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Laterano, formally referred to as the Laterano City, is a Terran country which borders Iberia, Rim Billiton, Siracusa, and Victoria. It is a theocratic country inhabited mainly by Sankta with a decent population of Liberi who are descendants of Iberian immigrants. The nation is ruled by a Pope, the leader of the Lateran Church, with a constitution that guarantees thirteen rights to its citizens.

As the "discoverer" of firearms, an Originium-based weapon that requires Arts to function, Laterano is notably the leading manufacturer of firearms that holds a monopoly over the industry in Terra. Laterano is also the only country with liberal gun laws in which all Lateranians are mandated to own a firearm for self-defense, whether they are military personnel, law enforcement officers or civilians.[1] However, a Lateranian is required to get a permit before being allowed to use it. Until then, they can opt to use bows or crossbows as replacements.[2] The usage of firearms in Laterano is so prevalent and advanced that the Apostolic Knights form the backbone of Laterano's military force.[3]

Despite being a theocracy, the Lateranians are actually cheerful and open-minded with a unique yet bizarre culture. They are allowed to doanything, including demolishing buildings using their firearms as long as it is not in conflict with the constitution.[4] Sankta funerals are usually hopeful ones where friends of the deceased gather to celebrate their soul's ascension.[5] Even the Pope has a laid-back attitude. Aside from these, Laterano is also known for their dessert culture. As for Infected citizens, once found to be Infected, they are forbidden to step foot inside the nation again (barring exceptional circumstances), but they still retain their rights of citizenship.[6]

Background

The Sankta and the Sarkaz have a racial feud that reaches back thousands of years. The true cause of the conflict has been lost to history, but the feud is still strongly felt amongst the Sankta today. According to the Lateran Scripture, a few thousand years ago, the first Saints united the Sankta in order to defend themselves from the Sarkaz's harassment. Together, they built a bell tower, known as the Apocalypse Belfry by later generations, and rang the bell to pacify the Sankta. Later, the Saints proclaimed to build a city around the tower, laying the foundation of the Laterano City.[7]

Laterano, the shining beacon in the middle of a suffering world

Since then, Laterano has become a beacon of peace and stability. The nation has survived many worldwide conflicts throughout history, giving it a neutral status in Terra's unstable geopolitics. In turn, the Church uses their Messengers of Nations as peacekeepers to communicate between countries, hoping that they can unite the Terrans against common threats to their civilizations.[4] Despite its peaceful status, there are minor tensions within the country. Some, especially the Lateranian Liberi, are dissatisfied with being perceived as second-rate citizens due to their exclusion from Sankta racial empathy and the Church's neglection of the suffering outside for too long, especially since the Silence of Iberia that destroyed the Liberi's homeland.

All Sankta are all physically bound by an entity known as "The Law". No one knows what the Law truly is, other than it being located deep underneath the cathedral[8] and an "indisputable existence" that does not need to be proven, and described as "something that should not belong to Laterano."[8] The Law's directive is to preserve the Sankta race's existence, and this directive is the origin from which the thirteen rights of citizenship are made. The Law grants them the ability to sense the emotions of other Sankta, as well as their haloes and wings. The Law is also able to instill strong emotions in their entire race simultaneously, such as grief and hope. Any Sankta who breaks the Law without its consent will become "fallen".

In March 1099, in order to commemorate the thirtieth anniversary of the institutionalization of the Messenger of Nations, the first Summit of Nations, an international conference held to discuss worldwide safety, is held at the Grand Church by the current Pope Evangelista XI. Although some conspiracies happened prior to its opening ceremony, the Summit was nevertheless a success. The Pope's speech in the opening ceremony is later known as the Lateran Doctrine, a historical moment in Terra's history.[9]

Notable people

Native

Places

Districts/Avenues

  • Stephen District
  • Servatius Avenue

Churches

  • Grand Church: The main church of Laterano where the Pope resides.
  • Landen Monastery: A famous monastery where Hildegard hails from. Once a training ground for the Apostolic Knights, it is now facing bankruptcy as the monastery lacks new students due to the nation's long period of peace.[10] Trying to find another way of income, they begin to sell their homemade beer and bread. The warriors of the monastery are often nicknamed as the "Landen Guards." It is worth noting that they are open to, and even welcome, foreign believers.[11]
  • Requiem Mortuary: A church lying on the outskirts of Laterano used as the sole funeal house for deceased Lateranians.

Landmarks

  • Apocalypse Belfry: The ancient stone bell tower that is said to be the foundation of Laterano built by the first Saints. Since then, the bell has not been rung for a thousand years until the Summit incident in the year 1099. The ringing of the bell usually symbolizes grand changes in history.[5]

References

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