The Empire of Duresia (Lyrian: Durserikes Överväld Ascanian: Imperium Durskje, Gautan: Miklis þiudinassus Durz), commonly called Duresia or Ascania (in Arveyran) is an empire in central Norda. Duresia borders Ashar and in the northeast, Marquette to the west and both Arveyres and Eurasia in the south. Duresia is the country with largest area in the continent of Norda and is together with Marquette the most developed nation on the continent and one of the most developed in the world.
Duresia is a nation of extremities, renown for its business friendly policies and low tax rates - it is considered a tax heaven. Duresia is also a conservative nation, disallowing same-sex unions yet allowing consumption of soft drugs like cannabis. Historically the Empire of Duresia has close ties to New Tarajan, Eurasia and Arveyres.
Duresia has been inhabited by various peoples like the both Germanic Lyrians and the Gautans, the Slavic Ascanians and the colonists from Arveyres and Eurasia, Duresia was also once upon a time a home to many Celtic tribes.
The name 'Duresia' originates from a tribe living in the now central Duresia that the early Eurasian colonists in Ascania (Southwest Duresia) referred to as the duritiei due to those people's hardness and insensitivity towards their enemies. It is believed that the Ancient Duritei were a Celtic or Slavic tribe that ruled much of the mountain areas of Duresia before the Germanic conquests of 4th century.
A Duresian citizen is to be referred to as 'Duresian' or according to his origin 'Lyrian', 'Ascanian or 'Gautan'.
Duresia lies in the centre-east of the Norda continent covering much of its area. It is commonly said to be split up between six regions: Lyrland, Ascania, Arensian Islands, Gautarum, Nordland and Duresian Orient.
Being an enormous nation Duresia is home to the largest city in Norda and the largest harbour in Norda, Lyrheim and Kreisborg, Lyrheim is a city in the eastern Lyrian fjordland while Kresburg is a city close to the Lyrian sea on the east coast. The capital city of Duresia is Haraldsvik but it's just the country's ninth largest city. The largest twenty cities are as follow: (TO BE FILLED)
The climate of Duresia is varied depending on the region, the south parts of Gautarum and parts of the west Ascanian coast have a maritime continental climate with windy weather all year round, hot summers and frigid winters.
The central and is generally generally temperate, but can vary greatly between the localities. Summers tend to be warm and humid with a lot of rainfall so they are ideal for pastures and grazing.
The less humid winters in the mountains may see long intervals of stable conditions for weeks, while the lower lands tend to suffer from inversion, during these periods, thus seeing no sun for weeks.
Eastern and northern Duresia has a mountainous maritime climate with a subarctic climate in the northern part, the winters are long and dark and summers moderately warm yet short.
Arensian Islands are renown for their subtropical climate and are the part of Duresia that experiences most sunny days during the year.
Overseas territories and collectivities
Duresia is a libertarian and a conservative. Due to the system of direct democracy in the municipalities and duchies Duresians strongly believe in individualism and political parties aren't viewed as essential to get their political agenda through. Duresia is renown for having no welfare programmes whatsoever, compensations for sick leave, healthcare etc. are all handled by insurance companies.
Duresia's parliament (Väldstinget) has 530 members. The leader of the government is the Chancellor, the now chancellor of Duresia is Konrad Höffbek from the Libertarian Party. As Duresia is a semi-absolute monarchy the ruling monarch can disolve the parliament, dismiss the ministers or even the chancellor if he so wishes, the monarch also has a right to veto any bill and is a permanent member of the parliament, his place there is usually filled with a representative of his chosing. The monarch's veto can only be ignored with a 3/4 majority vote.
Duresia has historically important relations with New Tarajan, Arveyres and Eurasia. The most friendly relations are with Arveyres, Farve and Antanares followed by New Tarajan and Eurasia. Duresia has had very cold relations with the neighbouring Ivania for over 70 years after the Great War and the relation between them is still as tense as it was 70 years ago.
The Royal Duresian Forces is one of the biggest armies in Esamir. The military budget is at 6,979,352,592,643.20 Duresian Francs which is 30% of the national GDP. Historically, Duresia was a country that provided many mercenaries for different wars and the mercenaries were renown for their loyality and skill in battle. The Royal Duresian Forces are composed of the Infantry, Navy, Air Forces and the Special Forces, the special forces include several forces such as mountain brigades and anti-terrorist forces.
The Duresian Economy is one of the largest in Esamir and the strongest in the continent of Norda, and is highly developed. The largest industries are the Information Technology industry, with major contributions from Arms Manufacturing, Tourism, and Automobile Manufacturing. Duresia also has a sizeable mining and wood chipping industry.
Duresia has one of Esamir's lowest unemployment rates of 2.58% of the population.
The Duresian government has a very liberal attitude abolishing most of the taxes in the nation, low and average income earners pay a tax of 7,6% while high income earnersof 15%. Companies pay a flat tax rate of 8% of their income.
The currency of Duresia is the Duresian Franc that lies on the exchange rate of 1 duresian franc = 1.97 USD, making it yet again, one of the strongest currencies in Esamir. The Duresian GDP per capita is $44,979.05.
The national ethnic groups are Lyrians, Gautans and Ascanians, the differences between the ethnic groups is far more cultural and linguistical than it is visual. Most of Duresians have similar physical attributes such as light eyes and light hair. Black hair is non existent in native Duresians and is seen as a indicator of foreign origin. Duresians are generally renown for their height, the national average for men is 183 cm, the height varies slightly between the different regions.
Due to genetical research during the early 80's and taking DNA samples from various Duresian men all over the country it was shown that around 68% of Duresian males carry the I1 Y-DNA haplogroup which is associated with the original Nordan peoples, similar percentage of carriers of the I1 haplogroup is to be found in Marquette indicating that these peoples were once upon a time one and the same. The rest of the males were carriers of R1b, R1a, I2 and J2 respectively, J2 being genetically associated with Arveyrans and Eurasians.
Duresia has one so called realm langauge which also is a regional language called Lyrian. The two other languages Ascanian and Gautan are regional languages and act as official languages in the respective provinces.
Lyrian is a East Nordan language while Gautan while also a Nordan language belongs to the South Nordan language group. Ascanian on the other hand is a Slavic langauge with many Arveyran, Nordan and Eurasian linguistical influenes.