# Varnia

Republic of Varnia
Republikken Varnia
 Flag
Varnia (dark green) in Alisna (light green)
Location Centrally in Northern Alisna
Official languages Common Varnian
Recognised regional languages
Ethnic groups (2010)
• 90.5% Varnian
• 5.1% Questarian
• 1.1% Finnics
• 3.3% others
Religion State secularism
Demonym Varnian
Government Directorial republic with elements of pure democracy
•  National Directory
Legislature National Conference
Formation
Area
•  Total 2,255,512 km2 (2nd)
870,858 sq mi
•  Water (%) 4.1%
Population
•  2016 estimate 48,156,900
•  Density 21.351/km2
55/sq mi
GDP (PPP) 2013 estimate estimate
•  Total $1.534 trillion • Per capita$31,864
GDP (nominal) 2013 estimate estimate
•  Total $1.702 trillion • Per capita$35,363
Currency Varnian Vektal (VVK)

Varnia (Varnian: Varnia), officially the Republic of Varnia (Varnian: Republikken Varnia) is a sovereign country in Maredoratica. Varnia borders Questers and Alanko in the south, Sondstead in the east, including an extended maritime border across the Rytuic Sea, Boaga in the west and Pradaria in the south-west. The country has a diverse climate, ranging from temperate in the south to arctic in the north. In addition to the maritime border with Sondstead, Varnia has an extended coastline on the Arctic Sea in the North and shares a maritime border with Boaga, Sondstead and Prekonate across the North Pole. Varnia has a total area of 2,255,512 km2, making it the second largest country in Alisna and the third largest country in Maredoratica. Varnia had an estimated population of 48,156,900 in 2016, making it one of the most sparsely populated countries in Maredoratica.

Varnia is a directorial republic with a unique political system based on direct democracy. Varnia has been described as a a highly democratic country, but has also drawn criticism due to its policy on Finnic peoples in Northern Varnia and its interventions in Alanko both before and after it gained independence from Varnia in 1994. Varnia's government is run by an executive known as the National Directory, which has wide powers to direct the day-to-day affairs of the government. Most legislative powers are vested in the people of Varnia, through popular initiative, rather than a traditional representative system. The National Conference exercises oversight over the executive branch and has limited legislative powers, such as control over the national budget. The capital, and largest city, of Varnia is Bjergvin, sometimes spelled Bergvin.

Varnia is one of four Nordic countries in Maredoratica, sharing a cultural and ethnic bond with Galla, Questers and Sondstead. Varnian culture and language have been heavily influenced by pan-Alisnan migration. The Varnian language has evolved from Old Varnian to Modern Varnian through influence from French, English and German. Varnia is not a member of the Maredoratic League, having rejected membership in two referendums, but maintains several bilateral trade treaties with members of the League, and cooperates with the League itself in some areas. It is a member of the Nordic Forum, a body for cultural exchange and cooperation between the Nordic countries of Maredoratica, and was an observer in the Jesselton Pact, a military-economical alliance focused around the ideals of Republicanism, until its dissolution in 2016.

The economy is characterized by a large industrial sector and a mixed economy policy, with a large manufacturing industry, though it is being supplanted by growing service sector, technology sector, which has long been predicted to overtake heavy industry as Varnia's primary economic driver, and financial sector. Strategically important industries are usually characterized by public enterprises and public investment.

## History

### Antiquity

The earliest known human settlement in Varnia are from around 10,500 BC, when the area was inhabited by the Romsdal culture. Later settlements, typified by a two-edged flint axe, are known as Disen culture settlements, and covered the period from around 7,000 BC until the introduction of agriculture around 4,000 BC. Known as Longhouse culture, it merged into the overarching Fleckenwalder culture around 3000 BC through interactions with people in Jumieges.

Around 1400 BC the founding of cities begins in south-western Varnia, leading to a large number of city states. The city of Varn, the origin of the name Varnia is founded in 1011 BC. By 800 BC Varn was the dominant city state, ruled by an aristocratic monarchy. Starting in 682 BC there were a series of attempted coups, which lead to the introduction of the first written laws in Varnia, which unduly targeted the lower classes. Clamour for reform throughout the 7th and 6th centuries BC lead to the slow development of what is today termed early Varnian democracy around 480 BC, which lasted until 421 BC when it was replaced once again with an oligarchy and eventually a monarchy under the House of Hamar.

Magnus II ascended to the throne of the Kingdom of Varn in 354 BC and began a campaign of unification. The Unification Era in Varnian history is generally considered to have ended in 289 BC with the conclusion Siege of SomeTown, the last major city in the area. By then Magnus II had died and been replaced by his son Sverre II, who oversaw a prosperous era of expansion into both the north and east. This period of expansion brought Varnia into conflict with the people occupying what is today Pradaria, Jumieges and Alanko, as well as with Dansk and Saxons living in what is today Questers. The Kingdom completed the subjugation of Alanko and parts of what is today Questers, inhabited by Dansk tribes in 48 BC, which is generally seen as the end of the early expansion era.

The Kingdom was largely stable for the next few centuries. During this period, the area north of Varnia was brought under control to a degree, with the Finnic people inhabiting it coming under pressure from Varnian expansion and taxation. In 7 AD the Kingdom established Kænmarkan, a region that was legally not part of Varnia, but was taxed by the Kingdom. During the 1st century AD, Varnia engaged in several minor conflicts with southern tribes, in present day Questers and Jumieges, the Kingdom of Boaga and Gallan radiers.

Early Christianity reached Varnia around 91 AD and became popular in eastern Varnia. It was not until 201 AD, when King Dag III used the pretext of Christianity to deflect unrest about famine and plague, that official persecution of Christanity took place. The 3rd and 4th centuries saw Varnia decline in power, facing competition from tribes and nations in the south, the Kingdom of Boaga in the west and, in 288 AD, the independence of Kænmarkan. The death of the king in 313 AD marked the start of a civil war, which lead to the dissolution of the Kingdom of Varnia into the eastern, christian Kingdom of Varn and several petty kingdoms in the west.

## Politics and government

Varnia is a constitutional, unitary republic governed by republican and liberal ideologies. The political system of Varnia was heavily influenced by the Revolution in Morieux, but with significant radical influences that lead to the establishment of a directorial government and elements of direct democracy still being core features of Varnian politics today.

The Varnian directorial government is regulated by the checks and balances in the Varnian Constitution, the country's supreme source of law. Under the Varnian political system, citizens are subject to three levels of government: central, county and local. While not a true federalist system, like Pollona, the Varnian system of government devolves certain powers to subnational levels. These devolved powers, while reliant on statutory authority from the central government, are extensive enough that many have described Varnia as being de facto federalist or semi-federalist. There is no proportional representation in the central government, which is largely governed by appointed delegates, but it exists in some counties.

The central government is subjected to strict separation of powers and is composed of three branches:

The Directory has 6 members, appointed from among eligible citizens by each Congress during the opening session. Each member has an equal share in the duties as head of government and state, and joint decisions are taken by a simple majority, anonymous vote. Norms hold that the Directory is outwardly united and it is rare for members of the Directory to publicly criticise another member or an action of the Directory. Each member is also appointed as the principal officer for one of the six Directorates that form the core of the Varnian central government: National Security, Public Safety, the Treasury, Commerce, Interior Affairs and Foreign Affairs. Each director holds wide discretionary powers within their area, allowing them to direct policy and promulgate binding regulations.

The Congress has 1,000 voting delegates. Each county is apportioned a number of delegates, proportional to population, and determines the manner in which their delegation is appointed itself. This means that there is a wide spectrum of methods by which delegates are appointed, ranging from highly {[wp|democracy|democratic}} methods like at-large single transferable vote or first past the post systems, others by systems such as tax- or property-based weighting or appointment by local representative bodies. Each Congress lasts for 6 years, and in most counties delegates are appointed for the full length of the Congress. Most Congresses only hold four ordinary sessions, for the opening of the Congress, at the end of the second and fourth years of each Congress, and a closing session, and most delegates retain full time employment for the duration of their service. The largest delegation in the current Congress, of <somecounty>, is made up of 98 delegates, while five counties have a delegation of only one delegate. The Senate is formed by a subset of the Congress and has no constitutional authority. It is sat in session for most of the year, with breaks for holidays, and is made up of 100 Senators appointed at the start of each Congress. The Congress has delegated some emergency legislative powers to the Senate, such as appropriation for disaster relief or war, and granted it power of subpoena and wide oversight authorities to check the actions of the Directory.

### Local government

Local government in Varnia is carried out at two levels: Counties and hundreds, both deriving from ancient mobilization systems. There are a total of 49 counties divided into 2,033 hundreds. In addtion there are two centrally administered territories: the capital of Bjergvin is administered by the Director for Interior Affairs and the north-eastern territory of Kvenland is administered by the Office of Kvenic Affairs, which is jointly administered by the DIrectors for National Security and Interior Affairs.

A wide range of responsibilities have been devolved to local authorities by statute, covering healthcare, education, infrastructure and law enforcement. Counties are responsible for providing for general outpatient healthcare, primary and secondary education, local crime prevention and law enforcement, as well as a wide range of other duties. Some counties have further duties devolved, for example the county of Evenes is responsible for its own emergency healthcare and inpatient hospital care. Most of these devolved responsibilities are unfunded mandates, where the central government does not appropriate funds to finance them. Instead the Congress has passed laws that grant all counties the ability to levy certain kinds of taxes, subject to local political approval. All counties are allowed to levy taxes on the unimproved value of land within its borders, as well as value added tax on goods and services provided within its jurisdiction. Certain counties and municipalities are allowed to levy further taxes, for example most major city municipalities have been allowed to levy head taxes to finance further local services. Counties in Varnia have a wide range of forms of government, which have been classified by political science as ranging from plutocratic oligarchy to direct democracy. Counties are governed by various forms of constitutional law, and their most noticable impact on national politics is the way in which delegates to the Congress are appointed.

### Parties, elections and referenda

Varnia has historically been a two-party state, where members of only two political parties held seats in the Congress or the Senate. The now-defunct, social democratic Socialist Party and the liberal party The Radicals dominated national politics due to their willingness to absorb national delegates who were members of minor local parties for national purposes. The Radicals especially were characterised by intra-party factionalism and may have been best described as an electoral alliance rather than a political party. In the elections of 198X (where X < 4), the Socialist Party won a majority of seats but was unable to push their candidates into the Directory due to infighting between the centrist and moderate core and more radical factions. This political crisis, which left Varnia without functioning political leadership for 4 months, when The Radicals overcame procedural blocks to voting their own consensus candidates into government, lead to the breakup of the Socialist Party, which was effectively defunct by the next session of the Congress in 198Y (where Y = X+2), having broken up into several factions.