Beylik of Kumuso
Kumuco Beklis (Yanogu)
محافظة كوموسو (Pasdani)
Anthem: Mundun Suu Čapan (Yanogu)
مونددون سو كابان (Pasdani)
Moonwater Robe (Estmerish)
Kumuso (green) in Coius
and largest city
|Recognised national languages||Pasdani, Xiaodongese|
|Independence from Etruria|
• New Suuchiksaar founded
• Uluchig Beylik
• Juqu Beylik
• Dadongshi Commandery
• Khorshid Beylik
• Oogid Kingdom
• Pardaran Satrapy
• Kumusi Beylik
|224,851 km2 (86,815 sq mi)|
• 2010 estimate
|6.24/km2 (16.2/sq mi)|
|GDP (nominal)||2010 estimate|
• Per capita
The Beylik of Kumuso (Yanogu: Kumuco Beklis, Pasdani: محافظة كوموسو, Xiaodongese: 库姆索省), which is also called Dadongshi, Kumussuv, and the Sandalwood City, is a metropolitan presidential republic in central Coius bordered by Zorasan, Xiaodong, and Phula. A plurality of the population is Yanogu, which is the historically dominant ethnicity, but there are also substantial minorities from all of Kumuso's neighbors, some of which are more integrated than others. There is a substantial divide between the Satyists and the Irfanics, especially since the state is explicitly integrated with the Antargat Naryn Monastery.
The history of Yanogu people stretched back over 2,000 years to the period immediately preceding the First Phuli Empire. Although it's position in the foothills of the Shalegho Mountains has isolated and protected its customs, Kumuso been dependent on transcontinental trade, and the powers that controlled that trade, for much of its existence. The Yanogu tribes have inhabited the area since the 13th century BCE, but the city only gained the status of independent nation-station in 1946 during the break-up of the Etrurian colonial empire.
Immediately after independence, Kumuso was a constitutional monarchy governed by the hereditary office of Bek. After the fall of Kumuso's primary ally in Coius, the Shahdom of Pardaran, the Bey was deposed by a group of citizens aligned with the Revolutionary Masses Party in Pardaran. After a brief period under a transitional government, the office of Bey became an elected position and the nation became a presidential republic. As a republic, Kumuso has made some significant developments in human rights and civil freedoms, but it has also drawn consistent criticism for the cliquish, militarist government and harsh law enforcement. Kumuso is a member of the International Form for Developing States and the Community of Nations. It is also explicitly aligned, although not a participant in the Rongzhuo Strategic Protocol Organisation, through which foreign soldiers have been periodically stationed in Kumuso.
The Koh Valley was visited intermittently by the nomadic peoples of the high steppes from time to time to gather wood. The Koh spring flows into the Dadong River, which the nomads called Suuchik, and supplied them fresh water, but the rough terrain leading up the spring and the poor grazing lands prevented permanent settlement for many years. Seasonal camps did eventually coalesce in a small farming village that traded honey and timber to nomads for livestock and goods from distant lands. As the village grew, it expanded down the banks of the Dadong and a complex irrigation network developed to sustain the settlement. Earthworks were constructed to protect the citizens, but they primarily relied on their continuing good relations with the nomads for security. With the establishment of large tribal confederacies, the government of Suuchiksaar, the City of Suuchik was formalized as well. A local family was elevated to the status of Bey by the Oguz confederacy; their responsibility was essential to ensure the payment of the tribute.
Suuchik was conquered by the First Phuli Empire and the Bey was replaced by a military governor assisted by monks. They built a monastery called Kwelacchin, the Pride of Bees, which quickly developed into the focal point of the city. Kwelaswaabaa, which is a related name, is still occasionally used as a name for the city in religious settings. Suuchik’s range of trade was greatly expanded by the Phuli and, while it was not a great city among the Phuli, it grew into a successful town. A fire destroyed much of the old town and the monastery and the town was rebuilt further down the stream, though the monastery was rebuilt on its original ground. At this point, the city was renamed by monks to Larajor--the water clothed in moonlight--but the native inhabitants called it Kumussuv--the silver waters--from which the modern name is derived.
The decline of the Phuli left the city adrift until it again fell under the sway of the Uluchig Confederacy. Unlike in earlier times, however, Kumussuv initially resisted the steppe aristocracy. After losing several engagements, the leaders of Kumussuv were denied the right to build their own fortifications and the monastery became the exclusive fortress of the city for many years. They Bey was replaced and now paid his tribute to the Khagan.
The Bey of the city saw an opportunity to win his freedom from the Khagans in the middle of the Tao dynasty when they began to embrace Satyism. The Bey built a second, large monastery overlooking the city and invited prominent Satyist teachers from the Tao court there. While the most prominent Satyists declined, eventually Zhang Gui and his eighteen students accepted and moved to Kumuso, mostly because the Tao emperor did not look favorably on Zhang’s rejection of legalism. After Zhang had taken up residency in the monastery, the Bey immediately declared his independence and stopped the payment of tribute the Khagan. The Khagan sent Juqu Shuzi and his family, the Jushi clan, to settle the issue while at the same time, the Bey sent emissaries to the Tao court to protect him and Zhang Gui. The Tao emperor did not respond and the Bey’s army deserted, allowing Juqu Shuzi to seize the city and set up his clan as the upper class of Kumuso.
Juqu Shuzi, knowing that trade with the Tao was the source of wealth in Kumuso, did not execute Zhang Gui and instead sent his children to be educated at the monastery. Shuzi’s great grandson, Anzhou invited the later Tao to rule the city as the declining Khagans offered less and less protection against the other cities in modern Zorasan to the north. Anzhou had been forced to maintain his own army to protect trade and the expenses grew constantly. Additionally, Anzhou, a member of the Juqu clan, had been forced to rely on the native Yanogu for his soldiery and greatly feared rebellion. A commandery was established at Kumuso, or Gaochang as it was then called, with a garrison. Under the rule of the Tao Kumuso prospered as a transport hub to the north and the monastery there was patronized heavily by the Tao.
In the brief unrest of the Jiao rise to power, the ruling Juqu family was massacred and their palace burned down. The peasants who had rebelled also threatened the monastery with destruction, but the monks threw open the gates and welcomed the peasants instead. They quickly accepted the rule of Oogi Pekir. In return for their obedience, Pekir merely expelled them from their monastery, but allowed them to continue living in the city. Pekir declared himself Irfanic and historians theorize that his teacher Abduhalik may have been the one to originally agitate for the rebellion. Under Pekir’s descendants, Kumuso reached its peak. Able to resist the influence of the Jiao and Pardarians on its own, Kumuso was a hub of trade and learning. Satyists and Irfanics were able to converse freely and there was a flowering of philosophy during this period.
After the Kumuso Flower period, it quickly fell back under the sway of the Xiaodongese and the Pardarians. Different Beys were able to leverage their position to the enhancement of Kumuso or foolishly fell under the control of one of the religious factions in the city. In an effort to avoid relying on either the Irfanics or the Satyists, Bey Baurchuk began to rely on this advice of a Solarian Catholic missionary. This ultimately led to a series of diplomatic blunders that made Kumuso reliant on the Etrurian colonial empire. Kumuso was then made into a hub for Etrurian trade, but it greatly impoverished the local citizens. In the late 19th century, the Etrurians would be expelled by the Satyists and a Satyist Bey appointed.
The country is dominated by a rough, hilly terrain the east that eventually descends into erg in the west. The Koh valley, which is home to most of Kumuso's inhabitants, is the source of the Dadong (or Korsotku) River, which dries up quickly as it flows southwest.
Kumuso's position at high altitude and distance from the coast forms a very cold climate with little rainfall. Kumuso typically receives 30-40 millimeters of precipitation a year; this is insufficient for most of Kumuso's native vegetation, which is watered instead by intermittent snow melts. Even this source of moisture is unreliable, however, as the nighttime temperatures can drop below freezing during any month of the year.
The climate varies widely based on elevation; the Koh valley being low enough at its lowest elevation to produce much more evapotranspiration than any other part of the country. Water from the mountains and from a few natural springs, supply the Koh river with water during the warm months. This water evaporates and, while some is lost to wind, much of it remains in the valley and creates a greenhouse effect. The lower elevations are therefore consistently warmed and wetter year-round. Similar microbiomes occur along the northern ridge of the valley where a few hot springs keep their immediate surroundings frost-free year round.
There are very few species native to Kumuso; most animal and plant life has been introduced and sustained by humans. Notable exceptions include several endemic species of beetle, a variety of vole that lives around the river, and the rhodophyta found in Kumuso's hot springs. Most of the biomass is centralized in proximity to the Dadong River, which is heavily wooded with coniferous trees. Beyond the valley and hot springs, the forest gives way to sagebrush moorland. Above the bush is a grassland composed of tundras festuca and junegrass.
Politics and Government
Kumuso is a unitary state under a presidential republic, the head of state being the Bey and the head of government the Premier. During the latter years of the Etrurian Protectorate, the secular civilian government was able to pass several important reforms including the universal suffrage of residents, religious freedom, and freedom of expression. The national legislature, which is also the municipal council of Kumuso City, has nine members at large elected every five years. The Premier is elected every five years, with no term limit, and appoints all of the other secular officers of Kumuso including the Rural Affairs Secretary, the Secretary of Police, and the Urban Secretary.
The legal system is based heavily on the Tsa Yig of the Satyist Monastery and all criminal matters are under the jurisdiction of the Monastery, though those decisions can be appealed to a secular jury of three citizens of the same faith as a the accused. Most civil matters are also decided by a jury of three since arbitrators and mediators tend to also be Satyist monks.
The nine members of the Supreme Council are chosen in a quinquennial election. Eight of the nine seats are at large and one is reserved for voters outside of the Kumuso Urban region. Because of the small size of the legislature, there are no political parties, but there are several interest groups that have a great deal of influence on elections. The most important organization is the National Yanogu Citizens Association (Uluttuk Yanogu Jarandary Birikmesi or UYJB), which has reliably elected 4-5 members of the Supreme Council every election since 1988. Before 1988, the UYJB was the only legal lobbying organization and all members of the Supreme Council required at least their consent to hold office. The second largest lobbying organization is the Students & Workers Association (Okuuchu Menen Kumushchu Birikmesi or OMKB), which was originally formed to oversee the administration of work visas for Xiaodonegese residents, but has since become a prominent force in city politics. The OMKB's endorsed candidates typically hold 2 seats on the Supreme Council. The Irfanic political element, which is called the Public Decency Organization (Koomduk Adeptuuluktun Uyum or KAU) is sometimes not represented on the council, but holds 1 seat at most. In years in which the UYJB does not win all five of its normal seats, there is typically a representative from the Satya Consciousness Society (Satyabaykoo Uyumu or SU) or from the Chamber of Commerce. The final representative, the rural representative, is technically independent, but generally votes with the UYJB.
Kumuso has a volunteer militia which holds training days once a month. Every company of 250 or more volunteers is allowed to elect a lieutenant who receives a small stipend, attends weekly training sessions with the other officers, is allowed access to the armory, and can schedule additional training for his or her company. Approximately 1,000 to 1,500 men and women attend training each month and the state estimates that approximately 8,500 to 9,000 volunteers could be relied on to actually serve in an emergency. The Premier appoints a Major General who also has a staff of ten civilians. Law enforcement assets are the primary weaponry of the military.
Service in the militia is an important aspect of public life in Kumuso. Middle class families with connections to the government, almost all of them, need to be seen represented in the ranks of the militia. This includes even small business owners, who need the Supreme Council to have a favorable view of them in order to maintain their business licenses. This often takes the form of an older child joining the militia or a family members who is also an employee of the business. There are no formal policies that require this, but it is a de-facto protection racket that has been exposed by international journalists periodically. Civil servants almost universally participate in drills once or twice a year, occasionally more often when seeking advancement.
In 1980s, the drills had much higher attendance since they were used as an avenue for public indoctrination and public assistance, since attendees were provided with two meals for their day of service. During the 1996 financial crisis, however, the meals were cancelled and, even though they have been brought back as of 2008, the homeless and poor have been discouraged from joining volunteer units by middle class families and political aspirants.
Kumuso is heavily reliant on Xiaodong and Zorasan for trade and defense, which has lead many foreign journalists and politicians to call Kumuso a puppet of ROSPO, though Kumuso is not a member of that organization. Close association with ROSPO states has lead to some conflicts with neighboring Phula, especially over access to Satyist religious sites in both nations.
Kumuso has a diverse economy including the major sectors of health, tourism, and transportation. The waters of the Koh valley, which were once a legendary source of healing and youth, still inspire over half a million visitors each year. To support the flow of religious and health tourists, many large resorts, spas, and private vacation homes have been built on the hills surrounding the city. Additionally, goods such as Koh Soaps, Yanogu Incense, and candles are produced or licensed in Kumuso for sale around the world. Until the 1990's, Xiaodong's alternative medicine market dominated Kumuso's exports.
Kumuso suffers from extreme income inequality; the top 1% of citizens control 68% of the income and the bottom 20% controls 1%, many surviving on $10 a day. This is in part caused by the extreme wealth disparity along the urban-rural divide, but is exacerbated at all levels by a high amount of foreign equity. Over half of all ownership interests are held by foreign nations, especially citizens of the UZIR and Xiaodong. Even though Kumuso enjoys a high employment rate in the urban sphere, very little wealth is retained by citizens. Poverty is most extreme in the rural population, where 60% of residents are engaged in subsistence agriculture.
Kumuso's City Water, Light, and Power Company (CWLP) operates the urban sections of the power-grid, which is the only modernized electrical grid in Kumuso. This has been achieved primarily through a cooperative development project that has connected Kumuso's power grid to the South Pardaran grid. The Kumusi utility operates four coal broilers, which is enough to sustain the city during off hours, but depends heavily on Zorasan for peak hours.
Since 2009, the city utility has been forbidden to construct any new power plants because the city is in a thermal depression, which prevents greenhouse gasses from dissipating. There have been several incidents in which residents have suffered adverse health effects from the poor air quality, which led to the Supreme Council to abandon its Energy Independence Initiative in 2005. In 2009, the city dismantled two coal fired broilers after reaching an agreement with the Pardaran energy authority. The transition period was difficult and construction delays led to several city-wide blackouts during the winter.
Outside of the city-proper, access to electricity is extremely limited. Several religious organizations maintain on-site generators for their isolated facilities. In 2008 the Supreme Council purchased and distributed 500 propane space heaters and created a heavily subsidized refill program. Most of these heaters went to urban residents instead of the intended rural population. The plan was repeated in 2010, but this time applicants had to live in an residence not connected to the city power grid. Several hundred residents, who complained that their electricity was not reliable, disconnected their homes to receive the space heater. In 2012, the Supreme Council ended their subsidy on propane and abandoned the effort to provide energy to the rural population.
The most important economic activity in Kumuso is tourism, which consisted of over half a million tourists annually. Some of the biggest attractions are the Kwelacchin monastery, the Su hot springs, several mountain peaks, and river activities on the Dadong during the summer months. Tourism has led to the creation of many recreation facilities and also a small manufacturing community that sells health and beauty products around the world. Originally, many of these products included some element of Kumuso's natural environment, such as gharuwood or water from the hot springs, but the Supreme Council has limited the destruction of Kumuso's environment starting in 1910. Many manufacturers flouted those regulations or simply paid the fines for their lucrative exports to Xiaodong. In 2004, however, the Supreme Council began to deport water poachers. Despite this, many products are still marketed as authentic Kumusi spring water, which may indicate that the illegal collection of water has continued.
The constant flow of tourists has encouraged the creation of a culinary and fine arts community in the city center. These restaurants and galleries are typically owned by foreign corporations, however, and the Supreme Council has started several initiatives to encourage more locally owned small businesses. The most important measure was passed in 1985 to provide small, citizen owned businesses with discount loans, but that measure was repealed in 1996 during a fiscal crisis.
Outside of the urban area, most citizens are engaged in agricultural work. Some of them work on plantations to grow gharuwood, sandalwood, and sage for manufacturing, but 60% of residents outside of the city are in subsistence agriculture. Many of them are also nomadic or semi-nomadic, moving herds through Kumuso and into Zorasan and Kituk. Because of this lifestyle, they were initially persecuted for failing to pay taxes or not adhering to regulations on children welfare and livestock hygiene. The population of nomads steadily declined until 1988, when Kumuso reached and agreement with Kituk and Zorasan to protect the rights of nomads in the Central Coius region. Since 1988, the nomads have been incorporated into the industrial complex of Kumuso, providing tourist activities and artisan goods for sale.
Almost all transportation infrastructure investment takes places within one of three contexts: public urban, foreign private, and religious private. The Supreme Council focuses mostly on three large boulevards, with a smaller budget for repairs and projects around the city proper. Each of those boulevards has a free public bus line conveniently named lines one, two, and three. Several businesses operate secondary bus lines throughout the city; they are granted licenses on a ward by ward basis. These transportation companies act as the enforcers of Kumuso's defacto religious segregation since the drivers will refuse service to Satyist or Irfanic residents if they violate the unofficial segregation. In 1966, the Metropolitan Court of Kumuso ruled that the Supreme Council could rescind business licenses for religious discrimination, but the Supreme Council has rejected every opportunity to enforce that ruling.
The largest transportation project in Kumuso is the international highway linking Zorasan and Xiaodong with an accompanying railway. The Supreme Council maintains the exits and a business loop through the city, but the main route is maintained by a special joint commission of Zorasan and Xiaodong.
Spas and resorts around Kumuso operate courtesy car fleets and maintain private roads to connect them to the city's main thoroughfares. Second-hand vehicles from these imported fleets are purchased by taxi drivers to serve the middle income residents and tourists staying in the city proper. The temples and shrines of the Kumusi countryside often own passenger vans for their employees or parishioners.
Country villages and nomad communities use a network of informal dirt roads and tracks to navigate, very little of which is maintained by the Supreme Council. During winter, there is a one to two week delay in clearing direct lines to the city proper.
A majority of Kumusi citizens identify as Oroqic Yanogu, which was a prerequisite for citizenship until 1946, when the Bey recognized all Oroqic residents as citizens in an attempt to enlarge the pool of manpower available to resist incursions from Pardaran. After the war and the constitutional reformation, the Supreme Council removed ethnicity from consideration for citizenship applications. Additionally, the rights of citizenship are largely extended to all permanent residents, which is defined as spending a minimum of 183 days per year in good standing in Kumuso for three years.
The Koh valley has historically been inhabited by a variety of Oroqic peoples as a primary source of wood and because of the surrounding region of summer pasture. The Yanogu people emerged from Orogic nomads who settled permanently in the Koh Valley area. It was not until the Oogid state of the 16th century, however, that the Yanogu became the politically and economically dominant class of citizens. Under the Oogids, the first concept of a national, Yanogu identity emerged in contrast to the rest of the Orogic people. This sense of independence was encouraged by the Shahdom of Pardaran in the later years of the Etrurian empire who saw the Yanogu as a traditionalist ally against the emerging collectivist movement.
Although Kumuso has actively attempted to increase its population, regardless of ethnicity, the population has not grown dramatically since the immediate post-war period. This is primarily the result of high emigration to both Zorasan and Xiaodong, both of which have much larger economies and a higher demand for works in their many large cities. From 1946 to 1975, Kumuso did not approve more than 200 work visas per year for Kumusi citizens to take jobs abroad in an attempt to halt emigration, which severely inhibited trade, but did not reduce the nation's dependence on trade. Economic troubles in Xiaodong leading to the Orchid Revolution, had an early and harsh impact of Kumuso. In 1975, the government began approving thousands of foreign work visas to alleviate a looming starvation crisis and food prices soared. From 1975 to 1983, thousands of Kumusi citizens fled the country by work visas or seeking refugee status abroad and Kumsuo's population dropped precipitously. The Supreme Council followed the example of Xiaodong in 1983, privatizing state assets and liberalizing the labor market dramatically. State assets were primarily purchased by foreign investors, including corporate interests in Xiaodong and Senria. Using these short-term gains, the state began to subsidize food imports heavily, which halted the exodus. While Kumuso's economy began to stabilize, Xiaodong was cast into a constitutional crisis in 1987 and Kumuso's population of Xiaodongese rocketed up from around 50,000 in 1975 to 250,000 in 1988.
The Kumusi school system is divided into eleven grades and is compulsory for the first nine grades, ages 6-16. The highly centralized population, two-thirds of which is located in the city-proper, has lead to the consolidation of grades into several large schools, rather than being divided into primary and secondary schools. There are three public schools in the metropolitan area--the National Bhumi Library & Academy, the Koh Regional School, and the Metropolitan School of Math and Science--which are distributed approximately equidistantly around the city. Many parents opt out of the primary grades (1-4) and send their children to private religious schools or to dual language schools in the case of multi-linguistic families. Private primary schools are also generally much smaller and more numerous, making schools routes shorter and safer. There is also a popular perception that the curricula of the public primary schools focuses on indoctrination. Secondary grades (5-9) are more rigorous and there a fewer private alternatives to the public system. 98% of potential students in the city-proper attended a secondary school to completion.
Higher education is severely limited in Kumuso and there are no universities, although there are vocational schools and colleges. The government awards several generous scholarships every year for Kumusi students to study abroad at any university they can be accepted to. A large minority of students are engaged in correspondence programs through the National Bhumi Library & Academy. In order to qualify for scholarships or correspondence school financial aid, students must complete a minimum two years of "reading" at the National Bhumi Library & Academy, which are an approximate to the high school grades abroad (10-12). There is no degree awarded for reading unless a student is also approved for university study, so students who wish to pursue a university degree without government approval, must complete their education at a private school in order to satisfy admissions requirements at foreign schools. There is, as a result, always a large pool of "readers" competing for a limited number of government scholarships. Students expect their readerships to last for three to six years before they can earn a scholarship to continue their education; this long period of waiting has effectively limited access to higher education to middle class and wealthy families. Lower class families still have access to the Bhumi Library and can request and join classes there as well as use the Library's resources for self-guided study.
A plurality of Kumusi citizens are Satyist, specifically the Antargat sect. This is primarily because 75% of Yanogu inhabitants are Satyists. There is no formal census figure on religious affiliation since the state is nominally secular, but since contributions to Irfanic and Satyist religious establishments are tax deductible, there is a good estimate of religious affiliation based on tax records.
The share of citizens identifying as either Irfanic or Satyist has been declining steadily since the 1970s, which has led both religious establishments to begin community outreach efforts. In 1976, the Imam of the Metropolitan Mosque and the Prior of Naryn Monastery formed the Hands of Mercy Outreach Council, which was instrumental in alleviating the human suffering of the famines in the late 1970s. Both organizations have also separately operated shelters and soup kitchens as well as building and maintaining public spaces. For this reason, many social and secular organizations depend on either establishment for material support and for event venues. Many citizens who identify as "spiritual" but not religious therefore consider themselves to part of one or the other religious traditions even if they do not practice the faith.
Kumusi culture has been influenced by a diverse group of neighboring cultures including the Satyist empires of Phula and Xiaodong, the Irfanic Ghoditra and Pardarians.