With pictures for Ara
- Economic governance, organization, transportation
a. Economic governance
b. Economic organization
c. Transportation networks
- Primary resource extraction
- Secondary resource processing
- Tertiary economic activities
c. Healthcare and cybernetics
d. Consumer goods, consumption
e. ICT and digital infrastructure
f. Military industries
a. Economic governance
The Kavehan economy is huge, and exceedingly complex. In order to manage all this activity, a vast bureaucracy has emerged. This is highly centralized, falling under the primary authority of the Bureau of Economic Affairs, while taxation and trade policy is managed by the Bureau of Taxation, Trade and Finance. These two are frequently at odds with each other, but also need to cooperate closely. A factory, after all, is of no use if the production lines are not organized or the chains integrated.
In the end, the economy is geared towards the provision of as large a quantity of goods, commodities and life needs to the populace as possible. This is done for several reasons. Firstly, the provision of plenty will prevent sedition and engender feelings of loyalty and gratitude towards the Shahanshah. Secondly, the provision of plenty will free up citizens’ time for more worthwhile projects – research, engineering, art, music, and theatre. Thirdly, it is simply the moral thing to do.
In order to keep this measure of control over the economy and ensure the provision of commodities proceeds smoothly, the Bureaus maintain several joint offices, responsible for economic planning, setting production goals, and especially the expanding of economic activities to new territories such as Vallenora.
b. economic organization
The nobility plays an important role in the economy. Possession of enterprises and capital is the main stake of the various courtly intrigues the nobles play with each other. To possess more, to produce more, is to have more power. To be perceived as powerful is a strong incentive to invest in further activities – though, of course, only in those places and those businesses the Bureaus appoint.
Automatization in factories is almost 100%. Most menial labour in factories and on farms has been long-since eliminated, freeing up huge numbers of people for work in services, research, study of magic and the military.
c. transportation networks
Personal transport in Kavehan cities is usually done by public transit – mainly by bus. Cars and other vehicles tend to be used for intercity travel, while most bulk transportation of goods and products is done by channel boat. Cross-ocean shipping is a necessity for trade, and recently Kavehan shipwrights have looked at producing more and more large ocean-faring cargo vessels to facilitate the trade with the Vallenoran kingdoms.
In order to fuel the economy of the nation, vast quantities of resources need to be found, exploited, and processed. This section deals with how this is done.
The agricultural sector of the nation employs advanced production methods to achieve maximum yields. Agriculture is performed in large greenhouses sited within the city boundaries. Within these greenhouses, precise control over atmospheric conditions, irrigation, application of biofertilizers and use of genetically modified and improved crop varieties enable year-round harvests. The crops are used for numerous things – as inputs for fuel, as food for the populace and livestock, and as inputs for other chemical products including medicines and hydrocarbons.
Of particular note is the role of algae. Algal cultivation is one of the cornerstones of Kaveh’s agriculture. The little aquatic plants are very useful, easy to grow and harvest, and in the process also play an important part in cleaning up water pollution. Their application, like other plants, is widespread – from fuel, to fish and animal feed, to processing into medicines and other stock chemicals.
But plants are not, by themselves, enough of a foundation for economic activity. The bounties of the earth and all their minerals are readily delved and exploited by eager Kavehan mining enterprises. To unlock these riches and their promise of power is worth vast investments, and the result is that the mining sector is one of the most advanced of the Kavehan economy. Mostly autonomous or, at the very least, remotely controlled vehicles dig, survey, and strip the land – very efficiently, but not very environmentally friendly. Vast swathes of Homeland jungle have disappeared, leaving strip mines in their wake.
Fish is an important part of the Kavehan people, who are by nature shore-dwellers. Kurshid was founded on the edge of the sea, as was Xolotec before. Kaveh has mostly given up on catching wild fish – mostly to not deplete stocks, and also because it’s just plain inefficient. Instead, fish are reared on huge aquatic farms, raised on a diet of algal products and fattened for sale.
Efficiency is, and has always been, one of the hallmarks of Kavehan production. Every year, enormous quantities of goods are thrown away, because they are broken or outdated. Citizens receive a monthly stipend of resources they are permitted to consume – anything in excess of this is also confiscated for recycling. The recycling itself occurs in dedicated facilities where the goods are reduced to their constituent materials, which can be almost entirely salvaged as a new input for future products.
Once we have the resources, we have to do something with them, or else they’re no use to anybody. This section covers how.
a. Petrochemical industries
The time of burning fossil fuels in long past. Modern Kavehan vehicles are fueled with hydrogen cells, filled using magic-powered hydrolysis in specialized facilities. The ubiquitousness of water means other fuels are redundant. However, Kaveh does use a huge variety of plastics and polymers – for humble products like water boilers or computers, to the great warships of the Shahanshah’s Navy. Most of the petrochemical industry is geared towards producing and utilizing these polymers, covering the entire chain from oil to finished product.
b. Ferrochemical industries
The nation of Kaveh has a long and rich history in metallurgy. The smiths and forges of the nation have been famous internationally since the days of Shah Sargon the Radiant, with even foreign lords such as Titus Numitor knowing where the best swords were purchased.
Modern Kavehan industry continues this proud tradition. In the great factories, various alloys of steel, titanium and other metals are produced – ones found to be much stronger, more flexible, and generally more useful than traditional metals. These alloys, like the polymers, are applied in the widest possible array of products – from cutlery, to cybernetics, to robotics and other machinery.
c. Other industries
Besides the aforementioned petro- and ferrochemical industries, Kaveh boasts a wide variety of factories and production plants for every conceivable purpose. The scale of production, the variety of products, and the huge bureaucracy needed to manage it all – these are all things that define an economy, and all of these are abundantly present in the industrial districts of the nation.
All of the above has a singular purpose – either to create and provide wealth, or to protect it. This section details how.
The service sector of Kaveh is the only one that has not, to a large degree, been monopolized by the Houses. This is due to its character: many small, independent businesses, specializing in providing certain services like hairdressing, selling of souvenirs, dentistry and so on. Most are affiliated with at least one House, however, simply by virtue of them needing some sort of product to provide their services to begin with.
The financial sector of Kaveh is all but monopolized by the Royal House of Meztlitototl. Her banking enterprice, Moonbird Financial, controls 89% of financial transactions and credit provision going on in the Shahanshayr. The dependency of other businesses on these services, mainly for loans and investments, is one of the main ways in which the Shahanshah keeps the Houses in line. Those nobles that displease Gilgamesh might suddenly find their debts called in or their future investments cancelled, and in the highly competitive environment of the Kavehan economy, even such a small setback can have severe consequences.
Healthcare and cybernetics
Kavehan healthcare is not automated to the same degree as many other sectors. Hands at the patients’ beds are still required, and machines cannot manage the whole process of a patient’s treatment. This is why the doctors of the Noon Order are still at the public’s disposal, running many hospitals and clinics across the nation and depending on contracts with the Houses that obligate the nobility to share her resources with the Order in exchange for treatment for employees.
Cybernetics, however, is a different beast entirely. Several cybernetic factories, run by the House of Apatecatli, operate in the Shahanshayr, and churn out masses of augmentations every day. These mass-produced limbs and organs are of middling quality, and still need to be manually adjusted to their user’s particular physiology – a time-consuming and expensive process. Still, some employers fund their employees’ augmentation in exchange for their labour – a practice particularly common in the more labour-intensive sectors like agriculture and mining. High-end custom-made augmentations are also available, but at far greater price and therefore restricted to the nobility. These are produced individually for each patient by one of the many independent contractors across the Shahanshayr.
Consumer goods, consumption
Every Kavehan citizen is entitled to a monthly stipend of food and a certain amount of resource ‘stock’ they are permitted to possess. This amount varies per person, depending on their employment status and other variables, but always guarantees a basic living standard. Any excess held at the end of the month is confiscated for recycling. Most small household goods are 3D-printed with devices that are pretty much ubiquitous across the nation, but larger goods like furniture or vehicles still need to be produced in the factories.
Besides these basic goods, the old tradition of Kavehan craftsmanship still has not died down completely. Custom hand-made artisanal goods can be purchased from the many independent craftsmen and artisans working in the Kavehan cities. Furniture, rugs, books, art – these are all available, though at a price.
ICT and digital infrastructure
In the modern age, information is at a premium. Every citizen is entitled to a portable multifunction computing device, linked to the nation’s information networks. On the Web, citizens are welcome to access any information, and government interference is kept at a low level – only certain topics considered damaging to the state or her morality are censored.
Most Houses and businesses operate their own subsections of the Web, and electronic wars and hack intrusions are common between business competitors seeking each other’s secrets. Only a fool would attempt to hack the Meztlitototl Web, however, as it is commonly known any intrusion gets punished swiftly and severely.
Kaveh’s military technologies are one of the bases for her strength. These do, however, also require an extensive dedicated support infrastructure to maintain – just the cost of one air-to-air missile is considerable, and the military sector is probably the most intricate and interdependent of the Kavehan economy. From these factories comes everything the Shahanshah needs to wage war – from boots, to uniforms, to the flechette rifles of the infantry and even their mighty vehicles.
Also active in this sector are the Private Military Contractors. These PMCs are basically mercenaries, and have been given leave by the Shahanshah to rent out their services across the world, with two conditions: that they are not required to take up arms against Kaveh, and that no attempts are made to seize, decipher or otherwise research their equipment. Kavehan contractors often staff the security departments of large firms, and have also been deployed to protect religious festivals. It is the contractors’ hope that, once Kaveh gets more established on the Continent, their services will be more sought-after, also in other nations.
In general, the Kavehan economy is potent, versatile, and growing. It is characterized by a high degree of automatization and government oversight, as well as a semi-feudal power structure, and is strongly tied up with political and military matters. One could say the economy is the heart of Kaveh, and economic concerns motivate much, if not all, of her policy and diplomacy.