The Proto-Moonshine people broke away from their parent organization, the Crystals, in August 3948 and moved rapidly northward, quickly spreading over an area far larger than the Empire they had seceded from. However, cold climates kept their population density low.
- 1 Gender relations and power structures
- 2 Early History
- 3 Religion
- 4 Government and politics
- 5 Government of the Moonshine Empire
- 5.1 Taxation
- 5.2 Imperial Government
- 5.3 State Governments
- 5.4 Slavery
- 5.5 States of the Foundational Moonshine Empire
- 5.6 Municipal governments
- 6 First years of independence
- 6.1 Formation of the Feminist Compact
- 6.2 Moonshine-Thunder relations
- 6.3 Conquest of Xómoye and Sàkʷalo
- 6.4 Settlement of Xema
- 6.5 Climate and geography of proto-Moonshine settlements
- 6.6 Moonshine-Sakhi relations
- 7 Anchor Era
- 7.1 Attitudes towards business
- 7.2 Settlement of Xómeye
- 7.3 Contacts with the Soap Bubbles and Swamp Kids
- 7.4 Moonshine-Matrix war
- 7.5 Postwar reforms in Moonshine territory
- 7.6 Postwar contact with enemy leagues
- 7.7 Relations with Asala and Nama
- 7.8 Banners and emblems
- 7.9 Comparisong with FILTER
- 8 Ethnic divisions among the proto-Moonshine people
- 9 Notes
Gender relations and power structures
Proto-Moonshine culture was strongly feministic from its very beginning.
Most adult male Moonshines had the ability to lactate, and although their breast milk was considered slightly inferior to that of a woman, they helped out with breastfeeding just as much as women did.
The Great Conspiracy
The Great Conspiracy was an event in early Moonshine history in which all of the female population of the tribe worked together secretly to steal control of society from their males, and install an all-female government and police system to ensure that males would be powerless to take it back.
The Moonshines were able to do this in part because many of their people shared anatomical traits that helped females remain powerful. Primarily, the fact that women were often taller than men, particularly among those Moonshines who had the most Repilian ancestry. This meant that women were physically capable of winning fights against men, and in some cases were actually stronger than the average man.
However, the Great Conspiracy was primarily concerned with political power rather than the physical safety of either their tribe's men or women.
Rather than concentrate power in the hands of just a few unelected leaders, political power was shared among adult females generally, with no single head of state at the highest level. The Moonshines believed that preventing the rise of dictatorial rulers was very important, and that they would be willing to make their form of government less efficient by removing the head of state just to ensure that they would not meet the same fate as some of their political enemies.
However, at local levels, the opposite situation appeared. Local rulers were extremely powerful since there was no head of state above them and the imperial legislature did not generally vote on issues that affected only single cities within their empire. These local rulers were described with a word that can be translated as toparchs and their domains could be called toparchies.
The Moonshines also banned all political parties other than their own, meaning that very little debate took place in their legislatures, and most decisions were nearly unanimous.
Relations with Nama
At hte time of the birth of the Moonshine nation, Nama was the world's oldest empire. Nama had existed without interruption in its then-current location for more than 14000 years. However, during the most recent 2000 years, it had undergone a dramatic decline.
Nama had existed for more than 12000 years as a peaceful union of small kingdoms, each of which was granted complete political autonomy, including the right to a private military. However, these militaries were meant primarily to function as bodyguards for government officials and to aid the police in preventing crime; real military power rested with the much larger Naman Imperial Army, which was loyal not to the hundreds of tiny kingdoms within Nama but to Nama as a whole. Nevertheless, internal wars between the kingdoms were extremely rare and the Naman army could easily crush any aggressor. The only real threat of war that Nama faced for most of its history were invasions from the non-Naman people (mostly Sukuna) to their south. However, the Sukuna people were divided by tribe and spent more time fighting against each other than against Nama. Thus, Nama's military safety went largely unchallenged for 12,000 years.
Things began to change around the year 2200. Beginning around the year 0, new settlers from the islands of Laba had begun settling in the Sukuna lands to the south of Nama, with a smaller number settling in Nama itself. Nama welcomed the settlers, because even though Nama knew that these settlers were also divided by tribe, they saw that for the most part the settlers were allying with Nama against the Sukuna and therefore would be unlikely to become enemies of Nama.
However, over the next 2000 years the lands that had formerly been occupied by Sukuna peoples began to fill up. The climate was also warming, and cultures of the south who had previously been uninterested in settling the interior began to plan great northward expansions. Increasingly, nations along the south coast began punching northward into Nama's territory, generally finding that Nama's weak, pacifistic Imperial Army was poorly equipped to fight back. Even though these invasions were coming from different nations, which often fought against each other, the Naman military was unable to deal with many simultaneous invasions in widely spaced areas of its territory, and often sought to form alliances with one set of invading troops against another.
This system worked for a few hundred years, but the invading tribes of parasites came to realize that Nama was so weak that any of the parasites could ignore their peace treaty with Nama and enslave and abuse the Namans at will. Thus Nama was forced to give up even pretending that there were alliances, and whenever a parasitic colony decided to expand and take over a new kingdom, the other kingdoms sent their people out to build new roads around the conquered kingdom so that, for the time being, the two kingdoms that had not been invaded could still communicate with each other.
By the year 3500, Nama no longer fought wars on its borders; enemies simply rode deep into Naman territory until they picked out the land they wanted to take over, and fought the helpless villagers in their homes. The Naman military was often tied down fighting so many other invasions that they were unable to respond until the invasion was complete.
Eventually, there were so many holes in Nama's territory that Nama was forced to cede areas of its land that had become totally encircled by enemy colonies to the enemy colonies themselves, and Nama's territory began to shrink rapidly. Some settlers, such as the Crystals and the Lantern people, had deliberately built colonies in the least desirable parts of Nama's territory, facing no resistance at all, because they knew that in the far future, the descendants of the founders of that colony would be in the prime position to absorb and enslave Namans fleeing from other invaders who had chosen to settle more desirable land. Thus, Namans had no safe place to flee to.
By the time of the origin of the Moonshine nation, Nama had been so completely eviscerated that only scholars of history knew that Nama had once been the world's foremost military power. The Moonshines identified themselves as feministic pacifists, and took pity on the Namans who had been invaded by hundreds of enemies and been powerless even to fight back. But they knew that if they were to succeed as an empire, despite their strong commitment to pacifism, they could not allow their fate to be tied to that of Nama, and they knew that Nama would soon die. Thus the Moonshines were forced to become a parasitic colony themselves, invading Naman territory and working their way northward in the hopes of finding some land that was as yet still unoccupied by an enemy power with a potent military.
As was common on planet Teppala, the Moonshine party considered itself a religion, but its doctrinal beliefs were little different from those of the mainstream Crystals' religion from which their people had come. Like the Crystals, the Moonshines were positive polytheists: they believed in many gods that cooperated with each other rather than fighting, and believed that these gods were also worshipped by foreign peoples, including the enemies of the Moonshines.
Government and politics
Moonshine coexisted with Nama in its early years. Nama considered the Moonshines to be a kingdom within Nama, and Moonshine accepted this but did not seek to cooperate with surrounding kingdoms because they realized that Nama was dead as a military power and could no longer enforce peace within its borders.
Like some other invaders, the Moonshines adopted the strategy of deliberately settling the least desirable land: the icecapped north, and the glaciated mountains of the interior. They thus strongly came to identify with cold climates, and despite their commitment to pacifism soon adopted a diet consisting almost entirely of meat.
Form of government
The Moonshines adopted a form of government that resembled that of the three great empires that had most influenced them: the Crystals, the Thunderers, and Nama. They declared themselves to be an empire, like Nama had been, and allowed the existence of toparchic kingdoms within their territory that had full legal independence but no independent military. The term in their native language, pōssa, was feminine, since only females could become rulers, but they did not object to speakers of other languages using gender-neutral or even masculine terminology for the Moonshine rulers and their states.
However, unlike Nama, Moonshine was not a multiparty democracy. Despite their nominal independence, all rulers of the constituent states had to be members of the Moonshine political party, which was the only legal political party in the Empire. The Moonshines declared the entire population to be members of this party unless otherwise exposed, but whenever someone sought leadership, they were tested on their beliefs and actions and could be deposed if the Moonshines in other areas of the Empire thought they had failed.
The Moonshine Empire never had a true head of state; the queens had ultimate power in their monarchies, and could not be overruled by any single person from the imperial layer of government. Female heads of state were found in the rival Thunder Empire, which had absorbed some cultural influence from the Crystals.
Legislative power at the highest geographic level was concentrated in a commission populated by hundreds of women. This was very similar to Nama's old government, but unlike Nama, the representatives in the Imperial Commission stood for different geographical subdivisions within the Moonshine Empire rather than different political parties, since the Moonshine Party was the only legal party. Thus, relatively little debate took place in the Imperial Commission.
The executive branch was a council of eight women, Wùtinyə, one for each dept of the gov't. It's logo was a ball divided into 8 hemispheres, 4 in front and 4 in back.
Settlement in Moonshine was weakly centralized around a few large cities, but overall the people were spread out more evenly across their territory than most other countries. This was because the cold climate forced the people to live nomadically in order to find enough food. The capital city, Wōm, was located in a state called Sàkʷalo.
Circular power structure
The Moonshines created a circular power structure, meaning that every person who held power in the government had somebody who could overrule them. Therefore, there was no "higher" or "lower" on the chain of command; anyone who, from one perspective, could be seen as holding the highest authority, in fact had their power checked by the person who would in this view be seen as holding the lowest authority. However, even here, the Moonshines restricted power to adult females of the Moonshine political party only.
Government of the Moonshine Empire
At its foundation, the Moonshine Empire was a confederation of five states ruled by a central government headquartered in the city of Wōm. It remains such to this day.
Taxation is based on a hierarchical system guaranteeing that no female taxpayer, rich or poor, be required to pay more than 50% of their income in any year in taxes. Taxes are imposed beginning with those deemed most important, and if 50% of a person's income is used up before the full list of taxes is paid, that person is forgiven the remaining taxes. Additionally, no more than 35% of income may be paid in state and local taxes. There is no limit on taxes paid to the imperial government.
At the foundation of the Moonshine Empire, the taxes at the imperial level were, in order of priority:
Global income taxes
- A 5% income tax to fund the eight departments of the executive branch of the imperial government: Treasury, Education, Health, Business, Environment, Diplomacy, Sustenance, and Resources. (The legislative branch is not funded here.)
- A 10% income tax to fund the governments of the state and cities. The internal allocation of this money is decided at the state and local levels, but the 10% rate is fixed by the imperial government.
Note that, because the first two taxes are both flat taxes, no taxpayer is exempt from paying these taxes, and that most workers, in both the public and private sectors, receive their monthly salary with these taxes already deducted.
Global payroll taxes
- The First Hospital Tax, a tax levied on male employees fixed at the amount of 50 maka per month multiplied by the nearest integer ratio of the number of female employees to male employees within the business. This tax funds maternity leave for pregnant women and mothers of newborn babies, as well as other long-term medical conditions requiring the employee to miss work.
This tax encourages business owners to hire men, so that the amount of money available for maternity leave can be increased. Because the amount of the tax is proportional to the ratio of women to men, a man working in a business with few other males will often see his entire taxable income wiped out by this one tax, depriving the government of further taxes they would otherwise be able to collect, and in seom cases, leaving the women at that business with less money set aside for their maternity leave.
Government-recognized businesses are assessed by the Business Department at the beginning of each year and are granted a predetermined salary package to be distributed amongst their employees. Thus, the owner of each business has free rein to determine the salary of each individual employee, and these employees are paid directly from the owner's own salary. Because all income taxes are flat taxes, the government levies income tax at the corporate level, and individual employees receive their pay with the income taxes already deducted.
Most businesses participate in some form of government subsidy package in order to remain open during times of poor profits. To participate, the business must hire government employees to oversee daily business activities.
The Moonshine Empire has no single head of state; instead, the Constitution distributes power at the highest level among eight independent departments. The responsibilities of each of the eight departments of the executive branch are:
Treasury: Mints and distributes currency; sets the price of controlled goods. Owns and operates all banks. Pays and sets salaries of non-executive government employees, and certain executive employees; disburses money to each of the five states.
Education: Provides basic education and school supplies to young children. Teachers and other employees are paid directly by the Department of Education. Certifies and places all government employees. Oversees children not attending school.
Recently hired government employees retain affiliation with their school, and receive a reduced salary until promoted to a higher-paying and more powerful permanent position.
Health: Provides medical care and proactively fights plagues and natural disasters. When needed, provides food aid to hungry people. Owns and operates all hospitals.
Business: Grants business licenses and disburses predetermined salary packages to business owners.
The Imperial Business Department oversees most businesses directly rather than devolving authority to state and local government. The Business Department also pays and sets the salaries of its own employees and all of the executive-branch government employees not paid by the Treasury Department. Because of this power, the Business Department is sometimes referred to as "the government's government". However, because the Treasury controls the minting of money, the Business Department's greatest power, the supply of money, is therefore held in check.
Environment: Authorizes construction of buildings, roads, and other manmade structures; maintains the health of forests and bodies of water within the borders of the Empire. Builds public housing and hotels for travelers. With the cooperation of the Department of Health, mitigates natural disasters and provides temporary shelter to displaced residents.
Exploration: Maintains trade and foreign relations with neighboring empires; controls the distribution of imported goods. Levies tariffs on imports. With the cooperation of the Department of the Environment, reacts to foreign invasions and maintains security of open-water ports.
Inventory: Assists with obtaining and maintaining ample food supply chains to all settlements; provides food aid to hungry people; stockpiles unneeded food supplies in remote protected locations. Controls shipments of unneeded food supplies out of the Empire for trade, and negotiates prices in foreign currencies. Levies taxes on exported goods (unrelated to the tariffs on imported goods).
Resources: Sets the value of natural resources within the Empire, and grants licenses for mining for precious materials and other forms of inedible resources. Cooperates with the Department of the Environment to reclaim unused or dilapidated buildings to be converted into raw materials.
The Imperial Parliament is made up of several hundred women, each one representing the interests of a city or rural division in the Empire. Each woman has one vote, regardless of the population of the city or district she represents. The cities are represented directly rather than being defined by groups based on state.
Legislators are appointed by their representative local toparchs, and cannot be impeached or expelled from the parliament. They are usually younger than the toparchs and are often blood relatives.
These representatives create and abolish laws that apply to the entire Empire. They cannot overrule any laws at the state or local level, and cannot include funding requirements in their bills. The parliament is thus a weak branch, and little debate takes place in the legislature.
The form of government of the five states is decreed by imperial law, as is their allotment of imperial funding.
The executive branch of each state government is divided into a number of departments:
Police: Enforces laws at the state level; punishes and executes violent criminals.
Treasury: Levies state taxes; collects taxes from within each city to distribute throughout the government of the state.
Commerce: Sets business hours and approved locations within cities; oversees businesses and forcibly closes businesses for violations of the law. Protects consumers from dishonest sales practices. Maintains weights and measures and investigates consumer complaints. Places teenagers and young adults in apprenticeships and entry-level jobs.
Housing: Provides shelters for the homeless, explorers, and traders; assigns building contracts and places families in newly constructed homes.
The Moonshine Empire assigns most legislative powers to the states, including the authority to define crimes and their respective punishments.
Legislatures create laws, define the punishments for those who break each law, and designate groups of people who are exempt from each law.
The highest court in the Moonshine Empire is that of each of the five states within it; there is no imperial court. The judicial branch is the only branch of government in which religious teachings are commonly invoked; legislators are believed to have the authority to create and revoke laws, and police to enforce them; but appeals and requests for exceptional leniency involve philosophy.
Once accused of a crime, a suspect is imprisoned and the penalty defined by law is made known to the prisoner. In jail, the suspect awaits trial before a judge. The judge's job is to find a reason to release the prisoner, either by proving his innocence, or by proving that the criminal had no choice in the matter. Once the courtroom hearing begins, the criminal allegations are repeated publicly. If the defendant visibly blushes during this time, the trial ends and the maximum allowable punishment is applied.
If the judge cannot free the prisoner, she then attempts to reduce the sentence by the same line of argument. The judge can only remove, reduce, or reaffirm the punishment; the maximum allowed punishment is that which was automatically imposed by the law. Thus, the judge is an ally of the accused. However, there are no appeals: each judge's decision is the sole authority in their respective case.
The courts also mediate disputes between individuals that do not involve a crime, but may be seen as a means to prevent a future crime.
History of slavery
The Moonshines arose as a fork of the Crystals, who had gained military and political power after escaping plantation slavery in their original homeland, the tropical Star Empire. They soon founded the Crystal Empire, and though they forcibly occupied many foreign lands, they held firm to their promise that they would never establish a system of slavery within their Empire.
When the Moonshines broke free from the Crystals, they still considered themselves a branch of the Crystals, and sought to remain allied with the mainline Crystals. The Moonshines were aware of the Crystals' origins in the distant past, and taught their children that they, too, owed their freedom to the original Crystals' successful slave revolt in the plantations of the tropics. Furthermore, the Moonshines quickly moved north into climates where hunting and fishing were necessary to survive, and agriculture was difficult or impossible. They thus had no predilection to reinstate slavery.
But the Moonshines also promised a very weak central government, devolving almost all legislative authority to the governments of the five states within their Confederation. Therefore, no laws against slavery were enacted at the imperial level, and slavery was legal anywhere within the Empire that did not pass its own anti-slavery law. None of the five state governments considered slavery a serious problem, and therefore none of the five state governments outlawed slavery.
The Moonshines believed that slavery had been a problem in the tropics long ago because the plantation economy had allowed a population density far higher than the land's natural carrying capacity, and had depleted the land of its natural resources, making independent survival difficult. By contrast, in the Moonshine Empire, the wilderness was pristine because humans fit neatly into the food chain and did not disrupt their habitats to the point that the food supply was dependent on the presence of humans. Therefore, in Moonshine, any slave physically capable of escape would be able to find food and shelter in the wilderness, and with little difficulty could move to a different settlement and start a new life. The Moonshine government thus believed that slavery would, in general, be unprofitable for the slavemasters, but that there was no reason to prohibit it outright in the event that it did become profitable in a particular situation.
After a devastating war against the Matrix Empire which cost the early Moonshine empire much of its male population, the government enacted emergency economic reforms that allowed corporations the right to pay their employees any salary they felt they could afford, even if the salary was zero. The government assumed that employees in these positions would accept the zero salary out of solidarity with their nation, and consider that even working for free was preferable to fighting on a battlefield against an enemy army far more powerful than their own.
Because of this reform, there was now little practical difference between a corporation and a slave organization, and the Moonshines decided to merge the two, allowing businesses to declare whether or not they wished to enslave their employees. The emergency reforms were thus made permanent, although once the war was over several unrelated reforms were rolled back.
Slavery soon became a common punishment for crimes, and nobody was exempt: even queens, once deposed, often became slaves. The Moonshine Parliament passed a law enslaving all orphans, and merging the imperial school system with the Business department, and thus with slavery. The concept here was that children were to be considered slaves, but that, by excelling in school, they could earn their way out of slavery and into the competitive job market, whereas those who did not do well in school might remain slaves for their entire lives. This new rule resolved a dispute early on regarding the rights of the children of women who were forcibly enslaved while the children were still young.
Relations with the public school system
The new rule also changed the school system: early on, Moonshine's schools had been closely modeled after STW, a corporation in the rival Thunder Empire (Altotta) which minted its own currency and awarded children fantastical amounts of money for completing their schoolwork, such that the children were often far wealthier than their parents. But the Thunder government refused to accept STW's claimed exchange rate for this currency, and in effect the currency was only redeemable at STW.
But as STW grew and enrolled an ever-larger fraction of the Thunder Empire's children, the STW corporation became more and more powerful and began to increasingly force its currency into the wider economy by gaining monopolies on various tangible goods. Adults who had graduated from STW therefore had a strong motive to remain in STW, both for their own interests and for those of their children who were also enrolled in STW. STW even had its own army, and soon the national government, fearing a civil war, began to allow STW's military generals (who were all, nominally, teachers) to determine Altotta's foreign policy and even to declare war.
Even though STW had always been a private corporation, early Moonshine public schools had copied STW's setup, awarding young Moonshine girls large amounts of money while seeking to control the distribution of inedible goods such as furniture and force the public to buy such things from the schools. They believed that STW's efficiency was a direct consequence of its structure, and that even public schools should follow the STW model in order to reliably educate their children.
But the Moonshine Parliament eliminated the element of money early on, and emphasized that, while children in school were indeed slaves, their primary workload was the study and acquisition of knowledge rather than manual labor skills such as carpentry.
States of the Foundational Moonshine Empire
Safiz is the capital district and most heavily populated state in the Moonshine Empire, with about half of the total Moonshine population at the date of the founding of the Empire. The government is centralized in the city of Wōm, which is both the capital of Safiz and the capital of the Moonshine Empire.
Much of Wōm is entirely female, as the residents of many neighborhoods are government employees who are unmarried or have families living in a different city.
As above, Wōm is the capital of both Safiz and the Empire. Thus, people living in Wōm have three layers of government over them: the imperial government, the state government, and the city government. However, the imperial government forgoes the use of any powers that the state government also has, and the state government mostly forgoes using any of its powers that the city also has. Therefore, conflicts are minimal, and the three governments behave as one.
Todrom is a large state sharing a cold, mostly icecapped island with the state of Xema. It is warmer than Xema, and has a larger population despite being the smaller of the two states.
Enapded is the warmest state and the smallest?? by land area. Yet it contains most of the Moonshine Empire's border with neighboring empires, and therefore accounts for nearly all land-based trade. It is the only state in which winter often brings more rain than snow, but nevertheless, summers are not much warmer than winters, and agriculture is impossible.
Rúm is a state consisting of seven large icebound islands in the Rúm Sea, clustered mostly towards the southern half of the sea. Agriculture is impossible, even in the extreme south around 40°N, and so most food is taken from the sea.
Xema is the largest and coldest of the five states.
Despite its inhospitability, Xema was invaded many times during its early period of settlement. Many refugees from various armies fleeing defeat in Anzan settled in various remote areas of Xema, as they realized that by simply overcoming Xema's cold weather, they would gain security and a reliable food supply so long as they did not engage in conflict with other fleeing refugees.
This situation has remained true to the present day, and as a result, Moonshine does not claim ownership over all of Xema's land, but only claims the right to exclusive control of those areas where Moonshine citizens are residing at any given time. Because most people in Xema are nomadic, there are no fixed boundaries for the Moonshines or any of the other groups other than the external boundary of Xema itself.
Xema has very few government-recognized private businesses; most Moonshines in Xema are self-employed or are government employees. Xema has the same government structure as the other states, with schools, hospitals, and other government functions provided for free by the imperial government, but due to the nomadic nature of the people, they do not form the same long-lasting relationships with their clients as do those government functions in other states.
Nevertheless, most Xemans spend their lives within range of a major settlement, and are required by law to claim residence in one of Xema's many small cities.
Like some rival powers, the Moonshine Empire assigns the greatest power to the toparchs, the rulers of individual cities and smaller settlements. The word for toparch, pōssa, is the same as the inherited word for queen from the mainline Khulls language, and the Moonshine toparchs often referred to themselves as queens when they needed to speak other languages. Toparchs ruling smaller settlements can often amalgamate other nearby settlements into their own, forming a petty monarchy. However, in colder areas of the Empire, settlements are too geographically distant, and the people too spread out, for this to be feasible. The toparchs have all powers not reserved by the state and imperial governments, and have the freedom to structure their municipal government in any way they wish.
First years of independence
Formation of the Feminist Compact
The Moonshine queens created a new supranational organization called the Feminist Compact, consisting of all nations ruled by Feminist governments. At the time of the founding of the Compact, Moonshine itself was the only member, but they promised to soon expand well beyond their borders by instigating revolts in foreign nations in which the females would turn against their men and seize power from them in much the same manner as had happened earlier in Moonshine.
When the Thunder Empire had surrendered to Laba's King Adabawa in the year 3953, they had cooperated with Adabawa in setting up what they called the Anchor government, based in the Thunder Empire's traditional capital city of Blop. Nominally, Adabawa's army became a political party, and declared itself to be the only legal party in the Thunder Empire. In reality, however, the remains of the Thunder Empire were far too large for the Adabawists to control, and the defeated Thunderers retreated to the wilderness where Adabawa's army could not easily reach.
However, the war left a power vacuum that encouraged other political parties to also claim territory, and so the rump Thunder army was just one of many armies that resisted Adabawa's control in the Loporomo era, and many of those other armies were as strongly committed to opposing the Thunderers as they were to opposing Adabawa.
By leaving the capital in the centrally located and easily accessible Blop, the Thunderers hoped to tempt rival powers to invade the Loporomo Empire and force Adabawa's army to fend off invaders from all directions while the Thunderers remained in less desirable territory concentrated hundreds of miles away from Blop, completely off the map and out of reach of most foreign powers. Moving to the wilderness reduced the Thunderers from the world's second richest empire (the Crystals were first) to one of the poorest, but the Thunderers preferred to be poor but secure rather than rich but vulnerable.
When the Moonshine people left their home empire, Lobexon, they moved north into the wilderness as well, and within a few years they entered the Thunder state of Sàkwalo, which had been a major economic and military power as part of the Thunder Empire, but was vulnerable to attack from all sides because of its long coastline and position at the ends of several major rivers.
Grasp of female power
The Moonshine settlers were the world's most strongly feministic culture, and even in their desperate state, strictly enforced their laws among their peoples. Their law stated that only women could hold power, and that men who did not obey their wives, daughters, and other women they met would be harshly punished.
The Thunderers had a much more permissive culture, with many roads to power for all citizens, not just women. The state of Sàkwalo had been founded by a woman and ruled primarily by women for its entire history, however, so the Thunderers were comfortable with women in power and did not object to the Moonshines' hyper-feministic demands. However, the Thunder and Moonshine governments were structurally incompatible in many other ways — for example, the Moonshines did not believe in heads of state — and so the Thunderers allowed the Moonshines to govern themselves wherever the Moonshines were predominant but did not grant city status to the Moonshine settlements or allow the Moonshine women to participate in the remnant Thunder government of Sàkwalo. Meanwhile, the Moonshines accepted the Thunderers as allies but did not adopt their currency or attempt to integrate their economies; likewise the Thunderers, even women, could not hold power in the Moonshine government because the Moonshines denied power to political parties other than their own, and conversion was very difficult.
Era of cooperation
Over the generations, the Moonshines in Sàkwalo grew more quickly than the Thunderers, both because the Thunderers preferred warmer climates (despite their name Cold Men) and because the Moonshines had a higher birthrate. The high birthrate of the Moonshines surprised the Thunderers, who had expected a culture with such an extremely feministic worldview to see childbirth as a chore and a handicap for women in the economy. However, by eliminating men from the economy entirely, women in Moonshine were free to set their own rules, and child-rearing was well integrated into their economy. In fact, the early Moonshine government even paid children directly for the work they did in their schools, and though they abandoned this practice within a few decades, children still remained an economic net positive for their families rather than a liability.
Sex ratio and polygamy
The Moonshines also made converts of some Thunderers, though they generally withheld political power from converts and considered only the children by marriage of such converts to be true Moonshines. Most converts were women; this, combined with other recent events, meant that Moonshine men of all age brackets were vastly outnumbered by women. Moonshine had inherited from their tropical Crystal forebears the legal structures to handle both lesbian marriage and polygamy, and saw good reason to retain both in their new society.
However, Moonshine polygamous marriages were different from those of the mainline Crystals. For the Crystals, a polygamous marriage generally had involved a man married to two or more women, with their legal status determined by mutual agreement. But among the Moonshines, most polygamous marriages involved a woman married to both a man and to another woman, with the legal status of each defined by the woman at the core of the relationship. Commonly, this situation resulted from a previously existing lesbian partnership in which one partner invited a man to join, in order that they be able to conceive children. After the birth of the child, the mother could then choose whether to offer the man full husbandship or retain him as merely a partner with no legal recognition of parenthood. Owing to a long, pre-Moonshine history of disputes over property rights, however, the Moonshine parliament still forbade triangle marriages in which two women were married to the same man and also to each other.
Meanwhile, Thunder men faced a shortage of women, which reduced their own birthrate and led many single men to become nomadic, searching for a better life, and in some cases to follow their women by attempting to join Moonshine society, thus increasing the Moonshine population even more. Other single men moved into the three mountain ranges , abandoning tribal identity and marrying local women whose situation was even more dire than that of the disempowered Thunderers. In the mountains, food was in short supply, and their birthrate was limited. Yet the Thunderers realized that, in the long run, living in such a poor, remote area could give their children an advantage, since they would control the sources of the many rivers that flowed into the cold lowlands to the north, upon which the other Thunderers — and the Moonshines living in Xómeye — were dependent for their own food supply, as well as fresh water.
Changes in language
The Moonshine settlers had brought their language with them from their homes in the outer tropics. At this time, the proto-Moonshine language was merely a dialect of Khulls, which some Thunderers were also fluent in as a relic of the period when they had been united with the rival Crystal empire. The Thunderers had traditionally associated this language with the mainline Crystals, native to the equatorial regions, and Thunderers said that to hear such a language in a nation on the border of human habitability melted the ice that was keeping the two peoples apart. (Nevertheless, both the Moonshines and the Thunderers had traditionally claimed an association with cold climates, and this new arrangement further strengthened that.)
As the Moonshines began to smother the Thunderers, the Thunderers abandoned their own language and switched to proto-Moonshine, though as a formality, they still considered it to be Khulls, as political parties in their time had always associated themselves with a specific language.
Expeditions to the west coast
As the Moonshines and the Thunderers both began to centralize their power in Sàkwalo, particularly in the capital city of Wom, they began to coordinate their militaries. Though Sàkwalo had for hundreds of years been a cornerstone of Thunder identity, with all outsiders banned by law, it had within a few generations become the cornerstone of Moonshine identity, with Thunderers forced to live under the rule of Moonshine's Feminist Compact. The Thunderers were mostly happy with this arrangement, since any outside force wishing to attack the Thunderers would have to first face the Moonshines and their allies.
However, the resistant Thunderers were disappointed when they realized that Moonshine was a pacifistic empire, and so pacifistic in fact that they had ceded much of their best land to a project intended to invite hostile foreigners to move into the empire, even allowing them to station armed forces on Moonshine territory. The Thunderers had hoped that, with Moonshine help, they could regain much of what had formerly been Thunder territory, but now were forced to abandon this dream. Instead, some Thunderers looked further west, into territory that would be very difficult to conquer with a traditional invasion, but which they felt they could seize control of indirectly by occupying the rivers that flowed westward from their new habitats in the high mountains. They realized that this goal would only be achieved very slowly, after many generations in the mountains, but claimed that by living in the mountains they were achieving their goal. As they had in the past, the Thunderers declared that all of their future conquests had already happened, and divided the vast coastal plain into six states to be divided among their descendants. These six states were bounded by rivers rather than watersheds; that is, each state was to share a river with another state rather than having the river at its center and drawing borders along the many tributaries.
Conquest of Xómoye and Sàkʷalo
The Moonshine army decided to subdue the states of Ḳotagʷùṭi and Sàkʷalo, which were part of the Thunder Empire but had been conquered from Nama only about 400 years earlier. Both nations had taken part in the Thunder government's racial discrimination program, meaning that all ethnic minorities were enslaved. In 3918, the Thunder government was overthrown, and the enslavement of most ethnic minorities was ended. However, slavery of immigrants from the rival nation of Dreamland continued.
The racial discrimination laws of Sàkʷalo (also known as Sàfiz) continued a tradition that had been in place since the founding of Sàfiz more than 400 years earlier. For most of Sàkʷalo's history, Crystals had not been allowed even to enter Sàkʷalo. Repilian aboriginals were welcomed provided they submitted to Thunder rule, and many Repilian aboriginals in Sàkʷalo converted to the Thunder party and considered themselves Thunderers. However, the Crystals were not allowed even to convert. Thus, in 3958 most people living in Sàkʷalo had blonde hair, which was unusual for this latitude. There were also medium-skinned Repilian aboriginals and a small population of intermediate people.
The population of Ḳotagʷùṭi was more diverse, because Crystals had always been welcome in Ḳotagʷùṭi from its very beginnings in the 3560s. However, the Repilian people here were fewer in number than in Sàkʷalo. The mainline Crystals called Ḳotagʷùṭi Xómeye, and the Moonshines also adopted the name as Hōmoya.
The Moonshines did not want to fight a war, but they knew that they would be unwelcome in the Thunder nations and that they could not hide their physical appearance. Some Moonshine strategists believed that they could provoke a civil war in Xómoye and Sàkʷalo by turning the ethnic minority population against the Thunderers. However, they worried that such a war would leave the Moonshines sidelined if the ethnic minorities were unwilling to share their power with the Moonshines. These people mostly favored a plan based on peaceful coexistence: the Moonshines would invade Thunder nations, but instead of fighting, they would restrict themselves to unfavorable terrain and live a simple life while keeping their distance from all other tribes, both in order to avoid conflicts and to ensure that the Moonshine people would be ruled only by their own kind.
Participation in a wider war
In 3952, king Adabawa of Laba declared war on the Thunder Empire. Adabawa had already alienated Moonshine by kidnapping Maninapa, a diplomat, and trying to turn her into a pawn who would preach pro-Laba politics to Moonshines and others in order to weaken their resistance in the war.
Previously, the Thunderers had been suspicious of outsiders. But now the Thunderers needed all the help they could get to help them against Adabawa, and so the Thunderers decided to welcome the Moonshine immigrants unconditionally, and the Moonshines built a city they called Wōm in the heart of Thunder territory.
Settlement of Xema
The Moonshine people moved east and built a few colonies on the icecapped island of Xema, which they called Pʷīpʷyama. Despite being in Repilian territory, the climate here was so cold that even the aboriginal Repilians mostly stayed out, only passing by the coast a few times to hunt or fish.
However, on Xema the Moonshines came into contact with Andanese speakers who had recently been forced out of their own nation, Anzan, and settled in Xema as political refugees. These people called themselves Crystals and referred to their new homeland as Hukuku. The Moonshines themselves were former Crystals, and sometimes considered themselves to be a subleague of the Crystals, but the mainline Crystal party did not accept them as members even if they did accept them as allies.
In 4178, a second wave of Andanese speakers landed in Xema. These were the Swamp Kids, but like the Crystals, they soon broke away from their loyalty to the Swamp Kids and in fact began planning out a war against them. This group is the one that took the name "Xema" for themselves and considered itself the rulers of the entire island, despite having arrived there after the other two groups. These ex-Swamp Kids were sometimes called a name that can be abbreviated as ZDE to distinguish them from Xemans as a whole.
Xema was so cold that humans were reliant entirely on the sea for their food supply; here they were enormously outnumbered by penguins and polar bears. Thus humans were not at the top of the food chain, and sometimes went hungry because it was not safe to hunt or fish. When they did hunt, they brought home as much meat as possible, preserving it by freezing it in their caves.
Nearly all hunting and fishing was performed by men, although the Moonshine women learned how to do it so that they could feed themselves if their husbands were at war. Among both men and women, hunting and fishing was generally done cooperatively, and the catch shared communally rather than being seen as the property of the one person who made the catch.
Relations between the tribes in Xema
For the most part, humans settled only along the coast of Xema, leaving the inland areas entirely bare. Their societies were always on the move, and thus the three mutually hostile tribes ... PMS, the mainline Crystals, and ZDE ... were able to share the land without defining borders.
ZDE and the Crystals (CRY) were at war with each other just as they had been in their original homeland, Anzan. Thus, although both had fled to Xema as refugees, they brought their war with them and did not reconcile. Both groups were also at war with the Moonshines (PMS). However, the Moonshines in Xema still believed firmly in pacifism, and declared that they would never arm their people and would not fight back if they were attacked by one of the other groups. In warmer areas of the world, this masochistic defense policy would have quickly led to the Moonshines being entirely eaten up by their enemies, but in Xema, the population density was so low that contacts between the Moonshines and either of the other two groups were rare.
In the year 4180, the Raspara and the Zenith also invaded Xema, hoping to establish colonies of their own. The Raspara wanted to enslave the others, although they realized that in such a climate there was relatively little benefit that slavery could deliver to them. The Zeniths simply wanted a nation of their own, something that been denied to them for thousands of years.
The Moonshines still did not abandon pacifism when these two new invasions occurred; they merely realized that they would have to try harder to stay out of the way of the many predators that had appeared in their new habitat. They considered the potential for feminist revolts among the other tribes, but decided that the best course of action would be to simply do nothing and let the women among the other four tribes decide on their own whether or not to revolt against their men.
Climate and geography of proto-Moonshine settlements
Despite the cold climate of their main settlements, tropical areas were not far off from the western settlements such as Wōm, and they were able to trade with the friendly Crystal tribes in order to obtain tropical fruits such as pineapples and coconuts. There were two reasons why such sharply contrasting climates existed in such close proximiyty to each other:
- Baeba was warmed by an exceptionally large and shallow sea, which the sun heated to temperatures even above those of the Equator, despite Baeba being located at about 27N.
- Baeba was walled off, however, from the areas to its north and east by a very tall mountain range. Thus, cold air was able to penetrate almost but not quite into the areas around Baeba where tropical agriculture was practiced. Further east, there existed another shallow sea which had a cooling effect on Moonshine territory, much like the opposite of the Baeban sea: cold polar air froze the Sea of Xema and kept it frozen even into early summer, thus making the climate of Xema and northern Rilola much colder than one would expect for its latitude. (See Teppala#Cold Teppala; the effect was weaker in summer in the early days of Moonshine settlement, but winters were colder, thus making agriculture difficult.)
The Moonshine nation soon began to trigger revolutions in foreign nations. The Moonshine leaders ensured that the Feminist Compact, an international alliance of nations loyal to the Moonshine party and to feminism, would always be led by the nation of Moonshine no matter how many other nations joined. The first foreign nations to join were all small tribes of Repilians who had been matriarchal all along but previously had preferred to remain independent of all transnational organizations other than membership in Nama's Mirror Project. As Repilians joined the Compact, the allegiance of most Repilians, whose political party was called RMC, began to switch from RMC's traditional ally, the Zenith, to the Feminist Compact. (The Feminist Compact was not a political party and therefore does not have an acronym; anyone claiming loyalty to the Feminist Compact was in effect claiming loyalty to Moonshine.)
One day, during a major war in the nation of Sakhilat, the Sakhi army was blocked from attacking a foreign army by a wall of women, who were mostly the soldiers' own wives. The Sakhi men were unable to circle around the women, and were unwilling to use violence against their own wives and daughters. The women then forced the men to not only call off their battle, but to surrender themselves to the army of the foreign nation they were attacking, which was Repilian and had recently joined the Feminist Compact. Thus Sakhi was also forced to join the Feminist Compact, and its army was disbanded. Then, foreigners overran most of Sakhi in order to ensure that the men did not rise up in revolt against their new matriarchal government.
Attitudes towards business
Commercial advertisements were allowed only when the advertiser and its competitors all approved of the advertisement. The Moonshines believed that this would ensure that all advertisements be honest and helpful to the consumers, except in the event that all businesses in a given industry decide to conspire in order to cheat their customers. The Moonshines promised that they would foresee such events and be ready to take action against the businesses who published false advertisements, even if it meant government takeover of an entire industry.
Settlement of Xómeye
The popular image of Moonshine was an army of ruthless women who castrated the men they ruled over and were far more cruel on the battlefield than any man could be. But the truth was very different. In fact, Moonshine was so strongly committed to pacifism that in they late 4100s, they opened the state of Xómeye, near the capital of their young empire, to outsiders including their military enemies. In Xómeye, they said, the rules about who was allowed to immigrate and obtain a Moonshine identity would be ignored, meaning that they allowed unrestricted immigration. Moreover, non-Moonshine inhabitants of Xómeye would be given free medical care provided by the Moonshines living there.
When Baeba Swamp learned about Xómeye, they sent a battalion of Baeban soldiers into Xómeye, posing as refugees. The Baebans were accepted, and thus Baeba now had an armed military force inside Moonshine territory.
Contacts with the Soap Bubbles and Swamp Kids
In 4193, the king of Baeba, who called himself the Sun, married a Moonshine woman named Nála and brought her home to Baeba. He was attracted by her body type and hoped that they could have a happy marriage despite being members of opposing political parties. Nála hoped that she could win him over to supporting Moonshine so that Moonshine would have a strong ally in the tropics. However she soon realized that the king loved her body and not her brain. Like most in his country, the king of Baeba believed that women should not have opinions.
Later, Nála discovered that the king enjoyed physically abusing women. At first, she had thought that he merely had a very bad temper, but she eventually realized that when he beat her, it was nearly always over something that the king had made up as an excuse for the attack, and that even when she obeyed him perfectly he would hit her just as hard. When she decided to start fighting back, he divorced her and married a woman named Xăpa. He was very abusive, but Xăpa hoped that if she could survive the abuse, she might be able to get the king to cool down and stop abusing his political enemies within Baeba. Thus, by living with an abusive husband, Xăpa planned to do a good deed for the people of Baeba and the rest of the world.
After a few years, Xăpa began to lose hope. She was making no progress in changing the Sun's violent ways, as he simply did not listen to her. In Baeba, women were generally expected to be submissive and their opinions were not taken seriously. One day, while still remaining legally his wife, Xăpa decided to join the local Crystal army, which was a political rival of the Sun's own political party. Immediately, a Baeban security force (not the official military) assassinated Xăpa, along with most of the men and women in the Crystal army she had joined.
The king was so upset over the death of the woman he had abused for so many years that he finally agreed to change his ways and discourage violence against the Crystals and other rival armies stationed in Baeba. Then he assassinated the leader of the security force that had assassinated his wife.
Shortly after his change of heart, Nála visited the King of Baeba and asked him to donate money so she could help rebuild Xómeye, which had become very dangerous because all of the people that the Moonshines had invited to move to Xómeye had started hurting each other. He did loan her some money, because he felt that she was doing the right thing, but he was sad when he realized that he would have preferred to follow Nála to Xómeye and live with her there than to remain in Baeba.
The Sun soon found a new wife to replace the woman who had been killed. This woman was named Tàṭagìmi. Tatagimi was an independently wealthy woman who had promised to abstain from politics so that she would not be killed by an angry man who disliked her opinions and knew that women made easy targets. The Sun abused Tatagimi even more violently than he had abused Xapa. Tatagimi realized her plan to tame the increasingly sadistic King of Baeba would be very difficult. She realized she had to fight back with violence instead of only letting him use violence against her. One day when the king had returned home from a meeting, Tatagimi hit him in the head with a mallet. The king was then rescued by a team of Crystals, who were working for Nála and providing medical assistance to both the allies and enemies of the Moonshines whenever they were wounded. Thus, the Crystals had saved the life of the man who had killed the most Crystals. Even so, the Sun continued killing Crystals because he found that they made easy targets.
The Birth of the Točîku
Now, the Moonshines sent soldiers both male and female into Baeba Swamp. But they were not intending to kill the Baebans; instead, they volunteered themselves as slaves for the Baebans to take ownership of, so that they could work helping the Baebans achieve a better quality of life. Moonshine promised not to fight back if the Baebans decided to kill the Točîku humanitarian rescue workers.
Alliance with the Matrix
The Moonshines still believed that their primary political issue was feminism, and that there could be no alliance with a party or army that was not led by females. However, in Baeba Swamp, there was now a power struggle between an STW-Matrix coalition on one side and the Swamp Kids on the other side. Both the Matrixes and the Swamp Kids had historically been extremely aggressive towards their own women, and the Moonshine leaders did not want to support either side. However, some Moonshine leaders were sympathetic towards the Matrix, as the king of Baeba Swamp, a man calling himself The Sun, was the one who had physically abused his Moonshine-born wife, Nála, and he had come from the Swamp Kids.
Thus Moonshine was surprised when the king himself switched sides and began to help the Matrix. He declared war on his own people and gathered all his supporters into a private army. This was because he was also a member of STW, and decided that his allegiance to STW was greater than his allegiance to his own country. Moonshine did not expect the king to similarly change his wife-beating ways, but merely to realize that he had been wrong earlier.
Moonshine sent humanitarian workers into Baeba, as usual, and helped rescue wounded soldiers on both sides of the conflict. However, this time they also sent in a small conventional military force, which helped only the STW-Matrix side of the war. With their help, the STW-Matrix coalition cleared out the opposition from Baeba Swamp by 4194.
The new Matrix-STW coalition government immediately declared war on Nama, intending to enslave any Namans they captured. At this point, Moonshine considered itself an ally of Nama, and therefore felt compelled to defend Nama against the invasion. But the Matrix leaders threatened that if Moonshine mobilized its army against the Matrix, the Matrix soldiers would simply turn north and invade Moonshine instead of Nama.
Battles in Baeba
At home, however, the Matrixes were becoming very weak. Even after their victory in 4194, the Matrixes were immediately challenged by many outside parties, chiefly the Zenith and the Swamp Kids. Of the two, the Zeniths were the leading party of the coalition and the Swamp Kids considered themselves merely to be supporters. The Matrixes freed all of their slaves, hoping that at least most of them would fight for the Matrix since the slaves had come from leagues that were historically enemies of the Zenith and the Swamp Kids. To prove they were sincere, the Matrixes even went so far as to arm their slaves to the point that they became almost as strong as the Matrix itself. When enslaved, the Matrixes had called these people "Dolls" since they were easy to play with. After they gained freedom, most of these slaves declared themselves to be Crystals, which was one of the primary sources from which the slaves had been taken. Others, however, identified themselves as Soap Bubbles or Moonshines.
The Zenith took over Baeba Swamp at one point in 4197, and to the dismay of the Matrix, the recently freed slaves did not participate in this battle, and some actually fled the city since they weren't sure that the Zenith was a reliable ally. Nevertheless, the Matrix army retook Baeba Swamp within a few months.
Shortly after the Matrixes had fended off the Zeniths, they reinstituted slavery, and declared that all Moonshines living in their territory would be enslaved. At this time, many Moonshine humanitarian workers were still living in Baeba Swamp, watching the heavily armed soldiers of the Matrix-STW coalition battle the heavily armed soldiers of the Zenith-Swampy coalition. The Moonshines themselves did not have weapons and did not want them; they hoped if that they appeared harmless, other soldiers wouldn't kill them as much. For the most part, the soldiers had respected the Moonshines' wishes to remain unarmed, although both sides had forced the Moonshines to work for their respective militaries in noncombatant roles, when they had originally come in the hopes of improving the economy.
The Matrixes also announced the enslavement of all Crystals and Soap Bubbles. However, because they had just recently freed these people and given them weapons in the hopes that they would be pro-Matrix, it was much more difficult for the Matrixes to capture and enslave the Crystals and Bubbles.
Though avoiding a formal declaration of war for the time being, the Matrixes realized that by enslaving the Moonshine humanitarian rescue workers, they would likely soon face retaliation from Moonshine. They prepared their army to launch an invasion, as they preferred to be the aggressor in this war rather than the defender.
The Matrixes used propaganda to improve their troops' confidence, as the Matrix soldiers knew that they were having difficulty even staying in power in their home city, and many thought that invading a foreign empire, even a pacifistic one, would be unwise.
The Matrixes identified themselves with male power, and they predicted that their traditional male-led army would be victorious over the female-led Moonshines by forcing its way into Moonshine territory and attacking the Moonshine capital city of Wōm. They claimed that although Moonshine's army was largely male, it was run by females, and would likely take a feministic approach to the war by allowing the Matrix army to slice its way deep into Moonshine territory and focus on trying to absorb the Matrixes rather than fighting them.
They pointed out that Moonshine was so exploitable that its own army, which consisted of enslaved humanitarian workers, was actually helping the Matrixes even while the Matrixes drew up plans for a war against them.
However, the Matrix generals felt that it would be wise to hold off on actually invading Moonshine for the time being, because they thought they could win an even greater victory against Moonshine if they were able to trigger Moonshine into being the aggressor. To do this, they made a formal declaration of war, but did not send out their army. Instead, they stated that they would treat the Moonshine humanitarian workers as prisoners of war and torture them in every way possible.
The new STW-Matrix coalition government announced their war by sending a team of diplomats into Moonshine territory to announce what they were doing in Baeba. The Matrixes told the Moonshines that they were now extending the demand for slave labor even to children. They openly announced to Moonshine that they were raping the Moonshine population held captive in Baeba, and that they would not stop, nor would they seek to punish any of the rapists. They declared that there could be no possible revenge for Moonshine here, and that the Matrixes would soon have their way with the Moonshine women even in Moonshine. The Matrixes declared that they preferred to enslave pacifistic people because they could rape the women without worrying about revenge attacks from the men.
When Moonshine's leaders heard that the Matrixes were raping and abusing Moonshine people in Baeba, they sent another troop of humanitarian workers into Baeba. The Matrixes were happy to see them and quickly put them into labor camps alongside the slaves that had been captured several years earlier. Moonshine had been hoping to rescue both the enslaved Moonshines and the wives and daughters of the Matrixes, who were also victims of abuse.
Matrix battle plans
Moonshine's avoidance of violence encouraged the Matrixes to invade preemptively after all, figuring that they would face little or no resistance even when they reached the Moonshine capital. In order to invade Moonshine, the Matrixes in Baeba Swamp would need to climb the very steep mountain range that marked Baeba's outer borders. This was easy, as even the Matrixes' enemies in the Swamp were concentrated in the lowlands.
But Baeba Swamp did not border Moonshine directly. Trade was possible because of a pair of conveniently located rivers, but both rivers required the cooperation of a third nation. Once they crossed the mountain range, they could sail down either the Nyufan or the Tănya River in order to reach Moonshine territory. Choosing the Tănya River would put them in Tata, their old homeland, in which they no longer had any power. Choosing the Nyufan would send them instead through Anzan, which was nominally under the control of the Swamp Kids but in fact had no secure government at all, as the Swamp Kids' historical enemies had overpowered them and begun to fight each other.  Both nations were hostile to the Matrixes and friendly towards Moonshine, but the Matrixes believed that both nations would be no threat to their soldiers as they quickly passed through.
There were actually three separate states in Anzan that the Matrixes would have to cross through. The first was Tʷădu, the second Yīspʷilinâ, and the third Mikagu. Of these three, Yīspʷilinâ was the most racially diverse, meaning that there was a sizable minority of light-skinned people living there, whereas the other two states were composed almost entirely of dark-skinned people. The Matrixes thus figured they would have the best opportunity to set up forts in Yīspʷilinâ without being attacked, as they could pretend to be natives.
Once inside Moonshine, they would start heading uphill again, as Moonshine's capital city had been deliberately founded in a sheltered location. Since they would need to abandon their boats in order to proceed uphill, the Matrixes considered avoiding the rivers entirely and entering Moonshine territory on land. But using the rivers would give them the advantage of being able to prey on fish and other animals as they went, whereas they did not expect to find abundant wildlife in the forests. They realized that they could even prey on people, as any trading ships they happened to pass along the way would be either unarmed or very lightly armed, and therefore easily taken over.
Despite the relatively small distance between their two nations, the climates of Baeba and Wōm differed markedly. Baeba was tropical, and Wōm was snowbound for more than half of the year. The Matrixes did not want to attack in winter, as they realized they would be out of their element. However, they told their troops that their war, even in the best possible scenario, would likely last more than one year, and that the troops would need to learn how to survive in cold weather even so.
Matrix invasion of Wōm
In fall 4199, the Matrix army sailed down the Nyufan river and entered the Andanese state of Tʷădu. The government of Tʷadu had signed a treaty with Moonshine stating that the Tʷaduans would help Moonshine if they were invaded, but at this time Tʷadu's ruling party had no power over their own people and could not fend off the Matrix. The Matrixes, for their part, did not want Tʷadu to participate in the war and they tried to press through Tʷadu as quickly as possible. Within a few days, they had moved through Tʷadu and entered the state of Yīspʷilinâ.
In Yīspʷilinâ, they also found hostility, and realized that they would likely not be able to set up fortresses in Yīspʷilinâ's territory, as they had hoped to do. They thus quickly moved on to Mikagu. They planned to reach Moonshine territory so quickly that they could fight their war entirely within Moonshine, rather than needing to defend a battle front that was within Anzan. Even though Moonshine was more hostile towards the Matrixes than was Anzan, the Matrixes preferred to fight in Moonshine territory both because they believed that the Moonshine army was extremely weak and because they hoped that if they stayed out of Anzan, Anzan would stay out of the war.
Within weeks, the Matrixes cut through Moonshine's border and headed towards the capital city of Wōm. However, in response, Moonshine finally attacked the Matrix troops with a traditional army rather than sending unarmed humanitarians to rescue wounded soldiers even of the Matrixes. The war began to turn in Moonshine's favor, but this was mostly due to outside help rather than because of Moonshine's temporary suspension of absolute pacifism. A coalition army formed in Tʷădu, and another one formed in Mikagu. The first army attacked the Matrix-STW coalition in Baeba Swamp while the second army moved north to help protect Moonshine.
Matrix war strategy
Because of mikagu's counterattack, the Matrix soldiers were surrounded on all sides, and had no hope spread into of establishing contact with baeban2matrixes. .
The Matrixes used propaganda extensively to improve their soldiers' resolve. They stated that there were no men in Moonshine; Moonshine women were very feminine and Moonshine men were even more so. Many Matrix soldiers in this war had also participated in an earlier war against the Swamp Kids where similar propaganda was used. Although the Swamp Kids had won that war, they had sustained a far higher body count than the Matrixes did, and only began to win once they secured the help of many allies.
The Matrix generals promised their soldiers that, once they had eliminated most of Moonshine's traditional male army, they would be facing an entirely female nation, and that despite their strongly feministic belief system, the Moonshine women would be so enraptured by the sight of a strong man that they would forgive the Matrixes for invading and submit themselves completely to Matrix rule.
Privately, though, the Matrixes envied both the Moonshines and the Swamp Kids. The Matrixes noticed that men in Moonshine seemed to readily admit that they were weak, and identified themselves with smallness and other childlike attributes, leaving their women to stand tall as the true picture of their society. Moonshine women, meanwhile, were proud of their femininity; the stereotypical Moonshine woman had large breasts and wide hips, a body type that was seen as embarrassing by the women of the Matrixes. Moonshine men even went so far as to boast of their own feminine attributes, though admitting that they were much less noticeable than those of their women. In essence, all Moonshines were feminine: the women were extremely feminine, and the men were somewhat less feminine, but both sexes were on the same side of the divide.
Meanwhile, the Matrixes were jealous of the Swamp Kids for a similar reason. The Swamp Kids had a very masculine culture, but their men were physically small and they referred to themselves as "boys" rather than men, and did not seem to be ashamed of this, nor envious of the more robust figures of the men of the Matrixes. Thus, the Matrixes had a difficult time intimidating the Swamp Kids, and attempts to befriend their women proved fruitless.
By January 4202, the tide had reversed and the Matrixes had won their war against Moonshine, meaning that Moonshine could no longer rescue the humanitarian aid workers trapped in Baeba's territory. The Matrixes still had other enemies to fight off in Baeba, but Moonshine had been driven out and would not return for hundreds of years.
The Matrixes took control of all of the land between Baeba Swamp and the Moonshine border, and they signed a treaty with STW and the Swamp Kids declaring that the Matrix army was the legal owner of all of the land in Anzan, Tata, and Dreamland. This was more than 90% of the land in the world, and the Matrixes were not planning to actually spread out over all of this land; they merely wanted legal recognition that any non-Matrix army in any of the four countries would be considered an illegal uprising. (Anzan included Lobexon, and was now also referred to as Erala, Rapala, or Paptubia.) However, the Matrixes did execute a genuine occupation of Tata, which had been their former base of power, and was in a convenient location which the Matrixes felt they might need to use if they were pushed out of Baeba.
The Matrixes signed a peace treaty with Moonshine promising to never again invade their territory, and decided to celebrate their treaty by invading deeper into Moonshine territory. They told their soldiers that their dream had finally come true; they had violated and subdued a nation run entirely by women, and those women were now their property. The Matrixes had killed and abducted so many Moonshine males that the remaining able-bodied adult population was almost entirely female, many of whom only learned from the Matrixes that their husbands had died.
However, the Matrixes were now more interested in dominating the refugee safehouse of Xómeye, into which many escaped slaves had fled, than in dominating Wōm. The Matrixes won at first, but later on, the other inhabitants of Xómeye stopped stabbing each other and united as one to kick out the Matrix. Once the Matrix had been chased out, the people of Xómeye started killing each other again. Another peace treaty was signed, with both sides expecting another war would soon erupt.
Matrixes in Moonshine territory
The Matrixes wanted to establish parasitic colonies in rural Moonshine territory. They had adopted this idea from the Raspara party, which had parasitically colonized the empire of the Swamp Kids a few generations earlier. However, the Matrix plan was more difficult than the Raspara plan for several reasons:
- The Swamp Kids had always welcomed minorities in their empire, and in much of their territory, the Swamp Kids were a minority. Thus, the Swamp Kids could not tell apart a citizen from an invader on sight. By contrast, outside of the state of Xómeye, Moonshine territory was entirely walled off to all non-Moonshines; outsiders could not even visit Moonshine territory unless accompanied by Moonshine officials. The Matrixes, despite being a political party whose members came from diverse racial types, did not physically resemble the Moonshines, and could not disguise themselves as Moonshines.
- The Raspara party was able to exploit the fact that the Swamp Kids were physically small and frail people, even to the point of calling their adult males "boys" and forcing the Swamp Kids to address Raspara men with separate adult-male pronouns. Often, an entire room of Swamp Kids would stop talking if just a single Raspara male entered their company, as they were all afraid they were about to be kidnapped. By contrast, the Moonshine people were only slightly more frail than the Matrixes, and had no fear of the Matrixes.
- The Matrixes were in perpetual danger of being pushed out of power in their own territory, and could not afford to waste valuable manpower on an invasion of Moonshine when they needed their military to keep them in power at home. However, the Matrix leaders promised that if they were indeed thrown out of power in Baeba Swamp, they would invade Moonshine rather than trying to win back Baeba Swamp.
Relations with STW
At this point, Baeba was governed by a coalition of the Matrixes and STW, with the Matrixes in control. However, STW had an independent army, and this army sometimes fought battles against its enemies without asking for help from the Matrix. Moonshine hoped that in the future, STW might become the stronger partner of the coalition, and force the Matrixes to back down from their brutal slavery operations. However, it seemed that as STW grew, its own slavery operations were becoming more and more like those of the Matrix, and in some cases were even worse.
Further relations with the Matrixes
However, a surprising turn of events brightened the situation for Moonshine beginning in the summer of 4202. The Crystals had worked out a peace treaty with the Matrixes which gave them very little but the promise that the Matrixes wouldn't simply kill them off. This treaty was of a type that had traditionally meant the creation of a coalition government, but the Matrixes gave the Crystals no power and did not even free their slaves. Their only promise was that the Crystals would be allowed to live. This meant that Moonshine humanitarian workers could once again move to Baeba Swamp and help people there without being killed on sight.
Crystal party split
At this point, an unrelated internal struggle split Baeba's Crystal party into two mutually hostile entities: FILTER and the Phoenixes. FILTER was named after a feminist organization, FILTER, that had existed long ago in nearby areas, but was not actually derived from it. FILTER soon declared itself to be the true Crystal party and its members began calling themselves Crystals.
In response, the Phoenixes signed an alliance with the Rasparas, who were members of a party that had lived parasitically in Swampy territory for about 50 years, toying with Swampy politicians and soldiers at their will, before being defeated and forced into minor party status. The Rasparas admired the idea of a female-led party that shared its political enemies.
The other Crystals were afraid to sign an agreement with men, particularly men of a group that had historically oppressed outside groups and declared that the adult males of their oppressed people were merely boys and not men.
They also pointed out that the Rasparas were close cousins of the Matrixes, who were famous for their use of offensive sexual imagery, such as firing arrows at women's breasts for target practice. The Matrixes did not even allow females to identify as Matrixes, as they felt that only men should have opinions on politics. The Matrixes killed their wives when they became too old to bear children, and said that it was sometimes allowable for a man to kill a woman who was disfigured by an injury and no longer attractive. Moreover the Matrixes had in 4188, just a few years earlier, betrayed their ally, the Swamp Kids, by signing a military peace treaty and then invading the Swampies' army from behind. However, the Phoenixes insisted that the Raspara were not as evil as the Matrixes.
Because the Matrixes consisted entirely of males, whereas the Moonshines allowed only women to hold power, all meetings between Matrix and Moonshine diplomats were contests of males against females. The Matrixes believed that casual violence against women was acceptable, and refused to promise the Moonshine diplomats that they would not be physically abused by the Matrixes.
Postwar reforms in Moonshine territory
The Moonshines believed that they could appeal to the wives and daughters of the Matrixes, and turn them against the Matrixes, if they could only settle themselves in Matrix territory and communicate with those women and girls. They realized that this would be a very dangerous mission and could lead to a revival of the Matrixes' war against Moonshine. The Moonshine leaders did not want another war, because they had very few able-bodied males who could be mobilized for war; most of them had been killed or abducted in the last war just a few years earlier. Thus most of their soldiers would be women, and the Moonshine party considered women's lives far more important than men's. They also refused to turn to other nations, such as Sakhilat, for help because they had earlier promised that no member of the Feminist Compact would ever have to fight a war that would benefit only a different member.
Meanwhile, the Matrixes welcomed male converts, but they did not entertain the idea of peaceful outreach towards Moonshine men, as they observed that the men in Moonshine seemed to enjoy being pushed around by their strong and aggressive women. This was largely because having women in control at all levels of society meant that Moonshine men did not have to worry about physical attacks from other men.
However, despite their firm grip on power, the Moonshine parliament began enacting new laws that further limited the freedom of men in their territory. All male-owned businesses in the entire Moonshine empire were forced to have at least one female employee present in every room of every building at all times of the day, and each of these women could choose what their salary would be. A new payroll tax was enacted on males, covering all businesses both public and private. The money collected from this tax was used to pay for maternity leave for pregnant women, and to buy maternity supplies. Because of the war, women outnumbered men by a very wide margin, and the Moonshines were attempting to bring even more women into the state of Xómeye with their outreach program aimed at the abused wives and daughters of the Matrixes. Thus, this tax cost each man far more money than it paid out to each woman. Married men benefited from the tax because they no longer had to give financial support to their wives during pregnancy, but unmarried men never saw any of their money come back.
A second new law soon followed. Previously, all employees in both the private and the public sector had had individually determined salaries, often paid once per month. This money was paid to the employees directly from the owner of each business rather than being taken from the company's revenue. However, under the new system, each business owner was made to distribute their employees' salaries among the workforce as a group and allow the employees to divide it up amongst themselves democratically. However, male employees were not allowed to vote on the distribution of this money, and men soon realized that they would only be paid if all of the female employees agreed not to keep the entire sum for themselves.
In a similar pursuit, businesses that catered primarily to male customers were shut down. Additionally, all non-governmental organizations were required to provide free membership to any female applicants, even if it meant raising the price of membership for men to make up the difference. Married men were not allowed to belong to any private organization without written permission from their wife.
Male-owned businesses quickly became unprofitable, as the cost of hiring so many female employees, who often showed little interest in doing their jobs, was using up all of their revenue. Likewise, the shutdown of male-oriented social clubs left men with little to do in their free time except wander around outside. Even public bathrooms were affected; previously the Moonshines had set up public bathrooms in busy city intersections which were open to both men and women, but now most of the bathrooms, even single-occupancy ones, were accessible only to women, leaving Moonshine men with no place to go.
Protests against the government
With most of their freedoms cut off, Moonshine men for the first time began to complain about their female oppressors. They claimed that Moonshine feminism had gotten out of control, and men needed a voice of their own in the government to protect themselves. Some Moonshine men formed a new political party, Living in Harmony, whose platform stated that women and men should work together and that society would be healthier if men and women cooperated with each other. The Moonshine government immediately imprisoned all of Living in Harmony's male members and reminded the female members that their political party, like all other opposition parties, was illegal.
Seeing that their attempt to revolt had failed, the remaining Moonshine men began to seek membership in the military, figuring that if they were going to be trampled on by women at home they would be better off hiding out with other men even if it meant they would be in danger of being killed by enemy soldiers. Even now, support for the male-oriented societies such as the Raspara and the Matrix was nearly unheard of among Moonshine men, as they knew that the Matrixes had just a few years earlier killed off most of Moonshine's able-bodied male population, and that any Moonshine men, even defectors, would be seen by the Matrixes simply as prey.
Indeed, it seemed that the harder Moonshine women kicked their men around, the angrier the men became, but they focused their anger not on the women in Moonshine but on the men in enemy territories, especially the Matrix. Even though the Moonshine army's commanding officers were all females, they listened to their soldiers and actually allowed the soldiers to vote on where they would go to fight each battle. Their votes could be overruled by the higher officers, but the very existence of a voting system in a military was unique in the world. Note that, like the Moonshine parliament, the Moonshine army did not have a single commander at the top but rather a committee.
With so many men in prison and in the military, Moonshine civilian society became even more overwhelmingly female. The adult population of many cities was more than 90% female. Moonshine allowed polygamy and lesbianism, as their parent culture had, and some women allowed their husbands to help a lesbian couple conceive, knowing that the lesbians were not required to marry the man nor give him any parental control over the child. Thus there soon appeared many families in which children were raised by two women only.
But most women preferred to live in monogamous relationships with men, and they worried that the lack of men in their society would lead many of them to remain unmarried for their entire lives. Some women tried to revive Living in Harmony, saying that it was no longer a political party, but rather a social organization, and was therefore no longer illegal. However, the government refused to listen to these people, and began to encourage disaffected women to seek out unmarried men by joining the military.
Shortly after this first wave of reforms, the Moonshine Parliament announced the enactment of a set of even stricter laws, to apply only to certain interior regions of the empire, intended to be settled primarily by those who would enjoy living in such a strictly governed nation. Here, even freedom of speech was suspended. However, the Parliament also insisted that all of the new laws in this new act were to apply to males and females alike. Therefore, even though men living in the new territory were even more tightly controlled by their women than they were in the rest of the Moonshine Empire, the women also were controlled by other women, and thus men in the new territory were, proportionally, actually more powerful than men elsewhere. This idea appealed to many Moonshine men, but most Moonshine women refused to move, and their husbands were forced to stay with them.
Postwar contact with enemy leagues
Both groups of Crystals were seen as enemies by the Swamp Kids, which had regained some power and were reviving their settlements in Anzan, their original homeland, which was far to the east of Baeba Swamp. In 4190, the Swamp Kids had even managed to conquer Tata, the homeland of the Matrixes, meaning that the Matrixes were strongest in Baeba and had no power in their original homeland.
In July 4206, STW declared war on its closest ally, the Matrixes. STW had been, from its very beginning, a female-dominated organization with a very strong military. STW was not a country, nor even a political party, but rather a paramilitary organization whose leaders had historically been mostly women and whose rank-and-file membership had historically been mostly children. Recently, however, adult males belonging to the Raspara party had been joining STW and gaining power for themselves at the expense of the longstanding chain of female leaders. STW required all new members, no matter their age, to enroll in elementary school, and work their way through the grades in order to achieve a position of power. Thus, the newly enrolled Raspara men were competing against toddlers and pre-teens for every position of power, and even though STW's leaders were aware of how unfair the situation was for the kids, they assigned promotions based on merit rather than perceived fairness to a particular group. Thus, the men were largely able to crowd out the children and they began rising to positions of power within STW. Moonshine disliked the idea of men taking away power from women and children, but they were now so strongly against the Matrix that they decided to formally declare support for STW. They took comfort in the fact that the leader of STW, named Joja, was a woman.
However, STW was not interested in making allies, and decided to declare war against both Moonshine and the Matrix, even though Moonshine and the Matrix were at war with each other. Further proof that it was futile to try to make peace with STW came when, later that same year, STW cancelled its alliance with the Raspara and instead dedicated itself to supporting a very new political party called the Slopes, a fork from the very same Matrix party that STW was still at war with.
Relations with Asala and Nama
Moonshine arose at a time when Nama was in great decay. Formerly the world's unchallenged primary military power, Nama had become so weak that it no longer fought wars on its borders; enemies simply marched into any area of Nama they wished and fought the civilians while the desperately underpowered military tried to figure out where the latest massacres were taking place.
Moonshine sympathized with Nama, but knew that they could not save Nama. They also knew that they could not afford to take in refugees from Nama. They said that they would allow Namans to join the Moonshines as refugees, but only if they were members of the Moonshine political party, and they imposed very difficult criteria for judging if a potential applicant was fit. Alone among all empires, the Moonshines had created a separate kingdom, Xómeye, within their territory, where everyone including the enemies of the Moonshines could live, but since Moonshine could not protect the people in Xómeye from fighting each other, even Xómeye was not safe for Namans to live in. Therefore Nama realized Moonshine was not going to rescue them.
In the year 4221, Naman diplomats traveled to the embassy of Asala, one of Nama's great abusers, pleading for Asala to invade Nama and take complete conmtrol of Nama. They realized that of all of Nama's many parasitic invaders, Asala was the one that shared the most enemies in common with Nama, meaning that Asala refused to ally with most of the other invaders. They thus hoped that Asala would have the most reason to protect Naman civilians if they were given the ability to take control of the government. Asala agreed, and banished the few Namans who objected to the takeover into the wilderness.
To the surprise of the watching world, Asala declared that it was a continuation of Nama's 14000 year old government, and that they had not taken over Nama, but had in fact submitted to Nama. Nevertheless, Nama's orientation towards the outside world changed rapidly as soon as the Asalan leaders had taken power.
Asala had always been a tiny but remarkably virulent military power. They were in fact not a nation, but a political party that had originated in the Swamp Kids' nation of Anzan. Though they tended towards a robust body type, they depicted themselves as children carrying oversized weapons and other objects, and when they announced their takeover of Nama, they drew a boy standing amidst a defeated army of giants. The implication was that Asala's rule over Nama would be so strict that the parasitic invaders that had been cutting their way through Naman territory for over 1500 years would now somehow be stopped and peace would return to Nama. Most Naman civilians realized this overly optimistic scenario was likely impossible, but took comfort in the fact that their situation had at least improved from the earlier time when they did not know who their rulers were.
Asala again surprised the entire world by immedaitely declaring war on the entire world, including all of the invaders inside Naman territory. They hoped that the invaders who heard this message would be baited into coming south to fight Asala, expecting an easy victory, where they would fall into a trap set by Asala and be defeated. Asala knew that even enemies smart enough to evade these traps would be weakened by the journey and would still be defeated.
Relations with Baeba
Yet another surprise came when Asala's army, still claiming to be Nama, aggresively pushed westward out of Naman territory towards the distant empire of Baeba Swamp, which was thousands of miles away and separated from Nama by several unrelated and mutually hostile empires. Nama had not started a war for roughly 1900 years; they had always been the victim rather than the aggressor, and had generally fought very poorly.
The reason for the new war was that Baeba at the time was governed by an old enemy of Asala's from when they were p[art of Anzan; thus t his was a conthnuation of an old regional struggle.
Banners and emblems
Historically, the empire of Nama had been likened to a human body, traditionally female, because of its shape. The Moonshines, a feminist empire, noticed that they had come to settle in the Breast area. They accepted this label, and named their new capital city The Heart (Wōm). However, they planned to expand far to the east in the future, in particular to the icecapped land of Pʷīpʷyama (Xema). As other armies had done in the past, the Moonshine people drew a map of the world and colored in the parts that they wished to conquer, giving each area a Moonshine name even if their people had not yet set foot there.
They preferred the color white - the color of milk and snow. They unified this as ice cream, which had been invented c 1500 yrs earlier. Despite the cold climate of their main settlements, tropical areas were not far off, and they were able to trade with the friendly Crystal tribes in order to obtain tropical fruits such as pineapples and coconuts.
Their flag may have included a sphere emblem somewhat like that of the Feminist Majority Foundation, but with cold colors instead of a tricolor of pink, lavender, and purple.
They liked the color pink, and pastels generally, but otherwise preferred cold colors, and avoided yellow. The leaders declared a symbolic war against the sun, which they associated with the King of Baeba who had renamed himself the Sun. At this point, scientists believed the sun to be a planet inhabited by people who preferred hot weather and would therefore be enemies of the Moonshines. The Moonshines promised that in the far future, after they had taken over the planet, they would build machines capable of launching their troops into the Sun so that they could continue their war and eventually destroy the Sun. They promised that once the Sun was gone, all of their planet would have cold weather throughout the year and the enemies of the Moonshine people would be completely eliminated.
Very few Moonshines had natural blonde hair, because they had arisen as a mix of dark-skinned Crystals and light-skinned but dark-haired Repilians. But they had made some converts, such as from the Pabaps, and these people were encouraged to dye their hair black or dark brown so that they would not shine like suns amidst the otherwise dark-haired Moonshines.
- though this would only make sense in the warmest corners of the Empire, as elsewhere, people needed to cover their heads, often even indoors.
Moonshine speakers saw round objects as symblematic of their feminine power, and the flag of the Moonshine state of Xómeye featured a ball with a cross inside, as a counterpart to the Swamp Kids' flag which was full of arrows. However, the Moonshines did not using avoid sharp objects as symbols of their power, as they pointed out to the Swamp Kids that male anatomy does not feature any sharp parts.
Comparisong with FILTER
Moonshine was often compared to FILTER, a roving feminist army that had settled in nearly the same area of the world some 1600 years before the Moonshines did. But the Moonshines declared that they were superior to FILTER because they were pacifists and sought to expand slowly and passively rather than by conquering their rivals. Moonshine sent out humanitarian missions to other nations to rescue oppressed peoples, even though many Moonshine soldiers, including females, died in the process. By contrast, FILTER's army had allowed its male soldiers to rape the females of any nation they conquered, and then enslaved the children of those women, all while claiming to be a feminist organization.
Ethnic divisions among the proto-Moonshine people
The first Moonshine people were dark-skinned Crystals who had been exiled from their homeland in Lobexon. A few generations after the these people had left Lobexon, however, large numbers of unrelated people such as the Swamp Kids and the Matrixes began defecting to the Crystals for political reasons, and the Moonshines absorbed these people as they moved further into the territories of traditionally light-skinned foreign peoples such as Paba, Nama, the Thunder Empire, Sakhilat, and Repilia. As the generations passed, and the Crystals moved ever northward, the Crystals took on the body types of all of the peoples who had joined them, while retaining many traits of their dark-skinned ancestors.
However, because of the very low population density of Xema and other cold-climate areas that were settled by the proto-Moonshine people, the internal diversity of their physical appearance remained strong, such that Moonshines from different areas of their empire, and often even from the same settlements, did not closely resemble each other visually.  In the northernmost areas of their Empire, there were no people who resisted joining the Moonshines, and these people came to be seen as the core of the Moonshine nation. Here, the people really did constitute a single body type, that of the aboriginal Repilian people. The Repilians' most distinctive physical trait was that their women were reliably taller than their men. The other Moonshines soon developed this trait as well, because those children of mixed marriages who did not inherit the trait were not allowed to join the Moonshine party, and thus were not considered Moonshines but merely allies of the Moonshines. Thus the Moonshines were able to develop their distinctive physical appearance over only a few generations, and without the need to entirely replace their genetic stock with that of the Repilians. Nonetheless, the Moonshines soon developed other Repilian characteristics too, such as a moderate stature, plump body proportions, and wide hips even in comparison to the rest of their body. Dark hair was predominant, with their skin color a moderate enough shade that Moonshines could blend in with either light- or dark-skinned people from other areas of the globe.
- actually they will be very light skinned, like Poswobs.
Once their military safety was assured, the Moonshines nevertheless came to consider themselves a single ethnicity and did not acknowledge ethnic subdivisions among their people, even those whose physical appearance deviated greatly from the average. Thus there were no tribes of Moonshines; the entirety of the Moonshine nationality was a single tribe. Very little immigration was allowed once the nation's boundaries had been stabilized; with the exception of the state of Xómeye, non-Moonshines were not even allowed to visit Moonshine territory.
- They used gender neutral terminology, even though the Moonshine rulers were always female.
- Impossible to be sure on Photoshop ... it's either this or the islands.
- tense of verb??
- I think these two groups are actually the same people, who settled Xema in two distinct waves but remained as one people once they arrived.
- Fīkola might be a city within Xómeye.
- Standard Khulls Nàṭala
- Niufuam in Babakiam
- Note, the map is messed up hideously, and even has a river that flows in a circle. But the basic fact of there being two rivers that meet in Moonshine territory is still correct.
- If /gʷ/ and /w/ remain distinct; otherwise the name is simply Wōṁ or Wōʕm.
- Earlier wrote It was only after thousands of years of persistent habitation in Xema and adjacent lands that people began to speak of a single Moonshine "race". (Ƥ)The greatest influence came from Repilians, to the point that the Moonshines came to be seen as simply a tribe of Repilians that had adopted a Gold-family language and had somewhat more variable physical appearance than other Repilians. This was due partly to the fact that Xema was located in historically Repilian territory and partly due to the fact that, even when Moonshine was very young, their leaders specifically forbade the membership of families whose men were taller than their women from becoming Moonshines; their military assistance was welcomed and they were treated well in those settlements where they were allowed to live, but only by marrying into a tall-femaled family and raising tall-femaled children could they be assured that their descendants would become true Moonshines.