and largest city
|Official languages||Too Many|
|Government||Semi-tribal confederacy with a restricted monarch|
• Speaker of the Grand Mazhilis
• Formation of the Line of Yul
• Initial Unification
|2,852,908 km2 (1,101,514 sq mi)|
|7.01/km2 (18.2/sq mi)|
• Per capita
The island of Älemsi is believed to have first been settled by human hunter-gatherer groups from Novaris some 3.3 million years ago. Many of these early tribes survived as subsistence nomads in the vast interior steppes, while others eventually established sedentary settlements based on fishing and limited agriculture along the coastlines. These groups were fiercely independent of each other, and where sheer distance and harsh wilderness could not separate them, wars over herds and grazing lands were a common affair. For much of Älemsi history the sole unifying factor was in the form of their shamanic religious traditions. A rudimentary priesthood played an important role in the early governance of and diplomacy between tribes, aided by the fact that it was commonly held anathema to harm or hinder such figures. At the center of these early religious traditions was the Line of Yul, which ruled over the first fixed settlements on the island which served as neutral grounds and early centers of urban services for those travelling the wilds. Though the actual origins of the Yul and of Älemsi shamanism as a whole extend to beyond the first written histories on the island, the dynasty served as the primary religious figures on the island, and were at least nominally owed a measure of obeisance from the various Älemsi polities.
The Khagan Period
As much as the Yul might have embodied a sense of common civilization on Älemsi, it would not be them who brought true unity to the island. That role fell to the nomadic horselords of the islands' central steppes. Once as factitious as any other group, they would be brought together under Khagan Menggetu Sartak in the 13th century, and would soon afterwards rise to dominate their neighbors through the use of their powerful cavalry. During this period, the Ay People of western Älemsi would flee their coastal villages to the newly formed Duchy of Tynam in order to escape the predations of Sartak's Kapan tribe. The Ay remain the sole Älemsi tribe to reside outside of Älemsi Negdel, and remain in northern Tynam to the present day.
When the armies of the Khagan finally reached the city of Amrakh Gazarv, Sartak simply offered his respects to the reigning Yul of the time. Thus, by ruling through the Yul, the Khagan effectively legitimized his control of Älemsi, and became the island's first true conqueror. The unity of Älemsi and the power of the Khagans waxed and waned over the centuries, but the central authority that had been built was never truly be undone.. While the true power lay with the title of Khagan and changed hands across individuals and tribes on several occasions, the tradition of ruling through the Yul would become a matter of tradition.
The central power of the steppe nomads began to decline from the sixteenth century in the face of growing contact with the outside world. Many coastal townships had begun to engage in overseas trade, particularly with the increasingly present Kingdom of Cryria. Wealthy coastal merchant towns had long despised the violent and taxing reign from the Älemsi interior, and would seek outside help in asserting their autonomy. An increasingly fractured Älemsi state signaled the return to internecine violence and disorganization. While the Khaganate persisted as an institution, its authority had now entered a period of decline. Simultaneously, the Cryrian Kingdom would increasingly intrude into Älemsi by conducting trade and diplomacy directly with coastal settlements and establishing naval outposts. Cryrian hegemony in the region primarily depended on economic power and the control of sea lanes, as such its power relied heavily on a cooperative Älemsi elite and rarely extended far inland.
Great War and Aftermath
While the Älemsi Khaganate did not formally enter the war, Älemsi auxiliaries served extensively with Cryrian forces on various fronts. These formations would prove important upon their return to Älemsi, as they provided an experienced and unified Älemsi force which had extensive experience from years of modern warfare. The weakening of the Cryrian state due to the war had further sent the Kingdom's regional influence into terminal decline, and rising Älemsi nationalism created pressure for a truly independent Älemsi state. Faced with this situation, the Yul of Yul, previously a figurehead, declared the end of the Khaganate with the support of his newly formed armed cadres. The Yul further called for a Grand Mazhilis of all Älemsi peoples to gather in Amrakh Gazarvh and form a new government.
Simultaneously, in exchange for assurances regarding its economic interests, the Kingdom of Cryria agreed to end its military presence in Älemsi and to hold referendums in Älemsi-majority regions of the Duchy of Tynam. These referendums took place separately on the Ay-populated islands of Baltu, Kalle, and Juha, and included options for union with Älemsi, the status quo, and autonomy. Surprisingly, all three voted for the third option, an outcome largely attributed to both the Ay's violent history with their other Älemsi neighbors, close economic ties to Tynam, and ongoing disputes with various Älemsi polities. In order to avoid a more serious dispute, Cryria agreed to forgive loans previously granted to the Älemsi government in exchange for firm recognition of the new status quo. This ended much of the economic leverage held by Leidenstad over Älemsi, and ensured that the newly formed Älemsi Negdel could chart a genuinely independent course.
Geography, Climate, and Wildlife
Älemsi Negdel mostly consists of one massive central island located north of Novaris. Its coastline is filled with large fjords, bays, and peninsulas, and the majority of the country lies above 60 degrees north. The country is notorious for its cold weather and brutal winters. Much of the interior is dominated by the flat, unforested grassland known as the Älemsi Steppe.
The only sizable settlements are located along the jagged coasts, while the steppes are populated by groups of subsistence herders and nomadic tribes.