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Eldmark

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Kingdom of Eldmark

Blostlandic: Konungariket Eldmark
Ayohli: ᎣᏓᎸᎦᏙᎯ
Flag of Eldmark
Flag
Coat of Arms of Eldmark
Coat of Arms
Motto: "Bevare Gud Drottningen"(Blostlandic)
"God Save The Queen"
Anthem: Bred Ditt Breda Hjärta
"Open Wide Your Heart"
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EldmarkOrthographicMap.png
Eldmarkwikimap.png
Location of Eldmark (green) in Asteria Superior
Capital
and largest city
Hammarvik
Official languagesBlostlandic
Recognised regional languagesAyohli
Demonym(s)Eldmarkian, Eldmarker, Eldmarsk (endonym)
GovernmentConstitutional Monarchy
• Queen
Thyri I
Eno Ahaloke
Independence from Blostland
• Declared
1765
• Recognized
1771
Area
• Total
1,614,037 km2 (623,183 sq mi)
Population
• May 2019 estimate
34,764,129
GDP (PPP)May 2019 estimate
• Total
1.13 trillion
• Per capita
$35,250
GDP (nominal)May 2019 estimate
• Total
$816 billion
• Per capita
$23,500
Gini (2019)41.2
medium
HDI (2019)0.781
high
CurrencyKrona (ELK)
Time zoneUTC+10, +11
Driving sideright
Internet TLD.el

Eldmark, officially the Kingdom of Eldmark (Blostlandic: Konungariket Eldmark), is a Constitutional Monarchy located in southwestern Asteria Superior in Kylaris. It is bordered to the south by the Arucian Sea, to the east by the Ardesia, to the north by Marchenia, and to the west by Vehemens Ocean. It shares maritime borders with Sainte-Chloé, Bonaventura, and Imagua and the Assimas. Being a constitutional monarchy, Eldmark has been ruled by a member of the House of Adelström since its inception, however over time the crown's role in state affairs has evolved to be more ceremonial. Real legislative power in the country is relegated to the Riksdag. The current monarch and head of state is Thyri I, while the Prime Minister is Eno Ahaloke. Eldmark is divided into 11 states and 1 capital territory.

Inhabited by Ayohli, Yamuyan, and Zapoyan peoples since 7500 BCE, Eucleans first discovered the Horn of Asteria in the 1490s by the eponymous Assim Asteris. Settlement of the land by Blostlandic explorers and colonizers began in 1542, much to the natives' dismay, as colonialism and rapid settling of the area pushed them east. Over time, Blostlandic colonization led to the occupation and incorporation of Imagua and the Assimas, which served alongside the island of Vanö as a protectorate of the colony, itself a protectorate of Blostland. This was short lived, as Imagua was seized during the short-lived Turkey War between the Estmerish and Caldian colonial fleets.

Over time, increasing desires within the colony to secede from Blostlandic rule would spew in violent peasant revolts and general strikes from miners, until the neighboring Asterian War of Secession would spill into Eldmark itself, with the general of the Blostlandic forces Erik Adolphus Guðmundsson lead a coup against the colonial government, splitting the garrisons in half and leading to a bloody civil war, culminating in the independence of the colony. Eventually, Erik's status as a prince to the House of Guðmundsson in Blostland would make him King of Eldmark, a coronation that many Euclean powers saw as illegitimate for decades.

Fraught relations with the already-devastated native population led to a protracted, decades long resistance war against Eldmarsk encroachment, resulting in mass reprisals known as The Ayohli Wars, or the Ranchers' War, now historiographically categorized as a collection of genocides. During this time, the process of civilizing the remnants of the natives, left in reservations, led to the forced "integration" of the peoples into Eldmarsk society, the result being the near-death of native culture.

In the 20th century, the rise of functionalism in Euclea and the Asterias led to the invasion of Eldmark by Dinis Montecara, the autocratic ruler of the Ardesian State in 1927. While initially a disaster for the nation, the formation of a strong front line and defense in the Ryggrad wore out the largely mechanized forces of the Entente powers, leading to attrition and collapse within Ardesia. The post-war period saw the rapid reforming of Eldmarsk society, with anti-functionalist as well as anti-councilist policies resulting in the creation of an informal alliance between Eldmark, Marchenia, Rizealand, and Cassier against the ideology. The alliance was strained by the Marchenian civil-military junta, but support of the Third Republic and Ardesia's similarly authoritarian Estado Novo continued in secret. Various civil rights movements and mass anti-government protests ensued when these secrets were inevitably revealed, culminating in increasing political autonomy for the native populations and a tepid condemnation of the Marchenian war with Chistovodia.

Today, Eldmark is a regional and middle power in the Asterias, with a developed capitalist economy with large industrial sector. Its major exports are gold, silver, iron, coal, petroleum, along with more refined products like automobiles, heavy machinery. Eldmark also has a sizable agricultural sector, with exports such as seafood, soybeans, livestock (including beef, pork, and chicken), tobacco, cotton, corn, sunflower seeds, tea, and sarsparilla. Eldmark is a member of the Community of Nations, the host country of the Organization of Asterian Nations, a founding member of the North Vehemens Organization, a member of the Interantional Council for Democracy as well as its suborganization the Global Institute for Fiscal Affairs (specifically, the Asterian Monetary Fund), and an observer of the Arucian Cooperation Organization.

Etymology

The first Euclean settlers to chart the region, following in the footsteps of Hans Adelström, were at first farmers, who were used to the growing seasons of Blostland. Thusly, they were wholly unprepared when, upon landing on the Horn of Asteria in what the land belonging to The Hammarvik Company (what would later become Hammarvik), that the arid interior and hot climate of the countryside would not suit their knowledge. "The land of fire" would quickly become a running gag in publications in Raudrena, until Adelström decided to capitalize on the name "Eldmark," embracing the term for marketing effect.

The modern Ayohli name for Eldmark is O⁠da⁠lv⁠ga⁠do⁠hi (ᎣᏓᎸᎦᏙᎯ), which means "land of the mountain." It is presently unknown if there was a pre-Assiman name for the whole of Eldmark. Odalvgahodi was at first a name only for the lands in the immediate vicinity of the Ryggrad, as far back as 1893, and has only referred to the whole of the nation when the government regained power in 1938 and, in the first address since the beginning of the war, King Karl I made a speech, recognizing the Ayohli for resisting the functionist puppet government, in which Ayohli translations of the speech would use the term.

History

The Ayohligahodi

The history of Eldmark dates back to 5000-7500 BCE migratory hunter gatherer societies of the Native Asterians, who would settle in what would become Eldmark, to form an ancient civilization. It is assumed that this group, which called themselves the Ayohli, came from the northeast, and is ultimately an offshoot of the Powhatan people.

Ruins of capital city, Joi Gadusi

These people would form a de facto state refereed to by scholars as the Salali Pact. Based around the capital of Joi Gadusi, the Ayohli would have a devolved state, where the chieftains of each tribe and family would convene for inter-tribal affairs, including defense and trade. During the time of the Salali Pact, ritual sacrifice was common, crops, livestock, and on occasion, humans were decapitated and burned for Kalvlvtiahi, which was seen as a creator god, without gender or physical human form, often taking the image of an eagle, whose eternal disappointment in their creation manifested in plagues, droughts, or floods. Every event was viewed through this lens. Because of this, devotion and hard work, especially agricultural labor, was a central tenet of Ayohli peoples. The period between 1294 and 1502, was marked with rapid expansion of the Ayohli people into a more centralised state. In times of peace, each settlement would have its own government, which ruled over domestic affairs. This is referred to as the "White Chief" by modern Ayohli. In times of war, the entire culture was ruled from Joi Gadusi itself, led by a collective of warrior-shamans, known as the "Red Chiefs." Under this, the Ayohli made significant gains in territorial allocation, conquering the entirety of the Horn of Asteria and the surrounding tribes, either killing or influencing warlords. The culture sent out several expeditions to various locations, including the modern day island of Vanö, where they came in contact with the Yamuya, of which they would be in open war with by 1542.

The Viceroyalty of Eldmark

The Nygaard Expedition into the interior of Eldmark, 1632

In 1542, the explorer and Blostlandic naval officer Hans Adelström was commissioned by Eric the Great of Blostland to counter the claims of other Euclean nations in the Asterias by building a port at the Horn of Asteria. A man of noble birth, Adelström was the second son of his father, and was not entitled to the sizeable Adelström Estate in Blostland. Therefore, Hans saw the expedition as a chance to "carve out an estate of his own," as written in his journal. On August 16 of that year, Adelstrom and an Blostlandic expeditionary force landed at the Horn of Asteria, between the islands and the mainland. Initially coming into contact with various Yamuya and Ayohli peoples along the Horn of Asteria, they would at first secure territory from these groups by treaty, but this era of peace would not last. As the colony began to grow, in 1543, Hans Adelström would lead an army of 1000 volunteers, mostly Blostlandic settlers, to remove natives from their lands, under promise that the land would be divided among them. Extremely successful, Hans Adelström declared himself leader of the colony and the growing settlement port, which was also named Hammarvik after his flagship, the Hammar.

With the colony formally established, Adelström made several territorial acquisitions to solidify the possession and ensure Blostlandic interest in the colony, starting with The Sisters in 1548, and Vanö in 1549, each involving the surrender of Yamuya tribes, who would be sold into slavery in the growing slave trade in the mainland and on the islands themselves. The coast of Eldmark would become a successful exporter of a variety of cash crops of the time, including sugar cane, dyes, rice, tobacco, and coffee.

Upon the death of Adelström in [DATE], Blostland intervened to set up a regional government with a governor-general, or viceroy, that would reign near unquestioned, answerable only to the Blostlandic crown. While in the beginning the Viceroy was chosen from among the colonial populace, this quickly fell out of favor, as Blostlandic nobility sought further to extend their interests there, often buying the influence of the government. Decisions regarding land use, allotment, and taxation was then often skewed in favor of Blostlandic nobility, causing settlers to voice their disapproval. In 1652, The Eldmarsk Petition was signed, an official complaint regarding the taxes and corruption in the government, and subsequently delivered to both the viceroy and to the king of Blostland. This was largely ignored. Attempts to resist taxation were quickly suppressed, resulting in several riots, culminating in the set of brief peasant and slave revolts known as Harald's Rebellion in 1654, in which the Viceroy, then Leif the Lord Nyström, responded by clearing several towns and farms known as Leif's Eviction, or Leifsutkast. The result led to the deaths of hundreds of settlers, as their forced removal from their farms led to mass starvation. In response to this, Leif and the Blostlandic crown relented, lowering taxation on the settler class.

During the Viceroyalty, Eldmark would grow substantially, with territorial possessions slowly moving up the Horn of Asteria, eventually claiming most of what is Eldmark today. A notable act of aggression at this time was the seizure of Imagua and the Assimas from Caldia in 1563, after a brief conflict that ended in the Treaty of X, ceding the islands to Blostland, where it would be administered from Hammarvik as an extension to the Viceroyalty. Imagua would be lost in 1658 due to invasion by Estmere, though control over the Assimas Islands would continue until 1813, where it was sold to Etruria in 1813.

The War for Independence

Captain Ivan Svard of The 2nd Eldmarsk Independence Army led a raid to destroy a Blostlandic supply vessel, 1768

Despite the attempts to solidify power in the Asterias, Blostland was unable to maintain direct control over the mouth of the Arucian, and attempts to exercise such powers directly led to strategic defeat, primarily to Estmere. After the loss of Imagua in 1658, and the subsequent loss of The Sisters, attempts were made to solidify internal power instead. Siding with Gaullica in the Pereramonic Wars, Blostland was able to keep its possessions and was able to solidify a border with the Gaullican holdings to the north. However, the war was costly, and Eldmark was chosen as the source to pay the war. Gold and silver mines needed to triple their yield, leading to prospectors to search deeper into the mountains, known as the Ryggrad, to take advantage of the royal contracts being offered, as they promised a reward. However, these contracts typically would not pay out, and counterclaims were rampant due to a mismanagement of land ownership. While colonial governments struggled to contain the violence to ensue, these mines typically fell under disuse, or were seized completely by the Crown and staffed with slaves. Infuriated that their claims were being taken from them, colonial militias were called to defend the mines, causing several cases of skirmishes between colonial and royal forces. Using the long-passed Harald's Rebellion and the ongoing violence in the Ryggard, now known as the Gold Nugget Crisis, as the catalyst, Blostland established the Edict of Hammarvik in 1758, also known as the Rotten Edict, forcibly seizing control of all regional militias, establishing an all-Yamuya regiment of colonial soldiers, enforcing mandatory conscription, and further disarming a significant number of the populace, leaving only individuals "of sufficient loyalty to the Crown" armed, which was often Blostlandic aristocracy and hardcore loyalists. This internal punishment, while successful in centralizing power in Eldmark, led to divisions from within the newly made regiments of the Blostlandic armed forces. To combat this, the Kingdom would scatter regiments, intermingling the Blostlandic and Eldmarsk recruits together, leading many colonial recruits exposed to Enlightenment ideals, including son of King Albert I, Erik Adolphus Guðmundsson, where his posting in Raudrena where he would be exposed to the writings and policies of Nèstor Pereramon would influence his view of governance. By 1760, nearly a quarter of the Blostlandic military would be made of Eldmarsk troops, and over 100 fortifications would be built in the colony. Erik was soon tasked with administering the colony and the troops there.

However, varying factors played to what would eventually culminate during the outbreak of the Asterian War of Secession. Using Estmerish support, Nuxica (then Nou Remana), New Estmere, Sheah, and the Cassier Confederation would declare independence from the colonial holdings of Gaullica, to which Blostland pledged to aid, intending to use Eldmark as a staging point for an invasion into the south of the United Colonies. As by and large the existing Blostlandic and All-Ayohli regiments would not be enough for an invasion, colonial reserves would be pulled from the kingdom to fight in the war. After initial success in suppressing pre-war rebellions and uprisings, troops quickly became demoralized fighting those they support, and, freshly cognizant of Enlightenment ideals and hesitant of fighting against fellow Amendists, would default to mutiny. By and large, regiments would either be led or forced by colonial soldiers to fight against their own, leading to chaos. During this time, Erik Adolphus Guðmundsson, then a general and co-leader of the Royal Army of Asteria, would lead an internal coup of the armed forces stationed in Eldmark, effectively making such informal mutinies formal, and issued the Iron Charter, detaching all Eldmarsk troops from the Blostlandic army, offering land to all those who would fight for him. His charter was sent to all towns and mining camps in Eldmark. In December 1765, those who would accept the offer, along with various pro-secessionist militias, would form the Eldmarsk Independence Army, immediately forming and establishing a military government at Läger Flodövergång.

The war in Northern Eldmark would immediately become a war of resources, with the Secessionist and Royal forces scrambling to seize and defend bodies of water, small farms, and ports. Läger Flodövergång itself would find itself the subject of 13 battles, as its port was the only readily accessible port in the region. By denying the Royals the port, they would have to march north by land, where the hot arid temperatures and limited water access would demoralize the troops. This would play into Secessionist hands, as the outnumbered colonists would not be able to face a full frontal assault on the larger and better equipped Royalists. Skirmishes on supply lines were common. On the larger scale, Guðmundsson would use his army to terrorize garrisons, baiting reinforcements, and ambushing them as well. Guðmundsson would direct his attention to Southern Eldmark, using captured Blostlandic ships to launch landings in Stalkulle and Kvällholm. While the landing and subsequent battle of Kvällholm was unsuccessful, colonial militias in Stalkulle and the collective townspeople would be able to overthrow the garrison, storming and taking the Skansen Bruna. Using the large array of weapons, the 2nd Eldmarsk Independence Army would form, forcing its way slowly northwest, while Guðmundsson would take his army southwest. Fierce fighting at Kvällholm, Åndalvern, and Hunavatn would be the majority of fighting in the war, with a variety of skirmishes and minor conflicts along the rural Arucian coast, the Ryggrad, and on Vanö. Over time, momentum in Eldmark and the United Colonies at large would gradually favor the secessionist powers, with the help of Estmere. On the 25th of March, 1771, the secessionists seized control of the Blue Palace in Hammarvik, though the Viceroyalty government had already fled the country, thereby signaling an end to Blostlandic claim to the territory. Unable to re-establish control in either Eldmark or the United Colonies, Blostland and Gaullica would recognize the seceded territories as independent. While independent, incurring massive debts and political instability would be in the cards for Eldmark for years to come.

Post-Independence

During the war, concessions were made to Guðmundsson's army to serve as a de facto governing force in areas of Eldmark in conflict while the various regional governments would have power in areas under relative calm. However, having captured Hammarvik, Guðmundsson and his professional army, who was widely supported by the aristocracy, found himself in a position of power. The regional governments, however, wanted to push land reforms designed to specifically punish loyalist elements of the aristocracy, among other things, such as nationalizing the gold and silver mines to pay off the debt owed to Estmere, along with selling naval base rights to the Sisters Islands, as well as selling off the Assimmas to Etruria, among other cost-cutting operations. This loss greatly hampered national pride, and for some time, internal conflict seemed imminent, while the provisional government in Hammarvik was already having problems forming. While a member and a sympathizer with the aristocracy, Guðmundsson, being also a personal enthusiast of the writings of Nèstor Pereramon, would side predominantly with the regional governments, provided that he be crowned king, and for most of the secessionist aristocracy preserved. In turn, most regionalist policies were passed without much obstacle. In the winter of 1771, not long after formal recognition of Eldmark, Erik Adolphus Guðmundsson was coronated Erik I of Eldmark, founding the House of Adelström. As part of the deal, he would sign Författningen, a document that would serve as both a constitution and a limit on any powers he would have as king. Relations with members of the United Colonies were cordial and friendly, and there were several proposals, most notably by then Hallandic president Edward Marlin, to unify the newly independent Asterian nations into one republic, even after the monarchy was instated. While such plans never came to fruition, alliances and trade agreemements between Nuxica, Eldmark, and Halland would be at peace.

The Eldmarsk-Ardesian War

The Attack on Hakonsbruka, 1825

Eldmark would, with their compatriots in the north, take an aggressive role in aiding colonial subjects attain independence, notably Ardesia and Aucuria. While no formal action was taken by the government in Hammarvik, nevertheless informal aid and assistance, along with volunteers from the Eldmarsk hinterland, would trickle into the nations. In the case of Ardesia, Eldmark would take an official stance of neutrality, while quietly encouraging moderate and conservatives within the new republic to rule as to avoid "more free radicals" in the interrim government. [New Lore to Follow]

The Ayohli Wars and the Era of Erik II

Members of the Hunavatn Volunteer Artillery, Platenburg, 1852

In December of 1851, shortly before his death, Harald I abdicated his title and power to his son, Erik, who would become Erik II of Eldmark. Initially, Erik's expansionist views was considered by the Riksdag, only for it to be rejected by vote. Unable to act on his first goal, he instead looked inward to consolidate his rule.

Over time livestock would be brought over from Euclea and Bahia, While breeds such as the Holstein and Jersey were too sensitive to heat to provide adequate meat and milk production, certain Bahian breeds were crossbred with southern Euclean cattle to produce the Eldmarsk Longhorn, which lent itself well due to the vast open spaces in the Eldmarsk interior, though raising these cows in the frontier came with the added risk of raids and rustling by various Ayohli tribes. These raids often caused great economic strain on ranchers, and soon they petitioned the Riksdag and then king Erik II to intervene, kicking off the Ayohli Wars, which lasted near the entirety of his reign, from [DATE] until [DATE]. Also called the Ranchers' War, the war would be a disaster for the remaining free Ayohli populations in the interior, and has been retroactively considered a genocide by several human rights groups, though the modern government denies and refutes such rulings. The remaining Ayohli people were interred in a collection of reservations which would eventually become Ajohlenstad, or the Ayohli State.

The reign of Erik II was also marked by the creation of the first consolidated schooling program, the first standardised curriculum, and the first mass production of schoolbooks. This program, executed by then Minister of the Interior Jan Ytter, would create a wide network of schools and school systems known by the quick construction of schoolhouses, and the establishment of colleges in Central and Eastern Eldmark. This was to take advantage of the creation of railroads that had begun under Harald, but perfected and mass-expanded under Erik II. Education and Infrastructure paved the way for a demographic shift that quickly expanded the population of Eldmark seemingly overnight. During this time, the average income doubled, along with populations of most urban centers including Hammarvik and Stalkulle.

The Turn of the Century

In the reign of Stefan I, a series of revolts by the dispossessed natives, sparked by increased intervention in tribal affairs, caused widespread damage and killed dozens of white settlers. After quelling the revolts, the Riksdag founded the Royal Office on Native Affairs, tasked with reeducation and "integration" of Ayohli peoples into the broader settler society. This was filled primarily through several religious charities that offered to help, such as the Gospelist Fellowship Society and the Frontier Nursing Service. The former created a slew of boarding schools that attempted to "Sotirianize" the Ayohli people, forbidding children and adults in mandatory attendance from speaking their language, practicing tribal customs, or leaving the premises. Abuse was rife, with punishments ranging from beatings to torture. The Frontier Nursing Service, begun with the intention of lowering child mortality, was in fact sterilizing would-be mothers and/or aborting pregnancies, claiming them as stillbirths. In the 1980s, due to widespread outrage over these atrocities, both charities would lose what little federal funding they had left, despite the overt practices in question fading long before. The FNS would shutter its doors a year later, though the GFS still exists, while abuse allegations still plague it. The damage against Native culture and society is incalculable and has remained a contentious issue to this day.

Stefan I was noted in other circles as a liberal reformer, enacting universal and secret male suffrage, allowing a series of like-minded political figures to seize control of the Riksdag. He and his political allies enacted other economic and social reforms, granting favorable state loans to farms and businesses, subsidizing mining and agriculture, and invested greatly into industry, going so far as to nationalize rail transport.

The move to nationalize certain industries, as well as investing heavily into industry, was scrutinized by political rivals and economic conservatives. This was met by a campaign of suppression. Most notably, the move to fire or otherwise remove over 500 educators (teachers, professors, etc.) and other faculty members from the national public university network had the effect of ending the Ytter Program of expanding colleges, universities, and schoolhouses in the less developed regions of Eldmark. The program was later reignited and expanded in 1945. Dissent would continue until the nationalization was billed not as a power grab, but a patriotic duty. The government would sponsor and later produce anti-Ardesian propaganda, proclaiming the necessity for the rails and the mines to "stay open so that the gates can stay closed." This and other campaigns to use anti-Sotirian and nationalist sentiment to woo support succeeded, but led to Ardesian anger and the rise of functionalism within Eldmark as ultranationalism grew from the sentiments therein.

At the turn of the century, the political climate created by Stefan I shifted from Monarchist vs Republican to Liberal vs Conservative. Now that the crown was no longer considered an unfailing ally of the business owners and landed gentry, factions split and shaped into three camps. The conservatives were led by the National Party and the Crown Society. The second camp, the liberals, led by the Civic Union and a coalition of agrarian interest parties, focused on increasing civil rights and were for maintaining the status quo, along with the subsidies and the state investment. The Labor Movement, the quickest growing wing of Eldmarsk politics, was led by the Eldmarsk Trade Union Congress and their political arm, the Working People's Party. Various liberal parties had at times held similar beliefs and would join with them as well. This was a volatile political culture that led to great strife leading up to the Great War.

The Great War

Ardesian tank disabled due to partisan activity, June 1932.

Following the turn of the century, Eldmark enjoyed relative peace and stability against the backdrop of a divisive and tumultuous world. Directly to the east, Ardesia was under the rule of Dinis Montecara, a far-right military dictator that was effectively a proto-functionalist. Functionalism, a primarily nationalist ideology that espoused revanchism, a fetishization of strength, and an obsession with the restoration of a perceived national greatness, was gaining traction in the world, especially on the backdrop of the Eprarian Flu and the Great Collapse, which only a few years later would devastate the Asterian economy. The reaction from the conservative establishment was to harness functionalist extremists and placate them in the hopes they would focus their efforts on suppressing the simultaneously-growing workers movements such as the radical Eldmarsk Section of the Worker's Internationale and the Working People's Party, their reformist counterparts. The rise of the Eldmarsk People's Front, colloquially known as the Black Hammers led to hundreds of instances of street violence as far right militia clashed with far left demonstrators, culminating in the Hammarvik Central Bank Bombing, a false flag terrorist by the People's Front to frame councillists that left 34 dead with up to 200 wounded. Karl I, then king, pleaded with the Riksdag to declare martial law, but was refused. It seemed as if the nation would collapse before the Ardesians would cross the border.

Dinis Montecara, at this time, was courting functionalist and Gaullican-aligned support, greatly modernizing its military and gearing up for war. Seeing this, Eldmark sought out an alliance with the Asterian Federative Republic and Rizealand to the north, and Werania and Estmere to the west. While they were initially cordial, by the time conflict actually rose, the Euclean powers were largely occupied with holding back Gaullican troops, and the Asterian powers were still at the time unwilling to war with Satucin and the Gaullican navy. In the Eldmarsk military, there stood deeply internal divisions between the army and navy, with each side vying for political power. Corruption was on the rise, with steel and weapons companies bribing officials to secure contracts, with the Riksdag ignoring and even pocketing the money themselves. This along with a general lack of strategical vision, preparing for a largely static war like the ones before, would leave the armed forces unprepared for when they would inevitably stand alone against a highly mechanized military, as they would in 1927.

The war was a disaster for the Eldmarsk army. The Ardesian army quickly overwhelmed and encircled the border garrisons in West Räckvidden and Norrahaven, taking advantage of the flat terrain of the arid interior, routing the forward contingent of the Second Division under General Felix Johannesson. The War Council (which included the crown, the Prime Minister Adolphus Dahl, and Harald Bruun, who was at the time the Leader of the Occupation. Rolf Ohlin, the Minister of War, was also a member), initially recommended the conditional surrender to the Entente, but the Crown objected, claiming the terms would surely be drastic and include the reduction of the nation to the borders at the height of Renzi's invasion a century prior. Rather, General Gustav Bergmann submitted to the council "War Plan Grön," a defense strategy that would involve adopting slash and burn tactics to deny the invading forces natural resources to exploit. It also involved retrofitting hundreds of fortresses and fortifications along the Ryggrad, thereby defending the industrial sectors of Eldmark for the purposes of holding the incoming onslaught. The renovation of these forts was already in the works before the outbreak of war, but corruption and lack of funding had made it a slow process, and by its completion in 1927 was funded partially by private investors and fundraisers, giving it the nickname "Välgörenhetens stora mur " or the Great Wall of Charity.

This plan was, while supported by the people, rejected by the Riksdag, claiming the plan cost too much money, and the terms of the Entente were worth inquiring about at the least. This bickering all but ensured that by the end of the year, the Riksdag was forced to accept the terms regardless, leading to the crown and a faction of the army - namely Bergmann's First Division and elements of the Gendarmeri - fleeing the country to the AFR to plan a guerrilla resistance in the mountains of northwestern Eldmark, setting up a military headquarters at Läger Flodövergång, just as king Erik I did before in 1765. The support of the government-in-exile caused Ardesia to accuse the AFR of harboring their enemy and stoked tensions, ultimately leading to the AFR formally entering the war as Ardesia invades them. The Eldmarsk government, meanwhile, signed a surrender to the Ardesians, and the Eldmarsk People's Front was placed in charge of a collaborationist regime known as the "Eldmarsk Förbundsstat," holding a nominal amount of power yet ultimately under the thumb of the Entente. With a large portion of the old government barred from serving in the National Konvent, Sigurd Tegnér, the leader of the EFF, was placed as Statsminister. During this period, Tegnér would use his paramilitary force, now bolstered by Ardesian approval, to arrest, exile, or kill union organizers, clergy, aristocrats with ties to the King, and minorities en masse. Many of these victims were sent to various camps in the Ardesian interior under the guise of the "National Labor Service." The actions of the collaborationist regime directly or indirectly led to the deaths of over 40,000 Eldmarsk people, the disproportionate majority being mixed race or Ayohli descent. These actions were classified as a genocide in 1935.

Despite early Entente success, they were unable to quash the resistance in the north, with the King able to secure aid and volunteers from the AFR and Rizealand, aiding and abetting unrest in the collaborationist state, creating an escape network for those targeted by EFF policies, and attacking weak points in Ardesian logistics, which relied heavily on the road and rail networks in Eldmark to support the invasion of the AFR. Läger Flodövergång was taken by Ardesian forces during the war, but the Royal Resistance Government (Kungliga-motståndsregeringen) would evacuate before it would be invaded, and would eventually retake the city once the Ardesian lines would begin to falter in 1932. After Eldmark was liberated by a combined allied force, the KMR government would continue to aid the AFR, the Royal Marines assisting in the retaking of the Sister Islands, Vanö, Imagua and the Assimas, and the Arucians writ large.

The Gilded Age of Eldmark

Councilist riots in Hammarvik in 1952, leading Elianora I and the Eldmarsk Armed Forces to declare Martial Law.

Battered but victorious, the RRG made moves to consolidate political power remove the influence of the EFF and the collaborationist government once and for all. Arresting all known collaborationists was a difficult process, as many had attempted to flee the country, some which would hide in the jungles of Ardesia, or in the deserts of Eldmark. The ones that were found and captured were tried and then summarily executed by hanging. This would mark the final instance of what was known as the "Crown Warrant," and one of the last instances of royal power being used, as future acts would limit the crown to little more than ceremonial powers. Finally, the RRG was dissolved and normal democratic elections resumed in 1936, with the AFP coming out on top, though a strong resistance by the a coalition of the National Party, the Sotirian Democrats, and other smaller parties which would form the United Right.

The AFP used their success to enact universal suffrage, restart the Ytter Program of education, rein in the power of the crown (such as the previously noted end to the Crown Warrant), and spend massive amounts of reparation money to repair Eldmark's crippled eastern infrastructure and industry. Eventually, business west of the Ryggrad began to boom once more, and cities such as Grönsund and Ytterholm tripled in size with returning citizens. Efforts to normalize relations with the Ardesian people were met with mixed success on both sides. Interest free loans and grants found their way into veterans and affected peoples of the war. Notably, this excluded many minorities, of whom Ardesia largely left alone. This led to a wealth disparity that would only grow as time went on. AFP's policies led to short term success but a long term failure to properly solidify their gains, alongside the focus on avoiding entry into the Great Game led to their defeat in the 1951 Eldmarsk Elections which saw the introduction of the Anti-Extremism Act of 1952, which banned a considerable portion of both the National Party's right and left opposition. Under the supportive Elianora I, who took a unique and thusfar unrepeated practice of actively stumping for a political party (in this case, the NP), additionally conservative policies such as the Hellmann Codes, named after sponsor and future Prime Minister Anders Hellmann. The Hellmann Codes were created to specifically attack liberal elements in the budding Eldmarsk movie industry and media, censoring those with "councilist tendencies" such as socially liberal filmmaker Ivar Bergerssen, who was arrested, charged, and convicted of "social perversion," a case which was later overturned on appeal. Ivar's trial sparked a series of similar cases in Hammarvik, dubbed "The Steinkamp Cases," all of which would result in convictions of social perversion or a variety of seditionist charges. These charges have all since been pardoned.

The East of Eldmark was known for its overt policies of de jure racism, encouraged by the NP strongholds the local governments held and due to the lax AFP aid policies that set the east back a full decade. Bitter, the municipal governments of Grönsund and Vitberg enacted policies segregating the education system between White, Black, and "Halvras," or "half-blood," and refusing to provide any government assistance to non-whites, unless they were properly "Sotirianized." The Arucian Coast became a hotbed of resistance to these policies, largely inhabited by Bahio-Eldmarsk peoples. Additionally, the Ayohli peoples, where they were allowed to stay, would fight back against various judicial policies of housing, schooling, hiring, and financial discrimination, with initial mixed success. The Greater Court of Eldmark initially shut down the most egregious examples of discrimination, but notably refused to comment on policies of Ayohli matters, claiming in Walela v. Bergen that Ayohli affairs "do not pass the muster of the national government, thereby municipal authorities are to decide."

The decision of Walela v. Bergen sparked controversy, as it undid decades of precedent overnight, and dissolved in large part what little sovereignty Ayohli lands held in their own right. In retaliation, an intersectional coalition between the Walela Movement, the Bahio-Arucian Rights Organizing Committee, and the students of several universities formed and organized what is today the largest civil rights protest in Eldmarsk history. While initially peaceful, violent retaliation from the police, including at times the Home Guard, led to an escalation of violence. Several cities erupted in violent street clashes that ebbed and flowed over the course of 3 years, known by the media as "Black Summer." During Black Summer, NP politicians were harangued in public, leading to mass arrests of protestors for disturbing the peace, though protests continually followed NP politicians, most notoriously Kristian Lindholm, who was attacked by one mob and severely injured before escaping. Police retaliated by raiding and unintentionally firebombing the Twelve Hearts Community Center, a church linked with the protestors in Hammarvik, killing 12 and injuring 46.

The fallout from Black Summer led to an official government investigation into the matter, though quickly, holes in the police testamony and subsequent disappearances of the survivers of the Twelve Hearts Bombing, led to even more public outcry, and the eventual vote of no confidence of Anders Hellmann. Kristian Lindholm took over as Prime Minister before the NP as a whole suffered from resignations. The subsequent Election of 1981 saw the AFP taking a coalition majority once again under the guidance of Felix Haraldsen.

Karl II of Eldmark, shortly before abdication.

The first act of the AFP government was to start the Twelve Hearts Commission, a non-partisan investigation into the bombing that resulted in 34 arrests and 28 convictions, as well as a formal condemnation of the Hammarvik Police Department for their mismanagement and cruelty. During the Haraldsen administration, much of the Gilded Age was done away with, with the Hellman Codes reversed, the Walela v Bergen ruling overruled by constitutional amendment, along with other amendments targeting racial discrimination in housing, education, finance, and hiring. Additionally, The Walela Movement was consulted regarding the status of Native Asterians in the Ayohli Settlements, the collection of reservations where the Ayohli people were forced into. The decision was made to condense all the reservations, close the Royal Office on Native Affairs, and cede all authority on internal politics to the Ayohli, as well as offer reparations towards them in the form of ongoing payments to the state government in Awahali. While this solution was by no means perfect, the creation of the Ayohli State was one step towards the normalization of affairs between settler and native.

Contemporary Period

In 1989, then-monarch, son of Elianora I, Karl II was reigning king. The eldest, but a known black sheep among the family, he was a notorious gambler and used his sizable inheritance to purchase several properties on the Arucian Coast, one of which would become the Royal Arucia Hotel and Resort. While initially a successful business, it became more and more evident that the Crown's funds were being used to maintain the property and several renovations were paid for with government funds, leading to an investigation into the mismanagement of funding. Karl II quickly abdicated to separate himself from the controversy, however his brother, Frederick II, would provide the government investigation with official family records previously only available to the King. Karl von Adelström was later arrested on corruption charges and served a 5 year sentence. He passed away in 1999.

Riding on the success of the investigation, prosecutor Örjan Rehn would become a Member of the Riksdag for Grönsund, a wildly famous politician and advocate for neoliberal policies, citing the "era for antagonistic politics to be over." Eventually becoming Prime Minister in 2000, he would serve for 20 years, tying him for longest serving Prime Minister.

In 2010, same-sex marriage was decriminalized by referendum. The NP's assent and certification of the results led to a rift in the party, with the more radical right wing calling the result fabricated or unconciounable. One year later, after same-sex marriage was later legalized, popular televangelist and political contributer Ivar Eksköld would lead an exodus, uniting voices from the Freedom Coalition, the Gospelist Defense League, and the Dominion Movement to form the Alliance for Populist Eldmarsk Voices, known as Förbund. The NP would survive as a party for 10 more years, but Rehn would retire from politics due to health conditions, and the coalition he built collapsed under the mismanagement of Tyra Brahe, who was replaced by Enoch "Eno" Ahaloke, who serves to this day. He is the first Native Asterian to serve as Prime Minister.

Geography

Eldmark is the 5th largest country in Asteria Superior with a total size of 1,614,037 square kilometres. Eldmark is located at the southwestern tip of the continent, bound by both the Arucian Sea and the Vehemens Ocean as its coasts. Because of this, Eldmark is the only nation within the continent to have coastlines in both bodies of water. It also possesses a unique geostrategic position because of this fact, and possesses one of the longest coastlines in the continent.

A view of the Försyn River as it snakes its way through Hammarvik.

Dominating the country's western coast is the Ryggrad, also known as the [international name] Mountains, which stretch from the far south in Hammarvik, following the Vehemens coast into Nuxica. These mountains effectively divide the country in half between east and west. As the west was settled first and is considered the older part of Eldmark, approximately 50% of the population lives in this area, though it makes up less than a fifth of the land. This mountain range was formed by two converging plates, creating a seismically active zone responsible for countless earthquakes over the nation's recorded history.

On the other side of the mountains lies the Jansplatå, a highland of scrubland and chapparal that is crisscrossed with rivers, such as the Salali and the Inadu, the latter creating a canyon in the plateau. This region makes up a vast portion of land east of the Ryggrad, and is known for hot and dry temperatures, though areas near rivers are irrigated for arable land. This area, along with the Ryggrad itself, has great mineral wealth, particularly gold, copper, and nitrates. The region eventually fades into rolling, hilly savannah as the rain shadow created by the Ryggrad loses its effect. The far east of Eldmark largely shares the climate of western Ardesia.

Climate

The climate of Eldmark is diverse, ranging from a Solarian climate in the west, to arid desert in the center, to tropical savannah in the east. The Ryggrad itself sports a cooler highland climate. According to the Köppen system, Eldmark contains at least 5 climatic subtypes. This is influenced by a rain shadow from the Ryggrad, as well as the Jan Haagard current in the Vehemens Ocean. Due to the Rygradd, Eldmark has numerous, rather short rivers that have variable flow rates depending on the level of actual rainfall, generally flowing from east to west. Because of the preciousness of water, agricultural irrigation and artificial lakes has negatively effected the depth of these short rivers.

Biodiversity

Flora

Sand cats are specially adapted to thrive in the arid interiors of the country.
Schumann's Cactus blooms during summer nights, followed by a red fruit that is edible and coveted

Eldmark is a very biodiverse country, owing in no small part to its varied climate as well as altitude differences. Within Eldmark rests 46 national parks, along with hundreds of smaller state parks, natural preserves, and other protection zones. In the interior of the region, the dryness allows little vegetation to grow, therby forcing those that do grow to be hardier and more endemic to the area. These rugged plants include various types of Pine trees, bushes, and cacti such as Schumann's Cactus, the bloom of which is considered one of Eldmark's national flowers, along with the wild tobacco flower, which grows in the more humid and rainforest-like southwest. In the southwest, beautiful foliage such as the Pink Trumpet Tree, the national tree of Eldmark, grows alongside stands of Mahogny, Elefantöra, Arucian Elm, over 300 species of ferns, and thousands of bushes, grasses, both categorized and uncategorized. There are thousands of species of fungi, most of which remains to be properly studied. Deforestation has been a problem in Eldmark, as harvesting efforts have historically outpaced natural rates of regrowth, and Eldmark cultivates a wide variety of plants such as tobacco, coffee, soybeans, corn, and sugarcane, all of which have incentivized farmers to deforest in order to expand production. With modern sustainability and replanting practices, this is being mitigated, and with the expansion of national parks and preserves, Eldmark's government is attempting to make the steps to preserve the ecological integrity of the country.

Fauna

As with plant life, Eldmark also boasts a diverse range of animal life, owing once more to its varied climate and altitude. In the interior and the east, endemic mammals such as the Sand cat, cougar, and coyote live alongside reptiles and amphibians such as Orssen's Cobra, the Canyon tree frog, and the Rattlesnake. Birds such as the Cactus wren live with Condors and Secretarybirds. In the west, even more animals are present, mammals such as the Nutria, wild boars, armadillos, Arucian river otters, and ocelots roam the forests and grasslands of the west.

Politics

Government

As per the Författningen, also known as the Constitution of Eldmark, 1776, marked the beginning of a unitary parliamentary constitutional monarchy, where the monarch retains little to no power. The legislative wing of the government is a unicameral body known as the Riksdag, and an executive cabinet headed by the Prime Minister of Eldmark, operating at the confidence of the Riksdag's 348 members. The head of state, a ceremonial title, is Thyri I. The line of the monarchy has been unbroken since the beginning of the rule of the House of Adelström since Erik I.

Eldmark's political culture has as of recent come under power of the Working People's Party(AFP), representing more social democratic and reformist principles, while the NP, typically in power but now leading an opposition caucus including them and Liberal Will, represents more centre-right, neoliberal, and socially conservative politics. Currently, the Riksdag is led by Eno Ahaloke and his AFP-RB coalition. While these two parties have traditionally been thematic of Eldmarsk politics, other parties, such as the far right NP splinter party Förbund, the environmentalist World's Coalition, and the radical council communist Eldmarsk Section of the Worker's Internationale have all found some form of support, though none of them have been part of a governmnent. Gahodi (ᎦᏙᎯ) was a party set up in 1893 by the Crown as an attempt to have indigenous representation in the Riksdag and has served as an advisory panel to the Riksdag and the Crown as a whole.

Judiciary and Law Enforcement

The Eldmarsk judicial system was at first based on law systems formualted first in Werania and then in Blostland, largely based on customs and the word of local lawbringers. This system was replaced by case law following the Estmerish common law system. The Författningen guarantees a trial by juries selected from the accuseds' peers. Carrying over from tradition, judges have significant sway in interpretation and precedential judicial review. However, jury verdicts cannot be overturned, nor sentencing reccommendations be ignored for a higher penalty.

Historically and currently the death penalty is the maximum punishment for any crime, and is reserved for only the most heinous of acts such as capital murder or treason. However, such a sentence was historically carried out for lesser crimes such as grand theft, rape, or drug crimes. These executions have been historically carried out by hanging with the last public hanging taking place in 1938, though have recently shifted to electrocution and gas inhalation.

The highest court in Eldmark, the Greater Court of Eldmark, is the final instance in all civil and criminal cases and decisions thereof. The Greater Court consists of 13 judges appointed by the Monarch and with the approval of the Riksdag. These judges can be recalled and impeached by the Riksdag. All sitting members of this court hold their offices for up to 18 years, though have historically served for life.

Just below the Greater Court are State, County, and Appellate courts, with the former two being appointed or elected by voters from states in those they represent, while appellate courts are appointed directly from the Riksdag. Each administrative region has their own appelate court, consisting of a team of up to seven judges. In Ajohlenstad, appellate courts must also be approved by the state government.

Administrative divisions

Eldmark is is a federal monarchy made up of 12 states, or stador, and one capital territory. Eldmark's states are then divided into counties, therein containing municipalities. These states are led by devolved legislatures operating on a largely autonomous basis in terms of internal affairs, however their authority is second to national authority in all conflicting instances. For example, in all states, Blostlandic is a required language for all legal affairs and government proceedings. In Ajohlenstad, the native Ayohli language has been permitted semi-equal status in most cases. Education, healthcare, and labor law, while initially being duties of the states, has over time been transferred to the various arms of the national government via amendment to the Constitution.

Flag State
(Stad)
Population Governor
(Guvernör)
Lieutenant Governor
(Löjtnantguvernören)
Location
Odavliflag.png Ajohlenstad 402,341 Ahuli Waya Inola Ama
Flagofalestad.png Alestad 1,212,745 Anette Lundmark August Widforss
FlagofAmmansland.png Ammansland 1,223,367 Edvard Holmquist Oskar Karlsson
Aruciaflageldmark.png Arucia 2,445,329 Nils Jansson Liv Stenbock
Flagofbronckmark.png Bronckmark 965,815 Otto Norström Kent Westermark
Flagforhammarstad.png Hammarstad 9,801,333 Viktor Frisk Johan Skarsgård
FlagofHammarvik.png Hammarvik 6,724,000 Gabriel Bergmann Roland Gyllenhaal
Flagofhornmark.png Hornmark 8,359,473 Hjalmar Magnuson Sigge Jansson
Norrahavenflag.png Norrahaven 601,102 Karl Hellberg Sequoyah Lindt
Flagofodenmark.png Odenmark 1,475,894 Edvin Byström Adrian Enquist
Rackviddenflag.png Räckvidden 929,103 Valter Antonsson Karl Lagerfelt
Systrarnaflag.png Systrarna 234,145 Anders Sandell Vincent Bruun
Vanoflag.png Vanö 389,482 Lukas Sörenstam Wilhelmina Pettersson

Foreign Relations

Foreign Relations Director Nils Moller, NVO Headquarters, Avelon.

Eldmark's foreign affairs is maintained by the cabinet level Department of Foreign Relations Eldmark maintains a status as a regional power, largely due to its status as a linchpin of trade and strategic importance, as well as its membership in several political, economic, and cultural spheres of influence. Eldmark is a founding member of the North Vehemens Organization, ASTRA, ICD, and the Organization of Asterian Nations, the latter's High Commission being hosted in Hammarvik. The nation has been an active participant in the ICD, largely hailing from the monarchy's membership in the Grand Alliance during the Great War. As Eldmark's isolationism at the turn of the century nearly lead to its destruction, the nation has maintained a variety of military and trade relationships, notably with Cassier, the Asterian Federative Republic, and Rizealand, the three forming the NVO as a response to the Haillet's Crisis, though Eldmark and the latter two have allied long before, largely as part of an outwardly hostile stance to councilist nations. Eldmark maintains bilateral relations with most nations in the Asterias, save for Chistovodia, and most nations in the Euclean Community, who due to ASTRA, share a common market. Eldmark also maintains regional consulates and smaller diplomatic missions in nations as needed.

While historically ties between Blostland and its former colonies have been at times strained, Eldmark retains cultural and linguistic ties with Vanhar, Blostland, and Keppland. Eldmark additionally retains observer status in the Arucian Cooperation Organization.

Military

The HMS Sigurd Gyllenhaal, amphibious assault ship and flagship of the Eldmarsk Navy
The Sabel II multi-role jet, initially designed and created by Rizealand.
Graduates of the Eldmarsk Ground Combat School in tan-and-white dress uniforms

The Royal Eldmarsk Armed Forces is the military of Eldmark, with Queen Thyri I as a ceremonial commander-in-chief, while ultimately under the authority of the Department of Defense. It is the xth largest military in Asteria Superior, with an active personnel of 140,000, and a reserve personnel of 54,000. Eldmark spends 2.5% of its GDP (a sum of roughly €18.7 billion) on the military as per NVO guidelines, of which it is a founding member. The REAF consists of the Royal Army, Royal Navy, with its Royal Naval Rifles, the Royal Air Corps, and the Joint Special Operations Command.

While historically Eldmark has been known for its naval tradition, the Great War and the following political climate encouraged a more army-centric defense priority. Today, Eldmark maintains a green water navy capable of supporting NVO efforts in the Arucian and eastern Vehemens oceans, and a highly capable standing army with a focus on light infantry and mobile artillery. Before 1990, selective conscription was used as a means to maintain a state of combat readiness, but the REAF has since transitioned to a professional volunteer force.

Eldmark maintains no international military installations, however members of the armed forces collaborate with the AFR, Rizealand, and Cassier in NVO deployments and bases worldwide. While not a nuclear power, Eldmark maintains a nuclear warhead strike agreement as per NVO guidelines, and hosts X missile silos within the country.

Economy

The Interior of the Hammarvik Stock Exchange

Eldmark has a mixed market economy with mild regulations, a robust welfare system, and low barriers on trade. Eldmark is the 20th largest nominal GDP (€745 billion), the 20th largest by purchasing power parity (€1.12 trillion), and the 4th largest economy in Asteria Superior. Benefiting from considerably rich natural resources, an educated population, and an diverse industrial and export-oriented agricultural base, the economy of Eldmark has seen its domestic production increase by 32.3% over the last decade. Agribusiness (agriculture and cattle-raising), which grew by 40% or 3.6% per year, remains the most dynamic sector. It maintains a "high" rating on the Human Development Index, but also has a medium GINI Coefficient, at 41.2. Economic inequality has become a problem, although it has been steadily decreasing over the last decade. The average income in a typical urbanized area of Eldmark was, according to a report by the OAN, €44,290, while the average income in rural areas mere kilometers away was only €17,700. Hourly minimum wages are nationally set at K22.50 (€4.18). As a mixed market economy, the Government of Eldmark has stakes or holds outright ownership of some economic sectors, such as passenger rail, healthcare, and some heavy manufacturing.

The peoples of pre-contact Eldmark, and well into the intial colonization of the countryside, largely relied on subsistence agriculture and fishing. The first cash crops were sugar and tobacco, then rice, tea, and coffee quickly became economic contenders in their own right. In 1758, gold was discovered in the Ryggrad, prompting the first of a series of gold rushes, and the birth of the precious metals industry in the country, which remains a force in the modern economy of the nation. After Eldmarsk independence, the beef and pork grew steadily, as railroads expanded further inward towards the open pasture/brushlands of central and Eastern Eldmark. To this day, Eldmark is a top consumer and exporter of beef. The economy of Eldmark suffered greatly during to the Great Collapse, and was equally wrecked by the Ardesian invasion that followed. Afterwards, Eldmark experienced a quick recovery thanks to foreign assistance, and rapidly grew in the middle to latter half of the 20th century. In 1979, the country entered a recession amid a political corruption scandal and nationwide protests to civil rights abuses suffered at the hands of the Hellmann Administration. The 1980s was marked as a miraculous recovery period, with the succeeding government prioritizing the creation of a robust welfare program and economic regulation package. During the 20 years of AFP governance (Under Haraldsen, Lindbergh, and Essen, respectively), Eldmark saw growth in real GDP averaging at 8%. In 2001, the NP wrestled back parliamentary power, running on Orjan Rehn's economic platform "Ny NP," which sought to continue much of the welfare programs of the AFP. Rehn's administration was later forced to enact tight monetary policies and lower exports due to the Coian financial crisis, which would half the growth rate from 8% to 4%. Eldmark's economy has since recovered and has seen growth rates of 6–8% over the past several years.

Tourism & Services

Tourism is a rapidly growing sector in Eldmark, and is a large sector of employment for Eldmarsk people in key portions of the country. Eldmark's natural geography, sites of historic importance, and deliberate government and private investment into both has created a burgeoning resort industry as well as over 20 national parks, 42 state parks, and hundreds of smaller preserves and management areas. Eldmark's Ryggrad Mountains attracts thrillseekers and hikers to it yearly, with Guldkalvdalen and Berget Hjalmar national parks garnering over 600,000 visitors a year combined. The cities of Sankt Albrekt, Runavik, Alestrand, Knuten, Vaxholmen, and others have pristine white sand beaches that are among the most visited in the world. Many tourists also visit Sankt Albrekt, Vaxholmen, and Runavik for their nightlife and casinos. Alestrand is known as one of Asteria Superior's best surfing destinations, according to Oyster.

K&K Tower, the centerpiece of Hammarvik's Marknaden District

Eldmark has a robust finance industry, which has grown quickly in recent years, with a high level of permissable foreign activity in Eldmarsk banks. Though foreign banks are just as likely to operate in Eldmark as domestic banks, the domestic market is led predominantly by Riksbank Eldmark, K&K (Karlsen and Karlsen), DG Kapital, and insurance firms LivHaraldsen and Viktori, though K&K remains the dominant force in both markets, after the bank purchased Viktori in 2014. Eldmark's state-owned pension system, with assets worth roughly €60 billion, has been an important source of investment capital. Eldmarsk foreign policy has recognized the importance of the service sector to the economy, boosting the industry by initiating the signing of several free trade area agreements. Business process outsourcing is one of the leading Eldmarsk service exports, and reached €2 billion. Eldmark has two stock exchanges located in Hammarvik and Grönsund, the largest of which is by far the Hammarvik Stock Exchange, which has a market capitalisation of K1.3 trillion (€245 billion) and is the third largest in Asteria Superior behind the Rizean and Cassien stock exchanges.

The telecommunications sector has rapidly expanded, as have the economic benefactors from widespread access to communications services. These include: 77% of the population with access to mobile phones, 95% of whom use smartphones; Internet (75%); and broadband services. Regular telephone services, with 9.5 million lines, and mail services are also robust. Total telecom revenues has reached more than €16 billion, and e-commerce has reached over €4.1 billion in total sales. The telecommunications industry is a competitive market, including domestic players SVK and BV23, alongside foreign providers from other nations in Asteria Superior or Euclea. The Eldmarsk internet country code is ".el".

Transportation

Terminal B, King Frederick I International Airport
The North Eldmarsk section of Riksväg 5
Vanölink's Prins Jan hovercraft

Due to Eldmark's difficult topography, the Eldmarsk Department of Transportation has prioritized an extensive and robust transport network, including 354,095 km of roads, of which 216,802 km are paved. Of these, 9,234 km are multi-lane expressways, of which 8,245 km are four-lane, the remainder being of 6 or more lanes. Since the 1980s, there has been a significant focus on the improvement of the country's roads, through various grants and bidding processes to repave existing roads, widen others, and revitalize the Eldmarsk section of the West Asterian Highway (Riksväg 5) as well as the Arucian Coastal Expressway (Riksväg 10).

Starting in 1857, private entrepreneurs lobbied the Eldmarsk Riksdag for funding and grants for passenger rail expansion, which resulted in several passenger lines such as the Juniskaren-Ytterholm Rail Service, the Grand Asterian Railway Company, and the Jansplatå Cargo Line, which would in 1927 be nationalized as the Eldmark Railways (Eldmarsk Järnväger) After the Great War, the remainder of all rail would be consolidated under state rule, and the network would double in size and complexity. Eldmark has 29,234 km of rail line, and has seen a great degree in investment to ensure EJ remains both profitable and clean for cargo and passenger traffic alike. In 2022, Prime Minister Eno Ahaloke revealed a plan to establish a high speed rail line from Hammarvik to Hunavatn, which would travel at 300km/h, and make the journey in just 2 hours. The project is estimated to cost K122 billion, or €23 billion, and is being developed jointly by the government and the private sector.

Eldmark has 67 seaports and 2 river ports. The four largest ports, concentrating roughly 75% of the sea-based merchandise traffic are Hammarvik, Stalkulle, Tjallingen, and Grönsund. Fluvial transport is not often used for people in the Eldmarsk interior, however ferry services such as EJ's Vanölink and Systrarfärja AB operate to transport passengers to and from Eldmark's Vehemen and Arucian islands.

Eldmark has 143 airports with paved runways, however of these only 23 carry 94% of the air passenger traffic. King Frederick I International Airport in Hammarvik, the hub of flag carrier Eldmarskflyg, is a popular aviation hub that serves several international airline companies as a stopover location between Euclea/Coius and Asteria Superior with a traffic of 11.2 million passengers per year.

Energy

The Ytterholm Solar Electric Generation Plant covers 7.5 km2 and provides an estimated 110 MWh of electricity per year.

In 2022, 54% of Eldmark's electricity came from non-renewable sources such as oil, coal, and natural gas. 22% came from wind and solar energy, while 16% came from nuclear energy. The remaining 8% came from hydroelectricity and biofuel/mass. On the whole, this translates to 300 billion kWh of used electricity, or 8,570 kWh per capita. The increase in renewable energy consumption has been encouraged by collaboration with Rizealand and the AFR. The electricity industry is privatized, with Arucian Light (Arusisktljus AB) as the frontrunner in the field, though it is managed and regulated by the Eldmarsk Department of Energy.

Eldmark has a huge solar potential, with an estimated potential at 3kWh/m2 daily, which is being exploited at ever higher rates, through a combination of grants and government projects to encourage further investment. Currently, Project Jana, located in Ajohlenstad, will have capacity of 200 MW from an array of 150,000 solar panels when it is completed in 2025.

Demographics

As per 2019 estimates, population has been steadily climbing from 34,764,129, due to a demographically shifting population rate, with some migration from Euclea, Coius, and elsewhere in the Asterias recouping some of the dropping growth. It is the 5th most populous country in Asteria Superior, and the 26th most populous in Kylaris at large. Among Asterian nations, it has one of the lowest population growth rates among its own citizens, and a lower infant mortality rate.

Health

Dr. Herman Xavier Dahlgren Memorial Hospital, Stalkulle

The Department of Health is the cabinet-level authority for the planning, coordination, and execution of health funds for N-Hälsa, the public health system managed and provided to all Eldmarsk citizens from birth. Private healthcare systems often play a complementary or supplementary role. There are over 110,000 beds, 88,000 physicians, and 27,000 dentists, ratios more comparable to nations in their sphere such as Rizealand. This has led to mortality trends similar to developed nations, an overall aging populace (a life expectancy increase from 60 to 76), and a reduced infant mortality from 70 to 12 deaths per 1000 live births.

Education

Grönsund University, Grönsund

The Eldmarsk government guarantees universal, free-of charge, and secular public education for primary and secondary schools. The Eldmarsk education system begins with preschool until the age of 5, wherein compulsory primary and secondary school is provided for children between 6 to 18, whereafter students graduate. The literacy rate is at 97%, with numbers for males and females being equal.

Postsecondary education is partially subsidized by the government, with two years of tuition (roughly 72 credit hours) which pays either for a technical certificate or half of a classical 4 year degree.

Religion

Religion of Eldmark (2022)
Amendism
72.5%
Irreligion
12%
Solarian Catholicism
10%
Badi
4%
Other
1.5%
Source: Nationell Rekordbyrån

As per the Författningen, Amendism has been considered a preferential religion in Eldmark, though religious freedom is guaranteed among all inhabitants by that same document. According to 2022 census data, Eldmarsk people are 72.5 percent Amendist, with the overwhelming majority of Amendists identifying as adherents to the Gospelist Church of the Asterias, 12% Agnostic or Athiest, 10% Solarian Catholic, 4% Badi, and 1.5% of other religions, including Irfan, Atudaism, Episemailism, and Satyism.

Ethnic groups

Ethnic Groups in Eldmark

  Euclean (40%)
  Mestis (28%)
  Indigenous (12%)
  Bahio-Eldmarsk (10%)
  Gowsa (7%)
  Other (3%)

Eldmark is considered to be, as well as other areas of Asteria Superior, to be a nation of immigrants. Many inhabitants of the country call the country a "Degel av färger" or a "crucible of colors," mainly due to the various waves of immigration from Euclean, Coian, and other Asterian nations, as well as the pre-existing populations of indigenous peoples. Shifting determinations of who counts as "Euclean" or "Mestis" have altered the self-reported ethnicity of the nation - many of who would describe themselves as "Euclean" have later described themselves as "Mestis," with two surveys carried out over 20 years (1980 and 2000, respectively) suggesting that 5-10% of prior respondants changing their self-identification.

Eldmark is also home to a significant population of Gowsa, including those of partial descent. Gowsa number 7% of the population, though official counts vary due to differences of opinion of whether partial descent counts among official surveys.

Eldmark is also home to a variety of Bahians, mostly due to the international slave trade of the 16th to 18th centuries, and among secondary immigration from Bonaventura. As slavery was abolished in 1771, the country was an attractive location for former slaves to escape societies where they would otherwise be at risk. As far early as 1823, the government would offer legal refuge and land claims to slaves in exchange for military service; as such, population clusters of Bahio-Eldmarsk would be found not only in the cities, but in the countryside. For example, the city of Juniskaren was founded by escaped slaves from the Arucian.

Languages

The de facto language in Eldmark is Blostlandic, and is considered the official language in most areas, including in government proceedings. The country is the largest Blostlandic-speaking society in Kylaris, outpacing its coloniser and origin Blostland. Due to the geography of Eldmark, there are at least 24 identified dialects and accentual variants of Blostlandic.

There are several second languages in various degrees of use in Eldmark:

  • Gaullican, which is a popular second language.
  • Estmerish, another popular second language, though decidedly not as used. Most commonly spoken in The Sister Islands and Vanö.
  • Ayohli, which is also the only other language to be featured as a primary language in government documents and is the primary government language in Ajohlenstad.
  • Suhalan, spoken by migrants from Suhala.

Through educatonal initiatives, bilingualism has been promoted as part of a graduational requirement, with Gaullican or Estmerish being popular choices.


Culture

Eldmark is a multicultural nation, a complicated mix through the blending of both indigenous cultures and ever-present influence of Euclea, specifically Blostland, during their 229 year colonization of the nation. Amendism, specifically the Gospelist Church, known during colonization as the Church of Blostland, remains a dominant force in architecture, art, and literature. Later influences from the Gowsa and Bahian cultures additionally influenced Eldmark's cuisine and music. The combined influences since has resulted in a distinctively Eldmarsk culture.

Eldmark maintains cultural connections with an informal group known as the "Sämvaldet" - including Blostland, Vanhar, and Keppland, nations at least partially influenced by Blostlandic colonialism, and inherits some cultural holidays such as Korpfest, and Blostlandic interpretations of Nativity, including Advent and the Bockenbränningen.

Music

Freja Olson, known by her stage name ELOHER, is among the most popular contemporary pop artists in Eldmark

Pre-contact Ayohli music forms a significant portion of Eldmarsk musical tradition, influencing much of early music as well as the modern Eldmarsk folk scene. Flutes, drums, and primitive string instruments formed the backbone of Gatijo, a type of music that conveys story through both instrumentation and chanting. Likewise, Eldmarsk folk carries with it a strong oral folklore tradition.

The traditions of Euclea have a massive impact on classical music, especially the choral traditions of Weranian opera, Blostlandic choir music, and symphonic productions from the Aurean area. From as early as the latter part of the 19th Century, a crop of domestic composers have made impact, additionally influenced by Bahian jazz and Gowsa choral fusion. In 1899, Magnus Sohlmann's Symfoni om kung Edvard den Tapre would use elements of Gatijo to romanticize the life and times of Edvard I as a revolutionary and future king. Sohlmann would later compose four more symphonies with indigenous, and later jazz, themes, and later found the Hammarvik Symphony Orchestra.

From the 1960s to the 1970s, rock music and electronic music, inspired by Rizean and East Euclean bands, became associated with political activism and reformists. Olydig, Hatar, and Nålaren became synonymous with the counterculture movement, which would extend into the early 80s.

The Two Bird Dancers Plate, uncovered in 2011
Flod Skrivare, Academist painting by August von Dorn, 1894
Statue of "Matka Eldmark," The Blue Palace, sculpted by Roland Adelwulf
The Badi Temple of Eldmark, designed in the Organicist style by prominent Gowsan architect Matteo Kuda

Today, contemporary music such as rock, pop, and EDM dominate the airwaves, while folk is still quite popular. Music festivals both domestic and internationally organized are quite popular on the Vehemens and Arucian Coasts.

Visual Arts and Architecture

Eldmark has had a significant art culture going back thousands of years by indigenous people. Ayohli artisans were famous for beaten copper plates, pottery, and paintings made with natural pigments. Since colonial times, Eldmarsk artists have combined some elements of Ayohli art, as well as wider artistic movements from Etruria, Estmere, and elsewhere in East Euclea. Eldmarsk art, as a whole reflects the diverse origins of both their influences and Eldmarsk inhabitants, as artists have embraced these traditions and adaptations to reflect their lived experiences in Eldmark. Eldmark's government has had a hand in the promotion and creation of a diverse and successful art scene by the creation of the Eldmarsk Department of Culture's Council of Visual Arts, which offers grants to artists, art galleries, schools, and art periodicals.

Eldmark's art scene has since the 19th century been dominated by a diverse scene of artists and sculptors, perhaps most notably the Painter's Academy of Hammarvik, founded in 1812. There, great artists such as Artur Blixt, Thurin Lindström, August von Dorn and Harald Berkmann learned a new domestic style of painting known as Academism, which combined elements of romanticism and neo-classicalism in an effort to showcase Eldmark's beauty and the triumph of the Enlightenment over old governments.

The architecture of Eldmark is influenced heavily by Euclean architecture, specifically Blostland, though notably taking on a character of its own that reflects the reality of available building materials. Early colonial architecture made heavy use of the vernacular architecture in current use by Ayohli inhabitants, which combined a framework of wicker with a shell of mud and straw. Many early churches used this style, until adopting more Gothic, Neoclassical, and Rococo styles from Euclea, upon discovering and exploiting quarries in the Ryggrad. Liberal use of marble, limestone, and granite for larger buildings, such as the Operahus Arucien, marked construction projects of the time. Eventually, the nation was rebuilt following the Great War, in which Modernist architects, and their contemporaries such as Brutalism and Organicism, had a steady hand in rebuilding, largely inspired by other movements from Asteria Superior.

Ayoka Kiskwaya created the Ayohli Syllabary in 1824.
Matteo Nordin's novel Blod på Kullerstenen is among the most popular novels in the Asterias.

Literature

Eldmarsk literature is anteceded by the indigenous spoken word of the Ayohli people. Poems by the Ayohli, largely divided into secular and religious, have had a rich cultural tradition that is often sung via Gatijo or spoken simply. Many Ayohli poems survive in some form today, however due to a lack of a formal writing system, many were lost in the Blostlandic Conquest.

The earliest Eldmarsk narratives were of travel and exploration, contact and conflict, which remains one of three major themes that persist in historical Eldmarsk literature: frontier life, struggle for rights, and philisophical struggles that persist from both. Iconic aspects of Eldmarsk literature in the 19th century is the early Ayohli Renaissance, largely brought on by Ayoka Kiskwaya's creation of an independent Ayohli syllabary, and Boskie short stories, which catalogued both the beauty and danger of the Eldmarsk interior.

In the early 20th century, literature about the economic disparity of the nation, brought on by the Great Collapse, along with the overall rising literacy of the nation, would bring about realist writers such as Matteo Nordin, whose noir novel Blod på Kullerstenen would win several awards and create a new genre of crime fiction that persists to this day. Ayohli literature's revival, cut short by the Eldmarsk government's extreme suppression of the language and people, eventually would resurface with the Ayohli Neo-Renaissance between the 1940s and 1980s, an example being Adsila Gola's Fågelsång, simultaneously published in Blostlandic and Ayohli, to critical acclaim.


Film

Early Eldmarsk director Harry Bergmann, 1911
Modern Eldmarsk director Danel Frosch, 2021

The Eldmarsk film industry has been a cultural player in Eldmark since the world's first moving picture was invented in Estmere in 1888, the first showings of early films in Eldmark taking place not long after. In 1903, the Consolidated Film Bureau (Konsoliderad Filmbyrå) was set up, all but nationalizing the distribution and showing of all films, in order to censor the medium. During this time, the first government investment into domestic production also took root, with Harry Bergmann's productions of silent films, including live action classics like Ditt Otrogna Hjärta (Your Unfaithful Heart) and En Regnig Natt (One Rainy Night), as well as some early animation works like Stor Bo kontra Hattmannen (Big Bo versus the Hat Man). Many of these silent films were heavily censored by the early Bureau, and avoided heavy themes such as income inequality or worker's rights.

After the Great War, the Bureau was abolished and a focus on "freer" films emerged, many of which portrayed Eldmark's role during the war, some of which were ahistorical, often inflating the contribution the nation, the government of which being forced into exile, had in the eventual Grand Alliance victory. Perhaps most egregious of this was the 1940 film Kronans Dag (Day of the Crown), which depicted invading Ardesians as animalistic and brutal, and an idealized King Karl I as a blonde haired, muscled man who bravely fought off several attackers before escaping. The film was lampooned by critics and nearly strained relations with the recovering Ardesian nation before being denounced plainly by the crown itself. Additionally, at this time, Boskie films, or films that depicted the wild and dusty territories shared between the AFR, Vanhar, and Ardesia, would be a continuation of the literary genre that birthed it. Crime fiction, specifically noir, would also see film adaptation to great critical acclaim.

Today, the Eldmarsk film industry remains a heavy contender in the Asterias, with modern director Danel Frosch having taken home special jury prizes from the 82nd and 84th Montecara Film Festival for his movies Kattern and Skymning, respectively.


Cuisine

Grillfest, the act of grilling meat on an open fire or hot coals, is the national dish of Eldmark.

Eldmark has a vast and varied cuisine culture spanning back to Pre-Assiman times, in which the native Ayohli would grow native plants such as corn, beans, and peppers, and serve them with wild game or fish. Ayohli stewed dishes like kunuchi and pashofa survive to this day and are popular nationwide. After contact and the subsequent introduction of Euclean eating habits, beef, goat, chicken, and pork became the predominant meats, while fish still remained popular in coastal areas. Settlers brought their Blostlandic palates and cooking methods, which included heavy amounts of fresh and preserved salmon, Glacian char, and Vehemean cod, which due to the lack of these fish in East Vehemen or Arucian waters, were in time replaced with native fishes such as tuna, redfish, and flounder. Dishes like Kungsgryta, made popular by Edvard I, a noted pescatarian, is but one example. These fish, or other meats, served on tunnbröd, a type of flatbread, is a staple dish made popular by fast food chains in Eldmark.

Over time, as the beef industry grew and grew in 1800's Eldmark, the culture began to view beef as the primary meat. Those who tended to the cows and herded them to market, named Boskapsmän, sometimes affectionately (or pejoratively) known as Boskies or Bosceros, would be allowed to use the meat of any cow that died on the way to market, which they would prepare using a fire pit and a spit or a specially made metal grill. Grillfest, as the name later implies, became more of a social gathering than just a method to cook meat, and grillfests are very common in communities in the summer and in the winter, where it was often moved inside.

Desserts, such as semla, pirog, and kanelbulle, initially came from Euclea and are still loved by many, and are sometimes filled with jams made from Asterian fruits like dragon fruit and prickly pear. Klenät is a common dish made and served around Nativity Day.

The Nordenfalker, characterized by a wash of anise licquer and a few dashes of bitters, is popular in bars throughout Eldmark.

Eldmark has a long-standing distillery culture noted for its brandvatt spirits, made from various fruit musts, such as lemons, oranges, bananas, or other ingredients such as sugarcane, either aged or otherwise. The resulting drink is a high-proof spirit that is a common ingredient in cocktails such as the Nordenfalker and the Hästhaller, both of which originating in Eldmark. Alcohol culture in Eldmark was at least partially negatively influenced by the Gilded Age, as the Hellmann government enforced a monopoly on the distribution of distilled spirits, and mandated a tax and rationing system. As the latter governments since then have lessened the regulations regarding spirits, the drinking culture is recovering.

Coffee is the nation's most popular drink overall, however, and coffee houses flourished throughout Eldmarsk history. The beverage was already popular, influenced by Euclean settlers, but would become the most popular drink with the addition of Gowsa or Zebiumhi labor from Dezevau. Coming to Eldmark in the early 20th Century largely as economic migrants from places such as Satucin, they brought with them their distinct and rich coffee culture through the spread of their tea or coffeehouses, known as Ganomes. Ganomes are very popular in Eldmark to this day, with most cities having at least one.

Sports

Football is the most popular sport in Eldmark, with both Association and Arucian Football having significant fanbases. Additionally popular is baseball and field hockey.

Sports as a national movement dates back to before the founding of the nation, with the Ayohli sport known as Atlodi, a sport in which an individual or a group of individuals compete to throw a spear through a hole in a disk. Atlodi in some form is still practiced to this day, and is managed by the Eldmarsk Atlodi Union (Blostlandic: Eldmarsk Atlodisförbundet)(Ayohli: ᎣᏓᎸᎦᏙᎯ ᎠᏠᏗᏗᏌᏊ ᎤᎾᎵᎪᎯ).

Football, specifically association football, make up the sport in which the highest proportion of athletes compete, with an estimated 755,000 registered players. There are 1324 clubs across 12 regions, largely along state lines. Eldmark has a devoted structure of play for both amatuer and professional football clubs, represented by the Eldmarsk Football Union (Blostlandic: Eldmarsk Fotbollsförbundet), and 6 total divisions, using a system of promotion and relegation. The highest of these divisions is the Guldliga, which is among the top divisions in the world. In recent years, Chausse, known domestically as Arucian Football, has become increasingly popular since the end of the Great War, and is becoming a popular alternative to its more popular association counterpart.

Baseball has been a widely practiced sport in Eldmark since 1897, and is the second most popular sport in the nation, domestically represented by the Eldmarsk Baseball Commission (Blostlandic: Eldmarsk Basebollkommissionen), and operates in a similar system of promotion and relegation as football in the country. Additionally, Eldmark has a team in the Arucian Baseball League, the Hammarvik Bats.

Historically, ice sports like hockey and bandy have been important to Blostlandic peoples, a tradition that carried over to Colonial Eldmark in field forms. Field Hockey remains a very popular sport, and is an increasingly popular sport for women in the country. With the advent of air conditioning and indoor arenas, ice sports such as speed skating, figure skating, and ice hockey has become popular as well, with Eldmark maintaining 6 teams in the Asterian Hockey League, as well as the Eldmarsk Ice Hockey Association (Blostlandic: Eldmarsk Ishockeyförbundet).