Varnia

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Varnian Federal Republic
Varnske Føderale Republikk
The national flag of Varnia State emblem of the Federal Republic of Varnia
Flag State emblem
CapitalEvenes, Varnrik
Largest city Melford, District of Melford
Official languages Varnian
Recognised regional languages High Varnian
Praetonian
North Varnian
Ethnic groups
Religion
Demonym Varnsk (Varnian)
Varnian (Praetannic)
Government Deliberative Federal Republic with limited suffrage
 •  The Directory
Legislature National Conference
Establishment
 •  First Republic 1809 
 •  Revolutionary wars 1799 - 1831 
 •  Federal Republic 1851 
Area
 •  3,688,448 km2
1,424,118 sq mi
Population
 •  2016 estimate 127,071,500
 •  2014 census 124,542,777
 •  Density 34.45/km2
89.2/sq mi
GDP (PPP) 2016 estimate
 •  Total $6.44 trillion
 •  Per capita $50,712
GDP (nominal) 2016 estimate
 •  Total $6.71 trillion
 •  Per capita $52,813
Currency Varnsk Pund (Varnian Pound) (VRP)

Varnia, officially the Varnian Federal Republic (Varnian: Varnske Føderale Republikk), is a state located on the south-east and eastern coast of Arterus. It is bordered to the north and west by Fanta and Quiberon and shares a maritime border with the stateless polity of the western Commonwealth across the Axackal Strait to the south. Its coastlines are bordered by the Oryontic ocean to the east and the Axackal and Gravic seas to the south and north-west respectively. The modern federal republic is made up of 22 states, including three home countires, nine districts, six provinces and four lands, covering a land area of 1.42 million square miles and a population of 127 million people. The Varnian federal government is a deliberative Federal Republic with limited suffrage, with a wide diversity of forms of government at the state level.

Varnian civilization stretches back to the early Iron Age, when a variety of city states and petty kingdoms flourished in southern Varnia, with significant trade influences across the Axackal and major settlements as far west as Svendborg and Tule. In the 10th century, a large Dumani invasion lead to the inclusion of most of southern Varnia into the Dumani Empire at its greatest extent. The Crisis of the 11th Century lead to the Dumani withdrawal from Varnia in 1070. The Northern Empire persisted in its existence until the early 14th century, when it finally fragmented under pressure of invasions from what is today Northern Varnia and Fanta.

The first truly Varnian state was formed around the core of the old Northern Empire in late 16th century, when the Kingdom of Varnia (Varnrik) was formed in southern Varnia. By the 17th century, Varnrik was one of the great powers of the western world, dominating the Axackal through a naval hegemony that lasted until the Varnian Revolution. During the latter part of the 18th century, several religious and political revolutions swept across the Varnian states, then a collection of petty kingdoms, city states and Common Law settlements and concession quarters, in addition to the three major kingdoms of Orkdal, Varnrik and Vestmar. In 1781, the monarchy in Orkdal was deposed by radical political revolutionaries, leading to the beginning of the revolutionary wars. In 1809, the First Varnian Republic, an unitary, constitutional republic, was formed, and soon began a series of expansionist wars across the Axackal, leading it into conflict with Fanta, Quiberon and Dumanum. The modern, federal republic, was founded in 1851, with the annexation of various sister republics and the ratification of a new constitution, which established the principle of Varnian Republicanism and federalism.

History

Etymology

The name Varnia derives ultimately from the city of Varn, an ancient city that was founded around 3,500 years before the present, near the area currently occupied by the city of Evenes. The people who occupied the region surrounding this city were known locally as Varns and the name continued to refer to a rather small geographic region, soon one of the many city-states that flourished in southern Varnia during the early Iron Age. The Varns, and other entities in the surrounding area, had extensive influence on trade and culture in both the Dharmandesh subcontinent and the greater Axackal region, due to the lush climate of the region facilitating agriculture and prosperity. Contact with the Dumani Empire lead to a series of conflicts culminating in the annexation of most of modern day southern Varnia, Varnium to the Dumani, in the 10th century. This was the first true unification of any significant amount of territory in modern day Varnia, and most sources attribute this as the origin of the term Varnia as applied to the region, rather than a single tribe.

The original etymology of the name Varn is lost to history, but the common consensus among scholars today is that the most likely origin is an ancient form of the word water, Vatn in modern Varnian, due to its location at the estuary of the Orkla river.

Early history

Persistent settlement in modern Varnia stretches back to c. 50,000 years BCE, with agriculture and permanent settlements present as early as 2,500 BCE. Early Varnians traded extensively throughout the Axackal and maintained rivalries with other major Axackal civilizations, particularly Dumanum. Varnian settlements, and those of other Arteran civilizations, throughout the Axackal formed a loose sphere of influence until rapid expansion of the Dumani Republic, and later Empire. Early Dumani colonization efforts reached southern Arterus near the end of the 8th century, and following a major campaign in the early-to-mid 10th century, most of what is southern Varnia today was a coherent Dumani province.

Varnium, the Dumani province, was a major Dumani holding from 930 until the ultimate withdrawal of Dumanum during the Crisis of the 11th Century. Following a brief series of conflicts, the formerly Dumani province was unified as the Imperium Borealis (Northern Empire) and governed by Varnian pretender administrations, claiming to represent imperial authority. This state was the largest coherent remnant of the early Dumani Empire until its collapse in the early 14th century, when conflicts with Quiberon and Fanta lead to the collapse of imperial administration.

Early modern period

After the collapse of imperial administration, the territory it had included soon broke into a wide range of petty kingdoms, which accelerated the feudalization of Varnia, as land ownership quickly became the defining characteristic of the ruling classes. This period is also characterized by the emergence of the powerful Oswinist churches that legitimized the ruling class through divine right. Around the start of the 15th century, the Varnian territories were divided into around 300 unique polities. These polities began consolidating through wars and political unions through the 15th and 16th century, and as sea routes to Wallasea began opening with improved navigation and seafaring technology, the Varnian states became a major trading hub for trans-Oryontic trade. By the 17th century, the Varnian states had consolidated to three major kingdoms, Varnrik, Orkdal and Vestmar, along with a handful of smaller states. Trans-Oryontic trade also lead to the introduction of Common Law settlements to Varnia, and several of these settlements quickly became prosperous.

Varnian Revolution

The 18th century saw the development of political ideas founded in the Arteran Enlightenment, and combined with common law influences a series of political revolutions swept across many of the smaller Varnian states. These states, largely made up of small principalities or city-states soon became the foundations of Varnian republicanism. In 1781 the monarchy was toppled in Orkdal, by radical liberals, which set off the Varnian revolution and the unification of modern Varnia. A series of wars lead to the unification of southern Varnia into a single state, the First Varnian Republic, which began a series of expansionist campaigns. These campaigns spanned from the creation of client states, called sister republics, within the "natural borders" of Varnia, campaigns against Quiberon and Fanta, by then united in a political union, and campaigns across the Axackal, leading to the conquest of Paralentum, Svendborg and extensive, albeit temporary, gains in Cratea. At its greatest extent in 1824, the Revolutionary Wars saw Varnian-held territory or client states throughout the Axackal. A combination of over-expansion and internal instability lead to the collapse of most of Varnia's overseas holdings, with Paralentum falling back into the Dumani sphere of influence by 1830.

Great War

Varnian hegemony in the Axackal progressively weakened throughout the 19th century, with the complex system of government that had been established piecemeal during the Revolution weighing heavily on economic growth. A series of inconclusive wars over resources with Quiberon further stifled Varnian growth. Throughout the 1840s Varnia was wracked by a series of political upheavals, including the crippling General Strike of 1842, which saw a large number of workers strike for three months. The Constitutional Convention of 1849 was formed to address these issues, and lead to the consolidation of modern Varnia, and the introduction of federalism as the form of government. By the time of the Great War, Varnian power in the Axackal had grown significantly, leading to an alliance between Dumanum and the United Kingdoms of Quiberon and Fanta to make war. With Dumanum occupied on two fronts, and no prospect of conflict with the Commonwealth, Varnia was able to quickly defeat the combined forces of Fanta and Quiberon. While the war in Fanta deteriorated into a stalemate, Varnia was able to occupy Quiberon and install a government of local radicals. The Varnian Navy was able to largely dominate the Eastern Axackal and Western Oryontic, ensuring supplies from the Commonwealth, and Wallasea at large, were able to enter both Questers and Varnia. When war broke out between Sukaria and Dumanum, Varnia was able to force negotiations, using the threat of more sustained Commonwealth support, and a peace agreement was signed in early 1911. Under the peace agreement, the United Kingdoms was broken up and the Sovereignist government in Quiberon remained in power. It also reiterated the autonomy of Paralentum and Varnian control over Svendborg, points which directly contributed to the Paralentic War in 1958.

Modern history

Geography

A topographical map of Varnia

Climate

Politics and Government

Varnia is a federal, directorial republic, governed by the 1881 Constitution of Varnia. Varnia is considered a liberal country, with defined rights for its citizens and well-established rule of law to protect those rights, but with many shared elements of the Dumani republic, where political rights are not inherent in the individual by virtue of being a citizen, but rather are earned. In Varnia this takes the form of a technocratic meritocracy, or an aristocratic oligarchy according to many detractors, where your profession determines your political rights. The constitution establishes a government based on the principles of Republicanism and separation of powers between three branches: The legislative National Conference, the executive [[Direktoriet|Directory}} and the federal judiciary. As Varnia is a federal republic, made up of 22 constituent political entities with jurisdiction over separate and defined geographic territories, the constitution defines the relationship between the federal government and state governments, primarily in establishing the supremacy of federal jurisdiction over that of the states and the supremacy of federal law over state law. It also limits state powers in certain areas, principally foreign policy and interstate affairs. Varnia is considered by political scientists to have a powerful executive branch, with wide latitude given to the Directory between sessions of the National Conference.

The Directory is a directorial body, composed of eight Directors. The Directors are appointed by each National Conference and sworn into office on the closing day of the National Conference to take their office. They are appointed for a fixed term of six years, and may not serve more than three consecutive terms in office. There is no facility for the recall or impeachment of serving Directors. In addition to forming the collective heads of state and government, each Director heads the political leadership of a federal Directorate responsible for a certain aspect of government, setting and executing the policy in that area. The Directorates have changed names and roles, but currently includes the Directorates of General Security, Federal Revenue, Internal Affairs, National Infrastructure, Consular Affairs, Public Safety and Federal Administration.

The National Conference is the legislative body of the federal government. It is an unicameral body assembled from delegates appointed every six years by the recognized associations through their own internal processes. Delegates are assigned proportionately to associations by membership and by state population size. The number of delegates has varied throughout the Republic, peaking at over 4,000 delegates in 1990, with the final Conference, in 2014, made up of just over 1,200 delegates. National political parties do not exist in Varnia, instead delegates commonly assemble in caucuses, which share ideologies or legislative aims and commonly meet on a regular basis. Caucuses exist both internal to associations, such as the Justice Fraction (Justisfraksjonen), a faction within the defense advocate association advocating criminal justice reforms such as the abolition of capital punishment, and across associations, such as the Freedom Council (Fridomsrådet), a large faction advocating deregulation and social liberalization policies, such as expanding suffrage. Most delegates are members of multiple fractions across multiple issues, but as fractions have no official status within the National Conference, there is no official statistics on the number of fractions or their support beyond polls and self-declared allegiances. Many fractions have substantial organizations outside the Conference, allowing them to contribute funds to their members' campaigns for appointment. Until 1959, there was no legislature in session between each Conference, but at an extraordinary session called in the wake of the Paralentum Conflict, the Conference elected to establish the Standing Committees in order to exercise oversight over the Directory between sessions of the Conference. Each of the eight committees have 12 members, appointed from the delegates at each Conference, with one member appointed chairman, and works with one of the eight Directorates. The committees have the power to compel testimony of government officials and subpoena documents relevant to their investigations.

State and local government

A map of the Varnian states

According to the Varnian Constitution, the Varnian Federal Republic consists of districts, provinces and lands of equal importance, plus the three Varnian states that formed the Varnian Republic in 1809 and unified Varnia during the Varnian Revolutionary Wars, which have some reserved constitutional rights. There are nine districts, eight of which were formed from Praetannic settlements, or Varnian cities with large Praetannic trading quarters after the Varnian Revolutionary Wars stamped out Common Law influence. The six provinces were formed from former nations that were turned into semi-autonomous sister republics and later annexed during the 19th century. The four lands were directly annexed into the First Varnian Republic during the Revolutionary Wars and granted some autonomy when the federal republic was established in 1821. The three original Varnian states originally unified into the Varnian Republic, but tensions during and in the aftermath of the Revolutionary Wars lead to the formation of a federal republic.

All state governments are bound by the federal constitution, but its restrictions on state and local governments are very wide. There's a diverse range of governments and ruling bodies at the state level, including various levels of suffrage limits. The majority of states can be divided into one of X forms of government: Republican government, democratic government, or federal administration, with a few states being unique, such as Myercie's constitutional regency and Lake Griffith's corporatocracy. Republican governments largely follows the form of the federal government, with a directorial or presidential head of state as a strong executive figure and checks and balances imposed by a legislative body and a strong judicial branch. Democratic governments fall into either representative or direct democracies and usually don't rely on associations for suffrage. Some democracies practice universal suffrage, while others limit it by property, wealth or tax receipts. Four states fall under federal administration, as they were directly annexed during the revolutionary wars. These states have federally appointed heads of state with extensive powers, checked by locally appointed representative chambers.

Judicial system

The Varnian federal judiciary is managed by the Directorate of Public Safety, but is constitutionally independent from the Directory. The Constitution established the judicial power as vested in a First Court, and several inferior courts, leaving it to the Conference to create these inferior courts. Appointment of federal justices is also carried out by the Conference, and all appointments are for the life of the justice. The first stop for many federal cases are in either the District Courts of Law (Distrikslagrett) for criminal cases, or the Courts of Equity (Tvisterett) for civil cases. All criminal cases are tried before a jury selected by sortition among professionals for defendants who are members of a recognized association and among non-professionals for other defendants, while civil cases are typically tried before a panel of judges, who are aided on the bench by specially selected subject matter experts and lay judges with no professional legal training. The appeals process for civil and criminal cases are separate, with criminal cases going to a Circuit Courts of Appeal (Ringankerett) and civil cases going to an Appellate Court of Equity (Tvisteankerett). The final appellate court is the First Court, which is empowered to overturn and remand rulings but may not issue their own rulings. The First Court also has original jurisdiction in cases involving judicial review, where a case is brought to challenge a law on constitutional grounds.

Minor federal cases, by the agreement of both parties, may be heard in front of General Magistrates (Generalmagistrat), who are appointed locally and may hear both civil and criminal cases. This requires defendants in criminal cases to waive their right to a jury trial in the first instance. For some cases, this is beneficial, as there is a limit on the maximum sentence a magistrate can impose. Special Magistrates (Spesialmagistrat) are appointed by the National Conference as either special investigators or to hold original jurisdiction in certain areas, mainly administrative law. Examples include the Special Magistrate for Intelligence and Surveillance and the Special Magistrate for Taxation.

Federal law enforcement

Federal law enforcement is handled by the Federal Police Force (Føderalpolitiet or Fødpo), the largest single law enforcement agency in Varnia, with responsibility for enforcing federal law and enforcing state laws in those states under federal administration. Prosecution is handled by the Department of Justice's Criminal Division (Kriminaldivisjonen), lead by the Accuser General (Generalaktoren), through 91 Federal District Accuser (Distriktsaktor) offices located throughout Varnia. In addition, there are several Federal Special Accuser offices, such as the Federal Special Accuser for Espionage (Spesialaktoren for Spionasje), which is responsible for arguing applications for surveillance warrants ex parte in front of the Intelligence and Surveillance Magistrate. The Criminal Division is aided by the Bureau of Investigation (Etterforskningsbyrået or Ettfor), a law enforcement agency specializing in gathering and analyzing evidence. In total there are 11 federal law enforcement agencies.

Armed forces

The Varnian Armed Forces (Våpenmakten) are the combined military services tasked with defending Varnian sovereignity and enforcing Varnian foreign policy. It is divided into five service branches. The National Guard is the core of the Varnian ground forces, alongside the National Militia, which forms various state militias into a unified mobilization reserve. After the Paralentic War, the National Guard's strategic air defense units were transferred to a new service: The Air Defense Forces, which is responsible for controlling Varnia's airspace and operating its air defenses. The largest service by active personnel is the Marine Forces, which includes both the naval forces, and the amphibious forces. The final branch is the Strategic Service, which is responsible for various areas, including Varnia's military space program, strategic weapons and long-range aviation.

Military service in Varnia is considered a highly prestigious career, and remains one of the most accessible forms of higher education as the military offers free higher education in exchange for contract service in the armed forces. Commissioned military officers are afforded political rights, regardless of their role within the military, and even non-commissioned officers have political rights upon reaching senior ranks. Military service is also seen as a duty among Varnian citizens, leading to a very high level of participation in part-time military and paramilitary organizations such as the State militias. This view dates back to the Varnian Revolution, during which vast numbers of citizens were mobilized to defend the newly formed Republics against reactionary forces.

Foreign policy

Economy

Agriculture

Energy

Transport

Education, science and technology

Demographics

Ethnic groups

Major cities

Languages

Religion

Health

Test

Culture