Glorious Endeavor

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Mengkare, originator of 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 through both education and by allowing only the most enlightened Hermean citizens to have children. 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.1


The flag of Hermea.

Mengkare for centuries observed humanity embroiled in strife and persistently failing to transcend their primal instincts and unlock their true potential. While other metallic dragons disregarded humanity, Mengkare remained captivated by their endurance and ingenuity, firmly believing that with proper guidance, they could evolve into a civilization capable of establishing lasting peace and prosperity on the planet. Recognizing a noble cause worthy of dedicating his life to, Mengkare swiftly departed to an unoccupied island in the southern Steaming Sea. Utilizing the wealth amassed in his vast treasure hoard, he established Hermea—a nation devoted to the Glorious Endeavor, his grand vision of uplifting and perfecting humanity.2


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.1

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.1

In order to fully integrate into Hermea, individuals are required to relinquish all prior nationalities and affiliations, even including organized religious practices. However, in return, they are guaranteed enduring access to the abundant resources offered by Hermea and a lifetime of unending luxury. Within the confines of this secluded society, surrounded by an elite community of remarkable and aesthetically pleasing individuals, residents are encouraged to wholeheartedly pursue their passions and aspirations, whether they be art, magic, science, or martial studies.2


The government oversees the (often lengthy) courtship process between Hermean citizens in order to better manage the breeding program. 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.1 Reasons for exile from Hermea encompass a range of criteria, including possessing average intelligence, lacking clear life goals, exhibiting mental illnesses, having physical impairments, and engaging in disruptive behavior. In some cases, the cause for banishment remains a mystery to both the unfortunate exiles and their families.2 Those immigrants or locally born people who accept an offer of citizenship sign the Contract of Citizenship, which recognises the ultimate authority of Mengkare.1


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.1

Dissenting views

While numerous inhabitants of the Inner Sea region yearn for a life of distinction and opulence, not all view Mengkare's endeavor as noble. To many, the notion of a human breeding experiment is repugnant, regardless of the intended outcome, and the idea of surrendering personal autonomy is akin to enslavement. However, proponents swiftly draw parallels to the customary practice of arranged marriages in various cultures, contending that the Hermean government is merely formalizing this tradition. These advocates assert that although Mengkare holds absolute authority, he respects the intellect and self-reliance of his subjects, taking their preferences and happiness into consideration.2 Outside of Hermea, several major religions have condemned the project, especially the faiths of Desna, Erastil, Sarenrae, and Shelyn.1


For additional as-yet unincorporated sources about this subject, see the Meta page.

  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 1.3 1.4 1.5 1.6 James Jacobs, et al. The Inner Sea World Guide, 179–181. Paizo Inc., 2011
  2. 2.0 2.1 2.2 2.3 Erik Mona, et al. High Seas” in World Guide, 64–65. Paizo Inc., 2019