Ostland, officially known as the Kingdom of Ostland (Dun: Königreich Ostland), 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. The current monarch is Friedrich I.
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.
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.
Politics and GovernmentEdit
- Ministry of State - State Minister
- Ministry of Defense - Minister of Defense
- Ministry of the Interior
- State Police (Dundorfian: Staatspolizei)
- Main Office of State Administration
- Ministry of Economics and Finance - Minister of Economics and Finance
- State Bank of Ostland (Staatsbank Ostland, Ostland Staatsbank)
- Main Office of the International Development and Stability Bank
- Ministry of Infrastructure, Railways and Building (Ministerium für Infrastruktur, Eisenbahnen und Bauwesen)
- State Construction Service (Staatsbaudienst)
- Ministry of Labor (Staatskommission für Arbeit)
- State Labor Service (Staatsarbeitsdienst)
- Ministry of Public Welfare (Ministerium für für Gemeinwohl)
- Main Office of Kunihito Welfare
- Main Office of Settlements
- Ministry 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 various districts is headed by an a Hauptkommissar (Luthorian: Head Commissioner) who is appointed by the Grand Duke and confirmed by the State Minister and General-Plenipotentiary of the Main Office of State Administration. 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 State President 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.
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.
Despite paramilitaries being outlawed in Ostland, the Ostland Landwehr allows the existence of various Freikorps (Luthorian: Free Corps) which are essentially armed groups that assist in duties that normally the Landwehr itself considers beneath them. Freikorps tend to be poorer, non-noble Ostland citizens.
Law enforcement in Ostland is carried out by the State Police (Dundorfian: Staatspolizei) who are directly underneath the control of the State Commission for the Interior who serves as the Chief of State Police. State Police are located throughout the country and in areas with large Kunihito populations they are assisted by the Koan-Keisatsu (Kunikata: 公安警察 Kōan keisatsu, "Public Police Force") who are hand selected for their loyalty and headed by State Police officers.
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.