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The Democratic Republic of Arván (Alteran: Democratic Republic of Arván) (French: République Democratique de Arván) more commonly known as Arván, is a semi-presidential republic in the continent of Gael in the Western Isles. The geography of the mainland is dominated by the peninsula for which the nation is named and the nearby island of Mer, featuring the distinct Mont Blanche d’Aigle visible from every corner of the nation. It is situated directly north of The United Republics of Dormill and Stiura and shares both land and sea borders with its southern neighbor. At 2,719 square kilometers, it is shockingly small in comparison to its neighbor but carries a measure of outsized influence over Doraltic affairs few other parity powers have managed throughout history. The Democratic Republic is additionally home to over half a million citizens, making it the smallest sovereign state in Gael. Rule of Arván is centered around its largest and oldest city, St. Recont as the nation is run as a pure unitary state with the only noticeable local divisions of power being focused on distinguishing cities from rural areas.
Proto-Gaeltic migrants arrived from the north approximately 4500 - 3000 B.C.E., briefly predating settlement of the Doraltic north coast. Though an initial Gaeltic culture developed around Arván, the low population of settlements across the peninsula made them easy pickings for larger civilizations, most especially the Khas-Kirats.
Following subsequent colonial rule by the French and Alterans, Arván finally achieved self-rule in 1949 as the embers of the First Imperial War faded out. This initial era of self-rule, however, was not truly democratic by any stretch, as the French nobility that had escaped the Dormillian revolution had now become so entrenched as to entirely supplant the former ruling classes, and have even challenged the Alteran colonizers for rule over Arván, defining its politics for the remainder of the 20th and going into the 21st century, when the system was finally broken by former President Raul Sartin. After a long struggle to rebuild, Arván is now poised to be a true democracy and a beacon for north Gael to follow.
Arván is considered a minor power in the affairs of the Western Isles, only truly capable of asserting its dominion within its borders with limited military assets and economic clout. Within Gael, Arván is considered to be within the sphere of influence of Dormill and Stiura, its largest trading partner and the key guarantor of its national defense. However, its wider relationship with the Alteran Commonwealth has also meant a degree of Alteran influence in Arvannan affairs, a point of tension between the Alteran Republics and the Doraltic Republics ever since Alteran colonization.
In addition to the League, Arván remains committed primarily to creating and maintaining strong bilateral relationships across the Isles and balancing the interests of its two major partners, as of 2021 the Arvannan government has considered seeking membership in the Gael Four.
The etymological roots of the name "Arván" remain a mystery to historians across the Western Isles, with multiple theories ranging from a French retronym to a word in a language unique to the region have been suggested. The first instance of the name Arván being used to describe both the peninsula and its people dates back to 17th-century records in Chery, suggesting that the French were the first to use this name in particular.
The common way to refer to citizens of Arván is as Arvannan, though other foreign retronyms remain applicable in certain circumstances. Unlike in neighboring Dormill and Stiura, "Republican" is considered improper by the Arvannan public given its association to the more "radical" form of republicanism Dormill and Stiura practices as opposed to the system Arván had adopted.
For most of human history, Arván slowly developed, adopting agriculture in the early years of the Common Era and establishing the first vestiges of St. Recont in the 200s, through which the Arvannan Civilization would remain centered. The following millennium saw limited growth or development of Arván, even during Corinthusi rule as the importance of Arván's position on the Argean Sea was overlooked for possessions in Ardeda, fortunately (or unfortunately depending on the person), this importance was eventually recognized by the Divine Corinthusi Empire by the turn of the 13th century.
Seeking to expand its influence in Argus and seek out new populations to enslave as part of the wider North Argus Slave Trade, the Divine Corinthusi Empire, through the newly formed Sunuwar Hangate, conquered Arván and significant portions of the Doraltic north coast throughout the 1220s, with the Sunuwar permanently establishing themselves as colonizers in Arván around the same time. From that point forward, Arván would be considered a part of the wider Khas-Kiriat realm, much to the chagrin of what remained of the Gaeltic Arvannan population, who would be almost entirely wiped out from Arván in the following centuries.
Royal French Colony of Arván
Five hundred years later, yet another colonizer set their sights on Arván as the French, seeking to create a new metropolitan authority in the Western Isles to assert dominion over the French people that have settled across Gael and Argus, conquered the Sunuwar Hangate in Arván and officially established the City of St. Isabelle on the site of the former Sunuwar capital (which would eventually become St. Recont). The French noble class throughout it the age of European colonialism in Arván frequently visited the peninsula thanks to its lower population density and general underdeveloped nature of the region, eventually leading to a mixing of the Sunuwar population with French settlers, who also created the settlements of Alimenter, Alban, and Rippen.
Rule of the French Kingdom would cease in the 1790s, as the people of Dormill rose up in a republican revolution inspired by the ongoing revolution in metropolitan France, with much of the French nobility spread across Dormill retreating to Arván under the protection of Duke Mathieu Sauvageot d'Recont, who successfully repelled four attacks by the Dormillian Revolutionary Army before 1794, when his distant relative Duke Porcher Desjardins surrendered to Dormill-Stiuraian forces in Cour Rouge. Alone, isolated, and certainly fearing conquest, Duke de Recont called on several nations to aid him.
Principality of Arván
When no Doraltic invasion materialized, Duke de Recont refocused his efforts into the administration of this new land, eventually declaring himself Prince of Arván, which was subsequently confirmed by the Church a few years following. He would rule Arván in a similar manner as he had in the past, focusing mostly on enriching himself and the first estate. Attentive of the root causes of both the French and Dormillian revolutions, he did, however, direct some attention to improving the lives of the third estate and the Sunuwar peasantry below them in order to appease any concerns of yet another revolution. These efforts were focused on programs to teach the French language, give these citizens basic arithmetic skills, and a respect for French culture and the hierarchy of society; in addition to these schooling efforts, de Recont also sanctioned the creation of a democratic assembly for the third estate that would produce advice and laws that the court would then debate and implement. This Chamber of Deputies, as it would be named, was the first democratic institution in Arvannan history, which the public of the third estate quickly attached themselves to.
Arvannan independence was not meant to last, however, as the Alteran Republics, one of the nations that did respond to de Recont's earlier calls for aid, responded by sending a naval and marine force to Arván for the protection of the nation against the young Doraltic nation. While welcomed at first, this naval force was soon followed by a small fleet of Alteran settlers, one of the largest the region had seen up to that point. From 1800 to 1804, a tense situation emerged where it became increasingly clear that Altera was subtly attempting to subvert the rule of de Recont and the French nobility in Arván. These tensions only escalated as Dormill and Stiura, weary of the Alteran presence as well, reactivated the United Republics Army in 1805 after it had disbanded the professional, federal force shortly after victory in the revolution. In 1808, the National Congress of Dormill and Stiura declared war on both the Alteran Republics and the Principality of Arván after cross-border fighting resulted in the death of a dozen Dormillian militiamen. For the following years until 1812, the Alterans and Dormill-Stiuraians fought over Arván, trading control of the peninsula several times over before ultimately, weary of an extended war of attrition, the National Congress sued for peace, settling on status quo ante bellum with some minor war reparations paid to Altera and Arván in turn.
Now with a massive Alteran army spread across the peninsula, Prince d'Recont had no choice but to concede power to the Alteran Republics as a protectorate. From 1812 onwards, Arván would slowly integrate into the wider Alteran community, both as the French population got used to Alteran rule and as more Alterans immigrated to the territory. In 1828, the Chamber of Deputies attempted to pass legislation to adopt the Alteran Meritocracy Act as Arvannan law, a move that was deeply unpopular within the Recont Court as it would have enabled increased social mobility and threatened increased taxes on the ruling estate. However, with Prince d'Recont's death in 1830 and the ascension of his son James Guarder Sauvageot d'Recont as Prince, the Meritocracy Act was modified with choice exceptions and exemptions for the noble class, most especially in the creation of a third status; Statesmen.
Under the Arvannan Meritocracy Act, citizenship still confers most political rights granted under the Alteran system, but it explicitly excludes two key social rights held by the nobility; estate inheritance and membership of the court of d'Recont. Subsequently, all land in Arván could no longer be passed down generations except by those of the Statesmen, who were explicitly selected by the Prince from a lottery of landholders who held 350 square kilometers or more of land or the equivalent valuation of smaller land (such as certain buildings in St. Isabelle). As the new system grew more established, the ruling nobility grew increasingly powerful, now being the only class of people able to pass down land through generations they were enabled to buy out nearly all the rest of privately owned land in Arván.
This system would see its first test in 1869, as political tensions within Dormill and Stiura, caused mostly by a fight between conservatives and progressives at the national level, spilled over into Arván. The public, having been reduced to little more than serfs by this point, began protesting the Arvannan government to institute reforms to open up the political system further and introduce a real meritocracy as the Alterans have envisioned. Obviously resistant to these efforts, the d'Recont Court suppressed these protests, but when suppression by normal means seemed to not have the desired effects, the Royal Army was called to crack down on the protests. On 1 July 1869, fearful of the oncoming Bastille Day, Prince Guarder d'Recont declared a lockdown of St. Isabelle and ordered the military to apprehend or drive out all protestors from the city by the end of that week; he also, however, secretly ordered the Army commander in the city, Léandre Devereux, to execute all protestors that were apprehended by the army. The order barely began to go down the chain of command before the rank and file of the Army, most of whom were also exhausted of being used as toys by the state, mutinied against their commanders, and passed out arms to the citizens and civilians of the city.
Now with an open revolt on their hands, Prince Guarder d'Recont called on the Alterans once again for support, only to get an ultimatum back from Greyhelm; "Abdicate or be deposed". Left with no options, Prince Guarder abdicated the throne on 13 July to the Alteran-born Chief Deputy Frederick Banister, who declined to take the title of Prince, instead opting to be referred to as Prefect of Arván, though he carried all the powers of the Crown and subsequently the powers of Chief Deputy, thus beginning the Prefectorial Era of Arvannan history.
Under Prefect Banister, the Camber of Deputies reformed into the National Council, and the Meritocracy Act was reformed into the Arvannan Bill of Rights, the first constitution of the nation. Though noble titles were not delegitimized, the status of Statesman was revoked and most property bought by nobles from families that were restricted from passing it down to living heirs were seized and redistributed to their rightful owners, restoring the middle class of Arván in one swift stroke. While many nobles protested this decision, none at this point had the power to challenge the Prefect or the Alterans, who had stepped up military measures in Arván to quell any remaining protests against Arván's government. The decision to give power back to the general public was praised among local international partners, with even the Conservative Doraltic President, Gael Grosse, visiting Prefect Banister and Arván in the first state visit between the two nations.
Although relations between Arván and the United Republics improved under Prefect Banister and his successor, Prefect Jean-Luc Wembley, especially during the time of Nicholas Favre's government, the ever-present tension between the two states never truly dissipated. When the War of the Triumvirate broke out in 1913, Arván was used as a staging post for the United Republics to move troops from eastern Gael to Argus in support of the Roendavarian and Alteran war efforts, which while stimulating the local economy, came with consequences as Doraltic troops generally made a ruckus in St. Isabelle and Recont City. Things would not improve throughout the remainder of the early 20th century as the impacts of the War of the Triumvirate and the Tsunter War of Independence rippled across the Western Isles, driving Arván into a deep economic depression.
When Ludvoic Denis seized power in Dormill and Stiura, Arván was again a way-station for Dormill-Stiuraian movement, but this time of civilians escaping the fascist regime instead of troops destined for war. To the good fortune of the Arvannan government, Denis did not immediately turn his attention to St. Recont once he had declared victory in the Doraltic Civil War, instead he remained focused on capturing Merv De Vires, who had escaped to Roendavar. This was only a brief respite, however, as the United Republics would declare war on Arván (and subsequently Altera) in 1941, citing the nature of the Rickemonde Accords behooved Altera to relinquish its colonial holdings (though Dormill and Stiura itself was never a party to the Accords). Arván this time was swiftly conquered by Dormill and Stiura within a month, followed by several years of brutal occupation and reprisals against the Alteran population and elevation of the French population into positions of authority. This was in addition to a major resettlement effort where Alban, Rippen, and Alimenter all had their non-European populations expelled either to be resettled in camps on the Doraltic side of the border or to ghettos in St. Recont, forced into slave labor at the city's several factories.
Arván would be liberated by the Free Powers in mid-1946, shortly after the invasion of the Doraltic north coast began in earnest, after which the Alteran Republics resumed protection of the nation alongside leading the occupation efforts of Dormill until 1950.
The scars of the Imperial War shaped a new national identity for Arván, no longer dominated by ethnic divides between Europeans and Islanders but united in shared pain and longing for recognition of their nationhood. This new Arvannan Nationalism soon came to dominate the nation's politics throughout the late 20th century, punctuated by calls for an end to protection from Altera and recognition as a truly independent and sovereign nation. Due in part to the strategic importance of Arván to containing Doraltic ambitions, the Alteran Republics for a time refused to seriously consider Arvannan independence and continued to station significant military forces across the nation (and especially Isle Mer) both to defend Arván and keep an eye on Dormill as it competed for influence during the Division Era. The calls for independence did not stop, however, and the people of Arván continued to protest the government to finally remove Altera from the nation.
After a period of violent protests broke out in St. Recont in 1988, the Alteran government began cracking down on the Arvannan independence movement, now believing it to be a terrorist plot by Altera's enemies to undermine its position in Gael. Motivated by the escalation, the Arvannan Defense Forces rose up against their Alteran counterparts and Prefect Raoul Sartin declared independence from Altera, beginning the Arvannan War of Independence. From 1988 to 1993, Arván would fight a variable intensity war against Altera for the right to be truly independent, though the worst of the fighting ended in 1990 with the retreat of the last major Alteran ground element from the region. For Altera's part, its citizens questioned the reason why their nation even began the war as the importance of keeping Dormill in check while it was in the middle of reunification with the other Doraltic states seemed preposterous, and subsequently, support for the war died quickly in Altera. Regardless of the lack of public support, the Alteran Republics continued military operations in Arván through late 1992, mostly in the form of air and naval strikes against Arván's military. It was only with the intervention of the newly created Multinational Response Force, led by Lieutenant General Modeste Monet of Ardeda and consisting of units from across Doraltia, that Altera officially relented and entered into negotiations regarding Arvannan independence. Ultimately, though Arván did agree to allow the Alterans to maintain a defensive presence through sovereign land on Mer, the Arvannan state was to be granted every right and duty afforded to independent nations, which Raoul Sartin swiftly used to declare the Arvannan Republic on 10 June 1993.
Now the President of an independent Republic, Sartin centralized even more powers around him and the newly formed Office of President, which in addition to the powers already granted to him from the transition from Prefect, now also included chairing the board of Arván's state-owned enterprises and receiving dividends from shares in said enterprises, enriching himself off the backs of state labor. However, given he was still considered by many to be the hero of the Independence War and the now deeply meritocratic society viewed his actions as part of his contributions to the state, public objections to his authoritarian tendencies were limited within Arván but grew internationally.
Second Imperial War and the Arvannan Crisis
Sartin would continue to rule unopposed until the start of the Second Imperial War, as the Arvannan government subsequently invested heavily into the welfare state concept, guaranteeing healthcare access to all civilians and citizens at the turn of the century, and subsequently improving access to education and protecting Arvannan jobs through the expansion and diversification of national industries. When the Second Imperial War broke out in mid-2015, Arván had additionally become a lynchpin in the Isles' petroleum market being home to one of the largest offshore oil deposits in the Argean Sea and taking advantage of its close relationship with Dormill and Stiura, which had invested heavily into refining and manufacture of petroleum products, to reap the benefits of an oil-driven economy. Isles-wide oil demand maximized by the turn of 2016 as the warring powers and other regional powers attempted to secure the oil necessary to survive the conflict, raising prices to a recording-breaking high. However, when Charbagnia was invaded by Aprosian forces that summer, its most productive offshore fields were destroyed resulting in a massive loss of region-wide supply. This loss of supply and the worsening condition of the war led to a sharp decline in demand, throwing the ascendant economies that were previously riding the high prices into a panic.
This panic was exacerbated in Arván as the Sartin government refused to take steps to save what extra revenue it had to whether the inevitable recession, instead it focused on maintaining the prosperity generated by other means, ending with a massive stimulus campaign and the printing of over half the national currency supply in the matter of three months in from July to October 2016. Combined with a fall in national productivity and a worsening energy crisis, the Arvannan economy went into a death spiral that September, which was temporarily relieved by aid given from the United Republics, with President Dyson heavily encouraging the Arvannan government to switch policy and reduce spending, which the public in Arván viewed as a demand to begin austerity measures. In a series of protests, the Sartin government eventually resolved to refuse all but the most essential aid offered by Dormill and Stiura, focusing instead on trying to take aid from the Alteran Republics and RTEA at large.
Cutting itself off from Dormill and Stiura proved to do more damage than expected, especially as the Doraltic government responded to the perceived slight of taking increased Alteran aid by heavily reducing the amount of energy it was selling to Arván, which at that point consisted of close to half of the small nation’s capacity. This further worsened the energy crisis, with localized, scheduled outages becoming common throughout October and November, prompting protests from the public again to reverse course. President Sartin cast the new wave of protests as foreign agitation from Dormill and Stiura and responded accordingly with an increase of the police presence within St. Recont, Rippen, and Alban. The increase of violence between protestors and police that followed only worsened tensions within the nation and across the border. At Mass on 16 December, the Archbishop of St. Recont called on the Arvannan people to continue standing up to the continued oppression dealt out by Sartin’s government, culminating in a call for a General Strike by the nation’s largest labor union that very evening.
Now with tensions at an all-time high, the Arvannan military was left on an increased alertness level, leading to the Air Force intercepting a Northeast Airlines flight that was bound for Greyhelm from Waalwijk. Thanks in large part to the Dispersed Air Defense system adopted from Ardeda and Stiura, the United Republics Air Force managed to counter-intercept the Arvannan jets and escort the Northeast flight safely through Arvannan airspace. Now incensed, President Sartin’s grip on the public fell further as he continued to rail on what he described as a Doraltic invasion of Arván. The General Strike began as planned on 17 December, to which Sartin attempted a response by calling on the military to institute martial law in St. Recont. On 19 December, the Vancouvian News Network (VNN) released a special report on Arván, detailing the increasingly authoritarian and kleptocratic nature of Sartin's government for all the Isles to see, including the revelation of government campaigns of ethnic cleansing against the Sunuwar people dating as far back as the Independence War.
Now internationally condemned and facing the worst days of an economic crisis that could break the nation, a large flight of Arvannan P.48 VG.1 Pigeons breached Doraltic airspace on 20 December and were intercepted by F-7 Gargoyles 20th and 32nd Squadrons of the United Republics Air Force. When ordered to withdraw to Arvannan airspace, one of the P.48s split off, came around, and fired its guns at the Doraltic squadrons, crippling one of the Gargoyles and beginning a dogfight with the remainder. It took the loss of another Doraltic Gargoyle and three P.48s before the Arvannan aircraft turned back towards Arvannan airspace but the damage was done and the United Republics Congress quickly returned to an emergency session to debate a response.
Meanwhile, the Dyson government quickly stepped in and opened diplomatic channels with both Arván and the League, hoping to resolve this in favor of the United Republics but without the continued bloodshed being suffered in the south. Unfortunately, the situation was worsened when President Sartin revealed on the afternoon of the 23rd that Athara Magrat, with backing from the Alteran Commonwealth, issued a five-point ultimatum to Arván for Sartin's government to stand aside for a new election, to apologize to United Republics and the Sunuwar people, and to refrain from further increases in its military for the following five years. During the public rally, Sartin tore the copy of the ultimatum he was handed and invoked his Presidential power to declare war on both.
On Christmas Day, Arvannan air and land forces attacked the Doraltic city of South Alban unprovoked, declaring after Mass that morning that the city was being used as a staging ground for enemy forces. Now additionally forced into the war, the United Republics Air Force swiftly responded in turn with bombings in Alban and St. Recont. It would be until 27 December when the League of the Western Isles passed Resolution 15 under the First Charter, creating the League Mission for Arván (LaMA), to cease hostilities and stabilize Arván so that negotiations regarding the situation can be conducted. While the United Republics temporarily withdrew its plans to counter-attack Arván, a coalition of military forces led by the Alteran Republics and Athara Magrat had already executed invasion plans when the Resolution was passed, with land forces invading the Arvannan north coast earlier in the morning. Though Roger Van Adrichem, the Doraltic Ambassador to the League, protested that this act of aggression was in contravention of the Resolution, a special measure was passed sanctioning the Alteran Commonwealth mission on the behalf of the League Peacekeeping Forces. Shortly thereafter, Vancouvia and Ostehaar joined the coalition and performed military operations in Arván, focused primarily on the capture of the Rippen Airfield, the second largest airport in Arvannan territory after Prince Mathieu Sauvageot Airport in St. Recont.
Collapse of the Sartin Regime
The situation for Sartin's regime only worsened at the turn of the new year, as Alteran forces invaded and captured the island of Mer from 8-10 January, the longest engagement of forces in the conflict throughout the war. The last of the Arvannan forces on the island would surrender on 14 January, setting the stage for a siege of St. Recont. Obviously fearful of the collapse of his state, President Sartin ordered for a military parade to be held in downtown St. Recont to celebrate the day of the first victory in the Arvannan War of Independence on 29 January. However, much to the surprise of the entire Western Isles, the parade was a rouse by parts of the military staff to initiate a coup, much in the same way as it had when it deposed Prince Guarder.
When the second march of the parade was intended to play, rather than the usual State March that the Sartin regime used before, the Army Band of Arván instead played a marching rendition of La Democracia, the Doraltic national anthem. When the first stanza was played following the fanfare, gunfire from the surrounding buildings in St. Recont erupted into the streets, slaughtering Sartin-loyal soldiers and decimating the few coup-backers in the crowd. Simultaneously to this attack, Prince Recont Airport was attacked by the coup and all flights were grounded when the ATC crew were killed at their stations.
President Sartin was escorted to a bunker underneath the d'Recont Court later that day, where reports indicate he was shot by a staffer, but he did not die of his wounds. However, his injuries left him bedridden in the palace when Alteran troops found him on 31 January in critical condition. He was rushed to South Alban Hospital where he would make a recovery by the end of February, at which point he agreed to the League-mediated ceasefire. On 1 March 2017, he made a written declaration dissolving the government of Arván as his last act as President, allowing for the League to establish the Transitional Government for the Stability of Arván with Alteran General Paric Callow initially placed in charge.
Transition to True Democracy
Now that the war was over and Sartin's regime was deposed, the question of a transition into a new state was posed to the Arvannan nation. For most of 2017, General Callow remained in Arván to lead the reconstruction efforts, handing over most of their troops to League command in an effort to maintain accountability. The League itself, in the meantime, was caught up in the matter of the Second Charter, which was drafted by multiple delegate members to respond to the organization's inefficient response to the outbreak of the Second Imperial War, and left the affair of Arván's reconstruction to the League Special Mission for Arvannan Reconstruction and its creation, the Transitional Government for the stability of Arván.
Most of the worst damage suffered during the war would be repaired throughout the summer of 2017 and the reintroduction of subject-matter experts in various fields, most especially architectural engineering, digital infrastructure, and law/security enforcement would form the backbone of a new independent Arvannan government. In August, former President Sartin had fully recovered from his injuries, allowing him to be brought before the newly formed International Court of Justice to stand trial for his crimes committed before and during the war. His trial was one of many on both sides of the conflict, which included testimony from Arvannan civilians all the way to high-ranking government officials from across the Isles that were involved in conspiracies surrounding Sartin and the war. Ultimately, Sartin would be found guilty of an assortment of crimes of war and against humanity and was sentenced to life imprisonment, for which he was delivered to Ile-de-Avillon Prison in Dormill and Stiura alongside other prominent members of his final government.
After Sartin was charged and imprisoned, the Transitional Government reached its first milestone in the effort to rebuild Arván with the joint reopening of Prince Recont Airport and the St. Recont Seaport, rebuilt and expanded for the modern age. In September, the Transitional Government reached the second milestone by holding the first public referendum on the status of Arván since taking power, a plebiscite for several southern towns and the city of Alban as to whether they wish to secede to the United Republics or remain with the Arvannan state, whatever form that took. In a decisive vote, 72% of the population in the territory, and close to 80% within Alban alone, voted to remain with Arván rather than join the United Republics; this move additionally resulted in the accession of the Chery Accords, a treaty signed following Arvannan independence that stipulated a public referendum be held to determine the territorial makeup of Arván. This provision was the legal basis for which the United Republics initially sought when amending the Doraltic Constitution to admit an Arvannan territory, though such a claim was never enforced once the League intervened and it was now rendered moot.
On New Year's Day 2018, the Transitional Government voted to retire General Paric Callow from the position of President, leaving an intentional vacancy to be filled by an election later down the line, in the meantime, it voted to appoint Timothy Wayne as Secretary-General, the next highest position following the Presidency and the agent in charge of the executive branch's bureaucratic appratus. It would also be during the early weeks of 2018 that the League approved of the creation (and set aside funds for) of a new independent Arvannan military. The National Defense Forces of Arván, as they would be called, started training its soldiers on surplus equipment left over from the war in February, though it was well known internationally that it would seek out new equipment to distinguish itself as a new force. Most of the major arms manufacturers across the Western Isles were considered, and the League provided plenty of equipment to test thanks in part to the League Peacekeeping Forces. Eventually, the National Defense Forces of Arván settled on adopting most of its equipment from Dormill and Stiura, judging that the proximity to the nation in addition to the quality of its equipment would be suitable for the new military. The decision was not without controversy, which came mostly in the form of observers disputing whether Alteran equipment should have been selected over Doraltic equipment. Regardless, orders were made with Eagle Industries, Giffardmeer, Kapolder Electric Works Aviation, and other major Doraltic defense contractors, to supply Arván with all the necessary equipment to outfit its military.
A New Arván
The remainder of 2018 and the majority of the following year was spent slowly, yet surely, redeveloping the political system of Arván, blending the meritocracy with elements of a proper democratic state, devolving certain powers to local authorities, and extending certain political rights to civilians, notably giving civilians the right to vote in local-level elections at a lower barrier to entry as opposed to national elections. Though older generations, civilian and citizen alike, opposed the idea of extending the right to vote at all, the decision was strongly supported by the nation's younger population who believed that civic participation for all did not produce apathetic or unpatriotic members of society.
In addition to the changes in political culture across generations, the new Arván also had to contend with a nationalistic and ethnic divide in the nation, manifested in French and Alteran Arvannans with their own political agendas within the wider framework of the nation. To encourage a shared sense of identity, the Transitional Government mandated that both Alteran and French would be used for government business, with the developing culture generally preferring French for matters of internal affairs, and Alteran for external affairs. The exception to this trend is in the matter of international relations, where French remains the dominant lingua franca for members of the developing Arvannan Diplomatic Service.
It would also be during 2018 that the final form of Arván's legislature would take shape, led by the Alteran-inspired State Council, it would be composed in one part of the government and its ministers, one part the leaders of Arván's towns and cities, and one part an elected group to represent the will of the average national citizen. The State Council would, as consequence, also form part of the executive of Arván and be responsible for executing and enforcing the laws of the nation. Its original (and current) composition includes Secretary-General Timothy Wayne, Director for the Political Transition Bartholomew Montague, Director for the Legal Transition Walter Leblanc, Director for the Formation of the Arvannan Defense Forces Nicole Addicks, Director for the Transitional Economy Everitt Post, Director for the Transitional Directorate for Culture, Technology, Education, and Information Julienne Faucheux, and Director for the Transitional Directorate for Foreign Affairs, Border Security, and Customs Matthieu Bernard. They are joined by the Mayor of Alban Godfried Waltz Vroomen, Mayor of St. Recont Fredric Waller, Mayor of Rippen Matthew Hawthorn, Mayor of Alimenter Steven Lapointe, and others.
In 2019, on the anniversary of the end of the war, the League Mission for Arván officially lapsed. While the Transitional Government was confident in their ability to complete their mission for when the League Special Mission for Arvannan Reconstruction, Director Addicks believed that the National Defense Forces would need at least another year to train on the new heavy equipment such as the Levesque. To address this gap in the defensive capabilities of Arván, the Transitional Government requested to the League to sanction a second Peacekeeping mission to Arván, which came in the form of the Mission for the Defense of Arván by the League, Alteran Republics, and United Republics (M-DALARUR), which was headed by the United Republics Army 1. Brigade in the South, AGDF forces in Mer, and the Dalarur Force in the North.
From 2019 through the turn of 2021, the M-DALARUR mission remained in Arván as a training and supervisory force to bring the ANDF up to snuff, culminating in a major combined arms wargame on Base Mer that simulated a hypothetical scenario of a Doraltic invasion. At the end of the two-week-long exercise, the ANDF was declared the winners for successfully holding off a combined air and sea invasion by the United Republics for long enough for an international response to be deployed. Though disappointed that the ANDF was unable to fully repulse the invasion, Director Nicole Addicks stated in a subsequent interview that "for all aspects considered, the ANDF performed beyond expectations on both sides and proved more than capable of defending the nation against threats well beyond anything it would actually face."
On 05 June 2021, after holding a general election in May, the Chamber of Deputies, led by the now Prime Minister Bartholomew Montague, voted to officially dissolve the Transitional Government for Arván. On the same day, the CoD voted to elect Timothy Wayne to the office of President of the Democratic Republic of Arván, definitively ending the transition from the Sartin regime to a new independent government.
The peninsula has very diverse landscapes, spanning from flatlands to mountains to expansive forests. The north of Arván is mostly flatland with densely populated towns and villages, including St. Recont was is situated in the northeast of the peninsula. Arván also has dense forests in the south, making settlement difficult but they harbor extensive wildlife. Arván's south is mostly known as the more dangerous part of the territory firstly due to border tensions and secondly due to the smaller villages being rife with crime. In the center of the peninsula lies Arván's mountainous region, with sizeable peaks populating the land dominated by the peak of Mt. Blanche d’Aigle.
The peninsula of Arván has a temperate maritime climate (Köppen Cfb). The Arvannan peninsula experiences arbitrary weather throughout the entirety of the year, maintaining distinct yet less noticeable seasons compared to other nations in Gael, most especially its southern neighbor. The highest recorded temperature for Arván was 31.2 °C in the center of the peninsula in 1983 and the lowest recorded temperature was -17.8 °C in St. Recont in 1999. Average temperatures are around 18.3°C in the summer, while winters average around 7.4 °C.
Arván is a unitary, semi-presidential republic built from the Model Government Program proposed by the League of the Western Isles following the collapse of Raoul Sartin's regime. Even under Sartin's regime, Arván has been governed under a multi-party system. In Arván, the Prime Minister is the Head of Government whereas the President is the Head of State. Both the President and Prime Minister hold and can exercise various executive powers to check and balance the other, most notably is the Prime Minister's ability to, on assent from either the Arvannan Parliament or a popular referendum, depose the President and call for a new Presidential election.
Since 1993, Arvannan party politics have been dominated by the right-wing Freedom and Progress Party (the party of Sartin's regime), the center-right National Party, and the centrist Bright Future Party. Distinctly, Arván lacks a major left-wing party in the vein of the Doraltic Labor Party or Biaten's Social Democratic Party. Recently, the primary duality of Arván's party system is between Bright Future and National, with Freedom and Progress struggling to find a new, post-Sartin identity.
In the May 2021 General Elections, none of the major parties won enough seats to establish a majority government, leading to Bartholomew Montague, formerly the Director for the Political Transition and a non-partisan politician, to build a coalition government with Freedom and Progress, National, and Bright Future working in concert in a majority government.
Non-Partisan representation in the 2021 Arvannan Chamber of Deputies is considered an outlier in the history of Arvannan party politics according to experts. The general sentiment that can be traced is a national feeling of weariness to trust absolute political power with a single party again. This is compounded by a long-running tradition for representatives, who are elected on a party list, to be native to the electoral district they will subsequently represent. It is believed that once the political situation has stabilized further, local politicians will start to affiliate more with the established parties or form new ones of their own, reducing the overall impact of non-partisan representation in Arván over time.
The executive branch of Arván is led by the directly elected President, the Prime Minister (selected by Parliament itself and appointed by the President), and the government ministers of Arván, which at present include:
- Foreign Affairs: Matthieu Bernard
Defense: Nicole Addicks
Trade and Commerce: Everitt Post
Treasury and Economic Policy: Chester Renold
Cultural Policy: Julienne Faucheux
Education: Alden Drake
Health: Garland Bradford
Public Justice and Protection: Edmund Webb
Rural and Urban Development: Larissa Moores
Energy and Environment: Preston Brewer
Public and Social Welfare: Sydney Graves
Transportation: Mathilda Granger
Foreign Relations and Military
Foreign policy in Arván is dominated by balancing a delicate relationship between two of the Western Isles' major powers, the Alteran Republics and the United Republics. Ever since 1812, Arván had been an observing member of the Alteran Commonwealth (and subsequently the Commonwealth of Republics), unable to vote in its affairs directly but exerting a level of influence as a member nonetheless. Following the Arvannan Independence War, Arván withdrew from the Commonwealth of Republics, citing the deteriorated relationship with the Alteran Republics as the core reason. Now that Arván had finished the transition from Sartin's regime, a question of whether it should rejoin the Commonwealth or chart its own path independently is leading the conversation around Arván's foreign policy.
In contrast, Arván's relationship with Dormill and Stiura was significantly colder from the start. The nation was built by the French aristocracy protesting the very existence of the multicultural republic their southern neighbors created. Regardless of cultural disagreements, the clear truth was that Arván is economically tied to the United Republics, almost dependent on it as its largest trading partner. This large trade relationship only grew while Arván was independent of Altera, seeing Dormill and Stiura as a natural counterbalance to what Altera was. This was only emphasized during the transition when Arván deepened trade with Dormill and Stiura and utilized Doraltic contractors to primarily supply the ANDF with arms. Much like with the Commonwealth, Wayne and Montague's government have openly considered joining the Gael Four, though there still remains the option to remain fully independent and strike a healthy balance.
The Democratic Republics of Arván maintains a full-time, professional, volunteer military, the National Defense Forces of the Republic, otherwise known as the Arvannan National Defense Forces (ANDF). The force is exceptionally light compared to other militaries, composed of only around 5,000 soldiers, another 2,000 reservists, a 1,200-soldier-sized Gendarmie, and accompanying support personnel both military and civilian. On the ground, the ANDF is exclusively a light infantry force, built around the VAB and oriented in small, battalion-sized units. The ANGDF does, however, maintain some heavy units in reserve, including a Tank Battalion, a Mechanized Infantry Battalion, and maintains enough surplus equipment to outfit a full Mechanized Infantry Regiment.
As of 2021, the naval component of the ANDF, the Maritime Defense Forces, does not operate warships, as it had the least amount of time and funding to develop. Instead, the ANMDF focuses on constabulary duties and coordination of shoreside defenses while figuring out how to gain access to proper warships. In an agreement with the United Republics Navy and Doraltic Coast Guard, both naval forces provide their services on the behalf of the ANMDF on request, and in turn, are allowed to base forces to that effect at Base Vert on Isle Mer. As an extension to that agreement, the United Republics Navy is only allowed to base ships intended for use in service to the ANMDF, which restricts the URN from basing its heavier ships such as the carrier Union and Prosperity, or the cruisers Ile de Haals and Dufor Hill in Base Vert. At present, the United Republics Navy has only ever deployed one warship into Arvannan waters as part of this agreement, when the Lukas Monet Sr. (F201) joined the celebrations for the dissolution of the Transitional Government on 05 June 2021. The appearance of the Lukas Monet Sr. was especially symbolic as it was the only currently serving warship of the United Republics Navy that saw combat during the Arvannan Independence War.
The air component of the ANDF does maintain a fleet of various aircraft for the defense of the nation, though as of 2021 that remains limited to surplus equipment from the Independence War era and purchases made by the Sartin regime. Like the Ground and Maritime components, it is reinforced in part by their equivalents in the United Republics until they are fully developed.
Arván is still redeveloping after the Sartin regime's collapse with 5.8% of the state living under the poverty line and the government continuing to enforce austerity measures to limit public spending, however, the economy is growing thanks to the encouragement of private spending and low government interest rates. Arván's economy is based on financial services, tourism, hospitality (hotels, restaurants, bars, transport & communications), retail and wholesale, construction, oil and petrochemicals, and agriculture, with 59% of the land area being agricultural land. Arván relies heavily on tourism, which contributed 15% of the nation's GDP in 2015. It also relies heavily on Doraltic businesses and trade due to Dormill and Stiura's constant influence over the peninsula economically. This system works in reverse, with one of the United Republics' top import nations being Arván.
The nation's transportation is maintained in a variety of ways, the most common form of transportation being roads. The government places great emphasis on maintaining the roads and highway systems throughout the north of Arván, however, the south of Arván isn't as well maintained. Arván has two airports; Prince Mathieu Sauvageot International and Rippen Highfield Airport.