|Official language:||Common (English), Tokish|
|Largest Cities:||Novatica, Rielrar, Miedo|
|Forum:||Gralan Forums on the Bastion Union|
|Number of citizens:||10-20|
|Number of active citizens:||5-10|
|Date founded:||15th April 2009|
|National drink:||Chelkran Dragonwater|
The Gralan Empire is a Micronation, formed as a union between the three states of Novatainia, Toketi and Relaram. Though Novatainia and Toketi had once joined together in the Confederacy of Gralus, the ability to leave the Confederacy had resulted in it's eventual demise. A year later, the Gralan Empire was formed with the firm commitment that the member nations would not leave - they fully surrendered their sovereinty and became one nation. More than a year later, the Gralan Empire remains a strong nation, at the forefront of those areas Novatainia and Toketi were always famous for: Magic, Roleplaying and Recwar.
The Gralan Empire has three major levels of government - National, Provincial and Local. At the national level, the Triumvirate rule the three separate areas of Domestic, External and Justice. At the provincial level, each province organises its own leadership, generally continuing the forms of government they had upon joining. And within each province, local government is provided for different areas of the land, generally provided by a single person.
It should be noted that the government of the Gralan Empire is strictly IC, and gralans maintain a strict distinction between their IC rulers and OOC power.
At the national level, Gralus is led by the Triumvirate of Emperor, Lord General and Chief Justice. Each has a separate sphere of influence defined by the Gralan Constitution, and where their areas of power overlap, each triumvir involved much agree. No Triumvir is higher than any other.
His boldness, the Emperor, is the supreme ruler of domestic affairs within Gralus. He is the Custodian of the Happiness of the People, responsible for enforcing the Law of Gralus when dealing with domestic affairs. Any laws he makes supersede provincial laws; his lawmaking powers within domestic affairs are only restricted by the Constitution and the Bill of Rights.
Some dissatisfaction during the reign of Emperor Nicholas the Mad led to constitutional reform towards democracy, allowing citizens the ability to propose laws and veto Imperial laws. To date, this power has not been used, and the Emperor retains the power to make laws without requiring anyone else to vote on them.
His craftiness, the Lord General, is the supreme ruler of external affairs for Gralus. He is the Custodian of the Safety of the People, responsible for enforcing the Law of Gralus when dealing with foreign affairs and for organizing the defense of the Empire against external threats. He heads up both diplomatic efforts (including trade) and the Imperial Army. Depending on who holds the position of Lord General, they generally focus on one of those two areas and leave their heir responsible for the other area.
The Lord General being the custodian of the safety of the people led to some constitutional confusion in the case of civil wars. Though he controls the Imperial Army, a purely civil war is a domestic affair and therefore within the realm of the Emperor. After being appealed to the Chief Justice, it was decided that the Lord General could only intervene in domestic civil wars (within his capacity as Lord General) if requested by the Emperor; but if foreigners became involved he could intervene against them freely.
His justness, the Chief Justice, is the check and balance upon the other areas of government. He is the Custodian of the Liberty of the People, responsible for enforcing his word as he sees fit to ensure that no other part of the government violates it. In practical terms, he ensures that laws do not violate the constitution, interprets the constitution, and acts as a check upon the power of provinces.
Thus far, the Chief Justice has been the most stable member of government, not causing major upsets, missing heirs or being accused of terrorism.
Upon taking office, an heir is appointed for each Triumvir by one of their counterparts, and approved by the Triumvir in question. Should the triumvir die, resign or be removed from office by a vote of no confidence, their heir takes over; and most Triumvirs have their heir assist during their reign. This makes it important that each Triumvir has an heir; the nation was put into some turmoil by the first Emperor being assassinated without yet having declared an heir, leaving a temporary power vacuum. This led to a constitutional ammendment giving citizens the right to elect the heir to a Triumvir in the case of an emergency; or when an heir has not been appointed within a month.
The province of Novatainia has retained the form of government it entered the empire with - a Constitutional Monarchy. The King has the full powers of legislation, jurisdiction and innovation, except that he can be overruled by a law passed by a majority of the Regional Representatives. The Regional Representatives form the backbone of the government, meeting in council to discuss laws and overseeing each region. All of these individuals have the power to appoint lesser leaders below them, and decisions made by them can be appealed to those above them. These powers are defined in the Novatainian Constitution
There are two main oddities within the Novatainian Government; the roles of Joker and Lord Protector. The Joker is laughocratically elected by all Novatainian citizens and functions as the deputy of the King. The joker also oversees the ministries and can issue flaws which must be obeyed by all laughocratic citizens. The Lord Protector, by contrast, is a special role assigned to Lachlan, the founder of Novatainia. It enables him to take over in the absence of the King, and to decide between the King and the Constitution if needs be.
Among the provinces, Novatainia is the one with the most fully developed internal laws and judicial system, with the Disciplinary Council functioning as a provincial police force.
Toketi was founded as a kingdom, and it has remained as such throughout its entire history. The conDoin family ruled the nation for a majority of its life, in fact, the current king, Gerk ronAnaglea, is the first to not be a part of that royal line. Although the country operates mostly through a modern-day feudal type society, the government has usually had firm approval from its citizens. During the reign of Queen Tsunade, regional Dukes who were unhappy with the Queen's rule forced the formation of the House of Lords in order to gain more executive and legislative power. Despite this attempt to gain more power, the House of Lords was hardly ever used. After the Gralan Empire was founded, the power and influence of the Dukes faded rather drastically, and King Gerk disbanded the House of Lords without resistance. Recent secessionist movements in the overseas province of Laranel have caused some concern in the Tokian government, but they have been, for the most part, subdued. Deliberations on how to better integrate and accommodate the people of Laranel are currently near the top of the Tokian government's priorities.
The province of Relaram has probably undergone the most governmental changes and at present has the strongest government of any Gralan province. It is primarily led by an Emperor and Praetor; other roles have come and gone but these two have remained. At present, Relaram is under martial law and citizens live in fear of things that go bump in the night.
Role playing, in various forms, has always been at the centre of the Gralan Empire. Indeed, having an IC government encourages such a move, but it mainly emerged from the majority of Novatainian and Tokish citizens enjoying roleplaying throughout their micronational careers, and this contributing directly to a Gralan love of roleplaying. Roleplaying is often done in connection with magic and recwars, but also just for its own sake, particularly with the creation of the EGaD system.
EGaD (standing for Elements, Grade, and Dominion) is a story-bartering system designed by Bayen to improve Gralan RPs. It allows each participant to nominate a series of story elements (ranging from specific characters to 'the weather') that matter to them, and attach a grade to each one. The grade represents the strength of their interest in that story element. When other participants utilise that story element, the player with the highest grade in that element has dominion, and can choose to impose a condition upon that element's use. The other participant must then either accept the condition, or stop using the element in that manner. This allows for participants to barter in achieving their story goals, and allows the story to flow without annoying people too much by having their key things messed up by other people.
For example, if one participant had dominion in 'Citizens of Novatainia', and another person said, "The cowardly citizens of Novatainia fled from the destruction, unused to standing their ground against foreign oppression," the first person would rightly be annoyed that this completely changes how the citizens of Novatainia have acted before this. He could impose a condition on this action, such as "Only those citizens away from the Regional Representatives are fearful, because the Regional Representatives organise a defence." The other person would either accept this, or stop doing their action.
Gralus is famous Micras over as the leading magic-using nation. Between Toketi and Novatainia, Gralan citizens have been responsible for all the major magical charters to date; MCM, [[SCM], NCM] and CCM. At present work is continuing on two separate magical charters - a scaled system, for use in IC RPing and out of war; and a Points Charter of Magic to replace CCM, for use in war in connection with the Anunia Convention. Magic influences Gralus in four main areas:
As mentioned above, Gralans have been instrumental in designing charters of magic, which strictly define and limit its use during war. Charters in the past have largely defined how magic is practised and who has strong magical powers; with MCM and SCM supporting academies and expeditions; while NCM allowed more freedom in the creation of spells and creatures; and CCM attempted to combine the best elements of these. Regardless of which charter is used, magic is only plausible micronationally if there are some rules defining its use, otherwise chaos and disputes emerge.
Expeditions were the first group storytelling exercise developed on Gralus, and revolve around a band of adventurers/mages travelling somewhere to deal with something. In the beginning, these expeditions were entirely open and the storyline weaved in unexpected directions as each person contributed a paragraph or two. As time went by, specific end points emerged in the minds of magical leaders, including Andreas and Bayen, and overall story arcs emerged. These overall storylines have been organised into cycles, including the Cycle of Hell, revolving around the attempts of demons to invade the world and shut down the Altar, culminating in the Demon War; the Cycle of Fate, involving the Items of Fate and the efforts of Atropos to summon Fate, culminating in the Fated War; and the Cycle of CoD, involving Control of Destiny characters or themes, including microns.
While magical expeditions provided a fun RP outlet, magic really came to its own during its use in wars. Here, modern units such as tanks, aircraft and battleships have fought it off against mages, krakens, demons and the battleground shattering Lords of Magic. The use of magic in recwar obviously requires a careful charter to define its use, and a fair degree of civility between participants. While they have never been attempted internationally, magical wars have been immensely popular and successful within Gralus.
Legends and History
A great deal of history before the founding of Novatainia and Toketi involves magical occurrences, and these have been detailed largely by Andreas. The First Age includes the history of the seven races, the role of St Nova and the eventual triumph of the demons at the fall of the age. The Second Age follows on with the history of the Etruri and the forging of the Items of Fate. The second age petered out at the end and the Third Age was defined not by a cataclysmic event but by a major event on another planet. It is more commonly known as AD.
Recwar has been a common interest to most Gralans, and so recwar has always played a large role within Gralus. Though Gralans have participated in their share of international conflicts, this has mainly been expressed in internal recwarring, particularly constant recwars.
Though the idea of a constant recwar originates with the MRWS, Gralus has been the nation which most implemented this with their various internal constant recwar systems. Within these, all Gralans can raise armies, and Gralan land can be invaded by other Gralans at any time. This started with CITRA (Constant Inter Tokian Recwar Association), where units owned were linked to the economy; then continued with GROWL (Gralan Recreational Ongoing War League), where units were instead linked to land and people. Eventually this became extended internationally with SCOWL (Small Commonwealth Ongoing War League), incorporating Shireroth and Nelaga; but the other nations lacked interest and so Gralus eventually withdrew from SCOWL after a failed attempt at a cross country invasion.
In its later days, SCOWL was being used more for smaller scale skirmishes and roleplaying than full wars; so eventually it was suggested to set up a system focussed more on story telling than war. Out of this idea emerged EGaD, which is currently in use.
Between their forming states, Gralans have participated in four major international recwars. However, their experience of these have been that international recwars are full of disputes, nitpicking, wikipedia surfing and unnecessary disputations, so they now tend to avoid them.
A carrier was dispatched to the War of the Broken Pottery, though the force arrived too late to make much different. A more concerted effort was made in the Lovely War, where Novatainia and Toketi invaded and captured most of Hoboland. They reached a settlement with Lovely before most other participants, and then left the war, but had already managed to earn the enmity of Lord Montague, an enmity which would continue to haunt them.
Novatainia and Toketi also participated in World War 2, a war begun by Jeremy to resolve the summer lull. However, a series of existing treaties meant the war ended up three MI nations (Passas was the third) fighting most of the world. They fought valiantly against such odds; but after Montague blasted the entire town of Uly Point to the ground, killing a hundred thousand civilians; and attacked the Spire (creating the [Central Destruction Zone] in the process); they realised they could not win by force alone. They opted to follow their own victory conditions (including the pirating of several key possessions and the attempts to take Montague down, forestalled by him having a heart attack and dying), and after completing these, to end the war to protect their people from further unnecessary bloodshed.
More success was had in the Jasonian War where Novatainia and Toketi fought to liberate the Jasonian isles to make way for Nelaga. They were quite successful in this respect, even negotiating a truce with Montague's nephew; but their experience was soured by the Imperial Mercenary Empire attacking their homeland in an attempt to divert their attention. The Nelagan independence forces, with Gralan and Shirithian assistance, eventually won the war, but the mercenaries were never brought to justice.
The province of Novatainia occupies the centre north of Apollonia, the island of Sypyr, the Jokerdom Isles in Keltia, and part of the Kendall Isle on the east of Apollonia. It is divided into five main regions, of varying size.
Found on the island also referred to as Sypyr, New Myzoria is now a Region in its own right, though it used to be Novatainia's primary colony (and the only colony governed under the Colony Bill). Due to the Izacar, the bulk of the region was transferred to another plane. It comprises New Myzoria, Old Sypyr and Material Myzoria.
The Jokerdom was once its own nation which was voluntarily annexed into Novatainia. Most of its land exists in other, curiously shaped dimensions, and it is generally a hilarious place.
The smallest region, Glanurchy is a collection of six flying islands that make up an important magical part of Novatainia.
The province of Toketi occupies the north east of Apollonia, the north west of Keltia, the Chelkran Isles and a small colony on the far east of Keltia. It is divided into five realms, Ostshon Kagan, Ëstshon Paran, Grot Kësh, Doshtan Yokutar and Furfein Tosha conMakain.
The Tokish land on north west Keltia forms the region of Laranel. Famous for once seceding but never quite acheiving self governance, Laranel continues to be slightly separate from mainland activities.
The Chelkran Isles are a small but old Tokish holding, home to the famous Prodigy Almighty and the half-bear, half-man Chelkrans.
The small Tokish colony of Kalla was once a self governing province of Gralus, but never got off the ground and returned to the Tokish fold. Some of the islands are now owned by VBNC.
The province of Relaram has land in the far south west of Tapfer, including a small colony. It has five main regions, each of which are small compared to regions in other provinces. The regions are Coldharbour, Malacath, Sanguine, Thorgoehs and Valbrandr. Of these, Sanguine is separate to the rest of the land, a small colony to the north east granted to them by the Lord General.
Gralan culture centres around magic, roleplaying and recwar, which have been elaborated upon above. Other cultural quirks generally involving posting activities.
The Destruction Zone is one of the most recognisable Novatainian cultural icons, where participants can happily fight and destroy eachother without any harmful consequences. It centres around four simple rules.
No killing people
No shooting into the crowd (Yes, there is a crowd)
The Stadium contains whatever you need.
Those four simple rules, and the last sentence, created a cultural icon to last forever.
Tokian Forum Games
The Tokians enjoy a variety of simple forum games, and some attribute their historically high post count (50+) to this.
Novatainians also developed their own posting traditions, etiquette and, occasionally, vocabulary. It is from this we have such famous phrases as "Doing a Monty", "Doing a Jeremy" and "Pulling an Extreme".
Gralus is a founding member of the SCUE, enabling their citizens to easily make transactions with other SCUE nations. The Gralan economy is characterised largely by the completion of requested jobs and use of the SCX developed by VBNC. Though most citizens are wealthy, there are normally not many transactions going on, reflecting an apathy on the part of some citizens towards the economy. Gralus began with the assumption that no taxes would be charged, and this has continued to the present day.