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Estmere

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Commonwealth of Estmere

Cyneviġs af Ėastmẹrland (Swathish)
Républyique d'Estme (Flurian)
Flag of Estmere
Flag
Coat of arms of Estmere
Coat of arms
Motto: "Resurgere Velut Phoenicem"
("Rise Like the Phoenix")
Estmere orthographic map.png
Estmere EC.png
Estmere world location.png
Location of  Estmere  (dark green)

– in Euclea  (green & dark grey)
– in the Euclean Community  (green)

Capital
and largest city
Morwall
WMA button2b.png 42°22'N 89°17'W
Official languagesEstmerish
Recognised national languages
Recognised regional languages
Ethnic groups
(2020)[1]
Religion
(2020)[1]
Demonym(s)Estmerish
GovernmentFederal parliamentary constitutional republic
• President
Ted Leighton
Zoe Halivar
LegislatureParliament
House of Peers
House of Deputies
Establishment
25 September 1011
7 March 1182
30 November 1774
13 June 1938
• Founded the EC
1 January 1948
Area
• Total
282,679 km2 (109,143 sq mi)[2]
• Water (%)
1.62[3]
Population
• 2023 estimate
Neutral increase 59,830,000[4]
• 2020 census
Neutral increase 58,690,373[1]
• Density
207.62/km2 (537.7/sq mi)
GDP (PPP)2020 estimate
• Total
Increase €2.605 trillion[5]
• Per capita
Increase €46,091[5]
GDP (nominal)2020 estimate
• Total
Increase €2.533 trillion[5]
• Per capita
Increase €44,826[5]
Gini (2022)Negative increase 27.8[6]
low
HDI (2022)Increase 0.940[6]
very high
CurrencyEuclo () (EUC)
Time zoneUTC+0[e] (Euclean Standard Time)
Date formatdd/mm/yyyy (CE)
Driving sideright
Calling code+55
Internet TLD.es

Estmere (pronounced [ˈɛst.mɪər], Swathish: Ėastmẹrland, Flurian: Estme), officially the Commonwealth of Estmere (Swathish: Cyneviġs af Ėastmẹrland, Flurian: Républyique d'Estme), is a country primarily located in Northeastern Euclea, also including overseas states in the Vehemens Ocean. Its Euclean metropole borders Werania and Borland to the north, Alsland and Valduvia to the west, and Hennehouwe to the southwest. Its eastern boundary is defined by the Gulf of Assonaire, while much of the northern border is primarily defined by the Neeves. Estmere has a total land area of 282,679 km2 (109,143 sq mi), an estimated population of over 59 million and a population density of 207.62/km2 (537.7/sq mi), making it the eighth-largest, fifth-most populous and fourth-densest country in Euclea. Estmere is a federal parliamentary constitutional republic of thirteen constituent states operating under the Northabbey model. Its capital city is Morwall, the largest city in Euclea and a significant economic hub; other major cities include Harbrough, Sheaford, Bouley, Dunwich and St Richards.

Estmere has been inhabited since the Paleolithic era, and by the Iron Age was primarily home to Tenic people known as the Albans. The majority of the area was subsumed by the Solarian Republic in 32 CE following the Albannic Wars. The tribes were largely assimiliated, giving rise to the Solaro-Albans. The fall of Solaria in 426 allowed for the migration of Old Swathish tribes, who came to control the region, giving rise to the Hexarchy. The Old Swathish kingdoms were themselves conquered by the Verique at the behest of the Verliquoian Empire in 1011, leading to the Sotirianisation of Estmere and the formation of the Eastern Marches under Richard I. The Great Anarchy from 1264 to 1281 saw massive upheaval in Estmere, with Clovis I ending the elective monarchy and granting royal assent to the formation of Parliament. Estmere was the birthplace of the Amendist Reaction, and became a major player during the Amendist Wars, wherein it was the largest of the Amendist powers. Estmere also emerged as a colonial power, establishing settler colonies in New Estmere and Lothicania.

After losing the Ten Years' War in 1721, and ceding its colonial possessions to the Gaullican Empire, Estmere seized the Hennish colonies of Nuvania and Hope in 1747 in the Estmerish-Hennish War. This, combined with the consolidation of territories in Satria and South Coius, gave rise to the Second Empire, and the union of the Estmerish and Borish crowns in 1801 under Edward II led to the formation of the Kingdom of Estmere and Borland. Estmere comprised a major component of the counter-revolutionary powers during the Euclean Revolution Wars starting in 1783, but was unable to prevent the wider Euclean Spring, with Estmere itself emerging as a solidly constitutional monarchy. Estmere eventually supported Weranian Unification in 1842 and sided with Werania during the War of the Triple Alliance, restoring its prestige and giving rise to the Alte Bruderschaft. As part of New Imperialism, Estmere remained one of the largest colonial powers and took part in the Scramble for Coius. Estmere was a major power in the victorious Grand Alliance during the Great War, but was almost entirely occupied by Gaullica, and was devastated by the conflict. The monarchy was abolished by referendum in 1936, with the the Transitional Authority adopting a new republican constitution in 1938. Estmere then emerged as a major sponsor of liberal democracy across the globe, helping to found both the Community of Nations in 1935 and the Euclean Community in 1948. Estmere decolonised starting in the 1940s, was a participant in the Solarian War, and became a major force within the Euclean Community. In the 21st century, Estmere was badly affected by the 2005 recession and the 1/11 bombings in the Anni horribiles.

Estmere is a developed country with the eighth-largest economy by nominal GDP in the world and is a member of the B-15 major economies. It operates a mixed social market economy, with an innovative manufacturing sector. Estmere maintains a high standard of living, ranking very highly on measures of human development. It remains a great power and exerts significant influence on global affairs; it has a permanent seat on the Community of Nations Security Committee and is one of the few states to operate nuclear weapons. It is a founding and leading member of the Euclean Community and ECDTO, and is a key member of the AEDC, the ICD, GIFA, the ITO and the Embrosphere. Estmere has wide-reaching cultural influence in media, music, and science and technology, and is home to the seventh-most CONESCO World Heritage Sites.[7]

Etymology

The Estmerish name Estmere is derived from the Early Estmerish term est marchen, meaning Eastern Marches, which was used to refer to Estmere prior to the collapse of the Verliquoian Empire. Eventually the term became a single word, and in Estmerish the -en suffix was dropped. Both the modern Estmerish name and the modern Swathish name, Ėastmẹrland, derive from this. The Flurian name, Estme, is believed to be instead derived from the Old Verique term est mé, meaning sea to the east.

History

Prehistory

The Harfeld Caves in Swerdia, featuring prehistoric paintings, are a key site for understanding Upper Paleolithic peoples.

Human history in Estmere is believed to have started just under a million years ago, but anatomically modern humans arrived in the area far more recently, displacing Neanderthals around 35,000 years ago. An example of these early humans is Bardley man, a male human fossil found in Estmere dating to the Mesolithic. Early humans in the area were hunter-gatherers, hunting local fauna using at first spears, and later bows and arrows. The regional climate became milder after the end of the glacial period, and sedentary cultures emerged in the region that utilised animal husbandry and early agriculture, ushering in the Neolithic. The local cultures were consistently changing, and were effected by waves of migration. There are a number of sites that showcase Neolithic Estmere, such as the Heart of Neolithic Estmere in Swerdia.

The emergence of bronze-working and wider metallurgy near the end of the 3rd millenium BCE within the dominant Bell Beaker culture saw the region transition to the Bronze Age. Changes in the climate led to migrations from the defendable hills to the fertile valleys, which contributed to increased population growth. The emergence of iron-working around 400 BCE led to the start of the Iron Age in the region. By this time, the region was inhabited largely by Weranic peoples in the far north and Tenic people in the south and midlands. These peoples were divided into a number of tribes, the territory of which shifted greatly over time. The Tenics in the region were related to the close-by Gauls, and were known as the Albans. Prominent Tenic tribes included the Boudicii and the Gangrels. There are numerous examples in Estmere of records made using ogham and Weranic runes carved into stone tablets.

Antiquity

Andrasta, an ancient leader of the Boudicii and foe of the Solarian Republic.

The coast of Estmere was explored by ancient Piraeans, and there is evidence of trade between local tribes and the Piraean city states. The region was first recorded by Piraean explorer Asphalion of Sidydon around 800 BCE, who visited the Estmerish coast and described the Bright Cliffs of Branset in vivid detail. The Albans remained the dominant group in classical Estmere until the conquest of much of the south and midlands of Estmere by the Solarian Republic in 32 CE. In the ensuing Albannic Wars, Boudicii leader Andrasta stalled the invading forces for some time, but the region eventually fell under Solarian rule. The river Mor and the Longwood range formed natural boundaries between the northern expanse of the Empire and the area known as Weranica. The region was largely comprised of the province of Albannica.

As the Solarian Republic transformed into the Solarian Empire, Albannica was a key province in support of the Augustus faction, with the Legions of the province all being under the command of the would-be Emperor. A number of Solarian colonies were founded in the region, most notably Marinium, Ballo and Claudodunum. Gradually, the local Tenic population adopted a local form of Vulgar Solarian, known as Alban Vulgar Solarian, and eventually they emerged as Solaro-Albans, adopting a great deal of Solarian culture alongside the language, subsuming the earlier Albannic traditions. Despite this assimilation and achievement of Solarianitas, the province remained a Praetorian Prefecture throughout its existence, due to its strategic location as a border province, and the consistent threat of Weranic tribes to the north.

By the early 400s CE, rising instability in Solaria and changes in the climate gave rise to a migration of Weranic tribes, most notably the Swerdians, Fredians and Gutans, who crossed the border at the Mor river and successfully conquered the region from the Solarians, who were preoccupied with the instability at the capital. The migrating armies would continue to rampage throughout the Solarian Empire, eventually sacking Solaria in 426 and causing the transition to the Verliquoian Empire. Everywhere except for a small southern pocket controlled by Verliquois, the Solaro-Albans were assimiliated by the emerging Old Swathish, who heavily settled in the country.

Hexarchy

The state of the Hexarchy in 950 CE. Northmoria and Agenland were the most powerful kingdoms.

The Weranic tribes which had migrated to Estmere settled, and a unique Old Swathish culture emerged from the intermingling of the Swerdians, Fredians and Gutans, and the estmerisation of the Solaro-Albans, many of whom integrated into the culture and even became leaders. Estmere during this period was divided into a number of petty kingdoms, which eventually coalesced into six distinct states with unique cultures, during a period known as the Hexarchy. The six major states of the Hexarchy were Northmoria which dominated the north, Agenland which was prominent in the east, and the kingdoms of Wesren, Midricia, Cynricia and Domuc. These states were joined by a number of smaller kingdoms, such as Beatland, most of which were eventually subsumed by the larger entities.

Sotirianity had appeared in Estmere under Solarian rule, but it wasn't until the time of the Hexarchy that the religion became widespread. The Old Swathish were initially followers of a distinct Old Swathish paganism, venerating deities such as Woden, Thunor and Tiw. Efforts to Sotirianise Estmere began in earnest in 654 CE, when the Laurentine mission to the country was organised by the Solarian Catholic Church. In 707, Æthelstan of Domuc became the first Old Swathish monarch to be baptised. Æthelstan was later martyred, and though Domuc eventually became a bullwark of Sotirianity, most of the kingdoms resisted Sotirianisation. Small communities of Sotirians nevertheless proliferated. Across the Hexarchy, the Old Swathish created a robust bureaucracy and legal system, such as the first records of a modern trial by jury, which was considered impressive in comparison to other systems at the time.

Starting around 850 CE, Estmere became a target of Ghaillish Marauders as the Marauder Age began. The raiders were drawn to Estmere due to its unprotected coastline, the infighting of the Hexarchy and the high quantity of profitable trade routes in the country. Tolbyrig, a major city and the historical capital of Northmoria, was sacked by Marauders once in 859 and again in 872. The most notable Marauder activity in Estmere was the foundation of the city of Dún Lonrach in 911, under the leadership of Seárlas White-Eye. This city grew into a sizable kingdom and launched raids across Euclea, as far south as Gaullica.

Richard's conquest

The fresco at the Cathedral of St Aveline depicting the destruction of the Voryldsẏl by Richard Harcourt and his Verique soldiers.

In 1010, Agenland annexed the rump kingdom of Domuc. In the process it desecrated the tomb of Saint Æthelstan and ordered an expulsion of the Sotirian population. News of this eventually reached the Emperor of Verliquois, who began organising a crusade to relieve Domuc, with support from the Pope. His retainers, the Verique, headed the invasion. Two campaigns were conducted, one through the Hennish counties and one over the Gulf of Assonaire.

Initially, other kingdoms were reluctant to align with Agenland, which had been bellicose in recent years. Eventually, however, the crusaders burnt the pagan monument known as the Voryldsẏl, which rallied other pagan rulers to Agenland's defence. Despite this, most of the Old Swathish were defeated in 1011 at the Battle of Wimney, cementing the Verique conquest of Estmere. The overwhelming majority of the Old Swathish nobility were tried as heretics and put to the stake, with the notable exception of Edward of Northmoria and a small number of other surviving lords who converted to Sotirianity.

The Verique established the Eastern Marches, and Richard Harcourt was elected from among their number as the first King of Estmere. The Verique co-opted much the existing legal system and bureaucracy to aid in the consolidation of their control over the country. North of the river Mor, most land remained in Swathish hands, but in the south the Verique settled extensively and Swathish lords were stripped of their land.

In 1024, the Sotirian community of Borland - the lords of which had refused to support Agenland and had been spared conquest - petitioned Richard to liberate them from their pagan rulers. With Verliquoian support, Estmere therefore launched an invasion of Borland. This quickly spiralled out of control, however, as the Borish themselves rallied the pagan kingdoms of northern Euclea to their defence. The war concluded in 1027, and the pagan alliance evolved into the Rudolphine Confederation to resist Sotirianisation.

Though the Marches functioned as an independent kingdom, Richard and his successors paid lip service to the Emperor. This lip service was forgone in 1182, when a backlash to taxation led Robert III and his son Robert IV to fight the War of Estmerish Independence against a weakened Verliquoian Empire until 1191, leading to the emergence of an independent Kingdom of Estmere. The House of Harcourt and its cadet branches remained on the throne until the Great Anarchy.

Great Anarchy

Clovis I restored order to Estmere, defeating first the Peasants' Rebellion, then the Counts' Rebellion, and ending the Great Anarchy.

Starting in 1264, Estmere was gripped by a period of lawlessness and civil conflict known as the Great Anarchy. Two rival clamaints to the throne threw the system of elective monarchy into disarray, with the two candidates tied for votes, resulting in both marshalling their forces and fighting the Battle of Nundale. Phillip emerged victorious, but the battle had depleted his armies. He sought to raise a poll tax in 1266, in order to raise a new standing army with which to fight another war to subjugate Borland. However, with five years of poor harvests - and a growing famine - most of the peasantry was unable to pay the unpopular tax.

Despite peasant opposition, tax collecters nevertheless attempted to gather the levy. Peasants were unable to pay, and civil disobedience to the tax quickly spiraled into a peasant revolt. A peasant army led by Kit Archer began to assemble, and marched onto the royal seat of Castle Harcourt in 1268 with a list of demands to make of Phillip; namely, the abolition of the poll tax. The peasants believed that the king was noble, and merely surrounded by bad advisors. This perspective was shattered when the king personally led his knights in a charge against the peasants. Philip was killed by a rogue arrow, his knights beaten, and all Harcourt heirs killed. The peasants declared a peasants' republic at the castle, but it was ultimately short-lived.

Count Clovis of Vernon assembled and led an army which defeated the peasant rebellion, and crowned himself as king. For the next few years, he dealt with the banditry in the country, before finally being challenged by minor members of the aristocracy in the Counts' Rebellion in 1276. He defeated the rebel lords in 1281, effectively bringing an end to the Great Anarchy, and he emerged as a uniquely powerful king in Estmere. To prevent a second anarchy and further discord, Clovis abolished the elective monarchy, instituting primogeniture to ensure that his successors would of his Vernon dynasty. He also consolidated many of the smaller counties into larger duchies, and gave royal assent to the first Parliament, with a House of Lords and a House of Commons. These reforms aimed to weaken the power of smaller counts, and to maintain the loyalty of most prominent lords, and wealthy peasants from the emerging burgess class.

Early modern period

A statue of Johanne Stearn, the martyr of the Amendist Reaction, in Tolbury.

Estmerish priest Johanne Stearn sparked the Amendist Reaction against the control of the Solarian Catholic Church in Euclea, and his death in 1513 served to martyr him. Estmere became the birthplace of Amendism, at the heart of the Amendist Belt. The invention of the printing press only furthered the spread of Amendism.

Growing religious tensions in the Rudolphine Confederation culminated in the Euclean Wars of Religion from 1582 to 1602, in which Estmere was the primary Amendist power, leading the Confessional League of Amendist princes within the Confederation, supported by non-Confederation powers such as the Soravian Empire. The conflict was hugely destructive and devastated the region. The wars ended with the Peace of Frankendorf which guaranteed the principle of cuius regio, eius religio. Estmere emerged from the Amendist Wars as a major power, having significantly undermined the authority of the Rudolphine Protector and the Catholic Church.

Following the navigations of Assim Asteris, Estmere would begin to establish settler colonies in the Asterias, paving the way for the Estmerish colonial empire. Estmerish explorers such as Henry Carival would claim the lands of New Estmere in 1578 and Lothicania in 1584. Several other colonies were established across the continent, with some of these seized from other powers, such as Imagua, which was conquered from Geatland in 1658. Estmere competed in the Asterias with other colonial powers, chiefly the Gaullican Empire, to which the majority of Estmere's new world possessions were transferred in 1721 following Estmere's defeat in the Ten Years' War.

Estmere then seized the Hennish colonies of Nuvania and Hope in the 1747 Estmerish-Hennish War, giving rise to the Second Estmerish empire. Estmere supported the Asterian patriots in the Asterian War of Secession, helping them win independence from the Gaullican Empire in 1771 and recapturing Imagua in the process.

Euclean Spring

Estmere united with Borland into the Kingdom of Estmere and Borland in 1801 under Edward II following the personal union of the two crowns.

Long Peace

Great War

Post-war period

Map showing the Estmerish Empire at its greatest territorial extent in 1935, following the conclusion of the Great War.

Estmerish sovereignty was restored following the Great War, with the establishment of the Transitional Authority. This unified the remnants of the government-in-exile with the Estmerish Resistance to form new a provisional government. A constitutional assembly was elected, chaired by Wolfgar E.R. Godfredson. Richard XIII was convinced to abdicate, and the monarchy was abolished following the 1936 referendum, while Borland was granted independence. The 1937 mutiny saw Swathish socialist officers revolt, and ensured that Estmere adopted a federal constitution.

-the Solarian War

-the foundation of the Euclean Community

-the decolonisation of the Estmerish Empire

-the foundation of the Embrosphere

Recent history

Geography

Estmere is the twelfth-largest country in Euclea, with a total area of 282,679 km2 (109,143 sq mi). The majority of the population and territory of Estmere is located in continental Eastern Euclea and is known as mainland Estmere, to differentiate it from overseas Estmere. Mainland Estmere borders Werania to the north, Borland to the north and east, Hennehouwe to the southwest, and Alsland and Valduvia to the west. The east and southern borders of mainland Estmere are delineated by the Gulf of Assonaire and the Florian Ocean. The overseas states of Kingsport and St Roberts and Fleming are surrounded entirely by the Vehemens Ocean, sharing no land borders, although Estmere shares a maritime boundary with North Kabu through Kingsport.

Topographically, mainland Estmere is divided roughly in two between the predominantly lowland south and the more upland and mountainous north. The north is dominated by the Swathish Highlands, a region of rugged upland dominated by moors which is sparsely populated outside of a number of river valleys, and the course of the Neevan mountain range, which forms part of the border with Werania, Valduvia and Alsland, with the notable exception of the Longwoodshire panhandle. The north is home to a number of prominent woodlands, too, which are the origin of its common name Wealdland. Southern Estmere, in comparison, is predominantly low-lying land, including the Estmerish Lowlands which is historically dominated by heathland, the historically marshy fens of Leveeland which is now a breadbasket region, and the hilly wooded Hennish Marches along the border with Hennehouwe. Southern Estmere is also home to the Southern Isles, which act as barrier islands for the mainland. The Estmerish Midlands act as a transition zone between these two distinct bioregions, and are historically home to drier grassland and thinner forests than are found in the north, as well as a number of river valleys, most notably the Swatch and Western Valleys.

The highest point in Estmere is Mount Verdant in the Neeves at 4,634 metres (15,203 ft) above sea level, while the country's lowest point is in Evre at −7 metres (−23 ft) below sea level. Estmere is home to the start of eight major rivers and to five major river mouths. The longest non-tributary rivers are the River Scitter, the River Dame and the River Cailly, while other major rivers include the River Mor, the River Rille, the River Aire, the River Mainney, the River Yn, the River Selter, the River Evre, the River Leeth and the River Hamber. The south is dominated by river mouths, and they are the origin of Fluria, the historic name for the region.

Biodiversity

Estmere is home to a variety of fauna and flora, the majority of which are found across continental Euclea; due to the majority of the country's location on the mainland, there are comparatively few endemic species within mainland Estmere. The most notable native species is the roe deer, which is a symbol of Estmere. Other native terrestrial species include predators such as foxes, wildcats and badgers, while non-predeator native terrestrial species include wild boars, hedgehogs, polecats, hares, beavers and adders, in addition to species like the Eulcean bison which are in the process of reintroduction. There is a great variety of other land animals in Estmere as well, ranging from eulipotyphla such as moles and shrews to amphibians such as frogs and toads.

In the Neeves there are a number of endangered species, including brown bears, wolves, and the Neevan ibex. Nesting bird species include golden eagles, red kites, barn owls, robins, sparrows, songbirds, and kingfishers. Estmerish waters are also home to a variety of marine life, including the common Euclean eel, herring, bass, and blue shark. The small number of endemic species which the country does boast are found in the overseas states of Kingsport and St Roberts and Fleming, which are home to endemic species such as the Kingsport dragon and the Fleming frigatebird, as well as a range of other tropical and subtropical species such as the bottlenose dolphin, the Vehemens reef octopus and various birds-of-paradise.

The land comprising mainland Estmere can be divided into six of terrestrial ecoregigions: East Euclean mixed forests, beech forests and broadleaf forests, Neevan conifer and mixed forests, Swatch old-growth forest and heathland and Evre mixed forests. The overseas territories are divided into St Roberts scrub and grasslands and Kingsport tropical forests. Estmere is one of the most urbanised countries in Euclea, while also retaining a major agricultural sector, and Estmerish land use reflects this. As of 2020, only 16% of Estmere is forested, with 59% kept as pasture or cropland, 13% used by settlements or infrastructure and 11% covered by mountainous terrain or deforested natural land.[8]

A slight majority of the trees in the mainland forests are made up of deciduous trees such as beeches, oaks, alders and willows, with the remainder constituted by conifers such as spruce and pine. Palms are native to the overseas states, and have also been imported to the southern mainland. A number of fern, fungi and moss species are also native to Estmere. There are also a number of native and imported flower species, which are widely farmed in the southern mainland. The most notable Estmerish flowers is the white rose which is the national flower, closely followed by the red tulip which was imported from Coius in the 1500s and is now considered the regional flower of the Estmerish south and the wool flower which is considered a symbol of Swerdia and the Swathish-speaking north.

Estmere is home to 11 national parks, including the Havanfell National Park, the Eldmoors National Park, the Sommerdale National Park and the Barrier Islands National Park. There are a futher 97 nature parks, and hundreds of zoos and animal parks in operation across the country. The oldest zoo in Estmere is the Morwall Zoological Gardens, which opened in 1854 is the second oldest scientific zoo globally. It is home to an extensive selection of species, including giant pandas and the rare cecropia moth.

Climate

A map of Köppen climate types of mainland Estmere.

The climate of mainland Estmere is primarily temperate, with seasonal variation. Temperatures generally stay between -20 °C and 35 °C, and there is a moderate to high level of rainfall throughout the year. In the mainland prevailing winds are westerly, due to its position in the Northern Hemisphere. Owing to the temperate northern climate, mainland Estmere experiences four seasons (Spring, summer, autumn and winter). The highest temperature ever recorded in mainland Estmere was 45.1 °C on 22 July 2020 in St Avelines, and the lowest was −40.2 °C on 6 January 1977 in the Neeves.

Most of mainland Estmere is classified as an oceanic climate (Cfb), but some areas are home to different climates. Great swathes of the Swathish Highlands experience a warm-summer humid continental climate (Dfb), while much of the Estmerish Neeves and Longwoodshire experience a subarctic (Dfc) or aventine climate (ET). The highest peaks of the Neeves can be classified as an ice cap climate (EF). The southern coast and much of the state of Evre experiences a humid subtropical climate (Cfa). The climate on the southern coast is still temperate, but summers are warmer with mean temperatures higher than in the rest of the country, and with higher than average humidity. Summers are coolest in the Neeves. On the mainland, summers are hot and dry, with summer days usually sunny but sometimes overcast. Conversely, winters are cold and wet.

Overseas Estmere is home to different climates than the mainland. Kingsport experiences a purely tropical rainforest climate (Af), while St Roberts and Fleming is a marginal case, which experiences a tropical rainforest climate bordering very closely on humid subtropical. Hurricanes, deforestation and desertification are major climate-related issues for the islands, with both located in the hurricane belt. Average temperatures are higher in overseas Estmere than those of the mainland. Climate change, in particular rising sea levels, are a major threat to both mainland and overseas Estmere.

Weather and climate data is recorded by the National Meteorological Service, the national weather agency of Estmere, which is primarily based in St Avelines.

The following table is based on mean measurements by the NMS weather station in St Avelines and from other weather stations across Estmere between 1992 and 2022, and extremes recorded since 1965.

Climate data for St Avelines (averages) and all NMS locations (extremes)
Month Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec Year
Record high °C (°F) 18.8
(65.8)
22.5
(72.5)
28.6
(83.5)
33.5
(92.3)
37.3
(99.1)
39.8
(103.6)
45.1
(113.2)
40.4
(104.7)
36.7
(98.1)
32.1
(89.8)
26.3
(79.3)
18.7
(65.7)
45.1
(113.2)
Average high °C (°F) 5.9
(42.6)
9.0
(48.2)
14.3
(57.7)
17.4
(63.3)
22.3
(72.1)
26.2
(79.2)
29.2
(84.6)
28.5
(83.3)
24.4
(75.9)
17.8
(64.0)
10.7
(51.3)
6.4
(43.5)
17.7
(63.9)
Daily mean °C (°F) 2.5
(36.5)
4.7
(40.5)
9.0
(48.2)
12.2
(54.0)
17.0
(62.6)
20.8
(69.4)
23.6
(74.5)
23.0
(73.4)
19.2
(66.6)
13.4
(56.1)
7.2
(45.0)
3.3
(37.9)
13.0
(55.4)
Average low °C (°F) −0.9
(30.4)
0.3
(32.5)
3.8
(38.8)
7.0
(44.6)
11.6
(52.9)
15.4
(59.7)
18.0
(64.4)
17.6
(63.7)
14.0
(57.2)
9.0
(48.2)
3.7
(38.7)
0.1
(32.2)
8.3
(46.9)
Record low °C (°F) −40.2
(−40.4)
−33.3
(−27.9)
−25.6
(−14.1)
−8.3
(17.1)
−6.3
(20.7)
−2.2
(28.0)
−1.1
(30.0)
−0.7
(30.7)
−4.5
(23.9)
−9.6
(14.7)
−16.7
(1.9)
−34.5
(−30.1)
−40.2
(−40.4)
Average precipitation mm (inches) 69.8
(2.75)
63.0
(2.48)
72.6
(2.86)
88.0
(3.46)
75.3
(2.96)
72.2
(2.84)
53.3
(2.10)
52.3
(2.06)
90.3
(3.56)
103.6
(4.08)
98.9
(3.89)
79.4
(3.13)
918.7
(36.17)
Average snowy days 2 3 0.5 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 1 3 9.5
Source: nms.es[9]

Government and politics

Since the ratification of the Estmerish constitution in 1938, Estmere has been a constitutional republic operating as a federation with a parliamentary system. The country is the birthplace of the Northabbey model of government, which is characterised by the presence of a parliamentary official opposition, an executive branch comprised of members of the legislature, responsible to that legislature, in addition to a ceremonial head of state different to the head of government. In Estmere, these roles are occupied by the President and the Prime Minister, respectively.

The legislative branch of the Estmerish government is the Parliament of Estmere, which is a bicameral institution comprised of two houses; the elected House of Deputies and the appointed House of Peers. Estmere adheres to the concept of parliamentary sovereignty, meaning that the legislative branch is considered supreme to all other branches of government, holding absolute sovereignty. Due to this concept, the judicial branch is largely independent of political control, with judges on the High Court appointed by independent committees, but has limited powers of judicial review.

Since 2021, Estmere has been governed by a Progressive Social Democrats minority government, with support from the Greens, the Left Party and smaller parties. This replaced a coalition government between the Sotirian Democratic Union and the Reform Party. The SDU has acted as the Official Opposition since 2021, with Reginald Wilton-Smyth serving as Leader of the Opposition since 2023.

Legislature

The Estmerish legsilature is the Parliament of Estmere, a bicameral institution comprised of two houses. The House of Deputies forms the lower house, and is elected using the additional member system, with Members elected either to represent a constituency or as part of a party list. Parliamentary terms can last for a maximum of four years, after which another election must be held. Parliament is considered to be an example of imperfect bicameralism, as the House of Deputies is considered supreme among the two chambers, drafts all legislation, and is capable of overruling the House of Peers.

As Estmere operates in line with the concept of parliamentary sovereignty, the executive branch is assembled from members of the House of Deputies, and is subsequently responsible to it. The Prime Minister is officially appointed by the President, based on their ability to command the confidence of the House of Deputies. The Prime Minister is therefore usually the leader of the largest party in the Commons. The Prime Minister appoints members of the Commons or Peers as ministers in their Cabinet, which is shadowed by the Leader of the Opposition and their Shadow Cabinet. Cabinet members generally oversee a ministry within the Estmerish government, such as the Ministry of Defence, and are subject to parliamentary accountability.

The upper house is the House of Peers, which acts as a house of review. Peers are appointed to the house to serve for a single ten year term, after which they are ineligible to serve in the chamber again. One third of the seats are appointed by the President; these appointments are required to be politically neutral experts who sit as crossbenchers, while the remaining two thirds are appointed by the devolved administrations of the constituent states, and are not required to be non-partisan. Appointment to the House of Peers is considered the highest reward in the Estmerish honours system.

Parliament is currently comprised of members representing eight parties. The current minority government is led by the centre-left Progressive Social Democrats, which is social democratic and progressive. The government is supported by the Greens, an environmentalist party, and the far-left Left Party, which is left-wing populist. The Official Opposition is led by the centre-right Sotirian Democratic Union, which espouses Sotirian democracy, conservatism and economic liberalism.

Other smaller partise also exist in opposition, with the centrist Reform Party being social liberal and strongly pro-Euclean, the Centre Party, which is agrarian and advocates for pensioners' interests, Vox Estmere, the Estmerish branch of the pan-Euclean Vox Euclea party, which espouses Euclofederalism and social liberalism, and future.es, which is a future party that campaigns for participatory e-democracy and copyright reform. There are also three nationalist and regionalist parties with federal representation, the Party of the Swathish, Les Fleuvais Ensemblle and the Aldman Democratic Alliance, which both espouse civic nationalism for speakers of Swathish, Flurian and Aldman respectively.

Constituent states and dependent territories

Estmere is a federal republic, with thirteen constituent states comprising the federation. The newest states are Kingsport and St Roberts and Fleming, which were admitted in September 2022. Estmere is then divided into counties, sometimes known as shires, each of which has a county council. The counties are further divided into either boroughs, cantreds, ridings or hundreds, and then into neighbourhoods, parishes or tithings.

Each state is essentially autonomous, with devolved administrations operating under the parliamentary system with a legislature and a first minister or mayor, making them largely autonomous in regards to internal affairs. All states are required to have Estmerish as an official language, while the national languages of Flurian and Swathish are co-official languages in six states each. In the overseas states of St Roberts and Fleming and Kingsport, Robertian Creole and Kabuese are co-official languages respectively. Aldman is a recognised language in two states.

State Capital Largest city Head of Government
(First Minister or Mayor)
Legislature Second language(s) Area
(km2)
Population (2015)
Arvorne Hamilton Angela Carteret (SDU) Parliament Flurian 38,236 6,620,270
Bouley Bouley Ella Harper (PSD) Corporation Flurian 506 1,638,021
Campaigne Hartford St Richards Michael Lambert (SDU) Parliament Flurian 27,220 8,752,768
Dunwich Dunwich Paul Richardson (PSD) Corporation Swathish 389 1,071,390
Evre Solange St Avelines Guy Warenne (Greens) Senate Flurian 20,540 5,182,196
Kingsport Kingston Kawali Adi Harjo (KSCP) Assembly Kabuese 1,129 298,226
Lowlands Stresborough Graham Sharpe (SDU) Parliament Swathish 29,202 3,620,087
Marches Damesbridge Frances Roy (PSD) Parliament Swathish, Flurian 30,245 3,036,084
Midlands Henver Reece Hafocer (SDU) Parliament Swathish 27,729 3,020,899
Morwall Morwall Darrell Garner (PSD) Common Council Swathish, Flurian 1,869 6,827,381
Scitterland Middleton Harbrough Clive Metyller (PSD) Parliament Swathish, Aldman 26,321 12,870,237
St Roberts and Fleming St Johns Lyman Heard (SSDP) Assembly Robertian Creole 2,133 412,394
Swerdia Tolbury Herm Vaġner (PSD) Folkmoot Swathish, Aldman 77,161 5,340,420

Law

Estmerish law is considered to be a hybrid system. The Estmerish legal system rests largely on common law principles, chiefly from the traditions of dōmlagu law which preceded the creation of Estmere and from Verique law which was imported by the conquerors. Historically, the law was not applied equally across the country, with Verique settlements subject only to the customary Verique law and exempt from many of the dōmlagu laws. Starting in the 15th century the legal system then adopted a number of features from civil law, largely taken from Solarian law, but later also from the Gaullican and Weranic traditions.

Legal precedent, legislation, custom and specific academic writings are all recognised as sources of law in Estmere. Since the foundation of the Euclean Community in 1948, Estmerish law has also been subject to Euclean law, and with it to the Euclean Court of Justice and the Fundamental Rights of the Euclean Community.

Trials in Estmere are conducted in front of a jury. The Estmerish legal system was historically unique, and "not proven" was a possible verdict in a criminal trial, resulting in an acquittal. There had been calls to abolish the verdict since the 1970s, but it wasn't until a renewed campaign by activists that the verdict was officially abolished in 2023 for all new cases.[10][11][12][13] The High Court of Estmere is the country's final court of appeal. Judges on the High Court are appointed by independent selection committees, meaning that the courts are generally indepedent of political control. Due to the nature of parliamentary sovereignty, however, the High Court has limited powers of judicial review. Any legal decisions made by the High Court in civil or criminal cases are binding on other courts in the same jurisdiction.

Law enforcement is predominantly the responsibility of the states, and the Estmerish police are divided into thirteen Police Forces, one for each state, which are sometimes further divided into local constabularies. There are three national police forces; the largest is the Federal Police Force (FPF) which is responsible for cross-state activities, transport policing and major criminal cases, and the two smaller services are the Ministry of Defence Police, which is responsible for protecting Ministry of Defence property, Estmere's nuclear deterrent and other defence interests, and the Parliament Police, which is responsible for law enforcement in the Parliament area.

Foreign relations

Estmere is considered to be a historical great power, with experts placing particular emphasis on its considerable soft power. Since the conclusion of the Great War, Estmere has positioned itself as a supporter of liberal democracy across the globe, and has used its influence within international organisations to promote liberal democratic values. Although Estmere decolonised in the post-war era, it has maintained a costly military presence south of Aurean, retains considerable influence in former colonies such as Bamvango and Padaratha, and is involved in a number of post-colonial conflicts such as the Tsabaran Civil War.

Estmere shares a particularly close cultural, political and economic relationship with Werania, known as the Alte Bruderschaft. It also shares a close relationship with many of its former colonies, such as Rizealand and Satavia, and is a founding member of the Embrosphere along with other Estmerish-speaking nations. Estmere also enjoys a close relationship with Senria known as the Ryuuhou Doumei, with the military alliance between the two dating back to the Senrian Revolution.

Estmere is a member of a number of international organisations. It is a founding member of the Community of Nations, the Euclean Community and the International Council for Democracy, which is headquartered in the Estmerish capital of Morwall. Along with Gaullica and Werania, it is considered one of the Big Three within the EC. Within the Community of Nations, it enjoys a permanent seat on all six International Committees, most notably the Security Committee. It is a member of the Global Institute for Fiscal Affairs, the International Trade Organisation, and is one of the B-15 major economies.

Military

The ENS Heart of Estmere and ENS Wolfgar Godfredson, aircraft carriers of the Estmerish Navy
The Euclofighter multi-role jet, developed jointly with ECDTO, of the Estmerish Air Force
Officer cadets of the Estmerish Army in the black dress uniform

Estmere maintains the second largest military within the Euclean Community, behind Werania, and is an active founding member of ECDTO.[14][15] The Estmerish Defence Force (EDF) acts as the armed forces of Estmere, and is comprised of the Estmerish Army (EA), the Estmerish Navy (EN), including its Federal Marines, and the Estmerish Air Force (EAF). There is also the Special Rapid Response Force ("Specref"), which acts as the special forces component of the EDF and has its origins in the Independent Companies.[16]

The commander-in-chief of the armed forces is the Prime Minister, while the Minister of Defence also exercises a number of powers in relation to the military. The President of Estmere has no involvement in the armed forces, and military personnel swear loyalty to the Commonwealth as a whole rather than to a single figure.[17]

As of 2020, Estmere employs approximately 272,031 active personnel with 75,231 personnel in reserve.[18] Estmere's military expenditure totaled approximately €60.48 billion, just over 2.3% of the country's GDP.[19] The minimum age of recruitment is 16, but active service is restricted to those aged 18 and over.[20] The Estmerish Navy is a blue-water navy, operating 2 Heart of Estmere-class aircraft carriers known as the ENS Heart of Estmere and the ENS Wolfgar Godfredson, in addition to 79 other ships.[21] The Estmerish Air Force operates 702 aircraft, most predominantly the multi-role Euclofighter.[22] Estmere is recognised as a mandated nuclear state by the Treaty of Shanbally and maintains a deployed arsenal of 110 air and sea-based nuclear weapons.[23][24] Estmere is home to a number of major multinational arms manufacturers, such as Estmerish Materiel Systems and Aero Products International.[25]

Mandatory conscription was abolished in 1989, and since then the Estmerish Defence Force has been a professional volunteer force.[26][20] Military installations are maintained on the island of Kingsport in the Vehemens Ocean, in the Permanent Base Areas on Nakong and in foreign countries through leased bases.[27][28][29] The military operates on the principle of collective security with other ECDTO states.[15] The aims of the military are outlined in the Estmerish constitution as the defence of the Estmerish people, the defence of the Commonwealth, and the defence of allied states.[30]

The Special Intelligence Bureau (SIB) is the main intelligence agency of Estmere, focused on foreign intelligence.[31] The Internal Security Bureau (ISB) meanwhile handles domestic intelligence and counter-espionage, the Communications and Signals Bureau (CSB) focuses on signals intelligence and the Counter-Terrorism Security Command (CTSC) is the counter-terrorism agency.[32][33][34] The Defence Intelligence Bureau (DIB) is the military intelligence agency.[35] The SIB, ISB, CSB and CTSC report to the Ministry of Home Affairs, while the DIB reports to the Ministry of Defence.[36]

Economy

Manufacturing

Services

Banking and finance

Tourism

Agriculture

Energy

Transport

The Port of Bouley is the busiest port in Euclea, and along with the Port of Dunwich connects the Euclean economy to the world.

Estmere has been described as a transport hub for eastern Euclea and is highly integrated to the continent.[ref][ref] It has the densest and second-most extensive railway network in the Euclean Community, stretching 32,405 kilometres (20,136 mi) with a density of 113.8 km/1,000 km2.[ref] Estmerish rail is operated by the state-owned Estmerail.[ref] Estmere leads Euclea in high-speed rail with 3,190 kilometres of high-speed railway lines which connects every metropolitan region.[ref][37] It is estimated that 40 million people are connected to the high-speed rail network.[ref] Major high-speed lines include the Tolbury-Longwood line, the Dunwich-Sheaford line and the cross-continental Euclostar.[ref][ref] The majority of major urban areas have some form of urban rail transit, such as the Morwall Metro and the CityLink+.[ref][ref]


[roads]

[airports]

Estmere is home to the Port of Bouley and the Port of Dunwich, the first and third-busiest ports in Euclea respectively.[ref] Bouley was the busiest port in the world from 1939 to 2003.[ref]


Science and technology

Demographics

Population of Estmere
YearPop.±%
10281,342,000—    
15132,271,000+69.2%
17214,835,000+112.9%
18008,120,103+67.9%
184015,419,786+89.9%
188027,880,134+80.8%
190034,813,123+24.9%
192039,173,786+12.5%
194038,819,893−0.9%
196046,671,901+20.2%
198049,183,067+5.4%
199050,891,562+3.5%
200054,612,891+7.3%
201055,777,373+2.1%
202058,690,373+5.2%
Source: Estimated (pre-1800)[4]
Census (post-1800)[1]

The 2020 Estmerish census recorded a total population of 58,690,373.[1] Estmere is the third-most populous country in the Euclean Community (after Gaullica and Werania), the fifth-most populous in Euclea (after Soravia, Gaullica, Etruria and Werania) and the 23rd-most populous in the world. Estmere is the fourth-most densely populated country in Euclea with a density of 208 people per square kilometre (537.7/sq mi).[4]

The population grew by 5.22% between 2010 and 2020, with an average annual growth rate of 0.52%.[1] Estmere's population is projected to surpass 60 million by 2024.[4] The growth has been primarily driven by immigration; Estmere is the second-most popular immigration destination in the world, behind only Gaullica.[38] Natural growth has been sluggish, with a total fertility rate of 1.6 in 2023, below the replacement rate of 2.1 but close to the Euclean average of 1.7.[39] The Estmerish population is also an aging one, with a median age of 43.8 in 2022.[40] The country is widely accepted to have entered stage five of demographic transition.[41]

The Estmerish population is unevenly geographically distributed, concentrated in urban centres - particularly the city states of Morwall, Bouley and Dunwich and in the Scitterdale conurbation - and in the centre and east of the country, with the north west more sparsely populated.[1] In 2019, 6.8% of the population identified as gay, lesbian or bisexual, while 0.6% identified as asexual and 1.1% identified as transgender or non-binary. Estmerish people aged 16-24 were more likely to identify as LGBT+, with 20% in this group identifing as LGBT+ compared to only 3% of Estmerish people aged 60 or higher.[42]

Ethnicity

Estmere is considered an ethnically diverse country. White was the largest ethnic group in Estmere according to the 2020 census at 82.8%, including 78.3% who identified as White Estmerish, White Swathish or White Swerdian, or White Flurian, and 4.5% who identified as Other White. The second largest ethnic group in 2020 was Rahelian at 6.3% and the third was Black at 5.2%, followed by Coian at 2.5%, Mixed at 2.3% and other at 0.9%.[1] The 2020 census found 82.52% of the population identified as Estmerish and 22.58%[f] identified as one or more other Estmerish identity (Swathish or Swerdian, Flurian, Robertian, Kingsportian),[1] while an overwhelming majority of the population believe ethnicity, religion and place of birth are not important in establishing Estmerish identity.[43]

White Estmerish people are historically descended largely from the Solaro-Albans, with significant influence from the Old Estmerish, Old Ghailles and Verique.[44] Estmere has a history of immigration and ethnic diversity, with ethnic Witterites settling in Estmere in the 16th century and Freemen recorded as settling in Estmere as early as the 1700s.[45][46] Morwall's Senriatown is one of the oldest ethnic enclaves in Euclea, dating back to the 1860s.[47] The largest wave of immigration to Estmere occurred following the Great War, leading to the establishment of the modern communities of visible minorities, including Rahelians, Black Bahians, Black Arucians and Satrians.[48]

Ethnic Witterites were recorded as 0.6% in the 2020 census. Savaders and Lowland Travellers were counted together as White Savader or White Traveller, and were collectively counted at 0.5% of the population in the 2020 census.[1] However, it is estimated that the total Savader and Traveller population in Estmere could be as high as one million.[49] White Etrurian was the largest Other White ethnicity in Estmere by the 2020 census, at just under 1% of respondents.[1]

Languages

A bilingual street sign in Evre, with instructions given in the co-official state languages of Estmerish and Flurian.

Estmerish is the official and most widely spoken language of Estmere, spoken as the mother tongue of 77.6% and known by 94.7% of the population as of 2020.[50][1] Estmerish is a global language, is one of the six official languages of the Community of Nations and is one of the 19 official and three working languages of the Euclean Community.[51][52] The status of Estmerish is promoted by the Embrosphere, a worldwide community of Estmerish-speaking nations of which Estmere is a founding member.[53] The Estmerish federal government practices a policy of official trilingualism, with Swathish and Flurian constitutionally recognised as co-official national languages. Speakers have the right to be use the national languages in government and business nationally, and each state can adopt them at the state-level.[54][50] 13.1% reported Swathish and 3.9% Flurian to be their mother tongue in 2020.[1] Estmerish Sign Language (ESL) is the most widely used sign language in Estmere, and was recognised as a national language in 2022.[55]

Four other languages are recognised as regional minority languages; Aldman and Dellish which are spoken in mainland Estmere, and Kabuese and Robertian Creole which are spoken in the overseas states.[56][55] Minority languages such as Weranian and Hennish are spoken in Estmere but have no recognition. A number of languages have also been brought to Estmere due to modern immigration, with roughly 5.3% Estmerish people in 2020 speaking a language which originated outside of Estmere.[54] The largest single migrant language is Rahelian, while Tamkari and Odo-Gondic are the largest language groups.[1]

Religion

Religious identification in Estmere (2020)[1]

  No religion (47.4%)
  Amendist (24.8%)
  Catholic (15.7%)
  Irfani (6.9%)
  Other religions (4.2%)
  No answer (1.0%)

Sotirianity spread to Estmere starting in the second century, but the region was only fully Sotirianised following the Conquest of Estmere in 1011 CE. Prior to this, Estmere largely adhered to Weranic paganism.[57] Estmere was the birthplace of the Amendist Reaction in the 1510s and Amendism was officially adopted as state religion in 1519, putting the country at the heart of the Amendist Belt. The Gracialist United Amended Church (UAC) was the dominant and established church, though it considered itself to be in full communion with other Amendist churches. Smaller Amendist denominations, such as the Witterites, were also tolerated. The UAC suffered major denominational splits in 1811, 1844 and 1889, which diversified Estmerish Amendism and gave rise to churches such as the evangelical and fundamentalist Reformed and Amended Church of Sotirias.[58]

Estmere became a secular state with freedom of religion following the disestablishment of the UAC in 1938. Religion began to lose its influence in Estmere from the 1960s, with church attendance falling to under half in the 1970s, and the 1980 census being the first to show an irreligious plurality.[59] In addition, increased immigration to Estmere saw the rise of other religions such as Irfan, Badi, Zohism and Atudaism.[60] Sotirianity still remains culturally important, with Sotirian religious holidays like Nativity and Easter counted as national holidays, and Estmere has been described as post-Sotirian.[61][62]

The northern state of Swerdia has historically been strongly Catholic, and a majority in the state identify with the Catholic Church.[63] Amendist identification is concentrated to the Bible Belt, which stretches through the south of the country and is dominated by evangelical and fundamentalist churches which play a major social and cultural role.[64][65] The overseas state of Kingsport has a tradition of heterodox Badi sects dating back to the 12th century.[66]

In 2020, the census reported 47.4% of the population as irreligious, including atheism, agnosticism, humanism and somethingism. Sotirians comprised 40.8% of the population, with Amendism (including Gracialism, Gospelism, Kasperism and Witterism) remaining the largest denomination at 24.8%. This was followed by Catholicism, with which 15.7% identified. Smaller Sotirian denominations such as Episemialism and Ezekielanism were also present. Irfan is the largest non-Sotirian religion in Estmere, with Irfanis comprising 6.9% of the population while adherents of other religions (such as Atudaism, Badi and Zohism) comprised 4.2%, and 1% refused to answer.[1] New religious movements such as the Church of the Singularity and the Faith Militant of the Crimson Emperor have propagated in the country due to the state's approach to religious freedom.[67][68]

Urbanisation

Estmere is among the most urbanised countries in the world at the centre of the Coastal Corridor and around 88% of people in the country live in urban areas.[1] Over 13% of land in Estmere is used by settlements or infrastructure, which is more than double the Euclean average.[8] Estmere has a number of large cities, including six cities with populations greater than one million; Morwall (6,827,381), Harbrough (2,946,924), Sheaford (2,190,849), Bouley (1,638,021), St Richards (1,558,318) and Dunwich (1,071,390). Including those, 13 cities (including cultural centres such as Tolbury, Damesbridge and St Avelines) have more than 500,000 people, while 74 have more than 100,000.[4] Estmere has 12 officially recognised metropolitan regions, the largest of which is Scitterdale.[37]


Education

King Edward's College of the University of Morwall. Morwall is one of the three ancient Molbridge universities.
Otto Viktor Leopold Catholic University is a prominent Catholic institution and is the nation's largest private religious college.

Estmerish education is predominantly public and is organised by the states, with supervision and restrictions placed by the federal government through the Ministry of Education.[69] The curriculum is determined by each individual state, but state education programmes must follow specific criteria (including the adequate provision of sex education and the use of secular curriculums) in order to receive federal funding.[70][71] Private education is heavily regulated, with private schools required to register and provide education to a proportion of non-fee paying students.[72] The majority of private schools are religious.[73]

Federal law mandates that children be in fulltime education or training from the ages of six to 18; on average, Estmerish students receive 14.1 years of schooling.[74][75] In eight states, preschooling is mandatory from ages three to six, while six states mandate that a student must achieve at least a high school level qualification before leaving fulltime education.[76][77] The first three to six years of education, depending on state, is primary education. Secondary education is divided into academic and vocational tracks in every state. Many comprehensive schools provide both tracks, but there are also specialist technical schools specialising in the vocational track. Post-16 education is provided for both tracks through comprehensive schools, technical schools, apprenticeships and specialist colleges.[78][79] Homeschooling is only permitted in exceptional circumstances.[80]

Education is available in Estmerish and in the national languages of each state.[81] Estmere has high public expenditure for education, with 5.5% of its GDP spent on education in total and 2.0% spent on tertiary education specifically.[82][83] Estmere is a highly educated country, with 40.4% of adults having attained at least a bachelor's degree and an adult literacy rate of 99.0%.[84][85] Estmerish students were ranked tenth in the world in reading, literacy, mathematics, and science by the 2019 Standardised Education and Attainment Tracker (SEAT), with an average score of 516, higher than the AEDC average of 493.[86]

Estmere is home to nine of the top 25 universities in the world, the majority of which are public institutions which do not charge tuition for most domestic students.[87][88] Private institutions without state funding, predominantly religious colleges, may charge tuition fees.[89] Estmere is the world's fourth largest destination for international study.[90] The three Molbridge universities (the University of Damesbridge, University of Tolbury and University of Morwall) are among the oldest in Euclea, informed the development of collegiate universities worldwide and consistently top international league tables.[91] Institutions such as the University of Harbrough and St Richards University are similarly well-regarded, while polytechnic institutes such as MCT are considered global hubs for technological innovation.[87][92]

Health

The federal logo of Medicare. The state plans have individual logos.
St Eustace's Hospital in Morwall is one of the largest active teaching hospitals in the country and is regularly shown on television.

Estmere has a policy of universal healthcare, which has existed in some form since 1907. This is delivered through a publicly funded network of 15 individual health plans run by each state and unincorporated territory, known collectively as Medicare. Medicare was instituted in 1981, but has origins in an older programme of health insurance expanded to universal scope in 1942 but abolished in 1978.[93][94] The federal Pharmacare programme provides access to prescription drugs for certain people, such as those with chronic conditions or on low incomes.[95] Gender-affirming care has been available through Medicare through self-referral since 2022.[96]

In 2017, Estmere spent €5,349 per capita, 12.4% of its GDP, on healthcare.[97] Estmerish spending on healthcare has increased steadily since the institution of Medicare, while the funding generated by the 2% health levy has steadily decreased.[98] The Medicare system pays for about 70% of Estmerish healthcare, with the remaining almost 30% paid for through the private sector.[99] Private spending focuses on services not provided through Medicare, including prescription drugs, cosmetic surgery and some mental health services. The usage of private providers has risen further in recent years, in part due to increased hospital waiting times.[100] Estmerish citizens are eligible for ECHO Cards, allowing for emergency medical treatment in other EC countries.[101][102]

The average life expectancy at birth in Estmere is 82.2 years.[103] Estmere has an infant mortality rate of 2.61, one of the lowest in the world.[104] There are 30.2 physicians per 10,000 people in Estmere.[105] Cancer was the leading cause of death in Estmere in 2019, while cardiovascular disease was ranked second.[106] The health impacts of mental health conditions such as eating disorders are viewed with increasing importance in Estmere.[107]

Estmerish healthcare is facing a funding shortfall as Estmere enters stage five of demographic transition, with an aging population requiring increased levels of care.[41] Other problems in Estmerish healthcare include the disparity of care between the 15 health plans, a rise in hospital waiting times, a shortage of skilled healthcare professionals and a rural opioid crisis.[108][100][109][110] A series of mandatory vaccinations are provided through the Medicare system, but uptake has decreased in recent years, particularly among members of fundamentalist churches and in communities with low levels of trust in government institutions.[111][65][112]

Culture

The Nativity market in Witburgh is one of the oldest traditional markets of its kind.

Estmerish culture is an Eastern culture influenced by its position between Werania and northern Euclea and Gaullica and southern Euclea.[113][114] One impact of this is the distinct regional cultures and constituent nationalities present in the country, protections for which have been constitutionally enshrined since 1936.[115][116] Estmerish culture has also been shaped by religion, including the Amendist Reaction which began in the country. Historically, Estmerish culture was marked by strong association with the Amendist religion, but it is now considered a secular and increasingly irreligious culture.[117] Estmere's liberal publishing laws and lack of censorship during the Long Peace made the country a literary haven and gave it the nickname the "writers' paradise".[118][119] These influences have together given rise to a unique culture with distinctive traditions, customs and symbolism.[113]

Estmere has had a strong influence on the culture of the wider world. The Estmerish Empire globalised the language, culture and law of Estmere, also introducing Estmere to new cultural trends. Territories formerly controlled by Estmere, including Rizealand, Borland, Satavia, Imagua, Nuvania and Nakong, are often referred to as part of a common culture known as the Embrosphere.[120] For this reason, and for other examples of cultural influence such as the export of Nativity traditions such as Nativity markets,[121] Estmere is regarded as a cultural superpower.[122] The country was ranked as having the fourth most positive influence in the world in 2017.[123]

Art

Clockwise from top left: John Eckers was one of the innovators of the Northern Renaissance; Nazareth Delamere was a titan of Amendist Baroque art and is considered one of history's greatest artists; Eleanor Schuyler was a Neoclassical painter and notable woman in Estmerish art; Eli Hallam was a notable Estmerish Surrealist.

Estmerish artists have been major contributors to wider Eastern art,[124] and Estmerish art has a long tradition which includes Paleolithic works such as the painted Harfeld Caves and early Tenic art such as the Torc of Tamford.[125][126] Estmere was also home to Piraeo-Solarian art, with the earliest examples belonging to the Ancient Piraean art introduced by the Piraean colony of Nysa.[127] Solarian art was imported to Solarian Estmere from the rest of the Solarian Empire, which would influence Estmerish art for the next few hundred years.[128][113] The collapse of Solaria led to the ornate metalwork and jewel inlaying of Migration Period art produced by migrating Swerdians, Fredians and Gutans, exemplified by items from the Wollaston Hoard.[129] The Solaresque and Gothic styles arrived in Estmere alongside the Verique, with the most notable surviving piece of conquest art being the Mandeville Tapestry.[130][131]

Estmere was a centre of the Northern Renaissance, with early artists such as John Eckers heavily innovating and popularising the use of oil painting through pieces such as Madonna and Child.[128][132] The birth of the printing press also led to rise in engraving, led by engravers such as Theophilus Bryn.[133] Middle and late Renaissance artists became heavily influenced by the Amendist Reaction, with artists such as Emanuel Malster, John Hartcombe and Bartholomew Dericotte rejecting the decadent religious art of previous centuries in favour of secular portraits, landscapes and depictions of peasants typified by Sowing the Seeds of Daedalus.[128][134] Estmere was also home to a small Mannerist movement, but it was eclipsed by the Northern Renaissance.[135] The art of the Estmerish Renaissaince was followed by the rise of Amendist Baroque, which in Estmere was dominated by the works of Nazareth Delamere and Benedict Chetwood.[136] Delamere in particular is considered one of the greatest artists of all time, with works such as Night Watchmen and The Guildmasters considered historical masterpieces.[137][138]

Neoclassical art thrived in Estmere in the early 1800s, exemplified by artists such as Eleanor Schuyler and Campbell Grant and sculptors such as John Godfrey Shadows.[139][140] The early 1800s saw the rise of the Romantic movement, led by artists such as Jordan Hennessy.[141] The Realist movement emerged in reaction to Romanticism, with artists such as Atude Atkins and Benedict Ross-Hall aiming to accurately depict ordinary life.[142]

Estmerish Modern art emerged in the 1860s, pioneered by Impressionists such as Leo Lawlor.[128][143] Estmerish Modern artists such as Bertrand Carnall also later experimented with Art Nouveau and Fauvism.[144][145] Estmerish artists were important in the development of abstract art. Estmere was the birthplace of the Surrealist movement, which was pioneered by Estmerish artists including Andrew Brockett, Reuben Mellors, Leo Hickling and Eli Hallam.[146][147][148] It was also home to thriving Cubist, Dadaist and Art Deco scenes, the latter including the works of Geatfrith Vrihter and Eva Dame which challenged contemporary boundaries of sex and gender.[149] In the post-war period, Estmerish artists such as Michael Clarke, Jon Littenbury and Arnold Grouse began challenging the traditions of fine art through the Pop art movement.[150] The rise of Contemporary art in the 1970s has led to the emergence of Contemporary artists including James Joylon, Heidi Marks, Lena Aeschlimann, Mahesh Chettiar, Carmen George and Ifama Afamefuna.[151][152]

Estmere is home to a number of art museums and galleries. The most notable of this is the Jacobean Museum, which was founded in 1828 and is the oldest museum in the country. The Jacobean hosts masterpieces including Sowing the Seeds of Daedalus and Night Watchmen.[153] The National Historical Gallery was opened in 1967 to display artistic archaeological finds in addition to a broader collection of national works, while the National Museum of Modern Art was opened in 1991 and hosts a collection of modern art.[154][155] The presence of foreign artefacts in Estmerish museums has been controversial and there have been calls for their repatriation.[156]

Architecture

Clockwise from top left: Ashminster Abbey has Solaresque and Gothic influences; Adelaide Hall which is a prodigy house in the Renaissance style; the Gardins d'Ieau Aubèrteis, the world's largest water games; the Viridian style Morwall Trierberg Station; Harris Tower, emblematic of Estmerish Art Deco.

Estmerish architecture has a long history, beginning with neolithic stonework such as the well-preserved Boyleston Stones.[157] Archaeological evidence shows early Iron Age Estmere was home to oppida constructed by the early Tenic culture,[158] while surviving sites such as the Garden of the Ancients (now a major tourist attraction) show the influence of the Piraean colony of Nysa and their imported Ancient Piraean architecture.[159][127] Solarian Estmere saw the importation of Piraeo-Solarian architecture, which can be seen in the surviving Colne Baths and Walls of Caister.[160][161][162]

The Middle Ages saw the emergence of the Solaresque style in Estmere, driven by the simultaneous conquest and Sotirianisation of the country.[57][130] Verique feudal nobles established fortified castles (the most notable of which include the Lonely Tower, St Richard's Rock and Châté de Plémont) to solidify control, while the construction of several large cathedrals and monasteries began.[163] Solaresque design eventually began to shift into the Gothic style, with many buildings of the period (such as Ashminster Abbey) having elements of both styles.[164][165] Addington Cathedral is considered emblematic of Estmerish gothic.[166] The vernacular architecture of the time utilised the half-timbered style with austere and simple designs, while urbanisation in the latter half of this period led to the creation of opulent townhouses facing public squares.[167][168]

Estmerish architecture experienced a major evolution starting in the Alienoran period, with prodigy houses (such as Adelaide Hall) built by landed gentry in the Renaissance style. Estmerish Renaissance architecture is split into the Weranian-influenced Northern style and the Gaullican-influenced Southern style, which are respectively typified by Dunwich City Hall and Dame's House.[169][113]

Baroque architecture replaced traditional styles in Estmere after the Renaissance, similarly to the rest of continental Euclea.[170] Estmerish Baroque, sometimes known as Symmetricalism, was marked by its restraint and austerity, in a rejection of Catholic grandiosity amid the Amendist Reaction. Cavendish Palace is comprised almost entirely of Symmetricalist Baroque features.[171]

The end of the Euclean Revolutionary Wars saw the introduction of Neoclassicalism to Estmere, the Estmerish branch of which became known as the Viridian style. The Viridian style maintained the principle of symmetry from the Baroque style, while adopting modern materials and re-introducing ornate and extravagant elements to Estmerish architecture for the first time in centuries. Morwall Trierberg Station, the National Scientific Academy Halls and Havering House are the best examples of the Viridian style.[172][173] The Viridian style also saw the construction of many water games, including the Gardins d'Ieau Aubèrteis which are the largest in the world.[174]

The Industrial Revolution had a major impact on vernacular architecture in Estmere, with new manors built by the nouveau riche to emulate the gentry while terraces were constructed in major cities to house growing working populations. There was later a reaction against urban areas, leading to the founding of many suburbs and the construction of apartment buildings built in elite styles.[168][175]

The Viridian style persisted through much of the Long Peace, but it was challenged the Gothic Revival and by the rise of new architectural movements including Art Nouveau (known in Estmere as the New Style), Art Deco and Expressionism. The best example of the architecture of this period is Harris Tower, which is emblematic of Estmerish Art Deco.[176] Modernism, such as the International Style, dominated the Estmerish architectural scene following the Great War, before being challenged by Postmodern styles including Brutalism, Structuralism and Deconstructivism.[177] One of the most prominent buildings built after the Great War is EBS Tower, which was the tallest structure in the world from 1974 to 2006, remains the tallest free standing tower in Euclea, and has become an iconic landmark.[178]

Music

Clockwise from top left: Myles Sadler is an important early classical composer; Isaiah Booker was pivotal to the development of Estmerish jazz; Regent Sound was one of the most successful rock bands of the 1970s; Briony Hampton is one of the most streamed artists of all time.

Music is considered an important part of Estmerish culture and a variety of genres are popular in the country.[179] This includes Estmerish folk music sung in Estmerish, Swathish and Flurian.[180] Estmere was also home to a number of renowned classical composers and musicians including Myles Sadler, Jasper Clarell and Hamilton Holmes, in addition to well-known classical orchestras such as the Damesbridge Symphony Orchestra.[181]

The blues and jazz were brought to Estmere by Freemen such as Isaiah "Izzy" Booker,[182] and jazz in particular gained prominence in the 1920s during prohibition, with most speakeasies employing jazz musicians. The exile of prominent jazz musicians from Functionalist Gaullica such as Zaire Moroux further contributed to the development of Estmerish jazz.[183] The post-war period saw the emergence of rock music, with Estmerish artists pioneering a number of subgenres, including art rock, glam rock, new wave, progressive rock and punk rock.[184] Estmerish rock acts (such as Regent Sound, Jupiter Starling, Brünette, What?, Outbreak and Downed) were internationally dominant in the 1960s, but by the end of the 1970s they had been eclipsed by foreign artists associated with the new synth wave.[185] The 1990s saw a revival of Estmerish music, with the development of new genres of rock such as emo (exemplified by Doozie, Firestarter, The Real Boys, Courtezan, The Black Parade and Disemvowelment) and indie (exemplified by Mardy Bums, The Brightsides and The Rioteers).[184] In the 2000s, forms of electronic dance music such as dubstep and grime were developed by Estmerish artists (such as Skumbag, Jo Smith, Crazzee Madman, Gustzy, Suspa and Koyote).[186] The 2010s and early 2020s saw the emergence of lo-fi bedroom pop in Estmere (exemplified by Ed Remmington, lostalgia and Eve Ceraph) using streaming services such as Dukebox to promote music without the help of big publishers, as well as hyperpop.[187][188]

Estmere is a Super Cinq country and has participated in every iteration of the Euclovision Song Contest, winning the contest on five occasions (1965, 1984, 1998, 2022 and 2023).[189] Estmere is the only participating country to have won two consecutive victories.[190] Victorious acts include What?, Outbreak, Tommy Sheridan and Nico Lumineux.[185][191][192] The most recent victory was Hell is Better With You performed by Chel Sakurai in 2023.[193] Estmere has hosted the event five times (1966, 1985, 1999, 2006 and 2023) and will host the contest a sixth time in 2024.[190][194]

Estmerish popular music continues to be popular worldwide. Contemporary artists such as Briony Hampton, Ella of the Roses, Demrah, Vivi, Pick 'n' Mix, YBRV, Emme ZMX and others continue to rank highly on global streaming rankings,[195] while Estmere is also home to internationally-recognised rising artists such as Mable Pestle, Nico Lumineux, Baba Baba, Six Feet Under, Chel Sakurai, T.M.I and Rotten Candy.[196] Estmere is also home to many prominent contemporary composers of musical theatre (most notably Albert Lucas Winson and Louis Matthew Montgomery).[197] The Estmerish music industry is one of the largest in the world by revenue.[198]

Cinema and theatre

David Duhamel was an influential filmmaker in Estmere, popularising animation and founding the successful David Duhamel Company.

Estmerish cinema is world-renowned and the Estmerish cinema scene has had a considerable impact on the wider field of filmmaking.[199] Estmere is known to have a strong film industry, with a particular focus on animation, in which the country is considered world-leading.[200] The country produces the third-most films of any country in Euclea.[201] The Estmerish Excellence in Film Awards, popularly known as the Essies, have been held annually in Estmere since 1926.[202] Estmere has hosted the Belgrave Film Festival, one of the most important film festivals in the world and the only one with a focus on animation, since 1941.[203][204]

The Harewood Garden Scene, captured in Estmere in 1888, was the world's first moving picture.[205][206] Early Estmerish cinema was known for its lack of censorship and many early works are notable for their novelty and, often, obscenity.[118] These included silent films such as the popular but controversial Not A Drop To Drink, which was released in 1911 and satirised prohibition.[207][208][209] Silent films were challenged by the advent of talkies, but the industry as a whole entered a period of decline starting in 1914 due to the Great Collapse.[210][211] The only part of Estmerish cinema to grow during this period was animation, which was subject to a period of intense innovation.[200] The world's first female animator, Ada White, operated in Estmere during this time,[212] and her adaptation of One Thousand and One Nights was the world's first animated blockbuster.[213] David Duhamel became a leader in animated film in the 1920s, founding the highly successful David Duhamel Company with fellow animator Hugh Devaney and wife-turned-animator Julia DuFoy–Duhamel.[214] Duhamel animation was widely used during the Great War as a form of propaganda.[215] The era of uncensored Estmerish cinema ended in 1951, with the introduction of the Estmerish Board of Film Review, which led to a second downturn in the industry outside of child-friendly animation. The Board was eventually abolished in 1969, reviving the industry and giving rise to the Estmerish New Wave which introduced new artistic movements such as social realism and postmodernism to Estmerish cinema.[211][216]

The Evreux conurbation along the south coast is the undisputed centre of the Estmerish film industry, and is home to a number of film studios.[217][218] Solange in particular is home to the David Duhamel Company, and the company's influence is so great that the city has been nicknamed "Greater Duhamelia" and "the Burrow".[214] St Avelines is also a major filming location,[219] while Belgrave is a centre of film criticism.[203]

Estmere has a thriving tradition of mainstream theatre with modern musical theatre originating in Estmere in the 19th century.[220][221] Morwall is at the centre of Estmerish theatre, with Boulevard specifically having become a metonym for Estmerish theatre as a whole; the most prestigious theatres in the country are along that street.[222][223] Strong theatre scenes also exist in other urban centres, such as in St Avelines, which is a centre for improvisational theatre in particular.[224][219] Composers such as Albert Lucas Winson and Louis Matthew Montgomery are major figures in Estmerish theatre.[197] Estmere also has an active campus theatre culture.[225]

Cuisine

Clockwise from top left: Curry dogs and Estmerish fries are national dishes; battered eel is a dish that has moved from low to high prestige; Estmerish chocolate, such as Haberlin's, is sold worldwide.

Estmerish cuisine is known as one of the most varied in Euclea, influenced heavily by trade, colonialism and immigration.[114] Spices and herbs (most notably curry powder and garam masala) are common, first introduced by the Verique and further influenced by the arrival of Satrian, Rahelian and Arucian immigrant communities.[226][227] There are distinct regional styles of Estmerish cuisine. Food in the north is influenced by neighbouring Werania, while southern cuisine is more similar to Gaullican and Hennish cuisine.[228][229] International cuisines such as Etrurian food, Shangean food, ganome food, Senrian sushi and Piraean food are popular across the country.[230]

Pork (particularly sausages) and potatoes feature heavily in Estmerish cuisine, while gravy is a common addition.[231] Staple Estmerish dishes include Estmerish fries, curry dogs, hot dogs, jerked sausage, tikka masala, witburgers, sourcole, jellied and battered eel, fish and chips, Tolbury puddings, Estmerish couscous, pancakes, Mountcherry sponge and crumpets, with many being fusion dishes derived from immigrant groups.[227][232]

Estmere's fast food industry is one of the largest and earliest to develop in the world, pioneered by Top Dog, the world's largest fast food chain with locations in over 60 countries.[233][234] Other Estmerish restaurant chains with a global reach include Pilgrim's, Cabin, The Weekend, Café Zero, Whispy Whaler, Speakeasy and Ponty's Pizza.[235] Estmere hosts outlets of foreign chains such as Munchies, Ajeng's and Potage Cottage.[236] Estmerish restaurants have received a total of 610 Renou–Marchand stars as of 2020.[237]

Estmere has a complicated history with alcohol and its consumption was historically prohibited.[238] This gave rise to a unique alcohol culture, including the proliferation of speakeasies and an enduring popularity of cocktails and hard spirits such as whisky (notably moonshine and Swatch whisky) and rum.[209] St Roberts and Fleming is a major centre of rum distillation.[239] Estmere has two significant wine regions (Evreux and Lower Dame), and several brewing regions (including Swerdia, Scitterland and the Midlands) which focus on pale lagers, wheat beers and schafners.[229] Hot drinks (tea, coffee and hot cocoa) are widely consumed.[240][241][242]

Estmere has one of the largest confectionary industries in the world and Estmerish chocolate and sweets are known worldwide.[243] The largest confectionary company in the world, Haberlin's, is headquartered in Estmere.[244] Estmerish brands of chocolate such as Haberlin's, Weltner's and Neel's are sold globally, while luxury brands such as Trinkett's and Torie and Devereux are world-renowned for quality.[245]

Media

EBS Tower is the headquarters of EBS and was the tallest structure in the world until 2006.

Estmere has a thriving uncensored and well-developed media landscape with a high level of press freedom.[246][247][248] The majority of Estmerish media is produced in Estmerish, but it is a legal requirement for broadcasting companies to provide subtitles, dubbing or distinct channels in the national languages.[249] The media sector is centred in Morwall, while other sizable cities for the industry include Harbrough, Bouley, Tolbury and Solange.[250] The Estmerish media sector is dominated by a handful of large corporations, the most influential being the David Duhamel Company, which is one of the largest media conglomerates in the world.[251][252]

The three primary national broadcasters in Estmere, with a focus on television broadcasting, are EBS, Duhamel Broadcasting, Hansel-Vernon and NTV.[252] EBS is the nation's public broadcaster, funded by a government grant and limited advertising, while the other three are private enterprises.[253][247] There are over 200 radio stations in Estmere, including EBS Radio and a number of smaller private stations.[254] As of 2022, 92% of Estmerish people had access to cable or satellite television, while 80% regularly listen to broadcast radio.[255] Online streaming has challenged traditional media, giving rise to video on demand services such as EBS+ and Duhamel on Demand.[256]

The three most widely-read national newspapers in Estmere are the right-wing The Express, left-wing The Chartist and centrist The Standard,[257] which are recognised as the nation's papers of record alongside the finance-focused Economic Review.[258] A number of regional newspapers exist (such as The St Richards Sentinel, Harbrough Weekly and The Solange Observer), some in the national languages (such as Þe Tolburg Tiġmas and Le Veil'ye).[247] Magazines such as the news-focused Panorama, the women's-focused Her, the investigative Exposé and the satirical The Pillory are internationally recognised.[259] Print media has been in decline with the advent of the internet, leading to lower circulation and the rise of internet media such as PuffPiece.[260] The decline has also led to a consolidation of the market, with many regional papers now owned by large corporations such as Duhamel.[261][262]

Estmere has one of the highest levels of Internet penetration in the world, with around 94% of the population having online access by 2021.[263] The country's ccTLD .es is the sixth most popular in the world with over 14 million registered sites as of 2023.[264][265] Estmere has the largest video game industry by revenue in Euclea, with the continent's second-largest video game market of over 40 million players as of 2023.[266][267] A number of major video game publishers and developers are headquartered in Estmere, including Duhamel Play, Imagine Entertainment, Unisoft, Source, Nimrod Software, Enigma Interactive, Runex, Twilight, Quest Games and others.[268][269] Insomnia, an Estmerish website, is the world's largest video game digital distribution service.[270] Gamesfest, the world's largest gaming convention, is hosted annually in Estmere.[271]

Literature and philosophy

Clockwise from top left: John Minster is Estmere's national poet; Mary Anne Goodberry is responsible for a wide variety of modern fairy tales; Victor Maudling is considered Estmere's greatest and most versatile writer; Sig Ċiriċevard is one of the best-known Estmerish philosophers and typifies the existentialist school.

Estmerish literature can be dated back to the Middle Ages, with works written in Estmerish, Verique and Old Estmerish.[272] The most famous Estmerish literary piece, often described as a national epic, is the Chançun des Venqeours, a chanson de geste which acts as a mythologised retelling of the Conquest of Estmere.[273] The Chançun originated in the 11th century, but was revived a number of times including as a 16th century play and 18th century novel.[274] The chivalric romance was also a popular genre in early Estmerish literature with notable works including Le Pelerins and Ipomedon.[275]

The 16th century saw Lawrence Fairworth emerge as a playwright and poet, adding hundreds of words to the Estmerish lexicon, popularising the use of iambic pentameter and establishing Estmerish as a literary language.[276] The perception that his works were "fodder for the masses" meant that he was unappreciated in his time, but his popularisation of Estmerish was a longstanding legacy.[277] This legacy gave rise to John Minster, a literary figure who dominated the scene in 17th century Estmere. He is considered the national poet of Estmere, with his masterpiece Paradise Lost a seminal text in the Estmerish literary canon.[278]

In the 18th century, Mary Anne Goodberry wrote a litany of traditional and original Estmerish folk and fairy tales, such as Tom Thumb, Goldilocks and Three Little Pigs, as part of Madam Goodberry's Fantastical Tales. Goodberry died in 1793, but the tales gained widespread popularity in the 19th century at the height of the Romantic movement after their rediscovery by Charles Chanton, who republished them along with his own stories such as The Golden Afternoon as part of Estmerish Fairy Tales.[279][280] Tales by both authors continue to be popular on an international level, with many having been adapted into Duhamel films.[281][214]

The Long Peace saw an explosion of literary activity in Estmere. This was due in part to liberal publishing laws which allowed the country to become a centre of literary freedom, harbouring works that had been banned elsewhere for obscenity or political extremism and leading to a number of foreign writers such as Isaac Bazin-Mordvinov to relocate to Estmere permanently.[118][282][119] The period saw the proliferation of new genres, such as science fiction, which was pioneered by Mary Godwin and her novel Lomachenko; or, The True Automaton about synthetic life.[283] Lomachenko gave rise to the genre, which would later be typified by the Firstworld cycle of Jamie Woosley.[284] The period also gave rise to the genres of romance, gothic fiction, vampire fiction, investigative fiction and novels of manners, all of which were established by Estmerish authors such as the Darcy sisters and Clara Bell.[285][286][287] The most notable author of 19th century Estmere was Victor Maudling, who wrote the first social novels with a focus on the conditions created by the Industrial Revolution, including as A Nativity Noel and The Wretched Ones. Social novels were his speciality, though he excelled in all literary genres.[288] He is often considered Estmere's greatest writer.[289]

The Estmerish book market is the third-largest in the world, publishing close to 200,000 books in 2020, while the Harbrough Book Fair is one of the largest of its kind in the world.[290][291] The majority of modern Estmerish literature is in Estmerish, though Verique is prevalent in historic works.[272] Swathish and Old Estmerish works began to be reevaluated in the late 19th and early 20th century as part of the Swathish national revival, such as those by the poet Cædmon and by revival figures such as Hermod Deaþiġe.[292][293] Works in Flurian and Aldman have also been reevaluated and published.[272]

Estmerish philosophers have made significant contributions to the wider field of Eastern philosophy. The three ancient universities were centres of scholasticism during the medieval period, eventually giving rise to humanism in the 15th century and then to rationalism, empiricism and idealism during the Enlightenment.[294] The Estmerish realist school emerged surrounding Edmund Seamer and Elias Waterford during this time, which argued that common sense formed the basis for all philosophical thought in rebuttal to Renaé Carteses, having a major impact on global liberalism.[295] The 19th century saw the rise of existentialism, typified by Sig Ċiriċevard, one of the earliest philosophers associated with the school. The period following the Great Collapse and the Great War saw the establishment of the Harbrough School (featuring Ted Walter Adearne) and its development of Critical Theory, which aimed to critique and change society rather than just explaining it, while Councillist philosophy was greatly expanded upon by Jürg Ochsner, who developed the theory of cultural hegemony.[294][296][297]

Sports

Estmere is the home of rugby union and the national women's rugby team, pictured celebrating their victory in the 2019 World Cup, is consistently ranked highly.

Rugby union, boxing, rowing and cricket were all developed in Estmere, while sailing, swimming and archery have a long history in the country. Rugby was once the nation's undisputed most popular sport, but now competes with football, which grew in popularity after its importation following the rise of television.[298] Alongside football, Estmere has also adopted a number of other sports such as zadany, Arucian football and parilutte.[299][300]

Estmere has participated in the Invictus Games since the event's inauguration in 1898 and regularly ranks in the top ten of the competition. It has hosted the Summer games in 1910 and 1950, and the Winter games in 1940 and 1968. Estmere has also participated in the Youth and Paravictus games.[301] At the most recent Summer Invictus in Verlois, Estmere placed fifth with 96 points.[302]

Football in Estmere is organised by the Estmerish Football Federation (EFF), a founding member of the IFF.[303] Estmerish football is organised into a league system divided between the professional League 1, League 2 and Federal League and a number of smaller semi-professional and amateur leagues.[304] The national men's football team is known as "The Blacks" in reference to the kit colour and it has competed in every iteration of the IFF Coupe du monde, winning in 1939 and hosting in 1955 and 2011, while the national women's football team, known as "The Black Widows", has participated in every IFF Feminine Coupe du monde.[305][306][307]

Rugby remains incredibly popular in Estmere and Estmere is considered a strong competitor in international rugby competitions. It is organised by the Estmerish Rugby Union (ERU). The ERU oversees just under 100 leagues, of which three (ERU Championship, ERU National League and ERU State Leagues) are fully professional.[308] The first international rugby match was played between Estmere and Borland in 1871.[298] The national men's rugby team is also known as "The Blacks" and is considered one of the world's strongest men's rugby teams, ranked fourth globally as of 2019.[309][310] Estmere has competed in every edition of the Men's Rugby World Cup, hosting in 1985 and 2009 and winning in 2005.[311] The national women's rugby team, also known as "The Black Widows", is even held even higher, ranked first in the world as of 2020.[312] It has competed in every edition of the Women's Rugby World Cup, winning in 1999 and 2019, and always finishing in the top three.[313][314][315] Estmere hosted the women's cup for the first time in 2023.[316]

Boxing is a popular sport in Estmere and the country hosts a number of professional boxers, most notably Sarena Sutton, who won gold at the 2018 Summer Invictus Games and silver in 2014 and 2022.[317]

In recent years, esports have also emerged as a growing professional sport in Estmere.[318] The most successful professional team is the Morwall Magpies, which competed in the Avatar World Championship in 2022 and 2023.[319][320]

Symbols

A memorial depicting Mother Estmere, a personification.

The most prominent national symbol of Estmere is the flag of Estmere. It is known commonly as St Richard's Cross or as the Black and White. The flag emerged in the Amendist Reaction, and was considered an unofficial national flag alongside the official Royal Standard, which included the Sunburst White Rose, a royal symbol. St Richard's Cross was first adopted as an official flag in 1801, defaced with the new Sunburst Red-White Rose, a symbol of the union of Estmere with Borland. A defaced version of the flag featuring a sword was used by the Estmerish resistance during the Great War, and the Burning Rose was removed from the flag altogether after the abolition of the monarchy in 1936. The official Estmerish coat of arms was designed in 1937, and feature a black phoenix on a white background with a black border.[321]

Estmere has two official national songs. The first - considered the official national anthem - is There'll Always Be an Estmere, which originates as a resistance song during the Great War. It was made the official anthem in 1938, replacing God Save The King.[322] It exists alongside And did those feet in ancient time, which is the official national hymn.[323] The national motto is "Resurgere velut phoenicem", which is Solarian for "Rise like the Phoenix".[321] Black and white are considered to be the national colours of Estmere. Dark green is also sometimes considered another national colour, albeit an archaic one with connotations of royalism.[324]

Mother Estmere, a young woman usually dressed in a black and white gown, is the national personification of Estmere.[321] This general personification has also been known by the name Albannica, the name of the Solarian province, and Andrasta, an ancient Alban leader.[325] Saint Richard, the patron saint of Estmere, has also been seen as a personification of Estmere, particularly historically.[326]

Estmere has two co-official national animals.[321] The phoenix was the sole official national animal from 1938 until 1965, adopted in the aftermath of the Great War as a symbol of the resurrection of Estmerish nationhood following the occupation of Estmere. The stag was considered the main national animal prior to this, and was heavily associated with the Estmerish monarchy. The stag nevertheless remained a prominent national symbol even while unofficial, and so in 1965 the Estmerish government declared that the stag and phoenix were co-official as national animals.[327] The official national flower of Estmere is the white rose, while the white willow is the national tree.[328]

Public holidays

A fireworks display on Fighting Day. Celebrations often also involve bonfires and the burning of effigies.

Public holidays celebrated in Estmere are a mix of religious, cultural, national and regional observances. There are also two types of public holiday in Estmere; statutory holidays for which employees are entitled to time off work, and non-statutory for which employees are not. For statutory holidays, if the holiday falls on a weekend day then the time off is pushed to a compensation day on Monday.[329]

The majority of public holidays in Estmere are determined by individual states, but there are 9 statutory holidays which are federally recognised and celebrated throughout the Commonwealth annually.[329][330][61] 5 of these are Sotirian religious holidays (Good Friday, Easter Monday, Nativity Eve, Nativity Day and Saint Stephen's Day), while two celebrate the start and end of the year (New Year's Eve and Day) and one is cultural (Labour Day).[61] The last statutory federal holiday is Fighting Day, which commemorates the decision to refuse a separate peace during the Great War, and is considered the national day.[321][61] In addition, the date of any federal election or referendum (always held on a Friday) is considered a statutory public holiday.[331]

Sotirian holidays such as Epiphany and All Saint's Eve which are not recognised federally are nevertheless recognised and celebrated in every state, while other days on the Sotirian liturgical calendar such as All Saints' Day and Whit Sunday are celebrated in the majority of states.[330] The only non-Sotirian religious holiday is Dhena Zebiu Nomo, a Badist celebration recognised only in the state of Kingsport, but in some states people of a non-Sotirian faith are entitled to a compensation day falling on other religious holidays, such as Chanukah, Shangling or Eid al-Fitr.[332][333] Women's Day is celebrated in a number of states.[334] A number of states also have days celebrating their regional identity or important local events, such as St Edward's Day in Swerdia and Emancipation Day in St Roberts and Fleming.[335][336]

Federal holidays[61] Date
New Year's Day 1 January
Good Friday moveable
Easter Monday moveable
Labour Day 1 May
Fighting Day 5 November
Nativity Eve 24 December
Nativity Day 25 December
Saint Stephen's Day 26 December
New Year's Eve 31 December


See also

Notes

  1. 78.3% are White Estmerish, White Swathish or White Flurian.
  2. 4.5% are Other White.
  3. Including respondents who identified as Atudite.
  4. Excluding respondents who identified as Rahelian.
  5. The overseas states use UTC+5 (Kingsport) and UTC+6 (St Roberts and Fleming).
  6. The census allowed respondents to select multiple identities, meaning the percentages are not cumulative.

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