|Capital:|| Apollo City |
|Largest Cities:||Apollo City, Blackrock Nua, Curagh|
|Local Leadership Title:||Dutch|
|Local Government:||Imperial State|
|Current leader:||Sophia I|
|Local language:||English, Written Halluci|
|Local Religion:||Catologism, Cedrism, Envisionism, Soloralism|
The Dutchy of Kildare, in official sources also referred to as the Eastern Empire, is an Imperial State of Shireroth. It is ruled by the Dutch (Duke), a title dating back from a writing error in its early days as an Duchy. It is sometimes referred to as the Birthplace of Modern Civilisation, as it lands hosted several famous Apollonian nations.
The Eastern Empire is probably one of the most diverse places on Micras, thanks to its ancient history: the lands of the Dutchy once covered several states which once formed the Apollo Sector, which in its end days united in the Union of Apollo States. It was Kaiser Gaelen I of Shireroth who, in 513 ASC, conquered the lands, made the former nations into counties and replaced the old Union by a Duchy.
Since that ASC year, Shirerithian feudalism has become an integral part of Kildarian civilisation (something most Kildari are proud of). While in the New Era (3005 ASC - present) Shireroth was reformed from a feudal state into a more (con)federal nation with States, feudalism remained untouched. This loyalty to the Crown (Kildari see themselves as subjects to the Kaiser, who rules through the Dutch) has led to many cultural influences spreading to the West (mainly Shirekeep).
The Eastern Empire is ruled by the Seanad, a council of nobles and the oldest local council in Shirerithian politics, and the Dutch. They act from the capital of the Dutchy, Apollo City, which is considered as the 'Pearl of the East' (while the Kildari refer to the Shirerithian capital as the 'Pearl of the West'). Since 4155 ASC Apollo City is the only capital of the Dutchy. Before it was the seat of the Seanad, while Blackrock Nua had the function of Ducal residence.
- See: History of Kildare for more details.
Conquest of the Eastern Countries
When Kaiser Gaelen I of Shireroth successfully defeated the armies of the defunct Union of Apollo States in 513 ASC, the land that would form Kildare, had already been in anarchy for 20 years. The infamous UAS Riots (498 ASC), which had led to an increased instability, soon showed the weaknesses of the Union of Apollo States. In this chaotic time, legends talk about a man called Ozymandias the Great, who stood up and reunited the northern part of Kildare under his rule. His attempts of reuniting south and north, however, failed because of his early death in 502 ASC. His legacy was of short duration, as the north once more collapsed into anarchy.
It was not until all cities at the coast had fallen in 513 ASC, that the Kildari understood that they were powerless against the superior numbers of the Kaiser. A short-lived attempt to unite under the banners of the old Union failed miserably and lead to the total destruction of the Blackrockian and Audente militias.
The annexation was followed by a period of colonisation, in which thousands of people from the West sought a new home in the East, which had vast forests and land. The new religion which was brought to the East, Cedrism, lead to religious strife between mainly the Soloralists (supported by the Dutch) and Cedrists (who had the support of the Kaiser). The integration of Kildare into the Imperial Republic seemed, in long terms, the end of internal strife and succeeded where the UAS had failed: in uniting the countries (now Counties) under one banner.
The following two ages were a weird period for the Kildari: while they started working together, the nation of Jasonia had become the big enemy and threat to Shirerithian supremacy. For the first in years, the conquered Kildari stood against their former Apollonian brethren.
The war that resulted in the destruction of Jasonia, led to a mass immigration from Jasonians into New Jasonia (however, several Jasonians choose to go live in Tapfer).
Kildarian Plague and downfall of society
The terrible fire which destroyed the Hallucigrad Library made it almost impossible to have much information about the ages after the Shirerithian-Jasonian War. Historians, saddened by the loss of knowledge, describe this as the Lost ages (from around 705 ASC till 2580 ASC).
In 2580 ASC Kildare was hit by a devastating plague which spread from the Raynor Isles to the other Eastern Counties. Where the plague arrived, death followed soon, and the population sharply declined. Within ten years, the illness had reached the western shores of Kildare, and 1/5th of the population had already died.
Drastic countermeasures were taken to avoid more deaths: travelling between Counties became illegal and Melangia even went into isolation in 2601 ASC (there would be no contact for over 400 years). The Temple of Ryvenna, seen as a holy place in Kildarian minds, would be closed to avoid that the plague would be brought with visitors.
In 2631 ASC the plague had cost 1/3rd of the population. The rulers of Hallucigrad lost in those dark days not only their library, but also their heir. The Dukes of Kildare remained ruling the lands in theory, but because of the restrictions to travel, their power didn't reach further than their own estates.
In 2700 ASC the plague came very abruptly to an end and production once again began to increase slowly. It would, however, take till 3004 ASC that a man from Shirekeep, Jonas I, took the Throne and brought an end to the de facto independence of the local Counts. The plague, which had been over for more than 400 years, had still left its marks, and the Dutch began with his own attempts to reuniting the Counties.
Revival of religion
From 2750 ASC the East began to see, for the first time since the end of the plague, an increase of immigrants. Hundreds, and later thousands, of immigrants from Dutchspeaking nations, like Batavia (and later South Batavia) immigrated to Kildare. They not only brought with them the manpower to establish new farming communities throughout the Empire, but also a new religion: Catologism. The introduction of that new faith would, over the course of time spread to other population groups. Once the assimilation between other Kildari and Batavians began, Catologism very slowly started to replace Soloralism as dominant religion.
It would take until around 5100 ASC, that the Ducal Court would mainly exist of Catologian servants. And it would take until the reign of Taodosius I, 40 years later, that Soloralist temples were requisitioned and granted to the Catologian Church.
End of the Dark Ages and centralisation attempts
- See: Gong Li Rebellion
While Catologism slowly started spreading through the lands, the reign of Dutch Jonas I Win'Eth brought forth political and cultural changes. The Dutch, who had lived at the Imperial Court of the West in his youth had seen how a more centralised political system had its benefits. His big dream, reuniting Audentior with Kildare, was in that time difficult if he hadn't the military and financial support of the other nobles.
To achieve his goal, he introduced in 3031 ASC a new Ducal Government and the Seanad (the first council to rule over a Shirerithian Duchy) in which representatives of the Barons were seated. The autonomy of the Counts was slowly reduced over time and his successes made Jonas think that he was all-powerful. This seemed to be his first big mistake when he tried to take away the County of Gong Li out of the influence sphere of Baron Andreas the Wise to add it to his own Barony of Antya.
Andreas the Wise was enraged by the Dutch' actions and went into rebellion, later known as the Great Kildarian Civil War or Gong Li Rebellion. Many nobles, angry or scared for the powers of the Dutch, rallied behind Andreas' forces. It would take till 3352 ASC, during an armistice, that the Dutch used his own large armies (who were already mobilised) to establish a Kildarian presence in Audentior. The seat of the Seanad moved to Apollo City, while for traditional reasons, the seat of the Dutch remained in Blackrock Nua.
Soon after Jonas' crusade, the civil war was recommenced. It would take till Jonas' death in 3428 ASC, to end the fighting. He was succeeded, on request of the Seanad, by his biggest opponent, Andreas the Wise, who was proclaimed Dutch Andreas I.
Age of Industrialisation
The Fifth millennium saw a revival of industrial efforts throughout the Kildarian Empire. The construction of the Zygus Qamil, also called the Eastern Wall, during the reign of Dutch William I as a defence against potential enemies from the east, brought a long period of peace in the Eastern Empire. With no longer having to deal with the threats at their borders, counties like Dalmacija and Kitanus Fields started to prosper now the Count could use his/her troops to guard the roads against bandits. Those border provinces became more and more interesting as a living place at the end of the Fourth millennium, just like investors became more and more interested in its riches.
In 4557 ASC a wealthy traders' family which had for long been owner of several gold mines in Dalmacija, established the first major multinational in Northern Kildare: Heimat Industries. With the profits from the goldmines, there were major investments in the new factories and not long thereafter the first products were presented to the public: ammunition, steel products and several kinds of armaments and ships.
In several other parts, new industries began growing, leading to the creation of a new labour class which flocked together in the cities. This again led to labour unrest, which led on its turn to countermeasures taken by the nobility to keep - with success - people in their birth place. The conservative Kildari heard of the miserable conditions of unemployed in the cities, which strengthened many of them in their convictions that industrial progress could only be negative for the East.
The Apollonian Coup d'état
- See: Garllic War
The time of peace and stability came to an abrupt end when the Eastern Empire was invaded by the Garllic Empire. The Zygus Qamil, which once had been the pride of the Kildarian defences, had suffered from the lack of good maintenance and quickly crumbled in the first hours of the invasion.
While city after city fell in hands of the enemy, a coup d'état found place in Apollo City. Coincidentally with the invasion, a small group of Myxosean Guards under leadership of Taodosius overran the Seanad and imprisoned Dutchess Ignatia I. The swift coup, supported by the Apollonian elite, was a success, as almost no noble tried to complain. In the meantime the war in Kitanus Fields went from bad to worse: more than 45,000 soldiers of the Kildarian Defence Forces were slaughtered during the battle of Lamantia.
- See Dutch of Kildare for a list of Dukes.
The political system of the Dutchy is one which has developed through the years. Its roots lie deep in the history of the countries which ruled the Kildarian lands before they eventually collapsed: Blackrock, Audentior, Automatica, Demesos, etc.
While the Kildarian system is seen as the 'most pure Shirerithian feudalism' by a lot of the local population, it also has some characteristics of a democracy (this is, however, something you should never say to a Kildarian). The Seanad, consisting of the important Kildarian nobility (Thanes and their vassals, the Counts), is the most powerful political instrument, next to the Dutch.
The Dutch is seen as most important noble and representative of the Kaiser towards the population. This made the title very desirable, and while the succession happened often by appointment of the Seanad of the Dutch, the desirability sometimes resulted into nobles buying of the title for money or even civil war.
Since Taodosius' rule, that began in 5141 ASC, the Dukes also hold the title of Ruler of the Eastern Empire, blessed by the Grace of Cato and Kaiser, in which they refer to the union between the Church and Nobles and the union between the East and West of Shireroth (symbolised by admiration of the Shirerithian Kaiser).
The Counts themselves have a lot of power within their own fiefdom. This is the result of years of isolation and even some strong and powerful Dukes couldn't succeed in breaking their power completely.
Three Areas of Kildarian Culture
Kildare has a rich and diverse culture. Primarily it revolves around three areas: history (including Apollo history, which is seen as Kildarian heritage), magic and war.
The original Dukes were very warlike, as has been Dutch Jonas I (but it wasn't until Ignatia I that a sword was once again raised against a foreign enemy). There will be few Kildari who wouldn't have trained with a traditional weapon (like a sword). Kildari are, when it comes to war, very traditional and prefer the use of 'fair weapons' (swords, ancient guns, old artillery) above the use of more modern warfare methods (tanks, helicopters, airplanes).
Civil wars are often not seen as a threat towards the Imperial Republic but as a personal affair between the Counts. This is part of their feeling of being a Kildarian and it gives most of the nobles a certain feeling of pride that they can arrange their affairs (peaceful or not) without the Imperial government meddling in).
Magic - of which much is learnt to a select group of Kildari by Gralan magicians (like Andreas the Wise) - pervades the land, from the dragons in Kitanus Fields to the ents in Old Hallucination. Several minor institutions were created through time (and mostly with support of Gralans) to develop and support the use of magic.
Finally, Kildare is the land with the greatest love of history - both the Apollo history of those that held the lands before them, as that of its successors - and that can be seen by the many Temples for Sakat, Squid God of Time and patron god of Historians.
The MagiGARPs, a typical symbol which dates back from the Apollonian days, and the more modern Lord Kildare Bull (twin brother of John Bull and meant as a mascot for the Dutchy) are some of the typical symbols of the region. Kildare, more specifically Kitanus Field, is also home of the famous Lumina, mother of Malarbor. Through the ages, Lumina has become the symbol of a loving Mother and Protector of the East, while her son guards the West.
There are also national symbols, found in the coat of arms and the flag. In those symbols, blue is a typical returning colour, just like the star/sun. During Taodosius' reign the double eagle was introduced under influence of the Apollonian culture. The Eagle, while distinct in Kildare (and surely not having two heads), represents Kildare, looking to the dangerous, barbarous east, while also looking to their Shirerithian brethren in the West.
Just like the Imperial Republic as a whole, Kildare was a mix of several nations and cultures. This had led to diverse mix of several micronational religions (perhaps the Dutchy is even the most diverse place in Micras).
In the Apollonian era, Soloralism (with its many cults) was widespread and popular among the masses. While minor fights were usual among the sects, this was a peaceful religious period. The arrival of Gaelen I and the integration of the UAS into Shireroth (and with that the creation of Kildare) brought the arrival of a new religion from the West with it, Cedrism.
While not enormously popular, Cedrists were fervent believers and soon came into conflict with several of the more extreme Soloralist sects. These conflicts could become so aggressive and end into violence that the Kaiser sometimes had to interfere to avoid a total destruction of Kildare and its population into civil wars.
The New Era (3005 ASC and onwards) brought forth a new time of peace: Soloralists lived peaceful together with Cedrists (of which there weren't many left) and the god Sakat became popular, even with the Soloralist followers.
In that same period, the arrival of Batavian immigrants (and later South Batavians) led to the spreading of Catologism, which became the most popular religion around the beginning of the 6th millennium. Unrest and difficulties followed upon arguments between Soloralists and Catologians, which made it hard for many rulers to reach a satisfying compromise.
Religious compromises were, however, roughly pushed aside when Taodosius I took the Ducal Throne and announced a purge against Soloralism. Followed by this announcement, former Soloralist temples (of which many had already been fallen in disarray) were placed under the management of the Catologian Church. The Imperial Catodral of Apollo City is the best example of this new religious policy.
|Cult of Sakat||3%|
The Kildarian economy has, for many centuries, been the most diverse and isolated of the Apollonian continent. The isolation of many of the towns, hand in hand with an early Kildarian (and before that Apollonian) national feeling, led to a situation in which not much of the produced goods were meant for export to foreign markets.
While this habit started to change from the moment the Union of Apollo States were integrated within the Imperial Republic, most of the resources and produced goods still didn't leave the Dutchy. In the period of the Kildarian Plague, production, import export even collapsed. This wasn't felt in the citizens' pockets, as the Kildarian economy had always been an autarky.
In the ages before the Union of Apollo States, the gold reserves were on a historical low, which resulted in many nations in the use of money billets, instead of coins. Different documents also refer to the early Apollonians having a monetary system in which credit could be granted.
The small nations and the different currencies led to several problems, which made exchange rates and buying and selling on credit an important part of the early monetary bank system.
The unification of nations of the Apollo Sector in a Union of Apollo States changed the landscape of the financial world: the lands that nowadays are part of Dalmacija became known as the 'treachery' of the Union, thanks to its many goldmines. In that period, coins were massively introduced (some of pure gold). The citizens of Gong Li successfully created a monopoly on minting the coins, which made the Kala the national coin.
The Eastern Empire had used coinage since the early Apollonian days and kept using those coins and bank billets for many ages after the conquest by Gaelen I. However, Shirerithian domination brought some changes with them: the Erb was introduced and the Imperizal Court made some, unsuccessful attempts in monopolising the gold mines for their own use.
Result of those attempts were a counter-movement in which Kildari kept using their own, national (now County) coins, of which the Kala was just one of them in transactions within the Eastern borders. Traders gladly sold goods to Kildari in return for the precious golden coins or billets (which could be traded for gold or erbs).
The Kildarian economy is one of the most diverse of the world. Thanks to counties as Audentior (which has the large city of Apollo City) and the isles of Gong Li and Melangia the Kildarian economy is lifted to Shirerithian standards. The other parts (the mainland) is faced with a backward economy and an unwillingness to change: farmers want to stay farmers, mine workers and their bosses don't want to hear about new technologies, etc.
This, however gives Kildare great potential: it's fully self-sufficient and actually doesn't need to sell goods, as the old-fashioned Kildari still live as they did long, long ago. With the only difference: Apollo City and some major cities (but even those can rely on the farmlands of the other counties).
The north of Kildarian mainland is rich of natural resources: gold and uranium are often sold to other parts of the Empire. Heimat Industries made use of the gold reserves to invest in other parts of the Imperial Republic so they could buy more iron for their factories in Kildare (those factories lay near the coast, while the mines are often found deep land inwards).
Middle and South Kildare have access to large forests, for the timber industry, and fertile land for the the harvest, which gives the Dutchy an economic benefit and surplus when trading with other nations.
Kildare is famous for its transport network. Not because of its quality, but because of its quantity (or the lack of it): Kildare is probably the largest region on Micras without proper roads or other decent transport network.
Establishing a decent road network, or railroad, is not seen as a matter of big concern, as Kildari believe that they have all the time they need to reach the place they have to be.
Only since 3751 ASC, a company named Kildfare was created which had to develop a decent railroad to connect south and north which each other (most of this rail road was made with money from the Kildarian isles and Apollo City). Since then, however, not many attempts were made to expand the railroads, as their was no popular demand for it.
It's difficult to say that Kildare has just one population group. It's a common mistake, but nonetheless stays... a mistake. For a long time it has been a welcome home to people who had no place to go (by a lot of people it is believed that Kildare is the place where the first people lived and thereafter spread across the globe). However, since the rule of Kaiser Hasan I (3127–3257 ASC) the number of Babhkans had sufficiently been reduced (or exterminated would be a better word) as a result of angry Kildari who didn't like the idea of a Babhkan take-over.
The religious wars and conflicts brought often unrest to the Dutchy, as the counties around the Antyan River have been a Soloralist heaven in a country in which Cedrism dominates. The Religious Freedom brought peace to the counties and Soloralism became a dominant religion at the Ducal court (even if the Dutch was a Cedrist). This Religious Freedom was, however, thrown overboard with the anti-Soloralist religious purges by Dutch Taodosius I in 5145 ASC. Since then, Catologism dominates the religion in the East.
At the beginning of the 5th millennium Apollo City and the surrounding counties became a popular place for immigrants. Nowadays, the largest group of new citizens are Batavians who fled for the busy and chaotic life in their fatherland. Other immigrant groups are Nelagans, Gralans, Stormarkians and Anticans. During the Elwynnese independence, there was a small influx of Elwynnese who wanted to seek a new life in more stable regions.
Several guesses were made in the past about the number of the population, but never there had been a census to see if those guesses were right or wrong. For this reason, people estimate that the numbers given by the Ducal Administration are the closest on it: around 200 million citizens.
Evolution of the Military
The Eastern Empire has always been a far-away, remote region of the Imperial Republic. As the Shire Sea separated the East from the West, the Imperial armies (and those of other Dukes) would probably never arrive on time to protect the Dutchy against foreign threats. Together with the bad roads and transport network, it would only make reinforcements arrive when it would be too late. For this reason, the Ducal Government and Counts insisted on establishing large personal armies to protect their own Counties and land.
These days, owning an army is seen as Feudal Tradition, and with that, in the eyes of the history-loving Kildari an everlasting right.
This led to a situation in which Kildare owns a diverse military system with the primary goal of defending their country: Counts (and other nobles) will often have a well-trained personal guard, while for larger dangers they can trust upon the local militia. The Dutch on the other hand has also an elite force, called the Magical Knights, who are well-trained and professional soldiers who have the freedom to freely travel through the Dutchy.
Since 4022 ASC the Dutch had, however, decreed the creation of the Kildarian Defence Forces,, composed of soldiers from all counties, over which ha has direct control. Needless to say that those are mainly used to protect the border (the large Eastern Wall, known as Zygus Qamil) and assist the Counts in case the militia is incapable of fighting a problem. Some nobles, however, vowed their concerns about granting the Dutch direct access over vast armies.
Remarkably is the lack of any airforce, as the costs for local nobles would be too high, and the Ducal Government trusts upon the Imperial Republic to give air support when necessary.
The focus on land forces is clearly seen when looking to the Naval Forces, which are, just like the airforce, almost non-existing. The purchases of used military ships from other navies is one of the examples of how the Kildarian military solves the lack of its own ship-build war industry.
Kildare has a long-standing and proud military tradition, dating back from before the formation of the Dutchy of Kildare. It lends this tradition from the Blackrockian days (the Gregorian year 2000).
That's why every Kildarian who becomes 18 year old had to serve for at least a year in the local militia of the Count (the army wasn't a state affair, nor was it a Duchal affair).
Since 4022 ASC, however, the Dukes of Kildare directly have the command over the Kildarian Defence Forces. This led to new career possibilities for young Kildari: while the local militia often is relative small and only meant to protect the County, the Forces were meant to be spread over the whole Eastern Empire. This made it necessary to have a larger amount of troops available, leading to many new jobs in the military.
From 5230 ASC and onwards, under influence of the end of the war against the Garllic hordes and the Dutchy joining the League of Nations for the Advancement of Purity, a National Protection Army was established to safeguard security in and outside the Eastern Empire's borders.
The defence of Kildare lies in many hands. There are, as a result of that many different military groups. Here a list of the most important ones.
|National Protection Army||Dutch||200,000|
|Kildarian Defence Forces||Dutch||85,000|
|Personal guards (Counts)||Counts||2,000|
Kildare is located on the continent Apollonia and is the most eastern located part of the Imperial Republic of Shireroth. It's separated from the rest of the Empire by the Shirerithian Sea, which explains its (often) isolationist policies. It's a gigantic mass of land, but the same time it's sparsely populated.
While the coast line is often habituated by the Kildari, the inland is often very sparsely (or even not) populated. At the coast, around the Antya River (the largest river of Kildare) and around Lake Christoph the people often live concentrated in or near cities. Most exceptions are the farmers, which often own such large pieces of farmland that they can't afford to go living in the city.
Those who live inland live isolated and in small communities. These communities are often self-sufficient and are in most cases only visited by the tax agency and merchants.
The Eastern Empire has, for most of its history, roughly kept the same system and county boundaries as since its integration into the Imperial Republic of Shireroth by Gaelen I. The boundaries of its counties would be remarkably familiar for a person from the UAS.
The Dutchy itself has several subdivisions, of which the Thanedom (ruled by a Thane) is the highest subdivision and divided into Counties.
Thanedom of Antya
- New Jasonia
Thanedom of Christoph
- The Kitanus Fields
- Old Hallucination
- Carol Island
- Halluci Nua
Thanedom of Schlangen
- Gong Li
- Raynor Isles
- Lesser Attera
Kildare is the home of numerous notable people who not only influenced the Dutchy, but also the Imperial Republic. Well-known Kaisers who are still remembered these days are Kaiseress Carol I, who was succeeded by her own daughter Hypatia I. Kaiser Leto III was a Kildarian who took the throne in a (successful) to revive interest in the Imperial Republic, for which he was pardoned and thanked by his successor Mors V.
Another Kildarian who sat on the Mango Throne was Gaelen IV, who introduced a heavily Apollonian-based culture into the Imperial Court (for example: the Apollonian architecture and the establishment of the Apollonian Guard).