The Black Isles
Overview | History | Politics | Geography | Economy | Demographics | Military | Territories
Ceremonial United Flag
Coat of Arms
Noronnican Anthem: "Royal Noronica"
Vancouvian Anthem: "Our Land"
Location of the Black Isles (enlarged)
East Lannacht (Nor)
Prefectorial Council (Nor)
West City Council (Van)
- Land Area
Drives on the:
The Black Isles, (NVSJAOT) commonly known as the Black Isles, is a Special Joint-Administered Overseas Territory (SJAOT) in the mid-west of the Western Isles, in the Mesder Sea. Situated west off the central coast of mainland Argus, the Black Isles is an amalgamation of islands including East and West Black Isles, Mount Daring, Heartburgh Rocks, Hunton Island, North Reach, Carrot Isle, Flenton Isle, New Cove, Founder's Rock, the Volcano Rocks, and many smaller islands. The Black Isles do not share any land borders with any nation, nor do they share any maritime borders, however, they are just outside the Exclusive Economic Zone of Verona Beach. With a total area of 5,667 square kilometres and a population of 8,729, the Isles are one of the smaller dependencies in the Western Isles.
The Noronnican Prefectorial State of the Noronnican Black Isle is a democratic semi-autonomous state which is governed by a democratically-elected council. As it is an overseas state, the Overlord is represented by a Prefectorial Governor, currently Alice McKenzie. The largest settlement in the Prefectorial State of the Noronnican Black Isle is East Lannacht, a partitioned section of the wider city of Lannacht. The Noronnican partition contains much of the historic centre and it has a small population of 2,193.
The western partition of the island contains the Vancouvian Black Isle, which is a fully-integrated part of central Vancouvia and is therefore directly legislated by the Vancouvian Congress. Congress is represented by the Mayor of West Lannacht, currently Alisha Walt, who maintains de facto power over the Vancouvian Black Isle. The largest settlement in the Vancouvian Black Isle is also the city of Lannacht as, through the Noro-Vancouvian Treaty which historically founded colonial rule on the Black Isle, both nations have partitioned the city between each other's territory. West Lannacht has a population of 3,331.
Through archaeological studies conducted by a joint-isle historical initiative, it has been revealed through evidence of settlement found in 2009 that the native Brellen population of the Black Isles have been on the Isles at least 2000 years BP (before present). Evidence has shown that the early Brellen culture flourished primarily around the coastline of the two central landmasses of the Black Isles, where fishing and agricultural settlements were in abundance.
Several archaeological studies conducted on early structures and objects found in various sites along the coastlines of the Black Isles have concluded that there was a fusion of central Mesder cultures and the early-Brellen culture, stemming from migration and movements from other Mesder tribes onto the Black Isles.
Late after the rise and fall of Mabo Hang and the Khas-Kirati raids of the coasts of Atish territories, (now modern Atnaia) a small expeditionary party of Khas-Kirati forces attempted to chart the surrounding area, happening upon the Black Isles in their travels.
The force found little resistance, more curiosity as stated in early texts by the force's leader, Rajang Thami. The texts have been carbon-dated to decades after the initial exploration of the Black Isles when they had been incorporated into the Khas-Kirat Empire.
The Brellen people quickly adopted the cultural aspects of the Khas-Kirati occupiers and merged them with their own culture, including the many religions of the Khas-Kirat Empire. Due to the small size of the Black Isles, there were no major attempts at revolt as the population was simply too small and weak to attempt anything large.
It was two centuries later that tragedy occurred. Around 1181, the stratovolcano on the southern island of the Black Isles, (now given the moniker, 'Mount Daring') violently erupted with a Volcanic Explosivity Index (VEI) of 4, engulfing at least half of the southern landmass of the Black Isles. The eruption was recorded by several Khas-Kirati accounts on the islands, but there are also records of Brellen art on pots and decorations that most-likely depict the 1181 eruption. This is the largest recorded eruption on the Black Isles, but modern research on the Isles is focused on trying to understand the prehistoric nature of this volcano.
The Black Isles continued to be under the administration of the Mahang until the Heavenly War from 1197-1381 when the Khas-Kirat Empire collapsed. The population did not fully maintain a unified leadership, instead returning to an agricultural tribal lifestyle with several tribal leaders fighting for dominance over the islands.
Noronnican Colony and Partitioning
The first exploration of the islands after the fall of the Khas-Kirat Empire was conducted by the Noronnican sea-captain George McAddlum claimed the territory for the Noronnican Empire in 1791. He never set foot on the islands, mapping them instead and swiftly returned to Noronica to petition for the settlement of the islands.
The Noronnican West Sea Company, a company chartered under the Overlord, permanently settled the islands in 1802 in the centre of the two landmasses. This became known as the Colony of Lannacht, named after the Company's founder, Henry Lannacht. The islands were quickly settled as the native population rarely fought against the settlers. The only major resistance that the settlers had was in the far west of the western landmass where the tribes were better armed and were well-established.
Deciding against a large put-down of the western populace using the United Noronnican Army, the Noronnican Government called upon the services of the Vaenlander mercenary army after seeing its prowess in San Jimenez and Arván. The battles were not as large as anticipated as the tribal leaders quickly capitulated after clashes with heavy losses.
As the western tribes had shown resistance to the Noronnican settlers, the Noronnican colonial administration saw ruling the western landmass as worrisome and a waste of resources. The garrison stationed in Lannacht was not enough to subdue an island-wide heavily-armed resistance, especially after the resource-consuming wars in Charbagnia. It was therefore decided that the Western territory would be ceded to Vaenland in an act of friendship and an attempt to buy the favour of the Vaenlander Government, being the first major diplomatic interaction between Noronica and Vaenland since the Duchy of Vaenland.
This concerned many in mainland Noronica, especially imperialists who lobbied the Government to attempt to reverse the partitioning. Tensions also built along the border as Vaenlander and Noronnican settlers argued over territories. There was never a full uprising or clash between the two sides, yet tensions over local border definitions have always been a contentious issue even in the modern day Black Isles.
The islands earned their name of the 'Black Isles' in 1829 when the southern volcano erupted again but on a smaller scale than 1181 with a VEI of 3 which still affected the south of the Noronnican partition badly. The main settlements and farms were unaffected, but the eruption did cause several deaths and it caused the spread of diseases to a large percentage of the population. The volcano was given the name 'Mount Daring' in 1830 by Noronnican Romantic poets who travelled to the Black Isles to see the effects of the eruption.
Worried over increasing imperialist competition in the Mesder Seas, the Noronnican Navy began the instalment of a large dockyard in the Hearburgh Rocks and two fortified keeps, one inside the dockyard complex and one in the south of the Noronnican partition which housed the newly-formed United Noronnican Army's garrison. The Noronnican Government also implored the Vaenlander Government to do the same, building up the military forces of the partitions.
The Black Isles participated heavily in both World Wars especially in the Noronnican military with a large number of young men signing up into the Noronnican Black Isles Regiment in both wars. Noronnican Brellens took up a significant percentage of decorated Noronnican servicemen in the First World War despite the Black Isles' small size.
After the First World War, many of the Noronnican Brellen officers of the Noronnican Black Isles Regiment expressed interest in forming a native defence force for the Noronnican partition. A new provision for the colonial administration was approved by the Noronnican Government to form a small native armed force that would operate alongside the Noronnican Armed Forces. The first edition of the 'Royal Black Isle Defence Force' was formed in 1919, consisting of many of the surviving servicemen who took part in the First World War.
The Black Isles continued to prosper and survived through the beginning of the Second World War, maintaining its agricultural support to both Vaenland and Noronica. However, in 1941 Vaenland effectively ceased to exist, meaning that the Vaenlander partition was leaderless. The Noronnican War Government declared the Black Isles unified until the 'matter in our Western ally is resolved'.
The unified Black Isles remained under Noronnican administration for several decades, remaining under Noronnican rule even during the People's Republic of Noronica, much to the protest of the Codmanners. However, the Black Isles declared the support to Tytus Alexander's Noronnican Revolution, remaining Noronnican territory unlike the newly-formed Republic of Arván.
As Noronica's final and temporary President, Tytus Alexander flirted with the idea of full unification but faltered due to increasing protest from the Codman Republic. Under a treaty of friendship between the two states, Noronica and the Codman Republic renegotiated the terms under which the Black Isles would return to their former borders. Thus the modern Black Isles were formed.
The Prefectorial State of the Noronnican Black Isle is a Noronnican overseas-state with Executive power being vested in the monarch which is exercised through the Prefectorial Governor on behalf of the monarch. The Prefectorial Governor is appointed by the monarch on the advice of the Noronnican Prime Minister. The current Prefectorial Governor of the Noronnican Black Isle is Alice McKenzie. The Prefectorial State of the Noronnican Black Isle has a democratic semi-autonomous government through an elected council, elected for a term of up to four years. The unicameral government presently consists of 10 elected members.
As an overseas territory of the Overlordship of Noronica, the Prefectorial State of the Noronnican Black Isle is not responsible for foreign affairs or defence. The state is permitted to maintain a small defence force, but it must work in tandem with the Noronnican Armed Forces. Noronica must also approve any constitutional changes of the state.
Due to Vancouvia’s political make-up, the Vancouvian partition is an integrated part of metropolitan Vancouvia, despite it being an overseas territory. Therefore, the partition is governed by the Mayor of West Lannacht, Alisha Walt, who maintains de facto control over the entirety of the partition, save for the military installations in the north. The Vancouvian Congress remains to be the sole legislative body of both metropolitan Vancouvia and the Vancouvian Black Isle.
The Black Isles are a group of volcanic islands in the Mesder Sea almost at the direct centre of it. It is mostly isolated with no land or maritime borders to speak of save for it being close to other nation's Exclusive Economic Zones. Although usually referred to by their partitional names, the Black Isles as a whole incorporates a group of 13 named islands and several much smaller islands. As a whole, the group of islands have a total area of 5,667 km². The two largest islands are East and West Black Isles, both of which are connected by a landbridge and are the most populated of the islands.
The Isles have many physical attractions, making them a popular site for tourists and for business. Its beaches are maintained by the Cross-Island Revitalisation Programme which was formed in 1999 as a native initiative to maintain the Isles' long history of tourism. The Isles are known for scuba-diving and deep-water exploration as it has a vibrant sea life and marine-ecosystem. A lot of the unpopulated areas of the Isles contain forests and mountainous areas of which the Isles are famous, mostly due to the infamous dormant volcano Mount Daring. This also encourages a large number of scientific explorations, both from Noronica, Vancouvia, and other nations.
The Black Isles have a humid subtropical climate (Köppen Cfa). The Isles experience relatively hot summers usually averaging around 30 °C, never really exceeding this temperature unless on rare occasions in which the highest recorded temperature was 34 °C. In winter, however, the Isles experience cooler weather, with temperatures reaching an average of 18 °C. Frost, ice and snow have never been recorded in the Isles' history. Rain is not rare for the island, although the law requires that households must collect rainfall through the use of roof or ground catchments as rainfall is one of the only sources of freshwater for the Isles.
In terms of fauna and flora, a lot of the Black Isles' fauna and flora are alien species, brought over by settlers to the Isles so as to populate them. The only native species to the Isles are several species of fish and the Black Tit bird species. The Isles now have an active wildlife, however, there have been protests by a few environmental groups over the 'forceful animal colonisation' of the Black Isles.
Perhaps the most famous part of the geography of the Black Isles is the island off the south-eastern coast of the East Black Isle. This island houses Mount Daring, the historically-destructive dormant stratovolcano. The volcano has erupted at random intervals and has caused strife across the Black Isles. Mount Daring is now a major ground for scientific research, especially through the two prominent nations of the Black Isles, Noronica and Vancouvia.
The Prefectorial State of the Noronnican Black Isle is widely known for being a tax haven and having a secretive banking system. The Prefectorial State enjoys a good GDP per capita, however, those living outside the city are much less lavish and have unequal income opportunities to those in the city. A vast number of Noronnican corruption allegations against several large corporations and individuals have originated from the Prefectorial State.
The two central tenets of the Prefectorial State of the Noronnican Black Isle's economy are tourism and financial services. While tourism generates a large number of revenue, financial services are a top priority in the Prefectorial State as its status as an offshore financial centre is crucial for its economy. A lot of companies conduct their business through the Prefectorial State as the lack of a corporate-income tax allows for the utilisation of tax avoidance techniques. Despite the controversy, financial services make-up for a large amount of the Government's revenue, so it is rare for the Government to intervene.
A perhaps more overlooked part of the Prefectorial State's economy is its agricultural industry. Despite its small size, the effective use of aid money from the Noronnican Department for International Development, it has constructed an efficient mechanised agricultural system. Much of the arable land on the island is used for farming and agriculture.
The Vancouvian partition is much poorer than its neighbour; sharing the same laws as Vancouvia, it does not benefit from a tax haven status. Many of the working-class citizens of Lannacht live on the Vancouvian side, commuting to work each day past the "black line" to richer Noronnican territory.
Vancouvian Black Isle benefits from being further from Mount Daring and thus has more pristine beaches, much older historical sites, and a general calmer way of life. Tourism accounts for a substantial part of local GDP, as well as hunting and fishing tours, particularly on Hunton Isle, so named for its primary activity.
West Lannacht has also become noteworthy for a growing medical tourism industry. Specializing primarily in heart surgeries and oncology, more than 60,000 medical tourists enter West Lannacht each year for a variety of procedures. Noted for being not only cheaper than most other domestic healthcare plans, West Lannacht also advertises its calm, relaxed, pollution-free environment as a selling point.
- Brellen: 47%
- Noronica: 21%
- Vancouvia: 22%
- Other (Mesder): 11%
- Other: 1%
The native population of the Black Isles is part of the Brellen ethnic group, an ethnic group originating from the islands and other surrounding Mesder islands. Most of the population have Brellen origins or at least can trace back from the intermarriage between Vancouvian or Noronnican and Brellen. The native population of the Black Isles speak 'Brell', a creole language which is a mix between English and the old Brellen languages. Other languages that are spoken in the Isles are Nyssic and French in respective order of usage. The French influence is from Arvanan workers who worked in the Black Isles.
Religion in the Black Isles is quite extensive, having a wide range of various native and foreign religions, but mainly a Christian influence from both Vancouvia and Noronica. Most of the religious population of the Black Isles are of a Christian denomination, but due to the Isles placement in the heart of the Mesder Sea, other major religions have had an influence. Balnianism, originating from Atnaia, has a large following in the religious population of the Black Isles, especially in the southwestern area and Founder's Rock. The islanders are also influenced by Athara Magarati religions due to
Culturally, the Black Isles were historically and are still subject to homogenisation through the domineering cultural influences of both Vancouvia and Noronica. Many styles of religion, music, fashion and architecture originate from the Isles' colonial background. Roadsigns and laws are all written in English whereas as some are also written in Brell. Lannacht is extremely reflective of both Noronnican and Vancouvian cultural influence, however, in far rural areas, there is a heavy traditional presence which is currently protected under several statutes.
Brig. Gordon Anderson
Noronnican Forces Black Isles
As a Noronnican overseas territory, the Prefectorial State of the Noronnican Black Isle's defence and foreign affairs are handled by the Overlordship of Noronica. The Prefectorial State is permitted to maintain a small defence force, however this must work in tandem with the Noronnican Armed Forces and the Bureau for Internal Security's Black Isle branch which is stationed in East Lannacht. This small force is called the Royal Black Isle Defence Force and is comprised of 103 personnel.
All of the three branches of the Noronnican Armed Forces are involved with the defence of the Prefectorial State. There has been a steady rise in personnel and equipment in recent years alongside Vancouvian presence due to increasing unity in defence and the instability of the Western Isles. The current personnel count of the Noronnican Forces Black Isle is 1,609 not including civilian support.
There are two military bases in the Prefectorial State of the Noronnican Black Isle, NAF Twynith in the South of the territory and NONB Heartburgh on the larger island of the Heartburgh Rocks. Both military bases include Army personnel, but are otherwise separated, with the only air presence in NONB Heartburgh being any aircraft from the Fleet Air Wing.
3rd Overseas Infantry Regiment (1,400)
Major Alexis Springfield
The Vancouvian Black Isles' defence is provided solely by the Vancouvian military, due to the islands being classified as fully integrated. The Vancouvian position since the late 2000's has been to let Noronnican military assets provide the bulk of military defence for the entire island group and reserve a small contingent from the mainland for emergency defence or action if need be. The Vancouvian military presence on the island is thus small; approximately 200 Vancouvian National Army soldiers, half a cohort of Vancouvian Special Forces (the other half stationed on close-by Base Albatross in Verona Beach) and a small contingent of civilian engineering and logistic contractors are typically stationed on Base Flamingo near Carrot Isle.
Total personnel (200)
29th Cohort (150)
Operators and Support Personnel (24)
★ = Capital City
🌑 = Settlements
◼︎ = Military Installations