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The Kingdom of Leon, Leon, is a medium sized constitutional monarchy occupying the North-West of the Iberian peninsula. Portugal borders it to the South and West, Castile lies to the East. It also administers several small Carib islands. The population is around 3.7 million and the capital is Oviedo.
The Head of State is King Ferdinand XI.
It has no official language. Instead there are several mutually intelligible dialects including Leonese, Gallician, Asturian, Eonavian, Mirandese and Extremaduran. Each language/dialect is roughly to one or more of the national provinces and has official status within that province.
Its currency is the Leonese Real (LER).
Created by the partition of the Kingdom of Asturias in 910, Leon quickly became the leading Iberian nation, at the forefront of the reconquista against the Islamic Iberian states. However, at first Leon was more preoccupied with its rivalry with Castille and the independent minded Counts of Portugal. A brief unification allowed Alfonso VI to claim the title 'Emperor of All Spain' in 1077 while tribute paid by Cordoba enriched the Kingdom to a vast degree.
Split once more from Castile by 1157 the isolated Kingdom sought out assistance from Kingdoms further afield to offset their increasingly dominant neighbour. Marriages into various French royal lines ensured the continuance of the Kingdom despite several wars with Castile and a minority of a princess who was barely out of the cradle.
Cut off from the main thrust of the reconquista by Castille and Portugal by 1270, the Kingdom settled into a delicate balancing act of outward strength and support whilst quietly undermining its neighbours. For much of the 14th century it virtually bankrolled the armies of the surviving Iberian emirates.
They turned increasingly violent as the Leonese navy repeatedly engaged its Portuguese counterpart for a slice of the Leifia and Mexica trade. When Granada sparked the scramble for the Carib and Taino islands after 1552 Leon buried its animosity with Castile to oppose Granadan and Portuguese ambitions. This threatened to descend into a general Iberian war. Eventually Papal mediation and the Treaty of Quisqueyanos would divide the Atlantic Ocean between them. Portugal was allowed the islands north of Quisqueyanos while Leon promised those to the south.
This led in turn to conflict with Vinland which was colonising Alkfuglaeyjar and increasingly the treaty became unworkable, especially following the reformation in which Luxembourg and other Lutheran states simply ignored the Pope's prior rulings. It did however lead Leon to occupy several Carib islands: Sanctuario, St. James and Saba. Saba was completely uninhabited and a small but prosperous Eonavian community was established. Forts built on the Gold Coast of Africa during the 1600s became the template for European interaction with African and Indian nations for three centuries.
Leon became a major sponsor for the Catholic nations of Leifia and provided monetary support for Álengiamark during the Leifian Wars of Religion. Though not getting directly involved directly in the Fifty Years War it provided large sums of money to the Catholic powers to keep the huge armies in the field, especially once Aragon had entered on the Protestant side.
In 1783 it inherited the Imperial (and Lutheran) Electorate of Regensburg, an old Prince-Bishopric which had secularised itself in 1710. The succession of a Catholic monarch to the Lutheran principality threatened to unsettle the careful balance of Catholic to Protestant electorates. Luxembourg, already clamouring for war over certain incidents in the Carib and Africa, declared war. The Catholic emperor Charles VII, whose Bavarian territory surrounded Regensburg, alongside Luxembourg's old enemy Austria allied themselves with Leon. The ensuing Six Years War led Leon to occupy several of Luxembourg's Carib and African possessions while the German combatants took it in turns to devastate the Palatinate. Worries that the war would stretch on and turn into another Fifty Years War style bloodbath were unfounded as both Kalmar and the French states declined to join. The peace left Regensburg in the hands of a cadet branch of the Leonese royal family and Luxembourg having to rebuild its African holdings from scratch.
The small successes of the Six Years War could not however hide the increasingly complacent monarchy and the squandering of vast wealth from the populace for long. As several bad harvests in the 1810s began to bite revolts were sparked. While those next door in Castile became uncontrollable, in Leon the hugely unpopular King Alfonso XIII was luckier. He managed to defeat the rebels in the Asturias in 1819 and then posing as the champion of the establishment invaded Castile to overthrow its new Revolutionary Government. His army was disorganised by the time it reached Bilbao and collapsed. Castile's counter-invasion was quickly completed and the Duke of Galicia was installed as a more friendly King of Leon. The Duke's government in turn collapsed and Leon was annexed by Castile and the historical name of Spain or Hispania was reclaimed for the new state.
In 1822 the otherwise obscure Leonese general Enrique del Olmo was charged with hastily organising a provisional army for the defense of Madrid. The 'Winter Army' far exceeded expectations and would go on to defeat Aragon's forces, capturing Valencia and Barcelona, before turning north and conquering Navarre. Del Olmo was received back in Madrid as a hero and would soon come to dominate not only Hispania's armed forces but the government too. By 1830 he had himself crowned King of Hispania and had married into the French royal family. The huge Kingdom he had built for himself lasted barely five years as the combined weight of Europe bore down on Iberia and Leon seceded from the faltering state in November 1835.
St. James island was devastated by a volcanic eruption in 1995 and half of the island has been abandoned due to the constant threat of eruption. Approximately half of the island's inhabitants have settled in Leon pending the reconstruction of much of the island's infrastructure and its capital.
Much of Leon's current focus is directed at civil war stricken Portugal. Largely unable to prevent revolutionary guerrilla groups crossing in and out of its borders and worried that the revolution will eventually spread it is contemplating following Kalmar's example and invading its neighbour.
Leon is a constitutional monarchy with a bicameral Cortes. Elections are held every seven years.
The head of state is King Ferdinand XI. As King, he retains a large degree of personal involvement in government and expects to be present at all top-level governmental meetings. The Prime Minister is Enrique Riesco.