|Motto: "Pusillior sed et fortis"
(Latin: We are few, but strong)
Location of North Point
Praetannic (de facto)
|Ethnic groups (2010)||Praetannic, Indian, Flamaguayan, Malay, Songian|
52,532 sq mi
|GDP (nominal)||2015 estimate|
|Currency||Oryontic Dollar (O$)|
|Time zone||Haversham Mean Time|
|Drives on the||right|
North Point, sometimes called the Commonwealth Islands or Booniehatville, is a stateless polity located off the northwest coast of Veridis. An archipelago famous for its scenic beaches, North Point is an especially small nation with a land area of only 52,000 square miles and approximately 41 million inhabitants, making it the smallest of the Commonwealth entities. Its closest land neighbor is Valimero to the south, across the North Veridian Strait.
The archipelago of North Point was lightly inhabited by a tribal population of West Veridians since before recorded history. Wallasean discovery by Flamaguayan explorers occurred in 1529 during the first expeditions to western Veridis. Light settlement by Flamaguayans and later Praetannics led to peaceful contact with the aboriginal population and the establishment of small trading settlements on the islands by 1600. By 1810, the islands were administered almost entirely by the Praetonian North Point Company, at first a timber-cutting venture, but later a military Association.
Like Praetonia and Questers, no state government entity claims jurisdiction over the islands of North Point, and its own borders are defined by the seas around it. North Point has no centralized government, but is united under the auspices of the North Point Company.
North Point's commanding position in the southeastern Oryontic Ocean have made it an economic and social powerhouse which exercises influence out of proportion to its size. With a GDP estimated at $1.7 trillion, North Point is one of the wealthiest countries in the world per capita, and its inhabitants largely enjoy a very high standard of living. As a central point between three continents, North Point is highly diverse, with a population evenly distributed amongst Wallaseans, Questarians, and Veridians.
- 1 Etymology
- 2 History
- 3 Politics
- 4 Geography
- 5 Environment
- 6 Economy
- 7 Demographics
- 8 Culture
The islands of North Point form the northernmost extent of the continent of Veridis; early Wallasean geographers referred to the islands as "the north point", and this name has been used ever since. Early Flamaguayan explorers referred to the island chain as the Santa Cruz Islands, but this name fell out of favor after the islands became a major Praetannic settlement in the 19th century. North Point is sometimes referred to as the Commonwealth Islands by the inhabitants of Questers and Praetonia.
Fossil evidence shows human habitation in the North Point islands beginning around 4,000 BCE. Lower sea levels during this period likely connected the islands with northern Veridis, allowing early humans to reach the area on foot. Archaeological evidence points to tribal settlements along the coast of modern-day Grand Island, with ruins dating to 3,000 BCE discovered near Southford. Fragmented tribes of hunter-gatherers and fishermen sometimes cooperated, competed, and occasionally fought for territory along the coast.
The early 16th century saw the first Flamaguayan expeditions to what is now Veridis, which at the time was only known to be somewhere to the south. The islands of North Point were first sighted by the explorer Diego Franco during his expedition of 1529. Franco charted the waters of eastern North Point, and sent a party ashore at San Bernardino, where they made contact with one of the local tribes. Contact with the native peoples during this period was friendly, with the Flamaguayans trading firearms and modern tools for provisions, fish, and artifacts. No Wallasean permanent settlement of the islands was attempted until 1551, when Flamaguayan traders established the town of San Salvacion on Grand Island's west coast. Missionaries soon arrived and began attempts to convert the local tribespeople to Christianity, with mixed success. Flamaguayan interest in the islands at this time was mostly limited to felling timber and searching for gold deposits.
While contact with the local tribes had historically been peaceful, trouble began to brew with some of the interior tribes after the influx of modern Wallasean weaponry led to several destructive and bloody wars between the natives. Viewed by some locals as instigators, attacks on Flamaguayan settlers in the hinterlands began to increase, and several instances of entire Wallasean settlements disappearing occurred. By 1600, colonization was primarily limited to the coastal areas as the interior tribes were unpredictable and dangerous at times. Praetannic and Cockay settlers began to arrive by the early 17th century, first to the Flamaguayan colonial towns. Their Congregationalist religious beliefs often clashed with the Catholicism that dominated the Flamaguayan-descended cities. The Praetannic settlers soon began to establish their own coastal trading ports, usually at the mouths of rivers and in sheltered harbors, and these settlements normally adhered to Common Law principles. Frederickstown becomes the first Praetannic settlement in North Point, followed shortly by Freeport and Robertsville. Congregationalist Praetannic settlers found favor with the West Veridian natives, as their strict interpretation of the Common Law required them to deal with the tribesmen as equals.
As Praetannic settlement of the islands increased, occasional clashes with the Flamaguayans began to occur. Usually this was limited to small skirmishes on the outskirts of the coastal towns, or the capture of trading vessels at sea, but several large-scale organized conflicts took place in the late 17th century. The largest of these was the Battle of Speightstown in August of 1689, which resulted in over 1,000 deaths and six ships sunk or wrecked off the western coast of Grand Island. This battle, a decisive victory for the Praetannic settlers, firmly established Common Law governance over the trading ports of western Grand Island. This period coincided with a rise in piracy throughout the islands, as the lack of organized naval forces in the region meant pirates could operate with impunity. Aided by pirate seaports at Rendova and Lansdowne Island, and preying mostly on shipping bound for Wallasea, piracy became a serious problem that was not fully eradicated until the establishment of the North Point Company in 1803. Piracy in the islands was often encouraged unofficially by the Flamaguayan government, which offered letters of marque to privateers willing to attack Praetannic shipping.
Difficulty settling the interior of the islands persisted throughout the 17th century. The introduction of modern Wallasean weapons and the resulting wars between the native tribes had left the aboriginal population distrustful of the Praetannics, and outright hostile towards the Flamaguayans. Concerted efforts to establish trading posts in the hinterlands were limited, at first by resources but later by attacks by native tribes. The first lasting settlement in the interior of Grand Island was Shepard, built by the Praetonians as an upriver station where sugarcane could be sent to the coast on barges. By 1700, Flamaguayan interest in the islands began to wane as more and more Common Law settlements arose.
The emergence of the Estates Navy as a powerful force aligned with the Common Law (in the mid 17th century) leads essentially to the abandonment of any attempts to continue colonization of North Point by the Flamaguayans. Not willing to risk war with the Estates over the islands, the Flamaguayan government ceased its covert campaign of sponsored piracy.
The North Point Company is founded in Praetonia in 1803 by Thomas Jackson (a geographer, surveyor, naturalist, and pirate hunter who had spent 15 years in North Point under the employ of the H. C. Westlands & Sons Forest Company). Jackson's experience in the islands had showed him the potential for organized and stable development under a large and powerful CL and Estates-aligned company. He arrives in North Point at Escondido in 1805.
- NPC chartered 1803 - Thomas Jackson
There is no officially recognized state government or political authority in the traditional sense in North Point. The North Point Company, a military Association defined by its own version of Praetonian customary law, is the dominant force within the islands.
Law and order
Internal security is provided by various Night Watch sub-associations of the North Point Company. These sub-associations are generally distributed throughout the various administrative regions of North Point, and most share a high degree of commonality with each other in techniques and equipment. Nightwatchmen in North Point are usually unarmed.
The North Point Company provides for the collective defense of the nation through its own private military, which is known as the North Point Security Forces. Unlike Praetonia, North Point maintains a professional standing army and air force, with a highly-trained cadre of officers, most of whom generally serve several years in the militaries of Praetonia or Questers in exchange programs. North Point units are often used as shock troops in Commonwealth formations. The North Point Company's War Department administers the North Point Army, North Point Sea Command, and North Point Flying Corps. Service in an organized branch is voluntary.
North Point is unique for its Guard Force system, which allows for massive mobilization of many dozens of light and motorized infantry regiments at short notice if necessary.
The North Point Company divides the islands into seven administrative divisions. Each of these divisions is administered by a local sub-association of the North Point Company, which governs local affairs, funds the local Watch, and raises and equips a Guard Force unit. Grand Island itself is administered directly by the North Point Company.
North Point is an archipelago comprised of one large landmass (Grand Island) with dozens of other islands surrounding it. The island chain of North Point sits off the northwest coast of Veridis, separated from its southern neighbor Valmiero by the North Veridian Strait. The submerged Great North Point Ridge extends nearly 500 kilometers to the north of the country, and its collection of coral atolls and shallow shoals and banks poses a significant navigational hazard.
To the west of North Point, the Lauderdale Trench drops off steeply at the subduction zone between the Crataean and Veridian continental plates. The Albion Deep, the deepest surveyed point on Earth, lies just 100 kilometers west of Commander's Point on Lauderdale Island. Geologists agree that the islands were the result of volcanism along this subduction zone some 40 million years ago.
North Point's islands generally fall within the tropical climate classifications, though humidity and temperatures are less extreme due to nearly constant trade winds from the east. Summer highs usually reach 88°F (31°C) during the day and 73°F (24°C) at night. Winter day temperatures are usually around 80°F (28°C); at low elevation they seldom dip below 60°F (15°C) at night. Snowfall occurs regularly in the higher elevations in the mountainous interior of Grand Island. Most of North Point experiences only two seasons; the dry season runs from May to October, and the wet season from November to April.
The warmest temperature recorded in North Point, in Northreach on June 7th, 1941, was 99°F (37°C). The record low temperature was -24°F (-31°C) on December 19th, 1978, on the summit of Longs Peak on Grand Island at 14,256' elevation.
Vast inland forests were logged nearly flat in the late 19th/early 20th centuries; nearly all forests on the islands are 3rd and 4th growth. Hurricanes sweep north through the Questarian Sea and batter the islands each hurricane season (August-November, generally) and have resulted in North Point having well-developed meteorological and weather-research groups. Earthquakes along the subduction zone west of North Point sometimes cause damage in the islands and tsunami warning systems are in place in most cities.
Settlement by Wallaseans in the 17th and 18th centuries resulted in a 15% decline in biodiversity among the existing animal species. Chronic over fishing, illegal dumping of toxic waste, and several large oil spills during the 20th century have led to dead-zones, coral bleaching, and sea life decline, a problem only fully understood by 1970. Resulting attempts by the North Point Company to reduce impact of human activity on the environment have been mostly successful in halting additional damage.
Services-based and rich. Lots of tourism. Some heavy manufacturing (mostly ships). Raw materials are imported. World leader in fossil fuels extraction and refining (North Point engineers invent oil drilling etc). Timber industry existed in the early days but now largely works overseas.
Evenly distributed society of Commonwealth races, with largest ethnic group being white Wallaseans/Arterans, closely followed by Questarian Indians. Veridians make up a large proportion of the populace due to geographic proximity to Valmiero and Zavala. A small population group of indigenous West Veridians remains, though they are highly assimilated.
- 5% West Veridians (Maori)
- 5% Songian (polytheist)
- 10% Malay (Muslim)
- 20% Veridian (Christian)
- 25% Indian (Sikh/Hindu)
- 30% Wallasean/Arteran (Christian)
The most common language spoken in North Point is Praetannic, though sizable population groups of Veridians speak Flamaguayan and Embrean. Hindustani-speaking immigrants from Questers are also very common. A small population of West Veridians, descended from native tribes, keep their language alive through oral storytelling.
Likely some form of Christianity practiced in Praetonia or elsewhere.
"The Rugby school had me back a few years ago to give a speech. On courage, of all things! Which proves they're just as big of hypocrites now as in Arnold's day."
Highly-developed but likely very expensive healthcare system. Location of first heart transplant, leader in medical advances, etc etc etc.
The North Point Times newspaper published worldwide and mostly-respected. Lauderdale Inquirer provides all the latest Kardashian and Bruce Jenner headlines, to much dismay.