The Republic of Eastfield
Politics and Government:
Eastfield is a republic administered by an assembly known as the Council of Elders. Every five years, each of the ten regions that comprise Eastfield elects a new Elder to send to the Council, which meets in the capital city of Portwun. Regional Elders cannot be reelected. A Chief Elder is selected by the former ten from among their number and serves as a tiebreaker in the next Council on policy votes when necessary. The Chief Elder is also the official head of state and can make unilateral decisions when expediency is called for, although his or her decisions are subject to ratification by a simple majority vote of the full Council afterwards.
Culture and Religion:
The people of Eastfield are often seen by outsiders as easygoing, some would say frivolous. While this is an exaggeration, the culture of Eastfield is more liberal and tolerant of personal differences than its neighbors.
In Eastfield, every color imaginable can be seen somewhere. Buildings are painted, clothes are died, and there are ribbons and decorations placed anywhere for any reason just to create a festive tone. An example of the Eastfielder fondness for color is provided by the uniforms of the Portwun Capital Guard, which are thigh-length yellow jackets with black piping over multicolored tie-died pullover shirts, and teal, skintight trousers, ankle-high soft suede boots, and green felt hats with the red plumes.
There is no national religion in Eastfield, but many of its citizens are nominal followers a belief system known as “Tsong.” The purest form of Tsong does not have a god per se, but there is a cosmic force, which adherents say can be “heard,” although apparently not in a physical sense. This mystical force is called the “Tune,” or sometimes the “Cosmic Tune” and, if it really exists, seems to be something that is more felt than heard. “Listeners,” which are the closest things to monks in the Tsong belief system, are said to be able to tell falsehoods because they are “out of Tune.”
Tsong honors great people for their accomplishments or their humanity but does not regard them as divine or supernatural, or even as leaders. There are monasteries, places for study and quiet contemplation, but Tsong has no churches or priests, as do other faiths. There are Tsong “wise ones,” who are their most skilled and learned, and there are “teachers,” and “counselors,” who often work in education or healthcare. As mentioned before, there are also “listeners” who can often be recognized by their pastel colored robes, which vary in color according to the taste of the individual listener rather than as a sign of rank. Listeners listen to people, as do “counselors,” and they can be advisors, like Tsong “teachers,” but they also spend considerable time in silent contemplation to “listen” to the Tune of the universe.
Eastfield is the largest country on the continent of Agprogia, with a total land area of approximately 1,250,000 square miles. Much of its extensive acreage of fertile farmland is devoted to the growing of various grains and vegetables. The nation is divided into ten regions:
- Peace River
- Misty Meadows
- Tsong Gardens
Industry and Commerce:
Eastfield’s major crop is grain, including wheat, barley, and corn. These are their largest exports, which they trade to Gotrox in exchange for minerals and manufactured goods, as well as overseas. They are also self-sufficient producers of vegetables, goat milk and cheese, but most of these are for domestic consumption. Eastfield is a pioneer in the development of optical instruments and they are the acknowledged leaders in this area. The most advanced viewing tubes (sometimes called telescopes and microscopes) are made in Eastfield. They also are the leaders in the development and production of fine, mechanical devices such as clocks and watches, which have a small but growing market both domestically and abroad.
It is impossible to assign a specific date or event as the origin of the Republic of Eastfield. The individual regions comprising it have long been on peaceful terms and have worked together cooperatively since prehistoric times. With the development of writing over two thousand years ago, agreements between regions began to be documented, and these written agreements gradually evolved into the government and bureaucracy that exist today. The Eastfield calendar somewhat arbitrarily assigns the year 1 to the beginning of Eastfield as a nation, but this is mainly because it was necessary to date the documentation the regions had begun to produce.
Although Eastfield maintains a small standing army for defense and disaster relief, it has seldom found it necessary to deploy them as a fighting force. The most recent such event occured in the year 2206 on the Eastfield calendar (230 W.E. / 1884 Gotroxian) when it seemed likely that the Kingdom of Westgrove would launch an invasion of Gotrox. To honor a mutual defense pact with the small mountain nation, the Republic of Eastfield sent about 9,000 troops to their defense. Fortunately, war was averted at the last minute and the troops returned home unharmed.