by Max Barry

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The Federal Commonwealth of
Left-wing Utopia

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Capital: Pacifica (18.6 million)
Other Large Cities:
Aureanopolis (8.5 million)
Port Aureus (7.1 million)
Valenia (6.5 million)
Celestica (6.2 million)
Colonia Nova (5.5 million)
Port Africa (4.8 million)
Primary Terrain: Mediterranean/Subtropic/Tropic Islands
Primary Climate: Oceanic
Total Land Area: 72 898 km^2
Time Zone: GMT 0 / GMT -4

The Aurean Isles

Located approximately 500 km west of the south-western coast of Europe, in the Atlantic Ocean, the Aurean Isles form the "mainland" of Pax Aurea. The Romans called these islands Terra Ultima Occidentalis, the Westernmost Land. The archipelago consists of three large and numerous smaller islands. The greatest of the landmasses is known as Insula Aurea, or the Golden Island. The capital city of Pacifica is located here, and Insula Aurea has always been the heart of the country.

The other two major islands, Celesta and Beatica, are only slightly smaller than Insula Aurea, and they are both crowned with a metropolis of their own: Aureanopolis in Celesta and Port Aureus in Beatica.

Of the three, Aurea is the most mountainous island. The coastline is relatively flat, but the inland rather hilly. The hill-country later gives room to suddenly raising cliffs and snow-capped peaks of ancient volcanoes that have laid dormant for millennia.

All three islands are known for their gently rolling meadows, deep forests -- especially in the hill-country -- frothy rapids and hospitable shoreline. Many sheltered bays and lagoons have provided safe havens for seafaring ships since the earliest colonists arrived from mainland.

A great many acre of the main islands is reserved to various forms of agriculture, but there's still pristine wilderness left. Numerous nature preserves are a lasting testament to the Aureans' nature-loving culture.

The other islands of the archipelago include both rocky islets and forest-covered lush regions. They are dotted with smaller settlements.

The Outremer Provinces

From the 15th century onwards, Pax Aurea began to establish trade posts, missionary stations, and other colonies on many islands along the African West Coast and in the New World. The Caribbean island colonies but also the African settlements became commonly known as the Outremer Colonies. Today there are more federal provinces among the old Outremer Colonies than there are on the main islands.

In south, near the African coast, more than 40 small islands have been colonized by the Aureans. Of these, the undisputably most important one is the aptly-named Provincia Africa with its flourishing trade metropolis Port Africa.

Some of the African islands are barren and dry, while some have verdant, deep jungles or sub-tropical forests. One of them, Teranica, is famous for its swamplands and marshy forests.

The first island the Aureans set their feet on when the explorers arrived to the New World was an uninhabited tropical paradise, swiftly named Colonia Nova. A city bearing the same name was soon established. Other notable islands in the Caribbean Sea include Celesta Nova near the coast of the Dominican Republic, its city Celestica being the largest Aurean metropolis outside the Aurean isles (with 6.2 million residents in 2010).

Most of the Caribbean provinces are covered with rainforests and bathe in the warmth of the near-equatorial sunlight. One of them, Vulcaria, has an active but not very violent volcano; its slopes are covered with fertile ash, making the island one of the most important farming community of the Commonwealth.

On many of these tropical islands, extremely rare species of birds, insects, reptiles, amphibians, and flowers exist. Nearly all of the rainforests have been declared nature preservations.