The Free Lands of the Selkie, usually referred to as the Free Lands, are a small, harmless country in the middle of nowhere, where the Selkie settle in their farmsteads, villages, farms, towns and cities.
As the Selkie differ between the Free Lands, their government, and the Selkie, the people, the full name of the nation is, indeed, 'the Free Lands of the Selkie', while the short form is 'the Free Lands', with the people being referred to not as 'Free-Landians', but as Selkie.
The Free Lands are a signatory of the COSTAL-Accords. Since the signing ceremony on the 15th of October, the Free Lands are also a founding member of the Strategic and Economic Alliance.
- 1 Chronological History
- 1.1 Mythical and Prehistoric Times
- 1.2 First Kingdoms/Tribal Kingdoms (ca. 2,500 - 509 BCE)
- 1.3 The Age of the High Kings (509 BCE - 450 CE)
- 1.4 The Kings' Rule (450 - 826)
- 1.5 The Dark Ages (826 - 1412)
- 1.6 The Second Golden Age (1412 - 1863)
- 1.7 Age of Peace (1863 - 1903)
- 1.8 The 20th Century
- 1.9 The 21st Century
- 2 Geography
- 3 Politics
- 4 Economy
- 5 Demographics
- 6 Culture
- "...and so life amongst the Selkie will go on, very much as it has the past ages, full of its own comings and goings, with change coming slowly - if it comes at all. But things are made to endure in the Lands of the Selkie, passing from one generation to the next."
- - Hanna Marell, An Account of the Selkie-Lands, by a person, who lived amongst the people living there., 1701.
Mythical and Prehistoric Times
Mythology says, that Selkie came from distant lands by sea.
- ca. 165,000 BCE: The Cragamynyddân Stone Circle (or Fire Mountain Rock Stone Circle) is built by the Spiorad of the Llwynowaidd-Culture (or Vixen-Culture).
- ca. 158,000 BCE: Last signs of the Llwynowaidd-Culture.
- ca. 20,000 BCE: Oldest found remains of a person, presumed to be of the Spiorad Ainmhithe.
- ca. 15,000 BCE: First Archaeological Evidence of humans arriving in the Oileánra-Archipelago. The Dubcloche Stone Circle is estimated to be of that time, a cultic site. The megalithic Cromleghai (singular Cromlegha, from Tafod, crolech, nowadays generally a megalithic structure) are built in imitation to similar sites all over the place built by Spiorad. It is also seen as very likely, that they brought their own domesticated wolves, ancestors of the modern Grey Wolf with them.
- between ca. 15,000 and 14,000 BCE: Settlements on Shella Island, Droichid Island, Mount Kilanda and Mount Vellenge appear and disappear. The Grand Cromleghai of Droichid Island is built around 14,750 BCE.
- ca. 14,000 BCE: First Archaeological Evidence of humans arriving in the Mainland. Cromleghai appear along the southern shores' tip near Teanga and up to Scilly, as well as on Robálaí Island. It is seen as very likely, that they brought their own domesticated wolves, ancestors of the modern Grey Wolf with them. There, some of them fled or were lost or generally became wild, being the origin of the modern, wild Grey Wolf Populations.
- ca. 13,000 BCE: The Guarding Fox is domesticated.
- ca. 12,500 BCE: Beginning of the Antarctic Cold Reversal.
- ca. 9,600 BCE: The Younger Dryas ends. Beginning of the Holocene.
- ca. 7,000 BCE: First groups of hunter-gatherers begin to establish more permanent dwellings and settlements, the first hamlets and villages begin to be established. It is estimated, that the society at the time was organized along the lines of clan lines and clan structures headed by a Chieftain and a Matron (both also holding spiritual importance), slowly, but surely developing into the Tribes over the next few millennia.
- ca. 6,000 BCE: Beginning of Agriculture in the Mainland. The first ovens come from this time as well. Domestication of wheat, sheep and other initial crops. Widespread deforestation begins. Around this time, the first settlements are established further inland, along the shores of the Silver Bay and the Lake Mór River System.
- ca. 5,750 BCE: Cuan and Áth are settled. Both settlements would be given up and resettled over the next few millennia, but by 3,500 BCE, both would be in permanent use.
- It stands to reason, that these settlements were mixed with members of different clans living together. Several ancient myths and legends speak of such things, and that, over time, these different clans banded together as what would become the Tribes.
- ca. 5,500 BCE: Barley is domesticated.
- ca. 5,000 BCE: Ironcastle is permanently settled
- ca. 3,500 BCE: Archaeological evidence for the first proto-ales near Redruth.
- ca. 3,500 BCE: Beginnings of the Selkie Copper Age in Ironcastle
- ca. 3,000 BCE: First archaeological evidence of scripture, a cuneiform-tablet found near Beál, due to formatting maybe a warehouse list. It serves also as an evidence to widespread trade.
First Kingdoms/Tribal Kingdoms (ca. 2,500 - 509 BCE)
- ca. 2,500 BCE: First Archaeological evidence of runic scripts, the first vaguely familiar signs appear.
- By this time, the Clans and the corresponding Chiefdoms are mostly replaced by the First Kingdoms, the Tribal Kingdoms. Selkie spread all over the Mainland with permanent settlements, including Launceston (first settled around 2,800 BCE). Important part of the distinction between the Clan-Chiefdoms and the Tribal Kingdoms is, for one thing, the unity between several and many clans, and for another the separation of the political office of 'king' and the spiritual office of 'priest'. Due to this, this is also seen as the earliest days of Selkie-Paganism. The construction of Cromleghai has, by this time, long since stopped.
- Over the next centuries, the Tribes of the Selkie are established - and, for the next millennia, absorbed, disbanded, destroyed, grown, nurtured and refounded.
- 2,231 BCE: First recorded history, the List of Kings of Riverwood and their wives.
- ca. 2,000 BCE: Histories are more regularly recorded (and embellished).
- Around this time, the Selkie Bronze Age begins.
- Around this time, there is the first archaeological evidence for a cultic site at Chorn.
- ca. 800 BCE: Beginning of the Selkie Iron Age in Ironcastle.
- ca. 700 BCE: First evidence of leavened bread, a technique most likely learned from merchants traveling to and from Kyrenaia. In Almadaldima and along the Tahul River System, leavened bread was known since at least 3,500 BCE, yeast being cultivated for about as long.
The Age of the High Kings (509 BCE - 450 CE)
- 509 BCE: Nuada the Founder establishes the High Kingdom.
- 503 BCE: Formal Establishment of an Elder Council to advise the High King.
- 483 BCE: Nuada the Founder dies.
- Over the course of the 5th century BCE, from ca. 475 BCE to 414 BCE, a series of reforms changed the High Kingdom from a unitary state into a federalized union with a core state under the High King in Fort Stone and a number of small Kingdoms, ruled by magnates usually referred to as Kings, bound to him (or her in case of a High Queen). Technically, the local kings ruled their realms independently, but paid tribute to the High King and supported him in armed conflict. This is also due to expansion of the High Kingdom under High King Áed the Warrior. While the position of High King was technically not hereditary, with the High King suggesting a successor to the Electoral Council, it happened more then a few times, that a son or daughter of the last High King was chosen.
- 152 BCE - 147 BCE: Rule of High King Niad the Mad. He earned this appellation by running around and either fanning women by using a skirt during the summer or lightly slapping them with a skirt during the winter.
- 98 BCE: In the Cloch Mountains, the Tribes of Kildare, Louth, Tralee, Clonmel and possibly Cefnffordd elect a High King and establish the High Kingdom of Mountain and Forest.
- 97 BCE: During the winter 98/97 BCE, the Folaidan-Laoghi begin raids on the northern Lake Mor Area, especially around Riverwood.
- War of the Cosántarraighi (95 BCE - 86 BCE).
- The War of Succession (30 BCE - 25 BCE): In 25 BCE, Irereo the Rock became High King.
- 122: Foundation of the Rhiannon-Temple in Chorn.
- 305: High King Áed the Hunter is born.
- 319-338: War of the Three High Kings.
The High Queen's Rebellion (442 - 450)
- 450: Fall of Fort Stone.
- Ribín Gorm, the Last High Queen, beheads the Last High King.
- In modern Selkie time reckoning, the year 450 serves as Year Zero. While that is important for traditional calendars, in normal life and especially in international communication, the Selkie usually stick to the International Standard Time Reckoning.
- List of High Kings of the Selkie.
- Project 1st Century BCE.
- Society and Culture in the 1st Century BCE.
- Military History of the Selkie in the 1st Century BCE.
- The Lands of the Selkie in the 4th Century.
The Kings' Rule (450 - 826)
In 450 CE, Fort Stone fell and the Time of the Kings' Rule began, with raiders having almost free reign on the countryside, which saw the establishment of fortified cities and farmsteads, making one especially powerful: Fortham. With the collapse of the High Kingdom, local magnates and their particular code of conduct became the norm.
- 802: With the Battle of Uinge, and the Death of King Bran, the Kings' Rule comes to an effective end. The cities and towns cement their power.
- 826: Raiders' Golden Age begins.
- Military History of the Selkie during the Kings' Rule (450-826).
The Dark Ages (826 - 1412)
Early Dark Ages (826 -1050)
- 826-919: Raiders' Golden Age begins with the Raid on Tipa, which destroys the Ladra-Temple there. The Cult moves to Silverport.
- 836: First raid by Selkie on Kjalaaran soil on Odeila.
- 840: First recorded instance of the superstition, that Selkie wearing seal coats are immune to anything but blunt weapons, which the Selkie start to use to their advantage by 842. Blue Seal Coats are especially sought after. Together with their reputation as particularly fierce fighters, the raiders soon became a much sought-after commodity themselves, as mercenaries.
- 843: The first Kjalaaran Counter-Raid ravages Traverse.
- 855: First recorded instance of Selkie-Mercenaries fighting Selkie-Raiders. It is presumed, that this happened sooner.
- 850: Leonard Tolgach from Kelyneck and The Plougher of Fofar establish their own Warlord-States.
- 888-914: An alliance between the cities of Crarae and Silverport is formed and breaks after the Sack of Wembury.
- 889: A law proposed by the Elder Council is adopted by the Cities and Towns. It stipulates, that "every child learning the arts of numbers and signs" is to learn how to defend the own city or town with spear, shield and sword. Soon, bow and arrow join that armament. The Younger Militias are formed.
- 911: The Sack of Fortham breaks the power of that city and ends the Rennaissance of Fortham.
- 919: Battle in the Blizzard, the Raiders' Golden Age ends.
- 966: Siege of Silverport.
- 994: Beginning of the War of the Great Woods.
- 1040: The last Warlord of the Great Woods is killed in an ambush.
High Dark Ages (1050-1280)
- 1050: The Treaty of Leuda is formed.
- 1052-1412: Trading Branches of the Merchant Guild of Leuda in Lillorainen.
- 1060: The construction of a new system of traveling roads, amongst them the Feadhain Road, begins.
- 1145: A epidemic of bubonic plague begins, first taking a hold of Silverport.
- 1147: Silverport is razed to the ground by a coalition of city states, officially due to the plague, unofficially to take out the competition.
- 1155: The plague ends.
- 1167: The Treaty of Leuda is reformed into the Merchant Guild of Leuda with the help and work of Shane Bunaitheoir of the Tribe of Wicklow.
- 1170: Formation of the Mercenary Guild of Redruth.
- 1210-1215: Construction of Castle Soladach, the first castle-like structure in the Free Lands, near Kelyneck, first stage.
- 1226-1236: Macha Taise is part of the Trading Branches of the Merchant Guild of Leuda in Lillorainen.
- 1268-1270: Another plague, this time reducing the population to around 2.5 million people.
The Crusade (1280-1325)
- 1280: The Crusade is proclaimed against the "Heathen Lands of the Selkie."
- 1280s-1320s: Raiders and pirates from Lillorainen mount attacks against supply convoys of the crusaders, thus, almost by accident, helping the Selkie. This is also the starting point of a sort-of competition between Selkie-Sailors and Lillo-Sailors, especially pirates. (OOC: This point might change in the nearer future, is not yet finalized.)
- 1300: The Battle of Cuan is the major turning point. Gwen Lách of the Tribe of Galway rallies an army around her to retake conquered lands.
- 1310: Siege of Caisleán, first recorded usage of Black Powder in the Lands of the Selkie.
- 1325: With the end of the Siege of Tipa, the last stronghold of the Crusaders is broken.
Late Dark Ages (1325-1365)
- 1351-1353: The Inquisition of Inis, foundation of the Ionchoisne.
The Second Golden Age (1412 - 1863)
- Despite the name not always that golden, especially towards the beginning.
- 1412: Battle in the Northern Seas, end of the Trading Branches of the Merchant Guild of Leuda in Lillorainen, which existed since 1052.
- 1597: Establishment of a trading post in the Northern Islands to trade with the Lagrachan.
- 1615: First Vellenge War, the young mercenary-captain Liam Folracht of the Tribe of Wicklow (Liam the Red) takes Mount Vellenge.
- 1652: Liam Folracht of the Tribe of Wicklow (Liam the Red) is sent by the Merchant Guild of Leuda to conquer the Northern Islands. He succeeds in 1654. This is known as the Lagrachán-War. He mustered his troops in the 1652 Redruth Spring Festival.
- Military History of the Selkie in the Second Golden Age (1412-1863).
- 1652 Redruth Spring Festival.
- 1718 Leuda Spring Festival.
- First Vellenge War.
- Lagrachán-War (1652-1654).
Age of Peace (1863 - 1903)
- 1871: Establishment of the Council Guard Regiment.
- 1860s-1880s: Great Railway Construction, a massive infrastructure building program in building railways
The 20th Century
- 1903: Council Crisis, Battle of Anfa Ridge versus Auwaltian Troops.
- 1905: Unification of the Free Lands.
- 1920: Establishment of the SDF.
- 1938: A number of Jews, fleeing from the threat of national socialism, seek refuge in the Free Lands of the Selkie and get it granted. Those people become the Selkie-Jews.
- 1942: Submarines of unidentified origin, presumed to be Lutetiian or to operate from bases there, execute raids on trading convoys. The SDF-Navy begins with ASW-operations, called Operation Spriocearcaitheoir, Operation Headhunter, which lasts until 1948 (long after WW2 ended). Abhcan's Little Daggers make a name for themselves.
- 1972: Beginning of the Yard Crisis.
- 1973 and 1974: Bad Harvests.
- 1975: Unrest of 1975, Battle of the Buabhall Inn (made into a movie in 2019), leads to the disbandment of the Gíománra, the Selkie-Yeomanry.
- 1965-1975: Humanitarian Mission of the SDF to Kupandukira.
- 1983: Second Vellenge War.
- 1983: Foundation of SDY.
The 21st Century
- 2007-2008 Winter in the Free Lands.
- 2009: Operation Glantachán in the Gainimh-Islands.
- 2012: Intervention in Halfblakistan, Battle of Marley Bay.
- 2016: Selkie-Diplomats led by Donald Críonna of the Tribe of Louth participate in The COSTAL-Talks.
- 2016: SDF-Observers watch Exercise Desert Hawks 2016.
- 2017: Involvement of the Merchant Guild of Leuda in the 2017 AHSCA Special Election.
- 2017: Release of Rúid!.
- 2018: Operation Spartacus.
- 2018-2019 Winter in the Free Lands.
- 2019 Cuan Spring Festival.
- 2019, 15th of October: Signing Ceremony of the SEA-Accords, the Free Lands become a founding member of the Strategic and Economic Alliance.
- 2020-Season of the Conradh.
- 2020 State Visit of President Flemming of Lillorainen to the Free Lands.
- 2020 Ironcastle Harvest Festival.
- Spring 2020: Annexation of the Gainimh-Islands.
- 2020-2021 Winter in the Free Lands.
- 2021 War of Italian Independence.
- 2021 SEA-Summit in Lixtium, Mervay.
- 2022 Cuan Spring Festival.
- 2022 Exercises off the Gainimh-Islands.
- 2055: Founding of the Gabha Security Consultant Company.
2020-202X COVID-19 Pandemic
- OOC-Note: Corresponding Wikipedia Article.
- 2020, 15th of February: First confirmed case of COVID-19 in the Free Lands.
- 2020, Week Numbers 12 to 19: First Wave.
- By 10th of May 2020 (WN 19): 5,012 confirmed cases in total. The First Wave is declared to be over.
- 2020, Week Numbers 38/39 and ongoing: Second Wave starts after large scale Harvest Festivals.
- By 20th of September 2020 (WN 38): 6,089 total cases.
- Harvest Festivals, 22nd of September.
- By 27th of September 2020 (WN 39): 6,412 total cases (+323).
- By 18th of October 2020 (WN 42): 6,971 total cases (+559), 81 total dead.
- By 25th of October 2020 (WN 43): 7,601 total cases (+630).
- By 1st of November 2020 (WN 44): 8,352 total cases (+751).
- By 8th of November 2020 (WN 45): 9,197 total cases (+845), 103 total dead.
- By 15th of November 2020 (WN 46): 9,962 total cases (+765).
- By 22nd of November 2020 (WN 47): 10,674 total cases (+712).
- By 29th of November 2020 (WN 48): 12,010 total cases (+1,336), 156 total dead.
- 3rd of December: A calculating mistake becomes apparent in WN 43, 450 in total newly infected having dropped from the tables in WN 43 and WN 44.
- By 6th of December 2020 (WN 49): 13,611 total cases (+1,601), 172 total dead.
- 8th of December: The Free Lands go under Lockdown.
- By 13th of December 2020 (WN 50): 15,182 total cases (+1,571), 198 total dead.
- By 20th of December 2020 (WN 51): 16,544 total cases (+1,362), 219 total dead.
- By 27th of December 2020 (WN 52): 17,745 total cases (+1,201), 250 total dead.
- 29th of December: The Lockdown is extended for three more weeks, until 19th of January, despite a drop being visible.
- By 3rd of January 2021 (WN 53): 18,940 total cases (+1,215), 291 total dead.
- By 10th of January 2021 (WN 1): 20,001 total cases (+1,061), 327 total dead.
- By 17th of January 2021 (WN 2): 20,941 total cases (+940), 364 total dead.
- 19th of January: The General Lockdown is lifted. Many cities, however, are more careful and extend the Lockdown by a few weeks or open up gradually.
- By 24th of January 2021 (WN 3): 21,835 total cases (+894), 388 total dead.
- By 31st of January 2021 (WN 4): 22,647 total cases (+812), 432 total dead.
- By 7th of February 2021 (WN 5): 23,397 total cases (+750), 471 total dead.
- By 14th of February 2021 (WN 6): 24.010 total cases (+613), 499 total dead.
- 15th of February: The Orders' tenure as administrative assistance comes to an end. The Banners return to their regular training schedule. At the same time, the SDF slowly pulls out as well.
- By 20th of September 2020 (WN 38): 6,089 total cases.
Reforms of 2042
- See Main Articles: Distances between places in the Free Lands of the Selkie, Mainland, Northern Islands, Oileánra-Archipelago, Gainimh-Islands.
The geography of the Free Lands is highly diverse, mainly due to the Free Lands reaching over a large area, from the Northern Islands at the Northern Polar Circle down to the Oileánra-Archipelago a bit north of the Tropic of Cancer, while the core is the Mainland. 1,642 islands are territory of the Free Lands, most of which belong to the Archipelago.
Due to the geographic length of the Free Lands, it incorporates many different climates and climate zones, from the Oileánra-Archipelago's warm-humid summers almost giving them a tropical feel to the cold and harsh winters of the Mainland and the Northern Islands.
Storm Season lasts from the End of September to Mid to End of November, when Winter really kicks in. When a snowstorm rages south of the Icy Shore between Mid-November to Mid-December, which happens, locals call it 'The Marriage of Taranis and Cailleach'.
- See: List of animal species endemic to the Free Lands, List of plant species endemic to the Free Lands.
The Free Lands, true to their nickname of Oilean na mBeo, Land of the Living, there is a huge variety of animal species, many of which are popular amongst the Selkie and tourists, as well as a variety of plant species endemic to the Free Lands. Above lists give a good overview.
Highest authority in the Free Lands is the Elder Council with seat in Fortham, which serves as Head of State (the entire council). It advises the Council of Cities, the assembly of all Cities, which is more of an coordination authority and less of a legislative body. The legislative bodies are the City Councils, which are the legislative bodies of the cities and the surrounding lands, the Mayor (and thus head of the City Council) being elected democratically.
Servants of the State, for example in the form of SDF-soldiers or workers of the Foreign Office, are not allowed to vote or to be voted (unless as state-servants being up for elections). The Elders serve for the remainder of their lifetime.
Currently, there are a number of different political ideologies roaming around in the political spheres of the Free Lands, chiefly among them the Fortham School of Thought (although its founders strictly deny it being a political ideology and emphasize it being more of a philosophical school), the Selkie-Tribalists and the Reform-Movement (recently inspired by the successes of the Partito dei Berretti Rossi in Lutetii). The Elders deny any one of them being formal members of any of these, but it is an open secret, that currently, the Fortham School and the Reform-Movement share a majority, however slim.
Several pirate radio stations operate in the Free Lands, one of which is Radio Seoltarra, which started broadcasting in 2000.
What other nations call ministries, the Free Lands call the Offices. There are X:
- Foreign Office (ministry of foreign affairs, Felicia Sciotóg of the Tribe of Monaghan): Responsible for foreign affairs and everything going along with it.
- Office of the Defense (ministry of defense, General Ferris Taoiseach of the Tribe of Antrim): Technically the political leadership of the SDF, but practically the political shield arm of the SDF.
- Infrastructure Office (ministry of transport, Finnegan Cossán of the Tribe of Wicklow): Responsible for coordinating all infrastructure efforts of the cities and towns.
The law, and executive power, in the cities is enforced by the City Guards, the law of the seas is enforced by the Water Polices, the latter of which sometimes claim administrative assistance by the SDF-Navy. The domestic intelligence and security service of the Free Lands, and its principal federal law enforcement agency, is the Ionchoisne, internationally known as the Selkie-Inquisition (which no one expected).
The Judical Power rests with the judges and the Council of Judges, 14 judges from the ranks of all judges in the country with at least 25 years of experience on the job, one from each city. They, amongst them, elect the highest judge of the country. All members of the Council of Judges except the Head of that Council have one vote on all matters.
Currently counted as active are four major crime syndicates:
- La Coste Nostre/LCN.
- Cór/The Corps.
- Daoine as Cruach/DaC/The Steel-People.
- Cumann mBalógban/CmB/League of Female Wolves
It is known, that the LCN has and maintains a major share of the drug trafficking and arms smuggling markets in the Free Lands.
The Selkie know capital punishment and even execute someone by beheading once every blue moon. The procedure is rather difficult as no singular judge can decide about that.
Much rather, a judge can, in cases of the gravest of crimes, put a possible death sentence up for debate. The debate is brought before the Council of Elders and the High Priests of the Six-Pantheon, the highest political, spiritual and moral authorities amongst the Selkie. They all have to agree, with one voice, that an execution is the right way to proceed and request of the High Priest of Cailb, that one of the Priests of that Cult is tasked with the execution. The High Priest of the Goddess of Death has, then, to agree as well - after that, the execution is carried out.
It has often been noted by outside observers, that the procedure is slow and requires not only much debate, but unanimity from all involved, many believing, that a criminal deserving death does escape it - the Selkie usually argue against it, that an execution is not a step to be done lightly and which can not be reversed if there was a mistake, but the end of the story.
The Council of Judges has no place in that procedure.
- Age of Majority (Reaching of Adulthood): 15 Springs.
- Age of Criminal Responsibility: 13 Springs (Juvenile Law), 15 Springs (Adult Law).
- Age of Candidacy (being elected): Most cities place it at 20 Springs for public offices at minimum.
- Age of Voting (electing): 15 Springs (usually).
- Age of Consent: 15 Springs.
- Until the 20th of March 2018, this was 11 Springs. In the previous year, the Elder Council changed the law and it went into effect on the day of the 2018 Spring Festival.
- Marriageable Age: 15 Springs.
- Legal Drinking Age: 15 Springs for spirits, 11 Springs for fermented drinks.
- Legal Smoking Age: 13 Springs.
- Legal Working Age: 11 Springs (usually earlier on farms and ranches).
- This comes with a number of provisions, among them, that the school the child attends needs to be aware of the working relationship and monitoring the grades. Should a noticeable drop-off be detected, the school is allowed to terminate the work relationship. Additionally, children up to 15 Springs are only allowed to work in Light Occupations.
- School Leaving Age: 15 Springs (or leaving Middle School).
- See: Ambassador Groups.
The Free Lands . The ministry of foreign affairs of the Free Lands is the Foreign Office, which has offices at both Elder Castle and at Víosa House in Fortham. Recently, plans surfaced to transfer all of the offices of the Foreign Office to Víosa House. The Foreign Office is also building a Tolg-class Liveaboard Vessel of SDY by the name of SDFAS Seanbhoc as a mobile embassy.
The Free Lands send permanent ambassadorial missions into the world and receive them on a basis
List of Foreign Embassies in Fortham
List of Embassies of the Free Lands in the World
- Kyrenaia, Qalat-al-Jabal, Ayden Tine of the Tribe of Wicklow.
- Confederation of New Visayan Islands, Lot 23, Vienna Street, Ambassador Damian Diallait of the Tribe of Wicklow.
- United Island States of AHSCA.
- Port Ember.
Influential families sometimes band their followers and dependents together to form a Clan, a community under Selkie Law and Tradition, usually made of members of several tribes. Their chiefs have the right to speak in front of the Elder Council without prior appointment and have a standing just below the Elders in society.
Usually they have neither legislative, nor executive or judical capabilities and powers, but their word carries much influence amongst the Selkie, more so among the people in the lands ruled by them.
In line with the Selkie's tendency to look for both advantages and own merit rather then their family's deeds, the Chiefs are usually chosen by their own merit or the advantage brought by choosing them, for example political or economical ties. They usually tend to become rather wise influential persons, with so much weight behind their words, that they are sometimes called Princes and Princesses.
- See: Strategic Defence Force.
Mission of the SDF is to protect the Free Lands, to ensure the safety of the people at home and overseas, to cooperate with other armed forces to achieve this goal and to conduct relief efforts in case of desasters, both natural and humanitarian. Also part of their mission is a certain representative function and SAR-missions, especially at sea.
Over the last few years, the rise of Selkie-Militarism and the "foreign adventures" of the armed forces have drawn much criticism among the people. With the Free Lands joining the Strategic and Economic Alliance, the focus has shifted to cooperation with friendly armed forces and safety of the seas.
A Born Selkie, a citizen of the Free Lands, is a person, who's parents before him were Selkie, the citizenship being defined over the ethnic affiliation of being Selkie. By right and law, Half-Selkie are counted as Born Selkie, as are, since 1939, the Spiorad Ainmhithe. Born Selkie, contrary to Immigrated People, are allowed to vote (and get voted), to own land, to establish businesses and to enlist into state service (for example as a City Guard or soldier). If a pair of Born Selkie adopts a foreign child, this child is considered to be a Born Selkie.
Usually, the Spiorad Ainmhithe avoid any sort of public office, although there is no law forbidding them from holding one. Since 1939, they are listed as Born Selkie, although between 1905 and 1939, no one forbade a Spiorad from economic activity based on him or her being not a Selkie.
Currency of the Free Lands is the Gil.
The Free Lands have a large agricultural sector, which allows for a certain degree of autonomy from food imports - certain fruits, like oranges, still need to be imported, but staple foods are produced and sold domestically, but also exported. This is especially true for luxury products like whiskey, but there have been proposals by the Lách-Family to ease up on the export restrictions for cattle, especially in regards to SEA.
Horses still play a major role in agriculture, especially in cattle herding and in small plot agriculture. Larger plot agriculture is mostly mechanized these days.
The mineral wealth of the Free Lands is exploited as well. Mines in the Silver Mountains supply iron ore to steelworks as well as other minerals to other industries. Large deposits of copper, zinc-lead and others are known and exploited, too, but so are smaller deposits of silver, gold, baryte, bauxite and chalcopyrite. Sand, gravel and crushed rock are exported as well, the Sobriste-Family being at the forefront of the mining of limestone and production of cement, asphalt and concrete along the White Cliffs for a rapidly growing demand in the country (the construction of the Trasnú-Quarter in Cuan being only one of many developing projects).
While coal once was an important source of energy, the Free Lands only mine a limited amount these days, mostly for use in industry, for example in the production of carbon fibres, or in small-scale trades. Coal is not used in power generation anymore since 2000.
Forestry is a topic of much controversy in the Free Lands, especially when it comes to the Great Woods.
The Free Lands have a strong Second, or Manufacturing, Sector, focussed on producing high end products or traditional products. The best example for that is shipbuilding, where companies like Silverport Dockyards Limited, Irisan Shipbuilding Company Limited, the Clipthóir Shipbuilding Company and others made an impression on the international markets as well.
Another major industry is arms manufacturing, companies like Gabha Blacksmiths Limited and Eabhar Blacksmiths Limited enjoy a good international reputation. The SDF mostly relies on products developed and produced in the Free Lands.
Aircraft and vehicle manufacturing, with Gabha Motorworks Limited and Monarcha Aircraft Factories Limited at the forefront, play a minor role in the industry. The majority of work there is focussed on utility vehicles, like new farming vehicles, as personal motorized transportation is not widely spread - however, rising over the last few decades. An up and coming company in this sector is Cumscóir Aircraft Manufactories Limited. With Tine Electric Motorworks Limited, the Free Lands also have a dedicated manufacturer of electric vehicles.
While the Free Lands still have a large agricultural sector and a strong industrial base, there is a certain trends towards the development of a stronger service sector, especially in the larger cities. Aside from a growing tourism industry and transport services, both within the country and outside of it,
Healthcare services, especially in regards to health cures and animal assited therapy, grew over the last few years, with veterinary medicine taking another rising star.
Another important industry in the Free Lands is tourism,
The Quaternary Sector, or Information Sector, is on the rise in the Free Lands as well. More and more Selkie-Movies and TV-shows were dubbed for foreign markets, several companies develop video games and authors compete on international scales. Selkie-Music found its international echoes as well.
While not proud of it, the Free Lands are also country of origin for a genre of adult movies.
- See Main Article: Old Traveling Roads.
- standard track gauge: 1,600 mm
- standard loading gauge: 3.2 meters, height 4 meters
- Loading gauge on Heavy Freight Lines: 4 meters, height irrelevant (no tunnels cleared for heavy freight lines)
The total population of the Free Lands, by the 2018 census, is 12.6 million people, 11.6 million of which live in the Mainland and around one million people on the Outlying Islands (also see List of Cultural Landscapes in the Free Lands). Only a few bumps mar the steady rise. The population pyramid is slightly expansive, signifying a growing population.
149,313 people live in the Cities, with 263,722 people living in the Hinterlands of the Cities. That means, that 403,035 people or 0.32 percent of the total population live in the urban centres or their hinterlands. The remaining 12.3 million people live either in the towns, a total of 4.1 million people, or in villages, hamlets and farmsteads or singular houses somewhere in the middle of nowhere, 8.2 million people.
Most Selkie are Selkie-Pagans or belong to the Cult-Sects. Other major religious groups in the Free Lands include the followers of the Paganism of the Spiorad Ainmhithe. Smaller groups, usually listed under 'Other', include a small number of Jews, the Selkie-Jews, and a few hundred followers of the Kyrenaian Orthodoxy, a Christian denomination (the majority of them are either Kyrenaian Expats or their descendants).
In general, according to the 2018 census, 90.6 percent of the total population follow the Cults, 4.2 percent belong to one of the Cult-Sects, 3 percent being followers of the Paganism of the Spiorad Ainmhithe and 2.8 percent belong to other religious groups, the Selkie-Jews included. The 2018-census
- See: School in the Free Lands.
Up until the age of 15 Springs, usually the end of Middle School, school attendance is mandatory.
In total, there are around four thousand intensive care unit hospital beds in the Free Lands, as well as 66 thousand regular hospital beds.
- See Main Article: Selkie-Proverbs.
Music is one of the most important parts of Selkie-Culture, they themselves claiming the title of People of Song and Dance, or in Selkie Daoine in Amhráin agus Damhsaí, and consequently, these have an important place in everyday life. Every inn has a small stage for a band and a dancefloor, sometimes organized bands of professionals playing, oftentimes unorganized bunches of people with a hobby - as music lessons, including playing an instrument and singing, is an important part of the education, it does not surprise, that a whole lot of people know their ways around instruments.
- See Main Articles: Selkie Street Art, Selkie Street Performing and Selkie Traveling People.
While Selkie do have a strong emphasis on performing arts, especially music and dancing, visual art always had a standing. While one could argue, that architecture is one form of visual arts, that has its own segment, as do media, music and fashion. This segment is supposed to give an overview over painting and derivative art forms, sculpturing and derivative art forms, photography and crafts.
Sculpting, the creation of statues and similar objects, has a long tradition in the Free Lands.
Craftsmanship, and especially artistic craftsmanship, is an important art, mainly due to a cultic belief, that tools, which a lot of work had been put into, will gain a soul (the custom of the Marcach to name their swords stems from this belief). With time, these 'artistically done tools' developed into 'parade objects' and 'art objects', which were made for exhibition, not only of the skill of the artist, but also of the wealth of the client. One of the Ambassadors of the Selkie is an artistic craftsman, Finn Iarann of the Tribe of Cavan.
Photography . Photographers like Kiah Irisleabhar do not understand themselves as providers of a service, but as artists, no matter the form, in which their art forms itself. Major producer of cameras in the Free Lands is Treoraí Optics, although it has to contest with foreign competition.
Over the last few years, Street Art, visual art created (usually) unsanctioned at public locations and executed outside of the usual art venues, had gained popularity in the Industrial Cities and really took off in Selkie-Diaspora in Port Arthur. In 2022, for the first time, such an image was removed in Ironcastle in the Mainland, under a huge public outcry.
Selkie-Architecture can be defined in several main strains:
- Timber Architecture, the Adhmad Style.
- Stone Architecture, the Cloch Style.
- Bamboo Architecture, the Bambú Style, preferred by the Spiorad Ainmhithe.
By far the most far-spread style of architecture is the Timber or Adhmad Style, defined by the use of timber. Mostly one storey buildings with a small porch, these houses are built of wood and
Aside from these three strains, there are a number of
Hearty and rich in nutrients,
Sports and Selkie are connected each other like fire and warmth.
Most popular sports are football, and of course the sports of the Marcach, Archery, Horsearchery, Swordriding and Lanceriding, Fencing and Sworddancing.
Fashion and Design
What Selkie has five main categories: Geansai, the Tribal Garnments, the Éadach Obaire and other utility clothing, Armour (especially by sportspersons), Foreign Dress and swimwear (sometimes called sportswear).
Foreign Dress is what non-traditional clothing is called by the Selkie. While often worn abroad to not stand out as much, these clothes are getting more and more popular in the Free Lands thanks to the efforts of Bicíní Industries - especially as far as formal clothing is concerned.
Selkie practice a huge variety of sports and watersports are practiced as well, as well as waterports sometimes being demanded in certain occupations, weir fishing and other such matters being among that. Most renown producer of swimwear in the Free Lands is Bicíní Industries.
- See Main Article: School Uniforms in the Free Lands.
Selkie wear a wide variety of articles of clothing,