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Introduction

The Nakatan Shogunate, historically known as the Dragon Empire, is the homeland of the mysterious and noble naga clans. With a long and proud history of warfare and conquest the people of this nation are renowned as some of the most fearsome warriors in Terra. The island is also a key destination for many would be healers looking to learn from some of the best physicians in Terra.

Nakata is an oligarchy where the duties of ruling are shared by the Shogun and the Emperor. The title of Shogun is given to a skilled Naga warrior who has ascended through the ranks to military commander. This distinguished individual is responsible for matters of conflict and the enforcement of law. Domestic and cultural affairs are governed by the Emperor, a position reformed by mainland invaders after the Land March. While many view the Emperor as a 'token' human puppet the position is nevertheless highly coveted amongst many of Nakata's citizens.

History

The modern Shogunate was created from the ruins of the Dragon Empire by the Aridian and Avalonian invaders during the Land March. Its formation was packed with controversy and conflict leaving deep scars in the memories of its people. It stands today as one of the four founding nations of the High Kingdom itself, as well as a stalwart ally and supporter of the High Queen. 

The first Nakatan empire was known to the continental kingdoms for its military prowess and wealth of natural resources. The isolated naga people refused various trade negotiations with the kingdoms instead to prefer a more informal relationship with independent Kurasi merchants. It is likely that the threat posed by naga warriors and the empire's refusal to enter an alliance sparked the mainland invasion known as the Land March. After several years of bloodshed the Queen's forces emerged victorious, paving the way for an influx of human and elven settlers in the once isolated naga homeland.

Several decades of uneasy peace followed in which the land was ruled by a human Emperor. During this time the naga inhabitants of the island were not permitted the same freedoms as the settlers, forcing many proud clans to move deeper into the mountains. Although the nation was officially at peace, these decades saw some of the most brutal acts of rebellion and subjugation eventually sparking another bitter war. The Dragonfall war lasted nearly two-hundred years and decimated the human and naga populations of Nakata. The years of Bloodshed lead to the near extinction of the dragon-blooded naga. For many years the clans fought against the High Queen's armies until the last true blooded naga, Phalaemethon, was captured.

Knowing that his capture would not end the violence, The High Queen offered Phalaemethon the choice of allowing his rebellious people to be spared hunting and execution at the hands of the Aridian allied forces, and even be elevated back to first-class citizenry within the Nakatan Kingdom, if he chose exile and never returned. Phalaemethon provided a counter offer, that the High Queen would reinstate the title of Shogun alongside the Emperor of Nakata and allow Naga to live in peace, in exchange for his execution. The ancient naga believed that when the blood of the last dragon ceases to flow the land would be become barren and dry. Phalaemethon knew that to truly placate his people and bring peace he must submit to bloodless execution. Afterwards Phalaemethon was granted a full royal funeral before his body was laid to rest in the mountains.

Since the Dragonfall Wars, Nakata has become a stoic and stalwart ally of the Aridian people, even having agreed to be one of the founding four nations of the High Kingdom, alongside Aridia, Avalon and Gautlond. Although there are still some ancient grudges being held among the Naga people, the thousands of years that have passed since the Dragonfall Wars has allowed acceptance and tolerance to work its way into modern-day Nakatan Politics.

Culture

Famous for their battle prowess Nakatan citizens are trained in various combat styles from a young age in a tradition dating back to before the formation of the naga empire. Children typically begin their formal training at the age of eight, learning various sword styles along with archery and athletics. Their years of training culminate at the age of twenty when, during the spring that years recent graduates gather to participate in the coming of age festival. The festival begins when the first blossoms appear and typically lasts a week with duels and combat demonstrations during the day and sumptuous feasts for the evening revels. This even is the highlight of the Nakatan calendar and dates back to the earliest naga tribes. Prior to the occupation humans were forbidden to participate in the event however this was overturned after the Dragonfall wars and now all citizens may celebrate the rite. 

Nakata has produced many great scholars of the natural sciences and boasts some of the most skilled physicians. Their methods of healing have been adopted across by Terra by those seeking non-magical cures and many dedicated scholars of herblore even make the long journey to the isle for first-hand experience in these arts. The island's distinct ecosystem is full of diverse plant and wildlife species that cannot be found on mainland Terra, the abundance of resources lead the early naga clans to develop a respect for the natural world that has continued to this day. This attitude has led to a general distrust of magic which is typically considered unnatural and when used in duels utterly dishonorable. 

Magic is abundant amongst the naga clans and has been openly practiced in combat and craft for generations. The Nakatan people believe that magic and nature are intrinsically linked and those gifted with magic have a sacred responsibility to ensure balance. These mages favour the 'natural' elements over the otherworldly forces of light and dark which are usually reserved for religious philosophers. Young Nakatans that show an aptitude for magic receive strict training in isolated academies before going on to dedicate their lives to the practice. A majority of these mages become enchanters and usually serve in the Nakatan army imbuing weapons, armour and items with powerful magic. Those that show the greatest skill in mastering the elements become combat mages that dominate the battlefield. They are known throughout Terra for decimating ranks of mortal and demon alike. It is these few mages alone that are permitted to study the especially unruly ritual magics.

Due to its power and the potential for abuse, mages in Nakata are as feared as they are respected. No magic user has ever risen to the rank of Shogun. Their skill and dedication is revered when used in the defense of the land and its people but the nature of their power keeps them on the edges of society, unable to live a normal life amongst their clan. Magic is a useful tool for war however it would be an offense to use it against a fellow Nakatan, particularly in an honour duel where it would be seen as a disgrace.

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