Alengiamark is a large constitutional monarchy on the Eastern coast of Leifia. Álengiamark is divided into 7 Fylke, one of which forms a detached portion to the North-West. It is bordered by Passamaquoddia and Kanienmark to the North,and Aniyunwiya, Vinland and Susquehanockland to the West. The Six Nations divides Ontario Fylke from the main body of the country.
It has a population of just over 13 million. This makes it the most populous Leifian nation (excluding Mexica). Its capital is St. Hafdiss. The largest city is Kristjanaborg which is predicted to become the largest Leifian city outside of Mexica before the end of the decade.
Queen Thorey VII is the current head of state.
The main language is Álengsk, though three other minority languages are also recognised: Quiripi, Mohegan and Wampanoag.
The currency is the Álengsk Krona (ALK).
Álengiamark means 'Long River in the Woodland', a Vinlandic interpretation of the Pequot name for the area around St Hafdiss.
Early History (1100-1560)
Originally an extension of the Norse colony of Vinland, Álengiamark was conceived as a sister kingdom to Vinland after Queen Snaedis I gave birth to twins. Its milder climate and array of defensible islands and bays made it a tempting destination for settlers. However, the Vinlanders and their Passamaquoddy allies had to fight hard to extend their rule. The most notable problem was the Wampanoag tribe, a large and powerful group that lay between Passamquoddia and the Sudervik (OTL Rhode Island) settlements. Two Wampanoag Wars, including one branded a 'crusade', succeeded in subjugating and fixing the northern-eastern borders and by 1129 the Eastern section of Álengiamark (roughly the coast from Fiskuhalvóyar, OTL Cape Cod, up to Margirhaedeyja, OTL Manhattan Island) had been pacified. A rough alliance of 4 tribes; the Norse (this included a good number of Cornish and Bretons), Quiripi, Pequot and Mohegan, was formalised and, on the death of Snaedis I in 1131, Álengiamark was proclaimed a separate nation with its own Althing at St Hafdiss.The first queen of Álengiamark, Elisiv, spent much of her reign in the saddle, extending Álengiamark and pacifying its porous borders. She is recorded as actually riding into battle at the siege of Quispamis in 1137 armed with a mace. Her 24 year reign is widely credited for saving the Norse colonies in Leifia from being overrun by resurgent Suderfolk tribes.
Suffering a civil war in the 1180s, mostly stemming from the deep animosity between the earls of Margirhaedeyja, Sudervik and Langaeyjar, Álengiamark would briefly be reunited with Vinland. However, the Quiripi tribe, still smarting from the execution of their preferred queen, Yrsa I, were rebellious and the union only lasted 18 months. The successor, Queen Eydis, through shrewd bargaining and diplomacy took Ontario Fylke. This was later lost to Erie and Kanienmark, who took advantage of the unstable situation in the early 1200s. A greater threat was to come however. The Aniunwiyan Empire to the south-west had risen suddenly and expanded fast under the dynamic leadership of Edoha. After it had thoroughly stamped its authority on the south from the Mississippi to the Atlantic coast it turned its attention to the north and swept the previously well-regarded Álengsk army away. In 1239 the country was reduced to vassal status. Ruled by an Aniunwiyan queen, Atamaja, it outlived the empire and inherited a large swath of north-eastern Leifia once the empire splintered.
Back under Álengsk rule by 1281 and struggling under the weight of the number of tribes it had absorbed, Álengiamark's porous borders created a siege mentality amongst the varied communities. Whereas Vinland was largely protected by its remoteness and naval force, land-based Álengiamark had to instead rely on a bloated army and well maintained defensive lines. This manifested itself in virtually every town fortifying itself and raising a small militia force. This in turn splintered authority, a process unwittingly fostered by Thorey II who urgently needed vital support to hold on to the rebellious Unami lands and so ceded land and favours to those who would support her. Revolts over any law that slightly infringed on a community's rights were her reward. By the end of her reign in 1341 the real balance of power had moved from the central Althing to some 40 odd semi-independent statelets. The major ones, the Earldoms which also slowly splintered due to split inheritance, used the Althing merely to barter and gather support for their own wars. Land held by the church tripled after the Black Death whilst towns and cities created their own Things. To Danish contemporaries is resembled nothing more than a 'Holy Roman Empire in Leifia' .
Meanwhile Portuguese merchants who had reached Leifia by the 'Southern Route' nominally dealt with the crown but in reality profits disappeared into the pockets of the earls sapping what little central treasury remained. By 1420 the office of Queen of Álengiamark was nothing more than a title, sought after for prestige only.
The inherent weaknesses of such a system became quickly apparent. When the various subject tribes could stand their oppression no longer the Great Unami Revolt of 1385-1388 destroyed much of the Western lands whilst those of the East barely lifted a finger to assist, seeing it as the West's problem, not a national crisis. The Battle of Kristianbae, saved the country from immediate destruction but left it utterly unable to retake lands it had lost to the rebellion. At the Congress of Fjallasay seven separate delegates who variously refused to acknowledge each other arrived to settle the entire county's borders. The congress created Susquehanockland and the Confederation of Six Nations out of Álengsk territory and defined Álengiamark's borders - borders which have roughly remained the same until the present day.
Shorn of its rebellious Unami provinces the country was much more peaceful and prosperous and the next century saw a massive expansion in Álengsk trade and agriculture. It joined the Kalmar Union alongside Vinland in 1434. By the early 1500s it was making regular eastward trips to Europe for trade and was confident enough to challenge Portugal for control of Quisqueyanos.
Later History (1560-)
With temporal power falling apart it was nothing short of miraculous then that the religious situation did not fragment more than it did. Lutheranism only really made headway in Quiripiland and the island statelets of Gráakonenna and Ílaekjurland. The eruption of heresy with Jón Irronsson and his vernacular bible had been dealt with firmly with his burning in 1459. When its Northern neighbours began to fall one by one to the Lutheran faith Álengiamark aligned itself with the Catholic powers of Iberia. When in 1565 the bishop of St Hafdiss was assassinated it began a repression of Quiripi Lutherans that astonished the whole region for its brutality. The diplomatic fallout resulted in the Leifian Wars of Religion (1565-1574) and entrenched the religious divide of north-east Leifia and allowed a complete, but less brutal, re-conversion to Catholicism within Álengiamark's borders.
Fifty years later Álengsk troops were heavily involved in the two Mexica-Leifia Wars, providing a large backbone to the allied forces. During the first war it often refused to fight alongside Protestant forces from the north. In both instances the length of the wars plus sheer devastation wrought led to extended periods of famine. During the Second Mexica-Leifia War it lost the important Western Leifian outpost of Snjorjamark and its gold mines (see Atsukriga). The war followed by a horrific three year outbreak of plague which swept through Leifia leaving many states, including Álengiamark, severely weakened.
That this weakness was down to the country's divisions was not lost on many reformist politicians. The struggle to re-centralise government took up much of Queen Herridr I's long reign and largely succeeded in replacing the earldoms, church lands and independent cities with the democratic Fylke (see below). The newly refreshed Althing dealt well with the Kalmar-Mexica War (1743-1752) which saw a lengthy occupation of Quisqueyanos by Mexic troops.
Though initially resistant, Álengiamark accepted many thousands of settlers to its shores during the Great Baltic War. During this process most the remaining farmland was claimed and a dedicated Land Registry created to record and list all land claims in the country. People descended from these mainly Svealandic and Finnish settlers now make up a considerable minority in Nanticokeland Fylke. The country still receives a trickle of settlers from Scandinavia, and occasionally elsewhere, but they tend to join the cities rather than attempt to enter the expensive and over-bureaucratic minefield that is Álengsk property law.
The expansion of farmland in Nanticokeland was largely handled by the Chesapeake Company, a government body designed to provide the money for the new farmers in return for a slice of future crop sales. Shares were sold to the public, and often foreign governments. By early 1815 these shares were trading hands for vast amounts of Krona, all based on the future profits of increasingly marginal farmland. In 1816 the end came and the share price crashed. This not only ruined a large section of the merchant classes and the government finances of Álengiamark but also those of the Six Nations and Abernakriga too, plunging them into decades of revolt. In desperation to save money, the Álengsk half of Quisqueyanos was given independence.
Álengiamark's history during the 19th and 20th centuries has been largely taken up with internal struggles and interventionist wars in central Leifia. Relations with those eastern states aligned to Chinese Leifia has spilled out into war twice. Meanwhile the advent of Japan's forces into north-west Leifia threatens Álengsk interests in the centre. The growing problem of Wampanoag 'Determinist' groups has also occupied much of Álengiamark's efforts as politicians attempt to grapple with the issue.
Queen Brynja III and her husband Frederick, Prince of Darmstadt, as well as many of their staff, were assassinated by the lunatic Jan Manaiungsson in 2009 when he infiltrated a summer party at their country lodge. The shocking action caused the fall of the long running Thyrsson government and has left a noticeable gloom over the country.
Álengiamark is a member of the 4th Kalmar Union.
The Fylke system replaced the increasingly irrelevant and inertia stricken earldoms during the 1730-1760s, effectively turning the country from a decentralised patchwork of authoritarian mini-states littered with semi-independent cities into a fully-fledged coherent constitutional monarchy.
Many reformers would like to see the seven current Fylke divided up to reflect changing demographics and many Fylkethings are kept busy with peaceful cession movements.
The Althing in St Hafdiss is made up of two representatives from each county from six of the Fylke (Wampanoagmark has autonomy and runs its own Thing). There are currently 227 counties and 454 members of the Althing.
In addition each Fylke elects its own Fylke-thing which has authority over local matters.
Queen Thorey VII is the current head of state. Clement Massaoitsson is the Prime Minister.
Álengsk has often been described as a synthesis between Norse and the various Algonquin languages present at the time of conquest. It is not mutually intelligible to Vinlandic and has not been since the mid-14th century. Indeed Vinlanders have been haughtily known to describe it as 'a disease of the throat'. Nor is it intelligible to Hafsvaedish, the other large Norse-Algonquin hybrid language.
Nanticokeland has more of a Fenno-Scandinavian lilt to it, for instance saying 'Tar ok tayti mennt ' instead of 'Toh aut piluk baeyn' (I need go to the town), reflecting the heavy settlement of Svealanders and Finns during the late 1700s. The decision to raise Nanticokish to recognised language is currently being debated.
Beyond Álengsk, official recognition is also given to Quiripi, Mohegan and Wampanoag. The use of both Quiripi and Mohegan had declined to very low levels before attempts were made to codify and spread the use of them during the 1950s.
Flag and Coat of Arms
Álengiamark's flag, a green and white Scandinavian Cross, was adopted in the early 15th century, following Vinland's example. Both countries were broadly copying Danish symbols of state that they saw during the 1st Congress of Fjallasay. The green represents the land and agriculture. The white represents Christianity and unity.
The coat of arms shows the symbols of four historical provinces of Álengiamark.
- Margirhaedeyja is represented by a fortress
- Langaeyjar by a key
- Sudervik by a Viking ship between two pillars
- St Hafdiss and crown lands by the Álengsk lion; a crowned red lion holding a fern and a sword.