|This article or section is out of date. The country/countries relevant to this article have been removed from Sahar and have been retconned. Everything here can be considered non-canonical. |
|Kingdom of Zostas
|Motto: Forever Prosperous|
Location of Zostas
and largest city
|Official languages||Zostine • Veridian|
|Recognised national languages||Zostine|
|Government||Unitary absolute monarchy|
|-||Crown Prince||Lév Cičát|
|-||Established||c. 9th century|
|-||Sack of Komu||c. 15th century|
|-||Independence from Veridia||1951|
1,719 sq mi
|GDP (PPP)||2015 estimate|
|GDP (nominal)||2015 estimate|
|Time zone||SCT (SCT+2)|
|Drives on the||left|
Zostas (IPA: /zostas/, Native language: Zostíž, IPA: /zostiʒ/), officially the Kingdom of Zostas, is an island country and archipelago located in the Paršita Sea. Situated off the coast of Ekuosia, it shares sea borders with Veridia to the east and Rosland to the south. Zostas' territory consists of three large islands and a multitude of islets.
Historically linked to mainland Ekuosia, Zostas was one of the first territories to fall under the rule of the Letsatian Empire, becoming an integral part of it and one of its successor states, East Letsatia, until its collapse. The Republic of Zostas emerged during this time, becoming a major maritime power and an extremely important centre of commerce, and would go on to rule for centuries over a large and rich maritime empire. After falling under foreign dominion, Zostas' independence was regained following the close of the Great Ekuosian War in 1951.
Zostas is one of the world's most significant financial centres, renowned as a hub for global commerce and trade. A long legacy of free trade and low taxes has made Zostas one of the easiest places to do business, with its open economy leading to vast economic growth. These policies have also led to a reputation of being considered a tax haven. It also enjoys a status as a premier tourist location owing to a favourable climate and natural sights, with high investment in the tourism sector
The name Zostas derives from the Letsatian name of Zostia, which was the province governing the islands under the Letsatian Empire and its successor state, East Letsatia. The name Zostia, however, derives from the people known only as the Zosju. Potential connections with the Proto-Letsic word "zújuźë", which would have meant beauty, and its future derivations, have been drawn by the Zostine people as the supposed first cry of Letsatian explorers upon discovering the islands.
The first historical references to Zostas date to the classical era, where the islands were identified as a series of trading posts and fishing settlements. The islands were conquered during the 2nd century BC, when the first ruler of the Letsatian Empire marched on Zostas. The local rulers joined forces under an alliance and set out to meet the invader, only to be routed after a single battle. The islands where then organised under a single territory, the Viceroyalty of Zostia, administered from Zostas City and whose ruler was appointed by the Emperor in Komu. Zostas' importance as a trading post grew under the rule of the Letsatian Empire, with overseas trade being more efficient than overland trade, and it swiftly became an integral part of Letsatia's growing trade network. Nevertheless, its position in the sea allowed for the islands to come under growing autonomy, especially following the splintering of the Letsatian Empire.
During the empire's fragmentation, three great successor realms succeeded in dividing the Empire amongst themselves before attempting to unite it once more. Civil unrest ensued in Zostas City during this time, during which the Viceroy of Zostia was murdered and a central governing committee was empowered. The Western Emperor of Komu sent forth an army to re-establish his authority over the islands, utilising vast but cumbersome siege engines to break through the fortifications defending Zostas and its harbours. The Eastern Emperor in Panemi announced his support for the islands, sending vital food supplies via sea. The citizens of Zostas were ultimately successful in resisting the siege, and after three years the army of the Western Emperor relented and abandoned the islands to the Eastern Emperor. The discarded siege engines were sold by Zostas and the funds were used for repairing the damages done, construction of ships to assist the ongoing civil war, and commemorating the victory against West Letsatia.
In recognition of the Zostine war effort, the Eastern Emperor appointed a Viceroy from amongst the Zostine standing governing committee, granting the territory political concessions which would go on to secure lasting independence. Viceroys were no longer appointed directly from the Emperor's court but rather from the island's standing government committee, and they possessed a greater mandate. As East Letsatian power began to wane due to constant warring with the other successor realms, Zostia's increasing autonomy would result in de facto independence. The first Prince of Zostas, Garíduž Fëre, was therefore also the last Viceroy of Zostia; it was during his reign that he decreed that the standing governing committee would decide upon his successor amongst themselves. New palaces, churches and a permanent legislative chamber were constructed. By the 900s, Zostas had emerged as an independent maritime republic.
Zostas is an absolute monarchy, with the King enjoying wide-ranging executive powers. The King is advised by and presides over the Grand Council, for which no elections take place. Instead, all members are appointed by the King and approved by the Grand Council. The Grand Council itself does not have the power of legislative initiative; although it may suggest, amend, and veto bills, the vast majority of legislation ultimately originates from Royal Decrees.
In the absence of national elections, politics within Zostas therefore takes place within the ruling royal family, the Cičát, and also amongst important merchant families. The vast numbers of members within the royal family allow for them to dominate nearly all important government posts, from members of the cabinet to the heads of administrative regions. These long-term political appointments have often led to the creation of 'fiefdoms' amongst the most senior of princes, which have often served as bases for power struggles during times of executive weakness.