Ostland, officially known as the Grand Duchy of Ostland (Dundorfian: Großherzogtum Ostland), sometimes called Ostland-Touryou is a sovereign nation situated in interior of Dovani. Before gaining independence, Ostland was the largest and most recent of the Crowlands of Hulstria and Gao-Soto. Prior to being granted Crowland status in 3389, and thus full membership of the Empire, Ostland was officially a colony of Greater Hulstria.
Since independence, the country has pursued a foreign policy centered around its colonial past, namely those of Dundorfian heritage; indeed, the overwhelming majority of the population are native Dundorfian speakers. Ostland’s fertile land meant that, for most of its history, the country was considered the ‘breadbasket’ of Hulstria. However, successive governments have since sought to promote greater economic diversification, particularly within areas such as scientific research and finance.
Immediately following Ostland’s independence, a number of regime changes prevented the country’s transition to democracy. The coup d’etat of November 4312, led by General Georg Qvortrup, and the ensuing dictatorship, has been described by historian Hans Funke as the country’s ‘darkest years’. For much of this period, the native Kunihito population was disenfranchised, and a policy of cultural hegemony practised. As a result of the Hulstrian Civil War, the Qvortrup regime was overthrown, with the Septembrist Crownland Congress establishing a constitutional monarchy under Ludwig I in 4246. Ostland has shifted hands between pro-Independence Ostlander's mostly led by the nobility in the area as well as pro-Hulstrian ex-patriots.
The earliest accounts about the territories that now form Ostland come from the medieval Empire of Gao-Soto. According to imperial Gao-Soton historiography, before the formation of the Empire in 819, the lands east of the Schnee-Berge Mountains were inhabited by nomadic barbarians, named Soto. The formation of the empire under Meijiyo brought the Eastern Territory under the rule of the Emperor, while the Soto barbarians played an equally important part in the creation of the empire as the civilized Gao-Showa.With the discovery of Dovani in 1474, and the conquest of Gao-Soto by Luthori in 1560, the Eastern Territory became independent. Protected by the Schnee-Berge Mountains, the Eastern Territory was protected from attacks from Luthori, and later independent Hulstria. Moreover, the fact that the eastern territory was sparsely populated and had no apparent economic value, coupled with the hostility of the natives, meant that there was little incentive for exploration and expansion in the region.
This changed however with the establishment of the Dual Monarchy of Hulstria and Gao-Soto in 2425, the relations between the Hulstrians and the native Gao-Showans of the Great North Dovani Plain improved significantly. This allowed Hulstria and Gao-Soto to begin the exploration of the territory, and in 2438, it was officially annexed by the Dual Monarchy, and placed under the rule of the Gao-Soton Emperor. When the Dual Monarchy was abolished in 2484, the Gao-Showa emperor fled into the Eastern Territory, maintaining a power base in the region, while pursuing his return to the throne. However, when the monarchy was returned in 2551, the Eastern Territory was brought back under Hulstrian control, becoming a colony once again.
In 3388, with the restoration of the Empire of Gao-Soto, the Eastern Territory was brought under the direct control of the eastern half of the empire. In order for both constituent empires to have an equal number of crownlands, Ostland was granted the status of Crownland in 3389, becoming the sixth Crownland of Septembrist Hulstria and Gao-Soto.
For much of Ostland's independent history, the native Kunihito population had been disenfranchised. This was the result of aggressive settlement of Dundorfian (as opposed to Hulstrian-Dundorfian) settlers by pro-Dundorfian organisations, which succesfully took over the country and imposed an apartheid regime in which Kunihito were unable to hold office. The capital was moved to the new settlement of Wolfsheim. As a result of the Hulstrian Civil War, this regime was displaced and replaced with a new Septembrist constitution drawn up by the agency of the Septembrist Crownland Congress. This has largely been interpreted in terms of nostalgia for the Septembrist era, in which Touryou enjoyed an equal status with Gao-Soto. The last Grand Duke of Ostland was abrogated and the Crown bestowed once more on the Mikado of Gao-Soto, Morihito.
The Grand Duke of Ostland was formally restored in April, 4415 when King Friedrich I passed and his son Crown Prince Magnus took the throne. Ostland has experienced a rather tumultuous turn around underneath Grand Duke Magnus, who unlike predecessors has fostered a working relationship between the Hulstrians (sometimes called Hulstro-Dundorfians in Ostland) and the Kunihito people. Several acts of legislation have passed to re-build bridges severed, notably the "Law on Societal Integration and Protection" which passed in November, 4419 and saw the general elections for the Eastern Land Council allow a Kunihito focused party run for seats with the governing coalition.
Perhaps the most progressive move done by the Grand Duke was the allowance of the formation of an autonomous region known as the "Touryou State" which would allow the Kunihito partial autonomy; this move was announced and formalized in March, 4419.
Ostland is situated between the Sea of Carina to the East and the Schnee-Berge Mountains, belonging to the Barrier Range, to the west. The bulk of the territory of Ostland is dominated by the Great North Dovani Plain.
Government and politicsEdit
Ostland is a constitutional monarchy with the Grand Duke of Ostland as it's head of state; the Grand Duke retains the authority to decree. It should be noted however, that most Grand Dukes seek the approval of the legislature to reinforce their ducal decrees. The head of government is the State Chancellor; underneath the "Law on Constitutional Reform October 4419" the State Minister transitioned into the title of State Chancellor. The Government of Ostland was re-organized into departments in place of "Ministries" and given a wider scope and focus. Legislatively the Eastern Land Council serves as the unicameral legislature of Ostland.
Each head department and department is headed by an appointed "State Secretary" with the exception of the Hauptabteilung I which is directly lead by the State Chancellor. Offices, bureaus, agencies, services, etc. are handled by appointed directors or lower class State Secretary, 2nd Class appointees. Ostland, like many other modern countries, manages most of their appointments and hiring's either by decree or civil service hiring.
- Head Department I (Hauptabteilung I) - Administration Department
- Main Office of Foreign Affairs
- Head Department II (Hauptabteilung II) - Department of Defense
- Head Department III (Hauptabteilung III) - Department of the Interior
- State Police (Dundorfian: Staatzpolizei)
- Main Office of State Administration
- Office of Civil Service
- Head Department IV (Hauptabteilung IV) - Department of Economics and Finance
- State Bank of Ostland (Staatsbank Ostland, Ostland Staatsbank)
- Main Office of the International Development and Stability Bank
- Department I (Abteilung I) - Department of Infrastructure, Railways and Building
- State Construction Service (Staatsbaudienst)
- Department II (Abteilung II) - Department of Labor
- State Labor Service (Staatsarbeitsdienst)
- Department III (Abteilung III) - Department of Public Welfare
- Main Office of Social Welfare Program (Hulstrian: Hauptamt für soziale Wohlfahrtsprogramme)
- Department IV (Abteilung IV) - Department of Agriculture and Forests
- State Hunting Association (Sturian: Staatsjagdverband) - Staatssjägermeister
- State Forestry Commission (Sturian: Staatsforstkommission) - Staatssforstmeister
Ostland is divided into several dozen districts (Dundorfian: Bezirk) and further divided into areas (Dundorfian: Gebiets). These are similar to other countries regions, states, provinces, etc. Each of the distrcits are headed by a Bezirkskommissar (Luthorian: District Commissioner) who is appointed by the Grand Duke and confirmed by the State Chancellor and General-Plenipotentiary of the Main Office of State Administration. Grand Duke Magnus created 3 "regions" of Ostland which are headed by a Hauptkommissar (Luthorian: Head Commissioner) who is appointed by the Grand Duke solely and are responsible for reporting back to the Main Office of State Administration and the Grand Duke's household.
Areas are headed by one of two officials: Areas that contain important locations or major cities are headed by an appointed Gebietsoberkommissar (Luthorian: Area head commissioner) and areas that contain neither important locations or major cities are headed by an elected Gebietskommissar (Luthorian: Area commissioner).
In times of crisis it is common for the Grand Duke to appoint Bezirkskommandant (Luthorian: District Commander) who is traditionally from the Landwehr or the intelligence/security services and they act as the de facto ruler of the district until the Grand Duke declares such a time over. District Commanders have ultimate authority over all matters, including local military units for their tenure.
The southern 10 districts are underneath the special autonomous area known as the "Touryou State" which is vastly Kunihito in population. The Touryou State is responsible for a wide variety of aspects of governance in the southern part of the country.
Military and law enforcementEdit
Despite the concept that Ostland is a republic, Ostland is ruled in a very autocratic way. The Ostland Landwehr is charged with the collective defense of Ostland, the Ostland Landwehr is used in both military and law enforcement capacities. The Ostland Landwehr is comprised of two primary branches the Ostland Landwehr (which provides land and aviation components) and the Ostland Marine (which provides naval and naval aviation components). A third branch of the Landwehr technically exists as the Sturmabteilung (Luthorian: Storm Detachment) these men are known as Stoßtruppen and serve as the elite special forces of the Ostland government.
Law enforcement in Ostland underwent a significant transformation underneath Grand Duke Magnus who wanted a more "modern" police structure. Ostland borrowed historical and modern examples from Dorvik, Hulstria and Dundorf. The State Police name was kept and significantly transformed; it was placed under the Department of the Interior (Hauptabteilung III) and the Chief of the State Police was kept as a position.
The State Police borrowed Dorvik's civil service organization of the police force and re-organized the State Police to included an administrative branch, a traffic police branch, several other specialized units including the introduction of the Sicherheitspolizei (Luthorian: Security Police) which provides a SWAT-like structure for riot control, natural disasters, advanced police response and other means of law enforcement.
The Koan-Keisatsu (Kunikata: 公安警察 Kōan keisatsu, "Public Police Force") was transferred to the Touryou State and assigned underneath their General Affairs Council but remain underneath the control of the Chief of the State Police if called upon.
Freikorps were a paramilitary that was unofficially sanctioned by the Ostland government prior to January 4419 when Grand Duke Magnus decreed that they were to be disbanded. The Freikorps were leftovers from the early days of the Dundorfian Reich and the Collapse of the Dundorfian Reich. Freikorp units tended to draw on poorer, non-noble citizens of Ostland. The relationship that they had with the Ostland Landwehr overall was tense at best. Most of the Freikorps were demobilized and retired, most of them with government-funded pensions or were transferred into other branches of service.
The primary economy of the Republic of Ostland is centered around various ports located on the western coast of Ostland. The other major portion of Ostland's economy is a large industrial base which produces numerous raw materials and send its back to the ports to various trading partners. Otherwise the Ostland economy is primarily rural and based around businesses that are centered around supporting its trade industry as well as it's heavy industrial focus. Ostlander labor primarily comes from Kunihito who are subjected to near-slave labor.
Ostfirma (Luthorian: East Company) maintains a large presence in Ostland as well Statrica. Ostfirma was setup during the Collapse of the Reich period as a means for various Dundorfian nobles to maintain their interest overseas while the Dundorfian Reich's colonies were either revolting or being picked off by the creation of new states. Statrica has a much better relationship with Ostfirma than Ostland does, Ostland considers Ostfirma a possible opponent in their dominance of the area of economics.
The State Commission for Economics and Finance (Dundorfian: Staatskommission für Wirtschaft und Finanzen) is responsible for management of all economic policies of Ostland, they are permitted to handle all matters relating to economics and finance, including regulation and policy without the consent of the State Council but everything requires the signature of the State President.
Ostland is comprised of three primary ethnic groups: Hulstrians (the descendants of Hulstrian settlers), Dundorfians (post-independence settlers) and Kunihito. Due to the backing of wealthy pro-Dundorfians and Pan-Dundorfian groups the Dundorfians make up roughly 20% of Ostland's population, prominently calling themselves Ostlanders, with 30% now claiming predominantly Hulstrian heritage. Overall, the Hulstrian population was less supportive of apartheid than the Dundorfian populace. The Kunihito that inhabit Ostland make up roughly 50% of the population but are relatively poor farmers and factory workers. They have recently been enfranchised, leading to the swift emergence of a new Kunihito middle class.