by Max Barry

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The Socialist Federate Republic of
Scandinavian Liberal Paradise

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Introduction to Savojar Geography and Regions (WIP; Map coming later)

Note regarding names: Geographic names of real-life countries (ex. "Russia/Russian") do not refer to the real life versions, but to the corresponding Savojar culture/ethnicity. In Savojarna, "Russians" are an ethnicity living on the mainland next to the Savojar Archipelago, and their language is about the same - but not exactly the same, because I don't speak actual Russian - as earthly Russian. They are not connected with real life Russia (which does not exist for Savojarna) in any way except by coincidentally sharing language, which is originally theirs in the Savojar universe. Similarly, "Finnish" is a term to define the culture and ethnicity of Sumanen, not connected with the earthly nation of Finland.

Savojarna consists of three main islands, named Ejana, Vestrholm and Sumanen; a mainland part just referred to as "mainland" (even though its official name is Russica Savojar); and 1400 minor islands, of which 560 are permanently inhabited. Some of the bigger islands are important local centres, but none of them live quite up to the main islands in importance and population. Savojar's main areas are all somewhat distinct from each other:

The biggest island, Vestrholm, is hilly. Its main income sources used to be agriculture (mainly sheep herding) but nowadays it is mostly high-tech industry and mining in the North. In the southeast of Vestrholm lays the capital, Sjoedrhavn. Located in a natural port, it has never been conquered by any power but been the starting point of many glorious conquests and raids. Nowadays, it is mainly used for trading though. Other population centers are Jarnstad, a mining town in the North of Vestrholm whose owners used to be the wealthiest and most powerful men of the country since they controlled the weapons supply for the rest of Savojarna, and the tech center of Thorsborg. This used to be a strongly fortified place at a strategic place overseeing the road between the other main towns, but got transformed into an industrial center in the early 20th century due to its high potential for water power.

Ejana is the most Northern island, a rocky, mountainous place with rich iron, silver, coal and oil supplies. There is very little agriculture in Ejana, most of which is frozen, except a little sheep and goat herding. Traditionally, the Ejanians were more traders than warriors, mainly because of the high resistance they faced in the other Savojar places and the longer distance to the mainland compared with Vestrholm or Sumanen. It mainly consists of small mining towns, all connected to the trade center of Storevik. This used to be the largest port city of Savojarna for a long time, until the land industrialized. Storevik still is the fourth-biggest city of the nation. Like all of Ejana, it is considered a relatively poor worker's region, with people fighting for their lifes daily. In the Northern mountains, one can find one of three Savojar dragon species, the Common Snow Dragon (Draco savoiar minor). The Great White Dragon can be find in Ejana as well, but has mostly shied away from the growing industry.

In Sumanen the predominant geographical features are its vast forests. They are full of berries and, to the north, animals and some of the more mythical creatures of Savojarna. There is a forest tribe (Savojar refer to them as elves, but they don't identify as such themselves and refuse contact with humans) living in the northernmost tip of Sumanen, while the Savojar Forest Dragon (Draco silvanus) is to be found in a few reservations. This smallest dragon species has a few unique adjustments to living in a flammable area and is highly endangered. Southern Sumanen is another economic force, with big amounts of timber being sold to the rest of Savojarna as well as the mainland areas. Sumanen's capital is unique by being the only regional capital that is not a port city. Instead, the center of the timber industry, Virkaja, became a massive city practically in the middle of the forest. The other main city of the island is Hovikkära, the historical capital of the Finnish people inhabiting Sumanen, but destroyed in the 16th century when the empire of Savojarna formed and Sumanen was added to it.

Russica or Mainland Savojarna is an ethnically distinct region that was mostly at the receiving end of Savojar aggression. Nevertheless, it is highly significant both culturally and economically. Culturally the mainland was the place that gave the country its name. Based on the word for "conqueror" in the Russian dialect of the Mainlanders that they used for the Savojar people, the word "savojar" formed in the language of these Northern conquerors. They adapted the word for themselves because they took a lot of pride in their warrior qualities. Savojarna roughly translates to "land of the Savojar" and originally only applied to the mainland possessions, but expanded as a pars pro toto around the 15th century when the Second Empire formed. Economically, Russica provides most of agricultural land to Savojarna. Food supply almost entirely depends on the Mainland, due to the not very beneficial nature of the islands. Therefore, there are few bigger towns in Russica, given its dependent status since the 15th century. The biggest city is the ethnically diverse port city of Pawlograd, together with the religious centre of St. Andrei. Russica is the only part of Savojarna which is mainly Christian, giving it another important difference from the rest.

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