The Triskelian Republic of Khmet (TRK)

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The Triskelian Republic of Khmet (TRK)

Post by Xah » Tue Jul 30, 2019 1:08 pm

The Triskelian Republic of Khmet
Population: 590,000,000,000
Capital: Raqote
Official Language: Khmetian
Demonym: Khmetian
Government
- Pharaoh: Ra-Amum Teph
- Iry-Pat: Horemheb
- Haty-a of Akusaa: Mer-amen-se-amen
Legislature: Grand Council of Nomarches
The Triskelian Republic of Khmet
"Better an honourable failure than a half success."

The Triskelian Republic of Khmet, more commonly known as the TRK or just 'Khmet', is an A1 Client hailing from the arid world of Iteru. Their ancient civilisation can be traced back thousands of years, having been space-faring for at least one thousand of those. Usually resistant to rapid change, this has led to a tendency for Khmetian culture to stagnate, although several periods of upheaval have occurred. This conservative view has led to the current system which has remained stable for over a thousand years.

Khmet could be literally translated as 'the people of the river' or 'those who depend on the river', representing the deep dependence triskelian civilisation had on the rivers of their homelands.

The standard way to refer to a citizen of the TRK is simply as "Khmetian".

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Re: The Triskelian Republic of Khmet (TRK)

Post by Xah » Tue Jul 30, 2019 1:09 pm

History

Khmetian dates are set by the foundation of the TRP, known as Before Republic (PR) or After Republic (AR)

Prehistory and Ancient Khmet

History of Khmet stretches back far into antiquity. Rock carvings and cave paintings in desert outcroppings have been dated almost 50,000 PR and there is archaeological evidence of a hunter gatherer culture in the area. Climatic change or over-grazing desiccated the lands and resulted in a shift to a pastoral and arable civilisation around the Re river delta, where an abundance of fertile land led to a surge in population and by around 30,000 PR, there is evidence of several complex civilisations developing in the region.

At about 15,000 PR, the Pharaoh Ra-Amon unified the settled lands of Iteru into a one nation, and the Ancient Khmet civilisation grew in both population and technology. It was a period of great monument building, with many of the large pyramids and statues still decorating the area to this day. Trade flourished, and Khmetian culture became established across the world. It was from this period, the two Khmet traditions of Temple Bonding and Guilding arose, as the priests and craftsmen looked to preserve their crafts from theft. Seventeen dynasties came and went over the next ten millennia, the fortunes of the kingdom waxing and waning, at times stretching across the continent, yet sometimes barely managing to exert influence beyond the Re delta. By around 2,000 PR, a succession of weak rulers, secession movements, and climate change resulting in a reduction in the annual river flooding, led to the once supra-dominant Khmet being reduced to just the eastern parts of the river delta and the coast westward.

Mid-historical Khmet

For the next thousand years, Khmet struggled by as a shadow of its former glory, a choice target for raiders and treasure hunters, the ancient tombs and mausoleums stocked with the riches of Ancient Khmet. Whenever the nation was threatened, the population retreated to the desert or the marshy lands of the delta and waited for the threat to pass. Only the fortified city of Raqote stood firm against all comers. Khmetian culture changed very little during this time, with the Temples and Guilds retaining their accumulated knowledge and the country growing more insular over the centuries. Occasionally a more fore-sighted Pharaoh would revitalise the people and it would quickly grow and assimilate the knowledge of the age, but before long, the largely inbred and moribund dynasties that had held sway over Khmet since ancient times would fail and the country would retreat into itself again.

In 856 PR, seeking to break this cycle, a cabal of Nomarches broke the power of the Temple and Guilds and in an event known as the Day of Judgement wiped out everyone in the Khmet monarchy bloodline. Gathering in the capital city, they established a new bloodline into the monarchy with much reduced powers and handed most of the authority to the Nomarches themselves. A revitalised Khmet began opening up and was soon jockeying with other triskelian nations for wealth and influence. The Temples and Guilds remained, but had lost most of their authority to the new Nomarch gathering.

Pre-republic Khmet and revolution

As the time progressed, the politics of Khmet were held in a triumvirate balance between the monarchy, which manged to claw back some power over the centuries, the Nomarches, and the priests and guildsman, who still held the accumulated knowledge of Khmet's culture and technologies. However, a new power was slowly growing, one born of the new ideals of democracy and freedom; the people. Protests demanding greater democracy and voting rights accelerated over the decades, with crack-downs becoming more harsher. The Green Revolution in 164 PR was the largest attempt until that point and resulted in the arrest, secret trial and execution of more than 8000 voter activists, the imprisonment of a dozen Nomarch 'sympathisers' and the dissolution of four of the eighteen Guilds in Raqote.

In 43 PR, the throne of Khmet was taken up by Pharaoh Hasemmet III. Riding a surge of popularity due to his democratic leanings, the Nomarch council sought to have him removed, fearing that a popular monarch with democratic ideals threatened their hegemony. Their first attempts, threatening to expose the Pharaoh's illicit relationship with a commoner backfired, as the view that the Pharaoh would choose one of them over the nobility, fired up the populace even more. On the 16th of Innundation, 37 PR, the Nomaches gathered their security forces and marched on the palace, seeking to overthrow the new monarch and replace him with his much less democratically minded cousin. Hasemmet gathered his own forces and, with the support of both the general public and the Temples and Guilds, defeated the Nomarches. People surged into the streets of all Khmet's major cities and the power of the Nomarches was broken. Abdicating soon after, Hasemmet declared the Pharaoh should from then on be an elected position, getting elected to the position soon after, to no one's surprise.

The Democratic State of Khmet

The constitution created after what became known as the Pharaoh's Revolution set up an elected Pharaoh, chosen every five years, along with a Cabinet selected by the Temples and Guilds to advise. Legislation was determined by a vastly de-powered Grand Council of Nomarches, still made up of members of the old aristocracy who were appointed and removed by the elected Pharaoh. This set-up worked for 35 years until the newly elected Pharaoh Pterak refused to work with the Cabinet chosen for him by some of the Temples. Dissolving the government, a new constitution was created, with a Pharaoh elected to serve for life, but with reduced power, and a fully elected Grand Council of Nomarches providing the legislative branch. Elected regional rulers, known as Haty-a manage most of the daily matters. It was from the implementation of the new constitution that the dating convention begins.

The Republic of Khmet

The new republic soon flexed both its military and diplomatic muscles, and began its slow creep over all of Iteru. Triskelian society was broadly homogenous, thanks to the spread of Ancient Khmet and the single-continent geography of Iteru. Language and culture was already closely aligned and through the mechanisms of alliance, annexation, conquest and treaty, eventually all of Iteru was once more unified by Khmet.

The system showed no signs of the constitutional problems that affected its predecessor. The Guilds still held a large monopoly on technology and industry and the Temples retained their power too, with religion still a major part of the life of Khmetians. Technology levels soared, with space travel resulting in a major period of expansion for the Khmet. By the time of the Gate opening, the Republic of Khmet had settled most of the worlds of its own system, with slower-than-light probes on route to the neighbouring systems.

The arrival of the Nexus

When the Nexus made contact in 1,132 AR, it caused a short period of disruption for the Khmet, but eventually things settled back down as the opportunities became apparent. The Khmetians have been vigorous and active members of the Nexus Council, securing rights over three of its nearest Resource Universes, and building a large city within its own Enclave. Trading technology began, but the conservative nature of triskelians has meant progress has been slow.

The current year is 1,924 AR, the Pharaoh, Ra-Amum Teph has been in power for eighteen years and has a cordial relationship with his Grand Council and is a strong advocate for increased participation with the Nexus.

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Re: The Triskelian Republic of Khmet (TRK)

Post by Xah » Tue Jul 30, 2019 1:09 pm

Home world

Iteru is a largely arid planet, with polar oceans separated by a single equatorial continent. Plate tectonics are slow, but planetary rotation is fast, leading to a largely well-eroded world with a short day/night cycle. Mountains are relatively common, but low-lying, and the majority of the landmass is taken up with expanses of arid or semi-arid biomes. A pronounced axial tilt means rainfall is seasonally frequent in the mountains, but almost non-existent elsewhere, so rivers ebb and flow , fertilising their valleys frequently. It is these valleys, and their deltas, that were the focal points for triskelian civilisations.

Demographics

Population
Total population: 590 billion (est.)

The majority of triskelians still reside on their home world, although the largest city is the Nexus-side Enclave of Akusaa, with a population of over 8 billion housed in massive arcologies. Advances in agriculture, water management and genetic modification of crops and animals in the early years of the Republic enabled the de-coupling of the seasonal floods from food production and a surge in population. Almost 50 billion live off-world in the system, mainly on the terraformed worlds of Shepen-aput and Hat-schep-u, but also the tens of thousands of mining and extraction platforms scattered throughout the system. Khmetian colonies in designated Resource Universes total to around 90 billion, with another few tens of millions scattered up and down the Nexus in Enclaves.

Language
Khmetian spoken language is broadly typical of an air-breathing species, with sounds made by the inhalation and exhalation past specialised vocal organs and moderated by the change in shape of the orifice involved. It is typically quite deep and tonal, being on range of around 0.1 to 10 kHz.

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Re: The Triskelian Republic of Khmet (TRK)

Post by Xah » Tue Jul 30, 2019 1:41 pm

Religion

The only religion practiced in Khmet is the same polytheistic one that has be practiced, largely unchanged, for its entire history. For almost all triskelians, religion is still a vastly important force in their lives. The pervasive nature of the Temples, with the political and economic power they wield, not to mention the distinct advantages of belonging to a Temple, means religion plays a vital role in Khmet. Other religions are not banned, per se, but struggle to compete against the institutions and power of the established Temples. Most minor religions that occur find themselves absorbed into the existing belief structure and taken over by an existing Temple.

The primary belief in Khmet is that the phenomena of nature are divine forces in and of themselves. These deified forces include the elements, animal characteristics, or abstract forces. There is a pantheon of deities, which are involved in all aspects of nature and society. Religious practices are efforts to sustain and placate these phenomena and turn them to triskelian advantage. Aside from the priests and temple guards of a temple, most triskelian pray and attend rituals for a variety of deities, dependant on the events occuring in their lives. Complete devotion to one deity, whilst not being associated with a Temple is considered unwise, and risking the disapproval of the other deities.

Khmetian conception of the universe centers on Ma'at, a word that encompasses several concepts, including "truth," "justice," and "order." It is the fixed, eternal order of the universe, both in the cosmos and in Khmetian society. It has existed since the creation of the world, and without it the world would lose its cohesion. In Khmetian belief, Ma'at is constantly under threat from the forces of disorder, so all of society was required to maintain it. On the smaller level this meant that all members of society should cooperate and coexist; on the cosmic level it meant that all of the forces of nature — the deities — should continue to function in balance. This latter goal is central to Khmetian religion. The Khmetians seek to maintain Ma'at in the cosmos by sustaining the deities through offerings and by performing rituals which stave off disorder and perpetuate the cycles of nature.

The Khmetians have elaborate beliefs about death and the afterlife. They believe that triskelian possess a ka, or life-force, which leaves the body at the point of death. In life, the ka received its sustenance from food and drink, so it is believed that, to endure after death, the ka must continue to receive offerings of food, whose spiritual essence it could still consume. Each triskelian also has a ba, the set of spiritual characteristics unique to each individual. Unlike the ka, the ba remained attached to the body after death. Khmetian funeral rituals are intended to release the ba from the body so that it can move freely, and to rejoin it with the ka so that it could live on as an akh. This akh then travels through the underworld before being judged by weighing the subject's heart. If the individual had lived according to the principles of Ma'at, its heart would be pure and light and would be released to spend eternity in the paradise of Hapu's golden fields. If failed, then it was thrown into the Abyss to be consumed by Apep.

Each deity has an dedicated Temple, an organisation that looks after the interests and focus of that god. Temples for the major gods are powerful institutions, with wealth and influence rivalling the Pharaoh and, like the Guilds, having their own rules, security forces and entire sections of major cities that are exempt from most secular laws. Like the Guilds, entry into a Temple is considered a sure-fire path to success and, for those deemed unskilled enough to be in a Guild, the Temples are easy to join. All that is required is a devotion to the faith and a willingness to obey.

History

It is widely considered by historians that the origins of current Khmetian religion can be sourced to the early expansion of Khmet before the unification of the kingdom. Adventurous traders ranged far and wide, encountering other proto-civilisations. Eventually, existing Khmetian beliefs syncretised with other, wider, Iteru beliefs. The exact timing of the current format of belief cannot be definitively established, but the rise of the Temples solidified it.

The temples insist that the Temples were founded by the gods themselves as a way of ensuring Khmetian success. They point to ancient artworks depicting large beings of light instructing what looks like primitive Khmetians to build large structures. The temples claim that once Khmet was on a solid footing, the gods left for their home dimension to watch over the lands and guide it when necessary. Some of the more future-focused Temples insist that the deities will return one day and judge Khmet for its fidelity.

The major Temples

Seb
The Sun Deity and ruler and Lord of all the other deities. Often depicted with a crowning sun. The largest and most powerful of all the Temples; its headquarters in Raqote is a ten kilometre high spire topped with a ever-burning bright fire. Seb is considered the primordial creator of all the universe, including the other deities, but also its ultimate fate, as he will finally defeat his nemesis Apep and consume the world in fire. Rituals of Seb include the burning of offerings and the singing of hymns and giving of prayers to help Seb in his daily task of moving the sun across the sky. Each morning, the priests of Seb in Raqote celebrate the banishment of the night and each evening mourn the loss of the sun.

Seb Temple Guards are widely considered some of Khmet's most elite drop-troops; descending from heaven to suppress the unworthy is seen as the best way to court Seb's favour and ensure success in battle.

Hapu
The Giver of Life, deity of the floods and guardian and sustainer of the Afterlife. Hapu is credited with life and renewal, new growth and the beginning of anything. Is also the curator of the Underworld and final protector of the dead, his endless fields are considered the final resting place for all worthy souls. The Temple of Hapu is second only to Seb in influence but is far less showy, the Priests of Hapu quietly confident that their patron sustains the entire world through the seasonal floods.

Hapu Temple Guards are rarely seen away from the Re delta when not being called upon, their amphibious tactics of past now translated into superlative boarding tactics. The Temple of Hapu is oft reluctant to allow their use outside of official Temple business but does contribute when the need arises, the only exception being the guarding of the Temple of Khata, Hapu's partner.

Khata
The Parent Deity, partner to Hapu, deity of nature and younglings and widely venerated for his caring side. Acknowledgement to Khata is an important part in the ceremony to appoint a new Pharaoh, as it widely considered that Khata's blessing ensures good rule. His temple in Raqote is next to Hapu's and is the site of Khmet's most important and advanced medical research centre. Priests of Khata are all trained in medical skills to one degree or another.

Khata has no Temple Guards, relying on the protection of Hapu. Instead, the Temple of Khata provides auxiliary support for Khmet's soldiers in the form of medical personnel, provisions and cooking, and chaplaincy.

Nehara
The deity of the desert, storms, violence and foreigners. Nehara is not an outsider god like Apep, but is mistrusted by a lot of the other deities. Despite this, he is central to Seb's battles with Apep, being considered only second to Seb in martial ability. His rivalry with Hapu is well known, stemming from jealousy over the choice of Khata to choose Hapu over Nehara. Whilst Hapu is content to ignore this rivalry, his offspring Ptah is more than willing to continue the feud, and the two temples have never reconciled. The Temple of Nehara in Raqote is a large pyramid with massive underground facilities mostly unknown to all but his priests.

Nehara Temple Guards are masters of extreme environmental combat, using specially designed suits to spend long periods of time in dangerous areas with very little support. Their signature ochre suits and full face masks make them stand out wherever they are deployed.

Mafuane
The deity of music, dance, and fertility, Mafuane is one of the more popular deities of the Khmetian pantheon, mainly due to the activities that take place in his temples during the many rituals he demands. His temple in Raqote is the location of choice for the wealthy to leave their eggs and his priests are in demand all over Khmet for their skills in egg care, but also their role as prostitutes and escorts. The Temple of Mafuane controls the sex trade in Khmet tightly, to the benefit of any who work in that field.

Despite appearance, Mafuane has Temple Guards; those in the organisation are widely regarded as doubly-dangerous. Not only do they have enviable martial skills and excellent training, but their secondard role as courtesans and spies allow them to hide behind a veneer of glamour.

Ptah
The deity of war, hunting, and the sky, Ptah is responsible for the upkeep and success of Khmet's armed forces. All soldiers will wear some form of amulet depicting him and will offer up prayers before battle. Even Temple Guards of other deities, with the exception of Nehara, acknowledge Ptah in this way. The offspring of Hapu and Khata, Ptah carries his father's feud against Nehara with gusto. Open conflict between the two is rare, but political machinations, espionage and low level gang warfare is common. Headquarters of the Khmet Military are in the Temple of Ptah, a large building in central Raqote.

Ptah Temple Guards are striking in their white and gold armour, carrying long staff-like energy weapons whose exact construction is a carefully guarded secret. More numerous than other Temple Guards, they are often seconded into regular units as support troops and morale boosters.

Thoth
Scribe, mediator and deity of wisdom and knowledge, Thoth is seen as fount of all knowledge and even the Guilds, at least in theory, grant his Temple their accumulated knowledge. Steadfastly neutral, the Temple of Thoth historically has even acted as mediator between Khmet and opposing forces, much to the ire of the ruling Pharaohs. However, maintenance of neutrality is considered vital to the well-being of the universe, so no actions have ever been taken. The Great Library of Thoth in Raqote was once the world's foremost repository of knowledge. Its significance in the digital age is lessened somewhat, but it still holds large amounts of ancient books and scrolls.

Thoth Temple Guards have a dual role as guardians of knowledge but, because of their wide ranging role, as gatherers too. Thoth Temple Guards can be found traversing the Nexus, collecting data, helping with logistics, planning and resourcing.

Bahiti
Bahiti is is the guardian of the Pharaohs and the recently deceased, his sacred animal is revered throughout Khmet as being a physical embodiment of the deity himself. The Temple of Bahiti is right next to the vast Royal Palace, in keeping with his nature. Rituals of Bahiti are second only to Mafuane in popularity, mainly due to their infrequency and that the priests of Bahiti are more extreme than their Mafuane colleagues.

Despite his role as a warrior deity, Temple Guards of Bahiti are not often found with the military. Instead they have the role of bodyguard to the Pharaohs and other important dignitaries. As such they are found in a lot of governmental institutions.

Chenzira
Deity of the afterlife, the one who ushers the dead to the weighing of their soul. Chenzira is also the protector of tombs and the intermediator between the living and the dead. Alone amongst the deities, Chenzira has no central temple in Raqote, instead the huge Necropolis complex, where the dead are processed and prepared for the afterlife, is used as his base.

Chenzira Temple Guards take their role as protector of tombs very seriously and extend this attitude when partaking in more regular operations. Famous for their cloaking technology, Chenzira guards become almost invisible, using their stealth to quietly despatch the enemy.

Kek
The deity of healing, but also of destruction, it is Kek who created the deserts of Khmet. Rituals to Kek are performed punctually and with great care, as the priests of Kek believe that without them, he would sweep out of the deserts to destroy everything in his path. The offspring of Seb, he is both revered and feared for his dual role. The Temple of Kek in Raqote is given a wide berth by all but his supplicants as it is widely rumoured that triskelian sacrifice takes place, although this is denied by the priests.

Kek Temple Guards are fanatical devotees of their deity and are rarely deployed outside of Kek's temples. Considered martially skilled, but also unpredictable, Kek Temple Guard have, in the past, turned on their own side if they feel the battle is not going sufficiently fast enough. The few times they have been used successfully is after deployment behind enemy lines, to cause havoc to supply routes and such like.

Apep
The Bringer of Chaos, the opponent of Seb and the embodiment of everything that goes against Ma'at. Apep is not worshipped, as such, but more worshipped against. Rituals and rites designed to hurt or slow him down are performed in all the Temples in Khmet. Even more destructive deities such as Nehara and Kek acknowledge that creation follows destruction, whereas Apep would bring nothing but chaos. Whilst having no Temple and no temple guards, Apep is central to Khmetian beliefs, and there are a large number of monuments and statues depicting him, almost always subservient to Seb and Nehara.

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Re: The Triskelian Republic of Khmet (TRK)

Post by Xah » Tue Jul 30, 2019 1:49 pm

Government

Since the re-writing of the constitution, Khmet has been a presidential constitutional republic. Power is split between the executive office of the Pharaoh, the legislature of the Grand Council of Nomarches and the regional Haty-a governors. Judges are nominated by the Pharaoh and ratified by the Nomarches and both Pharaoh and Haty-a have veto powers over legislation that falls within their executive power. As well as the elected officials, substantial power resides in the priests of Khmet's many temples and the Guilds, both of which have considerable influence on Khmetian society. Governmental authority is generally greatest in Khmet's smaller towns and cities; control over the vasy swathes of desert is patchy at best, and the massive metropolis of Raqote defies easy governance.

Pharaoh

When a Pharaoh dies or chooses to leave office, a series of elections take place to determine their successor. Run-off elections take place to ensure that the final winning candidate has more than 50% of the total available votes. Once in office, the Pharaoh can only be dismissed by a vote of no-confidence of 80% of the Grand Council, death, or choosing to retire. In recent years, the tradition has been for Pharaohs to retire once they feel ill-health or age makes the role too strenuous.

The powers wielded by the Pharaoh are much less than in other presidential systems, although more than just as a figurehead of state. The Pharaoh nominates judges and can grant clemency or pardons to convicted criminals, manages and oversees the numerous executive agencies of the state, is the de-facto commander of the armed forces and is responsible for signing legislation into law. Only a Pharaoh has the authority to handle Khmet's dealings with foreign nations, but must obtain the consent of the Grand Council to sign treaties and declare war. The Pharaoh is also responsible for determining fiscal policy and allocating the national budget, although the Grand Council must ratify governmental spending. A cabinet of Pharaoh-appointed people advise and manage for the Pharaoh.

The current Pharaoh is Ra-Amum Teph, who has been in office for eighteen years. Widely regarded as a progressive and left-leaning ruler, he has been stymied recently by a more conservative Grand Council.

Grand Council of Nomarches

Khmet is divided into regions of roughly equal population, called Nomes, adjusted for scale every fifteen years after a census. Each Nome elects a Nomarch every six years who gather in Raqote, at the House of Nomes to debate issues and create legislation. Nomes vary in size from just a few city blocks (such as in the largest cities), to entire orbital bodies (such as asteroid mines and minor colonies). Actual representation is limited; regional matters are the responsibility for the local Haty-a, not the Grand Council.

Whilst political parties are forbidden from overt representation within the Grand Council, coalitions of like-minded Nomarches develop and the chamber is roughly split between four main political groupings; nationalists (who are broadly conservative socially and fiscally), liberals (progressive both socially and fiscally), socialists (fairly progressive socially, but advocate public ownership of industry) and monarchists (who advocate a strong Pharaoh with free-reign capitalism). An alliance of nationalists and monarchists currently hold majority, but not enough to enact any far-reaching legislation.

Amongst the Nomaches, they elect an Iry-Pat as a senior representative of the Grand Council. It is the Iry-Pat who is the main link between the Nomarches and the Pharaoh, and is portrayed as the state's 'second in command' by the media. The current Iry-Pat is Horemheb, de-facto leader of the liberal faction within the Grand Council, elected as a compromise between the nationalists and the monarchists.

Haty-a

As well as the Nomes, Khmet is split into districts called Falephs. Each Faleph elects a Hatya- to act as regional executive, who subsequently appoints a number of people to a regional cabinet. The election of Haty-a follows the same procedures as that of the Pharaoh, with an election taking place when the previous Haty-a dies or retires. In extreme circumstances, the Pharaoh can order the dismissal and election of a new Haty-a. The power wielded by a Haty-a varies considerably; for the more sparsely populated Falephs, a Haty-a is little more than a figurehead, the main power being taken up by the Temples and Guilds. In the urban Falephs, and especially the Faleph of the Enclave, Akusaa, their power can almost rival that of the Pharaoh, being responsible for much of Khmet's trade and industry.

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Re: The Triskelian Republic of Khmet (TRK)

Post by Xah » Tue Jul 30, 2019 1:50 pm

The Guilds

A feature of Khmetian society for thousands of years, the Guilds act much like unions do in other cultures. Created from a desire to preserve knowledge and improve techniques, each Guild is a quasi-autonomous entity with its own security forces, internal governance and rules. A Guild represents a specific sector of industry and, by ancient laws, a company seeking to employ people with skills that fall under a Guild's remit must employ a Guild member. The Guild sets wages and terms of employment and owns any intellectual property that the worker may develop whilst working for a company, although the company is entitled to make profit from said developments. Each Guild jealously guards its knowledge and all of them have well funded research and development departments that seek to further their own knowledge base, making their members more lucrative to employers. Whilst, in theory, Guilds have unique remits, many Guilds have overlapping interests leading to competition and, occasionally, outright violence between Guild representatives.

Entry into a Guild is considered essential for progression within Khmetian society and most of the skilled worker population will belong to a Guild. Guilds run the majority of the country's schools and all of its universities, assessing students continuously. Movement from one Guild to another is uncommon, but happens. A complex system of non-disclosure agreements are supposed to stop leaking of knowledge, but assassinations, conflicts and kidnappings between Guilds are not unheard of. In outlying parts of Khmet, where a single industry is dominant, Guild authority is rivalled only by the Temples, with the local laws and taxes all being determined by Guild policy. In the urban areas, Guilds live alongside each other in uneasy balance. In Raqote especially, Guild controlled neighbourhoods have their own gang culture and policing and it's a constant battle with the Haty-a authorities to determine who has overall control.

Whilst the Guild power seems absolute, centuries of compromise between the various authorities and the Guilds has led to a complicated system of balances and checks, most of them enshrined in law. Given the influence the Guilds have on the appointment of cabinet members, and their historical affect on revolutions, this might seem surprising to foreigners, but most of the Guilds know that a strong economy benefits all and, unlike the unions of other nations, the Guilds are capitalistic at heart and not socialist.

Rumours exist of 'Dark Guilds' responsible for illegal and black market products and services such as recreational drugs, addictive VR programs and organ/cybernetic theft. Little more than organised criminal gangs, they operate in much the same way as the legitimate Guilds and, if rumours are to be believed, trade with them on an equal footing.

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