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Kingdom of Cryria
Motto: God, Queen, and Kingdom
Anthem: Du Gamla, du Fria
and largest city
• Prime Minister
|Early 12th Century|
|610,874 km2 (235,860 sq mi)|
|57.4/km2 (148.7/sq mi)|
• Per capita
The first recorded habitation of the Cryian islands was in the form of nekomimi settlers. However, their presence in the Isles was abruptly truncated with the arrival of the elves, who grew to dominate the large central island, and the nekomimi would only persist in the far northwest, where they eventually formed the theocratic realm of Vhydhasz, encompassing the islands of Brekbu and Kraskne, as well as portions of the Brekkim Peninsula. The variety of elven groups would themselves slowly grow to establish a patchwork of kingdoms and chiefdoms across the main island, which thus became known as Älva Mark, or Elf Land, eventually shortened to Älmark. The southwestern portions of the island group became home to the first human habitation by early arrivals from Novaris, and saw the development of the Kingdom of Vesterholm and a proto-republic on what would become Lindesgaard. The balkanizing geography of the Cryrian Isles stunted the development of all of these groups, and ensured that no one dominant power was ever truly able to arise on the Cryrian Isles during its early history.
Early Cryrian Settlement
The original Cryrians emerged as a distinct group along the eastern coasts of Asendavia around 1000 BC. They were a seafaring people from the continent of Yasteria, with a long history of both raiding and conducting trade with the various polities which existed on the Isles. Their initial settlements were small outposts founded on the sparsely inhabited island of Nederborg and the mountainous Arm of Tarva. These early settlers would at least nominally swear their allegiance to the King of Vesterholm in exchange for claiming land in his name, and their arrival brought the Ademarist religion to the islands. The mixing of Asendavian languages with local tongues would similarly result in the development of a distinct Cryrian language.
Large scale migration, however, would not begin until the eighth century. In this time, the Kingdom of Vesterholm fought a lengthy and sporadic naval war against Lindesgaard for control over the strategic Lindesgaard Straits. By now, Lindesgaard had established colonies on the main island which could supply its fleets with the lumber needed to construct new vessels, putting it at a decisive advantage over Vesterholm. After the Battle of Tarva saw the destruction of his fleet and the death of his sons, King Iver of Vesterholm formed an alliance with Magnus, a powerful leader among the Cryrians. In exchange for his ships, Magnus would gain the hand of Iver's daughter in marriage, thus making him the heir to Vesterholm. Cryrian fleets would achieve a decisive victory at the Battle of Trauer, and subsequently committed the bloody Sack of Lindesgaard which subjugated the island city in 798. The death of King Iver from dysentery a year later would see Magnus proclaimed the new King of Vesterholm. After this, Cryrian influence would spread rapidly, and Yasterian cultures would gradually merge with those which had already existed on the southwestern Isles.
Magnus' final act would be to claim forests on Älmark for their supply of lumber. The Lindesgaarders had effectively abandoned their colonies there during the war, and in an effort to retake them, Magnus would sail his flagship to claim the lands around the river Leiden. It is there that the City of Leidenstad was founded, built around the famed vessel.
The Conquest and Unification
The centuries following Magnus' rise to kingship would see continued human encroachment on the rich lands of Älmark. The establishment of the House of Leidensen on the throne of Vesterholm along with successive waves of Yasterian migration led to the increasing dominance of Cryrian culture in the area. This would eventually give rise to the Honningfjord System, where titles and lands on Älmark would be granted in exchange for hostages and pledges of loyalty. The Honningfjord System would not only lead to Cryrian expansion across much of the southwestern isles, but also the establishment of a powerful new Cryrian aristocracy, both distinct from that which had existed in Vesterholm and often independently minded due to distance and geography. That grants of land were often given without regard or consideration for the native elves would often lead to violent conflicts between new settlers and the existing populations, especially as human arrivals often invaded sacred elven forests in pursuit of land and valuable lumber. Conflicts between Ademarist Cryrians and the polytheistic elves would take on increasingly religious overtones, as Ademarist priests within the court of Vesterholm supported the elimination of heretical populations after attempts at conversion failed.
The First Regency and Inquisition
In 1041, King Joar II's reign came to an abrupt conclusion after a suspected poisoning. The Cardinal of Vesterholm declared himself regent for the infant Joar III, and announced a Church-led inquiry into the old King's death. This effort would soon become known as the First Inquisition, and was quickly utilized by the Church to conduct purges against its enemies in the Court. Blaming the elven populations within the Kingdom for the assassination, the Inquisition would expand to conduct bloody pogroms, marking the beginning of official government policies against nonhumans within its borders as well as the rise of the Cryrian Church as both independent from Asendavian Ademarism and a powerful political force in its own right.
The elves were not the only native group which the Cryrians fought during this period, however. The nekomimi in Vhydhasz still persisted, and remained the only true naval threat to the island kingdom. Internecine clashes and raids between the two were frequent throughout the tenth and eleventh century. The death of King Joar and the unstable regency that followed greatly emboldened Vhydhasz. The subsequent Flaying of Vesterholm in 1045 saw much of the city sacked and destroyed and brought a near collapse to the Kingdom. Such was the destruction inflicted upon Vesterholm and other coastal settlements, that the Court would ultimately relocate to Leidenstad, which lay sheltered within the Kongsbukta. Though the Kingdom of Vesterholm retained its name, Leidenstad would soon become a permanent capital for the security it offered. The Vhydhaszi War would drag on as the Vhydhaszi fleets raided Vesterholmi coastlines with impunity. The surviving elements of the Cryrian fleets would regroup and fight on under Lord Admiral Kraskne and wage an asymmetric conflict to protect territories which had been all but abandoned by the regency, something which would herald future political conflicts between the Lords Admiral and the Church. This period also marks the origin of what would become an extensive system of militias and coastal defenses, as individual islands were forced to defend themselves against the threat of raids. The regency's control over the Kingdom would grow extraordinarily thin during this period, and was largely held together by the common recognition of the House of Leidensen as the only legitimate and broadly acceptable option for the throne.
Ultimately, it would not be Cryrian fleets which saved them from the predations of their northern neighbors, but a plague which swept through the islands of Vhydhasz. In a twist of irony, Vhydhasz's domination of a growing regional trade routes had exposed it to diseases from overseas, most likely from the island of Älemsi. No Cryrian ships dared venture to Vhydhasz for over a decade, but when King Joar III sent them forth to avenge the humiliations of his childhood, they proved victorious against the badly ravaged nekomimi population and finally captured the capital of Aisis in 1063. The oldest nation on the Isles had fallen, and the Vhydhasz Plague was seen as a sign of divine intervention on behalf of the House of Leidensen thus further cementing their place and that of the Cryrian Church, which itself would soon loose its inquisitions upon the nekomimi.
Reign of Joar III
As the tenth century neared its end, the Kingdom of Vesterholm ruled over the western swathes of Älmark and the outlying islands, albeit only through a loosely controlled and often squabbling nobility aided by the difficult geography and often only kept in check by the larger royal fleets. To the mountainous east, the High Places remained the largest and most powerful elven state, while the large and fertile island of Talvere persisted as an entirely independent human Kingdom with little in the way of Cryrian political influences, though it had converted to Ademarism a century past. This balance of three powers would continue until 1090, when an aging Joar III sought to cement his legacy by unifying the two Ademarist states on the Isles through marriage. These efforts, however, would be hindered by notable cultural differences between the two kingdoms. Though both Ademarist states, Talvere remained heavily influenced by its non-Ademarist practices. Further, Talveri gender norms and thus laws of succession varied from those practiced by the House of Leidensen. Talvere used absolute primogenture, while Cryrian succession practiced male preference. These lingering religious differences as well as questions of succession proved to be significant obstacles for Joar's efforts.
In 1091, crop failures and the internal scheming of the byzantine Talveri court came to a head, resulting in a widespread and bloody peasant rebellion across the island. In an effort to save his fading dynasty, King Nikolai II agreed to wed his heir daughter, Lielsta of Talvere, to Prince Karsten of Vesterholm in exchange for aid in quelling the uprising. The resulting conflict was significant for its brutality, even by the standards of the time. The rebellion which had begun as a backlash against aristocratic abuses and the oppression of the peasantry had developed an ideology of its own, which would be compared by later historians as a rudimentary form of Theocratic Socialism. Ultimately, it is difficult to classify the precise nature of the Talveri Rebellion, as it left few records of its own, and most writings on the subject leaned heavily in favor of the victorious clergy and aristocracy who commissioned them. Over the course of its decade-long existence, the rebels are said to have coalesced around an Ademarist priest and ideological leader referred to in later writings only as the Mad Monk, supposedly a badly mutilated Cryrian sailor who became a spiritual leader after surviving a keelhauling. Despite this nominal allegiance however, the rebels typically operated as largely independent communes on lands seized from overthrown nobility.
Thus, the growing ideological component of the rebellion left little room for concession or compromise by either side, and Joar III was particularly keen on claiming a total victory, to both establish his dynasty's legitimacy as the sole rulers of the Isles and to ensure that the Talveri had no cause to renege on their promises(the promised wedding was oft delayed by Nikolai, much to Cryrian frustrations). The ten-year long struggle that followed would see swathes of the island burned and pillaged as Cryrian and Talveri armies sought to force the rebellion into an open battle. Even the supposed death of the Mad Monk in 1098 did not bring an end to the violence, and at the time it was widely claimed that the Monk still lived or had returned from the dead, leading to a plague of pretenders as the priest was raised to a cult-like status.
The rebellion would eventually peter out by 1101, as its inability to coordinate itself or to cut the Cryrian supply lines by gaining the support of the strongly fortified cities eventually doomed it. The scars it left on Talvere, once the fertile jewel of the Cryrian Islands, would take far longer to heal, and the confidence of the aristocracy had been badly shaken. With Nikolai II having perished in the conflict, Joar III now had practically unopposed power both in Vesterholm and the badly weakened Talvere, and the long campaign had ensured a further spread of Cryrian culture among the last native human kingdom. The much delayed wedding of Karsten and Lielsta marked a momentous occasion, as it not only meant a victorious end to a difficult war, but also the unification of the two Ademarist nations on the Isles.
This shift in the balance of power did not go unnoticed by the vast elven realm that persisted in the highlands. With Talvere all but absorbed into Vesterholm and Vhydhasz a thing of the past, an entire western and southern arc of the Isles had come under Cryrian control, and continued encroachments seemed all but guaranteed. Similarly, Cryrian explorers and settlers continued to venture into the Far North, where Vhydaszi colonies had imploded upon the fall of their homeland. Efforts to control the northern trade routes would lead to the founding of Tynam March, named after the Lord Admiral sent to take charge of the region. For now, however, Joar III had grown old, and after a long and difficult reign, his legacy at last seemed to be secure in the form of a restored and strengthened kingdom. The birth of Prince Edvin to Karsten and Lielsta further secured the future of the new union. Thus, it seemed to be that the king's final years would be largely peaceful and stable.
War with the High Places
With the death of Joar III in 1105, however, conflict would return to the Isles. While the Cryrian crown had in the past years sought to avoid conflict with the formidable elven kingdom in the High Places, the fiercely independent Cryrian nobility often acted without the monarchy's consent or control, often claiming lands and then insisting on Leidenstad's support. The reluctance of Joar III to partake in these small scale conflicts during his last years had led to a growing sense of frustration among the aristocrats who ruled near the elven border, and with Joar's demise came a renewed sense of tension as the nobility sought to enlarge their holdings once more.
The elves of the High Places were unwilling to sit quietly and await the same fate that had met their lowlands brethren, however, and the Veiled King, who had now reigned for over a century, knew well the ways of his enemies. Raids from their mountain strongholds grew ever more frequent, with the purpose of stringing out the Cryrian nobility who would stretch themselves thin attempting to defend everywhere, before being picked off one by one. These tactics led to mounting losses for the frontier aristocrats, who appealed to the Crown for aid. Such a move was not unexpected, and when the recently crowned Karsten rode forth, the elves lured his army into the highlands before ambushing and slaying him at the disastrous Battle of Barren Hill in 1107.
It was expected that the loss of the King would greatly weaken the Cryrians, indeed, the death of Joar II not so long ago had shown how quickly the Kingdom could fall into an unstable regency. For a time it seemed that this would be the case, as infighting broke out almost immediately in the Cryrian court over who would become the regent for Karsten's sole son and heir, Prince Rikard, who himself had been born mere hours after his father's death on the battlefield. The Cryrian Church, which had conducted the last regency, insisted that it should once again be allowed to have the final say. Against it stood a variety of aristocrats, who had grown wary of the Church's rising influence in Leidenstad, and recalled the purges of the First Inquisition. The elves of the High Places, however, were not content to stand by and give their enemy a chance to recover as the Vhydhasz had done. The largest elven army in the history of the Isles would gather and invade the coastal plains which made up the Cryrian heartland. There they launched a brief but brutal chevauchée across the countryside in the hopes of drawing remaining Cryrian forces into an open battle on land. Such a counterattack failed to materialize due to power struggles over the regency and control of the Crown's armies. With winter coming and the growing logistical struggles of maintaining a large army in the field, the Veiled King was forced to seek a more direct route to victory. The elves marched for Leidenstad, knowing that it was at the time not merely a capital, but the only true port on Älmark, and that with its capture the humans would be unable to reinforce themselves from their outlying territories.
As the elven armies burned a bloody swathe across the Cryrian hinterlands, they advanced upon a city increasingly consumed by chaos. Yet, as the enemy drew nearer each day and one castle after another fell, the many factions within Leidenstad would be forced to unite. With the aid of the loyal Talveri guards who had accompanied her from home, Queen Lielsta fended off attempts to take custody of the infant King and in doing so rallied the local nobility around her. Taking charge of the defense, she would ultimately succeed in holding the walls until the Cryrian fleets from Vesterholm arrived and deposited their marines behind the siege lines. The subsequent Battle on the River Leiden would see the elven armies forced to withdraw back into the mountains.
After the battle, the Queen's reputation and legitimacy was solidified, and aided further by the deaths of many high ranking members of the Priesthood when elven soldiers briefly breached the city walls and burned the Leidenstad Cathedral, with the full Council of Cardinals within. The destruction of such an important holy site, along with a general outcry for revenge against the elves who had slain the late King Karsten, would prove to be the rallying point that could finally unite the factitious aristocracy. What was to follow was known as the Scouring of the High Places, a decades-long campaign into the elven highlands.
The Scouring was not so much a single, continuous military engagement, but rather an extended but deliberate crusade with periods of intense large scale violence separated by years of slow siegework and raiding. In this regard, it was not so different to early Cryrian expansionism on Älmark in terms of timescale, but it was now being conducted against an equally large, well organized, and heavily fortified Kingdom. The effort would be a generational one, and at first relied heavily on religious motivations and a desire for vengeance to mobilize the nobility of both Vesterholm and Talvere for such a conflict. In this regard, Queen Lielsta excelled as she played the role of a widow seeking justice against the King's killers. The destruction of the Leidenstad Cathedral would give the Church's new leadership further impetus to both fund the effort and to use its social influence to call upon the Ademarists of the Isles to take up arms. Two years a soldier in the Marches, it was said, was enough to wash away all but the greatest sins in the eyes of Ademar, and to fight honorably until the end would cleanse even the blackest soul.
The Scouring would serve to bind the disparate Cryrians into a single coherent realm. While conquest had long ago taken Lindesgaard and marriage had brought together Vesterholm and Talvere, it would be the war that created a common purpose for these wide and varied cultures. Lower nobility and those who stood to inherit little could find considerable opportunities for advancement in the Marches that made up the front lines, and the presence of the Queen-Regent meant that the courts of Vesterholm and Talvere had essentially moved to these border areas, creating a new center of influence that drew notable individuals together. Though King Rikard would eventually come of age during the war and return to Leidenstad to take up the throne, Queen Lielsta would remain with her armies. Usage of the region's all-important river network would allow Cryrian longships to bring their all-important naval power to bear, severing elven strongholds from one another and wearing them down one after another. It was a risky business, with Cryrian forces often at an equal risk of being ambushed or cut off due to the elves' in-depth knowledge of their mountainous homeland.
Yet, the Cryrians had the numbers on their side, and technology as well. The need to breach the many mountain citadels propelled some early experiments with gunpowder by the Cryrians. Though these primitive bombs proved entirely incapable of seriously impacting elven walls, the technology's growing spread to anti-personnel weapons created a significant psychological impact where they were deployed, and was capable of breaking elven lines on the occasions where they gave open battle. These growing disparities would finally bring the Cryrian forces to the gates of the elven capital, seated atop a high plateau. A final year-long siege would begin, ultimately ending in 1137 with the destruction of the greatest elven city on the Isles and the slaying of the final King of the High Places. It would be renamed in honor of the Queen who had conquered it, and thus the city of Lielsta was born.
The war had changed the political structure of the Isles irreparably. The last great nonhuman power had crumbled, and with it the last serious barrier to Cryrian expansion. only a handful of scattered former vassals to the High Places remained in the north. The conflict further served as the final unifying factor that would form the unified Kingdom of Cryria, which was proclaimed in the eve of victory in the ruins of the old elven capital. Queen Lielsta would, notably, make use of this legal shift and her moment of power to implement Talveri-style absolute primogeniture rules within the House of Leidensen. The growth of Talveri political influence within the union due to heavy Cryrian losses as well as the disproportionate losses suffered by the male Cryrian aristocracy due to the long war meant that the unified Kingdom as a whole would ultimately begin to adopt both this and many other Talveri cultural practices. The status of Talvere would further ensure its relative independence from the influence of the Cryrian Church for the next several centuries.
The Rose Inquistion
Tragedy would soon strike after the Scouring. Even as the High Places fell and the last of the Veiled Kings was slain, King Rikard of Cryria began to show signs of instability. Chronic sleeplessness, frequent panic attacks, and phobias began to undermine his rule and forced an aging Lielsta to return to Leidenstad to maintain order in the Court. The King's sickness became known as the Weeping, and rumors quickly spread of an elven curse afflicting the Crown. It is more likely that Rikard was in fact the first of a series of Cryrian monarchs to be affected by a rare genetic disorder now known as fatal familial insomnia, a prion disease of the brain which causes a slow death through progressively worsening insomnia. The disease is thought to have entered the Leidensen bloodline after its union with the Talveri ruling house, which had previously suffered from the illness.
Whatever the case, Rikard's death so soon after the Cryrian victory would lead to an almost immediate backlash against the newly conquered elves. Lielsta would authorize the so-called Rose Inquisition to conduct violent purges and hunts for elves suspected of witchcraft, and the King's death would be the proximate cause for several expeditions that conquered remaining elven polities around what are now Karlin, Brekkim, and Grimvik, thus completing the unification of Älmark. The Weeping, for its part, would continue to plague the Leidensens and the broader Cryrian nobility for generations to come.
Growing divides within the Court, questions of the succession, and the continued meddling of the Church would ultimately result in a period of civil war known as the Sorrows. The seeds of the conflict were planted with the birth of Princess Charlotte and Prince Isak, both twins born to Queen Anette during the reign of King Ivar. Charlotte was deemed to be the elder of the two by a few moments, and was thus proclaimed the Duchess of Lindesgaard, as is tradition for the heir to the Cryrian throne. In order to further cement a peaceful succession, Prince Isak was promised to the Church, which would take charge of his upbringing until he came of age and could be inducted into the priesthood. This would, in effect, remove him from the line of succession once he joined the clergy.
However, Ivar had underestimated the machinations of the Church. The powerful twenty-fifth Cardinal Leidenstad saw an unprecedented opportunity to groom the young Prince and place a Church-friendly monarch onto the throne. The Court would gradually transform into a hotbed of intrigue as the King's health declined and his two children drew ever closer to adulthood. Both Charlotte and Isak would seek to draw allies to themselves. Many female aristocrats had a vested interest in maintaining Charlottes right to the throne, as anything else would threaten the legitimacy of absolute primogeniture, and thus their own rights to inherit. A number of powerful Talveri noblewomen and most notable Duchess Caroline of Karlin would rally around the Princess. Isak for his part gained many powerful friends in the Duchies of Vesterholm and Leidenstad, as well as the Marches of Aisis and Lielsta. Through the efforts of Cardinal Leidenstad, he also clandestinely purchased the loyalty of the Lindesgaard Garrison, thus potentially undermining his sister's control of the Duchy. Gustaf of Tarva, a knight who formerly commanded the Leidenstad Garrison and had mentored the Prince, would also become a close advisor for the Prince. Though Gustaf and his men became afflicted by leprosy, Isak would keep them among his retainers, an unusual move at a time when such diseases were greatly feared. Their deteriorating bodies led the unit to be known as the King's Ghouls.
King Ivar would perish in 1498, and with his death, the conflict in the court would come to a head. Both Charlotte and Isak had, by this point, survived multiple assassination attempts. Charlotte had become known for her late night wanderings in Leidenstad Castle, and Isak's supporters quickly spread rumors that she was suffering from the Weeping, the fatal insomnia which had plagued the Leidensen line and would make her unfit to reign. It would be later theorized that the Princess had actually been engaged in a secretive affair with the Duchess of Karlin, however, the matter remains heavily disputed by historians, many of whom believe that they were roommates.
All these intrigues would culminate when Cardinal Leidenstad visited the King in his final hours, ostensibly to prepare for his last rites. When the Cardinal emerged from the King's bedchamber, he carried with him a final proclamation bearing the Royal Seal - one removing Charlotte from the succession and declaring Isak to be the new rightful monarch. Even as Ivar's corpse turned cold, the the Leidenstad Garrison mobilied under Gustaf of Tarva to arrest the Princess and her supporters. Across the Kongsbukta, the Lindesgaard Garrison similarly declared their support for Isak. Charlotte would escape Leidenstad only with the help of the Duchess of Karlin. With the sea routes closed due to the defection of Lindesgaard, the Princess, the Duchess, and a handful of loyal retainers would escape into the Highlands and make an arduous winter journey through the hostile Lielsta March to reach Karlin.
Even as the self-proclaimed Queen made her escape, the rest of the Kingdom was devolving into open war. Talvere, historically wary of the Church's influence, declared itself for the Queen and launched a fleet against Lindesgaard that would ultimately be destroyed over a month-long campaign. The summer of 1499 brings further Talveri defeats as Isak's armies take Storlund and Lavini. The northern front poses far greater challenges for the King, however. Karlin's small flotilla successfully deters destructive coastal raids from the overcautious leaders of Aisis March. A later invasion into Karlin results in the disastrous Jaedz Campaign, which devastates much of the countryside but are caught by winter and destroyed in an ambush.
The Absolute Era
The period from the 16th to the 19th centuries would see seismic social shifts as the Crown sought to strengthen its hold over the aristocracy. The Absolute Era was most defined by the centralization of the state. While historically the Isles' geography had granted a great deal of autonomy to local actors, advances in technology and social sciences would see the rise of an absolutist monarchy under the House of Leidensen. This process was in part the culmination of centuries-long efforts to keep the nobility in check, but it also benefitted heavily from military and economic advances. The rise of the cannon had helped to obsolete the individual castles that had symbolized the independent aristocracy, and in their place rose new Royal fortresses guarded by loyal garrisons. The Royal fleets, which had long been an important source of authority across the island nation, would further benefit from improving firepower and shipbuilding, and by this time it had become largely unviable for individual noble houses to field significant modern fleets of their own. Similarly, advances in transportation and infrastructure helped to tie the Isles together under Leidenstad's rule. The 17th century would also see the Church's inquisitions loosed upon Talvere, where the Clergy had historically acted with relative independence both in their politics and their religious interpretations. The Talveri Inquisition would see the end of the autonomous priesthood on the island, as well as the destruction of lingering Talveri shamanic practices. Notably, this would end the depiction of a female Ademar on the island, as the practice had originated from efforts to subsume Ademarism into the matriarchical Talveri pantheon. This act would finally solidify Leidenstad's control.
The absolute monarchy would persist into the mid-1800s, when power began to shift to the Riksdag. The desire for a centralized Cryrian state governed out of Leidenstad proved to be more permanent, however. Forced language standardizations became common from the 18th century onwards in an effort to stamp out various regional dialects and native tongues. While elven communities were successful in resisting these efforts, most local human tongues died out and were replaced by a standardized Cryrian language. The tail end of the Absolute Era was dominated by Cryria's industrialisation. Rich sources of coal would help fuel this revolution, which would bring many of the social changes that ultimately contributed to the movement away from absolutism. Rapid urbanization and the poor quality of life for the growing working class would go on to later plant the seeds for the social upheavals of the Anarchy a century later. Other scientific advances at the tail end of the Absolute Era would give rise to the Cryrian eugenics movement. The movement would in many ways co-opt existing sentiments towards nonhumans and social undesirables, and add a pseudoscientific layer that appealed to many proclaimed rationalists of this time. The movement to create a Cryria pure of "Social Undesirables" would lead to the empowering of the Ministry of Tomorrow, which had initially been created to oversee language and cultural standardization efforts, but quickly expanded to become infamous for its systemic targeting of nonhumans, the mentally ill, and progressive dissident movements. The following century would see a marked collapse in nonhuman demographics as a result of forced sterilizations, lobotomies, and other atrocities that sought to dissolve elven and Vhydaszi communities. Much of Nekomimi culture was lost during this time, though coherent elven communities persisted in the Highlands.
With much of the isles firmly under Cryrian control, the Kingdom would embark on a wide variety of imperial ventures during this time, for power, prestige, and an easy means to dispatch troublesome nobility to the periphery. The 17th century would see the Kingdom attempt to invade and annex Varletia, though this ultimately ended in failure. To the east, meanwhile, the Free City of Fosden would succumb to Cryrian economic and military pressures and effectively become a vassal state, before being slowly absorbed into the Kingdom. Further abroad, private Cryrian interests would create the Mandate of Ellesborg in Arcturia throughout the late 18th century. The pace of Cryrian ventures Älemsi Negdel would also accelerate. In previous centuries, the Kingdom had sought to control nearby sea routes by first establishing Tynam and later setting up a network of suzerainty over coastal Älemsi tribes and townships in exchange for protection against raiding steppe nomads. During the Absolute Era, most of the southern Älemsi coast would have some level of Cryrian presence or influence, which allowed the Kingdom significant leverage over the island's external trade. Even so, Cryrian imperialism in Älemsi remained thin on the ground, and relied mostly on economic ties and the continued cooperation of Älemsi factions. Few serious military expeditions would take place on Älemsi, and those that did, such as the infamous Lost Inquisition, would peter out in the face of the harsh environment and highly capable local opposition.
The Modern Era
The Great War
The Kingdom would partake in the Great War as a member of the Pacific Coalition.
The Cryrian Anarchy
Though the nation had abandoned its absolute monarchy and adopted constitutionalism, the government remained heavily unrepresentative of the population, with considerable power still concentrated in the hands of the aristocratic Upper Chamber, while the Lower Chamber was dominated by rotten boroughs due to an electoral map modeled off of old noble holdings.
The immediate post-Great War era saw an rise in sporadic but deadly political violence and turmoil that was collectively termed as the Cryrian Anarchy. The name stemmed from government efforts to paint the broad opposing coalition of unions and activists as anarchists, though genuine anarchist movements existed only at the fringes. This crisis was largely fueled by poor working conditions, coupled by repressive government action against labor movements. Violence during this time would include the bombing of the Ministry of Defense. The 1918 Siege of Karsholm Palace, where demonstrators blocked the Prince Charles Bridge in response to the suspected murder of imprisoned union leader Nisse Österberg and ultimately culminated in the New Years Massacre when government troops opened fire, killing dozens and wounding many more in subsequent fighting.
The Anarchy would eventually subside as the Cryrian government was gradually pressured to give in to various demands, including constitutional, electoral, and bureaucratic reforms as well as vastly improved worker protections. The domestic turmoil and general postwar malaise would lead to further consequences abroad. Cryrian influence in domestic Älemsi affairs would disintegrate as a result of resurgent Älemsi nationalism, and outposts on Älemsi would be peacefully ceded.
Geography, Wildlife, and Climate
Cryria consists of a total of five main islands and many smaller ones, but the central island of Älmark is by far the largest and most populated. Its coastline is filled with large fjords, bays, and peninsulas. The majority of the country lies between 45° and 60° North. Much of the population lives along the country's jagged coasts, and the interior of the main island is filled with rivers, mountains, valleys and forests. The main exception to this rule is the nation's second largest island, Talvere, which is notable for its flatlands. The highest point in Cryria is Mount St. Inge, at 3,781 meters.
The river Leiden flows through the capital of Leidenstad, which itself lies upon the Kongsbukta.
The nation's vast primordial forests have been much reduced by logging and industrialization, however they remain significant. The countryside near the capital of Leidenstad boast's the Kankaanvesi, the remains of the oldest forest on the Cryrian Isles, which stretches over some 3,000 square kilometers.
A number of notable species on the Isles, including snow tigers, the Cryrian Bear, and the Cryrian Bison, saw themselves become increasingly endangered throughout the 19th and 20th century as they suffered from hunting and habitat loss. However, strong state protections have seen their numbers begin to rise again.
Cryria is a constitutional monarchy with Queen Ulrika II as its head of state. While both the monarchy and the aristocracy retain significant powers and influence, much of the day to day affairs of state are handled by the Prime Minister. The Riksdag serves as a bicameral parliament, with the Upper Chamber, the Första Kammaren, controlled by members of the old nobility, and the Lower Chamber, or the Andra Kammaren for the commons. The position of Prime Minister is typically held by the person most able to command the confidence of the commons, usually the leader of the party with the most seats. The current Prime Minister is Stur Lundberg of the Social Democrats. Individuals selected as Prime Minister are also traditionally granted the title of Lord Protector of the Realm, in effect making them a part of the nobility for the duration of their service, and thus ensuring that they can command the appropriate respect from the aristocracy.
General elections for the 349 seats in the Andra Kammaren are held every four years. Of these, 310 are fixed constituency seats, while the remainder function as leveling seats. Seats in the Första Kammaren on the other hand, are held by the nobility, though not everyone with a recognized noble title has a seat. Seats and titles alike can be granted or removed at the monarch's discretion, though naturally there are strong traditions of both being passed down from generation to generation in certain families. Notable officials and other persons might be occasionally rewarded with a chivalric titles and a seat as well, though these are not inheritable. The Clergy also receives representation in the Upper Chamber, though as the formal head of the Cryrian Church, the monarch can once again grant or remove such seats.
Much of the actual legislative power is held by the Andra Kammaren, however, the unelected Första Kammaren retains significant administrative influence, as well as the ability to review and delay legislation as well as outright veto pieces of secondary legislation.
The Monarch serves as the formal head of state, head of church, and commander in chief of Cryria. Oaths of allegiance are made to the sitting Monarch. They have the ability to confirm or reject appointments, dissolve the Riksdag, dismiss the Government, grant pardons, and grant or delay royal assent to legislation. The monarch also has the right to bring legislation before the Riksdag. However, all of these powers are, by convention, used sparingly, and often only with the support of the Prime Minister. The royal family also owns the vast Crown Estates, the largest collection of lands and holdings in the Kingdom. The Estates range from various urban properties to agricultural lands, forests, waterways, and various other holdings. Much of the incomes from these estates are voluntarily directed to the Government, however, they give the monarchy considerable financial power. Beyond the Crown Estates, the royal family is thought to own some thirty to sixty billion dollars worth of its own discretionary assets and investments. A number of protected lands and national parks have also been established on the Crown Estates by various monarchs.
The current monarch is titled as Ulrika the Second, Queen of all Cryria by the Grace and Blood of Ademar, Duchess of Vesterholm, Talvere, Karlin, and Leidenstad, Defender of the Faith, Lady Patron of Ellesborg and Fosden. The title of Duke of Lindesgaard has traditionally been delegated to the heir to the throne, often as a sign of confidence by a sitting monarch as Lindesgaard protects the vital straits leading to the Cryrian heartland.
The Cryrian aristocracy, which continues to wield noticeable influence through the Första Kammaren, primarily consists of Counts. and beneath them Barons.
The Government is headquartered at Karsholm Palace, located on an islet within the city of Leidenstad. The Riksdag meets at the Palace of Glass, thus named for the many windows installed in a literal display of transparency for the people. There are a number of royal residences around the nation, but the primary one is Leidenstad Castle, located in the hills overlooking the city. An unassuming residence within the city is also provided to the Prime Minister.
|Name||Ideology||Lower Chamber Seats||Government|
|Cryrian Social Democratic Party||Social Democracy||129||Coalition|
|Cryrian Conservative Party||Liberal Conservativism||95||Coalition|
|Cryrian Green Party||Green Politics||55||External Support|
|Cryrian National Party||Social Conservativism, Nationalism||33||Opposition|
|The Red Hundred||Religious Conservativism, Monarchism||29||Opposition|
|The Talvere Society||Aristocratism||8||Opposition|
Cryria's foreign policy is handled by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, presently headed by Erland Maravel, the Count of Grimvik. This is not unusual, as the Foreign Ministry has a long history of being dominated by aristocratic families.
The country has historically operated on the uncodified principal of military nonalignment, and has thus distanced itself from many of the wider conflicts on Urth. It does however remain a significant arms exporter, and has most notably supplied the Republic of Serramal and Älemsi Negdel, both nations with which the Kingdom maintains close trading ties. The Kingdom also has warm relations with most of its immediate neighbors, including Arkalarius, Varletia, the Heisen League, and Endertopias.
Cryria further maintains a condominium with the Union of Free Cities in Arcturia in the form of the Crown Mandate of Ellesborg, and holds a seat on the Mandate Directory Council. Multilateral international cooperation has always been an important part of Cryrian foreign policy, and the Kingdom is a member of the League of Novaris after joining in 2020, and was a founder of the International Forum. More historically, the nation also took part in the Common Era calendar conference. The Kingdom is also a member of the Rotantic Congress.
In a similar light, the Kingdom also has a considerable history as a foreign aid provider, most recently having pledged monetary assistance for the Novaris Reconstruction Fund as well as medical aid for the GHSO mission in Southwest Gondwana. This has not been without controversy, however, and the Royal International Development Agency has recently suffered notable scandals with regards to its funds being used for bribery in Serramal.
The twenty-first century has brought forward mounting challenges to the Kingdom's foreign policy doctrine, with difficulties caused by the Arkian Civil War leaving behind lingering questions about the nation's ability to continue avoiding the conflicts on the mainland.
The three main branches of the Cryrian Defense Forces are the Cryrian Army, the Royal Cryrian Air Force, and the Royal Cryrian Navy. The Cryrian Military is heavily supported by domestic industry.
Due to Cryria's relatively small population and tendency to avoid joining larger power blocs, the nation has historically used a combination of well trained professional soldiers alongside widespread conscription to boost its numbers in wartime and gain access to specialized skillsets among the civilian population. Most Cryrian men and women, barring various exemptions and alternative service options, are drafted at the age of 18, and serve for two to three years before being cycled back out into the reserves. Reservists are liable for up to 30 days of service a year during peacetime, theoretically as late as age 40, or 50 in the case of commissioned officers. Those who have served at least 20 days in a three year span are considered to be a part of the Active Reserves. The concept of National Service in general remains popular in Cryria, and it is seen as a uniting force within the nation. However, younger generations increasingly look to alternatives to conscription to fulfill the National Service requirement, and the Cryrian military itself has steadily expanded its use of professional forces. Today, roughly half of active duty personnel are conscripts, while conscripts make up about 80% of the overall defense structure when considering the reservist system. The lower ranks of the Army contain the highest proportion of conscripts, while the Air Force and Navy have the highest proportion of professional servicepeople. Conscription, and National Service in general, continues to play an important role in the nation's Total Defense doctrine, which seeks to build the societal resolve and cohesion to counter hybrid threats that go beyond the military sphere.
The Cryrian Military presently has a total of 210,000 active soldiers, and 800,000 active reservists. The development of this force has been heavily influenced by Article 6 of the Cryrian Constitution, which prohibits the deployment of Cryrian conscripts outside of Cryrian soil. As such, the Cryrian military emphasizes the defensive and deterrence aspects of its missions, and Cryrian doctrines are heavily focused around fighting conventional but asymmetric wars to preserve Cryrian independence against potentially more powerful aggressors. This stance has been heavily influenced by the unstable politics of Novaris. Built in redundancies and hardened bases and shelters to preserve military assets are a common theme, and the civilian sphere is touched by this as well - for instance, the national highway network is built to act as backup runways for the air force. The Novaran Cold War had similarly lead the Kingdom to establish an extensive network of fallout shelters, through both building regulations and the hardening of government facilities. Today, this civil defense network is theoretically capable of sheltering 55% of the Cryrian population. Article 6 has also led the Cryrian government to hire foreign soldiers for expeditionary purposes. These units contain Cryrian citizens in leadership positions, but are typically made up of non-citizen soldiers.
The most famous of these groups forms the Cryrian Foreign Legion, a division strength unit which makes use of both professional Cryrian officers and non-citizen troops. The Foreign Legion is known for containing large numbers of Ethalrians and Ethalrian-descended soldiers, and has been enshrined in popular culture as an effective but sometimes disreputable unit which asks few questions about a soldier's past and offers a clean slate to all. The Legion’s notoriety is further heightened by its high espirit de corps and long history, as well as its guardianship of the Island of Trauer, which guards the way into the Cryrian heartland. Most notably, the Foreign Legion is the only such unit to formally and fully operate under the auspices of the Cryrian military. In this regard, the Foreign Legion also offers full military benefits and pathways to citizenship, either upon completing a period of good service or upon being injured in service to the Kingdom.
Due to extensive investment in civilian nuclear energy and expertise and access to the necessary materials, Cryria has developed a policy of nuclear latency. Suggestions that the Kingdom has assembled weapons of mass destruction are denied.
The Cryrian military maintains a deployment in the Crown Mandate of Ellesborg. It also operates a naval station in Marago, the capital of Serramal, though there are no warships located there, and the base merely serves to provide logistical support for the Kingdom's Sempiternic operations. A platoon-strength detachment from the Foreign Legion is also maintained there to provide security for Cryrian personnel in the occasionally tumultuous city.
|Name||Type||Country of Origin||Manufacturer|
|Vektor SP1||Standard Issue Pistol||Älemsi Negdel||Hejeld AN|
|AK 5 D||Standard Issue Assault Rifle||Kingdom of Cryria||Hejeld AB|
|AK 4||Battle Rifle
Designated Marksman Rifle
|Kingdom of Cryria||Hejeld AB|
|Sako TRG||Sniper Rifle||Kingdom of Cryria|
|NTW-20||Anti-Materiel Rifle||Älemsi Negdel||Hejeld AN|
|Ksp 90||Light Machine Gun||Kingdom of Cryria||Hejeld AB|
|Ksp 58||General-purpose Machine Gun||Kingdom of Cryria||Hejeld AB|
|Y3 AGL||Automatic Grenade Launcher||Älemsi Negdel||Hejeld AN|
|AT4||Rocket propelled grenade||Kingdom of Cryria||Örn AB|
|CG M4||Recoilless Rifle||Kingdom of Cryria||Örn AB|
|ZT3||Anti-Tank Guided Missile||Älemsi Negdel||Hejeld AN|
|RBS 70||MANPAD||Kingdom of Cryria||Örn AB|
|120 Krh/40||Heavy Infantry Mortar||Kingdom of Cryria||Honngingfjord Ironworks|
|81 KRH 71 Y||Light Infantry Mortar||Kingdom of Cryria||Honngingfjord Ironworks|
|Name||Type||In Service||Country of Origin||Manufacturer|
|Stridsvagn 122||Main Battle Tank||468||Kingdom of Cryria||Hejeld AB|
|Combat Vehicle 90||Infantry Fighting Vehicle||966||Kingdom of Cryria||Hejeld AB|
|Emmerson AMV||Armored Personnel Carrier||2,643||Kingdom of Cryria||Emmerson Land Systems|
|Bv 410||Armored Personnel Carrier||5,471||Kingdom of Cryria||Hejeld AB|
|Archer||Self-Propelled Artillery||317||Kingdom of Cryria||Leidenstad Ironworks|
|AMOS||Self-Propelled Mortal||86||Kingdom of Cryria||Hejeld AB, Emmerson Land Systems|
|M270 Multiple Launch Rocket System||Multiple Rocket Launch System||87|
|155 GH 52 APU||Towed Artillery||627||Kingdom of Cryria||Emmerson Land Systems|
|130 K 54||Towed Artillery||201|
|130 53 TK||Towed Artillery||83||Kingdom of Cryria||Honngingfjord Ironworks|
|ITPSV 90||Self-Propelled Anti-Aircraft Gun||7|
|35 Itk 88||Towed Anti-Aircraft Gun||1,061|
|Guardian 1||Short Range Surface-to-Air Missile||220||Kingdom of Cryria||Tarva Defense Systems|
|Guardian 2||Medium Range Surface-to-Air Missile||84||Kingdom of Cryria||Tarva Defense Systems|
|Guardian 3||Long Range Surface-to-Air Missile||48||Kingdom of Cryria||Tarva Defense Systems|
|Naval Strike Missile||Mobile Coastal Defense Missle||216||Kingdom of Cryria||Tarva Defense Systems|
|Various other logistics, support, EW, reconnaissance, command and control, etc.|
|Name||Type||In Service||Country of Origin||Manufacturer|
|Örn JAS 39NG Gripen||Multirole Fighter||470||Kingdom of Cryria||Örn AB|
|Örn JAS 39D Gripen||Trainer||162||Kingdom of Cryria||Örn AB|
|Hejeld Argali||Tactical Transport Helicopter||23||Älemsi Negdel||Hejeld AN|
|NH-90 TTH||Tactical Transport Helicopter||38||Kingdom of Cryria||Emmerson Land Systems|
|NH-90 NFH||Naval Helicopter||14||Kingdom of Cryria||Emmerson Land Systems|
|Type 3 UAV||Unmanned Combat Aerial Vehicle||134||Kingdom of Cryria||Örn AB|
|Örn Swordfish||Maritime Patrol Aircraft||11||Kingdom of Cryria||Hejeld AB|
|Various other logistics, support, reconnaissance, EW, command and control, etc.|
|Name||Type||In Service||Country of Origin||Manufacturer|
|Kraken-Class||Deisel-Electric Attack Submarine||14||Kingdom of Cryria||Marlberg AS|
|Tynam-Class||Flexible Support Ship||4||Kingdom of Cryria||Marlberg AS|
|Leiden-Class||Frigate||11||Kingdom of Cryria||Marlberg AS|
|Thetis-Class||Offshore Patrol Bot||9||Kingdom of Cryria||Marlberg AS|
|Ivar Hellqvist-Class||Offshore Patrol Bot||6||Kingdom of Cryria||Marlberg AS|
|Skjold-Class||Corvette||9||Kingdom of Cryria||Marlberg AS|
|Hamina-Class||Missile Boat||11||Kingdom of Cryria||Marlberg AS|
|Hämeenmaa-Class||Minelayer||5||Kingdom of Cryria||Marlberg AS|
|Oksøy-Class||Mine Hunter||27||Kingdom of Cryria||Marlberg AS|
|Tapper-Class||Patrol Boat||62||Kingdom of Cryria||Marlberg AS|
|Jehu-Class||Fast Assault Craft||339||Kingdom of Cryria||Marlberg AS|
|Various other logistics, support, reconnaissance, EW, command and control, etc.|
Magnusholm Naval Base is the largest RCRN naval facility, and is located on an islet just off the coast of Leidenstad. Connected to the mainland by underwater tunnel, it is a massive underground base designed to host the submarines and small surface combatants of the Cryrian fleet, with miles of tunnels containing command centers, support facilities, and barracks for the Naval Infantry. The RCRN also maintains similarly constructed bases around the country, as well as a large presence at Joint Base Trollesund, located near Tarva.
Crime and Law Enforcement
Most day to day civil law enforcement is handled under the umbrella of the National Police, while the Säkerhetspolisen serves as a specialized domestic intelligence agency handling counter-espionage and anti-terrorism activities. There are some overlaps between the remits of the two organizations. In addition to normal policing activities, the National Police also operates the National Task Force, a police tactical unit for high risk situations. The State Protection Service provides security for high level government officials, visiting dignitaries, and government buildings, however, the royal family is protected by the Royal Guard, a fully functional Cryrian Army infantry brigade consisting of 6,000 professional soldiers. The modern iterations of the National Police, Säkerhetspolisen, and SPS can all be traced back to the need for improved security forces during the Anarchy.
Unlike similar forces in many other nations, the Cryrian Coast Guard is a purely civilian law enforcement arm. It functions as a part of the National Police and operates a range of largely unarmed aircraft and patrol vessels for maritime peacekeeping and search and rescue purposes. More serious situations are typically handled by the military.
The Central Intelligence Directorate functions as the government's primary intelligence gathering arm, and serves to coordinate intelligence gathering functions from both military and civilian departments. Notably, the CID maintains the Obsidian interception facilities for the purpose of countering terrorism and organized crime. The system has been the source of notable controversies for the civil liberties threats it poses. The CID also operates the Kingdom's primary dedicated cyberware units, a capability which has been heavily invested in throughout the 21st century.
The highest punishment in Cryria is a life sentence, which is of indeterminate length. Capital punishment has been outlawed in civilian contexts, though it can still be used under the nation's military justice system. In a military context, an execution is typically carried out by firing squad, however, this punishment is exceedingly rare in the modern era.
Euthanasia is banned in Cryria, and while homosexuality is not criminalized, same-sex unions are not recognized as valid under the law, and the existence of homosexuality is officially denied. However, same-sex marriages are legal in Ellesborg, and as the Cryrian government automatically recognizes all marriages performed in Ellesborg, this has created a loophole for those who can afford to exploit it. Abortion is legal in the event of danger to the mother, however, this statue has been interpreted increasingly broadly, allowing for widespread abortion access.
Copyrights in Cryria are protected for the life of the creator plus 70 years.
The Cryrian economy boasts a GDP of 1.4 trillion. Initially built off the export of raw materials including lumber, coal, petroleum, uranium, and other extraction activities, the nation has grown to develop a strong technological and manufacturing base, especially in the automotive and aerospace industries. The Cryrian economy and government remain major investors in a wide range of research & development activities, with one of the highest R&D to GDP ratios in the world. The Cryrian financial sector is notable mostly for the high levels of confidentiality it offers to its clients.
The Cryrian government operates the Royal Investment Authority, a large sovereign wealth fund fueled by excess natural resource revenues. The RIA’s secretive nature makes it difficult to determine its exact investments, though it is thought to have built up over 1.3 trillion SHD in assets over its history.
Though it cannot be said to compare with those of great powers, the Kingdom of Cryria has built up a remarkably sophisticated and comprehensive domestic defense industry, thanks to its already strong presence in the aerospace and auto industries, as well as its strong technological base and ever present markets. Major players in this field include Hejeld AB, Tarva Defense Systems, Emmerson Land Systems, Marlberg AS, and Örn AB. Most of the Cryrian military is in some shape or form supported by domestic industry, which has also had extensive dealings abroad. Notable, Hejeld AB purchased the rights to license build the Strv 122, a Cryrian variant of Arkian tank designs. The nations of Serramal and Älemsi Negdel are both heavily supplied by the Cryrian defense industry as well, and the latter is home to a major subsidiary of Hejeld AB known as Hejeld AN, which itself works extensively with both Älemsi and Cryrian forces. The Örn JAS 39 Gripen in particular has become symbolic of Cryrian defense manufacturers as an independently developed fourth-generation fighter jet. The actions of this industry have not been without controversy, however, and arms sales to Serramal are often scrutinized for both the proliferation risks as well as their potential to draw the Kingdom into unwanted foreign entanglements.
The most important component of the public transit system is the National Ferry Service, which effectively links the archipelagic nation together. As of present, there are no direct bridges or tunnels which link the different islands of the nation to each other, and instead, a sophisticated boat network operated by the Ministry of Transportation provides quick and easy transit around the Kingdom.
Science and technology
18th century industrialization brought with it a scientific revolution. In modern Cryria, the traditional engineering industry remains an important source of new developments, but pharmaceuticals, electronics, and various high tech industries have gained considerable ground. Honningfjord's "Cryptic Circle" has become home to rapidly growing blockchain-based enterprises, fueled by a supportive regulatory environment and strong financial and tech sectors in the country. The industry, which consists of mostly small enterprises, employs around 5,000 Cryrians across some 900 companies, and has an estimated total value of over a 200 billion SHD.
While Cryria continues to be an important fossil fuel exporter, domestically it has increasingly begun to move towards more sustainable forms of energy, with considerable government investments in renewables. The country is well suited for the implementation of hydropower, due to its many fjords and rivers. Nuclear power also plays a major role, and has led to the nation's informal nuclear doctrine which has seen the creation of a considerable reserve of nuclear material. Wind and wave power have also begun to play larger roles in the Cryrian energy market. The country also makes heavy use of biofuels, driven by its large forestry sector. Biofuels especially play a large role in the lives of everyday citizens, with all fuel stations offering it as an option and flexible fuel vehicles being quite common. It is the stated aim of the Cryrian government to fully transition to fossil fuel-free traffic by 2030.
Much of Cryria consists of the descendants of ethnically Asendavian migrants, however, the nation has seen subsequent waves of migration, particularly from the Zapolese population in the Mandate of Ellesborg and Ethalrian immigrants who arrived after that nation's collapse. Cryria remains almost entirely populated by humans in the present day, with elves and nekomimi existing as small and historically marginalized communities making up 1% and 0.6% of the population respectively. The Braiorvitl District in Lielsta is the largest of the so-called Minority Districts in the country, and home to much of the elven population. Similar minority dominated areas include the Ethalrian influenced neighborhoods in Tarva, the Arkian areas in Valngi, and the Serramal and Zapolese districts in Leidenstad, though these are often far better integrated and more widely accepted.
Most of the Cryrian population is concentrated along the coasts or in fertile river valleys further inland.
The official language of Cryria is Cryrian, an Asendavian offshoot which remains mutually intelligible with other Asendavian dialects despite heavy influences from Ethalrian and the native human languages previously spoken in ancient Vesterholm, Lindesgaard, and Talvere. Various Ethalrian offshoots remain common as second languages in Cryria, rivaled only by Staynish. Varletian is also spoken in portions of southern Cryria, particularly in Lindesgaard, the Arm of Storlund, and portions of Vesterholm.
The Cryrian Church of Ademar serves as the nation's primary and official religion, with roughly 70% of Cryrians considering themselves to be practicing members. The Cryrian Church is formally headed by the Monarch, and certain members of the clergy are given seats on the Första Kammaren and other privileges' as if they were equal to the nobility. This has allowed the Church to retain a measure of its historical political power in modern Cryria, which it has most notably used to oppose euthanasia and the official recognition of same sex couples, and the institution has generally served as a bastion of social conservativism.
The Cryrian constitution guarantees freedom of religion, and other religions are practiced on a smaller scale, most notably Vaerism, which was brought by Ethalrian migrants and continues to be practiced by 1% of the population. Remaining Cryrian Elves also continue to practice their own form of paganism.
Prior to the Cryrian Conquests, Talvere was a primary economic and cultural hub in the Isles, with a religion that spread to Lindesgaard, Vesterholm, and even saw some elements absorbed by the ancient Cryrians. The Talveri pantheon was centered upon the goddess Mlythla, represented by a triskelion and said to exist simultaneously as three separate entities incorporating the cycle of life as the Talveri understood it - the Ezethla, Mhuilka, and Cxouxa.
The Ezethla represented youthful strength, motivation and intellect, and was most often portrayed as a warrior or a scholar.
The Mhuilka, representing middle age, was worshipped as a goddess of both fertility and protection. This aspect was treated as the central entity of Mlythla, as she was often invoked for plentiful harvests on the heavily agrarian island. However, she was also treated as a representation of life in all its varied forms. A common artistic depiction of the Mhuilka found in surviving Talveri scrolls often show monstrously deformed children clawing their way out of her belly, thus demonstrating life born from death. Such portrayals initially led Cryrian arrivals to view the Mhuilka's children as representations of some evil aspect within Talveri religion. However, such deformities were not seen negatively by the Talveri, who considered all forms of life to be born from the Mhuilka, including the strange and the twisted. Deformed children and individuals with visible cancers in Talveri society were seen as bearers of new and unique forms of life blessed by the Mhuilka, and would often be inducted into the priesthood on this basis. Early Cryrian visitors to Talvere also noted that Talveri priests were frequently accompanied by strange looking hounds. Further study of Talveri records suggest that the priesthood maintained kennels of dogs deliberately infected by transmissible facial tumors as a form of worship.
The Cxouxa represented the wisdom and cruelty of old age. She was typically shown as a withered old woman, often cold and nihilistic in the face of her impending demise. Talveri legends surrounding her portray her as a distant and secretive entity who is quick to curse and punish, but one who also holds the knowledge of long years. The Cxouxa was typically invoked as a representation of death, bearing a lantern at the end of her staff to guide departed souls to their place in Mlythla's Garden of Riot.Talvere's position as the most populous region in the pre-Conquest isles would see the Talveri Pantheon spread, in one form or another, across the various other human statelets of the region. The largely decentralized nature of the Talveri priesthood meant that the worship of Mlythla varied wildly outside and sometimes even inside its borders. Ancient shrines and scrimshaw pieces dedicated to Mlythla have been found in Nederborg dating back to the first Cryrian colonization of the island, suggesting that the deity had been in some way recognized by the otherwise still-Ademarist Cryrians. Similarly, a number of accounts by Cryrian tradesmen and missionaries mention visitations to Talvere and encounters with their priests.
"I am sorry to report to his majesty that in all my travels, I was unable to learn anything of note from the Talvan preachers who wander the countryside. It seems they often know us for outsiders, and so rarely speak in our presence. Yet, I shall endeavor to describe them best I can. These priests often travel from village to village, though some who bear the most awful malignancies reside permanently in the great cities along with the oldest and highest of their number. There are still twisted and deformed creatures which walk the roads, accompanied only by their sickly and bloated hounds. No alderman will deny one bearing the grey cowl a bed, nor would any malcontent dare waylay them. There are further many who are fit and whole, and serve as itinerant surgeons in addition to sealing marriages and other priestly affairs which are more familiar to us." - Modernized translation of explorer Olov Persson's report to King Magnus of VesterholmWorship of the Talveri pantheon would begin to decline in the face of rising Cryrian power in the Isles. Ademarist priests were far more centralized and conducted active missionary work in an effort to convert lands that came under Cryrian influence. Though Magnus conquered Lindesgaard and ascended to the throne of Vesterholm, priests of Mlythla remained active on the island for some two centuries afterwards. Mlythlaism declined and was ultimately ended entirely as part of the First Inquisition. In Talvere itself, however, Ademarism would be heavily absorbed into the existing religious structures. This religious shift, though gradual, did not come without conflict. Though Talvere remained an independent state up until the Unification, the Cryrian Church was active in its efforts to establish direct influence over Talveri religious life, and Cryrian trade and marriages were often used to influence the local elite. This clashed fiercely with longstanding traditions of decentralized religious institutions, and helped contribute to the Talveri Civil War beginning in 1091.
The semiautonomous religious structure of Talvere would persist for centuries after its inclusion into the Kingdom of Cryria, and Ademar continued to be frequently depicted as an aspect of Mlythla. This state of affairs would eventually clash with the growing centralization of the Cryrian state during the Absolute Era. The old religions of the Isles had long been at odds with both the Church and the rising state, which viewed these forms of worship as sign of a decadent past at best, and a potential threat to their authority at worst. The Cinder Inquisition would see the last priests of Mlythla wiped out, and the worship of Ademar brought in line with the dogma of the Cryrian Church. Despite no longer having overt worshippers, however, elements of the religion were deeply absorbed by Cryrian Ademarism and general society over centuries of intermingling. The late-nineteenth century saw a renewal of popular and academic interest in Talveri mythology and history, though much of this was heavily distorted by perceptions of the time.
Mlythlaism provided a powerful backdrop for disability rights movements in the Kingdom, and is considered to be an underlying factor for why Cryrian eugenics movements did not typically target the physically disabled in the way that foreign equivalents did. In modern times, Mlythla's Triskelion has become adopted by some environmentalist groups. Mlylthaist symbology remains present in other parts of life, for instance, many universities and libraries have wings named after Ezethla, and hospitals often reference Mhuilka. Various pieces of art, music, and literature continue to draw elements from Mlythlaism as well, in keeping with Talvere's influence as an artistic center in Cryria.
Tobacco products are highly regulated and heavily taxed, however, there remains a niche market for them, particularly as expensive examples are sometimes a status symbol among the upper class. Cardiovascular diseases remain the most common cause of death in the country.
Mental health has historically been a fraught subject in Cryria. The rise of eugenics in the 19th century came with the establishment of the Ministry for Tomorrow, which aimed to restructure Cryrian society along new eugenicist ideals. In this regard, the mentally disabled and ill were frequently targeted for forced lobotomies and sterilizations. This would most often be targeted towards nonhumans and "societal undesirables." The dismantling of the Ministry in the 1970s and the official end of eugenicist policies in Cryria allowed for new mental health infrastructure to be developed.
Children aged 1-5 years old are guaranteed a place in a public kindergarten. Between ages 6-18, children attend comprehensive school which is compulsory outside of certain, limited exceptions. After completion, many students continue on to a university, which is often seen as necessary to beginning a career and also offers a way to defer or reduce National Service requirements for certain academic pursuits. The school system, from beginning to end, is largely funded by taxes and non-university institutions are almost entirely state run, outside of certain specialized schools.
Cryria is home to a number of breweries and vineyards, with Akvavit and various wines being a popular drink during special occasions. The government holds a monopoly on the sale of strong liquors outside of restaurants and bars, and a Church-supported temperance movement during the 19th century lead to the minimum drinking age being set at 18. Foreign alcohol brands are popular within the country, whose own alcohol never gained any international fame.
There is a small industry of Cryrian-language films, however, they are quite niche and limited to domestic markets. Markedly more successful is, surprisingly, Serramal-language films. The Little Marago District of Leidenstad attracted a significant number of artists from Serramal due to purges throughout the 1990s. Serramali cinema, frequently defined by their use of music, melodrama, and colors, were quick to stand out in Cryrian markets and have become a significant pop-culture phenomenon. The Kingdom also hosts a well developed video game industry, due to its strong technological base and large numbers of skilled programmers.