Unprovinced Territory of Metrati Anar
Nomanerís Ítaktanerís Metrati Anar (Tavari)
Metrati Anar Eipronvitsala (Rodokan)
Location of Metrati Anar (dark green) in the Pacific Ocean.
and largest city
|Recognised national languages||Rodokan|
|Government||Unitary parliamentary constitutional monarchy|
• Prime Minister
|Žarís Nevran Alandar|
|Edori Navar Tendrokai|
|Legislature||Metrati Anar Assembly|
• Settlement established
• Occupation by Bana
|8,288 km2 (3,200 sq mi)|
• 2020 estimate
|Time zone||West Tavaris Time (UTC -9)|
Metrati Anar (Middle Tavari: The Northern Gems) is an archipelago in the eastern Pacific ocean between the continents of Novaris and Gondwana. Metrati Anar is a popular tourist destination, and is also home to significant Tavari fishing and whaling operations. Additionally, because the Tavari law forbidding petroleum extraction applies only to Tavaris proper and not territories, there are several oil-drilling operations in the EEZ around the island. Two of the six islands are almost entirely uninhabited, with only Royal Tavari Navy installations.
Prior to the Great War, Metrati Anar also included the four islands that are the most southerly in what is today Ekvatora. These islands, unlike the rest of the chain, were already inhabited when the Tavari arrived, home to a number of Pivnich petty kingdoms. While Tavaris did eventually conquer these islands in the early 16th century, it lost control of them during the Great War and was unable to retake them. Legally, Tavaris continued to claim the islands—which it called Ída Anarvi, the Northern Four—as part of Metrati Anar
Metrati Anar was first settled in 1410 by an expedition financed personally by Queen Doreš I, and is considered to be the first Tavari colony. The settlement is so old that the archipelago's name is now archaic—in modern Tavari, the proper way to spell the name would be Metrani Anarvi, though the archaic spelling remains valid as it is a proper noun. The islands were initially settled as a personal holding of the monarch, as opposed to a holding of the Tavari state, but within a few years the costs of maintaining a settlement so distant from the rest of the country became apparent. For some decades, the only settlement on the islands was Anarís, which consisted almost entirely of a manor for use by the monarch and a few accessory buildings for support staff. King Vonar, who reigned from 1479 to 1490, acquired malaria on the island and died there, leaving his successor King Zaram I to consider selling the islands altogether. Zaram died of syphilis in 1499, before he could find a buyer for the islands.
King Kanor I—known as Kanor the Great, who succeeded Zaram I—had a different idea in mind for the islands. In the time of Kings Vonar and Zaram, the nascent Akronist community in western Tavaris came to the attention of the government, and both kings had reacted rather negatively. Since Utor I had formalized the Tavat Avati tradition, the monarchs of Tavaris had come to see themselves as the primary leader of the faith and in general considered it their responsibility to ensure the populace adhered to it. King Vonar in particular had undertaken harsh suppression of Akronism at times, including using military force to kill two groups of Akronists who had sought to establish communities outside of royal authority to practice their faith. While Vonar and Zaram had defended these actions as preventing a possible Akronist civil war, significant resentment and tension had begun to build in western Tavaris as more and more people—and of particular concern to the Tavari government, more and more chiefs—converted to Akronism. Kanor the Great sought to defuse tensions, and part of his plan to do so was to encourage Akronist settlement of Metrati Anar, giving them a place to practice their faith while being isolated from the rest of the country. Several chiefs leapt at the opportunity to settle the islands, and the early Church itself was a major force in raising funds and coordinating efforts among and between the chiefs.
Since the turn of the 16th century, Metrati Anar has been a majority-Akronist jurisdiction. The small land area of the islands, as well as their relatively rocky terrain, limited their utility as colonies, and there was never a major explosion of population. Instead, the population of the islands grew very gradually over the course of time, with that rate slowing when other Tavari colonies such as Rodoka began to be settled. Colonial settlement took place almost entirely on the southernmost island, called Anarís after its only city. As time went on, the Tavari military established presences on various islands, using them to secure trade routes between Avnatra and Novaris. The islands saw relatively little economic activity until petroleum reserves were discovered in the early 20th century. At the dawn of the modern era, Metrati Anar was by far more significant to Tavaris for economic and military reasons than it was as a settlement.
Metrati Anar was an active theater of combat in the Great War. The so-called Anarís Incident, in which ships of the Morstopackian Navy circled through Tavari waters to take a fleet of Asendavian ships by surprise, led Asendavia to consider then-neutral Tavaris a combatant and declare war on Tavaris in 1908. Metrati Anar's strategic position between Novaris and Gondwana, as well as its oilfields, made it an attractive target. The Union of Bana launched a naval invasion of the islands in 1908, shortly after the Asendavian declaration of war. While Bana declared itself on the side of Asendavia in the war and was nominally opposed to the entire Morstopackian coalition, the nationalist Banian government was almost entirely focused on making territorial gains against Tavaris. Unprepared for an assault on the islands from Bana, Tavaris lost control of the islands within days of fighting.
Bana would control Metrati Anar for eleven years, during which time it considered the chain a nominal "nation" on equal footing with Okunbana and Mikubana. (In reality, it was effectively a military government under the direct control of the Union government in Lanu.) Banian occupation of the islands was never popular with the inhabitants, who numbered approximately 500,000 at the time. In 1911, a general strike by the Akronist inhabitants of the island brought the economy—and oil production—to a halt, leading Bana to have to bring in more military forces to conduct oil drilling and pumping themselves. The expense of maintaining the islands meant that Bana essentially could not deploy its forces anywhere else in the war, though a token force of one thousand soldiers was dispatched to Vaklori to be placed under Asendavian command.
Bana's primary victory in holding the islands was in forcing Tavaris out of the Northern Four and effectively ending Tavari political influence over the adjacent Kingdom of Mulnika-Nykunia, an Ekvatori predecessor state. Since the establishment of Mulnika-Nykunia, Tavaris had exerted significant influence over the kingdom as a virtual vassal state. During this era, Akronism was also brought to Mulnika-Nykunia, encouraged by Tavari officials as a way of cementing Tavari influence. Bana, however, had no interest in maintaining influence over Mulnika-Nykunia; in fact, they saw a severance of the relationship as a positive move toward lessening Tavari influence in the region. With significant assistance from Bana, the Kingdom of Mulnika-Nykunia was overthrown and replaced with the anti-Tavaris aligned Kingdom of Ekvatora in 1915. While Tavaris retook Metrati Anar in 1919, Tavari influence over Ekvatora was never restored.
See also: Metrati War
The Northern Four were among the most populated of the islands in Metrati Anar, but over the course of the 19th century the population of Tavari settlers had gradually decreased. By the time of the Great War, Pivnich people, primarily dwarves, were the majority of the population in the Northern Four and pressure from Pivnich residents for independence was already rising. When Bana assumed control of Metrati Anar, the government in Lanu had little interest in getting involved in the conflict. When Ekvatora was formed in 1915, Banian forces withdrew from the northern four entirely.
The Tavari campaign to retake Metrati Anar reached its peak between 1915 and 1919 in a grueling island-hopping war that led to significant casualties on both sides. While there were no Banian forces in the Northern Four, forces of both Ekvatora and the Voraki Free State resisted Tavari efforts to retake the islands. From its inception, Ekvatora claimed the Northern Four as integral parts of its territory. In general, the Tavari campaign moved from south to north, with major urban area Anarís their primary focus. By the time Tavaris was able to devote the bulk of its attention to the Northern Four, it had already exhausted a significant amount of resources. Any gains made by Tavaris were quickly reversed, and when Bana agreed to surrender in 1919, Tavaris chose to sign a cease-fire with Ekvatora and accept that Ekvatori control of the islands was the new status quo. However, Tavaris did not formally cede the islands and continued to claim them.
While Tavari claims on the Northern Four were primarily only "on paper," in the 1960s, tensions over the islands resumed after the Ekvatori Revolutionary War—from 1959 to 1962—led to the Kingdom of Ekvatora being overthrown by the Socialist Federal Republic of Ekvatora. In 1962, the Tavari government announced that it would not recognize the Socialist Federal Republic—and that it was not a party to the 1919 ceasefire, and, as such, the Tavari held it did not have a valid claim on the Northern Four. Then-Tavari Prime Minister Devri Nacandar Aštoni, of the Democratic National Party, was known to be the leader of the more nationalist, right-wing faction of the party. In 1962, the Royal Tavari Navy blockaded the Northern Four, an act that Ekvatora decried as an act of war. While there was no formal declaration of war between the two parties, a handful of skirmishes between Ekvatori and Tavari vessels occurred during the blockade, which lasted for four years. In 1966, Nacandar Aštoni lost re-election in a campaign that he had based largely on expanding Tavari efforts to reclaim the islands. His successor, Liberal leader Enedra Tovrož Qavõro, ended the blockade and recognized the Socialist Federal Republic as both a sovereign state and party to the 1919 ceasefire.
In August of 2020, as part of the Tavari application to the League of Novaris, Prime Minister Shano Tuvria announced that Tavaris formally rescinded its claim to the Northern Four and recognized Ekvatora as the legitimate owner of the islands. While this was believed to be an overture on the part of the Tavari to encourage the Novaran Council to vote in favor of their request for full membership instead of associated state status, Ekvatora joined all but two Council members in voting against the application.
Under Tavari law, Metrati Anar is organized as an "unprovinced territory." The territory is governed officially by an Administrator appointed by the Prime Minister. An elected legislature, the Metrati Anar Assembly, is similar to the Legislative Councils of Tavari provinces except that the Administrator has the power of veto over acts passed by the Assembly. Statute has delegated to the Assembly some powers, such as regulation of some industries and matters such as road maintenance, but things such as taxation are set by the national Parliament. Since 1964 it has been a convention, and since 1999 a law, that the Administrator must be someone who is currently living on the islands when they are appointed, and has been for at least two years.