With the shocking news of recent days that the former Jewel of Nirath, the shining Duchy of Usifan, has, with the blessings of the Divine King, decided to separate itself from our glorious kingdom and seek its own way as a sovereign nation in its own right, many have been questioning what this means for them, their families, and Nirath as a whole going forward. To enlighten our readers the Herald has put together this simple Herald’s Guide to the issues.
Why is Usifan Declaring Independence?
The Duchy of Usifan has always been among the largest and most powerful of the Nirathi duchies, almost equivalent in size to the rest of the kingdom, and certainly as rich. It’s not surprising therefore that the people and rulers of Usifan may seek their own way. Combined with several serious political and philosophical differences between Usifan’s duchy and the rest of the kingdom it became an almost political certainty that there would be a split between the people of Usifan and the other half of the kingdom. The only surprise for many on both sides of the fence is how soon the split occurred.
Why is the King Allowing this Split to Happen?
Realistically there is nothing for King Dragor to prevent the former Duchy of Usifan, no the Kingdom of Al-Khezam from declaring their independence that would not cause civil conflict and long-term resentment between unionists and secessionists. In allowing Usifan to go his own way Dragor loses a powerful vassal but in supporting his rise to kingship Dragor gains a powerful friend and provides an outlet for those discontented with his rule a soft, self-imposed, exile rather than force them to engage in actions that might destabilise the kingdom.
What are the Consequences for Individuals?
On the individual level, not much will change. Those living under Usifan will, depending on how the borders are redrawn around individual counties, still live under Usifan. Those living under other dukes will continue to do so. Those wishing to move from one nation to another are to be given all reasonable aid as per King Dragor’s most recent orders and no individual prejudice is to be held against those wanting to move. Families and friends may be separated by the new borders but there are no restrictions on individual relationships just as there are no such restrictions between Nirathi and Tryggred friendships or Nirathi and Arkadian friendships.
What Does this Mean for Trade?
For the immediate future, as the split is ongoing, those people fulfilling contracts on either side of the border do not need to worry about paying extra tariffs however once the split has fully evolved merchants and craftsmen should remain aware that there may be trading tariffs between Nirath and the Kingdom of Al-Khezam depending on the national relationship.
What About the Relationship Between our Kingdoms?
This is the subject around which most of the debate in the kingdom orientates. The exact nature of the relationship between Nirath and Al-Khezam is, of course, entirely the decision of the King but there are several options available.
Just Another Country: This is the simplest way to redefine our relationship. King Dragor appoints an ambassador to Al-Khezam and our national policies towards them are based on circumstance, much in the same way as our policies are defined with Tryggr or Arkadia. This is one of the options preferred by the Hawk faction and is arguably one of the better options for King Usifan as it allows for a full and formal split between the nations, allowing him to attract interest from those who disagree with the policies of Nirath on principle.
Special Relationship: This option is preferred by the Dove faction, and involves King Dragor making informal special dispensations towards Al-Khezam without necessarily signing a treaty. This in general, would include relaxed border controls, or preferred trading status. There are also many variations of this relationship which are likely to make it unfavourable to the Hawks including – as one prominent Dove suggested – allowing the Al-Khezam unrestricted access to the secure communications and ciphers of the kingdom.
Political Alliance: In this option, also espoused by the Doves, King Dragor and King Usifan make a statement of friendship and sign a treaty or variety of treaties to that effect. This is a more formalised version of the ‘special relationship’ and would be more likely to find favour with Hawks as the treaties would be of a more reciprocal nature than the pure ‘special relationship’.
Military/Defensive Alliance: In this option, the Kings would agree to act in common defense as well as any formal trade or border treaties, in essence, it is a political alliance with a martial component attached. Often included in this is the option for the militaries of both nations to train together and operate under the same command structure in times of war.
Confederation: Also espoused by the Hawks: a confederation effectively shapes both kingdoms into a single national entity. The individual kingdoms have total control over almost all internal matters from laws and taxes to education and health. However, both nations subscribe to a joint defense budget and act as a single entity for the purposes of foreign relations. This quasi-nationhood is often shown by a lack of border controls and tariffs between the two kingdoms, a shared currency, and depending on the exact type of confederacy even a shared law enforcement.