Hellona

The Kingdom of Hellona

KᛟᚾᛁᛝKᚱᛉK ᚻᛖᛚᛚᚨᚾᚦ (Hellonian)
KᛟᚾᚢᛝᚨᚱᛁKᛖᛏ ᚻᛖᛚᛚᚨᚾᚦ (Ellandic)
Anthem: Wodanerlied
Song of Wodan
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Royal anthem
[Mars der zeven winden]
"March of the seven 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)
CapitalOwidal
Official language
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
LegislatureRijksdag
Council of the higher
Council of the peoples
Establishment
• Formation of the Andusian kingdom
Circa. 1400 B.C
• Creation of modern Hellonian state
1789
• Unification with the USGS
1886-1912
• Disbanding Vismar Union
1912-now
Area
• 
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 Koniŋkrijk Helland [ˈKoːnɪŋkrɛi̯kˈɦɛlɑnt], Ellasian: 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 and the Latvian Spartopian Veterran Property on the east. It has a coastline on the Vismar Sea on the western side. Hellona currently has an estimated population of 77 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 Helling 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 Helande/Helandija or the Kirkonian Elandija. Vismaric languages almost all use the same name or variations of Helland; like the South German Hellandt and the Menakupan Hellanda.

For a long time however, the name was purely used by the state, and most either identified as Andusian or Noordeling (Northern man), but around the 15th century, the terms fell out of use as a romanticized Hellonian identity became more important.

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 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 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 practiced and engraved in Hellonian culture.

The eastern provinces, Moesland, Halleren and Elland, kept developing on their own, and were never effected 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.

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 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.

Enjuel den Leidtenaar

In 1401, the federal States-Diet was disbanded, and the new unitary Rijksdag 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 decreased, and slammed to the bottom in 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 favor of the Hellonians, who knew the Moesland swampy terrain, while South Germans had a hard time coming trough the swamp lands. 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 Daphnes II initiated the Hellonian Peace

Hellona was able to remain neutral since 1699 and has not been involved in any major war since. As the import and exports of goods in Hellona are the main ways of gaining money, the Hellonian government has refrained itself from warfare. Hellona officially declared the Menako Islands and Norsund integral parts of its territory in 1786 and 1816 respectively. On the flip-side of the new official colonies, control over Eburon ended in 1866, when a peaceful referendum was held.

Because of the peaceful era, much of the youth rejected many of the old Hellonian ideals, such as a big strong man and the traditional family. This cultural change pushed for changes in matters such as women's rights, homosexuality and soft drugs. On the 6th of August, 1845, homosexual marriage was recognized by the state.

Modern Era (1886-now)

Vismar Union (1886-1912)

In 1886, the Chancellor Alina Bergfalk proposed a union between Hellona and the South German States. Hellona accepted and they joined to become the United Kingdom of Germano-Hellona. Both countries are equally independent and have been enjoying peace and equality. With this unification, the Menako islands were made into one state, as a constituent country of the Greater Kingdom.

On the 12th of October, 1888, Nambalonia joined the union,thus creating the Vismar Union

The brother of Queen Amalia, Prince Frederick, was shot by Norsundish seperatists. The revolt was put down by the Norsundish Special Guard, with five people being convicted of assasination attempt and the killer being locked up for life. A peaceful referendum was put forth by the Hellonian mainland, but was rejected by the Norsundish parliament, one of the reasons being economic dependency on Hellona and the Realm. Revolts all around Norsund sprang up for independence but tension began to decrease because of government action in both education about the realm and police force. The event is still considered one of the dark periods of recent Hellonian history.

Vismar disbanded (1912-1942)

After internal disputes between the constituent countries over the political equality between each state, the countries peacefully separated. Hellonian polls show they are the most open to a Vismar reunification, with 75% saying it would be better.

After the break-up, Hellona began to re-establish their relations with other countries. Hellona began to have good relations with Libertas Regionem, but after funding a revolting Vismaria province, their relations began to worsen. After a military coup in Libertanium, relations only worsened, with trading being the only thing the countries talked about. However, after election of President Bruce Wayne, relations began to blossom, with Queen Estelle and Wayne meeting regularly.

Relations with both Vismarian states, the South German States and Nambalonia, stayed excellent. Three countries now are joined into the Vismar Council, a geo-political inter-parliamentary forum for co-operation between the Vismar countries.It was formed to promote co-operation between the 3 Vismar countries, without being dependent on each other like during the Union era.

Second Vismar Union (1942-1959)

Estelle and her son continued promoting the Vismar Union, and eventually a second union was approved. The Union was to be more federal, but Nambalonian officials eventually became less interested. South German and Hellonian integration increased steadily again. However, when a new member, Dutch Polynesia, joined, Nambalonian officials officially declared to leave the union. South German, Dutch Polynese and Hellonian officials tried to keep the union intact, but the eventually decided on creating the Vismar Commonwealth.

Hellona officially annexed the Principality of Rejken in 1943, The final Prince of Rejken, Gruthnur the Last, had died without an heir. The Rejkish and Hellonian royal families were related by blood, and Kristoffer became prince of Rejken. After a referendum on either joining Hellona or becoming an independent republic, the people chose to join Hellona.

Geography

Standard countryside in Hellona

Situated in south-eastern Veterra, Hellona lies at the Vismar Sea, providing a large coastline. To the east and north is the Centraberg mountain chain, a range that separates Hellona from its eastern and northern neighbours.

Central Hellona is predominantly agricultural, with increasing forest coverage eastward. The highest population density is in Andus province in western Hellona and in the valley of Rökavik in the east.

Temperatures are average with the Eastern and central parts of the country having warm summers and cold winters, with average high temperatures of 20 to 25°C (68 to 77 °F) in the summer, and average temperatures of −4 to 2°C (25 to 36 °F) in the winter, while the west coast has more mild temperatures.

Because of the milder temperatures in the west, most people live there. The west was and continues to be the trading hub, with its centre in Owidal.

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, as well as between day and night is noticeably smaller than it is in the southeast of the country.

Ice days (maximum temperature below 0 °C (32 °F)) usually occur from December until February, with the occasional rare ice day prior to or after that period. Freezing days (minimum temperature below 0 °C (32 °F)) occur much more often, usually ranging from mid-November to late March, but not rarely measured as early as mid-October and as late as mid-May. If one chooses the height of measurement to be 10 cm (4 in) above ground instead of 150 cm (59 in), one may even find such temperatures in the middle of the summer. On average, snow can occur from November to April, but sometimes occurs in May or October too.

Red Deer in the Oosterpolder nature reserve

Warm days (maximum temperature above 20 °C (68 °F)) are usually found in April to October, but in some parts of the country these warm days can also occur in March, or even sometimes in November or February.

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 (this is especially the case in summer, when lightning is also much more frequent). The number of sunshine hours is affected by the fact that because of the geographical latitude, the length of the days varies between barely eight hours in December and nearly 17 hours in June.

Nature

Hellona has 32 national parks and hundreds of nature reserves, that include lakes, mountain ranges, heathland, dunes, and other habitats. These are all owned by Rijksnatuurbeheer, the national department for forestry and nature conservation and natuurmonumenten (Nature reserves; literally 'Natures monuments').

The Oostveld 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.


Government

Het Rijkshof is the Parliament of Hellona.

Hellona has been a constitutional monarchy since around 1280 and a parliamentary democracy since 1828. It is one of the longest standing democratic nations in the Trident.

The Hellonian government is based on three fundemental laws (Hellonian: Grondslegen, Ellandic: Grundlager) which together from the constitution of Hellona and by extend a part of the Realm constitution; the Instrument of Government, the Fundemental Law on Rights, Freedoms and Religion, and the Realm Act.

Hellona as a unitary state, still leaves some responsibilities in the hands of the lower government bodies, in most cases the provinces or municipalities. These local authorities are defined as self-ruling bodies, but are so integrated with the national government that they are unable to be fully able to rule indepedently. After the Eastern Revolt, power was slowly taken from the local government and absorbed into the national.

Hellona is a constitutional monarchy and as such the head of state is the current monarch; king-exalt Kristoffer. The Hellonian monarch is also the head of the Asatru belief, which is largely unorganized. This has been an issue, as such a title would make Asatru the official state religion of Hellona, but the constitution of Hellona states that the title of exalt and king should be viewed as seperate titles held by the same person, and it also states that "the Monarch must be of Asatru faith and will take up the position of exalt of the Asatru faith, but will uphold any religion practised in his or her realm and promote good understanding and harmony between all religions" and that "the Government of Hellona must be secular itself in nature". Another argument is that Asatru beliefs are so intertwined with the culture of Hellona, that almost noone objects to this title. However, protests have increased to seperate the title of exalt and king to two seperate positions held by different people. The monarch lacks formal political power in the Hellonian kingdom according to the Act of Government. The monarch however does represent the country overseas and acts an ambassador for Hellona. However, the monarch must always be accompanied by the Great-Minister and speeches and other things said by the monarch are reviewed and are object to debate in the Rijksdag.

Hellona has a parliamentary system, and as such the legislative power is vested in the bicameral Rijksdag. General elections are held every four years, where members are elected on the basis of proportional representation per party with a chance of preferential votes for a certain member. Legislature can be proposed by any member of the 2nd chamber of the Rijksdag.

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

Administrative divisions

Hellona is divided into ten provinces, called Gewesten in Hellonian and Landskap in Ellandic, each under a Commissioner of the King (Hellonian: Adeling des Konings, Ellandicn: Konungens Adling). All provinces are divided into municipalities (gemeenten), of which there are 490. Most borders of the provinces are based on culture rather than geographic positions.

The provinces, based on the ancient Hellonic states before unification, slowly were stripped from their provincial powers. During the Golden Age, the provinces were large indepedent, only unified in war and foreign affairs. After the Eastern Revolt, the country became more unified to deal with the poorer east. Provinces now only have powers over their public transport (besides the railway, a national institution) and have authority over the municipalities and water boards. They're also obligated to host cultural events and have a provincial-owned museum, as part of the Hellonian Cultural Conservation Program.

Flag Province Capital Largest city
Andus-peak.png Andus Owidal Owidal
Rejken-flag.png Rejken Rejk Rejk
Melre9.png Zuid-Alland Saksenberg Pieterdam
Noord-Alland8.png Noord-Alland Ellemensen Ellemensen
Melre8.png Melre Melderdam Melderdam
27px 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

Foreign Relations

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, however the Hellonian government still pursued good relations in the Vismar region. The doctrine of neutrality is often traced back to the 18th century as the country has not been in a state of war since the end of the 17th century. During the Great Trident War, Hellona joined neither the Allies nor the Coalition. This neutral approach damaged the trading-sector as neither Allies or Coalition members wanted to trade with a country that would join neither side. The peaceful approach was found pleasurable by one nation, Lilotuka Island, which asked to join the Hellonian Realm after being destroyed after the war.

After the 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. The Hellonian government wanted the whole Vismar region to be united in some way after the breakup, and thus created the Commonwealth with the USGS and Nambalonia. 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, which was later absorbed into the Commonwealth trade deals.

Military

Since Hellona has been mostly neutral in the last centuries, conscription has been abandoned and the military is now purely a professional army. The army has been deployed in very few places, mostly only in countries with social unrest.

The military is composed of four branches, all of which carry the prefix Koninklijke (Royal):

  • KᛟᚾᛁᛝKᛚᛉKᛖ ᛚᚨᚾᚦᛗᚨᚷᛏ Koningklijke Landmagt (KL), the Royal Hellonian Army
  • KᛟᚾᛁᛝKᛚᛉKᛖ Zᛖᛖᛗᚨᚷᛏ Koningklijke Zeemagt (KZ), the Royal Hellonian Navy, including the Naval Air Service and Marine Corps
  • KᛟᚾᛁᛝKᛚᛉKᛖ ᛚᚢᚷᛏᛗᚨᚷᛏ Koningklijke Lugtmagt (KLu), the Royal Hellonian Air Force
  • KᛟᚾᛁᛝKᛚᛉKᛖ ᚻᛖᛚᛚᚨᚾᚦᛖᚱ VᚱᛉKᚱᛉᚷᛖᚱ ᛟᚱᚦᛖ Koningklijke Hellander Vrijkrijger Orde (KHVO), the (voluntary-only) Royal Hellonian Free Warrior Order (Military Police), tasks include protecting the royal family, military police and border control

These four branches make up the Hellonian Mainland Division, which is one of the four Continental Divisions of the Defenses of the Realm (Krijgsmachten des Rijks). The Defenses of the Realm are the armies of all the divisions combined, and the total manpower of the entire Hellonian Realm. The total capability of the defenses have been rarely used. The entire Armed Forces were really only used during the third Germano-Hellonian War.

The four Continental Divisions are:

  • ᚻᛖᛚᛚᚨᚾᚦᛖᚱ Kᚱᛉᚷᛋᛗᚨᚷᛏ Hellander Krijgsmagt (HKM), Hellonian Armed Forces - Hellonian Mainland
  • ᚾᛟᛟᚱᚦᛖᛚᛉKᛖ Kᚱᛉᚷᛋᛗᚨᚷᛏᛖᚾ Noordelijke Krijgsmagten (NKM), Northern Armed Forces - Norsund, Menako Isles
  • ᚦᚱᛁᛖᛋᛈᛁᛏᛋᛖᚱ Kᚱᛉᚷᛋᛗᚨᚷᛏ Driespitser Krijgsmagt (DKM), Tirpitzer Armed Forces - Tirpitz
  • ᛚᛁᛚᛟᛏᚢKᛁᛋᚷᛖ Kᚱᛉᚷᛋᛗᚨᚷᛏᛖᚾ Lilotukische Krijgsmagt(LKM), Lilotukan Armed Forces - Lilotuka Islands

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

Demographics

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

The majority of people are Hellonian, about 74% identify themselves as Hellonians. Hellonians immigrated from Modern-day Sconia to Andus, where they began to grow to become the Hellian kingdom and later-Empire.

The Ellandian people are indigenous to the far north-east. As Elland was conquered early in Hellonian history, their culture has been influenced by Hellona or a long time. However they have been able to keep their own traditions and language, with their culture being called the most pure Vismarian culture.

Together these groups make up the Hellonic ehtno-cultural group, which makes up 90% of the Country's ethnographic makeup.

Language

Hellona has one official language, Hellonian (Hl: Hellands, EL: Helländska), which is spoken by the vast majority of the inhabitants. There is one other language recognized in the region Elland, which was long ago an independent state, Ellasian (Hl: Ellands, El: Elländska), spoken by 83% of the inhabitants of the region.

Hellona has a tradition of learning foreign languages, formalised in Hellonian education laws. Some 95% of the total population indicate they are able to converse in German, 60% in English. German is a mandatory course in all secondary schools. In most lower level secondary school educations, one additional modern foreign language is mandatory during the first two years.

In higher level secondary schools, two additional modern foreign languages are mandatory during the first three years. Only during the last three years in vwo one foreign language is mandatory. Besides English, the standard modern languages are German, Latvian and Ellandic. Additionally, schools across the country teach and have exams in classical Hellonian and Norsundish indigenous languages for higher level secondary schools.

Religion

The majority of the Hellonians are Asatru-followers. However religion in Hellona is generally considered as a very personal matter which is not supposed to be propagated in public. People usually only practice religion at home and try to keep it out of their outside life. However, Asatru beliefs and traditions are engrained in the culture of Hellona, and as such, most practice Asatru rituals without seeing it as such.

Economy

Hellona has a good economy, based mostly around trading on the international sector. Since the 18th century, fishing, shipping, trade an art have been leading sectors in Hellonian economy.

With it's seaside location, the port of Owidal is one of the biggest in northern Veterra. Owidal is the richest part of Hellona, being the hub for international trade and shipping. The area amounts for 20% of the GDP.

Hellona has very little mining resources, besides coal, gas and ores. The last coal-mine was closed down in 1995. This sector is very small and is not a big part in the economy.

Owidal Central Station, the biggest train station in Hellona amd the Vismar.

Agriculture

The Hellonian agricultural sector is highly mechanized, and has a strong focus on international exports. It employs about 56% of the Hellonian labour force and produces large surpluses for the food-processing industry and accounts for 24 percent of the Hellonian total export value The Hellonians rank fifth worldwide in value of agricultural exports.

Hellona has, at some time in recent history, supplied one eighth of all of the world's exported Apples, and trade of one-third of the world's exports of chilis, Apples and cucumbers goes through the country.

Transport

Transportation has grown immensely since the 50's. Hellona has a dense road network in the west, but gets less dense in the east, especially around Moesland. Around half of all trips are made by car, 35% by bicycle, 10 by walking and 5% by public transportation.

The Hellonian railroad connects most major cities and towns, and is the main and quickest way to get from the west to east Hellona. Trains are frequent, with one or two trains per hour on lesser lines, two to four trains per hour on average, and up to eight trains an hour on the busiest lines. On the east it can be less frequent and it might take hours for a train to arrive. The railroads are owned, operated and regulated by the state-owned Hello-rail.

Andus airport, north-west 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 HLM (Hellonische luchtvaart maatschappij; Hellonian airlines). Other airlines include Valker airlines, ANS airlines and Air Hellona. Other major airports include Melre-ariport and Ellonie-airport, the last of which primarily serves the Elland province.

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, Iggendijk and Elslo. In 1928, 38% of Hellonians held a tertiary degree.

Culture

As a part of the greater Vismaric culture group, Hellona speaks a South Vismaric language, closely related to South German and Nambalonian. The Vismaric culture has spread throughout Ullar and is one of the most common cultural groups

Asatru belief and folklore

an Asatru Valknoop

Asatru (Hellonian: ᚨᛋᛋᛁᛖᚱᛏᚱᛟᚢᚹ Assiertrouw, Ellandic: ᚨᛋᚨᛏᚱᛟ Asatro) is an ancient belief that has its origins in pre-historic religions, it has been the most important religion in Hellona since then. The most important gods are:

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

Visual arts

An example of the famous Hellonian art from the 18th century

Hellona is known for its many famous painters, like: Pieter Berghuisen, Rembrandt Den Vergeleken and Hans Klockenstadt. Beginning around the 18th century, there was an enormous output of paintings and other arts.into a more realistic style of depiction, Hellonian paintings were very much concerned with the real world. Types of paintings included historical paintings, portraiture, landscapes and cityscapes, still lifes and genre paintings. Portraiture became highly popular around 1744, most families let paintings be made of themselves. The creation of art became highly important in the Hellonian economy, besides the trading-sector which was already gigantic. Hellonian art became popular in foreign lands too, as many monarchs wanted portraits of themselves.

Most art had a message to tell, and many paintings conveyed the normal life and people. Besides these important themes, the Hellonian landscapes are popular too, mostly paintings of the Mountains or the coastal area

Architecture

Temple of Wodan, an example of ancient Hellonian architecture

Most houses are made out of local sandstone or wood. The houses are almost always painted in bright colors, mostly red, yellow or green. The first stone buildings are baroque-style buildings in early Andus, build out of sandstone or limestone. These buildings were made during the golden age by the rich trading-leaders. The city later continued this style until the early 21st century. Other houses outside Owidal are usually made out of wood, painted in bright colors. They're big and are usually pretty far apart.

Architectural highlights include the Elder Wodanertempel, a structure made around 200, made for praying and making sacrifices to the Asatru-king of the gods, Wodan. Build in a stave-church style, exposing the timber frame. Made to blend into the environment, with woodcarvings of events that are told in the Asatru-sagas.

The greater royal palace in Owidal is a grandiose structure made in a Baroque-style. It is made out of imported stone from Valerana. It stretches for about a kilometre. The volumes of the palace are rhythmically broken in their massing. They work down symmetrically, expressing the subordinate roles of their use and occupants, and the final outbuildings in Marot's plan extend along the public thoroughfare, like a well-made and delightfully regular street. With a grand 17th century style garden and a large fountain, it's one of the biggest palace's in Hellona.

To this day, most buildings keep go the traditional architectural style present in Hellona since ancient times. Wood carved patterns are now used in details on the buildings in a baroque style.

Music

The Hellonian musical traditions date from far back. Hellonian folk music was the most important genre until the 19th century, when more musical styles have been introduced. But even with the new genres being introduced, a resurgence of folk music has been appearing, mostly called folk-pop. These songs modernize folk music with old instruments like the Lur, fiddles, wooden flutes and drums, combined with electronic basses and drums. Most folk-pop ends up in top 100's of best songs in Hellona each year, and is as such the most popular genre.

Other important music genres in Hellona include jazz and pop, with jazz being the most popular and most heard. Several jazz-bands and names have left a mark in the international scene, like the Sven-brothers, Amalia Vergoten and Pieter Heggnaer.

Cuisine

A Chocolade-bol, a traditional Hellonian pastry

Hellonian cuisine is traditionally simple. Most dishes have a combination of meat, potatoes, vegetables and dairy products. Around the 15th century, Hellona's trading empire brought many spices and other products. Famous dishes include Aardappelkeek (potato cake), made with potatoes and several vegetables in a cake-like form and all kinds of pastry. The most famous of pastries is Semla, mostly topped with chocolate sprinkles and chocolade-bol (chocolate ball), which is a pastry similar to the oliebol, but topped with chocolate sauce. Once a day it's usual for a family to meet up and have a coffee break, called Fika. When taking a Fika break, it's usual to drink coffee or tea with a Semla or other pastry. Around new year's eve, special cakes called Gelukstaarten (lucky cakes) are made and eaten. Each family has another recipe, most being hugely different from each other.

Holidays

Besides holidays like new year's eve, Hellona has hugely other holidays. Most based around Asatru-belief, including midsummer celebrating the summer solstice and god of the sun, Solar. Hellona does not celebrate christmas but Valv Niklas. Valv Niklas is the god of gifts, and the central figure 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 Wodanblót or Great Blót, 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 Segerblót Sigrblót is one of the "four greatest blessings of the year" mentioned in the Ynglinga saga, celebrated "for victory".
20 August Wodanblót 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

File:Allenson.png
Young star player Alexander Allenson playing in FC Rejken

Approximately 45% of the 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, 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.

Several local football clubs are known throughout Ullar, like FC Andus, Royal Elland. 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,

Colonial Herritage

Hellona has two constituent countries, Norsund and the Menako Islands. These former colonies were used as stops for the Hellonian Trade Route, and Norsund was the most valuable and important colony for Hellona. Over 350 years of mutual heritage with Norsund and the Menako isles have left a significant cultural mark on Hellona.

Many universities have developed into knowledge centres for Norsundish en Menakupan studies, with many academics who study Norsundish languages and culture. Other scientific institutions in Hellona include the Mererdam Westenmuseum, an anthropological museum with massive collections of Norsundish art, culture, ethnography and anthropology.

A segment of Hellonian literature called Menako-Norsundish literature is popular and influential in Hellonian literature. The Colonial heritage is one of the most read about subjects and has many established writers, such as Cornelus Multi, writer of "Uncertain days", taking Norsundish culture as one of the most important source of inspiration.

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 Hellians (1798)
  • Johannes Gaell. The Hellian Empire: Its Rise, Greatness, and Fall (1795)

External Links

Template:Empire of Trident