Monday, May 9, 2016

The Republic of Sea Serpents

The Republic of Sea Serpents is a nation united by hunger. Its constituents are all the monsters of the deep smart enough to understand politics and lawful enough to want a government. According to those senators old enough to remember the Republics founding, it was originally a way for alpha predators to resolve territory deputes, but since then it has grown into a world power, albeit a shadowy and enigmatic one. The prevailing political ideology is one of stewardship. Most of the monsters are the keystone predators of their home ecosystem. By devouring the right animals at the right time, they ensure the health and well being of all within their domain. Stewardship takes this idea a step farther and applies it the planet as a whole. They see the world as a set of interconnected systems; currents of energy that flow in grand patterns. They manipulate these patterns with the goal of increasing efficiency and maximizing yield. To see this as altruism would be a mistake, because ultimately all energy flows up to the top.
The Republic is split into territories, each of which is ruled by a senator. Every being living in a senator's territory is theoretically her subject, but the vast majority of intelligent beings live somewhere that has been claimed by a senator, and they are largely ignorant of their status. The senators of the Republic maintain a web of communication that stretches across the world. For the most part, the Republic doesn't deal in laws and pronouncements, rather senators hash out agreements whenever their plots would reach across borders. Major disputes are brought to the annual conclave, which meets in a sunken coliseum in a forgotten city. Most senators send trusted proxies instead of attending personally, because they have difficulty controlling their aggression in person.

Senator Graka – a pyrokinetic alligator. She prides herself on bringing creative destruction to the works of man. Her current project is fomenting unrest in the subterranean city of Goreck, which in her opinion is disgusting hive of vermin. After her rebel ichor clan minions burn the place down, it will be a lovely underground swamp, the perfect place to raise her brood.

Senator Strahvalar is a furred serpent that lives in a sparsely populated polar region. Shy and aloof even by sea monster standards, she is the Republic's premier historian. She favors epic poems and oral history over rigorous treatises. She inscribes the poems on sea stars, urchins, and other underwater vermin using bio-sorcery. Her lair is crawling with multicolored creatures, carefully cataloged and cared for by a tribe of semi-human bards, whose ancestors were kidnapped by Strahvalar long ago. New poems come in from the village of Hrosdar, who have an annual poetry recital on their fishing boats over a particular spot in the harbor. If the poems aren’t up to snuff, there is a marked uptick of deaths at sea. The true nature of the poetry festival and its curse are known to few in the village.

Senator Ghujaeret is a massive 5 limbed sea star. Her specialty is diversity, which she creates with her tremendous mental powers. She can reach out and touch the dreams of mortals, inspiring all sorts of heresy. The point isn't the violence and instability that can break out, the point is to make the whole noosphere richer and more diverse. Every couple of hundred of years she destroys a dogmatically pure city, mostly for fun. She is very slow over land, but her very presence causes organisms to split into autonomous organisms. In the new lifeforms' confusion, they are easy prey for her tube feet, which grab them and pass them to her mouth. After a few days of slow moving carnage, she slips back into the ocean, leaving only flattened buildings and gibbering mutants.

Senator Halahed is rumored to have been born human, but through study and great effort she has overcome this handicap. In her human guise she is a middle aged noble woman of obvious wealth and status. Her true form is a rainbow-scaled serpent. As a human noble, she owns a fleet of merchant ships that travel through an infamously dangerous route with only minimal loses. Her competitors trying to break up her monopoly are never as lucky, frequently losing ships under mysterious circumstances. Sometimes she sees fit to remove obstacles to her shipping empire by assassination in person. She isolates her target, then shifts to her serpent form, devours them whole, then shifts back, leaving only a handful of rainbow scales and the odor of salt-water.  

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