it fade into the darkness of space?
Planet and SystemEdit
Currently the only inhabited world of the Ishvalan system is the homeworld of the Ishvalan people, Ishval. Ishval has an atmosphere and gravity very similar to that of earth. Ishval’s surface consists of a single Pangaea-like supercontinent surrounded by ocean with several outlying islands of varying sizes. Fresh water lakes, ponds, and rivers dot the continent and islands and the continent is mostly covered with temperate forests (with a few mountain ranges). Ishvalan cities and towns dot these forests and coastlines and an extensive road system cuts through them to unite the empire into a cohesive whole.
Regional differences do apply with extreme northern and southern locations being significantly colder than other locations on the rest of the planet. A standard Ishvalan year is 400 days and consists of 4 seasons, winter, spring, summer, and fall.
Ishval possesses a single moon which orbits around the planet and has similar phases to Earth’s moon, though nights of the full moon occur three times a month (over three-day periods) and are important for several Ishvalan rituals, with the biggest full-moon the “Hunter’s Moon” when the moon is closest in its orbit and in its full phase being an important celebration.
The Ishval system also contains two other planets, one closer to the system’s sun than Ishvala itself and another further away. The first of these planets is the rocky and barren Damfihak, while it does have an atmosphere, the heat and lack of arable land and food resources present obstacles to colonization prospects. The other, the frozen planet of Disith is in what appears to be an eternal state of winter, with ice and snow covering the planet with a few rocky areas visible during periods of time when blizzards aren’t raging across the planet’s surface.
The Emperor holds practically absolute power in the Ishvalan government, serving as the head of state and chief executive. While there is an elected legislature that serves as an advisory board for the Emperor as well as a means of managing their respective areas of responsibility. Various ministers, mostly appointed also serve to work towards the Emperor’s wishes in their particular areas of responsibility. Those wishing to vote must have spent at least 2 years in military service or 4 years in civil service, succession to the throne of Emperor is only partially hereditary.
While any child of the Emperor may succeed the throne when the time comes, they must first prove themselves worthy of the honor through a series of trials. To begin with, they must join the military or another form of governmental service, when the Emperor dies, or his health is failing they must then undergo a series of competitive trials to determine who is most worthy of succeeding the Emperor.
The Capital City is Akismunthi, road and rail links connect all Ishvalan cities and towns to the capital and each other making travel relatively easy. The Continent the Empire currently spans is separated into various quasi-autonomous regions overseen by Imperially-appointed governors who must submit monthly reports detailing all income, expenses, etc to the Imperial government to determine resource distribution and they must also submit to monthly quotas for resources, taxes, and troops for the Imperial Army.
Cities and towns are governed by local officials who are elected from the people of the area by the people from the area, and who must in turn form advisory councils of their own and report to their regional governors.
The Ishvalan Empire is a founding member of MHAN and the Interstellar Nations.
Ishvalan society is based around the virtues of strength, cleverness, loyalty, and discipline. Strength and cleverness are prized because they are useful in hunting as well as in other valuable societal functions. Loyalty is prized because one should be able to trust their pack-mates without fear of betrayal, and discipline is prized because it represents a strength of the mind, the hunter or warrior does not rely solely on bloodlust, letting your instincts and aggressive tendencies drive you is frowned upon in Ishvalan society.
Ishvalan society is centered on a pack mentality, do whatever is best for the pack regardless of personal benefit, and few things are more despised than betrayers. While outsiders may find it difficult to get along with Ishvalans, once befriended an Ishvalan is usually a reliable and trustworthy friend. Ishvalans mate for life and produce children in much the same way humans do. Ishvalan children are referred to as pups and are educated in both regular courses during a day session, and “outdoors skills” (e.g. hunting, tracking, martial arts) during afternoon sessions.
Marriage is handled by mutual agreement of the husband and wife (referred to in Ishvalan society as mates) and wedding ceremonies are expected to be grand affairs where both families come together to celebrate their packs coming together, with a feast of fresh meat and copious amounts of alcohol. Marriages are conducted by the priests of the Ishvalan faith (covered later) and take place on nights of the full moon where the new couple stands before the gods, their families, and the priests conduct the requisite ritual which involves the mates-to-be swearing an oath to each other to protect, support, and love one another so long as they live, and giving them matching rings symbolizing the bond between them.
Male and female Ishvalans are relatively equal in society, with male and female Ishvalans both holding high positions in both the private sector as well as the military and government, though females are expected to care for their newborn pups until they are able to take care of themselves (though the father is expected to care for all during this time as well).
The average Ishvalan lives differently depending upon what region they come from and whether they live in a city or town. While hunting is still a valued part of Ishvalan life, and Ishvalans favor meat, the sheer amount of people that must be fed makes both herding and agriculture a necessity, with large farms and ranches forming the outlying areas of towns and cities. The average city-dwelling Ishvalan inhabits a high-rise tower apartment constructed of stone with plexiglass windows, the cities are typically well-laid out with an orderly and wide-reaching public train system (which operates underground) and streets that can be traveled by motorized vehicles or by foot with relative ease.
Town or village-dwelling Ishvalans typically live in baked mud-brick “dens” which tend to be built partially below ground and contain a central cooking area, an area for waste disposal (usually above ground), a bath, and sleeping/living areas for the members of the household. Modern amenities are available to town-dwelling Ishvalans in much the same manner as their city counterparts with electricity and plumbing being available.
Entertainment for Ishvalans depends on social standing and amount of disposable income. Music is a popular choice with varying genres of Ishvalan music from “classical” (hauntingly beautiful howling with string instruments) to “rock” (electric-guitar analogues and tribal drums coupled with lyrics sung in the Ishvalan language) and a number of others, concerts, radios and various forms of recorded music exist throughout Ishvalan society and can often be found played over loudspeakers in some public areas, especially religious music during festivals. Athletics are also very popular among Ishvalans with analogs to rugby, track and field, martial arts, and a number of other physical earth sports existing in both recreational and professional leagues, with regions fielding their own professional teams, and local recreational leagues put together for both pups and adult Ishvalans.
Other popular options include reading (especially stories of honored souls and of fictional adventurers) gaming (there is a relatively small electronic gaming industry, though most Ishvalan video games are of genres with a particularly military bent one way or another.) television (featuring various programs including the Imperial News Network, rough equivalents to sitcoms, comedies, etc, with a decent degree of cinema available as well with an epic film currently in the works titled The Unifier in celebration of the anniversary of the beginning of the unification process begun by Ibram “The Unifier” Raedec).
Drinking, and feasting are also important points of entertainment as well as interaction with one’s fellow Ishvalans, especially on festival days or public events. Festivals can be either religious in nature (the “Hunter’s Moon” festival) or public (Empire Day) and the celebration of which can vary depending on the festival. For example, during the Hunter’s Moon festival, Ishvalans typically paint themselves with runes and some wear clothing and masks to indicate the coming together of the gods and the birth of the Ishvalan people, and celebrate with song, drink, and fresh, rare meat.
On Empire Day, Ishvalans celebrate by wearing Ishvalan Empire armbands, waving the flag around, with parades by the military and fireworks to celebrate the beginning of the Ishvalan Empire, on this day as well, the Emperor gives a speech to the Ishvalan people over the television and the radio, commemorating the event. On a more somber note, entertainment also comes in the form of public executions, typically carried out by beheading (and occasionally performed by the Emperor himself). Ishvalan law is fairly harsh on a few penalties and when it deems capital punishment necessary, the convicted are executed in public so as to show justice being done to the people, and for their part, the people seem to enjoy it somewhat.
ClothingEditIshvalans favor durable materials in their clothing tending towards leather, as well as wool and denim analogues with canvas and cloth being used primarily for shirts and tunics with outerwear and jackets being made of sturdier materials.
Most Ishvalan clothing is fairly loose, allowing for a greater range of movement, and often features long coats, vests, and other outerwear, especially in colder climates or during the winter months. Boots or similar footwear are also favored for their durability and solid grip.
The average male Ishvalan dresses in clothing similar to that pictured , and it is not uncommon for female Ishvalans to dress similarly, though female Ishvalans also commonly wear skirts and/or dresses (the latter especially during formal events).
In addition to clothing, Ishvalans tend to wear jewelry, favoring silver necklaces, rings, bracelets, and earrings (typically for females only) and beads made of polished bone, with a particularly popular style being a silver-inlaid fang from an Ishvalan wolf hanging from a necklace. Headwear isn’t uncommon either, though Ishvalans tend to wear military-style caps.
The Ishvalan educational system consists of both day and afternoon classes. During the day session, students gather in public schools for their daily lessons in reading, writing, and arithmetic, as well as history (both Ishvalan and otherwise), and science courses (basically the standard fare of public education). Day classes use a mix of teaching methods for various types of learners, providing methods for all types.
Afternoon and evening education sessions consist of training in “outdoors skills” (hunting, tracking, survival, and martial arts). This is conducted by the local Imperial Army reserve officers as well as the local Governor’s office. Students “graduate” into adulthood from high school age after they successfully make their first kill hunting alone in the wilds. Higher education is also provided for in the form of several private and public universities including the highly prestigious military academies. Scholarships for promising students are also handed out by the Imperial Department of Military Research as well as private companies.
A Day in The LifeEdit
The average non-military Ishvalan either works for the government in some position, or is employed by the private sector and is concerned primarily with obtaining a mate (if they do not have one), caring for their pups (if they have any), feeding themselves, the well-being of their family and to a lesser extent, society as a whole. They wake up in the morning, have their first meal and set off for whatever work it is they are responsible for.
Some work the ranches and farms that lay outside all major cities and towns, others work the mines and forests to provide raw materials for Imperial industry, others work directly for Imperial industries, working in factories and offices to produce or manage the production of various goods for all segments of Imperial society. After work hours and on days off, Ishvalans typically amuse themselves in whatever forms of entertainment is available to them, depending on their social standing and disposable income.
While favoring meat, Ishvalans are omnivorous and will eat non-meat foods readily, though vegetarian Ishvalans are rare to the point of non-existence and such a diet is usually a sign of insanity. Upon going home, families typically gather together for the evening meal and discuss the events of the day in the central cooking and dining area of their home. Events across the Empire are readily known to the Ishvalan people through the radio, television, and internet-connected computer devices and are fairly popular topics of both discussion and entertainment.
Most Ishvalans are proud of the Empire as a whole and one would be hard-pressed to find a home that doesn’t have the Ishvalan flag displayed or a portrait of the Imperial family hanging on their den’s walls. Ishvalans in the military or intelligence services can expect to live on-base, often with their dependents as well, dealing with a series of drills, training maneuvers, and other combat-readying activities. Ishvalans in the military reserves typically live in dens located near the base and must be ready to report for service quickly when called and must fulfill a fitness and readiness exam given on a monthly basis.
The Ishvalan Regular Army (properly termed the Imperial Army) is formed of primarily volunteer recruits. Joining the army for at least a brief term is virtually a requirement in Ishvalan society if one wishes to vote or be taken seriously by most others. In addition to voluntary recruits, conscription may be implemented during times of emergency. Male and female Ishvalans are equals within the army as they are in larger society. The Ishvalan Army is well-disciplined, capably-led, well-equipped, and often more than a little bloodthirsty.
Uniforms and EquipmentEdit
Imperial Army troops are outfitted with a protective tactical vest complete with webbing to allow them to carry plenty of ammunition and provisions as well as arm and leg casing armor, a sturdy pair of boots, and camouflaged uniforms which feature a style of camouflage similar to German Flecktarn style, patterned according to the environment they are deployed in. Imperial soldiers are also outfitted with a protective helmet of a similar appearance to the German “stahlhelm” of the early World War II era, which can additionally be fitted with camouflaged covers, as well as a forage cap of a similar appearance to the German M1943 field cap. Decorations for combat and bravery are also likely to be worn on combat uniforms as well as dress uniforms as marks of honor.
Finally, in addition to mess kits, a canteen and provisions, the standard Ishvalan trooper is armed with an IUR-79 Assault Rifle, an AA-79 Pistol, grenades, and a multipurpose combat knife with several survival functions built in. Officers wear an M43 field cap, or peaked officer’s cap with their rank emblazoned on it, and can be identified by rank chevrons on the sleeves and collars of their uniforms. Officers as well as troops deployed to cold-weather areas are also often equipped with Kevlar-reinforced greatcoats, with a lighter variant made for harsh desert conditions to protect from wind and sand. In addition, all army formations are equipped with Siegfried Armor by this point.
The building block of Ishvalan infantry is the squad, often with mechanized transport and typically supported by armor and heavy weapons. The Ishvalan squad consists of 3 fire teams of 4 soldiers each for a total of 12 soldiers. Each fireteam possesses a Light Machine Gunner armed with a DL-79 LMG, a section leader, a designated marksman, and a grenadier specialized with the IUR-79 with underbarrel grenade launcher. The army expects initiative from even junior officers, and all officers are expected to lead from the front, or at least close to the front.
Inim Sirikha Units (IS) (“Vanguard”) Edit
The best of the best in the Ishvalan Army (outside of special forces of course) Inim Sirikha units have the best training, equipment, officers, and overall motivation and loyalty in the Ishvalan Army. IS units wear similar uniforms to regular soldiers, but can be identified by their unit patches and armbands which bear the symbol of the IS units, an Ishvalan Wolf Skull which symbolizes their loyalty to the Empire “unto death” as well as the ferocity with which they will fight their foes. Each member of the IS units swears an oath to protect the emperor and empire until their dying breath, proudly trace their lineage back to the elite units that were the core of Ibram Raedec’s army during the Unification Wars.
Named Units Edit
Named units are corps-strength and are typically attached to Ishvalan Armies.
- Farsil Luhal “Iron Masters”
- Hirfathra Hissu “Bone Shadows”
- Iminir “Storm Lords”
Uniforms and EquipmentEdit
IS units are equipped in much the same way that regular Imperial Army units are, though there are a few noted differences in uniform appearances. To begin with, is the IS wolf skull emblem worn on both the armband, and emblazoned on caps, helmets and visible upon the left shoulder as a patch. In addition to this, their right shoulder patch is customized according to the unit they are attached to with much prestige being accorded to those who make it into famed units such as the Iron Masters, Bone Shadows, Hunters in Darkness, and Storm Lords. Finally, members of these elite of the elite units also wear cuff bands that feature the name of the unit in Ishvalan script centered between two emblems of the unit.
Hissu-Nir (Shadow Lords) Edit
The Hissu-Nir are a black-ops unit under command of Imperial Intelligence. Formed to protect the Empire from the shadows, the Hissu-Nir specialize in missions requiring stealth, performing missions such as infiltration, sabotage, assassination, and counterintelligence among others. Subtlety is their Modus Operandi, and they keep to the spirit of the law rather than the letter, formed to root out rebellious and traitorous officials and officers they excel in espionage tactics and do not officially exist.
Blood Talons Edit
The Army special forces, Blood Talon recruits practically live for war, having undergone a brutal training regimen that makes the Spetsnaz of Russia and the former Soviet Union seem like wusses in comparison. The Blood Talons specialize in surgical strikes, demolition, and assassination of enemy commanders, details of their training and operations are largely classified.
Muth Hudzith (Blood Defender) Edit
The Elite Imperial Guard troops that guard the person of the Emperor and Imperial family, while the emperor is capable of handling himself he is not omniscient and cannot be in all places at once. Muth Hudzith soldiers are recruited for their keen senses and instincts, combat prowess, and their loyalty to the Emperor and Empire. Every member swears a blood oath to the gods and Emperor to watch over the Imperial Family and keep them safe from all harm.