The Republic of Starongia is a small, landlocked country located south of Falstadt and east of the Vinnish sea, whilst sharing its western border with the People's Republic of Transafricasiana (lore coming soon) and Confederal Chanderia to its immediate south. The nation contains two main ethnic groups the first of which being the Starovi-speaking Starongazniki (STAR-ronguard-neekee) of the northwestern most provinces and the far more numerable English-speaking Starongian (Star-rongian. This combined with a mild climate, high number of banks and over a century of military neutrality have lead many political commentators and journalists to describe Starongia as the continent's Switzerland; though with significantly less hills.
Little is known about Starongia prior to the founding of the 13th century kingdom, archaeological evidence suggests that nomadic first arrived sometime in the 12th century BC although the first settlements wouldn't be seen until around 300BC, these were mostly small villages of no more than 50-100 people. Digs in modern day Kaer Adagan, Amon and the northern valleys have revealed ruined cities spectacular in scale, though is known about the civilization which created them, their language is completely alien to anything seen on the continent both then and since despite objects bearing their markings being found as far away as Yoathl, making their rise, dominance and disappearance highly intriguing.
To most Starongians their nation was born with the 1246 Nuistrost transcontinental expedition which aimed to find and settle the west coast of the continent and transform the tiny, riverine-bound kingdom of Fausta into an e empire greater than anything the continent had ever seen. Lead by the famed explorer; Slavoslan Nuistrost, the expedition took nearly 2 years to cross the continent before arriving at the confluence of the Staro-Vikoroo Rivers where upon they established the western capital; Kaer Adagan, constructing the uniquely triangular-shaped fortifications seen today. Nuistrost and several hundred other settlers continued to journey onto the coast; many residents of the modern day Vinlandic Coastal Confederacy can trace their ancestors to these adventurers. The remainder stayed in the Staro river basin, eventually being granted autonomy by royal charter in October 1263 with the second-born duke Linneikron DeGlean crowned as the first King of Starongia. Geographical isolation and the failure of subsequent expeditions quickly resulted in Sarongia becoming it's own de facto independent kingdom. Forging alliances with the Germanic nations of the north and launching increasingly ambitious campaigns against the nomadic Channers of the south and Vinlandic raiding parties alike. Over 4 centuries the kingdom became increasingly powerful, outproducing, out competing and out breeding their still largely tribal neighbors, still Starogia's nobles desired more and begun increasingly pressuring the new king; Ratovik III to further expand the boarders north. His army bolstered by foreign mercenaries and brandishing newly acquired matchlock muskets the king invaded the Kingdom of Falstadt, forcing its king to flee. At the end of a grueling 16 month campaign, the young king marched triumphantly into the Capital with a hastily arranged ceremony crowing him 'Emperor' of both Falstadt and Starognia.
Starongia continued to experience strong territorial expansion throughout the remainder of the 17th century, eventually conquering all the land which is presently shared by the modern day nations of Yoahtl, Vinland, Falstadt & Okashima. This golden age however was comparatively short-lived as Kaer Adagan quickly ran into difficulties in maintaining such a large empire with a rather puny population and a backwards and largely medieval economy and society. In response to this the monarchy formed a pact with the great 18th century European empires, granting them vast tracts of newly acquired and sparsely populated land in the south for colonization in return for technology and a cut of the colony's resources, by the start of the 19th century the number of citizens of British descent alone outnumber the native Starongazniki.
Despite this however, the empire could ultimately only push their collapse forward by another century, starting from 1850 the occupied territories in the far north begun the launch violent separatist struggles against the central government which not only weakened the position of the Emperor at home but also allowed the foreign empires to push greater and greater demands for territory, control and resources upon the beleaguered nation. Between 1858- 1863, Yoahtl (Jan. 1858), Vinland (Sep. 1858), & Falstadt (1863) all gained independence, expelling Starongian troops, landowners and regular civilians from their land and triggering a refugee crisis felt as far south as the British-colonial capital; Great Havilland. The only remaining crown possession north of the Staro river valley was the Japanese-populated immigrant colony of Okashima, which would remain largely isolated and self-governing before formally succeeding to Japan following the 1868 Meiji restoration. The Starongian empire managed to limp on as a rump state until 1868 when the relatively sparsely populated and heavily Nordic- Vinlandic influenced coastal region broke off to form the Vinnish Coastal Republic, nearly rendering the nation landlocked if not for the purchase of the 10km-wide Haalum inlet from the Dutch the year prior. This served to confirm of the longheld views of British and Starongazniki aristocrats that for the sake of Starongia's continued survival the emperor must be removed. On the night of the 6th December 1868, simultaneous military coups took place across the country, deposing the final emperor; Minanios II, sparking a minor firefight between loyalists and rebels in Hierarch Square in Kaer Adagan's city center though this didn't escalate into a full scale civil war as feared by some military officers in the days prior. In Great Havilland, the following morning John Pilkington; the British colonial governor, declared the abolition of the monarchy to a crowd of supporters and the establishment of a new British-aligned Republic with its capital to be relocated to Great Havilland.
Backed by the largest empire the world has ever known, Pilkington's administration was able to prevent Starongia further fragmenting and by 1880 the situation had sufficiently improved to the extent to which the Republic begun to take greater control over its own diplomatic and domestic affairs; the British having little interest in owning a tiny backwater of a state located far from her other, richer lands. A new constitution was drafted in 1902 which granted equal rights to all Starongia's citizens, regardless of ethnicity or economic situation whilst the state itself confirmed its stance of diplomatic neutrality; a tradition which they've continued to the present day. The latter half of the 19th and early 20th centuries saw the country experience rapid industrialization and urbanization, with the length of railway track alone going from under 100km in 1868 to 3000km by the end of the century. Today the state is highly urbanized with the majority of the population being concentrated into the Great Havilland and Amon- Kaer Adagan metropolitan regions respectively, aided by the nation's abundance of railway infrastructure allowing for the waves of sub-urbanization experienced during the 20th/21st centuries.
Starongian foreign policy however still remain relatively mixed, in the case of Starongia- VCR and Starongonia- Falstadt relations could be best described as cordial with visa-free trade agreements and implicate deals to provide military assistance and break neutrality should either member be attacked by a foreign power enforced since the 1960's. The situation with the People's Republic of Transafricasiana remains just as complicated as it was in 1919 when the self-proclaimed 'nativist, workers state' burst onto the scene out of the husks of the former central continental kingdoms, empires and petty kingdoms. Relations between the two haven't always been negative, during the Second Continental war Starongia allowed the P.R.T's air force to train airmen and paratroopers within it's territory, safe from Ferrite & Xylvanian bombing in exchange for locomotives, trucks and modern manufacturing equipment.
The state's declared objective to unite the entire continent under a single flag through bullying, manipulating and annexing its smaller neighbors, has lead to several instances of heightened tensions in the past and is considered widely responsible for the decision to maintain a standing army and manufacturer of heavy weapons; including tanks, armored vehicles, helicopters and light attack aircraft despite being officially neutral. The continued Maoist insurgency in neighboring Chanderia and the close proximity of Great Havilland to the Chanderian boarder has created some debate within the foreign office whether to break tradition and deploy a peacekeeping force to the belittled nation as to secure the Southern boarder against any possible spillover or incursion.
Starongia possesses a highly developed industrial economy, possessing significant reserves of Coal, Iron & Oil though it's metallurgy, petroleum and other heavy industries have suffered from low investment and have been in a state of stagnation since the late 1970's. The country's military industries have long made the nation self-sufficient in arms procurement, with the country manufacturing it's first battle tank; SAVi I (M 48A2 copy) in 1957 and manufacturing numerous Jet trainers/ light attack aircraft and helicopters since the foundation of SAi in 1966. Some foreign interest has been shown in the nation's arms with tens of thousands of the R91 assault rifle being exported throughout the continent, their black market circulation and ease of maintenance making them the weapon of choice for separatist movements and Pariah regimes such as Lexington and Nipplerock.
More recently the financial industry has significantly expanded in Great Havilland, with banks being drawn heavily to the nation's low taxes, stability and high inter connectivity with the wider world, recent political crisis' in Mount Augusta have also contributed to the spike in multinational firms seeking a safer place to run commerce from.
Cities (by Metropolitan population)
Great Havilland: 1'002'900
Kaer Adagan: 527'000