Kingdom of Sorrenia

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Kingdom of Sorrenia (English)
Tiarnas Sorrenya (Cumbric)
Teyrnas Sorrenia (Welsh)
Næluŕtoomerp ul Sorrenia (Mezerizeb)



Sorreniaflagnew.png
Flag
Sorrenian emblem.png
National emblem

Motto
The North Stands Proud
Anthem
Highland Cathedral

Northern England
Capital cityDurham
Largest cityLeeds
Official language(s)English (British English, Northumbrian dialects) and Cumbric
Various regional languages
Official religion(s)Catholicism
DemonymSorrenian
GovernmentUnitary Constitutional Monarchy
- KingKing Ronald
- Prime MinisterLlewelyn Lawton
LegislatureKing's Council
Established04/04/18
Area claimed26,400km2 (estimate)
Population4.95mn (estimate)
CurrencySorrenian Rosmerta
Pound Sterling
Time zoneSorrenian Standard Time
National dishHaggis
National drinkNewcastle Brown Ale
National animalLambton Worm
Patron saintSaint Cuthbert

Map of Sorrenia


The Kingdom of Sorrenia (Cumbric: Tiarnas Sorrenya), also occasionally known as the New Kingdom of Northumbria is a micronation claiming sovereignty over all of Northern England. Founded in 2013 as the Sorrenian Federation, the Kingdom now claims almost 29,000 km2 of land which is divided into nineteen counties. The entirety of Sorrenia's claim is located in Great Britain, and is part of one contiguous mass.

Etymology

The name "Sorrenia" is an adaptation of "Sorrento", a small town in southern Italy, near Naples.

History

Kozlova

Sorrenia's direct predecessor was the Democratic People's Republic of Kozlova, founded in June of 2012. The idea of micronationalism was first introduced to the founders of Sorrenia by Rilgar Ompastre, a friend from school who had earlier founded Dalton, which later became Dradelia.

Martin Aquinas, Dominik of Kozlova, and Lewis Wild, were enthused by the idea, and founded Kozlova together. Intended to be a communist nation, Kozlova was nevertheless generally dismissive of soviet-style politics, and open to multi-party elections.

Kozlova saw an immediate burst of activity, and reached a population of ten citizens. By the end of 2012 however, Kozlova had entered into a period of inactivity. This was exacerbated when Lewis Wild left, founding Yavaria; Dominik followed suit, leaving micronationalism altogether. Kozlova entered into a period of dormancy, while several ex-Kozlovans took the opportunity to secede, founding anti-Kozlovan micronations.

By the summer of 2013, the remaining Kozlovan rump state entered into negotiations with the rebel micronations, who collectively agreed to disband their micronations and form a new one. This new micronation, named Sorrenia, was to retain an egalitarian and multi-party ethos, while abandoning references to communism. The Sorrenian Federation was officially created in November of 2013.

Sorrenian Federation

War of the Sorrenian Succession

Map of the War of Succession Battles
Gold: New Monarchists victory
Red: Socialist League victory
Blue: Dradelian victory
Brown: Morgannwgydd victory
Grey: Inconclusive result

After several years of hiatus, a group of leftists located in Bowburn and Sherburn formed the Socialist League, with the explicit intention of overthrowing the State of Sorrenia and reforming the Federation. Adam Scargill emerged as a leader of the League, with Harold Wanton leading the Sherburn contingent. Only a small number of the League however had participated in the Sorrenian Federation, and most were new to micronationalism altogether.

The League saw great success, first pushing State troops from southern Sorrenia, after which they attacked Durham, seizing the historic capital of Levaria. As the League saw successes in the south and east however, a disparate number of groups began to organise in the north and west; fearful of a return to socialism, conservatives, monarchists, and centrists coalesced around King Ronald I, who hoped to establish a new monarchy in Sorrenia.

The two groups first met each other in Bernicia, where they fought over a store of armaments. Led by Michael Disraeli and Phillip Pompeia, the Royal Army defeated the socialists, securing a major victory.

Just two days after the League took it, they lost Levaria and Durham to the monarchists. In response, Scargill and Wanton established a siege from the south and west. After hours of combat, the socialists were pushed all the way back to their stronghold of Bowburn. Scargill announced a general rout, hoping to retreat to the east and reform; Wanton however secretly negotiated an amnesty deal with the royalists, and the Sherburn contingent of the League surrendered.

Scargill and the remnants of the League retreated to Horden, where they were beset upon by the Dradelian National Army. Close to defeat, the Socialists were ironically saved by an invasion of Dradelia by the Sorrenian Royal Army. The DNA turned to face the royalists to the north, but were soundly defeated, resulting in the incorporation of Dradelia once again into Sorrenia.

In response, the Kingdom of Morgannwg launched a surprise attack on Sorrenia from the south, seizing Bowburn and Ertawa. The Royal Army speedily departed to Ertawa, where they met Morgannwgydd forces in Brancepeth, once again securing a victory. The Morgannwgydd defeat at Brancepeth, followed up by a defeat in Eryn Galen, led to the incorporation of Morgannwg (renamed Amon Lasgalen) into Sorrenia.

On the fourth of April, 2018, Ronald I announced a complete and total victory, and was crowned King of Sorrenia and Dradelia, Amon Lasgalen, Morgannwg, and Duke of Creton, birthing the Kingdom of Sorrenia.

The War of the Sorrenian Succession had a lasting impact on Sorrenia. Ronald's successes allowed him to create a powerful monarchy with many executive and legislative powers, far beyond what the moderates within his coalition intended. Many leading Sorrenian politicians, such as Harold Wanton, Michael Disraeli, Phillip Pompeia, Llewelyn Lawton, and others, took part in the War, and engrained political divisions emerged from the dissatisfaction of the socialists and Dradelian nationalists with the result.

Foundations and the Great Expansion

The Kingdom's early period was marked by the construction of a new Sorrenian Constitution, attempts to address continued insurgency in Dradelia, and early elections for the King's Council. Though it was clear King Ronald was to play some political role, his coalition that won the War of Succession contained many moderates and centrists who envisaged a constitutional monarchy with strict limitations on the king's power. Others, including Ronald himself, wished to vest most executive power within the King himself.

The April 2018 election resulted in a New Monarchist-Old Monarchist coalition government, happy to formalise a system granting Ronald a wide array of powers. For the first month however, power arrangements were largely ad hoc, with few institutions' rules adequately laid out. It was not until the 5th of June that the new constitution was ratified.

The new constitution was controversial on two counts. Firstly, it angered many centrists and moderates by granting the monarch significant executive and legislative powers. King Ronald was given the power to raise and alter taxes, seize private goods, act as a supreme adjudicator in legal matters, create and disband subsidiary organisations, and veto decisions made by the newly created Papal Directorate (the King also received a permanent seat in Sorrenia's unicameral legislature). This Directorate was the second controversy; Ronald took the decision to designate Roman Catholicism as the new state religion of Sorrenia, despite the nation's history of secularism and large population of Anglicans and non-believers. An ecclesiastical court named the Papal Directorate was established, with the power to implement new policies related to social and moral matters. The constitution caused most moderates to abandon the New Monarchists, most of whom joined the NDLP.

By the June 2018 election, Richard Brooker - head of the Old Monarchists - began to envisage a massive extension in Sorrenia's territorial claim, matched with a reimagination of the Sorrenian project altogether. Brooker is generally attributed with the introduction of Northumbrianism into Sorrenian politics, a school of cultural theory emphasising the distinct history of northern England and Sorrenia's connection to this unique history and culture.

Brooker introduced his idea through a number of conversations with the king, who was quickly convinced. Together they formed the Cuthbert Council, consisting also of Michael Disraeli, Peter Otterson, Mark Rawlton and eventually Republican leader Martin Aquinas. Concerned that the immediate publication of their ideas would lead to outright dismissal, the Council collaborated to introduce the ideas into their respective parties.

After the June election, Brooker introduced their plans to the King's Council; the proposal was controversial, with many Republican and NDLP figures calling for a new election, as the Great Expansion had not been contained within the government's manifesto. After several days of debate and whipping, the bill narrowly passed, and Brooker was tasked with drawing the new territorial boundaries.

The Great Expansion remains Sorrenia's most radical endeavour to date. Previously, Sorrenia's territorial claim stood at 140km2; afterwards, it stood at 28,000km2 - this would make Sorrenia the 11th largest micronation in the world, larger than 54 macronational countries. The Expansion also involved a doubling of the number of representatives in the King's Council, and the incorporation of Hortania, a micronation to Sorrenia's south. The Expansion also involved an abandonment of all non-contiguous claims, such as Gran Pais. Though controversial at the time, the Great Expansion is now lauded as a great success; Northumbrianism is now accepted in some form by all major parties, and Sorrenia itself has seen a marked departure from emphasis on its micronational characteristics, towards an emphasis on its cultural and historical connection to Northumbria.

July 2018 - November 2018: Monarchist Dominance

November 2018 - November 2019: NDLP Surge

November 2019 - January 2020: The Tumultuous Months

Geography

Climate

Sorrenia has a temperate climate, although in comparison to the rest of England it is generally cooler. Even in the Summer, temperatures remain moderate, with an average high of 20 degrees Celsius.

In the winter months the temperature gravitates around freezing point, and it is not uncommon to see snow and/or ice.

Sorrenia's average rainfall varies. In the north-west, significant rains are brought by the Gulf Stream. Average precipitation here varies from 49.5mm in April to 95.4mm in October, making Cumbria and Lancashire some of the wettest regions in the British Isles.

In contrast, the north-east of Sorrenia has a lower-than-average rainfall, largely due to the fact that the north-west and the Pennines absorb much of the rainfall. Durham's average rainfall varies from 44.2mm in May to 72mm in November.

Administrative Divisions

The Kingdom is divided into five geographical regions, which are further divided into counties.

The designated 'areas' are defined by a mixture of geography and cultural distinctness. The Durham area composes most of original Sorrenia; the Tyne-Wear area is a merge of the Tyne counties of Newcastle and Northumbria, and the Wear counties of Sunderland and Dradelia.

To the south, one finds the Yorkshire area, which is composed of York, the Humberside and Hortania. The Sorrenian government identifies this region alone as 'Yorkshire'. Straddling the border between Yorkshire and Durham is the Tees area, which follows the Tees River and is made up of Teesside and Amon Lasgalen.

To the west, Sorrenia claims both Cumbria and Lancaster, which form the country's North-west area.

Durham Cathedral, a UNESCO World Heritage Sight found in the State of Dunelm
HM Frankland, a Category A prison located in New Durham
Blanchland, the largest village located in the Western Territory
Flag Emblem Name Representatives
Durham Area
Eurania Flag.png BerniciaCOA1.png Bernicia 1x New Monarchists
1x The Republicans
Bowburn Flag.png BowburnCOA.png Bowburn 1x NDLP
Dunelm Flag.png Durham Crest.gif Dunelm 1x New Monarchists
New Durham Flag.png Durham Crest.gif South Durham 2x New Monarchists
Ertawa.JPG Ertawa 1x Christian Alliance
Cadets flag.png ConsettCOA.jpg Great Derwent 1x New Monarchists
ESC Flag.png Sherburn 1x The Republicans
Durham Uni Flag.png Uni arms.png University Town 1x NDLP
Tyne-Wear Area
VRD Flag.png Dradelian Emblem.png Dradelia 1x DRF
1x Communist
Newcastleflag.png NewcastleCOA.png Newcastle 6x The Republicans
2x NDLP
Flag of Northumberland.svg.png NorthumbriaCOA.png Northumberland 3x New Monarchists
Sunderland.png SunderlandCOA.png Sunderland 2x The Republicans
1x NDLP
Tees Area
Amon Lasgalen Flag.png Coat of arms of Amon Lasgalen.png Amon Lasgalen 1x NDLP
Middlesbrough COA.jpg Teesside 5x The Republicans
1x New Monarchists
1x NDLP
Yorkshire Area
Hortania Flag.png HortaniaCOA.jpg Hortania 4x NDLP
3x HNP
1x The Republicans
HullCOA.jpg Humberside 2x The Republicans
New Monarchists
Yorkshire.png YorkshireRose.png Yorkshire 4x New Monarchists
3x NDLP
North-west Area
Cumbria.jpg CumbriaCOA.jpg Cumbria 3x Christian Alliance
2x NDLP
Lancashireflag.jpg LancasterCOA.png Lancashire 1x NDLP

Politics

Government

The Kingdom's government is highly centralised upon the King and his courtiers. Although no formal federalisation or devolution is allowed, the Sorrenian monarch often grants certain privileges to those regions with a distinct culture and history of their own.

Sorrenia is perhaps best described as an absolute monarchy, as the King is able to pass laws on most issues without checks. On social and constitutional matters, the King's Council - an elected body - is able to veto any bill proposed by the King for an indefinite period.

On ecclesiastic matters, the Papal Directorate advises the monarch on how best to implement church policy. Members of the Directorate are appointed by the King for an indefinite period, and can only be removed in cases of illegal action or resignation.

Political Parties

Sorrenia is noteworthy for hosting three significant political traditions. Some of the leading parties trace their lineage to pre-war parties, and so embrace compromise, discussion, and coalition government. Such parties include the Old Monarchists and the NDLP.

Other parties are completely new, or have distanced themselves from their old organisation. These parties are distinctly more authoritarian, were borne out of the Succession War, and have fought amongst one another, and so are adverse to negotiation. Such parties include the New Monarchists and the Republicans.

Some parties focus their efforts only on one area of Sorrenia, seeking either to declare independence or maintain a degree of devolution. Such parties include the HNP, the Dradelian Revolutionary Front and the Lasgalen Revolutionary Front.

Some political parties also maintain relations with an armed wing, to varying degrees. the Dradelian Revolutionary Front is the best example of this relation, with its armed wing bearing the same name, and political leaders openly calling for armed struggle. The Republicans are also rumoured to maintain funding and support for the Socialist League. The Old Monarchist cause is also supported by the Young Vikings, although the party rejects any relationship with its armed counterpart.

Party Name Logo Leader Position Seats in the King's Council Seats in the Papal Directorate
The Republicans The Republicans.png Harold Wanton Left (Republican)
18 / 58
0 / 5
New Democratic-Liberty Party Ndlplogo3.png Llewelyn Lawton Centre-left (Konpantzian)
17 / 58
1 / 5
New Monarchists New-Monarchists.png King Ronald Right (Monarchist)
14 / 58
3 / 5
Christian Alliance Christian Alliance.png Richard Brooker Right (Monarchist/Millomist)
4 / 58
1 / 5
Hortanian National Party HNP2.png Damian Billbrough Centre-right (Monarchist/Millomist)
3 / 58
0 / 5
Dradelian Revolutionary Front VRD Flag.png Rilgar Ompastre Left (Separatist)
1 / 58
0 / 5
Communist Party of Sorrenia Cpsflogo.png Adam Scargill Left (Republican)
1 / 58
0 / 5

Culture

Imagery

A modern rendition of the Lambton Worm, Sorrenia's national animal

Many things have come to represent Sorrenia and its culture over the years - additionally, much of this imagery can also be found in the local Northumbrian culture.

Although initially the crow, the national animal of Sorrenia became the Lambton Worm, a mythical creature said to exist sometime in the 11th or 12th century. The serpent is said to be dragon-like, and supposedly wrecked havoc upon the inhabitants of County Durham before being killed by John Lambton. Further to this myth, Lambton recruited the aid of a witch, who said that he must kill the first thing he saw upon killing the worm, lest his family face 9 generations of untimely death. He and his father planned to release a hound upon killing the worm, but in excitement, John's father rushed over to congratulate him. John would not kill his father, and so his family became cursed - indeed, the first four generations did all die abruptly.

The story of the Lambton worm is now commonly retold as a children's song throughout County Durham and the Tyne-Wear area.

The national dish of Sorrenia is Haggis, a savoury Scottish dish containing sheep's pluck, minced with onion, oatmeal, suet, spices and salt. The dish is traditionally stuffed in an animal's stomach, but is now more commonly eaten by itself or fried.

Although more commonly associated with Scotland, given the traditional links between the North and the Lowlands, haggis became a popular dish in Sorrenia. It is also often consumed with mashed potato and swede, affectionately called 'mince and tatties'.

The national drink of Sorrenia is cider, an alcoholic beverage created by fermenting apples or pears (although the latter is more accurately called 'perry'). Although cider is more usually attributed to the English home counties, it remains an extremely popular drink in Sorrenia, and one can find several brands of apple cider, as well as many flavoured fruit ciders throughout Sorrenia. The drink is associated with England and northern France, and is often difficult to find outside of these regions.

The Patron Saint of Sorrenia is Saint Cuthbert, a monk and hermit of the Celtic tradition from the Kingdom of Northumbria. He is widely seen as being a man of extreme piety and tranquillity, and is often associated with animals, due to his ability to tame them. One miracle said to be committed by Cuthbert when he was alive relates to an attempted assassination - when two monks attempted to poison him, he was able to survive completely unharmed. Believing they did not use a sufficient dosage, the monks gave the poison to some nearby birds, but they too survived. Cuthbert was able to walk away unharmed.

Cuthbert is venerated throughout County Durham and far beyond (in the Anglican, Catholic and Eastern Orthodox churches). His life was well documented by Saint Bede; he originally resided after death in Chester-le Street, but after several visions, his followers moved his body to Durham, upon which Durham Cathedral was constructed.

Media

Sorrenian Federation

Sorrenia Rap Radio, a music station playing hip hop

Sorrenia has a proud history of media. Initially, media was limited to newspaper releases, however such posts were offered by a wide array of sources (with 6 newspapers operating at the height of the Federation), and at least 2 articles were being released every week throughout Sorrenia's high-point.

As the nation grew, its media presence was extended into radio. Sorrenia Radio 1 involved official news, statements and speeches, while Sorrenia Radio 2 involved longer pieces such as national debates. Eventually, independent radio stations emerged offering music. The most notable of these was Sorrenia Rap Radio, which operated for almost a year and played a wide array of Hip hop music. There also existed two other music stations, offering classic rock and electronic music, respectively.

Finally, the government owned stations introduced a 'Sorrenian News Bulletin', which summarised the week's news.

Kingdom of Sorrenia

With the re-emergence of Sorrenia, its media presence has yet to anywhere near resemble its prior state. Although 4 newspapers continue to exist, all are official party newspapers or are de facto run by a political party, and as such, unbiased news is difficult to find. As of yet, Sorrenia no longer has an active radio service, although Sorrenia Radio 1 and Sorrenia Radio 2 remain government-owned institutions.

Language

English is by far the most understood and practised language in Sorrenia, with effectively all Sorrenians understanding the language. Sorrenian Cumrbic is also an official language derived from the Cumbric language, once spoken in Northern England before the invasion of the Anglo-Saxons; it is only used sparingly for cultural purposes, with no citizens speaking it daily.

Several micronational languages are also practised regionally within Sorrenia. Dradelian is very popular for cultural purposes in east Sorrenia, and the Mezerizeb language retains formal status in both Dunelm and Bernicia, although it is very rarely used.

Cultural minorities may often speak several other languages, often as their language of choice. Examples include Welsh, Hindi, Urdu and Hebrew.

Sports

The 2009 University College vs. Newcastle University Regatta

Many sports are played and enjoyed by Sorrenians. Among those most common are; football, rugby and cricket, all widely popular in the United Kingdom.

Along with enjoying such sports, Sorrenia also has a proud tradition of competitive sporting. Bernicia hosts the Durham County Cricket Club, one of the best in England. Durham University also regularly competes with other universities in a wide array of sports. Sorrenia also hosts Newcastle United Football Club in the city of Newcastle-upon-Tyne, with the team regularly topping the Premier League. Other prominent football teams include Leeds United, Middlesbrough FC and Sunderland AFC.

Along with the more popular sports, many of the active citizens enjoy ice hockey, with the Los Angeles Kings being the most popular team from the NHL. Rowing is also very popular, given its prevalence at Durham University. The Durham Regatta is an annual event in which Durham colleges compete against crews from as far afield as the Netherlands.

Foreign Relations

After several years of stagnation, inter-micronational diplomacy in Sorrenia has suffered. The Kingdom recognises many macronational nations, but possesses formal recognition from only one country - the Republic of Oxford.

Recognised, no relations

Mutual recognition

Education

Northern England has a rich academic history. Durham University is the third oldest university in England, and the seventh oldest in the United Kingdom. Since receiving its royal charcter in 1837, the university has been one of the most prestigious faculties of higher learning in the world, and has completely transformed the city of Durham due to the influx of students and academics.

In 1904, the red brick University of Leeds was founded, and though granted a charter only in 1963, Newcastle University traces its history back to the School of Medicine and Surgery, established in 1834. The University of Hull was founded in 1927 as University College Hull, receiving a charter in 1954.

The 1960s saw an emergence of many universities throughout the United Kingdom. In Northern England, one saw the establishment of the University of York (1963), Newcastle University (1963) and Lancaster University (1964). With the passage of the Further and Higher Education Act 1992, many polytechnics were converted into universities, including Leeds Beckett University (1992), Northumbria University (1992), the University of Sunderland (1992), Teesside University (1992), York St John University (2006) and Leeds Trinity University (2012).

Many Sorrenian universities retain a prestigious academic record: Durham, Lancaster and York consistently rank in the top ten of British universities, while Durham and York are members of the Russell Group alongside Newcastle and Leeds.

The sole micronational faculty of higher learning present in Sorrenia is the University of Sorrenia. Located in Durham, the university also offers online teaching, predominantly on the arts and humanities. The university also offers an introductory course to the history, culture and political institutions of the Kingdom of Sorrenia and the Sorrenian people. The course does not confer a degree, but is required to become a Sorrenian citizen (with an exception granted to citizens of the United Kingdom and the Republic of Ireland).

Military

The Royal Army of Sorrenia was formed during the War of the Sorrenian Succession, after which it became the sole official armed body in Sorrenia.

It is divided into five sub-entities, including an air force, a navy and two specialised guard units.

The Royal Army regularly conducts training exercises in places such as Ertawa and Muggleswick, which have now become a staple of the Sorrenian military. Some continue to criticise the Royal Army as it acts solely under the jurisdiction of the monarch, and thus has effectively become an armed wing of the New Monarchists.

Other than training exercises, the Royal Army is currently on placement in eastern Sorrenia, to quell continued insurgency in the area.

Demography

Age and Gender

The age and gender-balance largely resembles the wider trend seen in England - 51% of Sorrenia is female and 49% is male, while the average age is estimated at 41.

Of those active in the government of Sorrenia, the age is far lower - all members are between 18-24, and the vast majority are male.

Ethnicity

The Raid on Lindisfarne (to the north of Sorrenia) began the widespread migration of Vikings into England

Historically, the area consisting of Sorrenia was ethnically diverse - it included the remnants of Celtic tribes, Anglo-Saxon migrants who formed the powerful Kingdom of Northumbria, Viking raiders who in turn settled into the region, and Pictish/Scottish migrants who regularly entered the region throughout its long history.

More recently, the area saw greater migration from both Scotland and Ireland, with the significant industry and coal mining in the area attracting many economic migrants.

Sorrenia receives fewer migrants than much of Great Britain, with net migration to County Durham averaging 925 per year. As a result, the region remains a predominantly white area - 94.7% of people living in County Durham were born in England.

Religion

Greater variance can be seen in the area's religion. 72% of Durhamites are Christian, however there is significant variation within this group - as with much of England, the Church of England and the Methodist Church attract many adherents, however the area also has a higher number of Catholics. Indeed, the old capital - Levaria - was located in one of Sorrenia's several Catholic schools. The reason for this higher number is largely historic - since the Henrician Reformation, greater resistance was found in the North, and although Catholic sites such as Durham Cathedral were converted, much of the population retained their old religion and practices.

20% state no religion, and many different religions make up the rest, including; Islam, Buddhism, Sikhism, Hinduism and Judaism. Sites of worship for such groups however are almost completely lacking - the nearest mosque and synagogue for example are found in Gateshead, a town to the north of Sorrenia.

The Roman Catholic Church is the official state religion of Sorrenia, although leniency is granted to the county of Amon Lasgalen who have a long tradition of Anglicanism. Here, the Amon Lasgalen Church acts as the official county religion. The Methodist Mezerizeb people are also granted additional religious provisions, with the Mezerizeb Church consisting of three churches in two counties. The Sorrenian Mosque also operates as a country-wide organisation uniting the many mosques in Sorrenia.

References