So I've talked a lot about the characters of WHIPLASH!, but I haven't really stated much on the world (aside from the fact that world-building sucks ass). So this post will be outlining the world of WHIPLASH! a bit, just so y'all who are lucky enough to read this will have a better grasp of what's happening, who's involved, and all that jazz. Since it's not as if the characters themselves talk about this. Damn them.
So the main country is Sovine. I think the capital city is also named that, but I'm still figuring that one out. Then again, they don't really have a system of rural/urban like we do. They basically have one giant city, miles and miles of city. Then around the fringes of that city, where it's slightly less populated, they do their farming and ranching and rural-ish things. Sovine has a fair amount of land, and a pretty large population, so they're basically a world power. They're highly militaristic. They have a leader who is chosen by a council of advisors, who are in turn appointed by whoever has seniority at the time. It is not a democracy; there is no voting for leaders. The military soaks up most of the funding, and there are four branches: the Tego branch (smallest), army (largest), navy (second smallest), and a reserve army-like thing thats sole purpose is to stay at home and take care of disasters, accidents, riots, etc. Domestic things. (they're also the second largest, though it's sort of like the national guard in the US; they're not on active duty all the time.)
Nathan was born in the capital city, like most Tego. Actually, like most Sovinians. About eighty-five to ninety percent of the population lives in that humongous city. Allen is one of the few who did not live there prior to training. The rest of the rural population is very spread-out and are farmers or ranchers, and generally live with their families in giant farms/ranches. They get a fair amount of government support (since farming is hardly lucrative), since they provide the food to the empire.
Sovine's allies are all to their south. Sovine's located in the northwest of the continent. To the northwest and west of them, they have tall mountains. To the northeast, a sea. To the east, they border Paronene. To the southeast, the badlands. To the south, they border Bauk.
Bauk, and Lanne to some degree, are both Sovine's allies. Paronene, Escaia and Avle are aggressively their enemies, and Kyym has been mostly staying out of their way but has been trading with them more than the "good guys". There is also the rebel group. That is a conglomerate of many different nationalities, though most of them are non-Sovine and non-Paronene, since those are the two major players in the war. They are not allied with any of the countries (at least not openly), but lately have taken to attacking Sovinian troops - and, more often than not, Tego. Several of the other countries view the Tego and Inven pairs as barbaric, since it deals with children, and will actively hunt them down.
The tactics used against the Tego and Inven pairs evolve throughout the novel. At the start, they will either kill the Inven to easily kill the Tego, or, if possible, kill the Tego and try to kidnap the Inven to "liberate" them. A surprising amount of the kidnapped Inven stay with them and join their cause. Later in the novel, however, let's just say they figure out a bit more of how the nivedidus works...
Anyway, back to Sovinian culture. (more on other cultures later.) They have a fairly conservative culture. Tego and most military roles are for men. Inven and nursing jobs in the military are for women. Teachers and religious leaders are female, while businessmen and military leaders are male. Politicians, however, are pretty evenly spread, though that happened fairly recently. No one really views it as a bad change, however. More women are also breaking out into researching roles (especially into the Inven program). Otherwise, the roles are pretty "traditional". Men work, women stay home. Working wives and mothers are not unheard of or looked at funny. Marriage is still seen as something sacred, though it is not religious; it is more of a duty to each other, an act of love. Sovine as a country does not have an official religion, though its largest one is a monotheistic one.
Schooling is public, free, and mandatory up until a certain age, unless the child in question is enlisting for service. The ages vary. Inven can join as early as age eleven with parental consent, or thirteen without it (though there has been talks to move that age back to twelve). Tego training begins at thirteen traditionally, though varying ages are not uncommon. Traditional schooling for that afterward takes six or seven years, depending on a lot of factors. (and contrary to popular belief, there is actual schooling involved, too.)
The entertainment in Sovine is pretty laid-back. Alcohol, smoking, gambling, and prostitution are all legal with age requirements, though are frowned upon in excess. (Light drinking is an acceptable social outing.) Homosexuality is viewed as weird and a phase, but not illegal or terribly immoral. (they do not have gay marriage though. >: poor dears.) Music and literature are popular. Bands are more popular than individual singers, though there aren't a lot of artists/bands at a time, anyway. The current most popular band is Daydreamer Syndrome (with their hit WHIPLASH! ;D). There isn't exactly a New York Times bestseller list or an equivalent, so most literature travels by word-of-mouth and it's difficult to tell what's "big" at any one time. Moreover, what's big in the city usually isn't so out in the rural areas. Foreign music and literature are seen as very exotic and sought after, though not unusual or all that expensive.
Fashion in Sovine is, again, sort of conservative. Showing chest is acceptable in women (well, not to the extent of some american ladies tend to), but showing leg is only acceptable in dresses and skirts, and even then, only in slits in the side. Shorts are to the knees or not at all. (which is why a lot of inven and female tego enjoy messing with their uniforms so much.) Jeans are common, but only for very casual things and working. It is perfectly acceptable to walk around in military uniform, or wear one to almost any occasion. Currently in high fashion: Kyymese style for the women, more formal attire (dress shirts predominately) for men, blues and reds. Currently in common fashion: lots of contrasting colors, big belts for ladies, long sleeves, bracelets, longer hair (for both men and women, though naturally 'longer' varies between the genders). Many of you might notice that these things bleed through into the WHIPLASH! cast drawings even now; Lenore likes contrasting colors and long sleeves, Maria almost always wears a belt, almost all of the ladies have long hair, Nathan has longer hair, Sonya wears bracelets, the Tego and Inven uniforms are blue and red, etc. Maria and Sara Grace also like to wear low-cut shirts, but no one outside of uniform has been shown with shorts/short skirts on.
I think this is long enough now. I hardly tapped the wealth of information, but there's a basic rundown of the main country of Sovine. What country should I do next? (choices: paronene, bauk, lanne, avle, escaia, kyym, the badlands)