Most Serene Federation of Hendalarsk
Durschlaudigsde Stádverband Hendaláskaras (Hendalarskisch)
Legfenségesebbsföderáció Hóndalacs (Khunyer)
Motto: Susch' Keinen Streit Aus, Las' Keinen Streit Zu
Seek No Quarrel, Suffer No Quarrel
Anthem: Land Zwischen Flösen
A map of Hendalarsk, showing topography and some of the country's principal cities
Hendalarsk (dark green) shown within Levantia
|Official languages||Hendalarskisch, Khunyer|
|Recognised regional languages||Upper Hendalarskara, Pentapolitan Argot, Nünsyi|
|Ethnic groups |
|Demonym(s)||Hendalarskara (m), Hendalarskarin (f), Hendalarskrö (n)|
|Mákus IV Johanes fon Agendorf und Wanmör|
|Franciscus IV Lajos|
|Legislature||Diet of Hendalarsk|
|Forum of the Nations|
• Lordship of the Great Valley
• Grand Duchy of Hendalarsk
• Duel of the Vales
|1359 - 1401 AD|
• Archkingdom of Hendalarsk
|1919 - 1925 AD|
|1,173,860 km2 (453,230 sq mi)|
• 2018 estimate
• 2010 census
|66.71/km2 (172.8/sq mi)|
|GDP (PPP)||2017 estimate|
• Per capita
|GDP (nominal)||2017 estimate|
• Per capita
|Currency||Hendalarskara Großthaler (HGT)|
|Time zone||UTC-2 (Hendalarskara Mean Time)|
• Summer (DST)
|UTC-1 (Hendalarskara Summer Time)|
|Antipodes||southeastern Ocean of Cathay|
|Date format||dd-mm-yyyy, AD|
Hendalarsk, officially the Most Serene Federation of Hendalarsk (Hendalarskisch: der Durschlaudigsde Stádverband Hendaláskaras) is a federal monarchy of an estimated 80 million people located in northwestern Levantia. The river Fröse forms its border to the west, while the nation also shares land borders with Grussland and Eldmora-Regulus and maritime borders with the Kestrel Isles of Yonderre and Faneria. Predominantly populated by ethnic Hendalarskaren who profess the Hendalarskara Catholic faith, Hendalarsk is divided into nine federal states, three Marches, a Capital Region and the Pentapolis. The bicameral parliamentary federal government rules from Frehmenwerth in the Frehmenwerth Capital Region, with the head of state, the Archking, serving as a notional figurehead.
Historically centred on the Zalgistal around modern-day Frehmenwerth, Hendalarsk took its current shape during its Golden Age (c.1450-1650), with its modern borders largely those "natural bounds" reached during the Great Campaigns of Archking Maximilian II in the later 16th century. The 21st century has nevertheless seen its economic and cultural centre of gravity shift towards the Vandarch littoral - and particularly to the northern metropolis of Zalgisbeck, which is the nation's largest city.
The Most Serene Federation is a geographically and culturally diverse nation, noted in modern times for its extraordinary and relatively unspoilt natural beauty. Mountain ranges, such as those which mark the nation's southwestern and central frontiers, give way to extensive tracts of arable lowland and, in the west, substantial areas of virgin forest, while large rivers such as the Zalgis have played an often crucial role in shaping Hendalarskara history. Long dominated by its Hendalarskara ethnic majority, recent decades have seen a pronounced increase in the influence of Khunyer and Pentapolitan culture, as well as the gradual penetration of Junglish through modern communications and mass media.
The Zalgis watershed has been known by variants of the name "Hendalarsk" since at least 300 BC, in a textual fragment which is the earliest written evidence of Hendalarskisch. The name is Gothic in origin, and is hypothesised to stem from the Old Central Gothic components haim ('home, base') and dala ('valley'); the suffix fragment '-sk', while no longer present in modern Hendalarskisch, is believed to have indicated possession, rendering the full name "Haimdalask" as "Our valley home".
The name was only adopted for the Hendalarskara state after it had consolidated its hold over the watershed in the 11th century, but has been retained even after the state has come to extend far beyond those bounds, sparking repeated debates over its appropriateness in the modern era. There have nevertheless been few concerted efforts to change the state's name, and no alternative suggestion has achieved anything approaching consensus among those advocating change.
In Khunyer, the nation is known as Hóndalacs, a borrowing from the Hendalarskisch which became official through comprehensive language reforms in the aftermath of the Hendalarskara Civil War. The nation's prior official Khunyer name was Gotet Főkirályság (literally "the Goth[ic] Archkingdom"). This factual description of the Archkingdom's Hendalarskara ethnic hegemony nevertheless caused some unease in both Hendalarsk proper, where it could be read as the Khunyer distancing themselves from a state in which they were of secondary importance, and in Khunyeria itself, where more militant nationalists denounced the name as appeasement of the archroyal authorities. They often came to refer to Hendalarsk as Ellenség ("the Enemy"), a term which saw widespread and fateful usage in the turbulent years preceding the Civil War.
Hendalarsk is divided into two broad geographic zones by the Kupferberg massif in the centre of the country. The west is dominated by the watersheds of the Zalgis and the Stederau, with the westernmost Khunyer-dominated areas of the country and the great primeval woodland of the Großwald under the Stederau's influence. While the old Hendalarskara heartland is on average at a much higher elevation than the rest of the country's urban areas, it is kept arable and fertile by the flow of the Zalgis and irrigation from Lake Helawara. The Zalgis lowlands from Schullerhausen northwards are the breadbasket and industrial core of the contemporary federation, although the great river itself is prone to flooding.
The eastern half of the federation is geographically and climactically distinct. The Kupferberg massif renders the east both wetter and cooler than the west, trapping low pressure from the Vandarch on its north and high pressure from the Odoneru and the Fröse valley on its south and west. This flatter, cooler, wetter landscape has given rise to a major area of wetland centred on Bernstadt, whose biodiversity and unusual makeup render it a site of considerable scientific interest. The littoral of the region is similarly shallow and low-lying, which has historically protected it against seaborne aggression; its few deepwater harbours and channels are consequently of great strategic value, and undergird the rise of the Pentapolis from the 12th century onwards.
The Kupferberg massif itself is an area of great natural beauty which is also home to enormous mineral deposits, principally copper and aluminium. Recent years have consequently seen the massif targeted by mining concerns on these grounds. Hendalarsk's highest mountain, die Einsame Maria, stands at 5734m and is located amid the massif; the Frehmenwerth-Kupferburg railway passes along its eastern flank.
See also: History of Hendalarsk
Hendalarsk has only existed as a unified country for a little over four centuries, and even this unity has been punctuated by repeated bouts of civil war. Prior to unification, the history of the country along the Vandarch littoral and east of the Kupferberg was very different to that in the southwest and the Zalgistal, although closely related Gothic identities and the relative ease of river transport have meant that the country's present territory has been loosely culturally and economically linked for many hundreds of years.
The three defining processes in Hendalarskara prehistory and early medieval history were the Gothic migration from the Urheimat in what is now Carna from c.1000BC onwards, the ssecond wave of Gothic migration driven by turmoil in what is now northern Fiannria from c.300AD, and the eighth-century AD Khunyer migration from northeastern Levantia sparked by turmoil on the frontier of Great Levantia. These migrations, and the gradual acculturation of those peoples over whom the migrants came to rule, permanently shifted the cultural balance of the Zalgis, Herne and Werdasch basins away from their previous dominance by Nünsyak tribes, with the autochthonous Nünsyak henceforth confined to the inland Herne basin. Unlike their fellow Goths to the east (including the Werdascher), the Hendalarskaren were slow to Christianise. An initial period of missionary success in the early seventh century was violently overturned, and it took the hegemony of the Khunyer over the upper Zalgistal from the mid-eighth century onwards (the Khunyer having previously been Christianised during their time on the Great Levantine frontier) for the syncretic Hendalarskara Catholic faith to develop. The Lordship of the Great Valley, the Hendalarskara Urstaat, converted in 890 AD, asserting its independence from the crumbling Khunyer realm in the process and thereby marking the birth of truly Hendalarskara history.
Hendalarsk (the Lordship began to use the name from around 950 onwards) was nonetheless a relatively minor player in the politics of the great rivers for centuries afterwards. It intermittently paid tribute to both Khunyeria and Txöll'Ara for decades, and the resources of its rulers paled in comparison to other Gothic polities like the Archonate of Zalgisbeck and the Werdascher Empire. Hendalarskara dukes nevertheless gradually consolidated control over the upper Zalgis and the southwestern foothills of the Kupferberg, reaching a détente with the reduced but resurgent Khunyer kingdom in the process.
Civil War (1919-1925)
For further information, see Hendalarskara Civil War.
The Civil War was a multipartite conflict sparked by the Midnight Rising of 3rd/4th July 1919, in which a cell of the fascist Brotherhood of the Soil seized the Archroyal Palace in Frehmenwerth in a coup d'état that was accompanied by widespread support from the Archroyal Army. This in turn sparked a series of counter-risings by the Communist Party of Hendalarsk and various other left-wing groups, while liberal members of the Archroyal Family and the Army retreated to Tewested and formed a rump government.
The next four years were marked by intense but indecisive fighting in the west and centre of the country, while the East had been pacified by a coalition of the liberal government and the Pentapolis as a consequence of the Grand Bargain. As both fascist and communist governments began to fray as a result of the stalemate, the liberals began a major assault to the West in early 1923. Frehmenwerth was recaptured from the Brotherhood by a daring rapid advance over the Kupferberg massif in September 1923, after which point the initiative lay firmly with the liberals, who reconquered the entire country over the next year and a half.
The War was marked by atrocities and mass killing on a scale previously unprecedented in Hendalarsk, with more than two million dead by the summer of 1925. Hendalarsk's economy was shattered, and the country was sufficiently fragile that it took no active part in the subsequent Second Great War - although some of the tactical and strategic lessons learned in the Civil War would be applied on an even greater scale.
Despite the carnage, the war also further accelerated the economic rise of the country's north and east, which were relatively undamaged compared to the antifascist battlegrounds of the south, while many of the governing conventions which still define Hendalarskara political life today were laid down in the war and its aftermath. Hendalarsk's modern political stability has been attributed to the Civil War, with the memory of the horrors wrought by the conflict still fresh in the national psyche.
Politics and administration
Although the Archking is officially the head of state of the Federation, they have no legal power beyond that of an ordinary Hendalarskara citizen and have not since the conclusion of the Civil War. Power is instead constitutionally vested in the Primarch of the Great Chamber or Prigrokam, the first minister of the lower house of the Hendalarskara Parliament. The upper house, the Forum of the Nations, is a deliberative body. Members of the Chamber, known as KMs (Kamermidglíder), are elected from all areas of the nation except the Pentapolis; each Free City does, however, have representation on the Forum, with it being the responsibility of individual provinces, marches and Free Cities to determine the system used to elect or appoint their Forum representatives.
Politics in the Great Chamber is dominated by the Hendalarskara Social Front, a coalition of social democrats and democratic socialists that has ruled the nation continuously since the 1930s, a period known as the Great Consensus. Since the turn of the millennium the nation has nevertheless seen the rise of strongly autonomist parties such as the Zalgisbeckerbund.
|Province Name||Local Province Name||Province Class||Population Estimate||Flag||Capital||Creation Date|
|Hendalarskara Capital Territory||Haupstadtterritorium Hendalarskaras||Capital Territory||3,000,000||Frehmenwerth||1957|
|Khunyer March||Khunyer Állam||March||6,500,000||Márványfalak||1781|
|Great Forest March||Grosswaldsche Mák||March||1,500,000||Schöneblick||1632|
|Mouth of the Zalgis||Zalgismund||Province||8,500,000||Zalgisbeck||1957|
The three Marches (Máken) are a legacy of the early modern period, when their purpose was to ensure a flexible and agile response to any military threat against the nation's long terrestrial frontiers, in return for which their military governors were granted significant autonomic leeway in how they organised their territories. Attempts to undo this autonomy in toto have caused serious political turmoil, particularly in the Khunyer March, where such efforts have traditionally been perceived as an attack on the history and culture of the Khunyer; it is nevertheless the case that the contemporary Marchmasters (Mákmeister) have considerably less autonomy than in the golden age of their predecessors.
In addition to the three 'formal' marches, the Pentapolis was historically regarded by the Archkings as a fourth, naval march, responsible for the security of the Vandarch, but unlike the case of the landward marches this principle was never formally enshrined in law and administrative practice.
Unlike many other countries, Hendalarsk does not have a true primate city, which is at least in part a consequence of its relatively late formation as a unified country. Instead, many large urban areas are scattered across the country, of which the ten largest are listed below.
Largest cities or towns in Hendalarsk
According to the 2020 Census
|Rank||Name||Provinces of Hendalarsk||Pop.|
|1||Zalgisbeck||Mouth of the Zalgis||3,578,223|
|3||Frémenwerd||Hendalarsk Capital Territory||2,583,455|
The dominant religion in Hendalarsk is the Hendalarskara Catholic Church, a faith which is rooted in the Catholic Church but not considered in communion with it. Catholic missionaries reached the lands of modern Hendalarsk by the fourth century AD but, without military force at their disposal to subjugate the local pagan polities, conversion was slow and fitful. The only native group to convert to the Levantine rite were the Agarii but, when their chief Agnauts attempted to destroy his people's former sacred grove in 621 AD, he was killed and the missionaries expelled in the resulting tumult. The Christianity which developed in the region, once the advantages of an institutionalised faith became clear to secular rulers, was instead a strongly syncretic one. While retaining the orthodox conception of the Trinity and the seven sacraments, Hendalarskara Catholicism retains pronounced elements of nature worship - even urban churches typically possess a sacred grove in their churchyard. Pagan river worship has also endured in an abstract fashion, with rivers (particularly the Zalgis) understood as God's instrument for giving and maintaining life rather than deities in their own right. The Hendalarskara Catholic Church is therefore a powerful landowner, with large swathes of the nation's woodland legally recognised as falling under its guardianship.
Aside from the Hendalarskara Catholic Church, Levantine Catholicism is a relatively popular minority faith in the Khunyer areas of the country. Traditional pagan cults claim many adherents in Nünsyi communities across the Kupferberg, while the Vandarch littoral (and in particular the Pentapolitan city of Hukenen) is also home to a notable Protestant minority, the descendants of refugees who fled the Great Confessional War. Around 20% of the population self-defined as "unbelievers" in the 2015 census, while the nation's most cosmopolitan cities (principally Zalgisbeck and the Pentapolis) are home to small diasporic communities of other faiths from around the world.
The wide spread of cultures and biomes across Hendalarsk has given rise to a similarly diverse array of food and drink.
The nation's most renowned alcoholic export is jenwer, a beverage made from the infusion of various botanicals including juniper into a base of neutral grain spirit. Distilleries specialising in the production of jenwer can be found across the length and breath of Hendalarsk, with more than 300 logged by the Federal Duties Bureau in 2018; as of 2004 it is also the nation's largest alcoholic export by value, although it remains surpassed in volume by the arrayed beers of Heferau-Jung-Brauerei. While jenwer-drinkers nearer the equator tend to mix the spirit with various tonic waters, the fashion in Hendalarsk is to mix it with ginger ale, ginger beer or fruitades.
As well as grain-based drinks, the nation produces an increasing quantity of wine. Suffering from a poor reputation for much of history, intensive study of leading viticultures such as that of Burgundie from the later 19th century onwards, combined with rigorous scientific study of oenology in recent decades, has seen the quality and reception of Hendalarskara wine improve considerably. Standout varietals include the Riesling and Spätburgunder grown along the slopes of the Zalgistal around Frehmenwerth, whose mild climate and loamy soils have proven ideal for contemporary cultivation. Experimental viticulture on the irrigated high plains south of Frehmenwerth has also given rise to Malbecs which enjoy a growing reputation, although they remain in their infancy.
Hendalarskara Feinriesling, the most prestigious grade of Zalgistal Riesling, is traditionally paired with Vandarch sturgeon's caviar to form a dish known as Royal Soil, or Königsboden.
Football is by far the most prominent sport in Hendalarsk, and the men's Hendalarskaras Bundesliga is one of the world's most-watched leagues. Teams such as Frehmenwerther Kickers, Márványfalaki SE and Viktoria Zalgisbeck regularly appear in - and make deep inroads into - continental competitions, while millions of fans watch their teams either in-person or on state television every week. Football has been hailed as a unifying force in the culturally diverse nation, with its origins as the "working man's game" similarly endearing it to left-wing political groups and the nation's national mythos. Women's football is also increasingly popular among mainstream sports fans in Hendalarsk, with men's teams in the national divisions legally obligated to share facilities with their women counterparts.
No other sport is as popular as football, but the nation's abundance of waterways have long fostered a strong cultural association with swimming that makes the nation a notable presence at international athletics tournaments; even Hendalarskara athletes competing in entirely different disciplines generally incorporate swimming into their training as a low-impact way of building endurance - a strategy which has reaped rewards at the Istroyan Games from Hendalarsk's barnstorming debut onwards. Substantial swimming complexes can be found in every major city, often with adjoining gymnasia, saunas and similar facilities. This has been accentuated by the government's post-2000 National Fitness Drive to combat the effects of a sedentary lifestyle, with all facilities state-owned and consequently heavily subsidised.
Baseball, although nowhere near as popular in Hendalarsk as in eastern Levantine nations, enjoys a small but devoted (and gradually growing) fanbase, although the sport is treated notably coolly by the Hendalarskara authorities due to a perceived risk of cultural penetration from major powers such as Urcea.
Hendalarsk has extremely low rates of car ownership by the standards of a developed nation, and its infrastructure reflects this. The country has a substantial motorway network, the legacy of the influence of mid-twentieth-century modernism, but in the present day this is predominantly used for freight and commercial transport rather than by private drivers. Most private transport is undertaken by rail, and Hendalarsk consequently has one of the largest railway networks relative to its size in the world. Unusually, the country operates on two different railway gauges - the Hendalarskische Urspurweite, the country's original gauge, which is predominantly found on local routes, and the Occidental Standard gauge, which was applied to mainline and international-facing routes from the 1970s onward in order to integrate Hendalarsk more fully into regional trade networks. The country's high-speed rail network runs entirely on Occidental Standard tracks. Hendalarsk is in the process of eliminating fossil fuels from its domestic transport infrastructure, with total electrification of the country's railways expected by 2030.
Due to strong taboos surrounding air travel in Hendalarsk, there is only one civilian airport in Hendalarsk proper, namely Frehmenwerth International Airport. Hukenen International Airport, located in the Pentapolis, is the country's main freight hub. Most private air travel in Hendalarsk is conducted by airship, with a network of mooring stations - these are not designated by the term "airport" - located in every major city and many smaller settlements. Civilian helicopters are completely banned and consequently the country's only helipads are under the jurisdiction of the military and emergency services.
This largely electrified transport network is predominantly powered by a mix of nuclear and renewable energy. Hendalarsk's last coal-fired power plant was closed in 1992, although small quantities of coal are still used for blast furnaces. Hendalarsk has no proven oil reserves and minimal reserves of natural gas, and so combined with historical suspicion towards the private car these fuels have played relatively little role in Hendalarskara history. The country imports small quantities of these fuels as required, principally for military uses and shipping, and some synthetic oil is manufactured for use in the production of polymers. The country's nuclear power stations are principally fuelled by uranium sourced from New Harren, and a consequent desire to avoid unduly antagonising Urcea is a key factor in modern Hendalarsk's pursuit of a neutral foreign policy.
Since reaching its "natural bounds", Hendalarskara strategic thinking has remained remarkably consistent across differing governments. First formally articulated by Marshal Kovács István-Urbanus in 1913 in a paper of the same name, "Counterpunch Theory" is nevertheless recognisable in almost every major strategic decision undertaken since Maximilian's Great Conquests brought the bounds of Hendalarsk to defensible frontiers. Counterpunch Theory can, ultimately, be summed up in three precepts:
1) Hendalarsk does not have a population base or geographical position conducive to long-range strategic projection. 2) The resource input required to achieve meaningful unilateral long-range strategic projection would therefore be unconscionably wasteful. 3) Consequently, Hendalarsk's security and power are best guaranteed by constructive multilateral diplomatic engagement and by the maintenance of a conventional military force sufficient to deter external aggression.
This theoretical base is reflected in the contemporary capabilities of the Hendalarskara Armed Forces. In addition to the professional standing armed forces, Hendalarsk practises conscription (Landesdienst) for all Hendalarskaren at the age of 18, with caveats for relevant disabilities and conscientious objection; conscientious objectors can instead undertake government-mandated civil service, generally involving infrastructure maintenance. Thus while the armed forces largely operate with around 400,000 standing personnel, the nation can theoretically field around 7,000,000 troops in the event of a total war, although the very existence of such a war would be considered a strategic failure in its own right.
The Hendalarskara Armed Forces are divided into fourandone branches; the Army of the Federation (Bundeshér), the Federal Air Force (Bundesluftflote), the Federal Navy (Bundeswérmarine), the Special Brigades (Sonderbrigáden) and the Emergency Corps (Nottrupe).
The Army is the largest component of the Armed Forces, with some 225,000 active service members in its standard configuration.
The Air Force consists of around 75,000 active service members. In addition to the maintenance, supply, deployment and piloting of aircraft, the Air Force also oversees the numerous and well-equipped Interdiction Initiative (Abriegelungsinitiative), the division-level tactical and strategic ground-based anti-aircraft and anti-missile component of the Armed Forces. The ability to dictate overwhelming domestic airspace control using both aircraft and anti-aircraft capabilities is a key pillar of contemporary Hendalarskara military doctrine and research in line with Counterpunch, a priority reflected in the funding the unit is assigned, and the division as a whole carries a level of prestige unusual for a non-frontline military unit.
The Emergency Corps is the humanitarian wing of the Armed Forces, explicitly intended by the Hendalarskara state to act as both a domestic reserve force in the event of natural disaster and as a foreign policy asset. Capable of establishing an initial "crisis beachhead" anywhere in the world within 24 hours, the Corps is trained in responses to a wide array of threats, from epidemic disease to earthquake aftermath. Even outside of disaster, it liaises extensively with civilian emergency and rescue agencies domestically and abroad; the official Hendalarskara first aid course is run and certified by the Corps. Conscientious objector conscripts are sometimes redirected into the Corps if a useful prior skillset is identified, and many have gone on to join the Corps professionally after the completion of their service.
The Federal Navy was only formally founded in 1757, despite Hendalarsk having been in possession of a Vandarch coastline for rather longer; prior to this point, the Archkings had been content to devolve the entire issue of maritime military capability to the Pentapolis. However, the increased economic importance of the Herne, Werdach and Zalgis rivers ultimately came to pose challenges beyond the resources or population base of the cities, while the strategic needs of a continental middle power, particularly a need for sea-to-land interdiction, came to differ from those of merchant city-states.
The most awkward strategic question facing the Hendalarskara navy is that it has a long and vulnerable coastline but, save for the great Vandarch-oceanic canal, no maritime connection to the outside world. Hendalarsk is thus unusual among developed countries in neither possessing nor seeking to acquire fully-fledged aircraft carriers, since the Vandarch does not require them and Hendalarsk possesses no independent port capacity outside of the great landlocked sea.
The Special Brigades are a wide and diverse array of special forces trained in a range of capabilities. In addition to the marine units typical of such an assembly, the Special Brigades also incorporate troops from the Kupferberg highlands with considerable skill in mountain warfare, rapid-deployment elite fire teams, and a large and growing electronic warfare brigade. Additionally, while no official record of it exists, there is evidence that the Brigades incorporate a specialised urban insurgency-counterinsurgency unit, with doctrine developed from the lessons of the urban conflicts of the 1960s. Its existence nevertheless vehemently denied by Armed Forces spokespeople, allegations persist that the unit recruited from enemy combatants in the conflict in exchange for pardons as a means of diversifying its tactical base.