Ever since the foundation of the Empire of Turelion, Ferio Province has been a crucial player in its military and economic life, with its exports of high quality timber going all across the world, either in transport ships, or as part of the Imperial Navy’s ships, which are constructed in the province. It’s proximity to the Imperial Province of Turelion and economic potential means that it is considered to be an area of strategic importance by the Emperor.
Like all provinces with the Empire of Turelion, the administration of the Province is overseen by a Satrap, who is theoretically responsible for management of all areas of Ferio. To aid them in this, the Satrap of Ferio Province has a staff of provincial officials and administrators who oversee the bureaucracy of all things, from the state of the road network to the taxes levied on fish imported to the province.
Demography and Population
Due to its labour intensive primary industry, the majority of Ferio Province’s population are deemed to be ‘working class’ and are employed by the lumber, mining or agricultural industries across the province. Most people from this section of society live in communities in and around their places of work, and which tend to be properly connected to the main employer in the region, rather than to other communities in the outside world. However, some labourers who work in more remote parts of the province, such as the mines in the Heavenspire Mountains are often housed by their employer as part of their contracts, which in reality makes them essentially enthralled to their employer. The presence of so much lumber production and other industries in the province means that there is a strong middle class who own smaller operations in their own right, or who make money either through mercantile activity linked to the Province’s produce, or through secondary processing activities, such as sawmills or cider mills. There is a well established upper class in the province, but it represents a much smaller percentage of the population than it does in Turelion Province , and most of the upper class citizens live in either the provincial capital Tashmal, or in the province’s second city of Lisman. Most of the people native to Ferio Province come from the Uktang ethnic group, a multi-racial group who have their own customs language and whose history and culture are deeply rooted in the area of the Yimawas forest. Though there are no rules or laws in the Empire of Turelion that prohibit people from continuing to carry out their ancestral or cultural practices, it is generally found in Ferian society that those who disregard their traditional practices are most likely to be able to fully thrive in the Imperial system.
The boundary of Ferio Province follows the boundaries of the Yimawas, which stretches all the way down to the edge of the Plains of Gold in the south-east and to the border of the Pokipewi grasslands in the north-west. The eastern boundary of the province is the coast of the Ocean of Lasimar, whilst the western boundary of the province is the foothills of the Heavenspire Mountains. Imperial policy has long been to essentially ignore mountainous areas, as they are too hard to police and require too much active administration, which is why the Province’s border ends in the Heavenspire’s foothills. However, there are settlements, governed by Ferio Province in the mountains themselves, predominantly mining communities which rely on the Province for supplies and send shipments of ore back in return.
Like all Imperial Provinces, Ferio has access to its own standing army of Provincial troops, who are dispersed across the province in garrisons, ready to be called upon as needs be. For the most part, these troops act as town and city guards and police forces for the areas they are stationed to. In times of crisis, the Satrap can mobilise units in the Provincial Army from their garrisoned stations to become mobile units that can be deployed were necessary. The Provincial Army has units of infantry, cavalry, artillery and Firewings at its disposal, as well as a dedicated naval force to protect its coasts. The Command Headquarters for Ferio’s Provincial army is in the Provincial Capital Tashmal. Unlike the other provinces of the Empire, Ferio province tends to have a larger than average navel presence in its waters, as many warships travel back to the shipyards in Lisman to be repaired and re-fitted.
Though the Imperial Church of Canthartism has a strong following in the province, especially amongst the provincial elite who wish to ingratiate themselves with the Imperial Court, many people in Ferio still follow the Amsinite religion, which has a wide base of adherents across the north of Euristan in both Ferio and Ultaru Provinces. In general the further that one gets from the provincial capital, Tashmal, the fewer people one will find who claim to be followers of the Imperial Church of Canthartism.
Agriculture & Industry
Because of the densely forested nature of Ferio Province, arable farmland is at a premium, meaning that virtually all of the grain and vegetable crops produced in the Province remain there for local consumption. However, areas of the Yimawas that have been cleared provide the perfect conditions for the planting of orchards, and huge crops of apples, pears, cherries and other tree-grown fruits are produced there each year, a large percentage of which are exported to the other provinces. These crops are not just sold on as the raw fruit. Nearly half of all fruit crops are turned into secondary products, with cider and perry being a particularly popular products for both internal and inter-province consumption. The main industry of Ferio Province, however, is the production of lumber. The vast expanses of the Yimawas provide ample hardwood that is harvested and processes into all manner of products, from planks and masts used to fit out the ships of the Provincial and Imperial navies and the merchantmen of the Hastellion Trading Company, to materials for the construction of buildings, to furniture and barrels. Indeed the proximity to supplies wood ideal for ship building, has meant that the town of Lisman on the northern coast of the Province has become the epicentre of military ship production in the Empire, producing warships for the Imperial and Provincial navies alike. Much of this logging activity takes place in and around the Yetstunsa in the south of the Province, which flows from its source in the Heavenspire Mountains down into the expansive waters of Lake Ikrikeng. The river is used as a natural conveyor belt to ferry cut logs down to the lake, where they are corralled in giant floating piles before being removed for processing in one of the many lumber mills that line the north shores of the Ikrikeng. As the importance of the lumber industry for Ferio was recognised early on in the Province’s existence, it has been the policy of all Provincial Governments to accompany each lumber project with re-planting, to ensure that there is always an ample supply of trees ready to be felled. Associated woodworking industries have also sprung up in the Province’s towns and cities to turn some of the produced lumber into objects that can be sold onwards, and the quality of Ferio’s carpenters is well known across the Empire. There is also a not insignificant amount of mining activity that takes place in the remote settlements administered by the Province deep within and beneath the Heavenspire Mountains. One of the primary products of these mines is Blackpowder, which is sent away from the mountains to be refined in Ferio proper. Copper and silver are also mined within these communities, with supplies of both metal being sent to the Provincial mints across the world to produce Imperial Coinage.
Trade & Transport
Ferio Province has strong trade and transport links with Turelion Province to the south and Ultaru Province to the west, which is not surprising given that they are all located on the continent of Euristan. Ferio has strong sea links with Turelion Province and a direct road link between Tashmal and the Imperial Capital Meltaro, as well as a riverine link from Lake Ikrikeng via the Yetstunsa to the northern tip of Turelion, and Meltaro as well. Links between Ferio and Ultaru are more tenuous, given that, except in the northern extremes of both provinces, the bulk of the Heavenspire Mountains lies between them. Though there is maritime traffic that travels around the northern coasts of Euristan, more immediate transport between the two is available by the network of Firewing ports that have been planted amongst the peaks of the mountains. These ports provide points where crews and passengers can rest, re-fuel and re-supply part way through their journeys, as well as shelter from any bad weather that buffets the mountain range. The largest Firewing Port, Orthax’s Peak which lies at the centre of the route between Tashmal and Ultaru’s Provincial capital Kibet. With regards to the rest of Kelbonnar, there are numerous sea routes that connect the other regions of the Empire with Ferio Province, all of which are busily plied by ships looking to export Ferio’s lumber, mineral and agricultural products to where they are in demand.
Across the Province there is relatively easy access to basic education in the large towns and the Provincial Capital Tashmal, where there is a ready market for upper-middle and upper class families, who have made their money through the logging trade, to have their children educated to a relatively high standard. Beyond this there are only two higher educational institutions in Ferio Province, the Imperial Naval College, which is based in the town of Lisman and a single independent House of Learning, Maltar House, which is based in Tashmal. Despite the fact that the inhabitants of Ferio Province, especially those whose families have strong roots in the area speak Uktangian, none of the formal education is conducted in the language, but is instead restricted to Common Speech.
The Endless Forest
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