The Crown Colony of Alkafuglaeyjar, Auk Islands, is a group of islands (OTL Falkland Islands) off the south-eastern coast of Tawantinland which is claimed and administered by Vinland. Its capital is Austurfjordinn and has a permanent population of around 94,000 (though seasonal trading and Kalmar military presence often doubles this). It also claims a section of the Antarctic continent though the claim overlaps with Luxembourg's and is undefined.
The two main islands are named Hafdis and Elisiv after the 11th century twin queens of Vinland and Álengiamark.
The official language is Vinlandic, though the dialect spoken there is very different to the 'accepted' version spoken in the Northern hemisphere. It is often compared to a old-fashioned version of Icelandic (which probably reflects the main source of its settlers as well as the heavy Anabaptist legacy).
It uses the Vinlandic Krona (VIK) as its currency, though is allowed to use its own currency designs.
The current Head of State is Queen Kristjana IX.
Evidence of early visits by Tawantinland tribes is scarce but highly convincing. However the islands were totally uninhabited when the Vinlandic Southern Company's explorer Magnus Snorrisson discovered the islands in 1562. His short report of the island likened it to Iceland.
A small fort at Austurfjordinn was established as a supply depot for the Company's exploration efforts in the far south.
As Leon claimed all South Atlantic islands through the Papal mediated Treaty of Quisqueyanos, the discovery and claim of the islands by Vinland provoked a angry response and they began, with their Susquehanock allies, to attempt to disrupt and capture Vinlandic trade routes. This coupled with the ratcheting up of tensions between Catholic and Protestant powers would feed into the Leifian Wars of Religion. The struggle for the islands would come to head in 1603 when a Vinlandic flotilla intercepted a Leonese armada which had only three days previously escaped, badly damaged, from a hurricane. The Leonese sailors who survived the ensuing battle were put ashore on a Carib island which they named Santuario (OTL Barbuda)
To secure the Vinlandic claim a total of 34 families were transported from famine stricken Iceland to Alkafuglaeyjar in 1578. A sheep farming industry quickly sprang up and a strong trade with both the Tawantinsuyu to the West and the Leifian nations to the far North developed. Llama and reindeer would in time be introduced while fishing became increasingly important. Due to the thin soil and climate the islands are not suitable for cereal farming though most citizens have private vegetable plots
The Tawantinsuyu began to use the islands as a depot and resupply base for their trading links with Southern Africa, Europe and India. Eventually a small community of Tawantinsuyu settled in the main towns. In return the islanders would occasionally assist the Tawantinsuyu in pacifying the native tribes of the Eastern Tawantinland coast but in general the presence of the colony with its separate trade routes actually helped the tribes stay independent.
The population of the colony grew slowly for the first century but the arrival of the Vinlandic Anabaptists (see Joost Cassens) in 1673 provided a boost. Tensions between the newcomers and the established population took several decades to settle down.
After the occupation of St. John (OTL St Helena) by Portugal Leon slowly became reconciled to the idea that Treaty of Quisqueyanos was unenforceable and dropped its claim to the islands.During the 1700's the colony, annoyed at the lack of representation at Isafjordhur, briefly flirted with independence, electing Queen Eyfinna I's cousin Kristjana as its ruler. She was given the title 'Princess of Alkafuglaeyjar' to defer to Vinland's overlordship. The succession of Princess Lára to the Vinland throne reintegrated the colony into the Vinlandic state. The family of Lára's third son Brynjolf were granted the title Earls of Alkafuglaeyjar, and henceforth would remain as governors of the islands for the crown. Though often derided in the press as 'the Southerner', Lára would remain fond of the rather barren islands of her birth and spent a great deal of crown money on improving the towns there.
The whaling industry helped bring the island chains to the south-west into Vinlandic possession as Vinlanders and Alkafuglaeyarsk whalers built small villages on the otherwise barren island of Nývédíseyjar. However the over-fishing of several whale species has led to severe scarcity and extinction. This in turn led to the small settlements being abandoned. Whaling is now only carried out in Alkafuglaeyjarsk waters by express permission by the Vinlandic crown. Beyond Nývédíseyjar are a chain of volcanic islands which are storm-tossed and utterly uninhabitable.
Due to the lack of natural resources and distances/cost of coal or timber sources Alkafuglaeyjar has no heavy industry to speak of. Having said that it has been eager to explore other power sources. The generation of electricity by windmill power was invented by islander Thomas Birgirsson in 1973. Improved versions of his designs have recently been implemented to hardness the winds that whip the islands and provide a (slightly uneven) flow of electricity for the main towns. Direct contact by telegraph cable to the mainland was finally established in 1997.
As a colony of Vinland, its head of state is always Vinland's queen, currently Queen Kristjana IX. It has no representation at the Althing in Isafjordhur, however it has its own Althing and its own Prime Minister, currently Eli Thorsson. Elections are held every three years.
It is a full member of the Kalmar Union and the Southern Fleet is based in the islands.
By royal decree settlement is only allowed on the two main islands in an effort to preserve the wildlife of the surrounding islands which suffered greatly from rat infestations. Ways to exterminate the rats without harming the other animals is being tested. Whaling, whether by its own whaling ships or by foreign vessels in its waters, is limited to a few catches a year.