Flottland is a large region bordering the Tjornin Ocean and Myvatn Gulf with a population of approximately 1,230,239 and an area of 945,950km2, making it one of the largest areas in the known world. The capital and largest city is Stalheila, with Stalheila and Viborg Peninsula in the north-west of the region being home to over two-thirds of the population. Flottland is a geographically diverse region with boreal woodlands to the north, wide grassy plains in the centre, marshland to the south, and the vast Ar Kudir desert to its east. The region is warmed by the Tjornin Ocean from the south and has a temperate climate, despite being close to the Yura Circle.
According to ancient historical texts, the city-state of Stalheila was settled more than 400 years ago by people who traversed over the Hofsjokull Mountains under the guidance of chieftain Reidar Vigursson. The region flourished and became home to many competing city-states. By 50 SA, Olfun Asketill united them under his noble houses banner. An era of expansion led to many colonies in both the north and southern regions of Flottland where they met the Elves of the south and the Dwarves calling Baula their home. In the late 150’s SA, Orcs were encountered from the eastern side of the mountains dividing the region and caused turmoil amongst the Flottlandish. The turmoil eventually blew out a generation later in the 200’s SA when the Kritarchy formed the Council of Krites and overthrew the nobility that had ruled for hundreds of years, declaring independence as Flottland on 232 SA. The region again flourished under the new leadership before being struck with diseases and political turmoil amongst the new governing system. By 350 SA the nations forts had crumbled due to old age and the military was in shambles. An orcish invasion from the east spurred the Krites into action with the dwarves of the mountain as the orcs penetrated deep into the west, pillaging towns. Fifty years passed while the people of Flottland struggled to push back the orcish invaders, until eventually a united alliance of Dwarves and Flottlandish assembled to fight them back. By 400 SA the Flottlanders had retaken all their territory and sought to invade the east soon.
Flottland has an agricultural economy with relatively high taxes imposed by the Krites. It does not maintain any sort of social welfare system as it is feudal in its basic form. The many farms of Flottland support a delicate trade-based economy in its larger settlements.
Flottlandish culture is founded upon the nations ‘Asketill’ heritage. Most Flottlandish are descendants of the great tribes that migrated to the west from somewhere over the mountains. The country’s cultural heritage includes traditional Flottlandish cuisine, literature and sagas. It has a large standing army, the Adjudicators, that ensure both its external and internal security. There is a lightly armed navy that rarely serves in a military capacity.
Flottland justice-based single party system. Following the 232 rebellions, the political structure was reformed to be represented by a small oligarchy of judges. These judges, or Krites, form one part of a three-part government system involving Magistrates and Adjudicators at lower levels of governing.
Flottland is an oligarchical kritocracy. The modern government, known as the Krites was founded in 232 SA after great rebellions lead by the rich and powerful after a long period of turmoil in the region. It was widely seen as a re-establishment of the region from its previous monarchy-based government. The Council of Krites, it’s absolute governing body, currently has 8 members, elected for a term of ten years by the magistrates practicing the corresponding religion associated with each position (the eight gods of Bura). There is no term limit to the position of Krite.
The Council of Krites is directly involved in all matters of state and religion for the nation of Flottland, making the position sought after by all those involved in government. Most importantly, the Krites make decisions regarding matters of law. Though no codified document of law exists, the Krites set a “doctrine of precedent”, whereby all past cases heard and adjourned are noted, influencing future decisions. An example of this strange form of law; all those born into Flottlandish society are required to train and work in the same profession as their elders for 15 years prior to pursing alternative forms of employment.
Flottland is divided into regions, provinces and counties. There are four regions in total, defined by geographical features. The western peninsula, northern forests, southern steppes and eastern mountains. The regions are overseen by the Krites. In 232 when the Krites took power, no provincial structure existed, an amendment was made to create nine provinces:
- Western (Viborg Peninsula and Kjarnaskogur Woodlands)
- Northern (Osverg Narrows and Karahm Prairies)
- Stalheila (city region)
- Southern (Kalan Valley, Hvitjoen Flats and Kivesi Plains)
- Eastern (Bemrihm Foothills)
The provincial system was brought into place by the Krites in order to decentralize and maintain their form of government. A magistrate, elected by the local populaces religious practitioners, is in-charge of their provinces decentralized format of government. Magistrates function as a lower format of Krites, having similar powers over their respective provinces but still answering to the power above them.
74 counties in Flottland govern local matters such as schools, transportation, zoning, trade, etc. Counties are often run by Senior Adjudicators, a unique military body that manages both internal and external security of the nation.
Flottland maintains its standing army, the Adjudicators, in order to exert control and security over the nation. The Adjudicators act as a military command, created at the request of the Krites in order to protect against the eastern orcish threat. Post-342 SA they were repurposed to take control of counties and answer to magistrates in their respective provinces.
Beyond their governing positions, the Adjudicators maintain a sizeable military force that staffs the many forts and defensive structures of Flottland. Senior Adjudicators are appointed to each county with a small contingent of non-commissioned officers to exert their influence, often taking the form of suppressing rebellions and dissent amongst the populace.
By 372 SA, Flottland became one of the most influential nations in the region from its output of fertile crops planted throughout its expansive farmland. Much of the southern and eastern portions of the nation consist of rich soil suitable to plant crops almost year-round. This form of economy has led to many far-reaching impacts throughout the nation.
Flottlandish historians have posited that the area was originally settled for its open-plains and coastal areas, very suitable for hunter-gatherer tribes. When the first monarchies ruled over the lands, a caste system was put in place to manage the sudden influx of agricultural yield. Nobility would own the land and peasants would farm it for them. Each peasant was paid by the nobility to do so. This structure later led to the rebellions of 232 and installed the Krites into power over the land.
Initially, the Krites wanted to maintain the old system as it brought wealth to the ruling class, but they saw that it would not be possible given the unrest it created in the region. They adjusted the caste system so that farmers were given state-funded accommodation and benefits. In exchange, the farmers could take a 15% cut of the raw goods harvested each season, to do with whatever they wished. The remaining 85% was taken by the Krites and distributed throughout the region.
When the provincial system was installed, the Krites laid the responsibility of managing the farms to the local magistrate. Magistrates then further decentralized the system to Senior Adjudicators whose counties fell within farmland. The social hierarchy around farming became increasingly complicated and by 372 SA, it was hard to know who exactly was collecting the raw goods and distributing them appropriately. Unrest is growing in the region as farmers want to simplify the system, but the Krites are entrenched in their position, afraid to meddle with the sensitive economy that has been created.
Beyond the vast agricultural fields, trade is abundant in Flottland. Many of the larger settlements act as hubs to share goods throughout the many regions, ensuring that those in the south have access to goods only accessible in the north. Crops also became a valuable commodity in creating diplomatic relations with the dwarves, whose many mountain-homes are not as sustainable as wide-open fields. However, in recent history the relations between dwarves and Flottland have worsened over tensions. The dwarves provided valuable minerals to the Flottlandish and not having access to those minerals anymore is beginning to slow the economy down.
Flottland’s history shows that the monarchies operating from 50 to 232 SA were successful in diplomatic relations with other races in the region. Dwarves most notably became close trade partners with Flottland and Elves would share cultural tales and mingle with the populace. Over-time the elves became less approving of the destructive agricultural ways of Flottland and distanced themselves from the monarchy.
The orcish incursions in 172 SA caused tensions between Flottland and the dwarven kingdoms due to a slow military response on behalf of the nation. Relations further worsened during the invasion of 352 SA when the dwarf’s cities were completely overrun and much of the population fell to slavery. The distinct lack of elvish intervention during these tumultuous times has created resentment between the elvish and Flottland. The installation of the Krites also damaged relations when their new doctrines were put in place.
By 237 SA the Krites had begun to impose on the basic rights of people who were not human. The first change came when the elves sealed their borders along Osheim in 233, stating they did not want to engage in relations with the new government. The Krites responded by disallowing elves in certain professions, namely they were not allowed to be elected as a Krite even if they met all other criteria. For the hundred years after this period relations continued to worsen, stagnating at a point where most elves were banished to slums should they reside in Flottlandish cities.
The annexation of much of Flottland in 352 SA caused the population, both human and non-human, to be enslaved by the orcs of the east. Many years later these slaves would be liberated by the newly reinforced Adjudicators, but until that time relations continued to deteriorate following stories of Flottlanders only being freed during surrenders at major battles.
Post-352 SA the Krites became intense in their decision making regarding the many other races of the region. Magistrates were no longer allowed to be non-human; basic rights were further restricted disallowing certain races from professions. These decisions were backed by the wider populace due to the tensions with the orcs, half-orcs that lived among the Flottlanders became the primary reason for the decisions. Finally, the Krites decreed the purification of the Adjudicators. Leading up to the invasion of 352, there were reports of dissent, betrayal and abandoning one’s duties. Some of these accounts include half-orc officers refusing to fight or engage in offensive actions against the orcs of the east. In 360 SA the Krites announced that only humans would serve in the ranks of the Adjudicators. The decision lead to a swath of unemployed people flooding the major cities, creating vast slums attempting to deal with the overpopulation.
A heavy caste system has been the social-norm in Flottland since its consolidation under its original monarch. The Krites continued this tradition in its imposing of the 15-year profession ruling. This ruling creates a difficult dynamic for lower-caste people to climb the ladder to a prestigious position in society. The relations with the many non-human races has worsened this creating a large amount of unemployment in lower-castes due to the already employed people at that level.
Both gender and sexual orientation issues remain untouched in day-to-day matters. The Krites believe that everyone, if they abide by the doctrine of precedent, may remain within the borders of Flottland without issue.
Flottlandish culture has its roots in the tribal and nomadic traditions of its ancestors who came from over the mountains to the east. Flottlandish literature is popular, particularly the sagas and epics written during the early monarchy period (50 – 200 SA).
Flottlanders place great importance on self-sufficiency and honour; many believe being self-sufficient and living off the land is very important, as well as serving your country to ensure it advances. Local militia and serving in the Adjudicators are held as a high-status position in society, enabling Flottland to maintain many training camps throughout its borders. Post-352 the forts are also well-maintained and staffed, as it is seen as necessary to defend against the orcish threat.
The distinctive rendition of the Flottlandish landscape by its painters is linked to its nationalism and the movement for a stronger military, a movement that remains very strong to this day. Many of the artistic pieces completed by Ulfur Annelsson and Askell Ottarsson are held in high regard, most of which are paintings of the many battles fought during 352 SA.
Much of Flottlandish music is related to the old tribe’s music, including strange folk traditions. There are many operas and musical orchestras that play in the many theatres around the nation to entertain the local populace. The String Orchestra of Frigard and Horns of Fornhagi are well known throughout the nation.
Much of Flottland’s cuisine is based on fish, grains and dairy products, with little to no utilisation of herbs or spices. Due to the region’s climate, fruits and vegetables are a common component of traditional dishes. Selvagr Nut Mix is a widely organised snack in households, consisting of pickled vegetables and nut mixes harvested from the fields. Tjald Snapper is also a rich fish-based dish that it sought after for its unique gingery flavour and side of broasted lime. Mead is a popular beverage in Flottland, with many towns local pubs serving all sorts of different flavourings. Flottland’s signature alcoholic beverage is brennivin
, a type of schnapps made from distilled potatoes and flavoured with caraway seeds.
The gods of Bura are also of great importance to the Flottlandish people. Many pray for good harvests, warm summers and rainy fall seasons to ensure their crops grow well. Priests and local clergymen are active in their parishes to ensure the religious needs are being met. Krites have made it a doctrine of precedent that each county must have at least one temple of worship to one of the many gods. If one is not present, the Krites have promised funding to ensure one is built. The people of Flottland place great importance upon religious practices, as it is seen as partaking in the community and socialising.
Technological advancement in Flottland has been slow as they are facing an age of war and turmoil between the east and western regions of the continent. War is regularly met with swords, shields and siege engines such as trebuchets. Not all gods view technology as being irrelevant however, people who follow Skyr often seek out new knowledge and dedicate their lives to discovering hidden secrets of the land.
Flottland has always known magic throughout its borders. Though the study of magic remains laborious and mysterious, left to the scholars of society, the states interest continues to grow in the properties and uses of magic. There are also rumours of hermits deep inside the northern woodlands capable of using magic without any study, though they are often shunned by society. The followers of Deyja, those that practice death magic, are also shunned by Flottland society and hunted by the Adjudicators. In contrast, those that practice Dalur’s life-based magic or the healing flames of Karora are highly sought after in society to staff hospitals. How people use magic, aside from the study of it, remains a mystery. Some theorize it relates to their devotion to a god. Others posit that the gods themselves choose who can practice their magic.
Sport is an important part of Flottlandish culture, as the population is generally quite active. The main traditional sport is Glima, a form of wrestling thought to have originated from the old monarchies. Popular sports also include a crude form of football and swimming.