Fireborn: Dark Phoenix
The nation of Arkalia is number 24 on the map. Arkalia, technically a monarchy, is an anarchic, lawless failed state, the world’s largest by far.
Previously a wealthy but underdeveloped agricultural nation, about a century ago Arkalia discovered rich veins of copper and silver in some of the mountains in the almost unexplored far west of the country; but after centuries of feuding with the neighbouring monarchy of New Urgen, there were no land routes by which they could export their newfound resources, and sea routes were plagued by piracy.
So Arkalia did the only logical thing: they began spending heavily on projecting naval power, to quell the piracy and open trade routes.
The state did not fare well, however; attempting to eradicate piracy, for a nation with very limited naval experience and technology, was unwise. After decades of trying the national coffers were all but empty, they found their efforts being further complicated by the advancement of steam technology; other nations who had once been supportive became disinterested, as increasingly trade vessels were steam powered and the piratical sailing vessels were barely a threat to the huge, fast cargo vessels of wealthier nations. Arkalia’s trade began to pick up, but the nation’s internal divisions began to widen.
Forty years ago, Arkalia came under the intense stare of the International Revolutionary Working People’s Reupblic of Encyron; sensing its weakness, they began channeling modern armaments and military training to Collectivist student groups, radicalising and empowering them to take the fight to the weak and unpopular ruling autocrats. It took a decade of increasingly bold insurgency before this paid off; the King, Arnselm II, was assassinated by a bomb. His young heirs were weak and divided, and more distant rivals and powerbrokers moved in to consolidate their own power, some backed by the neighbouring nation of New Urgen in an ill-advised effort to destabilise their neighbour as a prelude to invasion; a bloody civil conflict rapidly emerged and tore the country apart, and never technically ended.
New Urgen invaded soon after, and took swathes of (formerly) disputed territory along the borders; but efforts to conquer more swathes met with heavy resistance and guerilla tactics that made it impossible to consolidate control, even under the pretext of restoring order. However, the attempts (and the open secret that it was New Urgenian intervention that had caused the country’s woes) led to a significant deepening of the animosity between the nations. Over the last decade, New Urgen has attempted to prop up multiple regional factions to try and prevent the restoration of governance to the country.
The self-declared victors in the civil war that still rages, a minor cabal of idealistic republicans, seized control of the capital Urnheim two decades ago and declared the country an official democratic republic; however their reach goes no further than the walls of the capital, and they have never held a true election thanks to the ongoing “civil unrest”. The army is divided between rival generals and warlords; the navy has turned to piracy and smuggling; drug-lords grow their illicit crops with impunity in the more remote regions and control them as minor fiefs with private armies; and it is hard to envision a stable state arising from the wreckage any longer. Feuds and infighting dominate, and terrorist gangs of Collectivists and rival Monarchists make life dangerous all across the country.
The only two real contenders for power are the allegedly democratic dictators of the Reublican movement that has at least brought stability of a kind to the capital; and a granddaughter of Anselm II, named Ioanna, whose mother Helga was married off into the Encyronian Imperial noble family of Akopolis to buy alliances. Ioanna, who now resides within Arkalia herself, is said to lead a growing rebel army and to be a ferocious and brave warrior in her own right. She is also a convert to Solarianism – though this was probably strategic, as the Solarian movement stresses equality in genders where traditional Encyronian culture usually dismisses the notion of females as anything beyond housewives and childcarers.
Arkalia’s laws are irrelevant to life in Arkalia. Anyone who cannot defend themselves should expect to be exploited, Dragonborn or not.