The Grey League, Grey League, Grauer Bund, Lega Grigia is a largely mountainous constitutional federal republic in central Europe. It is the easternmost of the three 'Swiss' states and borders the Swiss Confederation, Liechtenstein, Austria-Bohemia, Venice and Milan. The capital is Chur and the population around 188,000.
The League has no Head of State as such. A 'Baron' is elected by the governing council who represents the League at the Imperial Diet and foreign conferences.
The official languages are German, Italian and Romansch.
The currency is the Grey League Mark (GLM) which is pegged to the Imperial Mark.
The League was originally formed of three separate leagues, the Grey League, League of God's House and League of Ten Jurisdictions, during the 15th century. The three had separately sought to maintain order and stop violence between the main landholders. The formal charter of union dates from 1471. An offer to join the growing Swiss Confederation was rejected in as the league maintained good relations with their northern neighbours whom the Swiss were at war with. The League's main focus was on its southern flank where it encroached on Venetian territory eagerly annexing municipalities tired of absentee bishops or greedy landlords. Between the 1490s and 1641 it was regularly at war with Venice often skillfully using the mountainous terrain to outwit and stymie the larger Venetian forces.
During the Fifty Years War it attempted to keep itself out of the wider action, merely concentrating on its own disputes with Venice. However Austria desperately required secure roads Southwards into Italy and assisted Venice in finally defeating the League's armies in 1641. The League was virtually divided up by its conquerors into a northern Austrian zone and a southern Venetian. Revolts against Venice would erupt in 1643 and 1656 but eventually the League was restored in full at the Treaty of Copenhagen in 1668.
Animosity with Venice would once again rear its head during the 2nd Hungarian War when it allied with Hungary. Its deft tying down of the Ventian army for the duration of the Austrian Phase earned it recognition of its borders from Austria and Venice in 1742 but its room for independent maneuver was effectively curtailed by this point. It had a very minor role during the Iberian Revolution and Imperial-Kalmar wars but otherwise slipped into 'wealthy obscurity'. A growing fashion for skiing and alpinism amongst the middle-classes of Western Europe now forms a cornerstone of its economy.
GovernmentA single chambered council is elected every five years with a separate election occurring for the role of Director. The three sub-Leagues have a much closer relationship than in Geneva and the Swiss Confederation and most decisions are harmonised throughout the country.