Hellona

Kingdom of Hellona

ᛕᛟᚾᛁᛝᛕᚱᛉᛕ ᚻᛖᛚᛚᚨᚾᚦ (Hellonian)
ᛕᛟᚾᚢᛝᚨᚱᛁᛕᛖᛏ ᚻᛖᛚᛚᚨᚾᚦ (Ellandic)
Anthem: Helland, mijn Vaderland
Hellona, my Fatherland
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Royal anthem
[Mars aller Winden]
"March of all Winds" (English)
Map of Mainland Hellona - in the Vismar Commonwealth and the Hellonian Realm (green)
Map of Mainland Hellona
- in the Vismar Commonwealth and the Hellonian Realm (green)
Capital
and largest city
Owidal
Official languages
Recognised regional languages
Ethnic groups
(1912)
  • 74% Hellonic
  • 16% Ellandic
  • 2% South German
  • 8% other
Demonym(s)Hellonian
GovernmentUnitary parliamentary constitutional monarchy
• King
Kristoffer of Hellona
• Great-Minister
Hilda Storfjällen
• General-Minister
Elisa Vennborg
LegislatureRyksdag
Establishment
• Formation of Andus
Ca. 300
• Formation of Hellona
1012
• Charter for the Realm
1877
• Unification with the USGS
1886-1912
• Dissolution of the Vismar Union
1912-now
Area
• Total
783.562 km2 (302.535 sq mi)
• Water (%)
1,1
Population
• 1912 estimate
56.160.900
• 1912 census
56.154.895
• Density
71/km2 (183.9/sq mi)
GDP (PPP)1912 estimate
• Total
$3.024 trillion
• Per capita
$53,864
GDP (nominal)1912 estimate
• Total
$2.837 trillion
• Per capita
$50,524
Gini25.2
low
HDI0.93
very high
CurrencyHellonian crown (HLK)
Date formatdd/mm/yyyy (CE)
Driving sideright
ISO 3166 codeHL
Internet TLD.hl [b]
  1. ^ A Ellandic version, "ᛖᚾᛁᚷᚺᛖᛏ ᚷᛖᚱ ᛋᛏᛉᚱKᚨ (styrka genom enighet)" is used sparsely, mostly on Ellandic government documents.
  2. ^ The .tr domain is also used, as it is shared with other Trident member states.

Hellona, officially the Kingdom of Hellona (Hellonian: KᛟᚾᛁᛝKᚱᛉK ᚻᛖᛚᛚᚨᚾᚦ Koniŋkryk Helland [ˈKoːnɪŋkrɛi̯kˈɦɛlɑnt], Ellandic: KᛟᚾᚢᛝᚨᚱᛁKᛖᛏ ᚻᛖᛚᛚᚨᚾᚦ Konuŋariket Helland [ˈkoːˌnɵŋariːkɛt ˈɦɛlɑnd] ), is a constitutional monarchy on the continent of Veterra, It is the main constituent country in the Hellonian Realm, and is a member of the Vismar Commonwealth. It is bordered by Arialucia in the north, the Latvian Spartopian Veterran Property on the east and the United South German States to the south. It has a coastline on the Vismar Sea on the western side. Hellona currently has an estimated population of 57 million.

The majority of Hellonians are Hellonic (sometimes called Andusians to differenciate them from Hellonian citizens), and the second largest group being the Ellandic, having their own language, Ellandic. Although both groups are constitutionally equal throughout the country, their actual distribution makes it so that Hellonian is standardly used in the western side of the country, while Ellandic is almost solely used in the province of Elland. Nevertheless, Ellandic is an official language throughout the country and is required to be used in all places of government.

Through its long and tumultuous history, Hellona has gone through several forms of government. The basis of the current system was established in the 15th century with the creation of the unitary state. Further democratisation and social changes through several social-democratic governments in the 18th and 19th centuries led to the current situation in Hellona. It is now known for being socially and culturally liberal and ranks high in numerous metrics of national performance, such as quality of life, education, civil liberties and equality.

Hellona has remained neutral through most of its modern history, and continued its neutrality throughout the Trident War. Afterwards, Hellona entered the Empire of the Trident in 1867. It remains one of the central members of the Trident through its promotion of civil liberties and culture through the Vismar Commonwealth.


Etymology

Hellona is the anglicised version of the native name, ᚻᛖᛚᛚᚨᚾᚦ/Helland. The name Helland itself comes from Helliŋ meaning "slope" and land. The name refers to the rocky mountain ranges and coasts and the changes in landscapes, from low lands to the tall mountains.

Most languages have versions of Helland, or terms derived from Hellona. Examples are the Latvian "Helandija" or the Kirkonian "Elandija". Vismaric languages almost all use the same name or variations of Helland; such as the Menakan "Helän".

Before that, the Hellonic tribes and peoples were long known as North Germanics, which is why there are the South German States, but no North German States.

History

Prehistory

Bronze age ship monument, Noord-Alland

The territory of modern-day Hellona was first able to be settled around 16.000 BC. During this time, Ullar was still experiencing the effects of the last ice age. This meant most of what is now the Vismar Sea was still dry and used for crossing to contemporary Nambalonia. The first traces of human activity are found in the modern-day province of Elland. Around 11.000 BC what can truly be called the first stone age civilisations sprung up in the eastern highlands. Around 10.000 BC the ice age had truly ended, beginning the retreat of the ice once covering a quarter of Earth’s surface and rapidly increasing temperatures. Nomadic mesolithic hunter-gatherer tribes dominated the eastern highlands of Hellona, with a large focus on local reindeer and deer migration. Further immigration of humans further westwards and the warming climate led to the new Allegaard culture, which hunted other substantial game and for whom foraged products became a larger part of their diet. Humans settled most of modern-day Hellona around 7.000 BC. By this time, most of the Vismar Sea had filled up with water, leading to more coastal orientated tribal life in the west. Tribes focused on fishing in rivers and the coast, following salmon and trout. The more constant stream of nutrition coming from bountiful rivers and more extensive foraging of local forests led to an increasing population in these western areas. This ensured the appearance of the first semi-permanent tribes, leading to the introduction of pottery. The first neolithic tribes in modern-day Hellona appeared with the introduction of agriculture through contact with southern tribes. The Hellonic farm culture slowly replaced most hunter-gatherer cultures. Around 1700 BC, all of Hellona adopted a permanent agricultural system. In the eastern sides of the country, the first appearance of kettle-herding occurred, mostly in reindeer.

Humans in Hellona first started using weapons and tools made from copper around 5000 BC, until around 3500 BC when it was discovered that adding tin to copper led to the creation of bronze. This started the Bronze Age in Hellona. The Hellonian Bronze Age was entirely pre-urban, with settlements of consisting of a farmstead with around three longhouses. Burial sites show people being buried with weapons and other gifts such as jewellery. The first evidence of iron wrought being widespread can be found around 500 BC. Around this time, more evidence of advanced civilisation in Hellona can be found. Although often still not urbanised, farmsteads grew to become villages. Burial was replaced with ritual cremation and advanced iron- and goldsmith work including filigree collars and bracteate pendants. The runic system for writing was slowly adopted throughout the region, originally being created from the Valeran Alphabet.

During this time, Hellona began to be divided into several small kingdoms and chiefdoms called petty kingdoms. The rulers of these are only known through runestones. The most coastal areas of Hellona began a wide and expansive trading network. Later this active trading let to plundering on the northern coasts of Veterra. The extension of these activities southwards was thwarted by the neighbouring and related South Germanic kingdoms. Around 200, the area surrounding modern-day Owidal was under the control of a small petty kingdom. Around 300, this kingdom grew to encompass most of the Owidal archipelago and led to the establishment of the Kingdom of Andus. The first traces of complex religious Asatru traditions are also found around this time.

Early history (4th to 11th century)

Around the early years of the 5th century, more primary sources on Hellonian history are available. These confirm the expansion of the Kingdom of Andus around the middle of the 5th century. Andus during this time controlled an area roughly equivalent to the modern-day province, slightly extended further southwards. From 451 to 455, Andus was engaged in its first major war with another petty kingdom, Melre. The annexation of Melre after this war meant Andus now extended the entire coast of Hellona. This set up the beginning of the unification of Hellona. Currently called the Wars of Unification, they led to the creation of a unified Hellonian state after 600 years of wars between Andus and other petty kingdoms and chiefdoms. After conquering most of the Hellonian plains and highland and creating the alliance with the chiefs of Halleren, most of modern-day Hellona was controlled by Andus. Elland, the only remaining kingdom in the region, willfully gave up their independence through the marriage of Ellandic princess Viktoria to Björn Wodanerson. This action would lead to the creation of the Kingdom of Hellona in 1012 and established the later legendary Hero-King Björn Wodanerson as its king. He set up the very basics of a state administration with stewards in the most important former kings and chieftains. This meant all former kingdoms had a large degree of independence and control over their lands.

Further expansion attempts by the kingdom were futile. Most expeditions to the east failed after entire armies fell to the extreme conditions of the Centraberg mountains. A failed expedition to the south, inhabited by South Germanic peoples, was a reason for Björn to sign the Treaty of Eikenhert, which would assign him the role of protector of these lands and a share of wealth against assuring the independence of these tribes.

Viking Period

Visken, a replica of an old fishing outpost outside Heldemere

Starting around the 7th century, Hellonians would engage in trade, colonisation and raids, leading to their expansion. This was possible because of the development of the longship, suitable for travel across the sea, and advanced navigation techniques.

These raids were still common even though many attempts were made by the kings of Hellona to stop them. Hellonian vikings usually raided the coastal town of nearby Arialucia and San Cortez. Although there was an abundance of fertile farmland, the ever expanding population of Andus, which was urbanising slowly, led to Hellonian colonisation attempts. The first expeditions to far-off coasts were initiated by king Björn Wodanerson, leading to the establishment of Hellonian settlements on Eburon, Norsund and the Menako Islands. Eburons indigenous authorities were successfully suppressed by Hellona, leading to their control under Hellona. The coasts of Norsund were settled by Hellonians throughout the centuries, while Hellona cooperated with local kingdoms on the Menako Islands. These led to the Agreement of Svártaskar, in which South Germanics chiefs and kings and the Kingdom of Hellona agreed to the partition of trade routes. Hellona would keep access to the northern and western trade routes, while South Germanic monarchs would have exclusive access to the eastern and southern trade routes. As the final compromise, the Menako Islands were partitioned into zones, in which one or the other could make deals with the native monarchs.

This would also mean the expansion of the Hellonic and Ellandic cultures. Hellonian would intermingle with local languages of Eburon to form Eburonese, while Ellandic became a dominant language in Norsund. Under the influence of both German, Hellonian and Ellandic, Menakupan came to resemble both languages more.

By 1100, raids were an uncommon event in Hellona, due to the effective control of trade routes at sea by the Hellonian kings. The establishment of colonial settlements and later centralised governance of them led to the disappearance of Viking activity in the centuries after.

Golden Age (13th to 14th century)

Owidal's Great Square

Around 1100, the Hellonian provinces began to exert control over their territory. This meant a more centralised government in each of the individual provinces. On a national level, they were truly only united by virtue of having the same monarch and having a united foreign policy. Hellona as a whole began to thrive during the 12th century, with colonial expansion continuing to grow and trade increased between nations. Around the beginning of the 13th century, expansion stagnated and other imperialistic nations began to compete for dominance. This meant Hellona would step back as the great power and began developing itself on the basis of trade. In the middle of the 13th century, Hellona became the richest country and the main trading power in the western hemisphere. As trade thrived, cultural developments increasingly happened and the first standard form of Hellonian was created. This all signalled the start of the Hellonian Golden Age.

The western provinces, mostly Andus, Melre and the Allanden, reaped the benefits of the Hellonian trading power and began to culturally develop. After the first standard version of Hellonian was created by combining western regional dialects of the Hellonian languages, schools began to teach in standard Hellonian only and all books were required to be written in this standard form. This made the language become very similar in all regions in western Hellona, and the language stayed rather conservative because of the standardization. The standard Hellonian created was updated every year, however. Further developments are the appearance of many famous (western) Hellonian painters, sculptors and poets. The most famous being the painter, Willem Huyssen Pieterzoon. The developments lead to the creation of the Hellonian identity, which were rules and traditions seen as typically Hellonian, and these things must be preserved. This conservative thought was endorsed by the government and is the reason why Asatru is still largely practised and engraved in Hellonian culture.

The eastern provinces, Moesland, Halleren and Elland, kept developing on their own and were never affected by the standardization of the Hellonian language nor Hellonian culture. Halleren and Moesland still have thousands of dialects, compared to the very few in the western provinces. They grew closer to Elland, which also began standardizing its language and culture. This is still a split seen today and only began to heal in the 16th century. Unlike their western brethren, the east stayed agricultural and never enjoyed much of the riches of the west.

Eastern Revolt (1389-1399)

Painting from the revolt

Facing financial troubles, the local landowners of the eastern provinces summoned the States-Diet in July 1389 to propose solutions to his government. The western provincial leaders, however, weren't keen on giving up money to the poor east, and would rather invest in the west for greater rewards. The neglections of the east-provincial problems lead to the Oosterse Revolte or Eastern Revolt. The rebels stormed important vacation or government buildings made by the rich west in the east, and demanded economic help to the east. Some became more radical and started fighting for independence.

Enjuel den Leidtenaar

The States-Diet, which eastern provincial leaders boycotted, created a 50-year plan to help the eastern economy back up. They would use the eastern provinces for things like ship-building and providing materials for housing. The plan would ensure economic welfare for the west and a growing eastern economy. The plan was put in motion, but many people found it too simple or flawed, after years of neglect, people wanted a change immediately. Revolts sprang up throughout the east, and the Royal Forces were used to calm these uprisings, often using aggression themselves. The revolt raged on for another year, ranging from mild confrontations to whole cities being taken by revolutionary thought, after which the revolts finally calmed. The States-Diet, with the royal proclamation, made the Act of Welfare (Plakkaat der Welvaert). The original 50-year plan was transformed to be quicker, easier and more beneficial to the east. Rich western landowners were obliged to invest in eastern companies and give substitutes to the government for economic development. This act was largely effective for the eastern economy but never quelled the cultural gap.

In 1401, the federal States-Diet was disbanded, and the new unitary Ryksdag was established. Provinces lost most of their powers, only being able to control transport, municipalities and water boards. A constitution was drafted by the first Great-Minister, Enjuel den Leidtenaar, which was accepted by parliament and the senate. He pushed for several other reforms in social welfare and made changes in the Hellonian state divisions and tasks.

A short-lived revolt, started by the aristocratic provincial leaders, bloomed up in several provinces. The rebellions were crushed by the newly created Realm Army, and proved for the populace that the unitary state would be stronger than the federalist government.

Rejkish war (1420)

The Rejkish city states was long under mild control of the Hellonian kingdom, though it was never integrated as a Kingly Land. The states were influenced by revolutionary thought in the Hellonian east, and small revolts sprang up in the Rejkish cities. In 1389 an early socialist government was established after the city-states went into anarchy and civil war.

After years of economic and national stability, the growth of the Commune stagnated and fell in disorder around 1420. The Commune government failed to act, and no cabinet was able to be formed. Rejken fell into anarchy again. Because of that the Hellonian kingdom, who undertook some social changes started by Rejken, nonetheless felt that the anarchy in Rejken poised a threat to Hellonian stability. It invaded Rejken and what was left of the Communal government capitulated. Hellona established a monarch, and the Principality of Rejken was established. The monarchy was related to the Hellonian family, and when the Rejken-line died out, a branch even closer to the Hellonian royal family was established. This made Rejken be de facto in a union with Hellona, with Hellona being able to pressure Rejken to its bidding.

15th to 16th century

Germano-Hellonian wars (1440-1444)

During the trading empire created by both the South Germans and Hellonians, a large area of the southern Vismar-region was settled by Hellonians, who wanted to create a trading colony. This area grew and eventually became to be known as Sconia. The South Germans found the area to be interfering with their trade control in the South Danonian Sea and wanted to take control over the area. The first attack on Sconian cities was on August 1440, when they attacked the city of Duiterstad. The news quickly spread, but only through Sconia itself, and when the Hellonian mainland heard of it, the invasion was already going on for a few weeks. Hellona quickly responded with letters to the South German government, demanding the troops leave the area. The South Germans responded strongly against any peaceful negotiations and continued the invasion. Hellona finally declared war on the South German state on the 6th of September, 1440. Hellonian troops were sent to the South German border, where fighting was mostly in favour of the Hellonians, who knew the Moesland swampy terrain, while South Germans had a hard time coming through the swamplands. Fighting in Sconia continued, however, since Sconia wasn't a centralized state yet, and only was an area controlled under smaller Hellonian city-states, a great army couldn't be achieved. Most of the victories in Sconia were because of terrain-advantages. Hellona managed to beat the South Germans at the border around December 1440, because of terrain-advantages and a harsher winter than expected. Fighting in Sconia continued, but the fighting at the Hellonian border settled the war. A peace treaty was signed between Hellona and the South Germans in 1441, which also established Sconia as a centralized colony.

The naval war on the Vismar Sea during the third Germano-Hellonian war

The South Germans were still keen on the land, however. The South Germans invaded Sconia again in 1442, where South Germans lost because of bad weather conditions and terrain issues. The rainy weather was terrible for the German offensive, and the terrain was turned into a wet muddy landscape. Because of this, the Sconian division of the Hellonian army hardly fought. The South Germans had a hard time going through the muddy terrain, but they and the Sconian division finally met with the battle of Kurendorp, where the South Germans lost because most of their rations and equipment was lost while venturing through the countryside. After the decisive victory over the South Germans, the Hellonian government demanded peace, which the high-chancellor accepted at the time, as crops were failing because of the harsh weather and the army lost almost 10 percent of its equipment.

The South Germans tried to conquer Sconia one last time in 1443. They tried a two-front war again, one into the Hellonian mainland and one into Sconia. The South German navy engaged the Hellonian navy several times in the Vismar sea and land troops invaded Sconia. The first weeks made it look like the South Germans would win, but the Hellonians won with the combined Colonial Armies, Hellonian casualties were great, however, and the Colonial Armies suffered the most casualties. With the treaty of Owidal, the South Germans and Hellonians settled their last disputes, both accepted Sconia under Hellona and the last Germano-Hellonian war was settled.

Hellonian peace (1750-1886)

King Christian II initiated the Hellonian Peace

Starting from 1750, Hellona had an official policy of neutrality. It has since then not been involved in any major wars, including the Great War of 1854 to 1857. During this time of peace, Hellona rapidly industrialised. The increasing demand for raw materials led to an increased focus on trade and the strengthening of colonial strongholds. In order to further increase their control on the colonies, Afrik, a part of the Menako Islands was taken in as a special dominion in 1786, while Norsund was declared an integral territory of Hellona in 1816. The devastating Great War forced the island nation of Lilotuka to seek refuge under Hellona, which integrated it in 1858 as a special dominion.

Centralising efforts during this era were halted by Eburon, where there was an increasing demand for independence. In order to appease rebels, they decided to not integrate the region into Hellona. A referendum was held on Eburonian independence in 1866, in which Eburonians massively voted for independence.

During this time, the Ryksdag was enlarged to accommodate the new territories taken up in the kingdom. Seats, however, were not given to each country specifically. This meant the composition of the Ryksdag was still based on the percentage of votes gotten in the entire kingdom.

Voting rights were extended to women in 1788, in reaction to a rising movement for women's rights.

The Great Trident War, which was fought between 1854 and 1857, was the largest conflict known in the history of Ullar. While most nations participated in this conflict, Hellona managed to retain its neutrality despite its strong ties to both the United South German States and Nambalonia, which were on opposing sides. Its neutrality became a source of conflict between the Vismaric countries, but the Hellonian Peace was deemed as integral to the survival of Hellona. After the Great Trident War ended in 1857, Valerana established the Trident Union which set out to create a peaceful Ullar. Hellona joined the new organisation in the same year. In June 1862, the Empire of the Trident was established after Cody of Valerana was crowned emperor. From then on, Hellona became a principal member of the Trident. While tensions remained between the Vismaric countries after the war, relations remained amicable.

In 1858, Lilotuka Islands sought refuge under the Hellonian crown. It was incorporated into Hellona as a special dominion a year later and remains a part of the Hellonian Realm as a constituent country to this day.

Around 1870, there were increasing demands for self-rule in the overseas territories. The highly centralised form of government could not maintain itself much longer, with the volume and amounts of tasks of the Ryksdag ever increasing. It was eventually decided territories would be decentralised and given home rule. Norsund was granted home rule in 1869, Batavia was granted home rule in 1874. The Menako Islands were granted home rule after the establishment of the Germano-Hellonian Union in 1886. In 1877, the Charter for the Realm established the Hellonian Realm and the Aldag. The act reorganised the Hellonian territories into constituent countries of equal importance. It abolished all bicameral legislatures and established unicameral legislatures in each country, with the Aldag functioning as the second chamber to all national legislatures.

Modern Era (1886-now)

Vismar Union (1886-1912)

Photo from the signing of the Acts of Union

In 1885, Chancellor Alina Bergfalk of the United South German States proposed a Germano-Hellonian political union. The Hellonian government voted in favour of the offer and both countries started the process of merging their institutions. On May 1886, the United Kingdom of Germano-Hellona was formed as the result of the Act of Union. The countries were united on an equal basis, with both countries keeping most of their own independent institutions. Foreign service and policy and the military of both nations were merged, however. A union parliament was later founded in modern-day Vismaria. The unification also brought with it changes in the administrative regions of Hellona. The Hellonian and German sides of the Menako Islands were united and were brought in the union as a constituent country of the United Kingdom.

In 1887, Nambalonia requested to join the United Kingdom. On the 12th of October, 1888, the parliaments of Nambalonia, Hellona and the South German States voted in favour of the new Acts of Union. The ratification of the Acts led to the creation of the Vismar Union.

In 1902, Prince Avgust, the brother of reigning Queen Amalia, was shot by Norsundish separatists, wounding him heavily and eventually resulting in his death. The short revolt was put down by the Norsundish Special Guard, with five people being convicted of an assassination attempt. The event deepened divides relatively young Hellonian Realm. In order to try to appease Norsunders, the government of Hellona proposed a referendum on independence to be held. The Norsundish parliament, however, voted against it, quoting the economic dependency of Norsund on Hellona. Relations between both nations in the Realm were rather tense for the few years after the event. It is still widely regarded as one of the darkest moments in recent Hellonian history.

Dissolution of the Vismar Union (1912-1942)

After internal disputes between the constituent countries over the political equality between states, the functioning of the Union and foreign policy, the nations decided to disband the Union. In 1912 all countries ratified the Dissolution Act, dissolving the Vismar Union. Hellonian polls from that same year nevertheless showed that most Hellonians were open to the idea of Vismar reunification, with 75% of respondents being in favour of a new Vismar Union and 85% calling the dissolution a mistake.

The dissolution of the Union had great consequences on Hellona, especially on foreign policy. During the years Hellona was in the Union, the South German States took the lead in foreign diplomacy. The entire Hellonian Realm as such had to reestablish most of their relations with other countries after years of German policies. A cordial friendship formed between Libertas Regionem and Hellona during these years. Secret Hellonian funding to separatist rebels in the Vismaria province led to the total abandonment of such friendships. The relation between both nations only worsened when Libertas Regionem underwent a military coup. All treaties and agreements between them, besides those concerning trade, were terminated. After the transition to the democracy and the election of President Bruce Wayne, relations between Hellona and Libertas Regionem bloomed once more. Queen Estelle and Wayne were frequent visitors of each other.

Although the Union was dissolved, Hellona maintained cordial and close relations with Nambalonia and the South German States. In order to continue economic and cultural cooperation, Hellona proposed the creation of the Vismar Council. This geopolitical interparliamentary forum for cooperation between the three Vismar Countries was established in 1932. While the countries continuously strived for continued mutual progress, the new Council would not involve extensive political integration as in the Union.

Second Vismar Union (1942-1953)

Government leaders from Hellona, Nambalonia and the USGS meeting on the establishment of the Vismar Commonwealth

Queen Estelle and later her adopted son, Kristoffer, would promote further collaboration between the Vismar countries. The lobbying of them and the Hellonian state in the two other countries eventually led to the approval of a second Vismar Union. Although resulting in the reestablishment of the Vismar Union, all countries agreed that the Union would take a new political form. It was decided the Union would be one of confederal nature, with each country being highly autonomous. Nonetheless, the Vismar crown, a pan-national currency, was adopted by all three nations.

Eventually, Nambalonians expressed discontent about how the Union was working out. The overall interest for the Union decreased exponentially in Nambalonia. In contrast, the cooperation between Hellonian and South German institutions strengthened, eventually leading to the countries becoming governmentally intertwined. With the approval of a new member state, Dutch Polynesia, Nambalonia requested their withdrawal. Hellonian, South German and Dutch Polynese desperately tried to keep the Union intact. In order to try to appease Nambalonian wishes, the Vismar Union was once again dissolved and a new organisation for Vismaric cooperation was established, the Vismar Commonwealth. In this new organisation, all countries would be sovereign members and economically and politically separate. The Vismar crown was slowly replaced by national currencies once again. Hellona and the South German States enjoyed great cooperation still, while relations between Dutch Polynesia and Hellona blossomed with the signing of several trade deals.

Post-Union Hellona (1953-Present / 1959)

Hellona officially annexed the Principality of Rejken in 1953. Prince Nikolas, the last Prince of Rejken, died without an heir. Due to the Hellonian heritage, the line of succession dictated that King Kristoffer of Hellona would be the next heir to the crown of Rejken. Both national legislatures decided on holding a referendum on whether Rejken would be annexed or become an independent republic. The results showed a majority in favour of Hellonian annexation, leading to the integration of Rejken as the 10th province of Hellona.

Geography

Map of Hellona with elevation

Hellona is situated in South-Western Veterra. It lies at the Vismar Sea, providing for a rugged but large coastline. Hellona is enclosed by the Grens mountain chain in the north and east, a result of the tectonic movement of the Vismaric peninsula towards the Veterran plate. This long mountain range seperates Hellona from both its northern and eatern neighbours, Arialucia to the north and the Latvian Spartopian Veterran Property on the east. It borders the South German States to the south.

At 783.562 km², it is one of the smaller countries on Veterra. The lowest elevation is in Zuiderkadepolder in Seierland, at -4m below sea level. The highest point is Hyvlafjällen at 2.549 m above sealevel.

Hellona is often divided in three areas, the coastal provinces, the central provinces and the eastern provinces. The western coastal regions have a rugged coastline with the Vismar Sea. In the northwest of Hellona lie the Aldland Highlands, a tract of hilly and mountainous terrain. A relatively lowlying area at the edge of these Highlands form the Andus archipelago, forming the heartland of Hellona with the capital of Owidal being built on the largest island. Further southward are the Southern Hellonian Lowlands, making up most of Melre's land area. At the southern most tip of Hellona lies Seierland, artificially created land through the use of polders. It is the lowest laying area in Hellona. The central provinces have rocky and hilly highlands in the north, laying at the base of the Grens mountains, and low plains in the south. These fertile plains in the province of Platland make up 20% of Hellona's cultivated lands and is the country's main agricultural region. The natural vegetation is made up of broadleaf forest although conifer plantations are common

In the southeast lies the Moesland Plateau. These fertile lands are covered by broad-leaved tree forests where maples, oaks, ashes, small-leaved lime and common hazel grow. The northern side of the Plateau has land of lower quality, with the main trees growing here being pines and spruces. From there starts the mountainous and hilly terrain of the Grens Highlands, eventually ending with the Grens mountain range. From the south the transition this highland is not only seen in the relief but also in the wide and contiguous boreal forests that extend north of it with till and peat being the overwhelmingly most common soil types. At the northern border lies the highest point of elevation, the mountain Hyvlafjällen.

Climate

The predominant wind direction in Hellona is northwest, which causes a moderate maritime climate, with cool summers and mild winters, and typically high humidity. This is especially true close to the Hellonian coastline, where the difference in temperature between summer and winter is noticeably smaller than it is in the northeast of the country. The further inland areas of Hellona have a humid continental climate. Due to being surrounded by the Vismar Sea, Hellona is noticeably more humid and warmer that most areas surrounding it.

The average temperature in July is around 17°C to 21°C, while January-average temperatures range around 0°C in the western regions to -14°C in the east. Freezing days occur mostly around December to February in the west, while the timeframe can last around two months longer in the east. Permafrost in seen in the most northern areas of Hellona.

Red Deer in the Veldemars nature reserve

Warm days (maximum temperature above 20 °C) are usually found in May to October, but in some parts of the country these warm days can also occur in March.

Precipitation throughout the year is distributed relatively equally each month. Summer and autumn months tend to gather a little more precipitation than the other months, mainly because of the intensity of the rainfall rather than the frequency of rain days.

Nature

Due to the diversity in vegetation, animals and geography, the Hellonian Government has set up 12 national parks and hundreds of nature reserves. These include lake areas, mountain ranges, highlands, heathland and other habitats. These reserves and parks are publicly owned through Ryksnatuurbeheer, the national department for forestry and nature conservation.

The Veldemars is one of the biggest national parks in Hellona, and holds many of the Hellonian species of animals, which also includes the Hellonian national animal, the Red Deer.

Politics

Constitutional framework

Het Rykshof is the parliament house of Hellona.

Hellona has been a constitutional monarchy since 1280 and a full fledged parliamentary democracy since 1728. As such it is one of the longest continuous democracies in the Trident.

Hellona is one of the constituent countries of the Hellonian Realm, of which it is the most populous nation. As such, its national assembly, the Ryksdag, is a member of the Aldag. It delegates its control over military and the monetary policy to this Realm-wide parliament. The Hellonian political sphere is based on three fundamental laws (Hellonian: Grondlegen, Ellandic: Grundlager), which together form the constitution of Hellona; the Instrument of Government, the Fundamental law on Rights, Freedoms and Citizens and the Charter for the Realm. These can only be changed by a two times two-thirds majority in the Ryksdag, separated by a general election, or in case of the Charter for the Realm, an absolute majority in the Aldag.

Hellona is a constitutional monarchy and King-Exalt Kristoffer is the current head of state, but the role of monarch is limited to ceremonial and representative functions. By extension, the King-Exalt of Hellona also acts as the monarch of the entire Hellonian Realm. Under the Instrument of Government, the monarch lacks any formal form of political power. The monarch traditionally opens each parliamentary year, holds regular information councils with the Great Minister and formally chairs the government of the Realm, although this role is often delegated to others. In addition, the monarch pays State Visits abroad and receive those incoming as hosts. The monarch and the Royal Family undertake a variety of other unofficial representative duties in Hellona, the Realm and abroad. The monarch also acts as head of the Asatru faith, hence the title of King-Exalt. Officially both titles are seen as separate and only held by the same person. Within the constitutional framework of Hellona, the monarch must always be of Asatru faith. The State itself is of secular nature constitutionally, although the country is overwhelmingly of Asatru faith.

Government

Legislative power is vested in the unicameral Ryksdag and its 451 members. General elections are held every four years. Legislation may be initiated by either the Government or members of the Ryksdag. Members are elected on the basis of party-list proportional representation with a chance for a preferential vote for a certain member to a four-year term. The workings of both the Government and the Ryksdag are regulated in the Instrument of Government

The Government consists of the Great-Minister, selected after a vote in the Ryksdag, and other ministers selected by the Great-Minister. In this government lies the supreme executive power, and responsible for the actions of the Ryksdag and following legislature.

Hellona enjoys a healthy multi-party democracy. Its political landscape has however been dominated by the Social Democrats. Post-Great War Hellonian politics has largely been formed on a social democratic platform. The largest opposition party are the Liberals. All Governments after the Great War have included either the Liberals or the Social Democrats. Hellona, however, also has a wide variety of smaller political parties, which ensures Governments can only be formed by alliances of multiple parties. Other active political parties in the Ryksdag include: the People's Party, GREEN, Centre, Our Republic, ONE, the Conservation Party, the Hellonian Party and the Asatru Party.

Administrative divisions

Hellona is divided into eleven provinces, called Gewesten in Hellonian and Landskap in Ellandic, each under a Commissioner of the King (Hellonian: Adeliŋ des Koniŋs, Ellandicn: Konuŋens Adliŋ). All provinces are divided into municipalities (gemeenten, kommuner), of which there are 490.

The provinces reflect the political nature of Hellona before unification, this also means they reflect larger cultural spheres as well as political institutions. During the Golden Age, the provinces largely acted independently of one another, and only had a unified policy in foreign affairs. After the Eastern Revolt, Hellona was reorganised into a unitary state in order to deal with widespread poverty in the eastern provinces. This meant a large decrease in authority for the provinces. Nowadays, they only have powers over their public transport (except for the railways), their municipalities and water boards. They are also obligated to conserve local provincial traditions in culture through the extensive Cultural Conversation Programme.

Flag Province Capital Largest city
Andus-peak.png Andus Owidal Owidal
Rejken-flag.png Rejken Rejk Rejk
Melre9.png South Alland Saksenberg Pieterdam
Noord-Alland8.png North Alland Ellemensen Ellemensen
Melre8.png Melre Melderdam Melderdam
Sveden3.png Guldeland Gelkemeer Prinsendorp
Moesland8.png Moesland Valv Gerden Valv Gerden
Halleren8.png Halleren Brunhildestad Brunhildestad
Moesland2.png Platland Demperdam Pisten
Ellash2.png Elland Rökavik Rökavik
Seierland2.png Seierland Serenstad Serenstad

Judicial system

Courts in Hellona are divided in two seperate and parallel systems, a general court for civil and criminal cases and an administrative court for disputes between citizens and the authorities. There are four layers to each system: local courts, provincial courts, the Supreme Court and the Realm Court.

The Supreme Court of Hellona is the final layer to laws appertaining to mainland Hellona. It only takes cases which may set precedents and as such does not convene often. The Supreme Court consists of 24 Justices, appointed by the Government, but the court as an institution is independent of the Ryksdag, and the Government is not able to interfere with the decisions of the court.

The Realm Court is the highest court in the Hellonian Realm and handles court cases based on constitutional issues in each constituent country and the Charter for the Realm and mediates conflicts between constituent countries, when the case is of interest as a precedent. The Realm Court consists of 18 justices, two from each constituent country appointed by the Government of each and the Government is not able to interfere with the decisions of the court.

Foreign Relations

Queen Amalia on a state visit to the South German States

Throughout the 19th and 20th century, Hellonian foreign policy was based on the principle of non-alignment in peacetime and neutrality in wartime. Hellona's government pursued an independent course of nonalignment in times of peace so that neutrality would be possible in the event of war. It however has always tried to maintain good relation with other nations in the Vismar region.

The doctrine of neutrality is can be traced back to the 18th century, as the country has not been in a state of war since the middle of the 18th century. During the Great Trident War, Hellona joined neither the Allies nor the Coalition. This approach ended up negatively impacting Hellona's trading industry, due to both sides not wanting to trade with a non-participating country. The peaceful approach, however, was found pleasurable by one nation, Lilotuka Island, which asked to join the Hellonian Realm after being heavily damaged after the war.

During the aftermath of the Great War, the Empire of the Trident was created, which Hellona joined in 1857.

Since 1912 Hellona has been one of the most influential member-states in the Vismar region. It established the Vismar Commonwealth, which is a geo-political inter-parliamentary forum for co-operation between the Vismar countries. The council was created after the dissolution of the Vismar Union, which was a union between the United South German States and Hellona. In order to continue cooperating in the region, the Hellonian government proposed a new geopolitical organisation. This would later become the Vismar Commonwealth, of which Hellona, the USGS and Nambalonia were the first members. Dutch Polynesia later joined this organisation.

Most prominent trading partners are the United South German States, Nambalonia and Dutch Polynesia. The latter had a trading alliance with Hellona, the Hellonian-Dutch trade alliance, although this trade alliance was merged into the new trade deals of the Commonwealth.

Military

An F-16AM on approach
The Infantry fighting vehicle CV90, which is produced and used by Hellona

The Hellonian Realm Armed Forces is a government agency reporting to the Ministry of Defence and the Aldag of the Hellonian Realm. While the main focus of the Armed Forces nowadays is peaceful interventions overseas, it remains dedicated to uphold the ability to refocus on the defence of the entire Hellonian Realm in times of war. Due to its long-term neutrality and the waning risk of war in the region, conscription has been abandoned and the military is now purely professional. The Armed Forces are divided into several divisions.

First off, the entirety of the Armed Forces is split into several divisions. The four continental divisions of the Realm Armed Forces (Krygsmachten des Ryks) are based on geographic location within the Realm. When all individual divisions are combined, they form the entirety of the Hellonian Realm Armed Forces. The total capability of the Armed Forces, however, has rarely been used. It was in high alert during the Great War, during which conscription was enforced to prepare for potential invasion.

The four Continental Divisions are:

  • ᚻᛖᛚᛚᚨᚾᚦᛖᚱ Kᚱᛉᚷᛋᛗᚨᚷᛏ Hellander Krygsmagt (HKM), Hellonian Armed Forces - Hellona
  • ᚾᛟᛟᚱᚦᛖᛚᛉKᛖ Kᚱᛉᚷᛋᛗᚨᚷᛏᛖᚾ Noordelyke Krygsmagten (NKM), Northern Armed Forces - Norsund, the Menako Islands
  • ᚦᚱᛁᛖᛋᛈᛁᛏᛋᛖᚱ Kᚱᛉᚷᛋᛗᚨᚷᛏ Driespitser Krygsmagt (DKM), Tirpitzer Armed Forces - Tirpitz, the Ebure Isles
  • ᛚᛁᛚᛟᛏᚢKᛁᛋᚷᛖ Kᚱᛉᚷᛋᛗᚨᚷᛏᛖᚾ Lilotukisge Krygsmagt(LKM), Lilotukan Armed Forces - Lilotuka Island

Each of the divisions is composed of three to four branches, all of which carry the prefix Koniŋklyke (Royal):

  • KᛟᚾᛁᛝKᛚᛉKᛖ ᛚᚨᚾᚦᛗᚨᚷᛏ Koniŋklyke Landmagt (KL), the Royal Hellonian Army
  • KᛟᚾᛁᛝKᛚᛉKᛖ Zᛖᛖᛗᚨᚷᛏ Koniŋklyke Zeemagt (KZ), the Royal Hellonian Navy, including the Naval Air Service and Marine Corps
  • KᛟᚾᛁᛝKᛚᛉKᛖ ᛚᚢᚷᛏᛗᚨᚷᛏ Koniŋklyke Lugtmagt (KLu), the Royal Hellonian Air Force
  • KᛟᚾᛁᛝKᛚᛉKᛖ ᚻᛖᛚᛚᚨᚾᚦᛖᚱ VᚱᛉKᚱᛉᚷᛖᚱ ᛟᚱᚦᛖ Koniŋklyke Hellander Vrykryger Orde (KHVO), the (voluntary-only) Royal Hellonian Free Warrior Order (Military Police), tasks include protecting the royal family, military police and border control. This is a branch exclusive to the Hellonian Armed Forces.

The Sevros Islands are protected by a Military Police. It usually protects the research centres that are present on the islands; while also acting as border enforcers.

Demographics

The total resident population of Hellona was 56.154.895 on 30 November 1912. It first exceeded 55 million on Wednesday 21 February 1911. Around 13% of residents have a immigrant background and around a fourth (25%) has one parent that was born abroad.

The population density is 71 people per km², although it is substiantally higher in the west and lower in the east. Around 45% of the population live in urban areas, with the capital of Owidal having a population of 972.119 people, with 1.7 million in the urban area and 2.3 in the metropolitan area. The second largest and third largest are Melderdam and Rökavik. Both cities have just over a million inhabitants. Outside of major cities, areas with notably higher population density include the agricultural part of Platland, the western coast and the Melre lowlands.

The amount of inhabitants is noticeably lower in the areas around Moesland, with some areas having no current inhabitants. Centres of population are spread out over multiple smaller cities. To the north, the population mainly centres itself around the cities of Rökavik and Brundhildestad.

Around 87% of the population identifies itself as Hellonian. Of this group, 84% speaks Hellonian as a first language, while the other 16% has Ellandic as his or her mother tongue. Around 12% of this group strongly identifies itself as Ellandic.

Language

Languages in Hellona
Languages percent
Hellonian
74.1%
Ellandic
13.9%
German
4.9%
Nambalonian
1.5%
Other
5.6%

Hellona has two official languages on a national scale; Hellonian and Ellandic. Hellonian predominates nationwide and also functions as the main language used in the Hellonian Realm. Ellandic is spoken mostly in the province of Elland, where it is the main language used, and the surrounding Moesland and Halleren. It is nevertheless an official national language and can be used anywhere in the country.

Due to the two national languages, children at school learn both Hellonian and Ellandic from an early age. Billingualism in these languages is highly encouraged and required for working in the public sector. Furthermore, language classes in both Hellonian and Ellandic are required throughout the entirety of public lower education. As such around 95% of Hellonians are able to speak a second language.

Other regionally protected languages includes Rejkish (in Rejken), German (in South Alland, Platland and Moesland) and the Hallerish (in Halleren).

There is also a tradition of learning foreign languages, nowadays formalised in the country's education laws. Around 85% of the total population indicate they are able to converse in German, while 76% say they can speak Nambalonian English. In most lower level secondary schools, one additional modern foreign language is mandatory during the first two years. Most of the schools also mandate German as a mandatory language throughout the entirety of secondary education.

In higher level secondary education, two additional modern foreign languages are mandatory during the first three years. After these three years, only one foreign language is mandatory, although both can be kept. Besides German, the other most offered languages are Nambalonian English, Latvian and Valeran. Additionally, schools across the country teach and have exams in Norsundish indigenous languages and Menakupan for higher level secondary schools.

Religion

Religious Demographics of Hellona
  Asatru (84%)
  Irreligious (11%)
  Faith of the Trident (4%)
  Nephalism (1%)

Based on Article 6 of the Fundamental Law on Rights, Freedoms and Citizens, Hellona enjoys full religious freedom. The Hellonian governmental institution gathering statistical information, HDS, found that around 84% of Hellonian identify themselves with the Asatru faith on at least a passive level. Most people participate in religious ceremonies as part of cultural traditions, rather than religious convictions. This means most Hellonian visit Asatru shrines and temples without adhering to any formal Asatru group. This passive form of adhering Asatru is often called folk Asatru. Around 12% of Asatru adherents belong to a sect or organisation.

The second largest group is irreligious, with around 11% of the total population declaring themselves to be non-religious. This includes both people who are generally spiritual (5%) and atheists (6%). Other smaller groups are adherents to the Faith of the Trident, with around 4% of the population, and Nephalism, with around 1% of the total population.

The Hellonian royal family is associated with Asatru beliefs. Any monarch of Hellona is required to be an adherent to the faith and also acts as the head of the Asatru faith in the country. Although the monarch of Hellona officially fulfills the highest position in the faith, there is no organised branch the monarch belongs to.

Economy

Hellona has a highly developed and advanced social corporate economy and a high standard of living is enjoyed by its citizens. Hellona is an export-oriented mixed economy, with the largest share of its population working in the service sector at around 74%. Manufacturing and mining follow with around 24% of the working population and 2% in agriculture. Timber, hydropower and ores are the base of the export heavy economy, accounting for around a quarter of the total exports. Manufacturing, mostly of machine and transport equipment, concerns 50% of all exported goods and services. Leading sectors include forestry, agriculture, trade and shipping.

The historic focus of Hellona on trade is seen in the form of the largest port in Veterra. The Owidal port is the central hub for Hellonian trade and business, flowing out to Owidal being the business and financial capital of Hellona. It is as such highly integrated in the global economy. A large percentage of total trade takes place in the Vismar region, with the main trade flows are with the South German States, Nambalonia, Libertas Regionem and the other constituent countries of the Hellonian Realm.

The labour force of Hellona is highly unionised, trade unions, employers' associations and collective agreements cover a large share of the employees. While the Hellonian government in the past actively supported collective bargaining, nowadays this high percentage of people under collective agreements is achieved without state mechanisms. While the high rate of coverage is achieved largely through self-regulation by the market, the government does concern itself in collective bargaining and partnerships. This partnership between public and pirvate sectors with workers is the basis of the Hellonian social economy.

Hellona furthermore has a high concentration of cooperatives compared to its population. The largest supermarket chain, Samen Group, and bank, Volksbank, are both cooperatives.

Energy

Aldegaard, one of Hellona's many hydropower stations

While the energy market of Hellona is largely privatised, the largest power company is the state-owned Stroom. Out of the total electricity production, 45% was won from hydropower, 39% from nuclear energy, 6% from windpower and 10% from biofuels and oil. This means most of the energy produced and used is renewable.

Due to the governments commitment to decrease dependence on fossil fuels, the use of such fuels have decreased drastically. While nuclear energy enjoyed the most support in the past, there has been a decrease in this sector. Most investments nowadays are in renewable energies and energy efficiency. The country has for many years pursued a strategy of indirect taxation as an instrument of environmental policy, including energy taxes in general and carbon dioxide taxes in particular.

Agriculture and forestry

While only 2% of the labour force is employed in agriculture, it is one of the largest sectors in terms of export goods. Combined with products from forestry, 15% of all exported goods are from the food-processing industry. This is due to its highly mechanized nature that demands less labour.

As in agriculture, the government has long played a leading role in forestry, regulating tree cutting, sponsoring technical improvements, and establishing long-term plans to ensure that the country's forests continue to supply the wood-processing industries. To maintain the country's comparative advantage in forest products, authorities moved to raise lumber output toward the country's ecological limits.

Transport

Owidal Central Station

Transportation has grown immensely since the 1880's. While Hellona has a dense road and rail network in the western provinces, this network gets gradually thinner in the east. Around a third of all trips are made by car, 25% by bike, 20% by public transport and 21,7% by walking.

About 20% of all distance travelled are made by public transport, the majority of which is by train. Passenger rail services are solely offered by the state-owned Hellonian Railways, which own, operate and regulate all railroads in the country. The network of rails connects all major cities and towns, with over 400 stations. Train are frequent, with one or two trains per hour on lesser lines, two to four trains per hour on average and up to six trains an hour on the busiest lines. The rail services are offered for free to students and children under 18. This also includes the highspeed railway to the United South German States, ending in Vismaria. Metro services are offered in Owidal and Rökavik, while tramlines are prevelant in several cities.

Andus International Airport, northeast of the capital city of Owidal, is the main international airport in Hellona, and goes to virtually every country in the Empire. The flag carrier airline of Hellona is the Royal Air Hellona. The other largest airports are Vl. Lukas Airport in Melre and Rökavik Landvätter Airport.

The Owidal Port is one of the largest port in Veterra. The port's main activities are general cargo handling and transshipment. The harbour functions as an important transit point for bulk materials and between the Vismar region and overseas. From Owidal goods are transported by ship, river barge, train or road. Fast freight railways connect major cities in Hellona and the South German States with the port.

Public policy

Hellona has a highly developed welfare state, and one of the highest public expenditures on the continent. A series of succesfull social reforms lead to Hellona becoming one of the leading nations in term of equality and social mobility.

While some of the social reforms have been rolled back in order to accomodate economic growth, Hellona still has an extensive system of public saftery nets. In order to maintain this developed form of welfare state, Hellona has one of the highest tax burdens of any nation. Hellona has a three-step progressive tax scale, with the lowest scale being 25.7% and the highest rate being 51.7%. Payroll taxes amount to 22%. In addition, a national VAT of 20% is added to sold goods, with the exception of food (8% VAT), transportation, and books (3% VAT). Certain items are subject to additional taxes, e.g. electricity, petrol/diesel and alcoholic beverages, most of these are also sold through state-owned companies such as the Staatsdrankbedryf (Hellonian: ᛋᛏᚨᚨᛏᛋᚦᚱᚨᛝᛕᛒᛖᚦᚱᛉᚠ).

The public sector is also one of the biggest employers in Hellona, with around a third working for government services.

The state coolaborates heavily with trade unions. The Trade Confederation, in which individual unions are represented on a national scale, is often involved in policies concerning labour. The state also supports union unemployment funds, although also having a state-funded unemployment programme.

Education

Owidal University, the biggest in Hellona

Children aged 1–5 years old are guaranteed a place in a public kindergarten (Hellonian: Vᛟᛟᚱᛋᚷᛟᛟᛚ voorsgool; Ellandic: ᚠᚯᚱᛋKᛟᛚᚨ förskola).

All children in Hellona usually attend elementary school from (on average) ages 4 to 12. It comprises eight grades, the first of which is facultative. Based on an aptitude test, the 8th grade teacher's recommendation and the opinion of the pupil's parents or caretakers, a choice is made for one of the three main streams of secondary education (after completing a particular stream, a pupil may still continue in the penultimate year of the next stream):

The vmbo has 4 grades and is subdivided over several levels. Successfully completing the vmbo results in a low-level vocational degree that grants access to the mbo. mbo ("middle-level applied education"). This form of education primarily focuses on teaching a practical trade, or a vocational degree. With the mbo certification, a student can apply for the hbo.

The havo has 5 grades and allows for admission to the hbo. Hbo ("higher professional education"), are universities of professional education (or applied sciences) that award professional bachelor's degrees; similar to polytechnic degrees. A hbo degree gives access to the university system.

The vwo has 6 grades and prepares for studying at a (research) university. Universities offer of a three-year bachelor's degree, followed by a one-, or two year master's degree, which in turn can be followed by a four-year doctoral degree program. Doctoral candidates in Hellona are generally non-tenured employees of a university.

All primary and secondary schools in Hellona are state-funded and the curricula are decided by the state. In the past there was an option to establish independent and private schools, but this was disallowed after a report found uncertainty in the quality of education. Universities are also funded by the state but have a higher degree of freedom in their education.

There are a number of different universities and colleges in Hellona, the oldest and largest of which are situated in Owidal, Rökavik and Saksenberg. In 1928, 38% of Hellonians held a tertiary degree.

Culture

Hellona shares strong cultural and historic ties with its neighbours Nambalonia and the South German States in the Vismar region. Ties shared includes related languages, cultural objects and values. The Vismaric culture and way of life has had a leading role in Trident culture over all and has influenced many countries outside the region itself. The three Vismaric nations are also known as three of the most progressive and egalitarian nations on Ullar. Hellona itself has been at the forefront of the social progressive movement. In 189 0, Hellona officialy legalised marriages for same-sex couples, although in practise these marriages were already accepted. Anti-discrimination laws against these groups were put in place ten years later. Modesty and social equality are furthermore cornerstones of Hellonian culture.

Rural Hellonian culture has continued to influence contemporary Hellonian culture. This is due to the nation's strong romantic nationalist movement the country experienced throughout the late 18th and early 19th century. Hellonian culture bloomed in order to try to united the country and set itself apart through literature, visual arts and music. Support for such artistic development still continues in the form of government funding for exhibitions, museums, cultural projects and artwork.

Asatru belief and folklore

an Asatru Valknoop

A large aspect of Hellonian culture is Asatru. Asatru (Hellonian: ᚨᛋᛋᛁᛖᚱᛏᚱᛟᚢᚹ Assiertrouw, Ellandic: ᚨᛋᚨᛏᚱᛟ Asatro) is an ancient belief that has its origins in pre-historic religions. Since the establishment of Hellona as a kingdom, the faith has been a large part of Hellonian culture. It is a polytheistic belief, entailing a belief in various gods and goddesses. The belief has changed with time, and nowadays gods are viewed as supernatural beings inhabiting all things.

Traditionally, the most important gods were the following:

  • Wodan - Chief of gods and god of the sky
  • Tyras - God of war
  • Donar - God of thunder and hero of Ragnarok
  • Freya - Goddess of fertility and sister of Friga
  • Friega - Brother of Ferja and god of prosperity
  • Lokin - God of tricks and despair

Wodan, as chief god, is traditionally associated with the Hellonian state and monarch. Heugen and Mynen, two ravens that bring Wodan information about the mortal world, are used by the Hellonian state as symbols for the government and Ryksdag. Due to its historic connection to Hellona, the raven is declared the national animal of Hellona.

Visual arts

A 19th century portrait of a young woman in Hellonian farmer's costume. Modern variations on this costume, known as Buning, are often worn on special occasions.

Hellona is well-known for its art and many famous painters. During the Hellonian Golden Age in the 13th century, as the economy blossomed, so did the market for the arts. Many famous painters came from this period, including Ydelbregt Berghuysen, Oskcar Wahlgren and Adriaan der Vergeleken. During this time a form of detailed realism arrived as the most prevelant style of painting. Dramatic elements in terms of lighting and posing arrised, starting an area of Hellonian Baroque in the 14th to 15th century. A wide variety of genres also arrised, including portraits, landscapes, still lifes and genre paintings. Portraiture was still the most important and most often bought piece of artwork, especially by patrons overseas.

Beginning around the 19th century, a new wave of romanticism came into the visual arts. Artwork became focused on an idealised display of Hellonian culture, life and landscapes. This development in the visual arts started the creation of a national identity. Artists turned to historical events, folklore and fairy tales for inspiration. These were despicted in expressive and dramatic compositions. Landscapes also became popular. Artists came to increasingly search for wilder landscapes and rugged terrains to paint. While in the past the eastern provinces were barely taken as settings for landscape paintings, they became a popular subject in romatic pieces.

Although the visual art scene has evolved to include several styles, the influence of romanticism on Hellonian culture overall continues to remain in visual art even to this day. Themes such as rural Hellona and traditional stories remain popular, although often adapted to modern styles. As a result of the importance of modesty in Hellonian culture, minimalism has become an important movement in the 20th century, in both visual art, architecture and design.

Architecture

The Elder Wodaner Temple, an example of a stave temple

The most commonly used material used before the 12th century was timber. Although a trend towards stone ocurred in buildings of important and cities, it remained the most important material in rural areas until the 19th centuries. As such, most houses are constructed according to vernacular building traditions. Although exact styles depend on climate conditions, type of house and past inhabitants, most of these houses are log and timber farms and houses. These were often painted in red, but nowadays a trend is towards a range of colours, including yellow and green.

Wood was long also used for important buildings in rural areas, such as temples. This resulted in the creation of the stave hof or stave temple. The Elder Wodaner Temple in Ferdallen, north of Owidal, is an exemple of these types of temples.

Hildeborg Castle is an example of 16th century Aldstyl architectue

The first stone buildings were built in Andus, mostly in Owidal, and were built out of sandstone or limestone. The first stone structures were heavy builds with thick walls. Stone architecture was later refined as it became a more standard material. Stone buildings from the 13th and 14th century, although few were built, largely survived and are still visible to this day in the Old Town of Owidal. Buildings of importance moved towards new innovations, with common hallmarks of architecture around the 15th and 16th century being large towers with copper-clad domes and sweeping gables. This style became popular in the court and was used for several castles and temples, and is currently known as Aldstyl.

Under influence of new innovations in architecture overseas, especially through the South German States and Sevilla, baroque architecture took hold in Hellona. In order to demonstrate new gains in territory and riches by the aristocracy and burghers, new monumental buildings were built in this new grandiose style. The most important structure built in this style is the Wodaner Temple. The inside of this massive building has details telling the story of the Eddas, and functions as the centre of the Asatru faith even to this day. Marble for the inside structure was often imported from Valerana. It is considered more modest in its excess of details compared to other baroque styles.

Wodaner Temple in central Owidal
Minimalist architecture in Helsburg

Baroque architecture remained common for government buildings, although slowly being simplified and taking up elements from earlier Aldstyl. This eventually evolved in accordance with the national romantic movement in the 18th century. They looked for precedents in Hellonian cultural and historic traditions. It became style focused on brick and wood, with the same dome and gable elements take became popular in the Aldstyl. It has, however, taken up more sculptural elements as per Baroque. Things like woodcarvings were incorporated in the stone facades.

After the turn of the 20th century, functionalist and minimalist architecture became driving forces in Hellonian architecture.

Music

Hellonian musical traditions have a long history, starting with folk music. This folk music tradition remains popular to this day. Nowadays folk music takes elements from pop and rock music, creating the genre of folk-pop. Instruments used for folk music are some of the oldest in use; including the fiddle, the lur, flutes and drums.

While the number of classical composers are relatively few, romantic composers are some of the most known composers of Hellona. Under influence of the national romantic movement, operas and musical pieces were created in order to celebrate Hellonian culture, folklore and sagas. These pieces often were influenced by folk music and sometimes used more traditional instruments.

Jazz was a popular genre in Hellona for a long time, and it has a thriving scene to this day. It laid the basis for the modern music scene of Hellona, with a wide variety of genres being produced. It is one of the largest music-creators on Ullar.

Hellona has hosted the first Melody Festival in 1927.

Cuisine

Two Suncakes, traditionally eaten during New Year

Hellonian traditional cuisine is relatively simple. Although most dishes use potatoes, vegetables, meat or fish, the Hellonian culinary tradition does show influence from the seafaring tradition of the country. From around the 16th century, trade from and to Hellona introduced certain spices and products into the Hellonian cuisine. This lead to innovations in the Hellonian kitchen that still inspires chefs to this day. Traditional cuisine from overseas territories were combined with Hellonian cuisine or were directly enjoyed as traditionally made. The most drastic change to Hellonian cuisine was around the turn of the 19th century, when the rustic Hellonian cuisine became more cosmopolitan in nature. The traditional dishes, some of which are many hundreds of years old, nontheless remain an important part of everyday meals, in spite of internationalisation.

Breakfast and lunch consists of bread with several kinds of toppings, although cereal is also enjoyed.

Famous Hellonian dishes include meatballs, usually served with potatoes and lingonberry jam, Kropkoek, potatoe dumplings filled with meat, smoked sausages, served with mashed potatoes and vegetables and aardappelkoek, a casserole made from potatoes and vegetables. Many kinds of pastry are also popular in Hellona. The most famous of pastries is the Semla and the sjokoladebol, a doughball topped with chocolate. These are often eaten during coffee breaks, taken almost every week.

At New Year, a tradition exists around so-called Suncakes (Hellonian: Zonnekoek, Ellandic: Solkaka), round pastries with a fruit filling. Relatives give these Suncakes to each other as a sign of longevity. Eating Suncakes together would supposedly lead to the establishment of an unbreakable bond between the people eating them.

Holidays

Midsummer Dance, a 19th century painting of festivities during Midsummer

Besides holidays like New Year's Eve, Hellona has a different set of holidays than most other surrounding countries. This is due to the connection between the holidays and the Asatru faith, including Midsummer celebrating the summer solstice and god of the sun, Solar. At the start of winter, the festive holiday of Valv Niklas is celebrated. Valv Niklas is the patron saint of generousity and gifts. The tales of kindness and generousity surrounding the saint now form the basis of the celebration. Every year on the 15th of December, people celebrate with their family and gifts are given. For younger children they are put under the chimney, being told that Valv Niklas came and brought them their gifts.

A yearly offer to Wodan, the Wodanblot or Great Blot, is every August.

Date Name Significance
Winter solstice Yule One of the "four greatest blessings of the year" mentioned in the Ynglinga saga
25 April Seierblot Seierblot is one of the "four greatest blessings of the year" mentioned in the Ynglinga saga, celebrated "for victory".
20 August Wodanblot One of the "four greatest blessings of the year" mentioned in the Ynglinga saga. Blessing for Wodan.
Summer solstice Midsummer A celebration of the sun god Solar and the summer solstice.
Mid October Winter Nights One of the "four greatest blessings of the year" mentioned in the Ynglinga saga. The historical festival marked the beginning of winter, and involved sacrifices to the elves and the dísir.
15 December Valv Niklas A celebration of Valv Niklas, a holyman, and mostly a kids holiday for gifting.

Sports

Kvinten Allenson playing in FC Rejken

Approximately 35% of the adult Hellonian populace are registered at one of the country's many sports clubs, whereas 70% of children are members of sports clubs and participate in sports daily. Football is the most popular participant sport in the country, with volleyball and bandy as the second and third most popular team sports. Gymnastics, Tennis, Skiing and golf are the four most widely engaged in individual sports.

The most popular sport for viewing at a professional level is football. The highest level of the national football league, the Realm League (Hellonian: Ryksliga, Ellandic: Riksliga) is popular all across the Vismar. The top three of the Realm League, FC Valv Kristof, AIK and Magnus Melre, often perfom well at the Veterran level as well.

In international competitions, there are several teams that represent Hellona. The Hellonian national football team has been the most successful in international competitions, winning the Trident Football Championship several times, the latest being in 1949, winning with 2-1 against the South German team in the finals. The national men's and women's volleyball teams are also going up the ranks quickly,

Realm heritage

The colonial history of Hellona has established cross-cultural exchange with its former overseas territories. This continues due to the existence of the Hellonian Realm. Due to their early colonisation, Norsund and the Menako Islands have left a great mark on mainland Hellonian culture. Certain traditions and foods have been adopted into Hellonian culture.

There are also many universities that have developed into knowledge centres for Norsunder and Menakan studies. Other scientific institutions in Hellona that showcase cultures from its overseas constituents include the Folks Museum, an anthropological museum with massive collections of art, culture, ethnography and anthropology from all over the Realm.

Norsunder and Menakan myths have been popular throughout Hellona, while also serving as inspiration for Hellonian writers. King Kristoffer, the current monarch of Hellona, has compiled bundles of these myths.

See also

Further reading

Geography and environment
  • Straten, Bernard The countrysides of Hellona (1813)
  • Vogehuys, Pieters B. An Historical Geography of Hellona (1885)
  • Huysen, Henk. Compact geography of Hellona (1885)
History
  • Paul Gebabbel. A History of the Vismar region. (1816)
  • B. J. Bloem. History of the Hellonics (1798)
  • Johannes Gaell. The Hellonian Empire: Its Rise, Greatness, and Fall (1795)

External Links