Gwlad y Calbain (Calraeg)
|Motto: Cyfiawnder a Chryfder|
"Justice and Strength"
|15.0.5 - current|
|Official language(s)||Calraeg (national language)|
Istvanistani (lingua franca)
|Official religion(s)||Calbain Catologian Church|
|• Prince of the Calbain||Arthur III|
|• Governor-General||Richard ab Ioan|
|• Grand Master of the Calbain Catologian Church||His Eminence Huw Macklemore|
|National animal||Black Dragon|
Calbion (Calraeg: Gwlad y Calbain, literally: Land of the Calbain) is a sovereign island nation in the Central Sea. The nation occupies the islands of the Aeronesian archipelago. The Calbain islands are located between the continents of Tapfer and Cibola, on the latter continent, Calbion also has a presence with the coastal region of Cybwlach. In the past, the nation also had several colonies in Keltia. Calbion is a Monarchy, although it can be described as a 'Crowned Republic' because of the limited role of the Prince of the Calbain, who serves a largely symbolic and unifying function. The current Prince of the Calbain is Arthur III, who was invested in late 1690.
The Calbain nation is one of the oldest civilisations on Micras, although often subjugated to political repression. In the year 1596, Calbion first gained an official status as an autonomous part of the Southbatavian empire. Following the Southbatavian transition towards the authoritarian empire of Jingdao, the Calbain autonomy was once again surpressed, which resulted in a short but bloody Revolt that saw the Calbain population decimated. Subsequently, Calbion was incoporated into the Brettish Commonwealth. Under the leadership of Llywelyn Lewis, the Governor-General of Calbion under Brettish rule, the identity of the Calbain people remained alive and the Calbain communities were restored. In recent history, Calbion was an autonomous province of Arcadia after the conquest of the islands by the Batavian Vinandy dynasty. The Vinandy's usurped Calbain titles, which created resentment and saw the politics of Calbion become divided into the "Realist" and the "Nationalist" fractions. Several historians pose that these internal division was one of the factors that lead to the collapse of Arcadia. Following the fall of Arcadia, a nationalist movement under the leadership of Evyn Drakeford, established Calbion as an independent nation again. The Western expansion of 1686 saw Calbion occupy the entire Aeronesian archipelago, as well as a coastal region of Cibola. This means that the Calbain nation currently is at its greatest extent.
The name Calbion is an Istvanistanism derived from the name of the Calbain people. The Calbain themselves refer to the land as Gwlad y Calbain, the land of the Calbain. It is certain that there already existed a people indicated as Calbain, or Calbi, in Aerlig. The origins of the name for the Calbain people is unclear, but etymologists have suggested that the old Calraeg root calb- means "bald" or "barren", and refers to the plains that cover most of central Calbion. The name Calbion was first given to the island by Istvani seafarers, who settled in what is now the Port Edward region.
For a systematic overview, see: Timeline of Calbion
As one of the older existing nations on Micras, Calbion has a rich and complicated history. The history of the Calbain people originates in the prehistoric era, and culminated in the establishment of the Calbain state in the 16th century AN. Following the creation of Calbion as a political entity, the nation underwent several changes in structure and transfers of sovereignty but has consistently endured for over a century.
The Calbain Tribes
The heartland of the Calbain people is the island known as the Ynys y Calbain. During the Jasonian era, small bands of people known as the Calbi (in some sources Calbii) were known to occupy the central plains of the island. Although much of the annals of the Jasonian empire are lost, it does not appear that the Calbi had a prominent place in it. Scholars estimate that at this point, the Calbi consisted of small tribes or families that were united in some sort of federative structure. This continued until the fall of Jasonia in 1493 after which a more formal political entity was formed. Owain of Gwynedd assumed the role of first Prince of the Calbain during this time. The Calbain tribes assert themselves more prominently in the Penwlad region. In this period, the Aeronesian archipelago is occupied by Aerlig. The Calbain culture that emerged during this time is heavily influenced by the Aerligians. Linguists and historians have found Aerligan influences in Calraeg which can be found in early historical documents. The Calbain tribes might have had some form of autonomy, but were at this point not an influential faction.
The Calbain were actively repressed by the Matbaaic colonisers who arrived on the Ynys y Calbain in 1515 and overthrew the Aerlig nation. The Calbain tribes, fighting on the Aerligian side, suffered a crushing defeat. Llywelyn I, Prince of the Calbain realised that resistance to the much powerful Matbaans was futile. During this period, most Calbain accepted their defeat and continued to practice their traditions in secret, a period known as the hidden realm. Llywelyn I and several other Calbain leaders moved to the island of Kilkelly, where they assisted the Britannics in their conquest of Kilkelly and Armoria. Britannic influences can still be seen in Calbain culture, and this period also marks the expansion of the Calbain people to the other islands of the Aeronesian archipelago. The Britannics were however unable to sustain control over these lands, and had to give them up.
In 1530, Arthur I, who had become Prince of the Calbain six years earlier, rose up against the Matbaans. The rebellion was however quickly crushed and Arthur was crucified in the regional capital of Kerkboran. Nine years later, his successor, Llywelyn II again led a rebellion. A small Calbain army conquered the city of Kerkboran, and renamed it to Llywelyn's Kerkboran (currently: Lloran). The Matbaan government had weakened significantly and the Calbain revolt was one of the reasons for the collapse of the empire. Another reason was the War of Jeremy's Nose, which created an influx of Batavian settlers to the Ynys y Calbain. These became the later Maraguans. The Maraguans and the ethnically diverse population of the other islands of the archipelago founded the neo-Jasonian state of Nelaga. The state structures of Nelaga remained weak, which was an opportunity for other nations to establish a presence in the region. The Nelaga territories, set up as a political compromise following the Redoubt war, succumbed to internal problems aided by massive natural disasters. These disasters, including earthquakes and floodings, were referred to as "the islands coming down" in historical texts. This description is a reference to the belief that the islands were once "flying" during the mythical Jasonian ages. As a result of these disasters, famines had decimated the population, especially on Calbion island. Nelaga finally fell in 1596.
Establishing a Calbain State
During this period, the Empire of South Batavia (usually rendered Southbatavia) controlled much of the Cibolan continent. The late 16th century were a time of turmoil for the Southbatavian state, with the government announcing the transition to become the Jingdaoese state. Juan, an army general, had tried to remove the Emperor from power. The economic and political situation in the nation was dire. During this period, Jack de Montfort became the leader of a Catologian order. In this position, he emerged as the voice of some Batavian settlers who felt uneasy by the dictatorial tendencies of the South Batavian government. In the early weeks of 1596, de Montfort, together with some followers, sailed to unknown lands with a small fleet that also carried South Batavian refugees who did not wish to be subjected to the new Jing elite.
The fall of Nelaga had provided an opportunity for the settlers, who had chosen the North of the Ynys y Calbain as a new home. Jack de Montfort stumbled upon a divided nation. The south of the island had a small presence of Maraguan forces, who wished to reinstate a Nelagan government. The North of the country, as well as the central plains around Pentyre, were occupied by the Calbain, who saw this time of instability as their chance for political self-determination. De Montfort also made an alliance with the Interlandian governor of Saint Edward, which became the first city to transfer to South Batavian control. A prestige project for the South Batavian nation, for which de Montfort nominally claimed the islands, a squadron of South Batavian forces was detached to the island in order to unite it. De Montfort quickly entered into an alliance with the Calbain tribes, openly declaring his support for their independence struggle and styling himself Count of Calbion to honour those people. The Nelagans in the South briefly attempted an insurrection against the new government, but were defeated in a short skirmish.
Subsequently, Jack de Montfort was invested as Prince of the Calbain, the largely ceremonial title for the heads of the Calbain people which had been vacant for some time. De Montfort identified strongly with the Calbain tradition, and under his rule, Calbain culture flourished. Several incidents occured however which created a schism between Calbion and the South Batavian government. The first incident was the establishment of a rocket launching site. The Emperor wanted to build a rocketbase on the isle of Faenor, but the local residents objected strongly to these plans. Mounford was unable to prevent the building of this site and had to settle for an aircraft base which also included the rocket facility.
The second incident was the raid of a Natopian trading ship and of a Natopian holiday facility for homosexuals by the Calbain pirate Callaghan. The cruelty which the pirate displayed towards his victims led to a diplomatic crisis between Calbion and Natopia. This was only enlargened by the crash of a Natopian airplane on the Central Square in Pentyre immediately after.
No longer wishing to submit to the rule of the despotic Empress Sisera, The Calbain rose up in a revolt against the South Batavians, now known as Jingdao. Jack de Montfort formally declared independence, and ordered the arrest of the Jingdaoese ambassador and several military officers. Empress Sisera reacted by attacking Calbion using weapons of mass destruction. By doing so, she ended up destroying the major cities in the country. The civilian death toll was significant. In the years that followed, some Maraguans attempted to reinstate their government, which was briefly successful in the South. Meanwhile, the Calbain regrouped and rebuilt most of the country. However, the lesson of the failed war of independence taught the Calbain that they needed to form alliances with other states in order to survive.
Brettish Protectorate and Independence
In 1608, Calbion became a protectorate of the Commonwealth of the Brettish Isles. The Protectorate era was seen as a period of stability, in which Calbion recovered and returned to being a prosperous nation. Governor-General Llywelyn Lewis, who was appointed in 1610, ruled Calbion in close association with the Brettish Government.
After some time, nationalist sentiments arose in Calbion. As the country became more and more developed, the Calbain population refused to adhere to Brettish rule and to, what was percieved to be, the everclosing Brettish dominance over the nation. The first direct elections for the Assembly resulted in a win for Governor-General Lewis, who ran on a nationalist platform demanding full autonomy. Following protests, the leaders of Calbion and the Lord Protector of the Brettish Isles arranged a settlement that lead to Calbain independence. Governor-General Lewis became head of state as well as government until the Investiture of Jack II. The period of independence saw political development and the transition of Calbion towards a more or less democratic nation. The custom of national assembly evolved to include an elected parliament.
For twenty-five years, Calbion prospered as an independent country until it was dragged into the struggle for power on Micras. Siding with the Jingdaoese, Calbion opposed the Alexandrian occupation of Penguin Island, which has a significant Calbain population. In these circumstances, Calbion became increasingly dominated by the Jingdaoese, who established direct rule on Calbion in 1651, causing the Calbain government and the Prince to go in exile on the Skerry islands, were they set up an alternative government. After the Jingdaoese gave up their direct rule in 1662, Calbion became an autonomous province of Arcadia. King Gustavus des Vinandy was intrigued with the ancient customs and cultures of the Calbain, even though he was not very well informed about them. In a made-up ceremony, he claimed the title of Prince of the Calbain, which gained him significant notoriety among the Calbain population. His claim was widely renounced, and many Calbain continued to display the portrait of Prince Jack II in their homes. However, a faction of Realists led by Mackenzie Ó Gallchobhai decided that it was in the best interests of the Calbain to work together with the Arcadian leadership. Calbion had relative autonomy and freedom, and the situation had greatly improved from the Jingdaoese direct rule. Even though they acknowledged this, the nationalists still refused to cooperate with the Arcadian government and continued their government in exile.
In 1684, Arcadia collapsed as a result of a foreign policy disaster and internal division. The Calbain declared independence immediately after, and the government-in-exile finally returned. A nationalist government was formed under the leadership of Evyn Drakeford, and Jack II, who had been living in exile on the Skerries as well, returned as Prince of the Calbain. The late 1680s saw a large expansion of the Calbain territory under the Ynysoedd Unedig plan, as well as the colonisation of several parts of Cibola. A conservative and realist government led by Richard ab Ioan came to power in 1688, installing autarkic and isolationist policies. The political situation remained turbulent at the death of Prince Jack II in 1690, who was succeeded by his only son Arthur III.
Calbion is an island nation with a diverse geography. The island of Calbion is mountainous and forested in the north, while in the south and the west, green valleys and lowlands dominate the landscape. Famous are the Plains of Pentyre, which are low meadows in the shade of the Arán mountains that have been the location of many crucial events in Calbain history. The Northern coast, most notably around the city of Saint Edward, has a very pleasant and warm sea climate, which makes it a particularly popular holiday destination.
Although the climate of Armoria is also warm and temperate, the island itself is mostly barren and rocky. the island is located on a sea rift, which regularly causes earthquakes in the North of the island. In addition, the North of Armoria is a location of landfall for tropical storms and cycloons. The large majority of the Armorians live in the south, as the Southern coast is largely protected from natural turmoil by the Faenor mountains. The Northern part of Armoria is, in addition to being a designated nature area, the location of several military bases and facilities.
Kilkelly has a pleasant and mild climate. Its eastern borders are mountainous and sparsely populated, but the large remainder of the talaith is characterised by green downs and plains. In the central East is the mountain range known as the Ishara mountains. It is here that we find the largest peak in all of Calbion, the Albrús, which reaches up to 3,400 meters above sea level.
Calbion is home to several unique animals. The Animawr, one of the largest land animals on Micras, is unique to the Aeronesian archipelago. In addition, sea dolphins and a large variety of birds such as eagles and other large predators nest in Calbion.
Government and Politics
Calbion is a largely democratic nation, with a ceremonial head of state, the Prince of the Calbain. The Prince of the Calbain (Tywysog Calbain) was the head of state of Calbion and de facto head of government. The powers of the Prince of the Calbain have varied over time. During the tribal era, the Prince of the Calbain ruled absolutely over a loose federation of tribes. The Governor-General of Calbion is the head of government of Calbion. He is elected by the Cynulliad Cenedlaethol and appointed by the Prince of the Calbain. Although officially "serving at the pleasure of the Prince of the Calbain", in practice the Governor-General has evolved to be the most important and powerful figure in Calbion.
The Cynulliad Cenedlaethol or the National Assembly is the legislating body of the Calbain people and of Calbion. Originally, the Cynulliad Cenedlaethol took the form of a triannual gathering of local representatives but during the 1620s, the Brettish democratic customs introduced a parliamentary system in which the people of Calbion elected 198 members to the unicameral Assembly. Procedings in the National Assembly remain rooted in (often shadowy) tradition and history of the Calbain people. As a result of its complicated past, there is no clear separation of powers in Calbion, with the Governor-General and the members of the High Council also having a seat in the Assembly.
Calbion is an unitary state, but due to its expansion towards several islands, it is informally divided into three provinces, known as Talaith. The largest province in terms of population and influence is that of Calbion island. Because this island is the core of the Calbain land, and also houses the government, it does not have any local government. With the expansion of the Calbain nation, the west of the island of Thalassa was occupied and became known as the Kilkelly province, after its largest port city and capital. To the North, the island of Armoria was also brought under Calbain rule. This island was often indicated as Y Faenor, or "the mansion". This referred to the gubernatorial palace that was constructed in the late 16th century. The island is also known as Summerisle, due to its proximity to the equator and its subtropical climate.
In addition to these three core provinces, Calbion also used to have a colonial dominion, which was known as the Ffederasiwn Tiriogaethol or "Territorial Federation" of Morwlad (literally: sea land). Morwlad consisted of several colonies with limited autonomy that were mainly used as trading hubs or extraction colonies. At its highpoint, Calbion occupied the colonies of Port Impregnable, Port Moorland, Y Dwyrain and Ynys Corrach. Traces of Calbain influence can still be seen in most of these places, most notably in the Agra Fortress that was constructed in Y Dwyrain and is still one of the largest castles on Micras.
Before 1686, Calbion was divided into the three Talaith, but following the Western Expansion which more than doubled Calbion's territory, the number of Talaith expanded to seven. These seven Talaith are subdivided into Ardals.
Since 1688, Calbion's government has instigated an agenda of isolationism. In a world that has been dominated more and more by alliances, the Calbain position remains uncertain and is one of the main sources of political division within the country. In the past, Calbion was widely involved on the international stage, being a founding member of the Blackrock Pact, an alliance between Calbion, the Commonwealth of the Brettish Isles, Gerenia and Jingdao. As a consequence, Calbion became involved in the Euran War. In general, foreign relations of Calbion are characterised by a deep mistrust of the intermicronational community, and a focus on self-reliance in an anarchic, unreliable world.
Throughout its history, Calbion has seen several conflicts with neighbours such as Alexandria, Natopia and Jingdao due to the nation's insistence on an independent course between the main alliances on Micras. Notable conflicts incluede the Tractor incident, the Calbain Revolt and the Second Euran War. Although the nationalist government that ruled Calbion between 1685 and 1688 made some steps to establish relations with neighbouring countries, and the governments led by Llywelyn Lewis in the first half of the 17th century also displayed liberal characteristics, the incumbent conservative and realist government rejects international participation as a principle.