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Location of Shepland (dark green) in Avalonia (grey)|
Location of Shepland (dark green)
in Avalonia (grey)
|Demonym||Sheplander - Shep|
• Tiperyn Protectorate
|364 km2 (141 sq mi)|
• 2021 census
• Per capita
Shepland is a Republic city-state in Anterra. It is located in the north east of the Tethys Ocean, approximately 1690km north west of Tavaluda. With an area of 364km2, Shepland is the smallest sovereign state in the world, and with a population of 14,225 it also has the smallest population of any sovereign state. Anglic is the official language.
Shepland was founded as Grey Island, named after its almost constant poor weather, in 1651 by Tiperyn as a whaling station to meet increasing demand both back home and in Tiperyn-controlled territory in Northern Avalonia. Fishing and sheep farming on the island increased with the population over the decades until matching and ultimately exceeding its whaling industry. In 1690 the majority population of farmers petitioned to rename the island and its city to Shepland after the industry in which they made their living. Due to conditions on the island, very little food is grown besides livestock so most food is imported.
Shepland gained independence from Tiperyn in XXXX year after (some kind of event that possibly involved most of if not the entire working population going on strike for some reason, maybe economic or treatment concerns?)
Little is known of Shepland's pre-colonization history. The prevailing theory on the people who inhabited the island describes a people ethnically related to those on various islands in the central and eastern Tethys ocean, whose civilization consisted only of fishing villages and rarely, if ever, made use of the island's inland. It is theorized that these people at some undetermined time went through a period of significant strife in which food sources dwindled and outside trade ceased. This is supported by stories told by natives of eastern Avalonia during Tiperyn expansion into the area, of a far away island of people who were starving to death, and who no longer had contact with the outside world due to their repeated unprovoked attacks on visiting traders. It is not known if Shepland is the island that is described in these stories and it is not known if the stories are even accurate or literal, due to potentially being shared over many generations, however based on the limited archaeological evidence found during the colonization of the island, Shepland did have previous inhabitants who at some time in the past either left the island or went extinct. No examples of the wooden huts and hand tools found during this time were studied in depth and nor did any survive the colonization period.
In late-1650, a fleet of three (currently unnamed) whaling ships were caught in a large storm in the north east Tethys. Drifting in the storm for several days, the ships inadvertently came across the then-unnamed island of Shepland. Despite managing to stay together through the storm, one ship lost control near the south end of the island and was pulled and subsequently wrecked inside a large natural harbour. No deaths were reported and the crew quickly escaped to the shore. Taking advantage of a short lull in the storm, the two surviving ships entered the harbour but did not approach the shore in fear of hidden reefs and hostile natives. For two days the two surviving ships remained moored off shore and the stranded crew huddled in makeshift shelters on the island. Regrouping after the storm, the island was explored by the ships' crews and after 2 days it was concluded that the island was not inhabited. Small wood and earth huts and tools were found, but their age suggested they had long since been abandoned. It was decided that a number of the wrecked ship's crew would remain on the island while the two surviving ships returned to Tiperyn to report what had been found. The stranded crew was given supplies and were expected to build temporary shelters out of their irreparably wrecked ship and explore and map what they could of the island until dedicated exploration ships arrived.
In 1651 Emperor Fedderik of Tiperyn ordered the island to be explored and colonized. The island was reached by an exploration ship in mid-1651 and it was found that the men who had been left behind as a claim on the island had suffered a number of deaths due to exposure. They had used most of their supplies and reportedly only managed to survive by chance after they discovered massive schools of fish around the island, which they took advantage of using the two lifeboats taken from the wrecked ship. The wrecked ship had been emptied and much of the hull had been stripped away for use as buildings supplies. The crew did not need to use the wood as fuel as peat had been discovered on the island which they used for fuel. All the old tools and wooden buildings found on the island during this time were dismantled and recycled through necessity.
Over the next few weeks it was confirmed by exploration teams that the island was indeed uninhabited by natives, and more old huts and tools were found recycled. They found that the island was rich in peat and pastures, as well as confirming the massive stocks of fish around the island, making the island a valuable discovery.
Shepland has been home to a whaling station since the island was first settled. For several centuries it enjoyed relative success until demand for whale oil began to decrease, though it still produces approximately X amount of whale meat each year.
Peat was a relatively large export until the late 19th century when the increasing destruction of local habitats and degradation of scenic views caused public opinion to shift, leading to the end of peat extraction by the early 20th century.
Primary exports are wool and fish and have been for several centuries. Shepland wool is highly sought after for its quality and is most often used in high end cold weather clothing and blankets, which are also produced domestically.
Due to the small population and high demand primary exports, unemployment is very low.
Shepland is a Presidential Republic. Presidents are elected by way of a majority public vote and any citizen is eligible to run for office unless they are made ineligible by certain criminal or health reasons. A presidential term is 5 years and there is no limit to consecutive or total terms.
The population of Shepland is mostly of Anglic Tiperyn descent due to its colony origin and relative isolation from other ethnicities. Anglic is spoken as a first language by the entire population with several other languages being fairly common in the port, maritime and airport work forces.
Travel to and from the island is done by way of a port and a small airport with most flights only connecting to northern Avalonia.