Kingdom of Courland
The Kingdom of Courland was an independent country located upon the islands of Asul and Tahn, established after the Coalition War and the balkanization of the Holy Orenian Empire. Made up of a Heartlander majority, Courland was ruled by the House of Staunton, with the last monarch being King Joseph. As a result of internal and external pressures, the Kingdom was dissolved in 1615 to form the Principality of Evreux. In 1634 the Kingdom of Courland was reformed by the son of Joseph, Alexander.
Courland was initially formed as a duchy in 1526, when Lord Percival Staunton was raised to ducal peerage by Emperor John I, encompassing majority of the old ducal lands of Vanaheim around the River Redmark. The duchy itself enjoyed prime success, with its capital Riga being both the seat of the Imperial Navy and the central port of the northern lands of the Empire. While the duchy had turbulent relations with its neighbors (such as Carnatia), it maintained to be in imperial graces during the first few decades. The heavy militarization of Carnatia during the late 1550s (coinciding with the civil strife of the Anarchy, however, arouse alarm among the duchy's nobles and denizens. Both northern powers entered a gridlock of cold conflict, the Imperial State itself helpless to stop it with the growing mental breakdown of its absolute emperor.
Following the Second Diet of Saltstone, a coalition was created from Courland's chief rivals, including Carnatia and the northern Hetmanate of Krajia, which in itself pressed the claim of Lord Britannus Vanir to the border castle of Kraken's Watch, seized nearly a year before in a surprise night assault. While each side both broke the established agreement of war in the diet, such as the illegal hiring of foreign mercenaries and otherwise, the Empire itself failed to stop it. In a last effort, with Carnatia under Duke John the Old pressing past the River Redmark, the duchy attempted to secede and draw help from the foreign anti-Imperial powers and legions. While Courland successfully scored a victory at Westmark, a successful coup d'etat by Imperial-backed dissenters would leave the ducal hierachy landless, and henceforth, fugitives from their own holdings. Majority of the ducal family fled southwards, residing in the lawless borderlands or living within the courts of Prince Denis or the Grand King.
Establishment as a royal title
The crisis of the Year of Four Emperors left the untrained prince Emperor Philip on the throne, a third son unexpected to ever rule. When Philip executed Duke John-Renauld of Savoy unexpectedly, with the port city of Aldersport taken to flame, groups of disenfranchised nobility began to form. In the early 1590s, Lord Tobias Staunton (son of the former Duke of Courland) met with his brother Count Sven, with whom held fiefs within Lorraine. At the castle of Ostwick, with other minor nobility, they formed a coalition against the rule of Philip I, under promise of greater lands and reclamation of titles they claimed.
Under the military command of Lord Tobias, they came to the support of the dwarven army at the Battle of the Gorge, where in an unexpected turn of events, the Imperial Army was shattered and left in a routing retreat. With the prime force of the Empire seen defeated, many nobility began rallying to the coalition, now encompassing nobles from majority of the southern heartlands. Again, at the Battle of Gold Field, they delivered a crushing blow on the Empire, effectively disabling its offensive capabilities and forcing it on the defensive.
In what many claim insanity, or to some bravery, Philip I would burn down his own capital of Johannesburg- the seat of Imperial Authority and one of the largest cities in the world. By this, the Imperial State was effectively dead, and to the coalition left the spoils of war. Tobias and his gathering of own men left to Tahn, where they declared him King of Courland, as a tribute to his previous family's holdings.
Following the war
With Johannesburg's collapse and the demise of Saint Karlsburg, the Kingdom of Courland now maintains one of the largest human cities in the world- Aleksandria. Its current holdings stretch on the majority of Asul, and following the victorious Great Northern War, northern Tahn.
Culture and society
Majority of Courland's ruling caste, including its royal house, derives its line from Heartlander roots- and indeed, a good majority of its society embodies the typical troupes of such a culture. However, with their past rulership of northern territory, a noticeable Highlander minority can be seen serving in the kingdom itself, as well as its linguistic and societal aspects of the kingdom.
Being in close contact to the Sultanate of Haria upon Asul also provides Courland a small but sturdy Farfolk minority.
The state religion of the now defunct Kingdom of Courland was first the reformed-Creatorist Lotharic Communion. Following the restoration of the True Faith and the subsequent deposition of the Lotharic Communion, the Kingdom's citizens and nobility converted to the previous. The faith itself was heavily entrenched within the hierarchy of the kingdom and its people
Majority of the kingdom's nobility come from Heartlander stock, including its own ruling family the House of Staunton. Notable families include House de Savin, House Staunton-Hearth and House Ivanovich.
The King of Courland has absolute power as its sovereign and the head of the Courlandic Privy Council. All members of the cabinet are appointed by the King, the only position which one may be elected to was the position of Mayor. Privy roles within the Kingdom include the Grand Marshal, the Lord Treasurer, The Chief Steward, The Archchancellor, Grand Knight and the Privy Seal.
The Privy Council of Courland include leading members of the realm, often vassals who own great fiefs. The council acts as advisors to the King, who offer their experience and wisdom, to ensure that the governence of the nation remains as efficient as possible. The King wields the power to veto any decisions made by his council.
The official military of the Kingdom of Courland was the Eagle's Vigil, introduced under the reign of Duke Richard. The Vigil was split into two branches, the King's Guard and the City Watch.
The Kingdom follows the principles of Agnatic Succession, meaning that the eldest male heir was the inheritor of all titles and lands, unless otherwise specified by the monarch.
At the heart of the Kingdom on the temperate plains of Asul sits the city of Aleksandria. The Kingdom of Courland controls nearly all of the Empire's former provinces, such as New Cascadia, the Duchy of Mardon and former Imperial Heartlands.