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Unified Kingdom of
Graustark and Dawsbergen
|Motto: "Strength through tradition"|
"Canon In D Major" (Dawsbergen)
|Government||Absolute monarchy through divine right under a Graustark-led personal union|
|HSM Queen Martha I|
|The Rt. Hon. Mister K|
• Earliest records
|25 August 2019|
• 2023 estimate
|Time zone||UTC+2 (claimed territory)|
ET (government estates)
The Unified Kingdom of Graustark and Dawsbergen, also known as Graustark-Dawsbergen or simply Graustark, is a simulationist micronation with extensive ceremonial claims to a fictional European mountain range along the actual border of Hungary and Romania. It was initially conceived by veteran micronationalist Charles Ross, inspired by the works of George Barr McCutcheon, under the premise of operating a geofictional project in the real world. Although it continues to operate primarily over the internet and through the lens of its foundational lore, Graustark has since gained a footing in the micro-sphere and maintained a series of physical government offices within the United States.
Her Serene Majesty, Queen Martha I has served as the monarch of Graustark since the May 2022 abdication of King Charles. While the nation is functionally an absolute monarchy, an advisory government exists at the leisure of the monarch, comprised exclusively of a High Chancellor known publicly as Mister K. Although the majority of the nation’s territorial claims are fictional by nature, the royal government is strongly based in (and therefore operates in and is beholden to) the realm of reality.
The names Graustark and Dawsbergen are both derived from Graustark: The Story of a Love Behind a Throne, a novel written by George Barr McCutcheon which primarily takes place in the titular fictional nation. Graustark was deemed a Unified Kingdom after its unification with Dawsbergen, celebrating both the unification itself and the new set of titles accepted by the monarchy.
Due to the nation's fairly moderate size, Graustark contains a vast variety of geographical oddities.
Graustark is described in the novels as a mountainous nation with a total land size of roughly 800 square miles (2,100 km2). In addition, there is at least one source that places the state somewhere in the Carpathian Mountains near Romania.
This all is debatable though as according to another source, Graustark is only 25 miles wide by 150 miles long and the nation's capital city, Edelweiss is apparently accessible by train from Vienna.
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The nation of Graustark-Dawsbergen has a long, rich and often frightening (supposed) history dating back to the late 19th century.
From the mind of McCutcheon
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According to legend, modern Graustarkian and Dawsbergen history begins roughly in the mid-late 19th century when Graustark was in the mists of a war with their neighbour and staunch rival, Axphain. All history before the 1800's is presumed lost to time. It was during this, the 1870s, that Graustark's ruler, Prince Ganlook of Graustark, was killed whilst fighting in Axphain. As part of the ensuing peace treaty, Graustark agreed to pay a large indemnity to Axphain, to be due, with interest, in fifteen years.
Graustark found itself without the resources to pay the indemnity when it was due, and in desperation, Princess Yetive (Ganlook's daughter and now occupying Graustark's throne) was on the verge of contracting a state marriage to Prince Lorenz of Axphain in exchange for more favourable payment terms. But before the marriage could take place, Lorenz was murdered. The princess's true love, the American Grenfall Lorry, whom she had met while travelling in the United States appeared to be the murderer. Lorenz's father insisted on the murderer's punishment, but the execution was prevented by the revelation of the true murderer: the villainous Prince Gabriel, ruler of Dawsbergen, who was another of Yetive's suitors. With Lorenz dead and Gabriel imprisoned, Yetive instead married her true love.
During Gabriel's imprisonment, Dawsbergen was ruled by his younger half-brother, Prince Dantan, a popular figure among his own people and a staunch friend of Graustark as well. But after two years, Gabriel escaped from prison and, supported by the Dawsbergen army, returned to the throne. Dantan was forced to go into hiding in disguise in Graustark. For a time it appeared that Graustark might be forced into war with both Dawsbergen and Axphain, but this was averted when Gabriel was recaptured. Meanwhile, the disguised Prince Dantan had fallen in love with Beverly Calhoun, an American guest of the Lorrys; they were married upon his restoration to the throne of Dawsbergen.
Yetive and her husband were tragically killed in a railway accident near Brussels, leaving their young son Prince Robin as ruler of Graustark. While still a child, Robin was the target of an assassination plot by anarchists acting under the direction of the exiled Count Marlanx, whose ultimate goal was to establish himself as sole dictator of Graustark. But the assassination attempt was foiled by the intervention of the American Truxton King, and Marlanx was killed in the ensuing attack on the royal palace.
Graustark was still in financial difficulties by the time Prince Robin reached adulthood. William W. Blithers, a very rich and very vulgar American, offered to finance the country in the hopes of arranging a marriage between Robin and his own daughter. The two principals, however, had very different ideas of their own about marriage. Robin eventually married Bevra, the Crown Princess of Dawsbergen, daughter of Dantan and Beverly. With this marriage came not only the end of a longstanding geopolitical feud, but also brought the two nations into personal union under the Graustarkian crown (though Dawsbergen, having long since abandoned absolute monarchical rule, functioned almost completely independent of Graustark with only ceremonial duties, and matters of the nobility being left to the decisions of the monarch).
Graustark's debts eventually ended up being held by Russia. In exchange for entering World War I as Russia's ally, Graustark negotiated the cancellation of this debt. Later, with Russia out of the war, Graustark also negotiated a separate peace. There followed a period of prosperity in the country.
Axphain, however, was taken over by communists after the war, and was in a state of much distress and unrest. Its ruler, Prince Hedrik (brother of Lorenz), and his elder son were murdered in the communist revolution, leaving the younger son Prince Hubert in exile in Graustark and an illegitimate son Gregory who lived with his mother in Italy. Hubert was hoping to marry Princess Virginia of Dawsbergen (Bevra's younger sister) but she had previously contracted a marriage of convenience to Pendennis Yorke, an American journalist, and much to the surprise of everyone it became a genuine love match. The communist regime in Axphain was defeated after an unsuccessful attempt to invade Graustark, and the monarchy in that country was restored with Gregory on the throne rather than the unpopular Hubert, who was himself assassinated in the aftermath.
From the mind of Ross
Following the fall of communist Axphain, Graustark entered a period of prosperity with the nation remaining relatively neutral for the next twenty years (barring a small military build-up in early 1938). This neutrality was shattered in early 1940 when (after successfully occupying both nearby Czechoslovakia to the north-west and neighboring Dawsbergen), Germany (under the control of the Third Reich) attacked and subsequently invaded Graustark. During the ensuing conflict, Prince Robin and the rest of the direct royal family fled the nation, gaining sanctuary in neutral Switzerland.
Graustark remained firmly under German occupation until mid-1945 when it was liberated by the Allied Powers. Following liberation, Prince Robin and the rest of the royal family returned to the nation in 1947 and following massive foreign aid, the state entered into a period of massive economic growth and prosperity. This economic "boom" would begin to fade off as the 1950's began and by 1952, Graustark's growth seemed to level out.
The 1950's would also see the beginning of the Cold War and despite being surrounded by the Warsaw Pact on almost all sides, Graustark would remain as a neutral un-aligned state (though it would mostly conduct itself with western nations). This status quo would continue until the early 1990's and the subsequent breakup of communism within Europe.
In 1999, Prince Robin died at the age of 102 and having no children of his own; left his eldest surviving relative, Prince Gerald of the von Graustark-Harris dynasty as new ruler of Graustark. Prince Gerald's reign however, was cut short when he too passed in 2001. Following the death of the Prince, eldest daughter Princess Lisa Marie assumed the throne. She oversaw the democratization of Graustark and reigned during the nation's first parliament. However, in late 2017, Princess Lisa Marie (having grown weary of her position) began to show interest in abdicating in favor of her youngest son; her eldest having already decided to forfeit the crown by marrying Duchess Ashlianne of Axphain. It was therefor decided that on 25 August 2019, her son Charles Aelred Raphael Von Graustark-Harris Ross would be crowned Prince of Graustark and Dawsbergen.
Following the new young Prince's coronation, Graustark would enter into a period of international co-operation as the state began to take a larger stance in international diplomacy. In this vain, Graustark signed treaties of recognition with several states (almost exclusively micronations) throughout the globe (the first such treaties to be created since World War II). Additionally, the nation took greater pains to advertise themselves to the international community, with the creation of TVGraustark, the Principality's first broadcasting company. In early 2020, the crowns of Dawsbergen and Graustark were formally merged and the nations came together under the name of the “United Principality of Graustark and Dawsbergen”. This new unified state would still be commonly known as simply Graustark and the former would also hold a majority of the political control over the joined state. However, Dawsbergen would retain some autonomy and from thereafter all subsequent monarchs would be coronated not simply as both Prince of Graustark and Dawsbergen, but as Princes of Graustark-Dawsbergen. On a dynastic level, this move also ensured that the crowns of the two nations would remain forever intertwined and that they would not separate (as had happened in other nations like Luxembourg and the Netherlands). Finally, in mid-2021, Prince Charles made the controversial decision of ordering the Parliament of Graustark dissolved. This was due to widespread inactivity and a perceived ineptitude among the democratic government. However, though dissolving parliament, the position of "High Chancellor" was retained by the Prince, this time with the office holder serving purely as an advisor and appointed solely by the Prince at his own discretion.
Following the dissolution of parliament and the following decleration of war by the Commonwealth of Dracul, the Prince was informed that his hold over the nation was slipping. To counter this, the Prince announced a complete overhaul to the way the nation opperated, namely that the state would be changed to a more unified entity and that, most importantly, it would be elevated to the status of a kingdom. Following this and a subsequent announcement over state television, Charles von Graustark was declared King Charles I in early September 2021.
Shortly after this however, he would also be offered the crown of the Grand Emirate of Raphania, a title which he would accept. However, finding the roles of managing both nations too difficult, Charles would abdicate the throne of Graustark-Dawsbergen to Queen Martha I of the von Dawsbergen lineage.
The confirmed (real life) history of Graustark begins in mid-late 2019 when long time micronationalist (and "claimed" decedent of the crown) Charles Ross re-started the nation of Graustark as a simulationist micronation.
His reasons for creating the country were that he wished to make a new micronation, not tethered down by international treaties and conflicts. He also wanted to build a state that while heavily based in mythos would function in the "real world" with a fully functional government and citizenry. In the end, it was decided the fantastical nation of Graustark from George Barr McCutcheon's series of novels would be chosen as the starting point for this new project. This was chosen mainly because the aforementioned novels fell under creative commons.
In building the state, Ross took major influence from the geofictional/simulationist state of Ruritania. This micronation (that was founded in the 1960's) served a similar purpose to Graustark and shared a similar base material (that being a fictional country from a novel series).
After agreeing to step down from his previous position as Tsar of the Tsardom of Phokland, and later to real back his involvement in his roles inside other micronations, Charles set to work on Graustark and on 25 August 2019, he crowned himself Prince Charles of Graustark, thus beginning the new nation's modern story.
Graustark maintained itself as an active member of the micro-sphere until early 2020 when following Charles Ross' move to the Commonwealth of Dracul the nation became inactive and in April 2020 the principality was officially declared "on hiatus". Some minor work and tweaks on the country would happen while on hiatus but the bulk of post-break work would happen in 2021 when after extensive planning and recruiting, Charles Ross hinted that Graustark-Dawsbergen would be returning. This was all but confirmed with the appointment of a new High Chancellor and with a re-launch date set for August 25, 2021, the nation's second birthday. This was pushed back and on August 26, 2021 Graustark returned to official activity.
In September 2021, as a way to rejuvinate memmbership in both countries, the Commonwealth of Dracul and Graustark-Dawsbergen declared "war" on eachother with formal declerations being prepared on 5 September 2021.
In May 2022, wishing to give Graustark-Dawsbergen a new start, Charles would give the project to a trusted friend and fellow micronationalist, who would use the reigning name of Martha of Dawsbergen, also known as Martha I within the Unified Kingdom. The nation laid dormant for the first year of her reign, until a convention was called between her most trusted allies in May of 2023, promising to restore the project to its former glory and prepare for the future. Among the first changes made with the assistance of the small group was the appointment of the new High Chancellor, who operates under the alias of Mister K.
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Graustark has historically functioned as an absolute monarchy under the theory of divine right. Despite this, the monarchy has formed and maintained an advisory government in the past, consisting of common citizens and the nobility at the monarch’s leisure. This body was headed by a High Chancellor, whose duty it was to head the advisory government and serve as the monarch’s lead advisor. However, King Charles dissolved this legislative body in 2021, leaving only the office of the High Chancellor intact. Although she has informally consulted additional advisors, such as during her ongoing convention, Queen Martha has maintained this minimal approach to the national government, appointing the pseudonymous Mister K as High Chancellor in May of 2023.
The two capitals of the Unified Kingdom are Florensia in Dawsbergen and Edelweiss in Graustark. Though both are considered equal under law and decree, due to its larger size, Edelweiss servers as the seat of the national government.
The royal family and line of succession in Graustark-Dawsbergen is similar to the structures set up in most other monarchical countries. The Monarch of Graustark-Dawsbergen serves as the head of the royal family, followed in status by their spouse known as the Prince/Princess Consort. The children of the reigning monarchs are known as the Royal Heirs with the eldest being granted the title of Crown Prince/Princess, Grand Duke/Duchess of Edelweiss. In a similar vain, all direct relatives of the crown are known as "Princes/Princesses" with younger children of the monarch being known as a "Prince/Princess Royal". The lowest members of the royal family are simply considered Nobles if anything at all. The parents of the ruling Monarch are known as the Queen Mother and Queen Father respectively. The ruling monarch is addressed as “His/Her Serene Majesty” when addressed and greeted by other governments or by the citizenry and nobility.
The Nobility of Graustark-Dawsbergen are the aristocratic class of the nation, often coming to their status not by bloodline, but by political/social relation to the crown. Since the failed coupe of the treacherous Count Marlanx, all titles of nobility have been non-hereditary, being instead granted at the will of the reigning monarch and with the holder’s house only possessing it until the holder’s death. The only exceptions to this are lesser members of the royal family who are granted titles by default and may sometimes hold them hereditarily, though as with all things, this is at the whim of the monarch. The nobilities of Graustark and Dawsbergen operate separate from one another with different traditions in each nation, however despite their differences and elevated social status, nobles are afforded no greater political rights than any other commoner in the kingdom, albeit with them having closer direct contact with (and subsequently more often the ear of) the King.
The kingdom (while not presently possessing a standing army) has the necessary legislation in place for the monarch, at any time, to mobilize a Levy Royal Army for the good of the nation, be it for defensive purposes, or (as is most often the case) for ceremonial occasions.
In September 2021, the Cyber Defense Unit of the royal army was been re-formed and rearmed due to a growing military conflict with the Commonwealth of Dracul. Following the conclusion of hostilities the unit was nce again dissolved.
As a gesture of goodwill and neutrality amongst the community, Graustark de facto recognizes all micronational and U.N. states. However, the nation does hold formal diplomatic relations with several states around and beyond the world. The first nation which recognized Graustark's independence was the now-defunct Principality of New Eiffel, followed shortly after by the Empire of Huai Siao and later the Micrasian Kingdom of Craitland; these nations together made/make up the majority of Graustark-Dawsbergen's diplomatic contacts.
- Empire of Huai Siao
- Kingdom of Kohlandia
- Principality of Woodlandia
- Republic of Thracistan
- Imperial State of Constancia
- Kingdom of Craitland
- Empire of Emosia (Inactive)
- Imperial Grand Duchy of Lundenwic (Pulled out before treaty ratified)
- Principality of New Eiffel (Dissolved)
- Republic of Alduria (Merged into Nouvelle Alexandrie)
- Empire of Lehmark (Dissolved)
- Reflects general location based on texts and logical conservative estimations