State of Zenrax
| The State of Zenrax |
Strength and Honor
|North America |
|Capital city||Capital Territory|
|Official language(s)||English (official), Spanish|
|- The Emperor||Shiro|
|- Viceroy||HG The Lord Svein Smedberg|
|Established||15 December 1999 (first factions)|
17 December 2014 (unification)
May 12th, 2022 (current government)
|Area claimed||+/- 1 sq mi|
|Population||+/- 12 citizens|
|Currency||US Dollar ($)|
|Time zone||Central Standard Time|
Zenrax, also known as the Imperial Federation of Zenrax, is an unrecognized, autonomously governed organization that is nominally headquartered on the North American and Asian continents. As part of a long-running series of project or hobby organizations, Zenrax's current iteration has existed since 2014. Historically, Zenrax traces its origins back to the winter of 1999, with the formation of warring factions that fought over control of what later became the capital territory. Shiro, officially the third leader of the country, took the role of head of state beginning in late 2014. Currently, Zenrax exists as a technocracy, composed almost entirely of a new core of prominent citizens that had no connections with Zenrax before its 2014 reconstitution. While the country is termed a federation, the sole state is Stormhold, which rejoined Zenrax after a brief independence in 2022. Zenrax is a senior member of the Holy Roman Empire, where its head of state, Shiro, holds the title of Prince-Elector, Vice Chancellor, and Aulic Judge.
During its peak as a territorial organization, Zenrax was a modest-sized entity, at its peak controlling approximately three square miles of territory with its small security force. In addition to establishing a capable self-defense militia, it crafted a foreign policy credited for the small nation's rise in prestige and strong set of allies in its heyday during the mid-2010's. Beginning in late 2016, the government became increasingly concerned with combating internal stagnation that eventually ran unchecked. By 2018, the country's territory began to shut down internally due to lack of functionality, with this leading to the Federation's dissolution on November 2018. While internal activity slowed down, a series of fundamental reforms during the next two years saw Zenrax reorganize itself into an academic organization until early 2022. In 2022, the reforms were partially rolled back, and now Zenrax's internal structure consists of two main parts: its core organization of scholars and practitioners, and a small government that exists to manage the organization's assets along with its external affairs. Upon the insolvency of Stormhold on 31st March 2022, sovereignty returned to the government of Zenrax, leaving the two nations under a personal union under the Zenraxian Crown.
The modern Imperial Federation of Zenrax consists of three states: Stormhold, Novapara, and Aphelia. States possess considerable self-governance rights, as well as exercise collective veto power on crown decisions through the (mostly ceremonial) Imperial Senate.
Zenrax took its name from a failed attempt at a local artificial language that was originally created for recreational purposes by citizens. Loosely translated, it meant "Peaceful Land," "Kingdom of Heaven," and so forth. Zenrax was also the name of a location that dissolved upon the nation's federalization in 2015-2018. Other examples of place names taking meaning from this created language include Ferro and Pyrax. (Both ceased to exist in late 2016 and late 2018, respectively.)
Prior to Zenrax's existence, various entities in the area were founded and disbanded in succession from 1999 through 2009. Locally, the most historically important of these factions were the Confederacy (existed during most of 2003), and the Red Alliance (existed 2005 - c. 2009). The Confederacy was the only successful direct democracy to exist, with elections not being held for over a decade since then until Zenrax's foundation in 2014. The Red Alliance was a unitary, militaristic faction that controlled the area for several years until its eventual death by stagnation after 2009, when its original citizens dispersed for a while. Its storied existence contributed much to Zenrax's culture, government, and law. After the Red Alliance faded into obscurity, there was no related activity until the formation of Stormhold beginning 2014 and culminating with the election of its head of state and the subsequent formation of the Senate, both on December 16, 2014.
Early Period (2014-2019)
After a provisional period lasting six months, Stormhold federalized. In the process, it reorganized itself into the Federation of Zenrax on May 21, 2015. The newly reorganized polity then ceremonially declared independence to commemorate the event. Between 2015 and 2018, the government further refined its core institutions and enacted increasingly broad reforms to combat the building effects of national stagnation. Between May 2015 and October 2018, there were three major reformations of the failing central government in attempts to keep the entity alive. By late 2018, Zenrax had become extremely burdened by non-functional core institutions (such as the Senate) that could not be legally dissolved or assimilated by other branches of government. Seeing this, the central government elected to dissolve the Federation by November 2018, leaving only the capital territory (also now called Zenrax) and the Order of the Rose intact.
Regency Period (2019-2022)
Reforms in 2019 breathed new life into the country, slowing the pace at which the country was falling into dormancy. Reforms conducted through 2019 and 2020 saw the organization fundamentally restructure to accommodate a slow pace of activity, as well as its members' shifting personal goals. The government adopted a formal structure during this time that included the present day offices of the Sovereign, Viceroy, Foreign Affairs Minister, and Prime Minister (although the latter title gradually reverted to a ceremonial one). Different reforms were attempted during the intervening years such as creating offshoot countries such as Dragos, or centralizing the government and shedding vestiges of its former federal government and retaining an academic style of government.
The period from late 2020 to early 2022 was characterized by the organization falling into dormancy during the COVID-19 pandemic. While the government attempted to retain its sovereignty, its membership continued to deteriorate and the organization transitioned into an academic order. In June 2021, the government transferred its sovereignty to Stormhold, its formerly capital state. In this political move, the formerly capital region of Stormhold broke off, inheriting Zenrax's sovereignty and all related assets until the latter could feasibly operate independently. The move lasted for some four months, during which the Stormhold government continued its parent government's claims to imperium in the old tradition. The current government was formed after 31st March 2022, when Stormhold lost its sovereignty through a declaration of insolvency, an act which cost its membership in the Grand Unified Micronational, although it retained membership in the Holy Roman Empire during this period The two polities again merged, with Zenrax once again assuming its claims to internally imperial status (although this claim is currently unrecognized).
Modern Period (2022-)
Zenrax federalized again in May 2022, under the authority of the states of Stormhold, Novapara, and Aphelia.
Zenrax has been ruled by seven formal types of governments since its foundation on December 16, 2014. The current government (the 7th) is a second instance of imperial federalism in the country.
The 1st Government: Post-Unification
The first government existed Zenrax was known as Stormhold, and ran as a unitary government with just a Senate and the Emperor making all internal decisions, in tandem with the royal family (which incidentally consisted of most of the citizenry at the time).
The 2nd Government: Federation
Zenrax federalized in 2015, and the Senate was reformed to accommodate this as the second government. This arrangement lasted until November 2018, when the federation dissolved, leaving only a residual territory to serve as headquarters.
The 3rd Government: Absolutism
The third government barely existed, being ruled solely by decree until the government reformed in mid-2019.
The 4th Government: Democratic Constitutionalism
The fourth government, led by a new office of the Prime Minister, lasted for about a year until inactivity reverted to a rule-by-decree approach due to government inactivity. Notably, that the Head of State holds was perpetually undecided, unlike before the Federation's dissolution in 2018. Nonetheless, the head of state still had well-defined duties as a figurehead that include managing external affairs, moderating the government's proceedings, and acting as a final point of appeal in the case of internal disputes. However, inactivity in key positions lead to the government's collapse by late 2020.
The 5th Government: Academic Technocracy
The fifth government restructured into a hybrid technocratic government in late 2020 that ran akin to an academic order with minor trappings of government. This government lasted until early 2021, until the government finally collapsed and Stormhold inherited Zenrax's sovereignty for about six months.
The 6th Government: The Stormhold Regency
The sixth government was known as the Stormhold Government, although nothing of note happened outside of its ill-fated attempt at breathing life back into the micronation. The government declared insolvency and folded back into Zenrax in mid-2022.
The 7th Government: The Second Federation
The Seventh Government of Zenrax is an homage to its Imperial Federation roots, although the current structure is fundamentally different than before, with states being almost entirely self-governed, with national policy being dictated by the imperial crown. The state holds collective veto over all imperial crown decisions through their governors' membership in the Imperial Senate, which otherwise acts as an entirely ceremonial body. The current Imperial Federation of Zenrax has Stormhold as three states, all admitted in 2022 (the previous ones having left on the first federation's dissolution in 2018). While the current government could have been properly termed the "Second Imperial Federation," this was eschewed in the name of continuity in the face of inactivity-caused instability, and a desire to revive the old traditions.
Claims to Imperium
The government claims Imperium, although this title was meant to be strictly an originally derived, "by right of election" style and "in its own right," rather than an inherited one in the vein that those claiming to be successors of Rome do. It is largely because of this fact that, as of April 2022, claims to imperial rank are currently unrecognized outside of Zenrax. Current political theory suggests that the Emperor claims the title akin to those of the Emperors of Trebizond, who themselves deferred to another sovereign of imperial rank until 1453, by which point both Emperors ruled over less territory than many of their own nominal vassals, subjects, and less than most kings of that day. However, this concept conflicts with the Holy Roman Empire's standing policy, of which Zenrax is a member.
While being somewhat unique in and of itself, Zenraxian culture still remains much of the way it has been in the Old South for many generations, even after its dissolution and subsequent revival. Influencing the government's former institutions were aspects of feudal Japan as well as Victorian Era Britain during the height of its power. Native Texan cultures also had some influence on the original people of Zenrax. The current government vaguely resembles that of the United Kingdom, although there are notable attempts to create something unique that fits Zenrax specifically as a smaller polity. In later years, the people derived some influence from the people of Thailand, where parts of the government are currently based.
Many aspects of its government and culture are fairly unique, having been built from scratch or having evolved organically over many years. The government model, to the present day, is meant to emphasize the freedom for a person to choose their destiny, whatever that may be, so long as it does not involve intentionally bringing harm to another individual in the process. Several attempts have been made at a "native" script, some of which survive the Federation's dissolution. Most subsequent attempts in improving these scripts have failed, with none being made since the mid-2010's.
Throughout its history, Zenrax has remained very exclusive with its choices of allies, often holding new nations at arm's length until a determination of their worthiness could be made. Alliances have usually lasted until the dissolution of the other party, with one notable exception being Zenrax's treaty with Abelden, which it withdrew from in June 2019 following a political scandal that ultimately afflicted both nations.
Several strict prohibitions were historically made against what diplomatic requests Zenrax could honor. Among these are prohibitions of mutual recognition as a tool of diplomacy (since 2014), informal relations without any treaty (since 2017), and purely ceremonial trade agreements (2018). In 2022, further actions were decreed including prohibitions on associations with micronational entities in a state of officially sanctioned conflict during the past six months. Additionally, Zenrax generally avoids entering into agreements with entities whose head of state and/or government is under the age of majority in their respective countries.
War has not been a tool of diplomacy in the country since 2016, with the last action by its militia being a routine patrol of then-controlled territory in late 2015. As such, Zenrax typically eschews association in organizations whose members regularly engage in conflict, and prohibits alliances with entities not in a state of both peace and stability.
The following are political entities that Zenrax maintains external relations with, with formal agreements being renewed (unilaterally or otherwise) during reforms passed in 2019.
- Thegn-Hold of Siar Fordell (economic, political, and military alliance without treaty), since Spring 2015.
- Aphelia Space Research Nation (STEM and art collaboration/space program support), since 2018.
- Principality of Montescano (treaty of cooperation), since July 2019
- Kingdom of Hrafnarfjall (treaty of mutual political/economic support and cooperation), since July 2019.
Zenrax is a member of the following organizations:
Foreign honors has been used as a tool of diplomacy by both Zenrax and its predecessors since before its recorded history. The most notable usage is the occasional awarding of the Order of the Rose, done continuously on an annual or biannual basis since its confederation in 2014. The only current exception is the government's decision to postpone its awarding of the Order of the Rose to other recipients in 2021.