|Feudal Status:||Imperial Dominion|
|Local Leadership Title:||President|
|Current leader:||Killaen van Tassel|
Dietsland is a region in southwestern Benacia, and a former department of the Kingdom of Batavia. At present it is an Imperial Dominion of Shireroth. Its full and proper title is the Dietsland Free State. The free state is centred around the city of Davignon, which is situated in the Battenburg Mountain range. Being located in the higher altitudes, Dietsland's climate is dry with rather warm temperatures.
Dietsland was one of the original Free Batavian States under the rule of Queen Faya I, and although it had a great deal of autonomy initially it slowly lost ground to the direct rule of the monarchy until it was eventually ruled as an absolute state, becoming a department in the Kingdom of Batavia. During the Van Haltna Crisis, when the Regent essentially usurped royal power and tried to turn the country into a dictatorship, Dietsland was one of the few areas to resist, forming the short-lived Davignonrepubliek. But even this brief tenure of freedom was soon lost as the Second Kingdom of Batavia arose from the fall of Van Haltna and again Dietsland became a department with limited autonomy. This time the rule of the monarchy lasted for several centuries longer, even though the Dietsvolkers often itched for more rights.
The breaking point came with the rise of Sisera and the followers of her cult. Many Dietsvolk were killed in the purges, and the remaining survivors fled into hiding or were tortured into converting. All traces of Dietsland were erased by the Jingdaoese. But then Sisera and her followers committed seppuku; but with nuclear weapons instead of swords. As if that wasn't enough, the nuclear blasts were followed by roving bands of cultists and deadly robots. The countryside became a veritable wasteland, with the surviving "Batavers" (as they became known) trekking across the land, continually trying to find a safe place to settle. As the boundaries of other countries, such as Shireroth and Minarboria, pushed into old Batavian land, the cultists and robots were weakened - but they also retreated into the corner of Benacia that had the least strength to resist, and that was Dietsland.
Thus what remained of the Batavers began to converge on the old city of Davignon, now a smoldering ruin. It was here that the trekkers decided to make a final stand against the enemy. Fortifying the remains of the city, they declared the Dietsland Free State. Seeking foreign aid, they turned to neighboring Shireroth for help, who provided weapons and political support. It was through Shireroth that the first 'Mech units arrived. Capable of tackling the rogue robots controlled by the rampaging AI RasmOS, the Dietsvolkers spared no time in learning how to use the weapons to the best of their ability. The result was soldiers who became renowned on the field of battle as the 'Mechbatavers. With these weapons Dietsland was able to push back the enemy beyond Davignon and secure a stable area around the city. The arrival of the Puritanians to the northwest, and the Voltrue to the south, provided two new allies, and together they agreed to form the Confederacy of Puritanian States.
In 1642.6310 AN.ASC the Dietsland Expeditionary Force, a legion strength ad-hoc formation of the Imperial Army under the command of brevet-Legate Laqi Hyrrion was dispatched into the Puritanian States to assist in the suppression of the Siseran. Equipped with the latest generation of gravimetric hovertanks such as the Bandersnatch and the Jabberwocky, the highly mobile force was able to make deep forays into the enemy held countryside, opening up pathways for the Mechbatavers and other confederate militias to spread their influence outwards and to link up the scattered and disparate settlements.
Sporadic acts of sabotage and assassination by disaffected militants known, collectively, as the Free Batavians obliged the Imperial Government to increase the amount of support and assistance provided to the Dietsland Free State via the defence and security directorates of the Puritanian Guidance Authority (PGA).
The Free State is an autonomous republic nominally classified as an Imperial Dominion under the umbrella of the Confederacy of Puritanian States, which in turn is a subject of the Kaiser of Shireroth. Within the Free State it is ruled by a legislative body known as the Volksraad, itself composed of four ministers elected from the four quadrants of the state, each serving terms of five years. The Volksraad then elects one of its own to serve as President of the Republic for a term of five years.
The government of the Free State, along with the other members of the Confederacy, is assisted by the Puritanian Guidance Authority, an agency of the Imperial Government established by Kaiser Dominus in 1642 to help in the restoration and administration of public services in the region.
Dietsvolk culture is very much influenced by their origins in Batavia, and indeed the official language is Batavian. As a society however Dietsland was also influenced by Shireroth and its ideals of democratic government, which was viewed as a welcome change to the absolutist rule of the Batavian monarchy. The result is a culture that shares elements of both Shirerithian and Batavian society.
The DFS is isolated and landlocked, situated high in the Battenburg Mountains. This has made economic prospects difficult; but thanks to the small size of the country it has been able to become essentially self-sufficient. The primary economic industries are agriculture and mining. While growing crops besides basic grains is difficult, the country is ideal for grazing livestock on the tough mountain grasses. Cows, pigs, horses, chickens and similar animals are raised and bred for food and sale. Unfortunately the agricultural industry is not particularly profitable, even though it does eliminate any food needs. Where Dietsland makes the most profit is in mining. The Free State sits atop a vast store of semiprecious stones, such as emeralds, amethyst, sapphires, rubies and similar gems. These stones are mined and then cut and honed to exceptional precision, and then sold on the global market.
The Dietsland Voortrekkers arose out of pioneers who, at the forefront of settlement, came into conflict with hostile forces more often than others. At first simply an armed rabble of farmers, the Voortrekkers were organized into a fighting force by local leaders, such as Killaen van Tassel. Overwhelmed by much larger hostile enemies, Dietsland sought and was given aid from Shireroth in the form of armaments. Beside rifles, ammunition and horses, the most important contribution was several mechanical infantry suits, colloquially known as Mechs. The Voortrekkers quickly took advantage of these suits and became expert pilots, soon thereafter being known in the field as Mechbatavers. It was through the use of these mech units that Dietsland was able to secure the borders of the Free State, and which it continues to use to defend itself today.