Hendalarsk, officially the Most Serene Federation of Hendalarsk (Hendalarskara: der Durchlautigste Staatverband Hendalarskaras) is a federal monarchy of an estimated 80 million people located in northwestern Levantia. The river Fröse forms its border with Yytuskia-Helvana to the west, while the nation also shares a land border with Cohe and Gibet and maritime borders with the Kestrel Isles of Yonderre and the occupied territories of Covinia. 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.
Most Serene Federation of Hendalarsk
Durchlautigste Staatverband Hendalarskaras
Motto: Such' Keinen Streit Aus, Lass' Keinen Streit Zu
Seek No Quarrel, Suffer No Quarrel
Anthem: Land Zwischen Flüssen
|Official languages||Hendalarskara, Lechian|
|Recognised regional languages||Upper Hendalarskara, Pentapolitan Argot|
|Markus IV Johannes von Agendorf und Wannmür|
• Primarch of the Great Assembly (Prigrokam)
|Franciscus IV Włodzimierz|
• Lordship of the Great Valley
• Grand Duchy of Hendalarsk
• Duel of the Vales
|1359 - 1401 AD|
• Archkingdom of Hendalarsk
• Maximilianic Unification
|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|
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. Historically dominated by its Hendalarskara ethnic majority, recent decades have seen a pronounced increase in the influence of Lechian 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.
Hendalarsk is divided into two broad geographic zones by the Kupferberg massif in the centre of the country. The west is dominated by the Zalgis watershed, with only the westernmost Lechian-dominated areas of the country and the great primeval woodland of the Großwald lying outside its 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.
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 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 (Kammermitglieder), 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 Assembly 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||5,000,000||Frehmenwerth||1957|
|Great Forest March||Großwaldsche Mark||March||1,500,000||Schöneblick||1632|
|Mouth of the Zalgis||Zalgismund||Province||8,500,000||Zalgisbeck||1957|
The three Marches (Marken) 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 Lechian March, where such efforts have traditionally been perceived as an attack on the history and culture of the Lechi; it is nevertheless the case that the contemporary Marchmasters (Markmeister) 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.
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.
Since reaching its "natural bounds", Hendalarskara strategic thinking has remained remarkably consistent across differing governments. First formally articulated by Marshal Bolesław Ostrokorski 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 500,000 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 (Bundesheer), the Federal Air Force (Bundesluftflotte), the Federal Navy (Bundesmarine), the Special Brigades (Sonderbrigaden) and the Emergency Corps (Nottruppe).
The Army is the largest component of the Armed Forces, with some 300,000 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.
- ↑ Not including the armed forces of the Pentapolis.
- ↑ The Pentapolitan Grand Fleet is formally separate from the Federal Navy, with an entirely distinct chain of command, but is generally grouped with it in strategic discussion.