The Earldom of Arlynal, or simply Arlynal, is a smaller-sized but globally influential country located on the West African coast near the Equator. It is ruled by an Earl, originally appointed by the Scottish throne, but since the Treaty of Girafton in 1966, the Earldom passed to hereditary status within the Batch family, effectively granting Arlynal its independence.
Not much is actually known about Arlynal. The country has no central government and thus keeps no records of its own, nor does it have an official flag. Technically, its territory is that which is owned by the Earl, making their citizens the Earl's serfs, but because the Batches have significant investments within and outside of Arlynal, the Batches do not hold the serfs to their duties. This was later entrenched in an Earldom decree issued in 1971, which affirmed Arlynal as an anarchy. Arlynali citizens thus do no pay any taxes but must obtain services usually provided by the government on their own. Arlynal's communal spirit- largely borrowed from nearby Casara- and the helpful Batches helps to ensure most citizens work together to ensure everyone gets their required services.
The country was recognized globally by the Treaty of Buffalo as the country of Cameroon because of the presence of Mount Cameroon within the country, however, the Earl has refused to recognize the treaty and thus the Cameroonian president for now lives in exile in Casara.
Role in global crime Edit
Because of Arlynal's lack of regulations, it has become a hotspot for many of the world's various criminal organizations, since they can easily create legal front companies with which to hide their illicit activities. Many of the fronts are simply tools for money laundering, especially tax evasion, making Arlynal a target for international crime fighting circuits. The country is also prone to periodic raids once a major fugitive is believed to be in the country, but due to Arlynal's lack of connective infrastructure to the outside world, raids tend to be rare as criminals find it is easy to hide.
Because Arlynal is so targeted by crime fighting networks, several communities exist both with which to combat crime as well as to hide criminals. Rome and Casara have both declared it a country "known to harbour terrorists" and have blacklisted any dealings that have derived from the country. Virtue have also declared it a "terrorist haven" but, as an organization, have not taken any further actions against the country, though on an individual level, many Virtual countries have. Periodically, the Knights will get involved and assist countries in rooting out criminals that struck affected countries but, as record keeping within Arlynal is sparse, even this can be difficult.
Arlynali bank accounts Edit
The most famous aspect of Arlynal is arguably its banking system, or, rather its lack thereof. Because Arlynali banks are all private, many banks have become lucrative targets for the wealthy of the world to store their wealth for various means, with many banks being creative in their ways of hiding those assets.
Coded banking Edit
The most common form of bank accounts in Arlynal are "coded" banks, where an individual registers a codename with a bank as well as a password (or multiple ones) in order to deposit their money. The bank, in turn, does not record the individual's name- only codenames and passwords are stored in the bank's database- allowing the bank to maintain plausible deniability should authorities ask the bank about who its customers are. Banks of this type often close accounts that have been dormant for a period of years, leaving it entirely to the customer to "log in" and keep the account active, though many banks do have recovery options should customers forget the codes needed to access their money.
Blind signature Edit
The second most common form of banking within Arlynal is a type of banking called the "blind signature". It is essentially like coded banking but with a key difference- it is the bank who creates the code, not the customer. The advantage to this system is that the customer can easily withdraw cash and deposit their money into the Arlynali bank without leaving a paper trail of those movements (as the user does not actually know what account the money is supposed to go to, only their banker does), effectively tricking their home government that their cash had become liquid. "Blind" banking, though, runs a greater risk for banker deception, since this banking method requires trust in the bank's handling of the customer's money and that is not always a guarantee.
Initially obscure, this is a relatively expanding form of banking within Arlynal. What this entails is a combination of both systems, where the customer deposits the money with an intermediary (hence the name) who then deposits the money into a bank. In this system, neither the banker nor the customer know who the other are, as only the intermediary is the one who connects them.
Intermediaries are usually individuals, but in several cases they can be organizations or even other banks. Increasingly, intermediaries have become computerized, with customer and bank connected to the intermediary via the Internet. Sometimes the intermediary system sees multiple intermediaries used before the money rests at a specific bank, while some intermediaries create a new code for the customer to make a new deposit. There is no exhaustive list of the type of intermediaries that exist, as the limit to these kinds of networks, as one Roman official once said, "are the limits to your imagination".
Like "blind" banking, the intermediary system often comes with the risk of intermediary corruption. Generally speaking among human intermediaries this is frowned upon (as fraud is bad for the intermediary reputation), and thus many intermediaries that offer online or other kinds of automated systems offer recovery options should the computer become faulty, but the risk is still huge.