Delkora

Kingdom of Delkora

Kongeriget Delkore
Flag of Delkora
Flag
{{{coat_alt}}}
Coat of arms
Motto: Vox Populi Suprema (Latin)
"The Voice of the People is Supreme"
Anthem: Kongelig March
(English: Royal March)
Location of Delkora in Tyran
Location of Delkora in Tyran
Capital
and largest city
Norenstal
Official languagesDelkoran
Recognised regional languagesNorvish, Svinian, Syaran
Ethnic groups
76.8% Delkoran
15.9% Sidurian
6.7% Other Eracuran
0.6% Traveller
Demonym(s)Delkoran
GovernmentFederal parliamentary constitutional monarchy
• Monarch
Haldor VII
Adric Azengaard
• President of the Federal Constitutional Court
Arya Raelenthur
LegislatureFederal Parliament
Chamber of Nobles
Chamber of Representatives
Formation
• Nordic Settlement
761 CE
• Consolidation
982 CE
• Current Constitution
1833 CE
Population
• 2018 estimate
93,151,786
GDP (PPP)2018 estimate
• Total
4,393,941,655,381 NSD
• Per capita
47,170 NSD
GDP (nominal)2018 estimate
• Total
4,982,528,721,492 NSD
• Per capita
53,488 NSD
Gini (2018)24.7
low
HDI (2018)0.952
very high
Currencyveld
Driving sideright
Calling code245
Internet TLD.del

Delkora (Delkoran: Delkore), officially the Kingdom of Delkora (Delkoran: Kongeriget Delkore), is a federal constitutional monarchy located in Eracura in Tyran. Delkora is a federal monarchy comprised of seven constituent states. The country is bordered by Svinia to the north, the Sanguine Sea to the west, and Syara and the Sundering Sea to the south. Its capital and largest city is Norenstal. Delkora enjoys one of the highest standards of living in Tyran due to an extensive welfare state and steady economic growth. It consistently scores high on international rankings of civil and political rights.

Delkora is a member of the Organization of Tyrannic Nations, the Common Sphere, and the Commonwealth of Sovereign Nations and is generally regarded as a middle power with significant influence in Eracura. The Kingdom has considerable soft power derived from its strong economy and its reputation as a world leader in human rights and democratic governance. For the most part, the Kingdom maintains a policy of neutrality in international affairs, although it actively promotes international development and human rights.

Etymology

The word Delkore is derived from Old East Norse Deltskove, meaning roughly "Shared Forests", a term early Nordic settlers used to refer to the dense forestland of the Dægenfjor Peninsula. As Viking settlement accelerated throughout the 8th and 9th Centuries and new generations considered themselves culturally distinct from their Acrean ancestors, the term Delkoren, translating to "Delkorans", or "People of the Shared Forests", came to be adopted as a term the settlers used to refer to themselves.

History

Prehistory and early history

The first anatomically modern humans to inhabit present-day Delkora were a number of Indo-Sidurian hunter-gatherer societies along the coast of the Sundering Sea and the Andemis River who moved into the region around 25,000 BCE. The Benoan Civilization, a Hellene culture that existed as a string of city-states along the coast of present-day Cybria and Førelskov, emerged around 1200 BCE. The Benoan city-states eventually united under the Chersónisos League in 920 BCE, forming the basis of an affluent maritime empire. By about 743 BCE, the League began a gradual decline as a result of in-fighting between the city-states, eventually dissolving in 698 BCE.

Makedonian conquest

By around 215 BCE, the Makedonian Empire, under the leadership of Orestes I, had largely absorbed the Benoan Civilization, which became a province of the Empire and helped it to expand its dominance over the Sundering Sea. As the Makedons had left local elites in power and permitted the Benoan city-states to govern themselves autonomously, they largely submitted to Makedonian hegemony, although some put up varying degrees of resistance. Under Makedonian leadership, the city-states prospered as a result of trade with other parts of the Empire via the Sundering Sea.

Viking invasion

The Battle of Gothadaemon

In 761 CE, an Acrean Viking expedition led by Bárøðr Redshield landed at Vynir Rock in present-day Spelborgen Municipality on the Dægenfjor Peninsula. Over the next several decades, a string of settlements were founded throughout the peninsula, which was at the time largely uninhabited and had not yet been absorbed into the Makedonian Empire. From these initial settlements, the Vikings began launching raids against the coastal cities of the Empire. With the vast wealth of the Makedons making these raids highly profitable, there was a major influx of Acrean migration as Viking expeditions in the Sundering Sea were drawn westward by tales of extraordinary riches. The new arrivals, mostly Acrean Danes, expanded their settlement of the Dægenfjor Peninsula and over the next several decades began pushing their territory northward and westward.

The Makedonian-Viking Wars continued intermittently for the next two centuries, with the Makedonian Empire slowly losing ground as its resources were increasingly drained by conflicts in other parts of the Empire. The wars culminated in the Battle of Vydenhelm Pass in 982, in which Delkoran forces under the leadership of Jarl Asmund won a decisive victory against the Makedonians, forcing their final withdrawal.

At the conclusion of the wars, the territory of Delkora was divided among various jarls, who had initially been military leaders but developed into early administrative figures in the burgeoning Delkoran state and eventually absolute monarchs after consolidating their power. Recognized as first among the jarls for his leadership during the Battle of Vydenhelm Pass, Jarl Asmund is generally regarded as the first Delkoran king, and is said to have been granted the title King of the Delkorans at the Galdureting in 983.

Early kingdom

Asmund I and his successors sought to build a unified state but were often stymied by the jarls, who retained large personal armies and frequently went to war with each other over territory. Although nominally ruling over the entire Kingdom, early kings and queens in reality reigned at the pleasure of the jarls, who frequently ousted unfavorable monarchs.

Beginning in the 11th Century, Delkora emerged as a major trading power as a result of its influence in the Sundering Sea. The wealth generated from this trade was mostly concentrated in the large cities along the Kingdom's southern coast, while its northernmost regions, generally isolated from the major trading routes, profited far less. This growing disparity led to the development of significant cultural differences between the north and south which have carried on to the present day. Between 1176 and 1382, resentment between the north and south led to a series of brief conflicts between the personal armies of the northern and southern jarls.

In an effort to put an end to these costly skirmishes, King Haldor III summoned the jarls to the city of Aberald in 1385 where they negotiated the Peace of Aberald. Under the Peace, the jarls agreed to surrender their personal armies to the King in exchange for the freedom to govern their states as they wished, thereby laying the foundation for a federal system of government. The Peace also established the Jarl Council, a forerunner to the Chamber of Nobles, which had the dual purpose of proposing laws to the king and enabling the states to peacefully resolve their disputes.

Renaissance

The period of relative calm brought about by the Peace of Aberald enabled a period of academic and artistic development in Delkoran society that marked the beginning of its renaissance period. During this time, major advances were made in the fields of astronomy, physics, and chemistry by Delkoran scholars. Prosperous southern cities such as Abenvard, Darzenbrom, Tybenhoth, and Gothendral became the centers of the Renaissance, where scholars at universities wrote prolifically and exchanged ideas. The dissemination of their ideas was aided by the advent of metal movable type in the mid-15th Century, as well as increasing rates of literacy. In 1632, Andren Golymir, a Vallyar priest who had traveled extensively through Tyran, published the Encyclopedia Tyranica, the most comprehensive encyclopedia of Tyrannian history up to that time.

In 1546, following the unexpected death of King Aksel I, his eldest son Edvard, only ten at the time, was coronated. Duchess Astrid of Halmodryn, a Førelskov noble who had been one of Aksel's most trusted advisers, served as regent. Secretly conspiring against the royal family, she cultivated alliances with the disaffected jarls of Cybria, Banderhus, and Førelskov, who had already been conspiring against Aksel in response to the high taxes he had imposed on their lands. With their help, Astrid was able to successfully arrange for Edvard's assassination and, after his death in 1552, she declared herself the successor to the throne with the backing of the Jarl Council. Her reign proved to be despotic and violent, and numerous uprisings in the colonies were brutally crushed. As queen, Astrid greatly strengthened the power and influence of the Vallyar Order, requiring all Delkorans to adhere to the faith and pay tribute to the Order.

In 1593, Ulrik Elbengaard, a priest of the Order, began to speak out against the prevailing interpretation of the Seven Sagas, leading to his exile from the Kingdom. He returned in 1598 and gathered a sizable following which rose up against Astrid. The resulting Schism War raged on for seven years and cost thousands of lives. Forces loyal to the queen were ruthless in putting down the rebellion, burning down entire villages whose people were suspected of aiding the rebels. In 1605, at the Battle of Falbaard, Ulrik was captured and later burned at the stake. His remaining followers surrendered, and many were put to death. The Queen then went about targeting any who questioned the Vallyar Order, including Christian missionaries from the north who had been attempting to convert the population since the 1400's, in a series of purges that by some estimates killed over 20,000 people. Scholars cite Astrid's purges as a key factor that put an end to the Christianization of Delkora.

Early modern period

Astrid's successors, Boromir II and Gretta I, oversaw much of Delkora's early modern period, which saw a trend toward centralization of the Delkoran state. During this time, radical political theorists wrote prolifically in the Kingdom's thriving universities. Major scholars of the era included Halvar Belanör, noted for his writings on ethics and philosophy, Danrik Galdaron, famous for his works on economics, and Lucien Elgar, whose writings about human nature and governance would have a significant influence on the development of parliamentary government in the aftermath of Delkoran Civil war. Belanör's ideas laid the theoretical foundation for the Delkoran Parliament by advocating the creation of an assembly representing the interests of the people. His ideas came to fruition in 1732 when Edvard IV declared the establishment of the House of Commoners, a forerunner to the Chamber of Representatives. While this move mostly assuaged the demands of urban merchants and artisans, the varden pressed for more far-reaching reforms.

During the reign of Edvard IV (1704-1750), the Kingdom began using its sizable navy to influence trade and intervene in international politics. Delkoran explorers traveled throughout Tyran and beyond, establishing trade and alliances with kingdoms in throughout Eracura and Siduri. The strength of its navy, combined with its strategic location on the Western Narrows, made Delkora an important player in international trade as it competed with Ossoria and Cacerta.

Civil war and parliamentary government

In 1825, King Vallgaar III, fearing that the varden were becoming radicalized against his reign by the liberal political writings of Belanör and Edvard af Telberath, a dissident noble who spoke out against the growing power of the national monarch, ordered the jarls to dissolve them. The jarls, believing this to be a violation of the Peace of Aberald, refused. In retaliation, Vallgaar undertook a bloody campaign to disband the varden, prompting a widespread peasant uprising and leading the jarls to begin rebuilding their former armies in an effort to oust him. The resulting civil war dragged on for four long years, with the tide eventually turning against Vallgaar when the peasant militias and jarls formed an alliance and, after a string of key victories, closed in on Norenstal and eventually captured the King in 1832. Vallgaar was forced to abdicate and later sentenced to death by guillotine.

Although the jarls and the peasantry had been united in their opposition to Vallgaar, the Constitutional Convention of 1833 quickly highlighted the divergent interests of the two factions. The jarls had only sought to oust Vallgaar and replace him; they had no desire to pursue fundamental political or social change. Peasant delegates at the convention, meanwhile, demanded the abolition of the monarchy and aristocracy, as well as a redistribution of land. Lord Telberath, fearing the country would descend into a second civil war, sought to negotiate a compromise that would be suitable to both sides. Under the Constitution that was eventually ratified, the national monarchy and aristocracy were retained, but stripped of their political power and relegated to a largely ceremonial status. Power was transferred to a bicameral Parliament to be composed of a Chamber of Representatives that would represent the people, and a Chamber of Nobles that would represent the jarls.

Shortly after the ratification of the Constitution, Parliament began searching for candidates for the national monarchy, eventually settling on Lord Aksel of Tordenhelm, a distant relative of the by then extinct House of Gryngaard-Sorenzborg. A nationwide referendum was held to test Aksel's support, and after winning the approval of a large majority of the population, Aksel was coronated as King Aksel II. Meanwhile, national elections were held for the Chamber of Representatives, which met shortly thereafter to elect a chancellor. Lord Telberath, by then well known figure respected by both the peasantry and nobility, emerged as the clear favorite, and was elected to the position by a unanimous vote, becoming the first and thus far only chancellor in Delkoran history to have the confidence of the entire Chamber of Representatives.

Reform

Even with the adoption of parliamentary government, vestiges of the old aristocratic order persisted throughout the 1800's. While the new Constitution had stripped the national monarchy of its political power, the jarls of Delkora's seven states had been permitted to continue ruling as essentially absolute monarchs, and often abused their power, sparking calls for reform. The first wave of reform started in the 1870's as urban industrial workers throughout the Kingdom began to organize and demand higher wages and improved working conditions. The United Worker's Congress of Delkora (UWKD) was formed in 1872 to organize mass strikes and lobby lawmakers. Fearing the growing power of the UWCD and other labor movements, the jarls of Førelskov, Vassengård, and Norvia banned them by decree and initiated a violent campaign to disband them. Tensions culminated in 1875 with the Thaldren Massacre, in which police opened fire on striking steel workers, resulting in dozens of casualties and sparking riots throughout the Kingdom. That same year, the UWKD changed its name to the National Labor Party and began running candidates for the Federal Parliament, coming to power in a coalition government with the Liberal Party in 1880.

Upon taking office, Chancellor Magnus Brom went about drafting an amendment to the Constitution that would strip the jarls of their political power. The amendment passed by a large margin in the Chamber of Representatives and was approved by a similarly large majority of the Chamber of Nobles, whose members feared the outbreak of another civil war and voted for the amendment in spite of threats from the jarls. Nonetheless, the jarls of Førelskov, Vassengård, and Norvia remained defiant, continuing to rule by decree. In response, Brom sent troops into these states and arrested the jarls, giving them the choice to either abdicate or be tried for treason. The jarls of Vassengård and Norvia abdicated, and their thrones passed on to their heirs, who agreed to rule as constitutional monarchs. Jarl Oskar of Førelskov refused, however, and was later tried and hung for treason. By 1885, all five Delkoran states had adopted parliamentary constitutional monarchies modeled after the federal one.

Economic depression

The period between 1940 and 1959 was characterized by a massive transfer of wealth to the upper classes. Upon taking office in 1940, the Conservative government of Veidnar Albendor went about slashing tax rates, with the largest decreases applied to corporations and the wealthy. Although initially popular with the public, the tax cuts resulted in increasingly large budget deficits between 1940 and 1945, prompting the government to implement unpopular cuts to social security and pension spending. During this period, the Albendor government also implemented a sweeping deregulation agenda that virtually ended the enforcement of competition law, resulting in the largest corporations and banks gaining increasingly greater influence over the economy. As part of the deregulation agenda, the federal minimum wage was eliminated, resulting in lower wages for workers across nearly every sector of the economy which, when combined with increasing prices as a result of monopolization, led to a sharp spike in the poverty rate and a decrease in aggregate demand. By the early 1950's, the economy had entered a recession, which eventually escalated into a depression in the wake of the 1953 Banking Crisis.

With unemployment hitting 17% by the fall of 1954, the Albendor government took quick action to prevent the imminent bankruptcy of three of the country's largest employers, Fjodonor Metal, Drommler Automotive, and Elderik-Sonderheim. The bailout package passed by Parliament that year succeeded in keeping the companies in business, but angered the labor movement, who believed the companies had been bailed out on the backs of workers that continued to be laid off and faced poverty wages. Facing growing unpopularity in Parliament, Albendor announced his intention to step down as chancellor ahead of the 1956 federal election. Foreign Minister Hjalmar Madsen subsequently succeeded Albendor after the Conservative-Agrarian-Moderate coalition maintained a slim majority. The following year, unemployment reached its peak of 25%, contributing to the increasing radicalization of labor union leadership. Believing that the crisis caused by the depression was optimal for sparking a revolution, Marxists in the labor movement began organizing mass cross-industry strikes intended to shut down the economy. Outside of the labor movement, a handful of left-wing militias began springing up in the major cities, engaging in sabotage and targeted assassinations. The most prominent of these, the Labor Underground, was responsible for a string of car bombings targeting corporate executives in December 1956.

Royal Army troops standing guard during the Norenstal Riots (1958)

Social unrest and National Labor hegemony

General strike in Halmodryn, 1959

By 1957, civil unrest had spread throughout much of the country as mass strikes virtually paralyzed the economy. In the major cities, large scale protests quickly turned violent when police attempted to disperse them, resulting in rioting in the cities of Norenstal, Gothendral, Abenvard, and Tordenhelm. University campuses proved to be centers of the growing dissident movement as students staged mass walkouts and disruptions. As violence spread throughout the cities, Chancellor Madsen declared a national emergency in 1958, arresting thousands of agitators and deploying troops to keep the peace. The following year, he was assassinated by a member of the Labor Underground after giving a speech in Grafholmen. His successor, Thalbius Sörbengaard, proved to be an ineffective leader who was unable to calm the situation and ultimately lost a confidence vote just months after taking office. In the ensuing election, National Labor more than doubled its seats, gaining a rare single-party majority.

Upon taking office, Chancellor Mette Elvensar sought to implement National Labor’s New Kingdom program, a series of wide-ranging reforms that aimed to restructure the Delkoran economy and begin the transition to public and worker ownership of the means of production. Elvensar's successor, Geirbjørn Feldengaard, who served as chancellor from 1967 to 1983, continued the implementation of the New Kingdom program, and successfully passed the Economic Rights Amendment of 1976, which embedded many of the reforms into the federal constitution. The New Kingdom proved to be highly popular with the working class and trade unions, resulting in National Labor staying in power throughout the 1970's, in coalition with the Liberal Party after 1975. The coalition lost its plurality in the 1983 federal election, leading to a coalition of the Conservative and Agrarian Parties led by Lars af Vellarand coming to power on a platform of fiscal and social conservatism.

1983-present

The Conservative Party and the Agrarians would remain in power throughout the 1980's and into the first half of the 1990's. Led by Vellarand, the coalition embarked on a program of economic austerity in an effort to reduce the deficit, in addition to pursuing a program of devolution of power to state governments. Vellarand's austerity policies proved to be highly unpopular with the public, although his personal popularity secured his government another term in 1987. Although Vellarand’s coalition had campaigned on reversing the New Kingdom programs, his government had little success, often stymied by the Economic Rights Amendment, and never able to attain a large enough majority in Parliament to repeal it.

In 1990, Vellarand's mounting health issues prompted him to announce that he would not seek another term as chancellor. Minister of the Interior Ulrik Andersen was subsequently elected party leader and became chancellor in 1991 after the Conservative-Agrarian coalition retained a slim majority. Andersen's government was ultimately ousted in 1994 by a vote of no confidence following corruption allegations. In the ensuing election, National Labor, led by Emma Jørgensen, saw a resurgence of support, and was returned to power in a coalition government with the Liberal Party. The Jørgensen government cut back on military spending and expanded welfare services, stabilizing the economy.

The 2002 Elections saw Kol Vossgaard become the country's first Green Party chancellor. During his term, Vossgaard pushed through strict regulations that limited the amount of pollution output allowed by factories and prevented industrial expansion into wilderness areas. These reforms were popular, but the Greens nonetheless lost several seats in the 2006 elections due to poor economic performance. The Conservatives, led by Harald Møller, forged a coalition government with the Agrarian Party.

In 2012, members of Black Covenant, a far-right Delkoran nationalist group, detonated a bomb inside the Svalbörden Subway Station in downtown Norenstal, killing 57 people. The Møller government responded by passing the National Security Act of 2012, a controversial piece of legislation that greatly expanded the ability of the national government to spy on Delkoran citizens. The government's popularity remained high until 2014, when a severe recession hit, ultimately resulting in the Møller government being ousted in the federal election that year. The Liberals gained dozens of seats, becoming the largest party in Parliament. Adric Azengaard, their leader, became chancellor after negotiating the Kingdom's first "traffic light" coalition government with National Labor and the Greens.

Geography

Grymvar National Park in Vassengård
Downtown Abenvard
Staldrø Municipality in Cybria

Located in Southern Eracura, Delkora borders Svinia to the north, the Sundering Sea to the south, and the Sanguine Sea to the west. The southwestern coast of the State of Banderhus forms the northern half of the Western Narrows, a strategically important strait through which a number of major shipping lanes pass. The topography of the Kingdom varies considerably from region to region. The northernmost states of Vassengård and Norvia are heavily forested and home to the Grymvar Mountains, which run the length of the country's border with Svinia. With the exception of the large cities of Izenhoth, Tordenhelm, and Grafholmen, these states are only sparsely populated. Residential and industrial expansion in the north is greatly limited by the fact that much of the land area of both states is protected forestland. Nearly 75% of the area of Norvia, for example, consists of national parks and other protected areas.

The State of Banderhus lies to the southwest and is home to extensive farmland and pastures, producing nearly 63% of the Kingdom's agricultural output. Its population is much more spread out, consisting mostly of small towns and cities, with the exception of the metropolitan areas of the cities of Abenvard and Tybenhoth on the Sundering coast, which have very high population densities. Cybria is centrally located on the mainland. Nearly 40% of the population is centered in southern Cybria and neighboring Førelskov. Northern Cybria, by contrast, is very rural. The state of Norenstal is an enclave of Cybria, and serves as the capital city of the Kingdom. Førelskov is the easternmost state, and has a high population density second only to Cybria. Much of the Kingdom's industrial base is located in the state, with the most famous region being the Dægenfjor Peninsula located in the southern part of the state. Major cities bordering the peninsula including Halmodryn and Fjodonor are home to sprawling steel mills, as well as a number of hydroelectric plants and nuclear reactors.

Climate

Most regions of Delkora north of the 43rd parallel, including all of Vassengård and Norvia, and parts of northern Banderhus and Cybria have an oceanic climate characterized by mild summers and winters, frequent precipitation, and persistent overcast conditions. Regions south of the parallel are mostly characterized by a hot-summer Mediterranean climate featuring warm, dry summers and rainy springs and winters. Vegetation in these regions is characterized by the predominance of sclerophyll shrublands, as well as pine and oak trees. Agriculture in the Mediterranean zone is dominated by the production of wheat, citrus fruits, olives, and grapes. Vineyards along the Sundering coast are known for their high quality wine, which is a major export. Agriculture in the oceanic zone, meanwhile, is dominated by barley, maize, and soybeans.

Biodiversity

Delkoran ecosystems are characterized by a high degree of biodiversity, with approximately 175,000 known species and an estimated 23,000 that have yet to be described. An extensive body of federal environmental law exists to ensure the preservation of existing species and ecosystems. Strict regulations govern hunting and fishing quotas, and whaling has been illegal in Delkora's exclusive economic zone since 1962. The Ministry of Environment maintains an extensive list of endangered species, and has developed action plans to rebuild their populations. Strict penalties exist for the unlawful killing of species on this list. More recently, Parliament has passed laws regulating gene pools and the distribution of genetically modified organisms. Forest biomes are protected by a system of national parks and nature preserves, and slash-and-burn agriculture is prohibited. Forestry laws require replanting at replacement level for all felling operations.

Demographics

Population

Historical population
YearPop.±%
150010,950,000—    
160012,810,500+17.0%
170015,925,600+24.3%
175018,745,000+17.7%
180028,975,500+54.6%
182532,150,400+11.0%
185037,320,800+16.1%
186045,275,350+21.3%
187048,762,591+7.7%
188051,203,510+5.0%
189055,642,110+8.7%
190057,473,992+3.3%
191061,829,463+7.6%
192067,602,587+9.3%
193072,588,902+7.4%
194078,201,399+7.7%
195080,650,439+3.1%
196081,304,587+0.8%
197084,721,505+4.2%
198086,010,439+1.5%
199087,191,375+1.4%
200089,482,726+2.6%
201090,844,010+1.5%
201591,751,786+1.0%

Following its industrialization in the late 1700's, and the ensuing rise in living standards, Delkora's population began to increase dramatically. Birthrates reached a peak in the 1920's, and started to slowly decline thereafter. Since the immigration reforms of Chancellor Mette Elvensar in the 1960's, the Kingdom has experienced several major waves of immigration from Tyran and abroad. Accordingly, most population growth since 1975 has been driven by immigration. As of 2018, the national population was estimated at around 93 million, with a median age of 39 years old and a fertility rate of 1.87 children born per woman. A federal census is conducted every five years to measure population change and collect demographic data. Data from the federal census is also used to determine the number of seats in parliament each state is entitled to. The next census is scheduled for 2020.

Language

Delkoran is the official language of the Kingdom at the federal level and is spoken by over 97% of the population. State and local governments may establish regional languages as they see fit. Languages recognized on a state level include Norvish, Svinian, and Syaran. Federal education standards in the Kingdom require children to be fluent in both Delkoran and English.

Religion

Since the early 1900's, Delkora has become increasingly secular. Vallyar is the official religion of the Kingdom, and 59% of the population are registered members of the Vallyar Order, although it is estimated that less than 20% regularly attend services. Approximately 34% of the population identify as atheist or agnostic, while 5% identify as Christian. The largest denomination of Christianty is Catholicism, practiced mostly by descendants of immigrants from Shalum and Svinia. The remaining 3% of the population follow some other faith.

As the Delkoran folk religion, Vallyar has existed in various forms dating as far back as 2500 BCE. It is a polytheistic faith which posits that a divine and impersonal force known as the Vallyar exists as the "soul" of the universe, from which a pantheon of subordinate deities originate. The religion has always lacked an evangelical character due to one of its fundamental tenants being an assumption that human knowledge is constantly evolving, and that other religions could therefore be as valid as Vallyar itself, or at least partially valid. Scholars of religion have noted the egalitarian character of the religion, which even in its earliest stages promoted a society based on gender equality where men and women had equal rights and responsibilities, as well as a rejection of strict hierarchies.

Vallyar symbols appear prominently in the Delkoran flag, which features an Asmund cross, the symbol of the Asmund I, the first Delkoran king, overlaid by a triple moon and a sun cross, a design intended to symbolize the unity of the state, represented by the cross, and the Vallyar Order. The triple moon in Vallyar symbolizes the cyclical nature of the universe, as well as the human life cycle of birth, life, and death. The sun cross represents the central role of nature in human civilization, with the four quarters of the cross representing the four seasons. Although the Delkoran state is officially religious, in practice the Vallyar Order, like the monarchy, now serves a mostly ceremonial role within the government, and has no influence on policy. Moreover, strong religious freedom protections enacted by the federal constitution and various pieces of legislation guarantee the rights of those who do not adhere to the faith.

Ethnicity

76.8% of the population identifies as ethnic Delkoran, while 6.7% identify as another Eracuran ethnicity, with the largest subset of this group being Svinians, followed by Azurlavs and other Nordic people. Those identifying as a Sidurian ethnicity comprise 15.9% of the population, with the largest subset of this group being Syarans, followed by Mubatans and Miranians. Lastly, about 0.6% of people identify as Travellers, a traditionally itinerant group originating from Southern Siduri.

Politics and Government

Monarchy

King Haldor VII

The Delkoran monarch is a constitutional monarch who holds a largely ceremonial role that is constrained by the federal constitution. The current king, Haldor VII, is a member of the House of Valdenharm, a cadet branch of the now extinct House of Gryngaard-Sorenzborg. Succession to the throne is based on absolute primogeniture, whereby the throne passes to the monarch's eldest child regardless of gender. The current heir apparent to the throne is Crown Princess Astrid, the first born daughter of Haldor VII and Queen Elsa.

Parliament

Hyengaard Palace, seat of the Federal Parliament

The Delkoran Federal Parliament is a bicameral body composed of the popularly-elected Chamber of Representatives and the indirectly-elected Chamber of Nobles. Members of the Chamber of Representatives are elected from multi-member districts through party list proportional representation. The Chamber of Nobles, the upper house of Parliament, is composed of peers appointed by the jarls of the Kingdom's seven states on the advice of their first ministers. All legislation must originate in the Chamber of Representatives. It is then sent to the Chamber of Nobles for review, where amendments can be proposed, although they must be approved by the Chamber of Representatives. Because the Chamber of Nobles only has the right to be consulted on legislation and not a right to veto, it can only delay bills, not defeat them. Constitutional amendments and treaties, however, require a 2/3 majority in both chambers.

The cabinet, chaired by the Chancellor, constitutes the government of the day, and is responsible to the Chamber of Representatives. After an election, the Chamber of Representatives nominates a chancellor candidate for appointment by the Monarch, and the Monarch is constitutionally obligated the appoint the nominee. The Chancellor then appoints the other ministers of the Executive Cabinet. Although executive power is formally exercised by the Monarch, since the ratification of the 1833 Constitution, he or she acts solely on the advice of the Executive Cabinet.

Constituent States

Delkora is a federal monarchy in which each of its seven states are organized as constitutional monarchies similar to the federal one. In all seven states, a hereditary jarl serves as head of state while a first minister from the state parliament serves as head of government. Under the Delkoran constitution, the jarls are considered co-equal to the national monarch, meaning they are not subordinate to him or her and cannot be compelled to give an oath of loyalty. Like the national monarch, however, they now serve largely ceremonial roles that are secondary to their respective first ministers. First ministers lead their state's government and are responsible to the state parliament, and thus their role is similar to the federal chancellor. Delkora's state parliaments are all unicameral and use proportional voting systems with slight variations.

Judicial System and Law Enforcement

A Førelskov State Police officer in Jaerevik

Delkora has a civil law legal system in which the court system is divided into ordinary courts that deal with criminal and private law, and administrative courts. The vast majority of cases are heard by state courts, with the federal courts only being used in civil and administrative cases where there is a federal element involved, or in criminal cases involving crimes against the state, organized crime, and crimes with an interstate element. Cases involving ordinary state law originate in one of 374 county courts which can then be appealed to a regional court of appeals and eventually the state's high court of justice. A similar hierarchy exists with respect to administrative courts. Additionally, each state has its own constitutional court, which has the final say on the meaning of its state constitution.

There are a total of 41 federal courts in Delkora, including 12 ordinary trial courts, 12 administrative trial courts, 7 ordinary circuit courts, 7 administrative circuit courts, the Federal Court of Justice, the Federal Administrative Court, and the Federal Constitutional Court. The Constitutional Court is the highest court in the land and is empowered to hear any case to the extent that their is a federal constitutional question involved. It is the only court in the Kingdom with federal constitutional jurisdiction. Members of the federal judiciary are nominated by the cabinet and must be approved by a 2/3 majority of both chambers of Parliament. They possess life tenure subject to mandatory retirement at the age of 70.

Routine law enforcement in the Kingdom takes place primarily at the state level. Each of the country's seven states maintains a police force that is responsible for maintaining the peace and enforcing laws. The Federal Police enforces federal criminal law and helps to assist and coordinate the activities of the state police agencies. The Federal Border Guard patrols the country's borders and administers border crossings. Prospective police officers are required to attain a bachelor's degree in police science from university and undergo a year of post-graduation training that includes not just physical conditioning and weapons training, but also cultural training and exhaustive mental and emotional screening.

Foreign Relations and Military

Delkoran Marines during a CSN training exercise in 2016

Delkora generally maintains friendly or at least neutral relations with most Tyrannian nations. The Kingdom is a member of the Commonwealth of Sovereign Nations. Under the terms of the Strade Treaty ratified in 1982, Ossoria maintains a permanent naval base in the city of Vanersdal on the southern coast. Relations with Gylias have been strong on account of good trade relations and similar cultural values. A formal political and economic alliance was later established by the Delkora-Gylias Treaty of Friendship and Cooperation ratified by the two countries in 1965.

The Royal Delkoran Armed Forces is composed of four branches including the Royal Army, Navy, Air Force, and Home Guard. The Home Guard is a separate force administered by the states that is primarily responsible for defending strategic infrastructure and providing a rapid response in the event of an invasion. There is a strict separation between the military and civil police forces, with soldiers prohibited from participating in routine law enforcement operations except when necessary during times of civil unrest. Delkoran military posture has long had a primarily defensive character, concerned primarily with defending the Kingdom's territory and policing the Sundering Sea.

Education

The Kingdom guarantees free education at all levels funded primarily through state and local taxation. Throughout the 1950's and 60's, all states in the country came to adopt variations of the Laerenger Model developed by educational psychologist Lara Laerenger. Key features of this model include optional pre-school from age 3 to 6; a highly structured primary education that lasts from age 6 to 12 which focuses on the development of literacy, reasoning ability, and social skills; a less structured lower secondary education with an emphasis on identifying personal strengths and interests from age 12 to 16; and an optional upper secondary education from age 16 to 18 in which students can opt for vocational training or a university preparation curriculum in academy.

Tertiary education in the country is offered by a range of universities and colleges. Most of these are operated by state governments, although some are run by the federal government. As of 2018, there were 84 universities in Delkora, 24 colleges of applied science, 16 colleges of business, and 7 colleges of art. Bachelors degree programs typically require 3 years of study, masters 2-3, and doctoral degrees 3-4. The Master of Laws (M.L.) degree is required to become a practicing lawyer, in addition to passing the bar exam in the state a candidate wishes to practice law, and requires 4 years of study beyond the bachelor's level. The Doctor of Laws (D.L.) is a PhD program available after completion of the M.L. for those wishing to specialize in a particular area of law or who wish to pursue a career in academics, and requires an additional 3 years of study. Those wishing to become physicians must attain a five year Doctor of Medicine (D.M.) degree after completion of their bachelor's work. The D.M. degree is divided into two years of training in the basic sciences, followed by three years of clinical work. After graduation, candidates must pass the Federal Medical Licensure Test and complete two years of residency. Specialized medical degrees are available beyond the D.M. degree for those wishing to specialize in a particular field of medicine such as cardiology or psychiatry, and require an additional two to three years of study.

Education policy is highly decentralized. Each state sets its own standards, although the actual administration of schools is mostly left to municipal governments. Since the 1960's, the federal government has sought to impose a uniform set of national standards throughout the country, while leaving the states wide discretion in how they implement the standards. Education is treated as a public good, and while a handful of private schools exist, they are subject to extensive regulation and are barred from receiving public funds. Homeschooling has been banned in every state since 1993.

Healthcare

Delkora has a single-payer healthcare system funded through general taxation that provides all medically-necessary care, as well as a wide range of preventive care, free at the point of use for permanent Delkoran residents. The Ministry of Health oversees healthcare at the federal level, although in practice the system is highly decentralized, with most physicians in the Kingdom being employed by state and local governments, which also run most hospitals and clinics. Private health insurance does not exist. The country ranks high on most measures of public health, with low rates of child mortality, communicable disease, and premature death. Relative to other developed nations in Tyran, Delkora has low rates of obesity and heart disease. Treatment outcomes for diseases such as cancer, diabetes, and Alzheimer's have steadily improved in recent decades due in large part to high levels of government funding for research and development of pharmaceuticals. Overall life expectancy in 2018 was 80.1 years for men and 80.4 years for women. The Delkoran health system has long been noted for its efficiency and high patient satisfaction ratings. In 2018, the average wait time to see a primary care physician was 3 days, while the average wait time to see a specialist was 28 days.

Economy

Delkora is a post-industrial economy, with services accounting for 73% of GDP, industry 26%, and agriculture 1%. Since the New Kingdom Reforms of the 1960's and 70's, the Delkoran economy has been based on a model of market socialism. It has one of the highest union densities in Tyran, with close to 87% of Delkoran workers registered as members of a labor union. The Kingdom is known for its large cooperative sector, which is the fourth largest in Tyran behind Gylias, Megelan, and Akashi.

Delkora is also known for its expansive welfare state, a major component of which is its basic income program, which guarantees all adult citizens residing in the Kingdom unconditional monthly stipends amounting to about 1,250 NSD per month or 15,000 NSD annually, thereby guaranteeing all citizens a minimum standard of living. The program is financed primarily by profits from publicly-owned stocks, land, and natural resources in accordance with the principle of the social dividend. The Delkoran income tax system is highly progressive, with the lowest rate set at 10%, while the highest is 95%. The corporate tax rate is similarly progressive, with a rate of 15% applied to most small businesses, while the largest corporations are taxed at 45%. A national VAT tax of 10% is also in place, with a lower rate of 5% applied to food, medicine, and clothing. State and local governments also levy taxes, with much of their revenues drawn from land and property taxes. Delkora has among the lowest levels of income inequality in Tyran.

Major export industries in Delkora include information technology, pharmaceuticals, automobiles, shipbuilding, and steel. Imports include oil and natural gas, raw metals, and foodstuffs. Delkora's closest trading partners are the other members of the Common Sphere.

Culture

Agrarian Tradition

Early Nordic settlers in Delkora organized themselves in large agricultural communes known as varden. Historians often credit the egalitarian culture of the varden as contributing to the development of a democratic political culture and preference for local governance. Although the varden declined as a major social institution during the Kingdom's industrialization in the 18th and 19th Centuries, varden culture has endured in certain rural areas of the country. Beginning with the counterculture movements of the 1960's and 70's, traditional agrarian culture was co-opted by radical groups pushing for wide-ranging social reforms, who pointed to the historical influence of the varden as proof that the egalitarian proposals they espoused were simply a return to the country's roots. In the present day, a conservative strain of varden culture that predominates in Banderhus and the northern states forms the basis of political support for the country's centre-right Agrarian Party, while the more progressive varden culture of Cybria forms the basis of support for the country's Green Party, which is considerably more influential in national politics than its counterparts in other Tyrannian nations.

Progressivism

Delkora is widely seen as a progressive country, both in terms of government policy and the attitudes of its citizens. The country consistently ranks near the top of Tyrannian nations on measures of political and civil rights, worker's rights, civil liberties, and protection of minority rights. Extreme poverty and chronic homelessness have virtually been eliminated due to large-scale income redistribution. Expansive civil rights laws protect individuals from both public and private sector discrimination on the basis of race, ethnicity, national origin, genetic information, physical appearance, sex, gender identity, sexuality, age, and disability. These policies, combined with robust affirmative action laws, have contributed to strong social cohesion. Political institutions are known for being transparent and responsive, and the country has one of the lowest rates of corruption in the world.

Cinema and Television

Kongens Teater in Abenvard

Since the early 1930's, Delkora has been home to a thriving cinema industry, with early classics including Gothendral Nætter (1932) and Poets of the Revolution (1935). The 1950's saw the production of a number of influential documentaries critical of existing political structures and figures, helping to contribute to growing public dissatisfaction with decades of conservative governance. Films of this era included Aristokraterne (1956), which helped bring public awareness to the many institutional privileges still enjoyed by members of the aristocracy, as well as Fjodonor (1958), which detailed the plight of Delkoran steel workers in the city of Fjodonor. Major films in recent years have included Halvendahl (2016), an espionage thriller about a rogue KFI agent, and The Gravakr Event (2018), a science fiction horror film centered on a small town in northern Vassengård where a series of paranormal events occur after a rare meteor shower.

Founded in 1932, the publicly-owned Delkoran Broadcasting Service had a virtual monopoly on television and radio broadcasts in the country until sweeping deregulation of the media industry in the 1980's resulted in a rapid expansion in the number of private media companies. Popular television series in recent years have included the political thriller King-in-Council, about an MP who conspires to become chancellor through backstabbing and intrigue, and The Pact, a dark comedy about a teenage couple who run away from home and embark on a series of bank robberies throughout the country. Boromir-12 is a long-running science fiction series about a group of refugees who seek out a new planet after Earth is rendered uninhabitable by centuries of unmitigated climate change. Recent sitcoms have included Teachable Moment, which follows the antics of a group of exceptionally smart yet lazy college students at Abenvard University, as well as Precinct 8, about a team of detectives in the Norenstal Metropolitan Police Department. Beginning in the 1960's, political satire shows started to gain in popularity, and continue to receive high ratings. The most well-known show in this genre is the left-leaning The Havomar Report, which has aired consistently since 1974 and has received critical acclaim for not only satirizing contemporary political figures and events, but also educating viewers and helping to bring public awareness to obscure issues.

Literature

The earliest Delkoran literature consists of the Seven Sagas, a collection of thousands of short stories, anecdotes, and epic poems started by various Germanic tribes of present-day Acrea around 2,800 BCE, which forms the basis of Vallyar, the Delkoran folk religion. Originally passed down orally, an effort to compile the Sagas into a single piece of text was undertaken during the reign of King Asmund I. Somewhat unique among world religions, the Seven Sagas is considered to be an ongoing piece of work, and each new generation contributes verses to it by way of "findings" issued by the Vallyar Order. In this way, the Sagas provide not just a summary of Delkoran folklore and religious principles, but also a glimpse into the evolution of Delkoran society.

The Delkoran renaissance saw an outpouring of new literature throughout the 16th Century as Delkoran playwrights and poets produced works that became famous throughout Eracura. The Delkoran Romantic period of literature began in the 1820's as a movement that promoted an idealized vision of the country's traditional culture and past. Famous authors of this period included Bertel Juhl and Haergar Vorengaard. The 1920's was a prolific period for Delkoran playwrights, who produced a number of notable works such as Alverne af Hymir (1923) by Anna af Gastenholt and The Death of Alice(1927) by Frederik Bartholmen. The 1930's marked the start of the Folkelitteratur movement, which broke with traditional literary conventions perceived to be aristocratic or classist. Works of this school emphasized realistic, often mundane characters and plots, as well as the use of low diction.

As was the case with cinema at the time, Delkoran literature of the 1950's was notable for its critical character. The most famous works of this period were pieces of dystopian political fiction such as Karl Høj's Ild Sang (1952) and Agetha Espersen's Ødelagt Glas (1957). The 1950's also saw the rise of anarchist literature produced by writers such as Eva Daeomir. The 1970's was the golden era for Delkoran science fiction, featuring writers such as Natasja Troelsen and Hal Hansen, who were known for their speculative fiction and whose influence can still be seen in recent works of literature in the genre. The early 1980's marked the beginning of Delkoran literature's postmodern period, which continues to the present day, and is best represented by authors such as Lora Gaerdesen and Ærindel Baldengaard, whose works make frequent use of unreliable narrator, stream of consciousness, and metafiction.

Cuisine

Delkoran cuisine has been heavily influenced by its history as a seafaring nation. Salmon, tilapia, crab, and cod are common entrees, often paired with citrus fruit and bread. Red meats are consumed far less often, with the exception of lamb. Olive oil is frequently used as a cooking oil in recipes, in addition to being served with bread and as a dressing on salad. A glass of wine or a pint of beer is often served with dinner. Coffee is a popular beverage that is typically served after a meal. Delkorans typically consume large breakfasts and small dinners, while eating smaller snacks throughout the day.

Holidays

There are a total of seven holidays observed by the federal government. By law, all non-essential government employees have these days off, as well as most private sector employees.

Holiday Date Reason for Celebration
New Year's Eve 31 December New Year's Eve
New Years Day 1 January Start of a new year
Election Day Varies Federal, state, and local elections
Thymir 3 April Religious celebration of the start of Spring
Labor Day 1 May Celebration of workers
Eshmir 23 September Religious celebration of the start of Autumn
Constitution Day 25 October Ratification of the current Delkoran Constitution

Transportation and Infrastructure

FR-2 in northern Cybria

Construction of Delkora's national highway system, which connects all of the Kingdom's major cities and serves as a major conduit for the transportation of commercial goods, began in 1935 during the chancellorship of Sofia Westergaard. The national highway system is complemented by a comprehensive system of state and county roads. Since the 1990's several high-speed rail systems have been built throughout the country. Delkoran car manufacturers are known for producing fuel efficient vehicles, and under Delkoran law all fossil fuel-powered vehicles manufactured for sale in the Kingdom after 2010 have been required to get at least 40 highway miles per gallon and 35 city miles. Delkora has one of the highest rates of hybrid and electric car ownership in Tyran.

Energy

Wind farm in Darenholm Municipality, Banderhus

During the Green-led government of Kol Vossgaard in the early 2000's, Delkora accelerated its transition away from dependence on fossil fuels and greatly expanded its renewable energy production. Today, Delkora is a carbon neutral country in which, as of 2015, wind power accounts for 45% of the Kingdom's total energy output, hydropower 21%, solar energy 16%, nuclear energy 5%, and oil and natural gas 13%. The country's last coal-fired powerplants were decommissioned in 1996, and legislation passed since then has banned coal extraction. Carbon emissions in Delkora are subject to taxation.