The Armed Republic of Blessed Hyrkania, often referred to as Blessed Hyrkania or even just Hyrkania is a large nation located on the southern side of the Epitomic Sea. Renown for its rolling deserts, most of Hyrkania is made up of arid wastes, expanding onwards for thousands of miles. Most settlements are clustered around desert oasis's or the fertile regions of the coast. Hyrkania is a one-party republic, in which its people can elect candidates approved by the Hyrkanian National Resurgence Party. Hyrkania consists of 9 different regions, each ruled by a governor and a military consul.
The lands of modern day Hyrkania were originally inhabited by the urbanized Asrati, origional inhabitants of Asratu. Around 1000 AD Asratu was conquered by the nomadic Hyrkanians, forming Hyrkania. Hyrkania, ruled by the Priesthood of Xhotal and Ghej,remained centered around Asratu and the Temple of Ghej for the next several centuries. This was until in 2020 Hyrkania established diplomatic relations with its neighbors in an effort to combat its problem with religious extremism. This lead to a bloody civil war between the Priesthood and Enochite immigrants. Eventually the Enochites won, reuniting the country under the banner of democracy.
But this new Enochite regime was short lived. After the discovery of its concentration camps by Free Keltia, Hyrkania went to war with, and was quickly defeated by Free Keltia and its coalition of allies. This sparked a violent uprising by the Hyrkanian People's Liberation Party, which stormed the Government Palace, and declared the creation of a new socialist Hyrkanian state.
The name Hyrkania is derived from the Hyrkanian ethnic group. The word Hyrkanian itself comes from Hyrka (Divine/Chosen) Niaqu (People) in Old Hyrkanian.
The very first people to live in Hyrkania were the Asrati, who were thought to have migrated to the area around 1500 BC. They settled around the Tchaqua Mazal (Oasis of Aeons). Around the Oasis of Aeons they founded Asratu, Jewel of the Shifting Sands. For the next 200 years they conquered the neighboring petty kingdoms, forging a great empire in the wastes. The riches of these kingdoms were imported to Asratu to build its great palaces, walls, and even streets. But in 1230 BC the Asrati Empire was invaded by Sorathites, a band of steppe nomads. This, combined with domestic unrest due to trade disruptions. The Asrati lands were burned and pillaged until at last the Sorathites reached Asratu. But the city was not to fall, and its stolid walls held the tide of invaders at bay until attrition forced them away. Yet the Asrati Empire would never recover its former splendor.
While Asratu mouldered away for the next couple thousand years, a new people were emerging. The Hyrkanians were a band of warrior nomads, not unlike the Sorathites. At around 500 AD the Hyrkanians would migrate up into the area around Asratu from the deserts of the far south. They excelled at skirmish warfare, and continually harassed Asratu and any other settlements for the next 500 years. Then, in 987 AD, a great Hyrkanian chieftain would come to power, remembered as Ghej. Ghej was unmatched in his ferocity, ambition, and desire for glory. In 990 he would unite the disparate Hyrkanian tribes under his banner, forging them into an army worthy of legend. He immediatly marched for Asratu, intending to conquer it for himself. But the strength of Asratu was not yet spent, and the Siege lasted for years, until finally in 1000 the Hyrkanians broke through, looting and and slaughtering the defenders.
Upon their conquest of Asratu, Ghej entered the Hyrkanian pantheon as a god, alongside the Asrati god of cities and wealth, Xhotal. The Hyrkanians gradually forgot their warrior ways over the next thousand years, and although they launched several minor holy wars against there neighbors, for the most part the Hyrkanians stayed within Asratu. This was until in the early 2000's AD a group of religious extremists called the Kasidu began committing acts of terrorism in Hyrkania, and eventually in several other regional countries. To try and deal with the Kasidu, Hyrkania opened its borders and began developing foreign relations with foreign nations. After making an agreement with Khazar Lechia, many people of the Enochite faith migrated to Asratu, taking up Ghej as one of their gods. This dissatisfied the Priesthood, and a civil war broke out between the Enochites and and Priests, splitting the country in half. The Priesthood invaded the Enochite territories, focusing on conquering all of Asratu. Yet the Enochites fought back with impressive vigor, and with help from weapons bought from Khazar Lechia, the Enochites pushedback the Priesthood forces, creating a stalemate. Yet at the same time a force from Thialrer landed on the coast of Hyrkania, sweeping into the rear of the Priesthood forces, vanquishing the Priesthood once and for all and reuniting Hyrkania.
After the defeat of the Priesthood, Hyrkania lay in ruins, especially Asratu. To try and fix this, Hyrkania was swamped by millions of dollars in foreign aid, especially from Free Keltia. As part of this aid, Hyrkania received help creating several camps for refugees displaced by the war. Yet the HNRP, being the despotic regime it was, started using the refugee camps as concentration camps for its enemies. Free Keltia soon discovered this when its leader came to inspect the camps. The Satrap of the region tried to play it off as an administrative error, and the Free Keltian fleet arrived to extradite the refugees to Free Keltia. Worried about the refugees giving away valuable information, Hyrkania sent a cruise missile at the refugee ship, killing many. The source of the missile was soon discovered, and Free Keltia gathered a coalition of nations to battle Hyrkania. The two forces engaged off of the coast of Hyrkania. After days of fighting, the superior numbers of the coalition won out, and the Hyrkanian fleet was driven from the field. This caused a massive uprising in Asratu, and the Hyrkanian People's Liberation Party (HPLP) staged a coup d'etat and took control of the government, turning Hyrkania into its current socialist form.
Most of Hyrkania, approximately 80%, is made up of arid, unusable land. Only a few areas by the coast and around oasis can support widespread farming at an acceptable cost. Because of this, Hyrkania's population has historically been heavily concentrated around these arable areas. This means that most Hyrkanians live in in an urban environment, as only a few densely populated areas are inhabited.
But despite the uniformity of climate within Hyrkania, the actual terrain is incredibly varied. In the far south of Hyrkania are the Crags of the Moon, a great expanse of winding canyons and sheer red cliffs. The Crags of the Moon are very difficult to quickly traverse, and only the most veteran navigators know the safe routes through them. Many an army has gotten lost in the twisting maze that is the Crags of the Moon. Because of its ruggedness, the Crags of the Moon have historically been an important barrier protecting Asratu from more southern realms.
In central Hyrkania around Asratu is the Ocean of Sand, a vast desert of rolling dunes. Dotted about it are oasis, which provide the only major source of food and water in the Ocean of Sand. This makes crossing the Ocean of Sand outside of the trade routes very difficult. This, like the Crags of the Moon, has insulated Hyrkania from foreign aggression, with very little exception.
The northern part of Hyrkania, called the Coastal Strip, it made up of rolling, grassy plains, interspersed with groves of trees. The soil of the Coastal Strip is fertile enough to support orchards and vineyards, but not enough for water-intensive crops such as corn. Between the Coastal Strip and the Ocean of Sand is a series of low, rocky hills covered in gnarled trees, gradually transitioning into the the lush expanse of the Coastal Strip.
Hyrkania is a melting pot of different ethnicities. Although people of Hyrkanian and Asrati ancestry (41% and 34% respectively), several other ethnic groups make up a significant portion of Hyrkania's population. 16% is of Tahirisian ancestry, 5% is of Khazar ancestry, and 4% is of miscellaneous ancestry.
The Hyrkanian government is a massive, bureaucratic one-party state.
The Hyrkanian Executive branch is lead by the Premier. The Premier is elected for 10 year terms by the People's Assembly of Hyrkania. The Premier is responsible for running the government, appointing cabinet members, and taking action on legislation passed by the People's Assembly.
The Hyrkanian Legislature is a federal system of legislatures. The highest house of legislature is the the People's Assembly of Hyrkania. The PAK consists of 81 members, 9 from each Satrapy. The PAK passes national legislation, and elects the Premier. The members of the PAK are elected by the Workers Councils, which are elected by the people of the town or area that a given Workers Council represents. The Worker's Councils are responsible for passing local legislation.