This article belongs to the lore of Kylaris.

Azmara

Commonwealth of Azmara

Gemenwelþ âb Azmaara (Azmaran)
Flag of Azmara
Flag
Motto: “Stranghed komeþ fan galykhed en ânhed”
"Strength Comes From Equality And Unity"
Azmara (dark green) within the Euclean Community (light green)
Azmara (dark green) within the Euclean Community (light green)
CapitalAalmsted
Official languagesAzmaran
Recognised regional languagesIJssentaal
Hytklifer
Demonym(s)Azmaran
GovernmentUnitary parliamentary republic
• President
Maarija Ryginsdohter
• Prime Minister
Eryk Jorśsun
Establishment
• Margraviate of Westmaark
974
• Duchy of Groonbank
1038
• Twin Crowns
1238
• Azmaran Confederation
1623
• Restoration
1810
• Commonwealth
1848
Area
• 
43,018 km2 (16,609 sq mi)
• Water (%)
1.7
Population
• 2018 estimate
10,029,100
• 2013 census
10,011,293
• Density
233.14/km2 (603.8/sq mi)
GDP (PPP)2017 estimate
• Total
$473.6 billion
• Per capita
$47,309
Gini (2017)Positive decrease 28.4
low
HDI (2017)Increase 0.901
very high
CurrencyEuclo (EUC)
Date formatdd/mm/yyyy
Driving sideleft
Calling code+666
ISO 3166 codeAZ
Internet TLD.az

Azmara, (/æzmɑːrə/; Azmaran: Azmaara [ɑzmɑːɹɑ]), officially the Commonwealth of Azmara (Azmaran: Gemenwelþ âb Azmaara, [gɛmɛnʋɛlθ æβ ɑzmɑːɹɑ]), is a country located in northeast Euclea with a population of 10 million citizens. The nation consists of seven provinces, which have little autonomy in the modern day, and has its capital in the city of Aalmsted. To the southwest it borders Buckland, to the northwest it borders Werania and to the east it borders Fierenland.

The nation was settled by Weranic peoples in the 4th century AD, bringing their culture and technology with them. Soon afterwards, missionaries introduced Sotirianity and the Solarian alphabet to the nation. The Weranic peoples formed their own petty kingdoms, which warred frequently until King Eryk I united the island under one crown. However, the seven traditional petty kingdoms were at odds with each other, and as the monarchy progressed more power was concentrated in the hands of the King and the central government in Aalmsted, causing a Civil War to break out, ending in a victory for the decentralists, who established the Azmaran Confederation, a republican trader state which consisted of seven united provinces with high autonomy. However, the confederation's decline led to a centralisation of powers and the establishment of a constitutional monarchy under Stefan I, although the monarchy reserved a lot of power and was disliked, and thus they were overthrown again, and a new, more centralized yet more democratic republic was established.

Today, Azmara is a liberal democracy with a developed standard of living. It has had a long history of liberalism, with universal male suffrage and religious freedom existing since the creation of the Commonwealth, and women's suffrage was established at the dawn of the 20th century. The nation also has a welfare state providing free education and healthcare to its residents, although high tax rates are used to fund it. The current President of Azmara is Maarija Ryginsdohter since her election in 2015, who serves as an Independent, and the current Prime Minister is Eryk Jorśsun of the Workers’ Party.

Etymology

History

Early history

Middle Ages

Margraviate of Westmaark

Duchy of Groonbank

Twin Crowns

Early Modern Period

Growth of Amendism and mercantilism

First Republican Revolution

Later Confederation

Modern Period

Kingdom of Azmara

Second Republican Revolution

Age of Progress

20th and 21st centuries

Geography

Climate

Environment

Politics and Government

Azmara is a unitary parliamentary representative democratic republic, with its system of government laid out in the Constitution of the Commonwealth, a document originally written after the Radical Revolution in 1849, and overhauled in 2005. The constitution tried to strike a balance between the Azmaran Confederation and the United Kingdom of Azmara, recognising the problems with both states and building a functioning democracy.

The Constitution establishes the head of state to be the Forsiter of Azmara, commonly referred to in English as the President, who is layed out to be an impartial figurehead and a mediator between elements in the government; they are meant to give up their party affiliation, if one is possessed, before taking their role to ensure impartiality. An election is held every six years for the President, and instant runoff voting is used to choose the winner. They have the constitutional duty to appoint the Prime Minister and Cabinet, dissolve the Parliament and sign laws, however they are restricted to only exercising these rights in certain circumstances, and they cannot refuse to sign a law. The current President is Maarija Ryginsdohter, a civil servant from Aalmsted who used to serve as the Mayor of Aalmsted.

The legislature consists of the Alþing, which is made up of the Landsmot and the Folksmot. The Landsmot is the upper house of the notion, and consists of 60 representatives elected by the governments of the seven provinces and 15 chosen by trade unions, universities and employers' organisations for a total of 75 representatives, while the Folksmot’s 150 members are elected every three years by the general population of the nation. The legislature has the right to propose, debate and vote on legislation, which is then sent to the President for approval. Imperfect bicameralism exists; the upper house can not deny confidence to the government, although it can vote down budgets and other legislation, leading to governments making deals with small parties to pass legislation.

Traditionally, the Alþing has been dominated by four major parties: Arbeiderpartii, Gyldflam, Sortiren Folksrâgelen and Radikaalen, representing the Azmaran ideological traditions of social democracy, classical liberalism, Sotirian democracy and social liberalism. While Arbeiderpartii stems from workers' movements in the early 20th century, Gyldflam and Radikaalen stem from the Forþgaaner faction in the early republic, which supported centralisation, universal education, secularism and property rights, and Kristen Folksrâgelen stemmed from the Jorśite faction, centering around republican leader Jorś Wilhalmsun, who believed in decentralisation, Christian values and free markets. However, in recent years, new parties such as the environmentalist Groonpartii, the democratic socialist Sośalistiśpartii and the right-wing populist Folkspartii have come into popularity.

The executive branch is centered around the Wisemaanenmot, commonly referred to as the Cabinet of Azmara, which consists of ministers responsible for the running of various departments of the central government; theoretically it is a council of equals, with the Prime Minister of Azmara (Azmaran: Þingspreker ab Azmaara) being a primus inter pares leader of the council, however in recent years under the governments of the 2000's and 2010's the Prime Minister has taken a more executive role, although current Prime Minister Eryk Jorśsun has stated his opposition to this and wish for a return to primus inter pares leadership. New government policy is often discussed by the cabinet using deliberation and consensus building, with the consensus reached being the basis for proposed legislation.

Law

The legal system of Azmara has been based on civil law with influence from Weranic law since the founding of the Commonwealth, coded down in the Gemenwelþlagensbok, the supreme legal code of the nation. Noted principles of the Azmaran legal system have been practices such as trial by jury, innocent until proven guilty, retribution and rehabilitation, where Azmaran law traditionally focuses on getting criminals to repay their debts to society while re-integrating them into society. The Gemenwelþrehtnesraad, or "Commonwealth Justice Court", is the supreme court of the nation, responsible for constitutional matters with the power of judicial oversight, with specialised supreme courts, for example the Gemenwelþarbeidersraad, the Gemenwelþsośalraad and the Gemenwelþscaatsraad, dealing with labour crimes, social crimes and financial crimes respectively.

While the death penalty did not see heavy usage before the abolition, Azmara was early to abolish the death penalty, with the last execution happening in 1857, with the leader of a monarchist paramilitary being executed for treason, and the death penalty itself being abolished in 1858. However, notably, the old Germanic system of wergild only came to an end around a similar time, with the system being kept due to the continued belief in retributive justice, however other ways of retribution and an increased focus on rehabilitation led to its end.

Azmara has a low murder rate of 0.7 homicides per 100,000 people yearly.

Administrative Divisions

Azmara is divided into eight provinces; seven of these are roughly the seven traditional provinces of Azmara that have existed since before unification, while the eighth province is that of Aalmsted, the capital. Each province has its own government, headed by a President, and its own council, elected by its residents every three years. However, on account of Azmara being a unitary state, these governments and councils do not have much power, although they have more than in many other unitary states.

Province Population Area Density Capital President
Aalmsted 1,023,942 592 1,730 Aalmsted Ana Jorśdohter (Ap)
Groonbank 2,531,928 7,192 352 Stâjnensby Hans Aansgaarsun (GF)
Haadland 814,295 6,691 122 Cârlesby Liis Wiljâmsdohter (R)
Hytklif 502,810 4,123 122 Nyhâben Harald Erykssun (SF)
Nordberg 391,192 3,018 130 Nordberg Lorenc Hankssun (SF)
Ostlaak 1,128,381 3,390 333 Kyningsmer Mikel Wiljâmssun (GF)
Sompland 1,618,271 9,283 174 Saltsdyyk Jon Cârlssun (Ap)
Westmaark 2,018,281 8,729 231 Jorś-Hylager Âlfred Jonssun (Ap)

Military

Foreign Relations

Economy

Azmara has a developed, service-based social market economy featuring a skilled labour force, low levels of corruption and high levels of innovation. In purchasing power parity, it maintains a relatively high GDP per capita, of $47,309, combined with a relatively low level of income inequality, with Azmara's Gini being 28.4 in 2017.

The bulk of Azmara's economy in the modern era is based on services, with 75% of the workforce being employed in the services sector, 23% in the manufacturing sector and 2% in the agricultural sector. Azmara's employment rate is 4.9%, one of the lowest in the Euclean Community, which has been accompanied by relatively low inflation and a moderate level of growth.

The Azmaran economy is driven by entrepeneurialism and close government-industry co-operation; while Azmara maintains a relatively free market with a large proportion of small to medium enterprises, the government owns key shares in strategic companies and engages in business subsidisation. Examples of businesses which are partially owned by the government include AT (Azmaariś-Telekom), the largest telecommunications company, and AL (Azmaariś-Lesten), the railway network.

The central region of Azmara, including cities such as Aalmsted, Stajnensby, Jorś-Hylager and Ryksby, has come home to many tech startups in recent years, the most famous of which are low end smartphone company Blauberja, mobile games company Kojuz and software company Foorbindest.

Energy

Industry

Infrastructure

Transport

Demographics

In 2018, Azmara was estimated to have a population of around 10,029,100 people, an increase of 17,807 people from the 2013 census, meaning a growth rate of 0.18% over five years. Azmara is also one of the more densely populated countries in Euclea, with a population density of 233.14 people per square kilometer.

The fertility rate in Azmara stands at 1.69 babies per woman, significantly below the 2.1 minimum rate of population replacement. However, life expectancy in Azmara is relatively high, with women living to 83.4 years and men living to 79.0 years on average.

The largest city in Azmara is its capital, Aalmsted, with a population of 1,023,942 within the official Province of Aalmsted, which constitutes over 10% of the entire Azmaran population. A further 15% live in the nearby cities of Stajnensby and Jorś-Hylager, which serve as the capitals of the provinces of Groonbank and Westmaark respectively, leading to what has been labelled the Aalmsted-Stajnensby-Jorś-Hylager conurbation being home to over a quarter of Azmara's population.

In the 2013 census, 90.2% of respondents identified themselves as Azmaran, 6.1% identified themselves as Euclean and 3.7% identified themselves as Other.

Around 5% of Azmarans are thought to be lesbian, gay or bisexual.

Languages

The sole official language of the Commonwealth of Azmara is the Azmaran language, a Weranic language closely related to Buckish, Estmerish and Ruttish. It is taught as the primary language in most schools across Azmara, with 99% of the population being able to converse in the language.

The only minority language within the nation is the Hytklifer language, often considered a dialect of Azmaran despite the two being mutually unintelligible, which is spoken by a minority in the Province of Hytklif. Like Azmaran, it is a Weranic language, and while in the 19th and 20th centuries it was often suppressed in favour of an Azmaran identity, the language has seen a resurgence in modern years, with bilingual schools being opened in the province and bilingual signage being introduced. 22,000 people, or 0.2% of the population of Azmara and 4.4% of the population of Hytklif, indicated they had "some knowledge" of the language in the 2013 census.

Tajkensprek, also known as Azmaran Sign Language, has also gained some government recognition due to disability rights legislation within Azmara, and around 40,000 people are thought to understand Tajkensprek, including deaf Azmarans and family or friends of deaf Azmarans.

Foreign language studies are mandatory in Azmara for primary and secondary education, with Gaullican being the main language taught within schools, although Estmerish and Weranic are also commonly taught, and along the Buckish border some schools teach Buckish.

Immigration from other countries has led to many other languages being spoken by migrant communities within Azmara, especially within Aalmsted.

Religion

While the 1849 Constitution explicitly states Azmara to be a secular state with freedom of religion, 71.4% of Azmarans identify themselves as Sotirian in the 2013 census, with the overwhelming majority of these being adherents of the Church of Azmara. An Amendist church with a fairly liberal theology, it was founded in 1623 in the Azmaran Confederation during the First Revolution by clergy who rejected the King's divine right to rule, conflicting Catholic doctrine.

The Church is divided into 792 parishes spanning the Commonwealth, which are governed by a board of elders elected by the congregation, and its governing body consists of a synod with a member for each parish, which appoints the Bishop of Kyningsmer, currently the Reverend Sofija Cârlsdohter, who serves as the Church's head. In recent years, the Church has taken the example of the Church of Glytter, recognising same-sex marriages soon after their 2003 legalisation and allowing woman clergy. However, despite the large adherence to the church, only around 1 in 10 members regularly attends Church services.

A further 24.9% of Azmarans are not members of any particular religion, including atheism and agnosticism as well as spiritual but not religious people. This number has increased consistently in the most recent censuses, and it is thought to be higher than the census says, with private polling organisations finding an irreligiosity rate of around 45%.

Other religions, such as Salam and Hyndism, have had small presences in modern Azmara due to increased immigration from other continents. There has also been an effort to revive traditional Weranic paganism, with 0.5% identifying as "Odinist" in 2013, although it is thought many of these responses were in protest.

Education

Education in Azmara is free and compulsory between the ages of 6 and 18, consisting of primary and secondary education.

Primary education is undertaken between the ages of 6 and 14, consisting of eight grades. In this time students are taught Azmaran, mathematics, science, history, computer science, geography, one foreign language, religion and PE. At the end of primary education a series of assessments are done by the student in these various subjects to analyse their strengths and weaknesses for moving forward.

Secondary education is taken between 14 and 18, in which there are two different educational institutions one can attend. The first of these is a gymnasium, which has a more academic focus, where students are taught on a range of subjects, some mandatory and some of their choosing, which is designed to prepare students for university education. All gymnasium students take the Gymnasiumwegaanenprufen at the age of eighteen, which assess them on their knowledge of the subjects they studied. The second of these is vocational school, which is designed to prepare students for a specific vocation: while core studies are still taken, most of their lessons are oriented around guiding them for a particular career which they may enter when they leave school.

Tertiary education in Azmara is free and largely provided by public institutions. The exact requirements vary for each university, but a satisfactory score in one's Gymnasiumwegaanenprufen is generally required for admission. While foreign students are often required to pay, fees are relatively low and foreign students studying in Azmara has become increasingly common in recent years.

Healthcare

Azmara has had a universal healthcare system called the Algemensundhedsurgforsiheren, commonly translated as Universal Healthcare Insurance System, which provides health insurance to all residents of Azmara, which covers 90% of the costs of healthcare. However, an overhaul of the healthcare system is soon to be undertaken in which the government will cover the full costs of providing healthcare to residents of Azmara by 2020.

Most hospitals in this scheme are privately owned, however the Ministry of Health subsidises the upkeep of these hospitals and regulates the treatment options provided by them. Prescriptions, while they are not provided free, are also subsidised by the government to ensure their affordability, although the Province of Westmaark started experimenting with free prescriptions in 2016.

Culture

Azmaran culture is notably linked to Weranic culture with few outside influences; the lack of other influences on Azmaran society has led to them conserving many of their cultural traditions from the Weranic era; while there has been some outside influence from the days of the Azmaran merchants, the Azmaran culture has stayed relatively Weranic, although notably the early Sortirianisation of Azmara has led to a more Sortirian moral code than a traditional Germanic code. Civic and cultural nationalism based on the Azmaran culture and its values has seen large popularity throughout the course of the nation; many Azmarans are very proud of the Commonwealth's values of strength, equality and unity and believe in a link between them, and are also fiercely proud of their language; as a result, many foreign loanwords in the modern day are outright rejected, with native terms such as Forsiter being preferred in place of President, for example.

Azmaran culture is known for its rather modest orientation; Azmarans are likely to keep their personal lives to themselves, with excessive bragging and sharing about one's personal life being frowned upon; examples include talking about sex in public and rich people flaunting their wealth; these are both looked down upon in Azmaran culture, even in the days of merchant culture merchants saw it as improper to flaunt their wealth from trade.

However, Azmarans also have a sense of individualism, with 67% of Azmarans saying "a sense of individual identity is important" in a recent poll, although many elaborated saying that "a sense of individual identity should be within a community"; due to this facet, individual opinions and views are more openly tolerated, leading to observations from foreign journals that Azmarans are much more open about their politics than their sex lives.

Azmarans also have a strong sense of community and egalitarianism; over 90% said they knew someone they could rely on, and many reported regular socialising. This has been linked to the rather homogenous nature of the population, and the typical closeness of families within Azmara. The egalitarian nature of Azmaran culture can also be seen in many other attitudes; the constitution has long forbid the creation of noble titles and priveliges, describing the Azmaran nation as "a nation of equals"; Azmarans are almost always referred to by their first names, and gender equality is very important, with the nation electing a female President in 1985, Jana Eryksdohter, and a rather small gender pay gap.

Music

Azmaran traditional music has been characterised by the use of the fiddle, the flute and the Westmaarkic box. These instruments would be played by folk bands at town gatherings in historical times, with group dances among the townsfolk commonly accompanying the music. These bands still enjoy popularity at traditional events in modern times, with many folk-inspired songs being ballads about the singer's personal life or protest songs about political events.

Azmaran ślager is also a notable genre from Azmara, featuring light pop melodies and generally having lyrics about personal experiences. It is traditionally played on such instruments as accordions, guitars and violins, but in modern times featuring synthesisers and drum machines. Notable performers include De Freyjasdaagen, Maarijana and Hans, Jorś Cârlssun and Sofija De Ânde.

In recent years, Azmarans have entered pop music, contributing to genres such as new wave, house music, trance music, Euclopop, synthpop, alternative rock, indie rock and hip hop, producing many notable artists within these genres.

The national anthem of Azmara is De Śwart Kyninkryk, literally The Black Kingdom, which arose as a republican anthem in the 19th century in opposition to the rather authoritarian policies of the Second Monarchy. Its authorship is unknown, and it is often played in many different styles; it is common for Azmaran-based acts to do a performance of it in their style.

Cuisine

Azmara's traditional cuisine is largely based around meat, fish and potatoes, like many of the traditional cuisines of north Euclea. Dishes tend to be seasonal, based on the climate of the time of year.

Rye bread is also a staple of Azmaran cuisine, with rye bread sandwiches being a common light lunch dish served in the nation, often served with fish, cheese or various meats on top of it. Minced meat features prominently in many dishes, such as śwynflyśbalen and runþesflyśbalen, which are pork and beef meatballs, often served with potatoes and seasonal vegetables. Śnitsel, the Azmaran version of a schnitzel, is also popular, often consisting of a breaded escalope of chicken, pork or veal. Azmara is also known for its beers and ciders, the latter of which tend to be flavoured with berries.

Azmaran pastries, often consisting of brioche filled with crushed berries and sugar, are a common desert in the nation. A distinction has been made between winter pastries, which are filled with crushed apple and blackberries, and summer pastries, which are filled with strawberries, raspberries and cherries.

Sports

The most popular sport among Azmarans is football, being played by many across the nation, with a complex league system existing which teams move up and down in. Azmara has entered many international tournaments for football, and while it has never won any of these international tournaments, it has made a strong performance in many of the ones it has qualified for.

Azmara's relatively flat terrain has led to recreational cycling becoming a common pastime of Azmaran people; many cities have specific cycling lanes on their streets and cycling paths are common in the Azmaran countryside. Competitive cycling between informal clubs has become common in recent years, although no formal organisation for competitive cycling exists, with tournaments happening informally and many cycling non-competitively.

In the winter, when lakes traditionally used to freeze over, ice skating is very popular, especially with children. In recent years, as the technology has become available and as climate change has led to lakes not freezing over as often, ice rinks of artificially frozen ice have been set up both indoors and outdoors in Azmara, often being set up around Christmas time, with Christmas markets surrounding them.

Holidays

Date English name Azmaran name Holiday
Secular and national holidays
1 January New Year's Day Nyjersdaag Yes
25 January St. Wiljâm's Day Wiljâm-Hylagersdaag Yes
1 May Labour Day Arbeidersdaag Yes
19 October Commonwealth Day Gemenwelþsdaag Yes
26 December Boxing Day Aftahylagsdaag No
31 December New Year's Eve Foornyjersdaag Yes
Sotirian holidays
Variable Good Friday Godfreyjasdaag Yes
Variable Easter Monday Ostermaandaag Yes
24 December Christmas Eve Foorhylagsdaag Yes
25 December Christmas Hylagsdaag Yes