Coordinated State of Elwynn
|Feudal Status:||Imperial State|
|Largest Cities:||Ardashirshahr, Islus, Allswell, Vijayanagara, Glenfiddich|
|Local Leadership Title:||Prince|
|Local Government:||Coordinated State|
|Current leader:||None. Replaced by Elwynnese Union|
|Local language:||Elw, Babki, Praeta Sxirothes, Inglisi (Common)|
|Local Religion:||Treesian Unorthodoxy, Zurvanism, Constitutionalism|
The Coordinated State of Elwynn (Elw: Alajariq Adurellion), referred to in official sources often as purely Elwynn, was an incarnation of the Imperial State of the Imperial Republic of Shireroth which is known as Elwynn. It was noted for its violent and complex history, its significant minority populations, and for its long period of independence from direct Imperial control.
- 1 Geography
- 2 Governance
- 3 Politics
- 4 Defence and Security
- 5 Economy
- 6 Culture
- 7 History
- 8 Demographics
Alalehzamin, most of Eliria and Utasia, and probably Lun Ezkaron and eastern or southeastern Araxion, are likely to be steppe. Alalalehzamin may, in fact, be something like cold desert, which has interesting implications for what the weather in Shirekeep is like.
Iserdia, most of Araxion, central and southern Illumination, and probably most of Wintergleam, Agnesia, and (if we're being generous about warm currents) Cimmeria would be taiga. I think inland Western Absentia and Agningas would also qualify, and maaaybe mainland Bjorngard.
Cape Farewell, northern Illumination, insular Bjorngard, possibly Cimmeria, and almost certainly Northern Absentia and Mina Durtarui, would be tundra.
A humid continental climate may exist in northern Goldshire, and in that case may extend inland into the area around Echo, southern or far eastern Wintergleam, and maybe into the eastern bits of Eliria and Utasia... though probably not very far in any case.
The agricultural Centre was the 'U-shaped' lowlands that form the southern border of Elwynn. Good river access, it's near the Plains of Mors in the Imperial County so the area there is already predisposed to flatland.
Akerbjorn: Elwynn’s only “colony”, on Keltia. Untamed nature. Green fields. Perfect for future agriculture exploitation.
Continental Absentia: Forested like in East Elwynn. Historically much agriculture, the famous cabbage fields are now destroyed, have become akin to cold deserts.
Elwynn can be divided into eight separate geographic regions.
Alalehzamini Banks: (ca 100 km along the Rivers Elwynn from Visqeoor south to Shirekeep, and south from Zoroaster to Shirekeep) lush, agricultural heartland of Elwynn, plains. [De-conflicted from Shyriath's interpretation by Octy's explanation of the ideal situation of Alalehzamin for irrigation based agriculture and the importation of Babkhan hydraulic technologies courtesy of Babkhi settlers]
Alalehzamini Highlands: mountainous, mostly barren [cold desert wastelands including petrified remains of the forests burned during the extermination of the Elfinshi]
Cimmeria: volcanic islands
Hyperborea: glaciers, ice-sheet. Some “hot-spots” due to volcanic activity.
East Elwynn: from south Eastern Marches to Eliria and Fenririe to Islus, and east from there all over Wintergleam. forested with pines (fir, spruce, etc) and some leafy trees (beech, ash, elm),
Northern Absentia: somewhat mountainous, famous cabbage fields destroyed and turned to cold deserts.
Iserdia and Cape Farewell: tundra, “cold desert”. Extends as far south to Petersburg and as north as the northern parts of the Eastern Marches.
Utasia: inner central Elwynn, roughly extends to Smjörkyr, Mindon Araxion, Kilkadesh.
Benacia is a really damn big continent, and its interior is a very long way from the sea. Particularly in southern Elwynn, there's not going to be much access to moisture.
Up to about 60 degrees north, Elwynn would be dominated by westerly winds (i.e., blowing from west to east). Given the height of the mountain ranges, there probably isn't a huge rain shadow effect; on the other hand, the wind won't be bringing in much rain, either.
Long harsh winters where cold fronts moving westwards from the Absentias become locked into place by weather systems created by warm ocean currents coming up from the tropics and meeting the deathly cooling waters of Antarctica. “Thirteen Months of Winter, Summer the Rest” being a particularly sardonic Elw greeting.
Desertification of the interior of Elwynn Proper
Salination of irrigation canals
Schistosomiasis (Barentsz-Melang variant Bilharzia), a disease caused by parasitic worms of the Schistosoma type infected by residual toxicity of the Cabbage Blight. It may infect the urinary tract or intestines. Symptoms may include: abdominal pains, diarrhea, bloody stool, or blood in the urine. Chronic in Alalehzamin, resulting in excess of one-hundred thousand notified infections per year of which approximately 12,000 victims develop complications resulting in mortality or termination in line with established quarantine procedures. Irrigation canals where Schistosoma worm is discovered are drained, burned with napalm and then scoured with lye.
Staple Foodstuffs grown in Elwynn include rice, rye, oats, beans, potatoes, carrots, vegetables (except cabbage, the cultivation of which was banned after the Cabbage Crisis), rapeseed (for oils) and sugarbeets are also grown in Agricultural Production Townships in southern-Elwynn.
Various ruminants kept as livestock for meat and dairy production. Dog breeds are of two main varieties: Babkhan (scent trackers, retrievers) & Norse (guard and attack breeds). Neither variety can be entirely trusted with children for whom imported varieties are sought. The most common being the Raikothin Spitz (kiga), the only dog breed native to Raikoth. It probably descended from sled dogs brought by the ancestors of the Volsaarns, and serves on Raikoth as transportation, hunting and farming help, and companionship. Apparently cats also existed during this era.
Flora and Fauna
The Qymubex ('Quy-Moo-Beck'), a be-tusked and antlered cloven-hoofed relative of the wild boar noted for its pack-based foraging behaviour, ravenous omnivorous appetite and exceptional ferocity. A mature adult stands 147 cm (58 inches) tall at the shoulder. Believed to have been instrumental in harrying the North Benacian Lion to extinction and, in the absence of human competitors, can be considered the apex predator of the interior sparsely-populated rural bailiwicks. Hunting of the Qymubex was formerly a ritual of the aristocracy involving horses, lances and hunting dogs, now tends to be undertaken with high-powered assault rifles, grenades and helicopters. Hunting the Qymubex is considered to be an ideal culmination to basic training for Union Defence Force (UDF) personnel as the carnage which ensues will 'blood' the recruits and give a foretaste of life in a combat environment. More mundane species existing outside the predation areas inhabited by the Qymubex include wolves, lynx, cougars, weasels, minx, rabbits and hares (arctic and temperate varieties) bears (brown and polar), elk (moose), and various deer. In the sea, whales and various fishes. Avian species include the omnipresent Benacian Vulture-Pigeon (strip a field of seed-crops and then rip to bloody shreds with their talons the foolhardy farmer who attempts to shoo them off. Distinctly unimpressed by scarecrows).
As noted, imported varieties of canine tend to be kept as pets, as do cats apparently. More eccentric fellows are reported to keep penguins and puffins as pets but the veracity of these reports have been disputed. Primitive Cimmerian cultists kept Polar Bears as totem animals but many of these were killed by the UDF as part of a pacification campaign waged against restless tribal villages.
Authority derived from the Court of the Prince and was granted by the elected Prince to the Steward, the Magisters of the Halls of Government, the Wardens of the Marches and the Governors of the Bailiwicks in turn. The Charter of Coordination specified which other office holders can hold authority for specific powers such as the power of arrest.
The Senate of Elwynn could pass or repeal laws by a majority vote. The Constitution of Elwynn was declared to have been such a perfect document that the Elwynnese people, having been defiled by their failure to resist the Usurper Loki, were ritually impure and unable to read it without tainting the perfection that has been attained in the text. To prevent this the Constitution was shrouded and veiled from the public gaze and the publicly available copies were gathered up and placed into storage for a hypothetical future time when the nation would be ready once more for the sacred radiance to be restored. The Constitution was held within the Oracle of Liberty and the Augur of Democracy would, if propitiated correctly, be consulted to interpret the Constitution for the benefit of sinful humanity.
The working aspects of functioning Liberal-Humanist Democracy are regulated by the Charter of Coordination which is promulgated by the Senate, enacted by the Court of the Prince and interpreted by the Court of Star-Chamber.The original copy of the constitution was shrouded and placed into occultation whilst other mundane copies and reproductions were systematically hunted down and removed from society to be placed in vast catacomb like ossuaries dug far underground beneath what would later become the Valley of the Kings in Araxion.
The Charter of Coordination, therefore became the de-facto constitution and it provided for the rule of the Prince (Head of State), and the appointment through his authority of a Steward (Head of Government), the Magisters (Ministers for a Department), Wardens (Ministers for a Region), Governors (Appointed Representatives of a Bailiwick, reporting to the Warden, answerable to domestic constituency), Aldermen (members of the 150 strong elite council in each Bailiwick), Senators (An Alderman appointed by the Prince to sit on the Senate – the upper house of the Elwynnese Legislature).
Senators and members of the executive were immune from summary arrest and cudgelling except upon the direct instruction of the Court of Star-Chamber.
The Coordinated State was a progressive society that aimed towards a global human supremacy and off-world settlements, albeit considered to be unlikely to be realised in the lifetime of anyone alive at the time. The vision sold to the populace encapsulated rising living standards, a post-scarcity economy and further reductions in crime and lawlessness.
As long as order was maintained people declared themselves to be generally confident that the situation will continue to improve over the long term. Studies by the Panopticon Department into public morale however showed that this acquiescence was fundamentally fragile, as the eventual overthrow of the regime showed.
The Prince failed as a ruler if he failed to fulfil his mandate as described by the Charter of Coordination or if he was treacherous (Loki) or weak, incoherent and irresolute (Nathaniel). The Prince could be voted out of office at the elections, impeached by the Senate or overthrown by the UDF if he loses the backing of the military. In the event of a military coup the Prince would be replaced by a Condcuator who would have the responsibility of restoring an acceptable status quo.
When we are confronted by the vista of human society, with all its contradictions and folly, stretching back into a past that is already half forgotten and a future that is far from certain, we are forced to ask ourselves what is the purpose of our existence, so often fleeting and painful as it may be for us as mere individuals.
From a biological perspective it is clearly to perpetuate our genetic legacy through reproduction, and in that sense we are no different than the humble tapeworm in as much as our essential function is to pass on our sequence of coded DNA to subsequent generations. This answer suggests that there is no difference between man and animal, perhaps there is no reason therefore to not return to our natural state and live as beasts, abandoning the civilisation that ensures our comfort but so swells our numbers that we become a pest and a burden upon the world that it can ill afford.
Might we not also be, in our lives, undertaking some sort of spiritual journey, the answers to which will be revealed to us in a life everlasting beyond the grave? This hypothesis is, alas, like that of the benevolent creator who underpins it, un-falsifiable and therefore not worth considering by any man who pretends to the use of reason. Yet without the certainty of the life ever lasting what hope is there for human happiness? Surely, in the face of the haunting certainty of death, there can be none save for that gained fleetingly in recreation and material gratification? But does that not again set us at a level not far removed from that of the beasts that eat sleep and fornicate in accordance with their instincts and without a care? Is our intellect not then a curse rather than a blessing if all that it really teaches us is that we are doomed to die? Perhaps better to be a dog and live in contented ignorance rather than be a human and realise that our time fleeting and our memories and achievements for nothing since they leave us at the graveside.
Is then this higher purpose instead the sum of our wisdom, our accumulated knowledge, gathered in and carefully preserved over such a long time and at such perilous effort? And yet those who have studied the catastrophes which have afflicted the stores of human knowledge - such as the destruction of the Grand Archives of antiquity by marauding barbarians and religious zealots, the burning of books and scholars - and the underpinning methodologies - the macabre nocturnal visitations of inquisitorial authorities, the petty tyrannies of clerics, populists and ideologues who declare the 'gates' of reasoned thought to be shut - know full well that it is only by a fragile string that all this stored and applied knowledge hangs and that at any single moment that thread could be cut and the entire edifice come crashing down. I regret that, if our material circumstances were to ever change for the worse, it would be from learning that man would turn as he diverted his attention towards the baser struggle to survive.
The nature of society therefore is twofold, firstly it is the sum of humanity, and secondly it is the sum of human knowledge. For the social engineer therefore the challenge is to create an order in society that engenders the survival of both.
As I have already implied the challenge is to create order – harmony, or what the ancients used to call eunomie. The city therefore must ideally embody the spirit of eunomie in its functions. It needs to be a mediating influence on human individuals that brings them to a state of happiness and contentment that leads them to sustain a viable population and preserve the corpus of human knowledge.
This stability must, if it is to achieve this objective of preserving the genetic and memetic legacy of the Species, be perpetual. Such, of course, has been the objective of social engineers, the so-called Utopians, since the dawn of civilisation. Many have tried. All have failed. Every culture, every nation, every civilisation and every empire has been subject to a cycle that can be crudely summarised as rise, decline and fall. Moreover in each instance the only semblance of continuity has been achieved by the haphazard assimilation of the wreckage of the fallen into the cultural infrastructure of the rising power that overtook it.
It is not my intention to investigate why such a cycle of growth and decay should afflict the polity. I merely wish to observe that the transmission of knowledge through oral and written mediums cannot be carried on with any great hope of efficiency if the state and the city is forever plagued by the threat of decay and destruction.
To achieve the desired end state of unbroken harmony we must first of all end history, that is to say we must institute a system of reform that will remove the necessity for further change. The engine of change is discontent and discontent in human individuals derives chiefly from the sense of grievance at being excluded from a say in the exercise of power. Should then we embraced democracy and be prepared to suffer the wrath of those who uphold the divinely mandated autocracy? By no means; democracy, it cannot be doubted, opens the door to corruption and factionalism, and by the emancipation of the uneducated only leads to either a revived tyranny or else the horrors of some sort of demotic Ochlocracy.
No – to change society requires leadership from the top and it requires detachment from the selfish interests that plague the individual. Yet therein lies the paradox, the social engineer cannot end history while he is living in it, nor can he completely change society when he is himself a part of it.
There are two ways to take account of this, to either set the utopian goals for the ideal harmonious state and to then work towards them by a single decisive action – a revolution – or to engage in a sort of piecemeal social engineering that last over decades and even centuries. And in both instances there is no guarantee of success and one guarantee of failure, the mortality of the social engineer. The social engineer may remain true to his objectives for the duration of his lifespan, but what of afterwards? The experiences of the communists show us how easily the successor to the revolutionary mantle may, out of expediency, subvert or even out-rightly abandon the principles and objectives which underscored it.
Therefore is it not apparent to us that to preserve humanity it will require an inhuman will to overcome the inherent flaws in human nature?
Defence and Security
The power to declare and wage war, within the framework of the Imperial Republic, laid with the Court of the Prince.
The Union Defence Force, a force capable of carrying out conventional mechanised and combined arms operations supported by a conscript army and an industrial manufacturing base, consisted of four combined-arms territorial defence divisions, one gendarme division, two auxiliary service corps (fleet & air) and five non-combatant corps. These were organised sequentially as follows:
Corps / Division (Alternate Name / Abbreviation)
Territorial Defence Divisions a. 1e Division (Elwmacht / 1e Div Elw) (67,783 points) b. 2e Division (Amokolian Pioneers / 2e Div Amk) (63,955 points) c. 10e Division (Balarakian Guards / 10e Div Bal) (48,451 points) d. 11e Division (Far Reaches / 11e Div Far)
Gendarmerie Division c. 3e Division (Livgardet Elenaran / 3e Div LE)
Auxiliary Service Corps d. Union Fleet Maritime Corps (UFMC) +12e Naval Division (12e Div Nav) (49,549 points) e. Union Aerospace Corps (UAC) +Union Aerospace Corps Command (UACC) -4e Tactical Aviation Division (4e TA Div) (21,751 points) -5e Tactical Aviation Division (5e TA Div) (Emergency Fighter Programme, qty 60 OAH T2 Saeqah) (4,500 points) -6e Logistics-Airlift Division (6e L-A Div) -7e Anti-Air Defence of the Nation Division (7e AADN Div) -8e Strategic Operations Division (8e Strat-Op Div) [Southron Barrage] (2,152 points + 1,033 points) -9e Maritime Reconnaissance Division (9e MR Div)
Non-Combatant Corps f. Union Intelligence Corps (UIC) g. Elwmarine (ElwM) h. Corps of Gentlemen-at-Cudgels (CGC) i. Combat Support Services Corps (CSSC) j. Union Medical Corps (UMC)
UDF Manpower: [919,892 personnel] Territorial Defence Divisions 94,892 Gendarmerie Division 25,000 Auxiliary Service Corps 200,000 Non-Combatant Corps 600,000
The majority of soldiers were conscripts but the four territorial defence divisions and the auxiliary air and naval corps were primarily staffed by professional career soldiers.
The borders of Elwynn Proper were secured by the Border Quarantine Zone (BQZ) which was established in 1606.5205 under [1605/V] 'An Instrument of Government for the Regulation of the Borders and the Regulation of Access and Entry to the Imperial State' which also established the administrative and regulatory procedures for dealing with undesired visitors.
For this reason, the Border Quarantine Zone, the Isles of Cimmeria and the bailiwicks of the Eastern March all tend to be avoided by those who have a choice in the matter. This being primarily on account of the not inconsiderable risk of death attendant upon visiting those places. Although not exhaustive the most prevalent threats to life and limb in those parts are of drone strikes, marauding libertarian gangs and incurable infectious diseases, including one notable instance when all three fates manifested themselves simultaneously on one particularly unfortunate soul who subsequently went on to inspire a series of books and a film franchise through the especially convoluted nature of her demise.
The Coordinated State, in large part on account of its own economic reforms, frequently found itself engaged in combat with organised crime, including against the gangs and fraternities that would eventually coalesce into the Brotherhood of Lest.
Law and Order
Currency-smuggling was a mainstay of the black-market economy. Practitioners of the pecuniary vice secretly indulged in most forms of consumerist excess which run contrary to the ethos of the Coordinated State.
The Guilds and the Bailiwicks held jurisdiction over matters of mundane criminality. The State would only involve itself if the matter pertained to crimes against the state or threats to public order. The Court of Star-Chamber's Instructing Justice was responsible for investigating crimes and organising the Sealed Proceedings by which a persons guilt would be ascertained before moving to arrest and trial.
There was no capital punishment for natural persons. However, a natural person could request euthanasia if they, after an appropriate period of contemplation, concluded that their crimes were of such a magnitude that they could no longer live with the guilt. The State only maintained one prison for political and or exceptional crimes and for the most part sought to cure rather than punish offenders.
The Elwynns Riddare were a paramilitary guards force of 150 legates directly answerable to the Steward who combine close-protection duties for the Court of the Prince with special-weapons and tactics policing and special operations of a military and or political nature, they operated outside the normal military chain of command and had access to non-standard equipment.
Abundant reserves of natural Gas from the Elwynnese highlands, with the energy demands of heavy industry and civil society met by hydroelectric power generated on the West-Elwynn Dam and the East Elwynn Sluice. One of the key revenue drivers for the Coordinated State was the sale of Liquefied-Natural Gas (LNG) available for export as part of bulk commodity swaps in lieu of currency.
This was balanced by acute shortages in grain, iron-ore, tungsten and other metals and alloys.
Integrated mass-transit system featured electric trains, airships and (apparently) experimental magnetic levitation trains. Automotive vehicles powered by the internal combustion engine tend to be reserved for government and guild use. Work was ongoing at the time of the communist takeover in 1613 to create a wooden-chassis fibre-glass shell vehicle for the mass market powered by a hybrid electrical and Stirling-Cycle engine. Provisional name – the Trabant (Elw. “Orbiting Satellite”).
The failing and stagnant Small Commonwealth economy was swept away in one of the boldest and most controversial moves of the Coordinated State, which replaced it with what was known as Guild Communism.
The essence of this system revolved around Resource Allocations (notionalised as 'social credits' known as Theoretical Florins) that were made by the State, determined by the Court of the Prince and approved by the Senate. Disbursements of these allocations were then made to the Magisters for state expenditure and to the Wardens for allocation to the Bailiwicks of Elwynn Proper and the Marches.
Allocations were made by the Wardens to the Governors of the Bailiwicks and to the Guild of Aldermen directly. Governors then made allocations to the four Civil Society Guilds (Dunporters, Artisans, Artificers & Factors).
Appropriations in turn were made by the Governors taking from the Guilds and voting a contribution to the Wardens who, in theory, would surrender the surplus back to the Court of the Prince. Magisters would also return any unallocated resource to the Court of the Prince at the end of each year.
The overall assumption was expressed in the over simplified formula that Entitlement=Need/Capacity(to Contribute)*Utility
The system had to make arrangements for the continued need for citizens and corporate entities to trade rather than all become clients of the state. Self to Self credit transfers were be permitted on an individual basis. Corporations and enterprises were be state or guild owned except in areas where expertise was lacking or a market could be sustained without monopolistic or capitalist behaviours manifesting.
Elwynn is a notably multi-ethnic and multi-cultural society, however after long periods of foreign domination - Raikothian, Babki, Stormarker - the concept of Elwdom has reasserted itself, especially in light of the Ayreon-Loki Wars and the period of independence enjoyed by the Country before its eventual reintegration as an Imperial State of Shireroth.
The essential notion is that the average Elw, conditioned by state mandated liberalism, multiculturalism and democratic idealism, is as meek and mild mannered a fellow as you are ever likely to encounter, far far removed from the cudgeller archetype which requires a very particular sort of character. The Elw male in particular lives out eleven of the twelve months of the year in a state of polite, pointedly tolerant, conformity but then, as independence day approaches, the country grinds to a halt as every self-respecting red-blooded Elw abandons the cities and heads north into the wilderness in order to go absolutely mental in every way imaginable.
In the popular imagination love and marriage were quite closely associated. The state considered marriage to be a contract for the purpose of procreation – the optimum condition for raising the next generation of well-rounded functional citizens, the guarantor of inter-generational harmony and familial coordination. Political marriages are not entirely uncommon.
It was rare but not unheard of for a man to have two wives. Polyandry is rarer still but not illegal. It is rumoured that the Raikothlin are enthusiastic polyamorists. For the overwhelming majority of society however monogamy is considered the norm.
The decision on whether to marry rested on the spouses-to-be, subject to parental and guild approval. Although marriage without the approval of authority was legal there were societal consequences, namely ostracism which frequently proved to be detrimental to careers and group standing.
Marriages ended typically through mutual agreement or citing of incompatibility and or infidelity. Application for a request for divorce must be submitted in writing to the governor of the bailiwick in which the couple are resident. Disputes concerning personal property, children and resource allocations are referred in the first instance to families and guilds for arbitration and finally to the Governor for a ruling if agreement for an amicable separation cannot be made.
Adultery was not a crime, it was however admissible as grounds for a divorce and the guilty parties would face the societal consequences of incurring disfavour with their own families and guilds.
Children of both genders if aged under seven remained with the mother. Boys over the age of seven became the responsibility of the father. An orphan would typically become the responsibility of the most proximate and willing next-of-kin to the deceased parents. If one cannot be found who is willing to accept the discharge of this responsibility, the guild to which the parents belonged (the father's if a boy, the mother's if a girl) would be obliged to take responsibility for the child's welfare and education until of age for an apprenticeship. If for whatever reason the family was not registered with any established guild then the state would have responsibility and the Orphan would be granted to status as a Ward of the Court of the Prince. 'Wards of His Serenity' invariably find themselves assigned to a Cudgellers regiment. This had something of an influence on their character.
Primarily in the form of gendered play. Boys are encouraged to play at 'Cudgels and Robbers', 'Soldiers and Elfinshi' and 'Hang the Traitor', as well as to participate in hunting expeditions at the earliest age they are able. Girls are taught to assume nurturing roles and to play sharing games to prepare them for the role society expects them to play in planning and organising. All youth are enrolled in mandatory Guild School Sports Associations and encouraged to participate in the full range of competitive and athletic sports.
The mentally ill and defective would be made subject to a Pastoral Care Order and were assigned to the Contentment and Wellbeing Clinic for their Bailiwick of residence until such time as they were cured and rehabilitated to society. Incurable cases would however be transferred to a Monastic institution on Raikoth.
At death, an individuals personal property (trinkets, heirlooms, clothes) would pass to the next-of-kin, divided in accordance with the instructions and or known wishes of the deceased. Where disputes occurred arbitration was undertaken by the Guilds, with the Governor of the Bailiwick being responsible for rulings if an agreement for equitable resolution could not be reached.
Incest was considered to be direct intercourse between blood relatives. Such matters were normally policed at a local level by families and guilds with the state only becoming involved with persistent offenders and those whose illicit relations resulted in off-spring. Rape was commonly considered to be any instance where any person engages in sexual intercourse with any other person without that person's informed consent. Any person who engaged in either incest or rape was considered to be asocial and would have been subjected to a Preventative Detention Order. Incestuous siblings found themselves dispatched to Raikothlin monasteries in separate marches (a territorial grouping of counties and bailiwicks, equivalent to a 'Cardinal Direction' under the rule of a Warden appointed by the Court of the Prince) for a period of enforced contemplation and purification. Rapists, if they are not left to the tender mercies of the Cudgellers, were normally subjected to chemical castration at the nearest convenient Contentment and Wellbeing Clinic before deportation to a monastery on the Island of Raikoth in the charmingly named valley of “You-Will-Die” for a life of penance. Appeals against these 'Pastoral Care Orders' were possible but, since the case was heard by the Court of Star-Chamber, seldom resulted in a reduction of sentence, frequently the reverse.
The Elwynnese of the era despised their southern neighbours and believed necrophilia to be distressingly widespread amongst their fellow Shirerithians (who to them were foreigners in every real sense of the term), particularly if rumours emanating from Court in Shirekeep during the reign of Kaiser Mo'll I were to be believed.
Conversely, homosexuality was broadly accepted and tolerated as a natural biological impulse that affects only a minority of the population. Generally the public attitude was one of indifference, although the antics of the Prince Elijah, his partner Nathan and their adopted 'son' the erstwhile Prince Nathaniel are widely believed to have put the equal rights movements back by about a century. The experiment with gay marriage was particularly been singled out as a failure advocated for no real purpose by overindulged sentimentalists.
The theory is that Roqpin should discharge all the frustrations and tensions accumulated during the course of a year, negating the basis upon which demand for such services could be based null and void. This does not workout in practice, particularly for those who do not have a happy Roqpin. It is generally recognised that seeking to eliminate the demand for prostitutes is futile as vice functions in much the same way as a sewer, without it the city would drown quickly in the filth of its own depravity.
There is a certain awkwardness however in availing of the services of a prostitute or catamite in a demonetised economy. Self-to-Self transfers of Theoretical Florins are available as a facility for any person who has a fully-authorised Entitlement Card. These transactions however are conducted electronically and as such are recorded and are auditable by the Hall of Allocations and the Guilds, an invidious situation for a potential client to find himself in. Bartering is another possibility however portable goods of sufficient value and quantity tend to be conspicuous – with the result again that awkwardness attends swiftly upon the prospective client. Attempting to solicit services with contraband currency on the other hand is an even worse option since it invites the full fury of the Panopticon Department to come crashing down upon the hapless pervert.
Happily the Church of Elwynn proved to be an unexpected saviour in dark times. From its earliest origins as a refuge for fallen women in the Bailiwick of Târâshahr, the Church sponsored the creation of Flower Streets (luuluruqu) in every city and township of the Coordinated State, at the entrance to which stood a temple to Truth and Beauty. The happy and pious supplicant, cheerfully greeted by the priestess of the Goddess makes a profuse and doubtless sincere gesture of adoration to the priestess and in return receives an orchid garland, a candle and a sachet of powdered incense. Somehow during the time it has taken to make the down and receive the bestowed tokens of religiosity, the visitors Entitlement Card has been discretely swiped and charged for an appropriate donative, doubtless one that is pleasing to the Goddess Elwynn herself.
The garlanded worshipper proceeds with a suitable reverend awe to the alter upon which the Holy Icon is set. Doubtless it depicts some worthy scene intended to turn ones thoughts towards the sublime. Of Elwynn, she of the serene disposition, repulsing with contemptuous ease the lecherous advances of her besotted brother Lest. Perhaps, perchance, her bosom is depicted as being exposed – no matter – it is enough of a common place in devotional art that only the scurrilously minded would think ill of it. The awed worshipper kneels before the alter, doubtless his eyes now transfixed by the transcendent beauty of that holy art which surpasses all understanding. A puff of incense dropped into a convenient brazier, the candle fixed with melted wax before the alter – so many candles, truly popular piety is more pronounced than it has ever been – a few murmured words of appropriate incantation, and it is done. The worshipper exits stage right, processing round the alter, bowing to the icon with every second step...
Until he finds himself in a fair gabled street with the distinct aroma of chrysanthemums lingering lightly in the evening airs, the sky slowly darkening towards twilight. It is a row of storied houses, seven on each side – the auspicious number. Outside each is hung a red paper lantern, on which is written in black ink a ritual blessing 'Long Life, Happiness, Fecundity'. It is a tea-house, one of many, each specialising in a different flavour. The gentleman approaches – at the door he is met by the hostess. Sun Bless, Earth Keep, Truth and Beauty Warm. The usual polite meaningless greetings that bestow a certain cod piety, the simulacrum of probity. Nervously, he smiles and, a little too practised, she smiles in return. Remembering himself, the Gentlemen takes from around his neck the garland that the priestess had bestowed and passes it to the hostess who smiles once more, congratulates the generous-giver on his piety and hangs the garland upon a hook, from which a dozen other garlands also hand, before inviting the gentleman inside to join her and her companions for tea.
That is not to say that this idealised picture is not without its squalid aspects. It is not to be forgotten that few would chose these circumstances immediately through choice and the Church itself is not insulated from the charge of hypocrisy that attends upon its practices. Yet this polite fiction permits conditions that are more favourable within the Flower Street than without. Cared for, protected and permitted to order their own affairs, the prostitutes and catamites fare better than they might have done otherwise. Corrupt and complacent the Church might be, it does however at least have the decency to look after its own. For those who have left behind dark and damaged lives the demons that tormented them lie still outside the gates, waiting to get in – to snatch back their wares, the chattel once kept in their thrall that guaranteed an easy living.
They wait, and sometimes they try their luck. The pimps and the abusive clients, sometimes they make their way onto the Flower Street. Seldom do they make the return journey. It is often remarked that the pigs on certain Church-administered municipal farms appear to be exceedingly well fed.
Meanwhile the Hall of Allocations, sees all, knows all and observes with quiet satisfaction its 3% Tax on Charitable Contributions making a satisfactory return. The Court of the Prince does not concern itself with the morals of the nation.
Paedophilia, necrophilia and bestiality remained hated and intolerable sexual taboos. Any person discovered partaking of any of those three activities could expect to suffer the same fate as a rapist, if they are not beaten to a bloody pulp first.
Private wear varied according to taste and availability of garments. However the guilds expected certain sartorial standards of their employees. These were, for men, as follows: Dunporters Guild: Brown Polo Shirt, Black Boiler Suit, brown leather jerkin, Flat Cap (Tweed cloth, grey), Brown Leather Boots (studded, steel toe-capped), Winter-Issued Telogreika; Artisans Guild: Brown Shirt, Black Trousers, Black Beret, Brown Leather Apron, Brown Leather Boots, Brown Leather Gloves, Winter-Issued Telogreika; Artificers Guild: Blue Shirt, Tie, Black Trousers, Pork-Pie Hat (Black) (Fez if Babkhi), Black Leather Shoes (polished), Black Leather Gloves, Winter-Issued Denison Smock; Factors Guild: White Shirt, Tailored Three-Piece Suit (Grey, Black or Blue), Skinny Tie, Grey Fedora with black band (Fez with a red bobble if Babkhi), Black or Brown Leather Shoes (High-Quality, Polished), Winter-Issued Black Trenchcoat; Guild of Aldermen: Public Service Union (UDF Ceremonial Pattern), Blue and White sash of rank (worn diagonally over right shoulder), (Red Fez with a black bobble if Babkhi), Black Jackboots; Winter-Issued Overcoat.
The attire of female guild employees was generally similar to the above albeit more elegantly tailored and generally sans the prescribed hats. Skirts were generally deemed inappropriate for female dunporters, artisans and artificers.
Task specific workwear was to be worn as and when appropriate.
Government employees wore Public Service Uniforms appropriate to their department and grade.
Roqpin sees the Elw (29% of the population) and other culturally sympathetic minorities, depart from the cities en-mass for the rural subarctic North for the ill-disguised purpose of mass indiscriminate fornication (making it peak-tourist season and also, traditionally, the time of the year when the Babkhans would launch their inevitable surprise attack...somewhat negating the element of surprise).
The Elw favour Whale, chicken, deer, reindeer, roe deer, elk and salted fish. The Babkhi favour roasted meats particularly goose, lamb, mutton, long-pork and beef. Cattle are considered sacred animals by the Natopian community and thus some fastidiousness is shown by the general population.
Only the Babki would consider eating camel meat.
Seasonal and tropical fruits used to be considered exotic and expensive until the invention of the greenhouse
Treesian Red, a fortified narcotic wine, is a popular drink for the dinner table and for the wheening of infants. Whisky, particular that derived from distilleries in Íseirdia-la-Vraulalennir.
Main Article: Church of Elwynn
There were nineteen registered sects recognised by the Coordinated State. Those however did not receive any measure of state recognition or support and the manner in which they were organised did not interest the state greatly. The State Cult with responsibility for the Shrouded Constitution was a civic rather than religious entity.
Main Article: History of Elwynn
The written historical records of Elwynn stretched back two-hundred and eighty-nine years, while the archaeological record and abundant mythology suggested the existence of a proto-Elw culture group with a history stretching back a further seven thousand four-hundred and eighty years prior to that.
The confusion and proliferation of calendars, both Elwynnese and Shirerithian (ASC) has resulted in an inability to agree on even the most basic details of recorded history.
The reign of the Usurper Loki (1597 to 1600) is officially taught to schoolchildren as the most dangerous period in the nation's history, the absolute nadir of its fortunes. The Ohl'tar War and the ravages of Brassicosis were by contrast local calamities whilst the Elfinshi Genocide is now taught as being revisionist propaganda designed to discredit the first war of liberation against Feudalism, led by the Osmani Clan, on behalf of the peasantry. Antiquity: Cimmerians attacked Elwynn and held various points along the northern coast. This went back and forth for a while until Cimmeria was granted county status as part of Hyperborea.
Over two-hundred and fifty years society changed from a collection of tribes dominated and exploited by foreign robber-barons into a multi-ethnic, multi-cultural democracy where a coordinated state rules a technologically advanced industrialised society. People are generally aware of the vast rate of change, many are disorientated by it.
As late as 1550, the year of the "White Lily Revolt" , Elw national identity had not really been formalised, the tribes of Elw remaining wedded to their clans and septs as primary expressions of identity whilst the political life of the Duchy remained in the hands of Shirerithians, the Raikothlin and the various immigrant communities. Elw nationalism received its first true stimulus from the House of Kalir which sought to foster a sense of national identity in the face of the Imperial programme to destroy the ancient duchies of the Imperial Republic, a policy which finally rebounded with terrible force in the declaration of independence in 1567. Popular stories then are those which were propagated at the same time as the Elw language was codified and taught, they are localised myths and legends which were standardised and taught at a national level. The Ken-Li and the Book of Orchids are now universally considered by every member of Elwdom to be authentically and eternally Elwynnese – in spite of there being no shortage of evidence to the contrary.
The Elwynnese during the Coordinated State era took pride in their period of independence and overseas empire whilst reviling the memory of the Usurper Loki for his capitulation to the Kaiser and the years of anarchy, alien settlement and infection that followed.
The Elw tend to favour Prince Daniel, the leader at independence, whilst the Babki tend to regard the Khan of Vijayanagara for perhaps obvious reasons. Raynor and Loki remain the universally detested folk-villains of the national story. The present is considered to be a pale shadow of the glories of independence and empire once enjoyed but on the whole better than feudalism and a thousand-times preferable to the anarchy wrought under the libertarian banner.
1356: Kaiser Raynor unites Brookshire and Goldshire, invades Elwynn. In the Battle of Shirekeep, he occupies the Elwynn fork. Elw tribes bravely battle on.
1443: Imperial Republic of Shireroth founded with Erik II as kaiser.
1454: Duchy of Elwynn established.
1478: Eros Darkstar appointed Bard of Elwynn. Hyperborea under Kalir Sethan reaffirms its allegiance to Elwynn and Duchess Mari Greenwood.
1484: First elections held in Elwynn. Austi Scot, baron of Novi Dalmacija, builds a statue in honour of Mari Greenwood in Novi Dalmacija.
1487: Kaiser announces plan to demote Elwynn from [Duchy|duchy-status]] to barony-status and give Hyperborea duchy-status. The Duchy government completely rejects the plan. Hyperborea offers compromise. Kaiser rejects compromise and reiterates his plan. Landsraad votes to demote Elwynn. Elwynn established as barony under the Duchy of Hyperborea.
1488: Mari Greenwood abdicates in favour of Ardashir. First Babkhi epic on Lest published. Great Osmanid Charter proclaimed. Greenwood and entourage emigrate to Delvenus. Order of the Dead Stag established. Capital punishment reinstated, Hyperborea responds by putting Ardashir under house arrest and overturning all baronial laws, then occupying all of Elwynn. Civil War ensues. The Duke Rulak of Hyperborea (Locke) then further dissolves the Order of the Dead Stag. The Babkhan Shah made a diplomatic protest on behalf of his kinsman and the Kaiser responded by saying it's a ducal matter, pledges neutrality. Considered the year of Elfinshi genocide.
1489: Cease-fire called by Ardashir. Elf molestations, kitten drownings and puppy burnings are all halted (or at least suspended for the moment). Ardashir's rule restored.
1494: Donation of Elwynn. Temples of Cedrist worship to Ryvenna and B'caw established in Elwynn. Today's Ryventemple and B'cawshrine.
1495: Halluci dragons are battered by the East Elwynn Sluices, flee into Goldshire.
1496. Diplomatic crisis with Goldshire over the #White Elwynn|White Elwynn. Baron blames Goldshire for river piracy, orders cleansing of river.
1497: Military engagements with Goldshire.
1508: Umra Mosque opened in Eliria. Yardistan declares war on Elwynn for lack of collective punishment against the Babkhi community for the Elfinshi genocide. Baron Lyon forms militia. Halluci mass immigration to Illumination begun (along with dragons).
1509: Elwynnese borders closed to all but citizens of Elwynn, Lac Glacei, Brookshire, Amity, Mirioth, the Grand Commonwealth, Stormark, Cranda and Hallucination. County of Port Illumination established. Amir Osmani makes the Triumphant Folk speech, calls for boycott of Brookshire (under which Elwynn is a barony). Lesser Zjandaria established as Babkhi county (Ardashirshahr, Caligae and Vijayanagara Communes). Lady Vesteralen made a citizen of Elwynn (Not Shireroth) by Baron Lyon, provokes imperial gov and married her. Elwynn raised to duchy, celebrations across the country, meanwhile protests in other parts of Shireroth against the foreignness of Elwynn, boycotts of Elwynnese products. Peace treaty between Yardistan and Elwynn.
1510: Duke holds discussion with nobles whether to join MSX (a flawed but briefly popular banking system), gets Imperial Smackdown (a form of direct intervention popular in the autocratic period). Count Ozarka sues and indicts Lord Bill of Antya over a sexual slur. Chief Justice Davis hears case, then leaves it for lacking merits. Cease and desist order from Kaiseress Semisa on Vasroie's activities (Matthew Basil. Co-Baron of Port Ill. Byz.).
1512-1513: Major famine
1514: Chief Justice Rob Davis dies.
1516: Andelarion appointed baron of Elwynn.
1526: Andelarion inherits the throne of the Kingdom of Babkha as "Rashid Shahanshah".
1535: Andelarion, Carol and Nathan of Natopia inducted to the House of Ettlingar Freyu (Shireroth branch). Logthing of Froyalan established and called to session. Asgard Calendar made official. K'Tzuni bombs the West Elwynn Dam, Logthing contemplates war.
1536: Hesam Jahandar named Count of Hyperborea. Duke names Freyja patron goddess of Elwynn/Froyalan, the people respond by mass-demonstrations. Araxion repatriated.
1542: Harald abdicates, Kaiser Hasan (Hesam) succeeds. Elwynn is restored as name of the duchy and the "Elwynnbrigaden" defence force plays a key part in the "War of Jeremy's Ear". Hasan is shot by Ardashir in Ardashirshahr, Rashid Andelarion succeeds as Kaiser Ayreon. The episodic Ayreon-Loki Civil War that will define Elwynnese public life for the next sixty years begin over the disputed succession to the Golden Mango Throne. Initially the Ayreonist faction prevails. Byzantopol, a city founded by Jahandar exiles employed by Automat Inc. emerges in Bjorngard as a self-regulating polity (robocracy), a precursor to the Raikothian system of Oracles and the modern Coordinated State. Some consider this to be rather disconcerting.
1543: Wil Nider made duke.
1544. Kaiser Ayreon commits suicide.
1546: Iskander Mirkdale named duke of Elwynn. Logthing becomes Council of Eliria.
1550: Uprising against the Duke, "White Lily Revolt"
1552: Alumelith massacre (Ohl'Tar)
1553: Ohl'Tar Revolt
1554: Causality War sees the use of the "Narrativity Bomb" on the Ohl'Tar infestations in Agnesia and the final extermination of that species.
1555: Duke Nathan leaves throne to Leo Fenrir. Amokolia war affects Elwynn.
1556: Ocia bombs Caligae and Civitas Nova.
1558: Leo abdicates in favour of Isabelle Allot.
1559: Isabelle Allot abdicates in favour of Cho'gall.
1560: Eliria is temporary war capital of Shireroth
1562: Duchy of Elwynn destroyed by Kaiser, house system implemented, House of Kalir founded, Daniel Kalirion (former Duke of Brookshire) named patron.
1567: Declaration of Independence of Elwynn. Daniel Kalirion named president (raes) of the Elwynnese realm.
1568: Ardashir blows the Elwynnese Congress up in protest at the slow pace of negotiations with Shireroth and also at Lord Erion's continued retention of his own limbs.
1569: Independence recognized by Shireroth in peace treaty, Shireroth reclaims East Elwynn.
1570: Lord Erion elected President.
1572: Amokolia issues its Midnight Declaration, leaves Victoria and joins Elwynn.
1573: Elwynn and Hurmu merge to become Realm of Elwynn and Hurmu. Provisional government and elections. Persecution of Butter Cow followers in East Elwynn.
1574: Daniel Kalirion elected Prince of Elwynn and Hurmu.
1584: Kolmenitzky embassy crisis. Ardashir rehabiliated by Senate.
1585: Natopia becomes Elwynnese protectorate.
1586: Daniel Kalirion is assassinated at Cape Farewell. Nathan is elected Prince.
1587: "Elwynn, Amokolia and Hurmu (Riqi Adurellion" becomes "Union of Elwynn, Amokolia and Hurmu"
1588: Daniel's son Elijah becomes kaiser of Shireroth as Kaiser Ayreon II, married Prince Nathan of Elwynn.
1589: Kaspar Soleiman takes the Senate hostage. Prince Nathan killed.
1590: Elijah Ayreon elected Prince of Elwynn. "Union of Elwynn, Amokolia and Hurmu" becomes "Elwynnese Union"
1592: Elijah Ayreon declines re-election, Aaden Allot elected prince. Normark joins the Elwynnese Union. Raspur Pact signed.
1593: Nau is adopted by Elijah and Nathan.
1594: Aaden Allot impeached and removed, Luix Rakira ruling Steward. Air Mango incident, bombings in East Elwynn and the Absentias.
1595: Elijah Ayreon elected Prince once more.
1597: Albion admitted as UT. East Amokolia Act reduces Amokolian UT's territory and gives it to Elwynn proper. Elijah Ayreon declines re-election, Tarjei Einhornsson elected Prince against Jacobus Loki but Constitutional Coup backed by Shireroth sees the Usurper take power instead.
1598: Omnitree Group nationalized by Govt. Mass protests. Normark declares independence. Elijah Ayreon murdered by Sisera in Wahlstadt. Misguided messianic cults begin to proliferate.
1599: Hurmu independence from Elwynn.
1600: Treaty of Unification with Shireroth ratified, Soreaa Isurui made Secretary of the State in the provisional government. Tirlar, Albion and Amokolia made independent.
1601. New constitution enacted. Deimos Jasonides elected prince. Congressional elections.
1602: The Cabbage Plague sees the ecology of the lower reaches of the Blue and White Elwynn Rivers devastated. The Red Elwynn becomes utterly devoid of life. Owing to the high levels of accumulated toxicity, the populations of Shirekeep, the Imperial County and the County of Lesser Zjandaria rapidly succumb to an aggressive strain of the Barentsz-Melang Syndrome (Brassicosis) previously only documented in Leng and the Absentias. "Triumph of Rrakanychan" painted by an excitable Batavian artist based on lurid eye-witness accounts; southern regions of the State of Elwynn destabilised and the Quarantine enforced by General Royston Merrick necessitated increasing military interventions into the Imperial County.
1603: "Restoration of the People's Government", congressional elections follow an unsuccessful putsch staged by Merrick, the first - self-styled - Conducător.
1604: Constitutional Coup by Stewardess Soreaa Isurui. Deimos voted out , Nathaniel elected prince.
1605: Nathaniel/Soreaa deposed, Coordinated-Government instituted by second Conducător Daniel Simrani-Kalirion, Nathaniel remains nominal prince. Constitution is placed into venerated-occultation and replaced by the Charter of Coordination. The Counties are replaced by 182 Bailiwicks with authority devolved to Governors and Municipal Guild Corporations supervised by Wardens in Elwynn Proper and the Marches (Northern, Eastern and finally Western). Communism declared and the State refuses to recognise or accept transactions in fiat currency. Private wealth and ownership permitted to continue.
1606: Remaining Corporations nationalised. All private wealth confiscated and remaining money withdrawn from circulation and effectively outlawed. Black Market proliferates. With the demonetisation of the economy and the drive towards self-sufficiency under Guild Communism the Coordinated State has struggled to maintain a sufficient caloric intake for the population during periods of crisis, particularly during the ecological disaster occasioned by the Brassican War in Shirekeep and after the disruptive impact of demonetisation manifested itself upon the pre-existing markets and supply-chains for foodstuffs. Starvation however was avoided by the rapprochement with Goldshire yielding favourable supply deals with the Goldshire Real Ale & Beverage Board and also through the ruthless exploitation of the established fisheries of the northern-hemisphere (some of which are consequentially close to collapse). Goldshire gets peace of mind in return.
1607: Nathaniel declared dead. Daniel Simrani-Kalirion elected Prince. Purges of the Guild of Aldermen by the Court of the Prince and the Court of Star Chamber target the last remnants of the landowning feudal gentry and the formerly capital owning bourgeoisie. Replaced by elite technocratic leadership cadres chosen by merit. Charles Froughton made subject to Pastoral Care Order and dies of an unexpected heart attack. Disorder in the Bailiwick of Fieldberg.
1608: Third Congressional Elections sees Nationalist & Humanist Party remain the largest party but lose overall majority. Coalition negotiations begin. Court of Star Chamber begins reviewing suitability of congressmen elected to represent Conservative & Republican Party. The Kingsgate Treaty of Non-Aggression and Cooperation signed between the Coordinated State and the neighbouring Duchy of Goldshire on Eljere, 11 Elroqpinu 1608.
One estimate placed the population at 183,550,438 natural and entitled persons. The major urban Bailiwicks were Ardashirshahr, Eliria (the official capital), Islus and Vijayanagara.
|Elw||3 027||5 276||6 154||7 186||57||21 700|
|Hurmu-Farewellish||3 127||2 607||2 187||3 771||8||11 700|
|Ardashirian (Babkhi)||1 097||1 834||3 129||2 894||26||8 980|
|Amokolian||987||1 076||532||623||3||3 221|
|Tapferite||1 108||1328||1023||1065||4 524|
|Bjorngarder||1 238||1 766||1 201||1 232||5 437|
|Cimmerian||171 118||152 091||172 863||162 218||598||658 888|
|Raikothin||10 884||25 186||35 712||43 623||39||115 444|
|Other Elwynnese||10 716||8 816||9 187||7 816||11||36 546|
|Other Shirerithian||38 176||22 087||5 716||4 027||70 006|
|Other Foreigner||17 187||2 886||6 700||2 917||29 690|
|259 419||226 370||245 700||238 449||750||848 994|