|Flag of Altanar|
|Motto: Audaces fortuna iuvat|
|Map of Altanar|
|Official Language(s)||Altanari, English|
|NS Sunset XML|
The United Constitutional Monarchy of Altanar is a highly developed nation, most well-known for its dedication to social welfare, education and social equality, as well as its patriotic population. It is also noteworthy for the major transition and turmoil that it has recently endured, as it moves from being an isolated and provincial country to a modern, democratic state and a full-fledged member of the international community.
At the beginning of recorded time in Altanar, each city and territory on the Altan Plains was ruled by local warlords who controlled their people under conditions that could best be described as self-serving tyranny. The beginnings of the Kingdom of Altanar can be traced to 1840 after Olen, the ruler of the principality of Ael Khalas, began to unify the multiple principalities of Altanar into one nation through a combination of family ties, alliances, mergers, and outright military force over a span of thirty years time.
Olen's efforts to unify Altanar began in 1840, when he formed an alliance with the territories of Staria, Marr and Narraskath. In 1845, the territory of Lukisha joined the alliance, after Olen's marriage to Pelia of Lukisha. Kyrinia joined the alliance that year also. They were followed by the territories of Po and Draskatar in 1847. Ektar joined the alliance in 1855, after Altanari soldiers helped the king there put down an attack by barbarian raiders. Altana Hol, home of the Church of Altanar, agreed to join the alliance in 1862. This cemented the legitimacy of the growing Kingdom in the eyes of its people.
However, one territory still refused to join. This was the territory of Nalioka, home to the infamous Robber Kings of Nalioka. This territory was ruled by a loose alliance of criminal groups that had overthrown their king in 1829 and taken over. The Robber Kings had terrorized the surrounding territories since then, and were a major reason that the Altan kingdoms decided to unite in the first place. Olen was reluctant to send his armies against the city, as he knew the loss of life would be huge. However, he came to realize that the people of Nalioka were suffering greatly under the Robber Kings' rule, and also that the fledgling Kingdom of Altanar would never be safe as long as they existed. In 1863, the armies of Altanar attacked the Robber Kings' forces. The eight-year siege that followed was known forevermore as the Siege of Blood in Altanari history. In 1871, the city finally fell to Altanari forces, and Nalioka joined the Kingdom. Olen had finally succeeded in his task, and was crowned as the first King of Altanar. The duration of his reign would be spent building the traditions and foundations of the new Altanari nation, and cementing the ties between the previously independent kingdoms.
Expansion and the Akamian Problem
Olen passed away in 1900, and rule passed to his son Catar. Catar's reign would see further expansion of Olen's vision of a nation guided by a strong social conscience and emphasis on unity and patriotism. This period also marked the addition of the Akamian region to Altanar, and what would become Altanar's most problematic social issue.
Akamia was a group of five kingdoms to the northwest of the Altan plains. The rulers there were similar to the infamous Robber Kings, in that they ruled their people ruthlessly and for their own pleasure and gain. Many Akamians pleaded with Catar to intervene, but at first he was reluctant. Akamia was seen as an independent nation. At first, Catar could see no justification for Altanar to annex the area. The suffering of the Akamians, however, forced his hand. In 1906, Catar struck a deal with the Akamian nobles. If they allowed Altanar to annex the region, they could keep their titles and at least some of their wealth. Altanar, however, would guarantee the rights and prosperity of the Akamian people through Altanari law and making the inhabitants there Altanari citizens. If the Akamian nobles refused, Altanar would invade the region, overthrow the nobles, and execute them, bringing about the same result anyway. As the Akamian nobles had no military force capable of defeating the Altanari military, the decision proved to be an easy one. They agreed to the annexation. However, the resentment of their descendents still simmered, and they regularly challenged the King and Altanar's central government and made things difficult for them. This annexation also led to a small but determined opposition that believes Altanar annexed Akamia unjustly, led by the Akamian Self-Determination Front (ASF). These tensions were another cause of Altanar's civil conflict, and the government is still battling an insurgency to this day.
The Great Advance
In 1933, Catar passed away of old age, ushering in the reign of Altanar's third king, Cebratha. Cebratha's major accomplishment would be transforming Altanar into a modern nation, and opening it up to the outside world. Previous kings had kept Altanar relatively isolated and primitive, fearing the modern world would threaten the traditions and unity of the still young nation. Cebratha, however, saw opportunity for his people in the rapidly advancing world beyond his borders, and made the most of it. It was during this period that Altanar would develop a modern infrastructure, expand its social welfare network still further, and truly develop a united conscience and openness to the world. This period of Altanari history is known as the "Great Advance". Altanar's Constitution was written during this period, in 1936. It provided the foundations for the current structure of the nation.
The "Reign of Compassion"
In 1974, with Cebratha's death due to old age, the crown would pass to his son, Cianar. Cianar's reign would be characterized by a huge expansion of the already large Altanari welfare state, with corresponding decreases in Altanar's military and economic competitiveness. The period was not all bad, however; Cianar and his wife, Queen Agani, placed a large emphasis on helping the poor and on improving Altanar's educational system. Many new schools and hospitals opened during this period. A national healthcare program was implemented, as was a program of free college education for the disadvantaged. Cianar and Agani were greatly loved by the poor of Altanar for their efforts to provide a better life for them; their reign was known as the "Reign of Compassion". King Cianar chose to abdicate in 2000 following the death of Queen Agani after a plane crash. The crown would pass to his son, Crown Prince Aelkyn.
The "New Great Advance" and the Altanari Civil War
Aelkyn's reign has been characterized by his efforts to improve the Altanari economy and strengthen the military and loyalty to the nation. He has also tried to cut away slightly at the longstanding social welfare network to improve the nation's economic picture. Aelkyn also brought the longtime vassal state of Argalia into Altanar proper in 2003, when he married Melika of Argalia.
The most prominent decision of King Aelkyn was to declare Altanar a "World Haven" in 2005, inviting oppressed and suffering people from all lands to come to Altanar to live a better life. The influx of new immigrants was hoped to expand Altanar's horizons and potential, resulting in a "New Great Advance".
The increase in immigration and major political reforms by the King were seen as major causes of the Altanari Civil War, which the nation is still recovering from.
Altanar is a constitutional monarchy, led by a king or queen who is traditionally descended from House Aranathas, the ruling House founded by Olen. The current King is Aelkyn, Scion of the Fifth Generation, House Aranathas. His wife is Queen Melika, of Clan Telina of Argalia. While previous Altanari sovereigns have wielded almost total executive power, the current King has chosen to cede significant power to the political and legislative branches of the government. However, under revisions to the Altanari Constitution made after the Civil War, the King retains the right to act as "Constitutional Protector" and retake that authority, if the State Court (Altanar's highest judicial body) rules that it is warranted.
The Prime Minister is the highest political office in the nation. This office was appointed by the King in past years, but became an elected position in 2007. The current Prime Minister is Jinella Agaranth, former UN Ambassador and the first Altanari head of state of Akamian ethnicity. The Prime Minister serves as the official head of state and wields the executive powers of the nation on behalf of Altanar's King. The Prime Minister can be impeached by an 80% vote of the Peoples' Assembly.
The Council of Ministers advises the King on matters relating to national policy. For more information, see Altanar Council of Ministers.
The Altanari Peoples' Assembly, the nation's legislative branch, is a unicameral body made up of twenty elected representatives from each of the nation's 12 provinces, two semiautonomous regions, and the overseas colony of Antarctic Altanar. There are also twenty representatives to the Assembly elected by Altanari expatriates in other countries to represent them, for a total of 320 Assembly seats. Legislation created by the Assembly goes to the King and Prime Minister for approval. As joint head of state, they must either sign or veto the legislation. It is possible for the Assembly to override a veto, with the support of 80% of the legislators. Each province also has its own local Legislature or Assembly made up of elected politicians.
The political parties and the number of seats they hold in the Peoples' Assembly as of the most recent elections are as follows:
Altanari Unity Party (AUP, a traditional and royalist party): 187
Liberal Party (LP, an alliance of reformist and progressive parties): 115
Akamian and Argali Alliance (AAA, a separatist party): 6
Independent Party, or no affiliation: 5
Altanari Socialist Bloc (SB): 4
Altanari National Front (ANF, a nationalist right-wing party): 3
Under law, all Altanari citizens are required to vote in municipal, provincial and national elections once they reach age 18 (exemptions are available due to disability, age or other inability to properly make a decision). All elections are traditionally held on January 1st each year. Municipal elections typically occur yearly, while provincial and national ones occur every two years. Non-citizens may not vote, but the Office of Noncitizen Affairs provides them with a method to address their concerns to the government.
The Altanari legal system consists of civil and criminal court branches, with courts at the municipal, provincial and national levels. There is also a State Court that acts as the supreme court of the land, with the power to interpret the Altanari Constitution of 1936 and override lower courts' decisions. Altanari citizens and non-citizens alike also have the right to petition to be heard at the "King's Court", requesting an audience with the King to make a judgment. This is a right rarely used, however, as many citizens do not wish to violate the King's privacy or show disrespect to the courts by going around them. It is also well-known that King Aelkyn has very little patience for obviously frivolous or improper requests for judgement.
Under Altanari law since 1938, citizens and non-citizens alike are entitled to a trial by jury and to state-provided legal representation if they cannot afford their own attorney.
Law enforcement in Altanar is handled by the following forces:
The Royal Altanari Police Force (APF) - the force responsible for national law enforcement, as well as customs enforcement (in cooperation with the Coast Guard). This force works in coordination with the Ministry of Justice and also assists provincial and municipal governments as needed. Each large city and many smaller cities have an APF garrison. The APF, like the RADF, is divided into several large districts that cover all of Altanar. The APF also has several task forces that handle investigations into various crimes. After the Altanari Civil War of 2007, APF funding was separated from the military and increased, along with the APF's manpower, so that they could be better prepared to handle civil unrest and prevent future uprisings. The current active force of the APF numbers 11,620,000.
Municipal and provincial law enforcement forces - Each province maintains its own police force, which handles basic law enforcement concerns within the province. All of Altanar's large cities, as well as many of the smaller ones, also maintain their own local police forces to handle law enforcement within their jurisdictions. These forces vary widely in quality and numbers, although efforts are being made to standardize them.
Altanar maintains a standing military for its defense, collectively known as the Royal Altanari Defense Forces. The motto of the RADF is "Standing as Altanar's Golden Shields," which refers to the golden shields that Altanar's first soldiers used in battle, and also to the nation's war memorial in Ael Khalas.
The RADF consists of the following branches:
Royal Guards - the elite branch of the Altanari military, tasked with special operations, as well as spearheading military operations.
Aranathan Guards - a special detachment made up of the very best from the ranks of the Royal Guards, and responsible for the protection of the Royal Family.
Royal Altanari Army - tasked with land-based defensive and offensive operations, as well as land-based logistics and resupply.
Royal Altanari Air Fleet - tasked with air-based defensive and offensive operations, as well as air-based logistics and resupply. The RAAF also controls Altanar's domestic and international satellite networks and its land-based missile forces.
Royal Altanari Navy - tasked with sea-based defensive and offensive operations, as well as sea-based logistics and resupply. The RAN also controls Altanar's sea-based missile forces.
Royal Altanari Coast Guard - the force responsible for border security and customs enforcement on the coast. This force also serves as the reserve force for naval operations.
Royal Intelligence and Security Directorate (RIS) - the branch of the Altanari military responsible for internal and external security. This force handles security at Altanar's domestic and foreign civilian government installations, and is also responsible for managing the nation's intelligence, espionage, antiterrorism and counterinsurgency efforts.
Royal Reserve Force (RRF) - a volunteer force based in each province, responsible for natural disaster relief and local security. This branch also serves as the Altanari reserve force.
These forces are led by the Royal Altanari Defense Forces Combined Command (RADFCC), which consists of the highest-ranking officers of each branch of service. The RADFCC, in turn, reports to the King and Prime Minister.
Altanar does not choose to get involved in the conflicts of other nations and follows a neutral alignment. However, Altanar reserves the right to do otherwise if deemed necessary for its national defense, in accordance with the Altanari Constitution of 1936.
National service for a term of one year is compulsory for all Altanari citizens once they reach the age of 18, or upon naturalization for immigrants. While military service is only one route a citizen may choose to follow, many Altanari citizens choose that option.
The Altanari Civil War of 2007 revealed that Altanar's military and intelligence forces were seriously unprepared for major episodes of civil unrest. The forces received a major boost in funding and manpower as a result. The current peacetime manpower numbers for the RADF break down as follows:
Total manpower: 80,000,000
Royal Air Fleet: 17,725,850
Royal Army: 17,930,000
Royal Navy: 16,925,850
Royal Guards: 1,000,000
Aranathan Guards: 100,000
Royal Reserve Force: 10,000,000
Royal Coast Guard: 6,318,000
The Altanari flag consists of a golden sun, on a solid green backdrop. Legend has it that the design of the flag stems from when the first King of Altanar, Olen, was climbing mountains near the Aerie, his royal palace. Olen was climbing up a rocky mountainside when he saw the sun rising over a lush, brilliant green field, standing in sharp contrast to the dry and rugged mountains around it. The sight inspired him to make the sun rising from a green field the symbol of the new nation.
The national motto, "Audaces fortuna iuvat" (Fortune favors the bold), was chosen by King Olen upon final unification of the Altanari nation. It is meant to always remind the Altanari people to dare to strive for greater things.
The current population of Altanar is 65% indigenous Altanari. The long years of isolation under Altanar's previous rulers had left the nation virtually homogenous in population until the 1970s. The nation first began to open up to the outside world in 1974 under King Cianar, and this process has accelerated under the current ruler, King Aelkyn, who has declared his intention to make Altanar a haven for people persecuted or oppressed in other lands. The most prominent decision of King Aelkyn was to declare Altanar a "World Haven" in 2005, inviting oppressed and suffering people from all lands to come to Altanar to live a better life. The Altanari government, under the World Haven Office of the Subministry of Immigration, Naturalization and Citizenship (SINC), provides expedited immigration status, and assistance with education, housing and employment for up to one year, for immigrants and refugees meeting certain criteria. This massive effort is coordinated at the World Haven Center in downtown Ael Khalas, which serves as a port of arrival and screening center.
Immigration to Altanar, once nonexistent, has risen dramatically as a result. Most Altanari view this trend favorably, thinking that increasing diversity will strengthen Altanar as a nation. Many Altanari also see the nation's rising popularity as an immigration destination as a compliment.
Altanari culture has remained distinct and undisturbed (many Altanari would say "unspoiled") due to its previous isolation. Most Altanari believe in the concept of a cooperative society, where the greater good takes precedence over individual desire or gain. People who disregard this idea tend to be distrusted in Altanari society. Altanari are also extremely disdainful of people who treat other people differently based on factors such as gender, race, sexual orientation or religion. Such discrimination is specifically banned in the Altanari Constitution. Altanari society functions on the principle that every member of society has a responsibility to help maintain the harmony of society, to respect the rights and needs of others, and to actively work to improve upon the world around them. The Altanari government works very hard to inculcate these values in new immigrants, while trying to show respect for their own unique values.
The surge in arrivals with different languages, religions and cultures over the past thirty or so years had caused initial difficulties. In fact, a conservative backlash against this conflict was a major cause of the Altanari Civil War of 2007. However, since the war's end, most Altanari have rallied even more strongly around the cause of a multicultural, diverse nation and society.
All Altanari citizens are required to attend school from grades 1 through 12. The public school system takes care of this; private schools are considered discriminatory and not allowed. Home schooling is likewise barred, on the basis that young people need to socialize with each other to be properly adjusted.
Higher education is likewise handled by public community colleges, colleges and universities; private schools are banned. The government pays for the higher education of those who cannot afford the tuition. The largest universities in Altanar are the Royal University of Ael Khalas and the University of the Akamas in Celavan.
Altanar is a mostly flat nation. The Eagle's Backbone Mountains on the eastern border of Altanar are extremely rugged and difficult to navigate, except for a few passes. Mount Kilaris in central Altanar, and the Hills of Olen near Ael Khalas, are the only other significant elevations in what is otherwise a place where the horizon can seem to stretch out forever. Most of the terrain ranges from fertile grassland to dry, steppelike terrain, depending on how far away the area is from water sources. The Lifeheart River in the center of Altanar is the only free-flowing source of water, flowing from its source at the Lake of Life in south central Altanar to its delta. There are also several aquifers that provide a major source of water for the nation.
Typical temperature range:
Summer: 50 to 65 degrees Fahrenheit at night/70 to 90 degrees Fahrenheit during the day
Winter: -10 to 30 degrees Fahrenheit at night/10 to 50 degrees Fahrenheit during the day
Altanar has a sizeable economy which is centered around agriculture and mineral resources. The major agricultural products are livestock (meat, dairy products, leather and wool items) and grains (wheat, barley, rice). Altanar also produces cotton and legume crops.
In terms of natural resources, Altanar has large amounts of petroleum, natural gas, lead, zinc, copper, coal and iron. The nation has smaller amounts of chromium, gold and manganese.
The Altanari Constitution guarantees freedom of worship, and religious strife or oppression are virtually unknown in Altanar. There are several religions in Altanar, and the number has been increasing rapidly with immigration. The most prominent religion is the native Solar Pantheonic Church, which revolves around a set of gods and goddesses known as the Solar Pantheon. The chief member of that pantheon is Telar, the god of the sun, who is a major reason the sun is an Altanari national symbol.
Media and popular culture
Altanar International Media Service (AIMS): The Altanar International News Service provides programming in broadcast and print media to interested nations.
Print: Most of Altanar's major cities, as well as many of the smaller ones, produce daily and weekly newspapers in a variety of languages (although Altanari and English are the most common). Altanar's largest daily newspapers are the Ael Khalas Union-Sun and the Nalioka Daily Record. Altanar also has several national and local magazines, covering everything from news to gossip. The country also has a very sizeable book-publishing industry, and reading is a national pastime. The AKUS Media Group, which is the owner of the Ael Khalas Union-Sun, is also the owner of several radio, internet and television outlets and is the nation's largest media corporation.
Radio: A nationwide radio network that is affiliated with the Sun TV television network, called Sun Radio, competes with Altanari National Radio. Most Altanari cities also have local radio stations. Talk radio and news are popular. Many kinds of music are available as well, with the most popular kind being nikra, a fusion of techno-style dance music and traditional Altanari music.
Television: The larger cities in Altanar have local TV stations that serve the surrounding regions. In addition, there is one government-owned national network (ART, or Altanari Royal Television), and two private networks (Sun TV and ANTV). Altanar also receives broadcasts from PINA, Edward City's World News Company, the Eurasian Broadcasting Group, and the Kelssek Broadcasting Corporation.
Internet: Altanar's internet presence has surged in recent years, and many private internet services have sprung up to compete with the government-owned AltaNet. Most of Altanar's major newspapers and news outlets now have online presences, and blogging has become a major pastime and a way for people to critique the government and society as a whole.
News agency: The Royal News Service (ARNS), under the Ministry of Education, is Altanar's official news service.
Altanar is a member of the United Nations, UN Old Guard, and National Sovereignty Organization. The Altanar International Relations Office, under the Ministry of State, is responsible for maintaining the UCMA's diplomatic relations. The Altanar UN Mission has been established under the IRO to strengthen Altanar's role on the international stage and to run Altanar's United Nations office.
country code: ALBS
currency code: ALSO