The Sawneeak Atoll
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The Sawneeak Atoll, is a disputed group of islands, islets and cays with more than 50 reefs off the coast of The Confederation of Razzgriz in the Southern Sea of the Western Isles. The Sawneeak Atoll islands do not share any land borders with any nation, but they do share unofficial maritime borders between international claims and is, with the exception of the territorial waters of the other claimants, entirely within the Exclusive Economic Zone of Razzgriz. Home to a civilian population of 8,520, the islands are home to some of the smallest dependencies in the Western Isles.
The atoll does host a very small indigenous population named the 'Sawneeakers', who are supposedly an Ipachi group with close links to the population of southern Razzgriz, but most of the present population comes from immigration. The atoll also offers rich fishing grounds and provides a strategic location for trade along the Kavju and Nova Seas, and as such, are important to the claimants in their attempts to establish defined international boundaries. Natural resources include fish, guano, natural gas, and sand. Economic activity has included commercial fishing, shipping, guano mining, sand mining, and more recently, tourism.
Most of the major islands of the Atoll contain civilian settlements under the claimants' administrations such as Dura, Port Mario, New Bordeaux. However, as the islands are hotly contested, all of the occupied territories contain some form of military installations from full joint bases to platforms.
Before settlement and discovery of Sawneeak Atoll by foreign powers, the indigenous Sawneeakers populated the islands. Proto-Gaelitic tribes from the migratory period settled in the islands of the Atoll, forming their own culture and way of life away from the rest of Gael. The islands remained in this manner through the centuries, using the trading routes from the Khas-Kirat Empire and other powers to exploit them and flourish.
The Atoll were mostly very decentralized, with tribes often fiercely protecting islands from the others. However, from 129 BC to 419 AD, the islands were unified under a Kingdom. The Kingdom of the Islands flourished for some while, making use of trading routes and the natural resources the islands had until the disaster of 419 AD. A, what is now known as Category 5 hurricane on the Saffir–Simpson scale caused horrendous damage to the Atoll's islands, destroying much of the civilization on the islands. The mass migration of refugees and deaths caused the islands' population to plummet, leaving only a few who survived.
Athara Magarati History
Dura Island was historically inhabited by the native Sawneeaker peoples. The Sawneeak Atoll had been known to the Khas-Kirat Empire since late 10th Century when they launched the invasions of Samudera and Linaviar, but they considered the Atoll to be of no value as compared to the riches offered by the former lands.
In 1728, the Magarati Colonial Realms frigate Dura Falls was returning from Turvin Gadhi (modern-day Turvin, Thuzbekistan) to Liba Hang (modern-day New Libang, Athara Magarat). The ship was forced to beach what would eventually be known as Dura Island due to a fierce storm. The crew and the passengers mostly belonged to the Tamu tribes of the Khas-Kirats. After encountering the native Sawneeakers and a few conflicts, Captain Thaman Tandrange led a group of his men to venture to the nearby uninhabited island; which would eventually be called Tandran after him. Those who stayed in Dura Island eventually mixed with the native Sawneeakers to give rise to the new Dura tribe.
The Pelican Islands were purchased from the Masurbian government in 2005 in an effort to expand the Vancouvian military presence throughout the region. Formerly uninhabited, the small Pelican islands had little vegetation nor resources, but there was enough room to pave a small airstrip for use by the Vancouvian military and its allies. In 2008, the Vancouvian Congress, noting the complicated political situation on the islands, announced their claim on almost the entire inner sea, despite neither the military presence nor legal documentation to back up the move.
The Atoll was discovered by proxy by Stiuraian merchantmen working in modern-day Manning, Ainslie, who had heard of material wealth from Noronnican merchants also operating in the area. In the 1780s, the Stiuraian Government launched three expeditions to verify the location of the atoll and establish a settlement there to assert Stiuraian control. The first two expeditions, both led by Werner Garnet were a resounding success, with his team mapping out the atoll in its entirety and establishing Stiuraian presence on two islands a considerable distance from the already established Noronnican and Magarati settlements.
The third and final expedition, meant to send in colonists, was postponed in response to the outbreak of the Dormillian Revolution, which also marked the temporary end of Dormill-Stiuraian affairs in the area.
Nearly a century later, after the United Republics gained control over western Samudera and established the Banda Territory, decided to press the Stiuraian claims and expand them into the preexisting Territory of Sanggar-Kepanie (modern-day Negarakita) alongside the remainder of the archipelago. The Republic of Dormill would prove to be the most significant source of immigrants to the territory, promoting the establishment of the cities of New Rotterdam and New Bourdeaux, of which the former is the largest settlement of the current territory.
After the Imperial War, the territory was surrendered to the Free Powers as part of the Vellemoz Accords, becoming the other half of the Sawneeak Atoll Mandate for the time afterwards. When Noronica collapsed into civil war, the former Doraltic territory declared independence as the Republic of Sawneeak Atoll, and successfully operated as an independent nation throughout the rest of the Noronnican Civil War.
When the United Republics was reformed in 1995, the Republic of Sawneeak Atoll had briefly considered rejoining the United Republics, but their advances were denied by Congress, uninterested in attracting the ire of Noronica so soon after independence. However, by 2002, the economy of the Republic was collapsing as a result of a region-wide economic slowdown that came after the Baetulys Impact and the prospects of foreign annexation were growing more prominent as more nations began to enforce their claims to the Atoll to gain access to the natural wealth that remained untapped. In a final attempt, the Republic offered the United Republics annexation in exchange for debt forgiveness and financial aid. After further negotiations, the United Republics accepted the offer, and officially annexed the Republic of Sawneeak Atoll in late 2002, establishing a territorial government under Lowell Vergoossen in 2003, who still rules to this day.
San Montagnan History
The Islands were first discovered by San Montagnan Merchants on their way back to San Montagna in 1843, the first expedition to the island was sent in 1847 led by Mario Bonucci, who declared that the islands were, "Perfect for perhaps a small Fishing village, but not much else." Despite this observation by Bonucci, the San Montagnan government decided to claim the island, and in 1851 the first San Montagnan Settlers landed on Mario Island, founding Porto Mario (Port Mario) which is currently the largest settlement on the island, as a fishing village.
The Island remained unimportant in the grand scheme of things until 1912, when a large phosphate deposit was discovered on the island, and many San Montagnans migrated to work in the new phosphate mines, causing the island's population to double to 2,000. The island's economy grew immensely during this time due to phosphate mining. But the economical growth could not last forever, and in 2015, the Phosphate reserves were depleted. The lack of employment caused by this drew many Sawneakers to migrate to San Montagna. Those that remained, however, were faced with a crashing economy and the islands were eventually turned into a magnet for beach-goers and casino-dwellers, but the island's economy has not yet fully recovered.
Townsider Military Inventory:
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Sawneeak-atol | Atoll de Sawneeak
The Territory of Sawneeak Atoll (Grondgebied van Sawneeak-atol) (Territoire de l'Atoll de Sawneeak) is a Doraltic federal territory, where executive authority is practiced by Governor Lowell Vergoossen on the behalf of the United Republics Congress. Most administrative functions of the territory are handled by the Governor's office though some functions are handled through the Ministry of the Administration. The Cities of New Bordeaux and New Rotterdam are administered by weak mayor-council governments which are separate from the primary administration, but subordinate regardless. The primary civilian government consists of a bicameral legislature, the Council of State and Territorial Assembly, both of which are elected positions on terms of 2 years while the Governor is also directly elected.
Compared to the United Republics, Sawneeak Atoll is economically underdeveloped, lacking several significant economic factors present in the rest of the nation, most especially in terms of diversification into the tertiary sector and infrastructure developments. However, development projects are underway to finish the construction of an underground metro system in New Bordeaux and expansion of New Rotterdam’s air and sea ports.
The economy of Doraltic Sawneeak is mainly driven by fishing, with mining close behind. Due to the tense political nature in the area, Congress has restricted travel to the territory to employees of businesses on the islands, politicians, and military deployments since 2016. Since then, as a result of the collapse of the territory’s tourist sector, there have been calls to loosen the restriction or grant the territory further self-rule powers.
The United Republics Defense Force is primarily responsible for the protection of the territory of Sawneeak Atoll, providing it with the necessary material to create two company-sized Citizen's Guards Formations, enough to arm approximately 200 soldiers. As of 2021, there are three military installations present within the Territory, Joint Operations Base (JB) Sawneeak in New Rotterdam, Defense Installation North, and Defense Installation West. The defense of the island is reinforced by the United Republics Naval force Permanent Naval Group Sawneeak and three companies of 2nd Marine Regiment of the United Republics Marines, this is in addition to the presence of 27th and 163rd Squadrons of the United Republics Air Force.
Doraltic Military Inventory:
3 x Marine Companies (288)
2 x Gael-class Frigates (rotation)
12x F/A 7 Gargoyle
The Vancouvian National Army maintains approximately 40 personnel on the southern Pelican island, mostly for the maintenance and refueling of aircraft that utilize the island. Although somewhat adequately provisioned, the soldiers frequently travel by boat to other parts of the atoll for meals and recreation (preferring the nearby Masurbian territory), and are usually amiable to the other nations that reside there.
Although there is no permanent military presence, a small airstrip and dock allow access from light aircraft, patrol boats, and an occasional helicopter or drone. There are typically no more than a half-dozen aircraft on the island. Several outbuildings serve as storehouses for ammunition, fuel, and supplies. The soldiers themselves live in a traditional "longhouse" style barracks.
Politically, the island is a part of Vancouvia proper. It is de facto governed by the highest ranking military officer on the islands, usually a Captain. No civilians are permanently on the island although the government has allowed reporters or nature photographers to visit with special permission.
Vancouvian Military Inventory:
1 x Infantry & Maintenance Garrison (40)
The Mario Islands are an overseas territory of San Montagna with a population of 3 203, Mario Islanders are unable in San Montagnan General Elections and instead vote for the Governor, currently Giovanni Scaramozino, who has executive power over the overseas territory. The Government is located in Porto Mario, the largest settlement in the island.
Mario Island has no major industries and as such has virtually zero exports, the island exports nearly everything, from produce to consumer goods. The economy is reliant almost exclusively on tourism. The Island is classified as underdeveloped.
As San Montagna is responsible for the defense of the Island, there is currently one military installation on the Island, situated near Porto Alberto, it holds 2 garrisons of San Montagnan military personnel at any given time.
San Montagnan Military Inventory:
2 x Infantry Garrisons (100)
The Sawneeak Atoll is a group of islands, islets, banks, reefs and shoals in the Southern Sea. It has over twenty-five major islands which form a circular shape around the center of the area. The Sawneeak Atoll is close to other island nations and Southern Gael, yet its islands have no land or maritime borders outside of claimed disputes within the Atoll.
The Sawneeak Atoll hosts a vast amount of coral reefs, making them the predominant maritime structures in the Atoll. However, with military installations and artificial islands being created by claimants in the Atoll, the reefs and their wildlife are being threatened. Many environmentalist groups and nations such as Roendavar argue that the Sawneeak Atoll should not play host to human interactions, instead, the islands should be maintained and funded by Non-Governmental Organizations or the League of Western Isles as a stateless entity. Many of claimants have politicized this argument, often blaming other claimants for the 'reckless environmental abuse of the Atoll'.
The Sawneeak Atoll has a humid subtropical climate (Köppen Cfa). The summers are usually hot, averaging around 35 °C. Tourists are usually surprised to find that the islands experience quite cool winters, with temperatures dropping to an average of about 19 °C. Despite this, temperatures rarely drop further, meaning that the islands have never experienced any frost, ice or snow.
The Sawneeak Atoll is also home to vast and diverse wildlife. Birds are the most populous in the islands, with over 22 species of bird, the most famous being the Sawneeak Quail. According to the Athara Magarati government's list of Athara Magarati Fauna, "The Sawneeak Quail (Callipepla Meridionali) is a small ground-dwelling bird native to the Sawneeak Atoll. These birds have a curving crest or plume, made of six feathers, that droops forward: black in males and brown in females; the flanks are brown with white streaks. Males have a dark brown cap and a black face with a brown back, a grey-blue chest and a light brown belly. Females and immature birds are mainly grey-brown with a light-colored belly. It was introduced to Kaski island by Magarati Colonial Realms botanist and zoologist Shyam Jirel. The Sawneeak quail is a highly sociable bird that often gathers in small flocks known as "coveys"."
There is also a diverse marine presence in the Sawneeak Atoll as many dolphins, orcas, other whales species and some shark species populate the Atoll's waters. The coral reefs host several plant species also, as found out by the many scientists that are granted access to study the naturally-formed reefs.