The Empire of Duresia (High Lyrian: Keserriek ver Dürz, Ascanian: Imperio Durcia), commonly called Duresia or Ascania (in Arveyran) is an empire in central Norda. Duresia borders Ashar and in the northeast, Ivania in the north, Europe in the west and Reisal in the south. Duresia is the country with largest area in the continent of Norda and is also the most developed nation of the continent.
Duresia is a progressive nation, renown for its business friendly policies and low tax rates - it is considered a tax heaven. Duresia is also a moderately socially liberal nation, allowing same sex civil unions and 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 Eurasians, Arveyrans, Celts, Germanic and Slavic peoples, it is known that the Ascanians are a mix of Eurasian and Arveyran colonists and the Celts living in the area and later the Germanic invaders while Lyrians are mostly of West and North Germanic origin with admixtures of Celtic and Slavic origin.
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 tribe that ruled much of the mountain areas of Duresia before the Germanic invasions.
A Duresian citizen is to be referred to as 'Duresian' or according to his origin 'Lyrian', 'Ascanian or 'Arensian'.
GeographyDuresia lies in the centre-east of the Norda continent covering much of its area. It is commonly said to be split up between four regions: Lyria, Ascania, Arensian Islands and Duresian Orient (the former Khanate).
Being an enormous nation Duresia is home to the largest city in Norda and the largest harbour in Norda, Clervau and Kresburg, Clervau is a city in the southern Ascanian Riviera while Kresburg is a city close to the Lyrian sea on the east coast. The capital city of Duresia is Hirtenheim but it's just the country's eighth largest city. The largest twenty cities are as follow:
- San Lucia
- Affoltern en Lahr
The climate of Duresia is varied depending on the region, the south and parts of the west Ascanian coast have a mediterreanan climate characterised by hot, dry summers, mild winters, little snow and abundant sunshine.
The central and northern climate is generally generally temperate, but can vary greatly between the localities. Summers tend to be warm and humid at times with periodic 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.
Central, north and parts of south, west and east Duresia have a typical mountain climate. The east coast has a more continental climate: winters can be very cold and summers very warm, and longer dry periods can occur.
Arensian Islands are renown for their subtropical climate and they together with the Ascanian riviera are a big hub for holidays and many rich people do settle there permanently, many rich foreigners are also attracted to settle down there due to the warm climate and low taxes.
Overseas territories and collectivities
Duresia is a libertarian and moderately socially liberal nation. 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 (Riekstag) 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, Ascanians and Arensians, Lyrians being of mostly North and West Germanic origin are usually tall with lighter hair colours and light eyes, Ascanians being a mix of Germanics, Celts, Arveyrans and Eurasians are usually tall but not as tall as Lyrians, have dark hair and light eyes. Arensians being mostly of Arveyran origin are shorter than Ascanians and Lyrians and have much darker features. Duresia is also home to the largest Ivanian population outside of Ivania.
Those were the features Duresians used for ages to recognize people's original ethnicity in Duresia but since the country got industrialised the features blended and one can meet a dark eyed Lyrian as well as a blonde Arensian, marriages between the ethnic groups are as common as marriages inside the ethnic groups.
Duresia has two official langages, High Lyrian and Ascanian, High Lyrian is spoken in the most parts of eastern north and central Duresia while Ascanian is spoken in west and southern Duresia. Around 62% of Duresians speak High Lyrian as their native tongue and 30% speak Ascanian as their native tongue. Both languages are equal in front of the law and government and duchy officials are required to be proficient in both languages, though there are cases when that wasn't followed or when the official refused to use the one language or the other while adressing the individual. Around 7% of Duresian population can speak Low Lyrian fluently.