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The United Kingdoms of Albion (British: Teyrnasoedd Unedig o Alban, English: Unitit Kinrick o Alba, Lloegrian: Unitet Keningdom af Albin) are a sovereign state located off the north-west coast of continental Europe. The country includes the island of Albion, also known as Greater Britain, and many smaller islands. The UK has no land borders with any other country, but is separated from Eriu and Lyonesse by the narrow Irish Sea and Gallic Channel respectively.
Albion is a constitutional monarchy with a parliamentary system of government. The capital city is Caerloyw. Albion consists of three constituent countries: Prydain, England and Lloegyr, all of which have devolved administrations based in their capitals of Caerloyw, Edinburgh and London. In personal union with Albion, but not part of it, are the independent states of Eriu and Norway, and the Crown Dependencies of Orkney, Shetland and Mann.
The UK is a developed country and has the world's fifth largest GDP. Until the late 19th century it was the world's foremost power, with a large colonial empire, but since then it has declined as many of the larger colonies have been granted independence. Albic influence can still be observed in the language, culture and legal systems of many former colonies.
Albion was first settled by modern humans in waves beginning around 30,000 years ago. By around 600 BC, large-scale immigration from the continent had introduced Celtic culture and languages, which came to dominate all of Eriu and southern Albion. The modern-day British people claim to be direct descendants of the ancient Britons, though DNA testing suggests that the story is more complicated than that.
The Roman conquest of Albion began in AD 43 during the reign of the Emperor Claudius. Imperial rule lasted for the next 400 years, during which the Romanised Britons gradually diverged from their Pictish cousins. From the late fourth century onward Albion came under pressure from the Gaels in Eriu, the Picts to the north, and Germanic pirates from across the sea, eventually causing Rome to gradually abandon the island.
At around this time there were mass migrations of Germanic peoples to Albion, including Angles, Jutes, Frisians, Saxons and others. After some early disagreements with the Britons, they established their own kingdoms by taking much of the eastern half of Albion for their own. For a time the Anglo-Saxon influx west seemed impossible to stop, even after they were Christianised, but a British victory at the Battle of Penn Hill in AD 665 allowed them to reverse the trend and reclaim much of the Midlands and the south coast. Later Powysian victories would stabilise the situation, so that by the end of the millennium the remaining Saxon settlers had been largely assimilated into the majority British population.
Perhaps the Britons could have driven the invaders out altogether, but new arrivals of Frisians all along the east coast put an end to that ambition.
This situation - with a number of British kingdoms and principalities in the west, Anglo-Frisian kingdoms in the east, and an Angle-dominated kingdom in the north, slowly taking over its Gael and Pict neighbours - would prove to be remarkably resilient in the next thousand years.
The Middle Ages
From the late 8th century onward the Vikings, Scandinavian raiders leaving their homelands for a variety of reasons began to attack the coasts of Albion. Between approximately 870 and 930 most of northern and eastern Albion was subject to Danish or Norse rule, either indirectly in the form of local puppet kings or directly when Norse leaders took over themselves. England in the north survived relatively intact by paying off the attackers, but farther south, the only major British kingdom to withstand the onslaught was Dyfnaint.
In the early years of the 10th century Dyfnaint began to reconquer some of Prydain, eventually absorbing most of the country into itself.
In the 11th century most of southern Albion was conquered by the Jersiais dynasty of Arvor, starting in the reign of Hywel II. Though much of Albion's traditional culture was eroded by these events, it did draw the island further into the European cultural and political sphere and placed it in a good position to dominate its neighbours. Prydain became the heart of the Jersiais Empire, incorporating Arvor, Lyonesse and parts of Spain, while England united with Norway and came to rule over much of the Atlantic coast and was involved in some of the early voyages to Vinland.
These overseas possessions had mostly been lost by the 16th century, when Prydain and England finally began to unite to form the country of Albion. The two would soon however be involved in creating their own colonial empires, which by the 19th century would cover a third of the world's land area.
Albion was ultimately victorious in all three World Wars, but suffered heavily especially in the last. Today, though it retains much overseas influence through the countries of its former empire, with which it remains close, Albion itself has been largely reduced to a second-rate power.
The main languages of Albion are British, English and Lloegrian. British was once spoken all over Albion but was displaced in the east during the early Middle Ages. Historically it existed as a broad continuum of dialects, ranging from Cernyweg in the far south-west to Cludaeg in modern-day southern England, but in the last century Standard Central British, derived from the language spoken in and around Caerloyw, has taken precedence.
Lloegrian is descended from the East Anglian dialect of Old English, which was heavily influenced by the Frisians, but more than half of its vocabulary is of Romance origin. Lloegrian is the main language in Lloegyr, and is still spoken by minorities in Ebrauc, Cawrtain and Bylgan.
English is very closely related to Lloegrian and is largely mutually intelligible with it. It descends from the Northumbrian dialects of Old English, with significant Gaelic, Pictish and Norse influence. It was far less influenced by Romance languages than Lloegrian was, however, so Lloegrian speakers may find its vocabulary somewhat archaic.
Other languages include Norn, which is still spoken in Orkney and Shetland; Irish, which was until recently spoken on many of the islands off the western coast of England, and which is still alive in Mann, and many immigrant languages such as Greek, Syriac, Arabic and Hindi.
Prydain is the largest and most populous of the three constituent countries, with a population of 58,416,030. Of these, 22% live in the countryside and 78% in an urban environment, including 18,103,894 in and around the capital of Caerloyw. The most densely populated areas are the south-east, the north and the northern coast of the Mor Hafren, with the economy of Cernyw, Gwynedd and the western half of Powys being dominated by sheep farming and wind turbines. Apart from Caerloyw, the largest cities in descending order are: Caerwynt, Caerbrauc, Caerleon Fawr, Baddon, Lwydis, Ratae, Caerleon Bach, Caerwysg, Caerdydd, Caernarfon and Sarwm.
England has a population of 8,609,747. Despite being almost the same size as Prydain, it is much more scarcely populated due to the Highlands and islands being all but empty. The vast majority of people live in the Central Lowland belt, including the cities of Edinburgh, Glasgow, Stirling and Dundee. One of the few major settlements to the north is Aberdeen, while to the south are the industrial areas of Northumberland and Durham.
Lloegyr is the smallest country. It contains 16,239,257 people who are spread mostly evenly, save for a dense knot in the suburbs of London. Historically, the fens and marshes of Lincolnshire and East Anglia were largely uninhabited save as a refuge in times of war, but their draining in the last two centuries has opened the land up for permanent settlement. The largest cities are London, Guildford, Chichester, Dover, Canterbury, Colchester, Norwich, Lincoln and Nottingham.