Faros Empire occupies the western side of the continent Eduria and is home to one race simply known as "Farosian". It is divided into Northern and Southern Faros by the Nerumids, but that doesn't stop it from being fiercely united under one banner. The empire is notorious for its impressive navy and utilisation of nether magic.
Until recently, the empire had closed its doors. With the presence of the Emperor in Syrellia, Faros has opened itself to the outside world for the first time in several hundred years.
Faros is built out of black crystalline rock - or rather, its exposure to nether magic has turned every single building into black nethercrystal. It has an ominous atmosphere thanks to the dark clouds always brewing overhead. Its "guardians" are netherwing rays - creatures of the Netherworld that patrol the city ceaselessly, keeping an ever watchful eye over the empire's borders.
Despite its appearance, the buildings are smooth and domed, with geometric architecture. The streets are lighted with glowing white water lamps; the streets themselves are pathways of blue water on which anyone can walk along without getting their feet wet. The houses are open-air and have arching doorways; even though the empire is constantly overcast, the weather is usually warm.
Like how Melssentenia's coat of arms is the Berun, Faros' coat of arms is the Great Ullbarian Horned Beetle. Despite having such a humble animal, Faros has managed to turn it into a symbol of nobility. Cloak brooches in the shape of Ullbarian beetles are worn by all, and will always return to their owners if they are separated.
Faros was founded thousands of years ago at the same time the Melssentenia Empire was founded. Its emperor was the brother of the founder of Melssentenia and both had agreed to link their civilisations, creating the Twin Empires.
The empire developed into a centre of magical power and education. The Semara Region link to the Netherworld below it gave it its reputation for such ability and knowledge, although it did not affect the empire until it was shattered by the backfiring of the cursebreaking Faros warlocks attempted to perform on Melssentenia. The impact of the event was so strong that it caused nether magic to flood the area, eventually becoming Faros' sole sustenance.
As a result, Faros shut its doors to all, and only opened once for the War of Eduria. Otherwise, there has been no interaction with outside forces until now, when the current Emperor left to visit Syrellia.
Faros Empire is an absolute monarchy. The Emperor has complete control and all decisions are finalised by him. There has only ever been one ruling family throughout the history of the Empire, and that is the Marfath lineage - a very old family of powerful sorcerers.
In general, though, the different provinces of Faros are overseen by the Province Magran. Usually only very important matters reach the Emperor.
The current Emperor is Illegan Marfath, more commonly known as Marfath XXIII. In Litvantar human years, he is about 143. He lives in the royal palace, which is located in An'Utmar, the capital of Faros.
The Farosians are described as humanoid collections of glowing purple vapour, kept together with nether-enchanted strips of cloth, giving them a heavily bandaged look. They walk barefoot and wear hooded cloaks of desaturated cool colours, usually greens and blues. As purple is the royal colour of Faros, all Farosians save for the royal family are forbidden to dress in purple apart from their beetle brooches. All Farosians also keep their hoods up.
Facial features are random. Farosians can have no facial features whatsoever, or an eye (or both), or mouths or a nose. None of these facial features are actually necessary, Farosians do not sense the way most living organisms do as they are not alive themselves. If Farosians do have facial features, what can be seen of these are often odd - skin will always be a light purple, eyes are with dark purple sclera and iridiscent white irises with no pupils and a soft glow from within. This glow can intensify or dim according to the Farosians' moods.
Male Farosians are distinguishable by their much larger chests and taller stature. They have a much thicker build overall. Generally they don't cover their chests ever if they wear clothes, and most usually their cloaks will have some form of ornate padding on the shoulders.
Female Farosians are shorter, with smaller chests and more of a petite build. Despite their size, they are just as agile and deft in battle as the males. They are more inclined to cover their chests and wear dresses along with their hooded cloaks, as well as wear more jewellery (usually gold) than the males.
Both genders wear braces on their forearms/wrists and calves/ankles. This is because the wrist and ankle are vital points of their bodies; breaking the braces can cause their vapour to leak out. Otherwise, there is no other known way to "kill" a Farosian.
Farosians have no gods. Religion in the Empire died out after all five races were forced into the same state and became one race.
Farosians live as they are. Formerly the five races were segregated into castes, with one race being the slave to the other four. After they were turned into the same race, they have long since abolished the caste system and allowed all to have their own beetle brooches.
Amongst the Farosians are the Magran - Farosians in charge of every province in the empire. The Magran is a position of respect, awarded to Farosians who have been nominated by their province residents for hard work and fairness, and an inheritable but not necessarily permanent title. The Province Magran oversee the running of each province as well as be the judges within their province courts.
The Capital Magran is a higher council, but restricted within the borders of the capital city. Because the capital is divided into five districts, the Magran oversee each district and are answerable to the Emperor's royal advisors. This title is only given to families of the nobles of the Emperor's palace, and held by the head of of the family that receives the title.
Farosians "reproduce" in an odd way. The courtship is often initiated by the parties interested in each other. Once sufficient progress has been made, the male usually talks to his parents and the parents of the female before the dowry is agreed upon and the entire ceremony arranged by the parents. The parents of the male will provide the venue and pay for the wedding.
Once wed, the two are now allowed by law to consummate. Because the Farosians have no such thing as sexual desires whatsoever, the consummation is always the beginning of a child. To do so, a Farosian couple must locate a certain type of nethercrystal that glows by itself underground and bring it to one of the incubators. Commoners use shared incubators; only the nobles get incubators on their own home grounds, and the royal family has a lavishly built incubator within the palace.
Once done, the couple's living together may have already initiated the conception of a new existence. Energies from both male and female will enter the opposite gender and remain dormant within them, combining the energies from the two. When the energy is ready, both genders must retrieve theirs from within themselves (usually taking the form of a ball) and place these balls inside the glowing nethercrystal.
The nethercrystal then proceeds to channel nether magic to protect the growing ball of energy that eventually takes on a life of its own thanks to the nether magic. Eventually a newly grown Farosian child awakens and is retrieved by its parents to live with them.
Faros Empire and Neruthis Empire have slightly frayed relations. Neruthis considers Faros a dangerous presence due to their ability to wield nether magic - a magic so unstable that Neruthis cannot handle the magic for research. Historically, the Neruthis Empire has always asked for Faros to impart some of the knowledge to them for studies, but Faros has refused on account of not getting anything in return and chides Neruthis for treating the magic as mere knowledge.
This has led to some disdain for each empire, both considering each other to be selfish or unappreciative (Neruthis the former, Faros the latter). This was not helped by Faros' decision to strengthen its navy and aggressively search for more territory - Neruthis described Faros as "shallow" due to its materialistic pursuits. In turn, Faros pointed out that Neruthis was too "complacent" and reluctant to change.
When Melssentenia gained its curse, its relationship with Faros went downhill, especially when they started considering Faros as a "meddlesome" party to their civil affairs. Faros' attempts to help were shunned, and eventually Faros stopped. This of course caused some parties to blame Faros for inaction.
The unease culminated in the War of Eduria, where the animosity reached its peak. Ever since then, Melssentenia has been distrustful of Faros, and for good reason.
Now that Emperor Marfath XXIII has extended his hand to Syrellia to aid Melssentenia once again, the current government in Syrellia may change the political relations for the better.
Faros has never communicated with Morragane except for the few occasions of the Farosian troops stationed in Rinmoria clashing with the Morragane battalions. Faros originally sent troops to Rinmoria for scouting and resources, but after a while they found themselves not welcome by the local races. Today Faros troops are only stationed there to scout, gather information on the status of the Islands and protect their outposts.
Faros considers Morragane too powerful to even deal with, and has left it alone. Morragane has no need of Faros' resources; as long as Faros respects Morragane's territory and carries out the proper negotiations diplomatically, Morragane does not consider Faros a trouble or a threat.
Faros is known for having territory on Mindaladiss, Alkanar and Leukhos. It is not known as to how their relationships have worked out with civilisations there, although Mindaladiss is known to have been very welcoming to Faros.