Alaris is a large, desolate, frozen continent located in the northeastern hemisphere of Earth, as well as the name of the nation that controls the continent. It is dotted with self-contained, domed cities inhabited mainly by humans. While there are thousands of small domes scattered throughout Alaris, only five cities are recognized as official settlements by Alaran government, which is itself fragmented at the moment due to some catastrophe in the nation's fairly recent past. The Alaran capital at least appears to have once been Ralesk, although the actual capitol buildings were within an isolated dome called the Cathedral; however, the dome-city Arsineh claims to be the seat of political power at the moment, as the Cathedral is unpowered and uninhabited, as are most of the small dome settlements.
Very little contact has been established between Alaran cities and the Cardinalian government, but what little exchange has occurred between the two continents indicates that Alaris is a technologically advanced nation that is more of a federation of fascist city-states than any unified entity with a central government. This is perhaps best indicated by the rival claims of political power made by Arsineh officials and Ralesk officials. In any case, Arsineh is the only dome-city to have made contact with Cardinal, and Cardinalian government officials have generally accepted Arsineh as the Alaran capital for the moment.
- Official Name
- The Oligarchy of City-States of Alaris
- Universal Location
- On the planet Earth, in the northeastern hemisphere
- Arsineh, formerly Ralesk and the Cathedral
- Major Cities
- Arsineh, Ralesk, Fier, Luvas, Karos
The continental government of Alaris is currently fractured through infighting between domes and through damaged machinery that has severed connections between many domes. Originally, Alaris was run by a Council that was set up in the Cathedral. The Cathedral Council had members from each major dome as well as a large body of representatives from minor domes. When the Alaran dome network was functioning properly, the Cathedral coordinated trade and travel between domes through the transporters of each dome, allowing for the flow of vital resources between domes. The Cathedral did not oversee legislation beyond that of trade and movement between domes and dealings with outside governments; most laws were passed on a per-dome basis by individual dome councils, although most minor domes simply adopted the legislations of their supporting major dome.
A subgovernment exists in the group known as Mechanikkars, powerful psions who act as batteries for the domes. The Mechanikkars of each dome are responsible for keeping everything running smoothly, and hold Alaran technology as the highest cause, even supporting one another past rivalries between domes. Mechanikkars ostensibly answer to the council of their dome, but they are generally left with free reign over their time and actions so long as the dome keeps its power.
Alaris has no conventional military. Each dome has a police force, but no standing army. Instead, defenses come from automatons--ambulatory machinery equipped with armor and weaponry. Each dome has several lockers of automatons, which are operated by either Mechanikkars directly or by lesser psions who have been granted access to the lockers by the Mechanikkars of the dome. Automaton lockers are also present throughout the wastelands outside of the domes, remnants of a continental defense system; these lockers are often completely broken, malfunctioning, or completely cut off from the main power grids the Mechanikkars use.
Each dome also contains automated turrets and other defensive positions and adaptations. These turrets exist in the wastelands as well, in addition to underground silos containing loner-range weaponry. As with the automaton lockers, most of these weapons no longer work properly.
Alaran domes relied upon one another to flourish, and the Sundering has caused a rapid decay of living standards in the nation. Each major dome produced something the other domes could not: Arsineh produced manufactured goods, Ralesk produced weaponry, Fier produced agricultural goods, Luvas produced electronic systems and computerized goods, and Karos produced medications and other biochemical goods. While each dome can produce anything it needs, the quantity and quality of the goods a dome produces outside of its specialty are often insufficient. Minor domes either assist in creation of a dome's exports or supplement the supply of goods imported from other domes.
Money is somewhat abstract in Alaris; the major currency is the Mark, an electronic distinction of one's possession of some sort of trading power. Marks are controlled via cards not unlike credit cards rather than traded for goods in a physical form like paper money. The mark is equivalent to approximately 100 zenny.
Of more value than marks in many places are favors and information. Because of the isolated nature of the domes, news from outside places will often act as good as an expenditure of marks, although recent opening of communication lines might have an impact on this. Many dome-dwellers either cannot or will not leave their areas of a dome, so those who are willing to move products or messages between domes or even simply between levels within a dome can often find little need for official currency as well.
Alarans prize conformity for the most part; keeping the status quo means nothing changes for the better, certainly, but it also means things will not get worse. While they are not usually hostile or overly xenophobic, Alaran citizens generally ignore outsiders unless those outsiders are willing to provide information or goods from outside of the dome. Alarans for the most part are quiet, trying to simply get whatever their job happens to be done without stepping on any toes of someone who has more power in the city.
Dome level of residence often acts as a sign of how much status a person has. Those who live in lower levels are usually poorer citizens, and the machinery deeper within each dome often is more meant for industrial purposes than for maintaining quality of life.
Not all dome-dwellers are quiet, however; many societies spring up within the domes, from rebel groups who hate the ruling councils of the dome to citizens who love their technology so strongly that they begin to ascribe godlike qualities to it. While day to day life in Alaran domes is often bleak and boring, many citizens are members of some not-so-secret society ranging from mere hobbyist groups to actual terrorist operations.