In the course of a burst of energy helping people flesh out their military articles, I drafted some sections for Aslan. While I was at it, I did a major reorg and moderate rewrite of the cantonal article. Since I don't want to tread on national sovereignty, not to mention breach our friendship, I thought I'd put it here and you can accept or reject any or all of it without hurting my feelings or having your own wishes overturned. I remember all the geographic headings for our common fauna and waterways, so consider this a partial repayment of your assistance and concern for my factbook.
I did not alter any fact you had already established in your RP, and I tried to elaborate on and extrapolate from your cues. I also took the liberty of turning Aslan unilingually German, which would help it more effectively shun outsiders and add an other wrinkle to linguistic politics in the confederation. See my forthcoming notes at Talk:Miervatia for more details on this.
I remember once you said that your lack of fluency in German never stopped you from making your country bilingual English-German and, gauging by the names of the provice, with a majority of germanophones. I've really played this angle up, giving parallel titles and complicated translations. My own German is very sketchy, but I know a lot about military affairs in germanophone countries. You've also covered both our tracks by making it clear that the German spoken in Mikitivity is prone to variation from non-standard German so we can blame any vocabulary, grammatical and spelling problems on dialects. 8^)
There are a few redlined hyperlinks, pending the acceptance or writing of specific named articles, most notably the longish one for the whole Bundeswehr/Confederal Forces which I will dump on your [[Talk:User:Mikitivity]] pages this afternoon or evening.
Sober Thought 20:27, 10 May 2006 (GMT)
Aslan is one of the cantons in the Confederated City States of Mikitivity. Being from a largely undeveloped canton, Aslaners are often considered very frontier-like in their attitudes, including life and death. Life in the Thuvian wilderness is so deadly that Aslaners do not go to great lengths to search for missing people in this part of the Thuvians. They tend to be cautious in nature, yet very hard working.
The canton is characterized by its nearly complete lack of any agricultural production, physical isolation, insular or parochial attitudes, and economic stagnation. Dialectical idiosyncrasies, if not cantonal attachment, are especially strong in this socially and politically conservative province. English is spoken among the well educated, of which there are few, but the language does not have official status.
GeographyThuvian Mountains ~ Thuvians = thuvische Gebirgs (or Thuviankette in dialectical form), the entire canton is characterized by its glaciers, mountain peaks, streams, and ancient caves. These caves are rumored to cover more territory underground than the surface of all of Mikitivity.
Beyond its one of the most inhospitable terrains in NationStates, political, military and economic factors increase this sense of isolation. Civilians are restricted those few tourists who either have managed to secure the permission of the Council of Mayors or hiked into the canton by foot.
The people from Aslan Canton are known as Aslaners. Many of them are actually of Miervatian decent and maintain such close ties to their fatherland that many of them still refer to themselves as Miervatians. Mezoic, the canton's seat, is populated almost entirely by Miervatians thus accounting for this cities close ties with their neighboring canton.
Furthermore, the bucolic settlement of Mezoic is the only vaguely urban area of the canton. It was originally established by Miervatians on the edge of what is now Aslan as an outpost to keep watch on the wild mountain lands. The only means of transportation (other than by military airlift) is through the village's skeletal Mikitivity Bahn service.
The population triangle is more like a trapezoid verging on a rectangle since first thing young Aslaner’s want to do is move to Mezoic, and once they are there the next thing they want to do is get out of Aslan altogether. Given the rugged terrain and woodcraft skills of its inhabitants, a disproportionately large number of Aslaners enter the military and its Mountaineers = Gebirgsjägers. Harsh conditions and a high cost of living keep the elderly away – either by emigration or death.
Aslan’s political culture is skewed to the right far more than any other canton. Its social policy is very conservative and traditionalist, and its reliance on defense spending encourages it to support the military-industrial complex and law-and-order measures.
The confederal government has declared the following days as public holidays:
Large portions of the canton are military reserves under control of the Confederal Forces = Bundeswehr such that travel into Aslan is limited primarily to military personnel from Mikitivity. Military allies, such as Sober Thought whose province of Thuvia borders on the canton, are often granted limited access to the sparely populated Aslan.
A lack of opportunities for advancement encourages a large number of Aslaners enter the military to escape poverty and isolation. Unfortunately, given the canton's nickname of the "Thuvian Playground" in honor of the large number of military exercises conducted in the mountains there, escape is often illusory. These maneuvers are mostly restricted to Mikitivity's military personnel only, sometimes with a few select friendly observers.
The Miervatia's Air Corps = Fliegerkorps maintains an airbase for transporting passengers, airlifting cargo and a forward operating airfield in wartime.
Like the other four cantons, Aslan has Kantonenwehr ~ Cantonal Forces. It was the last canton to abandon horsed cavalry = Pferdkavallerie, and even then it maintained a zerimonielle Schwadron der Ritters ~ Ceremonial Equestrian Squadron. Provincial transportation units outside the Armoured Branch = Panzerabteilung still use horses, donkeys and other pack animals because those are the most reliable means of shipping goods in the mountains.
After the Cavalry Corps = Kavalleriekorps was folded into the Army Corps, existing Kavallerieregiments ~ cavalry regiments kept their regimental identities but were reequipped as Panzerkavallerie ~ armoured cavalry. The also preserved some archaic ranks like Rittermeister ~ master equestrian and Ritter ~ trooper instead of Hauptmann ~ captain and Schütz ~ private, respectively. Unique among the various cantonal forces, Alsan has Dragoners ~ Dragoons instead of Panzergrenadiers ~ Grenadiers for its Panzerinfanterie ~ armoured infantry.
The Italians may have their Alpini, the French their chasseurs alpins and the Americans their 10th Mountain Division; but soldier for soldier and unit for unit, Mikitivity's premier Gebirgsjaegers ~ mountaineers and Gebirgsjaegerregiments ~ Mountaineering Regiments beat them all. Although they are staffed mostly conscripts like other branches of the Army Corps, their skill at mountain climbing, applying first aid and sharpshooting are largely completed before they are drafted at age 19.
The regiments of the specialized alpine group suited for combat in remote cold weather environments are organised into Volkersthuviandivisionen, the VTDs. There is no official translation since English is not an official language of the canton, but it may be roughly translated as the Popular Thuvian Division or less charitably as the Thuvian Hillbilly Division.
The rest of the Cantonal Forces from the Army Corps, Engineering Corps, Air Corps and Medical Corps are rather unremarkable. The sole exception is the disproportionately large Garrison Artillery = Burgartillerie in Mezoic and on the frontier outposts.
Due to its isolated nature, hostile environment and travel restrictions, there is no significant industrial or commercial trade based in Aslan. However, this same isolation and the dangerous fauna located in the Thuvians, has turned Aslan into Mikitivity's military training ground.
All food is transported into the canton and typically stored in Mezoic's old granaries. This makes food fairly expensive throughout the canton. Though the Thuvians would make for excellent cross-country and downhill skiing terrain, Mikitivity has actively discouraged residents from promoting any sort of tourism to preserve its military secrecy.
The only means of scheduled transportation into or out of the canton is via Mikitivity Bahn's infrequent service to the canton's seat Mezoic.