United Kingdom of Vostau
Coat of arms
Motto: For God, for King, for Country
|Location of Vostau|
|Demonym(s)||Vostauc, Vostan, Vostauvian|
|Government||Unitary parliamentary constitutional monarchy|
|17th June 1674|
• De facto
|8th August 1763|
• De jure
|5th February 1886|
|13th December 1959|
|305,156 km2 (117,821 sq mi)|
• 2013 census
|Time zone||UTC-3.5 (VST)|
• Summer (DST)
Vostau (Vostauc: ___), formally the United Kingdom of Vostau (Vostauc: ___), is a country in Southern Argis. It is named for and located on the Vostau peninsula. The country shares only two land borders - one with the city of Bab al-Bahr, an exclave of the North Adlantic Union to the south, and another southern border with ($NONE). The remainder of Vostau's territorial limits are coastlines, with Vostau having coastlines on the ($BAY), the Keelpijp strait, the Mediargic Sea, as well as two of its regional seas, the Ygros and the Sakspati seas, as well as a final bay, the Esore Sea, to the east.
Through the migration and settlement of people onto the peninsula, various endemic cultures developed, culminating in the Gauli people groups, who to this day comprise an ethnic majority within the nation. Invading forces of Ruageuti upended the Gauli social structure, and their kingdoms controlled the majority of the peninsula until the invasion of Ygrosians, ushering in over 900 years of Muslim rule over at least half of the peninsula. Over the next nine centuries, the Gauli Kingdoms would gradually chip away at the Muslim realm in a process termed "the Reconquest", or ($GAULI NAME). With the dynastic union of Lamisia and Rycalathia, the groundwork for modern Vostau was laid, with the 1763 Treaty of __ seeing Lamisia declared ruler over al-Vastaw and the 1886 "Tin Crown" declaration seeing the formation of modern Vostau made official.
Vostau is a secular parliamentary democracy and constitutional monarchy, with ($KING) serving as head of state and ($PM) as head of government.
- 1 Etymology
- 2 History
- 2.1 Palaeolithic
- 2.2 Neolithic
- 2.3 Pre-Bronze and Bronze Age civilisation
- 2.4 Decarchy and the Great Rua
- 2.5 Al-Vastaw and the Reconquest
- 2.6 Height of power and the Lamisian Empire
- 2.7 Liberalism and the Tin Crown
- 2.8 Black Decades and the First Argic War
- 2.9 Renovation
- 2.10 Second Argic War
- 2.11 Post-War and modern history
- 3 Geography
- 4 Politics
- 5 Economy
- 6 Culture
During the Middle Palaeolithic, the first identified archaeological industrial culture of stone tools arose, and existed throughout much of the lowland areas of Vostau. The culture revolved mainly around the use of stone hunting implements - spearheads and pointed stones from this era have been found alongside the skeletons of supposed hunters, as well as some remains of prey that have shown signs of damage from jagged stone implements. A later archaeological culture is identified, characterised by much longer pointed stones, an advancement from the stout implements of the previous culture.
The Neolithic era saw the rise of megalithic cultures within modern-day Vostau, including one of the most widespread archaeological cultures of the region, the Clamprint Culture, known for its use of shells in imprinting and scoring pottery. It is believed that these people would eventually develop into the Elmoric culture group.
Pre-Bronze and Bronze Age civilisation
The final major archaeological culture to develop in Vostau was the ___ culture, which arrived from further afield than Vostau and only arrived into the land late in the Pre-Bronze age in Vostau. This would lead to the rise of a number of vibrant and complex Bronze Age communities within Vostau. Prime among these was the Thafonic civilisation, located around the city of Thafon in the southwest of Vostau. Thafon was notable for its contributions to the Mediargic bronze trade, specifically in the presence of tin reserves in the region. In the northwest of Vostau, the Vestu people group, referenced in later documents, whose language was known to be unrelated to that of Thafon. Finally, in the much drier and more arid east, the Elmoric people resided, an ancestral group of the modern day Elmoric people.
The Thafonic civilisation would reach its golden age around 1200 BCE, with literature and politics at its highest point. Most Thafonic records are dated to this era with earlier records being sparse and with later records, subsequent to the popularisation of paper, being rare to find. The civilisation was organised into the Thafonic Patriarchy, a collection of alliance-based contracts existing between the Thafonici that ensured the mutual survival of the city and its satellites. The Thafonic civilisation did not give rise to any later civilisations, instead falling at the hands of the Meresti, as well as the tribes of invading Gauli, after the Mediargic Tin Trade dried up. The Gauli would diversify into the Ordan Gauli, the Lathi and the Scylha, and would come to control nearly the entirety of the Vostau peninsula under quite carefully constructed tribal confederations.
Decarchy and the Great Rua
With the Koudi peninsula to the north coming under the control of the Proto-Koudish people by 300 BCE, sparse trade between them and the Lathi people of the Vostau Peninsula began to occur. However, with the decentralised Palace structure of Koudish society, trade with the Lathi was not always fruitful for them. By 100 CE, trade had turned to raiding, with the tribes who took to raiding the coastlines gaining the name Ruageuti, or "men who row". In 182 CE, an invasion force of Ruageuti under Arfram Black-Eagle came to invade the northern portion of the peninsula. Most notably, however, he reformed the structure of the Ruageuti society, placing himself as King of Arframasheim (later Ainazia). Nominally tolerant of the culture and faith of the Gauli under his rule, the Kingdom, as well as subsequent Ruageuti kingdoms, created a Ruageuti upper-class above a mixed lower nobility and an almost wholly Gauli peasant and serf class. Further Ruageuti invasions would occur across the majority of Vostau. Notably, the Ruageuti made alliances with the Asachalians of Northeastern Vostau, and instead of invading them, forged numerous trade deals and exchanges with them, with Asachaly being considered on par with the Ruageuti Kingdoms while not having a Ruageuti upper class. The ten invading tribes of the Ruageuti would comprise what has become known as the Decarchy, and their Kingdoms would grow to finally control practically all of the peninsula, save the aforementioned Asachaly.
The Decarchy period was one of wars and civil strife. The various Rua kingdoms fought amongst each other as much as they did the Gauli individuals they had largely overtaken. By the beginning of the Decarchy, the Ordanians and Dwerians were the only remaining independent Gauli peoples, though they too would be subsumed by its end. However, around the later portion of the 5th Century, the Ruageuti Kingdoms began to adopt the Gauli traditions and languages of their subjects, losing many of their Rua traditions and much of their language, though it still forms a substrate of the modern Gauli tongues.
In 533, Saint Cytorissos and the Christian Brothers arrived from Eastern Argis. Exiled from Tagmatium for heresy, it was their belief that God had called them to spread the Gospel to the furthest reaches of the world. Their travels led them to the Vostauc Peninsula, to the village of ($PLACE) in Lagazia. Upon moving there, they began to offer civic services to the Gauli peasantry, and won many converts, moving swiftly over the land. Monarchs of the Rua lands reacted differently to the mission of the Christian Brothers, but the most notable example is Westafolka, who, after losing a number of wars, believed that this new God was cursing them, and so converted to Christianity. While the entirety of the Christian Brothers would assist in this, Saint Cytorissos is the one mainly credited with bringing the Laimiaic alphabet to Vostau, as well as the liturgical language of Laimiaic still employed in some Cytoric churches to this day. Saint Cytorissos is also credited with preserving records of both Ruageuti law and records of Gauli common law, at that point still active beneath the Ruageuti laws. Cytorissos was martyred in ($PLACE), though the Cytoric mission would continue in Vostau, later supplanting the local pagan faiths and becoming the predominant faith in the region by 738.
By 702, the entire Vostau Peninsula had been taken over by the Kingdom of Westafolka, who declared themselves High Kings of the Great Rua. They sponsored the building of churches across the entire Peninsula, and the centralising of power in the institution of the High King. However, despite this centralising of power, the height of the Great Rua state came very early in its history. By 743, Ordania, chafing under the rule of a foreign religion, broke away, and the sheer task of raising troops from all over the Great Rua proved too difficult a task this early in its history, making the war unwinnable. By 859, an invasion of Ygrosians from Alharu would decimate the forces of the Great Rua, who maintained a rump state along the East coast of the peninsula. Over time, this state would split into various daughter-realms, all claiming to be the successors of the Great Rua's legacy.
Al-Vastaw and the Reconquest
- 859: Al-Vastaw founded by Ygrosians.
- 967: Al-Vastaw given its first main defeat at the hands of the Great Rua.
- ?1453: Introduction of Tacolicism to Vostau, becoming popular with the upper classes. Beginning of the Ordanian Crusade.
- 1500s: Governance of Al-Vastaw transferred to Sayf.
- 1582: Asachaly marries into Lamisia, with the union of ($KING OF LAMISIA) and ($QUEEN OF ASACHALY).
- 1650s: Lamisia takes note of Conconian traditions and forms an early form of the standing army.
- 1734: Rycalathia marries into Lamisia, with the union of ($KING OF LAMISIA) and ($QUEEN OF RYCALATHIA).
- 1763: Al-Vastaw completely conquered by Lamisia.
Height of power and the Lamisian Empire
Liberalism and the Tin Crown
- 1886: ($KING OF LAMISIA) is offered the Tin Crown by a group of liberals and pan-nationalists, offering to unify the country under much more liberal ideals. Surprisingly, the King accepts.
Black Decades and the First Argic War
- 1932: Black Decades start. Monarchy transformed into a nationalistic absolutist government led by ($KING OF VOSTAU).
- 1938: Vostau takes Bab al-Bahr from Seylos, triggering the ($WAR).
- 1940: Seylos retakes Bab al-Bahr.
- 1959: Black Decades end with the closure of the First Argic War.
- 1959: Return to democratic constitutionalism. Volatile governments made of former nationalists on one side and radicals on the other make for internal disunity.
Second Argic War
- 1968: Vostau joins in with the Second Argic War, unifying the populace.
Post-War and modern history
- 1976: Nationalist sentiment dies down for the most part.
Vostau lies on the Vostau peninsula, in Central Argis. The country of Vostau consists of the main peninsula and its various sub-peninsulas. It also consists of a number of islands and islets along the coast. It has an area of 305,136km2 (117,813 sq mi). Vostau lies entirely between the latitudes of 55° and 46° N, and the longitudes of 47° and 58° W. Vostau is bordered to the south by ($NATION), while an exclave of the North Adlantic Union, the city of Bab al-Bahr, lies to the southwest of the country.
All four of Vostau's extreme points of cardinal direction are on the coast, with three of those being capes controlled entirely by Vostau. Vostau's southernmost point it shares with Bab al-Bahr, that being Albar Point, in ($REGION), lying at 46°44'18" N; its northernmost point is ($POINT), located in ($REGION), at 55°20'28" N; the westernmost point is ($POINT), located in ($REGION), at 58°22'51" W; the easternmost point is ($POINT), located in Asachaly, at 47°30'14" W.
Vostau's territorial waters are generally restricted by surrounding nations and internationally significant waterways. To the south, Vostau's ($BAY) opens out into the Keelpijp strait, a heavily trafficked entry into the Mediargic Sea, which, in various parts, comprises the remainder of Vostau's territorial waters, including the Ygros Sea to the southwest, the Sakspati Sea to the northwest, leading through another strait to the Mediargic-Proper to the northeast, and the Esore Sea to the west, enclosed by the peninsula at Asachaly.
Vostau contains in its borders a large number of hills and mountains, with gradually inclining hills comprising the majority of Vostau's area. Vostau's highest region is the ($MOUNTAIN RANGE), with some of its highest points being upwards of 7000m and being located deep into the mountain range. Its highest point is ($MOUNTAIN).
The majority of Vostau has a humid continental climate, with the main exception being the northwestern and interior portions. The western coast of Vostau is warmer than the other humid continental lowlands, with average temperatures of 22°C (71.6 °F) in the warmer months of July or August. Warmest temperatures in the day can extend into the high 20°C or low 30°C range in those dates, though during the winter months, the temperature can be at or below freezing. Further eastward lies a hemiboreal climate, with a similar average temperature to the western coast in the warmer months, though the highest temperatures reported in summer tend to cap at around 28°C (82.4°F). This is compounded by a lower temperature during the winter months, often getting as low as -10°C in parts during the afternoon or evening. Frost occurs for much of the year in Vostau, usually disappearing into the day, with the west coast being free from frost for around 4-7 months, while the rest of Vostau is free from frost only for around 3-5 months.
The northeastern portion of the country is distinct for its lower precipitation on average. The warmer months yield an average temperature of 21°C, with highs in the day getting up to 28°C (82.4°F), though with the temperature at night or in the late afternoon dropping to around 14°C (57.2°F). This effect is amplified in the northeastern highlands, with even lower precipitation, an average summer temperatures of around 18°C (64.4°F), with highs of only 25°C (77°F). In the winter months, temperatures can get as low as -5°C in the lowlands, to -10°C in the highlands, with highland winter temperature rarely rising above freezing.
There are many glacial mountains in Vostau, where the tops are covered in snow year-round. They supply much-needed glacial water through the form of rivers to the remainder of the country. These in turn form waterfalls, lakes and a few gallery forests in the more arid regions.
The Vostauc state is divided up into 31 regions, those being the highest meaningful first-order administrative divisions in the country. The regions are divided up numerous ways, with historical precedent often dictating how regions subdivide. Vostau is a unitary state, meaning that the power of each region comes from the central government.
Vostau's regions are the first-level administrative divisions of the country. They were first created in June of 1886, with the First Constitutional Convention deciding the divisions based on a fair degree of historical precedent and administrative concerns. The Regions reached their current borders in 1998, with the unification of the two regions of Asachaly into one with devolution.
Generally, the regions follow the boundaries of the historic kingdoms of Vostau, with Lamisia containing 15 regions, Ordania and Chiekia containing five each, Rycalathia containing four, Asachaly being unified into one, and one region, Conconia, not belonging to any historic kingdom at all.
All of the regions possess their own local legislatures and administrative rights, given to them by the central government. Most of these are unicameral, with only a few regions maintaining a bicameral system. In general, government agencies are unified as much as possible, with the devolved communities of Asachaly and Conconia maintaining their own government agencies, such as a police force and fire service, though these can also be divided into regional commands within other regions.
Each of the historic kingdoms of Vostau possess different forms of regional subdivisions, most often stemming from the feudal landed nobility that existed prior to the de jure foundation of Vostau.
In Asachaly, arguably where the peerage remained strongest in the face of the transition to constitutionalism, the region is divided into two "constituent regions", comprising the territory of the pre-unification Asachalian regions. The constituent regions act mainly as geographical markers now, with the majority of Asachaly's services being offered by the devolved ($GOVERNMENT OF ASACHALY). Asachaly is further divided into baronies. These baronies comprise the divisions represented in the upper house of Asachaly, and are far smaller than many of the counties present elsewhere in Vostau. Most of these baronies also possess a noble baron, who is represented in the peerage council.
Conconia maintains a somewhat similar system to the baronies of Asachaly within its tribal divisions. The main distinction is in the lack of any hereitary peerage within Conconia. Conconian tribes exist within a hierarchy, one which has existed since ancient times, and which is represented in the upper house of Conconia, while the lower house does not maintain such hierarchy.
All other regions have counties as a subdivision within their territories. Most of these have peerages associated with them, usually hereditary in nature, though they do not take the administrative role in the running of Vostau's government that they did in history. Additionally, every county is comprised of municipalities. These municipalities can serve different functions depending on the region they are part of.
Each of the historic kingdoms have a different manner in which counties associate with other subdivisions. In Ordania, counties are actually the second order of regional subdivisions, lying below duchies. While some other regions maintain duchies, Ordania is the only one to maintain hereditary dukes as part of their peerage. The duchies of Ordania more closely associate with the Ordanian judicatures, which are discussed below. In Chiekia, on an equal level exist both counties and marches, with the modern distinction being minimal, simply with the peers inheriting the titles differently (marches are usually inherited by seniority rather than the primogeniture associated with counties). Rycalathia has another subdivision equal to counties, those being bishoprics, now no longer ruled by bishops, instead being directly administered by the government of Vostau.
Additional peerages and other divisions