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ARDURE FACTBOOK:

NAME: The Kingdom of Ardure

CAPITAL CITY: Aulm

GEOGRAPHY: in the south, the hill country of the Thyssa region; the broad and fertile central valley marked by the Aragon River and abundant lakes, with semi-arid and rugged highlands along the western border (The Barricade), and the high, semi-arid plains known as The Brasada to the north. The soil is generally rich in the southern and central regions, poor in the north; the coast is marked by fine beaches and several excellent natural harbors, the most prominent being at Aulm, in the south, Sambrea in the far north, and Lyria at the mouth of the Aragon; highest point: Mt. Draco (1,903 meters); are; 92,072 sqm (35,550 sq. miles); ethnicity: 77% Ardurean, 16% Romani, 7% other.

POPULATION: 6,438,321 (6.2747); density: 181 per sq. mile

RELIGION: Unitarian 82.6%

LANGUAGE: English, Chorasic, Romani

CLIMATE: warm and dry in summer thanks to southern tradewinds; cold and wet winters with blizzards sometimes sweeping down from the mountainous spine of Centura Donna; occasional droughts in the northern reaches; rainfall highest in the central valley, averaging 41 inches a year; average temperatures range from 30 degrees Fahrenheit in the western highlands in winter to 82 degrees along the southern coast in summer.

CURRENCY; tricrowns (TR), drakes (DR)

HISTORY: Settled since prehistoric times, Ardure was established through a pact between the leaders of eight feudal kingdoms by means of the Scarwood Covenant in the early 11th century, and for several hundred years prospered as an imperial power, with its capital, Aulm, once rivaling London and Lisbon as a center of commerce. It’s centuries-old connection with Britain can be traced to this era, and Ardure stood with Britain against Napoleon’s France. In the 19th century Ardure began to lose or divested itself of its colonial holdings. Subsequently controlled by Nazi Germany and the Soviet Union in the 20th century, Ardure at last regained its independence in 1990, following the dissolution of the Eastern Bloc. While understanding the value of alliances as well as the risks involved, Ardure is fiercely independent and committed to economic prosperity, in keeping with its history as one of the principal trade centers of the Mediterranean.

GOVERNMENT: Constitutional Monarchy

Chief of State/Head of Government: Angevine Greve, Queen; heir apparent: none

Royal Council: (appointed by the head of state, subject to approval by the Parliament) Ministries of State, Defense, Exchequer, Foreign Relations, Transportation, Health, Labor, Commerce, Environment and Education, with the Minister of State being the head of council.

Legislative: A Parliament of 32, one member representing each of the boroughs, and chosen by their respective Borough Assemblies, the members of whom are elected by the people. The Parliament is responsible for national legislation (subject to the approval of the head of state) and the oversight of ordinances passed by the Assemblies. The Parliament may discuss and protest royal edicts but cannot override them.

Judicial: A High Court of nine judges, appointed by the Parliament and approved by the head of state. Each Borough has a civil and criminal court system, with three regional appellate courts. Final judicial review is the purview of the High Court.

ECONOMIC: Chief industries include oil, tourism, agriculture and military supplies, though currently Angevine Greve is in the process of restructuring the nation’s economy, with less emphasis on military production. Ardure has several prospering state-owned oil companies; the Aragon valley produces an abundance of fruit, produce, livestock and dairy products; the beaches and resorts along the northern and southern coasts attract tourists year-round. Ardure’s chief problem at present is a shortage of blue-collar workers, which prevents some of its industries from operating at full capacity.