Theocracy of Xochimechatl
|Conventional short name:|
|Local:||Xochatl, Mechi, Xochimechatl|
|Data codes:||xm, xml|
|Other:||Ravenniara, Iztepl, Pucara|
|Government type:||Theocracy (highly decentralised)|
|High Theocrat:||Icocho Ixatlac|
Xochimechatl is a small island state to the east of Melania.
Xochimechatl's name, which means "civilized homeland isle", is roughly pronounced "Sho-khee-meh-KHAH-tl", with kh representing the sound in "loch". It is a combination of the names Xochatl ("civilized isle") and Mechi ("homeland"), the two most common names for the country among citizens themselves.
Xochimechatl is a theocracy, being govered by the Council of Theocrats, consisting of the leaders of nine different religious groups. The groups vary considerably in size, but all have the same voting rights in the Council. One of the Theocrats takes the title of High Theocrat, although this position is largely ceremonial.
The Council of Theocrats concerns itself only with matters relating to the Xochimechatlan state itself and with foreign affairs. (This is largely because the Council is inevitably split between hostile temples, and is not able to formulate any coherent administrative policy). Matters not handled by the Council, such as law, education, and health, are dealt with by various lower orders of government — usually city or district councils. The system tends to be chaotic, with frequent jurisdictional disputes between different authorities.
Xochimechatl has no formal political divisions, but its various city and district councils serve a similar purpose. These councils define their own territories, in consultation (and often dispute) with neighbouring councils. Because the central government of Xochimechatl does almost nothing, these councils are the real holders of power in most of the country — they have control over law, police, education, health, media, and virtually every other governmental activity aside from foreign affairs.
There are currently eighteen separate "jurisdictions" (as they are typically known) in Xochimechatl. Thirteen of these are city councils, although they typically administer a considerable amount of rural land in the area surrounding their city. The four remaining are district councils, administering mainly rural land. The cities and districts were originally defined under the Lendian administration of the island, although since that point, there have been mergers and annexations.
The thirteen cities are, in order of population: Ravenniara, Iztepl, Teocapec (the capital), Cajamarca, Tulilopan, Calicala, Chucuita, Tlaloc, Ciyotapetl, Paramonga, Pucara, Tapeczitlan, and Santa Lucia. The districts are simply named the Northern District, Central District, Southern District, and Iromina District.
Xochimechatl has no political parties at the national level, with the nine temples of the Council of Theocrats being the closest equivalent.
The two main ethnic groups of Xochimechatl, the Xochimechatlans proper and the Chitec, are believed to have originally come from mainland Melania, being related to various peoples living there. They displaced an earlier people related to the Maritim islanders, of whom only traces remain. The first civilization on the island arose among the Chitec people, who inhabited the northern half of the island. The Xochimechatlans, in the south, later conquered the Chitec, and adopted many elements of Chitec culture. They gave their name to the island as a whole. Xochimechatl was at first ruled by a monarch, but later came under the control of an alliance of three major temples, establishing the first theocracy. Xochimechatl was then discovered by Lendian explorers, and was conquered along with neighbouring islands. A significant number of Lendians moved to the island, although not enough to displace the existing groups. When the Lendian Empire was dissolved in 299 AP, Xochimechatl gained its independence as part of the United People's Republic of the Mari'im Islands, but re-established itself as a separate state the following year.
The main island of Xochimechatl consists of two main clusters of mountains (north and south) with a relatively flat plain between them. The northern mountains, which are the most substantial, reach a height of around 2,500 metres. A small island, called Iromina, lies a short distance off Xochimechatl's eastern coast.
The total land area of Xochimechatl is around 17,500 km².
Xochimechatl's population is estimated at 5,047,000, giving a population density of about 288 people per square kilometre. A slight majority of the population is ethnically Xochimechatlan, with most of the remainder being either Chitec or Lendian (roughly half each). There are also a considerable number of people with mixed ethnicity.
The flag of Xochimechatl is dark grey with a light grey border, with a traditional Xochimechatlan symbol of power and authority in the centre. The symbol is a depiction of the scepter of the old emperors.
Xochimechatl is a relatively poor state, with an economy considerably less developed than most other countries. Much of Xochimechatl's population still lives on subsistance farming. The country is home to a substantial number of foreign-owned factories, located there due to cheap wages and lax regulation. In general, ethnically Lendian parts of the island are considerably richer than the rest.
The largest language in Xochimechatl is the Xochimechatlan language itself. The Lendian language is used in ethnically Lendian parts of the country, and also extensively in business, media, and higher education. The Chitec language is used among the Chitec people in the north, although often mixed with Xochimechatlan.
There is a diverse range of religious belief present in Xochimechatl, although the exact number religions depends on one's definition. Four basic "streams" can be defined:
- The Sky Temples — the Teotlahtolli, Meztli, and Citialin faiths worship the sun, moon, and stars, respectively. Each temple regards the basic beliefs of the other two as legitimate, but nevertheless pays homage only to its own aspect. As such, there is debate over whether the Sky Temples are a single religion or three separate ones.
- The Chitec Gods — the two remnants of a once-larger Chitec pantheon. One is Calacoayan, a god of justice and protection, whose followers are instructed to serve the weak. The other is a nameless god, followed by the Temoans ("seekers"), who believe that their god has turned his back on the world until the world returns to the correct path.
- The New Paths — the two faiths or philosophies established in Xochimechatl considerably after the Sky Temples and the Chitec deities, although still a long time ago. The Teraeli faith worships the elements, and what they supposedly stand for. The Inxichtlincuicatl faith, by far the smallest on the island, worships randomness and spontaneity, believing that people can only be "free from the prison of reason" by acting impulsively and irrationally.
- The Foreign Religions — the two religions brought to Xochimechatl from other countries. The first is Ula'ikism, indigenous to the Mari'im islands. The other is Cruisianity, brought by the Lendian colonists. The former is represented in Xochimechatl by the monasteries of Meko'u, while the latter is represented by the Church of San Alandro.