Monday, 5 April 2010

Balkrunia - Gateway to the East

The Balkrunian Empire (so called merely because many of the constituent provinces acknowledge the nominal overlordship of Balkrunia when faced with an external threat - the whole conglomerate is often called 'The Eternal Empire') can best be described as an Eastern European version of the Swiss Republic but without the pragmatic unity of the Helvetic version. To be honest, the 'Empire' exists only in the loosest sense - usually when threatened by external forces - but by common accord the various provinces are mutually supportive, albeit grudgingly, as and when the need arises. Trade and defence tend to be the main areas of cooperation and if either of these are compromised then the natural warlike ardour of the region tends to come to the fore. Indeed, the tradition of infighting is a long and honourable one and many are the folk tales that can be told to the interested traveller over a glass of 'Slugapitz' whilst listening to the mournful lamentation of a bouzouki playing troubadour. The entire region is noted for its musical inclination and whilst local variations exist the songs and tunes are surprisingly similar - in fact, in many cases all that happens is that one area will use the same tune as another but will change the words to suit!

Balkrunia itself is the largest of the myriad provinces that make up the region and so is acknowledged as the main power and indeed, the various smaller provinces look to her for leadership and guidance, as well as her military and naval strength. As an aside, whilst the main bulk of the provinces are usually unconcerned about their immediate neighbours problems (and this apparent unconcern usually ranges from sullen indifference to outright hostility) all are required by common accord to supply not only representatives on the Balkrunian council - the Duma - but also a contingent to the Empires military forces. It is this military cooperative that is both the Balkrunian Empires strength and weakness. Whilst Balkrunia herself usually fields the main bulk of the regular forces including the navy (this is not surprising as she is the only member of the Empire with a coastline!) the provinces provide a very varied level of support. The provinces rely almost exclusively on militia style units which may vary in size, training, uniforms and equipment but are all good fighters - years of raiding and border skirmishes have seen to that.

The Duma is content to allow the provincial troops to fight pretty much in their own way as most attempts to regularise them have usually met with open revolt by the troops in question. In terms of numbers though, this source of troops accounts for nearly half the total strength of a Balkrunian Army so cannot be easily discounted. Provincial troops retain their own officers and are usually deployed with an equivalent Balkrunian formation thereby combining the best of the old with the new. Balkrunian forces tend to be modern and forward thinking in their outlook; ready and willing to embrace new ideas and technology as far as the imperial purse will permit. The provinces tend to be well equipped as a rule but usually a generation behind and always lighter than their Balkrunian comrades.

At the time of writing the armed forces of the Balkrunian Empire are attempting to assimilate much in the way of Great War surplus equipment - vehicles, aircraft and new warships - and several foreign military and naval advisers have been observed in the capital.

More to follow..................


  1. Alright, now I feel feeble with my little description of Alcovia :)

  2. Hi Eli,

    Just as a thought I am sure I saw in my Atlas and Encyclopedia that Alcovia actually borders the northernmost province of the Balkrunian Empire. Obviously the entire region is a hodge podge of minor states etc but certainly the Kuzak tradition has an extension in Balkrunia itself as the nomadic horseman became urbanised during the 16th century. This would explain the use of horse tail standards in the Balkrunian Guard Cavalry regiment.

    I will, of course, research this further.


  3. An interesting combination of 'modern' and (potentially extremely diverse) 'old fashioned', with a complex political background.
    You mentioned the Helvetic Confederation, but (being rather obsessed by the 18th C.) the 'Eternal Empire' reminds me of the Holy German Empire fielding (in its 'Ever Victorious Army'?) the same combination of 'modern' (western European type) and 'traditional' troops as late 17thC. -early 18th C. Poland and Russia, with the 'Austrians' providing the 'modern' types and the Reich Armee the 'exotic' ones.
    Btw, maybe with time we'll learn about Balkrunia by Lace Wars times?


  4. Ogre,

    I wonder what the teritorial implications are in the region and can the Kuzaks be trusted if they have kin in foreign lands. Although, I would never question Kuzak honor to their face.