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People's Communion of Acronis
Žan Drakar Acronís (Tavari)
Rahvahõim Akroonis (Rodokan)
Motto: Always In The Service of Life
The country of Acronis (dark green) on the continent of Gondwana (gray).
|Government||Unitary semi-democratic theocracy|
• Chief Administator
• Independence effected
|14 March 2022|
• Ranat Accords ratified
|6 June 2022|
|466,623.54 km2 (180,164.36 sq mi)|
• 2023 estimate
|GDP (nominal)||2023 estimate|
• Per capita
|Currency||Tavari Našdat (ŋ) (TAN)|
|Time zone||UTC -9:00|
Acronis, formally the People's Communion of Acronis, is a country on the continent of Gondwana on Urth. Acronis is constitutionally a theocratic state in which the Church of Akrona is considered "synonymous" with the state. The Church's leader, Matron Vana Dandreal, is the head of state, while an elected Chief Administrator—currently Σavora Lašandri of the Acronian Communist Party—is known as the "head of civil government." A bifurcated system of government exists in which moral and criminal law is the responsibility of the "Religious Government" of the Elders and the Matron, while civil law is the responsibility of the Civil Government of the Cabinet and the popularly elected Synod. Acronis, whose population is majority ethnically Tavari, was part of the country of Tavaris from its formation until Acronian secession in 2022. The birth of Acronis was heralded by a brief but intense period of inter-sectarian violence on the island of Avnatra between Akronists and adherents of Avnatra's other native religion, the Tavat Avati, that featured several bombings, a hotly contested and poorly executed independence referendum on 27 February 2022, and culminated with a peace agreement and political settlement known as the Ranat Accords.
The island of Avnatra, on which the modern countries of Acronis, Serramal, Tavaris and (western) Vaklori sit, has been inhabited (perhaps not continuously) for at least 350,000 years. The first inhabitants were orcs, and since the earliest times of habitation, the farthest western portions of the island have always among the least densely populated. Modern Acronis also seems to have become populated much later than other regions of the island; the oldest discovered, verified prehistoric orcish remains found around Crystal Coast date to 200,000 years ago, much more recent than both the southeastern and northeastern regions, suggesting that initial settlement of the island may have come from both directions. Much of the explanation for the west-central region's relative isolation is geographical and geological; the relatively elevated Ranat Plateau, close to the center of the island, is much more rugged in terrain than the lowlands, and historically was the densest portion of the rainforest (the natural jungle has since been thinned considerably in favor of coffee and cocoa plantations), making travel to the west difficult and dangerous. The far northwest of the island, home to Mt. Avotro, reaches high enough in elevation for there to be snow, and the northwest coastal region is arid steppe, making travel from those directions even more difficult. As a result, the region has long been distant from local centers of power and considered remote.
The very first inhabitants of Acronis were paleolithic hunter-gatherers who hunted megafauna—primarily saber-tooth cats, giant ground sloths, and glyptodonts—on the savanna. However, these species would all become extinct by 4000 BCE, likely due to a combination of a changing climate as well as hunting by orcs. Archaeological evidence suggests that, around this time, the peoples in the west-central savanna began to leave the inland regions and condense along the coast, where they developed a primarily seafood-based diet supplemented by gathering fruit and roots such as cassava and sweet potato that grew in the wild. Agriculture began around the year 2000 BCE, when the First Va people—who, at that time, could be found all across the northern two-thirds of the island—domesticated the tubers as well as amaranth and began to deliberately plant and cultivate them themselves. When the proto-Tavari arrived in the latter centuries of the first millennium BCE, they brought with them their own agricultural tradition, the staple crop maize, as well as the domesticated jungle cat which, while evidenced on mainland northwest Gondwana for thousands of years by that point, had never before been present on Avnatra.
The proto-Tavari came from the Danvreas and primarily inhabited the southern portions of the island as well as King's Island to the southeast. While they did reach the Tears of the Moon, of the western coast of Avnatra, by 200 CE, they almost entirely avoided the islands, a taboo that persists among many Tavari people into the modern day. Instead, they continued northward up the coast, first settling the Nandrat River basin (which would replace the east-central coast as the most populated portion of the island by the 4th century and maintain that title until the 19th century when usurped by King's Island) and reaching the crystal coast (the geological feature, not the modern city known by its' Staynish name Crystal Coast) some two centuries later. Initially, the residents of the west-central savanna embraced Tavari maize and also resumed hunting local game, assisted by the Tavari jungle cat. However, for reasons that are unclear, by the time that written records begin around the turn of the 9th century CE, many western chiefs had entirely outlawed the domesticated jungle cat altogether. An edict issued by the first recorded Chief of Rundra in 936 calls the jungle cat "a savage beast that has no place in a society of orcs" and "a terror in our streets." In contrast, almost no clans in the eastern portions of the Tavari chiefdoms had such laws, and in fact, there are several recorded protests issued by eastern chiefs calling the laws offensive. This indicates a level of tension and conflict between the eastern (which, historically, has been considered to cover the south as well) and western Tavari tribes already existed. It remains persistent today.
Classical Tavari period
The period of time between the development of written Tavari and the unification of the Kingdom of Tavaris in 1304 is known as the Classical Tavari period. During this time, there was never any one overarching Tavari polity, with each clan essentially sovereign over its own territory—though, in practice, one or even several tribes may have been tribute-paying subjects of another. The practice of tributaries was more common in the west than in the east, while eastern chiefs often favored direct invasion and annexation of rivals' territory, believed to be due in part to the relative sparse population and more rugged areas hindering ease of administration encouraging would-be conquerors to delegate such tasks to chiefs who reported to them rather than spend their own time, money, and people doing so. In the crystal coast region in particular, a tradition arose of "matriarchs"—a politically powerful woman commanding the loyalty of several local chiefs, sometimes (though not always) without a chiefdom holding of her own. These matriarchs were called a "moderating influence" and credited themselves with encouraging peace, contrasting themselves with eastern chiefs who, they said, were constantly waging war with one another. The historical record, however, shows no significant difference in the amount of armed conflict between Tavari clans in the east and west. In reality, these women were invariably the shrinemasters of major shrines, of which there were several in the rapidly urbanizing area that controlled vast swaths of land that were suddenly highly prized as possible settlement locations. Why it came to be that the shrines around the crystal coast were headed by matriarchal dynasties remains unclear and is an area of active study and scholarship in Tavari academia.
While not all western regions had overtly matriarchal systems, something that a much broader majority of western communities shared in common was a difference in religious worship that retained significant examples of nature worship, while the eastern and southern Tavari tribes shed these traditions and focused their worship exclusively on the spirits of departed ancestors. The largest pre-Akronist shrine in Acronis, also one of the oldest, is the Shrine of the Ocean Mother near Anara, which contains no graves at all and is not dedicated to any one family but instead to "the spirit of the ocean, who is the mother to us all," according to traditional chants carried orally among the shrinemasters and tenders of the shrine since the 7th century. The moon, too, featured as a significant focus of worship in the west, also often characterized as a mother or as a guardian spirit considered "ancestral" to the people. These traits are believed to be holdovers from the religious beliefs of the First Va people who had still lived in the west when the proto-Tavari arrived. While most modern scholars believe that these traditions form part of the core foundation of modern Akronism, this theory remains unpopular among many Akronist religious groups and, as recently as 2019, was characterized by then-leader of the Tavari Communist Party, Atra Metravar, as "Tavari nationalist propaganda designed to suppress the idea that people in the west might have ever, even once, had an original idea." What is certain to be true is that differences in religious practice formed a significant cultural cleavage long before the emergence of the Akronist faith.
However, despite religious and cultural differences, the western Tavari clans were still much more similar to the eastern clans than they were different, evidenced most plainly by the facts that they spoke the same language and continuously identified themselves as "Tavari." Tavari land tenure and inheritance laws were in place almost identically across the entire Tavari-speaking area by the end of the 10th century, hallmarked by the division of society into family-based clans that, collectively, were considered to own the land on which its members worked, and that the sovereign power of the family was invested in a single head that was, ultimately, answerable to the entire clan under a system of ancient, often unwritten, code of traditional rights. Inheritance was always to the eldest surviving child, and all across the Tavari lines in almost every case, siblings of the deceased are expressly forbidden from inheriting—even in the lack of any children, it is the eldest child among the children of the deceased's siblings, never the sibling themselves. The Tavari are the only ethnic group among orcs in northwest Gondwana to feature this strict prohibition of sibling inheritance. By the 12th century, all Tavari-speaking areas were using coins made out of the alloy known as našdat (composed of silver, gold, and nickel), and all shared common observances such as festivals on the equinoxes featuring almost identical liturgy. By the time of the Tavari Unification Wars, beginning around 1150, there were dozens of western chiefs who were perfectly content to submit to the rule of the Chiefs of Nuvo before a single battle was fought.
Tavari Unification and Afterward
The Tavari Unification Wars were not, generally speaking, a conflict between "east" and "west," though it was true that the forces of the Nuvo chiefs generally moved northward and westward (as they existed as the southeastern-most Tavari clan). Modern historians generally characterize the Unification Wars as partly borne of a need to build power to resist encroaching Raonites who had begun naval raids of southwestern Tavari shores and partly borne from a desire to expand their tax and revenue base as the silver mines that had been the primary source of their wealth began to be depleted. While King Utor I, who finally unified the chiefs in 1304, was staunchly religious and codified the Tavat Avati, he personally never publicly or (as far as is known) privately protested against the unique religious traditions of the west. It was not until later, especially during the reigns of King Vonar I (1479-1490) and Zaram I (1490-1496) after the emergence of Akronism proper, that violence broke out among and between Tavari clans for the specific reason of suppressing religious beliefs. This outright inter-religious violence faded during the reign of Kanor the Great (1496-1519) and, with some exceptions, especially in the mid-20th and early-21st centuries, remained rare afterward.
Despite religious differences, western Tavaris formed an integral part of the country, and gradually gained importance as maritime trade along Cerenerian Ocean routes became more and more lucrative. With the decline of Ni-Rao as an economic power in the 15th century and the increasing antagonism of Bana, Tavaris needed to look in other directions for trade partners. Trade was established in all directions, including with Ny’Natrotomi to the west, Asendavian settlers to the north, and trading vessels from Novaris and Aurora. Tavaris began to expand as well, first to Metrati Anar and eventually to Rodoka and Metradan, and western Tavari ports like Enaro Ttatražakai (Crystal Coast) and Anara were the primary gateways. The population began to increase significantly after Tavari unification, intensifying the already extant urbanization but also causing a massive expansion of the coffee, cocoa, and sugar industries on and near the Ranat Plateau. Goods produced there were often shipped internationally from the port of Tovar.
While western Tavaris was always less populated than the east and the south, and thus had less wealth in absolute terms, per capita the average wealth and income of people in the west has been similar to that of the east since unification. A powerful merchant economy grew in the major cities of the west, while agriculture remained the overwhelming majority of economic activity in the western interior. Sugarcane and rum production expanded, especially for export, and gradually crops from foreign regions of the world, primarily millet and rice, were introduced. Ancient volcanism enriched the soil of central Avnatra, particularly on and near the plateau, allowing for the cultivation of all kinds of crops that, in turn, enriched the economies of the port cities when they were sold in trade. In the year 1604, a census determined that Enaro Ttatražakai had surpassed Nuvrenon to become the second-largest city in the country after Nandrat. And while those three cities remained close in population and changed places from time to time, Enaro Ttatražakai is estimated by historians to have become the second-wealthiest city in Tavaris around the same time and retain that title until Acronian independence.
Acronis is governed by two separate authorities, which are referred to as governments: the civil government of the Synod and Chief Minister and the religious government, which is led by an official known as the Matron. The Matron is elected by and from a body known as The Elders, which is the collective head of the religious government. Both governments serve separate functions and act as a check on the other.
The state religion of Acronis is Akronism, a monotheist faith following the Goddess Akrona, for whom the country and the people are named. The Church of Akrona governs the moral aspects of life in Acronis and maintains and enforces the country's system of criminal law. Criminal law is adjudicated in courts organized and governed by The Elders. As examples, laws against murder and assault are the jurisdiction of the religious government. Additionally, the social safety net is administered by the Church, as according to Acronian jurisprudence it is considered a matter of morality. Pensions, unemployment benefits, food assistance and housing assistance are coordinated by the Church and paid for by mandatory tithes from Church members.
The civil government handles the temporal affairs of the country. Foreign affairs, economic affairs, military defense, education and civil law are all the domain of the Chief Administrator and the Cabinet, whose members all come from an elected legislature, the Synod. Civil law is defined as all those areas of law outside the realm of The Elders and is usually described as "crimes against property, rather than people." For example, theft, embezzlement, drug crimes, and regulations of industries or occupations are all areas of civil law.
Acronis is divided into three provinces for the purposes of civil administration. These provinces do not cover the entire territory of the country; three national parks that are administered by the Acronian Ministry of the Environment cover the remaining territory. Modeled on the Tavari law in place prior to Acronian independence, the provinces of Acronis have legislative competence over a specific subset of enumerated powers with the bulk of authority reserved by the national civil government. Provinces have the power to set an income tax, regulate various kinds of businesses, and coordinate the construction and maintenance of roads and other public infrastructure. Provinces share oversight of the education system with the religious government, which does not use the provinces as a division and instead operates directly at the level of individual parishes, into which the provinces are divided.
Four cities in the country are classified as "National Cities" and are placed under direct oversight of the national civil government. These are Crystal Coast, Anara, and Tovar—the country's three largest cities and each provincial capitals and international container shipping ports—and the city of Idalan, which is the only official crossing point on the Acronis-Vaklori border. These cities elect local councils and mayors whose actions are theoretically subject to veto from the Cabinet.