The Kingdom of Portugal, Portugal, is a constitutional monarchy in the southwest corner of Europe. To its North and North-East is Leon and to its South-East is Castile. It administers various territories around the world, either as an integral part of the Kingdom or as a colony.
The capital is Lisbon and the population is around 6.8 million.
The official language is Portuguese.
The current Head of State is King Manuel VI.
The currency is the Portuguese Escudo (PTE).
Once a county within the Kingdom of Leon, Portugal earned its independence after the Battle of Ourique in 1139 after it defeated a Muslim army. The remaining territory comprising modern Portugal was captured relatively quickly and by 1249 the Portuguese had captured the southern Algarve coast. Largely blocked from continuing the fight against the remaining Iberian Muslim states by Castile, Portugal turned inward suffering several major revolts and civil wars. However by the dawn of the 14th century its gaze had moved to the Atlantic, building a large modern fleet in the process. While secretly undermining its great rival Castile by funding Granada, it began probing for a route to Leifia and Mexica which it knew held great riches.
Finding the stepping stones of Madiera and the Azores, which it mistakenly assumed were part of the Taino islands, bolstered the resolve of the crown and it plowed vast sums of money into the navy. Eventually their largesse was rewarded and, after finding Verao in 1340, the Leifian mainland was reached in 1345. A very haphazard and dangerous trade along the 'Southern Route' was established and with the profits Portugal could afford to challenge Castile directly, overawing it at the Battle of Zafra in 1402 after Castile clumsily stumbled into war.
After Morocco declared its independence from the Caliphate in 1423 Portugal seized several of its rich ports in an opportunistic grab. Whilst Caliphate armies would attempt to retake these in due course the main result was the complete blockade of trade from the east to Portuguese merchants. This spurred a drive down the coast of Africa to try to reach India. Along the way Portugal set up small forts, and fostered good relations with the native kingdoms which to which it sent waves of missionaries to promote Christianity and even went so far as to indulge in piracy against the Islamic traders of the Indian Ocean. All this it did with virtually no competition from Europe.
By the mid-16th century however other nations were catching up. Its Iberian neighbours had Mexic trade routes established by the 1490s, often stopping off in the Azores along the way. A 9 day battle between Castilian and Granadan sailors in the Azores in 1542 led Portugal to ban foreign ships from berthing in the islands. The unforeseen consequence was; that as the merchants still required a safe haven somewhere on the trade route, and a land grab in the Taino Islands was soon underway. Unwilling to be left behind Portugal seized the Eastern half of Quisqueyanos and various other islands wholly. All this merely increased the rivalry between the Iberian states and the Norse Leifian states too. A general war threatened to breakout, however the Papal mediated Treaty of Quisqueyanos (1558) soon had relations calmed.
While its vessels and explorers continued to probe eastwards, reaching China in 1520 and Japan in 1553, Portugal's armies were often in action in the West in Leifia. Allied to the major Catholic Leifian state; Álengiamark, and with Papal blessing, Portugal would land a huge army in 1569 to bring Vinland and its allies back to the Catholic faith during the Leifian Wars of Religion. While this campaign would ultimately fail Álengiamark was impressed enough to make Portugal a permanent and potent ally. It was called back into service during the 1st and 2nd Mexic-Leifian Wars and took the brunt of the action during the Mexic-Kalmar War. Virtually untouched by the Fifty Years War Portugal was one of the few European countries to actually benefit as the manpower and finances of its rivals were slowly siphoned off to help the war Portugal was left in an increasingly dominant position when it came to trade with the rest of the world.
Lisbon was heavily destroyed by an earthquake on 1st November 1755, an event that did much to shake its self-belief and 'manifest destiny' and the political waivering that followed was compounded by the death of King Pedro II a mere week later. The succession of the 11 year old Queen Isabella, who was too weak to oust Pedro II's hated prime minister de Noronha, started a series of revolts. Inspired by various movements such as the Brandenburg Commonwealth and various puritanical groups in Luxembourg, a 'Quaker' Party raised an army capable of challenging the royalist system. Seeking to 'level society such as God has levelled Lisbon' the Quakers enjoyed wide support amongst the peasantry in the Portuguese hinterland and Madiera. Though their uncompromising zeal and demands made them unpalatable to much of the lower nobility the disruption they caused pointed to chinks in the monarchist armour that other dissidents would be happy to exploit. The initial Quaker revolt lasted for two years but changed little politically apart from a huge increase in the power of the Prime Minister. This in turn provoked rebellion from the nobility, railing against the dictatorial government of de Noronha. By the time Isabella was 25 she had been imprisoned three times, exiled twice and had only resided in her palace for 20 months of her 14 year reign. The final break of ministerial power came with the death of de Noronha in 1770 and Isabella seized as much power as the parliament would allow her. This only set a new Quaker movement off and the cycle began again.
The see-sawing between royal and parliamentary power caused immense disruption to the Empire's functions and allowed many other nations to enter Africa and India, setting up their own trading posts and out-competing the old complacent Portuguese merchant ports. It also ruined the finances of the state, leading to a fire sale of various property, such as the King Rudolph Islands to Austria-Bohemia in 1799. It was however settling down to a period of steady growth once more when the Iberian revolution commenced. Seeing an opportunity to enjoy a military victory against a foreign power Portugal was an eager member of the 1st Coalition against Castile, however it failed to break the revolutionary armies and by 1822 Castile had conquered Portugal, setting up a republic. The royal family and their loyal nobles fled to the Azores where they began to rally the still loyal forces from around the empire. Despite setbacks such as the defeat at Trafalgar in 1828, royal Portuguese forces, especially those from Quisqueyanos, excelled in seizing Castile's overseas territories, stripping it of tax income and manpower. Eventually, even as del Olmo was notching up success after success on the continent, the Portuguese forces had taken the Canary Islands and much of Hispanic North Africa.
The Congress of Milan that settled the war restored Portugal's monarchy and handed it a couple of Castile's colonies, chief among them being Boriken. A taming of the republican instituted reforms led to another civil war but this was dealt with swiftly and the troublemakers deported to the colonies. In recognition for its efforts, Quisqueyanos was handed autonomy in 1837. Boriken was handed back to Castile in 1864 as reward for 'good behaviour' though Castile's old Roasjoinn territory stayed Portuguese. Governmental instability and associated revolts dogged Portugal for most of the 20th century.
Portugal is currently in the grip of a guerrilla war against a broad spectrum of political revolutionaries. The legitimate government enjoys the support of all Portugal's foreign holdings but currently only really controls the coast of mainland Portugal. It does this, however, with only the help of the Kalmar army. The revolutionary troops hold most of the interior and tend to cross the border into Leon or Castile when loyalist forces attempt to assault them. It is widely assumed that if Kalmar should ever pull out of the civil war, the revolutionary forces would be in control of Lisbon within a matter of months.
The Governorate of Verao comprises Verao Island in the mid-Atlantic as well as the fortress of Ocracoke situated on a tidal causeway which commands the entrance to Chesapeake Bay.
First visited in 1340, the island of Verao was only haphazardly inhabited for a century, mostly by shipwrecked crews until a royal charter in 1487 provided for the permanent settlement along the same lines as Madiera and the Azores. Due to the vast distance of their new colony from the mainland and occasional issues finding it, Portugal would often have to rely on Vinland and Álengiamark to prevent the mass-starvation of its population. Finding their new home almost useless for regular agriculture the settlers maintained careful plantations forest of the native cedars and ploughed their energies into shipbuilding and salt production. Verao cedar boxes were highly prized containers for the tobacco being exported from Coabana and other Taino islands. The overpopulation of the island was either absorbed by the Portuguese navy or else would move to the growing colonies in the Taino islands.
Ocracoke was originally fortified to provide a base of operations for Portugal's Leifian trade, and the fort's presence was hotly disputed with the Powhatans of the mainland. However, after the 1st Mexic-Leifian War the Powhatans, overawed by Portugal's military strength, ceded the small island fort in perpetuity.
The most extensive of Portugal's African holdings, the territory was built slowly from the city of Mombasa (captured in full in 1723) along with various failing sultanates annexed or absorbed piecemeal since the mid-1600s. Following the Treaty of Limitations Pertaining to Africa (1914), Portugal has avoided annexing any more of the interior as the old sultanates collapse and the plains become more accessible. Instead it has given wide support to its neighbouring Christian kingdoms.
The Governorate does not have jurisdiction outside of its own borders despite several attempts to make it responsible for the governance of Portugal's trading posts in Africa and India. These remain 'independent' and increasingly run by native governmental bodies with only minor interference from Lisbon appointed Merchant-Generals.
Formally a Roasjoinn Castilian territory (much like the French-run Loasia Islands to the north) the islands were seized during the Iberian revolution and handed to Portugal in the following peace treaty. Economically unproductive, apart from the massive phosphate deposits on Nauru, the islands have been given broad autonomy and have received little in the way of investment.
Portugal has little strategic interest in the Roasjoinn especially with its current troubles at home and has considered the sale of the islands to a Kalmar state (Hordaland or Anglia are most likely, though Estonia's name has also come up).
Portugal is normally governed as a constitutional monarchy, however, since the beginning of the current insurgency all democratic functions have been suspended. Power is increasingly held by the army and local governors.
The current Head of State is King Manuel IV and his Prime Minister is Antonio Jose de Corte-Real.
Due to its dependence on the Kalmar Union it is likely to submit a formal application to join the alliance in due course.