Ephrazi

From Themys Project
Republic of Ephrazi

Motto: "For the glory of the Republic, for the glory of Ephrazi."
Location of Ephrazi in Themys, equirectangular projection.
Location of Ephrazi within Themys, marked in orange.
Location of Ephrazi over northeastern Dihara and southwestern Tarsis.
Location of Ephrazi in northeastern Dihara and southwestern Tarsis.
Capital
and largest city
Caraion
Official languagesEphrazian
Recognised regional languagesSuvarnatian (unofficial)
Ethnic groups
(2020)
  • 85% Ephrazian
  • 9.7% Suvarnati
  • 3% Achysian
  • 1% Abayadi
  • 1.3% other
Demonym(s)Ephrazian
GovernmentUnitary presidential republic
• President
Baram Sayar
• Premier
Rani Lazatos
LegislatureParliament of Ephrazi
Establishment
• as the Symeid dynasty
14 AC
• as the Ephsahr Empire
907 AC
• as the Empire of Ephrazi
1376 AC
1510 AC
Area
• Total area
867,915.6 km2 (335,104.1 sq mi)
• Water (%)
0.98%
Population
• 2020 estimate
24.4 million
• 2020 census
24,399,486
• Density
28.1/km2 (72.8/sq mi)
GDP (PPP)2020 estimate
• Total
$939.3 billion
• Per capita
$38,498.74
GDP (nominal)2020 estimate
• Total
$716.5 billion
• Per capita
$29,363.95
Gini (2020)Positive decrease 33.8
medium
HDI (2020)Increase 0.877
very high
CurrencyEphrazian Almas (EA)
Time zoneUTC+3 (Ephrazian Standard Time (EPST))
Date formatdd-mm-yyyy
Driving sideright
Calling code+78
ISO 3166 codeEPH
Internet TLD.eph/.ep

Ephrazi, formally the Republic of Ephrazi, is a unitary presidential republic, as well as a transcontinental state spanning over both the northeast corner of Dihara and the southwestern corner of Tarsis via a land bridge formed by what is known as the Ephrazian Isthmus. Ephrazi shares a border with XX and YY to the south and west in Dihara, and ZZ and AA to the east in Tarsis, while, although it does not share a land border, faces Achysia to the north across the Median Sea to its northwest. Situated on the isthmus between the Median and Pelagian Seas and the Sea of Azad, it is the only continuous nation in Themys that borders both the Allonian and Indian Oceans simultaneously. The nation is home to 24 million residents; Caraion, the nation's capital, is also its largest city, followed by Maha.

Being in a unique geographical position as the crossroads of civilization in Azora, Dihara and Tarsis, the history of Ephrazi has been influenced by interaction with nearby powers. Most of ancient Ephrazi saw the coexistence of powerful kingdoms dominating most of modern-day Ephrazi and city-states dotting its northern coast; Ephrazi was first unified under the Astahki Empire, which grew into major prominence to challenge the rising Elyrian Empire until it was annexed after a series of wars in the 3rd century BC. Under Elyrian rule, it flourished as one of the major cores of the empire, given its proximity and geographical similarities with southern Azora. After the decline of the Elyrian Empire, Ephrazi was once again unified under the Symeid Empire in 228 AC, which remained predominant as a major world power in the medieval world.

The rise of Aranism in Ephrazi, most notably in the south, resulted in the increase of religious divide within the nation, resulting in the Symeid Empire's collapse and the further plunge into civil war and division. It was reunified under the Aranist-dominant Ephsahr Empire in the 10th century AC, which resurrects Ephrazi as a world power and creates a unified Ephrazian identity in the region, all while maintaining a precarious rule against the Vayonist majority in the north. Ephrazi entered a golden age under the Ephsahr Empire, which lasted throughout the 12th and 13th centuries; its fate was met with decline amid the discovery of trans-Allonian maritime trade routes and increased conflicts with southern Azoran states, including Ichoria and Achysia, the latter of which led to significant territorial losses both in Dihara and Tarsis. The empire became a de facto client state of Achysia in 1446, although it had nominally avoided colonialism from Azora. The early 16th century, however, was met with revolutionary independence movements led by Miron Demallis and changing geopolitical circumstances in Azora, which resulted in the establishment of the Republic of Ephrazi in 1510, built around secular republican political ideals. The construction of the Grand Ephrazian Canal in the Ephrazian Isthmus and the discovery of petroleum and gas in central Ephrazi, coupled with industrialization efforts since the 15th century, significantly elevated its economic status in the later half of the 16th century.

Today, Ephrazi is considered to be a regional power in both northern Dihara and southwestern Tarsis, often being referred to as the least of the great powers in international politics. Its unique geography has given the nation significant geopolitical and strategic importance throughout its history as well as the present day, while its economic and industrial initiatives have pushed it closer into the domains of a economically developed nation. Although it is a major player in the global petroleum and gas industry, being a founding member of the Union of Petroleum and Gas Exporters as well as the world's sixth-largest producer of both petroleum and natural gas, it has attempted an increasing focus on decreasing its dependency on oil and gas than before and is actively focusing on commerce and tourism.

Etymology

History

Prehistory and Ancient Ephrazi

The earliest evidence of prehistoric human presence in what is now Ephrazi dates back to almost 800,000 years ago, found in the Helamas cave in northwestern Ephrazi. Earliest remains of anatomically modern humans have been found in the Kamaperos cave in western Ephrazi, dating back to around 250,000 years ago. In southern and central Zhenia, a handful of prehistoric remains of human life dating back to at least 240,000 years ago, focused mainly on the oases, have been discovered. As Ephrazi is situated at the northeastern edge of Dihara, it is speculated that Ephrazi was a major gateway of human migration from Dihara to the outside world, with estimates that a land bridge between it and modern-day Achysia resulted in the migration of the first Azorans alongside the coast of the Median Sea, while many humans migrated into western Tarsis via central and southern Ephrazi, further adding to the archaeological importance of Ephrazi. Both the Paleolithic and Neolithic Ages are represented throughout Ephrazi, although a general tendency in discovered remains suggests that northern Ephrazi developed faster than the south. Remains of neolithic settlements, for instance, are on average almost five centuries older in the north than in the south, with the arid climate of the south somewhat inhibiting further development of civilization.

Prior to Elyrian contact, Ancient Ephrazi was home to one of the first advanced civilizations in the world alongside western Tarsis.

Around 560 BC, the Ashtaki dynasty, which originated from modern-day northeastern Ephrazi, came to reunify northern Ephrazi, subsequently declaring itself an empire. At its height, it competed with the rising Elyrian Empire to its northwest for control over the seas between Azora, Dihara and Tarsis. Under the rule of Selmar II, the Ashtaki dynasty became one of the first empires in history to establish a tri-continental empire that spanned over the three continents surrounding the region.

Under Elyrian rule

Medieval era

Ephsahr Empire

Following a series of wars against lesser Vayonist kingdoms to the north, Salas I of Kassaran unified what is modern-day Ephrazi into one and established the Ephsahr Empire in 907 AC. After consolidating Aranist rule over the region, Salas I expanded the empire into northern Dihara and western Tarsis, once again asserting its presence as a contender against the Vayonist states in Azora.

The Ephsahr Empire in the late 10th and 11th centuries AC marked what is known as the Golden Age of Ephrazi. Being situated around where three continents met, the Ephsahr Empire grew to control the lucrative trade routes that connected the west and east via southwestern Tarsis and the Southern Ocean, while also being a major exchange point for trade routes that expanded as east as modern-day Zhenia and as west as modern-day Salia.

Empire of Ephrazi

In 1372, Dirion Amar, a Ephsahrid military commander from modern-day Ostamar, successfully quelled the rebel factions in western Ephrazi. After reclaiming the southwestern territories on the Ephsahr Empire's behalf, he led a coup to overthrow the Ephsahr Empire altogether and crowned himself emperor, thus establishing the Empire of Ephrazi. Under Dirion Amar's rule as Emperor Dirion I, Ephrazi reached its greatest extent since the end of the Symeid Empire for a short period. Dirion I also further opened up trade with the Azorans, adopting their technology into the Ephrazian arsenal.

Following the Treaty of Akanar, the Empire of Ephrazi became a client state of Achysia: the empire was allowed to retain domestic control over Ephrazi, while the Achysian government was involved in Ephrazi's foreign affairs.

Republic of Ephrazi

The First Great War provoked the rise of the Ephrazian Nationalist Movement, with increasing calls to restore Ephrazian independence, drive out Achysian influence in the process establish a 'state of the people'.

Geography

Ephrazi is a transcontinental nation that geographically spans through Dihara and Tarsis. Diharan Ephrazi, which comprises around 83 percent of the country, is demarcated from Tarsic Ephrazi via the Ephrazian Isthmus, most of which is now part of the Grand Ephrazian Canal. Tarsic Ephrazi comprises the remaining 17 percent of the nation's territory. The territory of Ephrazi is XXX kilometers long and YYY kilometers in width with a generally diamond shape pointing to the north, while it lies between latitudes AA° and BB° N, and longitudes CC° and DD° E. The total area administered by Ephrazi stands at 867,915.6 square kilometers (335,104.1 square miles), a figure that includes lakes and area covered by water; excluding 0.98% of its territory that is covered in water, the total land area under Ephrazian administration is at 859,409.9 square kilometers.

Landscape and climate

Wildlife

Politics

Ephrazi is a unitary presidential republic, as clarified in its Constitution in 1510. In accordance to the principle of rule of law, the Constitution remains the highest legal document that constitute the state of Ephrazi and its political system, clearly defining the nation's democratic system, the separation of powers and the formation of government under such principles. In compliance to the Constitution and under the presidential system, the President primarily forms the Executive Branch and exercises executive power; executive powers are kept at bay by the Parliament, which primarily handles legislative power in the nation, and the Judiciary, in charge of judicial power within Ephrazi independent of the executive and the legislative branch.

Government

Law

Ephrazi's legal system is centered around a civil law system since the establishment of the Republic in 1510, following the abolishment of the imperial common law system.

Foreign relations

Military

File:Ephrazian Army in exercise.jpg
The Ephrazian Armed Forces maintains a presence in northeastern Dihara as a significant regional power.

The Republic of Ephrazi Armed Forces was formed shortly after the establishment of the Republic in 1510 AC, and is the primary defense force of the nation. It consists of the Army, Naval Forces and the Air Force, while the Coast Guard and the Gendarmerie, although not officially part of the Armed Forces, can fall under military command in wartime. As the commander-in-chief of the Armed Forces, the President appoints both the Minister of Defense and the Joint Chiefs of Staff. While the President can assume control over the military as its commander-in-chief, the right to declare war against other nations and allow foreign armed forces in Ephrazi rests solely within the Parliament - a measure intended to prevent the President from single-handedly making decisions against the state's security.

The Republic of Ephrazi demands all fit male Ephrazian citizen otherwise not restricted is required to serve in the military for at least 21 months or 24 months, depending on service branch. While it does not officially recognize conscientious objection, Ephrazi offers civilian alternatives to military service, although they normally last 30 to 36 months depending on the type of service. There have been several petitions to expand the conscription law to all fit female Ephrazian citizens as well: since 1606, all fit female Ephrazian citizens are mandated to serve in the military for six to twelve months. Both men and women who have served in the military are required to serve in reserve duty for a ten-year period, normally consisting of wartime conscription and around two weeks of state-paid mandatory training every year. As of 1610 AC, around 45% of male citizens and 12% of female citizens of ages between 25 and 34 have served in the Armed Forces.

The Republic of Ephrazi Armed Forces is considered one of the most powerful military forces in western Tarsis and northern Dihara, as well as one of the largest by manpower, with an estimated strength of around 630,000 deployable forces in a 1608 estimate.

Administrative subdivisions

Demographics

According to the 1610 census, Ephrazi is home to a total of 24,399,486 residents. There is, however, significant disparity in its distribution: a vast majority of the population is focused on the northern and southern coastal regions.

Ethnicity

Language

Religion

Health

Education

The Ministry of Education is responsible for all pre-tertiary education and much of tertiary education in the nation. The compulsory education system lasts twelve years, from the age of seven to nineteen, and consists of six years of primary school, two years of intermediate school and four years of high school; each level is separated by a set of academic assessment tests that act as an indicator towards the student's academic skills and aptitude, which in turn influence the student's admissions well into college. Normally all levels of schools are separated according to grade; in select areas and circumstances, however, primary and intermediate schools can often be within the same building and thus in the same system, under the name 'unified school'. As education is compulsory until high school, almost all Ephrazians between ages 25 and 34 have completed at least high school; this is because education is regarded as a key pathway to success in Ephrazian society, although the emphasis on higher education in particular is somewhat fading today. The overall adult literacy rate as of 1609 was 99.4%, one of the highest in both Dihara and Tarsis.

There are 144 four-year universities in Ephrazi as of 1609 AC. Entrance to almost all universities in the nation is regulated by a standardized admission system that runs on a number of separate tracks, each distinguished by the varying degree of importance they place on the student's Higher Education Assessment Test (HEAT) scores, essays, letters of recommendation and separate tests by the university. Some of the top universities in the nation include the Miron Demallis University, University of Caraion, the Caraion Institute of Technology and University of Maha. Around 40% of the universities in the nation are national institutions or are state-funded, while a vast majority of the remainder are run by non-profit institutions. As of 1609, 47.8% of all Ephrazian adults between ages 25 and 34 were graduates of universities or technical institutes.

Economy

The economy of Ephrazi has developed from a backwater developing state into one of the most prosperous states in Dihara and Western Tarsis in the span of a century. Although its economic growth has been and still is propelled by its oil and gas sectors, there have been attempts to diversify the Ephrazian economy with the development of other industries.

Business and commerce

Industry

Oil and gas

Ephrazi has significantly invested in its oil and gas sectors since the industry's genesis in the early 1540s.

Despite economic diversification efforts since the 1560s AC, it still plays an important role in the Ephrazian economy. Proven reserves of petroleum within Ephrazian soil and waters total around 89.3 billion barrels of petroleum and around 20,000 cubic kilometers of natural gas, making it home to the fifth-largest and seventh-largest petroleum and gas reserves in the world respectively. On June 1610, Ephrazi's daily total oil liquid production stood at around 3.77 million barrels, making it the sixth-largest producer of petroleum and gas in the world. The oil and gas sector altogether generated around 25.5% of the nation's total GDP as of 1609. The nation's oil and gas production and refinement is focused primarily in central and southern Ephrazi, although there are a handful of refineries to the north with aims for the Azoran market.

Since the discovery of petroleum and gas in 1539 AC, the government has been responsible for the handling of revenue from the sector, including taxes, licensing fees, dividends and sales revenues. It has been maintaining a significant amount of the sector's revenue in a government-maintained sovereign wealth fund (the Ephrazi Sovereign Fund) since 1580 AC, with the primary intention of diversifying the nation's economy from oil and gas as well as minimize uncertainty from oil price fluctuations. The Sovereign Fund in recent years has significantly invested back into Ephrazian businesses and infrastructure projects, most notably the recent expansions of the Grand Ephrazian Canal, The Ephrazi Sovereign Fund is estimated to have over $700 billion worth of accumulated revenue and assets from the nation's oil and gas sector as of July 1610, while there are projections that the total balance would exceed $1 trillion by 1625 if current trends in oil and gas prices continue.

Tourism

The Epilean Islands, located in the northern tips of Ephrazi, are among the most popular tourist destinations in the nation.

Tourism has been a major element in the Ephrazian economy since the later half of the 16th century AC. Today, tourism is one of its most important sectors, contributing an estimated 18.8% of the nation's total gross domestic product as of 1609. Over 36 million international visitors have visited Ephrazi in 1608, a increase from the 29 million in 1600. Of the 36 million visitors, half of its international visitors are from Azora, due to its geographic proximity and cultural similarities, particularly along its northern coasts. Achysia was the most common nation of origin for visitors to Ephrazi, at 4.2 million, followed by Salia (3.1 million) and Kathia (2.2 million). Figures are expected to grow further amid extensive investment on infrastructure and the promotion of international tourism by the Ephrazian state.

Many of Ephrazi's most popular tourist destinations are located on the northern coast, particularly facing the Median and Pelagian Seas. The Epilean Islands in northern Ephrazi, as well as archaeological and historic sites along the nation's Median and Pelagian coasts, are traditionally the most popular destinations, while a trend centered on resort tourism in resorts along the nation's northern and southern coasts has taken off in recent years.

Infrastructure

Ephrazi High Speed Rail (EHSR), beginning service in 1590, is the first high-speed rail network to see service in Dihara.
Leveraging its unique geographic location being between three continents, Ephrazi is a major hub for global air traffic.
Ephrazi is home to the Grand Ephrazian Canal, one of the most important sea routes in the world.

As of 1610 AC, Ephrazi has a road network of 70,813.1 kilometers (44,001.2 miles) throughout its territories. Due to the nation's landscape, road remains the most common means of passenger transport in the nation, although the government's significant investments on rail has partly changed the circumstances. Ephrazian Rail, the main operator of the nation's rail network, has operated Dihara's first high-speed rail network - the Ephrazi High Speed Rail (EHSR) - since 1590, when a line connecting major cities in the nation's northern coast commenced operations. Rapid transit and light rail networks are also commonplace in many Ephrazian cities, the largest of which being the Caraion Metro, which spans over 243.3 kilometers and 8 lines.

There are a total of 89 airports throughout the nation, 28 of which are international airports. Caraion International Airport, the nation's largest airport, is one of the world's busiest airports by number of passengers and is the primary hub of Ephrazi Airlines, the flag carrier and largest airline in the nation among other airlines. Ephrazi is also a major player in global shipping, being home to and the owner of the Grand Ephrazian Canal that connects the Pelagian Sea and the Sea of Azad. Being responsible for almost a third of the world's shipping traffic, it is at the choke point of some of the world's most important shipping routes. The strong presence of shipping and trade in the Ephrazian economy has resulted in several of its ports, including the Port of Caraion and the Port of Maha, become one of the world's largest ports in terms of cargo tonnage. With its pleasant climate and landscape, it is also a popular destination for cruise ship lines traversing the Median and Pelagian Seas, as well as the Sea of Azad: Elmas International, one of the largest cruise companies in the world, is headquartered in Caraion.

File:Hegweg Desalination Plant.jpg
Desalination of seawater has become a prevailing potential source of water in Ephrazi since the turn of the century.

As a major global producer of oil and gas, Ephrazi is highly dependent on fossil fuels for its electricity needs, with natural gas alone generating almost half of the electricity used in the nation. It has become increasingly dependent on natural gas to handle its ever-increasing demands for electricity, coupled with increases in natural gas production. However, at an attempt to decrease its dependency on fossil fuels, it has invested aggressively on renewable energy, particularly in solar and wind energy. It maintains a total of eight reactors across the nation - four in the Karaltin nuclear power plant in the nation's northwestern coast and the remaining four in Arkas Island nuclear power plant along its southern coast. Under the government's Climate Initiative 1650, solar and wind energy are expected to generate around 30% of the nation's entire electricity demands by 1630, and 70% by 1650.

Water supply and sanitation throughout Ephrazi has been a significant challenge by itself, given that over 60% of the nation is desert. While access to drinking water and adequate sanitation has been universal in the northern coastal regions, much of the desert region has been characterized with chronic water shortages that are unable to sustain large populations at natural states. A series of aboveground and underground canals and aqueducts, built throughout the later half of the 16th century under the Ephrazi River Initiative, is one of the world's largest water management systems, managing almost 40 km3 of water every year and transporting groundwater from the Central Ephrazi fossil aquifer system to the city's coastal regions. Ephrazi has also invested heavily in wastewater recycling and management as well as desalination; the Hegweg Desalination Plant, located along the Sea of Azad, is one of the largest single desalination plants in the world.

Culture

Architecture

Visual arts

Cuisine

Film and media

Literature

Music

Public holidays