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.
- "...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.
Myths of the Spiorad Ainmhithe agree with that, describing how the Tramorwyr, Outsiders, arrived and they came into being by the will of their Gods to protect the wildlife and forests. However, archaeologists have found out, that the Spiorad are older then the first signs of Selkie-Settlement by far.
First signs of scripture is a cuneiform-tablet found near Launceston, 10,000 years old. Although no one can read the script, it is assumed, due to formatting, that it's a list of sorts, maybe for a warehouse. This scripture was soon abandoned in favour of another script, this time a runic one, which has its first signs on tablets found in dig sites near Cuan, estimated to be seven to eight thousand years old, carbon dating still pending. Although some of the runes appear to be familiar, no one has yet deciphered them.
The first recorded history in script, a list of kings of what later would become the City of Riverwood, is 6,500 years old and was deciphered with the aid of other tablets. The runic script began to develop into the modern runic script of the Selkie, evidence of its wider and wider use gather from there, from prose, to letters, to scriptures and inscriptions, graffiti and many more. Histories were regularly recorded and chronicled since roundabout 3,000 years ago, shortly after the establishment of the First Kingdoms.
The Age of the High Kings ( - 450)
- 122: Foundation of the Rhiannon-Temple in Chorn.
- 305: High King Áed the Hunter is born.
- 319-338: War of the Three High Kings.
- Project 1st Century BCE.
- Military History of the Selkie in the Age of the High Kings.
- 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: City of Fortham.
- 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.
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)
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.
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.
- See Main Articles: Distances between places in the Free Lands of the Selkie, Mainland, Northern Islands, Oileánra-Archipelago.
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.
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): 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: 11 Springs.
- 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).
- 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.
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.
One of the major industries of the Selkie is the arms manufacturing industry, which is mostly represented by the two companies of Gabha Blacksmiths Limited and Silverport Dockyards Limited. These two companies, main suppliers of the SDF, are the primary exporters from the Free Lands under the authority of the Merchant Guild of Leuda.
Another important industry in the Free Lands is tourism,
- 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). The number is on a steady rise since the End-70s, usually put into correlation with the Mechanization of Agriculture and the increase in yields and productivity it spawned. 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 183,722 people living in the Hinterlands of the Cities. That means, that 323,035 people or 0.0256 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.
In general, according to the 2015 census, 85.6 percent of the total population follow the Cults, 9.2 percent belong to one of the Cult-Sects, three percent being followers of the Paganism of the Spiorad Ainmhithe and 2.2 percent belong to other religious groups, the Selkie-Jews included.
- See: School in the Free Lands.
Up until the age of 15 Springs, usually the end of Middle School, school attendance is mandatory.
- 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.
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.
ArchitectureSelkie-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 andAside 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 DesignWhat 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, and usually seen as non-practical, clothing is called by the Selkie. While often worn abroad to not stand out as much, these clothes are not forbidden to be worn in the Free Lands.
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 amongst that. Most renown producer of swimwear in the Free Lands is Bicíní Industries. While women usually prefer a variation of the bikini or one-piece swimsuits, men usually prefer trunks or briefs.
- See Main Article: School Uniforms in the Free Lands.
Selkie wear a wide variety of articles of clothing,