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Duchy of Charlottesborg
Map of Charlottesborg
and largest city
|Official languages||Volscine Norvian|
|Recognised national languages||Volscine Norvian, Asendavian, Cryrian|
|Ethnic groups||Human 100%|
|Early 13th century|
• Duchy of Charlottesborg
|17,156 km2 (6,624 sq mi)|
|116.57/km2 (301.9/sq mi)|
|60 billion SHD|
• Per capita
|Date format||MM/DD/YYYY BCE/CE|
|ISO 3166 code||VSC|
Between the 13th and 16th centuries, Charlottesborg was called Segolstad and was a major Cryrian possession on the Novaran mainland. Following the Sorrows, the local aristocracy rejected the authority of the Drifting Throne and aligned with the Cadrigranic League in the War of the Seven Emperors. It later became part of the Volscine Empire.
The Government of Charlottesborg is notably illiberal, particularly following the Volscine Civil War. Power is primarily held by the House of Reitz and the Duchy's Cryrian ancestry still influences its culture to this day.
Talveri migrations to the northern tip of the Asciec Peninsula began in 800 B.C., and provide the earliest surviving written records of settlement in the area that later became Charlottesborg. The site that would alter host the city of Charlottesborg began as the Talveri settlement of Breze. The region was later overtaken by the Celanoran Empire during the Talveri Civil War of the eleventh century.
The decline of the Celanora saw the Empire lose its grasp over its western territories. In the early 13th century, the Kingdom of Cryria under King Segol joined the war against the embattled Empire and reclaimed Breze as part of the Duchy of Talvere. The town was renamed to Segolstad in honor of the King, and became one of the most important Cryrian holdings on the Novaran Mainland for the access it provided to both the Labarge Sea and the rest of the Asciec Peninsula. Segolstad also became a focal point of the Cryrian Church's missionary efforts, and was one of the first parts of Talvere to fully come under the Church's central authority. In order to ensure loyal control of the newly conquered region, Segol awarded new lands and titles in the area to those of his soldiers who would settle there, in a system reminiscent of the Honningfjord System of old. Thus, while Segolstad nominally remained part of Talvere, it gained a distinctly Cryrian character.
Much like the rest of the Duchy of Talvere, Segolstad declared its allegiance for Queen Charlotte during the Sorrows and sent ships and soldiers to the disastrous Battle of the Lindesgaard Straits. Segolstad itself remained largely unmarred by the war however, and was protected by distance unlike the rest of Talvere which suffered greatly from Helen of Tarva's marauding fleets. The Impalement of Karlin and subsequent death of Queen Charlotte did not dampen the fires of rebellion in Segolstad. While many of the Queen's forces surrendered, those fearing heavy punishment or retribution fled south across the sea. These included many of the Queen's notable advisors and generals, including Lucas Reitz among others. Surviving elements of the Talveri fleet also escaped south. These remaining diehards renamed Segolstad to Charlottesborg in honor of their fallen queen, and soon afterwards aligned with the Cadrigranic League in the ongoing War of the Seven Emperors in exchange for protection against Leidenstad's inevitable retribution.
Lukas Reitz was named Duke of Charlottesborg in exchange for his service in the War of the Seven Emperors, and the title is held by his descendants to this day. Despite its rebellious history with the Cryrian Kingdom, Charlottesborg retained some links to its old homeland. The Cryrian Church technically remained the primary religious institution in the Duchy, though the Charlottesborg branch continued to recognize the deceased Queen Charlotte as its official head for centuries afterwards. Charlottesborg also remained a common port of call for Cryrian traders who generally considered it to be the northern gateway to the Asciec Peninsula.
It was not until the Albertine Era that a degree of political unity returned between the Kingdom and the Duchy. King Albert married Leonora Reitz who later became the Duchess of Charlottesborg after the death of her elder sister, Olivia Reitz, and then later her father, Duke Melkar. In doing so, the schism between the Cryrian Church in Leidenstad and the Church of Charlottesborg was healed, with the Charlottesborg branch accepting King Albert as its figurehead, and the Council of Cardinals in Leidenstad inviting Charlottesborger representatives back into its fold. The subsequent inheritance of the Ducal seat by Queen Katharine in 1900 created bitter divides among Charlottesborg's leadership, however. If successful, Katharine would effectively return Leidensen rule to the Duchy for the first time in nearly four-hundred years, a fact that was looked upon warily by stakeholders in both Charlottesborg and the wider Volscine Empire. As the eldest child of Albert and Leonora, Katharine enjoyed the support of both Cryrian and Charlottesborger inheritance laws. Martin Reitz, Olivia's eldest son, was Katharine's primary opponent. Ultimately, support of Pan-Cryrianists and local religious institutions allowed Katharine to prevail in the Charlottesborg Succession, and later paved the way for the Tanznozhiv.
Charlottesborg quickly became the key component of the personal union between Cryria and Volscina. The Duchy proved to be a valuable launchpad for Katharine's forays into Volscine politics, and became home to the Imperial Court after her crowning. It would remain the administrative center for the duration of Katharine's reign and was her main bastion of support in Volscina.
Katharine's abdication of the Imperial throne brought an end to the Duchy's place in the sun and empowered the Queen's old enemies from the Charlottesborg Succession. Under diplomatic pressure from the newly formed Volscine Confederation and facing mounting opposition from the local elite, Katharine abdicated her Ducal titles to Martin, thus ending the brief period of Leidensen rule in Charlottesborg and returning it to the Reitz family.
Volscine Civil War
Due to its unique position as an ethnic minority in Volscina, Charlottesborg initially attempted to maintain neutral in the Volscine Civil War. Some within the Ducal Council suggested formal independence or a reunification with Cryria, though the latter was heavily rebuffed by Leidenstad along with requests for military aid. The proposals for an official split from Volscina, coupled with an increasingly dire economic situation and the reign of the Cryrian-born Duchess Louisa Reitz resulted in the events of the Charlottesborg Mutiny.
Like many Volscine subdivisions, Charlottesborg operates its own unique form of government. The Duchy is officially a semi-constitutional monarchy, though in practice the Duke or Duchess holds near-absolute powers. The Duchy has been run by the Reitz family since 1515 and is currently ruled by Duchess Louisa Reitz. A Duke or Duchess serves as the supreme executive authority of the Duchy, and may appoint their own cabinet called the Ducal Council which initiates legislation.
The Public Assembly is a separate body with 30 seats. Nineteen are popularly elected, while ten are appointed by the Duke or Duchess and one belongs to the Cardinal Charlottesborg. The Public Assembly can review legislation and veto with a simple majority.
As a Volscine state, Charlottesborg maintains its own Condottieri force known as the Ducal Guard. Today the Guard consists of roughly 8,800 active personnel and 47,000 reservists, and it operates its own small air wing and naval division. The Guard is primarily equipped with Volscine equipment to ensure interoperability, though some Cryrian-purchased equipment has been in use since the Civil War. The Duchy also maintains a conscription system which mimics Cryria's own.
The Duchy boasts a developed economy that is heavily geared towards secondary and tertiary sector industries, particularly in the form of technology and services. Due to shared language, high levels of education, and lower labor costs, Charlottesborg is a popular outsourcing destination for Cryrian firms seeking skilled workers. The Duchy's coastline is also famous for its spectacular beaches that draw significant numbers of tourists each year. Due to its cultural ties and comparatively lower cost of living, it is a popular vacation and retirement site for Cryrian citizens. Much of Charlottesborg's economy remains dominated by the Reitz Egendom.
The Port of Charlottesborg also still serves as an important trade and transportation hub between the Novaran Mainland and Cryria, and the city is home to significant shipbuilding activities.
The economy of Charlottesborg was badly damaged during the Volscine Civil War, and sectors such as tourism suffered immensely. As of 2022 however, Charlottesborg has largely recovered thanks to a combination of national rebuilding and renewed Cryrian economic interest in the Mainland.
As of 2022, Charlottesborg had a total population of around 2,000,000, signifying a full recovery from the Volscine Civil War. Of this, some 500,000 are concentrated in Charlottesborg city's metro area.
As is the case in much of the Empire, the Duchy of Charlottesborg primarily follows the Ademarist faith. Uniquely however, Charlottesborg's official religious institution is the Cryrian Church. Its main religious authority, the Cardinal Charlottesborg, holds a seat on the Council of Cardinals in Leidenstad, though it is barred from voting on certain topics such as the appointment of Lords Spiritual to the Riksdag's Upper Chamber, and has restricted access to Church archives. The Church in Charlottesborg holds an integral role in the Duchy's own society, including a seat of its own on the Public Assembly.
Donations from the Cryrian Church to Charlottesborg played an important role both during and after the Civil War and have improved the institutions image in the public eye. Today, some 75% of Charlottesborgers identify as members of the Church, a higher rate than what is found in Cryria itself. 82% of the population identifies with some form of Ademarism.
Language is a key component in Charlottesborg's culture and identity. The Duchy is unique in that it is one of the few regions outside of the Cryrian Kingdom to maintain Cryrian as its official language. Cryrian was first introduced as the language of rulership by King Segol and was later enforced as the language of the Ducal Court by the Reitz family. The arrival of large numbers of Cryrian-speakers and the language's importance for trade ensured its spread and establishment over the following centuries. The brief period of Leidensen rule also brought with it some of the Albertine Era's language laws. Though never enforced with the same harshness as they were in the Kingdom, these laws ensured that Cryrian was the sole language taught in schools and used in governance. While these restrictions were loosened to accommodate Volscine Norvian after Queen Katharine's abdication, the enshrinement of Cryrian as the Duchy's official language remained.
Charlottesborg Cryrian is considered to be its own regional variety of the language, and is spoken by about 95% of the population. As part of the Empire, Volscine Norvian also plays an important role in Charlottesborg. Approximately 43% of the population is bilingual in Cryrian and Volscine Norvian. Bilingualism is particularly common among younger generations.
As a former Talveri outpost that was unaffected by the Cinder Inquisition and the Tomorrow Ministry, Charlottesborg is also one of the last places on Urth with Talveri-speaking communities. Though the language has still been heavily undermined over the centuries due to Cryrian-speaking settlement, as of 2022 some 12,723 people reported fluency in Talveri. The language is mostly concentrated in the Duchy's eastern hinterlands.