New Abria

Size: 296,867 sq.mi. (a bit smaller than Turkey, or Maine + New Hampshire + Vermont + Massachusetts + Rhode Island + Connecticut + New York + New Jersey + Pennsylvania + Delaware + Maryland + West Virginia + Virginia + North Carolina)

Population: 5.0m (a bit more than the population of Costa Rica, or South Carolina)

Government: no sitting ruler (anarchy / adhocracy)

Capital: no capital

Major Cities:

  • Sloemire (pop. ~255k)
  • Magwallow Canal (pop. ~51k)
  • Ethermoor (pop. ~28k)
  • Ivorpoint River (pop. ~15k)

New Abria’s complex system of government is likely to confuse those who first hear of it. Most assume that the nation operates by anarchy, & while this is partially correct, it doesn’t stop there. The government runs on a highly dynamic form of governance called ‘adhocracy’, which lacks any kind of centralized leadership or hierarchy. Instead, when a citizen sees a need that should be met by the government, such as building a bridge or passing a law, they may spontaneously form a council or board to oversee the project, & gain approval from or raising funds from people who would benefit as necessary. Some of these organizational bodies & agencies can be long-lasting, but few are permanent, such as the Law Enforcement Authority.

The country itself is primarily low-lying riverlands, swamps & bayous, lakes, & other bodies of freshwater. Many people live high-mobility lives, choosing to live on houseboats or housecarriages. People congregate in temporary cities, sometimes quite large, but permanent settlements of any appreciable size are uncommon, though where they do occur, the population can fluctuate significantly as people come & go.

Most other countries are fairly ambivalent on New Abria. On the one hand they are a friendly & peaceful nation, & they offer profitable trading opportunities. On the other hand, it’s hard to form a treaty with a country so amorphous that you can’t be guaranteed to negotiate with the same person twice in a row.

(Point of reference: canal cities like Venice, Italy, mixed with the Cajun bayou; the Philippines; also the novel Down and Out in the Magic Kingdom, & the idea of crowdsourcing & crowdfunding)