Amondiage: People and Culture
Amondiage is a world defined by its seasons, no point on its surface is habitable all year round. This harsh climate has moulded its people into fiercely independent survivors. But no matter how much they fought amongst themselves, Amondiagians have always been united by their shared hardships, and their shared religion.
The Nomad Spirit
Independence is central to the Nomad mindset. The stereotypical Nomad is always moving on, always has one eye on the horizon.
Hundreds of millions of Nomads still migrate along the ancient Roads trodden by their ancestors. Even though the modern journey is made in a comfortable fusion powered grav-vehicle, the spirit of adventure lives on, driving the outlook of all Amondiagians.
Most of the population now live in the cities, but the vast majority still claim to be Nomads at heart. This feeling is fed by popular entertainments that iconise the close-knit Nomad clan: They face hardship together and never surrender their principals whatever the cost.
The great movie director Seville (5514-98AD) portrayed Nomads as proud but weary. Dwarfed and humbled by the grandiose landscapes through which they travel, they still manage to achieve nobility. These images and others like them define the way Amondiagians see themselves.
The influx of Nomads in recent years has diluted the ancient atmosphere of the cities. Historically the cities of Amondiage were islands of stillness amid a sea of Nomad turbulence. The cities were centres of learning, renown for their universities and libraries and cathedrals.
Life in the cities moved slowly and deliberately. Much of Amondiage's 8-year cycle was spent underground, sheltering from the torrid heat of summer or from winter's deadly chill. A great deal of this time was spent pursuing art or science, or gently cultivating what crops would grow in the underground caverns.
The architecture of these ancient cities is peaceful and organic in character. Vast beautiful chambers were carved from the rock, deep below the surface. Underground streams were often incorporated into the designs, so that water flows naturally through the caverns. Its gentle burbling fills the air with calm rhythms. Today, these ancient centres are still the heart of the cities. Amondiagians who are proud of their urban heritage come here to study, or to worship, or to sip coffee in the light, airy underground boulevards.
The newer urban areas are very different. Modern technology has made it possible to build on the surface. Thick walled houses are surrounded by heated verandas which provide a pleasant environment even in the depths of winter or the heights of summer. Millions of these houses sprawl around the lakes and shallow seas of Amondiage's 'temperate' zones. Underground or covered streets connect them to central Malls, which are often season-defying skyscrapers.
Cities are tightly controlled, although without excessive infringement of personal freedoms...
Outlying and Nomad areas are far more lightly policed. There is some banditry and piracy, especially in the relatively backward Southern hemisphere.
The Empire of Amondiage
L'Empreur Richelieu wields considerable executive and legislative power. However, the élitist planetary bureaucracy hold an effective veto over new legislation. The judiciary is strong and independent.