Between a Devil and a Blue Abyss
The Glorious Endeavor
The Glorious Endeavor is the gold dragon Mengkare’s attempt to perfect the human race. It is a long term project set on the isolated island of Hermea in the Steaming Sea. Its aim is to make each generation healthier, more intelligent and more talented than the last. Most of the subjects are human, but members of other races are occasionally included if they have particular skills or traits that are felt to be beneficial.
The initial subjects of the experiment were all volunteers. Since then, immigration has been carefully controlled and is by invitation only. Agents of Hermea scour the world secretly looking for worthy candidates. Prospective candidates may be studied for years before the final judgement is made.
Those who are judged to be suitable by Mengkare are offered the opportunity to re-locate to Hermea at the nation’s expense. The candidate can take as long as necessary to decide, but the decision is final. The rigorous selection process means only a few foreigners become citizens each year.
Children born on Hermea are given the best possible education, in whichever areas match their interests and abilities. Once they reach the age of sixteen, they are tested to see whether they are suitable to become citizens. Those who fail the test, or decline the offer of citizenship, are sent into permanent exile.
Those immigrants or locally born who accept an offer of citizenship sign the Contract of Citizenship, which recognizes the ultimate authority of Mengkare.
It is also possible for a citizen to subsequently drop below the required standard. Every effort will be made to work with the citizen to address the problem, but if it is not able to be solved then ultimately the citizen will be exiled. It is believed that exiled citizens are transported to the coast of Avistan, where they are left with enough supplies to get them started in their new life.
In addition, the government oversees the (often lengthy) courtship process, in order to better manage the breeding program.
Some foreigners view the Glorious Endeavor as distasteful, objecting to humans being deliberately bred in this way. Several major religions have condemned the project – especially the faiths of Desna, Erastil, Sarenrae and Shelyn.