There are few things more important in Aurelia, both politically and otherwise, than the railroad. An essential tool of transportation for the continent's millions of inhabitants, it holds a uniquely pivotal role. While elsewhere, the slow establishment of freeways and the dominance of the personal automobile have long eclipsed trains, Aurelia is different. Its nature as a land of civilized areas separated by vast seas of disorganized frontier, oftentimes the possession of myriad tribes or insurgencies, alongside downright oppressive weather conditions, render cars ghastly inefficient. What's more, since the days of the Shffahkian Empire, the vast pre-existing network of railroads criss-crossing Aurelia, the best developed on Eurth for their time, were too central to all continental infrastructure to replace. Thus, a combination of necessity, lethargy, and reactionary tendency has created a state of train primacy, for better or worse. Certainly, carbon emissions are low, but maintaining and protecting the railroads as well as manipulating tribal politics to create a series of dependent so-called railroad states has long been an ulcer on the finances of the civilized states of Aurelia, especially Kirvina and Shffahkia, who as the two first-adopters of the technology also have the largest corporate stake (and the most to lose in the event of mass banditry).
Often quite comical to foreign travelers who enter the region for the first time, and a good tone-setter for the continent, are Aurelian railroad maps. Pockmarked with green, yellow and red ticks indicating the safety of different routes and the chance of encountering a piratical assault on your journey through them, as well as with different track symbols for when one must board an armored train, or dark X's marking branch routes which have been shut down due to ongoing military operations, they paint a poverty-stricken, violent, and dystopian picture. That said, to the average Aurelian, the system is anything but. As a simple reality of life that in truth yields few to no casualties, mostly being a trouble for politicians, corporations, and the nobility, the prevailing opinion in Kirvina is that such things simply must be dealt with, as they have always been dealt with, and that there is nothing abnormal about them. In fact, Pan-Aurelian politicians throughout the continent's history have harped on the railroad system as an example of continental unity and brotherhood, conveniently ignoring the millions of disadvantaged native peoples subjected to economic destitution through the unnatural propping up of banana republics, or on Eurth railroad states, that can barely be called countries. So it is that under the auspices of "unity" and "brotherhood", a young Shffahkian politician by the name of Marcel journeyed to seek the patronage of a Duchess Chrysanthe of Taurapetra in expanding one of the many sub-routes of the Trans-Aurelian Railway, one which tunnels through the Paranne Mountains and into an oft overlooked sector of Shffahkia.
While perhaps Marcel could have hoped to secure money from the central government, or from the reigning Grand Duke Liuvros of Achilleia, it was clear through his corporate liaisons that all the funds of these regions were already tied up with a stout increase in banditry, as well as deploying various arms of the nation's light infantry special operations force (the Rangers, Tasanthai plural, Tasanthes singular) as well as its regulars in the area (the Border Guard, Acranthai plural, Acranthes singular) to deal with an unnerving increase in partnerships between hostile tribes. While the situation around the railroads themselves was more stable than it had been in quite a long time, this was due to an unsustainable policy of promoting the welfare of the citizens of the railroad states, at the expense of the next layer of surrounding federations, which was creating more enemies the longer it dragged on. Tribes which had gone over a century without any Kirvinsét or Shffahkian meddling were now suddenly introduced to the front line of guntrain diplomacy, with not a one happy about the notion. Chrysanthe, though the possessor of a modest fortune and a cadre of family-loyal mercenaries and quasi-feudal bannermen hailing from the district she ruled over which functioned as a portion of the federal army in all but name, had committed little to nothing to the railroad-effort, calling it "a damnable waste of time" and "an endless cycle of vapid paternalism best left to foolish men with deep pockets." Despite her raging antipathy, as the only noble or bureaucrat in the entire country who was not already committed to something, she was the only one who could be approached for this route.
With these thoughts in mind, Marcel emerged from the train taking him into Taurapetra, smoothing down his suit. Having foregone a diplomatic escort, choosing instead to travel incognito, he took the quickest route through the old quarter of the ancient city towards the diplomatic offices and ruler's compound, standing under the small umbrella he had bought at the train station and doing his best to avoid the bad weather. It was geographically arranged in a way that the highest section of the city, whereupon sat his destination, was always held in view, and that no matter how he pivoted across the stone boulevards, it was always visible somewhere at the corner of his eye. Likely a tool wielded in the medieval era to inspire lofty grandeur on the part of the city-state's rulers, he mused, crossing under the alcoves which would take him to his scheduled meeting after around thirty minutes of walking. Saluted by a pair of guards, he snapped his umbrella closed and passed it off to a waiting valet, fashionably two to three minutes late in normal Shffahkian fashion. Once, twice, he rolled out each shoulder, flattening his breathing, and then crossed into the door. Sat across the room, waiting at the other side of an oaken table, was the Duchess he was hoping to meet. Gesturing for him to sit, she took his measure with an imperious, self-assured expression, dark brown eyes boring a hole through his face and out the back of his head. "We are most pleased to receive you," she said with an expression that spoke more of murderous intent than pleasure, " and hope that your journey has not been too taxing. Please. Speak of your purpose in journeying to the other end of the continent, that it might be heard and known." Despite her decorum, she struck a rather militaristic figure, with short-cropped light hair and clothing close in style to an army officer's parade jacket.
As part of the 5.1 Eurth Map Update, I am trying to reach out to all of the continents of Eurth (Aurelia/Thalassa/Alharu/Argis/Marenesia/Europa) in attempt to figure out what changes those in the continent would like. And for the first two continents is Aurelia and Thalassa as much of the foundations for changes have already been put in place or are blank enough for some major restructuring.
As far as I am aware, these are the current discussions / issues with the continent that need to be confirmed / discussed:-
1) Limonaia Replacement Nation. An Italian nation that can be a colonial power within Aurelia without having to force new lore into Cristina.
2) What is going to be done about Asgeirria in terms of an NPC replacement.
3) Should the Thalassa islands be moved to a better position climatically and to allow for cultures found within South East Asia and Austronesia or different cultures entirely.
4) What is going to be done with the Manamana as a nation but also the canal itself.
5) Any multimember NPCs required for lore / future RP threads (not expansion nations or NPCs for a single nation).
6) Historic Empires in the region (Including Mesothalassa)
2) My current stance for Asgeirria is to just give it a name and flag change similar to the process for Lysia/Fleur de Lys with similar lore and a more clear geopolitical position.
3) In regards to the Thalassa islands I am okay with any concepts / changes as long as Orioni is okay with any changes.
4) Manamana I believe we should create a small Panama-like / Shffahkia-like nation around the canal, and the canal itself still in construction. This shouldn't change any recent modern RPs as the canal has only been built really recently in-universe. Outright removing it is not on the cards as SSI has repeatedly stated he wishes to keep it.
6) Historic Empires, If San Castellino still has his Maya people we could potentially have some Maya ancient empire stretching from Shffahkia to San Castellino to Metztlitlaca. However I believe our focus should be on establishing a canon timeline for the Shffahkian Empire and where it did or did not conquer (at least with the information we have and until a new member comes in and throws a wrecking ball into the continent's lore.)
(Relevant Countries: @Kirvina / @Anatea / @Shffahkia / @Oyus / @Metztlitlaca (4/6) / @San Castellino (4/6) / @Esonice (3/6) / @Ahrana (2) / @Cristina (1) / @Orioni (3))
Even if you were not pinged, feel free to also join in the thread - especially if you have ideas for lore or solutions!
I realise many want to weigh on this as they have on Discord so I've put this up for more productive Discussion.
Courtesy tag [Aurelia Users]: @Metztlitlaca, @Shffahkia, @Oyus, @Fjallshima, @Anatea, @Kirvina, @Eulycea
Object: Procedure dictates that Asgeirria is reduced in size to an area around the capital--this is the default outcome if nothing can be agreed on.
Context: Asgeirria is involved in a few RPs that affect the histories of @Ahrana, TRIDENT members. The notable ones are:
https://www.europans.com/topic/4883-asgeirrian-ahrana-summit/ https://www.europans.com/topic/4907-manamana-mail/ https://www.europans.com/topic/4687-confederation-of-independent-socialists-founding-ceremony/ https://www.europans.com/topic/4676-a-midwinter-nights-meeting/ https://www.europans.com/topic/4730-the-verde-blockade/ TLDR: He helped build the Manamana, he was part of founding CIS, and he instigated an international incident which ended up as a historical blockade fiasco. Issue: Some want Asgeirria expunged; but that creates a gap in history. All the RP and wiki relating to that would have to be nullified if Asgeirria is removed.
So far nobody I have talked to actually needs an Asgeirrian state as an active player. Should he be edited and modified into a city-state sized NPC, he would be inconsequential to foreign affairs apart from what space he occupies--and even then, can be annexed by any proximal nation. It remains that his only importance is to have existed. As long as there's some indiciation that at one point, a weird autocracy existed there and did X and Y--then that is all that matters to the historical issue. Aurelians can/should do whatever they want with him. The only historical requisite being mentioned above. Solutions:
Relocate: an NPC will be created mimicing all the essential elements of Asgeirria. People bring up that dead nations are taking up valuable space--this solution puts it in substantially less valuable space where the NPC can be safely ignored. Remember that the NPCs attitude can simply be set so that it is a hermit nation that bothers no one since its clear that most on Aurelia have no actual stake on Asgeirria's relevance. The island west of Asgeirria's borders can be one such spot.
Reduce (default): an even simpler solution is to just reduce his claim to the area around the capital and make than an NPC. This saved the trouble of picking and agreeing on new location. This also offers new players that might settle nearby a chance to expand or justify certain RPs should it be desired. what if the new player does not want them there?-- See "Relocate". Should I be concerned if...?
If I am an Aurelian- not really. Unless there is something very specific you have in mind/want with the region in and around Asgeirria. The chances any of this affect your bottom line are next to nil. If I am a new player- did you want that spot? If so please contact staff @iverica on discord and we can talk about whether this is an issue or not. If I am historically linked to Asgeirria's actions- If this post missed anything else he was involved in, please mention it below. If I currently have RP in that area- no. Nothing changes.
If anyone from Aurelia has any concerns or questions--please to make them known below.