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A Comprehensive Overview of the Kragholm Free States [Pending small rework]

The Kragholm Free States
Fristaaterna ap Kragholm


Flag


Motto: "Järn från Is."


National Anthem: "Velsignatt er Arturs Söner."
Linkhttps://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bGV16t6p1cc


Map


Population: 56.4 million
- Density: 924.2/km²


Capital: Västergard
Largest City: Västergard


Official Language: Kragsprakk

National Languages: Kragsprakk, English

Demonym: Krager

Government: Hereditary Constitutional Monarchy
- Lord Protector of the Realm: HM Henryk Sebastian Pendragon
- Overseer of the Noble Chamber: HRH Katarina Pendragon
- Overseer of the Common Chamber: Fredrik Lindqvist
- Lord Justice of the High Court: HL Artur M. Stavensson


Legislature:
- Upper House: Chamber of Nobles
- Lower House: Chamber of the Commons


Establishment:
- Islands settled in 498 AD
- Kingdom of Kragholm founded in 539 AD
- Kragholm Free States established in 1795 AD


Land Area:
23,561 mile²
61,022 km²


Elevation
Highest Point: Mt. Salterburg, 1,713m
Lowest Point: Arctic Ocean, 0m


GDP (nominal, c.1890 values): kr 210.4 billion(£270.5 billion)
GDP (nominal, c.1890 values) per capita: kr3,730 (£4,796)


Currency: Krager Krona (kr)


Time Zone: Central European (GMT+1:00)


Drives on the: Left



The Kragholm Free States

The Kragholm Free States (Fristaaterna ap Kragholm or Kragholm Fristaater in Kragsprakk) are a constitutional monarchy situated on several islands in the Arctic Ocean. As such, the Free States share no land borders with other nations, and are separated from their closest neighbour, the Kalmar Union, by approximately 1,900 kilometres of open water. The Kragholm Free States cover 61,022 square kilometers and have an estimated population of 56.4 million. The Free States are comprised of four territories, although they are all governed from the capital as a unitary state ruled by the Lord Protector of the Realm.

The Free States are a highly developed and urbanised country, with a very high per capita GDP of kr3,730. The Krager economy is very powerful, and primarily fueled by the export of machinery, armaments, high-quality steel, and whale oil. The standard of living in Kragholm is consistently ranked among the best in the world, and between this, their economic strength, and their extremely capable military, the Free States are internationally considered to be a Great Power.

Etymology

The name Kragholm has been the approximate name of the archipelago on which the Free States are situated for thousands of years. The Old Kræger, the warrior tribe that first settled the island long before anything one might consider a real nation was established there, referred to it as 'Kræghujlm', roughly translating simply as 'Islands of the Kræger' - certainly an appropriate descriptor. The name underwent no discernible anglicisation on the arrival of the Arthurian knights, who seemed wholly content to continue using the Old Kræger name. Indeed, the islands were known as 'Kræghujlm' in recorded documents for at least the first century of the nation's existence, before the gradual process of language evolution began to alter its spelling, along with that of many other words, and transformed the Old Kragsprakk language into the modern variety of Kragsprakk spoken in the Free States today; thus, 'Kræghujlm' became 'Kragholm'.

History

The area that is now the Free States is believed to have been inhabited by the Old Kræger people for at least 3,000 years, based on archaeological evidence. However, their tribal structure was primitive, and a recognisable nation first appeared on the islands in the year 498 AD, when they were settled by the English King Arthur Pendragon. Arthur and his knights founded a small colony they named New Winchester on the south of the islands - what is now the city of Ny Vinkjäster, having changed its name slightly in the interests of linguistic consistency. As the colony began to thrive, several knights remained behind to oversee its upkeep when Arthur returned to England, including Arthur's own son, Llacheu - who was declared sovereign Prince of the colony by his father - and built a great castle to aid in the settlement's protection should any enemies settle the islands too. However, the native tribe were a fiercely warlike people, and attacked the town, inflicting massive civilian casualties before the English knights managed to repel them at the gates of their castle and drive them back. Realising that they were unable to successfully conquer the settlement, the Old Krægers retreated back to their camps in the north. Over the next few years, an uneasy peace was brokered between the Kræger warriors and the English settlers, and as the two groups expanded their respective holdings the tribesmen began to slowly assimilate into the colonists' society.

In 539 AD, when King Arthur died, Llacheu declared himself King of the islands, independent of the succession of the English crown, which he saw as having fallen into decline with the successful invasion of the Saxons and the rise of Mordred. With a reputation as both a just leader and a capable warrior, he managed to win the respect and support of the majority of the island's population, Britons and Krægers alike. Arthur had never given the island a name other than what the Old Kræger already called it - Kræghujlm - and Llacheu decided that as a gesture of goodwill he would retain that name.

From then until a number of centuries later, the people of Kragholm expanded to settle the entirety of the archipelago they called home, constructed towns and cities, and organised a strong military that successfully fended off multiple Viking raids and invasion attempts between 786 and 1013 AD. In 1070 AD, emboldened by their success in the conquest of England, a large force of Normans launched an attack on Kragholm, landing first in the town of Fjörabukt on the southern coast of the island of Grindvik. Unprepared for such an assault, the town's militia were swiftly defeated, although not without killing several Norman knights first. Using Fjörabukt as a staging ground, the invaders crossed the sea - suffering a handful of losses in a fierce storm - and attempted to land in Skålvangar. The soldiers of Skålvangar, having heard of the earlier loss of Fjörabukt, were well prepared for the Normans' arrival. Letting their ships dock, the defenders hid, allowing the Norman soldiers to believe the town was deserted. Then, when they had disembarked from their boats, the Kragers emerged, setting the vessels on fire and pouring arrows into the mass of enemies, slaughtering them on the spot. Setting off in their own fleet before word of the Norman defeat could reach Fjörabukt, a Krager force arrived near the town the next day, surrounding the settlement and demanding the surrender of the small Norman garrison inside. After several hours of deliberation, the occupying force obliged, and handed themselves over to the Kragers - whereupon they were promptly killed and their corpses dumped in the sea.

Only a few decades later, in 1095, Kragholm would, along with much of the rest of Europe, receive Pope Urban II's call to arms. Kragholm sent many knights and men-at-arms, sailing down from the north and landing in the Holy Roman Empire, before crossing the rest of the continent on foot to reach the walls of Constantinople by late 1096. The First Crusade was, of course, a success, and established the four Christian territories of Edessa, Antioch, Jerusalem, and Tripoli - but that was not the only benefit to come from the conflict. At the beginning, there had naturally been substantial animosity between Krager and Norman warriors, given the latters' failed invasion a few decades prior and the merciless end its perpetrators received. However, fighting on the same side forced the two groups into close proximity, and, when a few scholars and chroniclers among both sides pointed out that it was the Normans who had rid England's crown of the Saxons Arthur had so despised, enmity began gradually to be replaced with camaraderie. In 1099, King Gustaf I and Robert, Duke of Normandy, signed a formal alliance. Even as the Anglo-Norman crown started to become considerably more Anglo than Norman, the treaty carried on. This was to be the very beginning of the long-standing alliance between Kragholm and England.

For two centuries since the Norman attack, Kragholm had been free from foreign invasion attempts. Yet, once again, those who tried would come from France. After the battle of La Rochelle in 1372, in which Castilian ships secured control of the English Channel for the French, the French King Charles V decided he would push his advantage, and attempt to mitigate any threat from the North Sea by blockading Kragholm, England's closest ally. For three months, any vessel attempting to make it in or out of the nation's southern ports was sunk without mercy. Starvation was rife. Poor and wealthy alike were dropping down dead by the hour. Yet all was not lost, for the French captains had underestimated one thing: cold. By September, ice had closed in, trapping his fleet within the frozen seas around Kragholm. His ships could not move; they could not manouevre or retreat, and their guns could not easily adjust their aim. Erik II, King of Kragholm, decided to take advantage of the situation. Gathering a party of thirty knights, King Erik waited until nightfall, marched his troops over the ice and successfully climbed and boarded the largest of the French warships, his men making short work of the half-frozen crew aboard. Armed with heavy crossbows, the knights proceeded to pick off crew on the deck of each ship, one by one, before firing flaming bolts into each vessel, creating a burning beacon visible for many miles around, a sign of Kragholm's victory. The second attempt at an attack on Kragholm would be the last.

From around the early 14th century to the 16th, Kragholm became extremely wealthy through extensive trade with England and the Hanseatic League. Many merchants ventured further south into the Mediterranean, where they supplied Spain, the Venetian Republic, and a number of smaller Italian city-states with vast quantities of good steel in return for a great many books and luxury goods that were hard to produce in Kragholm itself. Indeed, after the acquisition of the works of great European scientists and scholars, Kragholm met with great success in developing the theories, ideas, and designs they had learned of, and even began to outpace the rest of Europe, producing their own works that were often decades ahead of their time. Thanks to this extraordinary progress, along with an established culture among Krager aristocracy of making risky investments in emerging technologies, and the lessons learned from setting up several production complexes mimicking the Venetian Arsenal, Kragholm industrialised earlier even than Britain, developing steam engines of sufficient power and efficiency to be somewhat practical in the very early 1700s, and almost entirely transitioning from the old hand production methods to the use of steam-powered machinery in manufacturing by 1760. With industrialisation came industrialised warfare, and many Kragers became wealthy by selling mass-produced arms to various European nations - indeed, in a number of conflicts for at least the next century, both sides often found themselves using Kragholm-made equipment to some extent.

From 1776 until 1779, Kragholm's armed forces would lend considerable support to their British allies in suppressing the rebellion that was occuring in Britain's North American colonies. While the British navy was occupied over in the New World, Kragholm's own navy executed a successful blockade of France's major Atlantic ports, cutting off the stream of aid and equipment that the French had been funnelling across the sea. Meanwhile, riflemen of Kragholm's army, quartered in Trenton alongside Hessian mercenaries, managed to pick off George Washington as his troops crossed the Delaware river. While the Continental Army still outnumbered them, the move bought time for the Kragers and Hessians to execute an organised retreat, and lay deadly ambushes for the leaderless rebels that crippled their fighting strength. The war was to continue for another few years after that fateful night, but it was a war that saw the rebels driven ever westwards in desperation, before finally succumbing to a combination of Indian raids, harsh conditions, and a total lack of supplies. In return for their assistance, Britain granted Kragholm ownership of their territories of Maine and Nova Scotia, which remain a part of Kragholm's colonial empire to this day. It would not be long, however, before Kragholm suffered its own rebellion at home.

In 1790, King Gustaf III Pendragon of Kragholm passed away, leaving the islands to his eldest son, Prince Stefan. Stefan was a rude and brash young man, who knew little of the subtle intricacies of good leadership, and had an unfortunate tendency to openly insult and oppress his own subjects. They did not take this lying down, however - inspired by the uprisings beginning in France at the time, the lower classes of Krager society began to revolt. Occupying the city of Strataborg in January of 1791, the revolutionaries managed to win the support of the majority of the military - King Stefan was highly unpopular amongst even his soldiers. Sure enough, with military support, the rebels marched on the capital of Västergard in November of the same year. A large army besieged the city, demanding the unconditional surrender of King Stefan. Stubbornly refusing, the King held out for months with a small force of loyalist infantry, the two sides exchanging fire at the city walls on a regular basis. Eventually, one of Stefan's own knights turned traitor, and shot the king in the head as he gave a speech from his castle, in full view of thousands of citizens. At this, the utterly demoralised loyalist forces surrendered within a week, and the leadership of Kragholm - now called the Krager Republic - was assumed by a council of senior figures within the rebellion.

A large number of nobles had sided with the revolutionaries, however, and increasingly hostile sentiment from the working-class elements of the republican council concerned them greatly. Thus, they formulated a plot to install what they saw as an eminently more reasonable government - a monarchy and an aristocracy, to guarantee their own continued high standing, but with the inclusion of a parliament based somewhat on the English model to appease the common mob. It was a vast conspiracy, involving almost all of the originally pro-rebel nobles, as well as a large number of former loyalists - who quickly realised they were not long for the world if radical elements of the council had their way. The counter-revolution began with the mysterious disappearance of several republican generals, destablilising the council's forces and allowing the rank-and-file soldiery to be easily brought under the command of officers involved in the conspiracy. From there, the recapture of Västergard was a quick and remarkably clean process, although most of the more radical members of the council managed to flee the city. Several were tracked down in various other locations on the islands - for all the revolution had achieved, republican rule had not had time to truly spread far beyond the capital - while most simply left the country and faded into obscurity.

It was decided that the Pendragon bloodline should still reign - that the actions of one bad monarch could not overshadow the illustrious legacy of the descendants of Arthur. Hence, the crown was bestowed upon Gustaf's second son, Prince Johann Pendragon, who had sided with the rebellion against his brother and proved highly competent in matters of leadership. He was granted the title of Lord Protector of the Realm in June 1795 - 'The Realm' now referring to the once again renamed Kragholm Free States. The Pendragon family still rules to this day, the throne now occupied by His Most Noble Majesty Henryk Sebastian Pendragon - whose son is also named Johann, after the first Lord Protector.

Throughout the many centuries of European imperialism, Kragholm has acquired a number of overseas territories across the world, all of which are still in its possession to this day. Over a period spanning from 1499 - the arrival of the first Krager presence in the New World - to the present day, the Free States have established themselves in the Caribbean, North and South America, India, West and North Africa, the West Indies, and even on the European mainland. The following is a list of lands considered part of the Kragholm Dominions, placed in chronological order by date of acquisition:

  • Sant Kristoff, Caribbean - claimed in 1500

  • Sant Ingrid, Caribbean - claimed in 1500

  • Sant Ansgar, Caribbean - claimed 1502

  • Karalia, formerly Keralam, India - conquered in 1522

  • Skäggland, formerly Barbados, Caribbean - conquered from Spain in 1601

  • Kragska Timor, formerly Portuguese Timor - conquered from Portugal in 1638

  • Kragska Namkij, formerly Nam Kỳ - conquered in 1640

  • Kragska Guldkust, formerly Prussian Gold Coast - purchased from Prussia in 1720

  • Majne y Ny Kungsvik, formerly provinces of Maine and Nova Scotia - gifted from Britain in 1779 (for support during the American Rebellion)

  • Nordfrankia y Vallonia, formerly Hauts de France, Grand Est, and Wallonia - allocated during the 1813 partition of France

  • Kragska Antilles, formerly the Kalmar Antilles, Caribbean - purchased from the Kalmar Union in 1817

  • Bombajstaat, formerly Bombay and surrounding area - conquered in 1841

  • Sudanskstaat y Eriträ, formerly Sudan and Raheita - conquered from the Madhi of Sudan and the Sultan of Raheita respectively in 1882

  • Ägyptiskstaat, formerly Egypt - conquered from the Ottoman Empire in 1892

Note: As the blood of King Arthur is passed down to his descendants through both paternal and maternal lines, Krager tradition dictates that all rulers - even female monarchs after marriage - continue to bear the surname Pendragon. Hence the house of Pendragon has technically ruled uninterrupted since the reign of Arthur.

Kings and Queens:
- Arthur Pendragon, King of the Britons (498 – 539 AD)
- Llacheu Pendragon, Son of Arthur (539 – 570)
- Melehan “The Builder” (570 – 601)
- Godric I (601 – 618)
- Godric II (618 – 640)
- Lukas I “The Scholar” (640 – 643)
- Gunnar (643 – 701)
- Lukas II (701 – 739)
- Lukas III (739 – 796)
- Gottfrid I “The Pious” (796 – 811)
- Frans I “The Sickly” (811)
- Frans II (811 – 839)
- Frans III “The Philosopher King” (839 – 874)
- Godric III (874 – 911)
- Godric IV (911 – 962)
- Birgitta (962 – 975)
- Godric V (975 – 1027)
- Godric VI “The Defender” (1027 – 1090)
- Gustaf I “The Wise” (1090 – 1123)
- Lukas IV (1123 – 1133)
- Erik I (1133 – 1138)
- Kristian I “The Five Day King” (1138)
- Kristian II (1138 – 1181)
- Kristian III “The Crusader” (1181 – 1215)
- Helga (1215 – 1224)
- Lukas V (1224 – 1259)
- Lukas VI (1259 – 1300)
- Gottfrid II (1300 – 1302)
- Kristian IV (1302 – 1349)
- Erik II “The Frank-burner” (1349 – 1381)
- Elisabeth (1381)
- Gustaf II (1381 – 1412)
- Stefan I (1412 – 1423)
- Gottfrid III (1423 – 1469)
- Kristian V (1469 – 1471)
- Erik III “The Shipwright”(1471 – 1492)
- Erik IV “The Explorer” (1492 – 1544)
- Maria I “The Pure” (1544 – 1560)
- Gottfrid IV (1560 – 1611)
- Erik V “The Conqueror” (1611 – 1645)
- Erik VI (1645 – 1650)
- Erik VII (1650 – 1699)
- Kristian VI (1699 – 1700)
- Stefan II (1700 – 1739)
- Frans IV “The Enlightened” (1739 – 1772)
- Gustaf III (1772 – 1790)
- Stefan III “The Cruel” (1790 – 1791)

Lord and Lady Protectors:
- Johann I “The Redeemer” (1795 – 1802)
- Albert I (1802 – 1811)
- Maria II “The Peacemaker” (1811 – 1816)
- Gottfrid V (1816 – 1849)
- Albert II (1849 – 1881)
- Henryk (1881 – Present)

Geography

Kragholm is an archipelago in the Arctic Ocean roughly centered on 78° north latitude and 20° east longitude. The three main islands in the group consist of Storvik (the largest island, divided into the two territories of Kungsvik to the north and Södervik to the south), Östervik and Grindvik. There are also a number of smaller islands, either sparsely inhabited or uninhabited, such as Bergard Island (1,288 km²), Kitsberg (682 km²), Prince Otto's Island (615 km²), Kungsgard (191 km²), Gratsholm (178 km²), Svensholm (137 km²), Wilhelm Island (120 km²) and other smaller unnamed islands and sea stacks (621 km²).

There is almost no natural arable land in the island group due to heavy glaciation and the northern latitude. There were originally no trees native to the archipelago, but various species of conifer have been introduced within the last two centuries and selectively bred to withstand the harsh climate. There are also shrubs native to the islands such as crowberry and cloudberry. The lack of fertile farmland is an issue that has been overcome by the extensive use of huge greenhouses, which have allowed Kragers to farm in the cold islands for centuries. The west coast of Storvik remains navigable most of the year, due to favourable winds which keep the area ice-free. When it freezes over, Kragholm naval icebreakers continually cut shipping lanes directly through the ice to allow ocean-going vessels to enter and leave the nation's coastal towns and cities.

The climate of the Kragholm archipelago is arctic, tempered by warm North Atlantic Current along the west and northern coasts. This means cool summers and cold winters along the wild, rugged mountainous islands. The high land of the island interiors is generally ice covered year round, with the west coast entirely clear of ice for about half of the year. There are many fjords along the west and north coasts.

Link

Demographics

Language

The primary language spoken by Kragers, and the language used in all matters of state, is Kragsprakk, although English is also commonly spoken due to both the Free States' close ties to the British Empire and the sizeable population of English descent. Kragsprakk, a progression of the language spoken by the Old Kræger with many grammatical and vocabulary similarities to the rest of the Nordic languages, is spoken as a first language by 92% of the population, and the remaining 8% speak it as a second language. English is spoken as a first language by 4% of the population, but around 36% speak it as a second language. Both Kragsprakk and English are taught in schools. Danish, Swedish, Icelandic, Finnish, and Russian make up the native languages of the remaining 4% of the population, and approximately 12% of Kragers speak one of the aforementioned languages as a second language.

Religion

The majority of Kragholm's population, 68%, identify as Lutheran Protestant. Of the remaining 32%, there are a small number of Catholics - approximately 4% - and a handful of Orthodox Christians, primarily of the Russian church, at 3.5%. A further 1% of the population are Jewish, and another 1% claim to worship the old gods of the Kræger Pagan faith. It is notable that there is an unusually high number of irreligious citizens in the Free States - approximately 23% of the population do not consider themselves as belonging to any church or faith, a number which has been slowly increasing in recent years.

Race

Through the colonisation of the islands by both English knights and settlers and the Old Kræger warriors, the overwhelming majority of the population of the Free States are of primarily Anglo-Nordic ancestry. Several small minority ethnicities exist on the islands, including those of Mediterranean, Slavic, and Sami ancestry, all of these groups resulting from Kragholm's extensive pan-European trade.

Largest Cities

Rank

City

Metro area population

Territory

1

Västergard

12.4 million

Kungsvik

2

Ny Vinkjäster

8.3 million

Södervik

3

Ljutskrona

6.7 million

Kungsvik

4

Fjörabukt

6.6 million

Grindvik

5

Skålvangar

4.8 million

Södervik

6

Strataborg

3.2 million

Kungsvik

7

Vargsgata

3.0 million

Grindvik

8

Drejstad

2.1 million

Östervik


Cities of the Free States: Västergard (Left), Strataborg (Centre), Drejstad (Right)

Government


HM Henryk Sebastian Pendragon,
Lord Protector of the Realm

The government of the Kragholm Free States is a constitutional monarchy ruled by the Lord Protector of the Realm, a hereditary title that has been held by the Pendragon family since their victory in the 1794-95 counter-revolutionary Civil War (the Pendragons still ruled beforehand, but used the title of King). The Lord Protector wields considerable executive power within the government, and can propose, approve and veto laws with impunity, limited only by the Krager constitution, as well as personally nominate a number of senior government positions and exercise a casting vote in Parliament. Generally speaking the monarch will not oppose a law that has met with the overwhelming approval of the Parliament, although it is far from unheard of. The two houses of the Kragholm Parliament are the Chamber of Nobles and the Chamber of the Commons, the former traditionally headed by a Prince or Princess of the ruling dynasty and the latter by an Overseer elected by the voting populace.

Foreign Relations and Military

The Kragholm Free States take an active role on the international stage, generally hold good relations with most of the Western world, and maintain a centuries-old alliance with the British Empire. The Free States are not a nation to shy away from war, and have been involved in a large number of major conflicts from the Hundred Years' War to the failed American Rebellion, the Bonaparte Uprising and subsequent partition of France, and the ongoing Kragholm-Ottoman War.

The Lord Protector of the Realm serves as the highest ranking commander of the Krager military (Krigsmakten) - and, being a former officer who reached the rank of Major before he became the monarch, very few would argue that the current Lord Protector is unqualified to take on this role. The armed forces of the Free States are made up of three main branches: the Rijkshaer, the Rijksmarinen, and the Rijksflygkorps. The Haer provides the bulk of Kragholm's ground forces, comprised of both infantry and cavalry units, along with artillery support and limited use of the newly-developed krigsvagnar in combat. The Marinen is Kragholm's navy, a substantial force of war-steamers capable of projecting the might of the Free States across the globe, as well as protecting its interests closer to home. The Flygkorps is Kragholm's newest military branch by far, and is the first of its kind in the world; a cutting-edge fleet of aeroplanes supported by armed zeppelins to rain fire from the sky.

There are also several orders of knights who work alongside the Kragholm armed forces as special operatives and commandos, as well as conducting operations too sensitive or dangerous for regular troops. There was originally only one order - the Royal Order of the Round Table - but other orders have been formed over the many centuries of Kragholm's existence, smaller but still just as important as the original. All of these groups field extremely capable warriors - perhaps the best in the world - armed with cutting edge equipment, and all members are held to an exceptionally high standard of ability - including the reigning monarch, who traditionally holds the rank of Grandmaster of the Royal Order of the Round Table.


RH Krigsvagn (Left), RH Infantryman (Centre-Left), RM Heavy Cruiser (Centre-Right), RFG Attack Plane (Right)

Economy

Economic Indicators

Currency: Krager Krona (kr) (KRK)
Fiscal Year: 1st April - 31st March


GDP (nominal): kr210.4 billion (£270.5 billion)
GDP (nominal) per capita: kr3,730 (£4,796)
Labour Force: 38.2 million
Unemployment: 2.06%

Kragholm operates primarily on a free-market capitalist economic system, with a private sector made up of both large and small businesses comprising 82.9% of the nation's economy and a highly skilled and educated labour force. Because of this, the Free States are extremely wealthy, and boast one of the highest standards of living in the world. Kragholm's main exports consist of steel, minerals, machinery, arms, and whale products, and its imports mostly consist of food and luxury goods. Kragholm is renowned for its innovative and world-leading industrial sector, which has been at the forefront of global industry since the beginning of the 18th century. The nation is a significant exporter, and hence operates at a trade surplus of kr3.8 billion. The British Empire, Prussia, Austria-Hungary, the Kalmar Union, and the Venetian Republic are the Free States' main trading partners.

Culture


Evening on Statsgard Ave.,
by Erik J. Hansson, 1891

The Free States are, like their closest allies and neighbours, culturally western, with the same principles of individual liberty and progress that are the basis for civilisation across much of Europe. Kragers also highly value technological and industrial strength and advancement, resulting in a highly innovative and extremely well-educated society. Inkeeping with their nation's origins, Kragers have a strong martial tradition, and the military is well respected and viewed as a symbol of the Free States' significant global power. Whilst the people of Kragholm as a whole tend to value the sciences over the arts, the latter are still a well-developed form of culture in the islands, with many celebrated painters, composers, and writers hailing from the Free States, and many famous works being produced all over the country; typically romantic Victorian painting, opera and dramatic stage plays are the most popular forms of their respective arts in the Free States, as is the case in most of Europe. Musically, the Free States boast a wide variety of styles, from the orchestral romantic pieces popular throughout the west, to newly emerging jazz, and traditional Folkensång - a slow, haunting style of folk music native to the Free States performed on the Valhorn, a large Krager instrument similar to an alpine horn but carved from whalebone.

Cuisine

The cuisine of the Kragholm Free States primarily features hearty, warming dishes, often whale or fish-based, although today this is more out of tradition and preference, as meat of many kinds is readily available. Thick stews, pies, roast dinners, dumplings, and hot baked goods are all common Krager fare, and chefs in the Free States tend to value simplicity and high quality ingredients over elaborate presentation. Since the late middle ages, Kragholm cuisine has also taken on limited influences from the Mediterranean, and, through it, the East. This assimilation of international cooking methods and ingredients brought various new flavours and cooking techniques to the islands, and normalised the use of exotic spices both in entirely new foreign dishes and as modifications to traditional Kragholm food - helped in no small part by the availability of said spices from Kragholm's tropical colonies. In terms of drinks, the Free States are known for their high quality whisky and wheat beer, and, thanks to their extensive greenhouses, the islands also have a widespread coffee culture.

Infrastructure

While the majority of Kragers use personal automobiles or carriages to get around - those making short, intra-city trips or journeying to more remote settlements, at least - the islands are well served with an express railway network that connects all cities and major towns in the Free States. There is also a zeppelin service which serves much the same purpose, although takes a more direct route between settlements separated by sea, and a ferry route along the western coast. Airports in all cities process large volumes of zeppelins each day, as well as the aeroplanes used by the Flygkorps.

Energy

The vast majority of Kragholm's electricity requirements are fulfilled by coal-fired power stations, and a large proportion of Kragholm-built machinery uses coal directly, with a handful of newer machines using diesel. There are a few power stations across the islands that utilise the large deposits of natural gas recently discovered beneath the surface, but these are a fairly uncommon sight.


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