The definition of a Land

Concening the Societies and cultures found on Kalieda

The definition of a Land

Postby Rik on 18 Dec 2008, 12:40

Whatever a Land is, it didn't exist prior to the colonisation of Ewlah. Historically, the continent of Cheidrah was divided into discrete regions (also known as provinces) which only in the last two hundred orbits before the Disaster began to take on the trappings of nationhood. The continent of Falah, by contrast, had known both Nation States (such as the Telik Nations) and Imperial government (for example, the Vreski Empire) for thousands of orbits. In both continents, there existed a tradition of centralisation, with the needs of the settlement subservient to the needs of the larger political entity.

The intellectual concept of the Land as a political formation of settlements bound together by agreements of mutual self-help first arose in the Nakap communities of the Telik Society, and this bottom-up approach to political governance has proved to be the most influential across the continent. One pertinent reason for this has been the sheer size of the continent, and the difficulties involved in travelling between settlements and cities. For all Societies, the self-reliance of the settlement was a key factor in the successful spread of the Society across the continent. The history of the Vreski Empire illustrates this well: prior to the Disaster the growth of the centrally controlled Imperial provinces had been slow; the expansion of the Balhe Society following the collapse of the Empire, based squarely on the self-sufficiency of the settlements and mutual co-operation between them, was much more rapid. A similar pattern of events can be seen in both the Ambostak and Pentuuk Societies, though with less death and destruction involved.

So the key definition of a Land is that the people and settlements within the Land actually agree there is a Land-bond between them. This has led to the establishment of over 80 separate political entities calling themselves Lands (though a few areas do not even call themselves Lands). Over time, these entities have taken on distinctive - and different - cultural and political lives. Some Lands today can be thought of as fully fledged Nation States with all the accompanying paraphinalia such as a centrally controlled currency and national institutions; other Lands remain a collective of their constituent settlements and cities, with most political power wielded at the local level. A few Lands consist of just one settlement or city. One Land - Pesane - is an artificial construct, an experiment in inter-Societal scientific co-operation.
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