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Laurelian

Laurelian Temple at night.

Laurelian (also known as the Laurelian Nation) is a city-state located in the far northeast hemisphere of the Shire. It is mostly concentrated on the continent of Niolari, upon which it exercises complete jurisdiction. It also maintains a degree of control over the city of Modaora, west of Niolari. It was established in 1762 by Modaoran refugees, and is the primary Laurelii racial stronghold within the Shire.

The Laurelii are nocturnal by nature and make adjustments for time when interacting with the rest of the world.

Laurelian has an oligarchic form of government, overseen by the Kiinthira, a ruling council of elder Laurelii. The state’s position within the political landscape of the Shire is that of a reliable country and international mediator. It is widely known for its absolute neutral policies regarding the formation of alliances and war, having no official allies nor enemies. However, Laurelian enjoys friendly relations with much of the Shire. Laurelian is home to the Shire Alpha Reserve, which protects the gold of most nations within the Shire Dollar Zone and backs the currency’s value, rendering the city crucially important to the economic stability of the world.

Laurelian was founded by refugees from the city of Modaora in the latter part of the 18th century. After building their settlement and forming an alliance with the Flamewry Dominion, they were deceived by the Flamewry in order to gain access to an alleged artifact they were convinced would make them immensely powerful. Following the Siege of Modaora in 1756, the displaced survivors began a migration across the isolated northern Shire. After seeking a new home for six years, they arrived at Niolari and began rebuilding, influenced by more traditional Laurelii culture and architecture. Efforts were overseen by Admiral Aichnar Mautsenon, who in his old age became overwhelmed by insanity and was eventually overthrown by his generals; they formed the Kiinthira to secure internal peace during the formative years of Laurelian. Outside of the Flamewry, the Laurelii first made contact with the other five races in 1890 in the event known as the Great Communiqué, announcing its presence via diplomats sent to the most prominent nations in the Shire at that point. It was then that the city entered the global stage.

The First World War in 1927 saw Laurelian withdraw from the rest of the world, having an inherent disdain for war. It remained completely neutral until it was approached by Oranjestad, which sought to protect its gold as the Central Shire was ravaged by war. This secret deal was approved by the Kiinthira, and the gold was brought to the country for safekeeping. The Kingdom of Fulfwotz discovered the arrangement, and despite icy relations between the Laurelii and Fulfwotzians, the Kingdom asked to store their gold in Laurelian as well. They were initially turned down, but eventually threatened to expose the deal to Liberator forces, who would no doubt invade Niolari. Soon, most Overtaker gold was being held in Laurelian. After the signing of the Treaty of Niflheim in 1928, the arrangement was made public, and many former Liberator nations in poor shape sent their gold to Laurelian as well until they could fully protect themselves again. In 1951, the Multilateral Golden Agreement was signed by members of the Shire Dollar Zone, in which the majority of the currency-backing gold was to be kept within Laurelian, its neutrality important in the event of a war. Today, the city serves as the headquarters of the Shire Dollar Organization and is an economic hub of the world.

Contents

Etymology

Laurelian is derived from the name of a type of flower once present around Modaora; the Mountain Laurel. The laurels were brought by the refugees from the city, and became a symbol of hope and their homeland. For these reasons, it was a popular choice when the new city was first being named. Today, the mountain laurel has become an ubiquitous symbol of Laurelian both within the country and internationally.

The demonym for Laurelian is Laurelii, which is also a common name in the country and the name of their respective race. In Modaoran, the state is called either Laurelian or Lacathense.

History

See also: Modaora

Siege of Modaora

After the arrival of the Laurelii people in 1711, the self-contained city of Modaora was constructed in the largely-unexplored wilderness of the northern Shire. After scouts from the Flamewry Dominion encountered the city, which had prospered in isolation for several decades, the two states engaged in friendly relations and eventually formed something of an alliance. The Flamewry kept knowledge of Modaora’s existence secret from the rest of the Shire, initially in order to prevent hostility towards the city, but later to acquire the artifact they were seeking without the meddling of other countries. After gaining knowledge of the relic the Modaorans were in possession of, the Flamewry Dominion turned on them; on January 19th, 1756, the Flamewry coordinated an attack on the city, decimating the Modaorans. Though far outnumbered, they managed to use their superior technology to repel and defeat the Flamewry attackers. With their city ravaged and facing the likelihood of retaliation, the Modaorans were forced to flee; with over 8,500 fatalities, only roughly 500 survived. The refugees began a long trek across the continent of Postrema. They were not offered asylum in any nations, as their presence was virtually unknown to the rest of the world. Their journey lasted for nearly six years, existing as nomadic travelers living off of the land. They were effectively disabled, having lost much of their technology in the siege, and lacked the resources to build more.

Founding of Laurelian

The refugees soon arrived in Niolari, another largely uninhabited northern continent. Sometime around 1761, the Modaoran Mathaana (spiritual mother of Modaora) Neithokira fell ill with an unknown disease. It is against their moral code to leave behind the Mathaana, and she was unable to continue moving. Since the refugees could not leave, they had no other choice but to settle down and rebuild. With Neithokira incapacitated, the Modaorans were in need of strong leadership. Admiral Aichnar Mautsenon, who headed evacuation efforts and fought during the siege, was unanimously chosen by his peers. The planned city was named Laurelian, from the mountain laurels brought from Modaora.

Development started in 1762, and initially started off incredibly slow, given the small numbers and limited resources of the now-Laurelii. Technological development was prioritized for the first few years of its construction, and help was provided from isolated Enpeecee villages outside of Niolari. Progress increased exponentially once proper tools, resources, and labor was acquired. Morale decayed following the death of the Mathaana Neithokira in 1769, and her daughter Pirophani ascended to the rank of Mathaana.

General’s Revolt

After the slowed development following Neithokira’s death, Admiral Aichnar saw the need to consolidate his authority and reinvigorate the population. In the beginning, his reforms were created along the lines of mandatory working hours and pay incentives, but as he aged, it is believed he was overcome with a mental illness and imposed harsher policies, such as unpaid labor and brutal punishments for disobedience. Pirophani, possessing great influence of her own as the Laurelii Mathaana, made numerous attempts to undermine Aichnar’s actions and act in the best interests of her children. After hiding overworked Laurelii in her dwelling to protect them from lashings, Aichnar accused her of heresy and murdered her in a fit of rage in 1774. In Laurelii culture, killing the Mathaana is arguably the most abhorrent crime possible and is punishable by death and banishment from Mé, the spiritual plane.

The workers who witnessed the murder escaped, quickly spreading the news within Laurelian. The generals serving under him rallied together and overthrew the Admiral, imprisoning him and briefly installing martial law until a provisional government could be formed. The Kiinthira, a legislative body composed of the generals and elders of the community, was established on April 10th, 1775. Aichnar was found guilty of assassinating the Mathaana, and was executed several days later as Monihema inherited the post of her predecessor. Following the consolidation of the Kiinthira’s authority, the Laurelii Constitution was drafted, in which the freedoms of all was promised.

Growth of Laurelian

What originally consisted of temporary tents and shelters had grown into a fairly developed town; by 1800, most of Laurelian had indoor plumbing and electricity (despite the latter not being utilized properly in the rest of the Shire until 1880). Prior to 1804, simple bartering and haggling had been the predominant method of purchasing goods, but currency was reintroduced in the form of jefras. Jefra production was kept to a single mint and followed with heavy scrutiny from the Kiinthira. Nickel, which was very common in Niolari, was used in the coins (coins being easier to produce than paper money). The composition of the jefra gave it its value, and the currency was even introduced in a handful of neighboring Enpeecee villages; the village of Gucci even continued to use jefras until 1989, while under the control of the New Sammichian Empire.

The Wrongful Bloodshed

In 1842, an informant from a nearby Enpeecee village arrived in Laurelian, pretending to be a village elder from an enemy village, Dakaana. He claimed that his false village had managed to steal confidential technology from the Laurelii, and were planning to use it against them and attack the city. Given the Laurelii’s history with being deceived by would-be allies, they took the threat very seriously. The informant advised taking action, and Laurelii forces mobilized and marched on Dakaana on November 6th. They were met with a confused Dakaanite resistance, who perceived the aggression as an attack and betrayal. With Laurelian’s superior technology, they slaughtered the Dakaanite soldiers and, as a result of civilian casualties and fleeing, depopulated Dakaana.

However, upon raiding the central fortress, no classified technology was discovered, nor any indication that they had planned on betraying Laurelian. After being interrogated, the informant confessed to the plot which was orchestrated in order to settle animosity between his village and Dakaana in a violent manner. Horrified, the Laurelii sought penance by stringent meditation and rebuilding Dakaana. Over 500 Dakaanites were killed in the battle, with negligible casualties to the Laurelii forces. It is arguably the most shameful event in Laurelian’s history, and November 6th has been declared a national holiday in which Laurelii must meditate and reflect on the massacre. This undoubtedly played a large role in modern Laurelian’s international neutrality.

Airship Massacre of 1875

As a gift for providing refuge to a number of Enpeecees whose village had been razed, the village elder provided the Kiinthira with sketches detailing a form of transportation known as an airship. The technology had apparently come from Pangea Valley, and the Laurelii were eager to test it; after refining the instructions and tweaking the design, the first airship, L.S. Lucutra, was launched in 1873, proving to be a great success. Three more airships were built, primarily for passenger travel across Niolari. In 1875, it was decided that the airships would be used to give free aerial tours of the city and continent in celebration of the centennial anniversary of the Kiinthira.

Over 800 Laurelii were on board the four airships; they were flying in formation, with the Lucutra above and slightly behind the three smaller ships. Tragedy struck when the Lucutra combusted, crashing to the ground and colliding with two of the other airships, bringing them down with it. Approximately 530 people perished, and airship travel became a pariah afterwards. Even with advancements made in modern recreational airships, Laurelian refuses to manufacture or use them.

The Great Communiqué

After introducing a monetary system and becoming further involved in the affairs of the surrounding Enpeecee settlements, Laurelii began to question their position in the world. Prior to 1890, its existence had been kept from the rest of the Shire, and the Enpeecee villages nearby had been sworn to secrecy. However, the city had been keeping a close eye on the rest of the Shire, and believed it to be ripe for conflict. In the north, the rival trading cities of Caffa and Paarsdam were on the verge of a trade war escalating into an actual war. In the central Shire, territorial disputes between Oranjestad and Venezia Nuova were creating confusion and friction. In the south, the Kingdom of Fulfwotz’s conquering of the Demmatrodine and other states provoked extreme unrest and fear. It was the belief of the Kiinthira that the state needed to establish itself internationally, as well as distract the other nations from potential war.

In 1889, a group of messengers was assembled by the Kiinthira. For a year, they were educated on the outside world and their assigned countries, as well as how to properly represent Laurelian and to avoid inciting fear or xenophobia. In 1890, they were sent from the city to great fanfare, to arrive in the capitals of the Shire’s leading nations at the time. The messengers bore gifts, as well as a message from the elders of the Kiinthira, which read:

“Please, do not be alarmed. We mean you no harm. We arrived on your planet nearly two centuries ago, and since that fateful landing, we have learned so much about you, and about us. For all these years, we have observed your kindness, your unity, your friendship and love. Yet, we have also seen the killing, the persecution, and the hate exchanged between nations, between ideologies, and between people. We have bore witness to the petty wars and suffering inflicted upon and by your governments. There cannot properly be love without the presence of hate; what is there to triumph over otherwise? We understand this. The struggle between these two forces cannot be described as a war with a winner, but rather a neverending series of cosmic battles being won by either side. We ask not to make war, but rather to fight alongside you all as comrades, to fight for all the good we’ve seen in your world. You may not be ready to accept us, but know that when the day comes when you need guidance, a friend, or an ally, Laurelian will stand with you all.”

Knavobuki was the first to formally issue a declaration of friendship with Laurelian, soon followed by Oranjestad, Venezia Nuova, the Solurian Empire, and the Athitican Empire. The messenger sent to the Kingdom of Fulfwotz was met with a cold reception, and the news was kept from most Fulfwotzians until the ascension of King Sammus. Laurelian invited representatives from various countries to visit the city and learn more about Laurelii culture in 1893. From this point onward, the state would be a prominent figure in international politics.

Modern Laurelian

First World War

It was believed by the Kiinthira that Fulfwotz would prove to be problematic in maintaining international peace, and their concerns came to fruition after the outbreak of the First World War in 1927. Both Overtaker and Liberator coalitions attempted to gain Laurelian as an ally, but each side was refused by the Kiinthira who viewed the war as an unnecessary loss of life and irresponsible. This angered much of the international community, who had interpreted the Kiinthira’s message in 1890 to be a promise to build and maintain alliances with the rest of the Shire. Laurelian declared full neutrality, and would not be directly affected by the war until it was approached by Oranjestad.

After Overtaker intel suggested a possible attack on Venezia Nuova (which ended up being the Red Christmas of 1928, one of the most important battles of the war), representatives from Oranjestad’s treasury secretly met with the Kiinthira and asked to store their gold within the city-state, in order to protect it from a potential Liberator invasion. If the gold was seized, it would cripple Oranjestad’s economy for decades to come, something the Kiinthira viewed as detrimental to world stability. The country’s gold was then covertly shipped to a massive vault beneath Laurelian, but not before Fulfwotzian spies learned of the deal. Fulfwotz then asked Laurelian to store their gold as well; the Kiinthira was hesitant, but the Kingdom blackmailed the state with threats to make the deal public, thereby leading to a Liberator invasion of Niolari. Laurelian accepted Fulfwotz’s gold, and it was all shipped only days before the 1928 Occupation of Fulfwotz.

After the end of the war and the signing of the Treaty of Niflheim, the arrangement was disclosed to the public, and the city was asked by many other countries to take on their gold as they rebuilt. Laurelian’s responsible and effective handling of the gold, as well as the enormous vault constructed and periodically expanded to contain all of it, convinced many nations to keep a large portion of their gold there and form the Shire Dollar Zone with a universal currency. The Multilateral Golden Agreement was signed in 1951 by 14 countries, and Laurelian became permanently responsible for the safekeeping of what gave the dollar its value.

Second Plague

Laurelian was one of the first countries to shut its borders following the spread of ‘’Yersinia pulex’’ throughout the central Shire. The nation was one of the largest benefactors of relief efforts and research for a cure; Laurelian University cooperated with a variety of other institutions in the Shire to manufacture a potential cure. The first case of the plague in Laurelian was reported on August 12th, 1959. ‘’Yersinia pulex’’ decimated the human population of the city, but the Laurelii population was curiously unaffected. Trials in Laurelian University concluded that they possessed an immunity to the strain.

Laurelii scientists at DePrey Institute were then used to create a cure and tested it on the ailing Fulfwotz population with promising results. Were it not for the Laurelii, it is highly likely that it would have taken much longer to synthesize a cure for the plague. Laurelian lost 9.2% of its population, almost all Humans and Sammichians.

Contemporary History

Constant conflict between the New Sammichian Empire and Laurelian was of great concern after the plague, despite the closeness of the two nations in developing medication for the plague. The Empire refused to attend the annual G8 summit in 1970 when the venue was in Laurelian. At one point, the Empire asked for its gold to be returned and had drawn up plans to leave the Shire Dollar Zone, but the imperial government was overthrown by the Fulfwotz Communist Collective before any action was taken. The two have sought to warm relations in recent years with annual meetings and gifts.

During a diplomatic visit to Acadie in 2002, an attempt was made on the Mathaana Semmelani’s life when a member of the xenophobic anti-Laurelii movement Goodshire attacked security outside of the Mathaana’s hotel room, shooting and killing two guards before being shot dead. The man was identified as Clark Niemann, who was also found responsible for the murder of five other Laurelii people in the capital. Since then, Goodshire has been targeted by numerous governments within the Shire as a hate group, and some have outlawed the organization altogether.

Government

Laurelian is ruled by an oligarchy, with power vested in the Kiinthira. The Kiinthira is an elite group of elders who act on behalf of the state. Traditionally, there are 16 members of the Kiinthira, which was also the number of generals who were on it when the body was first formed. Members pass down their positions to an elder they see fit, after approval from the other elders of the body. The Kiinthira ultimately decides everything from taxation to sanitation. The early establishment of a stable political system in Laurelian did not permit the development of an expansive administrative bureaucracy, such as those in the New Sammichian Empire and Oranjestad.

The Mathaana is often mistaken for the queen of Laurelian by foreigners, yet the matriarch exercises no actual political authority; despite this, she has an immense amount of influence, and the Kiinthira may occasionally turn to her for advice. However, spiritually, she is the mother of all Laurelii and is responsible for aiding people both within the physical world and Mé. There is no official head of state nor head of government, yet during international functions such as summits or negotiations, the Mathaana will typically represent the nation accompanied by several members of the Kiinthira, if need be. The current Mathaana is Semmelani. Laurelian holds the Shire’s longest record for peaceful transitions of power.

Political Party

Most Laurelii align themselves with the Laurel Party, which dominates the Kiinthira. It is currently the only recognized political party in the country, making Laurelian a one-party state. The ability of Elders to pass their position on to another Elder enables the Party to easily maintain control of the state. The Laurel Party aims to promote the classical Laurelian values of peace, spirituality, honor, and devotion to the state. The Mathaana does not formally align herself with the Party or any political movement within Laurelian.

The Laurel Party has been the subject of very heavy criticism from younger Laurelii, who are responsible for a growing ideological divide between the older and newer generations. In 2009, a demonstration consisting of nearly 130,000 Laurelii was staged in the Annapolis and Portsmouth districts of the capital, in protest of the Party’s political omnipresence. Trade staggered as protesters blockaded the docks in Portsmouth, warranting intervention from the city’s peacekeeping forces. With approximately ⅕ of its population having participated in the demonstration, the 2009 Protests remain the largest gathering in Laurelian’s history.

Foreign Relations

The state is known around the world for its neutralistic policies. It does not maintain any alliances, and has never been at war with another nation. This is not to say it does not engage in relations with other countries; diplomacy is very important to the nation. It is close with Oranjestad, Knavobuki, and the Vaelthranni Compact, among others. For much of the 20th century, Laurelian and the New Sammichian Empire were purveyors of an ill-disposed relationship. The Laurelii viewed the Empire as antagonistic to world peace and unity, while the Empire viewed Laurelian as conceited and delusional. In 1971, the Empire actually demanded its gold to be returned. The international community was concerned for the possibility of another war, but the Empire was soon overthrown by the Fulflet Union. In 1990, the two countries agreed to an initiative to improve relations, instigated by the new Mathaana Semmelani. The only multilateral international organizations Laurelian is a member of is the Shire United Nations and the Shire Dollar Zone.

Military

Due to its neutrality, Laurelian does not require a large standing military; it currently employs 60,000 active personnel. Its primary military body is the Laurelii Peacekeeping Corps (LPC). Given its history, it possesses plans for a number of advanced pieces of weaponry that surpasses that of many other Shire nations, but in order to maintain peace and stability, the weapons have not been constructed. Despite its small army, nearly every Laurelii citizen is a member of the LPC Reserves. At the age of 18, both Laurelii males and females undergo basic training for one year; after this mandatory period, they can choose to remain on a military career track and resume training or continue their extramilitary endeavors. Most choose the latter, as demand for a large military is not present. Laurelian maintains its policy of semi-conscription as a way to ensure its safety in the unlikely event that it was ever attacked.

Geography and Climate

Laurelian sits on the continent of Niolari in the northeastern Shire. Despite being classified as a city-state, it claims jurisdiction over a very large area of land surrounding its capital, making it one of the largest nations in the Shire. Aside from Niolari, Laurelian controls part of the city of Modaora in Postrema. Being one of the Shire’s northernmost continents, the vast majority of Niolari sits in a cool continental climate zone, with warm summers and very cold winters. In the east, Laurelian hosts an abundance of green, fertile land, along with much of the central region. In the west, the land gives way to boreal forests and swampland in the northwest. With an extremely low population density, the city is spread out over much of the landscape.

Laurelian is home to the Laurelian Cherry Tree, which is among the Shire’s most recognizable flora. Green for most of summer, there are two biannual festivals in the city celebrating the trees; one in spring for the cherry blossoms, and another in the fall for when the colors are at their peak. Due to the rarity of the trees and their impressive colors, the Biannual Cherry Festivals attract millions of visitors over the course of their 2-week durations.

Culture

Laurelian is probably best known for its culture of spirituality and honor. It has been well-preserved, as immigration to the city is not the easiest process and often deters would-be immigrants. Despite the relative tolerance the state grants its subjects, dissenters to the Laurelii norm are frowned upon and often shunned within society. People who do not submit to the traditional faith and teachings (aside from visitors) are viewed with scorn, making the country surprisingly not the most hospitable location for immigrants. The only area within Laurelian where immigrants are not judged for following their own beliefs is the small village of Port Laurelian located in the Portsmouth district of the city. Port Laurelian was built as a refugee camp during the First World War. While Port Laurelian was meant to only serve as temporary sanctuary, many refugees decided to make Portsmouth, Laurelian their new, permanent home. In a unanimous vote by the Kiinthira, the refugee camp was permanently named Port Laurelian and took two years for the temporary structures to be upgraded to permanent residences. Residents of Port Laurelian hold partial citizenship in Laurelian and are confined to the Portsmouth district to live and work.

Laurelii society is nocturnal and revolves around the Mathaana, a divine figure who functions as a prophet and the main channel between the spiritual plane of Mé and the physical plane of Rana. The line of Mathaanas traces back to the legendary Amauphele through the maternal line, giving Laurelian’s spiritual sphere distinct matriarchal elements. While the teachings of the Mathaana and Mé have the basis of piety, there is no actual religion attached to it and the theology remains nameless in Laurelian. However, it has a variety of names throughout the rest of the Shire, the most widely-used being Mathaanism.

In Laurelian, there is one hour of meditation every morning at sunrise as their night comes to an end. Services are temporarily shut down, and employers are legally obligated to release their employees for this period of time. Most businesses and city services are closed from 9 or 10am to 5 or 6pm local time. This practice draws its origin from the Laurelii belief in Visani, the ethereal energy from Mé that keeps the physical universe of Rana intact. Throughout the day, the Visani of the Laurelii is supposedly drained, and must be replenished periodically. Dating back to early Modaorans, it was observed that Visani draining occurred at a much faster, more affecting rate during daylight hours than at night - thus became the nocturnal nature of the Laurelii for fear and prevention of Soul Sickness. The life force can be regained by connecting with Mé via meditation. In layman’s terms, the meditation is essentially sleeping, but for the soul. While the nightly meditation is not mandatory for every Laurelii person, it is often looked down upon to not partake in the practice.

Economy

Laurelian has a highly-regulated economy, which falls between a mixed and command economy. As of 2015, the nation’s GDP was estimated at $1.2 trillion, and was rated as having the Shire’s fourth-most stable economy by the International Consortium of Finance. The government retains control of much of the larger industries, such as energy and shipping, yet private entrepreneurship is permitted and commonplace. Most of Laurelian’s income is derived from trade; it is one of two great ports in the northern Shire (the other being Caffa), and therefore has managed carved out a large chunk of international commerce exporting northern goods. The state also generates much profit through its tourism industry, being one of the most visited nations in the world; approximately 10.3% of its GDP is derived from tourism. In 2015, the country attracted 20.9 million international tourists. Laurelian also gains income domestically through a number of mining operations in Niolari. The nation is a member of the Shire Dollar Zone.

Laurelian is the site of the Galleria, the largest shopping center in the world. The Galleria is state-run, with tenants taxed a portion of their earnings. It alone accounts for 4.5% of the country’s GDP, and its annual income is greater than a number of smaller Shire city-states. The shopping center sells a variety of rare goods and products that are incredibly hard to find outside of Laurelian. Controversy arose in 2011 when a store at the Galleria was discovered to be a front for trafficking drugs into the city, prompting a massive investigation and inquiry into the tenants, along with a stricter and more in-depth tenant application process.

Shire Reserve

During the First World War, Laurelian was sent the gold of nations either ravaged by war or threatened with occupation as a result of its total neutrality. This trend continued as the involved countries rebuilt, and when an initiative for a largely-global currency began in the 1940’s, Laurelian was chosen as the site of the Shire Alpha Reserve. Here, the gold kept backs the Shire Dollar and gives it its value. According to the Shire Dollar Zone Board (also headquartered in the city), around 25,000 tons of gold are kept in the massive underground compound. The Alpha Reserve functions in tandem with the Beta (Mainland), Gamma (Athitica), and Delta (Knavobuki) Reserves, which function as secondary gold reserves.

Law Enforcement and Crime

Laurelian boasts the world’s lowest crime rate, a distinction it’s held every year since such data could be gathered and compared properly. Its primary policing force is the Justice Bureau, which employs around 45,000 people. It is divided into departments which handle investigation, forensics, and everyday policing. One perceived downside to the extremely low crime rate and peace is near-constant surveillance. While native Laurelii are willing to sacrifice privacy in order to keep the city safe and untroubled, the methods employed by the Justice Bureau prove extremely unpopular with immigrants. Although private residences are not outfitted with security cameras, nearly all public places are watched. The current director of the Justice Bureau is Kaneis Osdorys, who was the subject of criticism after his attempt to place cameras in hotel rooms and homes in 2010.

The judicial process in Laurelian is not overseen by a judge or jury. Instead, the defense and prosecution is brought before the Amali Tribunal. The Amali is an order of unbiased and specially-trained adjudicators in charge of determining innocence or guilt. Laurelian is one of the world’s least litigious countries, as conflicts are often peacefully settled outside of court and the Amali Tribunal is viewed as a ‘last resort’ or better-equipped for more serious cases. The state operates one prison, Vakarian Penitentiary in the capitol district of Annapolis.

Science and Technology

Though its technology is kept highly classified, it is highly likely that Laurelian is the most technologically-advanced country in the world. In its possession are a number of highly classified schematics and blueprints for various weapons, machinery, and tech preserved since the arrival of the Modaorans. According to the Kiinthira, the majority of the designs have not been constructed, and technology will be disclosed periodically when they believe the Shire is ready for it. It also claims that the instructions for any weapons of mass destruction have been destroyed, lest they fall into the wrong hands.The most recent disclosure of technology was in 2009 with the carbon dioxide conversion device, which converts CO2 in the air back into nitrogen and oxygen with striking efficiency, reversing air pollution and climate change instigated by the Industrial Era.

The main city is home to Laurelian University, one of the Shire’s leading educational and research institutions. Acceptance rates are among the lowest in the world, being a highly exclusive and reputable school. It has an endowment of $9.7 billion as of 2015. Laurelian University is a member of the International Scholars’ Alliance, an organization comprised of the Shire’s top centers for education and research, along with the University of Clementine, DePrey Institute, and the Universita di Venezia Nuova.

In 2005, the university was the site of an attempted terror attack when a detonator fell out of the jacket of an unidentified student, seen on security cameras on the campus; when police followed the suspect to the bathroom, he was ambushed and was discovered to have been wearing a bomb vest. It is still unknown what group the man belonged to, or if he was acting alone, though many believe he was affiliated with Goodshire. This would have been the only domestic terror attack in the nation’s history.


Health

In terms of health, Laurelian consistently ranks highly in health of the individual, environment, and access to healthcare. Laurelian provides universal healthcare for all of its citizens, and it is illegal to not be registered; it is also illegal to refuse vaccinations against illnesses and disease. Laurelii are extremely healthy people, and are immune to many diseases due to the medical capability of their government and the biology of the Laurelii race. The state is among the chief advocates and benefactors of the World Health Agency, and the current head of the WHA is a Laurelii, Tauri Katannifa.

The leading causes of death in Laurelian are old age, Soul Sickness, and Kyprinah Syndrome, respectively. The rate of death is the lowest in the Shire, but exponential population growth is balanced out by a very low birth rate. Both Soul Sickness and Kyprinah Syndrome are diseases found only in Laurelii people; Soul Sickness is a debilitating neurological condition in which the processes of the central nervous system slowly deteriorate, leaving the victim in a husk state and leading to eventual brain death. While it has a basis in science and is treated so, many Laurelii consider that the illness is the result of a disconnection from Mé and that it can be treated with meditation and contemplation. Routine treatment usually involves bedrest, high dosages of oxantorall and albensate, and prescribed meditation, yet it is more fatal than not. Due to the small Laurelii population outside of Laurelian, the disease can only be treated in the country, and it operates a small number of secluded state-run hospitals for the disorder, admittedly primarily to provide comfort before death.

Kyprinah Syndrome, while deadly, is far more rare than Soul Sickness. It is a genetic mutation in which a number of alveoli in the lungs are internally misshapen, prohibiting efficiency in processing oxygen. As a Laurelii matures into adulthood, the condition worsens as the body requires more oxygen to function. This eventually leads to an early death anywhere between 50 and 100 years old, half of the average Laurelii lifespan. As it is a predetermined genetic mutation, the only cure is a lung transplant.

Demographics

Population

According to Laurelian’s most recent 2016 census, it had a population of 670,240. The vast majority of its people are of the Laurelii race; there are no Enderians or Acadians living in the country. Around 96.1% of its total population are native-born, due to the high expectations put upon immigrants and distrust of foreigners. Unlike nearly all other Shire nations, Laurelian did not suffer severe population loss during the 20th century following the First World War and the Second Plague; they had remained completely neutral during the first conflict, and Laurelii were immune to ‘’Yersinia pulex’’. Since approximately 2005, the nation’s population has fluctuated between 650,000 and 700,000. This is because of societal pressure to not strain the state’s resources, forcing Laurelian to become reliant on other countries and therefore eventually forego its neutrality. Despite this careful monitoring of population growth, a referendum in 2010 that aimed at installing a child limit and would practically regulate the process of conception was strongly voted against and resulted in Elder Vurain Khammon’s resignation from the Kiinthira.

Language

Laurelian recognizes no official language, but English is by far the most-spoken language in the country; immigration into Laurelian demands proficient knowledge of English in order to be a contributing member of society. It is used in all formal and government proceedings. Modaoran, the language spoken by the first colonists who arrived in the Shire, is not used by the majority of Laurelii, and many choose not to learn it as it is not deemed a useful language. It is only learned by those whose job it is to interpret and translate documents dating back to the Modaorans and early Laurelii.

Religion

Nearly all Laurelii subscribe to the traditional teachings of the Mathaana, the central spiritual figure in the country’s society; according to a study conducted in 2010 by the Lundtbern Center for Research, approximately 89.7% of Laurelian follows Mathaanism. The rest of the state is predominantly atheist as the government’s policies strongly align with Mathaanism and does not create the best environment for other religions to thrive.

Mathaanism

While the practice goes unnamed in Laurelian, to the rest of the world it is known as Mathaanism. Mathaanism is the belief that the universe is divided into two dimensions or planes of existence; Rana, the physical world, and Mé, the spiritual world. Every person has a connection with Mé through the soul, and derives their energy and knowledge from Mé. The Mathaana is a prophet and guide, traditionally the females in a matriarchal bloodline stretching back to Amauphele, the pseudomythological first Mathaana sent from Mé to teach and help the Shire. Followers of Mathaanism must meditate and maintain their psychological connection to the spiritual realm.

Family Structure

The majority of Laurelii marry later in life, often taking the first hundred years of their life to travel the Shire and experience life outside of Laurelian. In the second half of their life, they return home to Laurelian, marry, and have children. In 2014, 72.4% of people above the age of 75 were married. The average Laurelii family has 1.2 children; families with more than two children are rare, a side effect of trying to maintain a stable population. Arranged marriages were common in Laurelian’s early history due to a small population and distrust of others, but the practice without consent of the child was outlawed by the Kiinthira in 1910. Arranged marriage is not nearly as prominent as it once was.

Territories


Build History

Laurelian City began as a single temple that was built in the Ice Region formerly known as Modaora. Upon completion of the Laurelian Temple, and several terraforming projects, Hay was awarded the rank of Archduchess. Upon realizing the finite amount of space Modaora had - being flanked on all sides by other regions, Hay made a bold and possibly server-breaking decision to move the massive Modaora city to the middle of the ocean and Laurelian Temple to a whole new region. It took the better part of a week to move the major builds and the infamous Hayfkave to their new homes. And the server survived without so much as a blip during the process. After the moves, massive terraforming took place to remove all traces of building footprints in Modaora and turn the Laurelian Temple's new home into a region fit for the city it would hold. A large bay was terraformed for the temple where it now sits, beautifully. Terraforming the massive land mass took a little over a week to complete. Two large rivers were carved into the West and South sides of the land to create a single continent for the city. The continent was then separated by roads into the city's districts and each district was terraformed to fit their particular needs. The first block was placed May 21 2015.

References

Hay

Geographic Location