A new year, a new map. And, almost predictably, this one's for the RDNA-verse, covering the United Kingdom itself.
Serving as a distant remake of The British Isles: RDNA-verse
from 2011, this entry gives a closer look at the nominal heart of the British Imperial Commonwealth. Given the various hints made previously on the situation in the UK, this hopefully should drive some of the Orwellian and Fallout-esque elements home, without being too on-the-nose. Then again, the allusions to 1984
for Britain aren't entirely unfounded.
All while, as with the previous map to bear the "Long Cold War" title, incorporating some of the sleek interfaces and customized stylings seen in the Thousand Week Reich
and The New Order
mods for Hearts of Iron IV
. These work remarkably well in conveying an in-universe "vidscreen" aesthetic. Though whether it's from (and intended for) the people behind An Examination of Extra-Universal Systems of Government or the Agency mentioned in other maps, to say nothing of the "N-P Identity" reference
which may or may not be shorthand for "Nation-Personification"
...I'll leave that up for the viewer.
And lastly, and just to be safe, this is a work of fiction. This is not meant to be a political or ideological screed.
With all that said, hope you enjoy. And, God Save the Queen.
The Contemporary Situation of the United Kingdom
The United Kingdom of Great Britain is still regarded, at least on paper, as one of the Free World's leading monarchies. To this day, it is the symbolic heart of the British Imperial Commonwealth. In reality, Britannia's place in the sun has been eclipsed by its Loyalist Canadian benefactors. The realm's cultural and strategic value (especially for being at the forefront against the Collectivist Internationale) remain undoubtedly significant, if not vital. Nonetheless, one couldn't ignore the sentiment of how all is not as it ought to be.
The successful Liberation of Britain in 1944 proved to be a Pyrrhic victory. Years of conflict had left the country's infrastructure, economy and industry in tatters, while the danger posed from the across the English Channel forced the royal family to relocate across the Atlantic. It was in such dire conditions that the 1945 Canada Accord was signed, in which the U.K. was placed under the "indefinite" protection of the Loyalist Dominion of Canada. While the latter took it upon itself to supervise rehabilitation efforts, the results remain at best, a work in progress.
Within a few years from "V-B Day," a system of jointly administered "Provisional Centres" and so-called "Special Regions" (defined by significant Loyalist Canadian influence) was firmly established, with the intent of fostering reconstruction. By the early 21st Century, many such areas have become extraterritorial enclaves in all but name, with the original incentives having morphed to be more akin to preferential treatment given to Canadian citizens and those with connections to the authorities. While these locales have generally benefited and have seen some semblance of order and prosperity, their spread elsewhere has been far from consistent despite both government and private efforts. Crumbling ruins from the failed invasion still dot parts of the countryside, with more isolated communities hard pressed to deal with brigands. Even in London, though rightfully seen as proverbial phoenix risen from the ashes, certain parts of the capital remain almost as destitute as generations past.
For all the failures and mixed results, one could not really blame Loyalist Canada for ineptitude. In any other context, the policies and initiatives enacted over the decades (such as the passing of the 1987 Public Enterprise Act and 2004 Industrial Service Act) would have been more successful. The successes that do exist are not inconsequential, either, given the rising standards of living and the continued patronage of the royal family (the complete refurbishment of Windsor Castle in 2011 overseen by Queen Victoria III herself). Nor can Britannia's benefactors be accused of negligence. As one of the last Free Nations of Europe and a vital component in the so-called Red Curtain, the realm hosts various military installations, a substantial garrison (both local and from across the Commonwealth) and atomic platforms as deterrence against any overt enemy designs. The country's moniker as an island fortress, or in more derisive sentiment, a "glorified airstrip," are not to be downplayed.
It is clear, however, that the extensive damage done, whether by the Collectivists and their lackeys or New Austrian scorched earth activity during the Liberation, was not simply material. The conflict had also left scars on the social fabric that continue to haunt the national consciousness. Contemporary culture across the British Isles retains a deep undertone of uncertainty is not despair. Be it the tendency among those with the means to seek greener pastures, a sense of nihilism in some among the younger generations, or paranoid fears of the enemy once more in their midst, one gets the impression of being always at war.
It is not for nothing, then, that there's a tinge of self-loathing and even resentment, to a degree, at their Canadian allies for their predicament, further exasperated by constant rumors of alleged Collectivist hotspots. Or why New Austrians are still reviled for the sins of their forefathers, despite efforts to make amends. Yet, amidst such bleak sentiments, the U.K. continues to persevere. Although only a handful are left alive who remember the former glory of Britannia, many remain firm in their defiance against the Internationale and still take pride in retaining direct sovereignty over the three Crown Territories (including the heavily militarized Gibraltar-Andalusia). Whether Englishmen, Welsh, Irishmen and Scotsmen whose families had called the Isles home for generations, or those descended from the French, Slavic and even Indian refugees who sought shelter from the Terror's madness, many are commitment to one day reclaiming their birthright.
Whether they can succeed, or else succumb to their malaise, remains an open question. Albeit, one that may have to be answered soon.
- "The World Almanac of Nations." American Federation. 2023 Edition.
The flags used for the "Crown Territories" are based, in some shape or form, on the actual ones corresponding to their respective territories. In the case of Gibraltar-Andalusia, it's a combination of the old 1875-1921 ensign
and the colors of the Spanish Andalusian flag
Many of the "Special Regions" correspond to the historic counties of England
and so on rather than their modern equivalents' borders in real life.