It is unusual to come across the residents of the cities that make up the Asphoditan League on the continent of Turoza, and indeed the League and its constituent cities were once thought to be nothing but a mere legend. However, in more recent times contact has been made with the League’s thirteen bastions of civilisation in the jungles of Amfris, and a port in Turoza that is favoured with a visit by an Asphoditan trading vessel is lucky indeed, as the curiosities and luxuries that they bring from their far flung corner of the world are always in high demand.Extract from Maximilian Hoherberg von Zottehal’s History of the Known World. The Asphoditan League is a federation of thirteen city-states that occupy the island of Greater Amfris, the largest of the continent of Amfris' islands. The cities that make up the League contribute to the economic and military protection of all, and they rotate which city leads the League each year, in order to maintain a sense of fair play, and ensure that one city does not grow so strong that it would dominate the others, in theory at least….
The League is politically structured as a federation of thirteen semi-independent city-states, that have historically agreed to strengthen ties with one another for their mutual benefit, ensuring that they trade with one another on more favourable terms than with those outside the League and that they protect one another politically and militarily. To this end, all constituent members of the League contribute a third of their annual income to the central League Treasury, and commit to sending a third of their armed forces to defending all of the League’s constituent members. The thirteen cities that make up the Asphoditan League are: Avaricum, Darioritum, Derventio, Emesa, Lousanna, Madauros, Novae, Potentia, Silvium, Sirmium, Tarquinii, Ticinum, Vorgium. All of the thirteen city-states in the Asphoditan League are represented by 10 delegates at the League Congress, which is the main political institution of the League and is where all of the important political matters are made, including matters of foreign policy, which all League members have agreed to conduct as a single unit. Theoretically, the delegates sent to the League Congress by the thirteen cities are able to vote whichever they wish, though in practice, the delegates from each city will tend to vote in a bloc. Delegates from all of the cities attend the League Congress at all times of the year, save for a summer and winter break, which can itself be cancelled if a situation requires serious attention. There is no permanent capital for the League, and instead one of the thirteen cities will act as the capital each year, with the location of the capital rotating between each of the cities in turn. During the year when a city is acting as the capital, they are termed the League Host, which means that they get the final say on matters that result in a deadlock. In addition, the Speaker of Congress, who keeps order and comperes sessions of Congress will be appointed from the citizens of renown and good social standing from the host city, and is appointed at the League Host’s discretion. The League Host will also receive and take care of the League Treasury, which is moved each year to the League Host, so that its funds are readily available for disbursement.
Each of the thirteen cities that make up the Asphoditan League have a variety of assets that are available to them, which encompasses both natural, industrial and military resources, many of which are directly available only to certain cities depending upon their location, though they will be freely traded amongst the other League members. As a whole entity, the League has access to abundant mineral resources from the central mountain belt of Greater Amfris, ample supplies of timber from the jungle that dominates the island, fish from the surrounding sea and agricultural produce from the cleared hinterlands of each city-state. Certain cities will be more geared up for the production of resources and goods than others, such as pottery, wine, textiles etc., but as there is free movement of goods between League members it is unusual for one of the thirteen cities to be denied access or to be unable to access a resource or good produced in one of the League’s other cities.
Demography and Population
Although each of the cities that make up the Asphoditan League have an individual demographic and racial spread there are some comments that can be made about the organisation as a whole. A large percentage of the League’s population is made up of Felinides, also known as Tabaxi, who account for nearly 50% of the League’s population, making the League’s cities the largest concentration of Felinides in the whole of Ulskandar. In addition, there is a large proportion of the population that are made up of Elves, approximately 30%, with the remaining population being comprised of Dwarves, Halflings and Lizardkin, most of the latter of whom have moved into the League’s cities from the tribes that inhabit the jungle interior of Greater Amfris. There are few Humans who reside in the cities of the League, with the vast majority of the Human population that lives on the continent of Amfris being resident in the cities and settlements of the Shaebu Albahr.
As the Asphoditan League is a collection of city-states that are dotted all around the island of Greater Amfris, it is harder to quantify the exact territorial make-up of the organisation, especially when one takes into account the fact that so much of the geography of Greater Amfris is dominated by either dense jungle or mountains. All of its constituent city-states have a hinterland, where the jungle has been cleared back to provide land for agriculture, but the size of this hinterland will vary greatly depending upon how large an individual city-state is, and what other resources are in its immediate surroundings that they may have moved to exploit. The vast majority of the Asphoditan League’s constituent city-states are situated on the coast of Greater Amfris, partly because this gives them access to more lower lying, flatter land that is better suited for agriculture, but also because it affords them access to the sea, which provides a far faster way to navigate around Greater Amfris along with access to the maritime trade routes, and provides access to the rest of the continent of Amfris and beyond to Turoza and Tafran. Road connections between the city-states of the League are few and far between, as it is incredibly hard to keep roadways clear of the jungle, which is constantly trying to regain control and encroach on any cleared areas. In addition, the jungle tribes that inhabit the interior of Greater Amfris have reacted in a very hostile manner to almost all road building efforts, whilst the ferocious, feral creatures of the jungle are very happy to use any roads cut through the jungle as an area where ambushes can be easily made. As a result, the few city-states of the Asphoditan League that are based in the interior of Greater Amfris are constantly fighting against the jungle and its inhabitants to keep their connections and supply lines to the rest of the League open.
Each of the thirteen constituent states of the League have to commit to sending a third of their armed forces as standard to defend the other members of the League. What this means in practice, is that the League has a standing army of around 60,000 troops to call upon at any one time, with the contingents from the cities being deployed to strategic locations around Greater Amfris that the League wishes to hold on to, or lay claim to, to act as a naval force (which is one of the major deployments given the reliance the League has on sea bourn transport and trade), to add an additional garrison force to the city that is the League Host for the year, and also to provide a specific guard to the League Treasury. In addition, contingents of troops from each city will be sent to augment the garrison of another of the League’s cities, to reinforce the idea that all of the Asphoditan League work together for their mutual protection. In addition, in times of emergency the league can call upon its constituent cities to contribute more troops, up to the point where all of the cities would be left with just a skeleton garrison to defend themselves. Although the League has summoned extra troops from each of the cities in the past, it has never resorted to drawing on all but skeleton garrisons.