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Kingdom of Gerwain
and largest city
|Official languages||Gerwennic, Penntian|
|Government||Unitary parliamentary constitutional monarchy|
|Kuzul an Arlozed|
|Bodadenn an Pobl|
• 2018 census
|59.13/km2 (153.1/sq mi)|
|GDP (nominal)||2018 estimate|
• Per capita
|Gini (2018)|| 30.3|
|HDI (2018)|| 0.896|
|Currency||Gerwennic Pound (GWP)|
Gerwain, officially the Kingdom of Gerwain (Gerwennic: Rouantelezh Gwelarnh, Penntian: Ruvaneth Gorlewn) is a sovereign country located on the island of Gerwain, within Dysia. Gerwain is separated from the rest of Dysia by the narrow Strait of (tba), which forms the nation's maritime border with neighboring Penntia. Gerwain is the second smallest Dysian state at (tba) km2, and has the smallest population of the four nations at roughly 9.6 million people, the majority of which live in the south and the east. The capital and largest city of Gerwain, Rudruth, sits on the southern coast of the nation, within the Bay of (tba).
The name "Gerwain" has its origins in the early people that first came to the island from Penntia. Because of Gerwain's status as a bilingual state, as well as the differences in the two major dialects of Gerwennic, the country goes by multiple official names. The Penntian name for Gerwain, Gorlewn, stems from the old Penntian word gorlewin, meaning "west." There are multiple theories concerning the reason for this, and the most popular points to an old Penntian phrase that is thought to describe Gerwain. This phrase, Gwlas gorlewin an mor, translates to "The land (or country) west of the sea." The sea in question is believed to refer to the Strait of (tba) between Gerwain and Penntia.
The Gerwennic form of this name is Gwelarnh. While not being derived from gorlewin as it is in Penntian, Gwelarnh also stems from the same phrase. It instead derives from Penntian gwlas, translating to "land" or "country." The exact reason for this is unclear, but the most widely accepted explanation is that, as time went on and the Gerwennic language evolved from Penntian, the phrase Gwlas gorlewin an mor would have fallen out of use, but would still leave an impact on the language. Early Gerwennics, who had little exposure to the rest of Dysia, would likely have referred to Gerwain as "the land" or "the country," or gwlas. As the language evolved, gwlas as a common term was gradually replaced by glad in Gerwennic, and as a term for the nation evolved into Gwelas or Gwelan.
Middle Penntian and modern Penntian began to see use in the east following the conquest of some parts of Eastern Gerwain by Penntian nobles, and this had an effect on the eastern dialect of Gerwennic. The eastern dialect shares many more traits with Penntian than the western dialect, taking on several loan words from the foreign language. As a result, rather than Gwelas or Gwelan, the general term to describe Gerwain in the east was Gorwen, and since then evolved into the term Gerwelh, dropping the n in favor of the h. The modern name of Gwelarnh came about during an effort to create a standard form of Gerwennic in 1923. A compromise was made to include both the western n and the eastern h, a practice that has resulted in the Gerwennic nh and zh that are characteristic of the language.
Evidence uncovered in archaeological surveys has led many experts to believe that hominids have inhabited Gerwain as early as 1.3 million years ago. At this time, Gerwain and the whole of Dysia is theorized to have been attached to the mainland region of Cardia. Fossils have been uncovered of early ancestors to the human race, located all across Gerwain. Yet despite this early intermingling of the two cultural regions, Gerwain would remain rather isolated following the landmasses' separation. Modern humans only reached Gerwain as early as 6000 years ago, after Dysia and Gerwain had separated from the mainland. These early settlers brought with them domesticated cattle and early crops, as well as the culture, architecture and lifestyle of neolithic Dysia, planting the seeds for early Gerwennic culture.
Arrival of the modern Dysians
The modern Dysian culture is an ancient one, and its arrival to Gerwain is hotly debated among contemporary scholars. The migration of the proto-Gerwennics from Penntia is believed to have occurred sometime around the third millennium BCE, though some argue it happened earlier, and some later. These people spoke an ancient predecessor to the Penntian and Gerwennic languages, one that would soon evolve into the two "sister tongues" that are spoken today.
Much of what is known about this early people is influenced by modern interpretations of ancient Gerwennic manuscripts, particularly a collection of poems known as the Levr av Denelezh Kentañ, or the Book of the First Men. This pseudo-historical account of the origins of Gerwain state that the proto-Gerwennics, known as the First Men, first came to Gerwain in an "ancient time" before the dawn of man's kingdoms. This places their arrival at least before the first millennium BCE, as early kingdoms and organized societies developed during that time. Their arrival to the island was through the guidance of Arneva, a goddess in Gerwennic mythology and modern religious beliefs. Arneva is the patron deity of Gerwain, and is described as the "Lady of the Storm." The people who were there before them "spoke in a way that none could understand, their words harsh and guttural." Besides their language, they used primitive tools, "weapons fashioned of bone and rock rather than bronze."
This passage is generally interpreted as the proto-Gerwennics first coming into contact with ancient Dysian peoples that had been isolated when the continents separated. The early settlers likely crossed by boat from Penntia, but their reason for doing so is still unknown. The mention of Arneva's guidance is commonly interpreted to mean that the arrival was by complete accident. The theory postulates that a storm struck a single ship or fleet of early Penntians, blowing them off course to the previously unknown shores of Gerwain. It then follows that they return to Penntia, and their stories of the landmass inspire a wave of settlers to the northeast of the island. Other interpretations ignore Arneva, and state that the proto-Gerwennics discovered the island simply by chance, most likely while trying to reach a separate region of Penntia, or possibly Arlyon.
No real evidence exists to confirm either of the two theories, except for a noticeable shift from prehistoric to early Dysian artifacts and structures uncovered, dating back to this period. Around the supposed arrival of the Dysians in the early 2000s BCE, there was a clear decline in pre-Gerwennic monuments and relics, indicating that the arrival of proto-Gerwennic peoples either wiped out or drove off the pre-Gerwennics who had lived there before them. This decline was gradual, beginning in the northeast and spreading west, in line with the migration of proto-Gerwennic people from Penntia into the new, unexplored land. By the beginning of the second millennium BCE, little to no evidence of pre-Gerwennic culture remained.