Difference between revisions of "Commonwealth of Chromaros"

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{{Infobox country
+
The Commonwealth of Chromaros is a major seafaring and mercantile power in the south of the continent. Bordered by rivers on three sides and the sea on the fourth, naval pursuits have been a foremost concern in the minds of the Chromaroi ever since their arrival three hundred years ago.
| conventional_long_name                = Commonwealth of Chromaros
+
 
| native_name                = Koìnopoliteìa tà Chromaros
+
=== History ===
| common_name                = Chromaros, the Commonwealth
+
The Kingdom of the Cuìo, successor nation to the old Mendranion Empire, was once a powerful and respected nation inhabiting the central plains of the continent. Its people were pious and peaceful, led in worldly matters by the strong hands of the many noble dynasties that ruled the Kingdom, and in spiritual matters by the Ekklisiasma of Sagonos. It had emerged from a period of strife known as the Kataklysma, when the old Empire collapsed under the pressure of overpopulation, deforestation and cattle plague. During its reconstruction period, the Ekklisiasma had cleverly manoevred itself into a position of power and influence, aided in this pursuit by its military arm, the Order of the Blood Knights.
| national_motto                = "Ston Sagonos eìmaste Ischyroì"
+
 
| capital                = Chromaros{{efn|name=central_cities|The national parliament is seated in Chromaros, but individual cities enjoy much autonomy.}}
+
However, everything changed when the elves attacked. They were a savage horde, vagrants and vagabonds, bandits and looters. They swept through the kingdom with fire and sword, burning its cities, killing its lords, and driving its people into exile in the harshest winter to have blighted the land for a century. Only the leadership of Basileus Chromaros, Lord of the Ekklisiasma, and his warlord Belisarios enabled the destitute refugees to survive. Come spring, the survivors settled down further to the south, near the estuary of the River Kyanos, where they built for themselves a new home. It was named Chromaros, after their saviour, and its people henceforth called themselves the Chromaroi.
| largest_city                = capital
+
 
| official_languages                = Mendranion
+
In the centuries since the flight, the Chromaroi have become wealthy. Trade flowed through their ports and over the River, science and education flourished, and the inventiveness of her people, both in engineering and in finance, served the City well. A fascination with gears and machinery drove the Cuìo on to experiment with ever more outrageous mechanisms, giving birth to the clockwork creations that are now a common feature of urban life. The shortage of metals and ores in the area drove the Ekklisiasma to pursue the Art of alchemy, and soon its students were able to recombine their raw materials to create many metals and alloys.
| religion                = {{plainlist|
+
 
* 100,0% Ekklìsiasma of Sagonos
+
However, strife lurks beneath the surface. Many urbanites resent the influence the rich Cartels hold over their lives. The Cartels in turn, bloated by greed and arrogance, ever seek to cast off the yoke of Ekklisiasma law and venture freely into the pursuit of profit and the promising spice trade. The Basileus looks on the changes rocking Chromaros society with suspicion, his Ipsaksimion police ever watchful that the lure of wealth and power does not tempt men into sin, or worse.
}}
+
 
| demonym                = Chromaroi
+
It is a time of great promise and great discord for the nation. Who knows what the future might bring?
| government_type                = Parliamentary Republic
+
 
| leader_title1                = Phylakos of the Commonwealth
+
=== Economy ===
| leader_title2                = Basileus of the Ekklisiasma
+
Economic and political power are concentrated in the hands of Cartels, which combine aspects of a medieval guild, a noble dynasty, a commercial enterprise. Every cartel is, in essence, its own microcosm - its workers work in Cartel workshops, eat in Cartel refrectories, drink in Cartel taverns, and sleep in Cartel houses. They vie for profit and trade opportunities, ever at each other's throats. To these ruthless men, everyone is a tool to be used, and every means - economic, political, military, judicial - an arena to struggle for prominence.
| leader_title3                = Kyrìos toù Kynigon of the Order of Sagonos
+
 
| leader_name1                = Theodosios Andreas Excelceor-Staros
+
Production takes place in great workshops, places of grinding gears and grunting men, whose sweat and muscle propels the mechanisms that have enabled the urbanites greater wealth and prosperity than every before. With so much depending on the machines, much effort is spent on their maintenance and improvement. Alchemists and engineers labour endlessly in their laboratories, experimenting with new alloys and mechanisms to squeeze just one bit more energy into, or from, their springs. This effort has greatly advanced Chromaros expertise, particularly in metallurgy, and have produced alloys suitable for every purpose, from military armour to decoration.
| leader_name2                = Amarantos Sebastos Ypirètis-Monocheiras
+
 
| leader_name3                = Evanos Alexios Ypirètis-Lúpoi
+
Despite these advances, however, production remains labour-intensive. The coiled tension-springs that power Chromaros machinery require constant rewinding, which can only be achieved through the muscle power of men and animals. It is estimated up to half of the City of Chromaros' population is employed as winch-puller.
| legislature                = States General of the Commonwealth of Chromaros
+
 
| currency                = Silver Axia
+
The nation's financial sector is dominated by the Order of the Blood Knights. Its members operate a number of banks across the Poleis, lending money from the Ekklisiasma's vast coffers and retrieving it with interest. One condition for the provision of services by the Ekklisiasma is that the Cartels be barred from the financial sector, and as a result, the Order's dominance is unlikely to end soon. The national currency is the Axìa, which is minted separately by each Polis but contains a standardised percentage of silver. Counterfeiting is punishable by death.
}}
+
 
 +
=== Government ===
 +
The Commonwealth consists of numerous, mostly independent cities known as Poleis. They are free to make their own policy in many regards, bound together by common culture, language, and certain needs. Each Polis has its own parliament, an elected body of representatives responsible for law and governance in their city. Certain needs, however, are beyond the ability of any single Polis to meet, and for this purpose they elect from their number deputies to send to the Synod of Chromaros. The Synod is the main decision-making body of the Commonwealth as a whole, and is led by an official known as the Phylakos, or Protector. The current protector is Theodosios Andreas Excelceor-Staros. He is the formal Head of State of the Commonwealth. In times of peace, he serves as chairman of the Synod and final arbitrator of disputes between Poleis. In terms of war, he is the supreme commander of the Commonwealth military machine, though a wise Phylakos knows to defer to his Order 'subordinates' in such situations.
 +
 
 +
The Synod deals with issues beyond the purview of any single Polis. These fall in roughly four categories: managing disputes between Poleis, managing nationwide financial policy, managing diplomacy with other nations, and managing military defence. Hence the Phylakos is assisted in his duties by four ministers, responsible for one of these areas.
 +
 
 +
=== The Military ===
 +
After their exile, the Chromaroi decided such a thing would never befall their people again. Thus, over the centuries a strong spirit of national service has emerged. Military service is seen as good and honourable, and veterans are allowed certain special priviliges - for themselves the right to vote, and for their families the right to receive Ekklisiasma services including healthcare and education. Its army is hence a professional, well-drilled force that seldomly lacks for prospective recruits. It consists of units called Terkòn (multiple, singular Terkòi) of roughly twelve hundred men. Each Terkòn contains pikemen, arbalestiers, swordsmen and cavalry and is able to operate as an independent unit for a short duration. In battle, usually, the cavalry are detached and formed into separate units for ease of manoever.
 +
 
 +
Each Terkòi is led by a Colonel, who has purchased from the government the right and obligation to raise and maintain an armed force of soldiers. Buying a colonelcy is expensive, but many costs can be recouped by selling officer ranks to others. The presence of Ipsaksimion agents - ostensibly as chaplains - serves to motivate the Colonel to make wise choices in this regard. The feared church police takes a dim view indeed of those who compromise their unit's fighting strength with poor equipment or officer appointments. In addition, they receive a share of the loot, and are encouraged to, during peacetime, rent out their regiments as mercenaries abroad. War is a lucrative business, and Colonels can expect to recoup their expense in a few years. Their only obligation in this regard is to never lift arms against the Chromaroi, and to return to service should the Phylakos require them. A Terkòi is equipped according to uniform standards set out by the Synod, usually from the great forges of the Arsenal.
 +
 
 +
Unlike the Terkòi, the Navy is kept fully under arms and at the Synod's disposal at all times. The need to protect merchantmen does not allow for mercenary adventures. It primarily employs two types of ship. Its more numerous lighter units, known as cruisers, prowl the seas. They protect merchants, hunt pirates, go on missions of exploration or diplomacy, and in times of war raid enemy commerce. Their crews number anywhere between thirty to fifty. Its heavy units are concentrated in the three main battle squadrons, the Red, Blue, and Green squadrons. Each is led by its own admiral, with the Admiral of the Red holding the highest authority overall. Due to their usual formation, they are known as the Ships of the Line. Each requires at least a hundred men to crew properly. The Naval Infantry provides security on the ships, particularly in boarding actions.
 +
 
 +
Besides the military forces of the secular government, the Ekklisiasma fields its own warriors. These men, the Order of the Blood Knights, are fanatically devoted, supremely professional, and utterly loyal. Its five regiments form the core of any Chromaros campaign army, and its members can be counted on to fight with the courage and determination of men who know their god watches over them. In general, Order Terkòi are much more assault-oriented. Hence they add a vital offensive punch to the generally defence-oriented regular infantry.
 +
 
 +
=== Society ===
 +
Most workers live their lives subsumed within their cartel. The factories where they work, the canteens where they eat, the houses where they live, the taverns where they drink at night are usually owned by the same dynasty. Thus the Cartels foster fierce loyalty among their workers, which expresses itself most tellingly in the form of the Symmoi. They are, essentially, paid thugs and enforcers in the employ of their Cartel. During the night, they work in its workshops, but at dawn bands of Symmoi prowl the streets to beat up rivals, harrass strangers, put up propaganda leaflets, and generally make a nuisance of themselves. The Cartels are legally prohibited from arming their workers with bladed weapons, so the Symmoi take their name from the crude truncheons with which they are armed.
 +
 
 +
For those who are unemployed, life is exceedingly hard. An unemployed man has no patron, no home, and no food. They are essentially doomed to homelessness and face a stark choice between starvation or crime. Those who live are hounded relentlessly by the Polis guards, who hunt them with a passion. They can expect little clemency from the city courts, which are usually corrupt, pronounce far harsher judgments on the poor, and usually deal in corporeal punishment.
 +
 
 +
In this cauldron of social tensions, foreigners are regarded poorly. They are an unknown element at best, a threat at worst. Only foreign merchants are regarded with any sort of respectability, and this is because they only deal with the upper classes, and only walk the streets when there's guardsmen around.
 +
 
 +
The upper classes, meanwhile, have monopolized what they consider the 'civilized life'. To be civilized is to enjoy art and music, to live without the fear of starvation or violence, to participate in cultured and polite social gathering and to generally value the finer things in life, without the ctudeness of the streets. This they value above everything else, and they look down their noses at everyone else with attitudes ranging from patronizing to dismissal to outright disgust.

Latest revision as of 23:05, 12 August 2019

The Commonwealth of Chromaros is a major seafaring and mercantile power in the south of the continent. Bordered by rivers on three sides and the sea on the fourth, naval pursuits have been a foremost concern in the minds of the Chromaroi ever since their arrival three hundred years ago.

History

The Kingdom of the Cuìo, successor nation to the old Mendranion Empire, was once a powerful and respected nation inhabiting the central plains of the continent. Its people were pious and peaceful, led in worldly matters by the strong hands of the many noble dynasties that ruled the Kingdom, and in spiritual matters by the Ekklisiasma of Sagonos. It had emerged from a period of strife known as the Kataklysma, when the old Empire collapsed under the pressure of overpopulation, deforestation and cattle plague. During its reconstruction period, the Ekklisiasma had cleverly manoevred itself into a position of power and influence, aided in this pursuit by its military arm, the Order of the Blood Knights.

However, everything changed when the elves attacked. They were a savage horde, vagrants and vagabonds, bandits and looters. They swept through the kingdom with fire and sword, burning its cities, killing its lords, and driving its people into exile in the harshest winter to have blighted the land for a century. Only the leadership of Basileus Chromaros, Lord of the Ekklisiasma, and his warlord Belisarios enabled the destitute refugees to survive. Come spring, the survivors settled down further to the south, near the estuary of the River Kyanos, where they built for themselves a new home. It was named Chromaros, after their saviour, and its people henceforth called themselves the Chromaroi.

In the centuries since the flight, the Chromaroi have become wealthy. Trade flowed through their ports and over the River, science and education flourished, and the inventiveness of her people, both in engineering and in finance, served the City well. A fascination with gears and machinery drove the Cuìo on to experiment with ever more outrageous mechanisms, giving birth to the clockwork creations that are now a common feature of urban life. The shortage of metals and ores in the area drove the Ekklisiasma to pursue the Art of alchemy, and soon its students were able to recombine their raw materials to create many metals and alloys.

However, strife lurks beneath the surface. Many urbanites resent the influence the rich Cartels hold over their lives. The Cartels in turn, bloated by greed and arrogance, ever seek to cast off the yoke of Ekklisiasma law and venture freely into the pursuit of profit and the promising spice trade. The Basileus looks on the changes rocking Chromaros society with suspicion, his Ipsaksimion police ever watchful that the lure of wealth and power does not tempt men into sin, or worse.

It is a time of great promise and great discord for the nation. Who knows what the future might bring?

Economy

Economic and political power are concentrated in the hands of Cartels, which combine aspects of a medieval guild, a noble dynasty, a commercial enterprise. Every cartel is, in essence, its own microcosm - its workers work in Cartel workshops, eat in Cartel refrectories, drink in Cartel taverns, and sleep in Cartel houses. They vie for profit and trade opportunities, ever at each other's throats. To these ruthless men, everyone is a tool to be used, and every means - economic, political, military, judicial - an arena to struggle for prominence.

Production takes place in great workshops, places of grinding gears and grunting men, whose sweat and muscle propels the mechanisms that have enabled the urbanites greater wealth and prosperity than every before. With so much depending on the machines, much effort is spent on their maintenance and improvement. Alchemists and engineers labour endlessly in their laboratories, experimenting with new alloys and mechanisms to squeeze just one bit more energy into, or from, their springs. This effort has greatly advanced Chromaros expertise, particularly in metallurgy, and have produced alloys suitable for every purpose, from military armour to decoration.

Despite these advances, however, production remains labour-intensive. The coiled tension-springs that power Chromaros machinery require constant rewinding, which can only be achieved through the muscle power of men and animals. It is estimated up to half of the City of Chromaros' population is employed as winch-puller.

The nation's financial sector is dominated by the Order of the Blood Knights. Its members operate a number of banks across the Poleis, lending money from the Ekklisiasma's vast coffers and retrieving it with interest. One condition for the provision of services by the Ekklisiasma is that the Cartels be barred from the financial sector, and as a result, the Order's dominance is unlikely to end soon. The national currency is the Axìa, which is minted separately by each Polis but contains a standardised percentage of silver. Counterfeiting is punishable by death.

Government

The Commonwealth consists of numerous, mostly independent cities known as Poleis. They are free to make their own policy in many regards, bound together by common culture, language, and certain needs. Each Polis has its own parliament, an elected body of representatives responsible for law and governance in their city. Certain needs, however, are beyond the ability of any single Polis to meet, and for this purpose they elect from their number deputies to send to the Synod of Chromaros. The Synod is the main decision-making body of the Commonwealth as a whole, and is led by an official known as the Phylakos, or Protector. The current protector is Theodosios Andreas Excelceor-Staros. He is the formal Head of State of the Commonwealth. In times of peace, he serves as chairman of the Synod and final arbitrator of disputes between Poleis. In terms of war, he is the supreme commander of the Commonwealth military machine, though a wise Phylakos knows to defer to his Order 'subordinates' in such situations.

The Synod deals with issues beyond the purview of any single Polis. These fall in roughly four categories: managing disputes between Poleis, managing nationwide financial policy, managing diplomacy with other nations, and managing military defence. Hence the Phylakos is assisted in his duties by four ministers, responsible for one of these areas.

The Military

After their exile, the Chromaroi decided such a thing would never befall their people again. Thus, over the centuries a strong spirit of national service has emerged. Military service is seen as good and honourable, and veterans are allowed certain special priviliges - for themselves the right to vote, and for their families the right to receive Ekklisiasma services including healthcare and education. Its army is hence a professional, well-drilled force that seldomly lacks for prospective recruits. It consists of units called Terkòn (multiple, singular Terkòi) of roughly twelve hundred men. Each Terkòn contains pikemen, arbalestiers, swordsmen and cavalry and is able to operate as an independent unit for a short duration. In battle, usually, the cavalry are detached and formed into separate units for ease of manoever.

Each Terkòi is led by a Colonel, who has purchased from the government the right and obligation to raise and maintain an armed force of soldiers. Buying a colonelcy is expensive, but many costs can be recouped by selling officer ranks to others. The presence of Ipsaksimion agents - ostensibly as chaplains - serves to motivate the Colonel to make wise choices in this regard. The feared church police takes a dim view indeed of those who compromise their unit's fighting strength with poor equipment or officer appointments. In addition, they receive a share of the loot, and are encouraged to, during peacetime, rent out their regiments as mercenaries abroad. War is a lucrative business, and Colonels can expect to recoup their expense in a few years. Their only obligation in this regard is to never lift arms against the Chromaroi, and to return to service should the Phylakos require them. A Terkòi is equipped according to uniform standards set out by the Synod, usually from the great forges of the Arsenal.

Unlike the Terkòi, the Navy is kept fully under arms and at the Synod's disposal at all times. The need to protect merchantmen does not allow for mercenary adventures. It primarily employs two types of ship. Its more numerous lighter units, known as cruisers, prowl the seas. They protect merchants, hunt pirates, go on missions of exploration or diplomacy, and in times of war raid enemy commerce. Their crews number anywhere between thirty to fifty. Its heavy units are concentrated in the three main battle squadrons, the Red, Blue, and Green squadrons. Each is led by its own admiral, with the Admiral of the Red holding the highest authority overall. Due to their usual formation, they are known as the Ships of the Line. Each requires at least a hundred men to crew properly. The Naval Infantry provides security on the ships, particularly in boarding actions.

Besides the military forces of the secular government, the Ekklisiasma fields its own warriors. These men, the Order of the Blood Knights, are fanatically devoted, supremely professional, and utterly loyal. Its five regiments form the core of any Chromaros campaign army, and its members can be counted on to fight with the courage and determination of men who know their god watches over them. In general, Order Terkòi are much more assault-oriented. Hence they add a vital offensive punch to the generally defence-oriented regular infantry.

Society

Most workers live their lives subsumed within their cartel. The factories where they work, the canteens where they eat, the houses where they live, the taverns where they drink at night are usually owned by the same dynasty. Thus the Cartels foster fierce loyalty among their workers, which expresses itself most tellingly in the form of the Symmoi. They are, essentially, paid thugs and enforcers in the employ of their Cartel. During the night, they work in its workshops, but at dawn bands of Symmoi prowl the streets to beat up rivals, harrass strangers, put up propaganda leaflets, and generally make a nuisance of themselves. The Cartels are legally prohibited from arming their workers with bladed weapons, so the Symmoi take their name from the crude truncheons with which they are armed.

For those who are unemployed, life is exceedingly hard. An unemployed man has no patron, no home, and no food. They are essentially doomed to homelessness and face a stark choice between starvation or crime. Those who live are hounded relentlessly by the Polis guards, who hunt them with a passion. They can expect little clemency from the city courts, which are usually corrupt, pronounce far harsher judgments on the poor, and usually deal in corporeal punishment.

In this cauldron of social tensions, foreigners are regarded poorly. They are an unknown element at best, a threat at worst. Only foreign merchants are regarded with any sort of respectability, and this is because they only deal with the upper classes, and only walk the streets when there's guardsmen around.

The upper classes, meanwhile, have monopolized what they consider the 'civilized life'. To be civilized is to enjoy art and music, to live without the fear of starvation or violence, to participate in cultured and polite social gathering and to generally value the finer things in life, without the ctudeness of the streets. This they value above everything else, and they look down their noses at everyone else with attitudes ranging from patronizing to dismissal to outright disgust.