|Free Associations of Sovereign Sharfland
Sirifiqa Sevrintiqa Asiciqet
|Motto: "Iustitia et libertatem"
Justice and Freedom
Location of Sovereign Sharfland within Crataea
|Official languages||Praetannic, Sharfic, Suyerak, Viech|
|Recognised regional languages||Angyikan, Mingriul, Kehmanik, Uirian, Sumq, Tairendian|
|Ethnic groups (2010)||Sharfic, Mingriul, Uirian, Angyikan|
|•||Independence (de facto)||2002|
|GDP (nominal)||2015 estimate|
Chuyland Coal Dollar (SED,)
Sovereign Sharfland (Sharfic: Sirifiqa Sevrintiqa), officially the Free Associations of Sovereign Sharfland (Sharfic: Sirifiqa Sevrintiqa Asiciqet) is a political entity in south Crataea, situated between the Gagolu river to the north and west and the Chaichar river to the east. It borders Sharfland to the west, Uiri to the north and Kadima to the east. Sovereign Sharfland has a total area of x and a total population of over 18 million. Sovereign Sharfland is a common law entity dominated by six large associations, which together form the Free Associations. The de facto capital and largest city is Freiburg. Other large cities include Ütoyez and Qeiam.
Since the end of the Sharfic Civil War in 2010 Sovereign Sharfland has seen an accelerated increase in standards of living and economic activity, driven primarily by an increased tourism market and heavy investment from North Point, Questers and Praetonia. However distribution of development remains a contentious issue among the associations, with Freiburg receiving the vast majority of development funds. Personal safety and security remain a concern outside of the Freiburg metropolitan area, and monopolistic practices by the Free Associations have led some economists to label Sovereign Sharfland a Mafia state.
Up until the early 1800s - same as rest of Sharfland.
In 1835, Praetonian traders sailing from Tairendia landed at the Sharfic port city of Mai Dolum Gar, in the middle of Viech-inhabited territory. The Praetonian mercantile spirit appealed to the Viech, themselves a trading people, who appealed to the Sharfic King in far-distant Shiran for more autonomy in local affairs.
The Sharfic King, in an effort to placate the Viech, struck an agreement with the nascent South Crataea Company to lease the city of Mai Dolum Gar for 100 years as a free trade port. The South Crataea Company renamed the city Freiburg, and rapidly developed the economy of the city by exporting Crataean raw materials. As well as the Praetonians of the SCC, numerous local Viech merchants became rich and influential in their homeland. A sizeable percentage of the population were converted to Praetonian Congregationalism, and exported the religion to their family networks outside the city.
In 1932 the Yak Revolution overthrew the Sharfic monarchy and instituted a unitary communist republic. The new authorities, wary of their weak position, refrained from taking action against the Praetonian concession and allowed trade to continue for the last three years of the previously agreed lease. However, Viech merchants had their wealth confiscated and found themselves subject to increased harrassment by the communist regime. Many fled to Praetonia and Questers, forming a large and wealthy émigré network. During the communist period these exile Viech maintained a steady flow of information and anti-communist propaganda into the southeast regions of Sharfland via the porous Uirian border. The perceived injustice of the asset confiscations, a prominent part of this propaganda, influenced many Viech into civil disobedience against the regime.
At the outbreak of the Sharfic Civil War many Viech saw the opportunity to break away from the Vorga government. Networks in Commonwealth countries purchased large quantities of weapons and smuggled them into the country. A violent uprising under the banner of the Allied Associated Front, formed of a number of local militias, broke out as early as 1999, to which the regime retaliated with massive force. Mai Dolum Gar was almost totally destroyed during a four-year siege which was eventually broken when government troops routed. The AAF claimed independence from Sharfland, renamed Mai Dolum Gar to Freiburg and immediately began the process of transitioning Sovereign Sharfland to an anarchist political entity governed under the principles of Commonwealth common law, with major influences of Viech and Suyerak customary tribal law.
Law and order
Sovereign Sharfland is a stateless society, and thus is not beholden to any national law. However the Gulf Law Company operates on a subscription model to issue yearly guidelines for personal behaviour, based on principles of non-aggression, and deploy Social Office police officers to prevent violence. GLC guidelines are designed in cooperation with business, community and tribal leaders to ensure maximum compatibility with the myriad Sovereign cultures.
Those who do not subscribe to the Gulf Law Company typically employ small private security companies, although outside of Freiburg very few operate due to the power of the GLC. In poorer areas of the country, villagers or suburb-dwellers typically form volunteer militias to conduct policing operations in their living space. These volunteer militias operate almost exclusively on precepts of tribal law, and have no interest in suggested guidelines of the GLC or other associations. This can be a cause for friction when a subscriber to the GLC falls foul of such a militia, and incidents have occurred in the past of Social Office commandos being deployed to break GLC subscribers out of tribal detention facilities.
Sovereign Sharfland is home to numerous independent courts of arbitration, with the Freiburg College of Law being the most influential and well-known. Outside of Freiburg, tribal courts are the most common means of arbitration. Any suit may be either brought to a court or settled in private "mediations" between two injured parties. Whilst courts of arbitration are not legally binding in Sovereign Sharfland, a defendant who refuses to attend court when formally requested will be considered to be a social outlaw and may be executed without fear of justified reprisal.
Sovereign Sharfland's Associations maintain offices in other common law nations, and co-operate in trade and defense matters. In particular, the Free Associations have a reasonable level of influence in the Commonwealth. The associations maintain a "Wall of Silence" policy regarding the Sharfic Federation that prevents associations or their subscribers doing business with the Vorga government.
The largest military association is the Sovereign Defense Group, operated on a subscription model similar to that of the Gulf Law Company. The Sovereign Defense Group maintains rosters of part-time reservist troops, who can be mustered at short notice to defend the territory. The Group has a total muster of roughly 400,000 men on its payroll, and boasts a number of fixed-wing and rotary aircraft on lease from the Malayan National Forces. The SDG is overwhelmingly conformed of civil war veterans with a small, ageing officer corps trained in Vorga and Songia during the socialist period. In 2015 it began a total modernisation program, and offers inflated wages to North Point, Questarian and Praetonian officers to take commissions in the force.
The economy of Freiburg is weighted heavily toward shipping, with an expansive port complex handling billions of dollars in import/export goods. Banking also takes a prominent position and Sovereign Sharfland has become a popular tax haven, especially in countries that have long since banned their citizens from banking in older common law entities.
Freiburg also hosts a vibrant aid and development community, hosting dozens of international private and public Non-Governmental Organisations who use the city as a base for development projects in both rural Sovereign Sharfland and Uiri.
Outside of Freiburg, the dominant economic activity is marijuana and opium farming, a trade that has exploded in size and revenue since Sovereign Sharfland's secession. Many young people travel abroad to work as migrant workers in foreign cities and support their rural families with remittance payments.
In 2015 the Associations agreed to launch a tourism drive in Sovereign Sharfland. Whilst many foreign governments warn against visiting the territory, Freiburg has seen a modest increase in tourist numbers since the campaign began.