|Shireroth sumus. Tempus in parte nostrum est|
|Land of the nifty|
|Largest city||Shirekeep, Ardashirshahr, Musica, Brookshire Hamlet|
|Official language(s)||Præta Sxiróþes (official), Shirerithian English (administrative), Elw|
|- Adjective||Shirerithian, Shirithian|
|Government|| Shirocracy |
(Present form: Oligarchic Confederacy)
|- Kaiser of Shireroth||Kaiser Dominus|
|- Steward of Shireroth||Hallbjörn Haraldsson|
|Establishment||April 24, 2000|
|Population|| Citizens: 29|
|National forum||Shirithian Forum|
|National animal||Blue Moose|
|National drink||Antyan wine|
The Imperial Republic of Shireroth, or simply Shireroth (Shirithian English: ['ʃaɪɻ.ɻɑθ]; Elw: Xiroo; is a Federal Commonwealth founded in 2000 by Erik Mortis as an absolutist feudal monarchy. It is particularly old. Over the years the nation has fluctuated in size and activity, but it has endured in great part because of its loyal citizenry. The nation has a rather novel system of government, unique amongst most micronations (what evolved in naming it a Shirocracy), which its supporters claim has allowed it to survive all these years. However, in spite of repeated calls from disgruntled citizens and outsiders alike, Shireroth has historically been very resistant to calls for a more democratic system of government. The nation is culturally rich, its large number of territorial subdivisions contributing to a vast array of people and traditions.
- 1 History
- 2 Government
- 3 Foreign Affairs
- 4 Culture
- 5 Economy
- 6 Links
See also History of Shireroth
First & Second Era
Although Shireroth's fictional histories describe a First Era and Second Era of rule by legendary Kaisers, Shireroth was in fact founded on April 24, 2000, by Erik Mortis as the Republic of Shireroth. In its original incarnation, it was a direct democracy, but this lasted only a few weeks before the country was absorbed into first Audentior, then Jasonia, and finally the Union of Apollo States.
After the last of these broke apart, Shireroth reasserted its independence in the Third Era of Kaiserial rule. Erik Mortis, once again in charge, changed the government to an absolute monarchy under Kaiser Gaelen II, and created a small feudal system with two Duchies, Brookshire and Goldshire. Shireroth soon became much more important than its youth would indicate as Patrick Foley chosed to bequeath the remnants of the UAS to it as the Duchy of Kildare. With a number of military-oriented types like Daniel K and Greg Russell, Shireroth even menaced the largest power of the time, the Flying Islands of Jasonia. However, due to real life issues, Kaiser Metzler I disappeared for a while, and Shireroth disappeared with it.
When Erik returned, he pulled the newly revived Shireroth into the Benacian Commonwealth with Hyperborea and Machiavellia. This soon led to the merge that became the Hegemony of Alexandros and later Tymaria, tying up Shireroth in larger nations until 2002.
When Shireroth reappeared after the Tymarian secessions of July 2002, it had managed to gobble up several smaller Tymarian states and gained the territories of Hyperborea, Yardistan, Jaris, and Akerbjorn, among many others. The feudal system expanded vastly to include a new level, Baron, and the Landsraad became a major organ of government.
Over the next two and a half years, Shireroth managed to dispel its image as being less serious and take its place alongside Babkha and Attera as one of the world's leading micronations. Through a series of diplomatic victories like the Mango-Camel Pact with Babkha, it gained a strong position in the international community despite a continued isolationist bent when nothing is going on that directly affects it. It also continued gaining citizens and territory, so much so that the MCS had to write a rule that Shireroth could never gain any more land.
By 2003, Shireroth's post-Tymaria glory days were gone, and many observers thought it was being outcompeted by flashier micronations like Menelmacar. In response, Steward Nikkolo declared "Oustfest", a tradition of kicking out anyone with more than three citizenships as insufficiently loyal. The tactic worked, with a smaller, sleeker core of patriotic citizens more willing to place Shirerithian interests first, and became a yearly occurence. Around the same time, the unpopular Kaiser Mog I was overthrown by Kaiser Letifer I, creating a Shirerithian tradition of revolting at the drop of a hat.
The next few years saw many highlights, including the War of the Wylthean Succession, an ultimately failed pro-democracy movement by rebel Philip Locke, and the reduction of and combination of the country's many Duchies into six "classic" ones: Brookshire, Goldshire, Elwynn, Kildare, Yardistan, and Straylight. This era ended when Kaiser Yarad I attempted the brave but ultimately doomed "New Feudalism" experiment, in which the country's traditional feudal structure was turned on its head to allow more independence and bargaining between counties. Around the same time, many of Shireroth's traditional enemies allied into a "Grand Commonwealth" designed to check Shirerithian power; due to poor communication between the government's many ministries and branches, Shireroth's response was lackluster at best. For a combination of reasons including the new feudalism, a series of weak Kaisers, foreign stagnation, and bad luck, many Shirerithians departed and by 2007 the country was in a state of complete disrepair.
In October 2007, Jonas (illegally) seized the Throne as Mahamantot I to restore order in the Shirerithian lands. However, Erik Mortis returned and took the royal name Kaiser Mors V (which was seen as the beginning of the Fourth Era), and along with Ari Rahikkala led the "Great Consolidation", a reconstruction of Shireroth's institutions that shook off the inactivity of the past year. After Mortis' abdication, a long civil struggle began between a faction based in Shireroth's ally Babkha and a second faction that wanted to see ex-Cyberian Jacobus Loki on the throne. The early dominance of the Babkhan faction collapsed when it was revealed to be a front for a Babkhan plot to take over the country, and Jacobus took the throne as Kaiser Loki the Long-Awaited in 2008.
Through 2009, Shireroth gradually collected new citizens, repaired its relationship with Babkha, gained international prestige as the home of the Small Commonwealth, and otherwise enjoyed growing prestige and power abroad completely unmarred by a series of constant low-grade feudal struggles at home.
Most recently, long-standing debates between traditionalists, semi-traditionalists and liberal views resurfaced in battles over Shireroth's beloved but graphically questionable flag during Kaiser Leto III's reign and in Kaiser Agni I's controversial disbanding of the Duchies in favor of a system of noble houses. These two arguments created an era of bad feelings that led to several Shirerithians "ragequitting", especially during the short but exciting reign of Kaiseress Anandja II. Her successor, Kaiser Ikol II, declared an "Age of Tranquility" in which he hoped to resolve some of these bad feelings but failed in doing so.
Kildare stayed active during the House System as a House and was in a constant and bitter debate with the national government over the lost counties (which had come under Imperial control).
The discontent over the House System and the disbandment of Duchies ultimately led to a secession of Elwynn and Straylight in August / September 2010. At that time, there was also an operation (called Operation Interdict) going on from anti-Shirerithians to make Shireroth a miserable place and get the key players (Erik Mortis, Ari Rahikkala and Scott Alexander) leave the nation. This plan partially succeeded as a lot of the citizenry left or became inactive over a quite short period of time. However, the reigns of Kaiser Ometeotl I and Fish XII led to a slow recovery and, most importantly, to the restoration of the Duchies. The Landsraad was also opened for minor nobles at that time, and the rebirth of national spirit was termed the Fifth Era of Shirerithian history.
Kildare, at that time the only active subdivision, remained loyal to the Crown despite its constant complains about the House System, which was ironic in view of subsequent events.
The secession had however dispelled the aura of invincibility that had once cloaked the office of Kaiser and called into question the very idea of Shirerithian 'nationhood' which had long bonded its many peoples in ways that government could not. Loyalty to the Kaisers would, over time, be undermined and visibly diminished by a rising patchwork of regional identities, many of which esteemed their own homespun cultural heritage more highly than they did the Imperial purple. It was a problem that would only grow worse with time.
Shaken by the impotence of the Kaisership in maintaining the facade of political unity, the political current in Shireroth moved gently in favour of democratisation with the Shirerithian legislature, the Landsraad, ending its ancient nobles-only rule and opening membership to the entire citizenry in September 2010.
Meanwhile Elwynn, in alliance with Babkha, rose, for a brief time, to even greater heights of power and glory than Shireroth attained. It annexed Amokolia to its west and formed a globe spanning colonial empire following, not unintentionally, the self-same Alexander Doctrine of the Imperial Republic it had rebelled against. So powerful did it become that there were even those, including Scott Alexander, amusingly enough, who contemplated and privately advocated capitulation to the Prince of Elwynn. However this was not to be. The reason being that independent Elwynn's greatest failing, one stemming directly from its core paradox of being a liberal imperial power, was its openness to foreigners. In particular the Elwynnese failed to maintain a proper scrutiny of the dual citizens from the Imperial Republic for whom instead the door was held open even when Eliria, the Elwynnese capital, was locked in bitter strife with Shirekeep. So it was no surprise then that the Shirerithians marshalled their expatriate vote in Elwynn to support serial usurper Jacobus Loki in rigged elections for the office of Prince. With his victory, and with the failure of the liberal elite in Elwynn to support the measures necessary to purge the fifth columnists from the body politic, Elwynn collapsed ignominiously - and after a few months of Loki's catastrophically inept misrule opted for reunification with Shireroth.
Proving once and for all that any nation that accepts inward mass migration from hostile foreign communities, that do not embrace the values of their host nation but instead remain loyal to their ancestral lands and faith, will invariably sign their own death-warrant once the demographic balance tips away from the indigenous population.
In such a fashion was the fall of Elwynn accomplished.
Opinion also moved toward insulating the provinces from the worst failures of Imperial policy by granting them substantial autonomy, in order to restore a sense of trust and wellbeing that would, in turn, keep Shireroth together. This culminated in the Lich Charter of December 2012, promulgated by Kaiseress Mira Raynora Major, wherein Shireroth's territories were transformed into a series of autonomous Imperial States with profuse powers to determine their own affairs. This stabilisation of the political and constitutional situation, among other things, contributed greatly to the peaceable reunification of Elwynn with Shireroth in April 2013, which was carried off remarkably smoothly to the extent that many of Elwynn's old hands returned to contribute to the state's brief moment of notoriety as the Coordinated State, a thought-form experiment in liberal totalitarianism.
Unfortunately the Imperial State system depended on a certain level of good faith on the part of the Imperial States toward the Kaiser's government in Shirekeep, as those bonds which were no longer maintained by the Kaiser's power came to depend on the voluntary co-operation of the Imperial States with each other and with the Kaiser. The inability of the Kaiser to deal with the excessive self-interest of Imperial States was explosively demonstrated with the surprise secession of Kildare in October 2014. What Elwynn began in demoting the vaunted myth of the Shirerithian Kaisership, Kildare all but finished.
Shireroth is ruled by a Kaiser, an absolute monarch technically bound only by a weak charter that ze zirself can change with only slight inconvenience. The Kaiser rules by decree, and zir word supersedes all other law and institutions. However, the Kaiser is effectively bound by a number of traditions, most important of which is that ze can rule only for a maximum of three months before appointing an heir and abdicating gracefully. Any Kaiser who disobeys these traditions or the will of the people is likely to be dethroned in a rebellion.
Imperial Advisory Council & Ministries
The Kaiser appoints or dismisses at will three Imperial Advisors and approximately six Ministers, each of whom controls one of the country's Ministries. The current ministries of Shireroth are Exterior, Interior, Information, Military Affairs, Immigration and Naturalization, and Trade. A Minister has full power over zir Ministry, limited only by the generally uninterested Kaiser.
The Landsraad and Nobles
All Dukes and some Barons have access and votes to Shireroth's legislature, the Landsraad. Exactly who has how much power there is a hotly debated issue; right now, all Shirerithian citizens may speak and vote, but conservatives occasionally succeed in barring the chamber to all but Dukes. In between the Kaiser, the Ministries, and the traditions, the Landsraad rarely has much to do, but issues of national importance sometimes come before it. The Landsraad is controlled by a Praetor, elected by the populace, who acts as its speaker and enforces the rules of order.
Historically, the Kaiser has enlisted the aid of a council of Nobles known as the Landsraad as a voting legislature. The body exists at the Kaiser's pleasure and he can dissolve or restore it at any time for any reason. Initially the body was a small council composed solely of Dukes, but it later grew to include Barons, the class of noble below a Duke, and, with some restrictions, ministers. It has now reverted to a body with only Dukes. The Landsraad is limited in its power and cannot pass laws that violate Imperial Decrees. Laws passed by the Landsraad are amended to the Lawbook, a document which contains all of the laws of the nation except for Imperial and Ducal decrees.
Shireroth is divided up into a number of territories known as subdivisions. Each subdivision is ruled over by a noble who has absolute control over the subdivision, provided that he or she does not violate Imperial law and that he or she does not opt to use a non-feudal government within the subdivision. Dukes are the highest level of noble below the Kaiser and they control a teretory in Shireroth known as a duchy. There have been many Duchies in Shireroth, including Brookshire, Elwynn, Kildare, Straylight, Yardistan, Goldshire, Hyperborea, Lothlaria, and Arminy.
Brookshire and Goldshire were the original Duchies; the others are formed from other nations which chose to join with Shireroth or were created from other land that Shireroth controlled. Duchies may be divided up further into Baronies under a Baron, and those Baronies may be divided up further into Counties, under a Count. Dukes and Barons are officially recognized as legitimate nobles by the Imperial Government; however, Counts are not.
The Imperial Judex
Constitutional crises, as well as the occasional criminal trial, get referred to Shireroth's sole court, the Judex. The Arbiter of the Judex is charged with interpreting the Charter, the Lawbooks, and the Imperial Decrees. However, the Kaiser outranks the Arbiter and can fire zir or use imperial decrees to avoid the effects of zir decision. The only case in which the Arbiter has power beyond the Kaiser's is that both Kaiser and Arbiter must mutually agree on any changes to Shireroth's Charter.
Shireroth is unusually isolationist for a micronation, but nevertheless has several productive foreign relationships. It even joined the Bastion Union, a forum sharing project between several nations.
Shireroth is frequently accused of believing their country is better than everyone else, to which the most traditionally Shirerithian response is "But we ARE better than everyone else, aren't we?" The nation's attitude to foreign relations has been compared, not unfairly, to that of Imperial China.
Shireroth is the founder and host of the Small Commonwealth, an organization that allows nations to sign specific treaties of operation. Though some denounce the Commonwealth as a YAMO, it had some real successes - for example, unifying the economy of most members and creating an international criminal court. Current Small Commonwealth members are Shireroth, Batavia, Ashkenatza, Natopia, Nelaga, Gralus, Nederlanden, and Stormark. Some enemies of the Commonwealth, especially Antica, accuse members of being Shirerithian puppet states or the Commonwealth of being committed to Shirerithian domination. The Commonwealth itself loudly denies these allegations.
Micronational Cartography Society
Shireroth is the founding member of the Micronational Cartography Society (MCS), which links thirty six nations, mostly English-speaking but also Dutch and Polish, together on a single map. Shireroth is a strong partisan of the Society and fiercely defended it during its conflicts with other cartography societies like the Geographical Standards Organization. Some accused Shireroth of dominating the society, which was once plausible when most of its top positions were held by Shirerithians. However, today only one of five MCS Council Members is Shirerithian, and most nations have stopped complaining about Shirerithian influence even though it holds much more Micras territory than any other country.
In the past, Shireroth frequently entered into agreements to annex other countries. For many struggling nations, Shirerithian annexation was attractive both because Shireroth had a good track record of surviving and because its feudal system made it easy for countries that joined it to keep their own land. During its history, Shireroth has directly annexed Apollonia, Cimmeria, Hyperborea, Jaris, Akerbjorn, South Mondesia, Cognito, Lac Glacei, Arminy, Antica (dinarchy), Comstokia, and Hurmu (among others).
Shireroth had a very long history of interaction with Babkha, culminating in the Mango-Camel Pact of 2003 which allied the two countries. After a falling-out, Babkha and subsequently the Grand Commonwealth it created became Shireroth's chief rival. This enmity lessened when popular Babkhan Hesam Jahandar won the throne of Shireroth, but flared up again with the revelation that he was under the control of Babkhan interests. Though the line "May we slay all treacherous Babkhans" was added to an unofficial version of the Shireroth anthem, after Babkha closed shop as a micronation Shireroth mostly agreed to let bygones be bygones. Recently, Babkhan-Shirerithian relations received a boost when former Babkhan Ardashir Osmani attained the throne of Shireroth.
The living micronation with which Shireroth most often interacts is Antica. Shireroth had a very warm relationship with the Dinarchy of Antica, but when it was overthrown by revolutionaries, Shireroth's relationship with its successor state, the Republic of Antica, started off on the wrong foot and has stayed there ever since. Shireroth, which allied with the defeated Dinarchy, fought the Republic for control of Antican territory. Although it won control of the territory, political factors later forced it to give most of it up to the Republic; this incident caused enmity which has persisted ever since. However, with the departures of prominent anti-Shirerithian Anticans Olorix and Steven, the Antica-Shireroth rivalry has recently turned into more of a friendly competition than bitter hatred, with only a few holdouts like Ben Kern still causing trouble. Many Anticans, especially Chris Mules, are respected by Shirerithians and welcome in Shirerithian territory, while a few Shirerithians, such as Scott Alexander, head to Antica for their macronational political arguments.
Shireroth is a recreational micronation, and although it claims Sonoma County, California, where most of the population once resided, it is not seriously secessionist. The Yardistani Annexation Corps, however, can and does annex anything that strikes its fancy.
The national animal is the mythical, rare Shirerithian Blue Moose, the national fruit is the mango, and the national guard is the sheer ugliness of the forums, topped off by Malarbor, a menacing evil-tree-guy-figure in the background.
Every Duchy also tends to have its own specific culture. Some duchies, such as Brookshire, seem to have a culutre that strongly resembles the culture of the nation as a whole. Others, such as Hyperborea, have a strong and developed culture that has developed independently of Shireroth. Shireroth is also home to Cedrism and its more famous sister faith Boomism.
Shireroth deliberately avoids basing itself wholesale on any particular real world country or even around a coherent idea or political system. Instead, its culture evolved chaotically over its existence. Some dispute the very existence of a national culture, instead saying that culture is mostly limited to the various subdivisions with the imperial government tying them together politically. Those who believe in culture cite elements taken from Germany, Hinduism, the (Holy) Roman Empire, Warcraft and Dune, plus a large chunk that is uniquely Shirerithian and mostly incomprehensible to other micronationalists.
Much of Shireroth's culture is an accretion of the dozens of other micronations that have risen and fallen over Shireroth's lifetime. Shirerithian conversations are peppered with references to Menelmacar, PRH, Diga, YAMOs, magigarp, and the apocollapse. Although most citizens understand these, they present a formidable barrier to foreigners trying to make sense of Shirerithian life.
Shireroth's five Duchies are each ruled by a Duke, technically ruling at the pleasure of the Kaiser but effectively chosen by the previous Duke. Each Duchy previously had several Baronies under Barons who rule at the pleasure of the Duke, and Counties, one-person feudal units to develop culturally in whatever direction takes the fancy of the Count - but these have mostly been done away with since the Fifth Age began.
Shirerithians can go on for hours about their subdivisions, each of which is fiercely patriotic and occasionally locked in deadly war or alliance with various other subdivisions. Although the subdivision list is subject to frequent change, the most current list includes:
- Kildare, a collection of historic lands built up from the territories of some of Shireroth's progenitor states. It wears its history with great pomp and ceremony, is the country's economic center, and sometimes flirts with an Irish theme. It calls itself a Dutchy instead of a Duchy, an old joke that refuses to die.
- Machinaria, once the core Shirerithian lands of Brookshire and Goldenmoon, now a vaguely steampunk area of people merged with technologies in disturbing ways. Likely to change back to Brookshire at some point in the future thanks to Shirerithian conservativism.
In terms of real-world territory, Shireroth claims Sonoma County, California as its capital. However, this claim was placed when a much higher proportion of Shirerithians resided in the county, and is now generally ignored.
Notable Projects and Accomplishments
Literature & Art
Shireroth is the subject of several works of art and literature. Most notably, it gets a mention in Harvey Steffke's Control of Destiny series of computer role-playing games, in which several Shirerithians are prominent characters. A few other Shirerithians are involved in programming projects in one way or another, including Jonas Windsor (who is working on a game about Shireroth's Duchy of Kildare), Erik Mortis (who wrote the Small Commonwealth Bank), and James Raine, who created the ShireFox modification for Firefox to allow easier access to Shireroth's internet presence.
The novel Unaimed Arrow takes place in Shireroth, as do several shorter works of fiction. Notable among these are the Elwynnese story threads pioneered by Andrew Allot and his friends, the poetry of Philip Locke, and the Lac Glacei and Mirioth story arcs in Yardistan.
Shireroth has several constructed languages in various states of completion and complexity. The most notable of these is Audente, developed by Bill Trihus as the language of the County of Greater Audentior. Nicholas du Grifos, a linguistics grad student and former Duke of Yardistan, is currently working on Praeta Sxirothes, which when completed will take its place as Shireroth's national conlang.
In 2006, Shireroth ran a successful advertisement campaign on the webcomic Real Life Adventures, whose creator, Greg Dean, was at the time a Shirerithian citizen. Shireroth's other brush with the spotlight was a brief mention on BBC during the program How To Start Your Own Country, in which Danny Wallace signed treaties with several leading micronations including Shireroth.
Shireroth co-hosted (with limited success) the 2004 Micronational Olympics. Although logistical problems prevented it from continuing in the field of micronational sports, it now hosts a relatively popular online version of the board game Diplomacy that attracts participants from all over the world. There's even a micronational variant.
Other Intermicronational contributions
Shireroth is also responsible for starting major organizations such as the Small Commonwealth, the MCS, and SNARL (the Shireroth-Natopia-Antica Recwar League). A Shirerithian (Scott Alexander) runs the FNORD Awards, and another (Josh Coales) runs the Forum List.
Shireroth doesn't have an official national religion, but Cedrism is so important in daily life that it is informally seen as the national religion. It's a native (fictional) pagan mythology based around Mors, the God of Death, and his ex-wife Viviantiana, the Goddess of Life. Worship tends to involve sacrificing citrus fruits (hence the name) and lighting explosions (which has given it its alternate and more popular name BOOOOMism). Cedrism also shares some Hindu beliefs like reincarnation and enlightenment.
Major Cedrist gods include Anandja, Goddess of Bliss, Lumina, Goddess of Light, Ifni, Goddess of Luck, and Sakat, God of Time. More popular are the minor "joke" gods, including Google, Bringer of Knowledge, Mog, God of Political Blunders, and B'caw, God of Spicy Chicken. However, by far the most popular god is Malarbor, the Evil Tree God of Online Forums. Malarbor has had a prominent place in the announcement box of Shireroth's forums for many years, and has become the country's unofficial mascot and badwill ambassador. Malarbor's catch phrase, insofar as gods can have catchphrases, is "MALARBOR DEMANDS IT!"
Other features of Cedrism include the Demon (occasionally Deamon) Fish of Balgurd, the archdemon Rrakanychan, and the legendary Sword of Vengeance, symbol of the Kaiser's might (but arguably pilfered by the Babkhans a while back).
Furthermore, Soloralism also plays an important part in religious affairs. The religion is most practised in the Antyan counties (Kildare). Nonetheless, the religion is also influenced by Cedrists: the God of History, Sakat, is very popular in the Soloralist society.
Shireroth's currency is the erb, which comes in denominations of 1, 5, 18, 29, and 100.
Shireroth is a founding member of the Small Commonwealth Economy, and hosts the Small Commonwealth Bank and SCEX, the Small Commonwealth Stock Exchange. Its economy is based on a system of bounties, in which people work without assured compensation but the Ministry of Trade rewards anyone who helps the country especially greatly with a cash gift. There are then gradual taxes that replenish the government treasury. Although the economy hasn't entirely caught on, there are several cases of people selling land and titles for money.
In the past, the country experimented with a system in which votes in the Landsraad were linked to the amount of money people in a Duchy had. But because Shireroth's Duchy-based voting system made it impossible to link it to personal wealth, this became awkward and was later abandoned; the economy has not really recovered.