Federation of Bana
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Federation of Bana
Motto: Prosperity, Together
Anthem: "Laarin Awọn Odo" (Banian)
"Between the Rivers"
Location of the Federation of Bana (dark green)
on the continent of Gondwana (grey)
|Ethnic groups |
|Okun Orc: 48%|
Miku Orc: 46%
New Ranite Orc: 4.5%
All others: 1.5%
|Government||Federal consociational Parliamentary republic|
• Federal Premier
|Council of Communities|
• Okun Kingdom forms
|c. 1000 CE|
• Miku-Loko unification
|c. 1100-1200 CE|
• Okun-Miku unification
|2 June 1358|
• Federation of Bana formed
|26 January 1963|
• New Rania joins
|13 August 1974|
|382,538 km2 (147,699 sq mi)|
• 2021 estimate
• Per capita
|Currency||Banian Dollar (FBD)|
|Time zone||Banian Standard Time (UTC -07:00)|
The Federation of Bana, commonly called Bana (//), is a federation consisting of three co-equal, sovereign constituent states: Okunbana, Mikubana and New Rania. It is located in northern Gondwana on Urth, and is a member of the Alliance of Northwest Gondwana. In international relations, the country generally requests to be referred to by its full name, "Federation of Bana," so that it is not confused with the City of Bana. The city is the capital of one of the three constituent states, and the Banian Foreign Affairs Office states that using the name "Bana" unqualified could imply supremacy of that city over the entire country. The capital of the country and seat of power is in Newport, a planned city purpose-built to be a new capital city for the country beginning in the 1960s.
The history of Bana is defined by two rivers: the Loko River, running southward from the Danvreas Range just along the edges of the Raonite Spur, and the Miku River, taking a circuitous path down from the mountains along a more northerly route, both of which feed into the Strait of Vaklori. Habitation by orcs in this region dates back hundreds of thousands of years, while proto-Banian cultures appear in the archaeological record as early as 2500 BCE. While early theories presumed that the Loko and Miku river valleys were peopled in the same migrations from the interior of the continent that produced Ni-Rao, genetic evidence indicates that people in Bana are more closely related to the people of the Danvreas. By the turn of the 11th century CE, three primary tribes (usually referred to as "nations") of peoples in the region had come to use the term "bana" as an identifier: the Mikubana along the Miku River in the north; the Lokobana along the Loko River in the south; and the Okunbana along the coast of the Strait of Vaklori between the two rivers. The term "bana" is translated as "children," with each tribe naming themselves as the children of the body of water they lived on: the Miku, the Loko, and the Okun - the sea.
The three nations of the Bana peoples were initially entirely separate cultures, united only in that they all happened to live in the relative power vacuum between Ni-Rao and the Danvreas. However, significant trade interaction between the nations led to their adoption of the same language as early as 500 CE. Relations were almost always peaceful, with evidence of some scarce brief flare-ups of violence. At the turn of the 10th century CE, various small city-states along the coast are united by a military campaign into the Kingdom of Okunbana, based in a city bearing just the name "Bana." Over the next few hundred years, Okunbana established extensive relationships with the Mikubana and the Lokobana. At the same time, the Lokobana gradually assimilated into the Mikubana, and they had come to consider themselves one tribe, the Mikubana, by 1200 CE.
Also beginning in the 13th century, the Empire of Ni-Rao was reaching the peak of its power. Having long economically dominated the region of Northwest Gondwana, they had begun to forcibly settle north of the Danvreas Range for the first time. The first formal alliance between Okunbana and Mikubana was a military one in defending themselves from the Raonites. In 1358, realizing that attempting to coordinate their collective defense from two different power centers was ineffective against the Raonites, Okunbana and Mikubana reached a unique agreement regarding sharing power. The two tribes would merge into one union, named Bana, and both the King of Okunbana and the King of Mikubana would continue to be liege lords over their people and largely have control over their own domestic affairs. However, one of the two Kings would also hold the title "High King of Bana," sometimes also translated as "Emperor of Bana," to whom the other King would be required to pledge fealty. And then, upon the death of the High King, the position of High King would go to the other King, and the former High King's heir would be the lower-ranked King.
In part due to military pressure from the Okunbana and Mikubana in the north, and partly due to other factors such as Tavari military resistance, economic weakness, and a plague in the 14th century that affected only felines, Ni-Rao would rapidly decline by 1450 AD to only include its core holdings of territory, its smallest size in more than five centuries. With a void in the region now unfilled by Ni-Rao, Okunbana and Mikunbana found themselves faced with the Tavari, across the strait, in a competition to be the leading power. Economic rivalry would lead to armed conflict at the turn of the 16th century, and the two powers would have several conflicts over the next few centuries.
The decisive victory of the Tavari in the Fourth War would largely cement Tavaris as the dominant power in Northwest Gondwana. Bana began to look outward, seeking trade relationships with outside powers in particular. It established a relationship with Asendavia, the leading colonial power in the region, and also established trading relationships with Raonite, Reijian, and later, Salovian merchants. Due in part to the country's smaller size and its higher concentration of people in urban areas, Bana was able to modernize industry and infrastructure more quickly than Tavaris and had a much more industrialized economy at the turn of the 18th century.
Banian Civil War
Bana's unique governance arrangement lasted in some form until the 20th century. In 1835, a Constitution modeled somewhat after the Reijian one was established that reduced the monarchs of either tribe to figurehead positions. It also formally named the country as the Union of Bana. Under this Constitution, the country elected a common parliament and was led by two Co-Consuls, one appointed from each tribe. The tribes themselves were also named "Nations" and were declared in the text to be "of equal stature." The nations each had wide latitude in their own internal affairs, with the national government primarily responsible for foreign relations and defense. This was the first Constitution that formally established Bana as what we would today call a federation, instead a system of suzerainty.
In 1900, Okunbana elected a nationalist government that advocated for showing more dominance over the region. Because Okunbana was the larger of the two states, it had more seats in the Parliament, giving them a majority. However, in Mikubana, the Socialist Party had begun to gain momentum, and as it grew it became increasingly radical. The national government and the Nation of Okunbana both feared a communist uprising, and worked to alter the law, including the Constitution, to exclude them from power. In 1939, Parliament passed a bill that made it illegal for political parties to "be associated to political organizations outside the country," which was used to disqualify the Mikubana Socialist Party based on alleged ties to East Cerdani and Vesienväl. As a result, a Socialist Party-sponsored coup attacked the capital in the city of Lanu and led to the death of both Co-Consuls. Uprisings by paramilitary organizations overthrew the state-level governments as well. However, the nationalist forces had prepared for this, and had significant supplies of military equipment.
The Banian Civil War lasted until 1954. It was, by all accounts, a brutal war in which both sides constantly lost and then retook the same stretches of territory several times. The middle of the country was filled with landmines beginning in 1942. In the late 1940s, both sides began deploying nerve gas. Approximately 9 million people died in the conflict, nearly half of the country's population. At the end, in 1954, both sides reached a ceasefire largely because they had exhausted all their resources and both were both now too impoverished to afford the war.
An exception to the devastation were the cities of Bana and Lanu, which were seized by Tavari forces in 1940 after Nationalist Banian ships fired at the Tavari, erroneously believing they were supporting the Communists. Tavaris refused to deploy troops outside the two cities and instead focused on maintaining them as neutral areas. In addition to the 9 million deaths, some 4 million Banians left the country through the two port cities to various places, primarily Tavaris but also other surrounding countries. Tavaris also hosted the negotiations for the provisional government.
The Provisional Government of Bana lasted for 13 years until it was replaced by a new Constitution that established the Federation of Bana. The system of co-consuls was replaced with a single Premier and cabinet appointed from among the members of the Federal Congress. A figurehead President was elected by the Council of Communities, the upper house of the legislature, that was designed to give equal representation to the constituent peoples of the federation. A new capital city was established, Newport, which was declared to be a district governed directly by the Federal Congress outside any individual state. In 1974, the Free State of New Rania agreed to join the federation after several years of diplomatic negotiations and a referendum. New Rania, a small country of less than a million residents at the time, had long been dependent on Bana both economically and militarily. In 2018, Premier of New Rania Arik Rao was elected President of Bana, the first time a New Ranite had served in that role.
Relations with Tavaris were relatively warm after the Civil War, largely out of acknowledgement the provisional government felt it owed to Tavaris for maintaining their two largest cities during the war. The two nations exchanged ambassadors - not just "ministers" - beginning in 1940. However, a diplomatic fallout ended the official relations between the countries. In 2012, they established "back-channel" communications through the Asilican embassies in the two countries, and in 2020, formal relations are restored and ambassadors again exchanged, but relations quickly soured when Tavaris announced a nuclear program.
In 2009, Bana established a comprehensive defense agreement with South Hills, largely in response to Tavaris joining the Union of Commonwealth Alliances, that allowed South Hills to establish a military base in Ranisport as well as other various defensive arrangements. Since then, significant investment has come from South Hills into Bana, particularly in land development in rural New Rania. Bana also maintains close relations with Asendavia and the Asendavian-affiliated countries in the region.
Bana is a federal system, with the three states having their own governments that have the ability to control affairs within their borders. The Federal Constitution establishes that the central government has only those powers that are explicitly delegated to it in the constitution, with all other powers belonging to the states. On the federal level, the executive of the country is the cabinet, led by the Federal Premier. The legislature is the Federal Congress, which consists of two chambers: the Council of Communities and the National Assembly. Nominally, the head of state of Bana is the President, who is elected by the Council of Communities for a 5 year term. However, the Presidency of Bana is designed to be a figurehead position as the "symbol of the unity of the Federation" and "guarantor of the Constitution." Aside from the power to refer an Act of Congress to the Constitutional Court, the President has very few powers in practice.
As an upper house, the Council of Communities is designed to be a consultative body, and it is ultimately less powerful than the lower house. It has 15 members: 7 for Okunbana, 6 for Mikubana, and 2 for New Rania. The states decide how to choose the Councilors. In Okunbana, the 7 are allocated among districts that are coterminous with seven traditionally-identified regions of Okunbana. In Mikubana, all six are elected among the entire population, with two of the seats reserved for people of Loko heritage. In New Rania, one Councilor is elected from the City of Ranisport and the other by the entire remaining area of the country, the so-called "out-country." Councilors are required to be unaffiliated with any political parties.
The Council of Communities has a unique voting system, referred to as a "qualified majority," in which a majority must have at least one member from each state voting in favor in order to pass the body. In order for legislation to become law, it is typically required to be passed by the Council of Communities as well as the National Assembly. However, if the Council rejects a bill passed by the National Assembly, the National Assembly can pass the bill again with a two-thirds majority in order to override the council, or it can pass the bill by a normal majority and send it again to the Council to reconsider. If a bill is rejected twice by the Council but passed three times by the National Assembly, it is considered to have passed the entire legislature. The Council of Communities is also the body that elects the President. A two thirds majority of the membership, in which at least two thirds of each state delegation votes in favor, is required to elect a President.
The National Assembly is the larger and more powerful of the two chambers. It consists of 825 members. The Constitution requires that each state be given a number of seats proportional to their share of population, and each state has the authority to determine how their members are elected. Okunbana elects 396 seats from single member districts using an instant-runoff system. Mikubana elects 388 seats to the Assembly using a proportional system with the entire state as a single electoral district. New Rania elects 41 seats using a closed-list proportional system across two electoral districts: one for Ranisport and one for the out-country. The National Assembly is elected to fixed four-year terms, except in the case of a vote of no-confidence, which is a relatively rare occurrence in Bana. Since 1994, there have been only two: the 1994 removal of Premier Olamide Sowande and the 2021 removal of Premier Maku Mtebe.
For a bill to become law, it must technically receive Presidential Assent, but the Constitution strictly disallows the President from vetoing a law passed by the Federal Congress. The President also technically appoints the Premier and the members of cabinet, but is obligated to select the Premier nominated by the National Assembly and the members of cabinet named by the Premier. The President does not have formally established reserve powers, but is empowered to give advice and counsel to the government and may advise the Premier to send a bill to the Constitutional Court if they feel it is unconstitutional.
Okunbana is the most populous state in the Federation and is also home to its two largest cities: Lanu, the former capital of the Union of Bana, and the eponymous Bana, the largest and oldest city in the country. The Okun settled along and near the coast of the Strait of Vaklori and established a kingdom around the year 1000 CE. Historically, Okunbana has been divided into seven regions that correspond roughly to seven historic city-states that were subjects of the first Okun polity, which was called the Kingdom of Okunbana and based in the city of Bana. Okunbana was historically the wealthiest of the Banian kingdoms, which remains true into the present day, although it has long depended on Mikubana for natural resources, the fundamental basis on which the Federation of Bana was built.
Due in large part to its proximity to the ocean, Okunbana is much flatter and lower in elevation compared to the other states. It is the agricultural breadbasket of the Federation, producing a majority of its food, and while most of its old growth forests have been long since cut down, it does maintain some rainforest areas and in any case still sees the rainfall of any other tropical rainforest region.
Mikubana, while less populous than Okunbana, is the most resource-rich region of the country. In comparison to the lowland rainforests of Okunbana, Mikubana is mountainous and has less arable farmland. It does, however, have significant reserves of precious metals like gold and silver as well as diamonds and other precious gems and more practical resources like iron, nickel, and aluminum. Though it is landlocked, its direct access to both the Miku River and the Loko River give it access to global markets and were historically crucial trade routes and sources of wealth for the Kingdom. Due to its higher elevation, it has much less tree cover and sees much less rainfall than the rest of the country.
Prior to the union of Okunbana and Mikubana in about 1200 CE, a third tribe known as the Loko merged into the Miku. The Loko, who are elves believed to be closely related to the Miku who lived along the upper Loko River valley, are still extant as an ethnic group in modern Mikubana. Since the Federation era, Mikubana has itself functioned somewhat as a federation between the Miku and the Loko. All state government bodies have seats reserved for those of Loko descent, including some of the state's seats in the Council of Communities. However, for census purposes, the Loko are considered to be part of the Miku ethnic group.
New Rania is the smallest state in the Federation by population. Formerly a sovereign country of exiles from Ni-Rao, it voted to join the Federation of Bana in 1974. Prior to integrating into Bana, it was known as the Free State of New Rania. Much of New Rania's territory is undeveloped, and with a population of 1,029,508, the other two states each have a population larger by nearly a factor of ten. New Rania is also relatively impoverished compared to the other two states, having long been economically dependent on Bana for most imports. The New Ranite economy is largely based in textiles, although manufacturing and the service industry have been seeing gains in recent years as New Rania's minimum wage laws are attractive to international business.
New Rania was founded in 1747 by a group of religious outcasts exiled from lands in the interior of the continent. "Old" Rania was a location in the interior from which many of the first exiles had been from. They had to migrate through both dense jungles and over the Danvreas Range of mountains, a journey the New Ranites called "the Long Walk." After the long walk, the New Ranites settled in a city they called Ranisport, which was built atop the ruins of an abandoned former Raonite city. Originally organized as a strictly religious colony, New Rania went through a process of democratization in the 19th century, although the New Ranite Church maintained representation in the National Council and the theoretical power to remove a President from office until 1954.
The New Ranite Church is a religious belief centered around the teachings of a prophet called Ori, who taught that the traditional pantheon of the Raonites—from whom the Emperors of Ni-Rao claimed descent—was false and that the afterlife would only be open to people who followed his teachings. Ori taught about the holiness in "ordinary work and toil" such as craftsmanship or farming, and calls for women to serve primarily as wives and homemakers. While the Church no longer holds official power in New Rania, more than two-thirds of the New Ranite population continues to follow the faith. The High Prophet of the New Ranite Church remains a powerful figure, although since the separation of church and state, the law in New Rania has gradually established protections for things such as women in the workplace and restrictions on child labor.Nearly half of New Rania's population is in the Ranisport metropolitan area, with the outer areas (called "the out-country") much more sparsely populated. The areas of New Rania to the east, south of the Loko River and Lake Unar, are known as "Translokonia" and is largely a protected wilderness area. New Rania has significantly less transit infrastructure than the other states in the Union, with fewer highways and only one rail line.