Stalis is an autocratic state in northeastern Jideran, occupying most of the Grizan Forest and the northern tundra. The north is cold and inhospitable, with the southern reaches of the country holding some of the only ready land for large-scale agriculture. Despite this, the Staliks have managed to build up one of the strongest industrial powers of Jideran. The Stalik Empire was formed in |0111, following the political union of the Ourada and Rovanik families. It was once the most populous nation in Jideran, before the Jiderani Empire, its borders extending well beyond its modern boundaries. During the Northern Conquests, the Grizan Empire was conquered by the Jiderani. In the final years of the empire, a descendant of the royal family, Danek Ourada, a Jiderani Kalerve, fled from the Jiderani core and returned to Stalis, where he pulled together an army, largely of serfs, alongside a few of the dissatisfied salak houses, Stalik nobles. This conflict was one of several open rebellions against Jiderani power that marked the Three Generations War. By the end, however, the once-again independent Stalik Empire never regained its former borders. Stalis was late to the colonial rush into Eaorma, but by the mid-|1200s, they had managed to secure territory in northern Eaorma, sources of valuable luxury goods, as well as agricultural products and raw resources, which Stalis used to fuel a rapid industrialization program. While Stalis has been successful in creating a centralized industrial capitalist core, their territory is still heavily agrarian, dominated by feudal structures, as well as even older cultures and lifestyles, deep in the forests. This contrast, a worsening economic situation, ethnic conflict, and the aftermath of the Last War have created the Stalik Storms, an ongoing conflict, largely between the indigenous, mostly agrarian or even pre-agrarian cultures of northwestern Stalis, especially the Liasnyks, and the heavily industrialized west and south, which are more closely related to the Lavanc peoples.
The Stalik Empire is an autocracy, led by an emperor of the Ourada family. The emperor appoints viceroys over each province, typically from the salak houses. In turn, these viceroys have almost complete control over their province. In return, each province pays taxes and provides soldiers, labor, and raw materials for national projects.
The Stalik Empire is still completing their six-year restoration plan, put in place after the Last War. This plan is designed to complete the nation's modernization goals, stabilize the economy, and increase food production to match the population. The brutal requirements of this program have had horrendous effects in the Stalik colonies and northwestern Stalis, where much of the country's mineral resources are located. Secondarily, the nation is attempting to end the conflict that plagues the nation. Dissidents and sympathizers are either placed in labor camps or in isolated communities in northern Stalis. This has most impacted the Liasnyks, who are considered guilty until proven innocent.
Demography and Population
Like most empires, Stalis has a wide diversity of ethnicities, cultures, and economies. The most prominent is the lavanc people, also holding the majority of power, in Stalik society. Generally, however, the Stalik Empire is tolerant of other ethnicities and cultures. The exception lies in the Liasnyk peoples of northern Stalis, native to the joining of the tundra and the dark forests of that region. The Liasnyks have long been fighting for autonomy from Stalis, making themselves a thorn in the sides of the empire. In return, they have faced suppression and subjugation by the state.
The majority of the Stalik army is composed of conscripted soldiers, lightly equipped and armed. The core, however, are volunteer forces, some even granted titles for their service. These elite forces, called Ritervis, are loyal, well-trained, and well-equipped. Standard Stalik divisions hold ten battalions worth of line soldiers and two battalions of Ritervis, alongside an armored unit and supporting artillery.
Stalis is at odds with its immediate neighbors, to the southeast, the Jiderani National Union, which they fought in the most brutal front of the Last War. Most of the settlements of southern Stalis were laid to waste, alongside those across the border, in the Union. Otherwise, however, Stalis has maintained decent relations with the international community, especially Kaisa, with which Stalis maintains close trade relations.
Justice is handled by sheriffs appointed by the emperor, which have absolute authority, with the exception of an imperial decree.