The Kingdom of Gotrox
Politics and Government:
Gotrox is a constitutional monarchy with succession passed to the individual the reigning monarch selects. Technically, Parliament has the right to refuse the king’s choice but this has never happened in the six-hundred years this provision has been in place. It should be noted that whether this monarch is male or female, he is referred to as “king” and “he” in formal documents and gatherings.
The king appoints ministers to oversee such things as defense, economics and budget, and foreign affairs. These people act as his advisers and meet with the Gotroxian Parliament on his behalf on matters related to their areas of responsibility.
Culture and Religion:
The people of Gotrox are widely known as industrious and serious, sometimes overly so. This, of course, is a gross generalization and may be due to the lack of color and frivolous ornamentation in Gotroxian clothing and architecture. Gotroxian buildings are most often built of stone and are seldom painted, which results in a drab, gray look to many exteriors. This does not mean they are not beautiful, especially inside. Polished marble, granite, and other stone, along with embedded gems are used to provide visual appeal as well as to show the craftsmanship of the architects and builders. Gotroxian clothing is also often seen as dull by foreigners because it tends to be practical and in the colors of stone and earth.
Gotrox is home to the largest and most mysterious ancient artifact ever discovered. The Warden of Mystic Defiance rests in a circular crater high in the Gotroxian mountains and is becoming popular as a vacation destination. Many Gotroxians now visit it and a small but growing tourist industry is developing near the site. There is considerable controversy over what the Warden represents and who built it. Most experts agree however, that it is a creation of the Old Masters and may be tens of thousands of years old.
The state religion of Gotrox is the Holy Order. This displaced the previously prevailing belief system several centuries ago, which was similar to that still held in Westgrove, and included an extensive pantheon of gods and other supernatural creatures.
The Holy Order traces its beginnings to the Great Philosophical Paradigm Revolution of Gotrox eight hundred years ago. The spark for this came from the insights of Bud the Wiser, who taught that it is impossible to know the nature of any of the gods. The gods, assuming there are gods, must be so different from anything people have any direct experience of, they would be completely incomprehensible to people. To assume anyone could know the nature or intentions of a god would be the greatest act of hubris, and could prevent people from learning more about things they were capable of investigating and understanding rationally in terms of physical laws and observed relationships. Having a mistaken impression of divinity, he said, would lead people to mistaken beliefs about other things. The guiding principle of the Holy Order is to approach a partial understanding of the Creator, again, assuming such a thing exists, by learning everything possible about the Creation. Some modern sects of the Holy Order firmly believe in a Great Creator, which is the supernatural, or possibly natural, artificer who made the universe out of chaos. Other sects deny the reality of a Creator because it too would need an even greater Creator to explain its origins, and still others claim the physical reality of a Creator is unknown and perhaps unknowable.
Gotrox is the smallest country on the continent of Agprogia, with a total land area of approximately 58,000 square miles. It is situated between the two much larger nations of Westgrove and Eastfield. About half of Gotrox is mountainous or rocky. Much of its fertile land is devoted to timber, which is prudently harvested for fuel and furniture. Gotroxians use relatively little lumber in the construction of buildings, preferring stone, or, if that is unavailable, brick.
Industry and Commerce:
Gotrox is a major producer of minerals and manufactured goods. It exports these mainly to the neighboring nations of Westgrove and Eastfield in exchange for edible goods, cloth, and wool. Gotrox also has a small fishing and commercial trading fleet mostly based along its southern coast.
The Gotroxian Kingdom is and ancient and stable one in comparison to many others. The first king of Gotrox took the thrown over 1,800 years ago as an absolute monarch. The first constitution was prepared under King Sproot the Great about three-hundred years later, transforming the kingdom into a constitutional monarchy with a parliament. The constitution has been amended several times since then, allowing greater freedoms and political input from the nations’ citizens.
Recent Gotroxian history has been productive, orderly, and peaceful. The last major war involving Gotrox was over a century ago. It began in the year 1775 on the Gotroxian calendar (121 W.E) as a trade dispute. Bandits, according to the official account, were ambushing Gotroxian merchant caravans traveling in Westgrove. Gotrox began providing military escorts to protect them. Westgrove objected to having foreign troops on its territory and sent their own troops to challenge them. Some historians claim an overzealous Westgrovian squad commander initiated the first hostilities although there is no documented evidence to support this. The treaty, drawn up six bloody years later, obligated both nations to protect peaceful commerce to the best of their abilities, and it prohibited foreign, armed troops from crossing the border without the express permission of both governments. Ironically, this was the same agreement that existed before the war started.
The two nations almost went to war again in the Gotroxian year 1884 due to false rumors that Gotrox had found a way to use the mysterious Warden of Mystic Defiance as a weapon and intended to use it to spearhead an invasion of Westgrove. Both nations amassed large forces at the border, with additional troops provided by the Republic of Eastfield in support of Gotrox. Fortunately, King Motte of Gotrox, who met personally with King Leonard of Westgrove at a parlay held between their two armies, averted armed conflict due, in large part, to his effective diplomacy. Some credit is also attributed the efforts of Prince Donald, the third son of the Westgrovian king, for uncovering the Westgrovian Chief Adviser as the source of the outrageous rumors about the Warden.