Motto: Libertas Primoris ('Freedom First')
Population: 456 million
Capital: San Angelo
Largest City: Harbor Grove
National Language: English
-Official Language: German
-Official Language: Spanish
-Political, Archaic: Shavanoan
Federal Constitutional Republic
- Head of State: President Morgan Dawson
- Head of Government: President Morgan Dawson
- Gothic Lord: Proconsul William Cloud
- Upper House: Laurasian Senate
- Lower House: Federation Assembly
Establishment: January 4th, 1837
Land Area: 16,406,606 kmē
Water Area: 3,104,000 kmē
Water %: 19
GDP (nominal): $21.27 trillion
GDP (nominal) per capita: $46,625.47
HDI: 0.976 very high
Currency: the Angel (1 angel = $2.01)
Calling code: 212
Internet TLD: .fms
The Federation of Mount Shavano
The Federation of Mount Shavano spans the mountainous continent of Laurasia. Originally a forum to mediate disputes between the various nations of that continent, it evolved first into a military alliance against an external invader and then finally into its modern form as a federal republic.
The Federation is known for its rugged mountains, unusual wildlife, frontier culture, aggressive trade, high technology, hawkish foreign policy, and utter contempt of tyranny.
The formal name of the Federation of the Mount Shavano is derived from the site of the Twentieth Laurasian Assembly, which reformed the previous political system into the modern Federation. The origin of the mountain's name is uncertain. The alternative name considered, the Federation of Laurasia, was rejected since the Federation did not at that time include the entire continent.
This history has made the demonym of the Federation complex. "Shavanoan" was used originally, but is today considered archaic. "Laurasian" is common when appropriate, but generally not used in political contexts, where "Federation" is preferred.
Technically, in proper Shavanoan grammar, the pronoun for the Federation is "she", not "it".
What would become the Federation of Mount Shavano traces its origins to the arrival of a small colonization fleet on what is today the south shore of West Laurasia on January 4th, 1730. They quickly established a settlement named Jenkins City; the exact etymology is unknown, as there was no Jenkins on the passenger manifest. Laurasia, or at least this part of it, was devoid of human inhabitants, and the wildlife in the south was in no way dangerous to humans. For this reason, Jenkins City is famous as the "unwalled city" to this day.
There is no record of the original place of origin for the settlers, although they kept detailed records on other matters. It is known they were English speaking Protestants, and that many more followed them, allowing the population to grow quickly. After landing, they built a grand stone cathedral, a lighthouse so that the settlers following them could find them and land safely, and a library to store records and enhance learning. These buildings are still preserved in Old Jenkins City.
Jenkins City was the only settlement of the future Shavanoans for only a brief time. Over the next quarter century, many settlements were established across the Laurasian continent. The realities of distance meant that these settlements had to be de facto self governing, and that independence soon became theory as well as fact.
A dispute escalating to an armed clash 19 September 1755 over fishing boundaries between two of the city-states led the three most important cities to send delegates to what is now known as the First Laurasian Assembly on 20 April 1756. The delegates left the conference having created what is today known as the Triumvirate System. Each of the three governments would have a single representative on a council to resolve major disputes, which would be called as needed, and every fourth year accumulated minor matters would be resolved by a conference in which each of the three parties would receive a number of representatives proportional to their population. It was mandated that these representatives be elected by popular vote. These meetings that were held were known as the Second, Third, and so forth Laurasian Assemblies.
The Triumvirate System was successful at resolving further disputes, and soon absorbed all smaller settlements between the Red River and the 50th parallel as "affiliate members", which were entitled to proportional representation in the Laurasian Assemblies but not to send delegates to the crisis resolution council. The economic and defense benefits, as we shall presently see, quelled possible resentment over this inequality. In 1788, the Eighth Laurasian Assembly formally abolished all trade tariffs between members, a decree which has never been revoked.
The year 1792 set off a quarter century of crisis. The overseas colonial Aldar-Ihrillian Empire co-opted the tribal monarchy of the northern Laurasian forests, still far outside of territory claimed by the Triumvirate, and used it as a base to launch a devastating series of on-again, off-again wars in an attempt to subjugate the entire continent. The Triumverate, panicked by the situation, rushed to ally with or even admit any nation on the Laurasian continent that could offer material assistance against the invaders; this was the first time countries not descended from the original Jenkins City settlement were invited to Laurasian Assemblies, even though four other cultural groups had settlements on the continent by 1790. By the final victory in 1815, there were six nations on the "Crisis Council", which had steadily grown in influence relative to the Assemblies during the war.
After a few years where the glow of peace continued to mask the problems, discontent over the split between the haves of the Crisis Council and the have nots restricted to the Assemblies grew. Finally, the Twentieth and Last Laurasian Assembly, in 1836, resolved the problem by adopting a new Constitution, which took effect January 4th 1837. This Constitution remains in effect. The Twentieth and Last Assembly was held at the foot of Mount Shavano in West Laurasia, and so the agreement adopted and later ratified by the member governments was known as the Treaty of Mount Shavano, giving the country its name. The obvious alternate, "The Federation of Laurasia", was deemed inappropriate since the entire continent had not yet joined at that time; the Federation finally admitted the last holdout as a member in 1851.
The most significant event of the current century in Federation was the Ralkovian War of 2011, when a member of the Ralkovian royal house, Onya Mondale, was arrested by the Federation Navy during the seizure of a slaver ship on which she was a passenger. The war ended inconclusively following a coup attempt in Ralkovia. The incident did, however, bring Mount Shavano to the attention of the other powers of Gholgoth and led to the ascension of then-President William Cloud as a Gothic Lord.
Later in 2011, the ballistic missile submarine SNS Reprisal hit an underwater mountain inside the territorial waters of Bellganamos, and was destroyed by the Bellganamos Navy when she was unable to communicate that she had made a navigational error. Several other warships of both nations were destroyed in the attempt to extract or destroy her, but in the aftermath friendly relations were established between the two countries. This tragedy is known as the Cape Columbia Incident.
Physical map of Laurasia
The Federation of Mount Shavano is situated on the continent of Laurasia; in the modern day, the borders of the nation and the extent of the continent are essentially the same. The topography of Laurasia is dominated by a great inland sea, known by other local nations as the Shavano Sea but known in Laurasia as the Interior Seaway. The Seaway is a warm sea, and keeps the coastal regions temperate as far as 60 degrees north latitude. Marine life is abundant in the Seaway, and it remains one of the world's least polluted seas due the relatively recent start to human habitation on West Laurasia. It provides a dynamic fishing industry and a vital artery for sea trade to Laurasia.
The western coast of the Interior Seaway, running north-south and ranging from perhaps a quarter to half of the width of West Laurasia, is the region known as the Great Laurasian Plain. This region itself experiences wide variances in climate and terrain, ranging from the blistering Valbaaran desert in the south, across grain covered plains, and narrowing to wind blown prairies. The plain is the breadbasket for much of the continent, providing abundant grains, cereals, livestock, and fruits. The Valbaaran Desert also provides roughly half of the Federation's oil reserves.
The remainder of the width of West Laurasia is composed of a soaring mountain range, often divided into three subranges by Shavanoans even if there is little geologic basis for this. The Grace range runs along the west coast, the Saddle range the interior, and the Angel range rises above the plains as travelers approach from the east. The Greater Shavanoan Mountain Range is geologically very young, only a few million years, and achieves incredible heights. Rugged and perennially snow-capped, the mountains are the best known symbol of Mount Shavano. They provide the nation's spectacular mineral resources and timber reserves. The mountains run right to the western seaboard, which drops off into the blue depths of the Alte-Pacific. Fishing, of a different sort, is also common in these cooler waters. The western coast is the most urbanized part of the subcontinent, although in Mount Shavano that is not saying all that much.
North Laurasia is dominated by ancient evergreen forests, with most civilization concentrated along the warmer southern coast. There are significant, mostly untapped reserves of natural gas and timber in this region, as well as strategically important uranium deposits which are exploited. East Laurasia is dominated by a single watershed, known as the Grand River, funneled by the low mountain ranges lining the coasts. The river valley is excellent agricultural land; production here tends towards fruits and livestock, and away from the rolling grains of the west. Further away is a land of rolling hills and oak forests, with the northern parts becoming increasingly similar to North Laurasia.
The flora and fauna are a bizarre, delicately balanced, but thriving mix of "Cretaceous" and "modern" forms. The former appear to be "native", while the latter more recent arrivals. How this state of affairs came to be is something of a mystery. Laurasian culture has a strong conservationist bent, and great care has been taken to keep the air clean and the wilderness protected.
Locations of Laurasian cities
The population of the Federation at the last census was estimated to be 456,286,395, among the most populous 3% of nations in the world. Although the birth rate has declined precipitously in the last century, as in the rest of the developed world, it remains above replacement level for natives. It is projected that the population will continue to grow at a rapid rate due to an influx of refugees from the brutal empires common to the Gholgoth region. In particular, the Federation's position near the Kraven Reich has led to thousands fleeing the latter regime arriving in Laurasia.
Laurasia is not heavily urbanized by world standards, with an estimated 70.6% of the population living in urban or suburbanized areas, and less than 40% in significant cities of more than 50,000 people. East Laurasia is more urbanized than West Laurasia.
The national language of Mount Shavano is English, and all business of the Federation government is conducted in that language. Official recognition is also given to German and Spanish, languages spoken by some of the other settlement groups. Almost all native Laurasian speakers of those languages are bilingual in English; any native not capable of speaking English is regarded as poorly educated.
The overwhelming majority of the Shavanoan population, in excess of 90%, identify as some form of Christian. The majority are various types of Protestant, and most of the remainder Catholic. The non-Christian segments of the population are generally associated with various forms of paganism or non-theistic, and those groups have generally been assimilated over time. The worldwide trend towards irreligionism has not materialized in the Federation, where church attendance rates remain high.
The Federation does not recognize the concept of "race" at a level below "the human race". However, there are seven significant ethno-cultural groups in the Federation; four separate groups of colonial settlers, two native groups, and one foreign invader. Distinctions between these groups in the modern era are fairly blurred in most cases.
Metro area population
A major international port and trade hub. Financial and media capital.
The oldest settlement on and cultural capital of East Laurasia.
The gateway between the sea and the Grand River.
Home to the space program, and the artifical harbor is impressive engineering.
The national capital, a federal district in the mountains.
A cold weather cultural center that hosts an old, now ceremonial, royal house.
A major industrial center and former capital.
A significant industrial center with a long military history.
A center of the technology industry.
A major port and another tech center.
City was founded by an invading power during a long war.
The oldest city in the Federation, a cultural center.
An industrial center, far removed from its "barbarian" roots.
A center for Gothic trade sitting under an ancient fortress.
The initial settlement site for a major cultural group, now a minor political center.
The national redoubt and hometown of Proconsul Cloud.
Most power in the Federation is reserved to the component states, with the Federation government having a very narrow mandate to provide national defense, set a united foreign policy, protect the most basic rights of citizens (known as the Fundamental Guarantees), resolve disputes between states, and a few similar or related tasks.
The Federation government has a familiar structure, with an executive, a bicameral legislature, and an independent judiciary. The executive President is fairly weak outside of broad veto power. The prestigious upper legislature, the Laurasian Senate, has a fixed number of senators by state. The lower Federation Assembly, with seats assigned to states by population, controls the purse. The President and both legislative houses are democratically elected.
The Executive Branch consists of a President and a Vice President elected as a single ticket, along with a cabinet appointed by and serving at the pleasure of the President. The executive branch has extensive veto power, and extensive power to react quickly to foreign crisis, although the Senate and Assembly can override these decisions once it has had time to debate and act. The Presidential ticket is chosen by an electoral college in which each state has a number of number of votes equal to the combined number of Senate and Assembly seats it possess. In the event of a tie, the outgoing Assembly chooses between the two candidates with the most electoral votes. The President serves for a six year term, and can only be re-elected once.
Anyone can theoretically be elected, but the cutoff for signatures to get on the ballot, rather than being a write in candidate, is fairly high in most states. The three relevant parties (see below) hold primary elections, usually by straight popular vote, in all states, and the losers are expected to bow out gracefully although they have no legal obligation to do so. The Greens often do not nominate a Presidential candidate, preferring their voters to be the balance of power in a two way Blue-White election to being the weak man in a three way race. In this way they have been very successful at getting their platform passed, by forcing Blue and White candidates to support Green positions in order to get elected.
The Senate consists of three members from each of the thirteen states. Each state elects one senator every other year, with six year terms. If a state has a sitting senator who has been re-elected to his seat consecutive with another term, no other senator can stand for re-election in that state. This was a compromise between factions who wanted long term political leadership and those who wanted strict term limits. The 'Senior Senator' or 'Princeps' is usually seen as the political leader of a state, even more than the executive of the state government.
The means of appointing Senators is left to the states, although all states use direct, statewide, winner take all popular vote elections as of the current time. Primaries are held, with minor parties often choosing to fold theirs in with the ideologically closest major party. The Greens sometimes contest these elections in a full capacity, sometimes play the "Balance Game", and sometimes have so much support in a region that one of the other major parties will endorse the Green candidate and choose not to run their own. These "hybrid candidates" also sometimes appear in races where both the Greens and the other party are weak, and neither would have a chance on their own. These alliances do not go beyond regional; it is not uncommon to see a Blue-Green candidate running in one state while a White-Green candidate runs in another.
The Assembly has more than 900 members, elected biannually for two year terms. The seats are decided by proportional population, which each representing half a million people. It is theoretically possible for a state to have three senators and no assemblymen, although it is extremely unlikely that will ever happen. The budgets are set by the Assembly. There are no term limits in the Assembly.
Assembly elections unfold much like Senate elections, except they are done at the district level rather than state. Setting the districts is a power reserved to state governments. Gerrymandering is rare, as most states have strong legal protections against the practice. Some also use proportional representation, and do not designate districts at all.
The division of powers between the two houses and the executive is fairly standard. The Senate has exclusive control over the admission of new members to the Federation, not exercised in more than 150 years, and extensive foreign policy powers. The President has extensive power to react to crisis and to issue vetoes, but is otherwise relatively weak. The Assembly controls the purse.
The Supreme Court consists of thirteen justices, one from each state chosen by the legislature of that state and approved by the national legislature. They represent the final word on judicial matters and matters of Constitutional law. They have traditionally been strict constructionists. There is no term limit for a Justice of the Supreme Court, they nearly always serve until they die or retire. There is a recall procedure, requiring two thirds of both the national and state legislatures as well as the executive of the appointing stat to approve. It has never been successfully employed.
There are three significant political parties at the Federation level, the Blues, the Whites, and the Greens.
The Blues, a big-tent center-right coalition, generally are considered the Federation conservatives. They are strong supporters of individual rights, free trade, free market economics, and a hawkish foreign policy. The current President, Morgan Dawson, is a Blue. The Blues, like the other major parties, are an alliance between various state-level parties to coordinate candidates for national office.
The Whites have been the 'loyal opposition' party for most of the Federation's history and have returned to that role since losing the 1996 elections. They are considered center-left by Laurasian standards but might also be considered center to center-right in international terms. They advocate for a less hawkish foreign policy, reduced military spending, are friendlier to welfare and social spending, have more reservations about unrestricted trade, and are less culturally conservative.
The Greens are generally moderates on foreign policy and economic issues, and their goal as a party is to preserve as much of the country's environment and wildlife as possible from human destruction. They have been largely successful since although they are by far the smallest major party, they often control the balance of power.
There is a very strong tradition among some political stripes in the Federation for government by consensus, in particular avoiding having the same party control the executive branch and both legislative bodies simultaneously. This tradition, in fact, is so strong that in 1976 Senior Senator Jack Reynolds resigned his seat rather than see his own White party gain control of the legislature when they had a sitting president. He served as President himself from 1978-1984 before refusing to run for a second term.
Shavanoan Judicial System
Mount Shavano has completely abandoned, or more precisely never implemented, the prison system found in most other countries. Nor does it favor the rehabilitation systems sometimes seen in "soft-left" nations. Rather, the fundamental component of the judicial system is restitution from criminal to victim. The payment for any particular crime is determined by the applicable law and selected to be severe enough to make crime unprofitable. It *always* includes the victim's legal fees, in addition to the payment for the crime itself.
When a crime is so severe that the criminal cannot reasonably be released back into society, even after the best available rehabilitation efforts, the Federation simply shoots them. Federation taxpayers certainly aren't going to foot the bill to pay for life in prison. However, many citizens of the Federation are uncomfortable with this approach; several think tanks have done studies on the possibility of marooning such offenders somewhere. However, nothing has yet resulted from this.
State judicial systems can vary considerably, although all favor restitution and if possible rehabilitation over prison sentences. The Federation criminal judiciary handles only very major crimes.
Finally, the various and sundry executive branches, including national, state, and sometimes local, have very extensive powers to give pardons.
Owing to the immense size of the world - the reader may note it has room for 144,000 or more nations, many of them huge - and the difficulty of maintaining reliable communications over that distance, in times of crisis away from the borders of Mount Shavano the Senate can and often will appoint an official a Proconsul to command the situation. Within the scope of the crisis, which is defined at the time of appointment along with the duration of the pronconsulship, a Proconsul carries the full authority of the executive branch as well as the power to negotiate treaties which remain in effect unless repudiated by the Senate, as opposed to the normal process of ratification. A Proconsul never carries any authority within the borders of the Federation itself.
The most common source of a Proconsul is the highest ranking military officer in the area of the crisis, although sending full Senators is not uncommon either.
Former President William Cloud holds the title of Gothic Lord and sits on the Gothic Council - the Lords of the region of Gholgoth. He also holds the Federation title of Proconsul, from which he derives his authority in the eyes of Mount Shavano's democratic society. His successor will be determined by the Senate, then legally adopted by Mr Cloud to preserve the "heredity" of the succession.
Coat of Arms of the Federation
The Federation, mostly for reasons of geography, has often been isolated from worldwide affairs. She has traditionally been quick to use her diplomatic, economic, cultural, and even military influence to push for a better world, as she sees it; Federation values abroad include free trade and human liberty. Historically, the Federation has become repeatedly entangled in brushfire wars and nation-building exercises, some of which have succeeded, and some of which have not. In recent years, the Federation has become increasingly involved in opposing the global slave trade, even fighting a brief war with the Ralkovian Empire over the Federation seizure of Ralkovian slave ship. Mount Shavano is an enthusiastic member of both the Reichsburg Free Trade Agreement and Incursus Alliance.
The Federation maintains large, powerful, and modern naval and air forces, to protect herself from the dangers of the Gholgoth and others worldwide from tyranny. With oceans on all on sides of Laurasia, the Federation Army is seen as less critical for national defense and is kept as a small but highly professional core that can be rapidly expanded in a crisis. Some states maintain their own "Guards", which de facto serve as an auxiliary army and would facilitate rapid expansion of the FA in a crisis.
Thanks to the relatively small available manpower pool and the high level of available technology, the Federation military relies heavily on robotics and automation as a force multiplier. The front-line fighter and strategic bomber of the Federation Air Force are unmanned and piloted remotely or by computer, and Federation Navy warships have surprisingly small crew counts. The high ratio of funding to manpower also drives the Federation into a quality over quantity approach.
The Federation also maintains a massive nuclear deterrent force, enough to take any conceivable first strike and still reduce whole regions to ash, as a final guarantee no foreign power or powers can invade the continent.
Currency: Angel ($A)
GDP (nominal): $21.27 trillion
GDP (nominal) per capita: $46,625.47
The Federation of Mount Shavano has a dynamic free market economy, driven by an enterprising population, rich natural resources, lack of government interference, and the power of internal and international trade. Most statistical measures, including standard of living indicies, place the Federation in the top 10% of the world for both economic strength and prosperity. The Federation government only guarantees free trade between all states, resulting in higher or lower levels of economic regulation and government social spending on various parts of the continent. However, the cultural commitment to a market rather than a planned or outright command economy is strong in all states. Major Laurasian industries include defense, arms manufacturing, book publishing, automobiles, information technology and agriculture. Corruption and unemployment are low, and standards of living are high.
Laurasia is blessed with many sources of natural wealth. Minerals of all stripes are found beneath the mountains of West Laurasia, the nation has vast timber reserves, wildlife is abundant, both coasts of the Interior Seaway are ideal for agriculture, the surrounding seas teem with fish, there are significant oil reserves under the southwest deserts and off the western seaboard, and the Interior Seaway has allowed for the easy movement of goods since colonial times.
Trillions of dollars of international trade pass through Federation ports and airports every year. The major imports of Laurasia are manufactured goods, luxuries, and exotic foods. The major exports are computers, cars, technology, weaponry, and staple foodstuffs.
The Federation is a technologically advanced economy, driven by a cultural emphasis on education and the ability to invest significant amounts of wealth into research ventures. There are half a dozen world class universities in Laurasia. The Federation also possesses extensive and well funded military and commercial space programs.
National team uniforms at Baptism of Fire 38
The Federation is a heterogenous mix of at least seven separate groups of settlers, natives, and failed invaders, but there are some "Federation" cultural elements and values shared across the entire continent.
Self-reliance and personal independence are highly prized, and the strong are expected to protect the weak. Powerful organizations, such as the government and large corporations, are viewed with something between mistrust and outright disdain. The population tends rural, and even among city dwellers outdoor activities and sports are popular. There is a strong drive to preserve natural spaces, and physical fitness and athleticism are valued. Shavanoans are quite religious, although the government is denominationally neutral by law.
The most popular sports are football and soccer, although no fewer than four others support nationwide leagues. Team sports are favored over individual competitions. The fierce seasonal weather makes Laurasians more tolerant of enclosed stadia and artificial playing surfaces than the world standard.
Outward displays of wealth are generally frowned upon; Laurasian dress and architecture tends towards practical and "rugged". Laurasian cuisine is widely varied, although stereotypical Laurasian food has a "southwestern" feel.
The infrastructure of Laurasia reflects the character of the continent. It is generally of a very high quality, although significant elements of it are not as organized as in other nations; most the development has been conducted by private companies rather than some central organization, although there are significant exceptions. It lacks any pretensions to grandeur; record breaking skyscrapers and similar vanity projects are quite rare.
The two areas which the Federation government has directly invested are the transportation grid, represented by an excellent system of interstate highways, and the communication network; both were deemed matters of national security and therefore within the Federation mandate. High speed telephone, television, and internet are accessible almost anywhere in the nation, and movement across the continent is reliable, inexpensive, and safe.
The Federation is a world leader in the energy economy. Laurasia has run almost entirely off of a nuclear power grid since the early 60s. The plants were designed with safety in mind, and to allow for rapid expansion. Today, energy is cheap, the air is clean, and there has never been a fatal accident involving a nuclear plant in the history of the Federation.
There remains a significant secondary market in the power industry across Mount Shavano, of course, with oil being required for ships, planes, and cars. This market has been shrinking since a "plug and play" car reached the economic break even point in 2014; they are expected to outnumber traditional oil powered vehicles in Mount Shavano within the decade. The effect on the oil producing regions of Laurasia has as yet been minimal since oil is still required for aviation and commercial shipping. However, anticipating trouble, the oil industry had begun aggressively seeking foreign customers.