The Cantons of Salemesia (/cantɑnz ɘv salemi:ʐia/ (Aeillan: kantoni:a ton salemɪsa/))
Φορτ τον Ψαλαγα
The Cantons of Salemesia, formerly a part of the Exarchate of Halion, having gained independence in, are a federated group of military forts that have been converted into permanent settlements since the fall of the Aeillan Empire. It has maintained this highly militaristic footing since its independence, having focused the efforts of the Cantons on mutual self-defense. The Cantons of Salemesia are run by a council of elders, known unsurprisingly, as the Eldership Council who are selected from among the individual Cantons to be representative on the council. This council handles important legislative matters, as well as appointing, generally from their own number of high-level military officers when it is necessary for the Cantons to come together for the common defense. The Eldership Council as a whole is responsible for hosting foreign dignitaries. The Salemesian Cantons are highly stable, with its system of government largely free of the internal political conflicts that plague other successor states. This is helped by the relatively inhospitable territory that the cantons occupy, and the longstanding tradition of citizen-soldiers that ensures that trained fighters will always be available to Salemesia.
Demography and Population
The Cantons of Salemesia are the smallest of the successor states by population with a tiny 35,000 residents. Populations are highly concentrated in the multipurpose agricultural, urban, fortified communities on which the Salemesian state is based, the Cantons. The largest of these is the Canton of Salmis which is by far the most developed of the Cantons, which has a population of 8,100 people. Most of the population is Spartharoi Aeillan. A small minority exists of those who are Grecci gnomes and Cyrenic dwarves, with a smatter of other Aeillans rounding out the population.
The Salemesian state is one of the smaller ones by land area, possessing a territory only roughly 73,000 kilometers in area. The territory of Salemesia has a pronounced north to south axis taking five days to walk from north to south, and just two to walk from east to west. Most of its borders are fairly mountainous, allowing a relatively level of security. To its north is Cyrenica, and Nimeara, to its west, is Gallaca, to its south and southeast is Halion, and along its northeast border is Spathos. Salemesia is known for its mountainous, Odricine climate with much of its territory deep in mountain vales. Most of the precipitation comes in the form of winter snows in the mountaintops. This water trickles down into the lower-lying areas where the Cantons exist. As a result, it is fairly arid, at least in terms of precipitation, and most of the usable water comes in the form of groundwater. It is largely barren in terms of vegetation, especially higher in the mountains.
Salemesia, despite being well known for militarism does not actually maintain a very large permanent military. Instead, the primary strength of the Salemesian state relies heavily on its extensive Stratalogi, citizen's militias who are raised when necessary to defend the nation. Such levies are comprised of the bulk of the adult population, with only rare exceptions existing for smiths and other critical skilled traders, and are commanded by ranking elders, generally from the Eldership Council, who are often experienced members of the Stratlogi themselves. Salemesian Stratalogi have a reputation for their skill, however, thanks to the relatively constant training they receive during lulls in the agricultural cycle. They are similarly very heavily armored and armed with a decent number of Stratalogi being equipped Klivanion armor, and a fair number of, admittedly primitive arquebuses in military service in addition to artillery. It is as a result considered the near equivalent of Penandroi in that respect. There is a small cadre of permanently active Hetairoi who serve as bodyguards and elite troops for the Salemesian states. They are selected from the cream of Salemesian society and given exemption from agricultural duties. Most of the Salemesian Hetairoi serve as Aerial Cavalry and indeed they have a reputation of being some of the finest Wyvern rider cavalry in the world.
Salemesia is lacking somewhat in the application of technology. In spite of a sufficiently extensive technical base, the small size, and limited access to resources, means that technology that is not immediately applicable to the current situation tends not to be adopted. This means that a lot of technologies, particularly those of leisure are simply not present in Salemesia with the average resident of the Cantons living a fairly spartan lifestyle.
The official state religion of the Salemesian Cantons is Pandroi, the traditional religion of the Aeillan peoples dating back to the fall of the Yuan-Ti. More specifically, Salemesia has adopted the deity Io, the Goddess of Victory, as its patron deity. Most of the population, practices the Pandroi faith, though some populations, particularly those of nonhumans practice other faiths.
Salemesia is relatively neutral in foreign affairs, more concerned with guarding its own borders than it is in any outside contact. They as a result don't have meaningful formal relations with really any outside power and deal with neighboring states rarely, and more exotic states only as in unique situations with foreign dignitaries arriving to much fanfare.
Agriculture & Industry
Most of the population consists of farmer-soldiers who serve both as agricultural workers during key planting and harvesting seasons but also consistently train for battle as part of their local militias. The land is managed collectively with every citizen working the collective Canton farms, in order to ensure that the food supply is secure. Salemesians will then receive from the Cantons enough to suit their needs. Rarer are skilled craftspeople, who are often hereditarily involved in their trade, who are exempted from military service in exchange for their expertise in making, repairing, and recycling critical wartime and civil resources. Industrial and agricultural output is sufficient to meet the needs of the Salemesian state, but only just.
Trade & Transport
Trade is conducted almost solely along the Imperial road from the interior into Gallaca. This has long been the only meaningful land route into and out of Aeilla from the west. In more recent years, more limited roads have been carved directly from Halion into Gallaca, and a more northerly route into Nimeara. Markets are sparse in Salemesia as most production serves human needs, however, Salemesian craftsmanship has attracted some customers and some Salemesians do like foreign spices and wines.
Salemesia has a well-developed, though rudimentary infrastructure network. Most of the roads crisscrossing the Cantons are paved, with rudimentary features meant to prevent weather damage. Sanitation facilities are also quite developed, though they lack the size and scope of larger works in more civilized parts of the Aeillan region. Aside from transport and sanitation infrastructure, however, things are quite rudimentary, and even the road network, other than a few large central roads, consists of smaller roads ill-suited to large amounts of commerce.
Imperial Denarios, Imperial Oros
The Eldership Council
Official State Religion