- For the lake, see Lake Glacei
|Grand Duchy of Lac Glacei|
|Motto: C'est la vie|
|Largest city||Alpreaux, Jardin|
|Official language(s)||Lac Glaceian|
|Official religion(s)||The Alpine Temple|
|- Adjective||Lac Glaceian|
|- Grand Duke||Orion II|
|- Chamberlain||Rupert Hinton|
|- Legislature||Grand Duke's Council|
|Population||7,081,179 (1693 AN)|
|Currency||Glaceian Blanc (GBL)|
|National food||Ice Cream|
Lac Glacei is a country situated along the northern shores of the eponymous lake with which it shares its name. Located in the heart of northeastern Apollonia, it is a mountainous land of alpine pastures and snowcapped peaks. These glaciers feed the lake, which in turn feeds the River Glacei that then flows south to the sea. This river is a source of life for the people of eastern Apollonia and has been an important trade route along the north-south axis for many centuries. Although one of the oldest nations on Micras, Lac Glacei has only recently regained its full independence.
There has been a longstanding debate as to the origin of the name Lac Glacei. Most historians agree that the lake and surrounding region were named for the snow-covered mountains and frozen lake, which were first viewed by settlers in the midsts of winter, led to the name Lac Glacei, roughly translated as Glacier Lake. However, ancient oral traditions recount a legendary argument between the early leaders of the first expedition to settle Alpreaux. In this account, the Emperor of the United Imperium, Jacobus, arrived shortly after Prince Melvin, King Charles and President Peter Hickey had already established a base camp, in order to inspect the settlement. The tale relates that the Emperor demanded the three sovereigns pay him homage. Considering themselves equals, they loudly refused, with Hickey stating "You can be the Emperor of Ice Cream for all I care!". Not able to understand Rocentian, he mistook the insult as a compliment, and asked King Charles to translate. Charles translated the statement as Emperor of Lac Glacei, which delighted Jacobus (and infuriated Hickey even further), and the name stuck. From then on, Jacobus and Hickey would continue to quarrel, eventually becoming bitter enemies.
Lac Glacei is a glacial lake formed by the retreating glaciers that once covered much of northern Apollonia during the ice age some 15,000 years ago. Many of the higher mountains and valleys still retain much of the original glacial ice, which slowly melts and continuously feeds the lake. The lake itself is a large, low-lying valley whose outlet is the River Glacei which, in turn, flows south past Lontinien to Cognito Sea. Most of the population is located in the more fertile valleys and along the lake shores, with sparse or otherwise isolated villages in the higher elevations. Lac Glacei accounts for over 30% of Apollonia's fresh water and as such is considered a vital aquifer for the continent.
Lac Glacei is located in the higher inland elevations of Apollonia, situated among a series of mountains and valleys. The Lac Glaceian climate is generally temperate, but can vary greatly between different regions. Glacial conditions can exist on the mountaintops, while dry summer conditions exist simultaneously along the shores of the lake. Summers tend to be warm and humid at times with periodic rainfall so they are ideal for pastures and grazing.
Primary agriculture in Lac Glacei is pastured livestock, such as sheep, goats, pigs, horses and cows. Sheep and dairy farming make up approximately 40% of all agriculture. Vegetable farms are primarily excluded in all but the level valley floors and along the lake shoreline, but due to environmental regulations farming along the lake has been restricted. With limited access to natural resources, the forest belt between the valleys and mountain tree line is protected by law. As such, forestry oversight ensures sustainable practices are used in harvesting timber and development. Grazing, primarily of hardier stock such as goats and yaks, resumes above the tree line, but much more sparsely.
Flora and fauna
Lac Glacei has a diverse array of flora and fauna. The shift in climate between the low-lying valleys and the higher mountains provides a diverse environment for both types. Besides the forest belt, much of the landscape has been denuded by centuries of grazing animals. In recent years, environmental regulations have helped to conserve and restore damaged ecosystems. Numerous rare ephemeral flowers have been identified on the slopes of the higher mountains.
Lac Glacei was founded somewhere around 0-12 ASC (the original records have long since been lost to time) by a trio of some of Micras' earliest nations; the Kingdom of Tulsa, the United Imperium, and the Republic of Rocentia. These three nations were seeking to expand their collective footprints on Apollonia and were competing with the rapidly expanding nations of the Apollo Sector. Thus they combined their forces to establish Lac Glacei. The first settlers to arrive in the area came upon the lake in winter, which was frozen solid, and remarking upon the giant sheet of ice named it Lac Glacei.
The initial force was led by Prince Charles of Tulsa and Prince Melvin of the United Imperium, half brothers united by marriage. Under orders from Emperor Jacobus, they established the first settlement along the northern shores of the lake, Alpreaux. The settlement prospered but did not grow as quickly as hoped. It survived as a small patronage of the Emperor until it was united with the southern settlement of Cognito. For several decades Cognito and Lac Glacei were an inseparable pair and a significant part of the United Imperium's land holdings; albeit with a rather diminutive population.
When the United Imperium opted to join Tymaria with many other Micran nations, Cognito and Lac Glacei were joined as well. But when Tymaria collapsed into civil war, Cognito and Lac Glacei became a subdivision within Shireroth. For a while, it was part of Elwynn, which was then known as the Barony of Elwynn and Lac Glacei (1504–1509 AN). Shireroth then neglected the region for decades, before quitting the region entirely, relinquishing its claims to the territory. After this, the local leaders gathered and decided to invest the state in the form of a Grand Duchy, electing Orion I as the first Grand Duke. Shireroth wasn't pleased with the development of an independent Lac Glacei and soon came into conflict as it attempted to reassert its claims over the region. The Shirerithians were dealt a further blow when Jacobus, Emperor of the United Imperium, recognized Orion as the legitimate Grand Duke.
In the aftermath of the conflict, Shireroth and Lac Glacei negotiated the Centerflying Treaty, which gave territorial control back to Shireroth, but provided Lac Glacei with continued autonomy. Shireroth would again later abandon the territory, but without a suitable defense the region was soon conquered by hordes from Great Kesh to the north and incorporated into the realms of Gralus. It remained under Gralan control for several centuries, during which time the local Lac Glaceian population was primarily subdued, relegated to hiding in the inaccessible mountain valleys.
After the collapse of Gralus, the area was conquered by Stormark, who incorporated it into the region of Eesdeheito. While the Storish allowed some greater freedoms, the Lac Glaceians still remained under the heel of a foreign power. But with the demise of Stormark the yoke of oppression was lifted from the Lac Glaceians, who inhaled freedom like a breath of fresh air, and quickly went about rebuilding their small community.
The former capital of Alpreaux had been ruined by years of warfare, and was deemed not suitable for defense as it was located in a valley, so a new capital was built nearby and christened Monte Glacei. The new capital was situated on a tall hill overlooking the lake and providing a defensible high ground against invaders. Taking advantage of the picturesque and fertile lands, the Grand Duchy has since prospered and become a bustling nation that thrives on a successful combination of tourism and agriculture.
More recently the Grand Duchy added the regions of Caronia and Jacaringia to its territorial holdings. Caronia is a small successor state populated by ethnic Garonians, an ancient state once found north of the Glacei Mountains. Jacaringia is a new territory created by splitting Cognito into two smaller territories. These eastern claims represent the extent of Lac Glacei's territorial ambitions in the area, with the Grand Duke upholding Hurmu's claims over Eesdeheito. Instead the Grand Duke is focusing on reclaiming the western frontier, especially in regaining the remaining lost lands of Lorelei, as well as those of Heathersland and Edelweiss, the latter two of which still remain fully under control by barbarians of the Green.
In late 1695 AN, following a series of unprecedented attacks by pirates along the Strait of Pearls, the grand duchy undertook Operation Underlord, and launched an invasion of Norsmandy to the north of the Tigra Isles. The local population was persuaded to accept Lac Glaceian sovereignty and was officially annexed to the grand duchy on 7.1695 AN. The inclusion of Norsmandy proved to be essential in reducing piracy along the straits and improving relations with the neighboring Dark Berry Islands.
In 1696 AN, the grand duchy launched Operation Maximus, which realized the long-term objectives of regaining the lost cantons of Edelweiss and Heathersland. While military forces were used in forcing out the usurpers of Edelweiss, diplomacy prevailed in Heathersland, with the dynastic heirs of Thornsburg being granted title to their lands in exchange for recognizing Lac Glaceian sovereignty. This pushed the grand duchy's borders much further north and west and provided a significant boost to the economy and access to natural resources.
See also: Military Operations of Lac Glacei
Government and Politics
Lac Glacei is a primarily democratic state, with a parliamentary democracy headed by a constitutional monarch. Executive power is exercised by the grand duke and the duke's council, which consists of several other ministers. The Constitution of Lac Glacei, the supreme law of Lac Glacei, was adopted in 2339 ASC. The grand duke has the power to dissolve the legislature, in which case new elections must be held within three months. However, since 1691 AN, sovereignty has resided with the nation, exercised by the grand duke in accordance with the Constitution and the law.
Legislative power is vested in the Chamber of Deputies, a unicameral legislature of sixty members, who are directly elected to five-year terms from four constituencies. A second body, the Council of State, composed of twenty-one ordinary citizens appointed by the grand duke, advises the Chamber of Deputies in the drafting of legislation.
Lac Glacei has three lower tribunals (Alpreaux, Monte Glacei, and Jardinais), two district tribunals (Monte Glacei and Jardinais), and a Superior Court of Justice (Monte Glacei), which includes the Court of Appeal and the Court of Cassation. There is also an Administrative Tribunal and an Administrative Court, as well as a Constitutional Court, all of which are located in the capital.
See also: Foreign Relations of Lac Glacei
Lac Glacei is divided into nine cantons; Glacei, Jardinais, Lorelei, Caronia, Jacaringia, Norsmandy, Edelweiss, Heathersland and Cognito. In addition, the cities of Monte Glacei, Alpreaux, Seivannavik and Rhinford are designated communes.
National security is provided for by the Glaceian Army Reserve Department (GARD), which oversees the army, navy and air force. The Grand Duke has vested powers as commander-in-chief, but the ability to declare war rests with the legislature.
Lac Glaceian culture is the result of intermingling cultures beginning with its early settlement. Being the joint venture of three nations resulted in an influx of settlers from vastly different cultures. The greatest migration came from Cyberia, the original home of Emperor Jacobus, who relocated to Lac Glacei and Cognito, where he held court at Ergo Sum. After Jacobus was ousted from Cyberia, he and many imperialist Cyberians fled across the sea to settle in Lac Glacei. The second largest settler migration came from Rocentia. Although the Rocentian political state eventually came to directly oppose the imperialist Jacobites, a great deal of Rocentians sided with the Emperor and opted to settle in Lac Glacei. The third and smallest settler migration came from Tulsa, which transplanted a large number of native Keltians to Apollonia. This collection of diverse cultures helped shape the early ethnology of Lac Glacei.
Jacobus was smitten with the ancient Cyberian (Latin/French) language and forced its continued use on the population over modern Cyberian (English). This is reflected in many place names throughout the country.
December 10th is a major holiday known as Emperor Day and celebrates the birthday of Emperor Jacobus. The holiday started as a fete and homage to the Emperor, but transitioned into a national holiday over the course of several centuries. It is now considered more of a family holiday, wherein most businesses are closed (including schools). It is traditional for a family member to dress up as the Emperor and give presents to the children, and for families to gather together for a dinner feast.
The Alpine Temple is an offshoot of the ancient Church of Cranda, which originated with the Arminian tribes of Slobovia, Cranda, Northworthy and other early Upper Apollonia states. The followers of the Alpine Temple worship the great philosopher Arktela, whose teachings and meditations were gathered in the Book of Observations and passed down from generation to generation. Arktela herself was an early priestess of Cranda who was active as a missionary and traveled across much of northeastern Apollonia. She was canonized as a saint after her death, whereupon small temples began to arise based on her teachings. These eventually morphed into the Alpine Temple of today.
See also: Alpinist Religion
The country has a total population of 7,081,179 citizens.
The following was the ethnic breakdown of the country, according to the 1691 census:
- Lac Glaceians: 5,101,709
- Jardinaians: 850,602
- Gralans: 603,044
- Hurmudans: 278,199
- Crandish: 247,625
The economy of Lac Glacei is primarily agrarian, but in more recent years has become diversified with new industrial manufacturing and as a major supplier of internet technology. Manufacturing in mostly located in the Glacei Canton where a small but growing steel industry has taken root in the mountainous inland regions. More widespread, the internet and computer technology industry has grown throughout the country, mostly in the lakefront cities. The focus on high-tech industry came about as a means to provide revenue in an area that lacked any other marketable resource. Outside the cities the country relies strongly on agricultural output as the main means of revenue. Jardinais has a strong industry in exporting cut flowers and nursery-grown plants worldwide. Besides the aforementioned industries, Lac Glacei has become a major tourist destination, with some 7 million visitors per year. The pharmaceutical industry has also taken root with the opening of two new manufacturers in Rhinford, with medical exports now being sold globally.
The country's largest international airport is Alpreaux International. AirGlacei is the largest passenger jet service in the country, although it is considered a small company in comparison to global airlines. A smaller international airport has been constructed in Monte Glacei, mostly due to the increased business demands outpacing the older airport at Alpreaux. Ergo Sum also has an airport but it is much older, dating back to Cyberia, and requires significant upgrades. Plans are also in the works to construct an airport at Maximsburg in order to provide air transit to the western frontier.
Highway 1 is Lac Glacei's major thoroughfare and runs in a loop around Lake Glacei, connecting at the trestle bridge in Rhinford. Its map designation is H1. The highway connects all major cities of Lac Glacei, providing efficient transit and accessibility during times of conflict.