Sarn views itself as an aggressive and expansionist nation. Trade rules in Sarn, and the country controls the vast majority of trade that goes through Lake Lyra in some form or another. They have gradually been annexing lands in order to expand their influence, and over the last 50 years they have quickly shot to the top of the food chain when it comes to buying and selling goods.

Regional History: The area that Sarn currently occupies did not used to represent one unified nation. Instead, there were many smaller, individual nations that competed with each other in acts of war and trade. This bickering kept the nations off of the international map in terms of power and influence, and allowed other nations, such as the Achaemian Empire, to flourish. however, about 100 years ago, the nation of Sarn began to solidify its position in the area. Through a network of alliances, backstabbings, and traders, Sarn managed to defeat its immediate neighbors and annex them. This made Sarn at least twice as powerful as any other nation in the area, and Sarn used this power to quickly gobble up all the other countries surrounding it. Once the power and resources of the area had been consolidated, Sarn began to dominate the international trade markets. By making smart use of their naval ships, Sarn has managed to put their fingers into almost every transaction that involved travel across Lake Lyra. Now, their banks and trade vessels are too invaluable for any other nation to destroy, because they are so central to the international economy. With an effective immunity from foreign attacks, Sarn has become the centerpiece of international relations of Iussus. Their forward momentum has slowed somewhat in the past few years, although they are hoping that their inquires into land routes through the Frozen Wastelands will help them regain it.

Culture: The Sarrans relish the art of negotiation. Gaining advantage over the other party by wits and cunning rather than falsehoods holds a special place in their hearts. They almost always obey laws of contracts, debts, and deals. Oftentimes, they observe these rules so well that they exploit loopholes that third parties never knew were there. Their skill at finding and exploiting loopholes is so legendary that some say the land of Sarn is the land where finding a needle in a haystack is easy: all you need to do is redefine the word needle. In any case, most Sarrans will engage in negotiations on a semi-regular basis, whether it be as a seller or consumer.

Sarran people generally look down their noses at the poor. They view it as the fault of the person that they lack wealth. If they had just been smart, they could have been at the top, but instead their stupidity brought them to become the lowest of the low. Even Sarn's poor, which are less numerous than in other nations but still quite common, look down on themselves in a self-deprecating way. They will do anything to win their way out of poverty, and this determination gives Sarn just the environment it needs to develop a thriving black market.

Though it is a prosperous nation, Sarn has a dark side. The people of Sarn are quite ruthless, and they spare thought for nobody but themselves when making decisions in life. Political intrigue reigns supreme, and missing persons are a commonality. Daggers, poisons, and arrows are the common methods of death in Sarn. Taking hostages is viewed as part of the negotiation process, so the homes of successful merchants are guarded with powerful pokemon and guards, which is one of the nation's most thriving businesses. Corruption in high places is assumed, and bribes are often needed for new faces to get into the game.

Geography: The landscape of Sarn quite flat the further south you go. There are mountains in the north, but the land there is relatively useless aside from natural resources, so the land is less populous than in the south. The Stuya rive bisects Sarn and provides merchants with an easy way to move goods from the northern farmlands to the cities in the south. Large farms and orchards fenced in by hedgerows dominate the landscape and produce enough produce to export surplus goods across Lake Lyra. Farmers in Sarn generally fare better than other nations'. Not only do they have the backing of their country's tariff system, but they also are adept at maximizing produce and profits by strategically using pokemon, contracts, and subterfuge. These rolling wheat fields create a pastoral image quite opposite of the cutthroat feelings of the cities.

Demographics Most Sarrans did not come from the original country of Sarn - or even one of the old nations that occupied the area - yet nonetheless each one has been converted into deal wheeling merchants and smooth talking negotiators. In fact, many Sarrans aren't officially Sarran at all, but are instead officially residents of some foriegn nation that have made a permanent home here to do business. There is a small slave population that stands out demographically for their coppery skin, but on the whole most of the people in Sarn look and think enough alike that demographics are a non-issue. Culture doesn't matter when making a deal, only the words printed on a piece of paper.

Economy: Trade completely consumes Sarn. The country is filled with veteran merchants clinging to power and ambitious youngsters who are trying to break into the system. Almost all trade that goes through Lake Lyra lines Sarran merchants' pockets in some way or another. They own most of the trading ships that travel the waters, and the ships almost always stop at a Sarran port to drop off and pick up goods. Sarn exports large amounts of grain, fruit, and wine, which helps to support the rest of the Lake Lyra area. They also have armies of skilled blacksmiths, armorsmiths, and breeders that support the Sarran economy.

However, by far the most important economic institutions in Sarn are the banks. The banks of Sarn are the most reliable in the world, with viciously guarded vaults, good interest rates, and reputations bigger than the Frozen Wastelands. Multiple nations store money here, as they are more secure than any national treasury. The bankers use this money to invest, multiply their profits, and continue to make Sarn more and more influential. If the banks decided to close, multiple nations would be crippled without any backup plan. This feature also serves to further solidify Sarn's position as an invaluable part of the international government.

Politics and Government: The government in Sarn practices Laissez-Faire economics. Though technically a monarchy, the King is completely powerless and is ruled by a council of the wealthiest merchants in Sarn. The politics in Sarn are just as ruthless as the economy is, and if you don't watch your back, you'll end up in a gutter. Additionally, the Council deliberately avoids putting into action any law that may harm the freedom of merchants to do as they please. Regulations are minimal, taxes practically nonexistent, and the upper class's pampered position placed in the utmost importance. On the international scene, Sarn has alliances with the Achaemian Empire, Serrin, Gavent, Ningal, Elba, and Miristan stating that any act of aggression against Sarn will be responded to by these countries with a declaration of war. Sarn was only able to secure these airtight alliances because so much of these country's treasuries are tied up in the Sarran banks. Effectively, Sarn has complete immunity from attack. Even the Achaemian Empire, which wields an extremely powerful military, can't openly attack Sarn for fear of every other nation in the area attacking it at once.

Pokemon: In Sarn, pokemon are just another tool in a merchant's playbook. Pokemon are used to increase profit margins, make produce larger, increase transportation loads, and as quick message carriers. They also serve as defense mechanisms against the frequent attacks from trade rivals. Breeding operations are also quite common, and many a Sarran merchant has supplied other countries with pokemon bred for war, though these products are now restricted to Sarran forces only. The people of Sarn have a particular affinity for Warbred pokemon for their intense loyalty and lack of morals, which fits perfectly with the cutthroat culture of the Sarran economy.

Important People:
Mika Hale: The only head of a major bank that happens to be female, Mika is one of the most powerful people in Sarn. She manages the bank that holds more than half the wealth of the Achaemian Empire. She's made several enemies, but she also knows how to survive in the no holds barred world of Sarran Economics. She has a dancing tongue that she isn't afraid to use and her femininity, which gives her the upper hand in business dealings. She is widely recognized as one of, if not the, best negotiators in the world. Her innate talents are augmented by her powerful mastery of image magic. Any bargain struck with her will be airtight for the other party with plenty of subtle wiggle room for Mika's interests.

Bronno Storinbur: A breeder of great renown, Bronno specializes in breeding warbred pokemon. His pokemon are specialized to serve specific functions in armies. Recently though, his business has gone down as he is allowed to sell his eggs only to Sarran forces. He's been trying to get the law changed or nullified, though he has met little success. Slowly, he has turned to the black markets to hawk his wares, which representatives of other countries are only more than happy to attend.

Important Areas:
Selgaunt: Selgaunt is characterized by its soaring gothic architecture and fearsome gargoyle fountains. The city is large and wet. Like all other Sarran cities, Selgaunt is consumed with trade, though it is considered the worst of the worst. It is a breeding ground for thieves guilds, slaver rings, and assassins for hire. However, business thrives here, and exports an impressive amount of goods across Lake Lyra.

Orothan: The city that conducts trade between Sarn and Ningal, Orothan is a relatively legitimate city. Though still cutthroat, traders who are usually uncomfortable trading with Sarrans usually go to Orothan, a fact that the merchants there exploit eagerly. Many of the large Sarran banks are located in Orothan for this very reason, and a wealth of foreign embassies are located in this city. While little physical trading of goods happens here compared to other cities, Orothan presents a front for foreigners to approach and enter into negotiations so that their wares can be shipped to the other port cities.

Plots and Rumors:
Recently, Mika Hale has been spending large portions of her personal fortune on the best ships money can buy and large amounts of mercenaries who live on her lakefront country manor. Nobody is sure why, but it must have something to do with a business deal she made recently.

An anonymous merchant claims to know how to infiltrate one of the wealthy banks. He's looking for more skilled individuals than him to do the legwork. You'd receive half the proceeds if you succeeded. If you failed, you'd die a horrible death.

Unless otherwise stated, the content of this page is licensed under Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 License