The Imperial Union of the Proudlands, commonly called the Proudlands, or more formally, the Imperial Realm, is a sovereign state and constitutional monarchy in the Southern Africa region bordered on the north by Namibia and on the east by the Republic of South Africa. The Realm, originating from the Pride Colony, a Boer-majority settler colony founded by Ouroboros I Pride, is a Boer-ruled state that practices limited segregation policies similar to apartheid. To this day, the Imperial Realm remains to be the only sovereign state where feudalism still exists with a working aristocracy. It is also one of the most militarized country in the world officially having 90% of the population always ready for mobilization to civil and/or military service.
The Imperial Realm was formerly the Imperial Realm of the Pridelands or, more commonly, the Pride Empire, before the Freedom Revolution brought the weakening of the political and military power of the aristocracy, including that of the Emperor's, shifting into a more democratic and liberal government with an empowered civil populace. Critical reforms were adopted with the Emperor conceding to compromises restricting the aristocracy's political role. The Imperial Office of the President of the Proudlands, Imperial Offices of the Provincial Governors, Imperial District Councils, and the Imperial Joint Supreme Command of the Combined Imperial Armed Forces (IJSC-CIAF) were created.
The Imperial Realm has a known hostile relation with the Republic of South Africa. Three wars were fought: one in 1961, another in 1975 till 1989, and lastly in 1995, though most of the battles were irregular skirmishes. The Realm continues to have disputed territorial claims with South Africa regarding the Western and Southern Cape coasts and are asserting an "enduring government control of annexation" on the West Cape which South Africa calls an "illegal occupation of its integral, constitutional territories". Internal unrest plagues these regions and are economically lack-luster compared to other provinces. Cape Town and Overberg have been annexed as well but encounter less conflicts.
The "Proudlands" is the term used for the territories of the state though originally "Pridelands" and "the Empire" was used. "Pride" was associated with the aristocracy, the Imperial sovereign, and its feudal lords and nobles, and thus it fell into disuse after the Freedom Revolution. "Proud" however was largely associated with the non-noble citizenry and therefore was adopted to replace the former term. "Proudlands" was also the term referred to the outside/dependent territories of the Pride Colony while "Pridelands" are those ruled by an Imperial Noble House (i.e. a Dominion or Domain). Imperial Realm remains to be the legal term used for the entire territories be it a Proudland or Prideland.
Other terminologies that have an exclusive meaning within the Imperial Realm are the following: Border is the term used for the physical obstruction or border wall that delineates the Proudlands from the territories of Namibia and South Africa. Fringelands are those areas within the border that are distant from the influence of the Emperor or President and are characterized by being unruly and sporadic fighting. Frontiers are those areas outside the border already but still legally are part of the Proudlands or areas that do not have formal government units or wherein the de facto proper exercise of government influence is not felt.
- Main article: History of the Proudlands & Pridelands
By the 1800s negative sentiments were made by non-British European settlers, especially the Boers, against the Cape Colony government run by the British but it was only around the 1820s when serious considerations were made to leave Cape Colony. In 1821, a group of Boers led by Irvin Jung-Tules traveled north as part of an advance party to establish a colony in the Little Namaqualand region. Jung-Tules found a suitable area for farming and established a little colony known as Namakwa Colony. A messenger was sent to tell the main group of the successes of the advanced party and Namakwa Colony began to enlarge. One of the Boers who joined the main group of migrating settlers was Ouroboros Pride who was in pursuit of a better life.
Namakwa Colony was a republican society with an economy solely based on agriculture with Jung-Tules elected to be its President. Pride ran for Vice-Presidency but lost and instead became a vocal opposition figure in domestic political affairs with his own organization, the Boer Patriotic Movement. By January of 1822, the organization was deemed as "destructive radicals" and was banned with most of its members and leaders being exiled. Ouroboros Pride established his own colony, Pride Colony, in April 1822, situated midway the path between Namakwa Colony and the nearest Cape Colony town. During the 1830s, Pride Colony and Namakwa Colony both started expanding and was engaged in several disputes that culminated into a war. In 1839, Pride Colony absorbed much of the Little Namaqualand region and completed the annexation of Namakwa Colony. Ouroboros Pride transformed the Pride Colony into his own kingdom and he was crowned Ouroboros I Pride, Emperor of the Pridelands on 10 November 1840. The coronation however was rejected by the United Kingdom and viewed Ouroboros as a self-declared separatist monarch against the true sovereign. Pride Empire started annexing territories close to the Cape Colony and this brought border tensions between the two.
The Boer Wars brought the Pride Empire into direct military conflict with the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland. Officially in protest of the British annexation of the Zulu Kingdom and of the Transvaal Republic, Ouroboros III Pride declared war against the United Kingdom on 2 January 1881 calling upon the Kommando militias of the Pridelands "to accompany the Emperor in extending the frontiers upto Cape Town". According to archival records, some militias numbering 130 men were sent east in support of the Transvaal Republic. In total, 550 men heeded the call to arms of Emperor Ouroboros III. The second front, cause further chaos within the British military command especially since the Kommandos practiced unconventional, guerrilla warfare while the British troops were trained in disciplined formation volley fire. Kommando marksmen, usually operating in teams of four, prioritized their targets to officers and would pick them off from a distant well-concealed spot. The First Boer War ended in victory both for the Pride Empire and the Transvaal Republic but no substantial territorial changes were acquired in the ensuing peace treaty. The Emperor was said to have shot 2 British officers and 11 British soldiers during the course of the war.
Pride Empire under Emperor Ouroboros III continued to be a staunch opposition to rising British influence in Southern Africa and even threatened to go to war again on the aftermath of the failed Jameson Raid of 1895. Ouroboros III instead forced the exile of all British utilanders in the Empire in 1897 and continued delivering fierce anti-British rhetoric which was gaining support not just in domestic opinions but also with the Transvaal Republic, Orange Free State, and the German Empire. Emperor Ouroboros III supported the ultimatum issued by Transvaal President Paul Kruger on 9 October 1899 and pledged 20,000 Kommando troops in the advent of war. When the British government rejected the ultimatum after the 48-hour deadline, Pride Empire commenced an attack on British frontier outposts as part of the Boer offensive during the Second Boer War. The Emperor divided his Kommandos into two groups: 1st Defensive Army with 10,000 marksmen would march east in support of the Boer Republics while 1st Invasionary Army, accompanied by the Emperor's Royal Guards, numbering 10,470 marksmen in total would march south to invade Cape Colony. Emperor Ouroboros III personally led the 1st Invasionary Army, a newly-created unit solely for a war against the British and the only unit in the Empire equipped with machine guns and field guns, along with his own Emperor's Royal Guards in several battles into and within Cape Colony. These two units are the only professionally trained and standing military units of the Pride Empire. Several major victories in battles occurred from November 1898 up until January 1900.
By February 1900 however the Boer initiative have largely faded. The 1st Defensive Army was repelled in the Battle of Paardeberg, a major loss in troop morale. Emperor Ouroboros III decided to divert elements of his Emperor's Royal Guards to reinforce Transvaal and Orange Free State while 1st Invasionary Army was tasked in holding the occupied territories. By June, the British began focusing on advancing towards Pride Empire having already captured the capitals Bloemfontein and Pretoria of the Boer Republics on March and June respectively. Emperor Ouroboros III called for all his Kommando armies to "withdraw from sieges, retreat back to the borders, and there shall regroup and wait for the return of advantage". While preparing to retreat however the 1st Invasionary Army was outflanked and forced to surrender by the British on 3 September at the Battle of Calvinia, dealing a crippling blow to the Pride Empire's already dwindling military strength. Kommandat-Heneral Frank Erde, commanding officer of the 1st Invasionary Army, and Kommandat-Heneral Naust Frische, commanding officer of the Emperor's Royal Guards, were captured as well. The Emperor narrowly escaped with the aid of his escorts.
Emperor Ouroboros III withdrew from taking an active military participation from the war after arriving back into Pride Empire and transferred command to Kommisar-Heneral Joseph Roma, high commissioner for political affairs of the Kommandos, and Kommandat-Heneral Julian Tierra, commanding officer of the 1st Defensive Army. Official records show that the Emperor suffered a major injury from his lower right back and right thigh caused by a shrapnel round but rumors persist that it was mainly because the Emperor was heavily demoralized by the loss. Short-lived counteroffensives were made from late September to early October but this only stalled the approaching British army from capturing the Pride Empire's capital in 20 October. With the Emperor captured prisoner and taken into Cape Town, Tierra continued guerrilla warfare against the occupying British with great successes until scorched earth policy was eventually used and Roma had to agree to a truce. On December 1990, a peace deal was negotiated and despite pointing out several causes for contestation, the British took no efforts to resolve these. Kommisar Roma, representing Emperor Ouroboros III, signed the Treaty of Springbok "in open and full protest" that declared the disestablishment of the Pride Empire and the dependency of Pride Colony to the United Kingdom. The Boer Republics rejected the treaty and criticized it as a betrayal by Pride Empire to its Boer brothers.
"Having been one of the major proponents of a war and the first to act upon the event of which, it was also the Empire to first sit on a table with them when the war came to their doorstep; throwing down the gun that was pledged to alleviate the British match burning the fields of their brothers".
There are currently 17 Imperial Noble Houses in the Proudlands including that of the reigning Imperial Sovereign House of Pride. The Emperor, currently Ouroboros XXVI Pride, is the Supreme Overlord of all in the Pridelands and Proudlands. It is explicitly stated in the constitution that the Supreme Overlord is the owner of the state and of the lands, and is the Lord of all persons recognized as a citizen of the Imperial Realm with whom they owe allegiance and fealty to; all such actions with regard to these two must be done in the name of the and for the greater good of the Supreme Overlord. It is also often assumed that the Supreme Overlord is the representation of the state himself and therefore is infallible in state matters and affairs. Traditionally, a Supreme Overlord that committed a political mistake would have to abdicate the throne and the incumbent Prime Minister would be dismissed as well for bearing the responsibility on implementing the acts of the executive. As the Supreme Overlord, the exercise of governance for such lands befall unto the responsibility of the individual but he can also enter into leasing agreements to delegate such tasks to other entities. This provides for the legal framework of the civil and feudal governments. However this also means that the civil and feudal governments therefore can legally and theoretically be terminated by the Supreme Overlord as per the leasing agreement.
The Imperial Noble Houses were officially established during the Independence War when the Emperor gave 11 high-ranking officers of the Kommando militia the rights to rule certain territories in the name of the Emperor. In 1969, this type of arrangement system was recognized as the feudal government and the 11 families ceremoniously gave their fealty to the Supreme Overlord. In 1973, the Imperial Noble Houses increased to 19. In 7 June 1981, the Zaieyd Rebellion occurred wherein a powerful house, the Imperial Aristocratic House of Zaieyd ruling 2 Duchies and 1 Mark, declared that it would secede from the Empire. Due to an ensuing legal conflict as to how the rebellion is to be addressed by the Empire, no action was taken save for isolating the Zaieyd Domains. In 30 October, The Imperial Knightly House of Furstt, ruling 1 Duchy, joined the rebellion in a bid to empower itself. The Grand Magistrate decided that "no Imperial Order can violate the Constitution to forcibly quell the rebellion since the rebellion is occurring only inside said Domains", the Emperor then created the Autonomous Armed Peace-Keeping Intervention Task Force (AAPKITF) to make it legally possible to engage the Zaieyds and Furstts. By 1 February 1983, the Imperial Chivalric Order of Zaieyd Guards and the Imperial Crusading Order of St. Uriel were neutralized and the rebelling houses were stripped of their feudal rights and executed. The Domains were confiscated and are now under the rule of the Imperial Sovereign House of Pride.
There are 2 Dominions, 8 Provinces, 32 Domains, 5 Cities, and 44 Municipalities in the Imperial Realm. The Provinces are further subdivided into districts.
P - Imperial Empire Dominion of Pride Colony
1 - Imperial Province of North Cape
2 - Imperial Province of Hantam
3 - Imperial Principality Dominion of Cape Colony
4 - Imperial Province of Overberg
5 - Imperial Province of West Cape*
6 - Imperial Province of the Bolands*
7 - Imperial Province of Eden**
8 - Imperial Province of ProudKaroo**
9 - Imperial Province of East Cape
10 - Imperial Province of Namakwaland
- Contested. The Imperial Realm is providing for the effective governance of the land which South Africa calls an illegal occupation. Commonly known as the Fringlands.
- Claimed. The Imperial Realm attempted to invade and annex the territory but had to surrender it as part of the Cape Town Accords. Commonly known as the Frontiers.
Defense and SecurityEdit
- Main article: IJSC-CIAF
The Imperial Realm has a complex defense and security system which is closely tied intrinsically with its administrative divisions especially with the aristocracy. There are currently 41 military and paramilitary distinct armed forces organizations plus the reservist-conscripted Kommando system within the Realm that are regulated and monitored under the Imperial Joint Supreme Command of the Combined Imperial Armed Forces (IJSC-CIAF). The Imperial Ministry of War provide the executive supervision on all matters concerning defense and security although inevitably, the Imperial Ministry of Home Affairs is also involved.
The first self-defense policy adopted is the Kommando System which was an officiated militia created since by the Pride Colony in lieu of a standing army which was negatively associated by the Boers with the British Army. Mandatory conscription for military training and service is still being implemented for all citizens starting from 18 years of age until 60. The Kommando System is largely independent from other military commands and can only be called for mobilization by the local government units. The Kommando System can only be fully activated in times of war or when a state of emergency has been declared to assist in maintaining peace and security. Semi-active status can be called for in assisting disaster relief, search and rescue operations, limiting civil unrest, or, rarely, in the promotion of civil order; most municipalities have their respective Kommandos in permanent semi-active status. Kommandos are given 6 months of formal military training however most educational institutions already have elements of military training as part of secondary education curricula. A Kommando would immediately serve for 3 years, only going back to semi-civilian life after the age of 21, and then be expected for mobilizations and further training exercises until 60. Those physically or mentally handicapped from performing military service can opt instead to perform civil service. Exemptions then are rarely given unless truly fitting. Recently, after the Freedom Revolution, the Kommando system has been reformed so that individuals can instead choose between military service or civil service.
Imperial Orders are military organizations created for the defense and law enforcement of the Dominions, Domains, and Cities that continue to form the backbone of the "deterrent defense" 1965 security policy of Ouroboros XX Pride. An Imperial Order is sanctioned by the Emperor to be established for each Dominion, Domain, and City and each has differing levels of jurisdiction, Empire-wide, Provincial, and District-wide respectively. Imperial Orders cannot enter other Dominions, Domains, and Cities as well. Some Imperial Orders under the aristocracy have heavy air, naval, and armoured equipment. The Autonomous Armed Peace-Keeping Intervention Task Force (AAPKITF) was created in response to the Zaieyd Rebellion; it is a paramilitary organization that mainly functions as a deterrent against internal unrest and terrorism, rebelling Domains, Cities, or Imperial Noble Houses, or renegade Imperial Orders and security forces. It is also being contracted for private security.
No national armed forces or police force existed before the Freedom Revolution, only the Imperial Orders. To fill this gap, The Imperial Military & Civil Defense Force (IMCDF) was established with an encompassing role on border defense, state asset security, law enforcement, and state security.
To this day, the Imperial Realm is the only state to be actively maintaining battleships in its navies. Imperial battleships serve to bombard enemy infrastructure especially coastal defenses and cities but are mainly used for threats in negotiations and diplomacy, especially with South Africa. The concept of using battleships was first seen during the Independence War with great success when tankers outfitted with artillery howitzers were used for naval gun support to invade the Western Cape and protect the cut-off Imperials in Cape Town.
Common military standards are used for arms classification in all military and paramilitary organizations. Several ship prefixes are used depending on the navy, currently there are 10 navies: The Emperor's Guard Ship (TEGS) by the Imperial Sovereign Order of the Emperor's Guard; Imperial Proudship Navy (IPSN) of the Imperial Military & Civil Defense Force; The Prince's Own Navy (TPON) of the Imperial Princely Order of the Cape; An Imperial Overberg Navy (AION) of the Imperial Molteno Order of Overberg; Zackly's Imperial Order Ship (ZIOS) of the Zackly Imperial House Order; Carcino Mercantile Guild Navy (CMGN) of the Mercantile Order of the Guild of Carcino; Domains' Knight Guards Navy (DKGN) of the Knight Guards of the Roma Domains; His Imperial Prideship (HIPS) of the Imperial Royal Order of St. Raphael; An Imperial Order Naval Ship (IoNS) of the Imperial Military Order of Grado; His Imperial Knight Ship (HIKS) of Imperial Order of the Knights of St. Michael