The Exarchate of Falemesia (/eksarkɪt ɘv falemi:ʐia/ (Aeillan: /eksarkɪt ton falemi:ʐia/))
Εξψαριτ τον Φαλαμιγα
The Exarchate of Falemesia is a small nation in the northern reaches of the Aeillan region. One of the last places conquered by the Aeillan Empire before the Feloran invasion, indeed not being fully subsumed into the Aeillan Empire until the Later Imperial period, Falemesia maintained its distinctive cultural identity, and a large minority population of Grecci gnomes. Falemesia is, as a result one of the more culturally tolerant successor states, in spite of its position on the northern frontier near other more traditionalist states. Falemesia primarily uses the hostile terrain of its homeland as its primary defense against the hostile Spathoi and Peptid peoples. The Exarchate of Falemesia is an unusually strong Principate Exarchate with the Exarch serving as First Citizen of Falemesia, but with very little control of legislative matters, with much of the power instead falling into the hands of the Eldership Council, a body of elected representatives assembled from each of the major communities in the country. Major disputes between communities are also handled by the Eldership Council making it an impromptu judiciary as well, and leaving only control over the military, and some power of the purse in the hands of the Exarch. The political situation is very stable in Falemesia and as a result, the Falemesian state is the only one in the entire Aeillan region to not have had a major dynastic change since the succession war. This means that the Ilosi Cornelius dynasty has been in charge, in some form or another since the breakup of the Empire, largely through means of adoptive succession, and the aforementioned relatively peaceful nature of the Falemesian state. Falemesia since its inception has been relatively neutral in the affairs of the Aeillan successor states, turned largely inward, and focusing on the internal development of the Exarchate itself. The only major internal conflict faced by Falemesia was the internal struggle for equality of the Grecci gnomes, who have steadily pushed for greater and greater representation, and gained much in the five centuries since the Empire's fall. Despite the passivity of Falemesia however, the state has been invaded several times by the Spathoi, and lost much territory to them, indeed this has forced the Exarcate to adopt a defense in depth strategy to protect itself. In recent years, Falemesia has begun to strengthen its relationship with Cyrenica, with extensive trade going on between the two nations as Falemesia seeks to protect itself from better-armed neighbors.
Demography and Population
The Exarchate of Falemesia is one of the smallest of Aeilla's successor states, having not been fully settled by the Aeillan peoples before the Feloran invasion, and due to the rocky terrain and dense forests of the region, agriculture is difficult, and as a result, population growth has been relatively low in Falemesia. According to the parochial records of the Falemesian communities, there is a population of roughly 684,000 people living in Falemesian territory. The largest settlement in Falemesia is its capital, Falanis, which is home to roughly 21,100 residents. Other than Falanis, other major settlements in Falemesia include Arcangeloi 12,700 residents, Iban with 10,200, and Traban with 8,100 residents respectively. Most of the population is concentrated on the Via Verte, the primary trade artery in the region and more generally close to the south. Populations are, however, relatively evenly distributed as a result of a lack of clear major arteries for transport and commerce. The plurality of the population consists of Ilosi Aeillan settlers who have arrived in the region during the Late Imperial, and early Reforging period of Aeillan history. Aside from them, there is a large minority of Grecci gnomes who were the natives of the region, and remain a powerful and influential part of Falemesian communities. Then there are smaller minorities of Cyrenic dwarves, Spartharoi Aeillans, and relatively insignificant populations of other population groups.
Falemesia is a comparatively small state with a territory of roughly 85,500 square kilometers. it is orientated towards its north to south axis taking about 4 days to walk from north to south or 3 to walk from east to west through Falemesia. All of its borders are, with its border of Cyrenica being the closest to being a hard border as a result of the Odric mountains, its eastern, western, and southern frontiers have no natural barriers and open to invasion, as Falemesia has focused its defense on depth rather than hard borders. Falemesia has a wet climate thanks to the oceanic air from the Yulan Ocean being deposited on the southern face of the Odric Mountains. As a result, the flora is quite dense in Falemesia with large cloud forests being quite common. As one moves north the climate becomes cooler as the terrain becomes more mountainous and the increasingly rocky terrain impedes the growth of planets, eventually the one finds the slopes of the Odric Mountains.
The Exarchate of Falemesia maintains a relatively small military in comparison to many other states. There are only 600 Penandroi serving the Falemesian state, and further, there are only about twice as many (roughly 1,400 more specifically) Akritae serving Exarchy directly. These troops a fairly poorly equipped as well, with few wearing heavy armors, and little in the way of gunpowder weaponry, except a surprisingly sizable number of cannons. Most of Falemesia's defensive strategy relies on local militias to do the bulk of fighting in the event of enemy incursions. These militias tend to be lightly trained, roughly equivalent to the Akritae, though equipment varies significantly. Falemesian militias are more numerous and generally supported by the locales that host them, though they can hardly be considered equals to the professional soldiery.
The Falemesian Exarchate is roughly on par with other Aeillan states, though in a different way. Instead of major construction works and gunpowder, and occasionally the industrialized infrastructure of the other successor states, clockworks and marvelous inventions of individual artificers are the defining mark of Falemesia in comparison to the rest of the Aeillan Region.
Falemesia is a nominally Pandroi but is a functionally secular state, focused more on maintaining a pax deorum between deities than it is on enforcing a state religion. As a result, multiple deities, from multiple pantheons have been adopted as patrons, most of them representing similar ideas. The Pandroi matron is Maia, goddess of the hearth. The Cyrenic deity favored by Falemesia is Genia, lastly a homegrown Grecci deity Gala the Glittering represents the third leg of the primary divine triune in Falemesia. The bulk of the population follows either Pandroi, or one of the Cyrenic deities, the native faith, that of Gala, has slowly lost followers over time, and has essentially become a minor folk religion.
Falemesia seeks peaceful relationships with the outside world. However, the hotly contested borders near its territory make peace difficult. In particular, the Falemesians have been repeatedly attacked by Spathos on a regular basis, having lost nearly a fifth of its western territories to Spathoi invaders since the breakup of the Aeillan Empire. As a result, there is a certain degree of public dislike of the Spathoi among Falemesians. Falemesia has therefore sought alliances with anti-Spathoi nations especially Nikea, and Syros which have the closest borders to Spathos. Outside the Aeillan region, Falemesia has strong relations with Cyrenica, and with Nabiu both of whom have been crucial in jumpstarting the early manufactories, and advanced farms present in Falemesia, and helping them gain an advantage over Spathos.
Agriculture & Industry
The Falemesian Exarchate is largely agrarian, with the overwhelming majority of the population working in agriculture. Land ownership is highly decentralized with most people working only slightly more land than is necessary for subsistence and only a select few actually owning large tracts of land. Culturally, however, there is a strong emphasis on communal work, and people will frequently assist each other with the cultivation of crops. Falemesia has an unusually large number of skilled crafters, especially among the Grecci population. Though fairly basic tools can be found, mechanical oddities and bizarre contraptions are also commonly built, and indeed are something that Falemesian traders sell on the open market to seekers of an oddity among the wealthiest in other societies. There is a very small class of wealthy nobles, and merchants who are relatively idle, but this class is smaller than those of other successor states. In recent years, the importation of experts has resulted in the first small manufactories, indicating the start of a more manufactorial society, though organization remains largely horizontal as opposed to the other industrialized states and their managerial operational style.
Trade & Transport
The Exarchate of Falemesia is serviced by a single major trade artery in the form of the Via Appia, or as it is known by the locals the Via Verte. Aside from this, there are local trade routes that provide for the needs of small farmers, in the form of small grain exchanges. Unusually, however, Grecci artisans and their students produce wondrous trinkets that do sell well outside the Falemesian state. In major cities, there is wider availability of goods with spices, machined goods, textiles, and other things from afar more available for purchase. Magic items are common, though mostly the most minor variety.
Falemesia is relatively underdeveloped, at least by the standards of an Aeillan state. There was only ever one major Imperial engineering project in the region, the Via Verte, and even that has fallen into disrepair, hence the name "greenway". Instead the native Grecci, and to a lesser extent the Cyrenic left behind and underground tunneling infrastructure used to move water and people easily, and tinker's works have resulted in some advanced clockworks to keep time used to efficiently manage labor in the region.
EA 371, Independent ER 1
Head of State
Head of Government
Imperial Denarios, Imperial Oros, Peptid Dekatos, Cyrenic Ducatus
The Eldership Council
The Eldership Council
Official State Religion