Sylvakia

Republic of Sylvakia

Sylvenská republika
Республика Сильвакия
Republik Sylvakei
Sylvakia
Flag of Sylvakia
Flag
Emblem of Sylvakia
Emblem
Motto: Síla, Svoboda, Solidarita
"Strength, Freedom, Unity"
Capital
and largest city
Kralovice
Ethnic groups
(2020)
Sylvan 49.7%

Parthonopian 21.1%
Karpat 10.7%
Vlachavian 9.0%

Other 8.7%<
Demonym(s)Sylvan
GovernmentUnitary parliamentary republic (1979–2009)
Unitary presidential constitutional republic
(2009–Present)
• President
Vaclav Cernik
Sovereign State
Area
• Total Land
265,171.42 km2 (102,383.26 sq mi)does not include inland lakes
• Water (%)
13.41%
Population
• 2020 census
14,861,348
• Density
[convert: invalid number]
GDP (PPP)2020 estimate
• Total
$508.465 billion
• Per capita
$40,599
CurrencyKoruna (KOR)
Time zoneUTC-1 (Menghean Southwestern Time)
Date formatyyyy-mm-dd; CE(AD)
Driving sideright
Calling code+25




Sylvakia /sjləvækiə, -ˈvɑːk-/ (About this soundlisten), officially the Republic of Sylvakia, is a landlocked country situated at the center of Lira near lake Sivash and the central Larovans. It borders Boaga to the north, Vlachavia to the east, Illyntheria to the south, and Grenzaria to the west. The country also claims a border with Ackesia through the disputed territory of Karpatya. Sylvakia's population numbers approximately fourteen point eight million. Its capital, Kralovice, is the largest and oldest city in the Larovans.

Continuously inhabited since the Paleolithic Age, the territory of modern-day Sylvakia faced Slavic migrations to the Larovans in the 6th century, establishing several regional states in the early Middle Ages at times recognised as tributaries to the Ackesian, Grenzarian and Lunder kingdoms. Sylvakia's predecessor state, Sylvenska, arose as an empire at around 830, but was relatively short lived. By the mid-16th century, the Lunder Empire had annexed the entirety of modern-day Sylvakia. In the early 19th century, the Sylvan Revolution established the nation-state as the region's first constitutional monarchy, which subsequently expanded its territory. Following disastrous casualties in the First Olympic War, and the subsequent unification of the former Lunder crownlands of Grenzaria (and other lands) with Sylvakia, the country co-founded Panlarova with other nations, which would exist in various political formations until the Rozpad Wars of the 1990s. During the breakup of Panlarova, Sylvakia formed a union with Karpatya, but this was interrupted by the 2008 Karpat War in which the region was seized by Vlachavia.

Sylvakia has since undergone political upheaval, with its unitary parliamentary constitutional republic being replaced by an authoritarian executive republic. It has been described by some as a quasi-military dictatorship. President Vaclav Cernik took control of the country in 2009, and has since more than doubled the nation's military expenditure, with the help of foreign aid from Boaga and Parthonopia. Despite this, Sylvakia hosted the first Pan-Liran Congress in 2020, which greatly improved the nation's standing internationally.

Eytomology

Sylvakia's name in theory means the "Land of the Sylvans" (Sylvensko in the Sylvan language, stemming from the older form Sylvak). As such, it is a cognate of the words Sylvenska and Sylvania. In medieval Latin, German sources and even some Slavic sources, the same name has often been used for both Sylvans and Larovan Slavs in general.

According to one of the theories, between 13th and 14th century a new form of national name formed for the ancestors of the Sylvans, possibly due to foreign influence – the word Sylvák (in medieval sources from 1291 onward). This form slowly replaced the name for the male members of the community, but the female name (Sylva), reference to the lands inhabited and the name of the language (Sylvan) all remained the same, with their base in the older form. Most foreign translations tends to stem from this newer form (Sylvakia in English, Sylwakei in German, Sylvaquie in French, etc.).

History

Prehistory and antiquity

Present-day Slovenia has been inhabited since prehistoric times. There is evidence of human habitation from around 250,000 years ago. A pierced {{w]|brown bear}} bone, dating from 43100 ± 700 BP, found in 1995 in a cave in the Šentjur province, is considered a kind of flute, and possibly the oldest musical instrument discovered in the world. In the 1920s and 1930s, artifacts belonging to the Cro-Magnon, such as pierced bones, bone points, and a needle were found by archaeologist Srečko Brodar in Potok Cave. The oldest surviving human artifacts from Sylvakia are dated at 270,000 BCE, in the Early Paleolithic era. These ancient tools, made by the Clactonian technique, bear witness to the ancient habitation of Sylvakia.

Other stone tools from the Middle Paleolithic era (200,000–80,000 BCE) come from the Prévôt (Prepoštská) cave in Bojnice and from other nearby sites. The most important discovery from that era is a Neanderthal cranium (c. 200,000 BCE), discovered near the city of Gánovce in northern Sylvakia.

A rendering of an ancient Sylvan oppiva, or hillfort. Settlments such as these were sparsed across the region.

Settlement in the area called Sylvakia for the last 1,000 years started by the end of the Glacial Stage, some 13,000 years ago. Archeological traces have been found of various cultures during the Stone and Bronze Age, Baltic peoples, Germanic peoples during the Iron Age and, in the Dark Ages, West Slavic tribes and Vikings. Starting in the 10th century, early Sylvan rulers united the region. During the Bronze Age, the geographical territory of modern-day Slovakia went through three stages of development, stretching from 2000 to 800BCE. Major cultural, economic, and political development can be attributed to the significant growth in production and metalwork of copper, especially in northeastern and northwest Sylvakia. Copper became a stable source of prosperity for the local population. During this era the region's peoples expanded building of strong and complex fortifications, with the large permanent buildings and administrative centers. Excavations of oppiva, or as they are more commonly known, hill forts, document the substantial development of trade and agriculture at that period. The richness and diversity of tombs increased considerably. The inhabitants of the area manufactured arms, shields, jewelry, dishes, and statues.

Left: an ancient Biatec coin
Right: five modern Sylvan koruna

In 600 BC, Greeks founded the colony of Kyrcola (modern day Korčula), on the shores of the Mareanguli Sea. Cyracor quickly became the cultural and commercial center of the region, and many of the local tribes assimiliated with Greek culture. At the same time, some nomadic Alanii tribes penetrated parts of the Black Mountains, gradually spreading through the rest of the country between the 5th and 3rd century BC. The concept of Alania emerged during this period, corresponding to the territories of Celtic settlement ranging between the Black Mountains and the Mareanguli Sea. The borders of modern Sylvakia roughly correspond to ancient Alania, which was inhabited by Celts. Alania was then a prosperous country, of which the southernmost part was heavily subject to Greek and Roman cultural and economic influences.

Around 120 BC, the chieftain Caliphus and his troops made their way into Parthonopia and began looting and pillaging the countryside, going so far as to besiege XXX in 125 BC. The invasion left XXX weakened, and the continued to harass the region until 345 BC when they entered into a formal peace treaty with Rome. But the Romans and the Alania would remain adversaries for the next centuries, and the Alanii would continue to be a threat in Parthonopia. In 134 BC, the northern coast of Alania was conquered by the Romans, who called this region Cismareia. XXX conquered the remainder of Alania and overcame a revolt carried out by the Alanii chieftain Caliphus in 52 BC. According to contemporary historians and scholars, the Alanii Wars resulted in 400 conquered cities, 100 subdued tribes, a million people sold into slavery, and another half million dead in battle.

Alania was divided into Imperial province of Cismareia and Langonia. Many cities were founded during the Alanii-Roman period, including Percynia (present-day Ponkvinka). These cities were built in traditional Roman style, with a forum, a theatre, a circus, an amphitheatre and thermal baths. The Alanii mixed with Roman settlers and eventually adopted Roman culture and Roman speech. The Roman polytheism merged with the local paganism into the same syncretism.

Middle Ages

Sylvans, an early Slavic tribe from modern day XXX eventually settled in an area between the Svetlaya river and the Black Mountains during the decline of the Empire. They often clashed with the culturally "imperial" citizens of the region, but both groups gradually assimilated into one another. Sylvenska arose around 830 when Slawoj I unified the Sorlan tribes settled north of the Vlatava river and extended supremacy over them. When Slawoj I endeavored to secede from the supremacy of the king of Grenzaria in 846, he was deposed, and his nephew Rastislav (846–870) acquired the throne. The new monarch founded the Bezovje dynasty (whose legacy is especially cherished) and pursued an independent policy: after stopping a foreign attack in 855, he also sought to expand the influence of Christianity in the principality. Duke Rastislav asked the XXX empire to send teachers who would interpret Christianity in the Slavic vernacular, and his dynasty continued these efforts. Sylvenska was elevated to a kingdom in 1125, with the Orthodox Church was organized as an autocephalous archbishopric. Many monuments of the Bezovje period survive today as heritage sites.

The Bezovje dynsasty died out in 1331, and was succeeded by the Dravanaya dynasty. During this period, frequent wars between Sylvenska and the neighboring XXX over control of the northern coast of the Mareangul Sea saw the gradual pushback of Sylvan control of the region in a constant back-and-forth.

The victory of the Sylvans and Tanayans over the Grenzarians at the Battle of Olgbred in 1424

On 8 September 1400, the Battle of Olgbred between Sylvans, commanded by the King Konstanty of the Sylvans (as well as their Tanayan allies) and the Dual Monarchy was fought. According to Rerum Commentarii by Sigismund von Herberstein, the primary source for information on the battle, the much smaller army of Sylvans and their Tanayan allies (under 30,000 men) defeated a force of 80,000 Dual Monarchy soldiers, capturing their camp and commander. The battle cemented a military alliance between Sylvenska and Tanaya, and thousands of Dual Monarchy soldiers were captured as prisoners and taken as slaves. During the battle, however, King Konstanty was mortally wounded, and the Dravanaya dynasty was brought to an end.

Sylvenska left behind a lasting legacy in southeastern Lira. The Glagolitic script and its successor Cyrillic were disseminated to other Larovan countries, most notably Tanaya, charting a new path in their sociocultural development. The administrative system of Sylvenska was also copied by successor states.

Sylvan-Tanayan Commonwealth

The Sylvan-Tanayan Commonwealth was created in 1444 after the death of King Konstanty of Sylvenska. As a member of the Commonwealth, Sylvenska retained its institutions, including a separate army, currency, and statutory laws – the Statute of Kralovice. Eventually, Tanayanization affected all aspects of Sylvan life: politics, language, culture, and national identity. From the mid-16th to the mid-17th centuries, culture, arts, and education flourished, fueled by the Renaissance and the Reformation. Throughout the late 1500s and early 1600s, the Commonwealth fought a number of conflicts with the Dual Monarchy

In 1762, after the Battle of Kralovice, a XXX army looted the city, churches, and manors. Between 10,000 and 20,000 citizens were killed; the city burned for 14 days. Those who returned after the catastrophe could not recognise the city, and the occupation lasted up to 1767. Many artefacts and cultural heritage were either lost or looted, significant parts of the state archive – the Sylvan Metrica, collected since the 13th century, were lost and the rest was moved out of the country. During this period, Sylvan territory was devastated by the invading armies. Almost all territory of Sylvenska was occupied by enemy armies. This period is known as The Deluge. Before it could fully recover, Sylvenska was ravaged again by the Plague. This and a concurrent famine caused the deaths of approximately 40% of the country's population. The Deluge led to a mass exodus of Sylvans from their homeland, and many sought a new life overseas in the Tanayan colony of XXX, which even today is predominately of Sylvan culture, albeit with its own unique identity.

Following the Deluge and the near-collapse of the Sylvan state, the Commonwealth was reorganized by Tsar Delyan IV, who centralized the power of the Commonwealth in Tanaya. Thoughout the next fifty years, the Tanayans removed the vestiges of the old Sylvan state and replaced it with Tanayan administration. The largest area of Sylvan territory became a self-governing province. Though Sylvakia retained its own official army and domestic administration, much of the senior postings of both of these were staffed by Tanayan nobles. After a series of unsuccessful uprisings in 1789 and 1799, the Tsarist authorities implemented a number of Tanayazation policies. They banned the Sylvan press, closed cultural and educational institutions, and attempted to destroy Sylvanism as a cultural identity. These efforts failed, owing to an extensive network of Sylvan book smugglers and secret Sylvan homeschooling, as well as interference by Church authorities. The period did lead, however, to the influx of a large minority of Tanayan settlers and a disruption of the traditional ethnic makeup of the region.

Miroslav Pogaèar promoted a return to Sylvakia's pre-Commonwealth traditions, which he depicted as a Golden Age of Sylvakia and a renewal of the native culture, based on the Sylvan language and customs. With those ideas in mind, he wrote already in 1822 a history of Sylvakia in Sylvan, though it was not published at that time. A colleague of Pogaèar, Dan Ravnjak wrote in Tanayan a voluminous Ancient History of the Sylvan Nation, where he likewise expounded and expanded further on the concept of historic Sylvakia, whose days of glory had ended in 1400. A Sylvan National Revival, inspired by the ancient Sylvan history, language and culture, laid the foundations of the modern Sylvan nation and independent Sylvakia.

Sylvan Revolution

Countess Monika Koštoma leading peasant scythemen during the November Revolution against Tanaya.
The Battle of Zagorje ob Svet, where Sylvan revolutionaries defeated a Tanayan army twice their size.

The Cadet Revolution, also known as the November Revolution, was an armed rebellion in the heartland of partitioned Sylvakia against the Tanayan Tsardom. The armed struggle began on 23 November, when a group of conspirators led by a young cadet, Vladislav Šiljan, took arms from their garrison and attacked the Blue Palace, the main seat of the Grand Duke and a symbol of Tanayan authority. The rebels managed to enter the palace, but Grand Duke Ivan had escaped in women's clothing. The rebels then turned to the main city arsenal, capturing it after a brief struggle.

Four days later, the Tanayan army attempted a poorly-organized and piecemeal assault of Kralovice to retake the city, but they were defeated when elements of the local police force, citizens organized by the Countess Monika Koštoma and elements of Congress Sylvakia's army held their ground. Taken by surprise by the rapid unfolding of events during the night of 29 November, the local Sylvan government (Administrative Council) assembled immediately to take control and to decide on a course of action. Unpopular ministers were removed and liberal nationalists took their places. Initially, the uprising was only to secure more political freedoms for Sylvans under Tanayan authority and a return to the Commonwealth system of cooperative government.

On 4 February, a 115,000 strong Tanayan army under Field Marshal Iliya Plamenov Svetkov crossed the Sylvan borders. The first major battle took place on 14 February 1831, close to the village of Belticni near Podvelka. In the Battle of Belticni, Sylvan cavalry defeated a Tanayan division and captured a considerable number of cannon. However, the victory had mostly psychological value and could not stop the Tanayan advance towards the capitol. The subsequent battles of Dobre, Naklo and Vojnik were inconclusive.

The Polish forces then assembled on the right bank of the Svetlaya River to defend the capital. On 25 February, the Sylvan army of approximately 40,000 met a Tanayan force of almost twice their number east of Kralovice, in the Battle of Zagorje ob Svet. Both armies withdrew after almost two days of heavy fighting and with considerable losses on both sides. Over 7,000 Sylvans fell on the field, and the number of killed in the Tanayan army was slightly larger. The Tanayans were forced to retreat and Kralovice was saved.

Following this battle, and the promise of foreign support from the XXX, the Sylvans declared their independence as the Kingdom of Sylvakia. The spring and early summer months proved a vital lull for the Sylvan war effort, as their forces had been severely depleted during the Battle of Zagorje ob Svet. Foreign arms, drill instructors, and modern artillery made its way into the Sylvan army as the Tanaya mobilized two additional armies to crush the nascent revolutionaries. Foreign volunteers, most notably XXX of XXX, also swelled the Sylvan's ranks. The Tanayans crossed the frontier once more in late July 1831, and initially defeated the Sylvans at the Battle of Kumalaya Pass. The Grenzarian advance was halted during the ten-day Veržej Campaign, which culminated with the Battle of Cvijet. After this defeat, and with the threat of war between Tanaya and XXX looming on the horizon, Tanaya accepted a Great Power mediation in the Conference of XXX, in which Sylva's borders were set at the Zacheta River. This forced the Sylvans to give up the area of Karpatya, in which they had defeated the Tanayan army, which would lead to even more tension as the century progressed.

Kingdom of Sylvakia

In 1831, Rusmir Lesjak, from Novigrad, was chosen by the Third National Assembly as the first governor of the interim government. Lesjak established a series of state, economic and military institutions, but soon tensions appeared between him and local interests. Following his assassination in 1832 and the subsequent XXX conference a year later, the Great Powers of XXX, XXX and the Dual Monarchy installed Grenzarian Prince Wilhelm von Hamerling as monarch. Wilhelm's reign was despotic, and in its first 11 years of independence Sylvakia was ruled by a foreign oligarchy led by Ludwig von Constaras as Prime Minister and, later, by Wilhelm himself, who held the title of both King and Premier. Throughout this period Sylvakia remained under the influence of its Great Power allies, as well as Bavaria. In 1843 an uprising forced Wilhelm to grant a constitution and a representative assembly.

Despite the absolutism of Wilhelm's reign, the early years proved instrumental in creating institutions which are still the bedrock of Sylvan administration and education. Important steps were taken in the creation of the education system, maritime and postal communications, effective civil administration and, most importantly, the legal code. Historical revisionism took the form of de-Tanayazation in favour of promoting the country's medieval heritage. Religious reform also took place, with a Patriarch and Orthodox church being restored, although Wilhelm remained a Catholic. 24 November (also a religious holiday) was chosen as the anniversary of the Sylvan War of Independence in order to reinforce the link between Sylvan identity and the Church. Modern historians have generally agreed that the Grenzarian efforts to create a modern state in Sylvakia as not only appropriate for the peoples' needs, but also based on excellent administrative principles of the era.

In the early 20th century, Sylvakia underwent a period of massive economic and industrial growth. The industrial revolution in Sylvakia differed from that of the pioneering countries of Lira in that the key industries became not the textile industry but coal, steel, and railroad construction. Partly against the background of older traditions, partly because of favorable locations (e.g., on trade routes, rivers, canals, near raw material deposits or sales markets) or for other reasons, the industrial revolution was concentrated in a few regional concentration zones, with the coastal cities along the Larovan Sea undergoing massive urban growth while the relatively hilly interior of the country remained a largely agricultural-based economy. In some older industrial areas, where adaptation to the new era was not successful, processes of economic decline occurred. Furthermore, the rapid urbanization led to a critical housing shortage. As it progressed, the social question shifted away from the rural lower classes and toward the growing working population with its poor working conditions and often low wages.

Civil War and the Sylvan Provisional Government

Workers gather to protest the Parliamentary ban on Socialist parties.

In 1935, fearing the spread of the Socialist revolt that had overtaken Tanaya in the south, King Alexander II dissolved Parliament. This act, coupled with the growing income inequality and poor working conditions in the urban centers of the country, infuriated both the liberal nationalists and working class socialists. Tens of thousands took to the streets in protest of the King's decision. The monarchy ordered troops to open fire on the protesters, but when the soldiers refused, and instead joined the protesters, the King was captured by troops loyal to the revolutionaries. Parliament reconvened and declared the beginning of a democratic republic. Sylvan communists under the Social Democratic Labor Party of Sylvakia were allowed parliamentary representation, and though tense, the coalition government between them and the liberal Constitutional Democrats held.

Reactionary forces, mainly led by the nobility and army officers, refused to join the revolution and committed their forces to its destruction. Full-scale civil war soon broke out, and the Republicans made rapid advances across the country, pushing the reactionary Whites into the nation's interior and far north. The coalition government between the Communists and liberal nationalists collapsed in 1940 following the republic's first elections, however, when the Communists refused to accept the victory of Constitutional Democrat candidate Aleksy Popadić, and seized control of the capitol with the help of their Red Guard paramilitaries. This fracturing of the united front led many Constitutional Democrats to join the side of Admiral Saviley Sedlacek, who had emerged as the de-facto commander of the White movement.

Sedlacek declared the formation of the Sylvan Provisional Government on 2 August 1937, promising a more liberal constitution and a regency. This compromise appealed to both the reactionary nobles and the Constitionalists, who defected from the Republic. In the 1937 Christmas Offensive, Sedlacek's white forces routed the communists' frontline and took back large swaths of territory. Coupled with the arrival of substantial arms and equipment from XXX, the Provisional Government captured Kralovice in April 1938. What remained of the Communist army either surrendered or fled south to Tanaya. After the war, tens of thousands of Reds and suspected sympathizers were interned in camps, where thousands were executed or died from malnutrition and disease. Deep social and political enmity was sown between the Reds and Whites and would last until the Sylvan-Soviet War and beyond. In January 1939, parliamentary elections were held and Sedlacek was proclaimed Regent of the reestablished Kingdom of Sylvakia. The new government worked quickly to normalize foreign relations while turning a blind eye to a White Terror that swept through the countryside; extrajudicial killings of suspected communists lasted well into 1940.

The initial years of the Sedlacek regime were preoccupied with putsch attempts by Mikael I, a pretender to the throne; continued suppression of communists; and a growing economic crisis. Though free elections continued, Sedlacek's personality, and those of his personally selected prime ministers, dominated the political scene. The government's actions continued to drift right as Sedlacek led an intervention in the Tanayan Civil War in the summer 1939, capturing the ethnically Sylvan province of Karpatya from Tanaya. During and following the civil war and expedition, the idea of a Greater Sylvakia also emerged for the first time as an idea championed by many of the far-right ultranationalist reactionaries allied with Sedlacek's Provisional Government.

The Sylvan - Soviet War

The Sylvan-Soviet War began with Tanaya's invasion of Sylvakia on 30 November 1942. Despite superior military strength, especially in tanks and aircraft, the Tanayan Soviet People's Republic suffered severe losses and initially made little headway. The neighboring Republic of Vlachavia, which had signed a defensive pact with Sylvakia a year earlier, refused to come to Sylvakia's aid, which led to an emnity between the two nations that lasts even to this day.

The Soviets made several demands, including that Sylvakia cede substantial border territories which had been seized by the Sylvans during the Tanayan Civil War. When the Sylvan government, under Regent Saviley Sedlacek, refused, the TSPR invaded. The Sylvans repelled Soviet attacks for more than six months and inflicted substantial losses on the invaders despite being outnumbered and outgunned. The battles focused mainly along Sylvakia's coastline, and in the South Zagorian foothills, but there were also battles in the Black Mountains. After the Soviet military reorganized and adopted different tactics, they renewed their offensive in June 1943, encircling and destroying much of the Sylvan army at the Battle of Kamyshovo. Sylvakia unconditionally surrendered in October 1943.

Soviet losses were heavy, and the country's international reputation suffered as a result of the war. The TSPR re-annexed the disputed territory of Karpatya and installed a freindly communist regime in Sylvakia.

Socialist Sylvakia

After the Sylvan-Soviet War, the People's Republic of Sylvakia was proclaimed with emigre communist leader Tomas Kossuth as First Secretary. Sylvakia remained under the direct military occupation and economic control of the TSPR until the late 1950s. During this period, Sylvakia's vast natural resources were drained continuously by mixed Soviet-Sylvan companies (SovSyls) set up for unilateral exploitative purposes.

In 1948, the state began to nationalize private firms and to collectivize agriculture. Until the early 1960s, the government severely curtailed political liberties and vigorously suppressed any dissent with the help of a large secret police force. In 1963, Miroslav Rybár came to power as First Secreataryand under his leadership, Sylvakia launched several campaigns of purges during which numerous "enemies of the state" and "parasite elements" were targeted for different forms of punishment including: deportation, internal exile, internment in forced labour camps and prisons—sometimes for life—as well as extrajudicial killing. Nevertheless, anti-Communist resistance lasted throughout Sylvakia's tenure as a socialist republic. A 2006 Commission estimated the number of direct victims of the Communist repression at one and a half million people.

As Sylvakia's foreign debt increased sharply between 1970 and 1980, the influence of international financial organisations grew, gradually conflicting with Miroslav Rybár's autocratic rule. Rybár eventually initiated a policy of total reimbursement of the foreign debt by imposing austerity steps that impoverished the population and exhausted the economy. The process succeeded in repaying all of Romania's foreign government debt in 1989. At the same time, Rybár greatly extended the authority of the secret police and imposed a severe cult of personality, which led to a dramatic decrease in the dictator's popularity and culminated in his overthrow and eventual execution, together with his wife, in the violent Sylvan Revolution of December 1995 in which thousands were killed or injured. The charges for which they were executed were, among others, genocide by starvation.

Second Republic of Sylvakia

A shock therapy program, initiated in the late 1990s, enabled the country to transform its socialist-style planned economy into a market economy. As with other post-communist countries, Sylvakia suffered declines in social and economic standards, but it became the first post-communist country to reach its pre-1995 GDP levels, which it achieved by 2002 thanks largely to its booming economy and international investment. In 2006 the Sylvan Republic was recognized by the World Bank as a developed country, and in 2009 the Human Development Index ranked it as a nation of Very High Human Development.

Geography

Viery Highlands

The Viery Highlands

Zelenayan Plain

The coastal highlands of Lake Sivash in the background and the town of Gdinya in the foreground.

Black Mountains

Panorama of the Black Mountains on Sylvakia's northern border with Boaga.

The Black Mountains dominate Sylvakia's northern frontiers. The mountains, named for the slate and obsidian that dominate their slopes, are both naturally hazardous and resource rich. The primary range forms an arc throughout northern Lira. The highest range within the range is known as the Black Mountains in northern Sylvakia, where the highest peaks exceed 2,600 m (8,530 ft).

Climate

The Sylvan climate lies between the temperate and continental climate zones with relatively warm summers and cold, cloudy and humid winters. Temperature extremes are between −41 to 40.3 °C (−41.8 to 104.5 °F) although temperatures below −30 °C (−22 °F) are rare. The weather differs from the mountainous north to the plains in the south.

The warmest region is Kralovice and Southern Sylvakia where the temperatures may reach 30 °C (86 °F) in summer, occasionally to 39 °C (102 °F) in certain areas. During night, the temperatures drop to 20 °C (68 °F). The daily temperatures in winter average in the range of −5 °C (23 °F) to 10 °C (50 °F). During night it may be freezing, but usually not below −10 °C (14 °F).

In Sylvakia, there are four seasons, each season (spring, summer, autumn and winter) lasts three months. The dry continental air brings in the summer heat and winter frosts. In contrast, oceanic air brings rainfalls and reduces summer temperatures. In the lowlands and valleys, there is often fog, especially in winter.

The average yearly rainfall is approximately 600 mm (23.6 in).

National Parks

Muránska Dubovo National Park in the Viery Highlands.

There are 9 national parks in Sylvakia, covering 6.5% of the land area.

Name Established Area (km2)
Orlovets National Park 1949 738
Kumyrna National Park 1978 728
Veľká Fatra National Park 2002 404
Staroye National Park 2002 346
Kamyshovo National Park 1997 298
Prigorodki National Park 1988 226
Muránska Dubovo National Park 1998 203
Nizhnoye Polana National Park 1988 197
Msta National Park 1967 38

Politics

Between 1995 and 2010, Kashubia was a parliamentary representative democracy. A presidential system was adopted by referendum in 2013; the new system came into effect with the special presidential election in 2009 and gives the President complete control of the executive, including the power to issue decrees, appoint his own cabinet, draw up the budget, dissolve parliament by calling early elections, and make appointments to the bureaucracy and the courts. The office of Prime Minister has been abolished and its powers (together with those of the Cabinet) have been transferred to the President, who is the head of state and is elected for a five-year term by direct elections. Vaclav Cernik is the first president elected by direct voting. Sylvakia's constitution governs the legal framework of the country and sets out the main principles of government and establishes Sylvakia as a unitary centralized state.

Executive power is exercised by the President, while the legislative power is vested in the unicameral parliament, called the National Assembly. The judiciary is nominally independent from the executive and the legislature, but the constitutional changes that came into effect with the referendums in 2009 gave larger powers to the President and the ruling party for appointing or dismissing judges and prosecutors. The Constitutional Court is charged with ruling on the conformity of laws and decrees with the constitution. The Council of State is the tribunal of last resort for administrative cases, and the High Court of Appeals for all others.

Law and Enforcement

According to Article XXX of the Sylvakian Constitution, the organisation, duties and jurisdiction of the courts, their functions and the trial procedures are regulated by law. In line with the aforementioned article of the Constitution and related laws, the court system in Sylvakia can be classified under three main categories; which are the Judicial Courts, Administrative Courts and Military Courts. Each category includes first instance courts and high courts. In addition, the Court of Jurisdictional Disputes rules on cases that cannot be classified readily as falling within the purview of one court system.

Law enforcement in Sylvaki is carried out by General Directorate of Internal Security (commonly abbreviated as InSec) and other agencies, all acting under the command of the President of Kashubia or mostly the Minister of Internal Affairs. According to figures released by the Justice Ministry, there are 62,000 people in Sylvan prisons as of November 2020, a doubling since 2014.

In the years of government by Obrana Naroda and Cernik, particularly since 2013, the independence and integrity of the Sylvan judiciary has increasingly been said to be in doubt by institutions, parliamentarians and journalists both within and outside of Sylvakia; due to political interference in the promotion of judges and prosecutors, and in their pursuit of public duty.

Administrative divisions

Map Province Capitol Population Region
Viery Province Visegrád 4,456,867 Central
Karlovice Capital Region Karlovice 2,758,314 Central
Mezdev Province Prigorodki 1,358,901 Central
Liberec Province Litomyšl 812,571 North
Człuchów Province Chomutov 658,978 North
Zagoria Province Vybor 1,558,978 North
Lábatlan Province Berezino 1,458,555 East
Eposz Province Svetlográd 1,058,978 East
Jálháva Province Karvina 1,101,321 East

Foreign Relations

Sylvakia's relations with its direct neighbors are strained; the disputed borders with Vlachavia and Grenzaria lead to tensions both diplomatically and militarily. Conversely, however, Sylvakia enjoys cordial relations with nearly every other nation on the continent, and has recently been asserting itself as a regional power through soft power diplomacy.

In 2020, Sylvakia hosted the Pan-Liran Congress in Kralovice to address, among other things, nuclear proliferation.

Military

Sylvan soldiers preforming the high step military march in a parade.

The Vojenská služba (meaning literally: [the] Military Service), known colloquially as the Vojenska, are broken up into three branches: Land Forces, Maritime Forces, and Air Forces. There are also two independent arms of service: the Cyber Forces and Aerospace Defense Forces. As of 2020, the Vojenska numbers 159,638 active-duty personnel, with an annual spending of 20.423 billion koruna, or 5% of its GDP. Sylvakia’s 2020 expenditure is more than double what Sylvakia spent prior to the elevation of Valcav Cernik as President of the Republic. The Vojenska have been involved in several major wars and border conflicts in its short history, making it one of the most battle-trained armed forces in the world.

In 2011, Sylvakia re-introduced limited conscription for all citizens at age 18. Men serve two years and eight months and women two years. Following mandatory service, Sylvan men join the reserve forces and usually do up to several weeks of reserve duty every year until their forties. Most women are exempt from reserve duty. An alternative for those who receive exemptions on various grounds is the Civil Service, which involves a program of service in hospitals, schools and other social welfare frameworks. As a result of its conscription program, the Vojenska maintains approximately 160,000 active troops and an additional 450,000 reservists, giving Sylvakia one of the world's highest percentage of citizens with military training.

The mission of the armed forces is the defense of Sylvakia's territorial integrity and Sylvan interests abroad. After the 2008 war with Grenzaria and Vlachavia, Sylvan military maneuvers and posturing has been increasingly offensive, drawing ire from the international community abroad and special-interest groups at home. In 2010, Sylvakia signed an arms deal with Parthanopia. The scope of the two nations' bilateral military cooperation has since grown exponentially: From 2012 onward, Sylvakia began receiving military aid, which accounted for 3.9 billion koruna in 2021; in addition, Parthanopia has made loan gurantees for up to 9 billion koruna. In 2014, Parthanopia established military liaisons through its embassy, and in 2018, Parthanopian troops participated in Sylvakia's annual Remembrance Day military parade.

One of the most visible traditions of the modern Sylvan military is the Servisní tetování; this is a form of military tattoo that has its origins in the medieval era. The Vojenska has honored the tradition since its founding in 1833, during the Sylvan Revolution. Today it is performed by a military band with 4 fanfare trumpeters and timpani, a corps of drums, up to two escort companies of the Vojenska's Pochodeňhlídat (Torch Guards). The Servisní tetování is only performed during national celebrations or solemn public commemorations. It can honor distinguished persons present such as the Sylvan president or provide the conclusion to large military exercises.

Economy

The Sylvan economy is a developed, high income economy, with the GDP per capita equalling 78% of the average in 2020. The country has difficulties addressing regional imbalances in wealth and employment. GDP per capita ranges from 188% of EC average in Kralovice to 54% in the north. Although regional income inequality is high, 90% of citizens own their own homes.

The Sylvan economy is one of the fastest-growing economies in Lira, achieving a GDP growth of more than 3% consecutively for the last decade. Unemployment, peaking at 19% at the end of 1999, decreased to 4.9% in 2019, lowest recorded rate in modern Sylvan history.

Foreign investment flow grew more than 600% from 2000 and cumulatively reached an all-time high of $17.3 billion in 2006, or around $22,000 per capita by the end of 2007.

The Sylvan government encourages foreign investment since it is one of the driving forces of the economy. Some regions, mostly in the east of the country, have failed to attract major investment, which has aggravated regional disparities in many economic and social areas.

However, due to the regime change in 2009, foreign investment has dropped to 10.6 billion, or just $9,800 per capita.

2008 Recession and recovery

In the second decade of the 21st century, the Sylvan economy suffered its most severe recession since the 1970s. No bailout from the Liran community came, and neighboring nations capitilized on the instability to seize disputed territory. At the time of the recession, the economy had contracted by 12.7% in the second quarter of 2013 and 16.4% in total, though much of this is attributed to territory lost in the 2008 Sylvan Conflict.

The bailout, which came after President Vaclav Cernik's ascension to power, provided Sylvakia with a liquidity influx of 108 billion koruna. In May 2015, the country exited the bailout and reaffirmed its commitment to maintaining its economic reformist momentum.

Energy

The electricity generation sector in Sylvakia is largely fossil-fuel based. Many power plants nationwide use Sylvakia’s position as a major exporter of coal to their advantage by continuing to use coal as the primary raw material in the production of their energy. The three largest Sylvan coal mining firms extract around 100 million tonnes of coal annually.

Renewable energy production accounts for a smaller proportion of Sylvakia’s full energy generation capacity (12%). However, a joint tidal energy project with Illynetherian engineers led to the construction of the world's first artifical tidal lagoon and adjoining turbine complex. Opened in 2012, the Lake Syrov Tidal Power Complex generates 119 MW of electricity.

Sylvakia has around 164,800,000,000 m3 of proven natural gas reserves and around 96,380,000 barrels of proven oil reserves, though most of these lie offshore in Lake Syrov. However, the amount of fossil fuels naturally occurring in Sylvakia are insufficient to satisfy the full energy consumption needs of the population. Consequently the country is a net importer of oil and natural gas.

Culture

The culture of Sylvakia is closely connected with its intricate 1,000-year history forms an important constituent in Liran and Slavic civilization. The Sylvan take great pride their national identity which is often associated with the colours black and gold, and exuded by the expression černé zlato ("Blackgolds"). National symbols, chiefly the crowned lion, are often visible on clothing, insignia and emblems. The appreciation of Sylvakia’s traditions, history, and cultural heritage is commonly known as Sylvaphilia and shared by a number of enclaves around the world.

Folk tradition

Folk tradition has rooted strongly in Sylvakia and is reflected in literature, music, dance and architecture. The prime example is a Sylvan national motto, **Sila, Svoboda, Solidarita** which is based on a children’s folk story that has been passed down for generations.

The manifestation of Sylvan folklore culture is the Východná Folklore Festival. It is the oldest and largest nationwide festival with international participation, which takes place in Vychodna annually. Kashubia is usually represented by many groups but mainly by SĽUK (Sylvaka ľudový umelecký kolektív—Kashubian folk art collective). SĽUK is the largest Sylvan folk art group, trying to preserve the folklore tradition.

Music

The wealth of musical culture lies in the classical music tradition during all historical periods, especially in the Baroque, Classicism, Romantic, modern classical music and in the traditional folk music of the nation. Since the early era of artificial music, Sylvan musicians and composers have been influenced by the folk music of the region.

Sylvan music can be considered to have been a cornerstone in both the Euclean and Slavic spheres, several times co-determined or even determined a newly arriving era in musical art, above all of Classical as well as by original attitudes in Baroque and Romanticism.

A famous music festival, Sylvan Spring, is hosted every year for classical music, a permanent showcase for performing artists, symphony orchestras and chamber music ensembles of the world.

Art

As of 2016, the refurbished National Gallery manages the largest collection of art in the Kashubia. It displays 20th century avant-garde revolutionary art, expressionist, realist and cubist styles. The Gallery also displays Art photography, which has become a new field, especially following the founding of the Second Republic. Though the Gallery is undoubtedly a collection of some of the nation’s finest art, many commentators have expressed concerns over the nationalist undertones that the display portfolios present.

Architecture

History has not been kind to Kashubia’s architectural monuments. Nonetheless, a number of ancient structures have survived: castles, churches, and stately homes, often unique in the Larovan context. Some of them have been painstakingly restored, like Pagtruh Castle, or completely reconstructed, including the Old Town and Royal Castle of Kralovice, which were destroyed during the Olympic War.

Public holidays

There are 13 government-approved annual public holidays – New Years Day on 1 January, Nation (Kashubia) Day on 29 January, Easter on the first Sunday and Monday of April, Labor Day on 1 May, Rememberance Day on 5 July, Chrristmastide on 25 and 26 December.

Particular traditions and superstitious customs observed in Poland are not found elsewhere in Europe. Though Christmas Eve is not a public holiday, it remains the most memorable day in the entire year. An empty plate and seat are symbolically left at the table for an unexpected guest. On occasion, carolers parade around smaller towns until the Lent period.

Rememberance Day is the most solemn non-religious holiday in Kashubia. Signed into law by President Valcav Cernik, it is observed annually on the day of Kashubian capitulation against Tengaria and XXX in the 2013 War, which coincided with the Soravian capture of the capitol during the Great War (Kylaris). The holiday calls for civilians to dress in mourning, flags to be flown upside down (the signal for distress), and is accompanied by a veteran’s march through urban streets.

A widely-popular kolache and sweet pastry feast occurs on Easter. The week following Easter is celebrated with pagan festivities, where the youth engage in water fights and some girls are gently spanked by colleagues with pussy willows to stimulate fertility.

Cemeteries and graves of the deceased are annually visited by family members on All Saints' Day; tombstones are cleaned as a sign of respect and candles are lit to honour the dead on an unprecedented scale.