The Kingdom of Arendaal is an affluent Constitutional Monarchy in Northern Europe. Established as a Kingdom in 710, modern Arendaal is a rich, tolerant, liberal-democratic and largely neutral state. It is renowned for its economic prosperity, rich culture, and overwhelming beauty. Historically, the country is famous both as the home of the fierce Viking people, and later - almost paradoxicaly - as a social and intellectual haven where art, enlightenment and tolerance have flourished. It has been home to such greats as Mozart, Shakespeare, Da Vinci, , and countless others. Such is the cultivated history of the "Kingdom of Crystal" which has earned it the epithet "Star of the North".
Modern Arendaal's wealth is dually founded upon its service sector and its natural resources, most notably its Banking System and Oil and Natural Gas Reserves. Its income funds generous social security and welfare systems, alongside education and health systems of the very highest calibre. Its open immigration policies, accepting population and ample political and social freedoms create one of the highest standards of life in Europe. It neighbours Batavië, Suionia and Eireann, and shares maritime borders with states from Bantyr and Cambria to Franken, Vistrasia, Olmolungring and Montelimar.
|Wealthy, healthy society with a high standard of living, equality, low crime, low social unrest, good education system, high incomes, pensions, care for the weaker in society, etc; beautiful landscapes and landmarks; rich cultural and artistic history, thriving cultural and social life; open to other cultures; warm, welcoming populace; tolerant society opposed to xenophobia or racism; populace tends to be bilingual or trilingual; excellent wine and food||Expensive to those who don't have an Aren level of income; drink culture which encourages binging; a bureaucracy that has to be seen to be believed; wet weather in most areas, very cold winters; local language (Norsk (Norsk Arnen)) difficult to learn, population often apathetic, politically and otherwise|
Arendaal has been a Constitutional Monarchy and Parliamentary Democracy since 1800. Universal suffrage was to remain elusive until 1851, and it not until 1949 that the country assumed the form of a social wefare state which it embodies today.
Given that the country is a Parliamentary Democracy and Constitutional Monarchy, the role of Monarch is largely that of a Ceremonial Head of State. However, while the nation is ruled by a democratically elected government, the Head of State retains important veto powers that can be exercised pending Parliament's approval. The Monarchy enjoys immense popularity, not least because they are not supported by tax revenue. Instead, the family are privately wealthy thanks to far-sighted investments such as buying 5% of Royal StatOil (Arendaal's largest oil company) when it was founded in 1949.
Head of Government Edit
Arendaal's Head of Government is currently Prime Minister Svea Bjornsen, of the Social Democratic Party of Arendaal.
The Prime Minister, as has been the custom since 1800, is typically the head of a major political party who is chosen by the Parliament (Stortinget), which is in turn elected by the citizens of Arendaal. The Prime Minister may serve no more than four four-year terms (consecutive or otherwise), although the average has historically been of two terms.
Parliament: Stortinget & RiksrådetEdit
The Aren National Parliament (Stortinget) is the chief repository of political power as delegated directly by Aren citizens through their votes. Six parties are represented in the current Parliament: three in the governing coalition and three in the opposition. In addition to its legislative functions, it serves as a check upon the power of the executive branch of government. Arendaal has various systems of checks and balances to prevent concentration of power in the central government, an individual or a single group.
The 'Upper House' or National Council (Riksradet) is the representation of the 12 provinces (fylker) of Arendaal. It is accordingly composed of delegates from the provincial governments. Seats are allotted to provinces in accordance with the population of the province, yet articles in the Constitution ensure that the smaller provinces receive a great deal of representation per inhabitant. In contrast to many other legislative bodies, the provincial delegates to the Riksrådet are required to vote as a bloc and represent the position of the provincial government.
Judiciary of ArendaalEdit
The core concept of the Aren Constitution, and by extension its legal and judicial systems, is that of a government and society based on the "Basic Law" that all citizens must be guaranteed equality, and all basic civil, political, social and economic liberties, including protection and respect. The judicial system comprises three types of courts: local, specialized and constitutional. The Supreme Constitutional Court" is the country's highest court and has played a vital role through its interpretative rulings on the "Basic Law" (the Aren Constitution). It is largely here that government decisions can be amended by the judiciary. National law delineates the structure of the judiciary, but the administration of most courts is regulated by Provincial Law. The Provinces are responsible for the lower levels of the court system; the highest appellate courts alone operate at the National level. This national-provincial division of labor allows the Supreme Court to ensure that laws are enforced equally throughout the country, whereas the central role of the Provinces in administering the courts safeguards the independence of the judicial system from the National government (though it may be challenged if they abuse human rights laws).
The Aren Armed Forces, or Försvarsmaken, are a Government agency who report to the Ministry of Defense. As a neutral nation, the Armed Forces are geared exclusively towards defense - thus the standing Armed Forces are not large, but are superbly trained, skilled and disciplined, and very effective. Furthermore due to the policy of conscription, all adult males are required to serve in the Armed Forces for a 12 month period in whatever capacity best suits them (although they may also perform civil service for an equal period instead)
The most active branch of Arendaal's Armed Forces are the Intelligence Services. Somewhat notorious, they specialize in gathering all sorts of potentially useful intelligence and, as snide observes sometimes suggest, secretly sell any information whih their own government does not require to friendly states. Such allegations, however, are purely speculative and have never been proven or acknowledged as anyting other than untrue by the organization itself.
Arendaal is a neutral state and maintains friendly and cordial relations with most of the world's countries. Its closest ties are dictated by geographical proximity however, it has positive relations with states throughout the world.
For more information see: Foreign Relations of Arendaal
Arendaal is located in the region of Scandinavia in Northern Europe. It borders Batavië, Suionia and Eireann, and shares maritime borders with a number of states, from Bantyr and Cambria to Franken, Vistrasia, Olmolungring and Montelimar. Below is a map of Arendaal showing its 10 provinces (fylker) and the 3 administrative divisions into which these provinces are divided. For more information see Geography of Arendaal
Regions and ProvincesEdit
Arendaal is divided into three Administrative Divisions: Norseland, Frankish Neustria and Norse Austrasia, which in turn are divided into a total of 10 provinces (fylker). The country is also divided (for historical purposes) along the lines of 2 Principalities and 20 Grand Duchies, although since 1949 these have been only titular and have no political bearing on the regions of Arendaal (for a list of these see: List of Principalities, Grand Duchies)
Terrain and ClimateEdit
Arendaal is renowned for its spectacular natural beauty. The nation is mountainous, with many snowy peaks and gentle rolling hills (these are limited mostly to the south-west). Its coastline is fringed with fjords. From the coast the land rises sharply to high plateau. The highest peak is in the south-east of the country, which rises up to 3,472 m (Mount Thor). West of which lies perhaps the largest glacier field in Europe. The mountains and plateaus are intersected by fertile valleys, and by rapid rivers, which furnish hydroelectric power and are used for logging. The nation is covered in lush pine forests and fertile lands and several waterfalls. The Eastern border of the country is lined with high mountain ranges.
Arendaal shares the extremely cold climate typical of Northern Europe, experiencing heavy snowfall in winters and rainfall throughout most of the year. However, the coast has a milder climate for a northern country, although winters in the East and North are especially long and cold. The centre, south and west of the country enjoys the mildest climate, with especially beautiful warm weather during the summer in the provinces of Champagne and Norse Lorraine.
- Land: glaciated; mostly high plateaus and rugged mountains broken by fertile valleys; fertile plains; coastline deeply indented by fjords; arctic tundra in north-east; 5 main rivers which branch out into several smaller rivers. Most cities are located on or near a major river.
- Land use: arable land: 40% forests and woodland: 48%
- Natural resources: petroleum, oil, silver, platinum, diamonds, copper, natural gas, pyrites, nickel, steel, iron ore, zinc, lead, fish, timber, hydropower, coal, precious stones
For more information see: Geography of Arendaal
- Main article: History of Arendaal
Timeline of Aren HistoryEdit
- Ancient history - Frankish-Germanic tribes migrate north, Warr's Celtic Empire influences Scania
- 250 - 710 - Aren territories exist as the Kingdoms of Norskland, Neustria, Norsk-Austrasia and Fjordmark
- 700 - 900s - Viking Age; Aren Vikings pillage far and wide, either returning with treasure or settling abroad
- 710 - The Kingdom of Arendaal founded by King Gustav I, following the Wars of Unification (690 - 710)
- 724 - Marriage of Karl I to Bruunhilda of Swabia (Wiese); the first famous Royal Aren Marriage with Europe
- 840 – Elite Aren Guard established in the Talemantine Empire by Empress Theodora I. Expanded in the 10th century under Issaco II, it continues to thrive today
- 955 - Coronation of the country's first Queen Regent, Queen Svea I
- 900s - Sporadic warfare with Éirrean, ended by Arendaal's Christianization in 1020
- 1020 - King Matthias I (Saint Matthias) declares Arendaal a Christian Kingdom ("Baptism of the North")
- 1066 – Invasion of Arendaal by Reynaud “the Conqueror” of x
- 1092 - Princess Kasia marries KnutKnýtling, hired by Duke ofFranken to conquerSchlesnitz(Olmolungring)
- 1100s - 12th century Renaissance and rise of Gothic architecture
- 1221 - 1570s - Several Aren cities join the Hanseatic League, a trading network stretching across Europe
- 1310 - 1350 - Outbreaks of the plague, known as the Black Death, sporadically ravage Arendaal
- 1330s - Kings of Arendaal lose control of Solardeten; strong amicable ties are re-established in the 1350s
- 1350 - 1424 - Union of Bergen between Arendaal and Suionia; a series of personal unions unite the two Kingdoms under a single Aren monarch, from Edvard II to Niklaas III
- 1408 - 1608 - Aren Renaissance flourishes between the reigns of Niklaas III and Adeliza I
- 1446 - 1478 - Madeleine of Arendaal influences the rule of her husband Holy Germanic Emperor Heinrich V
- 1497 - Marguerite I crowned; Laws of Succession now favour a Monarch's eldest child, male or female
- 1545 - 1560 - The Wars of Religion in Arendaal pit Catholics against Protestants
- 1560s - 1720s - Scientific Revolution and growth of Aren trading companies
- 1560 - Arendaal declared a Protestant Kingdom under Kristian II; Acts for the Preservation of Religious Freedoms enacted to protect Catholics and other religious groups
- 1573 - Marriage of Adeliza I and Robert of Franken cements the most powerful Protestant alliance in Europe
- 1585 - Aren trading company, the Kunglig Nordiska Handelsföretag (KNH), founded under Adeliza I, with the patronage of the Emperors of Keida. Establishes global trading posts and becomes one of the most important in the world
- 1666 - 1672 - Under Greger I, the Aren fight with Franken in the German-German War against Wiese
- 1680s - 1790s - Age of Enlightenment and the expansion of global trade
- 1693 - Aren Prince Prince Kristian becomes King of Ormssex-Colne(now part of Engellex; his heirs rule until 1834
- 1715 - Ascent of the House of Nareath (a branch of the Kapétien Dynasty) with the coronation of Gustav V
- 1790 - 1800 - The Revolution of Light erupts against the autocratic rule of Hathor III
- 1800 - Arendaal established as a Constitutional Monarchy and Parliamentary Democracy with Limited Suffrage under King Karl V ("the Great")
- 1812 - 1956 - Suionia (Götarike) is ruled by the Aren King in a Union of the Crowns (the second Union of Bergen)
- 1850s - 1890s - The Second Industrial Revolution in Arendaal
- 1851 - Universal Suffrage granted during the reign of Queen Louisa I
- 1940s - Arendaal is partially occupied in the Great War
- 1945 - Foundation of Royal StatOil by the Aren government based on vast oil and natural gas reserves
- 1950 - Modern social welfare system established in Arendaal and official policy of neutrality adopted
- 1952 - A Suionian Republic unilaterally declared but is broken up by Aren covert-ops in Göteköping
- 1955 - 1956 - West Suionia (Svealand) opts for absorption into Arendaal; the East is established as the independent Kingdom of Suionia
- 2010 - Arendaal joins the Northern Council and agrees to adopt its new currency
Flag & Coat of ArmsEdit
The modern version of the Aren has existed since 1800, when the Revolution of Light ended. Previous flags featured variations on the Nordic cross, which remains predominant in the current flag design and has served as the inpiration for flags across the region. A rearing horse is also present, the emblem on the shield of Arendaal's founding father and first King, Gustav I who united the nation in 710. In addition, it features three "fleurs de lys", the flower representing the Aren Monarchy and the number symbolizing the unity between the three "Regions" of the nation: Norseland, Frankish Neustria and Norse Austrasia.
Coat of Arms
The coat of arms of the nation of Arendaal has existed in its current form since 1715, when the House of Nareath, a branch of the Kapetien Dynasty (which has ruled the nation via several of its branches since 710), came to the throne. It features a rearing stallion, the national animal of Arendaal, and a pattern of "fleur de lys", a symbol of the Aren monarchy since the eigth century.
Fleur de LysEdit
The Fleur de Lys (or "fleur de lis", translated from both French and Norsk as "lily flower") is a stylized design of a lily or iris which has been an enduring symbol of Arendaal, and specifically of the Monarchy of Arendaal since the 8th century. It was adopted by King Gustav I to sybolize the Crown's fealty to the Frankish Neustria region of the country, which is historically connected to the French and German speaking nations of Europe (since the dark ages, the region experienced an influx of Frankish settlers, who intermarried with the local Nordic population to produce the unique culture of the area).
The economy of Arendaal is largely supported by its oil and natural gas reserves, the sprawling banking system and the fact that its cities are a European centre for business and investment. In recent years, automobile and ship manufacture as well as tourism have also come to contribute significantly to revenue. High productivity combined with high quality products and services, investor and business-friendly governments, flawless infrastructure, excellent education and training systems, and currency stability all make Arendaal one of the best business locations in Europe.
Major industries include banking, oil & natural gas, insurance, real estate, retailing, luxury goods, precious stones and minerals, electronic equipment, machine tools, steel and nonferrous metals, chemicals, textiles and processed foods. Construction has long been one of Arendaal's largest industries, with the help of multi-billion dollar government contracts in the civil sector.
- GDP-per capita: purchasing power parity: $85,000
- GDP-real growth rate: 6.5%
- GDP-composition by sector: agriculture: 4% industry: 30% services:68 %
- Inflation rate-consumer price index: 2%
- Unemployment rate: 1.90%
The economy of Arendaal is largely contingent upon revenue generated from the vast Oil and Natural Gas Reserves found in the North of the country and off its northern, western and to a lesser extent its southern coasts. Since the discovery of Oil and Natural Gas in these waters during 1949, Arendaal's chief state owned Oil Company - Royal StatOil - has used the revenue to fund the Aren welfare, education and health systems, the high living standards of the populace and various other services. These systems are of the most excellent quality and are provided for free to the citizens of Arendaal. The vast revenue generated from oil also ensures that taxes in Arendaal are not high as they do not serve to fund the extensive benefits received by citizens. The company does have some private shareholders, including the Royal Family. It is oil revenue, and not state taxes, which financially support the Royal Family. The three largest oil companies are:
- Royal StatOil
- Kiersblad Oil
- Svensen Oil
The banking sector is one of the most important branches of the Aren economy. Almost 12% of the nation's workforce is employed in the industry. It contributes over one-tenth of the added value of the Aren economy. Aren banks manage over 2 trillion European Marks in assets, of which more than half comes from foreign countries. The banking system, is based on the concept of universal banking, whereby all banks can offer all banking services (a concept not akin to most countries, which separate commercial banking from investment banking).
Arendaal has a long tradition of economic and financial stability, which translates into low inflation, low interest rates and a significant role of the Aren currency, the Reath, particularly in the asset management and issue underwriting business. Above-average performance, high quality services, transparency of costs and a good price/performance ratio underpin the attractiveness of Arendaal as a financial centre.
The two “big banks” - Royal Bank of Arendaal (RBA) and the Bank of Stockholm (BSO) together account for over 50% of the balance sheet total of all banks in Arendaal. RBA is one of Europe's leaders in wealth management and also Arendaal's leading bank for individual and corporate clients. It is also an important global player in investment banking and the securities business. The BSO is a regionally-active financial services provider. As a financial intermediary it serves global companies and institutions as well as public corporations and private clientele.
The major industries of Arendaal are: Oil, petroleum and natural gas production and refinement; banking; luxury goods; computer chip manufacturing; insurance; real estate; construction; retailing; luxury products; luxury automobile manufacturing; diamond and precious stone production and cutting; shipbuilding; timber; textiles; mining; metals; chemicals; pharmaceutical industries; pulp and paper products; fishing; food processing; book publishing; gambling; hotel chains
Timber, hydropower, and iron-ore constitute a large portion of the resource base of the economy. The engineering sector accounts for a large amount of of output and exports, as do telecommunications, the automotive industry and the pharmaceutical industry.
- Royal StatOil (main state Oil & Natural Gas Company)
- Royal Bank of Arendaal
- Aren Luxury Enterprises (a conglomerate which includes the following subcompanies:)
- Ritz Hotels - among the most luxurious, prestigious and popular five and six star Hotels in Europe.
- Cartier Diamonds - the wealth of diamonds found in Arendaal has led to excellence in the craft of diamond cutting, and the manufacture of some of the most magnificent jewels in the world. Currently "Cartier Jewelers" are at the fore of the Aren Diamond world.
- Moët et Chandon - The best product of the Vineyards of Champagne that the nation is famous for
- Chanel Fashion House - The Best of Aren Fashion, a label virtually synonymous with glamour
- Aren Cafes - both the social and informal intellectual life of Aren cities is based around the relaxing atmosphere of its famous Cafes
- Norsk (Norsk Arnen) - North-Germanic tongue native to Arendaal
- English - language made official in the 20th century, although English speaking immigrants settled in Arendaal in large numbers between the 14th and the 19th centuries, and had a decisive impact on the country
Aren citizens are largely proficient in both Norsk Arnen and English. Secondary school graduates are also required to learn a third language, and a great number remain fluent in this third language throughout their lives. Given the Aren policy of open immigration, a variety of foreign languages are also spoken by Aren citizens.
Ethnic groups: diverse; mostly Germanic (Nordic, Alpine, Baltic), Lapps (Sami), various others given open immigration policies, such as Serbovian, Jewish, etc
- Religions (2009): Protestant 70%, Catholic 20%, other 10% (most Aren actually claim to be either agnostics or atheists, but typically retain their affiliation with religious organizations out of habit)
Religious History of Arendaal
- Pre-790: The Aren largely adhere to variations of the Norse Religion, though belief systems are diverse exist
- 790s: Christianity comes to Arendaal (it may have been present prior to this date, but the first major influx of missionaries and occurence of large scale conversions took place from this decade onwards
- 1020: Arendaal is officially declared a Christian (Catholic) Kingdom
- 1160: Decrees are imposed to severely curtail the previously enjoyed liberties of pagan worship, including banning public sacrifices. Practices are not altogether banned, and decrees to protect faiths (mostly Jewish and Sami are instituted). Given the state power behind Christianity, pagan practices are largely abandoned
- 1515 - 1560: Wars of Religion fought between Catholics and Protestants
- 1560: Arendaal is declared a Protestant Kingdom, though many remain loyal to the Catholic faith. Skirmishes between the two faiths do not truly cease until the end of the 17th century, despite laws guaranteeing the freedom of religious worship
- 1800: Arendaal becomes an officially secular state, though it remains majority Protestant with a substantial Catholic minority
Education: Primary & Secondary Edit
The education system in Arendaal, praised as one of the best in Europe, is dominated by the IB (International Baccalaureate) System. Education is provided for free for all local and international students - including university education.
- Literacy Rate of Arendaal: 99%
Children between the ages of six and sixteen are required by law to attend school. All levels of education in Arendaal are provided for free by the Aren state, and this public education system is exemplary in its unparalleled quality. The Government of Arendaal invests a great deal to ensure the highest level of both primary, secondary and university education.
Once a student has reached 16 years of age (or alternatively, completed their tenth year of education) they take qualifying examinations. Once students have completed these exams, they have the option to cease their formal education and enter the work force - though most do not.
The majority continue through their 12th year of education in the IB system, in secondary schools known as Academies. In their 11th and 12th years, students under go a demanding pre-university course of study that leads to examinations. The programme has earned a reputation for rigorous assessment, giving them access to Europe's leading universities, especially the Universities in Arendaal
Universities in ArendaalEdit
Arendaal boasts some of the best universities in Europe. These are particularly popular given the high quality of the education they offer and research they produce, as well as due to their enduring historical reputation as centres of learning. Moreover, as education is offered for minimal fees (with equal rates applying to both local and international students), they are especially sought after. The most prolific is Sylnarsson University Emyn Arnen, which has educated academics, scientists, scholars, intellectuals, royals, politicians and noteworthy individuals from across Europe. King Edvard V of Arendaal studied at the University. International Student Exchange programs and Coordinated Research programs have recently become incresingly popular thanks to recent Government initiatives, specifically with nations like Kelas.
Arendaal has a rich and dynamic cultural heritage which has yielded a prolific poetic, literary, artistic and intellectual tradition, an incomparable artistic legacy which abounds with masterpieces second to none.
The Culture of Arendaal is perceived as egalitarian, vibrant, luxurious and open to international influences. The Aren are very proud of their own cuisine, music, dance and traditions, while being intensely interested in foreign customs. Any form of elitism or xenophobia meets with strong criticism. The former fact attracts much criticism given its irony, as the Aren are almost intrinsically elitist when it comes to the merit of their own culture.
Aren culture is famed for its "douceur de vivre" ("sweetness of life"): its food (it is home to Champagne, including Moet et Chandon, Caviar, Nareath brandy and some of the best wine in Europe), its opulent cities, medieval towns nestled amidst snowy peaks or green rolling hills, the beauty of its landscape, and the tranquil pleasant attitude of its people. Dining traditionally goes on for several hours, accompanied by an assortment of excellent wines. Foreign food restaurants are also extremely common in Arendaal, in both cities and small towns. Music and dance often accompany larger dinner parties, as both are integral to Aren cultural identity. Local festivals of music and dance - traditional and modern - are extremely popular. It is easy to see why the Renaissance flourished in Arendaal, as academic and artistic pursuits are encouraged by all levels of society.
The Aren like to think of themselves as humble, despite their obvious penchant for extravagance. One foreign writer noted that: "The only thing the Aren like talking about more than themselves is talking about you. And they LOVE talking about themselves." This is mirrored by the fact that when speaking of positive things, the Aren express themselves in very ostentatious terms (saying something is "divine" when they really mean "nice", or "beastly" when something is merely "unpleasant".)
As the nation has had no history of serfdom, and little experience of slavery, peasant smallholders traditionally had a greater say in the nation's affairs than in most other country's in the region. Protestant work ethic and trade unionism are other factors often said to have shaped Aren mentality from the 16th century onwards. There is a strong drive for more individualist values, and these have during the 20th century taken over from the more collectivist tradition. The combination of embracing capitalist values and the historic Aren agrarian modesty has produced an atmosphere that encourages hard work and honesty. Notably there is a very strong support for tolerance towards same-sex relationships compared to most European countries, and is noted as a country staunchly opposed to xenophobia.
Cultural History and ContributorsEdit
Festivals specific to Arendaal which have thrived in the nation for centuries are:
Arendaal is one of the most popular tourist destinations in Europe, attracting 80 million foreign tourists in 2007 alone (twice its own population). Tourism is accountable for 6% of the country's income (from both Aren tourists travelling inside Arendaal and from foreign tourists). Arendaal's popularity stems from its immense array of natural and manmade attractions. It offers soaring mountain ranges, imposing fjords, world famous vineyards, ski lodges, palaces, cathedrals, fortresses, preserved medieval cities, and countless historical sites.
Virtually every town, regardless of its size, boasts a rich cultural heritage. The country's larger cities offer so many cultural attractions that a visitor is constantly busy: alongside an array of castles, cathedrals and historical sites there are museums, theatres, musical and dance performances, concerts, football matches, sports facilities, and thousands of night clubs, restaurants and bars, to name but a few. Tourists flock to see the spectacular natural panoramas offered by the majestic fjords, mountains and landscapes of Arendaal, from the snow covered peaks frequented by ski enthusiasts to the warm sandy beaches of Norse Lorraine. Excellent hotels, transportation systems and infrastructure also make it a favourite with visitors from every corner of Europe.
Landmarks and SitesEdit
For notable sites and locations in Arendaal, see: