This article belongs to the lore of Paradoxia.

Maltropia

Most Catholic Empire of Maltropia

Impireacht is Caitlicí Maltróipea
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Coat of arms
Motto: “In ainm Dé”
Location of Maltropia (dark green) in Paradoxia
Location of Maltropia (dark green) in Paradoxia
Capital
and largest city
Corcaigh Nua
Official languagesIrish; English
Recognised regional languagesEspian, Swedish, Roman
Ethnic groups
89% Maltropian
8% Espian
3% other
Demonym(s)Maltropian
GovernmentHereditary federal constitutional monarchy
• King
Brendan
Establishment
Area
• Total
2,482,128 km2 (958,355 sq mi)
Population
• 2018 census
273,572,245
• Density
110.22/km2 (285.5/sq mi)
GDP (nominal)estimate
• Total
$664,049 billion
• Per capita
$97,923.47
Gini (2010).463
low
HDI (2012)0.965
very high
CurrencyMaltropian Ducat (MD€)
Date formatdd/mm/yyyy
Driving sideleft
Calling code687
Internet TLD.mtr

Maltropia (Irish: Maltrópa), officially the Most Catholic Empire of Maltropia (Irish: Impireacht is Caitlicí Maltróipea), is a large sovereign state located in northern Paradoxia. It is made up of two nations, the Kingdom of Maltropia (sometimes Maltropia proper) and the Maltropian Islands. Maltropia is bordered by Northern Bigfootia to the east, Nefreedia to the south and Ishgar to the west, and is bounded to the north by the Johan Sea. It has a total land area of 2,424,437.11 square kilometres and a population of 273 million. The two national capitals are Corcaigh Nua and Argensborough, with the former being the imperial seat.

Maltropia is governed as a constitutional monarchy wherein the monarch, of the Uí Chorcaigh dynasty since the foundation of the state, wields significant authority. The position of monarch was transformed into its modern role in the late 1730s, in the aftermath of the War of the Kings and Princes, and in the 1920s after the Maltropian Civil War. The current monarch is Brendan. The two nations comprising the empire share an upper house in the Council of Nobles and possess independent lower houses both consisting of elected representatives. Legislation is unique to each nation and may be vetoed by the king or translated from one nation to the other by the king. In its regional policy, Maltropia has developed a reputation as an interventionist power committed to exerting its influence by its powerful navy and an export-oriented economy. Outside Paradoxia, its policy is more economic in focus, and Maltropia possesses one of the most globalised economies in the world with numerous major international firms operating out of, and within, the country.

Maltropia is a founding member of the Pact of Righteous Vindication. The country is also a member of the World Assembly, the Commonwealth of Free and Democratic States, the Ellorea Commercial Union and the Sovereign League, as well as a signatory of the Amistad Declaration on Slavery and the Rights of Man and the Eternal Accords of the Three Crowns.

Etymology

The origin of the name Maltropia is a long-considered and debated one. The name first appears in records in its archaic Irish form, Maltróipea, and it is not until the mid 16th century that the form Maltropia came into common use. What exactly the term means is ambiguous, with theories ranging from the Latin-Greek mixture meaning "bad turning", a possible allusion to the fact that the colony never reached its intended destination, to the Irish "Malairt troipeach", meaning "Tropic exchange". Possible origins of the latter are fewer, as Maltropia experiences a cold climate, and had little trade with tropical or oriental cultures.

History

Prehistory

A neolithic passage tomb at Cnoc Gae

Prehistoric Maltropia is known only from archaeological evidence, although early medieval annals attempted to offer a chronology of human settlement dating back to the Biblical Deluge. It is believed that Maltropia was first settled as early as 12000 BC. The earliest human habitation in the archaeological record, tentatively dated to 3600 BC, consisted mainly of coastal settlement along the eastern shore. This settlement was characterised by shellfish middens and wooden huts identified by their postholes. Prehistoric Maltropian society consisted largely of migratory bands of hunter-gatherers and coastal tribes that relied on fishing and shoreline gathering. The Sraheer Find, the 1976 discovery of a settlement that had been crushed by an avalanche around 2800 BC, revealed a relatively complex social hierarchy in northwest Maltropia. In southern Maltropia, a pastoral society based on cattle-herding emerged in the early third millennium BC. Agriculture was introduced to Maltropia around 2500 BC in coastal Espin.

Between 2500 and 1500 BC, as Maltropia transitioned from the Neolithic to the Bronze Age, its inhabitants erected large earthworks and megalithic structures. Such structures ranged from simple hill forts, such as those of chieftains in Tirucca and Argalium, to the vast burial complexes at Cnoc Gae and Úag Mor.

(200 BC-500 AD)

First Kingdoms era (c. 500-785)

The early medieval Espian fortress of Pelira Lium, near modern Pelarum

Rather than indicating the emergence of Maltropia's first kingdoms, the First Kingdoms era actually refers to the period of Maltropian history when the Espian civilisation, on the southern shore of Winter Bay, and the existing kingdoms of the Uí Chairbre and Uí Midire, among others, consolidated their power in their respective regions. Control over key trade routes, both on land and sea, around the two Maltropian peninsulas allowed these túatha to establish themselves as prosperous overkingdoms over numerous lesser powers. Monarchies in a recognisable sense had existed in Maltropia since the first millennium BC, but it was not until about the year five hundred that a hierarchy of kings and overkings developed and identities began to emerge on a scale superior to local or tribal identity.

This period also saw further development of the hill forts and other hilltop strongholds that had facilitated the initial rise of chieftaincies and kingdoms. Sites such as the Espian fortress of Pelira Lium were rebuilt as stone citadels that controlled trade along major arteries and also acted as storehouses and places of refuge in times of famine or war.

The Tumult (785-812)

Towards the end of the eighth century, a series of succession crises provoked by a combination of Svedic raids and famine led to a period of civil war, known as the Tumult, in northwest Maltropia. Winter storms were also noticeably worse in this period than previously, and the Annals of Ecriu recorded that "each winter is worse than the last, bringing dearth and death and misery". Rendered impassable by snow and bandits, traditional trade routes collapsed, compounding the shortages from poor harvests. Royal authority broke down in many of the north's statelets, and by the mid-790s more remote powers such as Psantholing and Espin were facing their own troubles as many of their northern neighbours migrated south from the spreading cold. The Tumult reached its most calamitous in the winter of 803, when marauding bands from Tirucca crossed the frozen Cladagh River, looting the kingdoms around Escir, then a vassal state of the Uí Charbre which was unable to defend them. By the close of the period, Carberian hegemony in the region had been virtually eradicated by the nascent Corcagian power to its east and other groups in the south, while the kings of Espin were forced to cede swathes of land to the Argalic princes who had become established on Winter Bay after moving south to avoid the worst of the changing climate. The collapse of traditional power centres paved the way for minor states to reach new heights of power and, more immediately, for ecclesiastic centres to enter the realm of Maltropian high politics.

Church politics: the reform era (812-1153)

Ruins of Eochaill's Mainistir Mór, or Great Monastery, built in the eleventh century

The ninth century saw the emergence of city-states and bishoprics in the aftermath of the Tumult. The city-bishoprics of Ivory and Ardencross emerged as states independent of their former lieges, the Uí Midire and Uí Chairbe, respectively, as did numerous other cities across Maltropia. Ivory in particular found itself in a vastly changed landscape, as Montrose was free of Eochaill's hegemony and quickly became divided among competing lordships. In addition to casting off their temporal overlords, many of these lordships rejected the established diocesan hierarchy, undermining the authority of the archbishops at Eochaill, Ardencross and Tallaght. A number of church synods attempted to resolve the fractured diocesan politics, and in 844 the Synod of Uisneach recognised the primacy of Ivory over its rivals in Eochaill, Lisdare and Cloghroe, while Ardencross and Tallaght retained their primacies in the west and Rostúaid was granted primacy in the northeast.

The old power centres of the First Kingdoms era, and even those which had emerged during the Tumult, proved unable to prevent Maltropia from fragmenting into small statelets and federations of church centres which fielded their own armies to prevent their secular neighbours infringing on their own domains. By the early tenth century, the Prince-Bishopric of Ivory was as powerful an entity as the Uí Midire, controlling a vast hinterland and heading a major federation. Except in the northwest, where the Corcagian monarchs had a symbiotic relationship with the Archbishopric of Tallaght, Maltropia's kingdoms and chiefdoms found themselves subordinate to spiritual rulers.

Even in Espin, where traditionally the monarchy had dominated politics, the Church asserted itself, taking its cue from the Maltropian Church. A series of weak Espian rulers allowed much of the administration of the state fall into the hands of the bishops in the middle of the ninth century. The kings of Espin vied with the bishops in subsequent decades for a restoration of royal power, culminating in the Expulsion of the Bishops in 1024. This action was reversed in 1031 after the death of King Nimius II, but the royal message had been made clear.

Second Kingdoms era (1153-1482)

The Battle of the Hill of Hell was fought between the forces of Ivorian Confederation and the Uí Midire

The ecclesiastical hegemony began to break down in the mid-1100s, as the kings of the ancient monarchies reasserted their authority at the expense of the bishops. Growing tensions came to a head in 1148, when Congalach Seilide refused to attend a synod convened by the bishop of Ivory. The result, after some escalation, was a war between the Ivorian Federation and the Uí Midire of whom Congalach was king. The war lasted five years and saw most of the Ivorian Federation defect to Congalach one by one until the Peace of na hÍsle was signed on the sand flats in the Lisdare fjord. Ivory swore fealty to Eochaill and the federation was dismantled. It was the end of the era of Church rule and the start of the Second Kingdoms era.

It has been said of Maltropian history that its time periods can be traced by seeing what is being built at a given time. The Second Kingdoms era is characterised by the rapid propagation of stone castles, where the era preceding had seen abbeys and fortified monasteries emerge as a result of Church supremacy. In contrast with those of the First Kingdoms era, the castles of this period were intended as full-time residences of local rulers, not merely places of refuge or storage.

Muccida Castle, built c. 1190

Fortresses such as Muccida Castle, in the Sord, emerged as fortified keeps, sometimes overlooking a small town. The city of Eochaill was the first major city to be enclosed by a full circuit of stones walls, largely erected between 1147 and 1173.

The main power centres of this era were in the south and east. The Peace of na hÍsle reestablished the Uí Midire as the most senior dynasty in Maltropia, at the same time as the Argalic and Alvian lords on Winter Bay and Thresher's Bay, respectively, were accumulating influence and territory. An Ishgarian traveller described Sciath Ailbe in 1204 as "the most prosperous and magnificent of the cities on the Carbery road, the chief port south of Ardencross and the heart of a fertile and pleasant hinterland." In the east, Man Pelira Rium (modern Pelarum) was, for a time, "a royal centre no less in stature than Esrium itself." Wars between these states were infrequent, particularly in comparison to the hotbed of Cluain Áed which remained torn between Corcagian and Rathylian forces throughout this period.

The Corcagian Kingdom was in the ascendancy in the latter half of the Second Kingdoms era, assimilating its neighbours and extending into the former lands of the Uí Chairbre. A brief renaissance in Carberian power under Domhnall II Derglám stalled its expansion, but the War of the Mills and Marshes saw Muilendríg fall to Tadáis mac Art in 1418. Corcagia owed its success in part to technological advancements such as cannon and to the establishment of royal armouries to outfit its semi-professional armies. Over the next decade, the Carberian-Corcagian frontier moved gradually southward. In 1429, Domhnall's daughter Gormflaith was married to Tadáis. Domhnall died the following year and was succeeded by his daughter, who bore eleven children by Tadáis over the next twenty years. Union of the two kingdoms did not take place, however, until their seventh and youngest son, Toirdelbach, ascended their thrones in 1482 after defeating his siblings in a civil war, earning the title Buadhach.

Maltropian empire (1482-1633)

(1633-1730)

17th century fortress-manors, such as that on Blaney's Scarp, are a common feature dotting the west Maltropian landscape
The Táin Bó Uí Rábhaille (O'Ralley's Cattle-raid, 1656) was one of the last major cattle-raids in Maltropian history

(1730-1890)

The War of the Kings and Princes broke out in late 1737 and lasted until mid-1739. This was the last major conflict arising from the expansion of the Maltropian Empire and it saw the monarchy extend its authority eastward at the expense of the Maltropian princes, financially and politically. In the aftermath of the conflict, the princes turned to the merchant classes for finance in order to resecure their position, creating a dependence on the merchants who gained substantial political sway from the new arrangement. In March 1758, King Diarmuid Fionn moved to introduce a constitution to protect the peasants and the traditional rights and lands of the princes. Alarmed by the threat to their incomes and political sway, the merchant classes rebelled in the Constitution Riots, seizing control of Tallaght and forts throughout Newmarsh. By April, a leadership of the rebels had coalesced and compiled a list of guarantees they wished the king to make, including protection of the property they had purchased from the princes over the two previous decades. Low-level conflict continued until 1 May, when the king agreed to what became known as the May Guarantees, enshrining the right to property and its inviolability as a fundamental right under the new constitution.

Modern history (1890-present)

Civil War

The Last Absolution of the Newmarsh Fusiliers: Royalist soldiers before the Siege of Moraine

Liberalisation

In 1933, Sinéad Uí Dhubhuir became the first to fly nonstop between Maltropia and Stiltonia, a distance of 5610 kilometres

The aftermath of the civil war ushered in an era of relaxed social [nouns] and saw the [blah] of taboos. Let's add some content here later about that.

Geography

Maltropia is located on the continent of Continentname and is the most northerly country in Paradoxia. It is divided into two constituent nations: Maltropia and the Maltropian Islands. The former is often colloquially referred to as 'the Mainland,' half of its landmass composed of two of the large peninsulæ in the northwest of the so-called "Paradoxian platypus;" the remainder is bounded by Northern Bigfootia in the east, Nefreedia in the south and Ishgar in the west. The Maltropian Islands are separated from continental Maltropia by the Johan Sea. At 1,712,833 square kilometres, continental Maltropia accounts for 69% of the country territory's; the 769,295 square kilometres of the Islands comprise the remaining 31%.

Sliabh Babhla, in the Ardawns in Snowheight

Maltropia is predominantly a mountainous country, with upland or mountainous areas, as classified by the Royal Geological Commission, covering 70% of the mainland and 40-50% of the islands. The western peninsula is characterised by two parallel mountain ranges which run its length, while the eastern peninsula has just one north-south range. In the south, these ranges connect with the Ardawns, a mountain belt which runs through Tirucca, Snowheight and the Angle. A number of minor chains also exist, some as offshoots of the main belts. Mountain ranges in the Maltropian Islands include the Coinnle Bhána ("White Candles"), which run north-south through Myre and Cinn Óir, and the ____ in [[][]] and Dál bhFéidhlim.

[Discussion of icecaps and glaciers to go here]

As a whole, the empire's population totals some 6.8 billion people, of whom roughly three fifths live on the mainland. Much of the populace resides in major urban centres, such as Corcaigh Nua (also the nation's capital), with a population of 186 million, Sráid-bhó and Eochaill in mainland Maltropia; and Argensborough and Sturnetown-on-Railte in the Maltropian Islands. The highest population densities are found on the coasts of the Islands, and in the north and west of the mainland. In contrast, the southeast consists largely of sparsely populated bog and moorlands, grouped into one large territorial division called An Deasóir.

Loch Ceithern, eastern Maltropia

Topographically, most of the country is mountainous or hilly, the steepest mountains being those straddling the Nefreedian border in the south. However, the region of Claon Eogh consists of low plains about the River Dúisc, and as such it is considered Maltropia's breadbasket. The MBR consists of a number of plateaux and plains, marked by rivers flowing down from the mountains in the north and east. Flatlands are generally present on the coasts, rising to the high mountains in the nation's interior. The land between the mountains and the sea, however, is quite expansive, and provides ample room for a high-quality motorway and rail network and much urban development. In the west, a wide plateau on the border between Tír Midire and Ard Abhainn is the location of one of the nation's larger conurbations, that of Terestown-Westfort. These two cities both have major airports within a number of miles from their respective centres, as do most Maltropian cities. Given the high percentage of mountainous land in the nation, government policy has encouraged the construction of numerous airports and several airlines in order to avoid the difficulty of land-based travel.

Inis Bríd, in the Maltropian Islands

The Maltropian Islands are a seismically active archipelago northwest of Paradoxia. Formed by volcanic activity on a now ancient plate margin, the Islands still experience small tremors with relative frequency. The Insí Ritta were formed within the last 3,000 years, however, as a result of a hotspot which briefly existed under the plate. This activity has not yet had any major impact on the Islands or their economy, though local building regulations require the use of earthquake-resistant designs. Due to the position of the Islands, they have served a key historical role as the main international base of the Maltropian Royal Navy, which operates out of the city of Farranree. Like all coastal Maltropian cities, Farranree boasts a wide and deep port, sheltered from most storms and capable of accommodating several thousand vessels.

Flora and fauna

The Maltropian giant deer is found in southwest Maltropia and the southern Maltropian Islands

Maltropia's diverse animal life is well-adapted to its temperate and arctic climate regions. Mammals, both terrestrial and marine, tend to possess thick winter coats. Many shed this coat in the warmer summer months, although others migrate northward with the retreat of snow and ice. Many smaller mammals, such as badgers, hedgehogs and other rodents, as well as bears hibernate for the winter - in the most northerly regions, some species can hibernate for up to nine months of the year. Other species possess other seasonal or geographic adaptations, such as all-white fur as camouflage for snowy terrain. This characteristic can be seen in various native mammals, birds and insects.

Especially in the more northerly regions of the country, overall biological diversity is low. The arctic climate has made it difficult for many otherwise cosmopolitan species to colonise Maltropia without special adaptations to its long winters. In contrast to the terrestrial biomes, Maltropia's marine fauna is extremely diverse; the country's waters include some of the most biologically productive regions in Paradoxia's oceans. Cold-water coral reefs support a diversity on par with tropical reefs and rain forests. Maltropian marine wildlife includes a wide range of pinnipeds, including fur seals, grey seals and walrus, as well as numerous cetacean species, including the white-sided dolphin, orca and humpback whale. Harbour porpoises inhabit many bay and estuary systems around Maltropian coasts.

Politics

Palace of the Princes, Corcaigh Nua, meeting place of the Council of Nobles

Subdivisions and local government

Law

Maltropia has a common law legal system with a written constitution which establishes a parliamentary monarchy over its two nations. Legislation is distinct and unique between its two constituent nations, although a regularly exercised function of the monarch is the ability to introduce passed legislation from one nation's legislature to the other's to maintain consistency and unity. Laws are applied by the national judiciary which consists of the High Court, the Court of Appeal, the Circuit Court and the District Court.

Foreign affairs

Military

  • Maltropian Inter-Continental Missile Array Command (MICMAC)

Economy

The Maltropian economy is one defined by a market with minimal regulation or government intervention. From the 1940s, government policy was guided by the principle of laissez-faire, and the crown gradually broke its monopolies in markets such as air transport and energy production. It nevertheless maintained partial ownership over several major companies, such as the Ardencross Naval Yards and Príomhbanc Maltróipea, as a source of income in lieu of falling tax revenues as the highest income tax rate fell from 25% to its current rate of 5%.

Because of its low tax rates and low regulation, Maltropia has become a haven for international business. In addition to major Maltropian firms such as Maritime Imperial and deAlaya Motorworks, the country hosts the operations of foreign multinational corporations such as Yohannesian shipwright Royal Beaufort, major Confederate MNC Griffincrest Oil, and _Nik pls_ and National Bank of Romberg from Maltropia's EATC allies Nikolia and Romberg.

Sea freight in the Silverfort Sound

For centuries, Maltropia has depended economically on the sea. Fishing remains an important primary industry, responsible for 0.9% of the national GDP. With increasing levels of industrialisation between the 1920s and 1970s, sea freight took on a new importance in transporting ever larger quantities of goods, particularly as the Civil War had left much of its railway network destroyed. Shipbuilding companies became vital to the well-being of the Maltropian economy, and traditional maritime centres such as Ardencross and Esrium, home of Ardencross Naval Yards and Maritime Imperial, respectively, become among the most prosperous regions in the country.

A long period of peace in the mid-20th century saw the decline of the manufacturing sector, balancing at the present employment rate of roughly 30% of the population. Maltropia's manufacturing sector includes such major international firms as the Norn Ironworks, Maritime Imperial and automotive companys such as Diamond Star and deAlaya Motorworks. The tertiary sector employs roughly 62% of the population, and is focused mainly on information technology, finance (banks and insurance), retail and tourism.

Transport

Roads and linear settlement along the Great Western Girdle, in Cinn Óir

Maltropia possesses extensive transport networks which connect its major cities as well as remote Arctic towns and islets. These networks officially exist under a two-tier system. Public transport is largely state-owned, including the vast majority of its railway infrastructure and three quarters of the national road network. In addition to service by MalRail, the state-owned company, the railway network is franchised to private operators and there is often competition along major routes. The Turnpike Act of 1885 facilitated the further development of an already-extensive network of private roads. These were nationalised from the 1930s onward. Official barriers to private development of roads remain minimal, with restrictions designed to limit redundancy and over-development. Just forty percent of the total length of motorway in Maltropia is state-owned. Toll roads constitute much of the privately-owned remainder, although some are free-use motorways.

Most international and regional airports in Maltropia are state-owned or semi-state, while almost all local airports and some regional are privately owned and operated. Since 2008 the government has been in the process of gradually privatising its airports, although only four had been sold to private operators by 2017. Aerfort Chorcaí Nua, the largest airport in Maltropia and one of the largest in the world, is run as a semi-state institution. All Maltropian airlines are privately owned, including the flag carrier Aer Maltrópa. The International Air Transport Association is headquartered in Maltropia. Maltropia's domestic civil aviation authority is Údarás Um Eitlíocht Shibhialta.

Communications

Fibre-optic cable being laid in Tyrmidra

The Ministry of Telecommunications and Media is responsible for development and oversight of Maltropia's telecoms, which it performs by assisting private enterprise with development funds. In 2007, a major stimulus package was delivered aimed at developing mainland Maltropia's radio, television and internet networks. A major project aimed at developing a nationwide optical fibre network for the mainland was unveiled in mid-2016, with a view to completing the second stage by 2025. This project, with an estimated cost of 22 billion ducats ($45 billion), is to receive one third of its funding come from the government, which will be gradually regained out of a portion of the revenues earned by the private sector companies involved.[1]

Demographics

Population distribution

Most of Maltropia is rugged and sparsely populated

Because of its geography, most of Maltropia is sparsely populated. Its twenty largest population centres are all located on the coast or on river estuaries, as further inland the terrain is more mountainous and the climate less mild.

Urban centres

Religion

Culture

Music

Maltropia has a rich musical culture, with some folk songs surviving from the first millennium BC. Traditional music remains vibrant in modern Maltropia, though production of such music has declined since the early nineteenth century. Songs such as The Whaler provide substantial insight into historic Maltropian culture and society.

References

  1. "Crown to co-fund new optical fibre network", Corcaigh Nua Herald, 23 July 2016. Retrieved 11 January 2017.