Thracias Unitas
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Country

  • Capital City: place
  • System of Governance: stuff
  • Leaders: people
  • Primary Religion:
  • Languages: blah
  • Majority Races: people
  • Strong Minorities: different people
  • Real World Influence: country

Overview

The proud remnants of what was once the mightiest of all empires in history, Thracia Unitas has settled into a stable retirement under an intricate collection of government structures that they have found by long practice to be those most conducive to lasting and meaningful peace. The governing principle of the Pax Thracia keeps the competitive collection of city-states united and functionally independent, a condition they have never abandoned in 1500 years of decline.

Thracia is located at the northeast corner of the continent of Meridia. It is bordered on the west by the Sultanate of Damascus, to the south by the wild lands they call Katagonia, and bounded by the Cyrnosian Sea and Mari Magno to the east and north. A fruitful and generous land, its hills are rich with ore and its valleys with grain and orchards. The capital city of Roma is located in the far famed seven hills above the river Tiber near the Mari Magno coast in the north, a blend of adamant defense and maritime accessibility that has served it well.

The citizens of Thracia Unitas are almost universally Human. The ongoing practice of keeping servi (singular servus) means there is also a blended, albeit still mostly Human, population below the rank of citizenship. The Thracian Pantheon is supreme in its eponymous nation, with particular worship of Verax and Vindikari being foundational in Roma particularly.

In recent years, Thracia Unitas has been a stable and stately anchor in the region, helping to maintain the practical status quo. As an example, between 2009 and 2014 a protracted trade was between Thracia and distant Sassania was meaningfully harmful to olive producing farms in both nations, leading to the rise in prominence of Nabotaean olive plantations. Economics is where the true power of Thracia is wielded in modernity.

Culture

Culture found in land

Religions

Thracia historically is the source of and distributor of the Thracian Pantheon as the widespread and near-universal Human religious framework that it has become. This has spread around the world, absorbing and integrating most systems it encountered and expanding on the traditions as the Empire grew.

Each city-state has a patron God or Goddess, demigod, demigoddess, sometimes more than one, to whom the city gives particular devotion. These patrons are thought to guide and protect the citizenry of the city they represent, and the relationships present in the mythos of the gods can relate in part to the history of interrelationships between the cities themselves, in the fashion of life imitating art imitating life.

The three post potent city-states of Roma, Atherens, and Etrusca, have the most well-known of the patrons. Roma gives special devotion to Verax and Vindikari as rulers of the gods, guardians of order, and protectors of the city. Atherens is devoted to and named after the goddess of wisdom and war, Athesia, who is a powerful servant of Aldrin. Etrusca is particularly devoted to the Tychos, demigod of cities and servant of Beryl.

The city-state of Aquitania has particular devotion to Aequitarus, demigod of fairness, a servant of Verax, which leads to a certain cultural placement as those who thrive on acting as negotiators or mediators. As Aquitania is land-locked, having a firm and diplomatic neutrality in the affairs of its neighbors has served it well.

Baetica has multiple temples to their patron Pandia, the demigoddess of generosity, alms, and selflessness who is a servant of the Goddess Aya. Aya also receives a great deal of attention in this city, and that has also been reflected in a habit of public policy that supports the ill, the infirm, refugees, and other peregreni. Gentleness and generosity are virtues those from Baetica take as critical to their civic identity.

Baleares is wildly devoted to the patron demigod Arcesseus, whose domain is inspiration. The best known servant of Erixx, Arcesseus is the demigod who stole fire from the gods and gave it to Humanity, and Baleares has always taken that sense of valuing the cutting edge of technological advancement very seriously. Engineering is a specialty in Baleares, and its presence near the border with Damascus has provided ample opportunity to import and integrate foreign ideas.

The Island city of Corinne is inspired by the patron demigod Ianus, who governs portals, transitions, and duality. This mystical bent has led to a selection of transcendental retreats and exotic integration of outside theologies at the austere temples in and around Corinne.

Fertile Cyrena on the northern coast makes its special devotions to its patron Goddess Cyra, as well as her servant Lutherios who is steward of wine and celebrations. Devotion goes into the desire to nourish the major fruit and particularly wine-grape producing valleys of the state.

The city of Dacia on the southern border with Katagonia worships Aura, the demigoddes of gentle breezes and a servant of Nimbus. The fractious Cyrnosian sea often experiences dangerous weather driven by its warm, shallow waters, but true worship of Nimbus is difficult to get enthusiasm for, so instead it is the god's gentle daughter that receives local love.

In Galacia, protected heartland with a long coast, they worship Nonanria, the demigoddess who safeguards harvested grain and a servant of Valerian. With this principle in play and the devotions of a deity associated with safety, places local influence and identity behind the idea of creating stockpiles and storehouses to guard the nation and its allied neighbors against any future of famine.

Lycia believes that it was founded in person by the hands of the Muses, three servants of Ebude who govern memory, practice, and song. (Memeta, Meleta, and Amida respectively. ) The Lycians are crazed for theatrical arts and have made a large production out of constructing public theaters.

The last on this list is the city of Thessalanaea, whose patron is Marina, master of the sea, and her servant Fontus, demigod of fresh waters. Balancing the life of the sea with the needs of mortals is an art demanded of the mostly coastal and island city-state with such a near border with Cyrnos to consider.

Social Structure

Thracia exists in a blend of economic oligarchy and stubborn democracy. Wealth equates to privilege and power as it does anywhere, but there is a root-deep conviction that in an operative fashion, all citizens of a city state are in an important way equal to one another.

Not all residents of Thracia Unitas are citizens, however. There are a great many tiers of residency that exist below that of the citizen. These are organized as follows:

The practice of slavery in Thracia always includes the possibility of earning one's own freedom. Peregrini from rural areas are known to commonly enter into the state of Servi deliberately, a manner of seeking work and future status advancement while gaining potentially useful skills, while guaranteeing a certain amount of safety and security as their well-being becomes the responsibility of whomever they are sold to. Older persons not wishing to be a burden to their families or surplus offspring make choices of this sort on the regular.

Additional slaves are imported from other areas of the world where the practice remains common. The list of slaveholding and slave-taking nations includes Damascus, Cartagenna, Songhai, Limpopo, Nzadi'o'Nzere, Uthmanli, Ghassania, Sassania, Nabotaea, Vedia, Shalkara, Sanfoch'i, Ruslav, Osterland, Scythia, Nordehavn, and Skollar.

Western Eurus and some of the Coda nations more acutely connected to Western Eurus have mostly abolished any form of the practice due to the influence of Doomstadt's harsh and deeply disturbing practice of Chattel slavery that persisted for centuries before recently being abolished. The potential connection that would mean persons enslaved might ever end up in Doomstadt or might be purchased from Doomstadt made countries in the region abolish the practice entirely in favor of more rigidly defined concepts of indenture. Those indentures bear little substantial difference from the practice of Slavery in much of the rest of the world, but for the concept of literal ownership it defines.

During its practice of chattel slavery, Doomstadt was the blight on the face of the practice elsewhere in the world and had great difficulty acquiring slaves from other nations expressly because of its harsh practices, being forced to pay premiums for their purchases and seek out non-state-sanctioned markets or acquire the slaves themselves. It is for this reason that so substantial a population of the slaves of Doomstadt end up being goblinoid and Barbarian, having been acquired through the repeated assaults and conquests of Warwick and the surrounding areas.

In Thracia, gaining freedom can be very challenging for those of the Servi class. They must either perform additional paid work beyond the scope of their servitude in order to obtain the funds for their own purchase, be purchased and liberated by an ally, or satisfy their master sufficiently to be deeded their own freedom as a gift. It is a commonplace achievement but not an unremarkable one for a Servi to enter or return to the ranks of the Peregreni after many years of hard work.

This is not to say that the practice of enslavement in Thracia is kind or universally beneficial. It remains a deeply dehumanizing status subject to abuse and acute hardship. Crimes against the servi are taken much less seriously and masters have a great deal of power to harm their own property without recourse. There are, however, specific legal protections that amount to rudimentary labor rights for the enslaved. They must be provided food, clothing, and shelter by their master. They must not be required to perform work in an unsafe way (beyond a certain threshold), and it is required that if they are ill or injured they must be restored to health or sold at a government controlled discount. Servi may complain of undue abuse and request that their master be inspected by an authority whose only purpose that is, and lastly the Servi may not be required to perform intimate services to which they do not agree (ergo, brothel Servi have to be in agreement to their purchase by and service in the workforce at a brothel.) Additionally, children born to Servi by the interference of their masters are true-born offspring of the master and thus gain points in their favor towards a future path to becoming cives themselves. These systems are very old and miscellaneous other rights and protections apply, but the condition is still one that is not to be envied in most cases.

Servi and nexi both are not permitted to strike any person even in their own defense, may not speak out in public gatherings, must honor a suite of ettiquette-related rules when around persons of greater status, are severely limited in personal possessions, may only be granted specific kinds of leisure, can be barred from businesses and public places, and are subject to harsher penalties under law when committing any crime than a person of different status would receive.

Customs and Holidays

Thracians celebrate a major holiday for every month of the year in devotion to some of their most popular and beloved Gods and Goddesses. In each case, one of the twelve city states is considered "home" to the most massive and splended festival associated with that month, meaning that the wealthiest and most influential people are able to journey from city to city essentially year-round and spend fully a quarter of their lifetime partying.

Arts and Exceptionalism

Known for having the unique and extensive marble quarries, as well as access to the similar resources of Damascus, Thracia is renowned for its monumental architecture, particularly the styling of its marble edifices, public buildings, and temples. They are also home to some of the most grandiose statuary in the world, having a longstanding cultural fascination with an ever-improving depiction of the realistic Human form. Each city state has its own particular flair, unique arts, cuisine, and fashion, but they do hold communal interests in theater, oratory, music, and the athleticism.

Aquitania is known for its Basilica Justiciae, a public utility building particularly for courts, noted for its green marble construction. Atherens has the famous temple of Athesia, pubilc gardens, and a far-famed forum particularly noted for its elegant ionic columns. Baetica has its historical statuary as well as a massive publically accessible botanical rose garden said to house every variety of rose in the world, as a tribute to a legend about the goddess Aya. Baleares features the Monumental Column of Arcesseus, a particularly beautiful piece of public art topped by a massive statue of the demigod offering fire to Humanity.

Corrinne is known for having many particularly stellar examples of the mosaic arts in the form of seascapes found in public and private spaces both, noted for colorful integration of shells and vivid attention to detail. It also has distinctive shouldered arches in many of the villas, and a massive public shrine called the Triumphal Arch of Ianus. Cyrena is known for a distinctly old-fashioned and vivid use of geometric mosaic, as well as a set of buildings called the Horrea Epagathiana, which is a granary and storage warehouse of particularly attractive design.

Dacia is known for its Thermae Magnificum, a massive public bathhouse, and for having long cultivated the arts of painted frescoes. Etrusca is of course known for the Forum Berylliae, massive networks of exquisite marble and granite forums that serve a variety of purposes during the annual fair. It is also renowned for woven tapestries featuring distinctive foliage designs. Galacia is noted for its doric columns and the Galacia Basilica. Lycia has the Theater of the Muses and is renowned for cultivating playwrights and poets. Roma features the Colloseum, a massive public circus, an amphitheater, a hippodrome, multiple temples, and other colossal architecture. Thessalaneaea is known for its own public gardens, as well as a highly evolved art of lyre and harp music, keeping the ancient instruments strong in public sentiment through the ages.

Politics

Government

Thracia Unitas is actually a coalition of twelve powerful city-states who share a united military force. This coalition is governed and supervised by a triumvirate of leaders appointed by the Senates of the individual city states. One member of the Triumvirate is always a Roman Senator, the other two are typically but not universally representatives from Krete and Etrusca.

The Triumvirate controls several important intramural functions. They are responsible for the deployment of the combined military forces, called the Pax Thracia Legions. They also control all bureaucracy involved in diplomatic relationships with other nations, and the arbitration of disputes between city-states. They also act as an oversight body who assures that the laws of individual Res Republics do not conflict with the abstract concept of Thracian morality and identity.

Each city-state is for most purposes an independent political entity. As Res Republics, each city has two prime governing bodies. Authority is held by an oligarchical Senate whose senior members appoint their own membership, while administrative and legislative function are managed by a citizen-elected democratic body called the Comitia. Laws, taxes, public administration, and economic policy are handled entirely by the Comitia but approved or disapproved of by the Senate. The Senate also attends to higher judiciary functions and guarding the sanctity of citizenship.

A good demonstration of this relationship is to follow a change through the government of a Res Republic. In 1982, an influx of refugees fleeing Saimonian civil war followed by a hard winter meant that the city of Atherens had thousands of homeless non-citizens sleeping in the streets, waiting in public bread lines, and at risk for death by starvation and exposure. This was problematic for several reasons. Complaints on both humanitarian and economic grounds were made to members of the Comitia and to members of the Senate. The Comitia immediately and without supervision hired additional bakers to increase the dole available so as to avoid immediate catastrophe. This required dipping into emergency resources to supply both grain and funds, both of which the Comitia is able to do.

The Comitia also appointed a citizen commission to develop a plan to reduce the homelessness problem. Meanwhile, the Senate sent information to the Triumvirate to dispatch diplomats to Saimonia. The Senate also met to discuss the issue and devise amongst themselves a preferred principle to govern the city's response, but not the details of that outcome.

The Comitia heard from the citizen comission about what could be done, and from the Senate a set of decrees about what SHOULD be done. The Comitia synthesized the recommendations of the people with mandates of the Senate and issued solutions. A few of those required direct approval from the Senate but most did not. The Senate has the ability to intervene if it finds any of these solutions to be inconsistent with its philosophical guidelines.

Ultimately, the Comitia implemented a plan to renovate a dilapidated public building and create a sort of hostel that would provide heat and minimal serves to the unhoused. The renovations were designed to be sweeping and ambitious and to occur in stages, involving the hiring of as many of the refugees as possible to perform the work. Dwellers of suburban areas were incentivized to offer subsidized servus contracts to refugees, which would give them protected status, moving some of the problem out of the urban center. The civic guard was employed to remove problematic or disruptive refugees.

The Senate intervened when the civic guards enthusiastic efforts to get the "disruptive" refugees out of the city resulted in violence and had no clear plan for what to do with the removed persons who were simply marched a distance out of the city and left. Several deaths resulted, the Senate intervened, and the civic guard was rebuked for its zeal. A large amount of money changed hands and a sort of Saimonian ghetto was constructed in suburban Atherens. It was not an ideal outcome, but one that did showcase the government at work.

Below the level of governance, all citizens of the republics are considered equal participants in its government. Citizenship is not automatic, requiring that a person be an adult without debts who owns land or business, has served in the legion, or completed any of several service functions on a path to citizenship. Within the citizenry, wealth and status accrue to merchant dynasties who ultimately aspire to find themselves in the ranks of the senate, but Thracians take pride in their pseudo-egalitarianism.

People of various ranks are usually readily identified by their attire and mannerism, and each level of status comes with an assortment of particular privileges.

Military The Thracian Legions are a body whose structure led to the success of their empire in ages past, and it has retained a powerful tradition of keeping those aspects of the legion that worked best. They will be discussed later in greater detail.

Detail Map

Organization of the Land

How the power structure is divided regional (i.e. Duchies, Baronies, Lordships, etc.)

Demographics

The citizenry of Atherens is almost entirely human, and the population is mostly human as well, broken down approximately as follows:

Cives/Foederati, the citizenry, are about 95% Human, with the remainder being a broad mix of other races having earned the status as citizenry most often through service in the legions. As the bulk of the populations conquered by Thracia during the reign of the empire were also majority Human nations, most opportunities of this sort have been taken by other Humans. Citizens themselves represent about 10% of the total population of Thracia Unitas.

Peregrini, noncitizin residents with modest status in Thracia but no governing power, are themselves about 60% Human, 30% Barbarian peoples living in the rural or peripheral areas of the city-states, and 10% a blend of other races. Peregrini themselves represent about 60% of the total population of Thracia Unitas and include the offspring of enslaved persons who are not themselves born into slavery according to Thracian law.

Nexi, those engaged in debt-slavery, tend to be drawn from the ranks of the Peregrini and thus have the same demographic breakdown. They represent 5% of the total population of Thracia Unitas.

Servi, the wholely owned enslaved peoples, are approximately 40% Barbarian peoples, 40% Human, 20% a blend of other races. Servi represent about 25% of the total population of Thracia Unitas.

Profugi, statuslus and stateless individuals, exiles, those given no protection or succor under Thracian law are uncommon, but account for about 1% of the total population of Thracia Unitas. They are drawn from all races but predominantly Human according to near-universal statistical models.

Economy

Foreign Relations

History

History since the Dragon Wars

Early History

National History

Major Modern Events

What events will have shaped the experience of characters having grown up there

Geography

The physical lay of the land

Notable Features

Climate

Peculiar Destinations

See Also

Thracian Empire

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