"Earth is the element of Substance.
The people of the Earth Kingdom are diverse and strong. They are persistent and enduring."
The Earth Kingdom is one of Naipan's Four Nations. Spanning much of the central and eastern parts of the Continent of Spirits, it is both the geographically largest and most populated of the Four Nations. The Earth Kingdom is ruled by a constitutional monarchy, under the rule of the Earth King.
The people of the Earth Kingdom are proud and strong, and can at some times be stubborn and unwavering. The people of the Earth Kingdom use the gifts of bending the element of Earth primarily for defense and industry. The Earth Kingdom has an economy which rivals that of the Fire Nation, and is the only nation which boasts regular trade with the East. Most of the Earth Kingdom's economy is agricultural, though the Earth Kingdom's many Earth Elementalists make mining for mineral wealth in the vast stretches of mountains which dominate the center of the nation quite easy.
The Earth Kingdom, being so large, is characterized by significant ethnic and cultural diversity. It suffers from high levels of local autonomy and ethnic conflict. While there was a time in its history that some of the people living in the far eastern side of the nation might have split from the Earth Kingdom to form their own nation, the strong communal belief in a shared history and identity has kept the Earth Kingdom together throughout its history.
The Capital of the Earth Kingdom and seat of the Earth King is Yong Gu-Cheng, the City of Walls and Secrets.
The people of the Earth Kingdom tend to have black or brown hair, and green, brown, or gray eyes, and often have darker skin tones.
Traditional colors worn throughout the kingdom range from vibrant greens and yellows to more muted beiges and browns. The people usually style their hair for the social or practical situation: comfortably for work, or elaborately for social functions. Members of the military typically wear uniforms of green and beige with yellow touches along with conical helmets. However, fashions vary widely across the Earth Kingdom. Men from the central region of the Earth Kingdom tend to wear their hair in a top-knot, ornamented with simple stone or metal pins and they often have bears and/or mustaches, while women tend to wear their hair piled on top of their head.. In the South and East, the style tends to be less rigid, with both men and women wearing their hair down or tied back simply with simple animal leather or plant fiber ties. Farmers and other laborers wear distinct conical hats secured to their heads by a string to protect them from the sun.
The national symbol of the Earth Kingdom is a square inscribed with a circle, at the center of which is inscribed a smaller square (like a koku coin). Its many layers symbolize the many depths of the Earth Kingdom and its people, from the immeasurable layers of deep rock and minerals which the earth elementalists manipulate to maintain the great cities of the Earth Kingdom, as well as the commitment of the people toward a peaceful and productive way of life.
Earth Kingdom currency consists of stone coins of varying size, which typically come in blocks which can be cloven into individual coins.
Government System: Confederate Constitutional Monarchy
Head of State: Earth King or Queen
Head of Government: Grand Secretariat of Yong Gu-Cheng
The Earth Kingdom is a large nation divided into provinces and semi-autonomous city-states. The capital of the Earth Kingdom is Yong Gu-Cheng, which is the seat of both the Earth King and the central government. Due to the Earth Kingdom's immense size, little or no influence is able to be exerted on towns and regions beyond the walls of Yong Gu-Cheng, with isolated regions (particularly agricultural areas) have almost no contact with officials from the central government. In addition, the Earth Kingdom has no unified system of laws, with each town and city having its own legal code. Complex organization within the government is largely unseen outside of Yong Gu-Cheng and its surroundings.
This was not always the case, as there was a time when the Earth King maintained more direct authority over the Earth Kingdom, but over time more and more power was delegated to the bureaucracy in favor of pleasure-seeking and liesure. It is for this reason that while the Earth King is respected and revered by many across the Earth Kingdom most of the authority over the rule of law lies in the hands of the bureaucracy which has little concern for what lies beyond the walls of Yong Gu-Cheng. So it falls to local lords to provide security and order to isolated villages and towns.
The Dai LiEdit
The Dai Li are the cultural enforcers of Yong Gu-Cheng, under the direct command of the Grand Secretariat. They function as a sort of secret police, arresting anyone who breaks the laws of Yong Gu-Cheng, as well as political dissidents who would threaten the status quo. The Dai Li can be recognized both by their high collared, long sleeved uniforms, and stone gauntlets and shoes.
From the enforced culture of Yong Gu-Cheng, to the isolationist inhabitants of Okinayama, the culture of the Earth Kingdom is far less defined than those of the other nations as a result of its immense size and diversity.
Earth Kingdom architecture varies by province. Like the other nations, it is based on its elemental color, in this case green. The majority of the buildings are made of stone, wood, and plaster, which may be used in conjunction with one another or separately. Most buildings have sloping roofs covered with dark grey, brown, or green tiles. Yellow tiles denote wealth. The Earth Kingdom emblem is often put on important buildings and fortresses as a symbol of government.
The population of the Earth Kingdom is divided between small villages, larger towns, and the capital city of Yong Gu-Cheng.
Each of the four nations is influenced by their own distinct dominant season. The Earth Kingdom's season is spring. It is the time when the Earth is reborn after a long winter. Most children born with the gift of bending elemental earth are born in the springtime.
Yong Gu-Cheng, the City of Walls and SecretsEdit
The largest city in all of Naipan, Yong Gu-Cheng stretches for nearly 75 miles from the Earth King's palace in the roots of the mountains. Three concentric rings of walls protect the heart of the city. The First Ring protects the outer countryside, or the Agrarian Zone, of Yong Gu-Cheng from marauders of the Hordelands. Though not as thick as the Great Wall, the Outer Wall of Yong Gu-Cheng is the tallest city wall in all of Naipan. Inside the First Ring is a vast countryside of rolling hills, dotted with farming towns and villages which provide all of the food for the Inner City.
Most of the city's populace live inside the Second Ring, also known as the Inner City, and this is truly where most consider the city of Yong Gu-Cheng to begin. The 20 miles between the Second Ring and the Third Ring is filled with neighborhoods, markets, shops, and teahouses. The city's lower and middle class citizens live inside the Second Ring.
At the heart of the city lies the Earth King's Palace which is built into the foot of the mountain atop a great slab. The wealthiest citizens of Yong Gu-Cheng live inside the Third Ring, which also holds the city's highest quality threatres, teahouses, and baths, as well as the city's government buildings.