In the city of Khewet, a large crowd had formed around a statue of Namaset. The statue’s outstretched arms appeared to be gesturing to the entire crowd as if greeting and comforting her “children.” However, this crowd was not a crowd of pilgrims. These were political activists, clad in both traditional and modern clothing. Some of them were carrying signs with various statements written in Hemahatik, Dochi, and even Anglish, the majority of which had statements showing disapproval in the government and the current state of affairs written on them. Others came with nothing, bar two priests to the god Anmatar who were carrying their signature incense burners.
At the center of the crowd, standing on a shoddily-built podium made of wood, stood Council Member Wastan Aybes. Despite being the de facto leader of the Council’s opposition, he did not look the part. He wore jeans, a camo shirt, what appeared to be a Litham - commonly found amongst Dochi but not Hemahatikiq like himself -, and his almost signature aviator sunglasses. He was already in the middle of a speech about how the current council needs to be changed when a much more well-dressed man came up to him and whispered in his ear. Aybes nodded as he then turned to his right.
“Sura Aldjya, will you please step onto the podium?” Aybes asked.
Sura was a woman much older than Aybes. While Aybes was 32, Sura was nearly 80. Unlike Aybes’ more casual dress, Sura was fully dressed in a colorful traditional tunic and head wrapping. Her age was obviously getting to her as she climbed the steps with some difficulty. However, when she made it, she was met with roaring applause. Aybes grabbed the microphone and began to speak once more.
“As many of you know, we are gathered here today to protest C.B 24-32: New Age Tax Act, specifically Section 2 of the bill which would make Dochi clans pay taxes.” He let a murmur among the crowd settle down, possibly for dramatic effect. “I have already voted no, but I will let Miss. Sura Aldjya explain why this would be disastrous for the Dochi.”
Sura was handed the microphone but appeared confused as to how to use it. Aybes motioned for her to speak into the windscreen. “My name is Sura Aldjya, Chieftess of the Aldjya Clan.” She composed herself before continuing. “My clan has been living in our region for hundreds of years. An Aldjya chieftain had signed a treaty with Nebey Meferwet herself.” This was a lie, but an unintentional one as it was taught as true by both Dochi and Hemahatik schools. “The Dochi have paid their taxes as individual citizens of Hemahat, but this steps into an entirely different boundary. This bill makes no mention of Hemahatik Clans, just Dochi ones.” She pulled out a piece of paper from her sleeve, which had a pocket underneath, and began to read it. “C.B 24-32: New Age Tax Act, Section 2. Noting how the Dochi have significant amounts of goods necessary for the continued development of the Hemahatik State, Dochi clans must pay tax proportional to their net worth including that of all individual members combined, starting at 15%. If the tax cannot be made in monetary payment, the state shall seize land proportional to the amount owed in accordance to its value.” She lowered the paper, letting some of the crowd angrily jeer for a few moments before continuing. “If you do not understand the consequences of this, this bill will force clans to pay preposterous amounts of taxes, the majority of whom can only pay in land. This bill is a power grab corrupt members of the Council who are trying to fool the rest of the country - including their fellow council members - into thinking that this bill is ‘Necessary.’” She grabbed the paper and positioned it right next to her head. “Well, I say that this bill and the men who wrote it will fail, for I know this country isn’t stupid.” As she said this, she ripped the paper in half to the cheer of the protestors.
Aybes took back the microphone before readdressing the crowd. “You heard Sura. This bill will not be passed, because if it does through popularity, it would bring great shame to our entire nation.” He paused before continuing. “And if it gets passed through intimidation and corruption, then I will do everything within my powers to defend the people of this great nation. Anmatar be with you all!” The crowd cheered as he held Sura’s hand and raised it, championing her as a proud revolutionary just as he was.
While his words were vague, the message was clear. If this law was passed, there would be resistance by him and his followers, possibly even violent resistance. Whether this was a threat to the council directly or a poor choice of words, this threat would be another straw on the camel's back
Walneria is a country, that has seens many issues from the past and is culturally rich in nature, being almost 10.6 million people strong.
Historically a Slavic country, it got Germanised during the middle ages and early modern era. The official language, Walnerian, is a direct evolution of the Early New High German, with notable Slavic influence on its orthography, phonology and grammar. Although being 91.7% Walnerian, there is still a notable Czech (3.6%) and Sorbian (3.3%) minority. Both areas, where the minorities live, are labeled as "Settlement Areas" (Walnerian: "Sídlunkróme"), and the local languages are co-official with Walmerian there. Czechs live mostly around the rhithron of the Savran River (Walnerian: Závran; Czech: Sávraha) in smaller cities and towns, while Sorbs live in the Artan Hills (Walnerian: Atŕnán; Lower Sorbian: Małenki; Upper Sorbian: Malenski) in villages.
The capital city of Tyrámen is the cultural and political hub of the state, having a population of 1.6 million people (2.6 with aglomeration around it). The city contributes about 25% of the GDP of the country and is the one of two cities, that operates a metro system (the other one is Ssanburk, the regional capital of the Ssanburk region). Tyrámen is also the location, where the government meets and where the president resides.
The national legislative is unicameral and forms the National Assembly, which is directly and proportionally elected by the people, while the executive is formed by a cabinet filled by coalition-appointed leaders. Traditionally, the leader of the largest party of the assembly becomes the Prime Minister. Assembly elections are held every 4 years. The current prime minister is Zimón Novak. President is also elected by the people in a direct vote, but there are two rounds, where in the second round, there are only the two strongest candidates, ensuring, that the president is elected with over 50% of votes. Presidential elections are also held every 4 years, but are offset from the Assembly elections by 2 years. Unlike the unlimited number of terms for Prime minister, nobody can serve more than 2 terms as a president. After the president is elected, he has to revoke and partisan allegiance and serves as a non-partisan, even in the elections for their second term. The current president is Gyntŕ Ssvarc.
Walnerians are known for their casual patriotism (the type of patriotism, where a person watching a cooking show in a TV just says "A Walnerian would cut that cabbage better") and in many cases mild xenophobia, but also for being kind and friendly to newcomers, once they get used to them. Although being armed to the teeth eversince the armament over the threat of an invasion in early 1930's, trigger discipline is furiously followed and there are almost no gun homicides. Although over 65% of people own a gun, there is a national registry of guns and anybody wanting to own one has to undergo a safety training and gain a license.
The currency of the country, the Walnerian Króne (shortcut WKR, symbol Ԟ) is a relatively stable currency, maintaining an average 1.9% annual inflation. 1USD = ~ 15.5WKR. Economy-wise, Walneria has developed automobile and weaponry industry, as well as having a booming constructions sector. Its agriculture is highly mechanised, but Walneria is not sustainable by its own agricultural production and imports grain from abroad, although it lately significantly lowered the percentage of the imported grain.
There is no compulsory military service anymore, but in many regions, it is still considered to be humiliating to not serve. There is a strong sentiment of "if we waver for too long, the enemy is waiting to strike". The question of "who is the enemy" is fairly problematic, as people seem to not unite on a list of names.
Religion-wise, Walneria si a protestant country with notable jewish minority, but more people every year deconvert and claim atheism or agnosticism. Although not an official figure, it is estimated, that over a half of Walnerian population may not have a religion and claim the cultural religion as their own in the census.
Note: Ideal setting for my country would be between a democratic (Western) Slavic nation and an authoritarian (German) Germanic nation. Hopefully, there would be more than two neighbors...
EDIT: In accordance with the document sent to me, I am including the numbers and point system:
As the sun settled, it was clear, that the situation in Starbov is shockingly grim.
Two days have elapsed since the first enemy transporters crossed the river using the old bridge and occupied the city centre, and the number of destroyed building by paranoid soldiers as well as partisans was getting bigger every hour.
Michael was one of the occupiers. He was not fond of entering another country, and the government that sent him to the first wave was despised in his family for long time, but yet, he was sitting on a tank in a hostile territory and looks given by the people walking around him reminded him about the sad truth, that he is not welcome here and that he would be one of the first people to be shot by a revolutionary firing squad just when the local resistance gets a chance.
He was dehydrated, hungry and tired. His head felt heavy and his feet were covered in blisters. His platoon, as well as many other platoons, were expected to be welcomed by the people and be offered food, water and maybe some alcohol, but the opposite was truth: No local would get close to them, the supply lines were crumbeling under the weight of the army and locals closed the pipes, poisoned the local well and hid all the food. Alcohol, which was promised by them by the political commissars was either used in Molotov cocktails, used to desinfect partisan wounds or was simply hidden away. He hasn't drunk for over two days and the supply corps managed to send their way only a single truck filled with mostly empty barrels of water. He tried relieving his left leg by shifting the centre of gravity more to the right, but his right leg quickly protested and sent a set of strong painful impulses.
A young mother with her young sun quickly walked around the city square, looking on Michael and his comrades with a "I would strangle you using a phone line if I had a chance" look. Her son looked too tired, as he didn't have the stamina of his mother and was slowing down. Being tired, the kid looked on the soldier. He probably knew the soldiers of their own army really well, just like many other people in the area, and walked to them, screaming something in a strange accent that Michael could not understand.
"Zys! Zys! Bité!" the kid said, being amused by the different uniform of the soldier. Michael shook his hand and layed a hand on his ear, then again shook his head. The kid realized, that he is probably articulating wrong, so he said "Zys! Ssokoláda!". That finally brought Michael to the conclusion, that Walnerian soldiers possibly gave sweets like chocolate to the children as a kind symbol of unity and humanity. He reached into his pocked and pulled out a single bubble gum.
He lowered the hand and offered the bubble gum, which the child happily accepted. The mom looked somewhat shocked, but they turned around and started walking away. Only few steps away, however, the mother slapped his son's hand, so the bubble gum dropped on the dirty pavement. "Zí sint okupante", she explained and quickly dragged the kid away. Michael was stunned by the hatred that can not be crossed, but he understood perfectly. He probably wouldn't behave much better if Walnerians walked into his town. He was slowly considering the probability and severity of a punishment he could recieve if he shot that woman, but then decided, that it would help nothing.
His friend knocked him on the back and pointed on one of the third window on the second floor of a old hotel. Few minutes ago, the transparent with with the text "Danke fyr bezazunk!" (thanks for the occupation). "See, somebody wants us here!" said his friend. Michael replied: "Bezazunk means 'occupation', not 'liberation'. It is probably a provocation." The night is going to be sleepless, just like the night before. Hopefully, the supplies will catch up, else they would have to turn around and face consequences from the leadership.
Maybe the only winning move was not to play? If so, Michael is not going to play, just like many others on both sides.