|State Anthem||For King and Country|
|Official language||West Heloan|
|Administrative Divisions||Pieces of Eight|
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• Growth Rate
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|Time Zones|| Miotan Standard Time|
Heloan history is a succession of modest states, small conflicts, and for the most part, brief dynasties. Nolopherae is an exception to this pattern, having lasted over 400 years. Although small in size, the country has rather significant influence in international monetary affairs.
The kingdom's mountainous location has afforded it a measure of protection from the Persii invasions of the early 20th century as well as the more parochial Nolophon in-fighting. Other than staving off periodic invasion attempts, including recent efforts by the Sinoptiks, Nolopherae has enjoyed stability for several centuries. At various times the Kingdom has held sway over vastly more territory - at its maximum some hundred and twenty years ago it included some 15% of neighboring Nolophon Caletica. As evidenced by the official Kingdom maps, that claim is still registered, but it is not pursued further than the occasional speech.
Nolopherae's king is the head of state and head of government, unlike many monarchies which have become figureheads in the modern world. At the national level, various national offices are headed by an official known as a Chancellor. He (they are always male) has charge of his agency's affairs and is responsible only to the King. In deference to the Nolopherae parliament's Chamber of Delegates, the King's nominees for Chancellors must be ratified and they can also be dismissed by the parliament through votes of no confidence.
In an unusual arrangement, the military pledges its loyalty strictly and only to the King. The Counts and the national government pay a tax to the King in exchange for him protecting the Kingdom with his military. Although seemingly convoluted and disjointed, the agreement is actually quite efficient and has been very effective in fending off potential invaders. <div style="clear:left"/></div>
In typical feudal fashion, the country is divided eight regions, headed by Counts who are directly subordinate to the King. The regions, called Pieces of Eight, are known for the names of their capitals: Aktos, Cytona, Demphesa, Namphopolis, Piniticae, Praidis, Sellatis, and Tufae.
Geography and Climate
All of Nolopherae is in the Ansteppikos Mountains, with elevations over 3,100 meters, peaking at 3,327 meters in Namphopolis, the capital city. in the country's eastern Ansteppikos Mountains. Winters tend to be rather severe because of the mountains but summers are generally mild.
While there are no major rivers in Nolopherae, the kingdom's mountainous location are home to literally tens of thousands of streams. Several of these join together outside the kingdom to form two major rivers in neighboring Nolophon Caletica: the Ximichas and Mosanious Rivers.
Despite its mountain location, Nolopherae has stewarded its soil wisely and the country remains agriculturally self-sufficient. Major crops include grapes, olives, potatoes, and wheat, while sheep and goats fare well in the rich mountain pastures. Although exporting some agricultural products, particularly its wine and cheeses, Nolopherae consumes most of the food it grows or raises.
Unlike neighboring Nolophon Caletica, Nolopheraean wine is of excellent quality. Because it is also produced in relatively small quantities, it is highly prized. As a result, while inexpensive in the kingdom, the wines are quite expensive in the rest of Aurora. The other notable food export, cheese, is reasonably priced both domestically and in exports.
The kingdom is also known for its honey and wood production. Beekeepers are highly respected because of the mountainous location in order to keep the fields and forests pollinated. This has resulted in hearty hardwoods, which have strict export quotas, and an abundance of excellent honey.
Besides its limited agricultural exports, the mainstay of the kingdom's economy is its financial industry. Its defensible borders, along with Nolopherae's own gold deposits, have made it a haven for banking. Capitalizing on this, the country has very strict bank secrecy laws, making it even more appealing to international financiers.
The Ansteppikos Mountains' only serious gold deposit is under the Kingdom - the extensive silver mines of Nolophon Caletica have only small percentages of gold. That distinction and its continual input to the Kingdom's treasury are a large reason for the tiny nation's continued independence.
Indeed, while the Kingdom's gross domestic product is unremarkable compared to that of larger nations, it has a per capita GDP below only a few Auroran nations. The distribution of that wealth is uneven - peasants live simply while bankers and nobility are insanely rich. Still, those peasants have a standard of living higher even than the lowest earners in neighboring Nolophon Caletica, itself a healthy economy.
Ethnically, the Nolopheraeans are almost all Heloan. The country is rather clanish and immigration is kept purposefully low.
Urban Nolopheraeans enjoy such cultural attractions as museums, opera, and theater quite routinely and, generally, irrespective of social class. In the less urban areas, people occasionally venture into the cities but typically enjoy local festivals and plays instead. These regional festivals are often quite folksy in content but amazingly professional in their production.
The King's Army is well organized and extremely well equipped, using modern equipment, much of which is purchased from the Odessan Armament Kartel. Although not particularly large, it is very well trained and considered one of the most professional militaries anywhere on Aurora.
Despite its name, the King's Army includes an air force which flies the most technologically advanced combat airplanes in central Miotis. Also Odessan-made, Nolopherae has embraced jet-powered aircraft because they provide a definite advantage in the kingdom's mountainous elevations.
Periodic threats from Sinoptikon require Nolopherae to maintain its military in a state of readiness. This is not as troublesome as a growing trend of outside interest in how the kingdom's banking industry works, however.