|Motto: Pro Virgulto Omnia|
|Anthem: In Old Benacia's Sprawling Hills|
|Largest city||Alttreisen, Yasutomi, Leichenberg, Steerswick, Riskai, Héchéng, Kurpla|
|Official language(s)||Overdolor English, Laqi, Lywind English, High Saxon, Sangunese|
|- Empress||Lyssansa Rossheim|
|- First State Arborist||Clarence Etzeterra|
|- Legislature||the Council of Necrarchs|
|Establishment|| March 15th, 2015 (forum)|
September 27th 2015 (Micras)
|Population||4 (+2 foreign residents)|
|National forum||Empire of Minarboria|
|National food||Lich Cookie|
|National drink||Lich Gravy|
The Empire of Minarboria is a union of realms ruled by the House of Rossheim, a family of undead monarchs chiefly known in Shireroth for their rule of Lichbrook and the establishment of Imperial States as a constitutional model. Minarboria is named for a sentient shrub called Minarbor, who in Cedrism is the demigod of pastel colours but is held by Minarborians to be Shrub-God above all.
Minarboria arose from a mass migration out of Lichbrook in response to three successive phenomena: the secession of Kildare in 5552 ASC, the unwillingness of the Shirerithian political class to prevent the manipulation of public life by provocateurs from Elwynn and Jingdao, and the rise of Steward (later Kaiser) Jacob Darylion-Verion, for whom the situation was a pretext to launch an assault on the autonomy of the Imperial States. Seeing this as a collective punishment of loyal Imperial States for the actions of the less loyal, the noble houses of Lichbrook found their faith in the entire Shirerithian system irreperably broken. Together with the fallen Yastrebs of Goldshire who had been largely disowned by the Shirekeep elite two Kaisers previously, as well as the posthuman casualties of a recent rebellion in Shimmerspring, these disaffected elements coalesced around the personage of Lyssansa Rossheim - previously the sole autocrat of Lichbrook who had now been sidelined in power by her matrilineal elders Anthrazita and Marie Dolores.
With the help of her personal household staff, Lyssansa tasked the ancient soldier of fortune Mors Nerrolar to raise a colonist army and lead the greater part of Lichbrook's population off Shirerithian shores to escape the Shirekeep regime, which was considered irreperably dysfunctional even by the more impartial observers of the time. Seeking a religious cause to motivate the colonists, Lyssansa invoked the name of the Shrub-God Minarbor who had been in her care ever since a loosening of certain arcane bounds during the Cabbage Crisis had caused him to sprout from the root system of Malarbor. Minarbor, never being one to voice loud opposition at anything, meekly consented to his removal from Shireroth - indeed he was seen to express a degree of leaf-twitching excitement at the prospect of seeing new places and meeting new people.
The Kingdom of Minarboria was proclaimed in 5884 ASC from the Shrubbery, a fortified hill adjacent to the ancient Ashkenatzan ruins of Mikrashot. In time the city around this Shrubbery would grow to become the Minarborian capital, Sansabury.
Seeing the early success of the Minarborian state in the face of their own crumbling realms, the greater part of the House of Rossheim 'defected' to Minarboria in 6100 ASC, transforming the Kingdom into an Empire and giving it territories in all four corners of Micras. Around this time, public critique of Minarboria as a Shirerithian duplicate whose only fate was to be re-annexed into the Imperial Republic became suddenly much quieter.
Minarboria is a bewildering constellation of monarchies and principalities (known as necrarchies) held together by the Council of Necrarchs, the more important of the Empire's crowned heads who meet in the Shrubbery to legislate and make policy. They are led by Lyssansa as Empress, and the critical state and religious institutions around them are collectively known as the First State Arbor.
Around the rim of the First State Arbor is the Second State Arbor, which deals with routine internal affairs around the Empire; most particularly in the territories of the old Kingdom of Minarboria on Benacia, which are now known as the Imperial Shrublands.
Aroung the rim of the Second State Arbor is the Third State Arbor, where foreign diplomats and residents are received and dealt with at a safe distance from the Necrarchs.
Minarboria features a caste system of sorts with the undead occupying the higher posts of government, the Deep Singers (biomantically-modified descendants of the Shrimmerspring migration) running the church and many social services, and unmodified mortals (known as 'breathers') occupying the lower white-collar tier or simply living off the handouts of Minarboria's post-capitalist economy. Effectively all of the menial blue-collar work in Minarboria is done by zombots, the automatons of the Lichbrookian Adepti who feature in all of Micras' undead societies.
The Church of Minarbor is the established church of the Empire, although it does permit the operation of independent cults adhering to a set of basic commandments known as the Minarboreal Creed. Adherents to the creed state:
1. That we hold Minarbor, the Shrub of Shrubs, to be a god, and to be God above all other Gods, and that Truth is ultimately found only through Him;
2. That we hold Lyssansa Rossheim to be the Bride of Minarbor, and to be His voice, who speaks when He speaks not, and whose pronouncements must be heeded even as if He Himself had pronounced them;
3. That we hold politeness and civility to be high virtues, for they are characteristics of Minarbor which He demonstrates to us every day;
4. That we hold self-improvement and enlightenment to be a constant aim, through which we strive to be worthy of Minarbor’s regard for us.
Minarborian religious thinking generally places emphasis on the agency of the individual and their duty to improve themselves for the collective good. Prostration, petition and intercession tend to be discouraged in favour of active self-improvement, under the maxim Minarbor helps he who helps himself. This is a reaction to the ancient appropriation of individual power (most famously arcane power) into the hands of the Cedrist pantheon, and the perceived failure of said pantheon to make good their end of an implied covenant to use these reserved powers for good in he world. Minarborealism holds that the old gods no longer work in the people's interest and have thus forfeited the Mandate of Heaven, requiring the people to take back their power and remake themselves in the image of the Shrub-God Minarbor who has surpassed the old gods in divinity.
Minarbor himself resides in a pot in the middle of the Shrubbery, in the courtyard of the Empress' palace. He is known to offer quiet rustlings of advice to the Empress from time to time.
Minarboria practices, in the words of the ambassador Laqi Hyrrion, an "armed neutrality" in its relations with foreign powers. The Shrubbery is conscious of Minarboria's value as a prize to be captured into the orbit of aspiring hegemons, and places a vigilant sovereign resistance to this process at the heart of its foreign policy. In recent times this has brought it into a state of unlikely cordiality with the Empire of Jingdao who, despite a fantastically bitter legacy of mutual loathing between some of its noble houses and Minarboria's, are the only other large nation on Micras whose government has not been infiltrated by an Ayreon-Kalirion or an Ettlingar Freyu - providing some unexpected common ground.
Minarboria's relations with Shireroth are complex, with natural historical links and a decent trade relationship on one hand but a degree of mistrust and a religious schism on the other. The diplomatic corps of both nations proved their ability to work productively with the signing of the Treaty of Gloomburg, an agreement to administer the ungoverned space around Greater Tellia, in 6012 ASC.
Relations were briefly sent into a nosedive during the Mulcher Affair in 6193 ASC, when anti-Minarborian sentiments within the Shirerithian defence complex grew to the extent that they threatened to compromise Shirerithian foreign policy and were interpereted by Minarboria as a 'memetic inoculation' of the Shirerithian population in preparation for a planned war between the two powers. This triggered a diplomatic protest from the Shrubbery, in response to which the Kaiser's Court robustly denied any such sentiment and gave its most cordial assurances of friendship. Less easily addressed was the spectre of the MoMA and its contractors as a self-interested political class, potentially capable of manipulating less-headstrong Kaisers into armed confrontations in the future. Thankfully from a Minarborian perspective, this danger was rendered less immediate after 6252 ASC by the re-allocation of Shirerithian military resources toward the containment of a resurgent Jingdao as it emerged from its 'Jexit' era, with the added benefit of lessening the military resources required by Minarboria to insulate its own interests from the more enthusiastic initiatives of the Jingdaoese.
Minarboria enjoys decent relations with Alexandria and, to a quieter extent, Natopia by way of its presence on the continent of Cibola. This has produced, among other things, the establishment of an organised duopoly over the resources of the Inner Cibolan Sea and the restoration of governance to territories vacated by the Natopian Demesne of Walstadt.