|Flag of Snefaldia|
|Motto: "Sanctus Verum, Sanctus Terra'|
|National Anthem: Over the Drifts and Banks'|
|Official Language(s)||Bagura, various regional tongues|
|- governing body||Tuhran Bel|
|- Declaration of Supremacy||1964|
|- Total||181,040 sq km|
|- % water||5%|
|NS Sunset XML|
The Centralized Mountains States belongs to the United Nations, and considers itself a part of the region of the Antarctic Oasis. Snefaldia has an area of 603,700 sq km , 4,520 sq km of which is water. Arable land is 38.44% of the country, much of which is irrigated. The average life expectancy is 74 for men, 77 for women, with a low infanct mortality rate and a high literacy rate. The population is concentrated in the large regional cities and distributed throughout the countryside, with variations according to region, climate, and landscape.
Risk of infectious disease is low on average, but higher in Neer Dal and Bae where waterborne diseases are common. HIV/AIDS is at the moment restricted to foreign travellers, due to stringent public health protocols and mandatory testing. Public health law mandates vaccination for infectious diseases, and healthcare is subsidized by the government.
The largest city in Snefaldia is Sargedain, which is also the capital.
Snefaldia is surrounded on all sides by high mountain ranges, with the Seril Mountains in the east, the Zogar Range to the west, the Hightops in the south, and the Velnar Mountains to the north. The central country is dotted with lakes and valleys, and the Saard river bisects the country, running from the northeast Velnars down through the southeast Serils before empyting into the Bay of Fuschal and the Memdar delta.The centre of the country is called the Dayan Plain, and is very fertile, expansive, and covered in rolling hills. The Dayan flood plain forms the heart of Snefaldia. To the north is Sring Issa, defined by old-growth deciduous forests, low valley, and small, numerous lakes. South of the Saard and Dayan is Neer Dal, home to marshes, subtropical forests, and hundreds of small rivers.
To the west, in the foothills of the Zogars, is Allasha, a region defined by deep gorges and hot, windy steppes. The western region of Bae is largely rolling hills and valleys, considered excellent farmland.
The mouth of the Saard river forms a fertile, shallow delta called the Memdar. Flanked by mountains and sheer rock faces, the area surround the mouth is nearly uninhabitable. However, due to the regular flooding of the Saard the soil is very rich, and in history city-states took advantage of this. This area, called the Shahd Plateau, is cut through by the Saard and rises up from the Dayan plain and continues on until the sea, with a smaller depression where Taxilha sits.
Snefaldia has five main regions and one seperate territory:
- Sring Issa
- Neer Dal
- Shahd Autonomous Territory
The country is touted as a beautiful, pristine, and unspoiled, and the government takes conservation and pollution very seriously. Recycling is compulsory, as is a week of conservation work for resident nationals. The government has very strict pollution laws, and many public service campaigns have been issued to deal with nature and preservation.
Because of the difficult terrain that surrounds the country, the actual borders of the nation relatively undefined. There has been no successful survey of the entire mountain chain done, and as far as geographers are aware there are no nations lying on the other sides of the mountains. The possibility of non-Snefaldian independent communities in the mountains that remain uncontacted is quite high; Mallasham, which constitutes territories the lie both inside and outside of government-controlled territory, is one such area that has made use of the harsh terrain and uncharted nature of the mountains to hide from government control.
- Main article(s): History of Snefaldia
Written history begins around 3000bce during the Terangal period, when inhabitants of Allasha, at that time lush and fertile, built the stone palaces at Terangal and Sumdarian. Radical climate changes earthquakes dried out the Allashan plain around 500bce, and the centers of civilization were abandoned.
Climate & Disposition
Snefaldia has a mixture of subtropical, temperate, and Alpine. The mountains are high and rocky, then lower in altitude are very hillish and flat before descending into the central plain. This change is elevation is reflected in the varied local climates. Many peope live in the traditional Snefaldian village. Conservation and the environment are taken very seriously, with the government Ministry of the Environment & Conservation maintaining a list of protected natural sites. There are stringent penalties for pollution.
The major cities and population centers of Snefaldia are often hundreds to thousands of years old, and were built before the advent of any central government. Due to the various regional histories and governments, there is a complex system of municipal organization. According to the Uniform Laws on Civil Organization promulgated in 1965, the divisions between cities are thus:
- All cities constructed after 1965 must be registered and governed according to the Uniform Laws
- All cities/villages/towns built after 1895 but before 1965 must be registered according to the Uniform Laws
- All cities built after 1701 but before 1895 during the Segovan period are registered as "Chartered Settlements," and not subject to the Uniform Law
- All cities built after 1575 but before 1701 during the High Aatem period are registered as "Grant Cities" and not subject to the Uniform Law
- All cities built after 1035 but before 1575 during the Dayaniram and subsequent Low Aatem period are registered as "Free Cities" and subject to the Free City Codes of 1725.
- All inhabited cities built prior to 1035 are registered as "Foundation Cities" and allowed home rule with few exceptions. These cities include:
The second largest city is Taxilha, also the largest seaport. Sitting at the mouth of the Saard and the entrance to the sea, Taxilha handles all the sea trade that comes into the country. Conversely, Pholimjung in Bae is the largest source of finished goods for export, and has the highest percentage of skilled workers after Sargedain.
Korsahad, the capital of the Allashan region, can claim to be the largest provincial administration center outisde of Sargedain in Dayan, though it competes only with Mavátêisnáya in the Neer Dal for production of raw materials- in Allasha the top being stone and minerals, and in Neer Dal being lumber and diamonds.
- Main article(s): Society and Ethnicity in Snefaldia
Snefaldia society is a mixed one, with several distinct ethnic groups competing over land and resources. Largely divided along regional lines, the Dayan, Sringal, Bae, Neeri, and Allashi ethnic groups comprise Snefaldia societies, and make up the nation's national character.
Modern life revolves around community involvement, religious faith, industriousness, and the pursuity of aesthetics.
There are several theories which are prominent in Snefaldia that hypothesizes a single ethnic group of people once ruled over the entirety of Snefaldia, the remnants of which survive in the Mallash ethnic group. The Mallash live in the ill-defined area of Mallasham, small pockets of inhabitable land in the mountains surrounding the country.
Snefaldia uses the Gregorian calendar for dates in all public dispatches, but officially maintains the traditional lunar calendar, very similar to the Babylonian calendar. Snefaldia uses the 24-hour clock.
Holidays are almost completely indigenous, with very few foreign religious holidays coming into play; the notable exception being the Easter and Christmas celebrations of the Snefaldian Catholic Church.
- New Year - January 1
- Nag Bed (Neer Dal)- February 1
- Commemoration of Aatem Nal - March 1
- Festival of the Vernal Equinox
- Feast of the Flooding - ~April 2
- Penang Nang Xie (Bae)- April 12
- Feast of Ta'us- May 22
- Festival of the Summer Solstice - June 21
- Storm Day (Allasha)- July 26
- Festival of the Motions- First week of August
- Festival of the Autumnal Equinox - September 23
- Sangi-nergal (Spirit Days)- October 29, 30, 31
- Autmnal Harvest/Autumn Flood - November 16
- Ibal - December 19
- Pilgrimage Day - December 30
- Main article(s): Laws and Government of Snefaldia
The Centralised Mountain States are a mixture of theocratic instutions and secular government. Power is largely concentrated in the religious synod, the Tuhran Bel. The modern state, beginning in 1895, was a republic, which collapsed in 1963. The religious forces of Aatem Nal took control of the country's government after more than 60 years of republican government, but have not resumed the historical control that the Tuhran Bel formerly excercised.
There is a considerable amount of devolution in Snefaldia, with municipalities and regional governments being allowed a wide latitude in terms of policy. The Tuhran Bel is the final authority for all matters judicial, legislative, and executive, and is made up of 300 high-grade religious figures from the nation's three native faiths.
Though the official name of the country is the "Centralized Mountain States," the degree of centralization is often a topic of debate. Regional governments retain a significant amount of sovereignty, but almost alwys defer to the national government. Since Aatem Nal, the main religious force in the Tuhran Bel, maintains almost all of the educational centers, libraries, and government buildings, the degree of "national" control is a grey area.
Interestingly, there is no monetary tax for citizens and taxpaying nationals. The government instead exacts a tax of labor, similar to a corvee. The system is complex, and on a sliding scale. Each taxpaying national is required to serve in public works or government offices for certain periods of time to equal the payment of their tax. The tax is calculated on the money that would normally be paid; but the actual rate of tax is quite low, which keeps the govenrment's budget small. All taxpaying nationals over 16 and under 60, regardless of station, are required to serve in such a manner; and are assigned according to their physical ability and educational background.
The main source of money for the government is tax on production. Raw materials, such as wood, metals, stone, etc. are taxed a percentage before sale. This derives from the legal notion that the natural resources of the nation are owned only by the nation, and not by individual people. The government then allows the businesses to take the resources, at the same time fulfilling the tax and conservation requirements.
- Main article(s): Politics of Snefaldia
The Tuhran Bel is not an elected body, but is appointed by a rotating Holy Council of 50 religious officials, who serve from within the Bel. The system is circular- the Council is chosen from the Bel by the senior members (those who have served more than ten years) and the Council in turn remove and appoint members to terms, in theory five years but in practice members serve at the pleasure of the Council. The system allows the Councillors and regular members (Bel Shahry) to check and balance each other.Within the Bel, matters discussed are largely ecclesiastical and religious in nature, with secular and administrative duties only being taken up in important cases. The Bel oversees the secular government apparatuses, which largely run themselves.
The Bel also functions as a body of arbitration for the religion of Aatem Nal, though it is not the temporal or ecclesiastical head of the faith. To be a member of the Bel, one must currently be either a ranking member of Aatem Nal, a Dragha, or a practitioner of Endiri. In recent years, progressive members have pushed for other religious figures to be allowed membership, such as priest from the Snefaldian Catholic Church and Islamic organizations.
Foreign policy in Snefaldia is largely conducted along economic lines, with the government actively seeking favorable trade and investment partners.
Snefaldia is a member of the United Nations, and has created a diplomatic corps for the express purpose of opening relations with the wider world. The country maintains relations with other members of the Antarctic Oasis, sitting on the Regional Security Council, and is a member of the Allied Antarctic Asskickers treaty. The government recently established relations with West Ariddia, naming the respected scholar Master Ta'us Ash`an to serve as ambassador. The Ministry of Foreign Affairs oversees all embassies and diplomatic relation regarding Snefaldia.
Snefaldians reject terms like "capitalist" and "communist," and are very defensive regarding the theocratic nature of the government. In Snefaldia, the prevailing sentiment is that the government is formed by the people for their own benefit and purposes, and therefore distinctions between "the people" and "the government" are not used. Concepts of state ownership are also nebulous- the term "public ownership" is preferred. There is a push to make the government more open to the public at the highest level, but the vast majority of the public feels that the Bel is the best way to run the country.
- Main article(s): Culture of Snefaldia
Snefaldia is widely multicultural along ethnic and regional lines, but all people share an identity as a "Snefaldia," whether they are Sringi, Neeri, Allashan, or Bajeong. Art, literature, ceremonies, celebrations, and much more varies between groups of people in the country, sometimes widely. Families are usually extended, even in the city. Fictive kinship is common in certain parts of the country. In rural areas and traditional villages, bilateral descent is the norm. Snefaldians usually marry someone from the same town, or a local clan. Homosexual relationships are not taboo, and in some parts of society encouraged.
Monogamy is the norm, but there are few social stigmas for extra-marital sexual relationships. Most marriages are for social status or resources, such as the joining of clans or advancement in rank. There are incest taboos for immediate family relatives as well as second cousins, but marriage of individual family members with someone from the same clan is common in Allasha and Bae.
- Main article(s): Religion in Snefaldia
Most major foreign religions are present in Snefaldia, but the majority of people adhere to one of the "Three Native Faiths", the native religion in Snefaldia. The "Three Native Faiths" are Endiri, Draghdatha, and Aatem Nal. Foreign faiths make up 5% of the national total, with Snefaldian Catholicism being the largest at 2%, Sunni Islam at 1%, and other faiths making up the remaining 2%. Snefaldia is slowly developing foreign trade, and the main entry and exit for goods in the country is the large seaport of Taxilha at the mouth of the Saard river.
The principle exports of the country are agricultural products- both for consumption, industrial use, and private development. Mining in the mountainous areas yields copper, manganese, iron, coal, and gemstones. Neer Dal and Sring Issa have large foresting industries, who comply by government mandate with United Nations mandates.
Bae, Neer Dal, and Sring Issa have high numbers of skilled craftsmen who produce high-end finished goods for foreign and upper-class consumption, but with the slow modernization in these regions, many are finding jobs in factories and textile mills.
Snefaldias' one major industrial production is in the area of zeppelin airships, which are used to traverse the high mountains and manage the wide agricultural plains. The Snefaldia International Airport, located in Sargedain, is the only airport in the country that allows airplanes. All international flights enter and depart from Sargedain, and all connecting flights across the country must be made by airship.
Though the bay of Fuschal is very conducive to fishing, the fishing industry has not grown to fill the need. Instead, the Taxilhan mainstay is shipping- both in and out of the country. Finished products come down the Saard or by air, and are loaded onto ships in Taxilha.
Currently there is a new political/philosophical revival gaining speed in the countryside, largely inspired by events in West Ariddia, which involves mass demonstrations, acts of kindness, and rejection of economic & political terms like "capitalist" and "communist." The movement, labeled Tam Yw by the Snefaldian government, is a neo-traditionalist movement that seeks to strenghten the Snefaldian way of life and prevent foreign influence from destroying society; much of the inspiration for the movement came from the actions of the Allanean government toward West Ariddia.
- Main article(s): Military of Snefaldia
Snefaldia has a national military which is divided into three parts: Army, Airforce, and Navy. In addition, the regional governments are allowed under the Basic Law to levy their own Militia for defense. These militia are not subjected to the same restrictions as the national military, but may be called into active service in the case of a powerful war.
Of the three national branches, the Navy is the smallest, followed by the airforce, and then the Army. Being that Snefaldia has little to no connexion with the sea, the need for offensive naval power is low. The Navy is largely defensive, protecting the smaller islands in the Bay of Fuschal and Taxilha on the mouth of the Saard.
The Airforce is the second branch, and is largely for defensive purposes as well. Airships make up a large part of the defensive force, but modern jetfighters and stealth aircraft provide offensive capabilities. Given that the only major entrances into Snefaldia are by sea or by air (the mountains providing an excellent natural defense) it is important for the nation to have a good long-range defensive force to protect the skies over Snefaldia. The vast majority of government funding goes toward the airforce, and the United Nations reported on October 12, 2007 that "Snefaldia's gigantic air force is both respected and feared."
The Army is the largest and most important of the forces, though its importance in recent years has decreased with the unificaton of the country. The paradigm has changed from a largely offensive force controlled by various regional powers to a unified defensive force.
Since the nation is ringed with high mountains, it has very good natural defenses. The four mountain ranges are almost totally impassable, with three main exceptions- the northern Saard river valley, which cuts through the northeast ranges, the Pardaki Gorge which cuts through the Zogars, and the area around the Shahd Plateau, where the Zogars and Hightops descend to the plain. Regional inhabitants have spent years hunting and living in these areas, and the military maintains strong border forces to repel any foreign invasion.
The only other entrances are by sea or air. The navy defends the sea, and a modern airforce defends the skies above Snefaldia. Since the mountains are largely passable only by air, jet interceptors and military dirigibles patrol the skies and defend against incoming attacks. The Tuhran Bel is debating the implementation of an early warning anti-missile system.
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