The Cynosure Temple
The Cynosure Temple is a fairly large nation with the capital city found on a large secluded island situated on Lake Laogui. The nation itself is located in the Cyno land, not far from the region’s capital city, which is considered neutral and not part of any one nation. Along with River Yui, whose location is unknown, they were the instigators in the formation of the region into a single entity known as Cynosure, uniting the nations together into a single pact.
The Cynosure Temple is entirely governmental run, with the government being lead by a Council of Nine, at the head of which is the Grand Master, whom is a member of the nine and is semi-autonomous in various degrees. The council manages all general affairs of the nation, including enacting legislation. They also nominate and appoint the heads of various sub-guilds who manage the internal affairs of nation on behalf of the council. When there are disagreements among members of the council, it often evolves into referendums and there is a high level of political interest by national citizens along with a few high profile political shows. While the nation generally follows current fashion when it comes to clothing, the Council of Nine is known for wearing long flowing robes that are stylised to make them look subservient to their population.
The Eight Guilds
There are eight Guild’s within The Cynosure Temple, each dealing with a central aspect of keeping the nation running. Each Guild is symbiotic with each other, utilising other Guild’s resources as and when members of a particular Guild need to. Each Guild is further subdivided into a number of Sub Guilds (SG) who provide a specialised makeup of that Guild. Each Sub Guild is lead by a Guild Specialist, who make up that Guild’s individual Council, and who lead that individual Sub Guild.
Most adult citizens are members of two Guilds. The first is always the Citizen’s Guild, which is the largest Guild in the nation and represents a cross-national Guild that keeps citizen’s informed and politically active. The second is the Guild that runs their chosen occupation or specific focus. For anyone unemployed, this is usually dependent on their chosen hobby, and is usually either the Science or Cultural Guilds. All child citizens are considered to be within the Education Guild, but are not considered active members and cannot participate in the same way. Children join the Citizens Guild and become recognised adult citizens in the Temple at aged sixteen.
The eight Guilds are as follows:
Citizens Guild: represents Citizen interests and manages the Home Office, which collates public opinion and runs referendums.
Security Guild: represents the security and defence of the nation, and manages and oversees the armed services.
Science Guild: represents the scientific and technological aspects of the nation, and oversees research and technological integration.
International Guild: represents other national interests alongside the Cynosure Temple’s interests in other national affairs. It is quite an influential Guild given the recent creation of Cynosure as a regional entity, spearheaded by The Cynosure Temple.
Health Guild: represents the Health, Food and Environmental affairs of the nation, as the government considers all three interlinked.
Education Guild: represents Education and Equality, as the government considers both interlinked.
Justice Guild: represents both Justice and Mercy. It has long been the case in the Cynosure Temple that the government attempts to rehabilitate those who do wrong rather than just imprison them.
Culture Guild: represents Culture, Media and Sport in the region.
In addition to the Council of Nine, River also attends most Council meetings, although she is not considered a Councillor in her own right.
While Guild Leaders are elected by the populace, they are linked directly with their own Guild and can be recalled by the Guild membership. Each Sub Guild has the power to elect Sub Guild leaders who then fall under the overview of the Guild Leader and run the day to day management of their relative Sub Guild. The eight Guild leaders form the core of the Council of Nine. The ninth is elected from members of the Council with a replacement then elected into their place. The Head of Nine represents the Council as a whole, rather than a single Guild, and is supposed to embrace all aspects of the Council, covering all eight Guilds in their purview.
New acts of law are produced through the nation on a need-as basis by a coordinated effort between leading members of each Guild, who are professionals of the Guild at the height of their careers, SG Legal, who produces the legal version of the act, SG Citizens Online, who produce a simplified breakdown of the act, and artificial intelligent agents, who gather necessary facts that offer an unbiased view of the issue at large.
Once a new act has been completed, it then goes to a binding vote of agreement within the Guild who founded it, as well as a non-binding vote to all Citizens on Citizens Online. If the binding vote passes, the act proceeds up into the Council of Nine. The Council of Nine then uses the commentary and non-binding vote by normal citizens, alongside their own views and the interests of their Guild, to either approve the act, passing it into law, or veto it, passing it back into the Guild. A successful passage by the Council requires two-thirds approval. A successful veto starts the process of conducting the law again, and the Council returns the law with comments on why it was veto’d by each member.
The system is designed so that those who are considered the professionals of their field are called upon to dictate the rules on how that field is handled, and are empowered to change them should the situation change. It is also not uncommon for members within the Guild to petition their heads to make changes should the need arise.
It is not uncommon for Guild’s to pass laws that affect a number of other Guilds too. A prime example is the Health Guild, who have a number of Health and Safety related legislation on the books that affect all sorts of activities that occur in other Guilds. These laws can have amendments drafted for them by the affected Guild in question. When the completed amendment act goes to vote, it has two binding votes to pass, one in the Guild who drafted the amendment, and one in the Guild who drafted the original legislation being amended. Both have to pass for it to succeed.
However, Guild’s cannot pass legislation that doesn’t cover their mandate. An affected Guild who is subject to legislation passed by another Guild that is outside of that second Guild’s mandate can have that legislation struck out by the Courts, and that has happened in the past. Due to this, on the rare occasion that an act is presented to the Council of Nine in this fashion, it is usually almost unanimously veto’d.
Most local areas are further governed by a Citizen’s Assembly, who are made up of individual citizens living in that area. They make policy decisions on things that are needed in the local area, as well as petitioning Guild leaders for any positive legal changes.
Head of Nine: Estrad Wuufu Sex/Age: M/38
Represents: Council of Nine
Dark black, cropped hair and pale eyes, with a calm reflexive smile, Estrad Wuufu makes for an imposing figure. As the head of the Cynosure Temple, one of the most influential nations in the region, he is well known throughout the region.
- SG Citizens: Management of the ident card system, Temple National Bank, and the Citizens Bureau which provides advice to citizens.
- SG Citizens Online: Management of online governmental services, which include referendums and political opinion.
- SG Real Estate: Management of housing and real estate; works with Science Guild’s SG Construction.
- SG Transport: Management of the centralised transport system.
- SG Sanctum: Management of migration, both immigration and emigration.
Deputy Head of Nine: Lyrao Boud
Represents: Citizens Guild
Lyrao is naturally blind, but wears a slim ribbon, usually styled with brown leaves, that allows her advanced technological sight. She is not very emotive, and doesn’t normally make public appearances, but her organisational skills leave her doing most of the actual running of the nation, leaving Estrad to manage external affairs.
- SG Police: the Police force of the nation, it is further divided up into regional departments. Police do not carry arms.
- SG Rescue: the Fire and Rescue department of the nation; again, further divided up into regional departments. Doesn’t include the ambulance service, managed by the Health Guild’s SG Health.
- SG Temple Defense Force: the Armed force of the nation, it is further divided up into Army, Navy, Air Force and Home Guard. The Home Guard is an extension of all three units that acts as an armed police and rescue force.
- SG Intelligence: the central intelligence bureau reports directly to the Head of the Council of Nine.
Councillor of Nine: Freya Mute
Represents: Security Guild
With shortish cropped brown hair and dark brown eyes, Freya is in her mid thirties and is an active member of the council. Being in charge of security, she often oversees the Temple’s security arrangements and provides a link between the nation’s armed forces to the Council. A very strong character, she can be quite fierce and she has often been the make or break member of the council when passing resolutions.
- SG Research: oversees the scientific and technological research community, with both dedicated researchers and researchers in education. It was this Sub Guild whose members developed River.
- SG Tech: manages technicians and engineers with regards to advanced technology in the nation, including energy, water and waste management.
- SG Digital: manages software engineers, including those working for creative purposes, though excluding video game developers.
- SG Video Games: an offshoot of SG Digital focused at the video gaming industry.
- SG Construction: manages the construction industry, as and when it is used. A lot of this industry is now automated, and this SG is the middle guild between Citizens Guild’s SG Real Estate and SG Tech.
Councillor of Nine: Ayan Kripti Sex/Age: M/31
Represents: Science Guild
With English being Ayan’s secondary language, there have been times when he’s had to ask for translation or meaning on various phrases, but that shouldn’t let you look at Ayan in a bad way. Extremely intelligent and representing the scientific community to the council, he is more than capable.
- SG Foreign Office: manages ambassadors and embassies in other countries.
- SG Embassies: manages ambassadors and embassies residing in The Cynosure Temple.
- SG Tourism: manages tourism and promotion for The Cynosure Temple.
- SG Trade: manages trade with other nations.
Councillor of Nine: Ray Tera
Represents: International Guild
Ray Tera is the newest member of the Council, and is relatively unknown. Her passionate speeches to reach for peace and cooperation with others in the region resonated in the population already excited about the foundation of the region and the increase of diplomatic clout the Temple now holds, and their hopes have been placed firmly with Ray. Relatively short, with cropped brown hair and brown eyes, she maintains a confident stance and is very expressive in character.
- SG Health: manages the healthcare system, from doctors to dentists to the ambulance service.
- SG Food: manages the food system for citizens, including food stamps and grocery stores.
- SG Farms: manages the food system for food producers.
- SG Environment: oversees environmental issues and enforces the strict environmental law; a rather powerful Sub Guild.
- SG Welfare: oversees social care, that of care to humans and animals, and public health and safety codes.
Councillor of Nine: Cassie Holt Sex/Age: F/24
Represents: Health Guild
Cassie Holt is the youngest councillor on the Council of Nine, being in her mid twenties. She is renowned for wearing dye in her blond hair and black boots under her robes. She is very passionate about what she does and is very popular with the younger crowd, although the rest of the Council sometimes doesn’t take her as seriously.
- SG Education: the higher of the four Sub Guilds, works with the others to provide an overarching curriculum, and also oversees equality issues within the nation.
- SG Schools: manages the primary and secondary level school system.
- SG Universities: manages the university level school system.
- SG Knowledge: manages the museums, galleries, libraries and virtual reality learning centres in the nation.
Education Guild in detail
The Education Guild is in charge of educating citizens at all stages of their lives, from pre-school all the way through to museums and libraries.
SG Education oversees the education system, providing an overarching curriculum within all areas of the Guild. It also oversees equality issues within the nation as a whole, with the idea that educating citizens on how to live in harmony with one another is the way to get a cohesive functioning society.
Teachers operate under their respective sub guild (SG Schools or SG Universities) with the possibility of teachers advancing into SG Education from there. Teaching is a highly respected institution, with entry as a teacher at either of these levels requiring vigorous training with high ranked grades given, and teaching wages are set at the highest of the wage bracket available alongside members from the Health Guild.
All education within the Temple is free to citizens, and chargeable to non-citizens. Most classes are small, and tend to be no larger than twenty students.
Children in the Temple are able to attend non-compulsory pre-school once they pass their first birthday, and are able to stay within this up until they are seven years of age. During this time, the only structured learning comes from learning how to read and write. All other learning happens through play, where children learn through experience rather than being taught directly in classrooms. A lot of these play based activities are spent outdoors, and it is not uncommon for younger children to be left to nap outside, and older children (six years of age) to go on camping based field trips. While such schooling is not mandatory, it is widely utilised.
From seven years of age, children enter a nine-year comprehensive school system. Students are taught to research, and while exercises in memory retention are undertaken, students are assessed through practical coursework over testing. Outdoor activities are stressed, even in cold weather, and homework is minimal to leave space for extra-curricular activities. Reading for pleasure is encouraged.
While the SG Education sub guild sets the syllabus, it is greatly influenced by all other Guilds in the nation, and the specialised subjects reflect Guild undertakings. Alongside Tempian (the Temple’s language), Cynosii (the regional language), Maths, and the four sciences (Biology, Physics, Chemistry, and Computing), the Temple also offers a number of subjects from the other Guilds, which include:
- General Awareness and History from the Citizens Guild
- Handmade Products from the Science Guild
- Language Studies and Geography from the International Guild
- Health Studies, Environmental Studies and Cooking from the Health Guild
- Equality Studies from the Justice Guild
- Sports, Art and Music from the Culture Guild
In all areas, teachers are given a wide berth in how they teach the syllabus, and utilise artificial intelligent agents and androids to facilitate teaching. Advanced students often help those who are struggling. Schools are kept clean and informal and it is not uncommon for students to walk around in socks. Uniforms are present, are informal in nature as well and are usually made up of simple colours in nature.
All of these subjects are taught in full at earlier levels of the compulsory school system, but in the last two years students specialise in both the two core languages, maths, and computing, and can then pick four to six from specialised versions of any of the above subjects as to their skills and desires.
Once students finish the primary level of education at aged sixteen, they can then go onto secondary level. The secondary level of education within the Temple lasts for a further four years and while optional, is also highly utilised.
The secondary level provides highly focused versions of three or four subjects in preparation for a University entry degree, laying the foundation work for even more specialised teaching.
At this time, they also become registered active citizens and join the Citizen’s Guild.
Once students leave the school system, they can then decide to enter the university system. The university courses are run by members of each Guild’s recruitment department, who include members from the Guild who wish to teach what the Guild has to offer, and are more akin to structured training courses, teaching the necessary skills to work in each particular field. Most courses are three to four years in length with the final year being on-site training with active members of the Guild. Exceptions include courses in medicine and some science related courses, which are longer.
The University system also offers mature students two year extensions where necessary skills from the secondary system are re-imparted.
Students can then move from University into an active role in their chosen Guild, or continue onto more courses in the University system, becoming research graduates for their respective Guild. Should they wish to remain in their system, they must then become either research assistants for professors, or take a teaching course to become a professor themselves.
SG Knowledge manages and maintains the museums, galleries, libraries and virtual reality centres throughout the region. Nearly all are multi-Guild collaborative efforts, and all of them are free to access to everyone who visits, with security checks made on visitors.
Museums and galleries look pretty similar to how they look today, with very little change, though digital guides have improved dramatically and photography (minus any flashes) are allowed.
Libraries, while still stocking some paper-based books on a permanent basis, are mostly digital, with giant servers and printing presses. Visitors can borrow (if a citizen) or purchase (if anyone else) paper-based books and have them printed within an hour ready to take away, or have free e-book versions sent to their devices for reading.
Virtual reality centres provided racks of multiple computers with VR capable hardware, allowing for a multiple range of media, gaming or other entertainment to be perused by the masses and played in a multiplayer shared environment.
Councillor of Nine: Johnathan Sovar Sex/Age: M/42
Represents: Education Guild
Black hair, glasses and the Dean of Temple Central University, Professor Johnathan Sovar has risen through the ranks until being elected as a genuine figurehead of the educational establishment. A forerunner in reforming the educational system for the benefit of both students and staff, he has been instrumental in establishing less testing, more practical work, and more support for teachers.
- SG Legal: manages the law of the nation, from producing law, to advising on law, to summarising it to ensure ordinary citizens understand it when they discuss it. This sub guild is the powerhouse behind legal referendums and works closely with the Citizen’s Guild’s SG Citizens Online.
- SG Courts: manages any necessary court cases in the region.
- SG Rehabilitation: manages the prison network, which is a collection of rehabilitation centres that help criminals learn how to become productive members of society in a relaxed environment.
Councillor of Nine: Elrohir Singollo
Represents: Justice Guild
Elrohir is the oldest member of the council, and has declined the leadership no less than three times in his career as Councillor of Nine. With greying hair and a rather fine beard, he is also the most conservative member of the council and does his best to protect tradition.
- SG Sports: manages a wide variety of sports leagues, all of which have a varying size of avid followers.
- SG Media: oversees the media, with a wide variety of open media sources (which enables citizens to run their own media) alongside the government’s own media companies, including the Temple News Network.
- SG Arts: manages the larger arts establishments, including cinemas, theatres, and art galleries.
Councillor of Nine: Yuri Janis Sex/Age: M/28 Represents: Culture Guild
Yuri Janis is the most visible councillor in the nation. Known to be rather outspoken, he is also very prominent in one of the leading political chat shows that air in the nation. Being named one of the top ten most handsome men in the nation, with spiked brown hair and dark brown eyes, helps boost his popularity.
Council Ministries are departments that work for the Council of Nine as a whole, and as such have managers within every level of the other Guilds keeping things ticking.
- Ministry of Accounting – Ensures correct budgets
- Ministry of Efficiency – Ensure efficiency
- Ministry of the Council – Council management
Temple City is the capital city of the Cynosure Temple despite being only the second largest city in the Temple in both size and population. It holds the Council of Nine’s council chambers, the nation’s Supreme Court and the various external embassies of external nations. Around half of the city is found on Temple Island at the center of Lake Laogui, one of the largest bodies of water in the Cynosure Temple, with the rest of the city found on the surrounding land that surrounds the lake in a large oval, with large bridges separating central island from the surrounding land.
Herber Bay is a very small island just off the south of Temple Island and is completely off limits to both ordinary citizens and visitors. Owned and run by the Security Guild, it’s the headquarters and training grounds of the Temple Defence Force, with both above ground and underground levels.
Embassy Complex can be found in an oasis in the center of Temple City, and is run by the International Guild. It’s comprised of two core buildings. The biggest is a relatively tall glass building with traditional Japanese overhangs and a flat roof that surrounds three sides of a rectangular central courtyard, in a U shape with the long side being at the bottom of the U. At present, the building is mostly empty, but is still fully staffed with engineers and cleaners, both human and automated, that work on behalf of the International Guild. The parts that aren’t empty form the core embassies that reside in the Temple, as chosen by external nations on a first come first served basis. The building is ultra-modern, fitted with super fast petabyte Cybernet connections and state of the art facilities.
On the fourth side of the courtyard, taking up two thirds of the length of the side, is a crescent shaped building with two glass structures that form the inner sides of each part of the crescent. This shares the same ultra-modern fittings and facilities, and is the headquarters of the International Guild of the Temple, allowing easy access for ambassadors from the Temple and other nations to intermingle. It also contains a number of commercial outlets, cafés and restaurants.
The central courtyard has a number of fountains, with a very large cherry tree found in the middle. Citizens from all nations mingle with a strong visible police presence, one of the few places where agents of the Security Guild are found to be most apparent.
The largest city in the Cynosure Temple by a considerable margin, Kanatsu is a residential and commercial hub, with most of its focus on education, research and development, and creative endeavours. All eight guilds have an extensive presence in the city, and while it does have an extensive tourist pull for those interested in a highly efficient and modern city, the city is mostly full of those both learning to be great, and those straining to be acclaimed. It has earned the nickname “the city that never sleeps”, as have many cities throughout the world, and it is a hive of activity at all hours, with most things running 24 hours per day, 7 days per week.
The third largest city is a testament to the environmental laws the Temple upholds, and a cultural hotspot of the nation. Filled with trees and skyscrapers, it offers many modern cultural highlights. The Taharan Chasm is a well known cultural hotspot, and the River Wyne travels under the city, through an underground dam, and out the side of the city into the chasm below to continue its journey down towards the sea.
The fourth largest city is also the oldest of all the cities in the Cynosure Temple. Known for listed buildings going back hundreds of years, it was surprisingly unscathed by the civil wars that were the bane of the Temple’s history. It borders the largest protected national park in the Temple, the Sanctum District, which extends for around 1400 square miles and contains numerous towns and villages within.
There are a total of 81 registered cities in the Cynosure Temple, 390 registered towns, and over 1000 registered villages or communes, with the majority (64%) of the population spread out amongst the cities, and the rest distributed amongst the towns and villages/communes. Kanatsu, the largest city, holds around 54 million citizens, almost 3% of the populace.
The Cynosure Temple’s economy is a rather odd affair, given that it’s entirely owned and run as a public enterprise, with private enterprise illegal. To understand how it works, it’s best to look at the circular notion of how economies in general work and then relate that to the Temple.
To start with, all citizens in the nation receive a standard annual wage of around 20k Elisions as soon as they are 16 years of age. This is also the time citizens get a full ident card, a registered bank account with the Temple’s National Bank, and the allowance to work should they wish. They are also allowed to move into a house of their own at this time.
Since a lot of the processes of the Temple’s economy is automated, most jobs involve a managerial, educational, technological, cultural or otherwise creative role, and all jobs are listed under one of the eight respective Guilds. Getting a job only adds a small extra to the wage, giving a 2-4k annual extra, making work unnecessary for good living. As such, those who do work do so on an almost voluntary basis, and are often dedicated to their job to the point of fevership, with awards used to promote good work.
While a high majority of able workers do work, those who don’t often engage their time in creative endeavours of their choosing, which makes the output of the nation in terms of free products extremely high. Creating and consuming creative endeavours are the highlights of the nation as a whole.
A standard 70% tax rate is taken back from the national wage and is used to fund the Guild’s activities. This includes funding both the additional wages for those working, as well as any resources needed by the guilds to fund their work or produce.
Before we move onto the 30% cut of wages, it should be noted that all citizens get free housing, free education, free healthcare; all funded through this central mechanism, and all citizens get free food provided through food stamps. Houses are given free appliances by the state as chosen by the citizen which are maintained.
As such, the 30% kept, post tax, is used by citizens to pay for extra food not covered by the stamps, household products not covered by the state (especially technological products) and trips abroad. It should be noted that extra household products are produced on demand and delivered direct to the consumer, meaning there are only showcase stores. It’s also important to note how all of these are extra resources not provided for by the Guilds.