Tuthina

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The Kyriarchate
皇國
Emblem of the Monarchy
Motto: Hyunhwa Yipnyang
"勛𦻏揖𦦬" (Literary Tuthinan)
"All merits and prosperity shall bow complaisantly"
Royal anthemTey'ëw
"帝謳" (Literary Tuthinan)
CapitalSakan
Largest city Mintupo
Official languages Literary Tuthinan
Religion Ecclesiarchy
Demonym Tuthinan
Government Theocratic absolute monarchy
 -  Kyriarch Akiyasu
 -  Regent Anteko
 -  Chancellor Chen Chia-man
Legislature Court of Worthies
Formation
 -  Establishment February 17, 1311 BCE 
 -  Myuwen Reform 616 BCE 
 -  Unification under Sakan 731 
 -  Katëk Reform 1964 
Area
 -  Total 646,008.43 km2
249,425 sq mi
 -  Water (%) 4.9%
Population
 -  2014 census 95,176,284
 -  Density 147.3/km2
381.5/sq mi
GDP (PPP) 2014 estimate
 -  Total $3.844 trillion
 -  Per capita $40,381
GDP (nominal) 2014 estimate
 -  Total $3.466 trillion
 -  Per capita $36,404
Gini (2014)43.9
medium
HDI (2014)0.898
very high
Currency Tuthinan tael
Drives on the left

Tuthina, officially the Kyriarchate (皇國), is an island country in Esquarium, sharing a maritime border with Senria to the southwest. Its territory is collectively known as the Tuthinan Home Islands, an archipelago estimated to contain more than 10,000 islands in the Voragic Ocean, forming an island chain separating the smaller Tuthinan Sea from the ocean. According to 2014 census, the archipelago is home to approximately 95 million people, inhabiting about 800 of the islands.

An absolute monarchy with theocratic elements, the Kyriarchate adheres to the state ideology of Kwoktay, an indigenous ideology commonly considered an offshoot of national conservativism with heavy focus on monarchism and anti-nationalism. It is ruled by the Kyriarch, a position held by Akiyasu since 2010 under guardianship of Regent Anteko. Often seen as a decentralised country, the majority of domestic affairs within the Kyriarchate is delegated to its constituent states, with the central government responsible for country-wide policies including military and foreign relations.

The Home Islands has been home to numerous ethnic groups since neolithic, with the earliest attested indigenous people on the archipelago being Encu and Eteo-Lahudicans. They were later joined by migrating Ama and Monic people, marking the beginning of chalcolithic and iron age to northern Lahudica respectively. A decentralised country founded as an alliance between tribes and city-states, the Kyriarchate's eventual unification of the archipelago in the millennia after its foundation nonetheless allowed many native population to retain local culture and tradition, with more foreign ethnic groups joining the Tuthinan population through its expansion in trade and influence.

The Kyriarchate was founded in 1311 BCE as a coalition of city-states and tribes led by the White King of Tanyang, making it one of the oldest surviving political entities in Esquarium. The first millennium of its history, called the Classical period in Tuthinan historiography, was marked by its expansion across the South Island and, later, surrounding islands in the archipelago. Commonly seen as the period where the central government has the most power over local affairs, Classical Tuthina saw the beginning of gradual unification of the islands both politically and economically, leading to the rise of Tuthinan high culture from the mixture of population under its banner.

The millennium-long expansion ended in 121 CE, where the burden of prolonged military expansion finally led to a collapse of central government, with its vassals and military governors gaining significant autonomy and waging warfare against each other for power and prestige in a period known as the Age of Disorder. Having only nominal influence outside immediate vicinity of the capital, the Kyriarchal government finally splintered in 430 CE, where a great fire destroyed the capital city of Tanyang and killing the majority of the Kyariarchal lineage. In the ensuring chaos and struggle, three separate lineages from the original Kyriarchal house established their own base of power, leading to the Age of Three Thrones that ultimately ended in 731 CE, with the Sakan branch declared the indisputable Kyriarchal lineage.

Following its unification and subjugation of remaining indigenous polities, the Kyriarchate rose to prominence as a thalassocracy. Helped by its insular geography, the Kyriarchate began to expand its oceanic trade outside the archipelago, reaching continental Borea and, eventually, Nordania at the beginning of the second millennium. Following the First Tuthinan Expedition in 1169 that saw formal establishment of trade across the Voragic Ocean, Tuthina became a prominent player in transoceanic trade in Esquarium as trans-Voragic trade exploded in the 15th century, with Asgård of Sjealand, Phyennay and Mintupo of Tuthina becoming major hubs of transoceanic trade in the region.

Influx of resource and new ideas led to a golden age in the Kyriarchate called the Palingenetic period or simply the Radiance. Lasting from 15th to 18th century, it was characterised by development and maintenance of sophisticated high culture of Tuthina, facilitated by wealth accumulated by the nobility and merchants. Introduction of foreign art theory and material also led to rapid development of local art like painting, architecture and music to benefit from their exoticism.

Although being one of the earliest states in Esquarium to undergo industrialisation, rise of nationalism and nation states since the 18th century saw erosion in the influence and power of the Kyriarachate, seeing significant reduction in international trade before and during the Volatile Century. Its defeat in the Great Borean War by Xiaodong was considered the end point of undisputed Tuthinan hegemony in western Voragic Ocean, later followed by the Great Republican Uprising, the most destructive civil war in Tuthinan history.

Today, the Kyriarchate is considered a major power in possession of a blue-water navy. Many also regard Tuthina having significant soft power, with memberships in multiple international organisations including Monic Union and the International League, playing a major role in their establishment. It is also the historical centre of the Tengkong system, a historical alliance and system of cooperation and trade that remains active to this day.

Names

Unlike most other countries in Esquarium, Tuthina does not utilise toponym or demonym in its official name, referring to itself simply as the Kyriarchate. In Literary Tuthinan, the sole official language of the Kyrarchate, the country is called hwangkwok (皇國). Hwangkwok is a compound noun comprising hwang (皇), which is believed to stem from the White King (白王), and kwok (國). Together, it can be translated literally as "the White King's realm", the lineage of whom Kyriarchy base its political legitimacy.

The word Tuthina is an exonym ultimately of unknown origin. It is first attested in Latin during the last years of the Latin Republic as one of the "foreign people from the west" who inhabited on islands west of the continent. While there are no consensus on the nature or whereabout of the Tuthinan people mentioned in the text, most agrees it does not correlate to the inhabitants of the Home Islands, but is simply borrowed during early contact between the two continents.

Geography

An altitude map of the Home Islands. The central mountain ridge divides the main islands into two, each with their own distinctive geography and climate.

Comprising the majority of land in Lahudica, Tuthina is one of the largest achipelagic countries in Esquarium, with an area of 646,008 square kilometre spread across about 10,000 islands as the Tuthinan Home Islands. It lies between latitude 14°N and 83°N, and longitudes 123°E and 174°E, stretching 7,120 km from south to north and 5,580 km from east to west.

The Home Islands comprises two partially-overlapping island chains predominantly formed by convergent boundary of tectonic plates. The east-west island chain is geologically older, forming approximately 256 million years ago through collision between Hyperborean plate and Voragic plate that led to their merger. The south-north island chain contributing to the majority of land mass in Lahudica is younger, reaching its height around 16 million years ago as a result of collision between Borean plate and Voragic plate. The collision caused significant stress against the eastern part of the Borean plate, leading to its fracture forming and submerging the Lahudic plate about 5 million years ago, with the resulting deluge usually seen as the beginning of Pliocene. While primarily formed by convergent boundary, the southernmost islands in Tuthina, known as Himuka islands, are formed primarily by divergent and transform boundary instead.

Due to its geology, Tuthina is a primarily mountainous country, with mountain ridges dividing the few plates of notable size. The largest plain on the archipelago, Yosipalu plain, occupies the western seaboard of South Island, with Lyongcyek mountains forming its eastern boundary and Tonghifza range its southwestern boundary. The highest point of Tuthina is the summit of Mount Sinkaw on North Island, at 4,862 m. Thenkyeng lake, located on North Island between two ranges, is the largest lake in the Home Islands, with a surface area of 4,331 square km and a maximum depth of 32.9 m. Next to the capital city of Sakan and connected to the ocean by Nupkipet canal in Mintupo, the lake once saw significant maritime traffic as the end point of Tengkong trade missions.

The two largest islands of the Home Islands, commonly called the South Island and North Island, comprises the majority of land of the archipelago. The South Island (Ama: sayttang, "east land" or "new land") is the most populous island of Tuthina, with a population of 65 million in 2014, or almost two third of that of the entire country. Its western seaboard, dominated by Yosipalu plain, is the traditional heartland of the country, being the first place settled by the migratory Monic people, as well as the first territory under Imperial rule. Its largest city, Phyennay, was a major political and cultural centre of pre-modern Tuthina.

The North Island (Itak: porosir, "large island") is slightly larger than the South Island, although its colder climate and more mountainous terrain resulted in a smaller population compared with its southern counterpart, the majority of which being the aboriginal Encu people. However, since the foundation of Sakan in 430 as the capital of the Sakan branch of the Kyriarchal house that eventually united the Home Islands, its importance has been steadily increasing, with its largest metropolis, Mintupo, serving as both the largest city in the Home Islands, as well as the de facto centre of government of the Kyriarchate.

Climate

Landscape of northern Yosipalu plain, South Island.

Tuthinan Home Islands contains a great variety of climate due to its extent, ranging from tropical savanna climate in the southernmost islands in Himuka, to tundra in the northernmost islands in Rokol. With the majority of its landmass located in the temperate zone, the archipelago is subjected to year-long westerlies that brings significant rainfall to the western coasts. The Lyongcyek mountain range dividing western and eastern shores of North Island and South Island also has a profound impact on the climate of the archipelago, as its height creates a rain shadow on the leeward side, intensifying rainfall to the west while producing foehn wind to the east, leading to formation of temperate rainforest in the west and steppe in the east.

Landscape of northeastern South Island. Rain shadow cast by the central mountains result in a more arid climate producing hilly steppe.

The climate of the western coast of North Island and South Island is predominantly oceanic climate, of marine west coast and subpolar variety respectively, characterised by year-long heavy rainfall and overcast days. With the exception of northern Yosipalu plains, oceanic climate is confined to a narrow strip of coast limited by the coastal hills of Iworso range on North Island and Tonghifza range on South Island. The inland valleys and basins, formed by geological fold alongside convergent plate boundary west of the central mountains, is dominated by the more arid humid continental climate. The more profound seasonal change and lower rainfall in central North Island and southern Yosipalu allows them to be one of the few places in the Home Islands with significant agricultural output. East of the Lyongcyek mountains, the eastern coast of South Island features cold semi-arid climate due to the warm and dry foehn wind. Eastern North Island, on the other hand, often features dry winter variety of humid continental climate, with the northern coast of the island having subpolar climate amplified by polar easterlies.

Natural-colour image of a large vortex off the coast of eastern Tuthina, traced by algal bloom due to high level of nutrition caused by upwelling.

Located at the middle of Voragic Ocean, ocean currents play a huge role in shaping the climate of the Home Islands, with four ocean gyres surrounding the majority of its land. The combination of it and prevailing trade wind and westerlies for Himuka and the main islands respectively not only results in a complex combination of climate and environment for the Home Islands, but also allow relatively easy travel across the sea to mainland Borea and Nordania, both playing a major role in shaping the inhabitants of the archipelago and their countries.

The western seaboard of the archipelago forms the eastern boundary of both Tuthinan Gyre and Pongpathic Gyre in their eponymous seas. The former forms the cold Tuthinan Current flowing southward, while the latter forms the warm Retar Current flowing northward. This leads to a more moderate oceanic climate in western Tuthina, as well as creation of highly productive coast in western South Island, resulting in both a more moderate oceanic climate in western Tuthina, as well as high food production historically. As a result, the western seaboard has traditionally been one of the most populous regions of the archipelago, and was the political heartland of the Kyriarchate since its formation.

Eastern coasts of the islands are subjected to western boundary currents by northern Voragic oceanic gyres. The presence of submerged continent comprising southeastern islands of the archipelago resulted in the warm Kemmïl Current flowing northward from the tropics following the island arc. Converging with the cold Rokol Current from northern Voragic Ocean east of Daran Strait, the resulting coastal upwelling forms one of the more productive wild fisheries in Esquarium, and has been a major source of food for the native population since prehistoric times.

Climate data for Phyennay, South Island
Month Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec Year
Average high °C (°F) 8.4
(47.1)
9.2
(48.6)
10.0
(50)
12.6
(54.7)
15.9
(60.6)
17.6
(63.7)
19.7
(67.5)
19.2
(66.6)
18.4
(65.1)
14.2
(57.6)
10.8
(51.4)
8.4
(47.1)
13.7
(56.67)
Average low °C (°F) 2.2
(36)
2.6
(36.7)
3.4
(38.1)
4.2
(39.6)
7.7
(45.9)
9.3
(48.7)
11.4
(52.5)
11.3
(52.3)
9.9
(49.8)
6.4
(43.5)
4.7
(40.5)
2.1
(35.8)
6.27
(43.28)
Precipitation mm (inches) 115.8
(4.559)
87.5
(3.445)
97.9
(3.854)
96.8
(3.811)
114.4
(4.504)
105.3
(4.146)
85.6
(3.37)
76.9
(3.028)
84.7
(3.335)
95.4
(3.756)
90.5
(3.563)
105.3
(4.146)
1,156.1
(45.517)
Mean monthly sunshine hours 98.5 123.3 140.4 173.2 181.0 188.6 186.1 167.3 142.9 117.8 88.2 79.7 1,687
Source: Commandry of Keepers, Ministry of Works


Climate data for Sakan, North Island
Month Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec Year
Average high °C (°F) −3.5
(25.7)
−2.1
(28.2)
2.6
(36.7)
11.7
(53.1)
17.7
(63.9)
22.9
(73.2)
25.8
(78.4)
26.3
(79.3)
21.6
(70.9)
14.8
(58.6)
5.8
(42.4)
−0.8
(30.6)
11.9
(53.42)
Average low °C (°F) −12.3
(9.9)
−12.7
(9.1)
−6.3
(20.7)
0.0
(32)
5.4
(41.7)
11.6
(52.9)
15.9
(60.6)
16.8
(62.2)
11.2
(52.2)
3.9
(39)
−2
(28)
−7.9
(17.8)
1.97
(35.51)
Precipitation mm (inches) 69.6
(2.74)
51.3
(2.02)
54.0
(2.126)
47.6
(1.874)
64.8
(2.551)
63.6
(2.504)
108.7
(4.28)
133.5
(5.256)
130.9
(5.154)
104.3
(4.106)
117.2
(4.614)
96.6
(3.803)
1,042.1
(41.028)
Mean monthly sunshine hours 46.9 70.5 128.1 176.9 253.8 262.4 258.2 237.3 166.6 99.7 36.1 27.0 1,763.5
Source: Commandry of Keepers, Ministry of Works

Biodiversity

Although connected to mainland East Borea with two island chains, Tuthinan Home Islands is believed to have been separated from the continent by water since at least the beginning of Pilocene more than 5 million years ago. The separation is generally attributed to the fracturing of the eastern Borean plate due to its convergence with the Voragic plate. The fracture resulted in the creation of Lahudic plate which soon become submerged in a major deluge. Since then, geographic speciation and island effect has given rise to a separate archipelagic ecozone with unique faunal and floral presence.

Flora

Comprising multiple ecoregion due to significant variation in climate and geography, the Home Islands is home to many species of plants, many of which is endemic to Tuthina. One of the most famous plant endemic to Tuthina is Gentiana tuthinensis, also known as Tuthinan gentian flower. Since its discovery in the 13th century, it has gained significant fame and demand due to its biofluorescence of floral guide visible to human eyes in blue or purple.

Many ecoregions in Tuthina belong to forest biome, including tropical moist forest in the southern islands of Himuka, temperate broadleaf and mixed coniferous forest in western seaboard of the South Island and southern parts of North Island, and boreal forest in northern North Island. East of the Lyongcyek water divide, the drier climate lead to predominance of shrubland in the eastern seaboard.

It is estimated that about 60% of the archipelago is forested, primarily in northern and eastern land that was traditionally inhabited by aboriginal Tuthinans. Forests in North Island typically contain a mixture of hardwood like beech and ash wood, and softwood like pine and fir, while South Island forests are characterised by camphorwood, karri and Template:Jarrah, many of which is commonly used in carpentry historically. Tropical rainforest in Himuka archipelago is characterised by hardwood such as teak and mahogany, but has since been mostly deforested for farming. Nowdays, only isolated islands still retain their original vegetation, and are almost all under government protection from further logging.

About half of the forest in Tuthina is second-growth, usually under the management of Commandry of Keepers (Syodongmun: 丄林院, Ventzi: 上林院, Literary Tuthinan: Jyanglimhwen) as royal forest. Originally preserved both for hunting by nobility and as timber reserve for shipbuilding, logging without approval from the Commandry is considered illegal, with the system gradually evolving into modern nature reserve as need for timber for shipbuilding decreased.

Despite the varied climate and vegetation across the archipelago, the majority of land in the Home Islands are traditionally considered non-arable, usually due to being too cold and wet like most parts of the western seaboard, or too dry and hot like southeastern South Island. Pre-modern staple crops in the Home Islands include rice in the southern islands and southernmost area of South Island, and wheat, barley and oat around the Lyongcyek mountains. In addition, fruits like orange, banana and plum are grown and consumed by Tuthinans since ancient times, while the Himuka islands once served as the only indigenous source of sugar from sugar cane before the introduction of sugar beet from Nordania.

Fauna

A leopard cat in Tuthina.

Due to geographic isolation from mainland Borea since the beginning of the Pliocene epoch, many species native to the Home Islands observed divergence with their mainland counterpart, with some species found only in the archipelago and vice versa. Many of them have undergone insular dwarfism or island gigantism as adaptation to the insular environment of Tuthina.

Aquila halilis, commonly known as the Tuthinan mountain eagle, is one of the largest species of eagle known, with wingspan up to 3 m and mass up to 15 kg. Hunted by Finawlan and Carisen since ancient times for rituals and its feathers, it is now considered a vulnerable species due to gradual habitat loss and overhunting in early modern period.

The Home Islands is home to several species of Prionailurus, a genus under the Felinae subfamily more commonly known as cat. Unlike many countries in Esquarium where domestic cat species belong to Felis genus, indigenous Tuthinan domestic cat species belong to Prionailurus genus. According to archaeological and historical findings, both leopard cat and fishing cat has been selectively bred by Tuthinans since prehistoric times, for both pest control and recreation.

Due to the highly nutritious water currents flowing through the Home Islands, Tuthinan coasts are abundant in maritime lifeforms, including various species of fish, whale and squid. Due to lack of sufficient arable land, seafood constitutes the majority of diet of Tuthinans, and thus many of these species are made edible either by fish farming, selective breeding or specific culinary techniques to remove toxin.

History

A modern statue of Emperor Chung'yo, the first Emperor of the Most Serene Empire according to official records.

Claiming to be the oldest surviving polity in the world, the Empire was founded on February 17, 1311 BC by the First Emperor, the leader of a proto-Ka-Ama alliance centred on the city of Tanyang. Following its victory over the Enciw-led forces in Yosiparu, the tribal alliance was transformed into a permanent polity with the First Emperor as its first monarch. According to official history, the First Emperor, who was also the mortal manifestation of the Kamist deity of humanity, granted his descendants the ability to receive divine guidance to lead the Empire after the death of his mortal form. After his death, his younger son was enthroned as his first successor as Emperor Chung'yo. Literally meaning "divine gateway", Emperor Chung'yo was considered the first mikanto, also known as the Emperor of the Most Serene Empire.

A loose confederation of numerous tribes and settlements at birth, the Empire went through a major reform during the reign of Empress Myuwen starting in 616 BC, where the authority of the central government was greatly strengthened at the expense of the aristocracy. Known as Myuwen Reform, the following centuries marked the apex of both Classical Tuthinan art and central authority before the beginning of the Warring States period in AD 120, where the realm was divided into numerous smaller states at war with each other for control over the weakened throne. Lasting six centuries, the Imperial realm would eventually be united under a single monarch backed by the Pulkmith clan in 731.

A Francilian depiction of Tuthinan seafaring vessels, featuring the characteristic Tuthinan rugsail. The simple design of Tuthinan lugsail allow ships to be constructed with lower cost and manned by a smaller crew, allowing a higher availability than contemporary foreign ships. The rightmost ship, called a "duck-aft ship" in Tuthina, was first utilised in the early 17th century in modern Saint-Hadrien, employing Francilian hull design for improved hydrodynamic characteristics.

Combining the existing maritime trade routes maintained by local lords and predominantly Ama pirates who were employed by the monarchy as its standing military, the Empire later embarked on extending its influence and trade network across the ocean, both to acquire additional wealth and exotic goods for the monarchy, as well as to settle the expansive warrior class after the end of Warring States period. Considered to be one of, if not the most powerful polity in Esquarium at the time, the Empire soon became the hegemon of western Borea, with extensive trade and tributary network reaching as far as Namor and Ultima Borealia. Called the Palingenetic period in Tuthinan historiography, it was considered to be the apex of Imperial authority and influence worldwide, being regarded as the most advanced and sophisticated civilisation of the world at the time, with numerous tributes and goods flowing to and from the Home Islands.

The influx of new idea and knowledge from outside world, combined with increase of wealth across Imperial society, resulted in a period marked by great technological, philosophical and scientific advances. Mirroring the idea of Renaissance in other countries such as Vjaarland, the late Palingenetic period of the Empire is also sometimes called the Tuthinan Radiance. Most notable as the period where the progenitor ideas for modern Kwoktay thoughts emerged, advents in scientific theory and expansion of the scholar-gentry class play a significant role in maintaining the power of the Tuthinan Empire after its decline, as well as its industrialisation shortly afterwards.

The seafaring empire entered a gradual decline in the early modern age, as rivalling colonial empires such as Francilie, Vjaarland and predecessor states of Luziyca rose in power and competed for influence against the Most Serene Empire. This, combined with the rise of nationalism countering Tuthinan influence, resulted in the loss of hegemony in many corners of Tuthinan sphere of influence. Nevertheless, the Empire retained its position as a major power in eastern Borea, maintaining on roughly equal footing with other emerging major powers in Esquarium.

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Restored photo of downtown Mintupo, around 1900.

The Home Islands underwent gradual industrialisation during the 18th and 19th century, primarily in the coastal cities and states that benefitted the most from maritime trade during the Palingenetic period. As large scale agriculture became efficient due to advents in technology and administrative system, peasants and lesser nobles alike migrated to the prospering cities in search for opportunity, providing the manpower, investment and knowledge required by emerging industries. Despite resistance from craftsmen failing to compete with mass-produced goods, the wealth produced was enough to lure a significant portion of Tuthinan aristocrats to shift their focus from existing agriculture to industry and the resulting commerce as their primary source of income. Similar to the Junker class in Teutonia, many Tuthinan nobles became industrialists, entrepreneurs and scientists. Today, the vast majority of conglomerates and major corporations originating from the Home Islands could trace their lineage back to these noble houses, many of them still serve as owners and administrators of their family business.

In face of mounting threats of both foreign influence and republican ideology, the Most Serene Empire was a major participant in many conflicts during the Volatile Century, being a major participant in wars such as Great Northern War and Nordanian theatre of the Vjaar-Fjallandic War. The huge cost for sustaining the war and the modernised military, however, put a significant economic burden upon the lower class of the population, especially for the low-skilled labour whose work was gradually replaced by automation. This, combined with the spread of communist ideology, ultimately led to the beginning of a massive peasant uprising in 1957 across the Home Islands.

A refugee carrying a baby in front of an abandoned Imperial tank. It is believed that up to 10 million people were displaced during the war.

The Great Republican Uprising was the biggest civil war in Imperial history, as well as one of the deadliest civil wars in Esquarium, with an estimated death toll between 10 and 25 million. Lasting for more than a decade in Tuthinan heartland of Yosiparu, the Great Republican Uprising significantly weakened the Empire in terms of military and industrial production. Seeing that as an existential threat to both the Imperial government and Tuthinans alike, Emperor Katak initiated the Katak Restoration in the wake of the civil war, utilising the power vacuum left by death of numerous noble houses to strengthen the government through means including reconstruction of infrastructure and government, as well as internal security measures and nation-wide propaganda. Officially called "Thought Enhancement", Imperial propaganda further reinforced the siege mentality first popularised by Muneyasu in the beginning of the 20th century.

Today, the Most Serene Empire is commonly considered one of the more isolationist and xenophobic polities in the world. While the Imperial government commonly sees international cooperation and intervention, especially with the rest of the Tengkong system, significant cultural barrier encouraged by the Imperial government has resulted in great difficulty for foreign business to gain popularity in the Home Islands, and the Tuthinan culture is occasionally commented by foreign citizens and scholars alike to be "alien". Despite, or because of that, the Home Islands is a common tourist destination in many countries, being a major source of income for service sector, especially the lower ranks of prostitution in Tuthina.

Government and politics

The Most Serene Empire is both a theocracy and an absolute monarchy, with multiple aristocratic classes of significant influence. The Emperor of the Most Serene Empire is considered both the ultimate secular ruler of the realm, as well as manifest of Kamist patron deity of humanity. As such, it is commonly said that not only the words of the Emperor is law in Tuthina, but also that the Emperor himself is law within the system. Beneath the monarchy, the government of the Empire is supported by several parallel and sometimes competing aristocratic classes including nobility, clergy, scholar-gentry and military officers. Combined, aristocracy constitutes between 10% and 20% of the entire population of the Empire, with the administrative systems almost exclusively staffed by them.

Officially endorsing the Kwoktay ideology, the Empire is commonly criticised for its distinctive lack of political freedom. With few exceptions such as Kauralaakso, the government of Tuthina is not elected by, or represents the general population, but appointed by either the monarchy or aristocracy. In the vast majority of administrative divisions of the Empire, both elections and political parties are effectively banned since the Great Republican Uprising in fear of encouraging future insurrections. However, political discussions, as well as "purely academic" organisations pertaining to them, are tolerated, particularly in the Imperial College where members are immune from prosecution based on their speeches.

Tuthina is sometimes described as a "pseudo-feudal" country analogous to the ancient decentralised society observed by Nordanian and Conitian historiography. However, this analogy is now discredited, as many of the comparisons are deemed superficial in nature. Outside the Imperial realm directly ruled by the Emperor, the Most Serene Empire is divided into lands owned and governed by the aristocracy, either by inheritance or by appointment. While there are multiple attempts to centralise the Empire with varying degree of success, many of these territories remains effectively autonomous today, with their own variations of law, local government and currency.

Monarchy

The Emperor of the Most Serene Empire (Syodongmun: 𢂇, Tzihan: 帝, Literary Tuthinan: tey, Classical Vernacular Tuthinan: mikanto, Ama: nyelim, Sowal: tadakomod) is the hereditary head of state of Tuthina. As an absolute monarchy, the Emperor theoretically enjoys unlimited power over his country and his population - both being subordinate and, in fact, defined by allegiance towards the monarchy, as exemplified by the name "His Most Serene Majesty's Empire", one of the official translations of the name of the polity.

The title of Emperor bears significant religious connotation since its inception alongside the Empire. Both its Syodongmun and Tzihan character stemmed from the same ideogram for "altar", while its Classical Vernacular Tuthinan word, mikanto, is derived from kanto, meaning "gateway", and mi-, a prefix denoting divinity. Despite its name, the First Emperor never hold this title, as the title was only created by Emperor Chung'yo, as position of the successor of the First Emperor. The etymology of "divine gateway" itself reflects the belief that holder of the title was granted the ability to communicate with the patron deity of humanity for guidance, enabled by bloodline from the First Emperor.

Unlike most positions within Imperial society that could theoretically be gained without restriction by birth, the Imperial throne could only be held by individuals with a recognised patrilineal lineage tracing back to the First Emperor. As such, while female offspring of the lineage can legally be enthroned, her own offspring would in ineligible to the title unless also having a father from the recognised lineage. Although not legally stated, only patrilineal individuals within three generations of previous Emperors are recognised as eligible, both due to belief of the divine lineage being "watered down", as well as concerns over instability stemming from having too many eligible candidates.

Traditionally, heir to the throne is chosen by the reigning Emperor by advice of the Imperial Court. Usually, the heir would be offspring between the Emperor and a member of the Imperial Harem, although exceptions are not uncommon, particularly when no suitable candidate exist in the harem. While the Imperial Harem contain members of all genders from all classes within Imperial society, customarily the heir would be matrilineally related to the dominant noble house at the time, as a means to secure their loyalty and support for stable reign.

Government

The government of the Most Serene Empire, also known as three departments and six ministries after its structure, serves as advisory and executive organ of decree from the monarchy. Claiming to be the oldest surviving government system in Esquarium, the Imperial government was said to be designed and implemented by the First Emperor after the foundation of the Empire more than three millennia ago, with the purpose of facilitating his reign. However, historical evidences suggested the system might have its root in prehistoric Namor before the proto-Monic people split into Kannei Namorese and proto-Ka, and that subsequent reforms had taken place to adopt to local environment and governing philosophy.

Originally, the Imperial government was primarily staffed by Kamist clergy and non-ruling nobles of the realm, who were among the few literate elites of the country. However, as literacy and struggle for power between monarchy and nobility became more and more common during the Classical period, composition of government officials gradually shifted towards educated commoners who had relatively little ties with nobility. Following the Warring States period and implementation of Imperial Examination, the scholar-gentry class rose among the elite commoners as part of the expanding aristocracy of the Empire, and had since dominated the Imperial government.

The Imperial government is divided into three departments:

  • The Chancery is responsible for producing edicts and decrees presented to the Emperor for approval. The edicts can come from wish of the monarchy itself, consensus of the Imperial Court, proposals from government departments, as well as requests from local governments. Imperial decrees that are to be carried out by local government instead of the central government are traditionally delivered to relevant locations through the Chancery as well. It is headed by the Imperial Chancellor, whose traditional role is to personally present the decrees to the Emperor.
  • The Councillery is responsible for reviewing edicts and decrees drafted by the Chancery to ensure they are of proper wording and content, as well as not in contradiction of other edicts still in effect. It also supervise the operations of the Imperial government as a whole through auditing, investigation and other administrative means. It is headed by the Chief Councillor of State, who serves as the primary advisor of the Emperor on administrative affairs.
  • The Department of State Affairs is the executive organ of the Imperial government, responsible for carrying out all approved edicts concerning the central government. Further divided into six ministries for specific roles, the Department of State Affairs is the largest department of the Imperial government. Its head, the Principal Secretary of State, serves as the head of the civil service of the Empire, and is responsible for appointment of high-ranking civil servants.

The Department of State Affairs is divided into six ministries, each headed by their own Secretary of State and further divided into more offices:

  • The Ministry of Civil Appointments oversees the appointment, promotion and demotion of all civil servants and officers of the Imperial government, as well as management of Imperial Examination since its creation.
  • The Ministry of Revenue is responsible for conducting census for the Empire, maintaining land and title records and estimating revenue of local governments and aristocratic demesne. The ministry also implements fiscal policies through collection and distribution of taxes based on information gathered and laws implemented by the Imperial government. Operation of customs is divided between the Ministry of Revenue and Ministry of Militant Affaris.
  • The Ministry of Rites is in charge of ceremonies, state protocols, diplomacy as well as organisation of state functions. Encompassing multiple offices such as Foreign Office and Culinary Office, the Ministry of Rites is often considered the most important ministry of the Imperial government in modern times. State-authorised translation and distribution of foreign material is also handled by the Ministry of Rites alongside the Imperial Censorate.
  • The Ministry of Militant Affairs coordinates the overall military efforts of the Empire, including the appointment and deployment of military officers and units, oversight of armament production and procurement, as well as relaying of military orders between the Imperial General Headquarters and local military formations. Infrastructure deemed critical to Imperial military efforts, such as railroad, highways, airfields and ports are jointly monitored by the Ministry of Militant Affairs and Ministry of Works.
  • The Ministry of Punishments is the judicial branch of the Imperial government, overseeing the implementation of Imperial laws in local levels, as well as reviewing local laws to ensure they do not contradict existing edicts. It is also responsible for administration and funding of local judicial institutes such as courts and jails, as well as management of fine and confiscated property. In legal system of Tuthina, final levels of appeals, as well as criminal cases across the entire Empire, are under purview of the Ministry of Punishments, with its Secretary of State serving as head judge of final appeal when the Emperor is not involved.
  • The Ministry of Works supports and coordinates construction and maintenance of public works and infrastructure, including authorisation of major construction and resource extraction, maintenance of roads and canals, as well as standardisation of weights and measures. Due to variations in local measurements, Ministry of Works is also responsible for converting local production data into standardised forms to facilitate policy making.

As a product of millennia of gradual evolution and expansion of government system, the Imperial government structure is often regarded as overly complicated and dissimilar to more prevalent and modern government systems in foreign countries. Although once adopted by many countries within the sphere of influence of the Empire, most of them have since been replaced, with Tuthina being one of the very few polities to continue its use to this day.

Imperial Agencies

The Orchid Garden in Samtoy is the headquarter of the Imperial Censorate, the biggest Imperial Agency.

Apart from the Imperial government, the Most Serene Empire also employs multiple Imperial Agencies dedicated to administrative needs that are not covered by the bureaucracy. Unlike the government, focus of Imperial Agencies tend to be less permanent, with the agencies themselves established and disbanded according to the need and want of the monarchy at the time. However, it is not uncommon for supposedly temporary agencies to become de facto permanent extension of the government.

Imperial Agency is established by order of the reigning Emperor and reports directly to him. Unlike the rest of the major government branches, there are no codified requirement on membership and position of Imperial Agencies, instead usually being appointed by the monarch or the designated head of the agency. Similarly, the role and authority of an Imperial Agency is determined and authorised by the Emperor without any legal restrictions.

The most well-known Imperial Agency is the Imperial Censorate, the intelligence agency of the Empire. Established during the late Classical period both to survey the expanding country and to spy on the nobility, it is both the oldest and largest agency of the Empire known, with an official size of about 500,000 full-time officers. Since its inception, the role and authority of the Censorate has been expanded multiple times, giving it enormous power to conduct espionage both domestically and internationally, as well as to monitor all mass communications within the Empire, such as mass media and internet traffic.

Imperial Court

The Imperial Court is generally considered the legislature of the Most Serene Empire. Comprising high-ranking members of the aristocracy, primarily the nobility, it is designated as the primary advisory institution for the Emperor of the Most Serene Empire for policy-making. Although the Imperial Court itself has no legal authority beyond advising the monarchy, its composition of the most powerful individuals and clans of the Empire means that it has significant de jure influence within the country.

Imperial Cult

As a theocracy, the Imperial Cult serves as the state religion of the Most Serene Empire, with its clergy incorporated into administrative system of the country in many aspects, primarily in the daily operations of rural communities, as well as maintenance of basic education facilities.

The Imperial Cult belongs to Kamism, an indigenous belief system in eastern Borea. Polytheistic in nature, the Imperial Cult does not deny the existence of other deities in Kamism or other religions, instead focusing on the worship of two deities: Konohanasakuya, patron deity of "earthly delicate life" and the Empire, and the First Emperor, founder of the Empire and patron deity of humanity.

Since the foundation of the Empire, the clergy has played a significant role in governing the realm. Before literacy became commonplace, Kamist priests and priestesses, alongside nobles, constituted a huge part of the educated elites required to maintain authority and implement policies in outlying regions of the country from the central government. The central role of religious figures in Tuthinan society before the formation of the Empire meant they could also pacify the population effectively after being absorbed into the Empire.

While the creation of scholar-gentry class as dedicated bureaucrats lessened the need for priests to administer the realm, the heavy religious connotation of the monarchy, as well as high regards for the priesthood in society, nevertheless consolidated the emerging Imperial Cult as an integral part of both government and society. In particular, the priesthood remained the most influential organisation in the Empire in rural area to this day, and parochial schools continued to provide the vast majority of elementary education for commoners in the Home Islands to this day, receiving significant support from the government as part of Katak Restoration.

Non-Imperial Cult religious authorities

As the state religion of the Empire, membership of which is part of prerequisite of citizenship, all Tuthinan citizens are members of the Imperial Cult by definition. However, due to its polytheistic nature, individuals are allowed to follow more than one religion at the same time. Combined with the relatively loose tenets of the Imperial Cult, many practitioners of non-Kamist faiths opt to retain their citizenship and avoid religious prosecution by claiming to practise both their original faith and the Imperial Cult at the same time. Usually, that require some degree of syncretism to make the different religions compatible, especially for monotheistic beliefs.

Although the majority of Tuthinans practise some form of Kamism first and foremost, administrative divisions with dominant non-Kamist faith exist. The most famous of which is Hazel Islands, which is predominantly Tuthinan Christian. In these places, these dominant religious organisations often hold a similar position as the Imperial Cult in the rest of the Empire, maintaining religious services and civil administration alongside the rest of the government. Large enough religious organisations are often offered seats in the Imperial Court as a recognition of their power.

Imperial General Headquarters

The Imperial General Headquarters comprises the highest-ranking members of the Armed Forces of His Most Serene Majesty, and is its highest decision-making organ alongside the Ministry of Militant Affairs of the Imperial government. Apart from the military force, the Imperial General Headquarters is also the default authority in both areas under Tuthinan military occupation, as well as administrative divisions designated "military garrison" (Syodongmun: 𨦸, Tzihan: 鎭, Literary Tuthinan: cin). Originating as frontier fortifications, military garrisons remained under military authority due to their strategic importance for the Imperial government, either due to location or specific facilities.

Foreign relations

Foreign relations of the Most Serene Empire are the responsibility of the Foreign Office of the Imperial Ministry of Rites. Commonly perceived to be a xenophobic country with frequent violations of human rights deemed fundamental in many democracies, relations between them and the Empire tend to be poor, although democracies that are also members of the Tengkong system enjoy a cordial relations with Tuthina, alongside members of the Monic Union and the Iron Pact. As an absolute monarchy, the Empire also enjoys friendly relations with Nevanmaa due to its support towards monarchism.

"Axial Doctrine"

Foreign political commenters have noted that since the Volatile Century, the grand strategy for the Most Serene Empire has been remarkably consistent. Called the "Axial Doctrine" or "Axial Theory" (Ventzi: 樞軸論), it is claimed to be the foundation of modern Tuthinan foreign policy with the eventual goal of creating, expanding and reinforcing its own sphere of influence in Esquarium as safeguard against hostile regimes.

Proponents of the Axial Doctrine claim that after the Great Republican Uprising, the Imperial government firmly believed the spread of democracy, in particular liberal democracy, constituted an existential threat towards the Empire and Tuthina as a whole. As such, one of the hidden agendas of Katak Restoration is to reinvent the existing Tengkong system, not only to strengthen existing economic, political and military ties with its allies, but also forge new alliances with polities of similar goal to counteract the influence of "hostile ideologies".

It is believed that the Axial Doctrine comprises of proactive diplomatic actions that seek to foster closer relations with several major countries and political blocs, including what would become the Iron Pact, Nordanian League, as well as Borean and Lahudic countries near Tuthina such as Kebenajaya and Xiaodong. Since the end of the reign of Emperor Katak, the Empire is suggested to have developed cordial relations with both Koyro and Vjaarland, as well as varying degree of economic integration with the former and the rest of the Tengkong system.

Political analysts further postulate that the ultimate form of Axial Doctrine would be a global economic, cultural and military alliance between Iron Pact, NOSDO and Tengkong system, with the Most Serene Empire serving as the axis of the metaphorical wheel. Namor and Esquarian Community, commonly considered to be the ideological antithesis of Tuthina, are said to be the intended target of this encirclement.

Officially, the Imperial government deny the Axial Doctrine as a government policy. Hiroyuki Tesigahara, the Secretary of State of the Imperial Ministry of Rites, states that the Axial Doctrine is "cynical propaganda fuelled by anti-[Tuthinan] sentiment", and that the Empire has "always been supportive towards friendly polities with goodwill".

Military

Commonly considered to be a major power and local hegemony in Lahudica and eastern Borea, the Most Serene Empire maintains an expensive military force capable of global power projection. Unlike the military of many other countries, the largest branch of the Tuthinan military in terms of personnel is its naval branch, the Sea Forces of His Most Serene Majesty, owing to the far extents of the Home Islands as an archipelagic polity.

Officially, the Empire utilises conscription to supplement its professional army, especially after the Great Republican Uprising significantly reduced the number of available manpower. Deriving from levy and town watch of the past, the pangnin (Tzihan: 防人) system fulfils the role of national service and civil defence of the Empire. Although also used as regular conscription, participants of pangnin generally serve as local law enforcement and other public service instead.

Demographics

Ministry of Revenue of the Imperial government conducts population census every five years, corresponding to years ending with digit 5 or 0 in Tuthinan calendar, translating to 4 or 9 in Gregorian calendar. According to census conducted in AD 2014 (MT 3325), the average total fertility rare of Imperial citizens is 2.36, continuing the trend of slow decrease since the 1989 census. The majority of population increase in Tuthina is due to natural birth, although the introduction of more than 120,000 Northern Negroes immigrants from Nevanmaa to Kauralaakso beginning from 2015 is expected to form the majority of new population in 2019 census.

The Imperial government recognises five gender-sex combinations, commonly translated as masculine male, masculine female, neuter (of both sexes), feminine male, and feminine female. As of 2014, the vast majority of Tuthinans are registered as either masculine male (47%) or feminine female (52%). The total human sex ratio of 0.87 is primarily caused by huge male casualty during the Great Republican Uprising: sex ratio at birth is estimated to be 1.00, while elder sex ratio is 0.47. Feminine male is the third largest gender in the Empire, comprising about 1% of the population, while almost no individuals identify themselves as masculine female or neuter.

Ethnicity

The Empire is generally considered to be one of, if not the most ethnically diverse country in Esquarium, with the largest ethnic group constituting slightly less than 20% of the total population. Combined, the indigenous ethnic groups of Tuthinan aborigines and Enciw comprises slightly more than half (50.4%) of Tuthinans, while Ka, the ethnic group claimed to inherit the proto-Ka people who founded the Empire, comprises slightly less than half of that number.

Languages

Similar to ethnic groups, Tuthina houses a great variety of languages, and is sometimes considered one of the largest and most diverse sprachbund in Esquarium. The lack of writing system outside Literary Tuthinan-based Syodongmun poses major obstacles in classifying languages spoken across the Home Islands. Current theories usually divide indigenous Tuthinan languages into four major groups, either as language families or language isolates with divergent dialects.

The biggest linguistic group belongs to the Oceanic languages, comprising the languages of Tuthinan aborigines who inhabited the majority of the Home Islands since the Neolithic period. It is estimated that around 40% of all Tuthinans, most of them inhabiting eastern Home Islands, speak an Oceanic language as their native tongue, which also includes the lingua franca of the Land Forces of His Most Serene Majesty.

Vernacular Tuthinan languages is the second largest linguistic group. Distantly related to Senrian, its members are spoken by roughly 25% of the population centred around the western seaboard. Classical Vernacular Tuthinan, considered the oldest surviving form of Vernacular Tuthinan, is considered the language of internal diplomacy and upper class in general.

Both Ama and Itak language are considered language isolates as no genealogical relations with other known languages had been established. Although closely related to the Koy language, Ama and Koy differs primarily in lexicon and phonology, with the former more often preserving features of its earlier forms, and is usually considered mutually intelligible. Relatively small in native speaker population, they remain in common use as lingua franca of the navy and air force of Tuthina respectively.

Official language

Literary Tuthinan language is the sole official language of the Most Serene Empire. Spoken by the proto-Ka people who migrated to Lahudica 3,500 years ago and founded the Empire, it differs from the official language of most countries in that it is a dead language, as native speakers of Literary Tuthinan ceased to exist roughly two millennia ago, being assimilated into native languages such as Vernacular Tuthinan languages. However, it remains in frequent use as the literary and liturgical language of the Empire and the Imperial Cult to this day. Syodongmun, as a written form of Literary Tuthinan, is used to write virtually all languages in Tuthina, benefitting from its logographic nature.

Due to complex ethno-linguistic distribution in the Home Islands, the majority of Tuthinans are considered multilingual. Apart from their native language, Tuthinans who received higher education are generally fluent in Literary Tuthinan, and some form of Vernacular Tuthinan languages are widely taught in elementary education as auxiliary language since Katak Restoration. Additionally, members of the Imperial military tend to learn the lingua franca of their own branch with varying degree of fluency.

Economy

Currency

Energy

A nuclear power plant complex in Litec Nemnem, eastern South Island. A Generation III reactor, it is one of the most advanced commercial nuclear reactors in operation in Esquarium.

Energy production in Tuthina is dominated by nuclear power, contributing 78% of total electricity production of the country in 2014, one of the highest percentages in Esquarium. First beginning operation in 1962 as part of the Tuthinan nuclear weapons program, the proliferation of nuclear power in Tuthina receives great support from the Imperial government, both to reduce reliance on imported fossil fuel and to increase production capacity of nuclear weapon: environmentalism was not included in official statement concerning Tuthinan nuclear energy development until 1986.

Both total output and percentage of nuclear power in energy generation has been steadily increasing for decades in face of rise in demand for more power. As such, the Empire is generally considered to be among the most advanced countries in design and construction of nuclear power plants, adopting experimental designs such as Thorium-based nuclear power reactors.

Renewable energy is the second-largest producer of electricity, accounting for 15% of power production, the majority of which being geothermal energy (10%) due to the Home Islands being located on tectonic plate boundary. Apart from electricity generation, geothermal heating and hot spring is also commonly utilised by Tuthinans for various purposes.

Fossil fuel provides the remaining 7% of energy for the Empire. As geology of the Home Islands precludes sizable fossil fuel deposit, virtually all of it is imported from closely-affiliated countries such as Koyro and Xiaodong. In 2016 Esquarian Summit, Anteko, Regent of the Most Serene Empire, stated that fossil fuel consumption in Tuthina is expected to drop in the "foreseeable future" in face of technological development in nuclear and renewable energy. However, it is speculated that fossil fuel in the Home Islands will not be completely phased out, due to diplomatic concerns with Xiaodong and its influential coal industry.

Resource

Formed alongside tectonic plate boundaries converging at north-western Great Ocean, the Home Islands is rich in many mineral resources, most notable of which being gold and silver. At the same time, frequent tectonic and volcanic activities result in lack of sizeable fossil fuel deposit on land. High availability of metallic ore in both the Home Islands and eastern Borea is believed to play a vital role in the relatively early development of metalworking by Ama and proto-Ka people.

The highly varied climate of the Home Islands, caused by complex interaction of prevailing wind and ocean currents, drastically reduces the area of arable land compared with locations of similar latitude and general climate. Even with introduction of rice and other high-yield crop from continental Borea by Ama and proto-Ka migrants, many Tuthinans soon turn towards pastoralism and fishing as the primary form of subsistence in face of population growth. Despite effort to expand arable land area through public work and agricultural technology, it is estimated that less than 10% of the Imperial realm is capable of supporting intensive farming today. As such, seafood and dairy products comprises up to 80% of nutritional source for average modern Tuthinan diet.

Infrastructure

Architecture

Similar to Nevanmaa, buildings in the Most Serene Empire are strongly encouraged by law to utilise traditional architectural style. However, it is considerably laxer than its Nevan counterpart, with only deconstructivist and brutalist architecture being explicitly banned. Buildings with aesthetics deemed to be observing traditional aesthetics are given financial benefits such as tax reduction in relevant fields not enjoyed by those pertaining to modern architecture. Contrary to popular belief, traditional architecture of non-Tuthinan and non-Monic cultures receive similar benefits as Tuthinan traditional style, including Conitian classical architecture and Nordic Classicism.

As part of manifestation of the conservative Kwoktay state ideology, the majority of Tuthinan buildings adhere to traditional Tuthinan and Monic architectural style. In order to overcome the inherent inefficiency, the Imperial government has been supporting development of architectural technology and "respectful reinterpretation" of traditional aesthetics. Sometimes called Monic neoclassicism, the combination of modern building technology and traditional style has been the dominant architectural style of the Empire, as well as friendly Monic polities receiving construction aid from it.

Transportation

Maritime

With its population scattered across hundreds of islands in the archipelago, maritime transport is the predominant form of transportation in Tuthina. A traditional thalassocracy, the Empire has a well-developed maritime industry supporting its extensive international shipping lanes. The high capacity and speed of maritime transport, combined with rolling terrain of the Home Islands, makes watercraft a vital component of Tuthinan infrastructure since its early days, particularly for the seafaring Ama people, who traditionally dwell in houseboat. Since the Palingenetic period, the Empire has been maintaining a dedicated shipbuilding industry, utilising its many deep water ports to cater to both maritime commerce and naval force.

Road

Out of the total length of more than 300,000 kilometres, the vast majority of road in the Home Islands are constructed and maintained by local governments with assistance from the Imperial Ministry of Works. Many interstate motorway, however, are within purview of either the central government or the military. As part of the post-civil war reconstruction and national defence scheme, most major cities on the North Island and South Island are now interconnected, allowing rapid military deployment against potential invasion or insurrection.

The fragmented geography, however, limits the capacity and extent of the Empire's road network. The longest motorway in Tuthina is located at the western seaboard, connecting the southern tip of South Island to Hyperborean coast of North Island. With a total length of about 2,200 kilometres, the southern and northern portion is connected by car carrier between the Daran strait through the island of Mbala. A tunnel across the channel has been proposed since before the Great Republican Uprising, but technical difficulties and cost continue to prevent its construction to this day.

Air

Lineart of a large amphibious aircraft. With a capacity of 72 passenger or 7,500 kg cargo, it constitutes the majority of domestic flights in the Home Islands.

Throughout the 20th century, increased need for military presence and rapid deployment against potential naval invasions saw the construction of numerous transport seaplane and outposts across the smaller islands of the archipelago, especially ones too small to house larger infrastructure. Originally reserved for the military, advents in military technology has rendered they ineffective, gradually relegating them for civilian use to this day. Although lacking in capacity, the flexibility and low maintenance cost of seaplane routes means it is the most prevalent vehicle for short domestic flights between small islands.

Culture

Since ancient times, the culture of Tuthina has received significant influence from multiple, often distinct sources. What is commonly considered the core of Imperial Tuthinan culture today stems from that of the Kwa people, part of the Monic peoples who migrated from Namor during the Great Monic Migration. Since their arrival at Tuthina and creation of the Most Serene Empire more than three millennia ago, the original Monic culture has enjoyed extensive mutual influence with native cultures from the Great Steppe, eastern Borea and Tuthinan Home Islands. Combined with a lack of nationalist notion that push for cultural unification of population, the highly diverse ethnic composition of the Empire is commonly attributed for the highly-varied modern Tuthinan culture.

As a whole, Tuthinan culture is generally considered to be very conservative, further reinforced by both of Tuthinan Kamist teachings and Kwoktay policies. Almost all native ethnic groups in the Home Islands observe ancestor veneration to a certain degree, and it is commonly believed that any reforms on culture or society contrary to practices of the ancestors would be unfilial and impious, as well as actively harmful as offended ancestors would retract their protection from them. Similarly, as traditionally Tuthinan rulers, including the Most Serene Empire itself, derive their legitimacy through observation of guidance from ancestral practices, radical changes in customs are often considered to be a threat to stability, both for government and society as a whole.

While defined as socially conservative due to a cautious approach to social reforms, the status quo of Tuthinan society differs significantly from many other cultures in Esquarium. It is often said that Tuthinan views and laws on homosexuality, prostitution and recreational drug use are among the laxest, or "most liberal" on the planet, due to lack of taboo or - in the case for prostitution - enjoying a status of veneration on these issues. At the same time, infanticide and Nopi, a societal institution commonly considered to constitute slavery, is also legal and widely practised across the Home Islands.

Art

While some form of art has been present in the Home Islands since its earliest human habitation, the current form of Tuthinan art, in particular that of high culture, is believed to have ultimately originated from the nomadic Kwa people during the Great Monic Migration. Due to lack of surviving records, the first Kwa art dated back to around 1500 BC, shortly after they made landfall in Yosiparu.

Before the invention or, less likely, introduction of hemp paper in Tuthina during the late Warring States period, the majority of art in Tuthina was based on non-written arts such as ceramics and sculpture. While bamboo and wooden slips, as well as Monic cauldrons have preserved earlier writing and painting, their high cost and weight is believed to have significantly limited their circulation to the ruling elites.

A combination of increase in wealth and exchange of foreign ideas across the planet through expansion of transoceanic trade during the Palingenetic period caused Tuthinan art to experience tremendous evolution during the Tuthinan Radiance. Apart from adaptation of art form and medium such as impasto and oil paint from Nordania and Conitia, native art form also adopted certain characteristics from the outside world, usually pertaining to application of mathematics in art.

Modern Tuthinan art retains a significant amount of traditional Tuthinan aesthetics, but at the same time, many art has adopted a multitude of medium regardless of their origin, in particular popular culture. This is most commonly observed among coastal cities of the Home Islands, where contact with foreign entities are both common and constitutes a significant portion of customer base.

Aesthetics

Philosophy of Tuthinan culture, in particular Kamist religious philosophy, has a huge influence on the aesthetics of all Tuthinan art form through the ages and across most medium in the country. Since the 20th century, several unique attributes to Tuthinan aesthetics have been considered definitive of Tuthinan culture and thus receive notable endorsement and patronage from the upper class of the Empire.

One of the most common elements of Tuthinan aesthetics is the pathos of things, sometimes also translated as lacrimae rerum. As its name implies, it is a pathos - appeal to emotions - based on the nature of all entities in the world. Usually, the pathos of things focuses on the impermanence and suffering inherent in the nature of the world, particularly for human being. Despite the sorrow disposition of these elements, however, the pathos is considered to have both a positive and negative side. Tuthinan Kamist mythology teaches that the transient nature of life is beneficial: the existence of boundary between life and death serve to "condense the essence of life" so as to drive kam of a being to strive for accomplishment.

Pathos of things is sometimes combined with the Kamist notion of Tree Will, where all beings have a purpose where fulfilment is necessary for true happiness. Sometimes interpreted as a death drive where one who has fulfilled one's purpose should embrace death so as to preserve the perfection achieved, this is often called "death worship" or "obliteration of the Self" by foreign scholars. Its prevalence within Tuthinan culture is, however, unknown, and is said to be explicitly unendorsed from the Imperial military.

Another common aesthetics of Tuthinan art is anthropomorphism, where non-human objects are given human characteristics, if not assume human form in art. Similar to other elements of Tuthinan aesthetics, this is rooted in Kamist belief of everything having possession of their own kam, or spiritual essence, like human. As such, Tuthinan expressionism often depicts non-human beings as human with characteristics with non-human characteristics, while humans sometimes also receive non-human (usually animal) characteristics to reflect certain aspects of mind. This is most commonly used in relations to Tuthinan aborigines, who have a long history of adopting animal characteristics such as ears for garment, believing that it will grant them additional power.

Literature

With one of the longest written histories in Esquarium, Tuthinan literature can be dated back more than three millennia ago, when the Kwa people introduced Syodongmun to the Tuthinan Home Islands. Early Tuthinan literature were mostly written versions of earlier oral traditions, as well as (often semi-legendary) accounts of interactions between Kwa settlers and native population. As religion continued to play a significant role in Tuthinan society since then, folkloric and religious overtone continue to be a common feature of Tuthinan literature since the foundation of the Empire.

Spread of literacy during the first millennium of the Empire saw a drastic increase in literature, with one of the first novels known being written in Literary Tuthinan around the first century AD. Similar to other art forms, Tuthinan literature often contain a strong focus on subjective experience of characters, sometimes at the expense of detailed and realistic depiction of physical reality. Sadness, impermanence and general human imperfection are common themes of Tuthinan literature, its format allowing them to be conveyed more often than other traditional art form.

Music

Originating as a nomadic Kwa instrument, it is said that the first bone fiddles were made with body parts of one's cherished horse after death, with bone as its main body. Nowadays, most bone fiddles are made of wood, with the scroll carved in the likeness of a horse's head.

While the different source of music in Tuthina results in use of multiple musical scales, virtually all known native Tuthinan music scales pertain to pentatonic scale. In Imperial music theory, the most prominent pentatonic scales in use - in particularly court music - are the "bright scale" (A minor pentatonic: A-C-D-E-G) and "dark scale" (B minor pentatonic: B-D-E-F#-A).

A combination of the bright and dark scale results in a E minor heptatonic scale (E-F#-G-A-B-C-D). It saw a rise in popularity in the Empire during late Palingenetic period, possibly due to introduction of Nordanian and Conitian heptatonic music scale.

While unnamed and traditionally unmarked, microtonality is often employed in Tuthinan music for a more complex performance. It is hypothesised that microtones originated as minor improvisation used to express and invoke specific emotions based on circumstance, before becoming a regular feature in Tuthinan music.

Portamento, a smooth sliding of pitch from one note to another without discrete intervals, is a common element in traditional Tuthinan music. It is also often characterised by a descending tendency, going from higher pitches to lower ones, as well as from loudness to softness.

Tuthinan music utilises a variety of musical instruments, particularly woodwind instruments and bowed string instruments. Among them, bone fiddle, believed to be in use by Kwa people since the Great Monic Migration, is often considered the most iconic Tuthinan instrument.

Painting

While painting has existed on the Home Islands for several millennia since Neolithic times, in terms of high art, Tuthinan visual arts mostly originated from ancient Monic culture, thus sharing significant similarities with its Namorese counterpart.

Stemming from application of ink brush used for writing, ink wash painting (Literary Tuthinan: suymok hwa) is the predominant form of traditional Tuthinan painting since the Warring States period. While painting with multiple colours exist, the vast majority of pre-modern ink wash painting are monochrome, usually black-and-white due to common use of black ink.

Aesthetically, Tuthinan art bears notable semblance to the more modern expressionist art movement, in that depiction of the "spirit" of subject is considered more important and artistically superior than its appearance. As such, it is not uncommon for Tuthinan artists to distort physical reality and objective appearance in order to convey subjective sensation such as emotions and concepts.

During the Palingenetic period and modern age, influx of foreign art style from Nordania and Conitia alike contributes to artistic evolution of Tuthinan visual arts, primarily in technique such as application of graphical perspective. However, while mathematics in art drastically improved accuracy in depicting reality and appearance, subjective expression continued to dominate Tuthinan aesthetics.

During the 20th century, propagation of mass media, as well as influence from popular culture such as cartoon leads to rise of modern Tuthinan art. Characterised by extraggerated appearance and expression as well as traditional expressionist aesthetics, it is first popularised in the Empire through newspaper comic strips, where limitation of medium encouraged such art style for improved readability.


Cuisine

Usually grilled before consumption, Tuthinan cheese roll is a popular snack in the Empire.

Unlike the majority of Monic cultures, Tuthinan cuisine does not feature many food made directly from crop due to its severe lack of arable land in its heartland. With the exception of the subtropical southern islands and the southern tip of South Island, the majority of population in Tuthina before advent in modern agricultural technology and science relied heavily on pastoralism (primarily pastoral farming) and fishing for subsistence. The lack of dominant foodstuff, combined with the multitude of cultures and ecosystems in Tuthina, gives rise to the diverse cuisine of the Empire.

Tuthinan cuisine primarily consists of dairy product, seafood and vegetable, often supplemented by secondary foodstuff such as rice, meat, animal fat and honey. Traditionally, alcoholic beverage is produced from honey or rice, due to lack of availability of other sources in the early territories of the Empire.

Before the introduction of beetroot, production of sugar in the Home Islands was severely limited as only the southernmost islands could grow sugar cane. As such, before both were introduced in early Palingenetic period, honey was the sole source of sugar for almost all Tuthinans. Because of that, honey serves a pivotal role in Tuthinan haute cuisine, as well as other aspects of its culture. Apart from using it as an additive to enhance taste and preserve food, it is also commonly used as offering to ancestors in religious functions.

Media

Media industry of Tuthina is quite robust and varied, owing to sizeable presence of multiple ethnic groups in, and decentralised nature of the Empire. Like most other major industries, media in the Empire is dominated by family business of the aristocracy, often utilising their companies to supplement government function in their territory. As such, there are no truly nation-wide media outlets in Tuthina, although some of the largest media businesses generally enjoy decent coverage in the majority of the country, usually by endorsement from the monarchy.

According to legal system of Tuthina, all public publication require approval from Imperial Censorate to proceed, in order to "prevent the spread of hazardous misinformation and anti-[Tuthinan] propaganda". To enforce this, all permits of printing and publication are assigned at least one full-time officers from the Censorate depending on scale, whose approval is required for legal publication of material. In practice, these officers are reported to enjoy considerable freedom to use their discretion when deciding what constitutes forbidden material. Because of that, publishers tend to garner favours from their assigned censors to ensure smooth publications.

Philosophy

Tuthinan philosophy is strongly influenced by the religious cosmology of Tuthinan Kamism, the indigenous belief system of the Home Islands. Generally considered a mixture of animist and polytheistic belief, Kamism as a whole teaches that every entity in the world, including both animate and inanimate beings, as well as abstract concepts, possess distinctive spiritual presences called kam. Unlike the monotheist Abrahamic religions where divinity is unique to a single God, both soul and divinity are considered identical in the form of kam.

The belief in omnipresence of kam in Kamism is said to manifest itself in idealism and, to a lesser degree, dualism that dominated philosophical circles of the Empire. Most philosophical schools in Tuthina suggest that some form of mind, or kam, formed the basis of reality, or at least playing an essential role in it. The dominant position of mind over matter is often reflected in various forms of art of Tuthina, most commonly in the notion that expressing the mentality of the artist and the work itself is more important than depiction of physical reality.

Traditionally, Kamist philosophy holds that all beings, from humanity to inanimate objects, are equally sacred due to the presence of kam, and reverence is required to form a mutually-beneficial relationship between them. Often, this is reflected in frequent anthropomorphism of non-human beings by Tuthinans, where they are treated as sentient beings with their own characteristics, and lack of care can lead to them working against the user. This is most prominently demonstrated in the Armed Forces of His Most Serene Majesty. Apart from the presence of on-board shrine dedicated to the spirits of larger armament such as warships, mechanics and engineers responsible for maintenance of armament tend to belong to the Imperial Cult, who conduct pacifying rituals in addition to physical maintenance.