The Kingdom of Aragon (Castilian: Reino de Aragón, Catalan: Regne d'Aragó, Aragonese: Reino d'Aragón), or alternatively, Bishopric of Aragon (Castilian: Obispado de Aragón, Catalan: Bispat d'Aragó, Aragonese: Bispado d'Aragón) is a pseudo-theocratic limited monarchy located in southern Catalonia.
Although the nation is not located in Aragon, it does claim descent from that kingdom. Given the fact that revivalist beliefs are common in the nation and that the nation de facto claims most of the former Kingdom of Aragon, it uses the name as a result. Bishopric can be used instead of Kingdom alternatively without any major problems as well.
Barcelona was destroyed in the nuclear war, and, soon enough, refugees swamped and destroyed Tarragona. To the south, Valencia was also hit, with most of the Valencian Community being destroyed in the ensuing chaos. However no real amount of fallout came from both Valencia and Barcelona, with most radiation in the area coming down the Ebro river from Zaragoza.
1983 - 1989: The Generalitat de l'Ebre
Soon after Doomsday was over, the mayor of Tortosa established the Junta d'Tortosa and ordained a rationing of food supplies in the city, as well as quickly enlisting several loyal men and arming them into a Tortosa Militia. Similar measures were taken by the Roquetes and Gandesa city halls. Soon enough, this allowed the three small cities to establish varying degrees of power across the southern tip of Catalonia, with Gandesa and Roquetes being able to establish small surpluses of their agricultural production, while Tortosa, although less productive in agriculture, was able to maintain itself without massive famines.
Tortosa, Gandesa and Roquetes soon banded together in the Generalitat de l'Ebre, establishing a provisional government (led by the mayor of Tortosa) by 1985. The nominal capital was stationed in the more central Roquetes.
In 1987, more permanent and independent-minded measures were established with the growing feeling that neither a Spanish state nor a Catalonian one would arrive to reunite the region. The Army of the Ebre was established in the same year, as was the establishment of a more tightly-together government over the three cities.
Meanwhile, Ricard Maria Carles i Gordo, the bishop of Tortosa, was becoming a more prominent person, admiring others with his speeches. He talked about religion and ethics, and he inspired many people of the Generalitat. Due to the increasing wish of the population to have the Bishop of Tortosa as king, polls were held for the first time since Doomsday. The outcome of the poll was, as expected, that Carles i Gordo should become king. However, no one knew how to name the nation.
Carles i Gordó supported the name Aragon, because even though the nation was in Catalonia, the mix of populations wouldn't allow a nation called Catalonia to be entirely positive to the entire nation. The Generalitat was renamed Aragon and on the 23rd of April 1989, he was crowned King and Bishop of Aragon and the temporary Generalitat was at last replaced by a permanent Kingdom of Aragon, heavily revivalist and under very conservative influences.
1989 - 1992: Peace and Prosperity
Aragonese was reinstated as official tongue in 1990, following both the revivalism found after Doomsday in hopes of re-instating the Crown of Aragon and an influx of Aragonese refugees into the small nation, and the nation began expanding.
Some factories began reopening in 1991, now rebuilt to work without electricity, as well as a newspaper called the 'Aragó Setmanal' (Aragon Weekly) being set up, with its headquarters in Tortosa. One of the re-established factories in Gandesa, a pre-Doomsday major paper producing city, produced the paper.
The three cities were securely connected with one another by 1992, and the nation had reached the coast of the Mediterranean by the end of the year. A small navy was formed early in the next month. Soon, contact with Castellón and Balearic Islands was made, on a limited basis. Distrust, however, led to only some small trade occurring between the nations.
Problems with pirates began to appear, however, and the Corts decided that the eradication of the pirate clans was the only solution to that, though they lacked the means to do it at the time.
1992 - 2001: Wars and Expeditions
Then, suddenly, a naval vessel spotted a ship with strange flags on the horizon. The two ships approached each other, and after a period of mistrust and not understanding each other, some members of the Aragonese crew deciphered the language of the foreign vessel, and were told told them that they come from the Republic of Sicily.
The ship was brought to L'Ampolla, the biggest port of the region at the time. Soon, it was established that the vessel, despite being lightly armed, was a merchant ship, searching for trade opportunities in former Spanish territories. The party on the ship was escorted to Tortosa as soon as possible, where they had a meeting with King Ricard. The captain of the ship explained that he wanted to begin business between the two nations, with the condition that Aragon would only trade with Sicily. The Corts held a vote, but it was almost evenly tied, thus King Ricard, after three days, had to step in and made a deal with the Sicilian merchants: They will give the Corts a month to debate about the decision, while the Sicilians would spread news about their discovery.
King Ricard's decision was later proven to be what has saved Aragon from becoming a Sicilian vassal. Only days after the encounter with the Sicilians, another vessel arrived in what the Aragonese government considered Aragon's sea territory. Not wanting to be considered pirates, the captain of the Aragonese ship flew the white flag. The other ship, seeing the flag, raised a white flag as well, to show that it came in peace. The strangers told the Aragonese that they came from a state called Genoa. The ship was also taken to L'Ampolla, and from there, to Tortosa.
Through these Genovese explorers, the nation learned about the survival and unification of Austria, Switzerland and Liechtenstein, about the survival of Monaco, about Corsica, and about Sicily's imperialism. They informed Aragon about the blockade on Genoa's port in 1989 and about its Fascism. The exploration party left two days later, telling King Ricard before they left that Genoa couldn't send aid in such a situation, but as soon as Genoa can send ships for trade and help, they will return.
As expected, the Sicilian ship returned one month later. This time, Aragon greeted them with the Army in the immediate surrounding of L'Ampolla. King Ricard made a short greeting, then, when he raised his hand in the air, the Army moved into the port, surrounding the Sicilians. After all sailors had their hands raised, King Ricard explicitly told the captain that they do not want to trade with the nation and if they would appear again, they would be killed. The Sicilians left, but not without pledging that they would destroy the whole nation.
Sicilian raiders began to harass the nation both from the sea and from the North. However, despite the Army of the Ebre being severely outnumbered by Sicily and facing heavy losses, it was able to defeat the raiders, who were withdrawn. Their operations were redirected north, where the republican Generalitat de Catalunya was destroyed.
The Genovese vessel returned in 1994, where it was greeted by King Ricard. Subsequently, the Corts granted special status to Genovese ships, because if not for them, the nation would have become a Sicilian puppet, at best.
A land-based expedition sent northwards in the hope of finding another Aragonese state found nothing, but did find rumours of two strong states to the north - the Iberian Confederacy and the survival of Andorra. However, the Republican nature of the two nations, as well as the high degree of nationalism common in the Kingdom, caused it to have no wishes of having any contact with any of the nations in fear that they would try to re-annex it and begin reuniting Spain.
In 1999, a vessel which came from the UAR docked in L'Ampolla. The captain informed the nation about South America and brought the news about Vatican. Rejoiced, King Ricard immediately gave order that South American ships were welcome anytime in Aragon.
2001 - present: 21st Century
The new century was greeted with hope for better future in Aragon.
The years between 2001 and 2013 are called the Era de Pau i Evolució (Era of Peace and Evolution) during which Aragon began expanding into new territory, life was getting easier, the industry was blooming and generally there was peace. Contacts were established with Corsica, Monaco and Tuscany.
This era was cut short due to the death of King Ricard on December 17th, 2013. The king died peacefully during his sleep in his chambers. A testament was found in his room, where he appointed Román Casanova i Casanova, a priest from Vic who became a refugee on Doomsday, but rose in the ranks of the Roman Catholic Diocese in the years thereafter, as his successor. He was crowned King of Aragon in the Tortosa Cathedral on December 25th, 2013.
During his reign, changes began to be seen: Instead of isolation, the new king wanted to pursue international recognition. This started with the foundation of a free trade zone in L'Ampolla in March of 2014.
Better port facilities are currently being built with the help of the UAR, and to a lesser extent Genoa, and are expected to be finished in August of 2016. The postal service was modernised in June of the 2013, introducing postal stamps.
Today Aragon is a strong albeit small monarchy that controls a relatively large amount of territory in the south of Catalonia, and influences most of the remaining parts of southernmost Tarragona province. Expansion is being planned by the Aragonese Corts, with reclaiming to be done towards Aragon proper along the Ebre river. This also means a slight northward expansion along the coast, although it is not planned to rebuild Tarragona in the near future. Aragon currently seeks friendly relations with Monaco, Genoa, Corsica and Tuscany, and King Román wishes for an normalisation of relations between Aragon and Spain to occur.
The Kingdom occupies much of the southern parts of Tarragona province, Catalonia. Almost all of this area is located around the mouth of the Ebre river.
As in terms of topography, the nation is hilly, with mountains and plains here and there. The region around the Ebre east of Tortosa is also marshy.
The nation is politically split into two comarcas (counties), one districte capital (capital district) and one zona de lliure comerç (free trade zone). These are:
- Comarca Baix Ebre - Capital in Roquetes, consists of the controlled part of the pre-Doomsday Baix Ebre.
- Comarca Terra Alta - Capital in Gandesa, consists of the controlled parts of the pre-Doomsday Terra Alta.
- Districte Capital Tortosa - Consisting of Tortosa and its suburbs.
- Zona de Lliure Comerç L'Ampolla - Consisting of L'Ampolla
Aragonese nationalists claim all of the former states of Catalonia - with the exception of the current control zone of Andorra - Aragon and the northern Valencian Community up to Castellón. The claim that is officially supported by King Ramón and the Corts, however, is the whole of Tarragona Province and the eastern fringe of Teruel Province. Anti-Spanish and Anti-Andorran citizens also claim the rest of the Valencian Community, the Balears, Andorra and Rousillon. The former are supported by the population, and the latter is only supported by a fringe minority and is most likely never to become true.
Aragon has three official languages, which are divided in two "priorities", according to their use on everyday life by Aragonese citizens. The two "primary" official languages, Catalan and, to a lesser extent, Spanish (officially referred to as Castilian), are the most used in government and are used daily by the majority of the populace. The use of Castilian/Spanish, however, is becoming less and less common, therefore most officials use Catalan for their declarations.
National signs such as those on roads or most buildings are also required to be in Aragonese, the other official "secondary" language of Aragon.
Polls show following:
- Catalan - 81%
- Spanish/Castilian - 7%
- Aragonese - 3.5%
- Catalan and Castilian - 8.5%
Religion, unlike in other states, has taken a more prominent role in Aragon, though there is very little diversity in religion. The religions of Aragon are:
- Roman Catholicism is currently the most prominent religion of Aragon, and currently is the religion with the absolute majority in the nation, though the Vatican states that the Catholicism in Aragon is a little misguided and does not condone many aspects of how they operate.
- Atheism is the official designation for non-Catholics, which includes Protestants and agnostics as well as actual atheists. These people are generally treated as second-class citizens.
Religious polls have shown following:
- Roman Catholicism - 94.5%
- Atheism - 5.5%
The lifestyle in Aragon is a mix of a 'live fast die young' attitude with strong religious beliefs.
Religion is a very important part of the state, with most Catholics attending mass every Sunday. In the more rural regions, people who don't attend mass are usually excluded from taverns and many people would not speak to them. Exception to this are expectant mothers, parents of sick children, babies up to nine months and sick people, who are socially allowed to miss the mass.
The typical Aragonese work day begins at 7:00 AM, followed by the traditional three-hour long Resta (Catalan for rest, equivalent to a Siesta) from noon until 3:00 PM. Work usually ends at 7:00 PM, followed by the Sopar familiar (family dinner), which consists mostly of a vegetable soup and a fish, rice and carob paella. The people of Aragon have to work six days a week, with a day off on Sunday.
The holidays in Aragon are following:
- 1st January - New Year's Day
- Changes from year to year - Easter Holiday (consisting of Black Friday, Easter's Eve, Easter Sunday and Easter Monday)
- 23rd April - St. George's Day
- 1st May - Labour Day
- 3rd week of July - Summer Holiday
- 26th September - Doomsday Memorial Day
- 24th to 26th December - Christmas Holiday (consisting of Christmas Eve, Christmas Day and Boxing Day)
In theory, the constitution of Aragon guarantees freedom of religion. In reality, non-Catholics face severe discrimination, as many Aragonese citizens feel that Doomsday was God's punishment on Spain for increasing secularism. Since the death of King Ricard, however, the government has taken steps to rectify this.
Sports tournaments, especially in soccer, are held in the summer. Professional sports do not exist in Aragon at the present time.
Life expectancy is from the early-fifties toward the early-sixties, though some exceptions have been noted. Most deaths are caused by malaria, which made a comeback in the years after Doomsday. Other causes of death are malnourishment, because many people in Aragon are eating one meal (usually dinner) and a snack (at noon) per day without the proper nutrients, and other diseases, which would have been curable before Doomsday. Three of five children die before the age of five. To say the least, the health situation is grim.
Electricity is not functional in Aragon, though there are plans for a hydroelectric station, to be sponsored by the UAR, and built in the next few years.
Water supplies come mainly from the Ebre. Currently, only around 45% of the population have access to water in their own houses. The remaining 55% have their water from nearby wells installed in 1989 or ones which were built before Doomsday. The water is often needed to be boiled first if it comes from a well, though people with access to water in their homes mostly boil the water before drinking it as well.
Gas, like electricity, is not distributed in Aragon. The alternatives to it are warming with either stoves, which are more common, and fireplaces. Wood is the main fuel in use.
Law and Order
In 1990, the first set of laws was brought to Aragon, which re-implemented the capital punishment for murder, pedophilia, rape, homosexuality, treason, abortion and armed theft, and increased the life sentence to 99 years. Since then the law changed several times, the current situation is following:
- Murder is punished with either life in prison with hard labour (mostly consisting of road building and demolitions) or execution by hanging, depending on the age of the victim and brutality of the murder.
- Paedophilia is punished with five-year reeducation with hard labour.
- Rape is punished with either life in prison with castration and hard labour or execution by hanging, depending on the age of the victim.
- Homosexuality is punished with castration, followed by 10-15 years in prison with hard labour.
- Treason is automatically punished with execution by long drop hanging.
- Abortion is punished with either execution by hanging or ten years in prison with hard labour, depending if you are the doctor or the mother.
- Armed Theft is punished with 10-15 years in prison with hard labour.
The same 1990 laws also punish mugging, theft, burglary, public drunkenness and disorderly behaviour. The current situation is:
- Theft, burglary and mugging are all punished with one year in prison with hard labour.
- Public drunkenness and disorderly behaviour are all punished with either 12 to 48 hours of public humiliation in shifts of six hours a day, where the prisoners are cuffed at the feet in a roofed stock, and on the roof there is a banner which tells the name and the crime of the person, or community service, which means recycling at a garbage dump or working on state-owned farmland.
Such stocks exist in Gandesa, Roquetes, Tortosa and L'Ampolla.
Marriage is only allowed from the age of 16 and up, and is only possible between heterosexual couples.
Drinking alcohol is only allowed from the age of 18, though some alcoholic products, such as moonshine, may even have restriction up to the age of 25, due to common intoxication of the younger people.
Driving a cart is only allowed from the age of 14 with supervision and from 16 alone, while sailing a catamaran/fishing boat is only allowed from the age of 16 with supervision and from 18 alone.
Courts and Prisons
The Court of Aragon is currently located in Gandesa, where the prison, built in 1995, is located. Since then, there is another court that has been established in Tortosa.
The Aragonese army (officially l'Exercit de l'Ebre or The Army of the Ebre) consists of roughly 200 full time soldiers. Every able-bodied man in the nation has had six months of training, and any woman who wants to be part of the Army is welcomed with open arms.
Everyone in the army, except for high-ranking personnel, needs to retire at the age of 40. The army has infantry and cannon regiments. The infantry is equipped with a home-made uniform, crossbows, imported rifles from the Alpine Confederation and swords produced directly in the major cities of Aragon. The cannons and mortars of Aragon are produced in Roquetes, the headquarters of the army.
The army is small but relatively strong, considering their level of technology, but has a dependence of ammunition and armament from the Alpine Confederation. Recently, the government has asked the Alpine government if they could give the Aragonese army plans for the production of weapons and ammunition, though it is unlikely to happen.
There is a sort of 'reserves' for the army, the 'Home Guard', a militia designed for civilian rebellion and guerrilla fighting in case of an invasion.
The Aragonese navy, with its headquarters in L'Ampolla, is consisting in around 75 full time personnel. Personnel are equipped with a uniform, a crossbow and a sword. The navy consists of river catamarans, which are the Ebre Guard, and of reused fishing boats and some repaired captured vessels from Sicily, which are the Coast Guard. The flagship of Aragon is the NMS Rei Ricard (NMS meaning His Majesty's Ship and Rei meaning King), which was captured from the Sicilians by Genoa in 1994 and given as a gift of friendship the same year. Surprisingly, it was in a very good state.
The military is funded through a combination of plots of land worked by members of the military and their families, and rents from other plots of land. This includes some fishing vessels that help pay for and train naval forces.
Aragon has two military bases, which are located in Roquetes and L'Ampolla, the former used by the army and the latter used by the navy. In addition, there is a small naval detachment on the army base, from which patrols on the river are carried out.
The Kingdom of Aragon has a king (also Bishop of Tortosa and Aragon), who controls both the secular and religious needs of the state. Many rights are controlled by the King, due to his being the sole part of the executive law and his having a final say in the judicial one. However, he does have leverage in the legislative branch, in which a unicameral Congress, called the Corts, has the only say in laws. There are 61 seats in the Corts. There are five parties in the Corts which are:
- Partit Popular d'Aragó (PPA, Aragonese People's Party), a centre-right party, which supports liberal conservatism and the monarchy. It is the successor to both the People's Party of Spain and to Convergence and Union. It has 21 seats in the Corts.
- Ciutadans d'Aragó (CA, Citizens of Aragon), an anti-racism, post-nationalist party which advocates for trade and communications with Europe, as well as for recognition of every religious and ethnic group. Also advocates for an elective monarchy. It has five seats in the Corts.
- Iniciativa Verde per Aragó (IVA, Green Initiative for Aragon), an ecologist party, which also supports the King. It has ten seats in the Corts.
- Esquerra Unida (EU, United Left), a republican, socialist party. It is supporting an alignment with any Soviet survivor which remained Communist. It has 12 seats in the Corts.
- Unió, Progrés i Democrácia (UPiD, Union, Progress and Democracy) is a centre-left party which advocates for Aragon rejoining Spain. It has 13 seats in the Corts.
In Aragon, education is mandatory from the age of six until they finish the eighth grade. An exception to this rule are the children of caravan members, who are home-taught.
From there on, children can choose to either take a trained apprenticeship in fishing, carpeting, metalworking, industrial working or farming, or to continue their education until the tenth grade.
In tenth grade the scholars need to take the Batxillerat Petit (small baccalaureate in Catalan) to continue further. They must write the exam on basic Catalan and Castilian, basic mathematics and basic Aragonese and/or Italian. Students also must write the exam from a choice of another four subjects, which can be following:
- Advanced Castilian and Catalan language and literature
- Advanced mathematics
- Advanced Aragonese and Italian language (students can choose one of them - or both)
- Science (with a specialisation choice between biology, chemistry and physics)
- Theology and ethics
- World History
Those who manage to get a good mark on their Batxillerat Petit can continue to study two of his/her Batxillerat Petit subjects until the twelfth grade, when they give their Batxillerat Gran (big baccalaureate in Catalan), while the others who didn't fare the Batxillerat Petit so well can go to Roquetes College, a college opened by the Jesuit monks at Roquetes observatory with the help of the government where they can attend the college for four years.
Those who have mastered the Batxillerat Gran can pursue Tortosa University, where they can study there for five years. The university was established by teachers who were employed by the state to establish one.
The nation's economy is mostly agriculturally-based with the most common product being rice followed by olives, barley, oat, wheat, vegetables like carob beans and potatoes, and almonds. Viticulture is also an important part of the economic machine.
On the coast, fishing is very important to the meat production in the region. Pork and poultry, still existing but very rare, is also one of the meat types available in the nation.
The textile industry remains a strong part of the economy, though it is non-electrical, meaning they are not producing nearly as much as they did prior to the events of Doomsday. The chemical industry, primarily focusing on fertilizer, has been replaced with production of pomace, which can be further produced into fertilizer.
Exports, especially of fertilizer (produced through pomace) and clothing, are small, but growing steadily since the establishment of the new free trade zone near L'Ampolla. General destinations of this exports are Genoa and Castellón, but smaller ones are also destined for Corsica, Monaco, Tuscany and, to a even lesser extent, Spain, the SAC and Andorra.
Communication and Trade
Newspapers are mostly spread through caravans and/or catamaran sailors. The nation has one newspaper, the 'Aragó Setmanal' (Aragon Weekly), which is issued in Tortosa using nonelectric printing machines. It is issued every Saturday and reaches most of the country on Monday.
The mail service is delivered either by caravans, by catamaran sailors or by riding messengers, and was modernised with outside help in 2014.
Internal trade is mostly is done through catamaran sailors on the Ebro or through caravans. External trade on land is only made towards Castellón, most external trade going now by sea through L'Ampolla. Travel inside the country is made by either hiking, biking or traveling with the caravans or on the catamarans. Aside from sailors, very few people travel outside of the country, and usually to Castellón if they do.
Aragon was a very isolated nation until contact with Genoa was re-established. Spain is on relatively frosty terms with the Catalan survivor, and although it acknowledges the status quo, it wishes for the nation to rejoin Spain and it still claims the entire region. Andorra is seen as a Catalan survivor, and given their similarities, the Andorran nation is a partner of Aragon. Iberia is seen as an enemy by the people of Aragon for its republican status and control of former Aragon.
Because of Sicily's status as an enemy, threat and pariah in the state, relations with Tuscany, Genoa, Corsica and Monaco are generally positive. The SAC nations also maintain good relations, mainly because they want to create allies in ANZC and ADC influenced Europe. Despite all this, Aragon is a pretty isolated nation, and this is probably not going to change in the near future.
The nation hosts two consulates, belonging to Genoa and Spain. Plans for hosting a third one for the UAR and for potentially opening consulates in Spain and Genoa are also being made.