AdminThe Empire of Barsburg
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Barsburg, the Machine
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The Imperial Empire of Barsburg has been a military might in the regions near Esshar for hundreds of years. Barsburg is a nation that focuses primarily on technological progress with a mind for advancement, ever expanding and in search of new resources to harness, whether that is people or foreign materials - And in fact, with Barsburg’s long and bloodied histories, there’s scarcely been more than a few years at a time where the nation was not at war, generally on the offensive. While their military might works to expand outwards, the greatest minds of the Empire are restlessly at work as technomancers within to optimize and perfect all manner of society. Human flaws such as ‘disobedience’ and ‘disloyalty’ are discarded as a product of the culture.

The Empire, sometimes referred to as ‘The Machine’, is a well oiled nation full of jingoistic nationals, all of which seek to further expand their Empire’s power and, as a result, their own. Magitech is commonplace and sometimes required in specific lines of work, though the normal rank and file may not ever see magitech at all in their normal lives.. Unless they submit to prototype testings or are otherwise ‘drafted’ for such testing.

The primary leadership of Barsburg is through a council, with two rulers sitting at the top at all times. One leader controls the flow of technology and the people, and is referred to as the Basileus. The other leader controls the military and the constant pressure that Barsburg is so well known for, and is known as the ‘General’. At any given time, these leaders are flanked by several councilmen, ranging anywhere from five important land owners, to sometimes ten or more individuals of less importance who have acquired unique and special titles over the years. The Basileus and General are elected when the previous ones die from this court, oftentimes with the same family being voted in time and time again.

Barsburg, itself, is an empire of smoke, soot, and clockwork. Some may call it a dystopia, but those who live and work in Barsburg are offered meals, shelter, and a meaningful existence, so long as they work and continue working until their debt to society is paid. Unfortunately, that ‘debt’ is scarcely ever truly ‘paid’, and generally only ends when the person is no longer capable of work whatsoever, or, more likely, kills over from exertion or from many workplace accidents.

The people who reside in Barsburg, then, are some of the sturdiest of any others. While humans make up the majority of the populace, generally white-gray skinned, stocky, and physically fit, it’s not uncommon for many of the other races of Esshar to fill out the census, with the primary and most noteworthy being the hordes of Razuka who live in the slums about the city’s outer edge. As Barsburg has taken so many smaller civilizations into its ‘blob’ of conquered nations, many people come from different walks of life and existences entirely.. But inside of Barsburg, you are expected not to be a drakanite, a razuka, or a human. You are expected to be a Barsburgian; And you are expected to give your life, if need be, for The Machine.

Barsburg customs are precisely what one would expect from a nation built upon warfare and ever-present progress, and while not everyone lives the same way, most people live their lives by the ‘code of ethics’ that is expected of a normal citizen. Magi who excel and make great contributions are recognized as nobility with the 'pyr' honor between their forename and surname. 


Progress Over Morality: Everyone inside of the Empire is considered equal so long as they work and support The Empire. Occultists and Holy Magi are seen as 'lower class' citizens until they prove their worth, as this magic has proven only to poison the mind. Likewise, demons are caged and shackled as beasts of war, loosed only to perform magitech tests upon, or to be used as hounds of war against their enemies. These beasts are often kept caged and are bound to magi through the use of an incredible feat of technology, specifically designed to bind a demon to a magi, and force them to heel to their command. No price is too much, and no sacrifice too far, in the name of Barsburg and its ticking progress.


Dissent Will Be Broken: Active betrayal or disagreement with any aspect of the Empire is crushed underfoot immediately, generally through violent force, such as tactical squads and silent political murders. Political opponents are, generally, blinded with their eyes gouged, and those who are blinded are considered heinous in the eyes of the public. Prisons are uncommon, and those who aren’t blinded are often sent to physical labor facilities, such as mines or factories to work away their crimes against The Machine. Many sent to these facilities do not come back. Even despite the inherent risks, there are frequent uprisings, especially in areas that are newly conquered. Ultimately, however, the Government remains in a state of near constant control across their Empire. 


In The Name of Humanity: Religion is a very odd topic within the walls of the Barsburg Empire. While most are content to look aside and not worry about such trivial matters, a select few have taken to worship the Magitech and technology crafted by Barsburgian scholars. These priests do not worship a god or a divine presence, but rather respect both the Government and the tools they produce on a level similar to that rivalling Celestialism or the Fireblooded. Though not officially recognized by the Barsburg council, these Technomancer Priests often bolster the Barsburg armies and are well known mechanics and engineers, and it is not uncommon for them to be on both the front and backline of assaulting forces, repairing mechs, magitech, and any other manner of weaponry.. As well as dismantling and studying the enemy weapons and armor to get a better feel against their opponents.


The Machine: Every member of the Empire is expected to work. Physically fit men and women are required to serve in the army for a short stint(a few years at least), and are then pushed back out into a society that still operates primarily under military ranks and prowess, even outside of the army proper, at least in the Capital city. In Barsburg, you work until you're unable to work any longer, and the chain of command is your life. When new civilizations or tribes are brought into Barsburg, they are often given an ‘introductory period’, where they are brought into the main cities of The Machine and given jobs, immediately. Those who join the melting pot and fall into place are seen as equal, and those who do not- Such as the Rhoynish- as cast aside to be crushed underfoot at a later date.


Magitech


Magitech is a daily part of many Barsburg citizens. As mentioned, most people will not have very many dealings with this equipment, as it is primarily saved for military workers, engineers, mechanics, and other important parts of the Machine. Some rich citizens may even find use for magitech in their daily life, such as heating their homes, powering appliances, and even creating small tools and ‘robots’ to do menial work for them. However, those who have dealings with it often find their entire lives being surrounded or consumed by it, and on occasion, lose their own humanity as they become more and more machine, and less and less human. It is thought that the more of one’s body that is replaced with this sort of equipment, the more of one’s own ‘essence’ or ‘soul’ is lost in the process.. But this is mere rumour, and does not showcase in every single individual.


When it comes to using Magitech, the first and most obvious example are bionic limbs and replacements for the inner workings of the body. To see a man or woman with an arm made entirely out of mythril and orchilacum is not uncommon, and even on occasion, massive mechanical monstrosities or suits to be piloted by individuals or groups of magi are produced and used as weapons of war. This has the most obvious use, is the easiest to create and maintain, and is sometimes afforded to the lower ranking members of The Machine, occasionally finding its way down the line to back alley ‘chop shops’ and ‘morgues’. Such back alley or ‘off the record’ dealings are rare, but happen, as not every single piece of equipment is tracked with a hawk’s eye.


More rare, sometimes the inner workings of one’s body can be augmented or swapped out for mechanics entirely. In the Barsburg military, it is not entirely uncommon to see officers and petty officers with magitech eyes or ear inserts, and occasionally they may even have their mana circuits traced out and laced with mythril or orchilacum tubing for easier flow during combat. These pieces of Magitech are hard to maintain as they often require surgical precision and tools, but offer the user invaluable advantages, such as massively increased accuracy or the ability to expend mana at a massively heightened rate. In extremely rare cases, magitech may even encompass the lungs or heart of an individual, granting them near limitless stamina, or granting them a massive amount of power, at the risk of their own lifespan and body deterioration.


As the populace of Osrona has seen, the most horrifying displays of advancement are the golems and monstrosities that Barsburg produces. These machines of war are occasionally piloted by magi, either alone or in groups, and are fed mana through specialized injections and IVs capable of not only adding together the magi’s strength, but significantly amplifying it. On extremely rare occasions, very high ranking officers may be granted smaller designs, sometimes are thin and easy to use as metal suits.. And sometimes, these designs are massive, as big as buildings, and are used as siege engines and monstrous cannons designed entirely and specifically to break walls and end sieges as quickly as possible. In the more average case, magitech drones and small, aerial creations carry out menial tasks and delivery, a far stretch from the war machines usually seen outside of the Empire.


Some of these ‘mechs’, as well, have recently been given extremely potent artificial intelligence. Through a magitech process known only to top Barsburgian magitechs and machine priests, they can design a golem that functions like a ‘puppet’, following the commands or certain trigger words to send them in a spiralling rampage, unwilling to stop, feeling no fear, no pain, until the criteria is met.. Or the mech itself has been savagely destroyed. 


The Obelisks are massive spires of magitech, clockwork, and steel, crafted entirely and intentionally to serve both as surveillance and defense. These obelisks offer wide-scale ritual-like protection to those within the cities they’re constructed in(generally, only the Capital has this protection, with few being constructed elsewhere), and are able to transmit mana across long distances to fuel and empower the mechs and golems they craft. The secondary function of these Obelisks is surveillance, in which any magi who may use or transmit mana in the city is ‘logged’, and is able to be tracked based on that singular mana signature.


Finally, the Barsburgian Empire has managed to craft specialized ‘insubordination collars’, used by higher ranking and trusted individuals amidst the Machine. These collars allow a magi to bind his or her ‘essence’ with the essence of a demon, or another magi, and in turn, binds their control to that individual. While there are cases of breaking out of such control, they are rare, and these controlled individuals are often used for secretive tasks or as front line combatants where they may otherwise be a detriment or a risk if left to their own devices.


Oftentimes, these mechs, devices, and even the lower tier of magitech, are considered more expensive and important than human and beastkin lives. Should a mech be broken, a piece of magitech turn up missing, or a soldier break their augments in the midst of combat, it is not unheard of for field executions, public executions, blindings, or physical labor to be the punishment to pay for the sheer amount of resources that went into these items.
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The Empire of Barsburg - by Admin - 08-05-2020, 05:58 AM



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