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The Trenchant Order of The Voltarum

“Power corrupts. Absolute power is kinda neat.”

Category: Liberal Democratic Socialists
Civil Rights:
Very Good
Economy:
Frightening
Political Freedoms:
Superb

Regional Influence: Superpower

Location: Antarctica

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National Factbook of The Trenchant Order of the Voltarum

The Voltarum


The Trenchant Order of The Voltarum



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Flag

Motto: "Níl gach uile fhánaí caillte."



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The Voltarum

Population: 221,855,011 (2022 Census)
- Density: 425 Voltaru/km²


Capital: Ohm

Largest City: Jassan


Official Language: Volti (Voltaru Gaelic)


National Language: Latin/English/Volti


Demonym: Voltaru


Government: Democratic Socialist Republic
- Premier: Leita O'Shea
- Vice Premier: Cian Fitzgerald
- Chief Justice: Atticus Kane


Legislature:
- The High Order


Founding Date: 1858


Land Area: 522,000 km²
Water Area: 146,000 km² (Ice Shelves)


Elevation
Highest Point: 3184 m (Mt. Noonan)
Lowest Point: Sea Level


GDP (nominal): $19.3 Trillion
GDP (nominal) per capita: $43,580


HDI (NS Version): 0.902 Very High (2026)


Currency: Volt (ǂ) (vt)


Time Zone: UTC -3


Drives on the: Left


Calling code: +42


Internet TLD: .vlt

The Trenchant Order of the Voltarum (/ˌvoʊlˈtɑrum/), commonly called The Voltarum or more informally "The Order," is a gargantuan sovereign nation and current World Assembly delegate of the ancient region of Antarctica. Covering most of the mountainous Antarctic Peninsula, it is one of the oldest nations still inhabiting the region, and is the longest serving chief geographer and United Nations and World Assembly delegate. It is also partly in control of the Grand Army of Antarctica. The Voltarum is the second largest nation by area in Antarctica, and is bordered to the south by the nations of Neo-Israel and Hedjtep. The population is concentrated in the northern half of the nation, and over three quarters of the population lives in urban areas, mostly cities protected by climate controlled domes.

The Voltarum is known throughout the region and world for its immense natural beauty, high-class cuisine, warm-climate technologies, immense navy, and unique television programs. Its prime location at the most northern part of the continent has also led to a successful tourism industry. The nation enjoys a highly successful economy, ranking higher in both GDP per capita and income equality, mainly due to huge deposits of uranium and rare-earth metals. Despite half-hearted denials to the contrary, it has been at least partly blamed for the original creation of the Antarctican polar bear.

Founded on traditional beliefs of freedom, social equity, and fiscal responsibility, today its people embrace democratic socialism, producing a highly prosperous, freedom rich society, with little to no crime and universal health care and educational policies. Its single legislative house, called the High Order, is a small but efficient aspect of representative democracy formed by members of 13 provinces. Its people, collectively known as the Voltaru, are among the healthiest in the world, and the least god-fearing. They ferociously promote education and the protection of the environment, and are global leaders in theoretical physics, advanced architectural engineering, and nuclear energy. The Voltaru are fiercely patriotic for both nation and region, and (despite often times described as "quiet" or "reserved" among foreigners) are known for their quirky sense of humor and joviality.


Etymology


The word “Voltarum” is believed to have evolved from the old Gaelic dialect that was the root of the modern day Volti language. The word “bholmh” meaning empty, and the word “talamb” meaning land is thought to have been combined at the time of settlement. Today, The Voltarum is far from “the empty land” its name originated from.

History


The first founders of The Voltarum have always been shrouded in mystery, or more accurately, lost in legend. Most historic accounts record that it was a group of learned people from Europe who first set ashore on the tip of the Antarctic Peninsula. This group of people were based on a small island off the coast of Western Ireland, today called Inis Oírr. It has been said that these people were a collection of scientists and other learned individuals, focused on invention and technology. Many were shunned by their own countries because of their ideas, and most had abandoned any serious pursuit of organized religion.

Stories tell that these early Voltaru greatly disapproved of the Monarchy and its effect on rural Ireland, and foresaw the famine that was to come. Some tried greatly to convince the King to change his policies, but it only served to bring attention to the group. It has been said that as a result, they fled in what has been claimed to be the first real submarine, one far more advanced than the existing technology of the time. Some Voltaru claim this was the original story that spawned the legend of Captain Nemo and the Nautilus.

Dodging an attempt at a pursuit, they fled south, originally intending to settle in South America. Whether it was an intentional decision or not, they instead kept going past Argentina and docked at the tip of the Antarctic Peninsula.

They worked quickly to establish a small colony, which was constructed mostly underground, and finished in early 1858, christening it Inceptum, Latin for beginning. They led expeditions to South America for supplies, and their colonies eventually expanded to several islands and south to the mainland of Antarctica. By the turn of the century, Voltaru technology was already advanced enough to extend livable habitats into the Antarctic tundra, deep underground, and even underwater.

Most of the 20th century saw The Voltarum kept a low profile, as paranoia of the use of their more advanced technology was high. Voltaru scientists split the atom a full 20 years before the Germans, and had working nuclear power plants by 1925, partially due to the large deposit of uranium ore in their territory. With the end of the World War II, The Voltarum stepped onto the World Stage, joining the United Nations. This led to a mass immigration from various parts of the world, and their engineering gifts barely were able to handle the intense growth in population. As new nations established themselves on the continent, The Voltarum eventually came out of its introverted shell and helped to establish a region of scientific literacy, civil morality, and universal trust and respect. Today, they hold a leadership position in Antarctica and the newer form of the United Nations, the World Assembly.

Geography


The Voltarum encompasses the Antarctic Peninsula, which is the northernmost part of the mainland of Antarctica. At the surface, it is the biggest, most prominent peninsula in Antarctica as it extends 1300 km (800 miles) from the Ronne Ice Shelf to its northern tip. Beneath the ice sheet which covers it, the Antarctic Peninsula consists of a string of bedrock islands that are separated by deep channels whose bottoms lie at depths considerably below current sea level and are joined together by a grounded ice sheet.

The peninsula is highly mountainous, its highest peaks rising to about 2,800 meters (9,200 ft). The highest point is Mt. Noonan at 3184 m. The landscape of the peninsula is typical Antarctic tundra. The peninsula has a sharp elevation gradient, with glaciers flowing into the Larsen Ice Shelf. The Ronne Ice Shelf lies to the east of the peninsula. Islands along the peninsula are mostly ice-covered and connected to the land by pack ice.

Climate

The Voltarum’s climate is classified as both Koppen ET (Tundra) and EF (Ice Cap). Because the Antarctic Peninsula, which reaches north of the Antarctic Circle, is the most northerly part of Antarctica, it has the mildest climates within the continent. However, almost all major cities in The Voltarum have some kind of climate controlled encasing, ranging from snow shields to all-encompassing domes. The Voltarum’s temperatures are warmest in January, with an average of about 2°C, and coldest in June, with an average about –20°C. Its west coast above the Antarctic

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The coast of southern Voltarum

Circle has a maritime Antarctic climate and is the mildest part of Antarctic Peninsula. Here temperatures exceed 0°C for 3–4 months during the summer, and rarely fall below –10°C during the winter. The coast of the Antarctic Peninsula south of the Antarctic Circle is generally much colder, with mean temperatures exceeding 0°C for only 1 month of summer, and winter mean temperatures ranging from –5 to –25°C. The colder temperatures of the southeast, Weddell Sea side, of the Antarctic Peninsula are reflected in the persistence of ice shelves that cling to the eastern shore.

Parts of the Antarctic Peninsula and The Voltarum has areas of rocky soil that support plant life. The flora presently consists of around 300–400 lichens, 100 mosses, 25 liverworts, and around 700 terrestrial and aquatic algae species, which live on the areas of exposed rock and soil around the shore. Antarctica's two flowering plant species, the Antarctic hair grass (Deschampsia Antarctica) and Antarctic pearlwort (Colobanthus quitensis), are found on the northern and western parts of the Antarctic Peninsula.

Precipitation varies greatly within The Voltarum. From the tip of the Antarctic Peninsula south to the Antarctic Circle, precipitation averages 35–50 cm per year. A good portion of this precipitation falls as rain during the summer, on two-thirds of the days of the year, and with little seasonal variation in amounts. Further south on the west coast and along its northeast coast, precipitation is 35 cm or less with occasional rain. Along the east coast of the Antarctic Peninsula south of 63°S, precipitation ranges from 10–15 cm. In comparison, the subantarctic islands have precipitation of 1–2 m per year and the dry interior of Antarctica is a virtual desert with only 10 cm precipitation per year.

Political Divisions

Administratively, The Voltarum is a unitary state divided into 13 provinces. Each province has its own administrative capital which reports to the national capital of Ohm. Each province in turn is broken up into smaller counties. The largest province by area is Niveus, which is also the southern most province. The smallest province by area is Novus, the area of first settlement and the most northerly. Novus is also the province with the largest population, and thus has the largest population density.

A detailed map of The Voltarum can be found here.

Demographics


Population

The Voltarum has a population of 222 million people as of 2022. A census is taken every 10 years, the first starting in 1862. Due to a low birthrate, partially due to a liberal view of birth control, and a decrease in immigration, The Voltarum’s growth rate has remained near zero for the last twenty years. A high standard of living and technological advances in medicine have increased the average life expectancy to slightly over 90 years of age, with women slightly higher than men. As a result of these facts, the age distribution of Voltaru have deviated from the normal bell curve, with an abnormally high population over 65 years of age. The male to female ratio among Voltaru hovers close to normal, last measured at 0.97 males/females.


Rank

Name

Province

Population

1

Jassan

Novus

24,134,403

2

Ohm

Prudentia

21,002,290

3

Trajan

Pario

16,132,767

4

Beckinsale

Novus

13,042,069

5

Argyl

Idoneus

12,430,639

6

Czarniak

Novus

9,853,021

7

Laidir

Sententia

7,342,976

8

Ag Tosú

Sapientia

6,021,327

9

Zelos

Pario

4,986,843

10

Akrasia

Sententia

4,236,855

Language

The founders of the Voltarum came from many European countries. Though the majority spoke a dialect of Gaelic, the only true language they all shared was Latin, the language of science. Today, the dialect of Gaelic has further evolved and is called Voltaru Gaelic, or Volti. Latin is also still widely spoken and taught in schools, and is still the preferred language in the country in the scientific realm. English is also prevalent in Voltaru society and is widely taught as well, and is the preferred language in the business world. The majority of other languages spoken in The Voltarum are from other Antarctic nations, Athanian being the most common.

Religion

Though many came from traditional Christian backgrounds, it was science that was the religion of most of the Voltarum founders. Today, this lack of religious zeal holds true as nearly 90% of Voltaru either hold Atheist beliefs or are Agnostic. Recent polls hold that 42% classify themselves as Apathetic Agnostics, 12% Strong Agnostics, and 8% Weak Agnostics. Further, 21% identify themselves as Strong Atheists, and 7% Weak Atheists. Of the 10% of the Voltaru that identify themselves as a theist, 8% are some sort of Christianity, with the remainder a mixture of Judaism, Arabic, and Eastern Religions.

Though the majority of the country does not hold strong religious beliefs, there also is very little religious strife. At worst, there sometimes exist prejudices against theists, where strong religious citizens are viewed with disdain or suspicion. In most major cities, there are churches and temples to established religions, but these are far and few between.

Race

Founded by a group of almost exclusively white Anglo-Saxons, the ethnic diversity of The Voltarum has come a long way from its homogeneous founders. Immigration in the 20th century brought in ethnic, cultural, and religious diversity. However, 81% of Voltaru still identified themselves as White or Caucasian in the last census, with nearly half of them claiming direct Irish or other British Isles ancestry in more recent polls. The remaining 19% is roughly an even split between Hispanic, African American, and Asian, with less than 1% who identify themselves as “Other.” The Voltarum has had no history of major racial strife throughout its history, quickly outlawing slavery and other segregation laws in its original Bill of Inherent Rights.

Government


Main Article: History of Voltaru Premiers
Main Article: Current Voltaru Government Officials

It was clear from the beginning that a representative democracy of some kind was going to be established by the first settlers of the nation. In 1858, the original settlers organized the first congress called The High Order, involving representatives from each major town. This original group drew up the Voltaru constitution, called The Bill of Inherent Rights, which outlined the form that the Government would take and the people's right and responsibilities. As the nation grew, so did the need for more political structure, and the BOIR has been amended 34 times since its initial drafting. In 1913, The Voltarum took its present political form of 13 provinces, with each province electing 13 delegates to the High Order. The Voltarum is an unicameralist state, and has no other legislative house based on population.

The High Order delegates are elected in 5 year cycles, and have the official title of Minister of Order, or just Minister. Once a new Order is elected, the members themselves vote for the Executive leader of the Voltarum, the Premier, who is chosen from among their own. There are no term limits for members of the Order, however one may serve as Premier for a maximum of 10 years. Whoever receives the second most votes is titled the Vice Premier, although he/she has officially no other duties than to succeed the Premier upon untimely death or incapacity. The Premier in turn appoints 12 other Ministers to serve has High Chancellors of specific departments within the order.

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Premier Leita O'Shea

The High Order meets in the Voltaru capital of Ohm, at a building now known as the Stella Castro, or Star Castle. Originally a fortified structure owned by one of the original Voltaru settlers, it was willed to the Voltaru government in 1875, and became the official home of the Order shortly thereafter.

Today, the policies of most of the Voltaru lean toward a democratic socialist viewpoint. The Voltaru Democratic Socialist Party (VDS) has been a strong majority in the High Order and the nation for most of the last century. Currently, 104 out of the 169 Ministers serve the VDS, and the last 4 Premiers have also been members of that party. The remaining ministers serve the Voltaru Capitalist League (VCL) or the Conservative Syndicate (CS).

The current Premier, elected in 2024 for her first term, is Leita O’Shea, a 59 year old VDS member from Province Pario. Despite the Voltarum's history of gender equality, she is the first female Premier in Voltaru history.

A legislative branch also exists in The Voltarum, with the High Court (The Voltaru Supreme Court) also residing in Ohm. The High Court consists of 7 Justices. Each Province has a Lower Court that oversees smaller courts throughout the provinces. The current Chief Justice is Atticus Kane, a 73 year old from Niveus Province.

Like other nations with smaller divisions, each Voltaru Province also has an Executive and Legislative branch. The executive of each province has the title Prefect, with each province having their own laws about term limits and election procedures.

Foreign Relations and Military

The Voltarum today is far from the reclusive nation of its early history. It has been a long time member of the United Nations, and now World Assembly. It has served as the delegate of the region of Antarctica for most of the region’s existence. The Voltarum and Antarctica as a whole view most of the WA actions as unnecessary and needlessly complicated, and The Voltarum has a voting record that clearly shows these views. One area that is an exception to this, however, is the environment. Many in Antarctica are worried about climate change and how it is going to affect their region, and The Voltarum usually votes in favor of any resolution that addresses pollution or preventing climate change or global warming.

The Voltarum has been neutral in all international conflicts, and sees military bullying as counterproductive. Still, partly out of paranoia, The Voltarum’s military budget is large, with only local law and order and education getting larger pieces of the Volt pie. Particularly, the Voltaru Navy is considered to be one of the best and most equipped in the world, and is constantly patrolling Antarctican waters. Despite its isolationist attitude, The Voltarum has had several military encounters with other nations throughout its history, the most serious of which was with the nation of Doomingsland.

Regionally, The Voltarum has friendly relations with all nations in Antarctica. Its closest allies are Pengwiniah, Vastivian Alaska, and Athani. The nations of Antarctica have also banded together to form a joint defense force called the Grand Army of Antarctica. The Voltarum as delegate, Joop as founder, and Pengwiniah as General of the Grand Army, have control over its deployment.

Economy


The economy of The Voltarum is heavily reliant on its socialist roots, and as such the Government makes up a majority of the economy. Universal Health Care and Education are pillars of its social structure, as are an advanced welfare and social security system. Income tax is very high, higher for the very wealthy, and traditional free capitalism, while not illegal, is not prevalent. The greatest government expenditures are Education, Law and Order, Defense, and the Environment. The Voltarum’s GDP per capita is one of the highest in the world, and its unemployment rate usually hovers below 2.0% thanks to stringent employment rules and wide-spread unions. Its currency, the Volt, is very strong in international commerce.

The Voltarum delegates one of the highest percentages of its GDP to Research and Development in the world. Despite its revolutionary technology, The Voltarum is still forced to import food due to its climate. Its main exports are fish, information technology, and several mineral ores. Uranium ore mining is probably one of its biggest operations, however today it exports very little because of the proliferation of nuclear weapons. The interior of the Antarctic Peninsula is rich in many other ores, such as iron, copper, platinum, and several rare earth metals, and huge under ice mining operations help run the Voltaru economy.

Culture


Despite a large contingent from the British Isles, the cultures of the original Voltaru settlers were still mixed enough to breed an altogether unique and new culture based on traditional European ideals. Though immigration has been rather uninhibited over the years, only small pockets of non-European cultures exist. Asian influences can be seen in many parts of the Voltarum from the small Chinese and Japanese ancestry that has been established there.

Many compare Voltaru culture to other semi-socialist based European nations, especially in Scandinavia. Voltaru are usually described as progressive, hardworking, and focused on the common good rather than individual material gain. They also highly value education in all forms and are consistently ranked near the top in the world in various education benchmark polls. Other polls have ranked The Voltarum consistently in the top 20 in the world for “Happiest Place to Live” and “Happiest Citizens,” falling short of the top mostly because of daylight and climate.

Cuisine and Health

Eating is more than a necessity in the Voltarum – it is an event. Meals are special times in many Voltaru households, and the Voltaru are known for being notoriously slow eaters. These ideals have permeated most Voltaru restaurants, resulting in truly original food experiences, and many have risen to elite status on the international arena.

The early Voltaru were opportunists, and thus seafood has and still is a staple of the nation’s diet and is usually eaten in some form once a day. Vegetables are also an important part of Voltaru cuisine, since so much effort is put into importing them and growing them in hydroponic facilities. There are several cultural remnants in Voltaru cuisine, specifically Irish cuisine featuring the potato and cabbage, and dishes such as Irish stew, bacon and cabbage, black pudding, and boxty. Cheese is another national favorite, with the Voltaru near the top in the world in its consumption. Whiskey is by far the most popular spirit, mostly due to Irish heritage and the belief that it keeps the body warmer than other drinks.

Overall, the Voltaru value a healthy diet, and as such have a very low occurrence of obesity and heart disease. Alcoholism is a minor problem, although it is not as prevalent as many other industrialized countries. The Voltarum’s diet, along with the public health care system, makes the Voltaru some of the healthiest people in the world.

Media

While The Voltarum certainly has its share of prestigious film and literature, it is most known for its television programs. Outside observers may credit the Voltaru’s creativity to boredom from its climate, but several television shows have become interregional and international hits.

Probably the most famous of these programs was titled “Survivor: Antarctican Polar Bears.” It is a curious fact that at some point in the past Polar Bears appeared in Antarctica. Obviously imported from the north, it was quickly learned that these Polar Bears were not normal. The bears were much larger, much more aggressive, and most worrisome, much more intelligent. They exhibited a pack mentality, and were able to solve problems. When nations fell in Antarctica, most often it was these packs of polar bears that were to blame. To Voltaru television producers, the most obvious conclusion from these facts was to find 20 crazy volunteers that would be willing to be dropped in the Antarctican wilderness with little provisions and be filmed trying to outwit and survive the Polar Bears.

Despite the outraged viewers, protests from several groups, and at least three public denouncements by world leaders, the show was a huge success. However, it only lasted one season, partially due to budget constraints and public outcry over the winner.

Sports

As expected, winter sports dominate The Voltarum’s athletics. Hockey is the national sport, but skiing, skating, bobsledding, and curling are just as popular. The Voltarum Hockey League (VHL) has 24 teams, 8 of which are outside the nation. The Czarniak Bears are the current VHL defending champion. Football (Soccer) is also widely played across the country in indoor stadiums. Baseball, Basketball, and American Football are played but no professional leagues exist.

One other sport can be found throughout the Voltarum that is indigenous to the nation. The sport of Hookball was developed early in the 20th century and can best be described as a mix between jai alai and rugby and is not for the faint of heart.

Holidays

The Voltarum has several national holidays throughout the year.

New Year’s Day is celebrated on January 1st. Voltaru Memorial Day is celebrated on February 28th.

Founding Day celebrates the initial settlement of the Antarctic Peninsula. While scholars debate the exact date that this actually happened, it is celebrated on April 3rd.

Dansiluna is a type of secular Christmas celebrated in the Voltarum on the Winter Solstice. The name comes from Latin for “Thanking the Moon” and has elements of American Thanksgiving and Christmas.

Antarctica Day is a regional holiday, celebrating the first settlement on the continent by the nation of Joop. It is celebrated on Autumnal Equinox, which also symbolizes the coming sun to Antarctica.

The Festival of the Sun is another regional holiday celebrated on the Summer Solstice. Voltaru and other Antarcticans celebrate 24 hours of daylight with tradition fairs, fireworks, and other celebrations. It is considered unlucky if you do not swim on this day, and older folks will swear that your next year will be cursed if you do not submerge in the cold Antarctic waters.

Infrastructure


Energy

Due to its position and obvious concern over environmental issues like global warming, The Voltarum’s energy use is largely renewable. The biggest nonrenewable energy source is nuclear power, which today accounts for nearly 70% of its electricity. Due to its large supply of uranium ore, nuclear power plants are widespread throughout the nation. Their locations are reported to be mostly underground, and their design is relatively unknown.

Most of the rest of the Voltarum’s energy comes from Wind Power, with dozens of offshore wind farms. Solar power facilities do exist and are remarkably efficient during the summer months of near 24 hour sunlight. Less than 5% Voltaru energy of comes from oil and coal burning plants, almost all of which are located in the extreme north of the peninsula.

Transportation

The Voltarum spends a large amount of its budget on infrastructure, and the largest chunk of that is in public transportation. Because of obvious environmental hardships, most Voltaru rely on underground transport between major cities. This transport is chiefly in the form of MagLev trains.

Inside the major cities, typical cars are very rare, as subway systems constitute most transportation. Among industrialized nations, the Voltaru rank last in most cars owned per capita, with most cars located in areas in the Northern provinces.



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by Max Barry

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