all men are mortal.
Words of praise
will never perish
nor a noble name.”
A unified state for almost 400 years, Invanstir is a stable and relatively wealthy northern Circilian Samaryani state. Strong overseas trade and a long seafaring tradition generates the majority of the nation’s wealth.
The nation is split into two islands, the larger, eastern isle is Ivanir, the westerly is Arhule. The geographic conditions of both islands are similar. The large Tarnas mountain range that runs east, west shelters the south of Ivanstir from the worst of the polar weather. The warm Circilian Current keeps the south relatively temperate and suitable for agriculture. North of the Tarnas Range is sparsely populated, dry and freezing.
Ivanstir is the common tongue. Caladian and Bar is spoken amongst traders and the educated.
Ivanstir is ruled by a high king or queen. Their power is far from absolute however, being roughly comparable to the power wield by the contemporary Kings of the Realm and Dasturia or the Grand Dukes of Taylach.
They have no legislative powers; these powers are held exclusively by the Council of Nobles. The Council of Nobles votes on legislation which, if passed is referred to the King who will either approve or veto. Obviously this situation means a strong high king or queen governs Ivanstir with almost absolute power, while a weak ruler can almost completely be dominated by the Council of Nobles.
The Council of Nobles itself is essentially a plutocracy, to vote a landholder must be able to muster an annual income of 5,000 silver riksdaler, while a merchant requires an income of 10,000. There are certain exceptions to this rule, for instance all members of the Order of the Northern Star (principally distinguished soldiers and ex soldiers) and the Samaryani Clergy are entitled to a seat on the Council of Nobles.
The population is principally ethnic Ivar. However Realmsmen and Dov, being the travellers they are, have always made up a significant immigrant population. The recent strife in Barraine has also lead to a significant influx of Bar refugees.
2 million, of which over 1 and three fifth million live south of the Tarnas Range.
No official national flag. The current High King’s banner has been adopted for the nascent Army and Navy. This is a dark blue banner, carrying a white Northern Star. The star is elongated to symbolise the Lance of Isaladar and Ivanstar’s place as a Isaladarian Samaryani nation.
Ivanstir has long been sympathetic in spirit at least to the Realm and Dovinae. While the three nations have a history of struggles, rivalry and limited naval wars, as Ciricilian, Samaryani and trading nations, they have even more in common.
Ivanstir has traditionally tried to remain neutral in the continuing struggle in Barraine, but her sympathies have lately been with the Grand League. The recent invasion of Invanstir by the Grand Duchy of Auerswald has hardened this feeling into open hatred for Auerswald.
The free spirited people of Ivanstir have long been resistant to the possibility of a standing army. However, the recent Northern War clearly demonstrated the militia system to be archaic and woefully inadequate. In response to this a small standing Royal Army and Navy has been approved by the Council of Nobles.
Army: Approximately 20,000 men, principally infantry and militia, spread throughout the isles. Artillery and cavalry are of an exceedingly rudimentary nature.
Navy: Various sloops and other small white water ships. Work on a modern blue water fleet is getting under way, seven frigates are under construction domestically and two 74 gun battleships have been purchased from Dovinae yards in addition to a 80 gun vessel from the Realm. All three have yet to be delivered.
Like most other Circilian Nations the Taint was almost extinguished by the Great Hunts. What little remains is generally low level agricultural and weather taint with a strong element of charlatanism thrown in (witches, apothecaries, hedge wizards and the like). The exception to this is the Guild of Storms which has grown vastly wealthy using their weather fey to save merchantmen and whalers from the great Circilian storms.
Ivanstir is agriculturally self sufficient, primarily through the potato crop and fishing. Some agricultural produce is exported (salted fish for instance) but this is limited. The first pillar of Ivanstir’s wealth is her domestic resources of skins, furs, amber, hemp, timber, wool, tin and coal all of which are exported in vast amounts.
The second is her position as the gateway to the North. Many ships coming or going to the Great North Road will stop in Duborg and this has bought great wealth to this seaport. Her ports are also packed with hardy whalers destined for the pods of the Cold Sea or traders going to or from the frozen north of Barraine and Taylach.
A vast array of southern produce is imported into Ivanstir; her wharves groan under the weight of tools from the Realm, wine from Caladia and oil from Daturian olives – ‘it is a foolish captain who sales north with an empty hold’ as the saying goes.
Traditionally little production has taken place in Ivanstir itself, with even wool being exported to Dovinae to be loomed. Recently this has begun to change with the growth of local guilds, especially in Duborg.
The largest denomination of Ivanstir currency is the silver riksdaler. This coin is colloquially known as the ‘prince’ due to the image of Prince Isaladar they have always carried.
Three copper riksdalers are worth one silver riksdaler. The copper riksdaler has traditionally been worth half a ‘prince’, but a shortage of silver caused by the last war has greatly increased the larger coin’s value.
The copper riksdaler is worth four marks.
Öre are worth an eighth of a mark.
Öre are made up of 24 pennings.
Bank notes have been issued by the Bank of Duborg for more than a century. However, while in frequent use by merchants and artisans, they are distrusted in the countryside and are rarely accepted as tender there.
The coins of the Realm, Caladia and Dov are all accepted as legal tender in Ivanstir’s larger trading ports.