Empire of Agber

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Empire of Agber
1920px-Flag of North Rhine-Westphalia.svg.png
Flag
Agber Empire Arms.png
Coat of Arms

Capital cityNo permanent capital, currently Vindelkrieg
Official language(s)English
Short nameAgber
DemonymAgberian
GovernmentElective Monarchy
- EmpressArlene
Established20 September 1995 (as Kingdom of Kolios)
7 January 1998 (as Empire of Agber)
Population98
CurrencyGulden

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.

History

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.

Third Era

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.

Current Era

The Empire's fourth and current era began on 9 April 2020. The groundwork for the transition in eras began when one of the founding nobles of the original Kingdom of Kolios rediscovered a notebook containing details of the Kingdom by way of his mother sorting through old items in her charge. As this individual, the Margrave of Sulli, was then involved in the online micronational community as Westarctica's Prime Minister, this forgotten project was of great personal interest to him. Since his 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.

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 is in its infancy, there has already been a considerable amount of noteworthy developments. Initially, the current era 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 is based in Shetland, with 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. She will still serve as Empress, but her successor is 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 had Empress Arlene as the font of honor. Naturally this announcement has created a number of smaller ongoing 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.

Government

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 Empress Arlene.

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.

Territories

The Empire is broken up into seven individual nations.

Nation Capital Head of State Throne Established Geographical Area Notes
Principality of Kolios.pngPrincipality of Kolios Vindelkrieg Princess Arlene Rose 20 September 1995 Bavaria, Germany Capital is current seat of the Empire
Duchy of Carthage.pngGrand Duchy of Carthage Drumm Stronghold Grand Duke Eric Cascade 7 January 1998 New York, USA Current center of military power in the Empire
Enclave de Cordova.pngReino de Cordova Mariposa Reina Celestina Redwood 27 August 2002 California, USA Current religious capital of the Empire
Tenshukyō Shogunate Flag.pngTenshukyō Shogunate Redan Shogun Devon Tidal 2 October 2018 Georgia, USA
Kingdom of Maevis Flag.pngKingdom of Maevis Vikksborg Queen Barbara Rowan 17 June 2020 Shetland, Scotland
Archduchy of Verdura.pngArchduchy of Verdura Whitestone Archduchess Priscilla Obsidian 19 August 2020 Indiana, USA Current headquarters of imperial government
Liguria Archduchy Flag.pngGrand Duchy of Liguria Michaelangelo Grand Duke Gilbert Marble 10 November 2020 California, USA

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 current 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.

Kolios' capital and Rose Throne currently serve as the seat of power for the Empire. This will likely change with the election of the next Emperor or Empress.

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 is largely focused on France's era of the House of Valois with a few elements from early Bourbon rule. Carthage's throne is currently occupied by Grand Duke Eric, who was nine at the time he assumed the role. Until he comes of age, many of his duties will be carried out by Ashleigh Sinodis, currently serving a Protector.

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 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.

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

Archduchy of Verdura
Archduchy of Verdura.png
Flag
Verdura Arms.png
Arms

Capital cityWhitestone
Official language(s)English, Italian
DemonymVerduran
- ArchduchessArchduchess Priscilla
Established19 August 2020
Population2


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 nation has two orders of chivalry: the Obsidian Order, and the Blessed Order of St. George.

Verdura made history in the Empire by becoming the first nation to have its own social media account.

The Grand Duchy of Liguria

Grand Duchy of Liguria
Liguria Archduchy Flag.png
Flag
Liguria Arms.png
Arms

Capital cityMichaelangelo
Official language(s)English, Italian
DemonymLigurian
- Grand DukeGrand Duke Gilbert
Established10 November 2020
Population9


The Grand Duchy of Liguria was founded on 10 November 2020, as the first success from the Call to Sovereignty initiative. Its founder and first Sovereign, 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. Athough 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 is the first nation in the empire planned to be a sister project to an existing nation. In order to further differentiate itself, Liguria has a strong focus on the arts as a part of its culture, which will also be built around a Northern Italian identity (specifically the Kingdom of Tuscany.

Liguria has three provinces: Bellini, Raffaello, and Tiziano. The nation will have 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 are: the Order of Saint Genesius, to recognize the performing arts (acting, dancing, and music), which will be represented by a sash and cordon; the Order of Saint Catherine, to recognize the visual arts (painting, drawing, and sculpting), which will be represented by a medal worn from a necklet; and the Order of Saint Lucia, to recognize the written arts (poetry and other creative writing), which will be denoted by the wear of a breast star.

Forthcoming Nations

The Empire currently has three additional nations Empress Arlene has approved the creation of through the Call to Sovereignty initiative. As they are each at different stages of development, it is unsure which order or timeline each will happen in, although all of them are expected to go live by the end of Summer 2021. These nations are:

  • The Principality of Berwyn. This nation will be headed by future Prince Bernard (formerly of Sawatch), and is to be headquartered in the Denbighshire region of Wales. Berwyn is set to take on an identity that combines English and traditional Welsh traditions. The Sovereign will sit the Oak Throne, in the capital of Glaslyn.
  • The Rosetta Sultanate. Rosetta's future sovereign, who will sit the Delta Throne, is Sultan Gregory (formerly of Carthage). Rosettan society will be modeled after Mamluk Egyptian culture, and headquartered in the Queensland region of Australia.
  • The Tsardom of Severny. Former Carthage citizen and future Tsar Nicholas will be basing the national culture on Russian traditions. The nation will be based in the British Columbia region of Canada, and will be ruled from the Spruce Throne.

Former Claims

The Empire formerly claimed at least four separate areas.

Nation Type Capital Throne Established Disestablished Geographical Area Notes
Sawatch Emirate Flag.pngSawatch Emirate Monarchy Tiene Vista Aspen 31 January 2014 28 September 2020 Colorado, USA One-time HQ of the government
County Wolpat.pngCounty Wolpat Autonomous District Gerosplytz unknown May 2009 March 2010 Ohio, USA Declared but never developed
Marie Byrd Protectorate.pngMarie 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.pngBir Tawil Protectorate Protectorate Gabal Hagar El Zarqa none 10 January 2001 7 May 2020 Bir Tawil, Africa

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.

County Wolpat

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 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 been 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.

Religion

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 Empress Arlene. There are an additional twenty orders between the seven national territories (Carthage, Cordova, Kolios, Maevis, Tenshukyō, Verdura, and Liguria), for which their respective head of state serves 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
Knight/Dame Commander
Knight/Dame
Service to the Empire
Order of Arlene I 15 March 2013 Knight/Dame Commander
Knight/Dame
Excellence, personal achievement, or noteworthy performance Primarily used as an on-the-spot knighthood at Renaissance Festivals