Fun With Maps, Part 1: Nixey is for Pretty Girls (Boys Can Exit Out the Back)

Yeah, all other kingdoms are pasty white.

Unemployment makes one such as myself go to bitter extremes to feel productive, especially when under the scrutinizing eye of extended family.  This want for productivity has led me to create more extensive maps of my self-created fantasy world that is the namesake and setting of my series Nagnomei. While I have (slightly altered over the years) world maps of the overall continent, I realized I needed, for my sake at the very least, to make detailed maps of each individual kingdom.  And, in the process, I also created slightly encyclopedia-like fact sheets for the kingdoms.  For whatever reason I decided to start with Nixey, probably because it’s part of the title of the first novel. 

The maps mark important things such as rivers, mountains, highway routes, major religious sites (such as official temples), capital cities, and major (appx. 500+ people) villages.  They’re not drawn to any particular scale or topography – basically whatever helps me as the author keep track of what goes where. Naming conventions are a mixture of words related to the moon, Celtic origins, and some made up funzies.

The full sized version of the map (taken with a digital camera, sorry, no scanner) can be viewed here.



Geography:  Nixey (nix-ay), the fourth largest kingdom, enjoys a relatively even landscape, featuring fertile valleys for farmsteads and ranches that are supported by generous rivers and lakes.  The eastern coast is a bit jagged and uninhabitable due to its perilous cliffs, but the southern coasts are met at sea level and support thriving fishing communities.
Nixey can be divided up into three general zones:  the Crescent Peninsula, the Artunian Valley in the northeast, and the Full Moon Forest and Tsudine Mountain religious zones in the west.  The kingdom’s population can be divided evenly between the first two zones:  the capital city and main cultural city attract settlers to the valley, and attractive fishing and farming industries keep people settled in the peninsula area.  Major highways and general trade-routes connect both these regions to each other and the rest of Nagnomei. 
Nixey is bordered by three other kingdoms:  Hæroa to the north, Alanjepsta to the west, and Artino to the south.  Nixey is flanked by the Rennidrap Ocean to the east.
Citizenry: Nixians, as the inhabitants are called, enjoy a stable economy and exuberant peace, in-part to their pacifistic ways and long standing alliance with powerful Hæroa. However, like all other kingdoms, Nixey’s government trains and employs a fit army that protects its borders (particularly to the south) and patrols its coasts.   Nixey has the second highest amount of knightings per year in the continent, second only to Hæroa.
Like all the other kingdoms, Nixey is an absolute monarchy, but still subservient to Hæroa’s reigning sovereign.  Citizens pay two standard taxes: Homeland Tax (to the Nixian government) and Royal Tax (to the Hæroan government).  The King (or Queen) is responsible for collecting and distributing taxes, overseeing in-kingdom judicial matters, protecting religious matters, supervising Lord holdings, and acting as Head-of-State and official representing face to all other kingdoms.  In times of war Nixey’s monarch was also responsible for arranging tithes to Hæroa, procuring troops, and acting as the eastern buffer to Hæroa.  Heirship is determined by the sovereign throughout the course of their reign, almost always by kinship.  Nixey is the only kingdom to have had more sovereign Queens than Kings.
Besides the monarchy, Lord holdings are very common in Nixey, in part to its strong economy.  Multi-generation holdings dot the valleys, providing a majority of Nixey’s agricultural exports.  Nixey’s Lords and Ladies are among the richest in Nagnomei.
Towns, villages, and smaller cities are usually headed by an elected official or board, depending on need and size.  Villages collected in common areas will usually form intercity committees for trading and politicking with the capital.
Nixey is seen as a cultural and artistic oasis in the otherwise harsh eastern part of the continent.  Nixians pride themselves on their personal endeavors, and it is common presumption that almost all Nixians enjoy the finer things above all else.  Nixian artists are considered among the most revered in the world. Beauty is held in high regard – Nixey is the only kingdom to sponsor official contests and pageants.  Lavish lifestyles for hundreds of years have afforded much of the kingdom’s citizens – even the lower-class ones – a standard that is unmatched even in Hæroa.  However, this makes marriage matches outside of the kingdom difficult as many do not wish to deal with the “high maintenance” attitudes of the Nixians.  Nixians are the largest consumers of gemstones (particularly from Branier) on the continent.
Academia is also well respected in Nixey.  The kingdom’s university branch is considered second only to the main campus in the Royal North, making it a haven for those living in the east who wish to attend the main campus one day.  Like the main campus, the Nixey University focuses on politics, religion, history, language, and art.  Its math and science departments, however, are rather underfunded.
Religion: Nixey’s respected goddess is Alillia, the deity of the moon, night, and death, and the counterpart to Earth’s general Pagan religions.  Alillia’s head temple is located in the western portion on the outskirts of the Full Moon Forest – the forest is considered holy, Alillia’s recreational hunting grounds, and is prohibited to the general public on pain of the goddess’s own wrath.  Since Alillia is a virgin goddess, only women are allowed to serve her.  Nixey in turn has very high feminist attitudes, and its women enjoy one of the most liberated climates in the continent.  The further western regions, following the Artemis River into the Tsudine Mountains, is also considered holy – it is here that Alillia’s tribes gather and settle, practicing illegal sorcery and worshipping the goddess in turn.  Nixey’s related magic on the “Tapping Clock” is light and wind, and since this is the simplest form of sorcery, many Nixians have the innate ability to cast simple light and air spells.  (Although this is illegal outside of the Royal Family and Ashinya Tribesmen.) Remnants of the last of three major Ashinya tribes in all of Nagnomei exist in the ruins of Bomsana.
Nixey’s holiest day of the week is Aliday, three days before Gylday (Sunday).  Instead of attending services at community temples, however, worshippers are instead encouraged to make offerings from their own homes:  the most popular one is the ritualistic burning of a virgin girl’s lock of hair, accompanied with a prayer for purity. 
Alillia is known as the most proactive god of the pantheon – in wrath.  She is easily angered and quick to punish those who have broken her laws.  Because of this, religious participation is high throughout the kingdom, even amongst men.  Hunting is closely monitored so as to not tread on Alillia’s sacred grounds, and it is common practice amongst wandering men to enter all clearings blindfolded in case a woman may be bathing there…for aside from trespassing on holy ground, the other big slight to the goddess is to mistreat women.  Alillia’s highly conservative attitudes towards sex and gender interactions means her priestesses take an oath of virginity.  Assaulting a priestess of Alillia is a capital offense, dealt with by Alillia herself.
Alillia’s Messenger, and thus Nixey’s official mascot, is Dragon.  Motifs and designs in the shape of a dragon (and moon) are very popular throughout the kingdom.  Dragon resides when not in use by his master in a series of caves throughout the Tsudine Mountains, also contributing to their holy status.  He can sometimes be seen flying to and from the Royal Village, conversing with the monarchy and even picking up and dropping off those traveling between Nixey and the Royal North. The only other to command Dragon is Alillia’s Ashima – the monarch may only use him as liaison to the goddess.
One unique attribute in Nixey is clusters of stone circles found throughout the kingdom.  These were once used by the most primitive people to converse with Alillia when Dragon was not around.  These stone-henges are regarded as public holy grounds for both men and women, and are one of Nixey’s chief tourist attractions.
Nixians enjoy a pseudo-alliance with Lianrawl due to their deity, Shiloh, being the twin of Alillia.  There is an unspoken vow in either kingdom to provide shelter and sanctuary to each other’s people if necessary while traveling.  Also because of this, Nixey is the only kingdom to have a third “unnofficial” deity.  After Alillia and Gylara, Shiloh is looked highly upon as he also supports the arts and is considered beautiful, as is his sister.  He also acts as a male buffer for the men of the kingdom, who often feel shunned by their own kingdom’s goddess.  It is also said that blonde Nixians are a sign that that person is unable to Tap – although both Alillia and Shiloh are blonde, Alillia’s official related hair color is silver, and Nixians with silver or white hair (usually of Ashinya tribes) are regarded as candidates for master sorcery. Shiloh is the only male entity allowed to enter Alillia’s head temple, as he often does just to prove he can.

A common misconception about Nixey’s religious practices is that they secretly sacrifice virgins to Alillia.  Both the monarchy and Alillia herself condemn such acts as religious treason.

That was so much fun and productive. UNTIL NEXT TIME (aka when I finish the next map).