The People's Realm of Niflungland (German: Das Volksreich Niflungland) is a proud nation of the Alliance Nordreich. It is renowned for production of great artists and works of art as well as swineherds and spices. Its head-of-state, Vísir (Leader) Sigurð Óðinnsson rules Niflungland with a firm, but caring hand and is well-loved by his people of all classes, professions, and parentage.
Niflungland observes a strict no-trade policy with nations whose religion opposes the basic principles of its own (Norse Heathenry, also known as Ásatrú). As a staunchly nationalist and heavily self-determinist nation, Niflungland gave rise to the Order of the Knights of Othin's Eye (Orden der Ritter des Wotansauge or ORW), the principle religious institution in Niflungland, which opposes any close relations with nations whose people endorse designated "world-religions", described in the charter of the Order as "...any religion or spiritual path which opposes the cultural foundation of faith and seeks to overthrow that cultural foundation through active promulgation of the faith to cultures, nations, and peoples foreign to the origins of the given faith with the intent to convert the said cultures, nations, and peoples away from the faith of their birth and native culture..." Therefore, Vísir Óðinnsson has issued a terminal decree against trades with nations endorsing internationalist sentiments and allowing dominance of Papism or any form of Christianity, Islam, Buddhism, Wicca, Voodoo, or Baha'i.
The primary exports of Niflungland are Spices and Pigs, traditional staples of the people even before the foundation of the Volksreich. The nation is also home to one of the largest populations in Nordreich of artists, architects, designers, and composers. In the capital city of Regnhöll, the focus on music and art is tremendous, and while Niflungland is known for its staple crops, the largest export to its allies remains art and artists.
Niflungland has pronounced itself at a state of war with any nation which threatens the peace and well-being of Nordreich. Aside from this strict defence of the Reich, Niflungland is a highly isolationist nation in warfare, seeking rather to be a mediator between nations who are at war in efforts to avoid bloodshed. This is an ironic policy to hold for Vísir Óðinnsson, since his laws maintain that every male of the ages 18 to 30 is to serve at least five years in the Armed Forces of Niflungland (Volksreichswehr des Niflungland) The standing army is therefore quite large, and continues to grow. With the technological focus on military engineering almost to rival the artistic hunger of Niflungland, highly advanced weaponry is made to be at the hands of every division in the Army, Navy, and Air Forces (Reichsheer, Kriegsmarine, and Luftwaffe). The latest up-to-date Panzer technology as well as jet aircraft are deployed throughout Niflungland. As of yet, Niflungland is a land-locked state, but its naval forces (an admittedly small branch of the Volksreichswehr) are trained regularly in dry-docked ships to be dispatched as expeditionary forces to any sea-side nation Nordreich in need of military aid.
Niflungland maintains a high degree of military technology, but it does not, nor has it ever, maintained a nuclear arsenal or shown any interest in building such a thing. With a heavy religious emphasis on personal honour and good treatment of the land, nuclear weapons, war, and energy are offensive to the sensibilities of most citizens of Niflungland, and the ORW would not have it any other way. Any nuclear attack against Niflungland would be met with warfare defined by the berserker rage of the entire Niflungan people; if victory could not be won, the nation would literally take its own life. To die gruesomely and keep one's honour is a far better existence in the eyes of most Niflungs than to live an empty, meaningless existence without it. This is their entire philosophy of warfare.
StateThe national government of the People’s Realm of Niflungland is an Military Dictatorship based around the power of Vísir Óðinnsson and his Niflungland Volkspartei, the sole party of the State. The Vísir himself holds veto powers over the legislature of Niflungland, the Oberrat (High Diet), which gathers once weekly in the Thinghaus, located in central Regnhöll, opposite the famous Festspielhaus commissioned by the Kingdom of Niflunga’s most popular composer by the same architect responsible for the Oberrat. The Oberrat is made up of eighteen ministers appointed by the Vísir and approved by both the existing Oberrat as well and the High Council of the ORW. The Ministerführer, or "Leading Minister" is elected from amongst the Oberrat, obviously with input from the Vísir himself (at present the Ministerführer is His Excellency Þórrolf Sigurðsson, son of the Vísir). After him, the Oberkommando der Volkreichswehr (High Command of the Grand Armed Forces) or OGW, are the three most powerful men in the Oberrat; the Grand Marshals of the Reichsheer, Kriegsmarine, and Luftwaffe are followed by the Reichsministries of War, Agriculture, Mining and Industry, Education, Culture and the Arts, Public Enlightenment and Propaganda, Faith and Religion, Internal Affairs, Justice, Foreign Affairs, Communications and Railways, Finance, and Currency and Vexillology. These eighteen men are joined by the acting Supreme Judiciary (Hochgericht), which is the nine-man High Council of the ORW. Both bodies are answerable to the Vísir absolutely, since he holds veto power and acts as Supreme Judge in cases of High Treason and other major offences against the nation of Niflungland. He is recognised as a strong and extremely effective leader, but even great men need aid, and these two bodies act as the principle advisors to the Vísir's Executive Decrees, the primary (though not only) form of law in Niflungland.
ConstitutionA Constitution of Niflungland, itself issued by Executive Decree, does exist and sets forth the boundaries within which Executive Decrees may be made by Óðinnsson's successors, especially his son and heir-apparent, Thorrolf Sigurðsson, who shares Óðinnsson's popularity amongst the general populous but lacks his focus in military affairs and efficiency. The Constitution was put into effect to replace the Constitution of the former Kingdom of Niflunga, which allowed for a unicameral house of legislature elected by the people from the nobility of the Kingdom. Loath to see the nation in the hands of decadent, and for the most part self-serving nobles, a young politician founded a new "Volkspartei", a "People's Party". This young politician, distinguished and gifted in oratory, was Sigurð Angatyrsson, mentor to Vísir Óðinnsson, who at that time was director of the Schutztruppen, the paramilitary wing of the ‘’Niflunganational Volkspartei’’. After several years of brawling in the streets, mass rallies, firey speeches, and organising clandestine assassinations of top nobles, Angatyrsson led a successful coup against the government of König Luitpold XIX and established the Niflunga State, abolishing all opposition parties and declaring a totalitarian state to create order in the wake of the Kingdom’s fall. His work would continue until his own assassination at the hands of communist infiltrators in the NNVP. Óðinnsson, seeing smoke, started looking for the fire, and commenced the great purge of the party. Hand-picked by Angatyrsson, he was destined to take the position of “Vísir”, or “Leader”, created by Angatyrsson. When he did, he did not surrender his control of the ‘’Schutztruppen’’ and immediately began a purge of the NNVP which ultimate would result in a complete refounding of the party by those loyal to Óðinnsson as the ‘’Niflungland Volkische Partei’’ (Niflungland National Party).
Under Óðinnsson, as under Angatyrsson, Niflungland had its government thinned down and nobility removed from all forms of public office, and all government positions filled by Executive appointment and approval by the offices connected to the Reichministry of Internal Affairs working in conjunction with the Reichministries of Public Enlightenment and Propaganda and Faith and Religion, clearing all employees of Internal Affairs for their loyalty to Niflungland and the official designated national religion (an important note: there is no "State" religion of Niflungland, since the State serves the faith, not the other way around.) This system keeps a full one-tenth of the population of Niflungland employed directly by the State, not counting the military forces.
The new Constitution was meant to slim down the government but maintain its complete control over life in the Reich. The five-article constitution was also amended by two Executive Charters which made the ORW a permanent figure in government and the ‘’Vísirstaat’’ an irreplaceable form of government and declaring that only males could hold the position of Vísir. These charters in addition to the rather brief document laid the ground work for what was in its essence a 30-man government: eighteen Councilmen of the Oberrat, the Vísir, nine Judges of the Hochgericht, as well as the three Hochmeisters (High Masters- answerable to the Grand Master, Óðinnsson himself) of the ORW. The dominating figures, however, are defined and powerful: Vísir Óðinnsson as Großmeister des ORW is both Head of State and Chief Justice, and Þórrolf Sigurðsson as Ministerführer is a singularly powerful Head of Government, and while answerable to his father rarely makes decisions which Óðinnsson himself would not have made.
Provincial government in Niflungland is much heftier and more involved than the slim national government laid out in the constitution. Each province has a Reichsgouverneur, appointed by Executive Charter, and a Konsul, elected from the provincial congresses. These congresses vary in size from Province to Province, depending on the way districts are divided and how those districts choose representatives. In the capital city of Regnhöll, for example, districts are divided according to annual income, and each district (called Steuerbezirk(e), literally "tax district(s)") is afforded a number of representatives according to how much (and how little) financial power they have in the city. As a result, the poorest district in Regnhöll, the Südmainkreis, has five representatives, while the richest, Wahnfriedstadt, has only one. Altogether the fourteen Steuerbezirke produce a tiny forty-eight man Congress, though the cities population of 10,490 is by far the largest in all of Niflungland. Meanwhile, Neu-Burgund-Provinz in the south of Niflungland uses a Wahlkreis ("voting ring") system, where each village and township is given a number of representatives based on population. With twenty-seven Wahlkreise in Neu-Burgund, their elections produce a one-hundred-eight man Congress. There is no worry about over-representation on a national scale, however, since the Reichsgouverneure answer to the Vísir himself and the Konsule trouble themselves only with domestic issues with direct bearing on the Province. In addition to all of the various Konsule and Congresses, there are specific committees and ministries for each given issue within a Province and the Konsul acts as a sort of lesser Ministerführer for the Reichsgouverneur, who is official Head of State for each Provincial government. Each Province then has specialised ministries, but all seven provinces have the same basic foundation: Department of the Konsul, Ministry of Trade, Ministry of Faith and Religion, Ministry of State Relations, and Ministry of Revenue. The Department of the Konsul is obviously overseen by the Konsul and acts as a Ministerführer, the Ministry of Trade handles inter-provincial financial transactions and answers to the Reichsministry of Communications and Railways, the Ministry of Faith and Religion is occupied by a Wächterritter des ORW, or "Knight Warden of the ORW", answerable to the Hochmeisters, the Ministry of State Relations answers to the Reichsministry of the Internal Affairs, and the Ministry of Revenue answers to the Reichsministry of Finance.
The official religion of the Grand Realm of Niflungland is Norse, in German Altgötterglaube-- "Faith in the Ancient Gods", or "Faith in the Æsir". The religion is overseen by a loosely centralised, Folkish Order, mentioned above, Der Orden der Ritter des Wotansauge. The ORW, as it is often abbreviated, is a sprawling massive Order that incorporates all clergy in the entire nation. It is a ranked Holy Order, made in reaction to the Orders of Christianity that existed in Niflungland before the Englightenment of Wulfstan I, who returned the entire nation to the heathen ways of old upon the foundation of the Kingdom of Niflunga four hundred years ago, after becoming disgusted at the carnage of the religious wars. His small, but extremely efficient army, held off attack after attack of several incursions into his territory, until he was able to rally an army around him from around the known world in a massive March against the Christian capital, which reduced the Papal seat of Christianity to a smouldering ruin. Like their barbarian ancestors, the Niflungan forces carried off countless valuables that would come to decorate the then-capital of Fichtelburg, located high in the Fichtelgebirge. Here stood the so-called Teufelstisch ("devil's table"), to which Wulfstan had been drawn to as a boy, and which he made a national monument as Donarsstuhl- "Thor's Seat". Wulfstan here gathered his closest compatriots in apostasy from the Christian lie and formed the Hochorden der Wotanssöhne- "High Order of the Sons of Odin". The Order would remain the core of a later Order to be founded by Wulfstan's son, Hildebrand II, known as Hildebrand der Schreckliche ("the Terrible") outside Niflungland and Hildebrand der Eindrucksvolle ("the Overwhelming") within Niflungland. This would be the ORW in its original form. Hildebrand took the name from an experience he had as a young man witnessing a murder of ravens picking apart the corpse of an old wolf. He sat and observed as two huge ravens swooped down and scattered the others, one pushing the others away as the other grabbed the left eye, which like the other had been untouched to that point, ripped it cleanly from the socket and flew away. Hildebrand, taught by his father from translations of the old stories of the Gods, took it as a sign of blessing from the fickle but powerful chief of the Gods, Wotan, and immediately set forth to devote himself to the Chief Wizard and War-god. He founded the ORW to be a fully ranked Knightly Order in blatant imitation of its counterparts like the Teutonic Knights and the Knights Templar.
The Ranks established by Hildebrand are still upheld (though Óðinnsson represents the first non-royal ever to be titled "Grand Master" of the Order):
Grand Master (Großmeister)
High Master (Hochmeister)
Commanding Master (Kommandmeister)
Knight Warden (Wächterritter)
Knight Companion (Genosseritter)
Knight Errant (Fahrenderritter)
Knight Ewart (Ritterführer)
Each level of the order has specific roles to play in Niflungan society, and because of Angatyrsson and Óðinnsson, both firm believers, has become a permeating force. The Grand Master, for many years the Königreichminister of Religious Affairs, is the head of the order and directed only religious activity within the Kingdom of Niflunga. After the collapse, many citizens sought order and security from the ORW, being the only major organisation to retain its organisation and power. Óðinnsson recognised this and based the organisation of his government on the Order, and for his service to the Order the acting Grand Master, Johann von List, stepped down from his post and submitted that Óðinnsson be his replacement. Thereafter the first High Master of the Order was assigned the new role of Reichsminister of Faith and Religions, the second tended to the activity within the Order, and the third directed the Orders relations with other organisations in Niflungland.
The former Second-in-Command, the Commanding Master of the Order, was given a new role as the Commander of the military wing of the Order, a resurrected version of the Hochorden der Wotanssöhne. Immediately below him were the Genosseritter. These are the largest segment of the Order outside the low-level Knights and Goðar (priests, typically town mayors). They make up the entirety of the military wing of the Order (Reichswehr Militäreinheit "Wotanssöhne"). These are elite troops in Niflungland, absolutely loyal to the Vísir and religiously devoted to the nation and its Gods, for whom Óðinnsson as Großmeister des ORW is representative as the ‘’Seher und Sprecher der Altgötter’’- "Seer and Speaker of the Ancient Gods". They are attached to the regular army as a specialised branch, themselves numbering so large they constitute fully one-fifth of the entire Volksreichswehr. Their uniforms are specially designed as well as their ranks. Unlike the rest of the army, their uniforms are black, with a gold lining for higher ranks and silver lining for lower ranks. Their emblem is the symbol of Justice and Righteousness, the Tyr rune, which they wear on their upper right arms. Besides this, the symbol of death, the skull, a symbol of Odin's power over death, graces their caps. To the people, they are a symbol of nationalism and receive many contributions which keep their organisation running (as an Order, they do not receive State funds, and have taken a vow of poverty, devoting all their own personal wealth to their Order.) They are commanded by the Kommandmeister des Ordens, Rittermarschall Dietrich Faust. The ranks of the Detachment were devised by Faust himself and follow the Order:
|Rank in HWS||Equivalent in Regular Army||English|
|Rittermarschall des Reichs/Kommandmeister des Ordens||No equivalent||Knight-Marshal|
|Degen||Hauptfeldwebel||Sargent, First Class|
|Unterdegen||Feldwebel||Sargent, Second Class|
|Ritter-Grenadier||Gefreiter||Private, First Class|
|Grenadier||Schütze||Private, Second Class|
The other major branch of the Order is the civilian religious branch of the Order. These answer to the Second Hochmeister of the Order, and begin with the Wächteritter, who oversee the Provincial Ministries of Religion, followed by the Fahrenerritter, the "Knights Errant", who are essentially judges to act as neutral parties if any divisions should arise in local communities which the Goði cannot diffuse. In seminaries, they often serve as instructors of Theology. They are followed immediately by the Ritterführer, the Knight Ewarts, who answer to the Third Hochmeister and oversee large districts containing several villages and towns, handling the Order's relations with the local people, in case problems should arise in the community between the people and the organisation of the Order. All Goðar go to the Ritterführer in case of questions of doctrine. The Ritterführer are also in charge of the dissemination of doctrinal changes to local Goðar in case there are new prophecies seen amongst those Fahrenerritter given the gift of prophecy. The Goði, the lowest rank, were formerly local priests, now mayors of the villages or towns which they oversee. They live entirely on the charity of the local community, instead of being paid by the State as those above them, and if they fail to live up to leadership of the people, they will be removed by the people in a hearing overseen by a Knight Errant and Knight Ewart. The Knight Errant then consults the Second Hochmeister regarding the installation of a new Goði, invariably chosen from the local community, to attend seminary briefly and return to the local jurisdiction. During the three months he spends submitting to the rigours of seminary training, the locality is directly overseen by the Knight Ewart responsible for that district.
More to come!