Gronk is a major region in central Eras, once unified as the Empire of Gronk and, for a short time after that, as the Cooperative Commonwealth of the Union of Northern Gronk. Since the fall of Northern Gronk in 299, the territory has been carved up by neighbouring powers such as Zartania and Whiland, while rebel movements established their own sovereign states in different parts of the country. These new states keep popping up every few years.
The most recent have been the Lyson Empire and the People's Republic of Gronk (PROG). Meanwhile, the remaining corelands of Northern Gronk remain dominated by different warring factions - even though, nominally, they are unified as the Gronkian Union.
The term Gronk refers to an important geographical and historical region in the northern and central parts of the Old Continent of Eras. Most of the central part of the territory is occupied by the arid highlands of the Yoakes plains. The north is dominated by the subpolar Red Sky Lakes, a peninsula dotted by thousands of freshwater lagoons. To the south, by the warm Sea of Eulos, there is the region of Eunara or Eulosa.
The periphery of Gronk is dominated by many important mountain chains: Gold Mountains, Kras Mountains, the Zibkan (Seepaeyguey) Mountains and the Chain of K'Nix.
For many centuries, Gronk had existed as the Empire of Gronk, or the Gronkian Kraljdom - at times a constitutional monarchy, but an absolutist regime for most of its history. The Kraljdom reached its peak on 134BP, exerting control - either directly or via client states - over most of central and eastern Eras, only to enter into a relative decline over the following decades.
Gronk was one of the first states to fall victim of the Plague, due to its location close to the origin of the epidemic.
Sana Docetan was a small city-state located within Gronkian territory. The country was annexed by Gronk in 297, when it was alleged that the city was being used as a centre for Gronkian anti-monarchist guerillas.
To be continued... The last kralj, Borov II, perished of a heart attack on the 12th of December 296. A power vacuum ensued for several months, until the military seized control and established a new nationalist regime, called the Cooperative Commonwealth, on the 5th of October 297.
Northern Gronk EraEdit
The Cooperative Commonwealth was described as a benevolent dictatorship, in which one ruler is elected until death or abdication, with no possibility of their removal before that date. Ascending to the rank of First Elected Master (FEM, the title given to this ruler) was Zeljko Heimer, a former army officer chosen on a direct election, shortly after the establishment of the new regime.
The Cooperative Commonwealth was organized as a one-party dictatorship, ruled by the FEM and the bureaucracy of his Free Gronk Party - National Front, with major influence by the military.
Towards the end of January 299, however, the First Elected Master of Northern Gronk disappeared from public sight. No indication of the causes of this disappearance were given. On the 2nd of February, the Gronkian Minister of the Interior, Vilniir Tizjsk, announced that the FEM had been assassinated by "terrorists" attempting to seize control of the Gronkian state. He announced wide-ranging measures to check the terrorism, including the placement of the country under martial law.
Almost immediatly, this story was doubted by a major part of the population in Gronk. Leaked information, later confirmed by foreign intelligence reports, stated that the removal of First Elected Master Zeljko was a quiet coup d'état organized by certain elements of the Gronkian government, led by Minister Tizjsk.
The actions of Vilniir Tizjsk were met with much criticism, both from the public and from other members of the government. As the situation deteriorated, Tizjsk called in the army to "restore order", and many of his opponents were jailed or shot. As unrest grew, the army moved to tighten its control on Gronk, a measure which only served to increase public discontent. Exactly one week after Tizjsk's assumption of power, he was assassinated while making a speech in Kraljyaa Square, in the centre of the capital Glavnyaa. The military then assumed "interim control" of Gronk in order to "stabilize the country before elections", with the commander of the army, general Ivan Malovic, taking temporary leadership of the country.
Dissolution of the Cooperative CommonwealthEdit
Malovic hoped to restore the stability of the Gronkian nation with strong measures against crime, corruption, and insurrections. In this aim, he failed, with little progress being made on any of these fronts. Rebels in the non-ethnic Gronkian regions of Kzanikstan, Ansonia and Azhistan, as well as democratic-leaning Eulos, began to push for independence. Gronkian troops suffered heavy losses to ambushes and surprise assaults in the K'nix Mountains while attempting to supress the Kzanikhi revolt. Small-scale insurrections began to arise in Ansonia and in Western Zartania, which Malovic attempted to supress.
Malovic initiated a strategy of a phased reduction in the size of his territory. Under the impression that Gronk was too large to be maintained with what resources he had available, he chose to divest Gronk of its outermost territories until only the inner core remained, now properly defended and strengthened. Under this scheme, the Eastern Islands were transfered to Islandia on the 6th of July 299, while the colonies of Novoyoakes were occupied by the MESTO powers and reorganized as the international park of Mestonia.
The small insurrections soon developed into all-out separatist rebellions. Kanikstan officially declared independence on the 11th of August, followed by Azhistan on the 17th of the same month. As per Malovic's strategy, the Gronkian military officially withdrew from those territories. On September, Gronk also granted independence to the small city-state of Sana Docetan.
Malovic did not, however, intended to abandon all Gronkian territories. Under his direction, the effort against Eulos and various other independentists in Gronk was bolstered, and forces once wide-spread were concentrated on these single areas. On the 28th of November, 299, Gronkian troops recaptured the southern city of Eulos, centre of the self-proclaimed Eulosian Free State. The partisans were not defeated, however, instead fleeing into the countryside and into the hills to avoid the troops, and continuing to fight. Gronkian troops were engaged in constant warfare to maintain control of the Eulos region.
Other guerilla groups sprang up throughout Gronk. Some were independentists, while some were self-described "patriots" fighting Malovic's government either to establish democracy or establish a "stronger" central government. In the outer regions of Gronk, many people attempted to act upon their nationalistic views themseles, forming into guerilla groups either opposed to the government or opposed to separatists. In other regions, militias were formed to oppose independentist guerillas. These "death squads", as they became known, made extensive use of terror strategies, and have been implicated in countless violations of human rights. Furthermore, many elements of the Gronkian Army itself sympathized with the militias, and desertion and even mutiny became more and more common. Within a few weeks, entire infantry units had turned renegade and were fighting alongside the death squads, as the country officially descended into a state of civil war.
War against Zartania and WhitlamEdit
As the death squads started targeting the ethnic-Zartanian population of northeastern Gronk, the militaries of the Eastern Zartania and Withlam decided to act. Eastern Zartanian and Whitlamite force moved westwards into Gronk, meeting resistance from partisans and rogue Gronkian infantry companies. By the 7th of January, 300, the allied forces had captured the cities of Zibkan and Kras. On January 23rd, 300, a UNVCOCN referendum held in the territories occupied by the allied forces joined Western Zartania to Eastern Zartania (eventually forming the Greater Zartanian Empire) and the east Yoakes plains to Whitlam.
This transfer, while recognized by General Malovic's government, provoked widespread anger among the Gronkian populace, who saw the transfer as theft of rightful Gronkian territory by foreign imperialists. Furthermore, Malovic's acceptance of this transfer caused him to be branded a traitor by many Gronkian nationalists, and provoked several attempts upon his life.
On the 2nd of March, after order began to disintegrate even within the Gronkian heartland, Malovic was shot three times by an assassin. A extremist nationalist figure, Lieutenant-General Mirov Tibarovya, was proclaimed to be Malovic's replacement as leader of Gronk until stability was restored.
At about the same time a coalition of pro-democracy movements and sypathizing military units, the Commonwealth of Gronkian Peoples, emerged. This coalition, which began as a guerilla group attempting to overthrow the Tibarovya regime, had several early sucesses against Tibarovya's military. The Commonwealth of Gronkian Peoples also allied itself with the Free Eulos Movement, which recaptured the city of Eulos on the 17th of May, 300, proclaiming an independent Eulosian state once again.
On the 8th of November 300, Tibarovya proclaimed a new nation, the Dominion of Gronk. The stated objective of Tibarovya and his Dominion was the restoration of Gronk to its former glory. This new nationalist government, however, did not impede the continuing trend of secessions within former Northern Gronk.
Both the Dominion and the Commonwealth of Gronkian Peoples were awarded limited diplomatic recognition. Some states even considered both nations as successors to Northern Gronk, with legal sovereignity over Gronkian territory under their control - to the point that both nations were granted representation on the 301 Summer Vexgames in Lamb's Cove.
Gronk saw a number of succesfull secessionist movements during the 300s.
Ansonia and KemedalEdit
An independent monarchy until its conquest by the Gronkian Empire in 198BP, the northwestern region of Ansonia, centered on the coastal city of Sub-Marina, was home to both the Ansonian and Kemese ethnic groups. The area first claimed "autonomy" from Northern Gronk on July 299 through a decree from the Ansonia Provisional Authority (APA), a coalition of pro-independence forces from both left and right. Loyalist Gronkian forces engaged in low-scale warfare against both irregular Ansonian bands and the (more organized) and APA-aligned Peoples' Voluntary Militia through most of 299.
On the 24th of December 299, the Ansonian Provisional Authority proclaimed the independence of the Ansonian Federation from Northern Gronk. This declaration is seen as the beginning of the Ansonian War of Independence. The Gronkian military decided to prioritize defense of the important industrial centers of Sub-Marina, Ykxs and Midloch, as well as the key port of Agronia, leaving most of the countryside open for the pro-independence forces.
On the 12th of October 300, the Peoples' Voluntary Militia captured the important naval base of Agronia, on northern Ansonia. A few days later, the five patrol boats captured on Agronia were responsible for the sinking of a Gronkian frigate, the Invincible, guarding the port of Sub-Marina. Gronkian loyalist forces resisted in Sub-Marina until the 15th of October 300, after an eleven-month-long siege. Another key city, Yxks, fell on late September.
On the 8th of December, 27 vessels of the Gronkian fleet set sail from the Port-o-Gronk Naval Base and defected to Ansonian forces. This final blow led to all remaining Gronkian forces to leave Ansonia until the end of the month. Ansonian independence had been secured.
A referendum on the 15th of January 301 showed a 79,6% support for the restoration of the Ansonian monarchy. On the 28th of January, Richard III of the house of Agron-Ansonio was crowned king of the Ansonian Federation.
The southern, Kemese-inhabited half of Ansonia declared its independence on the 18th of February 302 as the Kingdom of Kemedal.
Ezo and Fora RifoEdit
The northern archipelagoes of Zufites and Elafites, together with the island of Frket, were governed as a single province of Northern Gronk. The Elafites island chain declared independence on the 31th of May 300. The next day, June 1st, the Zufites followed suit. On the 21st of June, representatives of both countries met in Libereco Island, Zufites, and agreed to form a new state: the Kingdom of Elafites and Zufites, or Ezo. In this meeting Ritjo Cevaldrenilo, using the royal name Karolo I, was elected the first king of the newly formed state. The Kingdom, formally a confederation of both island chains, was officially formed on the 1st of July 300.
During the first half year of independence, the oversized police forces took over political power from the parliament and government. This resulted in a series of religion-inspired riots and other pro-democracy protests, which the police ended sometimes very violently. Following another series of protests in late 300, the police forces transported thousands of political dissidents and Mounist protesters to Fora Rifo - formerly Frket Island.
After a violent uprising, Fora Rifo declared independence from Ezo on 23rd of December 300. When the police forces started to bomb the island in the Yule War, the citizens on Elafites and Zufites started a revolt against tyranny. The police forces surrendered and the king took over the governing duties calling representatives of all islands to negotiate the future of Ezo. Karolo I appointed a new government, police forces were cut down to a minimum and many high ranking officers were sentenced to life in prison.
Following the Yule War, Fora Rifo was granted autonomy within Ezo, as an Autonomous Republic. Later, on the 27th of February 301, the Sultanate of Feniz established a protectorate over the island.
On 19th of February, 301, one of the small rebel militias operating on the northernmost Red Sky Lakes area, called the Democratic Abaco Army (DAA), marched through the provincial capital of Palmer and, with the help of the people, deposed the inefective provincial government in a bloodless coup. On that same day, the DAA proclaimed the Democratic Republic of Abaco. Other militias and remaining civilian authorities were quick on joining the new nation.
The Democratic Republic of Abaco was a ethnic Gronkian-dominated socialist state. All private industry and farming lands were confiscated and nationalized by the so-called Workers' Party of Abaco and its High Council of the State, as was all the mass media. However, this socialist experience was poorly executed. The already-damaged infraestructure of the country - unpaved roads and old power lines, for exemple -, plus the inexperience of the Party bureaucrats, contributed much to the food, fuel and power shortages of the following months.
On the 20th of August, 301, the country was renamed the Republic of Severnaya, after the Ulanovan name for the Red Sky Lakes area.
On the 9th of April 207, the country adopted the archaic name Shaelia, or the Shaelic Commonwealth, achieving limited international recognition on this period, before reverting to the Severnaya name by 313.
Another socialist experience in former Gronk was the Golton Commonwealth, centered on the province of Golton. Starting by late 298 as a clandestine party, the movement was founded by Han Vindaski. As the Cooperative Commonwealth collapsed, Vidaski, stepping in to the power vaccuum, became the first premier of the new state, attempting to consolidate the country amidst social and economical chaos.
By 300, the ruling party replaced Vidaski with Karl Klediliski. The new premier, however, neglected funding for the military and security services, which allowed for another rebellion, by the ethnic Lysonians.
On October 304, under orders from the nominal Lysonian empress Vesha Nek, Lysonian rebels launched an assault on Golton territory, in what became known as the Imperial Revolution. Seizing the majority of the coast, the capital city Golton, and most of the military assets, the new empress declared herself ruler of all the former territories and disbanded the fledgling Golton Commonwealth, establishing the Lysonian Empire in its place.
This quick victory, however, quickly degenerated into the so-called Lysonian Civil War, pitting the Lysonian Imperial forces against the remnants of the Golton Liberation Army and rogue Northern Gronk forces. The Civil War ended in September 305.
The People's Republic of Gronk (PROG) was yet another socialist state to emerge in former Northern Gronk. Expousing a particulary military-oriented interpretation of communist dogma combined with nationalist rethoric, the People's Army of Liberation under Solomon Savior capture the former Cooperative Commonwealth's capital city and founded the new People's Republic in August 304.
The PROG and its People's Army of Liberation claimed to work for a unification of all former Gronkian lands under the socialist banner. After unifying the old province of Port-o-Gronk and the northern half of Periala, the country was involved in a short war against Lysonia, which ended in a stalemate.
The People's Republic of Gronk inherited a substantial share of the Northern Gronkian nuclear programme, including a considerable ammount of nuclear warheads. The PROG's Atomix Division did perform a succesfull test of nuclear artillery on July 305, but has since refrained from further action.
After several years of frozen conflict and low-level warfare between the Commonwealth, the Dominion and also assorted minor anti-government and rebel groups, a coalition government called the Gronkian Union emerged in the late 300s.
So far, as of 216, the new Gronkian Union government has managed to bring a semblance of stability to the country. The Gronkian Union is also sometimes known as the Gronkian and Eunara Union, which may hint at a future autonomy agreement for the Eulos region.
Despite this stability, a number of major issues still plague the country.
At present, a great deal of nationalist feeling exists in Gronk. This creates a dangerous climate in which non-Gronkians - specially outside major cities - are highly unsafe.
The national economy of Gronk has been severely weakened by the collapse of the Cooperative Commonwealth, and even now suffers under the mismanagement of the Union. Even though the new government is attempting to exert more control over the economical and financial system, there is still very little central control worthy of note, and trade with foreign nations is almost non-existant. Massive inflation, a currency collapse, and other obstacles have all so far prevented a stabilization of the Gronkian economic system.
Northern Gronk was a nuclear power, possessing a sizable number of nuclear weapons, mostly in the form of missiles. Altough such weapons of mass destruction were never deployed by any party during the years of chaos, there is no guarantee that technology or even warheads themselves have not fallen into the hands of rogue states or even terrorists.
The Gronkian Union still retains de jure - although not de facto - control over two former Northern Gronk colonial remnants: Glaciaria and Novoyoakes. The Union, however, has not pressed claims for either territory.