Olander Principality

The small but powerful land ruled by a reincarnating king, founded by an errant noble but upheld by the patriotic people

Structure

Governmental Bodies

  The Prince: Rules as a monarch, but is required and demanded by the country's constitution to keep a council of "capable, able-minded officers of Olander birth" before whom he must make all decisions of state. The king has full authority and the ruling seat over the Riksdag, whose power he keeps in check with his own authority and seat as head of the Riksdag. With each inaugration of the Prince of Olander, each member of the current Royal Council must first be convinced to swear allegience to the Prince in true and honest fashion - the Prince is not truly considered official until all members of the council kneel before him and offer proof of their loyalty to him. They are drawn solely from the royal line of Olander, reincarnating spiritually into the bodies of their firstborn children on the day of their birth - they are raised by their mothers(Or stewards, in the event of tragedy or unforseen complications) until they come of age to take the throne as Prince. During this time, the mother or a suitably appointed representative(chosen by the previous king before his reincarnation) will take the Prince's seat as head of the Riksdag to keep the balance of power.   The Royal Council: A council of individuals who are required by law to sit in on all of the Prince's decisions to help advise him on his decisions and to verify he remains of sound and stable mind, to serve as a check to the Prince. Under previous Princes, they were chosen directly by the Prince himself, but to better defend against instability of the Prince they are not chosen directly by the monarch anymore - instead, candidates for the Royal Council are put forth by the monarch and reviewed by the Riksdag, a pseudo-legislative organization made up of members of the populace elected into the seats that check the power of the council. However, they are responsible for checking the power of the Prince - with the power invested in them, they are responsible for rejecting notions put forth by the Prince and wielding their authority over the country to prevent the Prince from becoming an autocrat who oversteps his bounds. They are also reponsible for running the country during the decades of the next king's formative years.  
  • Lord High Steward: The right hand of the Prince - a personal confidant and most trusted of all the Council. They have incredibly broad power and authority to do mostly anything so long as it doesnt interfere with the Prince's Laws or Dictates, and also have the important job of managing the Prince's house and personal matters. Though not always, they are often chosen by the previous Prince before his reincarnation to be the stand in as head of the Riksdag to keep the balance of power.
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  • Lord High Constable: The master of Olander Law, Justice, and head of the countries' armies in times of war. Because the army of Olander, the Olander Defense Force(ODF), is required by law to be a mostly volunteer force(At least 76% volunteer), they are also responsible for recruitment and maintaining the public image and reputation of the army and, in a broader sense, for fostering patriotism in general.
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  • Lord High Sentinel: The master of Olander's adventurer's guilds(Which have been formally integrated into the government), cartography guilds, magical institutions, libraries, and all other such organizations that facilitate Olander's national instution for exploration and documentation of the world and its mysteries. Also handles more secretive matters of the government and is commonly referred to as "Lord High Spymaster" behind closed doors. The most publically beloved member of the council, typically.
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  • Lord High Chancellor: The master of Olander's foreign relations and arguably most important member of the Council. Wields broad power, to ensure the orders of the Prince and the Riksdag are followed across the country. Almost universally drawn from the ranks of clergy or prominent churches.
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  • Lord High Treasurer: The master of Olander's vaults, economy, wealth, and assets.
  The Riksdag: A pseudo-legislative organization made up of members of the populace elected into the seats that checks the power of the council. It is divided broadly into the Upper and Lower Chambers, whose members are elected seperately in eight and four year terms respectively. The Upper Chamber is smaller, sitting typically around 150 members, and has more restricted power compared to the Lower Chamber - which is typically larger in size, typically sitting around 300 people, and has more broad power and political influence. The Upper Chamber is an exclusive group that handles amendments to the Olander Constitution, Treaties of any kind, and final say on matters regarding impeachment or dismissal of members of the Council or Riksdag itself after such a motion is passed in the Lower Chamber. The Lower chamber has much broader power, can generally override the Upper Chamber in many ways, and is the only Chamber capable of initiating a Vote of No Confidence in the Royal Council. Regardless of Chamber, their power is checked by the Prince, who can veto and reject motions passed by the Riksdag with his authority as ruling seat.  

Olander Nobility

  Rather uniquely, Olander has never had a concept of Serfdom like in many other countries - the lands of Olander belong in large part to the crown and to the nobles who rule the lands themselves, rather than being "on lease" from a feudal king. In the case where a noble is granted a castle belonging to the crown, their heirs cannot later claim their ancestors' civil or military rights, meaning that land and castle returns to the hands of the kingdom itself. Consequently, if a noble by their own means or by exploitation of peasants builds a castle and finances troops, then the castle is theirs, though their troops are expected to serve as a part of the army of the realm. Hence, nobility in Olander is basically a class of well-off citizens, not owners of other human beings as in other nations.   The Nobility of Olander is broadly divided into three categories, which are listed below:  
  • The Class of Lords: The rank comprising Counts and Barons, the only two functional Olander 'titles' that work on a hereditary basis. Only the heads of noble families recieve these titles - and though the rank of "Duke" exists, it is functionally dormant, as it is recieved for members of the royal family.
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  • The Class of Knights: A class made up of descendants of past royal councillors, extremely select and old families in the Class of Esquires, and most sizably and notably the "commander families" - the heads of the Olander Royal Military Orders which make up the final 25% of its otherwise volunteer military. They typically hold the titles of "Commander", "Ground Commander", or "Lord Commander" - each holding an increasingly large amount of power and reputation according to their status, position, and size of the force they command or family they head up.
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  • The Class of Esquires: Other untitled nobles, typically those granted nobility by the Prince.
 

Societal Classes:

  Uniquely, Olander does not organize itself into "Classes" - at least, not societally. Because equality, balance, inclusivity, and consideration for others are such core components of Olander's societal structure, the only distinction available to its citizens that they care to use is one in regards to one's birth(Both in regards to "commoner" vs "nobility" as well as one's ethnicity), with such distinctions as "Rich" and "Poor" only used in the broadest sense to signify how well off any given person is. Since they seperate wealth and birth as societal distinctions, their society is largely egalitarian and best described by the popular Olander notion and motto "The People's Home" - most all of its citizens are equal in the eyes of the government rights-wise, and all hold a strong patriotic spirit for the land in which they live.   Olander broadly divides its citizens into lower, middle, and upper class - primarily denoting one's birth, with wealth being a secondary concern. That isn't to say these clases are used to divide the populace - from the point of view of most Olanderans, these classes are largely just a way to identify people more than anything else.   In ancient times, more distinct classes existed such as Clergy, Nobles, Burghers(Property Owning Commoners), and Yeomanry(Freehold Farmers) - though these have fallen by the wayside with recent reforms and the formation of the Riksdag and the "Tripartite System" which has revolutionized Olander Society.

Culture

Olanderans may come across as somewhat reserved or serious at times, as friendships often take time to develop. For foreigners, this demeanour can come across as aloof or distant - However, for many, personal distance is maintained out of respect and consideration for other people's personal space. Thus, an individual's privacy is highly respected. The reserved demeanour of Olanderans is more common in large cities than in rural areas of the country, where openness between neighbors and an "all-family" attitute is more pervasive.   Respect for privacy is important in public spaces - people will often keep their voices low, maintain an arm's length of distance and minimise physical contact. Olanderans may avoid approaching people they do not know unless they have a specific reason to. For example, they will seldom begin a conversation with a service provider in a store, nor sit next to a stranger in a tavern or crowded building or vehicle. However, the value of privacy is not limited to the physical space; they tend not to divulge a lot of personal information about themselves when first meeting others. Olanderans are also unlikely to wish to discuss their personal views with those they are not close to, though this demeanour greatly relaxes once one begins to develop a relationship with them.   Olanderans also tend be very considerate of those around them and will make an effort to do their part to help others remain comfortable. For example, they tend to be quite neat and will rarely litter or create mess.   For more information on Olanderan culture, see the "Shao-lan" section of the Shaoshuan ethnicity page.

Public Agenda

Unlike many of the more combative nations of Zheng-Kitar, the public agenda of the principality is one of isolationism and self-interest - they are much more interested in maintaining their borders and developing their own infrastructure than making war, at least with their current prince Rasmus Elias Oström Olander XV. This policy is in stark contrast to the agenda of the previous Prince, who was a notorious warmonger.

History

The history of the Principality is one that its citizens tout quite proudly - the country was founded shortly after the Fall of the Shaoshu Empire by the legendary founder of the Oström line, Olander Brattavius Shaoshu - who was rumored to have been a brother to the last Emperor of the Shaoshu Empire before its collapse at the hands of Jilixia Worldthrone. Founded as this errant heir to the collapsing empire and its dead emperor rapidly and intelligently abandoned the lost cause of the Empire as a whole to rally a small band of remnants in the lands he was given control over - rallying the people and gathering an army in preperation for the bloody wars of dominance that he knew would come later.   And come they did - scarce few years later, when the wars of bloody dominance wracked the former lands of the empire as dozens and hundreds of minor lords ran amok with their armies trying to carve out fiefs of their own, those that tried to conquer the lands of Olander Brattavius Shaoshu found themselves faced with the might of an army united, and more importantly, an army that burned with fervor and patriotism towards the newly formed lands they had established.   Rapidly carving out his lands, Olander Brattavius Shaoshu quickly founded the Principality proper, refusing to name himself a king out of humility and self-doubt - and in time, before his death, he found himself gifted with the Sacred Truth by The Spirit Kings as proof of his heroism and covenant between he and the gods who supported his line. The details of this Sacred Truth are unknown, but are believed to be the source of the reincarnation ritual used by the Oström line since the Principality's founding.

Demography and Population

The population of the Principality is predominantly Human, though Forest Elves and Dwarves are also fairly common alongside, incredibly, populations of Goblins and Qìtóng - the latter of which seem to form with incredible regularity in the lands of Olander(Assumed to be at least in part due to the blessing of the Ostrom royal line), and the former of which settled in the lands of Olander thanks to the incredible grace of a former Prince, who saw worth in the poor Goblins and gave them a chance at a new life.   To a lesser degree, many species can be found here - with the exceptions of shapechanging races such as Sentient Slime, Lamia, Soshigeist, Výtrúl, Kitsune and Scornfolk who are typically barred from entry or permitted in only under strict supervision and careful watch.

Territories

For the most part, the lands of the Principality are those it had when it was founded many centuries ago - though its borders have expanded and shrunk with the rise and fall of each prince, it has generally stayed the same. Currently, on the whole, thanks to the efforts of the country's previous Prince, it has larger borders than it ever has.

Military

Olander's military is predominately made up of volunteers - its military is over 75% volunteer as mandated by the country's constitution, and divided into the following organizations:  
  • The Olander Defense Force - Better known as the ODF, the defense force serves as both the Principality's army, national guard, town guard and internal defense, as well as its military reserve. While somewhat counterintuitive to most, the ODF's truly massive size compared to the Principality's population means that it is divided broadly into Two Organizations - the Olander Defense Force(ODF), who serve as the country's formal military, and the Olander Security Force(OSF), who serve as the country's national guard, internal defense force, and military reserve. They are fervently patriotic, and have proven themselves time and again as the equal of many powerful militaries - even the likes of the Kassau Matriarchy, whom they recently held their own against in a recent attempted invasion of their lands by that very same Matriarchy.
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  • The Royal Orders - The smaller force that makes up the professional, full-time, mandated 25% percent of the country's military. They are the country's most dedicated warriors(Though not neccesarily the most skilled), who often have the most extensive familial histories and legacies. Each order bears a unique heraldry, typically practices a unique technique, fighting style, or method of battle they ascribe to, and are better equipped than the ODF and are led by the nobles of the Class of Knights. They are a constantly maintained and vigilant force compared to the fluctuating numbers of the ODF, and serve as the country's first line of defense until the volunteer ODF can be rallied and brought to bear.
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  • The Livgardet - The elite guards of the Prince of Olander - commonly referred to as "His Royal Five Hundred" and more unceremoniously as "The Death Guard", the Livgardet are trained from birth to serve as personal bodyguards of the Prince and their household. They accompany the Prince everywhere he travels, and respond only to his noble command. Their mounted combat formations, resplendent blue and gold uniforms and plate mail, and gilded decorations make them an awe-inspiring sight on the battlefield. Many have historically decried them as "naught but pomp and circumstance" and "unskilled pretenders", but they showed their colors very recently and shocked the world when they accompanied their noble Prince into battle against the infamous villainess Jilixia Worldthrone, daughter of the demon queen - earning their colors on the world stage as they fought alongside their prince in perfect formation even as they died by the dozens each second they endured, their bodies scorched to ash by Jilixia's Godfire even as their souls shone bright, pure gold. The very embodiment of perserverence, humility, and honor, they are given the very best training and equipment the country can afford.

Religion

Though most all religion is allowed and encouraged in the Principality, the faith of Kazusada the Elite is the most prevalent faith and religion.

Foreign Relations

The Principality has fairly decent foreign relations, thanks in large part to their current prince, Rasmus Elias Oström Olander XV - the legendary hero widely considered the great Human King in the modern day. With his heroism and force of personality, he has done much to turn around the notoriously awful relations the Principality has had with neighboring countries thanks to previous Princes.

Agriculture & Industry

The Principality has been altogether late to the industrial scene - though it is beginning to change things in that regard, it remains an agricultural powerhouse whose fields and grain productions make it the bread basket of much of central Zheng-Kitar.

Trade & Transport

Trade and Transport is how the Principality makes a large majority of its income - its roads and transport caravans are some of the best in all the world, and for good reason: as a country sitting as the bridge between all four cardinal directions of the continent, most all things travel overland through Olander at some point or another thanks to not only its location, but its reputation as a well-guarded, neutral land where all are welcome so long as they behave. Because of this, the fees they charge merchants, travelers, and the like to pass through their country, for their protection, and for staying within their borders make the Principality large amounts of money almost constantly.

Education

Education in Olander is suprisingly pervasive throughout the population - though the populace usually only recieves a short amount of schooling before allowed into the world to make their own decisions.

The People's Home, The People's Shield.

Founding Date
4214 ASK
Type
Geopolitical, Principality
Alternative Names
The Principality, Olander
Predecessor Organization
Demonym
Olanderan
Leader Title
Head of Government
Government System
Monarchy, Constitutional
Power Structure
Unitary state
Economic System
Command/Planned economy
Currency
Being in the center of the continent of Zheng-Kitar, the Principality interactswith and accepts most all currencies - whether they be Narixian credits, Migrant Fleet Saltsheets, or the traditional three-coin system of Copper, Silver, and Gold.
Major Exports
Iron, Copper, Wood, Food
Major Imports
Salt, Cloth, Exotic Luxury Goods
Legislative Body
Legislative power is in truth vested with the Prince, though the Riksdag also serves as a legislative body in which laws are passed beneath the watchful eye of the Prince.
Judicial Body
Judicial power is in truth vested with the Prince, though the Royal Council and Riksdag help alleviate the immense burdens of rulership that the Prince faces by taking on some judicial duties.
Executive Body
Ultimate executive power rests solely with the Prince - with his Royal Council responsible for helping him ensure such power is obeyed.
Related Ethnicities

Allied Nations

As a nation that was founded by a sibling of the last Emperor of the Unified Shaoshu Empire, the Principality is perhaps expectedly friendly with the current-day Shaoshu Empire - the two nations have even gone so far under the new regime of The Fairchilde Family, royal family of the Shaoshu Empire, that they have signed pacts of mutual assistance to further the relationship the two nations have had since their first meetings.

Neutral but Amicable

In a surprising turn of events for the usually neutral Olander, they have made peace with Kassau despite the Matriarchy's recent attempted invasion of their lands, proving the strength of their convictions and of their volunteer armies to the mighty warrior women of the Guezhan Rainforest.
  What many thought would devolve into a world war across the continent was instead prevented by the generosity and quick thinking of Olander's Prince, who instead forgave the Matriarchy and cultivated a healthy, neutral but amicable relationship based on the results of the attempted invasion.

Neutral

Though many individual Astaran Clans hold opinions on the Principality(Typically negative ones, after the campaigns waged by the current prince's father against them), the countries as a whole is relatively neutral towards each other, and have never really made strides to meet on common ground beyond the formal introductions required by courtesy.

Comments

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2 Oct, 2021 05:25

This was an interesting article and nation! Not much to say about it in general. It was well-structured and written. All in all good!
I also got some heavy Swedish/Scandinavian vibes from this, which I personally like a lot. Especially when it came to the culture section and distance. I also like the governmental and military structures.
So yeah, keep up the good work! ^-^

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