Though all of one island, each nation has its own governing body and policies. While trade among the nations has been mostly stable, other issues divide the nations more tenuously: namely, the Orc attacks from Embertalon and the violent expansion of the Beating Sea.
Elves are the most populous race on Falcon Island, followed by Humans. Cloud State has a simple governing body, the Elder Council. The Elder Council is made up of eight Elven chiefs of the tribes throughout Cloud State and the president of Stratos Tower, Barca Khaarthanius. There have been tensions in the Council of late over continuing to provide soldiers and supplies to the Dwarves of High State. Some believe aiding the Dwarves to be an exercise in futility and that the Dwarves are all but defeated. While some wish to continue providing aid, others point out the dangers and losses faced traveling the northern sea, to speak nothing of the soldiers they’ve sent to death at the blades and teeth of the Orcs.
High State is the only nation to honor a king and court. King Ashnard Paleotus has been the ruler of High State since before Radicus erupted, and he has seen many of his men fall to the Orcs. Delegates from other nations routinely do business with Ashnard’s advisors and the lords of his court, Ashnard’s nephews. All dwarves are proud and reserved, but the High State lords epitomize these traits. The reduction of their numbers and the loss of their lands to the Orcs have left the High State nobles bitter. While Ashnard himself (on good days) has not been shy to ask for help from Cloud State and Wakeland, his nephews are too proud to admit the weakness of the Dwarven kingdom. The name of the heir to Ashnard’s throne is sealed in his will, only to be revealed in the event of his death.
The dwarves of High State have only two vocations: mining or fighting. At birth, common dwarves (any dwarf not born of the noble family Paleotus) are divided into the mining class or the soldier class. Mining dwarves are raised to do just that, to dig tunnels in the mountains and to recover valuable gems and ores, which are traded to the other nations for supplies and aid. Soldier dwarves are trained in the High State military and learn phalanx fighting maneuvers. A select few dwarves from the soldier class are trained in crafting weapons and armor. While dwarven weapons and armor are not routinely traded to the western side of the island, those pieces that make it over are said to be of the highest quality in both craftsmanship and materials.
These common dwarves have extremely limited input in the nation’s policies. The extent of a common dwarf’s involvement in national policy is writing a letter to Raptor Rock, only to be read and thrown into the furnace. Despite this, many dwarves are fiercely patriotic and loyal to King Paleotus.
Versatility has proven a boon to the humans, as this race can be seen living and succeeding anywhere on the island, in any trade or skill. While some move to Little Wing to study a craft or trade, the vast majority of humans enroll in one of the schools: Stratos Tower in Cloud State, Squall Tower, or the Sagitar Fighting School.
Wakeland is governed not by hereditary lords or heads of families, but by those who have made some significant achievement or contribution to their nation. As such, great warriors and scholars, inventors, and the farmer who produces the most harvest for the year are the ones who have a say in Wakeland’s policies.
Wakeland hosts a parliament at the beginning of the third season of the year. Over fifty people attended the last parliament (After Radicus 15-3), the largest parliament on record. Scholars and inventors steadily join the parliament as the old ones die. Famous warriors and mages often earn places in parliament, only to attend one or two years before their work brings them to unfortunate ends.
One gains position on parliament by receiving the patronage of a current member, then approval by a majority vote. Only the farmer who generates the most produce that harvest is exempt from the requirements of patronage and the vote.
The Wakeland Parliament is an incredibly unorganized affair. There is one spokesperson, elected at the beginning of the parliament, which in itself can take hours. That spokesperson then mediates the meeting, directing the members to the topics of discussion, which usually include that year’s rationing, weather forecasts, trade agreements with the other nations, reports from Squall Tower and the Sagitar Fighting School, and of course, Wakeland’s response to Orc attacks. The last parliament (After Radicus 15-3) lasted nine days.
Though the small folk don’t know it, their nation has the closest thing to democracy on the island. The total population of Little Wing is only a few hundred people, spread out among its approximately fifteen square mile peninsula. At the beginning of every season, Little Wing’s pub and theatre, The Hop and Drop, hosts what can best be described as a town hall meeting. Any resident of Little Wing is welcome to attend. The Hop & Drop’s innkeeper functions as the Jaquid, the neutral speaker. He brings up issues, and then allows residents to stand and say their opinions. Each topic and each speaker is strictly timed, and at the end of the time limit for each topic, a vote is cast by adults raising their hands. A Jamil, another nonvoting mediator, stands at the end of each row and counts the votes, then reports the count to the Jaquid. Only adults can cast their votes. A topic can be tabled, meaning it will be postponed until next season, or it can be voted upon based on the actions proposed by the people. While still a haphazard affair, these season meetings typically only last from lunch until dinner, thanks to its strict timing policies. Its participants stay in the inn, and then leave in the morning. The innkeeper then writes letters to the Wakeland parliament and to the Cloud State Elder Council. He no longer writes letters to Raptor Rock unless dealings with High State were specifically addressed in the season meeting.