Atop the Shoulders of Giants
Perhaps the region that has most profited from the rise of the Lu Paei family to the throne of the Nada’Ath Empire, Enchi has seen an incredible resurgence of local, indigenous culture since the more repressive Karim family was removed from power.
Enchi has become renowned for its love of spectator sports and tests of skill, especially for its gladiatorial arenas. In Enchi culture a gladiator is seen as a man or woman who has perfected the art of combat and is willing to display their expertise for the entertainment of the people. Common gladiator shows include battles against beasts, convicts who choose trial by combat, and occasionally public grudge matches. The more uncommon – and more highly demanded – matches are when two or more famous gladiators match up against one another, sometimes in the midst of incredible scenarios or with entertaining limitations.
An example of these highly prized and often very unique gladiatorial fights referenced in neighboring Golir is one given account of by in the memoirs of Sir Alec Zestworth.
“The gladiator battle we attended was a stunning display. It was a match between two of the most experienced gladiators in the land – so I’m told. One a half-goblin by the name of Orik, the other a native enchi woman charmingly called Bloodspear. The two of them were superb combatants, truly either of them more than a match for myself, and in excellent physical condition. The match was more than a toe-to-toe melee, in fact. The two started on either end of a course of obstacles including jumping posts across pits, hurdles half the height of a grown man, and even some platforms that were rigged as traps to cause spears to jut up from the floor when stepped on. The one called Bloodspear began by letting loose a shower of arrows that would make most royal archers blush. More than once she loosed two arrows at the same time! Unfortunately her opponent was not so easily defeated. By the time lady Bloodspear had loosed her last arrow, Orik had traversed nearly the entire length of the obstacle course. They had their melee standing on narrow posts over a pit more than thirty feet deep. Truly it was a flurry of guards, parries, ripostes, and lunges which I could hardly hope to recreate on the page. The battle ended when Orik, bleeding from no less than three grazing wounds, hurled one of his crescent swords side-ways, parallel to the ground, and sent his opponent tumbling into the pit below. What a gruesome, yet captivating, show it was at which I must admit I found myself gaping in awe and excitement. Truly there is no more exhilarating spectacle.”
Perhaps due in part to the rise of athletic spectacles and spectator sports in the region, as well as the relative ambivalence of the local population compared to some of their neighbors, Enchi is the region of the known world with one of the highest populations of goblins. Though many citizens believe that the regional governor of Enchi inflates the local census to secure a greater share of tax revenue, the 1640 Enchi census as reported to the Imperial Census Office included a population of over 7000 adult goblins and more than 8000 adult half-goblins.
Despite this apparently large population, few places but major cities see significant goblin populations. Having held onto their tribal roots, and lacking a location to call their own, most goblins in the Enchi area have become wandering traders, traveling merchants, and even entertainment troupes. However, where one sees the most goblins in Enchi is standing guard in front of wealthy homes. It has become a widely recognized fact that goblins are incredibly athletic, especially for their size, making goblins and half-goblins highly sought after for mercenary and body-guarding work in Enchi.
Politically, Enchi is still a governance of the empire. Though the region maintains a regional governor, that governor’s role is to enforce and administrate the edicts of the throne and to make supplemental rulings when necessary. Beneath the regional governor are provincial lords and ladies, generally appointed to a particular city or large town from which they manage the surrounding area. Despite the harsh accountability of the governor to the throne, the provincial rulers have little ties to the governor beyond the responsibility to collect taxes and “keep the peace.” Thus some areas of Enchi operate under what are ultimately very different day-to-day laws than the general population of the region.