A nation peppered with a past full of blood and turmoil, Todd McCloud remains one of the most important nations across the NationStates world. Located currently in the depths of The Rejected Realms and The East Pacific, this large nation boasts a luscious green terrain dotted with forests and occasional mountainous regions peeking high above the clouds. The nation benefits highly from favorable rain patterns, making it an ideal place for vegetation to grow, thus making the possibility of famine a slim one. However, rivers are typically swollen during the summer months, making the prospect of large cities forming near water a difficult task, though recent innovations and various dam projects over the past centuries have made this an increasing possibility.
Currently at peace, its people enjoy a government which caters to their needs via many socialist programs set up with echoes of the past generations, despite the new tasks of setting up a whole new system. While the majority of people live in cities, those living in the countryside have a much better quality of life. Rapid industrialization caused a severe swing in population shifts and, consequently, a large pollution problem in urban areas. Despite this, the nation continues to march forward despite its bloody past, and is currently embarking on the dawn of new discoveries completely foreign to most nations in Nationstates.
The people of Todd McCloud are very nationalistic, especially when it comes to history. Below is a short synopsis.
Documentation of vulpine tribes date back to as early as twenty-five thousand years ago, with the first permanent settlements, constructed of limestone and brick, believed to be as old as seven thousand years, complete with intricate class systems and religion. It is around this time that city-states within the region began to war against each other, with power turning hands again and again over the next few centuries. It wasn't until Behsariv, the king of the city-state of Kel, began to unite the other cities around his, but not by benevolence and justice. Instead he raised a great army, bought other kings' armies with his expendable resources, killed the enemy kings (typically in crude fashion), and annexed their territories. He is also known for abolishing slavery in his region. Many vulpine men and women from other regions were attracted to the prospect of working for a benefit rather than survival. At the end of his reign, the state, renamed Kelsaria, was the dominant force among the other tribes. The golden age of Kelsaria was in full-swing by the time of the third son's reign. Unparalleled art and technology inundated the region, much to the dismay of the struggling other city-states in the region.
Civil wars, brought on by other city-states allying together and a series of weak kings in Kelsaria, eventually led to its demise roughly one thousand years later. The capital, Kel, was razed to the ground, the governor buried alive under the bodies of his people, left as an example to other cities within Kelsaria. With the collapse of the strongest empire in the region, neighboring societies made quick work of squabbling city-states, but would eventually lose control of them due to other wars. The next four thousand years saw various city-states come to power, flourish, then collapse once strong rulers died and their system's cracked, exposing weaknesses exploited by their enemies.
In 565 BC, three powerful city-states, Vesaria, Ivu, and Lesa, formed a loose personal union with each other. A state was established in 487 BC once the city-state of Yurik was swallowed by the three. The new nation's name became Vekaiyu, with the capital located in Ivu, the most central city-state in the region. By AD 186, every single vulpine city-state was swallowed into the large empire, large enough to subdue its neighbors and subsist, securing its borders with treaties and trade.
St. Aiya and the Prophet KabuuEdit
In 255 AD, the presiding king, Renuli V, single-handedly destroyed the nation Vekaiyu. Powered off by a much more powerful neighbor, he accepted the title of High Lord in return for the Vekaiyun lands. This was a move that only benefited him and his family, as many vulpine men and woman died as a result of a series of ethnic cleansings in the region. Eventually, Renuli was killed in his sleep and his family was drowned in the Camuri River. Over the next one hundred years, roughly one half of the original Vekaiyun population would be killed.
St. Aiya was born in the darkest hour of these cleansings, in AD 295-AD300. The daughter of a peasant family, her parents were executed when she was twelve years old and she barely escaped with her life. Weeks later she was picked up by another peasant family and dropped off in the town of Odul. Though her predicament should have meant taking a job of prostitution to support herself, she refused and instead chose to go hungry, dropping to a deathly thin weight. Despite this, it was well-documented that she kept a calm and peaceful demeanor and would not ask for anything, be it food or shelter. When she turned thirteen, she was on the verge of death. During this time, she reported seeing visions. While most ignored her or believed her to be insane with hunger, there were some who were intrigued, as despite her size she remained alive. The visions increased, and over time she began to reveal more of them and their meanings. The person giving her visions was named Christ and were sometimes given by messengers of him. Both him and his messengers explained to her various things. On the seventh month of the year, the entire town saw a mass-vision, and a voice gave Aiya texts written in their language, explaining what was already recorded from across other worlds. Christianity spread in the region, and Aiya was told by a messenger from Christ she was to spread the word of God in the region and, with the help of the townsfolk, spread it fast. Various visions and even some miracles were performed from "an unseen hand", and the new religion gave hope to the people who were in constant fear of death. Her weight returned to an appropriate level as her travels increased.
Eventually, however, Aiya received her final vision - she was to travel to the lewd king of the presiding region, despite his well-known hatred of her and her people, and attempted to plea for her people's safety. Instead, despite her conviction, her and her escorts were killed. The twenty year old vixen was overpowered and stabbed in the chest multiple times. To bury both her and her fame, the king decided to have her buried in the traditions of his religion. Therefore, her body was mummified in bandages and entombed in a chamber for heretics.
Kabuu, one of her early followers, managed to steal her body from the tomb shortly thereafter. Smuggled back to the vulpine homeland, a death mask made of platinum was made for her, painted to her likeness, and was fitted to her expressionless facade, with her body was adorned in various cloths and known Christian symbols. Kabuu participated in all processes. One night, while sitting next to her body and painting symbols on the hardened bandages of her hands, he suddenly had an urge to write, and began writing short stories with moral endings. Eventually, these morphed into prophecy. His prophecies, explained using the imagery of night and day, were written about a vulpine man who would save their people and destroy the nation plaguing them. Kabuu died in a plowing accident, and the body of St. Aiya, canonized roughly two centuries later, was kept in secrecy in the basement of the Eduri family for almost three hundred years.
As the vulpine race began to dwindle down to dangerous levels, Herul and Maria Edurik give birth to a son in 564, named Todd. The child grew and was slated to take over his father's job, working as a blacksmith. But he was too thin for the task of shaping metal, so his father sent him away to work at a local monastery in the hopes that perhaps the Almighty would bless their household while at the same time force his son to gain more muscle mass. On the way to the monastery, the sickly kit of eleven was lost during a very tumultuous thunderstorm. He nearly drowned, but he heard a voice telling him to live and that his life will be used to save his people if he trusted in the voice to save him from the raging waters. Todd Edurik woke the next day and walked to the nearest town. As he was walking, he ran into an aging fox on a steed who would take the boy and raise him as his own, teach him, give him an education, and show him how to fight like a wise man. Todd listened to his teacher's words but soon began to develop his own fighting style. Fashioning a staff of hardened wood and iron, he set two blades on either end of the shaft and began training himself. When his teacher died, Todd took on his last name and realized he was ready to venture into the world.
The seventeen-year old began by following an aged couple who wished to wage war against their captors and their king. They succeeded in sacking the local outpost with light casualties - the couple included. Todd remained in their ranks as the band of rogues raided wagon trails and set garrisons alight. By 582, the region ignited into all-out chaos, with vulpine men fighting each other and their enemies for titles, land, money, and power. Todd McCloud, working with his people from the city of Yurt, grew an army in size and strength. Once again their commander falls in a battle, and, with both the king's southern armies marching in to restore peace within the region, Todd McCloud was chosen, partly because he was known as a good tactician and fighter, but also because he was still sickly-looking and it was believed that he would fall in battle, thus allowing the band to break up so they could return to their families to protect them when they lost. Instead, Todd selected commanders to train and guide his army and recruited from other cities across the land. Other skirmishing armies were soon met by his and were quickly subdued due to his numbers and superior organization.
The Battle of All-Souls (c.585) was fought just outside the city of Csetinglavoiga in a narrow forest clearing. Both of the king's main armies met Todd's vulpine army and it was immediately understood that the vulpine army was inferior in numbers, supplies, cavalry, and armor. However, as the story goes, Todd used the terrain to his advantage as the small clearing forced the king's armies into a bottleneck, quickly giving his own forces the tactical advantage. Once the king's army slipped into the clearing completely, reserves sealed the back end of the formation, but were quickly routed, providing the king's forces with an escape route once more. As the once superior army retreated, however, rain soon settled in. In what many believe to be the work of the Hand of God, the rain drenched the area so perfectly, so quickly, that the heavy armor of the king's men made it very difficult to gain ground in the muddy terrain. The lightly armored vulpine men made quick work of the army, despite low visibility, and killed the two generals in charge of each army group. All in all, the body count was in the area of seventy thousand - five thousand believed to be vulpine. It is believed Todd killed at least three thousand men in that battle, as rumors of his staff, which swung "faster than the jagged lightning" and "could ravage a man's soul just by staring at it". Todd himself gained great prestige, as it was thoroughly believed he would be the one to lead his people to victory despite his ailing health.
Numerous other battles followed, and all but one netted wins for the rebel army. One battle, Reignier's Wall, was fought just outside the confines of the castle walls of the reigning ruler. Eventually, however, Todd reached the throne of the king - but in chains. After Reignier's Wall, as the vulpine army surrounded the confines, a band of the king's finest assassins crept inside Todd's camp, killed two of his generals, and overcame the fighter with poison. The king offered Todd independence for his people, but it would cost him his life. He agreed, knowing that the king was moving in his armies to the north on them, and he was hanged the next day. Word spread to the vulpine camps that he was dead, and in a fit of rage, harrowed rocks heaved by makeshift trebuchets throughout the night. Fighting broke out once more by early morning, but it was short-lived, as the king's armies held within the walls were exhausted from the skirmish two days earlier. The king was found dead, and the body of Todd was carried from the city and laid to rest next to the body of St. Aiya, which was moved to the new capital of the nation in Eldura. The nation selected the name Vekaiyu once more, but, after the painful memories of the past, chose instead to name their nation Todd McCloud, after the fallen hero, dead at 24.
Imperialism and SocialismEdit
The nation Todd McCloud quickly grew in peace and prospered well as a strong country well into the next millennium. This time period, known as The Era of Good Feelings was characterized by an explosion of talent in the arts and sciences. Paper was invented in 610. The first printing press was invented almost forty years later. With acquiring a corridor to the sea after the skirmishes with the oppressive neighbor ceased, shipbuilding became a hobby and navigators and explorers were a hot commodity. Colonies were created slowly, but provided the nation with much wealth, especially since its neighbors were still engrossed in feudalistic tendencies.
It wasn't until 1584 that the nation would lose another major battle, brought on by a civil war. Political unrest lasted for nearly a century, killing off roughly one fifth of the entire nation, but the outcome was something completely foreign to the world at that time, Socialism. Under the new governmental system, peasants were to be given equality amongst themselves, essentially creating a glass ceiling which, although guaranteed them certain rights and more freedom, froze them into their respective class, making them unable to rise to any type of power. An army was kept in commission, however, to police over the nation and defend it from any attacks. Very few revolts or any activities of rebellion were recorded.
The Modern Age and MaxEdit
Once the dawning of the late 20th century was at hand, society would change once again. A disgruntled and fiery young general, Max Venavle, seized power from the king of Todd McCloud by winning over the hearts of his contemporaries and signing off their alliance from the king to him. A prideful yet intelligent fox, Max abolished the social class system and did away with most governmental programs. He re-created classes based upon servitude to the nation itself, making those who served in his army the highest class a commoner could achieve. Finally, the nation itself began to invade other nations after remaining in general peace for so long. With his comrades establishing the union Fox Rite, Max used the union as a vehicle to spread his political agenda. Vulpine men and women marched onto foreign soil, claiming countless regions and nations as its own, building empires much like a child works with Tinker-Toys, and slaughtering millions, all in the name of unity, justice, and duty.
Max faced mixed reactions from his people. Any rebellions were quelled quickly and with devastating force. Paranoia was commonplace, as any person suspected of having mixed feelings of Max were killed or sent to death camps. Many nations surrounding Todd McCloud tried to pass embargoes and sanctions on the nation, but were ultimately too afraid to inflict any sort of damage. In short, he often fought with little opposition from those who inwardly hated him and his policies. But, his results were magnanimous - Todd McCloud's territory expanded to almost thirteen times its original size, and a fully operational Space Armed Forces was created in 1994, the first in the region.
Max was highly known for his love of women, which would lead to his eventual demise. While he never married, he would often toy with two or three vixens at a time. And while the women he used were often a picture of beauty, he was far from eye-catching. A farming accident damaged his left eye at a young age, causing the tissue around it to swell shut and eventually heal in smaller slit brought on by the compression bandages he wore during recovery. He was also well-known for his lust of blood, specifically human blood. This practice, which had been relatively abolished since the end of the pagan times, was looked upon with scorn from foreign nations, and he was typically quoted with saying how sweet the meat tasted.
A brilliant general, the dictator would often ride into battle with his own men, though it would typically be in areas of little danger. At his death in 2002, he had won over fifty battles alone, lost three, and kept the entire world gripped in fear. To this day, the nation of Todd McCloud is watched very closely, for it is well-known the nation could easily emerge as a threat to world peace once again.
Current Events and PeopleEdit
Selvala McEva was a young commodore in Max's army in 2002. A simple vixen, she grew up in the bowels of a decrepit orphanage until she was thirteen, when she enlisted herself into the armed forces for a more promising future. Her maturity and wit on the battlefield propelled her to the rank of commodore three years later. It was also rumored her promotions were partly due to Max's hidden affection with her. She did not share his advances, however, despite being promoted once more to that of Ler Commodore, the person in charge of the nation's defense. One night, after a banquet celebrating the arrival of the spring season, Max attempted to overpower her in his quarters, but she repelled. Angered, he slapped her, to which she removed a long hairpin from her hair and stabbed him with it. When Max's butler arrived later, he found the young vixen had cut his head clean off with a pair of dull shears and stabbed his eyes out. With her arms soaked in blood, she raised the bloody head and said, "Blood doesn't drain from this head anymore."
She stood trial for her acts, but the jurors were all poisoned, leading some to suspect it was her own doing. Others suspected it was another one of Max's enemies, which later became the accepted belief. Still, a mistrial was declared and, with the notion of Max and his reign of terror over, she was officially pardoned for her assault by the presiding Bishop of Eldura. Despite the promise of allowing elections to take effect within the nation, she has remained at the head of state since the death of Max. Her presence is welcomed, however, as she recalled troops from abroad and ceased all territorial expansion, even scheduling some territories to be returned to the occupied people within the colony. She also handled the inevitable depression gracefully and created tens of thousands of new jobs and government sponsored programs to keep citizens working.
A devout socialist, she restored some of the policies implemented prior to Max's rise to power, but altered others. As one foreign diplomat described it, her idea of government is "socialism with loose walls and a few doors." She has taken a personal initiative to install a congress, something that had been demolished a generation ago.
A New Opposition LoomsEdit
Related to the direct bloodline of Todd McCloud of old, Todd Leyuski is a young socialist in his twenties, is devoutly religious, and is known for his national pride. Like Selvala McEva, he rose in the ranks during the chaos period. Despite his age, he was promoted to the rank of Kral Commodore, the person in charge of all armed forces, shortly before Max was killed. He currently holds this position, though he has used his power in recent years not for war, but for the betterment of the people via various social programs proposed and aid siphoned from the military budget (it is believed). Educated and a formidable fighter, he represents Selvala's main opposition toward her current dictator-like role. He is a popular figure among the people, as he has an uncanny resemblance to the Todd McCloud of old and has been known to dress like him especially for speeches and the occasional paparazzi swarms.
While Selvala has worked diligently for a new structured government, Todd has been there side-by-side, making sure his words and thoughts are implemented and carried out, often complimenting the work of Selvala with his own social programs and bills. As the Kral Commodore, the judiciary committee within the nation believes his opinions and propositions are valid. Handcuffed by her own desires for democracy, Selvala cannot object to their ruling.
His previous military career has raised concern, however, as he was known for his tact and occasional ruthlessness. He claims to be passed it and states he was never a fond ally of Venavle, however, he still sits at the head of the military and still appears very fierce and energetic in regards to his policies and desires. Due to his popularity with the people and his political beliefs, he has enjoyed a rather quiet reception from Selvala, but tensions in the nation are certainly rising. Despite his efforts in the government's formation thus far, it remains to be seen how either leader will respond once the gates of democracy are forced open.
While much of the royal family was killed during Max's reign, some, namely the king's daughter, survived the attacks after fleeing to a nearby nation as a child. Protected within their borders, Leina Kivlevov enjoyed a relatively royal treatment and peace. Though her nation was amidst a very trying period, she instead took it upon herself to learn, especially that of other cultures and languages. By age twenty, when Max was killed, she had gained a reputation of being very flexible and diplomatic in her debates and opinions. This reputation played well with foreign nations, but hindered her in Todd McCloud.
She returned to her home nation just over one year after Max's death in 2003. She received a warm welcome, especially by the older citizens in the nation, but it was short-lived. Her popularity steadily diminished once the nation became aware of her foreign ties and customs - even her typical dress, which reflected the charm and style of traditional clothing accepted among the foreign nations, consisting of various Eastern fashions. Furthermore, her very own style of government - an unadulterated form of capitalistic democracy - was met with displeasure to her people. All these criticisms eventually led to an assassination attempt in 2004 and 2006, when she toyed with the idea of fleeing once again.
Despite this, she remains the favorite to lead the nation from foreign interests, and for good reason. Her policies include opening the borders of Todd McCloud to foreign interventions, slashing military spending and numbers, establishing more trade for goods and technology, and "Easternizing" the citizens where knowledge in major languages are mandatory and Eastern styles are accepted. She has recently come under fire by Todd Leyuski because of her foreign interests and military plans, and her popularity continues to sink. Though she is "the rightful heiress", many in the nation would rather take their chances with a socialist who was with them through the tough times as well as the good.
Hidden in the mountainous town of Kendio, retired general Mikyo Es'Kaviu keeps his political faction in check. He represents the Communist Party within Todd McCloud, and at this point has avoided numerous attempts at his life. Originally a general to the king, Mikyo refused to endorse Max and quit the armed forces before Max could discharge him. When Max died, he emerged from Kendio an aged and battered fox but had much to say on the current position of the government.
His philosophy is pure communism, believing in equality throughout all ranks and social classes and government involvement in every single aspect of life, attempting to bring equality and balance throughout. He also believes strongly in crime prevention but is very lenient when it comes to citizen rights and privileges, which almost seems to conflict with his vision of communism. Nevertheless, his popularity among the people is weak. With no real support from any foreign or domestic interest, he remains more or less a radical in the eyes of the world.
The nation of Todd McCloud currently remains hidden to the rest of the world. Due to its inhabitants consisting of an entirely different species, the citizens are relatively comfortable with their isolationist policies, much to the dismay of their neighbors. There is a great fear that Todd McCloud is in fact a "sleeping giant", as ancient traditions and recent wars have caused the nation to come under great speculation. While the nation proclaims peace, the world has displayed an uneasy acceptance to this recent declaration.
Throughout the region, foxes are regarded as distrustful and despicable creatures. Often stereotyped, some nations have passed laws making it more difficult for a vulpine creature to reside within their borders. It should be noted that this custom has existed for centuries and, if it weren't for the cruel experiments performed by Bigtopia, a detailed look at vulpine anatomy and diseases would have never been tabulated so completely. Still, some nations have adopted a more accepting approach and have decided to educate their people about their history and culture. Plays, documentaries, musical interests, even fashion lines and university courses have sprung up in recent years.
Above all, the nation remains a great mystery largely due to leaders like Selvala McEva and Todd Leyuski. Foreign interests are typically handled by Leina Kivlevov, the favorite political leader among foreigners. Leyuski is arguably the least favorite due to his military ties and previous interactions with Max Venavle, with Selvala receiving about the same level of trust. With elections looming in the great nation, the world spotlight is once again upon them.
The government is currently run by one person - Selvala McEva - and a system of organized judiciary systems implemented by Max Venavle. Todd Leyuski has been given limited governing capabilities, which has steadily increased over time. A congress is currently being constructed, and a new constitution awaits the members of the legislature once they convene. No political parties exist, however, the majority of the nation accepts the practices of socialism. The Maxists, those who enjoyed the freedom of capitalism and cutthroat consumerism, are dwindling in numbers due to the recent success of the new government. Capitalists in general are losing ground in the nation, as Leina Kivlevov's popularity continues to sink. Nevertheless, they remain the biggest threat outside of the current regime and its philosophy. Communism is slowly gaining in numbers as well, causing many neighboring nations to be concerned.
The current law process involves a checks and balances system between the executive and judiciary branches. One department will propose a bill and hand it over to the other department. If the bill is accepted by the other department, the bill passes. It has been noted that certain frivolous and often dangerous laws have been passed via this method. Nevertheless, the lack of a fully functioning constitution has not hampered the nation too much, though recently the need for a document of written rules is needed more and more each day, as corruption is highly suspected on all levels of government.
One of the biggest mysteries among world nations, and even citizens of their own nation, is the size of Todd McCloud's armed forces. It is unclear if the depression and governmental shift has caused the nation to lose funding for the armed forces, but it is understood that a fully-functioning space program exists, though it is currently used for exploration and colonization purposes. Many nations suspect their forces to be much smaller than it was under Max's reign, but two decorated commodores at the helm of a fiercely nationalistic nation does raise cause for concern.
The tax rate in Todd McCloud is below most neighboring nations, but this tax is a flat tax rate, meaning the wealthy end up paying much more than the lower classes. The Veskono is the nation's currency, with Ivu making up one one hundreth of the Veskono. Inflation is low, but with the nation emerging a troubling depression, consumer trade has made marginal gains.
- Vulpine: 95.6%
- Human: 4.2%
- Other (including gnomes and other sapient species): 0.2%
It should be noted that, while the vulpine population generally remains bounded by the borders of the nation, there are pockets of vulpine sapient species living in the neighboring countries. This is due to the ethnic cleansings the region endured in the early part of the first millennium, where whole cities would uproot themselves and live off wherever the land was best, essentially becoming the region's most populous gypsies. These gypsies, which are not included in any written census for any surrounding nation, are varied in tastes, beliefs, and lifestyles.
Other ethnic groups are free to reside in Todd McCloud, though it is understood a small bit of racism exists among vulpines and humans. Despite this, many humans prefer this nation over others due to its hotbed for scientific discoveries and regional security.
- Vayan Catholicism: 97.4%
- Other Christianity: 1.9%
- Islam: 0.5%
- Pagan / Athiest: 0.2%
Vayan Catholicism has many similarities to Roman Catholicism, but differs in rules and approach. This is due to the fact that Vayan Catholicism has four more books "added" to their sacred texts approximately one century after the death of St. Aiya, including two letters written by her and one story written by Kabuu. The debate of their canonization into holy scriptures caused a schism between the Roman Catholic Church, which was skeptical of including the new Catholics in largely due to the stories of St. Aiya and various other differences. After the schism, Vayan Catholicism moved father away from the Roman counterpart, establishing a different mass procedure, prayers, even different saints canonized and rejecting certain Roman Catholic Saints.
Recently, carbon dating was allowed by the church to be used on the last remaining page from the Bible bestowed to St. Aiya on the night of the presentation. Tests came back varied - many results dated the page to be from the fourth century AD, but the ink-stained pages seem to date much later. This could be the fact that over time, monks were used to maintain the integrity of the text, but it is unclear as to how this was done and when this was done if at all.
The education system is one of the greatest in the entire world. Typical citizens will attend grade school year-round for ten years, then go to college anywhere from two to eighteen years depending on the major and the dedication from the student. Various technological achievements have originated from Todd McCloud, which seems undimmed by the governmental change and depression endured by its people. Though sources are uncertain as to what realm of study is awarded the most funding, many observers believe military technology has been sliced numerous times by budget cuts.
Education is one of the few areas citizens are free to choose what they make of it. Students may select any profession they desire, though art and sciences, specifically engineering, are glamorized often. Honor is highly important in Todd McCloud society, and the amount and choice of education heavily weigh in on honor.
The media in Todd McCloud is controlled entirely by the state. A separate committee determines which shows will air and which shows will not. The church further filters what airs across Todd McCloud, but typically the church is very liberal on their stance. Currently, Bigtopains Say the Darndest Things is the most popular show on TV, while music is typically unrestricted, though rap is abolished. Most citizens enjoy horror films and an occasional comedy, and their art is regarded as dark and gothic in appearance. Most anti-government, Maxist politics, and communist propaganda is outlawed from the waves.