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Imperial Federation

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The Imperial Federation of Ralgon, Valora, Haifa, and Eternia
Flag of Ralgon
Flag
Coat of Arms of Ralgon
Coat of Arms
Motto: For God and Empire
Anthem: Anchors Aweigh
Location of Ralgon
Map versions ???
Capital Gondolin (executive, administrative)
Glacier City (religious, legislative)
Largest city Glacier City, SAR
Official language(s) Ralgonese (official)
Standard (official; regional)
Official religion(s) Draconic
(revolves around a pantheon consisting of eleven gods)
Demonym Imperial
 - Adjective Imperial; Ralgonese
Adrestian; Drag'osian
Government Executive Monarchy
 - Emperor Anari'on I
(formerly called Masamune of Adrestia)
 - Viceroy Nikamura Hawkins, Grand Duke of Gondolin
 - Legislature Imperial Senate
Establishment Winter, 228 AN (traditional)
October 23rd, 1665 AN (as Ralgon on MCS map)
May, 1706 AN (as the Imperial Federation)
Area
Population 256,058,501 (1730 AN, est.)
Active population 1
Currency Imperial Guilder (£)
Calendar Norton Calendar (secular)
Draconic Calendar (religious)
Time zone(s) CMT+8 to +10:30 (Keltia)
CMT-10:30 (Cibola)
Mains electricity 100 V at 50 Hz
Driving side left
Track gauge 1500 mm (freight)
1000 mm (passenger; urban)
National website Category Page
User Page
National forum Old Forum
National animal leviathan
National food crocodile meat
National drink Menelmacari whiskey
National tree Al-Hamra sequoia
Abbreviation IFD

The Imperial Federation of Ralgon, Valora, Haifa, and Eternia, known better as The Imperial Federation, is a set of Imperialist, unified, sovereign states that coalesced in 1706 AN following the Ralgon War of Succession, being reorganized into its present form in 1724 AN following various military and political campaigns aimed at centralizing the empire and its peripheries in the aftermath of recent waves of expansion. The Imperial Federation consists of three constituent countries, in addition to a number of free cities (such as Nova Victoria) and dependencies (such as Imperial Eura). A fourth constituent country, Eternia, was formed from that kingdom and nearby dependencies in 1733 AN, leading to a name change of the country's name.

At present, the Imperial Federation's constituent countries consist of: Greater Ralgon (including, Adrestia, Nixtorm, Scarterra, and Drag'os), Valora (including North Valora, West Valora, Tar-Palantir, and New Ralgon), and, most recently, Haifa Bassaridia (known simply as Haifa, covering majority-Bassarid lands along that strait). While popular sentiment calls for the separation of Ralgon into its original Adrestian and Drag'osian halves, the central government remains resistant to the idea, with different branches residing in both their respective capitals instead as a measure of compromise until a new king of Drag'os is crowned from the Imperial House. This arrangement also survived the reorganization of the country following Eternia joining as a constituent country in 1733 AN.

The original core of what is now the Imperial Federation was formed from the Kingdom of Adrestia, founded in 1675 AN, and the Kingdom of Drag'os, which existed as a unified polity under the Holy Ralgon Empire after c. 1655 AN. Adrestia's first ruler (and the progenitor of the current Emperor) was Masamune of House Adrestia, crowned as Emperor Anari'on at the age of 5 AN years in 1706, shortly before their complete victory in a succession struggle over the Imperial Crown, after the death of its holder, Ralgon Emperor Shiro I the year prior. The Empire is governed under the tenets of Draconic Humanism, a combined religion and political ideology, which forms the basis of rule throughout the empire.

The Empire holds an estimated population of 256,058,501 in the 1730 AN census, up from the previous estimate of 242,197,356 reported to the Raspur Pact authorities in 1723 AN, in addition to another 8 million living in recently incorporated Eternia. The Imperial Federation is the fifth-most populated country on Micras, with some 52% of the country's population on the island of Drag'os alone, and another 29% living on Adrestia. The Empire's largest city, the metropolis of Glacier City, serves as the cultural and religious center of the Imperial Federation, and its wealthiest economic hub, in rivalry with the Imperial captial of Gondolin for the title. Glacier City is also one of the world's largest and most populous cities, with approximately 47,380,000 living in its legally defined area on the far eastern end of the same island in 1730 AN. The Imperial Court sits at Gondolin, with Glacier City acting as a second capital and the seat of the Imperial Senate due to its profound religious importance.

The Imperial Federation shares few land borders with others on its island territories, most of those borders being old exclaves belonging to others during the Imperial Federation's expansions near its core settlements following the rise of the then-principality of Adrestia in the decades following 1680 AN. In its heartland in South Island, it shares a land border with a tiny exclave of Çakaristan's possession of Tarria. The Imperial Federation's most notable land border on Cibola is with Mondosphere to the south on the Cibola mainland, as a result of the subsequent partitions that followed the Conquest of Valora in 1715 AN. Since the Imperial Federation's expansion onto the Keltian mainland after 1695 AN, they also border Nouvelle Alexandrie on the east coast of mainland Keltia, and hold sovereign base areas near Windsor, a colony of Lac Glacei. The Imperial Federation also shares certain Mala territories in condominium with Lac Glacei in the same region. The constituent country of Haifa Bassaridia, to the north on the mainland, borders Anahuaco to the east, The Green on the west, and Bassaridia Vaeringheim to the northwest. Eternia has a short land border on an uninhabitable section of tundra only with Etourney, via an exclave in its frigid northeast coast.

The new Imperial Federation's government was formed from a union of the victorious factions of the Ralgon War of Succession, and more recently from the Conquest of Valora that saw the final reunification of the Ralgon states, albeit this time under a much larger empire. While Drag'osian factions lost the war, those with Ralgonese ancestry still control most of the government due to their huge population (compared with much of the rest of the empire), with minority control being only at regional levels. Ralgonese people form the majority population in the unified Adrestia and Drag'os territories (as well as most of present-day Valora, with Glacier City holding equal status as Gondolin as one of the Imperial Federation's two imperial cities. Most the empire's territories are directly formed around these two polities. Nixtorm, now a large territory, remained loyal and sent troops to fight, and was awarded its own place in the new Imperial Senate. The same happened with Scarterra, the northern half of which was repatriated to Ralgon following a major land swap with Calbion that restored all of its former territories, along with the Badlands and the freeport region of Duro. The infant government applied to join the Raspur Pact, due to the very strong influence of Draconic Humanism and National humanism within its highest ranks, while relations with neighboring Calbion have continued to significantly warm under the new government, after years of animosity following the terrorist attack on Glacier City at the hands of the Iron Company in 1673 AN.

Despite the military power it commands, the Imperial Federation's reach does not extend in significant force outside of its home regions, with few exceptions (such as its presence at the International Mandate and its increasing influence over Eternia, which it reached a complex annexation deal with in 1733 AN. The current government likewise remains relatively new to the international sphere, and juggles its meteoric rise with the increasingly pressing need to conduct diplomacy with the other powers of Micras using limited resources to govern a very far-flung empire. Until the later half of the decade following 1720 AN, the Imperial Federation faced the battled overextension in Keltia's deep interior, especially Imperial Haifa, with the region's slow pacification and meaningful integration into the central government being the more effective cure than mass recruitment and even further expansion of the already-large defense industry. To remedy their chronic extension problems in its most remote regions, the Imperial government approved measures to join the Raspur Pact in late 1706 AN to counter its weakness in an army and air force that still remain relatively small for a nation of this size. Although the Imperial Federation joined few other supranational organizations, it nonetheless made paradoxical moves to adopt a largely peaceful coexistence with its neighbors and upgrading its military might, to defeat its issues of controlling such a large amount of maritime territory and maintaining free, safe trade throughout its now-vast maritime empire. Recent years have been characterized by the accelerated population and development of its mainland Keltian territories as it fully integrates ethnically Bassarid and more remote Menelmacari peoples and territories into its dominions.

Etymology

The Imperial Federation of Ralgon, Valora, and Bassaridia takes its name as a collective of older polities that have made up the modern empire since approximately 1665 AN, when it was first included as Ralgon on the MCS map. So-called "Greater Ralgon" consists of the two Ralgonese states of Adrestia and Drag'os, and are considered as the same greater polity under Imperial law due to their shared sovereign. The name changed in 1723 AN, albeit unofficially, to reflect the inclusion of most former Bassarid homelands into the Empire, and the increased dependence of Tar-Palantir on its surrounding provinces. Should it incorporate Eternia into the fold, due to Valora's deep integration and dependence on other states, the Imperial Federation is set to rename itself to the Imperial Federation of Ralgon, Bassaridia, and Eternia to reflect the independence of its multipolar empire.

Ralgonese Peoples

The Ralgon name comes from a combination of "Ral," the name of the people which originated in what is now Stormhold, and "gon" which denotes a people, or a sense of belonging in the ancient Ralgonese language. The homeland of the Ralgonese peoples is a territory called Stormhold, itself located on Drag'os, a large island territory that dominates northern Cibola. As for Drag'os itself, it takes its name after the fire god worshipped in the Draconic religion. According to local mythology, it was a reincarnation of Drag'os who founded the first Ralgon state in Stormhold, which itself takes its name from an early ruler who preferred to worship Glaur'on, the god of water, wisdom, and storms.

After the unification of the Ralgonese and ethnically related nations on Drag'os in 1655, Nobunag'an IV of Ralgon commissioned expeditions to colonize a group of islands near Keltia to expand the empire's territory in case of further natural disasters at home, a near-daily occurrence on Drag'os. Adrestia itself was named after one of the early great saints of the Draconic Church, and like the Ralgonese on Drag'os, Adrestia came to likewise rule over the entirety of its own region. It is from the two Ralgonese peoples that the Imperial Federation draws its present strength, authority, and legitimacy over its other dominions across the Great Western Ocean.

Other Dominions

Nixtorm's history is almost as old as Ralgon was, and the origins of its formerly tribal name are now lost to history. It is thought that Nixtorm was a primordial word for the people of the Stormlands, due to the wet climate on Drag'os's eastern seaboard. These peoples took the name with them when they relocated to southeast Keltia following the first Ralgon Civil War in 1685. They retained loyalty to their Ralgonese cousins to the present day.

Valora is a collection of provinces on the mainland of Cibola as well as the island of Tar-Palantir. Formerly its own country, its much more populated northern half was annexed following the Ralgon War of Succession in the early 1700's.

Scarterra is, loosely, a collection of two separated provinces, thanks to an exodus of its peoples following the 1685 crisis, which saw much of the island overrun with disasters, geological and otherwise. The province was reformed on Drag'os following the island's reunification in the early 1700's. Dubbed "New Scarterra," in the Isles of Eriador (near South Island), this houses a number of the barons that chose to establish and maintain their domains overseas. Scarterra proper consists in great part of returnees from what is now known as Inis Balar following the mainland's repatriation. Since then, both areas have been populated heavily with Menelmacari and other Ralgonese ethnic groups in the following years, leading to a minority-"native" population there.

Tar-Palantir is an island named after the ancient Menelmacari traditions, some of which Tar-Palantir's colonizers have begun to revive in recent years. The island's namesake was a ruler of the Ralgonese state of Stormhold, and served as one of the founders of what would form the core of modern Drag'osian government until the recent Ralgon War of Succession in 1705-1707 AN. Other such influences are found throughout the Imperial Federation's holdings on Keltia, where many cities are named after mythological people or objects from Menelmacari histories uncovered since the revival of interest in the early 1700's AN. The island's majority ethnicity consists of a mixed Valoran and Menelmacari heritage, with political leanings to the former despite the latter's heavy linguistic and cultural influences.

History

The Early Period (228 AN - 1178 AN)

Also known as the Dark Ages, this was period of factionalism and endless crises for Ralgon. History from this period is scarce, although certain pieces do survive. For instance, the Ralgonese tribes dispersed throughout modern-day Drag'os, and by 1200 AN were a single polity that was situated in a strategic location in the south-center of the island. The chief enemies of the period were primarily the hostile fauna, notably the dragons. While the insectoid lifeforms of the Great Swamp were a dire threat, they were, by and large, manageable by this time. The lightning dragons were, however, a far different story, for they were responsible for the near-extinction of the Ralgonese peoples on the island on several occasions, the worst by far being in 228 AN, before which recorded history apparently does not survive outside of modern Glacier City, the mountainous environment in which the locals found life-saving shelter. The current principal Ralgonese ruling tribes descend from those same refugees who eventually spread throughout the island in the next thousand years.

It was around the year 800 AN that the nascent Draconic religion was first recorded being adopted by Ralgonese chieftains and petty rulers. Archaeological evidence concludes that Draconic originated in the Badlands to the northwest of the island, where (ironically) the dragons lived in the highest concentrations. Outside of religious proselytization, events were largely cyclical throughout the island until the year 1178 AN, with the eastern and western portions maintaining no contact, with the Ralgonese nobility eventually finding their way into the courts of other territories in a bid to consolidate the region against the dragons and Great Swamp "bugs" (gigantic insectoid species of a wide variety). However, a major dragon attack by an elder lightning dragon and its retinue destroyed most of the nobility, and the region in the east experienced a violent political reset, while the west was so devastated by the dragon attacks that its peoples fell entirely out of contact with the rest of the world until nearly 1680 AN.

The slowly modernizing Glacier City survived the onslaught, as did certain nobility in the environs of Valeria in the most well-defended areas of Stormhold. It was shortly after this catastrophe that the first universities began to appear in the country, some being relics of old conflicts, now solidified and given "universal" privileges to act as education institutions. For institutions that survive to the point, such as the University of Glacier City, these same organizations' origins are typically tied to Draconic Temples in their respective cities, only detaching centuries later as each entity grew too large for the other to reasonably house or manage. The attacks, while devastating on the frontier populations and the inland dwellers, forced a population concentration and accelerated the region's rapid onset of industrialization (and better defenses).

The Intermediate Period (1178 AN - 1655 AN)

The Intermediate Period was defined by the initiation of the Great Swamp Wars in earnest to take back the inland regions and relieve agricultural pressure on the rapidly growing population, as fishing could only sustain so many people, despite the abundant waters and large prey items that the fishing industry could readily target. By the time 1200 AN rolled around, these wars had begun in earnest, with each of the various surviving eastern polities on Drag'os attempting to assert their own control away from the coastal regions and into the fertile, well-watered lands between the coast and the Great Swamp. Exploration during these times was limited to the eastern half of the island, due to the Great Divide to the west acting as too great a physical barrier, especially with hostile dragons inhabiting the region.

Overall, the Great Swamp Wars, were the series of long-term conflicts that formed both the definition and basis of the Ralgon nation until c. 1680 AN. The so-called "War" was neither a single conflict, nor was it fought between nations. Instead, it was a conflict fought between the peoples inhabiting the island of Drag'os and the megafauna of various sorts that inhabited the Badlands, which were divided into eastern and western halves by the Great Divide (itself a series of mountain ranges that divided the island in two). The War may be divided into four phases marked by significant events: The Atomic Bombardment of 1450, the Dark Age, the Atomic Bombardment of 1672, and the Western Campaign of 1680.

The initial phases of the conflict lasted until c. 1400 AN, with modernizing weapons enabling the surviving polities of Stormhold, Nixtorm, Scarterra, and others to compete directly with the most dangerous fauna inland for natural resources. However, their pathological hostility towards humans and the high reproduction replaced losses while inflicting grievous setbacks on the Ralgonese defenders. A stalemate was achieved until Stormhold manufactured an atomic device that it successfully deployed in the depths of the Great Swamp in the year 1450 AN, which wiped out the dragon population on the eastern half of the island, almost to the last creature. However, the atomic blast had existentially dangerous consequences: it irradiated the already-large bugs, and permanently drove most lightning dragons into lifelong killing frenzies that nearly, again, wiped out all life on the island. The only thing saving them was, ironically, more nukes until their store had run dry. Making a resolution to never use fissile warheads again, the idea was seemingly set aside permanently to sustain the growing tide of giant bugs now crawling out of the Great Swamp in record numbers. While a stalemate was eventually reached once again, the Ralgonese were still driven even closer to the coast, and the population situation eventually began to deteriorate despite extremely high fertility rates among women.

The tides began to slowly turn under the reign of Nobunag'an IV of Ralgon, whose clan and subordinate tribes initially controlled only the coastal fringes of what is now Stormhold. After the Ralgon tribes colonized and settled the fertile and secure valleys and coastlines at the far east end of the island, the settlement known as Glacier City quickly grew to dwarf its mother country in population due to a general lack of hardship. By the time Nobunag'an came into power in 1594 AN, The resulting boost in manpower and territory propelled the Ral clans to form the Ralgon nation, which slowly forced their way north and east to link up with other peoples in the region, most notably those from what used to be the regions of Nixtorm, Aurora, and Scarterra. With their forces and technology combined, the new Ralgon state went on to defeat the enemy, with Nobunag'an IV going down in history as the man who saved his people from extinction. The country would eventually modernize enough to deploy a non-fissile atomic weapon in 1672 AN, near the end of Nobunag'an's reign, in time for Shiro I of Ralgon to come in to ostensibly finish the job.

Late Ralgon Period (1655 AN - 1706 AN)

The Ralgon of the late period eventually grew into a quasi-feudal empire that remained closed to the world until c. 1655 AN. The Ralgon Empire has heavily influenced and/or governed the entire island of Dragos (known to the wider world as "El Dorado") for its first two centuries, and despite attempts to colonize and control more hospitable lands abroad, internal crises ranging from overpopulation in Glacier City to difficulties controlling the hinterland proved to be its eventual downfall. After having initially consolidated diplomatic control of most of the island (and at great cost), the Ralgon Empire developed some of the world's most advanced science, engineering, and medicine, which it used to briefly take over the island in a "manifest destiny" style of expansion. This golden age proved ephemeral, however. From 1680 AN to 1700 AN the central Ralgon government lost almost its entire frontier and nearly two-thirds of its heartlands in Drag'os in quick succession to a series of cataclysmic events during the so-called Crisis of the 1680's (which affected many other major such as Frankish Empire, Stormark, and others). Some of these same physical, natural, and economic upheavals spurred the government into military/political disasters as the Ralgon Civil War and the Cibolan Reconquista.

Due to this series of military and political disasters, the central government also slowly lost its grip on its colonies, which continued to grow rapidly in size and population, sometimes at their mother country's expense. Power struggles at home and endless wars were waged abroad on mainland Cibola in a desperate effort for the Empire to hold onto its remaining authority, but to little avail. The Ralgon state was reduced to a mere shadow of itself on its own homeland, having shrunk some 80 percent, with foreign powers such as the Bassarid Empire and Calbion occupying parts of Drag'os during the ensuing few decades, this occupation being a cause of public shaming for the already-weak government. These wars continued until the Holy Ralgon Empire's final recognized Emperor, Shiro I of Ralgon, formally declared that he would bequeath his crown in an otherwise illegal act to the Prince of Adrestia upon his death. This managed to stave off the undead in northern Cibola and the various rebelling clans and tribes remaining in the newly created in The Green now surrounding Ralgon on all sides.

The central government barely continued to hold authority under this agreement until shortly after the unexpected illness and death of Emperor Shiro to a very rare and aggressive form of cancer in 1704 AN. In a state of confusion and caught unprepared against this sudden development, the central government found itself leaderless and Adrestia with only a child on the throne. In the power struggle that immediately followed, the central government rallied around the Imperial Senate. In a closed-door ceremony, the majority of the Dragosian-based Senators deliberately excluded their more powerful colonies and nominated their own candidate in Prince Draegar Ral. This immediately triggered a civil conflict wherein pro-Adrestian and pro-Senate forces vied for control over imperial authority. While the pro-Adrestian faction remained mostly united throughout the war, the pro-Senate faction divided almost immediately due to the dubious circumstances behind both contenders' claim to the Imperial Throne, with Glacier City's defection to Adrestian interests and a following political purge in the city proving the trigger for the civil war to begin.

After the defection of Glacier City, much of Dragon's Reach, Nova Victoria, and the massive naval infrastructure that all of these provided, the war quickly proved to be one-sided in favor of the now-powerful maritime empire the Ralgons had originally built abroad. The new government of the Empire took shape out of these factions, with Glacier City taking pre-eminent authority over Drag'os due to Stormhold's desire to remain pro-Senate. The island's heavily defensible terrain rapidly lead to a slow grind in the land war for Adrestian naval forces, which weren't used to fighting wars deep inland. The pro-Adrestian military forces grossly underperformed in mainland Cibola, where the remainders of the pro-Draeg'ar Senate eventually relocated, and in deep inland parts of Drag'os and the mountainous frontiers deep inside of the recently conquered Tar-Palantir island territories. However, the front was extremely one-sided for Adrestian forces inland, and the lines formed along the interiors of the empire's Cibolan territories as fighting dragged to a stalemate along the few remaining active fronts. The Ralgon War of Succession lasted nearly two years, until the Holy Ralgon Empire finally fell to pro-Adrestian forces, whose diplomats and troops went on to win political victories. The near-total military victory at home, following the complete restoration by diplomacy of former Ralgonese territories in the heartland, finally crushed what little determination organized Senate resistance had left to fight.

Early Years of the Federation (1706 AN-1715 AN)

With the end of the war came the prices that needed to be paid for victory. While the pro-Adrestian forces found themselves with near-total victory, the casualty count was high and they still lost the inland territories of mainland Cibola to the opposing camps. The remainder of the Senate needed to be dealt with, and the government of Drag'os rebuilt after the model of Draconic Humanism, which was going to be a long and costly process. The Adrestian Navy had ranged this entire region of the world flushing out and destroying resistance among anti-Imperial factions, and this was a difficult task to accomplish in far-flung territories like Dragospire and Ryugawa. However, their efforts were far from pointless, as the now-Imperial Federation Navy had uncontested control of its seas, albeit at the cost of terrible overextension (for which it eventually compensated by abandoning certain remote outposts).

The Imperial Federation quickly found that it had greatly overextended due to unprecedented territorial gains. With a massive empire to run, the central government was forced to consolidate its vast holdings, but it would not abandon territories outside of its historic periphery pointlessly. Instead, deals were reached with Calbion at the end of 1706 during the closing phases of the Ralgon War of Succession to trade off their strategic island colonies off northwest Keltia, as well as the greater half of the baronies of Scarterra (which were compensated with large holdings elsewhere in the empire), for the last remaining foreign territory on the Ralgonese homelands. Following this huge political victory, though, the vast majority of the people of Scarterra emigrated to other portions of the empire, following their respective lords or barons. The exceptions were a great part of those civilians who stayed in the Dragospire territory, many of whom became Calbain subjects, having sympathized with the Senatorial forces. However, this overextension of Imperial military assets was to be felt for years to come, with the Imperial Navy unable to extend the Army's reach farther than the already-vast holdings controlled by the centers of power in Gondolin and Glacier City.

The legacy of Emperor Shiro was felt throughout the Empire, and the concept of open rebellion so soon after his death raised a specter of national guilt that needed to be quashed. Thanks to the efforts of the central government's propaganda machine (rumored to be helped by humanist organizations elsewhere), the war was spun as protecting the late Emperor's legacy and fulfilling his hard-fought dream with him as a guardian spirit of sorts, rather than spurning it with such a radical change of government. With these changes afoot, the Imperial Federation was forced to be relatively quiet in world affairs, with the notable exception of the Ludwiggian-Monovian War, which saw Imperial forces send materiel to help Raspur Forces deliver a strong conclusion to the fighting.

Post-War Expansions (1715-1733 AN)

Conquest of Valora (1715-1718)
Main article: Conquest of Valora

The Imperial Federation had bided its time wisely, although this was completely unknown to the Emperor, now a teenager, never mind his government, which had done its best to combat Imperial overextension of military assets in the few years following the Imperial victory over the rump state now known as Valora 1706 AN, the latter ironically consisting only in small part of formal Valoran territory, with the rest being Ralgonese holdings under central government control in name only in most places.

The peace generated by the stalemate was only an illusion, however. The two states were, at least formally, still in a state of war with each other, although Draegarist loyalists to the south were questioning the reasoning for this to begin with. The Ralgon Reconquista and its prior Cibolan Reconquista were still official government policy, on both sides now. With the abandonment of northern Cibola by Sanama in 1717, the Imperial Federation was, temporarily, given leave to do whatever they wanted at the flank of "New Ralgon", the initial territory formed by the Draegarist government as a buffer between their new capital of Yixing and the considerable naval forces prowling at every major coast of the country.

The Imperial Federation, strengthened by its military expansion in the past ten years, knew exactly what to do and how to respond. They launched a flanking invasion from the freshly liberated "New Cibola" (nicknamed because of the new populations from old cities on Drag'os), and before a year was out, effective military movements and a few key battles were effectively all it took for the Imperial Federation's military juggernaut, with Raspur backing, to trigger the weakened Valora's near-total collapse outside of its heartland deep in Cibola's interior. While the Imperial Federation could only content itself with Valora's northern half and western coastlines, this was still exactly what they wanted, as they secured the unclaimed Green for themselves in the process and left Valora's remaining territory to be absorbed by Mondo in an act of self-preservation.

Post-Conquest Expansions (1718-1721)

Main article: Operation Icebox
Main article: Imperial Eura

The Imperial Federation's efforts to expand off the coast of Eura was, by comparison to Valora, far easier and significantly more uneventful. However, securing sovereignty over parts of the new territories eventually carried a significant financial price tag that stung the Imperial Court's efforts to fully develop these new territories for several years. Authority had long collapsed in the region, but aside from low-threat pirates, hostile forces were scarcely found, with most of the regions' populations welcoming the return of security and prosperity to the islands off the coast of Eura. Named the Forgotten Isles in the years leading up to it, the only presence of authority over the past five years in the area was a very large Imperial Navy base centered on the port city of Farquat.

From this centralized base, the Imperial Federation quickly consolidated what it was now calling "Imperial Eura," which was just a collection of islands off the southern coast of the continent. The region quickly gained renewed strategic importance following first contact with a nation to the far south of Micras, known to the Imperials as "Frigia" (which turned out later to be simply the western portion of that country). While the islands were initially inhabited by only a few thousand people, they were located directly between the Imperial bases south of Eura and Tapfer farther to the west. Meanwhile, their position next to a new trading partner made acquiring these islands peacefully a top priority of the Imperial Court. Details aside, the natives eventually agreed to sell the islands outright, but charged the Imperial Federation a significant price, which included a hefty sum of hard currency, as well as large modernization investments on part of the Imperials, as both had major priorities of their own in building the region's peripheries to a modern standard.

Main article: Imperial Haifa

In terms of economic and military might, the Imperial Federation had reached yet another plateau of power and prosperity following the annexation of Valora following the Conquest. Having freed the majority of its now battle-tested personnel, the Imperial Court sought to give their soldiers something to keep themselves sharpened on, as well as a way to integrate formerly Valoran soldiers into the Imperial armed forces. The opportunity quickly came for both the small Imperial Federation Army and the brown water elements of the Imperial Federation Navy to test their mettle on an entirely new front: Haifa. Unfortunately, they got more than they initially bargained for in these efforts.

The region had fallen apart in the wake of the Bassarid Empire's collapse of authority in the region by 1718 AN. Given the meteoric rise in importance of the Strait of Haifa to maritime trade between the Imperial Federation and its far-northern neighbors in Normark, the Imperial Federation quickly occupied strategic points in the region, hoping to expand their influence and instill order in the region after models successfully implemented in places like Tar-Palantir, Valora, and elsewhere in the Empire. However, these efforts were almost immediately forced to a slow grind by the Confederation of the Dispossessed. The situation was not helped by a strained treasury, as the Imperial Court was also focused on building the new Euran and Trans-Euran territories in North Frigia and Imperial Eura, and rebuilding New Ralgon and North Valora.

In the midst of these operations and significant financial investments in building (or rebuilding) its recent gains, the Imperial Federation's expansions slowed down, as it continued to focus its military operations on construction, securing the seas, and otherwise hammering away at the Haifan situation. Peace would not come to the latter for several years. The slowdown of Imperial expansion was interrupted by the full consolidation and recognition by the MCS of its consolidation of the Imperial Federation's Euran territories.

Modern Period (1722-)

Extended Regency Period (1722-1727)

The Imperial Federation entered 1722 AN with renewed vigor. It had sent the Emperor Anarion to university at Metzler University in 1719 with the intention of education the already-powerful leader in statecraft, economics, and other vital skills for his station. He spent his time there learning how the Shireithians reintegrated their now-vast holdings in the early 1700's, with the expectation to apply those lessons to the Imperial Federation, which went through a similar period of dramatic expansion only recently. After his marriage to Qasima Çakar in 1720, the relevant authorities jointly agreed that Qasima would join her new husband in Shirekeep to attend the same university so as to keep the couple together. The Emperor turned 21 in 1722 AN, and would otherwise have formally taken power at Gondolin. However, he extended the Regency by two years as he wished to complete his studies abroad. The Emperor is scheduled to graduate in 1723, where he will remain in the city until his wife graduates that next year. He is expected to spend time strengthening ties between the Imperial Federation and other members of the Raspur Pact during his time abroad, until he travels to another center of Raspur Pact power for graduate studies. He is expected to extend the Regency once more until 1726, but this remains a subject of speculation.

The Imperial Federation conducted pauses on its territorial expansion during this time to further consolidate its far-flung holdings throughout Micras. Although the Imperial Federation aimed for great power status and could theoretically achieve this through its thalassocratic doctrine, its army and air force remained comparatively small for a country of that size and scope across the oceans. The military situation over the prior several years brought this weakness into sharp relief, and the Imperial Federation spent more time consolidating territorial gains and encouraging settlement to stabilize (and possibly even expand) its farthest-flung frontiers in Keltia and elsewhere. Deep in the Keltian interior, military situation stabilized on the resurgence of a new Bassarid state (albeit greatly reduced) in Bassaridia Vaeringheim. In this sense, the long-running policy of peaceful integration of formerly Bassarid peoples (whether or not recently annexed) slowly paid off. The takeover of that country stabilized the military situation to the Strait of Haifa's west bank, allowing the Imperials to cement and legitimize their hold on the so-called "Central Zone" (south and east of Lake Monovia). This in turn allowed them to continue their extraterritorial expeditions on the Haifan East Bank, allowing them to retain and stabilize the region over the next few years.

Emperor Anarion ascended to formally take personal power in 1727 AN, after he chose to briefly delay his return, having finished his studies at Metzler University in international affairs at Shirekeep. Instead of immediately returning home, however, he embarked on a grand tour in Shireroth in late 1726 AN with his wife, in which he learned more of the greater empire's system of governance, which he intended to partially implement on his return. His coronation was held on New Year's Day, 1727 AN, in a lavish ceremony.

Reign of Emperor Anarion

Pacification of Imperial-held Bassaridia was achieved by 1728 AN, by which time the Imperial Federation was able to focus on integrating its other far-flung territories, especially those near Eternia. Otherwise, the initial years of the Emperor's reign were characterized by a period of stability and quiet in the internal government, as well as integrating formerly antagonist elements back into Imperial society, in an effort to close the chapters on the previous civil wars permanently. The following years would be spent quietly, with slower movements on a military aspect, instead with the Imperial government focused on consolidating control through building infrastructure and supply chains to both redevelop the region and give freedom of movement to its labor force, and strengthen military capabilities by drastically shortening the armed forces' supply chains throughout the region. This was accomplished through 1730 AN, by which time the region slowly stabilized into a larger, consolidated bloc covering most of inland Keltia along the Haifa strait, from the northern Bassarid-majority areas to the increasingly diverse populations of the Northwest Territory (now called West Menelmacar), centered on Blore Heath and other settlements.

In the far-flung region of Eternia, preparations were underway to integrate the protectorate's economy with its formerly northern frontiers, and with Imperial Eura. With the expansion of trade within the region following Oportia's expansion, the Imperial Federation's island territories off the coast of Eura further increased in economic and strategic importance. With both territories slowly sinking into Imperial control, annexation would become a quiet subject of conversation within the halls of power. While there was little enthusiasm for direct action by 1730 AN, given the Emperor Anarion's own focus squarely on strengthening Imperial infrastructure, particularly within the northwestern regions, there was merit in integrating these valuable domains into a so-called "Greater Eternia," under the imperial banner.

1730's Economic Boom

In the former Valora region, efforts to reintegrate the region continued apace, with the mixing of the Valoran and Ralgonese populations forming a supermajority of (non-undead) inhabitants in the region. Centered around Nova Victoria, it would form effectively another core Ralgon province by the opening of the 1730's AN. Cross-border migration with South Valora continued through these years, with subsections of North Valora's more conservative Valorans wary of the prospect of complete assimilation with their Ralgonese brethren. However, these figures did little to impact popular sentiment, due to the return of normalcy to the region under Imperial auspices. With prosperity no longer a pipe dream for most of the population, but increasingly accessible to those outside the ruling class, anti-Imperial sentiment remained minimal throughout this period, contributing to a period of quiet the region had not seen since the brief Barbary period some 50 years prior. The area would be effectively reintegrated with the rest of Ralgonese-populated regions by 1735 AN.

Internal expansion would follow into the 1730's, with the increasing growth of periphery regions leading to a heavy population boom throughout the Empire. Increasing industrialization in the provinces and near-complete restoration of infrastructure in the Haifa regions contributed to not only a greatly increased output of manufactured goods, but the development of vast, valuable farmlands along the entire Strait of Haifa region. With mass interchanges of peoples between the various provinces and dominions, the demographic changes saw the Imperial Federation become more cosmopolitan throughout the early 1730's. In turn, this contributed to a renewal of Imperial Federation military strength, namely in ships and aircraft used to protect trade and territorial interests in far-flung places like Eura.

This increased political and economic strength was especially felt on the peripheries, and the effect was that the Imperial Federation's central government became far more capable of administering its less densely populated territories. With an increasing presence on, and influence over, Eternia, the decision to entertain proposals for annexation were finally entertained by both parties for the first time. Eventually, a complex agreement was made to annex the region by the end of 1733 AN, in which the Eternian islands could be consolidated with most of Imperial Eura, then collectively given autonomy similar to that of other Provinces of the Empire. While Eternia would keep its local monarchy on its mainland, the newly constituted "Greater Eternia" would nonetheless name the Imperial Federation as its formal suzerain and send representatives to the Senate, and name Anarion as Emperor of Eternia. Thus, the islands would be able to fully benefit from Raspur Pact membership, as well as direct representation within the greater empire.

Government

Defence

Foreign Relations

A member of the Raspur Pact since 1706 AN, the Imperial Federation is a regional great power, with control over much of Northern Cibola and Southeast Keltia by 1720 AN, with heavily populated colonies in other regions such as the far south of Eura and Haifa. The Imperial Federation actively pursues aspirations to attain great power status. While the Imperial Navy grants a near-global reach that contributes to a considerable overseas empire, the central government has found itself incapable of nearly the same level of power projection in matters involving primarily land operations outside of Cibola, eastern Keltia, and in proximity to its holdings on Eura. With a rapidly growing population, the Imperial Federation grew to over 250 million inhabitants as of 1730 AN, thanks in part to a continuously booming economy under the current Emperor Anarion, high fertility, and territorial expansion into heavily populated regions through the 1720's. The Imperial Federation enjoys a strong industrial sector, advanced military (especially their navy), and cutting edge feats of engineering into the present day.

However, the Imperial Federation's rise to global prominence has only occurred in the years following its now-current government's victory in the Ralgon War of Succession, having been almost entirely confined to coastal waters for most of their existence on the MCS map, especially after the 1680's crises. With the Imperial Federation only recovering from its overextension after the Conquest of Valora through the 1710's and 1720's, the nation has tended to operate on the global stage in concert with other Raspur Pact powers. Additionally, the scope of the Imperial Federation's foreign affairs is, largely, limited to interactions within the Raspur Pact. These are major issues that the Imperial government has attempted to prepare the new Emperor, Anarion, to address on his planned ascension to formally rule the country by 1725 AN. However, the new Emperor's favored policies remained those of a modest pace of territorial expansion, focusing instead on internal development and allowing the empire's power projection capabilities to catch up to long-term economic, human, and territorial gains over the past two decades.

Alongside its membership in the Pact, the Imperial Federation enjoys warm relations through other countries as well, including Cakaristan, which signed a marriage pact in which Qasima Cakar married the Emperor in 1720 AN. Additionally, the Emperor is, by virtue of his marriage, a member of the Order of the Holy Lakes, although he has not been observed openly exercising privileges associated with this title.

Military Matters

Main article: Raspur Pact

The thalassocratic history of the Imperial Federation may be traced to Adrestia, which built the vast majority of its own military power through its navy. Meanwhile, Ralgon had built up its power with its massive array of cutting-edge artillery and anti-air defense systems, accounting for the Great Swamp War and the campaign against the island's incredibly dangerous dragon population. With the majority of the country's ground forces tied down in domestic pacification, the navy became the new Imperial Federation's mainstay in maintaining hegemony over its often-sparsely populated frontiers. Membership in the Raspur Pact provided a convenient solution to these pressing questions, allowing the Imperials to continue focusing its ground forces on domestic matters, while constantly assisting with operations with its increasingly large, experienced, and powerful navy.

The Imperial Federation also has agreements signed with Eternia, with the latter being a de facto protectorate of the Imperial Federation through shared maritime defense networks in the region. The relationship gave the Imperial Federation a strong trading network to rare minerals, but also additional justifications for settling the isles south of Eura with a very rapidly-growing colony. Eternia was subsequently annexed as a Kingdom of the Imperial Federation in 1733 AN.

Dynastic Policies

Historically, the Ralgonese ruling houses had little dynastic connections to foreign royalty. With rapidly dwindling numbers past 1680 AN with its various crises, abdications, reforms, and stripping of titles, the now-Imperial House eventually found itself bereft of members to marry off. Eventually, only the Emperor himself was a major asset in this regard. Because of this two-fold problem, the Regency Council in 1715 AN decided firmly that the Imperial Federation's ruling house should belong to a prestigious network. The government conducted inquiries, therefore, and began looking for partners outside of its usual sphere of diplomatic affairs.

Eventually, an offer was settled between the Shahanshah of Çakaristan, Jaaguzan. Under the auspices of this agreement, Anarion married Qasima Çakar, the daughter of Akbar Çakar (the former ruler of Çakaristan and Jodha Avchat. The marriage took place in 1720 AN, when Anarion was 19 and Qasima was 18. The two then traveled to Shirekeep for university studies, placing the matter of offspring until Anarion's formal coronation and assumption of full-time duties as Emperor by 1726 AN. By extension, Anarion also became a Knight of the Lakes, forming a strong family-based connection with Hurmu as well. The two have five children as of 1733 AN.

Economy

Science & Technology

Geography

Position on Micras

On Micras, the majority of the Imperial Federation's holdings and population centers are concentrated in two places: Southeast Keltia (so-called "Greater Adrestia"), and Northern Cibola (especially Drag'os, known to past cartographers as El Dorado). In addition to its traditional heartlands, the Imperial Federation holds extensive territory in those same regions and, through a network of regional and global alliances and treaties with neighbors, enjoys hegemony over increasingly well-defined maritime regions between these territorial concentrations. As such, the Imperial Federation has many maritime neighbors on Micras, the most extensive of such borders being with Calbion, which coexists with the Imperials on both the Keltia and Cibola oceans in their respective areas of influence. The Imperial Federation also controls a concentration of colonies abroad, notably concentrated off the southern coast of Eura (namely called Imperial Eura, including large islands near the protectorate of Eternia as well).

Greater Adrestia holds in its orbit territories on the southeast corners of Keltia, with inland holdings as far as Haifa and as far down the coast as Nixtorm. The maritime territory between Adrestia, Nixtorm, and Blore Heath are possessed almost in their entirety by the Imperials. However, two exceptions exist: Windsor, a colony of Lac Glacei, and an exclave of Çakaristan's called Tarria, both being native reservations, and extremely small in size compared to nearby Imperial populations, territorial holdings, and military installations. (As such, they are not considered a security risk, although the central government has made their peaceful incorporation through purchase or exchange a core part of its long-term agenda in recent years.)

The Imperial Federation's sway over portions of Northern Cibola are far better defined. Drag'os, from its megalopolis in Glacier City, controls both its home island as well as Tar-Palantir (itself formerly called Frigga Island under Storish rule) and swathes of northern Cibola, consisting of New Ralgon (centered on the city of Nova Victoria, Valora (specifically, its more populated northern half), and Imperial Cibola (by far the most sparsely populated of these territories). Far to the Southeast of these lies Bomei Island, a strategic holding the Imperials use to protect their interests in the region and connect to the Antarctic Territory.

In terms of its extended imperial holdings, the Imperial Federation has several neighbors on land. On mainland Cibola, it shares two land borders. The more notable one is with the Mondosphere to the south on the Cibola mainland, where the two share the former territory of Valora after its 1715 AN partition. The other border is a narrow coastal strip on northern Cibola bordering Calbion, which also shares extensive maritime borders with the Imperial Federation elsewhere on Cibola and Keltia. On mainland Keltia, the Imperial Federation shares a narrow land border on the mainland coast with Nouvelle Alexandrie, and off the same coast with Windsor, a colony of Lac Glacei, where the Imperials occupy a pair of military bases on and near the island as its own sovereign territory. Across from the Imperial Federation's newest territories along the Strait of Haifa lies Anahuaco, and on the further bank to the northeast lies Bassaridia Vaeringheim.

Domestic Overview

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These territories contribute to a newly global empire that supplanted Ralgon after its violent, two-year Ralgon War of Succession that finally concluded in the final days of 1706 AN.

The Imperial Federation has, in addition to recent gains elsewhere, reclaimed the entirety of Ralgon's former territory, and made additional, significant gains abroad in naval bases outside of their traditional sphere of activity in the Great Western Sea. The Imperial Federation consists of several distinct geographic divisions of various importance: States, Dominions, and Territories. States tend to have their own Dominions, and Dominions their own Territories, with dependent districts belonging entirely within their parent unit. From most to least important of such independent divisions, the Empire consists of the Ralgonese states of Adrestia, and Drag'os, which have imperial status. Independent Dominions include Nixtorm and Tar-Palantir, located near their respective suzerain states, possess Princely status. Scarterra is unusual in that it also possesses princely status but is divided between its newer settlements on the Isles of Eriador and its reclaimed homelands on the north coast of Drag'os.

The other free-standing territories with Senate representation include Eriador (which includes the former Al Hamra and the former New Scarterra), Nova Victoria, and Bomei Island. Territories with self-rule, but without representation in the Senate include the penal colony Devil's Island (now relocated to Eura and renamed to its Ralgonese translation), the majority Umraist Gold Coast, and the sparsely populated, native-majority Northwest Territory.

Dependent territories include the Naval Base Eura and the Imperial Antarctic Territory, both of which have only one major settlement each, and the Sovereign Base Areas formed concurrently with Lac Glacei during their execution of the Mala'anje Repatriation Act. In addition, Imperial Haifa was recently added to the Imperial fold, but at great cost in materiel and local manpower. Together, these territories make up a vast, consolidated maritime empire that has reached the zenith of its power, influence, and geographical size.

Keltian Holdings

The Imperial Federation holds significant land on mainland Keltia since its expansion following the Succession War. This territory is generally divided into three parts: Nixtorm, and the two frontier territories in the Gold Coast, and the sparsely populated settlements in the Northwest Territory. Recently, the addition of Imperial Haifa has expanded the Imperial Federation's reach of the Strait of Haifa, but at great cost due to heavy armed resistance from the Confederacy of the Dispossessed.

Nixtorm

Originally located on mainland Drag'os, the territory of Nixtorm consists of a group of large islands off the southeastern end of Keltia. Now a densely populated territory, Nixtorm is a region which depends heavily on trade for its economy. It imports resources from its mainland holdings of Inner Nixtorm (located just across the channels on Southeast Keltia) and distributes mineral resources, crops, and other items across the Empire and to international trading partners. Inner Nixtorm is the breadbasket of the entire Keltian coastal region, and rare earth deposits found on Nixtorm's rocky shores provide valuable exports, or fuel for the nuclear reactors under construction throughout the territory.

Gold Coast

Sparsely populated, the Gold Coast is home to nomads, traders, and prospectors. The region is known for its coastal fishing villages, and for the deserts inland that are very rich in gold and silver deposits. Due to the inhospitable climate, there are very few heavily populated settlements far from the coast. The region has large reserves of fossil fuel, which are traded for grain from Nixtorm's fertile mainland holdings to the south. The coasts are rich economic hubs, and many Ralgonese and other Imperials make their way to the Gold Coast from situations of near-destitution from overcrowded places like newly reconquered areas in Drag'os in an attempt to make it big. Few do, and so the Imperial Federation must now contend with a territory with extreme economic and social inequalities, in a vast, stretched out nation where Draconic Humanism is the dominant ideology in the Imperial Court.

Gold Coast's border with the Green deep in mainland Keltia is incredibly porous, leading to a strange mix of peaceful anarchy in the Imperial Federation deserts on the one hand, and desperados and brigands just beyond the zone of positive control exercised by the Federation's authorities. It is currently unknown whether the stretched Imperial Armed Forces are able to project their capabilities so far inland, but efforts have been made (albeit halfheartedly). This has made the region the Imperial Federation's near-equivalent of a "wild west," with efforts at establishing law and order largely being left to local forces.

Northwest Territory

Full of ethnic Menelmacari civilians, this is one of the few major regions in the Imperial Federation from which the majority of the colonizing settlers were not Ralgonese (or Drag'osian) in origin, the other in the West being New Menelmacar. The region consists of mostly small settlements, with native diasporas from other nations finding the region a welcoming change from the rest of the ultramodern, Ralgonese-majority Imperial Federation regions on the islands east of Keltia. For many years, the region is strategically insignificant to the Imperial government outside of its coastal areas. For a time, it and represented the pinnacle of the Imperial Court's version of their so-called "Manifest Destiny." Since the Northwest Territory represents the extent of it all, little effort was spent on forcibly pacifying the region's interior prior to the inclusion of Imperial Haifa, with the local authorities being instead directed to pursue strong policies of coexistence with any native or minority groups within these lands. With some sense of irony, the inclusion of Blore Heath in subsequent years following the Bassarid collapse in the late 1710's AN only strengthened the security of the region.

Like the Gold Coast, the Imperial Federation exerts little control deep inland. However, unlike the Gold Coast, little in the way of violence exists in these territories. This is largely due to the lack of resources exploitable by single individuals, as well as strong native title to interior lands, making it unattractive for people in pursuit of half-baked get-rich-quick schemes. Violent crimes happen with far less frequency than other mainland Keltian holdings, leading the rural portions of the region (especially away from the coastlines) to develop a reputation for being a sort of utopia for those who seek peace without expectation of economic reward. As a result, the territory has rapidly become a destination for older Imperials to retire after decades of service to the state.

The main exception is the regions north of Blore Heath along the Strait of Haifa. Already a populous settlement, Blore Heath's relatively peaceful assimilation into Imperial control strengthened the settlement's economic output, and anchored the region between the Strait of Haifa and its narrow land border with Nouvelle Alexandrie to the southwest. This change also cemented the Northwest Territory as the Imperial Federation's largest Ralgonese-minority territory outside of (North) Valora.

Imperial Haifa

{{{1}}} This article or section is a work in progress. The information below may be incomplete, outdated, or subject to change.

The Imperials occupied Haifa from 1718 AN, but until the mid-1720's AN, the territory relied almost entirely on military support to survive, until a generalized peace was brokered allowing for the integration of the locals into the Imperial Federation's patchwork of territories organizing themselves in the formerly Bassarid regions near Haifa. Consisting of a patchwork of territories anchored around the east and south ends of Lake Morovia, the territory is anchored by its garrisons based out of Abeis in the interior, and along islands located on the Strait of Haifa immediately adjacent to these land-based territories. The islands depend on the home government's military for their continued existence, with Imperial hold on these areas being tied only to constant, and costly, investments on holding them against enemies seemingly on all sides.

Cibolan Holdings

Overseas Territories

Overseas territories are technically rife within the Imperial Federation, by virtue of it being a thalassocracy. However, three territories most notably fall well outside of the so-called Core Regions on Cibola and Keltia: Bomei Island, Devil's Island, and the so-called Naval Base Eura. The latter is a large naval installation located off the southern cost of Eura off an island of respectable size. While Devil's Island is clearly a penal colony, Bomei Island's similar status is a legal gray area, due to the relative freedom of its inhabitants, be their residence voluntary or mandatory.

Bomei Island

Main article: Bomei Island

Formerly a penal colony meant to house the country's elites during times of political upheaval and instability, the island's importance has seen itself transform into a strategic asset for Raspur Pact forces, while doubling as a getaway destination of sorts for the country's upper classes. The massive naval bases on the island aside, the territory holds rapidly increasing infrastructure meant to cater to the Imperial Federation's rapidly expanding upper classes, thanks to the island's mild climate and excellent location near major countries like Natopia, the Mondosphere, and other prime destinations.

Devil's Island

Main article: Devil's Island

Until its assets' relocation to Eura in a land swap with Çakaristan, Devil's Island was the primary center of the Imperial Federation's power on the continent of Corum. Serving as a penal colony and a large naval base, Devil's Island doubled as one of two areas that Raspur Pact forces had at their disposal in the region, the other being Natopia's Naya Island. Originally meant as a staging area to colonize portions of the exotic continent of Corum, this never came to pass, and so the island itself was traded to Çakaristan as part of a larger deal that included, among territorial transfers, the Marriage contract between Anari'on and Qasima Çakar.

The new Devil's Island, named in Ralgonese as Akuma-jima, serves as a trade node for goods passing from the recently vitalized colony of Imperial Eura and the resource-rich country of Eternia to both the larger Euran trade market, as well as the Imperial Federation's vast holdings on Keltia and beyond. The island's economy, while only recently relocated, nonetheless is enriched from this trade, as well as stable Imperial control of the region and constant pass-through of both civilian and military assets. The island's importance to Imperial Federation trade and security in the region similarly contributes to the island's strong security, which continued seeing economic growth from 1721 AN. Further, the lax immigration policy enjoyed by the non-penal settlements on the island have driven the local economy, strengthening Gondolin's reasons for staying put (which, by design, is a core tenet of the Humanist government in charge).

Imperial Eura

Main article: Imperial Eura

Imperial Eura consists of a patchwork of territories anchored on Naval Base Eura. With its military center based on what is otherwise known as the Isle of Eura, the islands' culture, economy, and most other aspects of life are dominated by the Imperial Grand Armada's presence on Eura, with settlements from merchant families and other colonists from the mainland ramping up after 1720 AN. The base supports Raspur Pact efforts in the region, courtesy of imperial forces operating in the region. Although a token garrison mans the other islands, the base is very well-fortified despite its relative lack of history, and short time under the occupation of the Imperial Federation.

The island holds an unnamed town outside of the base. Consisting of some 20,000 civilian personnel, the civilians are outnumbered by the land-based garrison on the military sides of the island (although not by much) and by the naval forces (which number up to 50,000 during major events). The rest of the islands on the island chain are dominated by civilian-led governance, with the colony expected to ascend from dependency status to Princely status as early as 1725 AN. The rapidly growing population of the islands reflects both the booming economy and strategic importance of this territory to Imperial interests in Eura and the south of Micras as a whole. The resource-rich islands have already contributed to the Federation's economy, with the islands expected to become more integrated into their mother country as the years roll by.

Naval Base on Tiegang

The Imperial Federation controls the Adrestian Quarter's naval base in the International Mandate. Known until recently as the "Adrestian Royal Navy Base Tiegang," it was renamed in 1709 AN after Vice Admiral Saizo Mechazawa, who went on to represent the Ralgonese peoples after his retirement. The base is considered the property of the Imperial Federation, although it does not exercise sovereignty over the base. The people living on the island are ostensibly ruled by an elected governor who answers to Tiegangese authorities. However, the island is still influenced by now-Duke Saizo of Eastern Appolonia, who permanently lives there with certain members of his family.

Although the Imperial Federation has few legitimate interests on Appolonia, Tiegang itself nonetheless hosts several tens of thousands of Ralgonese citizens living there, many of whom relocated there after the Ralgon War of Succession that saw the (lopsided) fracture of the Ralgonese world along ideological and political lines. Like on Bomei Island, unusually high freedoms of personal expression are tolerated there, although lese majeste laws continue to hold effect even over these far-flung populations.

Climate & Topography

Education

Three types of post-secondary institutions exist in Ralgon: Private, public, and government-sponsored research institutes. A mixture of these schools rank near the top of the world's universities for factors including pedagogy, alumni outcomes, research output, and institutional financial performance. Most of Ralgon's best public universities also happen to remain self-sustaining in nature; that is, they do not need government funding and actually provide additional income to the government in some few cases. This remains the case even after the severity of the 1685 Crisis.

In recent years, focus on Ralgon's sole remaining overseas possessions prior to 1685 AN by its then-current government drove a concentration schools in Greater Adrestia onto the top of the global league tables. Among these are the elite University of Adrestia (known globally by its abbreviation of UA), which holds a massive endowment of its own. Other high-ranking universities in the de facto independent territory include the Gondolin Institute of Science (GIS), the Naval Academy at Alexandria, and the University of Alphaville (run as a UA satellite campus until 1690, in cooperation with Bassarid faculty).

Universities

(For a detailed list of major universities in the Ralgon, see the below articles.)

Glacier City University

Glacier City University (known by its acronym of GCU) is an elite university located in the Semi-Autonomous Region (SAR) of the same name. Founded as a university in 1076, GCU is the oldest institute of higher education in continuous operation in the Imperial Federation, and the second-oldest university in the country. It is also among the oldest institutions of higher learning on the Cibola continent, having educated over 75% of the former Holy Ralgon Empire's heads of state, among countless other elites within the country.

It is considered an "ancient university" -- that is, an institution of higher learning formed as a university (regardless of its purpose or existence before said formation) before the Draconic faith became the state religion in 1178. It is one of only three such institutions in continuous operation since that date, with the latest of its other six peers being claimed (at least temporarily) by the devastating effects of the long-term 1680's General Crisis.

The University is world-renowned for its engineering and materials science programs, with graduates leading such projects as the construction of the Erazm Bridge Consortium and ground-breaking developments in ship technology for the recently re-organized Grand Armada of the Imperial Federation, which consists of 250 modernized ships (and some 75 outdated ones) with the same defensive engineering that ensured Ralgon's survival during its darkest days. Its endowment is the second-largest in the Ralgonese state, at around 37 billion Guilders. Housing notable global policy institutes such as the Chidao Emperor Institute for Jing Studies, the university's headquarters remain in the Mountain City after over 600 years. GCU remains the only institution allowed to own property within the Imperial City's inner sanctum, and is also the only non-government organization allowed to operate within the city without an active permit.

Until the fall from prominence of the Stormhold region as the center of political life in the Empire, Glacier City U long maintained a rivalry with Temple University in Valeria. To this day, the two enjoy top rankings in Micras, especially in the fields of medicine, earth science, and biology. Glacier City University attained renewed prominence on the island of Drag'os as a part of the aftermath of the 1685 Crisis and the War of Succession that ended in 1706, due to the university's location in a region generally safe from political violence of any significance (with the sole exception of the 1705 city purge). It was one of the few ancient universities to survive intact; Temple University suffered a drop in the rankings, supplanted by the University of Gondolin, which has taken up some of the old rivalries.

Temple University

Main article: Temple University

Temple University (known simply as TU) was originally founded in 425 AN in what is now the city of Valeria by Draconic missionaries, as a religious institute for higher learning. Itself attached to the Holy Temple of Drag'os in the same city (and originally in the same building), the institution was founded to train high-ranking religious personnel in both theology and in statecraft (a skill badly needed at the time by such people). The institution formed into a University in 1046, and adopted its current name in 1298, after the City of Valeria took over the university on behalf of the Ralgon king's government.

The modern Temple University preserves is its original 1046 name, and also serves as the flagship institution of the eponymous system (as a homage to the University's foundations with the Church). Thanks to a heavily increased endowment after the national government purchased the University, it has rapidly grown from an already-elite status to a world-class university in its own right. Although it suffered significantly during the general crises that defined the 1680's to 1705 AN, the modern university still enjoys the massive resources it slowly built over its 700-year history as a university. Temple University maintains its still-strong prominence that relies on a combination of a massive endowment -- the sixth-highest in Ralgon, at 27 billion Guilders, and its system of sister institutions to keep up with the never-ending pace of modernization in the country. This network of academics buoyed the university after the Ralgon War of Succession, which saw the city of Valeria stripped of imperial status because of its government's support of the pretenders (who themselves were exiled to Valora). From battle damage to the loss of students and faculty to the resulting exodus from the city, the university sustained a substantial hit to its endowment (no less than 9 billion Guilders) and a significant drop in the world university rankings that will likely take at least two or three decades to recover from.

Despite its recent woes, the University has no shortage of talent. The university is known for its sheer number of graduates within the Imperial Federation's education system, with nearly half the Dragosian mainland's top 10% of income earners being graduates of one of the schools in the TU system. Most of the City of Valeria's leaders are graduates of the flagship campus, which is known for its strict admissions standards, despite its massive size of over 85,000 students (about 50,000 of which are undergraduate). While the quality of the rivalry the University maintains with Glacier City U has taken damage in recent years, the university still excels in materials science and engineering, and still occupies top rankings worldwide fields of theoretical physics and mathematics.

University of Gondolin

Formed in 1672 AN, the University of Gondolin is, by far, the youngest of the elite universities in the Ralgon Empire. The university was founded in what is now Adrestia by the Emperor Shiro of Ralgon to educate the colonists. Following the discovery of precious resources in unprecedented abundance, the university found itself with a massive endowment, spurring extremely rapid growth during its initial few years. Unlike its companion institution, the University of Adrestia, the University of Gondolin operates no satellite campuses outside of its own metropolitan region, allowing a greater concentration of star faculty and other vital resources.

The university is known for its state-of-the-art naval science and space science departments. Its School of Draconic Studies is also widely praised as being on par with giants such as the ancient Glacier City University. The institution has already counted several famous and infamous graduates among its relatively distinguished alumni. Among them is the current Crown Prince of Adrestia, the future Masamune III, who graduated in 1700 AN with a undergraduate dual degree in global affairs and aerospace engineering at the age of 21 before moving abroad for further study. Another is Sargon Azulpolassar, a prominent noble from The Hexarchy who graduated in 1693. The university's rapid rise to prominence comes on the heels of Adrestia's prosperity; thus, the university made moves to insulate itself from possible periods of political upheaval during the late 1690's. This strategy paid off, as the city was rocked by the financial strain of bearing the costs of victory in the Ralgon Succession War in the first decade of the 1700's. Careful investment and restricting admissions to a smaller, more manageable student body lead to strengthened reputation abroad by the time the war ended and financial prosperity began to be felt in all quarters of the now-large metropolis.

Although being smaller than its companion institution, the University of Adrestia (and system), the university holds by far the largest endowment in the Imperial Federation, valued at over 50 billion Guilders as of 1707 AN, thanks to heavy and frequent donations by the Royal Family of Adrestia and shrewd financial management. This has allowed the university to cement its assets and begin another round of heavy expansion into the coming century. The rise of the city to prominence in recent years is mostly thanks to the growing status of the city of Gondolin, and its designation as one of the two Imperial Cities allowed further increases in the university's budget for frontier sciences. The university also owns substantial investments in the Alphaville Spaceport, as well as Anarion Spaceport in the Antarctic Territory (along with several research bases in the same).

University of Adrestia System

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Like its counterpart the University of Gondolin, the University of Adrestia was founded in 1672 AN, shortly before the international recognition of the colony as part of the Ralgon Empire. It used to be the same institution as UG, but the two split amicably to allow each university to respectively focus on the needs of Gondolin and the wider Adrestia regions. Although this caused a split in endowment award, the discovery of vast resources on the islands promptly made such a state of affairs relatively moot. The university system has expanded to cover education on the entirety of

This huge amount of resources gradually allowed the University of Adrestia to rapidly grow into the largest education system in the Ralgon Empire, overtaking the Temple University system in 1697 AN (some 12 years post-Crisis). The university enjoys an enrolment of about 98,500 between all of its campuses, the flagship branch at the UA Gondolin being by far the most competitive to enter for aspiring students. Although the flagship campus is at Gondolin, the institution educates leaders in the liberal arts as well as in humanities, being better regarded in these fields than its rival institution of UG.

University of Nixtorm

Western Imperial University

Western Imperial University is one of the Imperial Universities, opened during the first years of the Imperial Federation. Shortly known as Western, the large university was founded in 1708 AN with branch campuses in major cities to serve elite students in the new frontiers of the Empire on the Keltian mainland. Designed initially to train local government officials as well as native aristocracy, the university opened to gifted commoners hoping for jobs in places that offer higher standards of living, such as the Core Regions of Adrestia or Glacier City. The university is unique to the Imperial Federation in the fact that it is the only Imperial University that does not have a designated flagship campus.

Anarion University

Anarion University is a military-sponsored school founded in Gondolin by the regency of the Imperial Federation in 1706 AN, by decree. Unlike other university systems, Anarion University was created specifically as an international university, with branch campuses in Valeria, Glacier City, and other major settlements throughout the Empire. The latest branch was opened in Nova Victoria in time for New Year's celebrations on 1710 AN, welcoming its first cohort of students there for Ralgonese Studies, offered jointly with the Chidao Institute for Foreign Studies, itself based in Glacier City. It plans to welcome its first degree-seeking classes by 1712 AN.

The offerings at the university consists of international-based study. Notably, business majors and global studies are offered. The university's flagship campus in Alphaville, SAR now ranks 50th-60th on the national tables despite to its very young age, thanks to large funding projects and patronage by the imperial family.

Demographics

Population

Pre-Crisis (1655 AN-1685 AN)

Conducting a census has, historically, been a major challenge in the Imperial Federation's predecessor states, owing in large part to very high birth and death rates (among the male population) due to constant warfare and paradoxically strong economic growth due to said replacements. This was, mostly, due to the old Great Swamp War and related national conflicts that saw high casualties against the dangerous fauna inland, which were contained near the time of the Imperial Federation's ascent to power during a second series of civil wars in 1706 AN.

The population during the closing stages late in the second phase of Great Swamp War had peaked to about 124,254,005 in 1665 AN under Nobunag'an IV the Wise. Following the ascension of which shot to 159,255,163 in 1675 AN during a brief phase of prosperity under Emperor Shiro I the Valiant. Records for 1680 AN posted a population of roughly 164 million, during which a strong Ralgon diaspora was dispersed to countries like the Hexarchy and International Mandate, and during which Adrestia was first formed, leading to an explosion in population to unknown numbers by 1685 AN, although much of this population had moved to colonies abroad, mostly to territories now under Imperial Federation control.

Post-Crisis (1686 AN-1717 AN)

The 1685 AN Crisis and the attendant Ralgon Civil War nearly destroyed the country, and reduced its controlled population back under 164 million people, roughly at 1680 levels, with a further 40 million Ralgonese scattered over Drag'os and other lands near or adjacent to Ralgonese territories at the time. The resulting pressures of an overpopulation crisis nearly ended the country, with these pressures in part triggering the Ralgon War of Succession.

Imperial Territory

By the time it expanded to nearly its present-day territory in 1706 AN, the Imperial Federation had reclaimed most of former Ralgon's population, and recorded a delayed "1705" census of 204,174,665 within the Imperial Federation's controlled territory and Ralgonese living in its environs in disputed or contested areas. The rapid consolidation, expansion, and movement of Ralgonese back to Imperial territory led to a population of 209,279,031 in the 1710 AN census. This number grew to 213,673,890 by 1715 AN thanks to a baby boom as a result of an influx of territory, resources, and new populations being absorbed into the rapidly growing empire as it fought to combat overextension by encouraging said baby boom to partially solve. A preliminary census estimate taken in 1717 AN after the Conquest of Valora assessed the Imperial population (minus Valora) had increased another 1.32% to an estimated 216,494,000, a result of large population centers continuing to rise on the coastlines of Keltia and the northern areas of New Menelmacar.

Valoran Territory

In the same time, Valora had recorded a population of 15,639,728 in its metropole areas in 1707 AN, some 25% of which lived in and around the now-major city of Yixing, which became the cultural and political center for both the Ralgonese and Valoran peoples in the politically paralyzed country. The Valoran urban population contracted by 5.7% to 14,748,263 due to repeated, protracted crises in the region's interior. An estimated 25% of the country lived off the grid, or in other urban areas, or were rural, or had refugee status, these states of living being unclearly defined and often found in common due to the country's bitter military, economic, environmental, and political situations. After the Conquest of Valora, some 74% of the population was found to be on the new Imperial side of the territory. The rest were undead that migrated to South Valoran side of the border forming after the war's conclusion.

A census conducted in the close of 1717 AN found that Imperial Valora, New Ralgon, and Imperial Cibola (both east and west) consisted of a grand total of just over 16,075,000 people, not counting the remaining Vanic and anti-Ralgonese/Valoran rebels, nor the remaining undead that found themselves inexplicably under the service of Imperial troops. (Rumor has it that Emperor Anarion was fascinated by the comical way these undead moved and wanted a contingent of them for his own amusement, so Mondo let him have a few hundred as part of the partition agreement. In return, Mondo got Kaek, which in turn did not know and did not care that the transition took place so quickly.)

Modern Period (1717 AN -)

On its formation c. 1705 AN, the Imperial Federation experienced an explosion in population following its victory in the Ralgon War of Succession, and further during the decade-plus that followed the cold war between it and its much smaller splinter, Valora. In 1717 AN, the Imperial Federation executed the Conquest of Valora and subsumed most of its population, further adding to its expanding population.

An estimate of the Imperial Federation proper yielded a population estimate of 216,494,000, and its newly absorbed territories of New Ralgon, Imperial Cibola, and Imperial (North) Valora held a census that counted approximately 16,075,000 people (not counting the undead and/or stateless persons). This yielded an estimated population of 232,569,000 at the close of 1717 AN, or a strong increase of 13.9% from the 1705 AN census. It was expected that the post-1710's population growth would begin to favor natural birth rates more than annexations, as the Imperial Federation shifts its focus towards peacetime nation building, and the Emperor Anarion comes of age to a period of unprecedented prosperity for the Ralgonese nations of Micras.