Built upon the remnants of the sprawling empire of the Qadir, the Songaskian Masaya has since dominated the lands and holdings of its downtrodden predecessor in Farah’deen. Built on slavery, the Masaya’s aspects as a police state and military meritocracy are central to its progression as a government, with a strong emphasis on exercising strength and maintaining power. Of course, this focus on strength and power leads many to see the Songaskia Masaya as a rival to the Regalian Empire, a belief well-founded in the recent conflicts between the two military superpowers. Even Regalia’s youth bear memories of the Songaskian occupation of the Regalian capital city. Only time will tell how the Masaya will move forward in the near future, especially as they descend into civil war.
Although the exact origins of its name remain unclear, it is known that ‘Songaskian Masaya’ translates to ‘Kingdom of the Songaskay’ in Lugnha, the native language of the Songaskia. However, Lugnha is incorrectly named Qadiriq around the world, a language in which “Songaskia Masaya” doesn’t have meaning.
The exact details of the Masaya’s formation are unknown, and some Regalian scholars suspect that they will always remain this way. What is known is that the Songaskia simply appeared after what the Qadir call the Great Storm, a colossal sandstorm in 121 AC, following the decade-long purge of the Black and Red Desert Dragons. Their civilization suffered greatly, and in the aftermath, the Songaskia appeared, forcing the Qadir out of their own lands as they moved on the pearl cities of Farah’deen, and inhabited the sandstone ruins left behind by the broken Sariyd Empire.
After their inexplicable appearance in south-eastern Aloria, the Songaskia chose to consolidate and cultivate their power in Farah’deen. They amassed a population of slaves that vastly outnumbered the amount of civilians within the Masaya. Nearing 200 AC, the Songaskian Masaya developed something of a rivalry with Regalia, recognizing the Holy Empire as only of the only competing imperial forces in Aloria. Despite this, the Masaya refrained from involvement in the Chrysant War and the destruction of the Essa Empire, choosing to continue building military power and support in their homeland.
In more recent times, conflicts with the Regalian Empire ended in “victory” for the Masaya. Beginning in unofficial raids from both sides, these guerrilla tactics ended up escalating into a full-scale war, declared in 303 AC. One particular battle even saw a rare instance of cooperation between Dwarves and Orcs, resulting in a steam-powered fleet that demolished a whole city with cannonfire. Despite their incredible losses during the war, the Masaya still managed to capture the man who would later become the Crown Prince; Cedromar Kade. Using the Prince as something of a bargaining chip, the Masaya leveraged their possession of the royal in order to achieve a white peace, though not before occupying the city of Regalia with its numerically superior slave army. By negotiating with no small degree of finesse, the Masaya managed to return relations between the two Alorian superpowers back to how they were prior to the war, avoiding more losses.
This directly led to a civil war within Farah’deen, over the leader of the Masaya. Believing that the current Massya, Musamansa, was too young and simply a puppet for his mother, his uncle, Kusamanu, gathered support from the Masaya’s military leaders in the hopes of overthrowing the teenaged monarch and taking the throne for himself. Succeeding in this, Kusamanu took on the role of Massya, his first action being to place hefty bounties on the heads of Musamansa and his mother, both of whom had fled Farah’deen with the assistance of Regalian spies. The Masaya’s battle against the Bone Horror invasion across Farah’deen continues to rage on today. In spite of this conflict, the Songaskian Masaya has suffered the least in comparison to the other Alorian nations. This is mainly attributed to the defences present in their Pearl Cities, allowing some level of security against the undead hordes. Even further, a three-month long war in 305 AC saw a Regalian small-scale invasion of Farah’deen, the forces of which were ordered to slaughter any Songaskians found in the continent. With a final, disastrous battle in Altaqq that saw Regalian mercenary numbers devastated, the war was nearly lost, if not for another sudden civil war, ending the reign of Kusamanu Massya Songel and returning Musamansa Massya Song to his rightful throne.
Much like its competitor state of Regalia, the Songaskian Masaya’s governing system is built around despotic monarchy, meaning there is one supreme ruler and royal family, with aristocracy delegated to the finer tasks of the state. However, the control of aristocrats within the Masaya is much more powerful than that of Regalian aristocrats. One prominent differing aspect lies in the appointment of the aristocracy. Rather than being comprised of a bloodline-based set of nobles that rarely, if ever, change, Songaskian aristocracy is in a constant state of flux. This is due to a large emphasis on military merit over family reputation. For example, a high noble will always be a person of considerable military skill, usually a general, though an incompetent heir can result in their family being dropped from nobility altogether. Only one family has remained constant during the history of the Songaskia; the Koné family. Since the dawn of their race, the Songaskia have been led by the Konés, the royal family of their empire, each leader taking up the position of Massya, or Emperor, when translated directly.
With a military-appointed noble peerage, it is the generals of the army that decide everything within the Masaya, separate from the clergy. Shambala priestesses operate their religion nearly autonomously, with little to no oversight from the government in their endeavors of faith throughout Farah’deen. Much like Regalia, the Masaya operates as a police-state, utilizing military apparatus to control its population. However, upstarts and outbursts within the Masaya are dealt with much more efficiently than its competitor state, leading to a considerably more stable government, even during periods of social unrest.
List of Rulers
- 121 AC - 150 AC - Oumar Koné the First
- 150 AC - 164 AC - Oumar Koné the Second
- 164 AC - 192 AC - Abdoulaye Koné
- 192 AC - 192 AC - Youssouf Koné, the Six Month Massya
- 192 AC - 201 AC - Djibril Koné the First
- 201 AC - 223 AC - Kassim Koné
- 223 AC - 240 AC. - Ayouba Koné the First
- 241 AC - 270 AC. - Djibirl Koné the Second
- 270 AC - 300 AC - Ayoube Koné the Second
- 300 AC - 303 AC - Musamansa Koné
- 303 AC - 305 AC - Kusamanu Koné, the Usurper
- 305 AC - present - Musamansa Koné, the Rethroned
Law in the Masaya is strikingly similar to Regalia in its conduction, employing a racially-favoring police state that values Songaskia above all other races within the confines of the Masaya, though certain aspects of its laws can also be recognised as hints of the old Elven Empire. This includes the capture and keeping of slaves, the majority of whom are Rubah Songaskia. The Masaya is notable in its caste system, enforcing a strict set of groups that only certain races can be part of. Although parallels can be drawn between Regalia holding Ailor above Chi’en-ji, the Masaya truly makes the concept its own, in that the five Songaskian subraces, although apparently closely related, are all separated by social standing based on the subrace they are. For example, Ashanti and Hassal Songaskia make up the Masaya’s aristocracy and first two castes, the majority of the Masaya’s slave force is made up of Rubah Songaskia, the third caste. The fourth caste are the Jenne Songaskia, who are the Masaya’s merchants and crafters, and the fifth are the Wolor, who are considered outcasts and outlaws.
Law enforcement within the Masaya is considered incredibly strict, owing mostly to its police state roots, with the Songaskian justice system often going to great lengths to uncover any shred of evidence that may uncover the culprit of a crime. Legal disputes are always kept at a local level, though feuds between the aristocracy are rare enough that they generally aren’t dealt with, based on the aristocracy’s constant state of flux, owed largely to the meritocracy that determines a noble’s standing.
The Songaskian Masaya openly displays its disdain for near-all other civilizations in Aloria, making no attempt to hide or excuse itself regarding its many recorded enslavements of entire ships worth of people, simply for trespassing in their waters. However, the Masaya does make exceptions for some, namely the Altalar and Ch’ien-ji, granting preferential treatment to the two similarly magically-gifted races. Recent times have seen the Songaskia, Ch’ien-Ji and Altalar allying in what has been named the “Magic Covenant”, though with the Masaya descending into civil war, this alliance now seems strained.
One of the most notable aspects of the Songaskian Masaya is its military, namely its possession of the largest land army in Aloria. However, this massive army of slaves means that the Masaya’s navy is lacking when compared to other nation-states, and its ships see more use as glorified troop transports than actual naval combatants. In this, the Songaskian Masaya offers both a foil and a weakness to Regalia’s own military. Even still, the Masaya maintains the utmost loyalty from its soldiers, most of whom were born into a life as a slave-soldier and with no other life but combat known to them, devote themselves to the purpose of war.
Much like its military, the official economy of the Masaya is focused on slavery; the trading of slaves is a lucrative business opportunity for most anybody in Farah’deen looking to make a good deal of money. That being said, statistically, for every one citizen of the Masaya, there are four slaves, meaning that the larger profits for slave traders come from the sale of groups of slaves, rather than individuals. However, the arguably seedier underbelly of the Masaya’s economy runs on piracy. The illegal capture of foreign goods makes up 30% of the income of gold used for jewelry and decoration in the Masaya, whilst also bringing in fresh slaves that offer a higher profit for slavers on account of usually being a different race or from a different culture.
Another notable facet of the Masaya is its nearly homogenous Songaskian population, with only a miniscule percentage of this number being approved citizens from foreign nations, or so the Masaya would advertise. Despite not being citizens of the Masaya, the slaves in Farah’deen number somewhere around four-million, being a mixture of Songaskia and Qadir, with a tiny smattering of other races.
The state religion of the Songaskian Masaya is, undoubtedly, the Shambala faith. A religion based on worship of the sun as a sentient, all-holy, omnipotent being, Shambala faith is so ingrained into the Masaya’s society that the buildings in its cities are often adorned with polished golden disks at their tops to focus sunlight. These are especially well-taken care of at Shambala temples, where each tower is topped with one such disk, capable of burning through organic materials and melting light metals if all are focused on one object. This marvel of engineering is one of many shows of Songaskian dedication to their faith; Shambala zeal so powerful that other faiths barely exist in Farah’deen, born out of a refusal to believe that Shambala faith is wrong.
The chosen symbol of the Masaya is a relatively simple one, though recognised as a sign of slavery and disgusting luxury throughout Aloria. A yellow, rayless sun on a red field. The Masaya’s flag is found all throughout its holdings, from government buildings to the lands of others occupied by their own forces. Recently, the flag was flown throughout Regalia during the Masaya’s occupation.
- One bedtime story of the Masaya details desert demons known as Sadiers, who offer three wishes to those who find them. It is said that any who are unfortunate enough to have all three wishes fulfilled may suffer great misfortune.
- Although the Masaya’s luxury and lavish lifestyles are some of its most well-known aspects, actual representations of these are few and far between, and not for lack of trying by the Songaskia. Massive expanses of desert separate most cities, meaning that much of their publicized wealth and power is chained to its holders, who themselves rarely move around.
- Many massive propaganda campaigns have been carried out around Aloria by the Masaya, in some attempt to make it known that Qadir and Songaskia are unrelated. Unfortunately, this information is often ignored or unknown, and the concept of a relation between the Qadir and Songaskia still continues to trouble the Masaya.