Republic of Skarhu

Skarhu, officially the Republic of Skarhu, is a large country on the island of Skarhu. It is one of if not the largest country in all Abravost, rivalled only by the vast stretches of Waal Zaimyatl. It was the first country to become independent from The Vosti Empire, though not quite as a result of its own actions.

History

We were half used to solitude already. I can count on one hand the times I've seen an imperial official, and on less the times I've seen the Emperor visit. We were a trophy on their shelf, and we all knew that. We were content in that role, because it left us free. But there was structure in it, still. The empire was still behind many of our systems, the empire was still there to fall back on, to trade with, to experience the world with. Now we have nothing. What do we do?
— Resaven Berem, 1 AC
Long before the Vosti Conquest, the Skarhu region was directly connected to the continent of Abravost and inhabited by many diverse people groups. The group who lend their name to the region, the Skarhans, inhabited the south western coasts and were one of the stronger parties.
With the Vosti Conquest, the whole of Abravost fell under Vosti control, with many groups surrendering their independence in favour of protection from neighbouring rival factions. The Skarhans maintained hold of their territory for the longest of the western tribes, falling in the late 500s BC.
Due to being far from Vosti centres of power, much of Skarhu was left with minimal oversight, with the main law enforcement being the threat of imperial violence. The lack of direct influence, especially on the western coasts, enabled the locals to retain their culture more effectively than in other regions, and to develop a sense of a united western identity.
This identity would be central in forming the republic, which became necessary after The Collision separated Skarhu from the rest of Abravost, moving it so far west that it was impossible to see. With their link to the Empire severed - as many in the Empire believed that Skarhu had simply disappeared rather than been moved - it became vital that the people form their own power structure to unite. So was founded the Republic of Skarhu, made up of a federation of 4 counties. The decision was made to keep the relative independence of each county in emulation of how they had operated under Vost.
Skarhu would formally reach back out to the eastern parts of Abravost in 142 AC, acting as a completely independent entity. This caused much controversy with the Empire, who were fresh off the loss of Waal Zaimyatl in 107 AC and not happy with the idea of 'losing' more land. In the end, Skarhu established numerous trade routes and remained independent.
After The Separation, the Vosti Civil War engulfed the Empire. Skarhu was officially neutral at its outset, but this changed with a plea from the Wenz Archipelago. Just off the southern coast of Vost, they requested Skarhan aid to ensure their own neutrality in the conflict. When they agreed, Vost declared war, assuming their arrival in the archipelago was an invasion. This war did not last long, as Skarhu decimated them in a naval battle and blockaded their ports at Shonyul, preventing them from sending supplies by ship to their northern outposts. Vost quickly sought peace in order to reopen the sea, ceding all their major island holdings to Skarhu. This interference by Skarhu in the civil war is often cited as one of the factors in the Kingdom of Telziad's ultimate victory, as it had forced Vost into a war on three fronts and drawn soldiers away from the critical northern front. This helped cement Skarhu as a friend to the Telziad monarchy, and to a lesser extent the government of Waal Zaimyatl.

Structure

Skarhu is, at the federal level, a bicameral presidential republic. The lower house, the Skarhan Assembly, has each member represent an equal amount of voters. The leader of the party with a majority of members will be appointed as Prime Minister. The upper house, the Skarhan Council, has 6 councillors from each of the 12 counties, so designed to balance out the power of the more highly populated counties like Plumtris. Assembly terms last 3 years, while Council terms last 6 on a staggered system, meaning at each election half of the council will face voters.
The President of Skarhu is elected separately on a 3 year term, requiring a majority of votes to take office. Where no candidate achieves a clear majority, such as in a case where two candidates have 40% with additional candidates holding the remaining 20%, the Assembly will vote on who will become President, and the Council will elect a Vice-President.
The 12 counties of Skarhu largely operate in similar fashions, but with some differences. In the county of Plumtris, for instance, the 'Mayor' of the county is elected from within whichever party wins a majority in the lower house, and must have themself won a seat in that house. Some of the less densely populated counties will operate with just one house of parliament, usually emulating the Skarhan Assembly. Some counties will further devolve power to local councils, especially in highly urbanised areas.

Demography and Population

The majority of Skarhan citizens, regardless of species, are considered to be ethnic Skarhan, at approximately 78% of the population. 8% are of Lialpumpámtii descent, though many of them identify as Skarhan. 6% of Vosti, largely as a result to the close geographical locations of their capitals and Skarhu's ownership of the Wenz Archipelago. Another 4% are Yulemto, as a result of Vosti ceding the Yulemta Archipelago. 3% are Telziado, and 1% are Zaimyalkee.
Species-wise, Skarhu is the country with the lowest elven population, at only 10% of the populace. This is largely due to the low amount of elves which appeared there due to the Collision, and the distance from Waal Zaimyatl. Of note is that only 10% of the elven population identify as Zaimyalkee, accounting for most of the Zaimyalkee in the country. The rest generally identify as Skarhan or Lialpumpámtii, though some Suungkee elves are known to live there.

Territories

The majority of the republic is confined to the island of Skarhu, which is the second largest landmass in Abravost. The rest of its territory is on outlying islands. A long extinct caldera in Skarhu's west is the only island which is unambiguously theirs, with all others having past or present disputes. Skarhu claims all islands within the Shattered Strait which separate it from its fellows, which Vost had previously claimed. These matter little, as they are largely volcanic and uninhabited.
The islands north of Telziad were claimed by Skarhu during the Civil War, and briefly caused conflicts with the newly independent Telziad. They were formally ceded in 338 AC. The islands south of Vost were similarly claimed during the Civil War, and were given to them by Vost in a treaty in 331 AC. Since the Civil War ended in 336, however, Vost has returned to claiming the islands. Little action has come of this.

Foreign Relations

Skarhu is officially a neutral party, prizing itself on its dedication of self-reliance and peace. In reality, it has some distinct diplomatic biases.

  • Key amongst them is their dislike for the Vosti Empire, who conquered them long ago and who continue to lay claim to portions of their territory. To put it charitably, the two are not friends, and many of their policies are designed to specifically mess with the other. In this, Skarhu has the last laugh, as they can bypass Vost for...
  • Waal Zaimyatl, with whom Skarhu has far better relations. The distance makes it difficult for them to communicate often, but their similar styles of government and Waal Zaimyatl's generous aid in regards to expansion of magical education has made them friends.
  • The Kingdom of Telziad is by far Skarhu's closest friend, in large part due to Skarhan aid during the Civil War. Skarhu's northern counties frequently trade with cities like Sinofis. Relations have become somewhat awkward during the reign of King Dravulean II, however.

The people decide

Founding Date
2 AC
Type
Geopolitical, Republic
Capital
Plumtris
Alternative Names
The Skarhan Republic (informal), The Republic of Western Abravost (Vosti Insult)
Demonym
Skarhan
Leader
Ahemi Mohil
Government System
Democracy, Presidential
Power Structure
Federation
Legislative Body
Upper House - Skarhan Council
Lower House - Skarhan Assembly
Subsidiary Organizations
Location
Skarhu
Official Languages
Organization Vehicles
Notable Members
Related Ethnicities
Related Reading
Abravost
Geographic Location | Jul 1, 2020

The continent found in the far south, split in two by the Collision

Plumtris
Settlement | Jun 14, 2019

Capital of Skarhu

The Flag

The flag of Skarhu contains 12 five-pointed stars in a circle, each rotated so as to create a circular shape with their ends. These stars represent the 12 constituent counties of Skarhu. The 4 larger stars represent the four counties which united after the Collision to become Skarhu. The pale yellow colour is meant to emulate stars in the sky as well as to symbolise hope, with the dark blue field representing the vast ocean which Skarhu felt it was surrounded by. The flag has gone through many iterations through the years based on how many counties exist.
Skarhu Flag

Articles under Republic of Skarhu



Cover image: Tiyu Amara by Casey Horner

Comments

Author's Notes

This article was made for WorldEmber 2018


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11 Dec, 2018 14:35

Nice article! It's a good detail with the last info on the flag, and great flag too btw!! I like how you've color-coded the map, it's very pleasing to look at :D

12 Dec, 2018 03:10

Thank you!! :D

Writer of Tiyu Amara, and friendly discord moderator!