The Syroi League (/sairoi li:g/ (Aeillan: /xɪrn ton si:ros/))
Σύνδεσμος τον Ψιροσ
The Syroi League is a loose confederation of communities in central Aeilla established as a result of an attempt to unify the Aeillan region under a free republic. This initial rebellion failed, however, and its supporters instead elected to carve out a free state from the territories of the badly weakened states in central Aeilla. Since then, Syros has committed itself to the common defense of its constituent communities and sought alliances to protect the Syroi from slavers. As the years have gone by Syros has only gotten stronger as enslaved persons from the whole of the Aeillan region flee into the League, and swell its population. Syros rules by sortition with every living adult citizen in each community up for a lottery-based service on the Syroi Council. This council meets annually or if called up in an emergency to deal with common problems in the territory. Council members are considered equal to both each other, and the wider community, but certain members are given the ability to cast tie-breaking votes in the case of disagreement between members of the council. More rarely members of the Council are sent to serve as ambassadors to outside states. The Syroi system is highly stable with only limited internal power conflicts. External pressure, however, is fairly extreme. Most neighboring states frequently attack Syros, often in slave raids, but occasionally in full invasions. This has resulted in many of Syros' hinterlands becoming relatively deserted periodically as foreign raiders, and Syroi armies clash, and frequently damage communities in those areas. The Syroi are well known for their resilience, however, and the often communities immediately begin to rebuild after the crisis is over.
Demography and Population
In comparison to most other Aeillan successor states, the Syroi League has a rather sparse population. According to the census data provided by Syroi scribes, Syros has a population of 1,610,000 residents. Syros is more urbanized than the Galisean norm, but well under the Aeillan average with no particularly large cities as a result of being an interior province with little access to the network of major trade routes that foster the growth of massive cities near the rivers and on the coast. A strong network of rural settlements, particularly in the south forms the basis of the League's population. The largest city in the Syroi League is not the capital, but the riverine city of Tymros near its western frontier on the Ilos River, which has a population of 14,310. The other major Syroi settlements include the capital, Syros with a population of 12,150, and Nyxopolis with 8,140. The bulk of the Syroi population exists near their eastern and western, and in the south. The northern frontier is especially sparse, however, as, by in large it is difficult terrain to settle, and the fear of slaver raids from Iskandris and Apepsos are ever-present. Syros has a mixed population with the plurality being Aeillan humans, and perhaps with a slight plurality of those being Ilosi specifically. Aside from this, there is a melting pot of peoples that have been liberated from slavery, mostly non-human peoples who frequently form their own communities in the Syroi interior. Syros has major populations of Aarumite half-orcs, Terruk orcs, Cyrenic and Volgier dwarves, Grecci gnomes, Restri gnomes, Elleryrc halflings, and others. Formerly enslaved persons tend to live in their own communities, or flood into the biggest cities where there's a wide array of work to be done in construction, and incidentally one of the primary drivers of growth in urban areas.
Syros has a total land area of 109,890 square kilometers, with a very strong east-west axial focus. If one were to walk from north to south taking 3 days, but the west to east taking almost 7. Its eastern boundary is defined by the River Tyros. Its western is a warzone just west of the Ilos and bordering Falanis, and its hostile neighbor Spathos, its north and south are also exposed, with hostile neighbors to the north and southeast, but its primary ally, the Republic of Nikea to the southwest. The Transoria region is nearly as tense as the League's western frontier but the relative difficulty of the terrain does keep things quiet. Syros has a comparatively dry climate with rains mostly only coming during a short but intense wet season and few storms managing to make it as deep into the interior as Syros with any meaningful amount of rain. As a result, the land that isn't cultivated is largely a grassy savanna home to a great diversity of grassy plants, but with comparatively small vegetation in comparison to its wetter neighbors. The Transoria retains precipitation somewhat better, and dense forests break up civilized pockets in the northern hills.
Syros's chaotic confederate political structure has resulted in a disjointed military. Unlike most other Aeillan successors it has no permanent military force to speak of. Instead, there are a series of partially trained militias that can be levied, if necessary, in defense of the League. These militias are drawn from the general populace from citizens willing to contribute to the common defense on a routine basis and are given some training from Nikean and Artenisian experts. Despite their lack of professionalism, however, the levied troops Syros can put into the field are battle-hardened as a result of constant skirmishes with its neighbors, and can give a fairly good account of itself in open battle. They are often decently equipped with weapons and armor looted from Spathos and Apepsos, and with limited assistance from Nikea. Unique to Syros is the concept of war wagons, which are produced by the local populace and utilized as impromptu defensive fortifications against the heavily armored cavalry of the Spathoi. These wagons are themselves heavily armored, and crewed by the less experienced members of Spathoi militias, while the more experienced members engage the enemy more directly to protect the wagons themselves. Every Syroi militia is expected to maintain at least one of these war wagons, and many have several.
Syros is behind other Aeillan states in the terms of technological development. Most people are still using simple tools, and skilled trades are extremely rare, and mostly found in the major cities, or serving local farmers. As a result, Syros relies heavily on support from its benefactors for technological development, particularly in matters of military defense from the encroaching Spathoi. However, the League does frequently receive advanced technology from its allies, particularly gunpowder weapons, to be used to defend the league from its aggressors.
The Syroi league does not have an official religion, though a slight majority of the populace practices Pandroi. As a community of fiercely independent people with a large number of escaped slaves in their number, Sion, the Liberator was selected as a de facto patron deity, with all aspects of the deity worshipped by individual cults. Other deities also have sizable cults, though nowhere near as large as that of Sion. Religious minority communities are frequent, however, and actual practice is highly localized with many minorities having their own deities or their own religious doctrines to follow.
Syros as a loose alliance more than a proper state lacks a sufficient diplomatic caste with which to establish formal ties. Indeed, it has largely placed its fate in the hands of Nikea and Artenos which act as its patron states, and in the case of Nikea, actively protects the Syroi to the best of its ability. Conversely, Syros is in a state of open war with Spathos, and subject to periodic raiding from Apepsos, Iskandris, and Troinae. Outside of Aeilla, Syros lacks many formal relationships, the extremely radical position of the League makes it difficult to build relationships. Some states, such as the Ashevite states, and the Dotharan alliance have taken a moderate interest in the League.
Agriculture & Industry
Syros is highly ruralized, and highly agrarian, as it is a patchwork state formed from the hinterlands of many other successor states, a lot of the industrial population centers that would normally be present in Aeillan states are not present in Syros. 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. Aside from farmers, there is a handful of other skilled tradespeople, mostly producing goods for local consumption and use. Professional merchants as a class represent a tiny minority of the population, who are, almost exclusively, living in a select handful of settlements on the Ilos and Tyros rivers, and along the roads between the two. An even smaller educated class of scribes exists to collect census and to keep informed the central council. Another small class of battle-hardened warriors exist and has slowly grown since the frequent raids into Syros provide ample experience.
Trade & Transport
Syros has comparatively little trade most of which is tied to their smallholdings along the two rivers on their frontiers, or along the Via Transflumae, the road which connects the territory between the River Ilos and the River Tyros. As a result, the structure of trade tends to be highly localized with most markets serving as simple grain exchanges and places to obtain farming tools for use by people in the local area. Tyrmros, Syros, and Nyxopolis, and the chain of towns between them are the only places where one can find anything resembling the variety of goods that can be found in larger Aeillan states
Syros is relatively underdeveloped with only a handful of Imperial roads crisscrossing the polis, mostly just connecting the major settlements. However, most Syroi people use their own local road networks which are kept secret from most outsiders, particularly for the movement of troops. The Syroi lack any of the utilities created by the Old Empire, and have not had the time or resources to construct their own, and as a result, have a fairly simple living in comparison to other Aeillan peoples. Some projects in urban areas exist to build up such infrastructure however.
Imperial Denarios, Imperial Oros, Nikean Talent, Artenisian Talent
The Syroi Council