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Imperial Federation

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The Imperial Federation of Ralgon, Nixtorm, and Tar-Palantir
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 204,174,665 (1705 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, Nixtorm, and Tar-Palantir, 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. It composes of the Kingdom of Adrestia, founded in 1675 AN, and the Kingdom of Drag'os, which has existed as a unified polity since the Holy Ralgon Empire, completed its unification under a single, centralized government in c. 1655 AN. Its first ruler is 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 in the twin realms.

The new 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. 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, 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. Together, these territories make up a vast, consolidated maritime empire that has reached the zenith of its power, influence, and geographical size.

The new Imperial Federation's government was formed from a union of the victorious factions. Ralgon is the unified Adrestia and Drag'os territories, 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.

Until recently, the Imperial Federation had land borders with Calbion in both Keltia and on Drag'os Island off the northern coast of mainland Cibola, until an agreement was struck with the Prince's government to consolidate their respective holdings. The move, while it gave up the empire north of the Strait of Haifa, was a profound domestic victory as it represented the complete restoration of lands lost for decades to war, natural disasters, and political chaos. The Imperial Federation's shared land borders on Keltia with the Bassarid Empire and its Periphery through its possessions in Nixtorm and the Northwest Territory. In its heartland in South Island, it shares a land border with a tiny exclave of the Benacian Union, as well as on the Isle of Rogues through sparse settlements there. Although the Imperial Federation shares maritime borders with many other MCS countries on its peripheries, it currently retains no hostile relations with the sole exception of its ongoing border conflicts with Valora, which technically remains at war even since the 1707 conclusion of the Ralgon War of Succession.

The Imperial Federation is new to the international sphere, and juggles its meteoric rise with the needs of diplomacy with other nations. To balance its will to govern with its overextension on Keltia, its government approved measures to join the Raspur Pact in late 1706 AN. While the Imperial Federation is not a member of the MTO, 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. Recent years have been characterized by quiet development and a general rise in prosperity as the enlarged empire begins to use its more remote territories with more finesse with each passing year.

Etymology

The Imperial Federation of Ralgon, Nixtorm, and Tar-Palantir 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.

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.

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.

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. This golden age was not to last, though. From 1680 AN to 1700 AN the central Ralgon government lost most of its hinterlands and frontiers, as well as over half its heartland in Drag'os in quick succession to a series of cataclysmic events, some of which led to such 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 wages abroad in a desperate effort for the Empire to hold onto its remaining authority, but to little avail. 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.

Modern History (1706-1715 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

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.

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.

Government

Defence

Foreign Relations

Main article: Raspur Pact

Economy

Science & Technology

Geography

Geographically, the Imperial Federation occupies virtually all of South Island (now called Adrestia), as well as the nearby island chains. Additionally, it possesses significant holdings in Nixtorm, itself situated on the southeast corner of mainland Keltia. The other half of the Empire is located in Northern Cibola, with the entirety of the island once known as San Martin now called Drag'os. Additionally, Drag'os's umbrella covers the entirety of Tar-Palantir, the other large island to the north of Cibola. Its other territory on Cibola consists of the exclave territory of Nova Victoria nearby, and Bomei Island off the South Cibolan. The Imperial Federation also maintains a penal colony and naval base on faraway Devil's Island, located off the coast of Western Corum. 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.

Keltian Holdings

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

Devil's Island

Main article: Devil's Island

Devil's Island is 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 doubles as one of two areas that Raspur Pact forces have at their disposal in the region, the other being Naya Island. Being eclipsed by Ney as Raspurid regional headquarters, the island nonetheless serves as a large base hosting Imperial Federation ships. Originally meant as a staging area to colonize portions of the exotic continent of Corum, these hopes were promptly dashed when the Bassarids conquered the region, one of the very few "free spaces" of a sort left on the continent for recognized powers to colonize.

Devil's Island serves as a trade node for goods passing from the Eura settlement of Farquat to the Imperial Federation's vast holdings on Keltia. The island's economy is enriched from this trade, as well as peaceful dealings between local officials and Corum-based traders (albeit independent of Imperial authority). The island's importance to Imperial Federation trade and security in the region similarly contributes to the island's strong security, which began to attract merchants from other lands beginning in the 1710's 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).

Naval Base Eura

Main article: Isle of Eura

Otherwise known as the Isle of Eura, the island's culture, economy, and most other aspects of life are dominated by the Imperial Grand Armada's presence on Eura. The base supports Raspur Pact efforts in the region, courtesy of imperial forces operating in the region. Although a token garrison mans the island, 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).

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 possession (pre-1685) by the colonial government has effectively driven a select number of schools 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