For this PBEM Wargame Iain has come up with Scottish feeling god-fearing colony the The Free and Independent Puritan Presbyterian State.
What nationality or mix is it?
Founded on fundamentalist christian religious grounds there is no specific ethnic source on earth. Most descend from the western Hebrides of great Britain or the area known as the bible belt in America. There is however a significant minority that hails from central Africa.
Is it a democracy, theocracy etc
Although at first glance the FIPP appears to be democratic with each parish annually electing a member of parliament and every parishioner of working age (15) having a vote. There are also prime ministerial elections every 5 years. The resulting system is much like the presidential/congress relationship in the US. However the elected representatives can do little without the backing of the synod. This body is made up of all parish ministers and is responsible for the state of the citizens souls; a task they take seriously.
What religion is it?
The society is based on a very literal interpretation of the king James bible.
The people believe that they are in the final days described in revelations and must maintain their faith in this, their darkest hour.
All citizens except those engaged on police or military tasks must attend church for several hours each sunday and prayer groups/bible studies several evenings a week. The Sunday sabbath is strictly enforced with no one permitted to work, except parish ministers and other church functionaries.
The military has three distinct arms.
The first are religious fanatics called Elders, they are under control of the synod. known by the people as the witch hunters they are elite soldiers fearless in their devotion to their church leaders.
The standing army is small but of reasonable standard. It has no shortage of volunteers wishing to escape religious observances. It is trained to a high standard because of the length of time spent training. Training counts as a military task so excuses the soldiers from the tedium of religious observance.
The third arm is the militia. Each parish maintains a militia for immediate defence before support can arrive from more established units.
Nation of free men?
Weeeell sort of. Although technically free anyone who isn’t employed must work for the good of the parish at the direction of the minister. Bribery is rife to secure the services of these tithe workers instead of having to pay free workers. Another reason for joining the militia or military.
The glue that keeps this society together is its military. The oil that greases the cogs is corruption. No one gets anywhere without the patronage of the clergy who for all of their pontification about salvation and sin are basically corrupt money grabbers out for the main chance.