An oddball in Aatos, Ningal is the home of new ideas. During the golden age of Ningal, the country produced philosophers, nature specialists, political scientists, and economists in abundance. Ningal has the only democracy in the world, though it isn't perfect.

Regional History:
Ningal is a relatively new country. It gradually developed and separated from Sarn and became its own country. The merchant cities that characterized the government gradually developed into the polis system that is seen in Ningal today. They have been active in trade, but mostly stayed out of military affairs unless directly attacked. Five years ago, Phoebus fended off a naval attack from the Achaemian Empire without help from the other polises, and, as a result, has started to assert more influence throughout the country by stating that their actions have put the other polises in their debt.  Cadmus and its allies are the only forces pushing back, refusing to pay tribute in the celebration called the Panathanea that occurs annually. Both groups have been gathering allies and military forces. Whether war is on the horizon, nobody knows, but everybody is acting like it is.

Culture: Influences from their Sarran roots have shaped much of Ningal's culture. It's strong metropolitan focus, it has an active international economy, and the pride of its higher class citizens all derive from their roots. The people of Ningal believe strongly that everybody should be active in public life. Generally this means either participating in governmental affairs (democratic systems) or by serving a stint in the military (oligarchical systems). This public mindset pervades the culture, and Ningal citizens take great pride in saying that they are an active participants in their government. Possibly the sole exception to this mindset are the active philosophers, who believe that a private life of contemplation and search for wisdom and truth is the best way to achieve perfection.

Geography: Ningal is long and thin, and runs along Lake Lyra's coast. It has no real distinguishing geographical features of any size or grandeur. There are no mountains, no giant mesas, and no craters. Instead, Ningal boasts of a hilly landscape whose land is fertilized by the rich nutrients of Lake Lyra and a warm climate. The environment presents the perfect opportunity for olive and grape growth. Ningal's pastoral landscapes have been the source of inspiration for many great painters, and the olives consist of one of Ningals chief sources of income.

Demographics The people of Ningal have an extremely strong sense of self-pride and self-identity. To them, Ningal citizenship is one of the most valuable things in the world. There are two types of people: people of Ningal and people who wish they were from Ningal. Their class is the thing that they believe places them above the rest of the world. Few people who aren't from Ningal are granted citizenship when they seek it, and they are treated as lower class citizens even if the government chooses to grant them a place in their culture. Because of this, few people attempt to immigrate into the country, so the populace remains the same.

Economy: Ningal's climate is perfect for olive and grape crops, though they also produce enough wheat to support their own people plus some. They export a good amount wine and oil, but also grain from their considerable farmland that is utilized. Fishing plays a large part in the economy of Ningal, and fishing ships from the small country are often seen all through the expanses of Lake Lyra. Their economic power in the world isn't great, but they receive support from the upper classes of most every country due to their exquisite wine. However, Ningal doesn't exactly have any amount of leverage among the powers in the world, which has made them a nice target for the Achaemian Empire.

Politics and Government: The politics of Ningal are organized around a series of polises, or city-states. These cities are situated in ideal locations and draw on arable land in the surrounding countryside for sustenance and support. Each polis is its own force, and each different in their own ways from the other, though many are extremely close to each other. These polises generally cooperate, but in recent months, the political climate has grown more and more tense. Pygmia and Cadmus, the two most influential polises, have recently started to snap at each other in speeches throughout the country. They are separated by both political and social ideals. Pygmia is a democracy, is the largest center of learning in the country, and has a powerful and respected navy. Cadmus is one of the last remaining oligarchies, has a formidable land army, and is very militaristic. These differences contribute to the growing power struggle between the two groups.

In the democracies of Ningal, only free men are considered citizens and are allowed to vote. Women generally do not have a place in public society, though Cadmus prizes its female warriors as a great asset to their military force. Also, slaves and prisoners of war are generally not ever granted Ningalian citizenship, as it is viewed as too high of an honor.

Pokemon: Though pokemon battling isn't uncommon, pokemon are more often seen as tools of the trade for the people of Ningal. They are used to move goods around the country, assist in fishing, and increase the crop harvests. Oftentimes, a quality pokemon is stolen from its owner for secret use, or to be sold. This is considered perfectly ethical by societal standards, though it is technically illegal to do so. People of Ningal often enjoy training flying type pokemon that will carry them into the sky over the pastoral landscapes.

Important People:
The Oracle of Pheobus: A title passed down through the generations, the Oracle is a young female who possesses the power of prophecy. Her predictions are often cryptic, and always in rhyme. Her words are taken seriously, as they have never been wrong (though many times the true meaning of the words was not apparent until after the fact.) She is often consulted on matters of great importance by rulers and generals of all the polises, and the large temple in which she lives is considered sacred ground in which violence is strictly forbidden.

Important Areas:
Cadmus: The influential Polis of the west, Cadmus is a solid oligarchy, and it has an impressive array of land based military assets, though it could never stand up to the likes of the Achaemian Empire without very good luck. The city has very strict rules, and enforces spartan-like training on their children to ensure their ability to defend themselves and their country from attack.

Phoebus: Currently the most influential Polis in Ningal, Phoebus has a thriving intellectual community, and a naval fleet skilled enough in war to repel the advances of the Achaemian Empire. They are currently flexing the proverbial muscles and effectively extorting money from many of the smaller polises. They have a strong democratic government with participation seen as being the epitome of greatness.

Plots and Rumors:
The rebuttal of the Achaemean Empire was a great success, but some say that they are planning another attack. Nobody knows the truth, and the Oracle's answers shed no light on the situation. Skilled trainers are being sought to go into the empire and find out what really is going on.

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