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"Hi! Welcome to Esquarium, a region where currently nothing much happens! It's a very new and tiny region (we have only two nations here). Anyway, I'm in a way to create at least one puppet from my region. However, it's still good to have a new nation!"
Iglesiantis' first (known) post on RMB (September 11, 2010)

Esquarium is a region in NationStates and a community for role-playing. It is seen as an intermediate roleplaying region and a prominent one on NS.

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The community is open (there is no password) and employs modern tech and realism. It's now a closed world: members can interact with other nations outside of the region, but it would not be recognised as being canon (RP ideas/concepts like YouTube still get mentioned though). In practice though, it is rare for these to be done. Most nations tend to be democracies, but there are some prominent exceptions to this. Since late 2012, many role-players have come and gone but a few have been around for quite a while. Many nations have frequent interactions and intertwining history.


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History

Esquarium was created on September 4, 2010. In its original incarnation ("Mk 1"), Esquarium was one of several puppet storage regions that belonged to Iglesiantis, alongside Neopolis and Atlaea. In August 2012, the two puppet storage regions and Swilantis (a region run by Swilatia) merged into Esquarium. This marks the beginning of the "Mk 2" era when Esquarium transitioned from a storage region into a proper role-playing region. The region began growing when Luziyca arrived, and slowly accumulated members. An IRC was set up, and so were forums and a news thread. It slowly rose until it reached around 60 nations in March 2013. On April 1, 2013, the Z-Day Apocalypse resulted into an influx of nations and 40-some nations joined the region.

April 1, 2013 would therefore mark the separation between "Mk 2" and "Mk 3". The beginning of the "Mk 3" era saw a split between two camps. The pro-regional government camp, headed by Luziyca, wanted to create an OOC regional government. This was opposed by an anti-region government camp. Changes in the delegacy, while common prior to the event, suddenly became more common, culminating in May when Luziyca tried to seize the delegacy and failed. He then tried again in early 2014, and succeeded for a measly twelve hours before being deposed by Koyro. Esquarium then peaked at 253 nations by the end of April 2014, and the "Mk 3" era was generally seen as the region's golden age.

However, on April 28, 2014, the region experienced a split, as various members left (Swilatia leaving due to personal issues, and disagreements with Ghant). Ghant was later deposed, but two regions, Ascadia and Elysium were created after Ghant left the region, which later merged (before Ascadia split off again, and then ultimately dying out). Thus, April 28, 2014 marks the separation of "Mk 3" and "Mk 4".

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Esquarium began recovering despite the doomsday predictions and decline to 160-170 nations before recovering, peaking to about about 220 nations. In January 2015, an OOC dispute resulted in a crisis called the "Week of Reckoning". It led to the departure of Unolia and predictions of a schism or the start of a "Mk 5" era. However, the other Triumvirate members Koyro and Ziegenhain, after contemplating leaving, decided to stay. In May 2015, Iglesiantis retired from NationStates due to a variety of reasons, thus making the region founderless after he ceased to exist.

There was a second "Mk 5" scare in July 2015, when Namor and the briefly-returned Swilatia left after being called "cancers" by Weis. In spite of much speculation about a schism, the crisis ended when Namor and Swilatia returned. On August 13th, Sjalhaven was appointed WA delegate by Koyro, who left to work at a new job. A third "Mk 5" scare came in September 2015, when a minor dispute briefly led to Masseau leaving the region; after less than two days, though, he had returned.

The "Mk 5" era would ultimately begin on October 19th, when Sjalhaven ejected Luziyca (since she wanted to do it) and banjected Hippo before departing the region. Vyvland would take over as delegate, and has reversed the decision. However, unlike many Mk 5 scares, the Mk 5 era had been generally peaceful, with the transition having been quite smooth.

The region suffered an attempted raid/coup d'etat by raiders from the NationStates raiding group the Black Hawks, as part of the unofficial regional Raider/Defender game on December 5th, 2015. The raiders, masquerading as a 'travelling circus of refugees', were quickly banjected and suppressed by Vyvland, and new delegate and security measures were enacted, including an endorsement cap, a re-organization of the chain of command and a 'trusted nations' list. This is the first time in its 5 year history that Esquarium was attacked by raiders from the Raider/Defender game, and marked the end of the transition into the Mk 5 era.

The first "Mk 6" threat came on June 22, 2016, when a dispute between Scotia and Hippo, Francilie, Lyonsland, Weis, Masseau and other members of the region occurred. Hippo made an ultimatum stating that if Scotia was not banned within one week, he would quit the region and create another one. Pollmaster Francilie then made a poll where 10 people on 12 were for banjecting Scotia. The dispute eventually ended with Scotia leaving by himself.

On June 22, 2016, Esquarium implemented an application process in order to get on the map.

On March 17, 2017, Esquarium chose to move en masse to Discord, when Ziegenhain deleted the link to the IRC on the region page. While the IRC link was quickly reinstated, it was placed in a less prominent position.

However, on March 31st, 2017, Esquarium was successfully raided by the R/D organization The Black Hawks, beginning the "Mk 6" period. Namor moved to a different region, Velkia, while Sjalhaven and many other Esquarians moved to Esquaria as a backup region. However, by the end of the day, Iglesiantis refounded his old account and gave it to Ainin. Because of this, the raiders were swiftly removed by the end of the day. From this point on, the WA delegacy was to become a non-executive delegacy.

On August 8th, 2017, members of the discord carried out yet another "map purge," eliminating a plethora of inactive nations. Independently of this effort, the same day Vjaarland announced he would be withdrawing from the region due to RL concerns (though he would remain active on the discord). This caused several immediate changes, the departure of Fjalland in favor of a newer nation. The following day, Ziegenhain left the Discord, saying he was done with Esquarium, in a move that caused an extensive restructuring of Nordanian canon.

As of the ninth of August, in the two thousand seventeenth year of our Lord, Esquarium has 116 nations, the 102nd most on NationStates, which is a substantial decrease compared to Esquarium's peak at the end of "Mk 3" and the earlier "Mk 4" period, when it had over 200 countries.


Current present and active nations: (Puppets are shown beneath their main accounts)

  • Ainin: An archipelago to the south of the Western continent. A former colony of Namor with English- and French-speaking inhabitants. A democracy with a centre-right government, and a member of WETO and the Esquarian Community.
  • Ambrose: A small, backwards country to the north of Crethia, with a frigid climate and an even colder attitude towards foreigners. English-speaking pseudo-democracy ran by President John Frederick Cleburne (who also happens to be head of the military) with a pillarized society trapped in the early 20th century. The account of the former "Walminghaven/Gibberan"
    • Cortoguay: A region divided into two countries; East and West Cortoguay (read: Hispanic South and North Korea)
  • Ankoren - A Turkish/Iranian military regime that wishes to unite Nautasia under its rule. Since 2017 known as the "Union of Islamic Nautasian Republics", or UINR
    • Narmada - An Indian country under a syndicalist government.
  • Daecon: A medium sized militaristic federal parliamentary democracy on the continent of Nordania. Mostly English-speaking, but Irish is unofficially used. Originally "North Daecon", its creator retconned the North-South Divide in August of 2015, and changed his IC name in accordance. His original NationStates name still remains though.
    • Kebenajaya: A Indonesian-style presidential democracy in Borea, that is a member of the Tuthinan-led Commonwealth of Sovereign States.
  • Geadland: A small, densely populated nation that borders on Namor and Luziyca and has a mix of Scandinavian and Dutch influences. Its language is a Scandinavian-style Conlang. A democracy with a centre-right government, and a member the Esquarian Community.
  • Ionland: Also known as Columbion, is a large Polish absolute monarchist country ran in a similar manner as Tsarist Russia. The nation also has a sizeable Korean minority called the Hanguk people who make up 27% of the population. The country is very nationalistic and isolationist.
  • Jorland and Lothican: Constitutional monarchy split between Frisians in the southeast and Scots in the northwest. A democracy under a centre-left coalition.
  • Kraq: A war-torn Middle Eastern-style country.
  • Luziyca: A large nation on the Western continent, opposite Namor, their arch-rivals. For most of its time in Esquarium, Luziyca has been an authoritarian and dystopian parody of The United States, albeit with Slavic influences and a large Swedish population. Lately, the authoritarian aspects of Luziyca are being slowly written out. Its language is a Latin/Swedish/Slavic-influenced Conlang.
    • Katranjiev: A Slavic-speaking Switzerland-esque country which has emerged from Liberationism, and has lost a lot of territory during Liberationism and after (with Riro's sovereignty).
  • Lecistan: A mixture of Ruritania and Qurac, Lecistan is a tiny monarchical state known for being unstable and just a bit repressive. Speaks a Slavic language based primarily on Kashubian and Polish.
  • Min: A well-off, democratic matriarchal monarchy in southern Borea, mostly Austronesian which has been politically treading too dangerously to far-left territory. Currently addicted to sustainable development. Has a deep-seated beef with Xiaodong.
  • Namor: A large nation on the Western continent, opposite Luziyca, their arch-rivals. Mainly based of China, although their Conlang uses the Cyrillic alphabet. A democracy whose governments tend to be left-wing but recently moved to the right, and a member of WETO.
    • Chorea: A Japan-esque nation that is pacifistic and non-interventionist
  • Nevanmaa: A Finnish-speaking archipelago in the Northern sea. One of the few countries with a semi-democratic government. Best known for being raging racists and fanatical monarchists.
  • Oelia: Also called Franc. A medium sized capitalist democracy in Conitia. Francophone and proud.
  • Pavonistade: A medium-sized nation with a vaguely Indo-European Conlang. A democracy with a centre-right government, and an ally of Luziyca.
    • Ocelot Isles: An island nation which separated from Pavonistade in early 2014. It has not fared well since.
  • Senria: An East Asian archipelago in Southern Lahudica; literally based off of Japan, but under a republican government. Corporation-dominated, it is also one of the few countries with a somewhat democratic government in its immediate radius. Longtime enemy of Xiaodong.
    • Aucuria: A small Baltic country that was once a decently prestigious kingdom with control of some trade routes and a proud culture. After the loss of one of its colonies and the increasing autonomy of another, the deposition of the monarchy, and multiple revolutions and coups, its best days are definitely behind it.
    • Kaskiria: A Central Asian nation ruled by a fascist regime since the late 1930s and a member of the Triumvirate.
    • Irtyusha: A state that is run by its own intelligence agency
  • Tuthina: An absolute monarchy located in the north. Its government and culture are most prominently influenced by Imperial Japan, albeit different in many ways. It's fairly isolationist but like Nevanmaa, rather devoted to supporting monarchies. Previously existed in Noctur.
  • Unolia: A revolutionary dictatorship with much in common with communist regimes, only led by right-wing libertarian revolutionaries ("Jahistics") instead. Its official name was "Jahistic Unified Republic" and later "Jahistic Union". Led by the boyish Jarrod Thuman until his death, and later by Jacob Connors. Unolia left the region during the Mk 4 era after an OOC dispute, but has since returned.
  • Vestmark: A flat, rural, medium-sized nordic nation. Vestmark is mostly notable for its highly liberal politics and unregulated free market (unlike actual Nordic countries). Vestmark speaks an Old Norse derived Conlang and has close relations with Vjaarland, Atlantica and Sæxland.
  • Vyvland: An island nation whose language is a Germanic-style Conlang. A democracy with a centre-right government and a member of NOSDO and the Esquarian Community.
  • Xiaodong: A Mandarin-speaking country run by revanchist ultra-nationalists with an abundance of jingoistic rhetoric. Hated by most of its neighbours.
    • Jabar: A Middle Eastern left-wing republic.
Notable former nations:
  • Ghant: A Basque-speaking nation which belonged to NOSDO. A democracy with a centre-left government. Ghant left during the Mk 3 schism.
  • Arkiasis: An English-speaking country on the end of the northwestern continent. A democracy with a centre-right government, and a member of NOSDO and the Esquarian Community.
  • Atlantica: A cold, sparsely populated mountainous democracy that's a blend of Iceland and Norway, but also has quite a few other influences, especially Switzerland, the Netherlands, and France. Homogeneous and dominated by social democratic ideas and unions.
  • Britanno: An English-speaking island nation. A democracy with a centre-right government that recently went through a Belgian-like political impasse, and a member of NOSDO and the Esquarian Community.
  • Bleckonia: A small nation in the north east. An English-speaking democracy with a centre-left government and a member of the Esquarian Community. Faded away into irrelevance after Koyro moved to North Velkia.
  • Francilie: Also called Franc. A medium sized capitalist democracy in Conitia. Francophone and proud. Left on May 22nd, 2017 but returned as Oelia.
  • Greonterp: A small Dutch-influenced nation with a Germanic-style Conlang, which had to content with a separatist movement in a Dutch-speaking province. The RPer appears to have a habit of getting bored of nations, having also owned Fortschritte, Loiseau, and Mraaiski, which were all short-lived.
  • Koyro: A North Korea -style dictatorship led by Ohanka Jon Bak-su. Probably the most totalitarian nation in the region. A member of the Triumvirate.
  • Masseau: A large latin nation with a mostly romance-speaking population. Has a centre-left government. Has a relatively small population, and has somewhat large influence on its neighbors. Considered a Middle Power, and co-founded the Southeast Oriental Entente.
  • Mingwok: An absolute diarchy on the north, influenced by Japan, Tuthina and Vajrayana Buddhism. A fairly sized island in the northern Lahudican archipelago, the Min are one of the few monarchies who are socially liberal, the only difference is that theirs was a natural development. Fell from inactivity during Mk. 5, since been revived as Min.
    • Taigan: A quasi-japan, Taigan is a monarchy whose social order is partially modeled after Tuthina and Mingwok, but unlike the two has embraced modernism and is very open to the world. Formerly controlled by Gigaverse until it was handed over to UCV (Mingwok).
  • Iglesiantis: The founder of the region and the only notable RPer in it during the Mk 1 era. Originally "Iglesian Archipelago" (which remained the nation's username) but in later years ceased to be an archipelago. Its language was a Romance-style Conlang. A democracy whose governments have varied over the years between centre-left and radical left, and a member of WETO and the Esquarian Community. Became rather inactive after entering higher education in late 2013. Announced he would leave NS altogether in May 2015.
  • Scotia: A medium-sized country which strongly resembles Scotland, only larger. Like Ireland, its population tend to speak English but its native Gaelic language has an official status. Left following a dispute with Hippo.
    • Osonia: A medium-sized country which resembles Catalonia, with a Catalan-ish Romance Conlang. Post-rewrite, it's a conservative-libertarian, multilingual, Federation that's slightly anti-communist.
    • Abishag: A former Scotian ex-colony in Nautasia. A former Nazi state, it is now essentially a Scotian puppet, much to the chagrin of its other ex-colonizer, Katranjiev, who is trying to gain more influence.
  • Saexland (sometimes Sæxland): A small nation in Nordania that resembles (pre-Christian) Anglo-Saxon England. Is extremely proud of its culture, if somewhat virulently anti-communist and republican to boot. Was eventually booted out due to being too annoying with his racial beliefs. Tried to weasel his way back in but was eventually booted out for good.
  • Soled: A relatively new member of the region, it is a relatively large socialist semi-dictatorship inspired by Cuba, the USSR and the creator's democratic socialist ideas. Speaks a weird Conlang not even the creator understands how works. Used to be offically Communist and alligned with Communist countries, but nowadays is pretty neutral and officially Socialist.
  • Swilatia: A large Slavic-influenced nation. A democracy with a centre-left governments and known for their dislike of Luziyca. One of the few nations that was tolerated for having a population over 1 billion. One of the earliest RPers to join the region, but left during the Mk 3 schism. He would return on July 5th, but left after frustration with the closed-world Esquarium that had developed in his absence.
  • Vjaarland: A medium-sized Nordic nation which once possessed a sizable empire in Western Esquarium. Governed as a democratic constitutional monarchy with staunch social and fiscal conservative policies. Notable for its arch-rivalry with the Triumvirate alliance. A NOSDO member.
    • Kinzeria: A small Vjaarlandic ex-colony in Nautasia. Generally acts as a Vjaarlandic Puppet State, much to the chagrin of its other ex-colonizer, Katranjiev, who is trying to gain more influence.
  • Walminghaven: A medium-sized island chain in the Northern Sea that speaks predominantly English and Walmish (aka butchered German/Dutch). Culturally conservative and a member of WETO, it is officially a "Monarchical Republic"; an elective monarchy that functions similarly to a parliamentary republic, with an elected Monarch instead of a Prime Minister. Notable for chocolates, mountains, and a deep rivalry with Ionland. Now officially known as Ambrose.
  • West Cedarbrook: A large English-speaking and predominantly Jewish nation, located in the far southeast corner.
  • Teutonia: A Nazi dictatorship, essentially a direct copy of Nazi Germany, and very totalitarian and militaristic in nature. It is a member of the Iron Pact alliance alongside Unolia and Koyro. Left on January 12th due to being tired with the toxic environment. Later came back on March 10th.
  • Zokoria: Essentially a Nazi Norway, led by the "Norsefire" party, with a raging hatred of gay people. Around during the Mk 2 period but became inactive.


This Roleplay contains examples of

Don't remove nations that left the region
  • 2 + Torture = 5: The Uguria is the most ardent exploiter of this trope.
  • Abdicate the Throne: Enforced in Geadland, where the monarch must retire after 32 years on the throne. Why 32 years? Because two historical kings went mad with power in the 33rd year of their reign.
    • King John IX of Scotia also abdicated, simply for retirement.
  • The Alliance: Several. Arguably the most colorful one being the Triumvirate Alliance, with Anarcho-Capitalist Unolia, Nazist Ziegenhein and DPRK-like Koyro joining forces for vague and often unknown reasons.
  • Author Avatar: Iglesiantis sure liked to write about music students with strong anarchist views.
  • Alternative Calendar: Most famously used by Namor, whose NMR system runs faster than other countries, which sometimes causes confusion. Employing a faster-running calendar is common on NationStates as it allows elections and changes of government to be held more often.
  • Arranged Marriage: A matter of fact in Tuthina, as most marriages, especially between noble clans, are political and/or financial in nature. Love between the couples is unnecessary.
    • Nevan royals have these frequently.
  • Artifact Title: The Christian Republic of Luziyca has more or less been a secular state since the mid-1960s as a result of the Quiet Revolution.
    • The "Progressive Party" in Geadland is now an anti-immigration party.
  • As Long as It Sounds Foreign: The Luziycan language. Described by the player as a Slavic language, but more often tends to resemble a mix of Latin and Swedish, although it has been changing.
  • Authority Equals Ass Kicking: Tuthinan nobles are required to take part in some form of martial art training in addition to their usual art training. While usually not as strong as dedicated warriors, they tend to be decent fighters when necessary. Some are more eager to prove their strength than others.
  • Authority in Name Only: The Tuthinan emperor, despite being the absolute and (mostly) undisputed ruler of the empire and its (nonexistent) colonies, has surprisingly little power beyond his personal holdings. His influence varies between monarchs and locations, but in most cases, he is not as powerful as the largest clans in the empire, who control the throne to make sure it stays this way.
    • Subverted by Lecistan. Although a quote-on-quote "constitutional monarchy" with (rigged) elections, the Grand Duke has almost complete power, regularly dissolving the legislature and gaining control.
  • Banana Republic: Cortoguay from its foundation until its dissolution in 1949 is another example.
  • Blatant Lies: The Kaskir government claimed the Kaskirian soccer team won the fifth edition of the Coupe d'Esquarium 11-0 against Vyvland. In reality, Kaskiria did not even participate.
  • Blue and Orange Morality: Tuthina
  • Bodyguard Babes: The Emperor of Tuthina has his own squad of armed Miko that serve as both his servants and bodyguards.
  • Boom Town: The city of Leamington, in Daecon, since it is the centre of the Daeconese Military Modernisation Program.
    • Shibdan had a lot of these due to various economic booms. Often became a Ghost Town when they go bust, or at the very least a Dying Town.
    • Noryln in Arkiasis can be considered this. Since the 1960's the city has become a technological powerhouse partly due to being the established home of the Arkiasis Space Agency.
  • Bulungi: The southwestern continent is full of these. Predictably, these nations are all puppets.
  • Bread and Circuses: One of the few reasons why Uguria's government actually survives until the modern day. It is also the primary method, and the main reason why the despotic Tuthinan government managed to stay in power for three millennia and counting. It offers an extremely high level of civic rights (to the point it is regularly abused by people with means) and a good and booming economy (with fewer regulations than usual foreigners would be comfortable) in exchange of having no political rights to speak of.
  • Breaking the Fourth Wall: Jacob Connors in the Unolian "To Fill the Shoes." He'll often speak in italics to the readers themselves. Magically, the other characters don't notice these discourses.
  • Break the Haughty: In the days leading up to the Coupe d'Esquarium IV, Luziyca, which had won the inaugural Coupe and had taken second in the third, was incredibly confident that they would win a second title. Luziycan media dismissed the possibility of being even slightly opposed by any of the other teams in their group. However, Luziyca failed to win a single game, losing or drawing all four of its matches. The Luziycan team was eliminated by the Qianrongese team, which they had repeatedly humiliated in Coupe d'Esquarium III, a perfect case of Laser-Guided Karma for many Qianrongese. Luziycan media was reduced to cursing and hysterics as they were eliminated in the group stage. The North Qianrongese then did it to the Luziycans again in the fifth Coupe.
  • Break Out the Museum Piece: While the Air Forces and Navy of Tuthina has a decent collection of the newest toys, the Army is stuck operating tanks that are 40 to 50 years old, if not even older. Justified as being an archipelago with thousands of miles of high seas surrounding it on all side, land defence and, by extension, army budget is not very high on the priority of the military. The Interservice Rivalry between the Army and the (ruling) Navy does not help either.
  • Censorship Bureau: The Imperial Censorate of Tuthina. As a record department, it records everything that happens within the empire. By the same vein, what it does not record does not exist in the empire as well, and it has the means to enforce it. See Unperson below.
  • A Child Shall Lead Them: Akiyasu, the Tuthinan emperor, is 13 years old.
  • Christianity Is Catholic: A few nations practice Roman Catholicism, while Luziyca (and his puppets) practice Lutheran Catholicism.
    • Not the case in Nevanmaa, Qianrong, Sakatia, and several other countries with regional churches. Generally these are either Christianity is Protestant or Christianity is Orthodox, though Qianrongese Christianity's closest RL equivalent is the Kakure Christianity of feudal Japan.
  • Church Militant: Sword is a basic equipment for Miko (and their male counterpart) of the Imperial Cult of Tuthina. They also serve as The Political Officer for both the neighbourhood watch (militia) and most units of the imperial armed forces.
  • Clark Kenting: Queen Elis of Katranjiev did that during the 2nd NMR 2378 presidential debate in Namor, when she posed as a journalist named 'Alice Krasimirov' from the Slevdovatel newspaper. The real kicker is that Queen Elis didn't even try to hide her accent and made a air kiss to Kuo Zhang. Surprisingly and oddly, none of the foreign journalists, the candidates or even the moderator of the debate noticed she was there.
  • Les Collaborateurs: The Empire of Namor to the Chorean Empire, during the Second Great War (what amounts to a fictional version of WWII).
    • Tomas Kirk and the Lutheran Catholics during the Luziycan occupation of Geadland
    • Many pro-independence Otekian exiles consider pro-Namorese and pro-devolution Otekians to fall into this category.
    • The Alliance for Sovereignty in Qianrong's opinion on anyone working with the Qianrongese government. Or anyone who is insufficiently pro-ASQ, for that matter.
  • Commie Land: Various countries met the criteria at various points in Esquarian history.
  • Commie Nazis: The closest thing to describe the ideologies of the Triumvirate
  • Corrupt Corporate Executive: Luziycans are not exactly known for being ethical, especially in business.
  • Dangerous Workplace: Occupying the office of the Qianrongese head of government is exceptionally dangerous compared to other roles in similar countries. Of the eighteen people to hold said position since 1900, four were deposed in revolutions(two in the same one), one choked to death, one died of alcohol poisoning, two suffered cerebral hemorrhages, one died of dysentery, two survived assassination attempts, two were successfully assassinated, one was captured and tortured by terrorists, and one was forced from power by the legislature. All while still in office. Only one of those eighteen leaders was able to resign before anything bad happened to him.
  • Decided by One Vote: While this trope has never really been played straight, some elections (plus two separatist referendums) have been won by very narrow margins.
  • Disproportionate Retribution:
    • The Min has a pretty dark and distorted sense of justice, with punishments that usually contains Continuous physical, emotional and psychological torture in it. In fact, it's pretty much twisted that they'd even go up to the point of burning people alive.
      • Taken Up to Eleven by the infamous "Bloody Emperor" Sinryong in 1677, who, after being heavily offended by a nobleman's objections to his (justifiably unfair) proposal, Restrained the nobleman and his family in question, mutilated his family one by one (starting with the kids), broke his legs, beat his face bloody and crushed his head with a gong hammer, all in front of the other nobility. Oh, and he Put them up in display in front of his palace, as a reminder to everyone to not even try to disagree with him in any way.
  • Dying Town: The entire Luziycan state of Kashui.
    • Many nations have at least one town that was badly affected by industrial decline: Nikkeli in Nevanmaa, Kungsbeyr in Vestmark, Epping in Arkiasis (and much of both Easton and Welborne to a lesser extent), Wohldon-Masiaas in Vyvland and (to a lesser extent) Stanhorst in Geadland.
  • Eagleland: Quite a few countries give indications of being such. Luziyca is Flavor 2, though it professes to be Flavor 1.
    • Vestmark and (post-rewrite) Osonia is flavor 1.
  • Egopolis: Erov Haclav City used to be this. It is now known as Gijirokastra, after the village that was demolished to construct this edifice.
  • Elective Monarchy: The laws of succession in Tuthina have shades of this. The emperor (and, sometimes, empresses) has a massive harem that is composed by at least one member from every one of the hundreds of noble clans within the realm, in addition to a few that is not. The successor is often "suggested" by the most influential clan of the realm at the moment, and the successor is more often than not from the same clan. While not an explicit vote, it often involves numerous schemes and plots to garner enough support for the successor to be enthroned without (much) challenge.
  • The Empire: Tuthina, to the point the government almost never refer itself as anything other than The Empire or some form of variation of it. Downplayed as Tuthina is not the most powerful nation in the region, and would probably lost if it tries to fulfil its goal.
  • Enemy Mine: Quite a few such alliances. For example, there's NOSDO, an alliance between several liberal democracies and the raging racists in semi-democratic Nevanmaa.
    • The group of nations involved in Qianrong includes Luziyca, Namor, the Otekian government-in-exile, New Zepuha, Scotia, Geadland, Koyro, Tuthina, and Ionland, among others.
  • Epic Fail: During the Second Domestic Terror War, one local branch of the ASQ attempted to enter a government-controlled military base by stealing government gear and uniforms and disguising themselves as government soldiers. Another local branch of the ASQ mistook them for actual soldiers. The ensuing battle was a bloodbath that neither side could have really won, even if they had actually been on opposite sides.
  • Everybody Smokes: With how frequently most people smoke in Koyro, it is the epitome of this trope.
    • Smoking pipe is an extremely common assessories of Tuthinan garments. Subverted as there are as many Tuthinans who simply wear one as family heirloom or a show of status as there are actual smokers.
  • Everybody Wants the Hermaphrodite: Crossdressing and transexual courtesans are considered of higher value than their male or female counterpart in Tuthina.
  • Faceofthe Band: Arguably, Charlotte Durrough of Daecon, Kuo Zhang of Namor, Ecgwulf Oswinessunu of Saexland and Cedric Liet of Francilie for the far-right populist political movement. They are arguably the most recognisable of the far-right leaders in Esquarium, and they are notorious for getting into long running Twitter spats with various leaders, which include Elis of Katranjiev, Nareste La Via of Luziyca and the Tilkisi Muslims of Atlia. They were also featured on the front page of satirical magazine Trang Vai and was the main feature article of The Liberal, Geadland's main newspaper on March 26, 2016.
  • False Flag Operation: In Uguria, to such point that the few aware of the false-flag operations just cannot tell which "resistance cells" in the country are either fake or real.
  • Fantasy Counterpart Culture: a significant number of Esquarian nations are arguably this, including Namor to China, Koyro to North Korea, Britanno to the UK, Luziyca to the USA (allegedly), etc.
    • Far East: Tuthina is a mix between Imperial Japan and Imperial China, plus a few more places.
      • Min, while officially based off of Bali and the like, takes very much from East Asia, especially with the Esoteric Buddhism.
    • Ambrose, whilst ostensibly being culturally Scottish, is primarily based upon the US during both the American Civil War as well as the Gilded Age
    • East and West Cortoguay can be considered the region's Hispanic South and North Korea, respectively
    • Daecon is a crazy mix of South Korea, Australia, the UK, Ireland, the US and Canada with a touch of the Caribbean and the Deep South of the United States.
    • Scotia is a mashup of the United Kingdom (particularly Scotland), the United States, and Japan
    • Osonia resembles an odd mashup of Spain (particularly Catalonia), France, Italy, Poland, and the Cossacks.
    • Lecistan's language and culture seems be influenced by Poland and specifically Kashubia, if it was in a desert.
  • Fighting for a Homeland: The Shudri before they got Sinhako in late January 2015.
    • Many Otekian expats have been fighting for their own homeland, some for as long as they have been alive.
  • Feuding Families: Kind of inevitable given the feudal nature and the millennia of history of Tuthina, with many of the older clans often at odds with each other. Most of these is either resolved by having one side completely killed off, or merged via marriage, or both.
  • Forbidden Zone: Sakan, the imperial capital of Tuthina, is off limit to most foreigners. Combined with a strict ban on most modern technologies (including all audio/video recording equipment) means few has ever seen it beyond satellite images.
  • For Happiness: The guiding principle of Tuthinan philosophy. The combination of it and Sex Is Good leads to a society where Everybody Has Lots of Sex.
  • From Bad to Worse: After its "Revolution", control of Uguria shifted from the hands of an ill-fated Well-intentioned collaborator to a Psychopathic Manchild who has nearly absolutely no idea what he has been doing.
    • The demise of the Republic of Geadland. A democratically-elected president become unpopular due to a financial crisis and a disorganised government. He was ousted in a coup by his vice president. This led to a civil war, which only ended once the country was invaded by one of Luziyca's precursor state. And that wasn't the end of the Geads' troubles.
    • Qianrong's history since the 1900s, essentially. An ineffective and unpopular monarchy was replaced in a revolution by a republic that quickly devolved into warlordism and corruption, replaced by a dictatorship after an intense conflict. The establishment of the dictatorship was immediately followed by first a revolt by a rival political group and then a protracted guerrilla war against a terror group, both crushed as the dictatorship grew more autocratic and repressive. After a period of stability marred by government abuses, the dictatorship faced a second domestic war on terror and a military coup led to a popular revolution. A new republic was established, but they proved barely able to fight the increasingly genocidal terrorists, and ultimately lost half the archipelago to a rag-tag band of communist revolutionaries.
    • Cortoguay throughout basically all of its existence. Formerly a mess of absolutist kingdoms, shortly after unification in 1865 it was led by a succession of military dictators with coups and revolutions common. After a brief respite, another dictator took power, Socrates Solano, who turned the nation into a fascist police state until his overthrow (30 years later) during the Second Great War. Then, after a bloody civil war, the nation was partitioned into communist west and capitalist east. While the East democratized in the early 1950s, the West has continued it's reign of terror and will for the foreseeable future
    • 2015 wasn't a set to be great year for Lecistan, under a backwards grand duke and restrictive laws that disenfranchised all but a few rich white males. Then the grand duke died in a mysterious car crash and was succeeded by the King of Nevanmaa, who replaced a popularly-backed reformist president with an incompetent yes-man who failed to prevent the rise of instability in the country and was deposed in a military coup. The leader of the military coup attempted to gain legitimacy with an election that was rigged with Nevan support, but the actual results were leaked and ultimately the country would up in a three-way civil war between the Nevan backed royal regime, the republican opposition, and a fascist paramilitary.
    • Abishag in the 1980s. After the ouster of Gen. Gordon Mc Neil-Sophitsho by the overambitious Lt. Gen. Malcolm Nyawuza, power in the fascist Democratic Republic went from an already brutal President Evil to an Ax-Crazy Genocidal Maniac with massive delusions of grandeur and megalomaniacal desire to rule all of Nautasia.
    • Arkiasis in the late 1840's and early 50's. A revolution in 1846 led to the establishment of a republic which lasted just 6 years when the second elected President ended up being a loyal Monarchist and staged a coup d'état. And while the previous Monarchy was just inept, this guy ended up being downright tyrannical.
  • Full-Circle Revolution: Subverted with Vestmark in which most of the revolutionaries's goals were achieved, albeit not with a huge cost.
  • Fun with Subtitles: A satirical newspaper in Geadland portrays a Lower-Class Lout with an accent so broad that it has to be "translated". The translations make his political opinions far more politically correct. For example, his suggestion that Otekian immigrants should leave the country becomes "I am supportive of the Otekian exiles' right to return [to their homeland]."
  • God-Emperor: The Emperor of Tuthina is (sometimes) considered the deity of humanity in the official religion of Tuthina, and requires worship or reverence.
    • Phazayazk takes this to an entirely new and incredibly complicated level.
  • Government in Exile: Way too many. Oteki, monarchist Unolia, Republican Namor...
  • Hand Wave: A plethora of inconvenient questions are handwaved, such as whether animal and plant species would have evolved exactly the same on a geologically different planet, whether humans would ever have existed, and whether those humans would have developed similar cultures and languages to those which exist in real life.
  • Hilarious in Hindsight: Geadland's election results, published in June 2013, turned out to closely mirror the results of a RL election in Norway which was held three months later.
    • On July 25th 2015, Namor and Qianrong released a series of articles in which it was revealed that ASQ terrorists had covered up the death of ASQ leader Ngo Huu Tra in June. Four days later, on July 29th, the Afghan government revealed that the leadership of the Taliban had covered up the death of leader Mullah Omar for nearly two years.
      • Yet another incident involving Qianrong and the Taliban came in September of the same year; the fall of a major Qianrongese city to a different rebel group in Esquarium was followed shortly by the Taliban capturing the strategic town on Kunduz.
  • Hobbes Was Right: What the autocratic Tuthinan government believes, and goes a long way to prove/persuade/force its citizens to believe the same.
  • Hoist by His Own Petard: In Geadland, both King Alexander III and Tomas Kirk were tried and executed in the same castle where their enemies were imprisoned and executed.
    • Unolian leader Jacob Connors cemented his rule by killing, expelling, and exiling several of his major political opponents. Then, in 2015, it was revealed that Jarrod Thuman had ordered him expelled from the party and the order had simply never been carried out. Connors did not stay in power much longer.
    • Qianrong's Acting Chancellor Hsieh Jiang-De died on December 1, 2014, after the military he was supposedly commander-in-chief of hit his escape helicopter with a surface-to-air missile.
  • Home Guard: The majority of the population of Tuthina (from age 12 and up) is required to participate in military and civilian service as members of the local neighbourhood watch/militia/state guard of the Empire. Their morale, training and equipment status varies greatly.
    • In Daecon, the Daeconese Militia and the Daeconese Federal Guard take care of home guard duties. Their equipment is usually older first-line military gear, and the training is watered-down a little bit. Notably they have the power to intervene in high-risk security incidents, something the main front-line military can't do.
  • Idol Singer: Grand Princess Ayako of Mahiduru, which doubles as Royals Who Actually Do Something.
  • Insane Troll Logic: In the Mk 2-3 eras, practically anything the Luziycan government ever said.
    • Also practically everything Qianrongese state media said during the FDRQ.
    • The West Cortoguayan government doesn't even pretent to use logic, preferring to be "guided by our Most Glourious Paramount Leader, the Almighty Premier"
    • Another Qianrong example is ASQ leader Ngo Huu Tra, who pretended that "Operation All In"—allegations that Namor and Ainin were aiding the ASQ, fabricated by the Qianrongese government—was real in the hopes that it would convince them to fund him.
    • Scotian far-right politician Arthur Griffin uses this trope when he claims places like Qianrong and Katranjiev as part of Scotia.
    • It's also worth adding the way Namorese media refers to Oteki/Txotai, often putting parentheses around any usage of the word Oteki, and changing direct quotes to use Txotai and Namorese-approved terms.
    • Scotia refers to County Kirkcudbright/the city of Kirkcudbright as such, while Luziyca refers to it as Planinkhora, and Glodzhevo respectively.
  • Interservice Rivalry: Between the Army and Navy in Tuthina. Justified as the Army is built, maintained and commanded by local feudal lords, while the Navy is either under direct service of the Emperor or the largest maritime states that also happen to be on his side most of the time, resulting in conflicting loyalty between them. A milder case of this also exist between the Space Forces and the Strategic Rocket Forces due to overlapping goal and budget.
  • Iron Lady: Phoebe Wilhelm of Luziyca and Ciorstag Saomùlong of Scotia.
    • In Geadland's history, Gunnhild Måssendal is an uncompromising neoliberal reformer of the 1980s.
    • Aucuria has had three: Saulė Valantiejutė in the 1980s, known as the Steel Magnolia; Rozė Kulesiutė in the 2000s, known as the Iron Rose; and incumbent president Patricija Jankauskaitė, known as the Iron Lily.
  • Kimono Is Traditional: Most, if not all Tuthinans wear either kimono or its derivatives. Justified as the Tuthinan culture is partially based on a modern version of early Imperial Japan, complete with the sentiment that wearing foreign clothes, along with not appreciating the traditional values, is socially inappropriate, if not a mark of potential traitors against The Empire.
  • Land of Dragons: Namor's history includes quite a few parallels to RL China.
  • Land of One City: Used to be quite common, nowadays not so much.
  • Laser-Guided Karma: Song Li-Chao, absolute dictator of Qianrong for some time, was kidnapped by a group of terrorists and held for six months, where he was starved, waterboarded, beaten, harassed, burned, and even castrated by the group's sadistic leader.
    • Acting Chancellor Hsieh Jiang-De, appointed after Song's kidnapping, expanded the powers of the military greatly so they could fight the ASQ terrorists who had kidnapped Song. Under Hsieh, the military was given authority to do whatever it wanted and get away with it. The military thanked Hsieh with a military coup d'etat;tat that saw Hsieh meet a very nasty end.
  • Let's Fight Like Gentlemen: Most Tuthinan military commanders firmly believe in that, thanks to millennia of low-intensity civil war and the lack of formidable foreign enemies that refined warfare in Tuthina into a glorified form of mass duelling. Naturally, they are horrified by other nations that use modern, total warfare tactics in war, although they are not above doing so if it is called for.
  • Lineage Comes from the Father:
    • The lineage of the Imperial family of Tuthina is passed down patrilineally. While female monarchs are not unheard of, the next in line is always someone else from the patrilineal lineage.
    • Normally the case in Geadland, but the lineage of a royal family can pass through a Queen Regnant. The monarchs of Geadland belong to the House of Walen-Albard, although without that rule in place, this House would have be extinct by now.
  • Madonna–Whore Complex: Inverted in Tuthina as Sex Is Good is in full force of its culture, meaning that a woman with more sexual experience is a more preferable choice of couple and wife. While the same is true for man as well, women are hold in higher standards than men.
  • Martyrdom Culture: Tuthina, to a degree, as individuals sacrificing for the greater good is encouraged, and sometimes forced, in the Tuthinan culture. Stupid Sacrifice, however, is discouraged as it is considered a waste of human life.
  • Meaningful Name: The West Cortoguayan capital city, Novallas, while it officially has an Aragonese name, when translated into English from Spanish, becomes "Don't Go There". Very wise advice indeed.
  • Military Coup: Qianrong suffered one in December 2014.
    • As did the Ocelot Isles the following month.
    • Quite a few have happened in the history of Esquarium; the Luziycan CIA is particularly notorious for supporting them, such as East Cortoguay in 1964, Kraq in 1992 and Ocidenia in 2014.
    • Lecistan also suffered one in August 2015.
  • Mole in Charge: Robert Douglas, elected the second President of the Republic of Arkiasia in 1850, who really was loyal to the overthrown Monarchy and ended up staging a coup d'état 2 years later.
  • News Parody: Satirical news sources occasionally get featured on the news thread, mainly The Pickle from Namor. Satirical news also often makes the news; Pickle subsidiary The Constipation being sued by Luziycan newspaper the Constitution is the best example, though another Pickle subsidiary, the Ice Cream Cone, provoked a Qianrong-Namor Twitter war.
    • Other major satirical news sources include Qianrong's Trang Vai and its subsidiaries Namora Shinbunbo and Nevanmaan Hääyöaieuutinen, Geadland's Enrume Ogen, Scotia's An Crass, and Ainin's the Burning Tire.
  • Noodle Incident: Ainin has never gone into detail about the "rubbergate" scandal that brought down a conservative government in the 1980s.
  • Norse by Norsewest: There are quite a few Nordic-themed nations which don't line up with RL Nordic nations. In the northwest, by coincidence. These include Geadland, Vyvland and Vjaarland. The former two are also Dutch-influenced.
    • Subverted with Vestmark. Vestmark has a scant welfare state, tough on crime laws, and a somewhat corrupt government. Thematically it tends to align up more with the Nordic Noir genre. The early modernist style of Vestmarkic architecture only adds to that feel.
  • Mega City: A few countries have at least one of these.
  • Obstructive Bureaucrat: Aininians seem to have a bureaucratic nature that makes even the Vogons from The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy look like the most lenient bureaucrats in the universe.
  • Occupiers out of Our Country: Various examples from over the globe.
    • As within Vestmark, this was the motivation behind the Independence Revolution, which toppled the Vjaarlandic puppet regime and replaced it with a constitutional liberal democracy.
    • A similar case also exists for Osonia's struggle for independence from another imposed monarchy, which existed from the 1850s to the liberation of the country in 1944.
    • Lecistan heavily follows this trope, being under foreign rule from the 1400's until 1945, but also subverted it in July of 2015, when the king of Nevanmaa took the Lecistani throne. His rule has acted as an occupation.
    • Many Otekians are attempting to free Oteki from Namorese control, especially from those in the diaspora. It is unknown if it would succeed, however.
  • Odd Name Out: In Conitia, well known nations are mostly Romance-sounding: Osonia, Cortoguay, Lyannesia, Montenia, and... Lecistan. Provided, its alternative name is the more Romance-sounding Lecia, but its main name sticks out like a sore thumb on the continent.
  • Officer and a Gentleman: How Tuthinan officers are expected to behave, as many of them comes from either aristocratic background, or a long line of famous officers (or both), with training on both practical military skills and many traditional arts to further enhance the image. Sometimes it works better than others depending on the situation and the place the officer in question hailed from.
  • Patriotic Fervor: Common amongst various nations.
  • Peoples Republicof Tyranny:
    • "The Jahistic Republic of Unolia", along with two of its territories "The Jahistic Island Republics of Kentanu and the JIR of New Ukruda"
    • "The Free Democratic Republic of Qianrong" is another particularly egregious example.
    • "The Democratic People's Republic of Cortoguay"
    • "The People's Democratic Republic of Uguria", established in true Crapsack World fashion.
    • "The Democratic Republic of Abishag", established during the country's fascist "Special Period"
      • Turned Upto Eleven under the rise of Lt. Gen. Malcolm Nyawuza, who turned into essentially an African-Gaelic version of Nazi Germany. Luckily (for the rest of the world), he was eventually deposed after a failed invasion of Magane.
    • "The People's Republic of Namor," until it actually became a people's republic with free elections and an elected parliament.
  • Permanent Elected Official: Qianrong's leadership under the FDRQ was ostensibly elected and then reelected basically continuously. The legitimacy of this story was dubious at best, of course.
    • The mainland Ugurian government. All of it.
  • Poe's Law: The government of Geadland mistook an actual Ziegenhain news article for being a parody of a Ziegenhain news source.
  • Pointless Civic Project: Everywhere in the PDRU Airstrips.
    • Main economic driver in Koyro: apparently, one project that turned out to have some use was abandoned because it was too useful.
  • Pompous Political Pundit: Ugurian politicians.
  • Privately Owned Society: Vestmark, however the state still provides many basic services.
  • Professional Butt-Kisser: Luziyca used to be this to Hippostania before the disappearance of the latter.
  • Propaganda Machine: Anything said by the West Cortoguayan People's Information Bureau (which also exemplifies Malicious Slander)
  • The Republic: Many, many examples, from Ainin, all the way to Luziyca.
    • Taken Up to Eleven with Arkiasis for the first half of the 20th century, going as far as to fund and arm any revolution with the word "Republic" in it. Long gone today, but many Arkiasians view the era with a Nostalgia Filter.
  • The Revolution Will Not Be Civilized: Unolia under Jarrod Thuman. Cools down a little back now that they're under new management.
    • The republican uprising in Tuthina is one of the bloodiest civil wars in Tuthinan history, with casualties numbered more than a dozen millions. The legacy of it still affects many aspects of Tuthinan society, including the repressive ban on republican thoughts and the pervasive coverage of the Imperial Cult.
    • The current Lecistani civil war may quickly follow this trope.
    • Qianrong's Winter Rebellion defied this trope for a full month before devolving into massive street battles and total anarchy.
  • The Revolution Will Not Be Vilified: Numerous examples, including Jahistic Unolia.
  • Royal Harem: Tuthina has one, and is probably the largest in the entire region, with 400 wives (of various different genders) and counting.
  • Saintly Church: The Imperial Cult of Tuthina claims to be one as well, although its political affiliation with Tuthina makes it a questionable statement.
    • "Saintly" might be the wrong word here, but the Church of Geadland scores well for political correctness. Notably, it is run as a representative democracy and recently authorised gay marriage. It's based off the RL Church of Sweden.
  • Screw the Rules, I Make Them!: As the emperor is the de jure source of secular authority of the Tuthinan imperial government and law, legally it is impossible for him to breach the law since when the Emperor does it that means that it is not illegal. Whether it is not illegal just for the emperor or for the general population varies on the circumstances, but it has been used (successfully) for commoners to argue against the authority based on that.
  • Shoutout: Esquarium is full of these.
  • Serious Business: Luziycans take their football (soccer) very seriously, rioting every time their team is eliminated from an international tournament. Especially noted after the team's early elimination in the fourth Coupe d'Esquarium.
    • Ionites on a massive scale are very passionate about ice hockey, during high stakes games both in the ILH and World Games, police have been ordered to patrol the streets with APCs to maintain order. Some say angry Ionites after a hockey loss can take out some smaller nation's armies.
    • Katranjiev takes their cycling race very seriously. The Golkolka is so important that if a stage passes through any town, schools close so people can watch the cyclists go by.
  • Sitcom Arch-Nemesis:
    • Luziyca to any country it deems "communist" (read: not far-right enough), most notably Namor, although their relations have been improving lately.
    • Qianrong has aspects of this with... well, with the entire rest of the world.
  • Sliding Scale of Idealism vs. Cynicism: The Boriemese political ideology of Endocentrism is this.
  • Sole Survivor: Ohanka Jon Bak-su in the Triumvirate Alliance. Unolian Jarrod Thuman and Ziegenian Kato Vissari died literally days from each other, leaving Ohanka by himself as the lone original Triumvirate founder.
  • State Sec: The Imperial Censorate of Tuthina is one of these. It originated as a historical department that was a glorified bookkeeping organisation. Later, though, it gradually grew in power until it can decide what information exists in the Empire by simply documenting it, and what information Unperson does not, and later gained the means to enforce that. Since the modern era, the Imperial Censorate grew fully into this trope, with the additional responsibility to maintain the pseudo-feudal status quo of the Empire by restricting internal population movement, controlling the movement of many strategic goods (from heavy machineries to cash crops, effectively ensuring the inland farmers will stay growing crops that feed the population), as well as spying on pretty much everyone in the Empire in the name of "recording history", effectively holding enough information to depose all but the most powerful individuals in the Imperial hierarchy. To enforce that, it has its own network of spies and agents, as well as connections with other secret agencies to gather intelligence, its own military division to deal with those spies cannot, an administrative system to keep everything in one piece, its own research department to study on things deemed too sensitive for others, as well as huge political sways because of the aforementioned reasons.
    • Note: The term "statesec" is used in Geadland to refer to junior ministers and is not related to this trope.
  • Strawman News Media
    • The Constitution, Luziyca's primary news sources, often veers into being angrily right-wing.
    • Tiy Baners from Vyvland is a fairly accurate portrayal of a yellow journalism tabloid.
    • El Sol from Osonia is practically similar to right-wing British tabloids (basically, it's an amalgamation of the Sun, the Daily Mail and the Daily Express).
    • Deconstructed with The Waterwitt Leader, Daecon's main international newspaper (a combination of the New York Times, USA Today and the Guardian). While the opinion editorials often veer into pro-Daeconese Irish slang wonderlands, the actual news articles are often neutral in tone and objectionable.
  • Streisand Effect: Used a few times. For instance, there was the time when Luziyca's newspaper The Constitution sued a Namorese parady version called The Constipation, to prevent it from being published, with predictable results.
  • Stupid Crooks: Teofilov Huimang, a Shibdanese native caught up in a trafficking operation, is arguably this; since he is often high on hashish, is incredibly sexist, probably has no idea what he is doing. He is also 17 and is probably going to get caught by the police or will die by accidental overdose.
  • Swamps Are Evil: The Nevel region in Vyvland.
  • Tangled Family Tree: More like a tangled family tumbleweed for the Tuthinan imperial family. It is implied to be Royally Screwed Up, as the imperial family has an unusually high ratio of female offspring to male, and most members of it seem to be slightly eccentric at best.
  • Tempting Fate: A government report in 1957 in Kraq stated that "The high standards of living, probably higher than that in even Aininian Notasia within the Dominion has all but assured that Craik is the most stable country within the continent, and that within fifty years, it will be at par with that of East Luziyca." One year later, riots ensue between white settlers and Lutheran Catholic Arabs against Muslims.
    • With a civil war that lasted from 1975-1990 in Kraq, living standards have decreased dramatically, and since 2011, a second civil war has saw standards deteriorate once again. Needless to say, the standards of living are much lower than Luziyca.
  • The Caligula: Mingwok's "Bloody Emperor" Sinryong. With the combined extreme narcissism, violent tendencies and megalomania, he became the perfect figure for hate and villany (a-la Hitler) within Min history, especially due to his very gruesome actions during his reign.
  • The Great Wall: Built after the Third Namo-Luziycan War, the Namo-Luziycan barrier was meant to keep soldiers, illegal immigrants and propaganda in both countries from running into each other.
  • Those Wacky Nazis: Ziegenhain, pretty much.
  • Token Evil Teammate: Nevanmaa, for NOSDO. As Nevanmaa has become crazier and more authoritarian over time, it has been harder to retroactively justify why the alliance was formed in the first place.
  • Totally Radical: The motto for the seventh edition of the Coupe d'Esquarium was "hav u wtchd ftball l8tly?" in an attempt by organizers to increase popularity of the Coupe d'Esquarium among the teenage and young adult demographics due to advice from market researchers. It went about as well as can be expected.
  • True Companions: The NOSDO nations, once upon a time.
  • Underwater Base: The Lovato underwater habitat is intended to study the long-term effects of residing underwater, and ideally to be used for future space colonization or underwater colonization.
  • Utopia Justifies the Means: Unolia, a right-wing anarchist version of a communist dictatorship.
  • Unperson: The primary intelligence role of the Imperial Censorate of Tuthina apart from censoring things is to remove the existence of something or someone from the realm and even the entire world. It has not been shown in roleplays, though, either because it only does it rarely, or it is very good at its job.
  • The Un Pronounceable: The Vyvlander language is particularly notorious for its long and unpronounceable compound words, such as mefwerkliggemends (districts) or fiskalezoekonomibeleeds (fiscal policies)
    • The Lec language, being Slavic, has a tendency for being confusing, but the kicker comes from the fact two writing systems (both rather confusing) are used.
  • The Unsolved Mystery: In Geadland's cannon, the assassination of former PM Pir Muinten in 1967. Luziyca has previously offered to provide a culprit, but Geadland prefers to keep it unsolved.
  • 13 Is Unlucky: In 1872, Žygimantas Ramanauskas was elected President in the country of Aucuria after paramilitary forces rigged the election, establishing a brutal dictatorship that lasted for decades. Guess how many presidents there were before him.
  • Vetinari Job Security: The Imperial government of Tuthina tries to invoke this, citing that the brief republican government during the Republican Uprising is plagued with a lot more problems than the monarchy would ever have.
    • Geadland's coalition government is a more short-term example. The other two parties do not always get on with the dominant Conservatives, but in both of their cases, it is not in their interests to pull out.
  • Vestigial Empire: Common trope within Esquarium.
    • The most notable example is Luziyca, which once ruled over Asenath, Dihlatora, Pavonistade, Kraq, and Shibdan. Asenath is now an integral part of Luziyca, while Shibdan and Pavonistade are now sovereign and prosperous. Dihlatora is an Associated Free State, but Kraq is now sovereign and experiencing a civil war.
    • Peitoa filled a similar role; it once controlled all of Namor, but was driven out by the Liberationists until finally being snuffed out in 2014.
    • Walminghaven used to be a great power until the First Great War devastated the national economy and military. Retreating into isolationism in the 1920s and early '30s, it returned to the international community but now with much-reduced influence.
    • Katranjiev has lost a lot of territory. It once controlled Riro, parts of SW Namor adjacent to Riro and Katranjiev, NW Scotia, and parts of Abishag (Zelenagora), but has shrunk since the mid-1950s.
    • Lecistan's predecessor state ruled over a large portion of north-central Conitia. It's now one of the smaller nations in Esquarium.
    • Geadland mentions his nation has had colonies in the past, but by the RPer's own admission, he has not got round to figuring where they are or writing much about them.
  • Witch Hunt: A common everyday trait in Uguria.
  • The Woobie: The Swedish Vyvlanders, who were brutally forced out of their homeland by a fascist dictator. Those who escaped to Geadland still faced many problems, including crime, poverty and a devastating flood in 1955.
    • The Shudri also are like this, due to experiencing consistent discrimination by people and various governments over many generations.
    • The Zelenagorans (descendants of Katranjian settlers in Abishag) in the fascist era are also like this, having endured persecution, forced Gaelicization, and even outright genocide.
    • The Lecs prior to 1945 easily fill this role.
  • Would Be Rude to Say "Genocide": When Radio Free Qianrong called Namor's implanting of Kannei settlers in Txotai an act of ethnic cleansing, the regional government of Txotai took offense and sued it. Long story short, the lawsuit was dropped and RFQ moved out of Namor for good.
  • Would Not Shoot a Civilian: Tuthina, most of the time. It is more because civilians are considered valuable properties of the land the war is fought to claim, and civilians do not pose a real match than genuine care for the civilian population.
    • Strongly averted by the ASQ, though whether or not they behead you, bury you, shoot you, blow you up, stab you, or burn you alive depends on the situation.
  • Wretched Hive: Played straight with West Cortoguay
  • Xanatos Gambit: This gambit coming into play was the 1964 East Cortoguayan coup d'etat attempt: East Luziyca thought that East Cortoguayan President Francisco Santos' leftism and his public willingness to negotiate with West Cortoguay regarding unification was dangerous to the region (specifically Luziycan interests in the region) and met with dissident military members to launch a coup. If the coup succeeded, a more pro-East Luziycan leader could take power, but if it failed, it would force the political establishment to get rid of Santos, lest the government lose foreign support.
  • Yamato Nadeshiko: The Tuthinan idea of an ideal woman (and man). Many of them tend to have a certain degree of Yandere as well.

The Eternal Cavern That is the IRC, which has always caused Discord (OOC Tropes)

  • Aesop Amnesia: Any time Luziyca has attempted to take over the WA delegacy has thrown the region into crisis. He still tries to do it once in a while.
  • Almighty Janitor: Unolia has the sarcastic position of "Sports Czar", but he de facto is the final word on all things related to sports in Esquarium, on an OOC basis.
    • Turned Up to Eleven with Unolia banning all members of the #nssports channel due to a feminist discourse he saw. He used the logic that since #nssports is a sports channel for nationstates, it fell under his jurisdiction.
  • Alpha Bitch: Austria/Ostmark on the IRC was generally perceived as that. Some saw Austria has having mellowed over time, but was eventually booted out for good from the IRC after having irritated much of the region.
  • Artifact Title: Two examples:
    • Gibbs, the IRC nick of Gibberan, lost its connotation with the player after the player changed his nation's IC name to Walminghaven. However it has become a [1] after it was retained as a reference to Mark Harmon's character on NCIS
    • North Daecon IRC name, along with his NationStates one, lost its original meaning after its creator retconned the North South divide.
  • Balkanize Me: Esquarium had Elysium break off from it.
  • Born in the Wrong Century: Hippo wants to return to the divine right of kings and is a fanatical monarchist, wanting to turn the world back to around 1500.
    • Seax to a lesser extent. Whereas Hippo sees the 16th Century as ideal, Seax wants to revive Old English and Anglo-Saxon paganism, although he is far more accepting of egalitarianism and is against monarchism.
  • Cultured Badass: A fair amount of people on IRC.
  • Cloudcuckoolander: Luziyca seems to fit this role to a tee.
  • Fan Boy: Unolia on several things. Musicals, House of Cards and literature seems to be his favorite things to muse about.
  • Freudian Trio: Arguably the Triumvirate nations in the IRC.
    • Zieg is obviously the id, talking about his (sarcastic) desire for world conquest and absolute control (not that sarcastic at time).
    • Koyro and Unolia switch roles as ego and super-ego from time to time, although they usually play the roles in order.
  • He's Back: Give anyone enough time, and they usually return from Esquarium if they leave the region.
  • Informed Attribute: Gibbs is a registered Republican but is comparatively generally liberal and has criticized conservative stances on several issues.
  • Insane Troll Logic: Plenty.
  • Insistent Terminology: The arguments over the name of the disputed region of Txotai/Oteki. It doesn't occur so much anymore.
  • Only Sane Man: Vyvland has time and time again proven to be among the most level headed Esquarians.
    • North Daecon is seen as this most times, since he constantly managed to survive the bouts of crazy that plagues the IRC once in a while.
  • Master Race: Nevanmaa doesn't like Blacks. And Latin Americans. And South Asians. And East Asians. And Arabs. Actually, let's just say that he only likes light skinned races that must either be anglophilic (i.e. European-origin Americans) or actually Europeans (and this of course only extends to the people of countries that are in the European Union), as well as the disabled.
  • Patriotic Fervor: A few people are quite patriotic.
    • Zieg is a proud patriot of the USA and is not afraid of showing his patriotism. He is Lance Corporal of Marines, the best god-dang fighting force there ever is. Semper Fi.
    • Luziyca is loyal to the Dominion of Canada, where he was born, and currently resides. He considers himself Canadian, and despite supporting socialism, he also supports preserving the monarchy. He generally looks down on Americans as a result of his patriotism.
    • Swilatia is also proudly Canadian, but opposes the monarchy. He also strongly identifies with his province of Quebec, which he insistingly refers to as a country, but does not actually support independence except when he's particularly annoyed with the federal government.
    • Masseau is loyal to the good ol' USA and his state, Kentucky, the place where he accepts the fact the he is surrounded by rednecks and hillbillies.
    • Min, being a Filipino, had this sense of national pride (albeit not as misplaced). He is sometimes being ironic with the idea. Stopped doing this since returning.
    • Gibbs/Walminghaven is strongly loyal to the United States (especially to his home state of Florida), but also to Colombia and Honduras, the two countries that make up his ethnicity and heritage.
    • Qianrong, a native-born Texan, doesn't claim to be particularly patriotic, but he's pretty vehemently opposed to the concept that Luziyca in any way resembles the United States of America
    • Saexland (Seax) seems to believe that what is good for his Anglo-Saxon ancestors is good for him, much to the chagrin of some users. He supports English ethno-nationalism and separatism, and considers himself English although he was born and raised in Newfoundland. He is also a Newfoundland Separatist and thinks Newfoundland would be better off joining the United States as the 51st state, or ideally becoming an independent Anglo-Irish Joint Dominion, saying the 1948 referendum on Confederation was bought by Smallwood.
    • Scotia is a tad patriotic not only to the United States but also to the Philippines (where he's born). He's also loyal to Maryland (where he currently resides) and Massachusetts (the latter despite living in the state for a year).
    • Lyonsland is relatively patriotic to Ireland. He dislikes those who try to claim an Irish identity from very distant ancestors, a key reason to IRC drama between him and Columbion.
    • Columbion is passionately loyal to the United States, Poland, and South Korea. Although he isn't blind in his patriotism to the US and Poland and has recognized huge mistakes that both countries have made.
    • Vjaarland is strongly patriotic to the United States. He also identifies with his home state of Missouri, where he has lived his entire life.
    • Francilie/Oelia is loyal to France, where he was born and currently where he resides. However, being in a family with Flemish/Dutch roots, he also quite likes the Benelux.
    • North Daecon/Daecon is Australian, and subverts the trope by complaining about the weather in his Perth, the capital of his home state of Western Australia. One example is Perth having a 40 degree heatwave in the afternoon then having a rain storm 6 hours later, and having a heatwave that lasted 4 days with some parts of the state hitting 45 degrees centigrade, sometimes hitting 50 degrees up near Port Headland.
    • Arkiasis semi-averts this trope by often complaining about Canada and views his nation through Jade-Colored Glasses. But has no problem using Canada's near universal positive international reputation for personal gain.
  • Pun: Luziyca loves these. Qianrong does not. Neither does anyone else than Luziyca.
  • Pungeon Master: Luziyca to a tee.
  • Small Name, Big Ego: Luziyca is more of a douchebag and a twat, but thinks himself to be a major player in the region.
    • Scotia may be described as this, as he thinks that everyone likes him, when it is not exactly true.
  • The Bus Came Back: A general rule of thumb is that if somebody leaves the region and doesn't CTE, more often than not, they will return.
    • Sjalhaven is incredibly well known for doing this often.
    • Columbion has had three total Esquarium residencies, the third and current one has going for over a year and settled down permanently before ceasing to exist.
    • StJames left in September 2015 and returned within a matter of hours, but not before causing a mass panic that nearly led to a rewrite of much in character history. This time, he seems to have finally left for good.
  • Verbal Tic: Reno_Lam (handler of Tuthina) uses the word "well" a tad lot.
    • Justified, since he says that before an explanation.
  • We ARE Struggling Together: Sums up the region most of the time.
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