|Republic of Gfiewgjknsiorjgiostan
|Motto: Gfiewgjknsiorjgiostan Forever, and After|
|Recognised regional languages||Siortan, Tlulmerdi|
|Minority languages||South Jutean, Osterian, Atruozan and Maponic languages|
|Government||Federal non-partisan parliamentary republic|
|-||United as a monarchy||897|
|-||Abolition of monarchy||1852|
236,155 sq mi
|GDP (nominal)||2018 estimate|
|Time zone||GFST (SCT+8)|
|-||Summer (DST)||Not observed (SCT)|
|Drives on the||right|
Gfiewistan (Gfiewish: Gfiewgjknsiorjgiostan ['gʷɪəʍ.ʒəʝə.knʂɪʊɹ.jə.ʒɪʊʂ.ˌtɐn]), officially the Republic of Gfiewgjknsiorjgiostan, is a country located on the continent of Ystel, bordering Mermelia, South Jute and Lufasa to the north and Osteria to the south.
- 1 Etymology
- 2 History
- 3 Geography
- 4 Politics
- 5 Economy
- 6 Demographics
- 7 Culture
- 8 See also
Gfiewgjknsiorjgiostan is etymologically a word compound, which are common in the Gfiewish language. It literally comes from "Land of the People near (the) Rocks in (the) Sea.
Having been inhabited by humans for about five thousand years, it remained a land divided into agricultural chiefdoms of varying sizes and independence until the Sigfried the Pious arrived in Gfiewgjknsiorjgiostan in the 16th century and united the nation under the religion of Iovism, and installing himself as the God-sanctioned king of all Gfiewgjknsiorjgiostanians. Reformation attempts did not happen and the country remains orthodox to these days. In the 19th century, romantic nationalism and the revolutionary Republican movement originating in Hatariew led to the monarchy, centered in Slakkariew, being abolished in 1852, and feudalism gave way to a mostly free market economy.
The first people on Ystel were originally Baredinan mesolithic hunter-gatherers, who around the year 3000 BC reached the continent via the island of Zexari, crossing two narrow straits south of the Lhisfa Sea in the process, and then migrated further east and north. Three hundred years later, around 2700-2600 BC, the first mesolithic settlements existed in the Ersaj plain. The first neolithic culture appeared around 1000 BC, but it would take until 400 AD for the first dominant chiefdoms to emerge that manage to dominate neighboring ones.
By 450 AD a first fortress had been established in the location of modern-day Hatariew, with permanent agricultural settlements around it. Trade with and conquest of surrounding chiefdoms and tribes leads to a sizable amount of power and wealth being held by the prehistoric town at the beginning of the seventh century, and by 700 AD its influence already reached across the river to what would become Lufasa. In 780 AD the predecessor of the city of Hatariew had already grown significantly and city walls as well as a new stone fortress were erected.
In 1080 AD the chiefdom of Hatariew engaged in its first major war with its roughly equally powerful rival in the west, Xelsamt. After a year of fighting the war ended with no larger gains for either side. Nonetheless, it continued to expand and had by the beginning of the thirteenth century consolidated its grip on the northern plains on both sides of the Ersaj.
With the arrival of advanced civilization on Ystel in the 1300s, writing was also introduced and so from the fourteenth century on increasingly more historical records exist, one of the first known being the first documented mention of the city of and chiefdom of Hatariew in a letter guaranteeing privileges to the local nobility in 1322. Further ones mention a second war between Hatariew and Xelsamt in 1379 that resulted in the chiefdom losing most of its territory west of its capital.
The fifteenth century saw many reforms, administrative and political ones. Among the major chiefdoms of the time, both Hatariew and Slakkariew in the south became more centralized, both establishing rudimentary bureaucracies in their territories, the former in the 1450s-60s and the latter in the 1420s and 1430s. Kauslat and Tanla, located geographically between the two local powers, retain a more decentralized model.
In 1521 they jointly wage war against Hatariew, which in response founds an alliance with their previous enemy Xelsamt (now Tlulmerd) and Kebbzol, a minor tributary chiefdom between Kauslat and Hatariew and thereby manages to repel the invasion in 1523. As a result, a year later during the peace negotiations, Tlulmerd gains some territory from Tanla, and in return for making the alliance permanent gives some land back to Hatariew. With that, the modern borders between the three have been largely set and change little in the following centuries.
Early modern history
The beginning of the Great Unification War of Gfiewgjknsiorjgiostan in 1567 marks the beginning of the modern era of the land. Starting from the south Slakkariew conquers with the help of allies over the course of the following years all independent Gfiewish chiefdoms and their client chiefdoms in the name of Iovism. The last holdouts in Kebbzol and Lufasa are defeated in in 1572, and the chief of Slakkariew declares himself God-sanctioned king of all Gfiewgjknsiorjgiostanians, his castle in Slakkariew becoming the royal palace and the city of Slakkariew the capital of the kingdom.
In the years after unification, missionaries attempt to convert every corner of the newly formed state towards Iovism, and many monasteries and libraries are established. Although some pagan beliefs remain popular in some regions and other ones retain a minority who hold on to their old religion, this process of missionizing is largely finished by 1577, with the exception of Lufasa, where traditional beliefs remain in the majority until the 18th century and even after that continue to exist in syncretic faiths combining aspects of Iovism and the native religion.
Major rebuilding efforts and expansion of the city of Hatariew started at the beginning of the 17th century and secure the status of the city as commercial center in the north, at times even overshadowing the capital. Most important goods remain Lufasan agricultural products and reed-based products from Kebbzol. The rise as a trade hub culminated in the first bank and foreign trading station being opened in 1628 after being granted a royal license and was a major factor in trade expanding to now cover all of Gfiewistan and the neighboring countries, including southern ones like Osteria. A permission to use the Ersaj up until the mouth of the river negotiated with Mermelia in 1701 leads to a further boost of commerce and leads to the capital Slakkariew being completely eclipsed in that regard. With the amassed wealth, the wealthiest merchants finance the construction of a new main temple, located on a hill near the city center. It becomes an important symbol of the city and even Gfiewistan in general.
Aside from trade and the economy, science and education also flourish, and two universities are founded, the Royal University in Slakkariew in 1619, and the Northern University of Trade and Agriculture (later Northern Business University, today simply Northern University) in Hatariew in 1762. Religious schools are founded across the land in every county and there is a lot of scientific exchange with Mermelia and Nevira, and even books from far away countries like Achiyitqan start reaching the country and are translated and read.
1811 AD, administrative reforms in all of Gfiewistan, modern state borders determined and bureaucracy expanded. 1852 AD, revolution in Gfiewistan, Hatariew becomes the new capital of the country as center of the Republican movement, independence of Lufasa. 1901 AD, traditionally seen as begin of industrialization with the first steel plant opening. 1913 AD, first passenger train to Weishriew. 1930 AD, modernization of a still largely medieval system of education, however still remaining firmly in control by temples and monasteries, education becomes compulsory. 1932 AD, labor laws that outlaw children working in mines or factories, enforce basic work safety and the right to strike and limit the hours allowed in a week to 60 (later 48). 1975 AD, secular, publicly funded education is established, several new schools are built in the capital and across the country.
Situated in a cold climate, the nation is covered mostly by boreal forests with some mixed forests in the north. The southeast wetlands are home to the Gfiewjknsior beast, a frog species native to the country. The nation is rather mountainous in the southeast but the remainder of the land is rather flat, with the areas near the coast in the southwest as well as along the three major rivers, Ersaj, Takenfa and its bigger tributaries and Mewe only being few meters above sea level.
Gfiewistan is home to four climate zones in accordance with the Köppen Climate Classification System. By far, the largest climate zone by both population and area is Warm-summer Humid Continental (Dfb), which covers a significant majority of the country, from a rough line around the 52nd parallel south to the northern border of the nation bar a small line straddling the northeastern border. Along said border, a sliver of Hot-summer Humid Continental (Dfa) can be found, where the country's warmest (and muggiest) summers can be found, with the hottest month average highs around 26-27 degrees Celsius. It is also here where the mildest winters can be found, with coldest month average highs sitting around -1°C to -2°C at their mildest. In the south, notably in areas relatively near and adjacent the coast, as well as in the Galsnio panhandle, Subarctic climate types can be found (Dfc and Dsc). This largely consists of Dfc, with Dry-summer Subarctic (Dsc) being contained largely to the higher elevations in the mountains within the panhandle. It is in the panhandle that the coldest winters can be found, with the coldest settlements seeing average coldest month highs resting around a bitter -16°C.
Snow cover persists in the south for around 5-7 months of the year, with most of the country experiencing 3-5 months of snow cover on average, that value decreasing to only around 2-3 months in the far northeast (albeit with the possibility of snowfall and as such, intermittent snow cover, for 5-6 months).
A chancellor is governing the nation with the help of half a dozen ministers, representing the executive branch, elected by the parliament. The members of the parliament, the legislative branch in turn are elected by the population every four years, with five members coming from each state, resulting in a total of 75, plus speaker of the parliament. The judiciary branch is made up by the supreme court and fifteen state courts, with the state judges elected by local politicians concerned with justice and the state's parliamentary members in conjunction. Furthermore, most counties have their own court, with the exception of those forming a county union, where a county union court exists instead.
Gfiewistan is divided into 15 states, which in turn are divided into counties, and below that municipalities. State capitals always form their own county, and might or might not have further subdivisions. In some states, several counties can form a union below state level (e. g. Tlulmerd) which takes over some functions carried out by county councils in other states. In cities, several functions of municipal governments in less urban regions are taken over by the city government.
The administrative hierarchy at a glance is hence as follows: Nation - State - (County union) - County/City - Municipality/town/city borough.
Non-interventionism and advocating for free trade (including labor) have been the pillars of the foreign policy for the longest time of the existence of the republic, which can therefore be summed up with "as little as possible, as much as necessary", or free-trade isolationist. However, in recent decades the necessity of collaboration with neighbors have become more obvious and has led to some joint command structures between Mermelia and Gfiewistan as well as other strategic alliances with states across the globe.
Furthermore, while a International Congress membership is still rejected, the general opposition to multilateral agreements and international organizations has been dropped and the country is now a leading member of the Ystelian Community, as the benefits of a shared regional market were found to overweigh any sovereignty and national security concerns. Even interventions are no longer ruled out by all political movements and only the libertarians still uphold the earlier principle of strict non-interventionism.
Conscription is mandatory, and everyone aged 18-20 has to serve either in the military or in accredited charity services for a year after completing education. Whereas the relatively large military was originally founded purely to defend the country in the case of war, it is now used for limited reconnaissance and local peacekeeping as well as expanded deterrence missions as well and participation in interventions are considered a possibility by some.
With the cold, clear water bordering the nation on one side, and lush forests in much of the rest of it, fishing and hunting have traditionally been the strongest sector of the economy, and the continue to be important to this day. Fishing in particular, combined with animal husbandry (especially lamb and beef) remain a backbone for much of the country, especially in the south and the central parts of Gfiewistan. Other parts, mostly alongside major waterways in the east and northeast, underwent industrialization about a century ago and became centers of steel and machine production. However, since the early 2010s most of them have slowly been transitioning away to a more service-oriented economy, with the mostly Hatariew-based insurance, banking and import-export trade sectors contributing the most to the country's gross domestic product, followed by the transport and domestic commerce sector and manufacturing sector, all roughly of equal size. Manufacturing is dominated by light industries, with heavy industry such as steel being on the decline and production of machines no longer growing either. Household items, such as baskets or mats from reed, and food products make up the bulk of production nowadays. The soda industry in particular has been growing a lot in recent years and shown to be very successful both domestically as well as on international markets.
Roads are generally kept well in shape, as the car is the most common way of transport in the country. Trains used to be of major importance, but after the construction of the national highway system only three lines remained, going from Hatariew to Swofiewkust at the sea coast in the south, to Weishriew in the East and between Gordxersma and Dillariewis in the central south. Ferry connections exist on the lake Slakkariew, the river Ersaj and on the river Takenfa and is tributaries and connect there various towns.
Public transport only exists in the five biggest cities, the capital Hatariew, the old residential city Slakkariew as well as Weishriew (where the first train station in Gfiewistan was built), Tanlariewis and Dillariewis, where they have city bus networks or in the case of Hatariew commuter rail sharing the railway of heavy rail. Most other towns are, if they don't have a ferry line stop or railway station, only served by country buses, and some lack this as well.
Fossil fools are still largely used, though investments in alternate energy forms have been made and an effort to transition to them is being planned.
Science and technology
Hatariew is the academic center of Gfiewistan, and the local university, while being one of two full-scale universities in the country, is mostly centered aroud agricultural and engineering research. The university of Slakkariew, the other comprehensive university of Gfiewistan is largely devoted to fishing and environmental studies, but is also known for its humanities faculty, particular its department of history.
The rough countryside of the south, especially of the states of Twilm and Galsnio attracts a lot of visitors, both domestic and international every year, and the two largest cities are popular with city tourists. Slakkariew for its historical and cultural heritage as well as modern trendy districts, Hatariew for its food scene, museums and varied cityscapes.
The rather cold climate and somewhat remote location lead to the population never growing as high as in some other nations. Only lately, with the onset of modernization in agriculture, has the population been increasing, from 595,000 in 1852 (first census) to 2,456,275 today.
Together with the isolationist policies, this has resulted in it remaining largely homogeneous (though there are two native ethnic minorities, the Siortan and Tlulmerdi), with many people being able to knowing their ancestors in Gfiewgjknsiorjgiostan up to several hundred years ago, but the recent success of the economy has caused a change a trend reversal, with now more and more people from abroad coming to Gfiewgjknsiorjgiostan in search for jobs. Most of them are from neighboring countries or lands, especially Mermelia, South Jute, Osteria and Translira.
About a third of the population lives in the five biggest cities, with the rest living in various smaller towns and rural settlements.
|City||IPA||Metro area population||State|
Gfiewish, the national language spoken by virtually all people in the land, is part of the Ystelic language family, the most widespread on the continent of Ystel. While a lot of businessmen and women have learned other languages for trade, for example Neviran, Osterian or a language spoken in Mermelia, much of the population remains monolingual. Immigrants tend to speak other languages, as well, mostly at home, but almost everyone of them knows Gfiewish as well.
The overwhelming majority remains Orthodox Iovist, though not as many are practicing Iovians as a hundred years ago. There a few Reformed Iovist communities, and very few people with other religions, mostly in the capital, which has the only Mysticism temple of the nation.
The population is rather devout, but has a largely "help yourself" mentality and is knwon for being stoic and not very talkative. Politically, most people are heavily right-wing libertarianism-leaning, supporting a individualist, capitalistic (that is, right-wing) economy while being sometimes more liberal on social matters, where it doesn't clash too much with their religion.
The cuisine of Gfiewistan can be broadly separated into three large regional ones. The first one extends from the coastal states to the Mewe and Takenfa rivers and relies heavily on fish, either saltwater or freshwater, and root vegetables. Chamomile tea and beer, and berry juices and wine are the most common beverages.
The second regional cuisine can be found in the southeasternmost parts of the country, especially in the panhandle. Hunted meat with gathered herbs, mushrooms etc. make up the bulk of the diet, also supplemented by root vegetables. Various kinds of herbal teas, made with for example woodruff, and berry juices and liquor and brandies are drunk.
Finally, the north and center of Gfiewistan use a lot of lamb in their cuisine, although it is also the region with the largest amount of vegetarian recipes, which often are based on or incorporate sheep milk. Sheep milk, sometimes spiced, and fruit juice and cider are the traditional beverages.
All of Gfiewistan also has a long baking tradition, with buckwheat being grown all over the country, its flour being the most widely used flour. Corn flour was introduced later and is used somewhat less often, mostly to make flatbreads or pastries or as thickener. Millet has always been another popular grain, being native to the region. Other traditional ingredients are all kinds of beets, dairy, berries like blackberries, sunflower seeds and oil.