Commonwealth of Iwenland
Coat of arms
Map of Iwenland
|Theo van Heemskerk|
• Prime Minister
• Dolch Conquest
• 2022 estimate
• Per capita
Iwenland (Eiwenish: Eiweenland), officially known as the Commonwealth of Iwenland, is a sovereign state in Argis on Eurth. The island shares maritime borders with Delamaria and Bruxenburg to the north, Dolchland to the west and Seylos to the south. The capital is located in Zestrathaven.
Iwenland had long been the location of maritime states until it was conquered by the Dolch Empire in the 1500s. Following the end of the old Dolch Empire, Iwenland was oficially reformed into the United Provinces of Iwenland. The United Provinces lasted until 1816 when Dolchland reconquered Iwenland. A bloody struggle for independence lasted throughout the Dolch occupation until in 1868 Iwenland finally gained independence, creating the Commonwealth of Iwenland. Iwenland is a parliamentary republic, led by the Prime Minister as head of government and by the Stadtholder as head of state. However, the stadtholder holds mostly symbolic powers. The current Stadtholder is Theo van Heemskerk and the Prime Minister is Sigrid Floris, the first woman to hold the position.
Iwenland is a highly developed nation with a service based economy, its major industries include banking, agriculture and technology with a sizable offshore oil sector. Iwenland maintains a strong welfare state, however it has been accused of being a tax haven by foreign observers. Iwenland maintains its neutrality on the international stage, committing to only economic agreements and refraining from military agreements and expansion. Iwenland was a founding member of the Assembled Nations and hosts the organisation's headquarters in Anbrekport.
The name 'Iwenland' has its roots in the ancient Eiwenish language, where 'Iwen' referred to a tribe that lived in the region, and 'land' signified territory or country. The Iwen were a seafaring people known for their skills in navigation and trade. Hence, Iwenland translates roughly as 'the land of the Iwen'.
The origins of the Iwen tribe are rooted in the post-Classical period and are a topic of considerable academic debate. However, it is generally accepted that the Iwen were part of a broader group of seafaring peoples who migrated across the Adlantic Ocean from the western regions of Europa around 1000 CE. Driven by a changing climate and dwindling resources in their original homeland, these intrepid mariners embarked on a journey westward across the sea, guided by their knowledge of the stars and ocean currents. The tribe that would become known as the Iwen were one of the groups that broke off during this migration, eventually settling on an island rich with natural resources and well-positioned for maritime trade. This island is what we know today as Iwenland.
While this account of the Iwen tribe's origins and journey to Iwenland is the most widely accepted, it is worth noting that various legends and folk tales also exist, often intertwined with elements of the supernatural. These stories, while perhaps not historically accurate, form an important part of Iwenland's rich cultural tapestry and contribute to the nation's collective sense of identity.
In the Eiwenish language, the name is pronounced as 'Eiweenland', with a more elongated vowel sound in the first syllable compared to the Anglicised pronunciation. In Dolch, it is translated as 'Iwenland', in Anglish as 'Ywenland', and in Lysian as 'Iwenie'. Despite these linguistic variations, the name's historical connection to the Iwen tribe remains consistent across languages.
Iwenland is located in Argis, a northern continent on Eurth, sharing maritime borders with Delamaria and Bruxenburg to the north, Dolchland to the west, and Seylos to the south. Its capital, Zestrathaven, is situated on the southern coast, acting as a crucial gateway between the land and the sea.
The landscape of Iwenland is diverse, with low-lying coastal plains in the east giving way to rolling hills and highlands in the west. The majestic Dorenburg Mountain Range stretches across the centre, with Mount Heemst, the highest peak at 3,212 metres (10,538 ft), acting as a natural water tower. The range is home to several unique alpine species and a popular destination for climbers and nature enthusiasts alike. The longest river, the Veer, originates from these mountains, winding eastward across the country to the Argic Sea. The Veer River Valley is a fertile region responsible for a significant portion of Iwenland's agriculture.
The climate of Iwenland varies significantly from east to west. Coastal regions, including Zestrathaven, experience a temperate maritime climate with mild, wet winters and warm, dry summers. The central highlands, however, endure a colder alpine climate, with significant snowfall during the winter months.
Iwenland's flora is characterised by deciduous forests in the lowlands, with species such as oak, ash, and beech, whilst the highlands are dominated by coniferous trees like pine and spruce. The country is known for the Iwish Bluebell, a native plant renowned for its striking blue flowers, particularly seen in the Veer River Valley.
The fauna includes various species of deer, badgers, and foxes, along with a rich array of birds, such as the red kite and the Iwish robin. The western mountains provide habitat for more hardy species, like mountain goats and golden eagles.
Population distribution in Iwenland is largely dictated by geography. The majority of Iwenish live in the fertile plains and the coastal regions, where cities like Zestrathaven and Anbrekport have developed into significant urban and economic centres. The rugged western highlands are less populated, with communities largely engaged in forestry, livestock rearing, and tourism.
Iwenland's geographical features have had a significant influence on the nation's history, shaping both its socioeconomic development and strategic positioning on the global stage. The physical barrier provided by the Argic Sea has historically protected the nation from potential aggressors, whilst the fertile Veer River Valley has fostered a robust agricultural sector.
The origins of the Commonwealth of Iwenland trace back to its early maritime states, where it served as a hub for numerous cultural interactions. This set the stage for Iwenland's unique cultural identity that is distinct yet linked to the surrounding nations, standing in contrast to the culture of the island of Ceris.
In the 1500s, Iwenland was conquered by the Dolch Empire, initiating a period of foreign domination. However, the resilient Iwish people didn't falter and achieved their first taste of independence in 1732, reforming their land as the United Provinces of Iwenland. This significant year marked the commencement of Iwenland's journey of balancing between the Anglish and Dolch worlds, carving its identity as a nation of traders.
The United Provinces of Iwenland led a relatively peaceful and uneventful existence up until the 1800s. However, a drastic shift occurred in 1814 when the Dolch Empire started to press aggressive land claims, instigating the Dolch-Iwish War. This bitter conflict ended in 1816 with Iwenland succumbing to Dolch occupation once more.
The following fifty years were a challenging period of occupation for Iwenland as the Dolch proclaimed it part of their greater empire. Despite this, the Dolch's grip on Iwenland began to weaken due to continuous conflict with Seylos, a loss of colonies abroad, and internal decentralisation.
The waning Dolch power gave rise to the Iwish Liberation War in 1867. Iwenland's citizens fervently fought for their independence, receiving support from other local powers who were keen on liberating the Iwish. The fight culminated in 1868 with the Dolch effectively driven out of the country and forced to recognise Iwenland's independence through a peace treaty. This led to the formation of the Commonwealth of Iwenland as it is known today and accelerated the Dolch Empire's decline.
Despite these developments, the reformed Dolch Empire under Heinrich Johannes von Ausburg still claims Iwenland as part of its core territory in modern times. Seeing Iwenland's small military, Ausburg perceives it as an easy target for expansion, even though Iwenland has historically been under the protective watch of Seylos and Delamaria.
This tension reached a new peak on 20 August 2022, when the Dolch threat showed signs of significant growth. In response, the Seylosian government restated their intentions to Iwenland from any foreign attacker, indicating its ongoing effort to ensure its sovereignty and security. Regardless, the Dolch military still invaded Iwenland.
Iwenland operates as a parliamentary republic, structured by a clear separation of powers among the legislative, executive, and judicial branches of government. The head of state is the Stadtholder, a largely ceremonial role, currently held by Theo van Heemskerk. The head of government is the Prime Minister, currently Sigrid Floris, who is the fourth woman to hold this position in Iwenish history.
The legislative branch is represented by the Parliament of Iwenland, known as the States General, which consists of two houses: the Upper House (Eerste Kamer) and the Lower House (Tweede Kamer). The Lower House is directly elected by the populace every four years and is responsible for law-making, while the Upper House, elected by provincial representatives, reviews and approves legislation.
The executive branch is headed by the Prime Minister, who presides over the Cabinet. The Cabinet, comprising ministers heading various governmental departments, is responsible for executing laws and governing the nation. The Stadtholder, representing the monarchic legacy of Iwenland, plays a more symbolic role, primarily performing ceremonial duties and representing the unity of the nation.
The judicial branch is independent and ensures the constitutionality of laws. It's embodied by the Supreme Court of Iwenland, the highest court in the land, which interprets the Constitution and has the power of judicial review.
Iwenland's political landscape is multi-party in nature. The two major parties are the Conservative Party, traditionally right-leaning and economically liberal, and the Social Democratic Party, left-leaning with a focus on social justice and welfare. Several other smaller parties represent interests such as environmental protection, regional autonomy, and political reform.
Local government in Iwenland is structured in a two-tier system of provinces and municipalities. The country is divided into 10 provinces, each governed by an elected Provincial Council. Below this, municipalities handle local affairs and are governed by elected Municipal Councils.
Law enforcement in the Commonwealth of Iwenland is primarily handled by the National Police Force (Nationale Politie), overseen by the Ministry of Justice and Security. The National Police Force is responsible for maintaining public order, preventing and investigating criminal activities, and enforcing the laws of the land.
The National Police Force is divided into ten regional units corresponding to Iwenland's ten provinces, each headed by a Regional Chief. These regional units are further subdivided into local police districts. A Central Unit provides specialised support to the regional units and conducts national and international operations. The National Police Force employs several thousand personnel, including uniformed officers, detectives, and civilian staff.
The Police Academy is the principal training institute for police personnel, offering various training programmes in investigative techniques, public safety, forensics, and other fields of police work. The Independent Police Complaints Commission ensures the integrity of the police by investigating complaints against the police force.
The Iwenish Armed Forces are organised under the Ministry of Defence and consist of the Iwenish Army, Navy, and Air Force. The Armed Forces are responsible for the defence of the nation, its territories, and its interests abroad.
The Iwenish Army is the land warfare branch, operating various types of ground-based military equipment. Its units are trained in a range of combat and non-combat roles, including peacekeeping and humanitarian assistance. The Iwenish Navy protects the nation's maritime interests, enforcing maritime law, providing search and rescue services, and maintaining naval deterrence. The Navy operates a range of vessels, from patrol boats to frigates, and has several naval bases along the country's coastline. The Iwenish Air Force is responsible for airspace control, aerial defence, and air support to ground forces. It operates a variety of aircraft, including fighter jets, transport aircraft, and helicopters. The Royal Iwenish Military Academy provides officer training for the Armed Forces, whilst the Iwenish Defence College offers advanced training for senior officers and strategists.
Despite its policy of neutrality, the Iwenish Armed Forces maintain a modern, professional military, capable of defending the nation against potential threats. As of recent years, the armed forces have seen an increase in funding and development due to rising tensions with the Dolch Empire.
In terms of foreign affairs, Iwenland maintains a policy of neutrality, committing mainly to economic agreements whilst refraining from military ones. It was a founding member of the Assembled Nations and hosts the organisation's headquarters in Anbrekport. In response to increasing threats from Dolchland, Iwenland started official membership negotiations with the North Adlantic Union in September 2022. With a population of 21 million (as of 2022) and a nominal GDP of $357 billion, Iwenland stands as a stable and influential power in its region, despite the challenges it faces.
Iwenland operates a mixed economy, characterised by a high level of economic freedom, a well-developed infrastructure, and a highly skilled workforce. The nominal GDP of Iwenland is estimated at $357 billion, with a GDP per capita of $17,000. The unemployment rate in Iwenland has consistently remained below the Eurth average, demonstrating a healthy labour market. Key employment sectors include financial services, oil and gas, agriculture, technology, and the public sector. However, despite a low unemployment rate, underemployment, and job insecurity in some sectors are ongoing concerns.
The economy is heavily service-oriented, with the financial sector playing a significant role. The Zestrathaven Stock Exchange is one of the most influential financial markets in the region. Several major domestic and international banks, insurance companies, and pension funds have their headquarters in Zestrathaven, contributing to a robust financial services industry. The official currency of Iwenland is the Iwenish Guilder (IWG). The Central Bank of Iwenland regulates monetary policy, oversees financial institutions, and issues currency.
Iwenland enjoys a favourable trade balance, with a diverse array of exports including oil, machinery, pharmaceuticals, agricultural products, and financial services. Its imports are mainly composed of consumer goods, electronics, and raw materials. Its main trading partners are its neighbouring countries, with whom it maintains strong economic relationships. Iwenland is known for its strong emphasis on science and technology. It hosts several tech companies and start-ups, particularly in sectors like software development, biotechnology, and green technology. The government provides substantial funding for research and development, leading to innovations in various fields. The media sector in Iwenland is diverse and competitive, with a mix of public and private broadcasters in television and radio, as well as a range of newspapers and online publications. The country maintains a strong tradition of press freedom.
Iwenland is also rich in offshore oil reserves, making the oil industry a major revenue stream. Oil exploration and drilling off the coast of Iwenland are overseen by a mix of state-owned and private companies. The revenue generated from this industry plays a crucial role in supporting the country's strong welfare state. While oil is a significant part of the energy mix, Iwenland is making substantial investments in renewable energy, particularly wind and solar power.
The nation boasts an efficient and extensive transportation network, consisting of roads, railways, airports, and seaports. Public transportation, especially in urban areas, is widely used and well-regarded. Tourism also contributes to the Iwenish economy. The country's rich history, stunning landscapes, and vibrant cities attract visitors from around the world. Major tourist destinations include the historic sites in Zestrathaven, the beautiful Veer River Valley, and the impressive Dorenburg Mountain Range.
The Commonwealth of Iwenland is home to a population of approximately 21 million people as of the latest estimate in 2022. The majority of the population identify as Iwenish, who are descendants of the early maritime states that inhabited the island. There are also smaller communities of Dolch and Anglish descent, reflecting the historical influences of these nations on Iwenland. Additionally, over recent decades, immigration from various Eurthican countries has led to an increasingly diverse ethnic makeup. The Iwenish society is characterised by a high degree of social mobility and a comparatively low level of income inequality. The country's strong welfare state ensures basic living standards for all citizens, although disparities in income and wealth exist. The upper class in Iwenland is often associated with the finance and technology sectors, while the working class is predominantly found in the service, manufacturing, and agriculture sectors.
The official language is Eiwenish, which is spoken by the majority of the population. Anglish is widely spoken as a second language due to the influence of globalisation and the country's strong ties with Anglish-speaking nations. Other languages spoken in Iwenland include Dolch and various languages of immigrant communities.
Education in Iwenland is compulsory from ages 5 to 16 and is provided by a well-funded public education system. The country boasts a high literacy rate and strong performance in international education assessments. There are also several highly-ranked universities in Iwenland, including the University of Zestrathaven and the Iwenland Institute of Technology.
While Iwenland is officially secular, a significant portion of the population identifies as Christian, particularly Protestant. There are also smaller communities of Catholics, non-religious individuals, and adherents of other faiths. Marriage in Iwenland is a civil contract, with both civil and religious ceremonies recognised. The country recognises both opposite-sex and same-sex marriages. The average age of first marriage has been increasing, and smaller family sizes are common.
Iwenland provides universal healthcare, funded by taxation. The healthcare system is known for its high quality of care and accessibility. Life expectancy in Iwenland is high, reflecting the country's strong healthcare system and high standard of living. Common health issues in Iwenland include non-communicable diseases such as heart disease, cancer, and diabetes. The government has implemented various public health initiatives to promote healthy lifestyles and prevent disease. Communicable diseases are less common due to high vaccination rates and effective public health infrastructure.
The culture of Iwenland is unique, having been influenced by a variety of historical, geographical, and social factors. It combines elements of traditional Iwenish heritage with influences from the Dolch Empire, Anglish influences, and more contemporary global cultural trends. Iwenish people are often stereotyped as being reserved and modest, valuing diplomacy and consensus in their dealings. They also have a reputation for being hardworking and innovative, as reflected in their economic success. On the moral front, fairness, equality, and respect for individual freedom are deeply ingrained in the society.
Iwenish cuisine is hearty and diverse, featuring seafood, locally farmed meats, and root vegetables. Notable dishes include 'Brinharing', a type of pickled herring, and 'Stavpot', a traditional stew made from meat and root vegetables. The country also has a burgeoning fine-dining scene, particularly in the capital, Zestrathaven.
Iwenish literature is rich, ranging from epic poetry of the medieval period to modern novels. Famous Iwenish authors include Isolde van Brugge, known for her insightful social novels, and contemporary writer Lucas De Wit, renowned for his explorations of Iwenish identity. Iwenland has a robust entertainment industry, producing films, music, television, and digital content for both domestic and international audiences. Radio remains popular, with a variety of public and private stations offering news, music, and cultural programming.
The Iwenish art scene is characterised by its diversity. From the classic paintings in the National Gallery of Iwenland to the modern installations in the Zestrathaven Museum of Contemporary Art, there is a broad range of artistic expression. Iwenish architecture mixes traditional styles with innovative modern design. Key architectural landmarks include the medieval Dolch Castle and the ultra-modern Veste Tower in Zestrathaven. Contemporary Iwenish clothing is similar to western styles. However, traditional attire can be seen at cultural festivals and events, characterised by intricate embroidery and the use of earthy colours.
Football is the most popular sport in Iwenland, with the national team having a loyal following. Sailing is also a major pastime, reflecting the country's maritime heritage. The annual Zestrathaven Regatta is a significant event on the national sporting calendar.
The national flag of Iwenland is a tricolour of blue, white, and orange, symbolising the surrounding sea (blue), peace and purity (white), and the courage and resilience of the Iwenish people (orange). The national anthem is "Het Lied van Ons Land" (The Song of Our Land), a stirring melody that speaks to the history and enduring spirit of the nation. These symbols hold a central place in the national identity and are a common sight during public holidays and national celebrations.
Iwenland celebrates a number of public holidays including Independence Day on 2nd August, marking the country's independence from the Dolch Empire in 1868. Other notable celebrations include 'Spring Day' marking the arrival of spring, and the 'Day of Unity', a holiday that encourages the celebration of the nation's diversity and unity.