Stervia, officially known as the Stervian Confederation, is a sovereign country located in western Melania. Originally the northern parts of the Empire of Afrazure and the central-western sections of the Maurestani Empire, the territory was annexed by the Federal Republic of Brolecia in the aftermath of the Maurestani War, only to seceed in 302AP. Stervia is now considered the main successor state of the former Brolecia.
An union of 18 mainland federal states, the territories of Brovoyoakes and one autonomous region in Zanga, Stervia is inhabited by several indigenous and immigrant ethnic groups, albeit ruled mainly by an elite of the Stervian people.
The first inhabitants
Modern Homo sapiens first reached the territory of what is now Stervia during the 8th and 7th milleniums before the Plague. These first inhabitants, related to the peoples of nowadays UudangWuu, established hundreds of settlements in the Brolecia Valley and the shores of Lac Estuary. The many Afrayenne ethnic groups arrived in the region circa 5000BP, assimilating the original inhabitants and, over the centuries, established a number of small proto-states and tribal alliances.
Other peoples, such as the Extremans and Mezapatani, entered what is now Stervia from 3000BP to 2500BP, but these populations were quickly assimilated into the mainstream Afrayenne culture. By 2000BP. the Afrayenne groups were occupying a good part of western Melania, occasionally interacting with the Mixtuptecan tribes of San Patricio and the Extreman and Mezapatani entities of Porto Capital.
The Stervians are a ethno-cultural group of mixed Liliance and Gardlian origins, supposedly related to other minor Gardlian groups from Longerath and Smalik. The first historical evidences of the Stervians come from a certain tribus Esterviana, mentioned on Liliani imperial records as a small clan-based community of fishermen living circa 2000BP in Liliana Minor (present-day Neoliliana). Later records unanimously mention the impressive capability of the Stervians as sailors.
Starting on 1750BP, for reasons as of now still unknown (popular hypotesis include persecution agains their people in the Liliani Empire, economical hardship, or a combination of both), the Stervians began their great diaspora. Over the next several centuries, tens of thousands of Stervians embarked on their longboats over a series of migration waves, establishing a network of thinly-spread, small coastal trading outposts or, more commonly, integrating into other societies across southern Longerath and northern Smalik. Archeological finds and historic settlements have been found in the coastal region and alongside the banks of the river Aethel, in present-day Aethelnia, marking the northern- and westernmost limits of their diaspora. There has never been an unified Stervian polity, however, the Stervians at best becoming an influential trading and seafaring caste on the lands they inhabited.
Stervian navigators were involved in the voyages of Styrbjörn Eriksson and Alf-Björn Eriksson, the Cabotenian explorers who crossed the Cislendian Ocean in 815BP, discovering Islandia. Thousands of Stervian settlers were also involved in the colonization of Islandia and, from there, continued their exploration and trade efforts on the new continents, while also helping to mantain the weak sea links between Islandia and Smalik.
Starting on 570BP, Stervian exploration parties slowly ventured into Melania, reaching what would later become Afrazure in 550BP. Over the next decades, as the riches of the land were discovered by the first explorers, together with the possibility of enriching with the trade between the various statelets in the region, certain Stervian clans in Islandia initiated a major colonization effort in Northern Afrazure. With the help of indigenous guides, the Stervians also conducted exploration of the interior of the continent, founding the city of Blakelock in 469BP.
Stervians in Maurestania and Afrazure
(See also: History of Afrazure)
By 300BP, when the first unified Empire of Afrazure was formed, the Stervians were a small and distinct caste, albeit very influential in the local society, controlling most of the sea trade out of Afrazure and also serving as important counselor for the local emperors. During the reign of Masaq I, starting in 182BP, influential Stervian leaders were established as daams, or dukes, controlling several northern provinces and having hundreds of thousands of indigenous inhabitants as their subjects. In periods of greater decentralization of imperial power, such as after the death of Youseff IX in 73BP, these Stervian leaders would act essentially as independent warlords - all the while ethnic-Stervian caravan masters profited, as they helped mantain the commercial links between the various provinces of Afrazure.
Stervians also profited greatly from the slave trade. Starting on 100BP, Stervian-led expeditions started venturing deep into the jungles of Afrazure, decimating hundreds of native villages in order to capture new slaves, which were then transported abroad. From 100BP until the beginning of the Great Plague, Stervian slavers transported 350.000 Afrazurean natives to the Samuelonian colonies of the Malvadorias.
The Stervians were also caught amidst the arrival of the Maurestani settlers and the expansion of the Maurestani Empire, from 40AP to 70AP. Thousands of Stervian soldiers participated in the resistance against the Maurestani invaders in Northwestern Melania, but could not halt the formation of the Empire. But, once again, the elite of the Stervians saw the chance for enriching out of the chaotic post-invasion situation, either by dominating the new trade networks or by offering their services to the new Maurestani administration. Over the decades, just like they had become an important element of the Afrazurean ruling class, Stervians would also rise on the Maurestani imperial bureaucracy as civil servants, engineers and military officers.
The influence of the Stervian elite of Northern Afrazure would only be curtailed during the so-called People's Empire period, which started in 121AP, after a peasant army under commoner Yohannes Mawuni united several daam militias in the southern part of the empire, finally deposing the weak emperor Mahmoud II in 123AP. The new emperor, Yohannes I, quickly incorporated the local militias into the new Afrazurean Land Forces, while replacing the Sterviam daams by indigenous nobles loyal to his new government.
The city of Blakelock, meanwhile, had become an important cultural center for the Stervian minority. By 150AP, the city would become the heart of the nascent Stervian nationalist movement. Despite being located in the Grand Sud province of Maurestania, the city was far from other major settlements - these elements combined prompted the Imperial court to see the city as "the hearts of the Stervian tribes' evil".
Afrazurean Civil War
Fall of Brolecia
Formation of Stervia
Stervia follows a free-market capitalist economy. Most of the state-owned assets of the federal Brolecian government were privatized shortly following the foundation of the country. The former national telecom carrier, Teletalk, was sold to Belson Corp of Utania and Vinnsiminn ASA of Vingarmark, for instance.
The currency of Stervia is the marc or markka.
The flag of Stervia contains the color blue, representing the ocean on which the Stervian clans wandered before reaching present-day Stervia. The red represents their blood, courage and self-sacrifice, while the twelve stars on the fly represent the legendary twelve clans of the Stervians.
The main eight-pointed star represents the polar star, vital to the early Stervian navigators. The four smaller stars represent the four cardinal points (north, south, east and west), the uppermost star being white instead of gold as an indication of the importance of seafaring skills.
A simplified version of the flag, without neither the four smaller stars surrounding the polar stars nor the twelve smaller stars on the fly, is authorized for private use - although not encouraged.
The official seal of Stervia has eight branches visible underneath the black circle, representing the eight branches of the polar star. The Giant Sea Turtle eylfalas, in Stervian was also adopted as a symbol by Stervian sailors in the classical era, as the animal is capable to find its way during thousand-kilometer migrations through the oceans. The eight-pointed star on the turtle's back represent the navigation skills of early Stervians, while the four smaller stars represent the four cardinal points and also the four great qualities according to Stervian tradition: honour, justice, bravery and self-sacrifice.
The official motto of the state is Senatus Populusque Stervianum, Liliani for "The Senate and People of Stervia". The abreviation SPQS is also present in symbols, such as on naval military flags.
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