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|Area||1,265,709 km2 (488,693 sq mi)|
|Population||3,070,425,505 (2028) wip|
|Population density||2,426/km2 (3,904/sq mi) wip|
|Dependencies||11 (9 national, 2 international)|
|Languages||Latin, Burgoignesc, Fhasen, Julian Ænglish, Lebhan, Carnish, Udunaic, Sinitalian, Hendalarskisch, Khunyer, Upper Hendalarskara, Pentapolitan Argot, Nünsyi, Yytusche, Nortugric, and others|
|Time zones||UTC-3:00 to UTC+2:00|
|Largest cities||Largest urban areas:|
Levantia is a continent in the northern hemisphere. Levantia is bound by the Kilikas Sea to the northwest, the Sea of Nordska to the northeast, the Levantine Ocean to the east, the Odoneru Ocean to the west, and by the Sea of Canete to the south. Kiroborea lies to its immediate north and distant northwest and Sarpedon to its south. As a landmass, Levantia is enormous, with a massive variety of environs, tectonic formations, peoples, flora and fauna, and landforms such as inlets, lakes, and peninsulas which are not obvious from its generally cohesive cartographic shape, and its history is one of the most densely recorded and prominent in world culture. Socially, Levantia is arguably the preeminent cultural and economic hub of the Occidental world, and inarguably so when considered as inclusive of its states' associated territories and including the Coscivian-inclusive definition of Greater Levantia.
Geography, Topography, and Climate
Levantia in and of itself is a large landmass skirted by a number of islands and islets, closely bordering Kiroborea to the immediate north. Is southern end is relatively close to the island of Urlazio, which itself links Levantia to northern Sarpedon. Due to their close proximity and the tangled net of islands between the two, Levantia is sometimes described as including the arctic circle and even mainland Kiravia in a definition commonly referred to as Greater Levantia. Kiravians themselves distinguish distinguish between their own island continent and the Levantine mainland, and the terms Levantiax ("Levantine") and Levantiem("Levantines") refer specifically to the mainland, while Ambrélevantiax and Bâvnélevantiax ("Greater Levantine" and "Wider Levantine") can include Great Kirav.
Levantia's climate runs the gamut from tropical equatorial jungle in the southern tip of Urcea to tundra and arctic climates in Caergwynn and other north Levantine nations. Northern Levantia is known for its infamous Kilikas Storm Belt, which encompasses northern Ultmar and Fiannria and is characterized by frequent and powerful temperate cyclones, thunderstorms, and blizzards that have historically made marine navigation extremely dangerous in the area.
The topography of Levantia is defined by several major rivers including the Urce, the Deir, and others, as well as the Levantine Caldera, a series of three major mountain and highlands formations which divide Ultmar and North Levantia into portions as well as dividing the Urce Basin and it surrounds from central and north Levantia. The north and south of Ultmar and their respectging mountain formations are divided by the Vandarch Basin, which surrounds the freshwater Vandarch Sea, which is the largest inland sea in the world and both warms northern Levantia and cools the southern regions of the continent.
Human habitation has had a large impact on Levantia, most obviously through the creation of the Grand Vandarch Canal to the north and by the Carolina-Grand Canal to the south of the Vandarch, connecting it to the Kilikas and Urce River respectively. Less obviously, human habitation has resulted in both increased soil erosion and decreased erosion in some areas, the manipulation of river flows through centuries of built-up embankments and dams, the formation of artificial lakes, the draining of marshy areas, and the creation of artificial islands in some regions.
Known historically by residents of Catholic Levantia as the far north, Northern Levantia is often considered as the northern part of Ultmar, with the country of Fiannria forming a borderland between Ultmar and Latin-influenced Levantia. Typically, it consists of land generally covering Levantia north of the southern point of the Vandarch, except those regions west of the sea, which are a large portion of Gothica.
Consisting of the majority of southern Levantia west of the Vandarch's southern point, Gothica is named for the Gothic people who originate there. Gothica forms the larger and southern portion of Ultmar and is sometimes considered to be Ultmar in its entirety depending on source.
While generally relegated to the northeast rather than the eastern seaboard of the continent, Eastern Levantia generally is used to refer to the Peninsula of Orenstia and its immediate surrounds. In some regions, Burgundie is included in Eastern Levantia, but is more commonly included in Central Levantia in holistic works due to cultural reasons.
Politically known as Dericania, central Levantia is bounded by mountains to the north and south, with plains forming an outlet to the eastern coast of the continent and Burgundie. Central Levantia for most of its history has been a disparate battleground for large numbers of conflicts, and due to its broken geography is one of the more complex regions of the continent. Central Levantia arguably includes the north of Burgundie or all of it in some texts.
Dominated by the Urce River Basin, southern Levantia is primarily dominated by the country of Urcea and bounded by mountains which both insulate it from the remainder of the continent and help cut it off from overland travel from many directions. Along with Central Levantia, the South is often referred to as Catholic Levantia.
Human History and Geography
Levantia is home to a number of diverse cultural groups, with a number of faiths, ethnicities, and cultural heritages creating a wide array of traditions and peoples throughout the continent.
The largest overarching ethnic classifications of modern Levantines are the Romance and Gaelic peoples, followed closely by Goths. Each of these major groups has experienced large migratory changes throughout history and as a result are of mixed stock to varying degrees. In addition, smaller minority peoples such as the Orenstines exist throughout the continent.
The ethnic groups prior to the Sarpo-Levantine peoples arrived in Levantia prior to the Last Glacial Period, consisting on a large number of migratory tribes, many of whom are no longer extant. Of these, the Fenni in the modern Vandarch and the Orenstians in eastern Levantia are the most well-known.
Gaelic peoples occupied a territory approximately coterminous with the modern Levantine Union and northern Ultmar circa 2000 BC and were the largest group on the continent, having erased the Fenni peoples in the southern Vandarch Basin and intermingled with them in northern Ultmar. Gothic tribes primarily occupied southwestern Levantia in more dense population centers. Istroyan people settled small cities on the southeastern coast of the continent but evidently did not scout or explore much of the continent, while Coscivian civilisation similarly settles along the northwest coastline and travelled inland around the Vandarch and as far south as some Istroyan colonies seeking trade routes.
The arrival of Latinic people in the millennium BC inaugurated Levantia into the Occidental world and dramatically changed the human landscape of the continent, as a population explosion of Latins into Levantia lead to the creation of the empire of Great Levantia (not to be confused with Greater Levantia) and laid the foundations for much of Catholic Levantia as understood today. As a result, many (primarily Gaelic) peoples were either enslaved, enthralled as vassal peoples, or erased by Latin conquerors, who would intermarry with their subject peoples to create the many modern Romance cultures of the southern and central continent. Large segments of Great Levantia were overrun by Gothic people from the 3rd to 6th centuries AD, creating many of the modern cultural boundaries that presently exist in Levantia.
Of the modern peoples of the continent, some of the most notable are the Urcean people, descended from Latin migrants and Celtic peoples, the Faeskt, a 'true' Gaelic people, the Fhainn, a people descended from primarily pre-Sarpo-Levantine Fenni and Gaelic conquerors, the Derian and Bergendii peoples, and the Anglish/Aenglish, a Gothic people with some Romance stock primarily from Urcea and Yonderre.
Of the smaller ethnic groups in Levantia, the Orenstians are by far the largest non-Occidental group, and are characterized by their unique language. Several other minorities, namely the Khunyer, who migrated to modern Hendalarsk in the middle ages, are descended from Orenstian migrants and posses status as a recognized minority with official language status. Other minority groups include Gassavelians, Uroms, Caens, Coscivian civilisation and Garánii.
Aenglish is the most common language on the continent, being spoken as a first language by many in southern Levantia and as a secondary language by large numbers of north Levantines as a lingua franca for trade and diplomacy. Its most common form, Julian Ænglish, is spoken primarily in Urcea. Other countries typically have their own languages, with most of the Gaelic tongues outside of Lebhan, Caeric, and Fhasen being somewhat mutually intelligible. Lebhan and Caeric are not as closely related to the other Celtic tongues due to cultural divide, whereas Fhasen was originally a conglomeration of local dialects, Coscivian influences, and Gothic loanwords intended as an administrative language.
Levantia is the home of Christian Catholic Church, centered on the Papal State in Urceopolis, in line with Levantia hosting more Catholic laity than any other Continent. Catholicism is the predominant faith of Levantia, though the continent is also the birthplace of both the original Protestant reformist faiths and many current Protestant churches. Some non-Christian faiths exist in Levantia, primarily in the form of pagan rites or syncretic religions practiced on a small scale. Since the 19th Century, atheism, agnosticism, and local pagan faiths have become more commonplace on the continent, especially in Ultmar, which has often sought to differentiate itself from Catholic Levantia. In spite of this, Catholic shrines and other holy sites abound and rates of religious practice remain consistently high across the continent.
Known by the residents of so-called "Catholic Levantia" as Gothica since the time of the Ancient Goths and considered part of the greater concept of Ultmar, Western Levantia is typically understood to mean the territory west of the Deric States, north of Urcea and south of the Vandarch. Gothica was historically relatively isolated from the Holy Levantine Empire, both by a series of mountain ranges between the Vandarch and the Odoneru Ocean and by the native Gothic peoples' stubborn military resistance to Levantine-Catholic encroachment. This stalemate was only broken in the fifteenth century, as a crusade saw Joanus de Martigueux installed as the ruler of the new state of Yonderre. Yonderre has served as a bridge between the Catholic Levantine sphere and the Gothic world to this day, while its southern neighbour Carna - likewise a fusion of Gothic and foreign cultures, although in this case Ænglish and Gaelic rather than Yonderre's East Gothic and Burgoignesc - has often acted more as a barrier against Urcean expansion westwards.
Beyond the hybridised states of the borderlands, Gothica remains thoroughly Gothic. The southern Vandarch states of Hendalarsk and Eldmora-Regulus were never conquered by Latins, and evolved in their own ways. Hendalarsk is home to a heavily syncretic version of Christianity, known as the Hendalarskara Catholic Church, the legacy of an incomplete Christianisation by Latin Catholic missionaries, while its native Gothic language has undergone far more influence from Khunyer and the autochthonous Nünsyi language than any Latin tongue.
The Vandarch Gothic states have largely kept their distance from the wider Urcean sphere through the centuries, although in recent decades this has begun to change. This process was accelerated by the opening of the Carolina-Grand Canal in the nineteenth century and the Grand Vandarch Canal in the twentieth and an attendant integration of the entire Vandarch littoral into the international system of trade. Yonderre has latterly become the first state outside the bounds of the Holy Levantine Empire to join the Levantine Union. The Odoneru Gothic states had undergone this process of integration long before, a consequence of their easy access to the great sea lanes between Kiroborea and Sarpedon. Carna forged a continental empire in Crona, eventually birthing the nation of Arcerion, while Carnish troops even fought alongside Urcea in a brief rapprochement during the Second Great War, although this thaw was thoroughly reversed by the subsequent Carnish Revolution.
Prehistory and pre-classic Levantia
In the prehistoric period, Levantia was home to an extremely diverse array of material cultures. It is thought that the number of ancient peoples and societies on the continent were kept separate due to the prevalence of mountainous topography as well as the Vandarch, which bisects the northern part of the continent, though it may have been significantly smaller in the past due to sea level rises. Out of these material cultures emerged the Paleo-Levantine peoples during the Neolithic revolution; these peoples, who are not related in substantial, significant ways, formed the earliest civilizations on the continent approximately 2 millennia BC. The majority of these peoples did not have written records and are only recorded in the archaeological record or passing references in later Celtic legends; the only major surviving group are the Orenstian people who occupy the eastern peninsula of Levantia. In approximately 1500 BC, Celtic people - who lived in a strip of land approximately along the eastern shore of the Vandarch - began a massive expansion throughout the eastern half continent. Their expansion - both through war and non-violent means - created an expansive Celtic civilization in Levantia which encompassed most of modern Catholic Levantia. To their west, the Paleo-Levantine peoples also faced the expansion of the Gothic people in the region now known as Gothica. By 1000 BC, the vast majority of the Levantine landmass was occupied by Gothic or Celtic people, with small Paleo-Levantine pockets existing throughout the continent. The expansion of these groups was thought by historians in the past to have meant the genocide of the Paleo-Levantine peoples; however, most Celtic and Gothic-descent people in Ultmar and Fiannria today can trace a genetic descent from an ancient Paleo-Levantine group, proving that most of these peoples were integrated into these societies.
The period between approximately 1000 BC and 500 BC is referred to as "pre-classic Levantia", and during this time Ancient Istroyan and Adonerii colonies began being established in modern Urcea and Burgundie in small numbers, including Urceopolis. During this period, the dominant Celtic culture interacted extensively with the Istroyans and Latins, and the cultural exchange began to create unique cultural cornerstones and technological developments for both sides. Few native Celtic cities existed prior to the arrival of the people from Sarpedon and Urlazio, with the majority being expansive hillforts in what is today northwestern Dericania and southern Fiannria. Following interactions with the Istroyans and Adonerii, however, many previously semi-nomadic Celtic tribes which employed seasonal farming techniques began to form advanced cities patterned especially after the Istroyan model, including Corcra.
Post-Levantine collapse period
Holy Levantine Empire and northern states
Levantia is the world's most prosperous continent. It is home to the Levantine Union, the world's most powerful joint economy including Urcea, which has the world's highest gross domestic product as well as several other high-income developed nations. Most countries in Levantia - and especially in the southern portion of the continent - are considered highly developed, with strong tertiary and quaternary sectors and high standards of living. Levantine economic strength has been bolstered by continental and regional integration under Levantine Union trade agreements and the KATI free trade zone.
Arms manufacturing and other defense-related industries are a major component of the Levantine economy, meeting a strong demand for weapons systems fueled by the active foreign policies of its members. Numerous major arms firms with an global presence base their corporate and manufacturing operations in Levantia, including Kiro-Fiannrian Armenwerke, Royal Sealift Company, Lansing-Mitchell Weaponeering and Royal Hunting and Munitions Company. A massive domestic, non-governmental arms market exists due to high rates of gun ownership in Urcea and elsewhere, and a strong firearms and sporting tradition across much of the continent.
Polities and Territories
After the turmoil of the early twentieth century drew to a close, Levantia has been a comparatively stable area. The continent is largely governed by centre-right to right-wing governments, particularly within the sphere of the Levantine Union, although Carna is notable as the continent's only one-party socialist state, while Hendalarsk's relative distance from the Union and caution in foreign affairs has allowed it to preserve a broadly democratic-socialist government from the end of its civil war down to the present day.
- Alba Concordia
- Hollona and Diorisia
- Halfway (Urcea)
- Bicarian Islands (Urcea)
- Insee Fey (Fiannria)
- Levantx (Burgundie)
- New Ardmore (Kiravia)
- Uruvun (Kiravia)
- Wintergen (Burgundie)
- Suderavia (Kiravia)
- Scapa (Kiravia)
- International Canal Zone
- Alba Concordia
Levantine policing is known for being centralized, state-run, and overt. It is the original civilian, publicly-funded policing model but newer more localized and egalitarian have taken hold in Crona and Sarpedon, known as policing by consent. Thus, by exclusion, the older, more centralized model has coined the neologism "Levantine policing".
The word "police" was borrowed from the Latin word politia, meaning an agent of the state or civil administration. It was first used in the modern sense in the mid 17th century in Urcea, but soon spread throughout Levantia. It was often associated with political and religious policing but was also used in other sundry functions of government administration, depending on the country. The word has modernized to police in the many modern languages through its adoption in the 18th and 19th centuries. However, outside of Levantia, the word, and the concept of police itself, was disliked as a symbol of foreign oppression.
- ↑ Latin Catholics emphatically reject the Hendalarskara Catholic Church's claim to be "Catholic".