|Sovereign Margraviate of Granica
Suwerenny Margines Granicy
|Motto: "Brave and Loyal"|
|Anthem: Hymn of the Slopes|
|Official languages||Aleian, Miersan|
|Recognised regional languages||Middle Fellish|
14,712 sq mi
|GDP (nominal)||2018 estimate|
Granica, formally known as Granica-in-Kylia and sometimes also called Zaufanie and the March of Thar, is an absolute monarchy in eastern Asura between the nations of Aleia and Miersa. The modern Margraviate has its origins in the first Sclavic migrations in Asura and has evolved into a border territory of the competing Aleia dynasties and pre-Union Miersan kingdoms. It was occupied and controlled by various parties over the centuries and only recently emerged as an independent state as a peace settlement between the Aleian and Miersan states in mid-eighteenth century CE.
Main Article: History of Granica
Kylia, the mountain range dividing Miersa and Aleia, was populated by the Ilans during the first and second centuries BCE. The mountainous, rocky region was sometimes ruled by its own Deley during the first millennium, but more often fell under the over-lordship of Vaha or other neighboring Delings. In CE 766, under the rule of the Storsar Inostran, the Kylian Deling was split up amongst several lowland nobles except for the area around the river city of Granica, to which he appointed one of his generals as margrave to defend against incursions from Zachódnia. The Kylian Margraviate did see many conflicts with Zachódnia, some of which it overcame, but many of which it lost and was periodically occupied by the competing powers. During peacetime, Zaufanie was a prosperous trade city, acting as an important portage for trade between Zachódnia and the Great Deley.
In 1031, the Inotrans were deposed by a group of Fellish rebels. The reigning Ilan, Fyodor II, fled to the Kylian mountains, but did not seek refuge with the military governor at Zaufanie, mostly because the city was famously unpleasant preferring the company of wealthier nobles. With the fall of the Inotrans came a wave of disgruntled Ilans, seeking to escape their new Fellish monarch in Zachódnia or to join the many small groups of rebels that sprang up in the south in the wake of Fyodor II. The King of Zachódnia, welcomed the fleeing nobles, merchants, and other Sclavic loyalists and, seizing the wealth that they carried with them, raised an army to march on Vaha. which he hoped to seize before the Staves could muster an army. The Staves, however, surprised the Zachódnians and forced them into a series of pitched battles midway between Vaha and the Zachódnian border. Ultimately, the Staves were able to force the Zachódnians back, all the way to Granica, which was the only prize the Zachódnians managed to take in the war. A new military governor was appointed at Zaufanie, but life in Granica changed little except that their attackers were now coming down from the north.
Periodically, Granica was occupied by Inotransic rebels, but since the rebels almost always immediately marched north back towards Vaha, it remained a de jure Zachódnian vassal. In 1202, however, the rebels successfully overthrew Stave Queen Sigrid I and the Inotransic rebels around Granica immediately became a liability to the Zachódnians. The Zachódnians mustered an army to march on Granica (with its eyes set on Vaha as always). The attack in the rear of the new Inotransic dynasty disrupted the fledgling monarchy and cast Aleia into chaos--many historians point to this Zachódnian incursion as the trigger of the Riiksstriv, otherwise the Inotrans might have been able to consolidate power and prevent the centuries of conflict that were to follow.
In 1257, Zachódnia was incorporated into the kingdom of Romuald the Bold who faced challenges to his authority on all sides. One of the challenges came from the petty kingdom of Borania, which claimed that they were the rightful lords of Granica. Granica, being a tiny settlement, was not contested by Romuald, who had much greater foes to face than Borania. Romuald’s descendants would later return to reconquer Granica, but also regularly lost control of the town because either the Boranians or the more powerful Inotrans, would bribe, coerce, or otherwise take control of Granica every time the Miersans engaged with the Midrasians.
In 1615, Elena I of Aleia conquered Borania, which had been coincidentally in control of Granica at the same time, incorporating the Margraviate back into the Inotransic Kingdom.
In 1658, the Margrave of Granica lost favor with the court in Oralienborg and the Storsar dispatched one of his favorite knights to relieve the Margrave of his lands, titles, and potentially his life. Fearing his replacement, the Margrave renounced his title and voluntarily joined with the Miersan Republic, claiming to fully embrace the virtues of Republicanism. Negotiations between Aleia and Miersa failed to ameliorate the issue and a brief, bloody war was fought over Granica. After a period of stalemate, the Miersans opted to turn over the former Margrave to the Inotrans in exchange for a peace settlement that left Zaufanie as a free city under the vassalage of the Inotrans; appeasing the public’s desire to spread Republicanism, but also avoiding more conflict.
In 1712, the peace settlement was rejected by the newly crowned Cesarz Piotr of Miersa, but no move was made to invade Granica because the attention of the world had moved to the sea. Miersa and Aleia both focused their attention on their fleets while Zaufanie’s Burgher’s were quietly removed from power and a enterprising warlord started to call himself Margrave. The new Margrave sought recognition from Miersa and then Aleia, neither of which wanted to spark a land war over Granica, so it was again left in limbo. The Margrave therefore sought out the aid of the Pontiff of Laterna--the Pontiff of Krada not being interested in stirring up trouble with the Miersan monarchy--who was willing to recognize the Sovereign Margraviate of Granica-in-Kylia in exchange for the construction and financing of a full temple of the Benevolent Order of the Holy Ashes of the Great Teacher. The Orthodox Pontiff saw it as an opportunity to expand the influence of his church on the doorstep of the Kradish Testimonial Pontificate. Not only did the Margrave financially support the temple, he also magnanimously burnt down the testimonial monastery at Zaufanie and banished the priests for conspiring against the realm.
The Margraviate was not consequential in the Great War, though it was bombed several times by different nations who were confused as to their exact alignment. At the end of the war, the Margraviate declared war on Miersa--which had already lost--as an act of contrition to Midrasia.
Politics and Government
Because of Granica's widespread, low population, the state depends heavily on parent-assisted education. Communities are often too small to require a full-time teacher, so several villages will form a school cooperative and have one teacher visit each community over the course of a week or fortnight. The state issues primers, which are freely available to all citizens, and administers competency tests in various subjects. Because of this free-form approach to education, students are free to complete their secondary education as quickly, or as slowly, as they need. Unfortunately, Granicans place a low emphasis on academic achievement and only 66% of citizens have completed their secondary education. Granica maintains high schools in Siedzacy and Od. There is also a private Alydian school, the Bishop Liliowicz Memorial Lyceum, in Zaufanie.
There are no universities in Granica, all tertiary and post-graduate degrees are awarded by foreign institutions. The Margrave does, however, grant honorary degrees to individuals who have made an outstanding academic contribution the state.