Region: Nova Porta
Population: 3.4 Million sims
Capital: Grand Harbour
Government Type: Tricameral Constitutional Monarchy
Head of State: Maximus Caesar (previous), Antonius Nero Caesar (heir apparent)
Head of Government: Felix Septimus (previous), currently vacant
Founded about 600 years ago by various settlers; some refugees, some nomads, even a few criminals were in the mix. District 23 was among the first cities to be founded and grew to well over a million sims prior to its disappearance. Eventually, society started organizing itself into houses, most prominent of these was the House of Caesar which currently holds dynastic rule since Nova Porta's founding. Other houses, like the House of Septimus, have hold governmental positions like Senator. After the founding of District 23, some settlers decided to continue exploring and eventually established the various other towns and cities as seen on the map. The House of Caesar has held leadership position in near absolute power since it's founding. Reforms enacted during the year 210 has made the government to adapt democratic measures such as open elections of Senators and other representatives. But recently, Maximus Caesar has been threatening to disband the Senate and both houses of Parliament and has the agenda of restoring the absolute monarchy.
The Sparrow River effectively bisects Nova Porta into Eastern and Western Portions, while the Great Dividing Ridge further divides the region into Northern and Southern Portions, thus creating the 4 Portions. In the middle, Wolf Pass is where all these geographical barriers meet. To the south is where the majority of the cities are, as well as the Great Archipelago of island cities that call the various islands and atolls of the Great Southern Seas home. Climate on these islands can be best described as tropical to subtropical, but it is not uncommon for snow to fall during the winter months.
To the north is the southern coast, where most of the region's population resides. The city of District 23 lies at the delta of the Sparrow River and various coastal communities stretch both eastward and westward of the delta. The relative flatness of the coastal plain allows for unhindered lines of transportation and communication across the southern portion. However, when one draws close to the foot hill communities of St. Roch and Foothills, the geography changes from relative flat to hilly and finally the Great Dividing Ridge itself.
The Northwestern Portion of Nova Porta is home to the Forsaken Range. This impenetrable mountain range utterly fills up the Northwestern Portion of the region and only very few have ever dared to venture into the Forsaken Range. Fewer still have returned alive to tell of the horrors of the Forsaken Range. However, a hardy few have established a small mining community along the south western edge of the Forsaken Range. The small village of Darkhorse works the Darkhorse mines, extracting iron ore and coal, and is considered the only permanent settlement within the Forsaken Range.
Going eastward from the Forsaken Range, the city of San Raquel sits at the headwaters of the Sparrow River where the waters of Lake Sparrow begin their journey to the Southern Sea via the Sparrow River. Slightly younger than District 23, San Raquel is starting to experience its share of growth spurts. To connect the cities of San Raquel and District 23, high speed rail lines, heavy rail, and various roads cross over Wolf Pass and link these two regional powers together.
In the Northeastern region, the mountains once again give way to a massive plain. Here lies the breadbasket of the region, the largest of which would be Black Boulders which produces well over a million tons of produce. Everything from choice rib eye steak to military rations to experimental bio fuel plantations are grown right here.
Government and Politics:
Each city is effectively self governing. However, anything that affects the stability of the region as a whole is discussed in Grand Harbour before the Monarch. The Legislature is comprised of 3 houses: the Senate (upper house), the Parliament (middle house), and the Council (lower house). Only the Senate and Parliament can decide on matters that would affect the entire region, while the Council is made up entirely of each city's elected mayors and is arranged as a courtesy by the Monarch as a way for each of the cities' mayors to interact and settle disputes with each other. Mayors are elected, but in addition to their duties to the city, they are also expected to participate in the biannual Council of Mayors held in the Parliament chambers in Grand Harbour. The Council is not allowed to participate in the passing of laws and can only suggest changes to bills.
If the region was bicameral, then the Parliament would function as the lower house. Representation here is based on each city's population, usually to a ratio of 1 member to 200,000 constituents. However, a provision for 1 member for cities with less than 200,000 constituents is allowed. For a bill to pass this house, a majority of "one more than half" is needed. If a confirmation is needed for the bill to become law, the Parliament would need a 2/3's majority vote to ensure the bill's survival. Members are elected for 5 year terms, with no term limits.
The Senate is the highest house of Legislature in the whole region. Two senators are elected from each city, with each senator needing Parliamentary approval for confirmation of a senator. Senators are elected for 8 year terms, but after their second term, must take at-least an 8 year hiatus off the political stage before being allowed to run for re-election. For a bill to become law, a 2/3's majority vote is needed. For reasons of tradition, the Monarch usually presides over the Senate during sessions, but can differ this honour to other members of the Legislature, excluding Mayors.
The Monarch is the head of state. As such, he or she is expected to both enforce the laws and see that the laws are properly executed. The Monarch may use emergency powers to order martial law either across the region or to a specific area. The Monarch also has a panel of advisers known as the Council of Ministers. Each of these ministers oversees the daily affairs of state from recruiting members of the Imperial Guard to ensuring the safety of the food supply. The Monarch can also fire anyone within the government, be they a clerk or a minister. However, the Senate or the Parliament can challenge the Monarch's firing of any government official. If either house attains a "one more than half" majority vote, the fired official is allowed their old position back with whatever pay during their absence refunded.
Judicial powers are delegated to the Capitoline Court in Grand Harbour. 7 judges are appointed by the Monarch and are confirmed by the Senate. As with all Judicial powers, their job is to translate and interpret laws. The Court's main document that stands as the standard of law across the entire region is the Monarch's Charter. The Charter, signed in 210, is considered the pinnacle of the democratization of Nova Porta. If there is a law that conflicts with the Charter, the Court can declare the law in conflict and render it void.
Regionally, Nova Portia enjoys a well and diversified economy although it's agricultural sector takes up a large 40% of it's GDP. The heavily industrialized cities of McGath and City of Industry take up 30% of the GDP and primarily focus on the export of heavy industrial equipment, such as mining tools and blast furnaces, although a small yet burgeoning high tech industry is starting to sprout in McGath. The final 30% is split between mining, lumber, and general trade.
The relatively wide Sparrow River provides an important mode of transportation and allows even large ocean going cargo ships to pass though without the need to widen the river and it is deep enough to avoid the need for dredging. Ferries connect the cities of District 23 and San Raquel with each other and to the Great Archipelago. Deeper inland, roads and highways are fairly common as a few highways cross the southern coastal plains and connect District 23 with the rest of the south coast. However, the region also features a heavily developed railway system that consists of light rail, subways, heavy surface rail, and high speed rail. Unfortunately, the Great Archipelago does not have such a well developed railway and tram system and relies primarily on water based transportation to get around, although the islands do get a heavy amount of car and pedestrian traffic. And finally, the region is home to 3 international airports. The Alberto Santos Dumont airport in District 23 is the region's hub for all the major airlines. However, due to the rapid urbanization of District 23, land is scarce and an agreement has been reached with District 23's neighbor, City of Commerce, to build the replacement of the Alberto Santos Dumont airport. Construction is underway, but the megaproject will take a very long time to complete. San Raquel's airport is nearing completion and has yet to be named.