Empire of Agber
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| Empire of Agber |
|Capital city||None (permanent)|
|- Emperor||Emperor Devon|
|Established||20 September 1995 (as Kingdom of Kolios)|
7 January 1998 (as Empire of Agber)
The Empire of Agber is a micronational project that was founded on 20 September 1995 as the Kingdom of Kolios. The project was reimagined in early 1998 as the Empire of Agber, with Kolios becoming a nation within the Empire. The primary focus of the Empire is activity at Renaissance Festivals and other such events where period dress is deemed acceptable.
Prior to Founding of the Empire
In 1995, three friends began discussing a book one of them had been gifted for his birthday on the Order of Malta. This led to a fair amount of research and discussion on what it would be like to establish a country of their own. These early discussions primarily took place in local playgrounds and libraries. After a number of weeks and the addition of three other youths, a decision was made to found their own country as the Kingdom of Kolios on 20 September 1995. It was founded under the rule of King Stephen, who ruled until 24 May 1997, when he abdicated in favor of Queen Arlene.
In 1998, after her family moved from Augsburg, Germany, to Fort Drum, New York, Queen Arlene of Kolios decided to revamp the project as the Empire of Agber, using the capital of Kolios as the seat of a self-declared Empire.
First and Second Eras
The first era of the Empire, sometimes called the Founding Era, lasted from its founding on 7 January 1998 until 30 October 2004. During this time, the second and third nations, the Grand Duchy of Carthage and the Enclave de Cordova, saw their founding and subsequent addition to the Empire. During this phase, Empress Arlene also claimed the areas of Bir Tawil and Marie Byrd Land as protectorates. During this time, the entirety of Agber operated as a single entity or court, with the heads of individual nations serving as more of a retinue for Empress Arlene. This era ended when Empress Arlene joined the United States Air Force.
The second era, sometimes called the Transient Era, ran from 1 November 2004 until 28 February 2013 (the length of Empress Arlene's tenure in the US Air Force). This era functioned as a scaled down version of the first, with a number of appointees coming and going, Empress Arlene being the only real constant. This is owed primarily to the Empire's lack of an internet presence essentially keeping the functional government limited to the area of whichever military base the Empress was assigned to, at the time. While still active, the Empire saw no real growth or additions in terms of policy, initiatives, or additions of orders of chivalry, the last of these having become a cornerstone of the pageantry within Agber's culture.
The Empire's third era, also known as the Renaissance, is regarded as having run from 1 March 2013 until 8 April 2020. This era saw an increase in the types of activities and stability seen in the first era. It also saw the addition of the Empire's most recent addition, Sawatch. One of the most notable changes during this era was Empress Arlene's insistence that each of the nations of the Empire were charged with developing their own cultures. Those that emerged included:
- Kolios (and Agber, as a whole) developing more of a focus on inspirations from the Holy Roman Empire.
- Carthage leaning into France's era of the House of Valois, with a few elements from early Bourbon rule.
- Cordova emerging as a society influenced by early Spanish Colonialism.
- Sawatch taking on influences from the early and mid-Ottoman Empire.
This era solidified Agber's primary existence as a vehicle for Renaissance Fair culture. A large part of court life revolved around this fact; court was often held within the confines of a Fair, and various retinues were charged with roaming the events and interacting with visitors. This often included the bestowing of knighthoods and taking oaths of fealty from those who wished to pledge service to the Empire or its subsidiary nations.
The Empire's fourth and current era began on 9 April 2020. The transition in eras was marked by two distinct events. The first of these was the global Covid-19 pandemic that began causing lockdowns and event closures across the world in March of that same year. This is considered to have primed the Empire for the changes that began almost immediately after the reintroduction of one of Kolios' founders to the fold, the Margrave of Sulli.
In early April, Margrave Jordan rediscovered a notebook containing details of the Kingdom by way of his mother sorting through old items in her charge. As he was then involved in the online micronational community as Westarctica's Prime Minister, this forgotten project was of great personal interest to him. Since the Margrave's record of events ceased in mid 1997, he assumed the Kingdom to be defunct and began trying to track down other members of the project, in the hopes of filling out his records for inclusion in his eventual "micronational memoirs."
Margrave Jordan discovered the continued existence of Kolios, and its evolution into the Empire through Empress Arlene. The beginning of their correspondence is regarded by the Empress as the start of a fourth era, when the Empire was introduced to the wider community of micronations. Though this era was incredibly short-lived, it included a considerable amount of noteworthy developments. Initially, the period was marked primarily with a revitalization of record-keeping and development in both vexillology and heraldry. Where the nations within the Empire were originally using different colored flags of an identical Naval Jack design, a new unique flag was created for each nation except for Kolios, which kept its flag.
June of 2020 has been dubbed by Empress Arlene as "the most eventful month in our Empire's short history." On 9 June, it was announced that the Tenshukyō Shogunate, a project based on Feudal Japanese culture in Atlanta, had entered a transitional period. This period had a stated goal of joining the Empire within a month, as a dependency with more autonomy than existing nations within the Empire held. 17 June brought the founding of a new nation within the Empire, the Kingdom of Maevis, which was formed by Queen Barbara, a former Comtesse in the Grand Duchy of Carthage. This project based in Shetland, processed a structure of more autonomy than earlier nations of the Empire, much like the Shogunate.
Perhaps the biggest change of this period came in an announcement on 18 June, when Empress Arlene declared a restructuring of the Empire as an elective monarchy. This meant she would still serve as Empress, but her successor was to be elected from the heads of the nations within the Empire when the Rose Throne becomes vacant. Due to the new structure, her role as Princess of Kolios would become official as part of qualifying her to be Empress, instead of a ceremonial title held because of her role as Empress. As part of this move, full autonomy of internal national affairs were handed over to the heads of Carthage, Cordova, Kolios, and Sawatch, to include the control of the National Orders that had previously been held by Empress Arlene as the font of honor. Naturally this announcement created a number of smaller changes. This proclamation was dubbed by several members of the Empire as the "Indiana Proclamation," since Empress Arlene cited her move to that state to focus on getting her medical degree as a significant factor.
In August of 2020, Empress Arlene introduced an initiative she dubbed the "Call to Sovereignty." Inspired by the recent addition of the Kingdom of Maevis, this program was aimed at giving current and former members of the Empire and its subsidiary nations an opportunity to "strike out and form their own nation within the Empire." While a proposal can be brought to her at any time, those chosen as a part of this initiative will receive extra assistance and guidance in the formation of their nation than might be normally provided. The only stipulation the Empress made on proposals is that the project be based around a cultural identity not currently represented in the Empire. Two nations would come to existence as a part of this initiative.
The Fourth Era saw a move that was regarded by some as a departure from the Empire's long-standing existence as a vehicle for creative anachronism, or "Ren Fair culture" in favor of moving towards online micronationalism. Opponents of this view hold that the changes and additions to Agberian society were aimed at supporting and deepening the existing culture, and that the lull in in-person activity was a result of the ongoing global pandemic. These views, and the camps they created sowed the initial divisions that would be fueled by macronational politics, primarily those in the US and the UK.
The framing of this era seems to be primarily called "Growth Era," while a minority are referring to it simply as "the Plague." The latter camp seems to be made up mostly of those who hold the changes sparked by Margrave Jordan in a negative light.
Abdication of Empress Arlene
During the late fall of 2020, Empress Arlene came out as a very vocal supporter of the US President Donald Trump and his claims of election fraud. These views caused strong reactions in the Agberian Discord forums, with most of the more conservative camp who resisted the changes Margrave Jordan sparked coming out in support of her. The most vocal opposition to her views came from Shogun Devon of Tenshukyō, who was known to be heavily involved in the runoff election campaigns in Georgia, as a supporter of the two Democratic candidates.
In-fighting on the server was intense, but managed to not reach a head until Empress Arlene came out against Scottish sovereignty on the evening of 26 February 2021, which led to a vicious escalation that played out over the next two days.
- A number of Carthagean citizens broke away from the Grand Duchy and its parent Empire on 27 February. More than half of the active roster left, along with the provinces of Black River and Turning to form the Royal Republic of Rivière Noire. The next day, the province of Rulison would join the separatists and would elect its first ruler: King Quentin.
- A public call for Empress Arlene to abdicate as Empress by Queen Barbara of Maevis on 27 February. Her call cited the divisive influence of the Empress being to the detriment of the greater collective. So far, no further public statement on the matter has been made by either party.
- On the morning of 28 February, Grand Duke Gilbert of Liguria publicly dissolved his new nation, but would amend the decision within hours, making Liguria a colonial holding of the Archduchy of Verdura.
- Early on 1 March, the planned Rosetta Sultanate announced its decision to establish itself as a separate entity from the Empire. It had previously been targeting a launch date in the Summer of that year, but decided it wanted no part of an Empire that its future Sultan said "seems destined to tear itself apart under the strain of real-world politics."
Largely as a result of these events, Empress Arlene announced on 15 March that she would be abdicating as Empress on 29 March 2021. She retained her crown as Princess of Kolios.
The first vote for Empress Arlene's successor was held on 18 March 2021. The results of this vote, including who voted for each, were:
- Archduchess Priscilla of Verdura: 4 (Carthage, Chancellor, Kolios, Verdura)
- Reina Celestina of Cordova: 2 (Berwyn, Tenshukyō)
- Shogun Devon of Tenshukyō: 2 (Cordova, Maevis)
- Princess Arlene of Kolios: 1 (Veritas)
- Tsar Nicholas of Severny: 1 (Severny)
With no individual receiving a majority of votes (six votes), a second vote was held on 19 March. The results of this vote were:
- Archduchess Priscilla of Verdura: 5 (Carthage, Chancellor, Kolios, Verdura, Veritas)
- Shogun Devon of Tenshukyō: 3 (Cordova, Maevis, Tenshukyō)
- Reina Celestina of Cordova: 1 (Berwyn)
- Tsar Nicholas of Severny: 1 (Severny)
Again, no individual had reached the threshold for a majority, and a third vote was held on the 21st. The results were:
- Archduchess Priscilla of Verdura: 5 (Carthage, Chancellor, Kolios, Verdura, Veritas)
- Shogun Devon of Tenshukyō: 4 (Berwyn, Cordova, Maevis, Tenshukyō)
- Tsar Nicholas of Severny: 1 (Severny)
A fourth vote was held on the 22nd. The results of the vote were:
- Archduchess Priscilla of Verdura: 5 (Carthage, Chancellor, Kolios, Verdura, Veritas)
- Shogun Devon of Tenshukyō: 5 (Berwyn, Cordova, Maevis, Severny, Tenshukyō)
Fifth and sixth votes were held on the 23rd and 24th, with the results being the same five to five split as the fourth vote.
A seventh (and final) vote was held on the 25th. The results of the vote were:
- Shogun Devon of Tenshukyō: 6 (Berwyn, Carthage, Cordova, Maevis, Severny, Tenshukyō)
- Archduchess Priscilla of Verdura: 4 (Chancellor, Kolios, Verdura, Veritas)
While much of the voting had been alongside the lines of "camps" that had recently formed within Agber, Empress Arlene's cousin and Protector of Carthage, Ashleigh Sinodis, broke ranks and voted in favor of Shogun Devon to succeed her as the Emperor of Agber on 29 March 2021.
The Empire's fifth and current era began with the ascendency of Emperor Devon to the throne on 29 March 2021.
On 3 April 2021, Carthagean Protector Ashleigh Sinodis announced her intent to dissolve the Grand Duchy of Carthage to the Emperor and national heads of state. She cited the reasoning being her inability to reach Emperor Eric or his legal guardian for a period of nearly four months coupled with the departure of most of the nation's active citizens to the Royal Republic of Rivière Noire. The decision was approved on 5 April, two days later.
The Empire is overseen by an Emperor or Empress, who is elected from the heads of the Empire's nations and serves for life. Each nation has their own head, who is known by their own title, and has autonomy over their nation. This autonomy can only be overridden by Imperial authority. These national leaders also serve as a council for deliberating Imperial decisions. The current Sovereign is Emperor Devon.
The Head of State serving as Emperor or Empress must appoint a Chancellor to serve as both an advisor, and to aid in the running of their individual nation, to ensure the administration of that nation does not suffer due to their added duties. This Chancellor is ineligible from being the Sovereign's successor within their nation, whether named, selected, or elected.
Succession to the Throne of Agber
Though each nation has their own method of succession, the Agberian Emperor or Empress is selected from the heads of the nations within the Empire. Members of this voting body also include the former Sovereign's Chancellor, and the Grandmaster of the Knights Veritas, neither of which is eligible for the Imperial Throne. The new Head of the Empire must be elected by a majority of eligible voters. If a successor cannot be selected by the end of the ninth vote, the Empire will be disbanded, and all items that are the sole property of the Empire will be entrusted to the former Sovereign's Chancellor. As any nation may technically leave the Empire at any time, the odds of this being purposely orchestrated were deemed low enough to include the rule by Empress Arlene.
The selected Emperor or Empress will then have an ascension ceremony, where their nation's seat of power, such as the Shogunate's Tidal Throne or the Reino's Redwood Throne, would be joined metaphorically with the Empire's Throne of Harmony, signifying its service as the new Imperial Throne.
The Empire is broken up into seven individual nations.
|Nation||Capital||Head of State||Throne||Established||Geographical Area||Notes|
|Principality of Kolios||Vindelkrieg||Princess Arlene||Rose||20 September 1995||Bavaria, Germany|
|Reino de Cordova||Mariposa||Reina Celestina||Redwood||27 August 2002||California, USA||Current religious capital of the Empire|
|Tenshukyō Shogunate||Redan||Shogun Devon||Tidal||2 October 2018||Georgia, USA||Capital is the current seat of governmental power|
|Kingdom of Maevis||Vikksborg||Queen Barbara||Rowan||17 June 2020||Shetland, Scotland|
|Archduchy of Verdura||Whitestone||Archduchess Priscilla||Obsidian||19 August 2020||Indiana, USA|
|Tsardom of Severny||Nikolagrad||Tsar Nicholas||Spruce||1 February 2021||British Columbia, Canada|
|Principality of Berwyn||Glaslyn||Prince Bernard||Oak||25 February 2021||Denbighshire, Wales|
The Principality of Kolios
- Main Article: Principality of Kolios
The Principality of Kolios was founded on 20 September 1995 as the Kingdom of Kolios, with its land claim located on the outskirts of Augsburg, Germany. The nation was restructured as a Principality within the newly established Empire of Agber on 7 January 1998. While its capital of Agber (later renamed Vindelkrieg) served as the capital of the Empire from its eatablishment until 2020, Kolios itself has served little more than ceremonial roles within the Empire for most of its history. The current Head of state is Princess Arlene
Koliosian culture is heavily inspired by that of the Holy Roman Empire. By extension of Princess Arlene being the first and longtime Empress of Agber, Agberian culture skews in this direction, as well.
The 2020 Indiana proclamation returned nearly all national autonomy to the Principality, whether this will result in increased Koliosian activity remains to be seen.
The Reino de Cordova
- Main Article: Reino de Cordova
The Reino de Cordova was founded on 27 August 2002 as the Enclave de Cordova shortly after Empress Arlene relocated to Northern California. That same day, Baron Gilbert became the first Cordovese Baron, making the Enclave the first nation within the Empire where Empress Arlene did not serve as the national head of state. Baron Gilbert would serve in the role until 2004. Cordovese activity being largely focused around Renaissance Fair culture, established a trend that would become a cornerstone for the Empire as a whole. While the entire Empire went through waves of change and activity throughout the tenure of Empress Arlene's stint in the US Air Force, the Enclave was the least affected by these changes, and had the best continuity throughout. This is due largely to the fact that the Enclave enjoyed a greater sense of purpose due to the focus on Renaissance Fair culture, and experienced a larger degree of ability to exist away from the Empress. To this day, it remains the most active nation in the Empire.
Cordovese culture is largely focused on Spanish Colonial life. While a few of those trappings had been present since the nation's foundation, the full shift to this approach happened in 2013. Further steps down that path occurred in 2020, after the Indiana Proclamation handed Cordova more autonomy. Reina Celestina currently sits the Redwood Throne as Cordova's sovereign.
The Tenshukyō Shogunate
- Main Article: Tenshukyō Shogunate
The Tenshukyō Shogunate was formed by the former Baron Devon of Cordova after relocating to the Atlanta, Georgia area on 2 October 2018. It joined the Empire on 1 July 2020. The Shogunate is based largely on the Muromachi and Edo periods of Japan. Tenshukyō is unique in the Empire in that it does not have districts with clearly identified borders. Instead, five clans hold seats on a council, with the Shogun's clan serving as head. Shogun Devon currently sits the Tidal Throne, serving as the nation's sovereign.
As of 29 March 2021, the Shogunate's Tidal throne and its capital of Redan serve as the seat of power for the Empire.
The Kingdom of Maevis
- Main Article: Kingdom of Maevis
The Kingdom of Maevis was founded on 18 June 2020 by the former Comtesse of Rulison, who renounced her place in Carthage when she moved back to Shetland in early 2018. As she had stayed involved with Carthagean affairs, she began discussing the formation of a new nation with Empress Arlene in May of 2020. Maevis is based upon a mix of Norse and Scottish traditions, as is commonly found in the area it was founded.
The Archduchy of Verdura
- Main Article: Archduchy of Verdura
The Archduchy of Verdura was founded on 19 August 2020, in conjunction with Empress Arlene relocating to Indiana. She is working closely with her niece, Priscilla, to further develop the fledgling nation. Verduran culture is based on Mediterranean Italy, namely the Kingdom of Sicily. Verdura will be unique in that there are no plans for it to have provinces. Instead, Archduchess Priscilla will appoint citizens to administrative roles based on merit, as needed.
The Tsardom of Severny
| Tsardom of Severny |
|Official language(s)||English, Russian|
|- Tsar||Tsar Nicholas|
|Established||1 February 2021|
The Tsardom of Severny was formally established on 1 February 2021, by former Carthage citizen and current Tsar, Nicholas. Severny is the second nation to be born out of the Call to Sovereignty initiative, and has based its identity around the traditions of late Grand Duchy of Moscow and the early Tsardom of Russia. The nation is formed as an enclave within the British Columbia region of Canada, with its seat of power being known as the Spruce Throne. An outline for provinces and lower levels of government exists, but Tsar Nicholas has stated he prefers to wait until people deem themselves worthy of such leadership by merit, rather than simply appointing such leaders based on "arbitrary reasons or favoritism."
The nation was established with the intent of it being a fully formed idea from day one. Tsar Nicholas' debut of Severny was accompanied by what he called the серьезная работа (Romanized as Seryoznaya Rabota, which translates roughly to "the earnest work" in English). This existed as a series of 138 royal decrees published at once. These decrees totaled more than a thousand pages and covered a myriad of topics, which included: traffic rules; public health measures; establishing orders of chivalry; naming advisors and appointees; creation of a national recycling program; admonishing other nations and leaders on a number of matters of state; outlining symbols and holidays; cementing Severnii heraldic traditions; even banning political parties.
Severny currently has two order of chivalry. The higher of these, the Most Honored Polar Order of the White Bear, is limited to 5 Knights/Dames Grand Cross, 10 Knights/Dames Commander, and 20 Knights/Dames. The lower of these, the Most Hallowed and Virtuous Order of St. Nicholas, has no limits on membership for its lower two ranks: Member and Knight/Dame. The rank of Knight/Dame Grand Cross for the Order of St. Nicholas is limited to no more than 15 members.
On 20 March 2021, Tsar Nicholas announced the pending acquisition of a "colonial holding." Since this announcement, however, no further details have emerged.
The Principality of Berwyn
| Principality of Berwyn |
|Official language(s)||English, Welsh|
|- Prince||Prince Bernard|
|Established||25 February 2021|
The Principality of Berwyn is the third new nation to join the Empire from the Call to Sovereignty initiative, being formally established on 25 February 2021. Enclaved in Wales, the Principality was formed by former Sawatch citizen Prince Bernard. The cultural identity of Berwyn is formed primarily around Welsh traditions, with certain Cornish and Mannish elements. The national sport of Berwyn is Falconry, with Prince Bernard having his own personal falcon, Olwen.
Berwyn's central (and largest) province, Carreg Newydd, is also the home to its capital, Glaslyn. This region is directly presided over by Prince Bernard. There are also two smaller provinces to the north and south. The northern province, Hough Twoaie, features a culture that maintains an identity that is clearly Berwynese, while also having distinct Manx influences. Hough Twoaie is governed by Deleyr Glenys. To the south of Carreg Newydd is the province of Grond Deghow, which is governed by Deleyr Morgan. Its Welsh influences are accompanied by distinct Cornish traditions.
From inception, Berwyn has had 2 orders of chivalry. The higher of these, the Most Excellent Order of the Kite, has only one rank and is limited to 6 members. The second order is the Order of Berwynese Merit. This order has three ranks: Knight/Dame Commander, Knight/Dame, and Member.
The Empire formerly claimed at least five separate areas as unique states within its body. Four of these have been dissolved entirely, while one has been restructured as a colony within another nation.
|Nation||Type||Capital||Throne||Joined Empire||Left Empire||Geographical Area||Notes|
|Grand Duchy of Carthage||Monarchy||Drumm Stronghold||Cascade||7 January 1998||5 April 2021||New York, USA||Former center of military power in the Empire|
|Sawatch Emirate||Monarchy||Tiene Vista||Aspen||31 January 2014||28 September 2020||Colorado, USA||One-time HQ of the government|
|Grand Duchy of Liguria||Monarchy||Michaelangelo||Marble||10 November 2020||28 February 2021||California, USA||Restructured as colony of Verdura|
|County Wolpat||Autonomous District||Gerosplytz||unknown||May 2009||March 2010||Ohio, USA||Declared but never developed|
|Marie Byrd Protectorate||Protectorate||Russkaya Station||none||23 December 1998||7 May 2020||Marie Byrd Land, Antarctica||Claim renounced in favor of Westarctica|
|Bir Tawil Protectorate||Protectorate||Gabal Hagar El Zarqa||none||10 January 2001||7 May 2020||Bir Tawil, Africa|
The Grand Duchy of Carthage
- Main Article: Grand Duchy of Carthage
The Grand Duchy of Carthage was founded on 7 January 1998, as part of the creation of the Empire of Agber. The impetus for Carthage's creation was Arlene's family moving to the upstate New York area as part of her father's US Army career. Carthagean culture wass largely focused on France's era of the House of Valois with a few elements from early Bourbon rule. Carthage's throne wass last occupied by Grand Duke Eric, who was nine at the time he assumed the role. It was decided that until he came of age, many of his duties would be carried out by Ashleigh Sinodis, who served as Protector until the nation's dissolution.
The 2003 Order of the Rosy Cross incident was of great importance in the greater history of the Empire. This event led to the designation of each nation's highest order as a National Order, to be directly under her control, with her assuming the entire funding of them moving forward. This structure would continue throughout the Empire until 2020, when full control of all nation's orders was given/returned to them as part of the Indiana Proclamation.
The ascension of the underage Grand Duke Eric proved to be the first step in the eventual dissolution of the Grand Duchy. The lack of a strong, central leader was seen as the reason in the fracture that led to the departure of more than half of the nation's citizens to the Royal Republic of Rivière Noire in early 2021. The nation would be dissolved a month later.
The Sawatch Emirate
- Main Article: Sawatch Emirate
The Sawatch Emirate was founded 31 January 2014, during the Empire's Renaissance. It was originally established simply as Sawatch until being restructured as an Emirate in 2020. It was established by Empress Arlene after settling down in the US state of Colorado. The name is taken from the Sawatch Range of mountains in the Rockies. The current head of state is Emir Issac.
Sawatchi culture was initially the least well-defined of Agberian nations. Much of the inspiration originally came from the Ottoman Empire, with additional aspects derived from western Native American culture. In 2020, a renewed focus on the Ottoman aspects of Sawatchi culture was announced, although preexisting Native American symbolism would remain in tact moving forward.
Sawatch was dissolved on 28 September 2020.
The Grand Duchy of Liguria
The Grand Duchy of Liguria was founded on 10 November 2020, as the first success from the Call to Sovereignty initiative. Its founder, Grand Duke Gilbert, was the first ruler of what was then the Enclave de Cordova. Although he stepped down shortly after his cousin, the Empress, joined the Air Force, he has remained involved in Agberian affairs, as a whole. Although initially planned to be a unique endeavor, plans were changed after the announcement of the Archduchy of Verdura, which had a similar identity to what was proposed for Liguria. It was the first nation in the empire planned to be a sister project to an existing nation. In order to further differentiate itself, Liguria had a strong focus on the arts as a part of its culture, which was built around a Northern Italian identity (specifically the Kingdom of Tuscany).
Liguria had three provinces: Bellini, Raffaello, and Tiziano. The nation had three orders of chivalry, each focusing on a different aspect of the arts, and with a single rank and different regalia intended to form a full set when worn together. These orders were: the Order of Saint Genesius, recognizing the performing arts (acting, dancing, and music), which was represented by a sash and cordon; the Order of Saint Catherine, recognizing the visual arts (painting, drawing, and sculpting), which was represented by a medal worn from a necklet; and the Order of Saint Lucia, recognizing the written arts (poetry and other creative writing), which was denoted by the wear of a breast star.
The Grand Duchy was absorbed into the Archduchy of Verdura on 28 February 2021 as a colony, with its status being reduced to that of a Duchy.
Empress Arlene agreed to award control of an autonomous district within the Empire to a suitor of hers in May 2009. This suitor styled himself Count Justice as the head of the newly formed Wolpat, which was founded to focus on a Livonian identity. The only development Wolpat ever saw was the creation of a flag that followed the then practice of recoloring the Jack utilized by all nations within the Empire. Less than a month after the formation of Wolpat, the relationship between the two fizzled out and the county was largely forgotten. It would be formally dissolved in March of 2010, after a failed attempt by Justice to rekindle the relationship reminded Empress Arlene that it still existed at all.
The Marie Byrd Protectorate
While on holiday break from school in 1998, Empress Arlene was reading through a book of facts and curiosities from around the world her uncle had gifted her for Hanukkah. One entry referenced a "large stretch of frozen wasteland unclaimed by any nation in the world." Upon reading these words, Arlene set about tracking down more information about Marie Byrd Land, and whether or not it would be a suitable addition for the growing Empire. After declaring the area as a protectorate, Arlene appointed a friend, Nicole Ameriss, as the first Warden of Marie Byrd. She would serve in the role until 2004. This position would be filled again briefly from 2008 to 2009 by Lukas Fuller, who initially showed a lot of enthusiasm for the role, and came up with a number of ideas for Marie Byrd Land in the Empire. Despite this initial excitement, none of these plans ever came to fruition as he appeared to have lost interest in governing, and was relieved of duty for negligence.
While never a major part of the Empire, there were a number of ways in which Marie Byrd Protectorate was included in Agberian culture. Every year, on the Southern Hemisphere's first day of summer, the Empress hosted a barbecue celebrating the start of the season in the Protectorate. From 2014 to 2020, Empress Arlene made an annual donation to charities that were at least partially dedicated to the conservation of animal species native to the Marie Byrd Land and its waters. Additionally, as the penguin was among Empress Arlene's favorite animals, it was declared that all of the protectorate's penguins belonged to the Sovereign of the Empire, who was personally charged with their protection in perpetuity. In 2015, Empress Arlene founded the Order of the Penguin as an order of chivalry unique to the protectorate. Due to difficulty in establishing a logistics chain for regalia, no awards of the order were ever bestowed.
In April of 2020, Margrave Jordan of the Koliosian province of Sulli reached out to Empress Arlene looking to reconnect and learn about the fate of the Kingdom of Kolios after his involvement ended in 1997. In the process, it was discovered that the micronation he served as the Prime Minister of, the Grand Duchy of Westarctica, had also claimed Marie Byrd Land, albeit as its primary territory. In the spirit of friendship and appreciation for all the work Jordan had done for the Empire since the two reconnected, the Empress declared her intent to renounce the Empire's claim on the protectorate, and back Westarctica's. As a show of good faith, she named Jordan as Warden of the Marie Byrd Protectorate until the renunciation official on 7 May 2020.
The Bir Tawil Protectorate
In early 2001, Empress Arlene stumbled across mention of Bir Tawil in an internet article that listed interesting facts about the world. After research and consideration, she decided to claim the area as the Empire's second protectorate. She named Grand Duke Andrew of Carthage as the initial Warden of the claim.
Despite initial plans for a deep and unique culture, Bir Tawil Protectorate was little more than a footnote in the Empire for the majority of its existence, owing primarily to the fact that there is no indigenous population, and Grand Duke Andrew's responsibilities with Carthage. When he left the Empire abruptly in 2003, a replacement Warden was not named, and the post remained vacant until the renunciation of the claim. There was some brief discussion about investing more into Bir Tawil in late 2013, with a focus on Arabic cultures from the Renaissance. These plans fell through when the development of Sawatch began.
Empress Arlene renounced the claim on 7 May 2020.
While all faiths are welcomed with open arms, the official religion of the Empire is Christian. During the Kingdom of Kolios era, a Church of Kolios existed with the Koliosian Sovereign at the head, much like the Church of England within the United Kingdom. Although this entity still exists officially, it has not been active for a number of years.
In 2017 then Don Sven of the Cordovese precinct of Natomas converted an old shed into a small chapel which he named the Saint Michael Cathedral. This shed is often transported to Renaissance festivals and Highland Games as an outreach tool for a Catholic ministry he works with. Saint Michael Cathedral currently serves as the religious capital of the Empire.
Orders of Chivalry of the Empire of Agber
- Main Article: Awards and decorations of the Empire of Agber
The Empire of Agber has two orders of chivalry common to all realms, which supersede the national orders in precedence. The current Font of Honor for these orders is Emperor Devon. There are more than twenty additional orders between the seven national territories (Cordova, Kolios, Maevis, Tenshukyō, Verdura, Severny, and Berwyn), for which their respective heads of state serve as the Font of Honor.
|Order Name||Established||Classes/Ranks||Awarded For||Notes|
|Order of the Empire of Agber||8 September 1999||Knight/Dame Grand Collar
Knight/Dame Grand Cross
|Service to the Empire|
|Order of Arlene I||15 March 2013||Knight/Dame Commander
|Excellence, personal achievement, or noteworthy performance||Primarily used as an on-the-spot knighthood at Renaissance Festivals|