Racatrazi

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Republic of Racatrazi

Flag of
Flag
Racatrazi (green) located on the island Aidalan, southeast of Concord (grey).
Racatrazi (green) located on the island Aidalan, southeast of Concord (grey).
Capital
and
Racatrazi
Official languagesTavari, Ngodian
Ethnic groups
(2022)
56% tiefling
32% orc
6% mixed species
4% elf
2% other
Demonym(s)Racatrazan, Racatrazašta
GovernmentParliamentary republic
• Chief Administrator
Kanor Tarelda Voštoi
LegislatureDiet
Independence from Tavaris in 1908
• Independence by Tavari Order-in-Council
1 July 1908
• Second Republic
December 1941
• Third Republic
August 1999
Area
• Total
2,352.6 km2 (908.3 sq mi)
Population
• 2023 estimate
1,155,560
• Density
491.18/km2 (1,272.2/sq mi)
GDP (nominal)2023 estimate
• Total
$11,676,936,660
• Per capita
10,105
CurrencyRacatrazi Našdat (RAN)
Time zoneNone (de jure)
UTC -1:00 (de facto)
Calling code+46
Internet TLD.ra

The Republic of Racatrazi is a country located on an archipelago of islands east of the continent of Concord, east of South Hills and west of Chianski. The country exists on all or part of three islands from north to south: Aidalan, Little Aidalan, and Varghavn. Ngodian-speaking tieflings compose the majority of the country, which was previously a colony of Tavaris and, prior to that, Norgsveldet. Racatrazi is a member of the International Forum and the Tavari Union.

History

The port city of Varghavn was initially established by Riksheim (a predecessor of Norgsveldet) in the 1380s as part of a small plantation colony known by the same name as the city. The indigenous population consisted of Ngodian-speaking tieflings, primarily adherents of Duarism, who inhabited settlements across the island of Aidalan. Shortly before the settlers from Riksheim arrived, the tieflings of Aidalan had begun to expand to nearby islands, including a small island that came to be known as Little Aidalan and the northern portion of a larger island on which they had just begun to construct a permanent settlement. The tieflings permitted the settlers to join them in constructing the settlement, of which Varghavn is the only recorded name. The settlers initially had good relations with these natives, but gradually the natives either took or were forced into positions as plantation laborers in the Norgsveltian colony, often for low wages—if not as outright slaves. Beginning in 1700, Tavaris began to settle Elatana, to the east in Arcturia, and later the region of Ilarís in what is now the UFC. The journey to and from Tavaris was long, and the Tavari regularly worried about ensuring there would always be friendly ports of call along the route to resupply. Additionally, the military threat posed by the Balistrians who claimed Elatana caused the Tavari government to desire as much opportunity to maintain military personnel and equipment in the region of Elatana as possible.

The Kingdom of Tavaris purchased Varghavn from Norgsveldet in 1742 for about five hundred thousand Tavari našdat. By then, the Norgsveltians had realized a profit from their involvement in the region, and they sought positive relations with Tavaris as a new trade partner entering the region. The original Tavari name was Tažraca Trazi, meaning “Feather Port,” chosen because the beach was said to have been littered in colorful feathers when the first Tavari landed on the island after the purchase, a sign of good fortune in Tavari culture. That name was later shortened, first informally and then officially, to “Racatrazi,” which also happens to be a phrase used as a greeting during Tavari festivals.

In contrast to most other Tavari colonies, which were primarily settled (and funded) by Akronists, traditionalist Tavari within the government made a concerted effort to establish a significant Avatidar presence in Racatrazi—a so-called “traditionalist colony.” While Akronists did establish a temple in the city as early as 1744, aggressive land discounts offered to members of local shrine associations across Tavaris encouraged a wave of new settlers, almost all of whom were among the staunchest Avatidar in their communities. This accomplished the goal of a majority traditionalist Tavari population, but it also encouraged land speculation, and after a two-year period of unusually severe storms in the region, the bubble burst in 1751, virtually collapsing the colony’s economy.

Another threat to the local economy came in the form of outbreaks of violence between orcs and tieflings, which occurred largely as a result of the high number of more extremist Tavari traditionalists in the population. The tieflings’ Duarist faith was centered on the worship of deities of the sun and the moon, the latter of which struck many particularly observant Avatidar as too close to Akronism for comfort. Fighting also tended to break out at taverns and at the docks, both places where alcohol was plentiful. Rodoka had solved this problem by outright banning sales of alcohol, but the Avatidar would tolerate no such thing, as rum was sacred to them. As such, Racatrazi quickly gained a reputation as “the roughest port in the empire,” a reputation it regularly held for essentially its entire time as a Tavari dependency.

Not only did Racatrazi lag behind the rest of Queen Melora’s Empire economically, it eventually became known as a relatively lawless place, famed especially for illegal gambling operations and smuggling of illicit goods. The export of coca leaves had been banned in Tavaris in 1674, but Racatrazi quickly became a global hub for their trade—and in the modern day, the illicit Tavari cocaine industry continues to have significant operations in the country.

Racatrazi would never become an economically powerful Tavari possession. In 1904, Tavari colony Metradan began seeking independence, an action which sparked Racatrazan tieflings into a campaign of work stoppages (and later riots) to achieve the same. While Tavaris initially used its military to quell outbreaks of violence, the start of the Great War rendered it impossible for Tavaris to spare the military power and so, in an unceremonious Order-in-Council that was famously effective only 48 hours after it was signed almost immediately severed Racatrazi from the Tavari empire, rendering it an independent state without a constitution or so much as a single law.

A brief war broke out in the midst of the sudden independence, but order was generally restored by orcish militias within two months. An administration calling itself the Republic of Racatrazi was established in September of 1908, and one of its first actions was to order its ports open to all traffic on either side of the Great War, as an expression of neutrality and in hopes of maximizing the amount of visitors. Tiefling riots continued for several years until the Republic of Racatrazi agreed to section off a significant portion of the island of Aidalan as a native reservation. While this brought peace to the region for the first time in decades, it rendered Racatrazi’s options for economic growth much slimmer, and pressure would increase upon the tieflings to allow economic development and resource extraction on their lands.

In 1940, bands of orcs began illegally crossing into the native tiefling reservation to cut down trees and plant coca and hemp fields. This, in turn, sparked a violent response from the tieflings, who began raiding orcish towns at night, breaking windows and attacking people. In April 1941, the Racatrazi military entered the reservation and seized its largest village, known as Maanbriak’s Heart, killing more than a hundred civilians. In response, the second Racatrazi Civil War raged for eight months before the December 1941 peace agreement established the Second Republic, a federal system with a President elected by joint vote of an orcish Diet and a tiefling Assembly.

The Second Republic would last until January 1999, when Racatrazi defaulted on its foreign debt and, as a result, an economic crash jeopardized the delivery of fuel and food supplies to the country. A mass demonstration of more than 300,000 people—equivalent to nearly a third of the capital region’s population—swarmed the government complex and broke into the executive mansion, ransacking it and eventually burning it to the ground. A group of 14 members of the National Diet were killed, and the President of Racatrazi survived only by fleeing the country. The military, acting under the orders of the President of the National Diet (who was constitutionally second-in-command), secured the capital region after six days of widespread rioting, and in August the constitution of the Third Republic was ratified in a referendum.

The Third Republic, which has remained in place since 1999 more or less stably, does away with any ceremonial executive and places the Chief Administrator as both head of state and head of government. The national government is a parliamentary system with the Chief Administrator being the leader of the controlling faction of the Diet. However, the Constitution establishes strict proportionality requirements for not only seats in the legislature but in the entirety of public sector hiring, and the National Elections Administration and Government Ethics Administration are Constitutionally-mandated independent bodies designed as anti-corruption measures. Since 1999, the country has been divided into two provinces—Racatrazi Province in the south and Aidalan Province in the north—each of which is divided into several townships, though the City of Racatrazi takes up a large fraction the land area of Racatrazi Province.

Time Zone

Racatrazi has no legally mandated standard time zone. Beginning in the late 19th century with the advent of the telegraph and telephone and the increasing interconnectedness of the world economy, it became the trend in the City of Racatrazi—led primarily by local orcish business owners—to set the time to match the time in Elatana, the much larger Tavari colony to the southeast in Arcturia, which resulted in an adjustment of two hours added to the local solar time, placing it at the same time as the Christie Island meridian. This was encouraged by the central government in Nuvrenon, which favored as few distinct time zones as possible for reasons of administrative simplicity. With the Avtovati Isles placed at the same time as Rodoka (which itself was set at the same time as Crystal Coast, always by convention an hour behind that in Nuvrenon), the Tavari Empire was divided into three time zones where there might otherwise have been five. Outside the city, however, it remained the norm to judge the time by the position of the sun in the sky as seen locally—something seen as at least somewhat sacred by some of the Duarist tiefling natives who worshiped the sun and the moon as symbols of the two gods of their faith.

In 1908, on order of the Council of State, Queen Adra IV issued an Order-in-Council declaring that Racatrazi would become "entirely separate, independent from, and outside the administration, control, or responsibility of the Tavari Empire" on 1 July, just two days after it was signed. The order took effect not at midnight but at 2 in the morning, specifically to account for the tieflings who tended to keep solar time. At that time, per the order, all Tavari law was immediately "null, void, unenforceable, and entirely without effect." Racatrazi was left without any law whatsoever, and in the resulting political and economic chaos, numerous people took advantage of the lawlessness to engage in acts of violence. It took months of outright anarchy before militias primarily of orcs equipped with arms smuggled from South Hills (as supply from Elatana or any other Tavari colony was nearly impossible in its first few years of the Great War as the government diverted it all to the war effort) established the first Republic of Racatrazi in September. The first republic was essentially composed entirely of orcs and did not, as a rule, consider the needs or consult representatives from the native tiefling community when making legislation, and it re-established the time in Racatrazi as being equivalent to that at Rilanon.

After the first republic was violently overthrown in 1941, the second republic—designed to feature power sharing between two co-equal communities of orcs and tieflings—could not reach an agreement on setting a single time zone for the country and so agreed to divide it into two: the native community to the north would keep time at two hours behind Rilanon, while the Tavari community in the south (including the City of Racatrazi) would keep Rilanon time—thus splitting the small country into two hours. While this compromise settled the question for a generation from a political standpoint, it served to maintain a very visible level of division between the two communities—it became part of tiefling identity to keep time at UTC -2:00, and part of orcish identity to keep it at UTC. Given the small size of the country, however, the time change when crossing the border became increasingly inconvenient as the City of Racatrazi grew in size and its transit networks expanded to include more and more of the country. Nearly any journey outside the city came to involve a time change, and as technology made real-time communication more and more widely accessible, the difference in time in such a small country became increasingly annoying to deal with. The dawn of the third republic, which arose from a series of assemblies coordinated by the masses of people occupying the national government complex in an uprising, represented a chance to re-open the debate at the same time as many other questions of state institutions were being considered.

The modern status quo was established in 1999 when a clause about time zones was included in the constitution of the Republic declaring that the country "shall not establish through force of law a singular, official national time" and that the country "shall be part of no time zone." However, the constitution allows for the Diet to establish the time to be kept on clocks on government property and forbids provincial and municipal governments from setting different times for their properties. Government offices in Racatrazi follow a time one hour behind Rilanon, representing a compromise between the two time zones and also happening to be the time kept in neighboring South Hills, a major trade partner. Since 1999, the "Minus One Compromise" as it has been called has been adopted by both the tiefling and orcish communities and it has come to be the de facto official time in the country, although it is still not uncommon in the rural areas of the far west of the country to continue to keep time at UTC -2:00.