The Exarchate of Polanis (/eksarkɪt ɘv polanɪs/ (Aeillan: /eksarkɪt ton polanɪs/))
Εξψαριτ τον Ρωλανις
The Exarchate of Polanis is often known as the breadbasket of Aeilla and rightly so, thanks to agricultural innovations and a large amount of arable land meaning, as well as irrigation networks built by successive generations from the Feloran Invasions well into the post-Imperial period, that Polanis produces far more food than it needs and indeed a plurality of all the food produced by Aeilla. This has resulted in Polanis becoming rich and important despite its location distant from the Ilosi core of the successor states. Polanis has effectively navigated the internecine politicking through manipulation of the food supply and remained effective despite its comparative neutrality in Aeillan affairs. Polanis has a Principal Exarchy with the Exarch acting as the first citizen and co-head of the chief legislative body, the Senate. Senators are elected from the wealthy, with the aristocracy being favored over the merchant class, by the free landowning citizen population of the Aeillan city-state. Succession is generally done by Heredity though adoptive succession is also allowed. Despite being a frontier successor state, Polanis is wealthy and stable in part thanks to its fairly stable political system with reasonable amounts of power share, and for its relative prosperity. Dynasties have a comparatively long lifespan in Polanis with the dynastic changes having occurred only twice in the history of Polanis as an independent state. Polanis is one of the oldest states in Aeilla, having been established as a key polis before even the establishment of the Ilosi Republic, and became an important rival to the republic in its early days. It was eventually folded into the expanding Aeillan sphere and quickly became one of the most important members of the Late Republic, and Aeillan Empire. After the fall of the Empire, the newly independent state of Polanis remained a major influencer, both because of its massive territorial holdings, and more importantly its status as the chief producer of food in the Aeillan successor states. Though it has lost some of its power, it remains important, and one of the few traditionalist states to benefit from the strengthening of maritime trade.
Demography and Population
Polanis is densely settled, but primarily in the form of high cultivation levels more than anything else. Polanis is overwhelmingly consistent of smaller agricultural, logging, and mining settlements with larger towns and cities serving as commercial hubs. According to the tax records of the Polani Strategoi, Polanis maintains an active population of roughly 5,210,000. Polanis is fairly ruralized with widespread and varied agricultural fields and latifundia, however, there are a couple of sizable settlements along the river Tyros, particularly in the lower Tyros Vale, and the quasi-independent state of the Verioa of as well as more recently growing cities along the coast. Polanis' largest settlement is Polanis itself filled with roughly 61,200 people. Other large settlements include Brundesis with 21,800, Phillios with 13,100, Mephenes with 10,500, and Salonkios with 8,200 people respectively. Most towns are on the River Tyros, with the Veroia and Lower Tyros being particularly densely settled, with another heavy area of settlement being on the Polispoint. The Polispont settlements include the capital, Polanis, itself. About half of Polanis' population is close to the River or the coast, with the comparatively dry interior, particularly close to Qua'adar being much sparser in population, and the eastern frontier practically being empty wasteland for the most part. Polanis' population is broadly human with the Tyrosi Aeillan being dominant, other Aeillans secondary, and lastly with Hadar persons from Qua'adar being a large, but largely repressed minority. Non-humans are a tiny minority despite there being a large number of slaves in the Exarchate. About one in three residents of Polanis are slaves, with the overwhelming majority being captives from Qua'adar, Galalca, and points further east, especially Lirkuth, and Hesjan, with non-humans rounding out the remaining enslaved population.
Polanis is the largest of the Aeillan successor states by territory with a vast area of 203,200 square kilometers. The territory of the Polanis is oriented north-south meaning that in terms of travel it takes almost ten days to travel from north to south on foot, but just three to go from east to west. Most of Polanis' frontiers are protected by geographical features with their west and south covered by the River Tyros and the Yulan Ocean, and its east by the, comparatively short Indric Mountains. Only its northern border with, Iskandris, is open. Polanis is fairly dry for how fertile its soil is, with comparatively little precipitation inland from the coast. Much of the Polani water supply comes from underground aquifers, springs fed from the Indric mountains, and especially the Tyros River. As a result, most of the Polani land which is not cultivated is semi-arid scrubland that transitions temporarily into wetter grassland during the storm season from the Yulan Ocean. Generally, Polanis is wetter in its west, getting drier in the east before one last comparatively humid area in the foothills of the Indric mountains.
Polanis maintains only a very small central standing army consisting of three bandons of Penandroi about 600 soldiers, and a single bandon of Hetairoi, 200 soldiers. Most of Polanis' strength comes from the Stratologoi of its constituent aristocrats, which even then total only about 4,800. Except for the modestly well-equipped members of the Penandroi and Hetairoi (who are generally well-armed), Polani soldiers are rather poorly equipped with most soldiers having padded Kavadion armor, and with weapons that are mostly based on common farming implements with artillery being the only gunpowder weapons in common usage. Polanis does maintain a small navy with roughly 30 ships, mostly war galleys to protect its lines of commerce, and occasionally to engage in piracy of its own to take slaves and gold from other states. Its Galleys though capable are badly outdated against more modern Aeillan vessels, but are, however, more than capable against less developed states. The Exarchate Polanis maintains a modest marine corps that are generally quite capable in boarding actions, though again, they tend to fall afoul of more dedicated marine powers. Despite the extant military capacity of Polanis, most Polani military business is conducted by mercenaries who provide deniability and come with their training and equipment having already been taken care of. Several mercenary bands including the Band of the Unicorn, The Talons, and even the Chán Láng of Fuíguo are regular providers of military services for the Exarchate. Many particularly powerful nobles hire mercenaries permanently to serve as their own, personal or familial retainers to deal with labor unrest and political issues.
Polanis is somewhat backward in comparison to other Aeillan successors, with fairly limited access to such technologies as gunpowder, sailing ships, industrial machinery, and other, typically Ilosi states are in possession of. They are uniquely advanced in their methods of agriculture, however, allowing to produce a glut of food that is often used to trade for foreign experts to assist on their modernization projects, and to help modernize the state. There is also a surprisingly high proportion of magical technology within Polanis, as a high proportion of ruins means that a goodly number of expeditions have been successful in retrieving old magical items.
Polanis lacks and officially backs the Pandroi faith, and indeed thanks to the influence of some particularly radical ex-Thibaian priests openly enforce its government religion among the general population, and particularly the enslaved population. Polanis primarily worships a tripartite group of deities as their patrons. Poleo, the Goddess of the Sun, Gaio, Earthmother, and Cielon, the Sky God, each of which is tied to their identity as the breadbasket of Aeilla. Pandroi is, at least openly, practiced by virtually the entire population with attendance of temples and regular sacrifices generally enforced with deviants frequently reported to the authorities.
The Exarchate of Polanis is, politically speaking, in a good space to be relatively content with the status quo. It, in fact, has aligned itself with other powers dedicated to maintaining this status quo. In particular, it maintains close relations with Apepsos and an active commercial relationship with Iskandris which provides a solid market for Polani captives as well as a good place to buy slaves for the Polani Latifundii, and to that end, the Polani established a marriage alliance with Iskandris. Polanis largely commits itself to self-defense than it does to active participation in affairs to expand its influence, as the Polani government sees itself largely in a safe position. Conversely, Polanis is generally opposed to those states that would radically alter the political landscape of the Aeillan region, having committed itself to the containment of Nikea, as well as opposition to Syros, and Artenos, though to a lesser extent. Despite this, Polanis wishes to appear relatively neutral, and only half-heartedly joins in containment efforts, maintaining active trading relationships with all three of the reformist powers, and occasionally normalizing its relations and sending envoys to those nations. Outside of Aeilla, Polanis has formal relations with Qua'adar, Inhdara, and Gallaca, and occasionally sends diplomats to other countries in the region. Generally speaking, the Polani government is interested in securing slaves for the fields, a relatively peaceful series of frontiers, and open markets for grain exports. Those opposed to these goals are considered enemies of the Exarchate. Those who are willing to assist and generally looked upon favorably, and receive prime access to Polani grain, which is particularly necessary for Qua'adar which has rapidly outgrown its ability to feed itself.
Agriculture & Industry
Polanis perhaps moreso than most Aeillan states is defined by its system of agriculture. Most of the population works in the fields, with almost a third working as enslaved workers, in the large estates of the aristocracy alone. Aside from the latifundia themselves, the landed aristocracy rents out the majority of their land to serfs who work the land is if it were their own growing enough food to sustain themselves as well as paying rent in the form of the bulk of their excess crops. Aside from this, the Exarchate itself maintains small amounts of land to be given to particularly notable individuals to tend in exchange for their service to the crown. Beneath everyone else in the Polani society, are the slaves who are expected to work the latifundia. Aside from agriculture, there is a thriving mercantile and skilled trades community that has sprung up to service the needs of farmers and the nobility. These craftspeople generally provide needed goods and services in exchange for crops, with the Polani talent used only for long-distance trades between merchants. There is unusually a distinct financial sector composed of "seed bankers" who engage in financial transactions with dried cereals using their seed turned to by free and serf farmers after tough harvests. There are educated administrators who ensure that the bureaucratic functions of the state are upheld, and a small military caste to defend Polanis. Lastly, there is the aristocracy, which serves a managerial function.
Trade & Transport
Most trade through Polanis is conducted by a semi-hereditary merchant class operating on well-established trade routes. The largest and most important of these are the Tyros River trade route, and more importantly the maritime Guangdao to Erigan trade circuit as well as the shorter Qua'adar to Gallaca overland trade circuit. Secondarily are the trans-oceanic Feloran and Leadran trade routes with smaller intra-Aeillan trade routes rounding out the rest of Nikea's trade. Polani marketplaces are home to a wide variety of goods, with spices from the southeast being a major favorite. Other mundane goods are available, as are financial services in both currencies, and bulk grain shipments. Magic items are available, but aside from the most common items can only be made on commission. Slaves are frequently traded in Polani markets with most sold as field hands. Lastly, Polanis is well known for the comparatively wide variety of mercenaries available for hire, and their comparative willingness to engage in dishonorable tactics.
Polanis was one of the more recent additions to the Old Empire and therefore didn't see quite as much development as other territories under its banner. The Imperial road network is limited mostly to the areas close to the Tyros and going to and from the eastern frontier. Likewise, no Imperial aqueducts service Polani cities. Unusually, however, the Polani learned from their Feloran occupiers during the Feloran invasion, and particularly took notice of their irrigation and sewage systems, at first emulating, and later improving upon the Feloran irrigation system, meaning that Polanis is ironically home to some of the best-irrigated fields in Galisea.
EA 371, Independent ER 1
Head of State
Head of Government
Imperial Denarios, Imperial Oros, Polani Talent
The Polani Senate
Official State Religion