Long an inconsequential, isolated backwater in the outer rim of the Spiral, Monquista recently became one of the preeminent powers in the Spiral, almost overnight, thanks to the massive infusion of gold and wealth its inhabitants pried from the ancient ruins in their colony of Skull Island. Monquista is home to a race of diminutive Monkeys, the Monquistans, who make up for their slight statures with massive egos and harsh tempers.
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Monquistans have a highly structured (some would even say oppressive) society, where manners, personal dignity, and reputation are valued above all else. Disagreements over the most trivial matters turn into the stuff of generational feuds, and to many outsiders Monquistan politics and priorities can seem downright silly. The Monquistans believe they have brought themselves up out of barbarism through sheer force of will, and that they are the only truly civilized beings in the Spiral – all others are barbarians and pretenders. As a result, the Monkeys are well-mannered to a fault – to imply that a Monquistan is acting wild, brutish, or like a wild monkey is the greatest insult one can levy.
Well-mannered need not mean friendly: political intrigue between the Monarchy, the Holy Monquisition, and the various Noble Houses is vicious and deadly. Monquistan politics are notoriously fluid: a noble house can find that blood enemies from a month ago are now relatives by marriage, and therefore dear friends. Monquistan nobles and officials often seem, to outsiders, to have no memory: they arbitrarily turn on people they recently supported and praised, or greet blood enemies with effusive praise, never acknowledging any dispute.
Monquista is ruled over by a King and Queen (the power behind the throne changes day to day!), advised by the Holy Monquisition and presided over by the Noble Houses. Each faction seeks to advance its fortunes however it can. Every Monquistan is the member of a Noble House, and thanks to the endless web of marriage alliances and the shifting political landscape, all of them have some claim (however remote) to royal line. Even lowly servants are some kind of distant third cousin to a famous past king, causing everyone in the cluster to have a constant air of superiority.