The Commonwealth of Niflungland (German: Der Gemeinwesen Niflungland) was a nation of the Alliance Nordreich. It remains renowned for its progeny of great artists, poets, and philosophers. Its head-of-state, Vísir (Leader) Sigurð Óðinnsson ruled Niflungland with a firm, but caring hand and was well-loved by his people of all classes, professions, and parentage before his retirement. He is now the ruler of the nation of Hochheim.
Niflungland has a long history, largely dependent on the house of Niflung (formerly Nibelung), whose various holdings throughout Europe today make up the three segments of the Commonwealth. The first ruler of Niflunga, as it was known for almost 500 years, was Prince-Elector Huldrych von Nibelung, who united the German lands long in his family's possession, the Grand Duchies of Saxony and Brandenburg and the Margravate of Bayreuth with his own inheritance as King of Scotland by means of his grandfather James V of Scotland after the latter's death in Edinburgh in 1562, who allowed the foreign prince to inherit the lands to prevent English (and Protestant) conquest of his nation.
The Commonwealth of Niflungland was born from the overthrow of the most recent dynasty of Niflunga whose leadership nearer and nearer to parliamentary monarchical rule was met with heavy opposition by a large segment of the population of Niflunga. A Swedish-born leader of the German-based Nibelungische Reichspartei, Sigurð Angatýrsson, led a revolution that overthrew the decrepit King of Niflunga and replaced him with a new, authoritarian government under his leadership. After his death only a few short months after the establishment of the new government, a young German adherent of Angatýrsson's movement, and the principle philosopher behind the Reichspartei's programme and philosophy assumed the role of Vísir, or Leader, of the newly-formed Commonwealth of Niflungland. The young German assumed the name Sigurð Óðinnsson, in honour of his predecessor and in recognition of the official faith of the Nibelungische Reichspartei, Ásatrú.
As of April 2011, Niflungland is no longer active on Planet Bob. This page remains maintained, however, for historical purposes and as a point of reference for Vísir Óðinnsson's new nation, Hochheim, as well as for RP information pertaining to the former Nordreich RP.
- Main article: History of Niflungland
The Commonwealth of Niflungland has been a party to almost every major happening in Central Europa since the 11th century AD, but the history of the land continues back to the Germanic tribes that came to dwell in the land during the age of the Roman Empire. The Semnones were the largest group, eventually displaced by other Germanic tribes moving west, including the Vandals, Langobards, Goths, and Saxons. The present-day Niflungan Germans are largely Upper Saxons, though there are minorities of Wends and English-speaking Americans who came to Niflunga after the American Revolution.
There have been three major periods of Niflungan history as taught in the ORW-administered schools. The first is the Royal Nibelungen period, when the Kingdom of Niflunga and its predecessor states were ruled by the now-extinct Nibelungen Dynasty; the second, the Period of Decline, when Niflunga changed dynasties several times, and eventually collapsed when the Commonwealth of Niflunga came into existence under the Nationalaristokratische Partei Niflunglands, beginning the third period, the Niflungan Renaissance. This Renaissance officially continues even after Vísir Óðinnsson's abdication in favour of Siegfried Hohenstaufen, though some minor changes have occurred in government orthography, the laws and customs of Niflungland remain fundamentally intact.
The Commonwealth of Niflungland spans the space of the original Kingdom of Niflunga, which is divided into three principle segments, the largest of which is the core of the Commonwealth in the eastern German lands at 125,839 km2 (48,586.70 sq mi); second to this are the Commonwealth's holdings in Scotland, which totals at 78,772 km2 (30,414 sq mi); finally, the small holdings in Scandinavia, in Kalmar-Öland, a total of 11,171 km2 (4,313.1 sq mi). These three distinct and distant lands are bordered by a number of other territories, including Sweden in the north, Great Britain south of Scotland, and the core land by Germany territories to the west, various Polish duchies and provinces to the east, and Bohemia and Bavaria to the south. Maritime borders include Eire to the west and Norway to the east of the Scottish lands, and Sweden across the Baltic from Pomerania.
Aside from Öland, which is the largest island in Niflungland, there are three principal archipelagos under Niflungan administration: the Hebrides, which include 36 inhabited islands, the Orkney Islands, of which 20 are inhabited, and the Shetland Islands, of which 16 are inhabited, and two of which are owned exclusively by the Niflungan government, the primary island being Unst, home of Regnhöll, the home of Niflungland's Vísir, Sigurð Óðinnsson.
The highest mountain in Niflungland's Scottish holdings is Ben Nevis (Beinn Nibheis in Scots Gaelic), standing at 1,344m (4,409 ft) located in the south-west Highlands. In the German lands, the Schneekoppe stands the highest at 1,602m (5,256 ft) in the eastern Sudetenland. Kalmar-Öland has no major mountain peaks.
Spanning such a broad area, the climate of Niflungland is nevertheless almost entirely Temperate, specifically Oceanic. Typically, winters are very cold and summers very warm, with extended periods of rainfall in Scotland year-round, but often extended dry periods in Brandenburg-Saxony. Temperatures in southern Scotland and Brandenburg-Saxony in the summer can often exceed 30°C (86°F) and in the winter plummet well below freezing. In the northern-most reaches, Winters are often extended and rainfall dominates the summer season.
Weather and climate across Niflunga is monitored by the National Niflungan Meteorological Organisation or National Wetterdienst Niflungland as it is known in the German and Swedish lands.
Niflungland is divided into three principal “Homelands” (Heimaten in German): Scotland (Schottland), Kalmar-Öland, and Nibelungenland. These three Homelands are further divided into several regions, each according to the Homeland. Scotland is divided into 12 traditional regions, and further into 73 districts and cities. Nibelugenland is divided into 10 Länder (“lands”) and 5 Freistädte (“free cities”), then into 30 Kreise (“districts”). Kalmar-Öland are two Landskap (“provinces”), Kalmar and Öland, which themselves are subdivided into five Län (“fiefs”).
Regions of Scotland (Schottland)
Länder of Nibelungenland
Landskap of Kalmar-Öland
The national government of the Commonwealth of Niflungland is an Aristocratic Dictatorship focused in the power of the Vísir Sigurð Óðinnsson and the Orden der Ritter des Wotansauge. The Nibelungische Reichspartei (“Niflunga Empire Party”) merged with its Scottish sister, The Social Lordship Party to form The National Aristocratic Party of Niflungland (Nationalaristokratische Partei Niflungland- NAPN) during the Civil War. The Party, however, had much more power in the military, academia, and nobility than in the parliament. This shaped the direction the Party moved in over time, and the eventual formation of government under Angatýrsson.
The government is constructed of four branches; the Judicial, Military, Legislature, and Executive. The Judicial branch, formerly dominated by the Royal Appellate, was replaced by the Hochgericht des ORW, given the power by Vísir Angatýrsson to sit both in appellate and in trial.
The Legislature for the duration of Moray dynasty was invested in a National Parliament that granted the power to make laws and to which the judiciary and, to an extent, even the king were answerable. This body was replaced by the NAPN Oberrat (“High Diet”), a gathering of the nobility of Niflungland in three Estates: the High Nobility, the Low Nobility, and the Clergy. Of the final estate, only those clergy recognised by the government of the Commonwealth are allowed membership; therefore, only bishops of the Vereinigkirche Nibelungen (whose name was changed in Scotland to the “United Christian Church of Niflungland”) and Ritterführer (“Knights Ewart”) of the ORW. The first two estates are derived largely from existing noble supporters of the NAPN; however, the new constitution invested the power of ennoblement to the Vísir, who may elevate a maximum of three men every year to Noble status at the recommendation of the ORW or Althing.
The Military constitutes a separate branch of government in Niflungland, answerable to the military branch of the ORW, the Wotansöhne, or “Sons of Othin”, answerable to the Kommandantmeister of the ORW, who presides over the Jarlsthing, or “Council of Chieftains”, which handles all legislation with regards to the military, and communicates its needs and demands directly to the Vísir and Grand Master of the ORW, without discussion with either the High Court or the Althing.
Finally, the Executive branch is invested in two offices: the Grand Master of the ORW and the Vísir. The Grand Master is responsible for the Judiciary and the Third Estate of the Althing, while the Vísir handles the Second and First Estates of the Althing and, jointly with the Grandmaster, the Military. Individual responsibilities are dependant on the organisations which each office heads; in the case of the Grand Master, all ORW affairs as well as the spiritual well-being of Niflungans fall to him, and all legislation regarding religion is handled by Letters Patent issued by the Grand Master, which no body or person can supersede, veto, cancel, or usurp except the Grand Master himself. The Vísir is head of NAPN, and therefore deals with all political questions and legislation regarding the people. He has jurisdiction over all affairs not the responsibility of the Grand Master.
There are no strict legal requirements to be a member of government except that one must be ennobled and one must be male over the age of eighteen years, except in the case of the Oberrat, which allows females over the age of twenty-two years. The oldest member of government presently is Grand Duke Frederick Augustus von Wettin-Meißen (Großherzog Friedrich August), born in 1865, a distant relative of the Nibelungen dynasty, which merged with the Ernestine branch of the House of Wettin in the early sixteenth century. He serves as a member of the Oberrat and as Minister of War. The youngest member is Lord John Andrew Moray, 28th Baron Renfrew, the youngest son of the late Grand Master Prince Charles William Moray, 22nd Duke of Rothesay, 28th Earl of Moray, 30th Earl of Carrick, and 27th Baron Renfrew (Großmeister Karl Wilhelm, XXXIII.D ORW), who has just entered his twenty-second year. He is the Regional Governor of Fife and Junior member of the Oberrat to his two elder brothers, His Grace Duke Charles William, 23rd Duke of Rothesay and Lord Thomas, 29th Earl of Moray and 31st Earl of Carrick.
Der Orden der Ritter des Wotansauge
- Main article: ORW
The Order of the Knights of the Eye of Othin is the principle organisation, aside from the NAPN, that handles all government affairs. It is not an exaggeration to say that understanding the ORW is crucial to understanding the government structure of Niflungland. The ORW constitutes the majority of the government outside of the legislative branch. In particular, the High Court of the Order, consisting of the nine highest ranking members of the ORW, is the basis for the Niflungan legal system. The General Council of the Order is not officially a legislative institution, but is consulted by the Vísir on almost all legislative decisions. In social terms, the ORW is the only officially recognised institution for dogmatic and doctrinal issues of the State Religion, Ásatrú.
The Order is structured to this day according to the Rule of Hákon as was laid down in 1808, named for Hákon Vilhjálmursson, the assumed name of Heinrich Amsel, son of Wilhelm Amsel, one of the founders of the Hochorden in 1781. The Rule organised the ORW into a distinct structure, headed by the Großmeister (Grand Master), elected by the Generalkapital (General Council) of the Order upon the death or removal of his predecessor. Below him are three Hochmeisters (High Masters), each with a specific title and office.
The first and highest is the Ordenskanzler (Chancellor of the Order), who serves as religious deputy to the Grand Master and heads the religious wing of the ORW. Beneath him are three Landmeisters (Regional Chiefs)—who serve essentially as the counterparts to Catholic Archbishops—who, in turn, have beneath them a number of Landkomturen (Provincial Commanders), who oversee all legal and religious issues in the Order in specific province for which they are responsible. Below these are the Komturen (District Commanders), who are responsible for individual bailiwicks and all of the goðar (“priests”) in them and specifically deal with theological questions, with the ability to ordain new goðar, remove a goði from his ordination, hold ceremonies, and direct the local komturei, or “Commandry” of their district, dealing with local finances and record-keeping of the ORW. The lowest rung below the Ordenskanzler are the goðar themselves, the priests of the ORW's faith, who are ranked typically as 9th degree Ritter, (Knights). All Ritter below the 9th degree are regular members of district chapters.
The second Hochmeister is the Ordensmarschall (Marshall of the Order), who oversees the military wing of the ORW, the Wotanssöhne, who are today attached to the Niflungan military, but were once merely a small armed militia attached to the ORW. The ranks have developed over time, but the basic structure of Ordensmarschall – Rittermarschalls (Knight-Marshal) – Genosseritter (Knight Companion) still basically remains, and despite an increase in official militarisation, all members of the Wotanssöhne, regardless of rank, are Genosseritter of the ORW.
The final Hochmesiter is in charge of all internal functions of the ORW itself on a massive, nation-wide level, the Ordenskomtur. He oversees the actions of the three interior departments of the ORW: Großtrappier (Record-keeper), Großtreßler (Treasurer), and Großspitler (Archivist). These offices are typically held by the three Kommandantmeisters (Commandant Masters) of the Order.
The Generalkapitel of the ORW is comprised of all ranking members (i.e. above the rank of Fahrenritter), and is responsible for the election of a new Grand Master when the sitting Grand Master dies or is removed from his office by the veto power of all nine members of the Hochgericht (High Court), comprised of the three High Masters, three Commanding Masters, and three Regional Chiefs. The Chancellor of the Order leads the High Court of the Order as Chief Justice.
In addition to the Order's offices and titles, there are a division of ranks laid forth by the Rule of Hákon, arranged thus:
Grand Master (Großmeister)
High Master (Hochmeister)
Knight Warden- 3 degrees (Wächterritter)
Knight Companion- 18 degrees (Genosseritter)
Knight Errant- 9 degrees (Fahrenderritter)
Knight Ewart- 9 degrees (Ritterführer)
Knight- 9 degrees (Ritter)
Each of these has a place in the ORW in terms of rank. The first three are fairly straightforward, the Grand Master being both a title and rank, having no degrees, the High Masters, likewise having no degrees specific to them, and the Commandant-Masters likewise. The degrees of a basic Knight carry through straight to the Grand Master, who is legally a 33rd degree Knight of the Order, followed by High Masters, who are 32nd degree, Commandant-Masters who are 31st degree, and so on. In addition to this general degree, however, there are specific degrees which run parallel. There are 3 degrees of Wächteritter, or Knight Wardens, who by 3rd degree are eligible to be chosen by the Chancellor as Landmeisters. This is followed by 9 degrees of Fahrendritter, or Knight Errant, who from 6th degree and above are eligible to be made Landkomturen, and also 9 degrees of Ritterführer, the Knight Ewarts, who by 3rd degree may be made Komturen. Only a 9th degree Knight or higher, however, can be ordained a Goði to serve as a priest and intercessor in local communities. All members are 1st degree Ritter, or Knights of the Order, except for Observing Members, who maintain a status of membership without dues paid or without rights to conduct Blót, or sacrifice. It is customary for all Knights above the 10th degree to sign their name with their degree indicated in Roman numerals (for example, a 15th degree Knight would be designated "XIV.D ORW"); although it is rare for Knights below this degree to do so, all Knights of the Order are entitled to likewise indicate their degree in signing documents.
The structure of the ORW may be visualised thus:
The Judicial branch of the Niflungan government is entirely in the hands of the ORW. The High Court of the Order, known officially as the Hochgericht des Ordens der Ritter der Wotansauge und Niflungland (“High Court of the Order of the Knights of Othin's Eye and Niflungland”) is comprised of the nine highest-ranking men in the Order, who sit both as a Legal Appellate Court in regards to the laws of Niflungland and the interpretation of the constitution as well as a Canon Appellate Court for the interpretation of scripture and definition of religious doctrine. In addition to this, the High Court remains the highest Trial Court for the hearing of offences against the ORW by its members, though such cases rarely come before the Hochgericht save in the gravest circumstances.
Lower courts in Niflungland are divided into two separate bodies: the Rechtsmittelstanzen, or “Courts Appellate”, which are granted the power to interpret regional and district law by the High Court, and the Gemeinsgerichten, or “Courts Common”, which deal with civil disputes between persons. The naming of the Courts Appellate is actually misleading, since they do not always sit in appeal, but also hear property criminal offences, and often handle auxiliary trials for participatory offences. All capital crimes, including fatal and personal offences, are heard by a Balleikapitel (“Bailiwick Council”), a local council of Goðar headed by an Unterkomtur (Lower Commander, effectively Baron) of a county, appointed by the Komtur of that bailiwick every three years.
Crimes in Niflungland are divided in two ways. In terms of the specific court before which the accused appears, crimes are divided first into whether Common or Capital, depending on whether they are heard before a Court Common (the former) or Balleikapitel (the latter). In addition, they are also divided according to how the accused should be sentenced once condemned. In the cases of lesser offences, such as assault, minor battery, public drunkenness, petty theft, etc., the crime and criminal are deemed a Geldlichschuld (“Financial Liability”), and are fined according to the financial damages incurred by the crime; those unwilling or unable to pay are committed to one of the various prison camps established in remote areas of Niflungland for the purpose of producing simple manufactured goods and training criminals in life skills. In the cases of more serious offences, such as murder, rape, attempted murder, grand theft auto, etc., the crime and criminal are deemed a Gemeinschaftschuld (“Community Liability”), or in more extreme cases Asozialer/in (“Anti-Social”); such cases, if heard before the Balleikapitel, are often solved with a death sentence, or, if heard before a Court Common, with extensive imprisonment in one of the various prison camps.
- See also: Niflungan_Military#Civil_Involvement
Law enforcement in Niflungland falls to the fourth branch of the Gemeinswehr, the Polizei (“Police”).
Legislation in Niflungland falls to a body known as the Oberrat (“High Diet”), one of the principle aspects of National-Aristocratism, by which the Vísir is invested with the power of ennoblement. The Oberrat is the physical manifestation of the new aristocracy created by Angatýrsson and Óðinnsson in three estates: Erzadel, the “High Nobility” (literally “First Nobles”), Hochadel, the “Low Nobility” (literally “High Nobles”), and the Ewarten, the “Clergy” (literally “Chieftains”). Some among these, especially the Bishops of the UCN and Provincial Commanders of the OF in Scotland, have the title of Uradel (“Original Nobility”), those nobles and aristocrats who retained their titles and peerage after the collapse of the monarchy.
The Vísir himself holds veto powers over the Oberrat, which gathers once weekly in the
Old Parliament Building in Old Town, Edinburgh, next to St. Giles Cathedral, where the Presbetyrian Reformer John Knox was minister, which today serves as the National Cathedral of the Scottish Rite of the United Church of Niflungland (it's sister church is Schloßkirche in Lutherstadt-Wittenberg, the National Cathedral of the German Rite of the VKN). The structure bears the engraving over the main entrance “SCOTTISH RIGHTS – NIFLUNGAN RULE”, put there by Robert I in 1805 to commemorate his new army and the official designation of Edinburgh as the capital city of Niflunga.
The Oberrat operates as a traditional body of law subject to royal power in accordance with the basic tenets of National Aristocratism. There is, therefore, no regular meeting of the body, but it gathers when summoned (usually twice or thrice monthly) by the Vísir. The primary form of legislation in Niflungland, however, is the Executive Decrees issued by Vísir Óðinnsson. This legislation is augmented by laws passed by the Oberrat when it is called into session, typically to adjust or make more explicit the wording of Decrees whose meaning are a subject of debate amongst appellate courts. When the Oberrat is summoned, members are given a period of five days to travel to Edinburgh to open the session, at which time the doors to the chamber are closed by order of the Vísir and do not open again until some conclusion to the issue has been reached, save for necessary actions or emergencies. The longest the Oberrat has ever sat without interruption is seventeen days, to debate the taxation structure that would replace that erected by Johann I in 1862 and still in effect well into Angatýrsson’s reign. During this time, the members of the Oberrat were not allowed to leave the Parliament building even to sleep, and makeshift quarters were established for the some one hundred seventy-three men in the Signet Hall and Library of the building.
The present body is comprised of far more men than the original Oberrat, made up of the four hundred peerages throughout Niflungland. The Oberrat gathers at least once a year regularly on the Midwinter festivals for the naming of the three new members of the National Peerage, where they are ceremoniously welcomed into the Aristocracy and their names are added to the National Register of Nobles and Peerages. If any of the three are found unworthy upon the five hours of gruelling questioning and review of their past and merits, they are driven from the chamber and may not return for review for a decade. It is assumed that all candidates for ennoblement are of higher degree knights of the ORW, but in some rare cases, low-degree knights who have especially impressed the Vísir may be considered.
The large growth in the Oberrat since the original body gathered during Angatýrsson’s reign owes largely to a single event in the body’s history, the Letter Patent (titled Aðall Alltaf—“Eternal Nobility”, often printed outside of Niflungland with the Latin title Nobilitas Sempiterna) issued by Karl Wilhelm in his final year as Grand Master of the ORW, automatically ennobling the Landmeisters and Komturen of the ORW, the former as High Nobility, the latter as Lesser Nobility, upon his death. The argument for the ennoblement was the solidification of the place of the ORW as the principle governing institution of the National Peerage, to ensure the maintenance of the Aristocracy according to its etymological origin as “the most superior”, to prevent the decay of the ungoverned post-medieval nobility of the King from occurring in the New Aristocracy. Vísir Óðinnsson, who had just come to power that year, examined the Letter Patent and issued a corresponding Executive Decree making it effective for the families of all high-ranking members of the ORW to be ennobled and giving the Oberrat power to accept or deny the ennoblement of any of his appointments.
Vísir/Marschall and Cabinet
Marschall Siegfried I Hohenstaufen, XXXIII.D ORW
|Reference style||His Highness|
|Spoken style||Your Highness|
|Alternative style||Ihre Hoheit, Yer Heichnes|
All executive power in Niflungland is invested in the Vísir/Marschall, the single most powerful man in the Commonwealth. The last Vísir, Sigurð Óðinnsson, is the principle philosopher and developer of the political movement upon which the government structure of Niflungland is based, National-Aristocratism. According to this system, the executive branch is the most powerful branch, consisting of three central figures, the Großmeister of the ORW as the executive in charge of the Judiciary, the Höllgoði as executive overseeing the Oberrat, and the Vísir who has control over all executive offices and, therefore, ultimate control over the entire government. As originally constructed, the Executive branch was meant to be made up of three separate men, but after the death of Großmeister Karl Wilhelm Fürst von Moray, the ORW saw it fit to bestow upon the sitting Vísir, who was also Ordensmarschall of the ORW, the title of Grand Master of the Order, thus effectively merging the offices of Grand Master and Vísir; while there is no legal bond between the organisations, when Vísir Óðinnsson named Siegfriend I as his successor, the young firebrand and leader of the Knighthood of Othin's Eye assumed both posts, renaming them both Marschall with the blessings of the remaining Generalkapitel.
The Vísir/Marschall rules by Executive Decree, in imitation of the form of laws issued regarding Ásatrú religious doctrine by the Großmeister of the ORW. These Executive Decrees are unquestionable, though if it becomes clear that revision in their wording or clarification of their ideas is necessary, the Vísir may summon the Oberrat to meet and discuss the Decree and clarify it or even, in some extreme cases, amend it with the Marschall's approval. The Oberrat is made up of nobles from across the Commonwealth, and therefore is neither elected nor directly appointed by the Marschall, though he may add to their number with three ennoblements each year (though final decisions for this ennoblement are in the hands of the Oberrat) and take from it through the rare practise of stripping a noble of his lands and peerage for some grave offense against the State, the Faith, or the person of the Marschall. The Marschall does, however, directly appoint the acting head of the Oberrat who moderates its debates and hearings, the Höllgoði. This officer is chosen from the Oberrat itself, typically from the High Nobility or Clergy. The sitting Höllgoði is son of the Leader of the Social Lordship Party of Scotland, Uilliam mac Ailpín (often Anglicised "William MacAilpin" or Germanised "Wilhelm von Alpen"). Mac Ailpín is particularly famous (or perhaps infamous) for refusing, like his father, Raibeart, to use any languages other than Scots or Scottish Gaelic, save for in diplomatic business, for which he often writes in French.
The office of Höllgoði, when the Oberrat is not in session, serves as the principle Foreign Minister for the Commonwealth as well. In addition to this appointment, the Marschall is also responsible for the appointment of nine cabinet members, who handle the internal affairs of Niflungland on a national level. These various Ministries are divided into two tiers: Ministries of the State and Ministries of the Nation. Those Ministries of the State deal strictly with affairs not affecting the wider society of Niflungland on a cultural or social level, while the Ministries of the Nation deal with all affairs which affect the society culturally, socially, or ethnically. In the latter category are the Ministries of Education, Culture and the Arts, Public Enlightenment and Propaganda, Faith and Religion, and Currency and Vexillology; in the former, the Ministries of War, Agriculture, Mining and Industry, Justice, and Communications and Railways. In addition to these ministries, the Marschall may also choose to appoint several Ministers without Portfolio, who deal with specific issues troubling the nation. At present, there is only one Minister without Portfolio, Olaf Gynt, who deals with relations between the Germanic and Celtic branches of the ORW.
The National Ministries oversee policy enacted on a national level but typically do not interfere with provincial level policies enacted by the Gubernatorial Secretaries, who may abide by national precedent but respond to problems in individual Regions according to the needs and circumstances of that province. These often enough do, however, follow the precedent and policy of the National Ministries and the Marschall, since Regional Governors are the lowest government office not directly answerable to the ORW. All districts, counties, and bailiwicks below the Regional government, however, are entirely controlled by ORW Komturen and Goði.
- Main article: Niflungan Military
The Gemeinswehr, the military of Niflungland, is its own branch of government. It is responsible for defence of the Commonwealth, both in national and international capacity. It is answerable only to the Vísir as Supreme Commander of Niflungland. Its present organisation originated as the revolutionary army gathered by Sigurð Angatýrsson during the Niflungan Civil War, known as the Stoßkommando. The Niflungan Royal Armed Forces (Königliche Armee), loyal to Johann II, was officially disbanded when the Commonwealth of Niflungland was constituted in 1920.
Military organisation and governance is entirely interior. No matter the circumstances, no civil court may ever hear a case involving a soldier, on- or off-duty, active or retired. Rather, the Courts Martial, who also hear the cases of POWs and looks to the governing council of the Gemeinswehr, the Kommandeurtribunal, for final answers on all military cases. The Kommandeurtribunal answers to the Vísir of the Party (legally different than the Vísir of the Nation, though presently the same person, Sigurð Óðinnsson, occupies both positions), since the Gemeinswehr is still legally directly joined to the NARP. This guarantees that the loyalty of the military is always directly to the NARP, so the government of the Commonwealth can never stray from the ideology of National-Aristocratism.
Once made the legal national Armed Forces, the SK merged into a wider structure known as the Gemeinswehr, at which time only the former Königliche Armee became known as the SK; the Königliche Marine and Luftstreitkräfte became the Kriegsmarine (“War Navy”) and Fliegerkorps (Flying Corps). The fourth branch of the Armed Forces was the security branch of the SK, a paramilitary wing of the NRP since its very earliest days known as the Sicherheitstrennung (“Security Detachment”—ST). This party-operated security force became the official Polizeidienst of the Gemeinswehr, split into military-only and civil branches, the former of which retained the name ST, the latter of which became known simply as Polizei.
Niflungland's sizable population of 12 million is not the largest in Europa, but it is not by far the smallest. The bulk of the population is concentrated, of course, in Nibelungenland, which is by far the largest of the three homelands with some 8.4 million inhabitants. The Scottish homeland follows close behind with 3.1 million people, and finally Kalmar with roughly 450,000. These sizable populations are sustained, especially in Nibelungenland, by high birth rates, officially listed as 3.3 children per family, though an exact estimate is difficult to establish since bastard children are not registered with the census. Even this official register is, however, quite high and the government expects the population of the Commonwealth to boom in the next decade, possibly tripling within the next ten to twenty years.
Immigration into Niflungland is strictly controlled in order to maintain "ethno-cultural stability of the nation", according to law laid forth by Vísir Óðinnsson in his Executive Decree No. 84, Blood versus Soil. In this Decree, the relationship of ethnicity ("blood") is balanced against citizenship ("soil"); absolute restrictions are placed on any persons of foreign ethnicity to those already comprising the majority of Niflungland's citizens, in order that immigrants, in particular refugees, do not disrupt society overall. Keeping with National-Aristocratic social thought, the emphasis on the nature of the "foreign element" is ethnic rather than economic: "it is the foreign element being foreign in itself that creates a situation of impoverishment amongst immigrants, therefore the introduction of immigrants most easily assimilated to the national population must be maintained as the only introduction of immigrants in Niflungland, since these immigrants are not foreign of blood, but of soil only." The enforcement and interpretation of this Decree was left in the hands of the ORW, who received their orders through Óðinnsson's Letter Patent as Grand Master of the Order, titled "Gesellschaftspflege und Gemeinschaftsordnung" ("Corporate Hygiene and Communal Order"), which in essence forbids the acceptance of immigrants of other than German or Swedish descent, the sole exception being in the case of Ásatrú or other heathen seminarians who have come to Niflung for training.
Niflungan citizenship is a high honour bestowed only on native Niflungans (i.e. those who can trace uninterrupted Niflungan lineage at least two generations back) who upon their 14th year pass the National Examination for Commonwealth Citizenship (NECC). Only Niflungan citizens have a right to a Niflungan passport to leave the country, the right to keep and bear firearms and other weaponry, the ability to participate in government, the ability to be ennobled, and the right to marry and bear children. Since, however, only a slim margin of native Niflungans ever fail the NECC, the majority (indeed, all but .03%) of the population have these rights and abilities. Non-citizens retain the right to live and work within Niflungland so long as they can prove German, Scottish, or Swedish heritage and an absence of connections with socialist, Marxist, anarchist, or other radical groups who are deemed threats to Niflungan social stability.
Niflungan citizenship is unique in that it can be, and frequently is, revoked during the lifetime of the holder for criminal acts against the Commonwealth or support of political movements deemed "anti-social" in accordance with Executive Decree No. 37, "Social Order and Security", issued by Sigurð Angatýrsson. Anti-socials may regain their citizenship after rehabilitation, usually consisting of time served in one of the ORW's re-education monasteries or NAPN-run prisoner camps, depending on what legal offenses the individual had committed as a result of his anti-social politics. All criminals lose Niflungan citizenship for capital crimes; however, the frequency of such criminals not being executed is so low such revocation rarely affects them.
The number of Niflungans abroad is very small, though a number of Scots holding Niflungan citizenship live in Ireland, and due to the large Irish population in Glasgow, it is not unusual for a Glasgow Scot to hold dual citizenship in the two countries. The greatest effect on Niflungland's population has been the recent establishment of the Kingdom of Israel as a Middle Eastern client state, done through the cooperation of the ORW, the Ministry of Faith and Religion, and the Niflungan Zionist Organisation. The move elevated Lord Rabbi Abraham, Baron ben Jechiel to the head of the Jewish community in Niflungland as the Lord Rabbi of the Commonwealth and president of the NZO, and created a special status for Jews in Niflungland as dual-citizens of the Niflungan Commonwealth and the Kingdom of Israel, which presently is ruled by Lord Solomon (Heb. Yechiel Salomo) as Lord Protector and Regent of the Throne of David, while research is being done into the present heir to the throne of David. Projects are underway, supported by ORW donations, to rebuild the famed Temple of Solomon in Jerusalem, but some resistance has been raised by Christian and Mohammedan groups.
The official state religion of Niflungland is Ásatrú, in German called Altgötterglaube, “the Faith of the Old Gods”. This is directed in matters of doctrine by the ORW, headed by Sigurð Óðinnsson as Großmeister. Because of its special status, the ORW dominates the life of the people of Niflungland; there is no 'secular society' as exists in nations under more liberal influence. Nevertheless, there is significant religious tolerance in Niflungland for people of other faiths.
While foreigners are not allowed Niflungan citizenship, they are allowed to live in Niflungland for a designated period using an official Foreign Visitor Pass. Certain communities, such as the Japanese, and Indians, who practice what the ORW has designated as “Blutglauben,” or “Blood-Religions,” are allowed to commission permanent places of worship through the ORW for their co-ethnics and co-religionists who may obtain Foreign Visitor Passes in Niflungland in the future. As a result, there is a major Hindu Temple in the city of Chemnitz, which has seen an large number of Hindu Indian visitors, and plans are underway for a Shinto temple dedicated to the Kami Nippon, the spirit of the homeland. A similar, though not entirely the same, attitude is held toward the Jews.
The Jews, however, are in a unique situation; they are not foreigners, and many in fact have achieved Niflungan citizenship. They nevertheless have a strong sense of cultural independence from Niflungland, and rightfully so; they are, after all, not German, or Swedish, or Scottish, or part of the Niflungan European heritage, but have their own, much older culture. The ORW, recognising that the Jews are independent, and indeed have the benefit of practising their own ancient religion for far longer than the Niflungans without interruption by Christianity, has worked closely with community leaders to assist the Jewish citizens of Niflungland in maintaining a strong sense of Jewish identity. It did not take long to realise over time that outside of the liberal society established by Johann II, and indeed even within that society, the more the Jews themselves acted unique and saw themselves as unique, the more people around them saw them as foreigners.
Vísir Óðinnsson was quick to realise where the growing anti-Semitic sentiment would lead if he did nothing to defend the Jewish population, seeing as he did entire Jewish populations massacred by Russian peasants after the Bolsheviks overthrow of the Russian government. Civil unrest in the young Commonwealth, especially ethnically charged civil unrest, was an easy way for the hidden opponents of the National-Aristocratic regime to splinter it and take power themselves. The result of this realisation was the Niflungische Zionistische Verband, or Niflungan Zionist League, founded by the ORW leadership and the head Rabbi of the Holy Zion Synagogue Organisation, Lord Abraham, Baron ben Jechiel, who became Lord Rabbi of the Commonwealth. The NZO immediately began purchasing huge tracts of territory in then-British controlled Palestine using Niflungan state funds. The land itself was British governed, but owned by the NZO, a private international corporation. With most of Palestine owned by the NZO, they began distributing plots of land to their members along with securities, leading to a massive emigration of Jews from Niflungland to Judaea. Eventually the NZO instigated a revolt against the British government there, which was weak to begin with owing to how recently it had been obtained as a mandate. The Niflungan government stepped in to intervene, and recognised the small nation as the Kingdom of Israel, whose Lord Protector, Abraham ben Jechiel, would enjoy a special diplomatic relationship with the Niflungan Commonwealth. The solution posed therefore allowed the Jews to occupy a similar position to Hindus and Shinto Japanese. Those with Niflungand citizenship were allowed to keep their citizenship, since it was earned, but were given incentives to relocate to Judaea.
Aside from the “Blood Religions” of Hinduism, Shinto, and Judaism, the ORW also recognises certain religions as geographically and culturally bound, such as Oriental practises of Daoism, Confucianism, and localised religions such as Jainism, Sikhism, Yazidism, and various local polytheistic religions. Believers of these faiths enjoy special treatment, though not the special funding received by larger, more entrenched Blutglaube, though this is subject to change. A large enough regular visiting population from any given group allows leaders from that religion to petition the ORW and Niflungan government for Blutglaube status. Some choose not to; Confucianists and Daoists, for example, are by and large believers of the ancient Chinese polytheistic religion, and do not consider the teachings of Confucius or 'the way' religions per se, but augmentations to a much older practise. Either this or they do not require major temples.
The ORW has designated “Weltglauben,” or “World Religions,” including Christianity, Bahá'í, Buddhism, Zoroastrianism, Mohammedanism, and “Asozialglauben,” or “Anti-Social Beliefs,” including, Voodoo, Wicca, Thelema, various Satanisms, and all forms of Irreligion are penalized on several levels ranging from merely lack of state recognition in the case of Christianity and Buddhism to mandatory enrollment in one of the several ORW re-education monasteries, to death in the case of propagating and openly endorsing irreligious beliefs, which is considered a crime against social order and the Commonwealth.
Christianity is unique among the religions in that it is the former religion of the Kingdom of Niflunga, and thus has a major organised advocate in the VKN. While its numbers and funding has declined, it is still a powerful force, and openly supported by other Protestant Christian groups throughout Europa. As a result, the Christians find themselves in a significantly better situation than any other penalised religion. Christians are the only group, in fact, aside from those attached to the ORW, allowed to become Niflungan citizens.
- Niflungan Military
- History of Niflungland
- FC Festung-Oder 1920
- Sigurð Óðinnsson
References & Notes
- Óðinnsson, Sigurð. Blut gegen Boden/Blood versus Soil. ExD No. 84, April 1925. 14.